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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 16, 2014
06:27 EDTDIS, NFLX, FOXA, CMCSK, AMZN, CMCSANBCUniversal planning digital video push
NBCUniversal announced the launch of a robust, original video programming initiative that will be promoted across the company’s unique portfolio of television networks and featured on its extensive collection of digital platforms as well as on national video-on-demand.Debuting first on various digital platforms including channel websites, Hulu and video-on-demand, this companywide initiative is designed to connect advertising brands with consumers in the most engaging and immersive ways. In many cases, the development of these digital series will be in direct collaboration with advertising partners. “Much of the uncaptured value in the online world can be unlocked with smart collaborations between creators and clients. This year, we’re making a big push to building that bridge,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
News For CMCSA;CMCSK;NFLX;AMZN;FOXA;DIS From The Last 14 Days
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November 13, 2014
11:43 EDTAMZNAmazon.com, Hachette end dispute, New York Times reports
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09:06 EDTCMCSAComcast and Boys & Girls Clubs of America launch My Future Technology initiative
Comcast NBCUniversal and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have entered into a five-year national partnership valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support. The partnership includes the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about our digital world and ignite their passion for technology.
07:01 EDTDISHasbro deal with Disney could be impacted with merger, says Piper Jaffray
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06:20 EDTAMZNAmazon's Web-services chief not threatened by cash threat from rivals, WSJ says
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06:17 EDTCMCSA, CMCSK, FOXASony unveils PlayStation Vue, a cloud-based TV service
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06:02 EDTCMCSA, CMCSKComcast moving ahead with $45B acquisition of Time Warner Cable, AP reports
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November 12, 2014
16:00 EDTAMZNOptions Update; November 12, 2014
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13:47 EDTAMZNEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees FY15 net sales up 2%-3% vs. last year
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, November 13, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.12 on revenue of $118.35B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.08-$1.17 on revenue of $115.17B-$119.67B. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported second quarter EPS of $1.21, in line with estimates, on revenue of $119.3B, against estimates of $119B. Walmart U.S. comp sales were flat for the 13-week period ended August 1, and U.S. net sales increased $1.9B, or 2.7%, to over $70B. Currency exchange rate fluctuations negatively impacted net sales by approximately $700M, the company said. Wal-Mart forecast Q3 EPS of $1.10-$1.20, with U.S. comp store sales relatively flat and Sam's Club comp sales, excluding fuel, slightly positive. and increased investments in Sam's Club membership programs. The company lowered its fiscal year 2015 EPS view to $4.90-$5.15 from $5.10-$5.45, against estimates at that time of $5.15. The new full year guidance reflects incremental investments in e-commerce and higher U.S. health-care costs than previously anticipated. The annual effective tax rate is projected to be between 32%-34%. NEWS: On its Q2 earnings conference call, Wal-Mart lowered its FY15 e-commerce sales growth forecast to 25%. In mid-October, Wal-Mart said that as a result of a tougher sales environment than it anticipated a year ago, it now expects to grow net sales for FY15 between 2%-3% on last year’s $473.1B. The company indicated in February that it expected net sales growth to be at the low end of its guidance provided last October of 3%-5%. The company sees fiscal year 2016 net sales growth of 2%-4%, or approximately $10B-$20B of net sales growth. The company said FY16 operating expenses will grow at a rate "somewhat faster" than sales growth and operating income will be flat to slightly down. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said the company will invest less in stores and more in e-commerce. Wal-Mart sees FY15 capital investments of $12.5B-$13B and FY16 capital investments $11.6B-$12.9B. Wal-Mart also sees FY16 e-commerce and digital spending of $1.2B-$1.5B. Ahead of a holiday shopping season that may be fiercely promotional, Wal-Mart is testing a program to match online prices from rivals including Amazon.com (AMZN), reported the Wall Street Journal. The company announced the "New Black Friday" will include five days of deals. STREET RESEARCH: Cleveland Research said Wal-Mart's trends softened in September and October following a strong August driven by soft traffic and less promotional activity. The firm believes Wal-Mart is positioned to maintain share during the holidays, but sees "growing caution" on the consumer spending outlook. Baird said expectations for Wal-Mart appear to be muted into the Q3 report. The firm believes sales may remain lackluster and margins may slip in the near-term, but sees international as an opportunity. During the quarter, shares were initiated with a Neutral rating at Sterne Agee. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are up 6.9% over the last three months but are only up 0.8% year-to-date. In early afternoon trading, Wal-Mart shares are up 0.4% to $79.35.
