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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 7, 2013
09:41 EDTATVI, VIAB, VIAActivision signs deal with Viacom for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games
Nickelodeon and Activision Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (ATVI), announced a worldwide, multi-year deal to develop and publish video games inspired by the new CG-animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Under the new agreement, Activision has the global rights to produce interactive games based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
News For ATVI;VIA;VIAB From The Last 14 Days
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July 31, 2015
10:42 EDTATVIElectronic Arts drops despite beat and raise results
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07:48 EDTVIAViacom acquires 50% stake in Prism TV for approx. $153M
Viacom announced that it has acquired a 50% interest in Prism TV Private Limited for 9.4BN rupees, or approximately $153M. Prism TV owns and operates regional entertainment channels in India, including ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Oriya and ETV Gujarati, all of which were recently rebranded under the ‘COLORS’ umbrella. The transaction was completed today between Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., and Shinano Retail Private Limited, a company effectively 100% owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. The parties received clearance from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board earlier this month. With this acquisition, Viacom Inc. will hold 50% of Prism TV and the remaining 50% interest will continue to be owned by the Network18 Group, Viacom’s partner in the Viacom18 joint venture.
July 24, 2015
15:06 EDTVIAB, VIAEarnings Watch: TV networks report as streaming services gain ground
CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA, VIAB), and 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) are among TV network companies expected to report quarterly results over the next several weeks, with Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) already having reported before the open on July 23. EXPECTATIONS: Time Warner is expected to report EPS of $1.03 on revenue of $6.9B, CBS is expected to report EPS of 73c on revenue of $3.22B, Viacom is expected to report EPS of $1.47 on revenue of $3.22B, and 21st Century Fox is expected to report EPS of 37c on revenue of $6.48B. LAST QUARTER: CBS, Time Warner, and Fox all reported stronger than expected Q1 results, while Viacom reported higher than expected Q2 EPS but missed on revenue. THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS: On the morning of July 23, Comcast reported Q2 EPS of 84c in line with estimates, and revenue of $18.7B versus expectations for $18.14B. Cable customer relationships for the quarter were up 31,000 to 27.3M, driven by increases in double and triple product relationships. During a subsequent conference call, the company noted that TV viewership continues to be under pressure. NEWS: At Re/code's Code Conference on May 27, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves remarked that his network will "probably" sign up for Apple's (AAPL) rumored TV service, and on June 3, CBS announced that its Showtime network will be offered over the internet as a stand-alone streaming service launching in early July for a monthly price of $10.99, with Apple as its first partner. On July 1, Variety quoted sources as saying Viacom was attempting to entice advertisers by offering to construct social-media and digital extensions of traditional TV ad campaigns as the company seeks to move away from Nielsen-based advertising sales. On July 8, the Wall Street Journal reported that Viacom's Paramount Pictures reached an agreement with AMC (AMC) to accelerate the home release of movies, noting that the company hoped to implement the quickened schedule for all new releases beginning later in the year. On July 17, Re/code reported that Viacom held talks to acquire e-commerce and media company Thrillist Media, according to sources. On June 17, 21st Century Fox named James Murdoch as CEO, with founder and former chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch appointed executive co-chairman alongside Lachlan Murdoch. The Telegraph reported on June 20 that Fox rejected offers for its stake in Sky (SKYAY) from Vodafone (VOD) and Vivendi (VIVHY), potentially signalling an interest in outright purchasing the rest of Sky, according to the report. More recently, the European Commission announced on July 23 that it delivered a statement of objections to Sky and various film studios owned by Comcast, Viacom, Fox, Time Warner, Disney (DIS), and Sony (SNE), discussing anti-trust concerns due to limitations on country-by-country availability of pay-TV services. STREET RESEARCH: On May 12, Pacific Crest said it believes Apple will launch its TV service before the end of the year, saying the move should benefit TV networks as well as Apple itself. On June 24, Brean Capital said Facebook's (FB) agreement with Time Warner to host premier episodes of certain upcoming shows was "a trend worth following," and possibly indicative of Facebook hosting additional TV content in the future. Also on June 24, FBR Capital contended that Netflix (NFLX) was on pace to have a larger 24-hour audience than all traditional broadcast networks, where ratings are seeing declines on average, according to the research firm. Those comments were followed by a July 10 note on Netflix from Morgan Stanley, saying the subscription streaming service was seeing higher time spent per day than any single broadcast network. Moving away from the Netflix factor, on July 10, JPMorgan said CBS shares looked "very attractive" following a recent selloff, though the company saw a downgrade on July 20 from Pivotal, which cited higher costs of capital among other factors. Finally, Citi upgraded Viacom on July 16 to Neutral, citing recent underperformance in the company's shares heading into earnings season.
