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News For CMCSA;CVC;DIS;TWC;VZ From The Last 14 Days
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September 28, 2015
09:36 EDTDIS Active equity options trading on open
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09:12 EDTTWCRovi news a 'small positive first step,' says JPMorgan
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08:07 EDTTWCRovi, Time Warner Cable extend existing agreement
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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
06:50 EDTVZVerizon's go90 wins $80M from backers, NY Post reports
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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
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.
10:48 EDTCMCSAMorgan 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, 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%.
19:03 EDTVZVerizon offers annual upgrade plan for iPhone users
In the wake of recent iPhone purchase plans announced by Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS), Verizon (VZ) announced that customers who purchase either the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with Verizon's Device Payment option will be eligible to get a new iPhone every year. "Yes, no more waiting for your contract to end... The new program allows you to turn in your phone and upgrade to a new iPhone every year," remarked the company. Verizon added that its customers will still have the option to pay off the phone without upgrading.
13:44 EDTCMCSA, DISOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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12:10 EDTVZVerizon management to meet with Jefferies
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11:24 EDTVZAOL's head of video McCormack exiting company, Variety reports
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09:22 EDTVZSprint to offer iPhone 6s 16GB for $1 per month
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06:30 EDTCVCAltice to aggressively expand presence with Cablevision buy, Variety says
Altice's (ATCEY) proposal to acquire Cablevision (CVC) is a signal that Altice founder Patrick Drahi intends to extend his vision across the Atlantic, Variety says. Altice may just be getting started when it comes to shopping for U.S. media assets, and has already snatched some $40B worth of cable, wireless and telecom assets over the past two years, the report says. There's talk of Altice also going after a wireless firm such as Sprint (S) or T-Mobile (TMUS) to further its strategy for growth, the report says. Reference Link
September 23, 2015
17:37 EDTVZSynchronoss confirms multi-year contract with Verizon
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16:34 EDTVZOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks began the day in quiet fashion and remained that way during the first hour of trading. Following the release of the weekly energy inventory report, the averages moved lower and looked to be possibly setting up for another selloff. Positive comments on China's economy by its President, who is visiting the U.S., brought out buyers, who pared the market's losses. The averages finished slightly in the red in a day marked by low volume as a number of market participants may have been absent in observance of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. EIA inventory data showed a 1.93M barrel fall in crude oil inventories, versus expectations for a weekly drawdown of 1.25M barrels. In China, Markit's flash manufacturing PMI fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Volkswagen (VLKAY) trading in New York rebounded 6.5% to $27.10 following the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and saying it will consider his replacement at a meeting Friday. Prior to the CEO change news, the stock was downgraded at research firms JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Natixis to hold or equivalent ratings this morning. Accounting for today's advance, U.S.-listed shares of Volkwagen are still down nearly 29% since last Friday, when the EPA publicly accused the automaker of equipping certain diesel cars sold in the U.S. with software that circumvented emissions standards... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in China. The deals are possibly worth tens of billions of dollars in total and represent the largest total order the planemaker has received from Chinese companies, according to Reuters. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Cisco (CSCO) plans to announce a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group during President Xi Jinping's visit. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was First Niagara (FNFG), which advanced $1.30, or 14.5%, to $10.26 following a Bloomberg report that the company is exploring a sale. DealReporter noted that potential suitors include Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) and New York Community Bancorp (NYCB). BioMed Realty (BMR) gained $2.36, or 12.3%, to $21.54 after Bloomberg reported that the company is in talks to sell itself and has attracted attention from firms including Blackstone (BX). Heron Therapeutics (HRTX) rose $7.25, or 21.6%, to $40.81 after announcing that its Phase 2 study of HTX-011 for post-operative pain met its primary endpoint. Shares of a competitor Pacira (PCRX) declined 7.65% after the news, with several analysts remarking that Heron's data compares favorably versus Pacira's Exparel drug. Summit Midstream Partners (SMLP) declined $3.90, or 18.2%, to $17.52 following a Bloomberg report that Energy Capital Partners is seeking to sell its stake in the company. Synchronoss (SNCR) fell 10.75% to $33.37 after research firm Baird said it has become "increasingly concerned" that Verizon (VZ) is "no longer fully committed" to the white-label cloud product it offers in conjunction with the cloud services provider. INDEXES: The Dow fell 50.58, or 0.31%, to 16,279.89, the Nasdaq lost 3.98, or 0.08%, to 4,752.74, and the S&P 500 declined 3.98, or 0.2%, to 1,938.76.
13:34 EDTTWCLiberty Broadband shareholders approve proposals related to Charter merger
Liberty Broadband (LBRDA, LBRDK) announced that at its special meeting of stockholders, the holders of Liberty's common stock entitled to vote thereat approved both proposals presented at the meeting relating to Liberty's issuance of shares of its Series C common stock to third party investors, the proceeds of which will fund all or a portion of Liberty's purchase of $4.3B of stock of a new publicly traded Charter Communications (CHTR) following its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC), all as previously announced.
12:27 EDTVZOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
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