12:56 EDTCMCSAFCC chairman disagrees with Obama on Internet rules, Washington Post says
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the executives of major Internet companies that he favors a more nuanced solution for regulating the Internet than the one suggested by President Obama, according to The Washington Post. Wheeler said he would "try to split the baby" between the president's proposal and the agenda of Internet executives who don't want the rules to affect their business, the newspaper stated, citing four unnamed sources who attended a meeting with Wheeler. Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Verizon (VZ), Cablevision (CVC) ,and AT&T (T) are major Internet Service Providers. Executives from Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) were at the meeting with Wheeler, the newspaper said. . Reference Link
12:55 EDTAMZNAmazon to expand its R&D in Cambridge, UK, TechCrunch reports
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11:44 EDTDISSeaWorld sinks to 52-week low after Q3 profit, attendance fall
Shares of theme park and entertainment company SeaWorld (SEAS) are plunging after the company’s profit, attendance and adjusted EBITDA all fell significantly on a year over year basis. The also forecast fiscal year 2014 revenue and adjusted EBITDA to be down from last year. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, SeaWorld reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of $1.01, missing analysts' $1.13 consensus by 12 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $495.84M, compared to analysts' consensus estimates of $495.4M. Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was $209.1M, a decrease of $45.3M, or 18%, compared to the third quarter of 2013. Attendance in Q3 ws 8.4M, down from 8.9M a year ago. The company believes the decline in attendance results from a combination of factors including negative media attention in California along with a challenging competitive environment, particularly in Florida. The competitive challenges in Florida relate to significant new attraction offerings at competitor destination parks, along with a delay in the scheduled opening of one of the company's new rides at its Busch Gardens Tampa park. The decrease in total revenue in the third quarter was primarily driven by a 5.2% decline in attendance, along with a 2.9% decline in total revenue per capita from $60.74 in the third quarter of 2013 to $58.99. WHAT’S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, SeaWorld forecast FY14 revenue and adjusted EBITDA to be down 6%-7% and 14%-16%, respectively. The FY14 revenue consensus ahead of the company's report was $1.37B. The company also said it expects to take a restructuring charge of up to $13M in Q4 related to its cost reduction initiatives. The company sees FY14 capital expenditures to be in the range of $155M-$165M and fiscal year 2015 CapEx to be in the range of $185M-$195M. Jim Atchison, the company's Chief Executive Officer, noted that the attendance trends the company experienced in the latter part of the second quarter continued into Q3. He called 2014 a “challenging year,” and said the company was executing a cost savings plan that is expected to deliver approximately $50M of annual cost savings by the end of 2015. He also said the company was adjusting its attraction and marketing plans to address immediate top-line concerns. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, SeaWorld fell $2.24, or 12.04%, to $16.36 on more than twice its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week low of $16.53. Including today's pull back, the shares have lost approximately 48% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the theme park space include Disney (DIS), up 0.03%, Six Flags (SIX), down 0.16%, and Cedar Fair (FUN), up 0.76%.
10:43 EDTDIS, FOXABernstein downgrades Discovery, Viacom, citing 'structural decline' in TV
Research firm Bernstein sees strong evidence that audiences of ad-supported TV have entered a period of "structural decline." The firm cut its rating on Discovery (DISCA), the owner of the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet cable stations, and Viacom (VIA,VIAB), which owns MTV and and Nickelodeon. The firm also cut its price target on CBS (CBS). WHAT'S NEW: Noting that audiences for ad-supported TV have fallen by unprecedented amounts for four months, Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger added that consumption of subscription video on demand, or SVOD, services continue to grow. Meanwhile, TV networks are seeing increased competition from Internet websites for ad dollars, limiting the ability of the networks to raise ad prices, Juenger stated. The profit margins and return on investment of content owners are likely to decline over time, the analyst believes. He downgraded Discovery to Market Perform from Outperform and set a $37 price target on the stock, and cut Viacom to Underperform from Market Perform, placing a $71 price target on that stock. Juenger reduced his price target on CBS to $55 from $60 and kept a Market Perform rating on the shares. He kept Outperform ratings on 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), and Time Warner (TWX), saying that those are least affected by the trend, as they are less dependent than their peers on the American TV ad market and have a large amount of sports programming. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Discovery lost 0.6% to $31.81, Viacom class A shares gained 0.6% to $70.09, CBS fell 0.7% to $51.48, Twenty-First Century Fox class A shares lost 0.5% to $34.75, Time Warner fell 0.5% to $77.69 and Disney was flat near $90 per share.
10:00 EDTCMCSAOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:37 EDTNFLX, AMZNActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL CLSN TWTR BABA NFLX TSLA AMZN CSIQ C
09:28 EDTCMCSAComcast weakness on Title II pullback a buying opportunity, says Goldman
Goldman recommends buying Comcast on Title II weakness. The firm said Comcast's business practices are largely in-line with the proposed rules, suggesting minimal impact to operations. The firm reiterates its Buy rating and $65 price target.
08:19 EDTCMCSAComcast downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim
Maxim downgraded Comcast to Hold saying the company's Internet pricing power could be negatively impacted from potential net neutrality legislation. The firm prefers to wait on the sidelines pending greater clarity into potential Title II legislation.
08:18 EDTNFLXNetflix CFO expects to expand as much or 'bit more' next year, Bloomberg says
Netflix CFO David Wells said the company plans a “sizable expansion” into new markets next year, projecting expansion on the order of this year or "even potentially a little bit more,” reported Bloomberg, citing Wells' comments at an RBC Capital Markets conference. Reference Link
07:51 EDTDISDisney trades at a premium despite low forward growth, says Cowen
Cowen raised its price target on Disney shares to $83 from $75, but reiterated its Market Perform rating on Disney shares, citing the stock's premium trading valuation despite the lowest forward earnings growth of its peer group. The firm also cited higher sports programming costs, as well as difficulty envisioning outperformance to current estimates.
07:45 EDTCMCSAARRIS should be bought on weakness, says RBC Capital
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07:10 EDTCMCSAComcast downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim
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