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June 25, 2014
10:28 EDTCBS, DIS, NXST, CMCSA, MEG, SBGI, FOXA, GTNBroadcasters jump after Supreme Court rules against Aereo
The Supreme court ruled 6-3 in favor of television network owners and against Aereo, which sells a service that allows its subscribers to watch television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs are broadcast over the air. WHAT'S NEW: Television broadcasters that own the copyrights in many of the programs that Aereo streams sued the service for copyright infringement. A district court previously denied an injunction against Aereo that was sought by television networks and the Second Circuit affirmed, but the Supreme Court ruled that "Because Aereo’s activities are substantially similar to those of the CATV companies that Congress amended the Act to reach, Aereo is not simply an equipment provider." PRICE ACTION: Following the Supreme Court ruling against Aereo and in favor of broadcast TV network owners, shares of CBS (CBS) are up more than 5%. Shares of Disney (DIS), which owns ABC Network, are up 1.4%, 21st Century Fox (FOXA), the owner of Fox, is up 1.6% and Comcast (CMCSA), which owns NBC, is up 1%. Meanwhile, owners of television stations are up as well, with Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) up 14%, Nexstar (NXST) up 12%, Media General (MEG) up 6% and Gray Television (GTN) up 4.6%. Reference Link
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September 28, 2015
08:52 EDTMEG, NXSTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
IN FOCUS: Apple (AAPL) after announcing it set a record by selling more than 13M new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in the first three days after launch of the devices. HIGHER: Media General (MEG), up 22% after Nexstar (NXST) announced a proposal to acquire the company for cash Nexstar shares currently valued at $14.50 per Media General share... Alcoa (AA), up 5.4% after announcing that its board has unanimously approved a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies - an Upstream company that will operate under the Alcoa name and a new Value-Add company whose name will be announced at a later date... Atmel (ATML), up 7% after Reuters reported that Cypress Semiconductor (CY) is working on a competing bid to Dialog Semiconductor's (DLGNF) takeover offer... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 3% after Sterne Agee CRT upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral after meeting with the company's new CEO. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), down 8%. ALSO LOWER: Verastem (VSTM), down 50% after stopping enrollment in the Phase 2 study of VS-6063 for patients with mesothelioma for futility after a Data Safety Monitoring Board review of a pre-planned interim analysis... Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), down 3.7% after the Detroit Free Press said some local UAW workers rejected a four-year tentative pact between the United Auto Workers and the company... Williams (WMB), down 3% after Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) announced a business combination transaction valued at approximately $37.7B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under the deal, an affiliate of ETE, will acquire Williams at an implied current price of $43.50 per Williams share.
07:29 EDTMEG, NXSTMedia General volatility flat into Nexstar Broadcasting offer to purchase report
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07:23 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar Broadcasting volatility flat into offer to buy Media General
Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) October call option implied volatility is at 39, November is at 41; compared to its 52-week range of 27 to 54, suggesting non-directional price movement into its offer to buy Media General (MEG) for $14.50 per share, The Wall Street Journal reports.
07:11 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar to host conference call
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06:51 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar proposes to acquire Media General for $14.50 per share
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06:50 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar proposes to acquire Media General for $14.50 per share
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06:35 EDTMEG, NXSTNexstar Broadcasting offers to buy Media General for $14.50 per share, WSJ says
Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) Chairman and CEO Perry Sook has sent a letter to the board of Media General (MEG) offering to buy the local-television station owner for $14.50 per share, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the letter, which was seen by the publication, includes $10.50 in cash and 0.0898 Nexstar shares for each Media General share. Media General previously announced a deal to buy Meredith Corp (MDP). 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 EDTFOXA, CMCSA'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
13:17 EDTCMCSA, FOXAFly 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.
10:48 EDTCMCSA, CBS, FOXAMorgan 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.
September 24, 2015
20:04 EDTCMCSA, FOXA, DISFacebook virtual reality initiative picks up speed with $99 Samsung device
Thursday's Oculus Connect 2 event saw numerous announcements from Facebook (FB) virtual reality subsidiary Oculus VR, including content deals with major media players as well as a $99 VR headset developed in conjunction with Samsung (SSNLF). CONTENT OFFERINGS: The virtual reality firm will be partnering with Fox (FOX, FOXA) and Lionsgate (LGF) to bring more than 100 films to the Oculus Store at launch. Additionally, Netflix (NFLX), Amazon's (AMZN), TiVo (TIVO), and Hulu -- the joint venture of Disney (DIS), Fox, and Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) NBCUniversal -- will be launching apps for the company's virtual reality products, bringing web TV and streaming content to early adopters of the new technology. MAINSTREAM DEVICE: Samsung joined with Oculus to reveal a new $99 "Gear VR" headset on Thursday. Standing in contrast to Oculus' own pricier devices, the Samsung headset will rely on the company's Galaxy line of smartphones to power its virtual reality experiences. Note that a major point of contention regarding the "blockbuster" potential -- or lack thereof -- of VR technology is whether consumers will be willing to pay upwards of $399 for the Oculus gadgets. Samsung's Gear VR tends more towards what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has called "medium immersion" devices, potentially allaying investor concern over adoption rates with its more attractive point of entry. PRICE ACTION: Facebook shares closed higher by 0.5% and continued to rise in after-hours trading, up another 0.2%.
13:44 EDTDIS, CMCSA, FOXAOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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September 23, 2015
09:18 EDTDISPaulson Institute and CCPIT to co-host U.S.-China Business Roundtable
The Paulson Institute and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) provide an opportunity for U.S. and Chinese business leaders to discuss issues facing the two countries in a roundtable being held in Seattle, Washington on September 23.
08:18 EDTDISDisney volatility flat on tight one-month price movement
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September 22, 2015
10:07 EDTDIS, CMCSA, FOXAMedia companies adjust Netflix strategy ahead of OTT growth, Bloomberg says
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September 21, 2015
18:09 EDTDISESPN to lay off 200-300 employees in coming months, Big Lead says
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14:45 EDTSBGISinclair has had discussions on a Tennis Channel purchase, WSJ says
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12:19 EDTSBGISinclair Broadcast announces Ring of honor signed 6-month deal with L'Equipe 21
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September 20, 2015
19:48 EDTCMCSA, FOXA'Maze Runner' sequel outpaces 'Black Mass'
Young-adult science fiction film "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" raced ahead of Johnny Depp-led crime biopic "Black Mass" in their respective weekend debuts. WEEKEND LEADER: Falling somewhat short of estimated sales in the range of $34M-$36M, Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20. The sci-fi action thriller's $61M budget nearly doubles that of the first "Maze Runner" film, building on a trend of dystopic young-adult films popularized by Lionsgate's (LGF) "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: "Black Mass" from Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros. took in $23.4M for its domestic open. The Boston-based crime film garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike, with particular praise given to Johnny Depp in the role of mobster Whitey Bulger. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's horror thriller "The Visit" earned $11.4M in its second week in theaters, while Sony (SNE) thriller "The Perfect Guy" fell to fourth place with $9.7M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Universal's disaster film "Everest" grossed $7.6M despite opening in just 545 theaters ahead of its wider release.
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