July 23, 2015
05:59 EDTVIAEU sends Statement of Objections to Sky, U.S. film studios
The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Sky UK (SKYAY) and six major U.S. film studios: Disney (DIS), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Paramount Pictures (VIA), Sony (SNE), Twentieth Century Fox (FOXA) and Warner Bros (TWX). The Commission takes the preliminary view that each of the six studios and Sky UK have bilaterally agreed to put in place contractual restrictions that prevent Sky UK from allowing EU consumers located elsewhere to access, via satellite or online, pay-TV services available in the UK and Ireland. Without these restrictions, Sky UK would be free to decide on commercial grounds whether to sell its pay-TV services to such consumers requesting access to its services, taking into account the regulatory framework including, as regards online pay-TV services, the relevant national copyright laws. If the Commission's preliminary position were to be confirmed, each of the companies would have breached EU competition rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements. The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. These antitrust investigations focus on contractual restrictions on passive sales outside the licensed territory in agreements between studios and broadcasters.
July 22, 2015
23:09 EDTVIA, VIABFormer MTV executive joins YouTube as VP of originals, Variety says
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07:12 EDTVIABIMAX to adapt Vienna State Opera for new Mission: Impossible film premiere
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July 20, 2015
10:43 EDTATVIZillow slides to 52-week low after Barclays cuts to sell
The shares of Zillow (Z) are falling after Barclays downgraded the stock to Underweight, the firm's equivalent of a "Sell" rating, citing increased competition in the "local" segment of the Internet market. Zillow's websites advertise homes that are up for sale. WHAT'S NEW: In a note to investors earlier today, Barclays analyst Christopher Merwin wrote that, heading into second quarter results, he does not recommend Internet stocks that have been "challenged" and have relatively "cheap" valuations. These valuations are only "cheap" based on consensus estimates that are probably too high, the analyst believes. Based on that criteria, he downgraded Zillow to Underweight from Equal Weight. He also used the same criteria to downgrade Yelp (YELP), whose website features user reviews of local businesses, to Equal Weight from Overweight. Both companies are facing an "atypical level" of competition, driven by a favorable venture capital funding environment, Merwin indicated. The competition has driven down the companies' multiples, he believes. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Merwin recommended that investors buy the shares of small and mid cap Internet companies whose estimates are just beginning to be revised upwards by analysts. He identified IAC (IACI), which owns several dating websites, as one stock in this category. IAC should benefit from increased monetization of its popular Tinder dating app and the stabilization of its core dating websites, the analyst contended. Also poised for further positive estimate revisions are video game makers Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Merwin believes. The companies' increased revenue from digital games should mitigate the risk they face from slowing software growth as sales of new consoles slow, the analyst believes. He noted that 50% of both companies' revenue are now generated from digital games and identified Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard as two of his top ideas. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Zillow fell 5% to $79 after hitting a 52-week low of $76.82 earlier in the session. Meanwhile, Yelp slid 1.6% to $34.40, IAC fell fractionally to $83.83, Electronic Arts added about 1% to $74.15 and activision Blizzard rose 0.5% to $25.93.
05:44 EDTATVIZillow Group downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Barclays analyst Christopher Merwin downgraded Zillow Group (Z) to Underweight saying competition is increasing in local. Underweight is Barclays' equivalent to a sell rating. The real estate and rental marketplace owner closed Friday at $83.27. Merwin believes consensus growth estimates are likely too high heading into Zillow's Q2 results and cut his price target for the stock to $70 from $90. The analyst this morning also downgraded Yelp (YELP) to Equal Weight for similar reasons. His top U.S. Internet picks heading into Q2 earnings season are IAC (IACI), Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (EA). Merwin thinks Activision and Electronic Arts will receive more than half of their 2015 revenue from digital.
July 17, 2015
15:17 EDTVIAB, VIAViacom discussing possible purchase of Thrillist Media, Re/code says
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05:51 EDTATVIJune NPD video game software sales rose 21%, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray notes June NPD video game software sales were up 21% year-over-year, driven by Batman: Arkham Knight from Warner Bros. Piper remains positive on the group and keeps Overweight ratings on Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA), GameStop (GME) and Take-Two (TTWO).

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