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September 28, 2015
07:17 EDTCVCAltice scales back bond sale to finance Cablevision buyout, Financial Times says
Altice (ATCEY) has scaled back a bond offering to finance $17.7B buyout of Cablevision (CVC), reports the Financial Times. According to people familiar with the fundraising discussions, Altice was forced to downsize its planned offering to $5.3B and had to promise investors a higher yield. Reference Link
06:42 EDTGOOGGoogle to bring free Wi-Fi to 400 train stations in India
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06:27 EDTNFLXNetflix acquires rights to three more TV shows, Variety reports
Netflix has acquired the global streaming rights to CW's "Jane the Virgin," USA's "Colony" and CBS's "Zoo," sources confirm to Variety. Netflix previously announced the acquisition of exclusive global rights to ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder." Reference Link
06:25 EDTGOOGYouTube finalizing subscription launch for two services, Re/code reports
YouTube is finalizing launch plans for its subscription service expected to be launch near the end of October, reports Re/code. In a blast email to content owners, YouTube said they would have to agree to the new terms by October 22 or their "videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States." According to sources, YouTube intends to bundle two different services that include an update of its music service and the ability to watch anything on YouTube without seeing ads. Reference Link
06:08 EDTCMCSAComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTCMCSA'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
September 25, 2015
17:33 EDTGOOGDelta Air Lines, Google, Amgen look attractively priced, Barron's says
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16:00 EDTNFLXOptions Update; September 25, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 66c to 25.09. Option volume leaders: AAPL NFLX BAC FB AU NKE PFE INTC AMZN TSLA
13:17 EDTCMCSAFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
11:58 EDTNFLXStocks with call strike movement; TWTR NFLX
Twitter (TWTR) January 32 call option implied volatility increased 2% to 53, Netflix (NFLX) January 115.7 call option implied volatility decreased 2% to 55 according to IVolatility.
10:48 EDTCBS, GOOG, VIAB, CMCSA, NFLXMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
10:26 EDTGOOGBlackBerry posts quarterly loss, says turnaround continuing
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares are lower in morning trading after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts' expectations. BlackBerry is in the middle of a turnaround for its smartphone business and confirmed today that it plans to launch a new device that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. EARNINGS: Excluding items, BlackBerry reported a loss per share for Q2 of (13c), below analysts' consensus estimates of (9c). Revenue for the quarter was $490M, reflecting a purchase accounting write down of deferred revenue associated with the acquisition of WatchDox. The revenue result may not compare with analysts' estimate of $611M. Looking ahead, BlackBerry said it is targeting "sustainable" non-GAAP profitability in the fourth quarter and sees "modest" sequential growth in total revenue for the rest of fiscal year 2016. The company sees a "slight" uptick in third quarter revenue compared to this quarter, and announced it will change its non-GAAP income statement presentation to be "consistent with the primary practice in the software industry." BlackBerry said it believes this is necessary due to its increased emphasis on software, as well as acquisitions of software companies with material recurring revenue streams. On the company's earnings conference call, John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, announced that the board approved an increase to the current buyback program by an additional 15M shares, bringing the total available for repurchase to 21M shares. The approval was based on expectations for continued free cash flow. Chen said that he believes the company has made "good progress" moving its software business from perpetual to subscription. Chen said he is "not satisfied" as far as overall revenue and profitability, particularly in its handset business, but said the company is focused on growing device volume profitably, generating recurring revenue from IP licensing and making its software business larger. WHAT'S NOTABLE: To help strengthen its device business, Chen confirmed BlackBerry will launch a new slider device powered by Google's Android operating system later this calendar year, to be called Priv. Chen also confirmed that the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and confirmed plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements. Chen said the company is working with Google to secure Android and is not using Samsung's (SSNLF) Knox. Chen said the company is not planning another BlackBerry 10 device this year and noted that if the plan of doing the Android type of implementation "works well," it could consider replacing BB10 or merging it into Android. PRICE ACTION: BlackBerry is down 2% to $6.89 in morning trading.
09:34 EDTNFLXActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL BAC FB NKE NFLX PFE AU TSLA
08:50 EDTGOOGBlackBerry says working with Google on securing Android
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07:04 EDTGOOGBlackBerry launches slider device Priv
BlackBerry (BBRY) is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android (GOOG) operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry's efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks. While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
06:59 EDTGOOGGoogle to be investigated by U.S. regulators over Android, Bloomberg reports
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06:21 EDTGOOGFacebook's free internet effort in developing countries 'inadequate,' WSJ says
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06:16 EDTGOOGGoogle October volatility elevated
Google September weekly call option implied volatility is at 23, October is at 37, November is at 30; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 41, suggesting large October price movement.
06:13 EDTNFLXPiper's Munster sees building virtual reality momentum for Facebook
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Facebook's (FB) virtual reality theme is building momentum after its Oculus unit announced a 50% price cut for its mobile VR solution headset to $99. Also announced was that the headset, named Gear VR, will work with five phones versus three in the past. A better virtual reality experience is now available to a larger market and the "critically important" content is growing, Munster tells investors in a research note. Oculus has partnerships with Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, Tivo (TIVO), Sega and Midway to bring their content into Gear VR, Munster points out. He expects Samsung to sell 5M-10M Oculus enabled Gear VR headsets next year, up from around 1M in 2015. Munster maintains an Overweight rating on Facebook with a $146 price target. The stock closed yesterday up 44c to $94.41.
05:58 EDTGOOGIndian Prime Minister to meet with Apple, Google CEOs, WSJ reports
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet this weekend with Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, among others, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to industry insiders, the tech executives will use the visit to push for better market access in India as well as clearer regulation on investment and startups. Reference Link
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