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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 10, 2014
08:25 EDTCMCSA, CMCSA, VIA, VIA, S, S, NWS, NWS, RGC, RGC, ELNK, ELNK, OMC, OMC, FTR, FTR, DISCA, DISCA, RNET, RNET, TMUS, TMUSDeutsche Bank to hold a conference
22nd Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference is being held in Palm Beach, Florida on March 10-12 with webcasted company presentations to begin on March 10 at 8:30 am. Webcast Link
News For CMCSA;RNET;DISCA;FTR;OMC;ELNK;RGC;NWS;S;VIA;TMUS From The Last 14 Days
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February 2, 2016
15:46 EDTVIA, CMCSAEarnings Watch: Media networks report amid shifts in streaming, TV landscape
Comcast (CMCSA), CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA), and 21st Century Fox (FOX) are among media companies expected to report quarterly results over the next several weeks. EXPECTATIONS: Comcast is expected to report EPS of 82c on revenue of $18.77B, CBS is expected to report EPS of 93c, Time Warner is expected to report EPS of $1.00 on revenue of $7.53B, Viacom is expected to report EPS of $1.18 on revenue of $3.26B, and Fox is expected to report EPS of 44c on revenue of $7.54B. LAST QUARTER: Comcast, Fox, and viacom reported mixed results for the previous quarter, while CBS and Time Warner beat on both top and bottom lines. NEWS: On November 10, Comcast announced it expanded its advanced fiber network to Modesto, California as part of the company's ongoing response to Google (GOOG) Fiber. On November 12, the Wall Street Journal broke news that Hulu, a video streaming joint venture of Disney (DIS), Comcast and Fox, is in talks to sell a stake to Time Warner, though the Journal said on January 31 that the company has expressed dissatisfaction with Hulu's inclusion of current-season TV episodes, which it believes contributes to cord-cutting. On December 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube was holding talks with Hollywood studios and production companies to seek content licenses amid intensified competition with Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu. On December 9, Re/code reported that Apple (AAPL), rumored to be working on a subscription TV service, walked away from its negotiations with the major networks after being pressed to include "filler" channels in its hypothetical service. Speaking at a January 7 media conference, Time Warner CFO Howard Averill said the company was negotiating to make full seasons of TV shows available to pay-TV customers on demand, mirroring the "binge watching" offered by Netflix. On January 8, the New York Post reported that Corvex Management was considering an activist position in Time Warner. That same day, Benzinga reported that Twenty-First Century Fox remained interested in the company and had made a $105 per share acquisition offer, though Fox later denied the report. On January 14, the New York Post reported that Comcast has begun "ripping up" agreements with cable networks, moving them from basic cable onto digital tiers in response to consumer demand for smaller bundles. On January 27, Reuters reported that SpringOwl Asset Management is urging Viacom to seek outside investment from strategic partners. On January 30, the New York Post reported that Nelson Peltz is considering an activist position in Time Warner. On February 1, the National Football League announced a broadcasting agreement with CBS and Comcast's NBC which will see the two companies paying roughly $225M each for rights to the next two seasons of Thursday Night Football. Also on February 1, it was reported that Fox offered certain employees voluntary buyouts as part of a $250M cost cutting target. STREET RESEARCH: On November 5, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker downgraded Time Warner to Market Perform after its "huge" guidance cut last quarter, with the shares also seeing downgrades at CLSA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. On December 22, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne called Comcast one of his top large cap picks for 2016, saying the company can use skinny bundles to take market share and potentially add net video customers for the first time since 2006. On January 8, research firm Stifel cut its price target on CBS to $54 from $66, citing a belief that industry syndication and SVOD revenues will significantly decelerate going forward, with CBS having more exposure to those areas than its peers. Meanwhile, JPMorgan added the company to its U.S. focus list on January 11, citing its heavily discounted stock and potentially strong EPS growth in 2016. On February 1, Pacific Crest argued that Comcast shares should be owned going into fourth quarter results, contending that the company's video and broadband investments will likely translate to increased market share and strong cash flows this year. PRICE ACTION: Comcast and Fox, the first of the media giants to report quarterly earnings, are down 2% and 3.6%, respectively, amid the broader market selloff.
14:37 EDTCMCSAComcast volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Comcast February weekly call option implied volatility is at 46, February is at 32, March is at 25; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 41, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 3.
14:32 EDTCMCSANotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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08:04 EDTTMUSForum Global to hold a conference
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February 1, 2016
16:16 EDTELNKEarthLink sells IT services business to Synoptek
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16:03 EDTELNKEarthLink sells select IT service assets to Synoptek
EarthLink announced it has sold select assets associated with its IT service offering to Synoptek, an IT managed services and support organization. The transaction impacts approximately 1,700 customers that are serviced through data centers and office locations in the continental U.S. and Canada. EarthLink said it will continue its core business of providing a "differentiated suite of both managed and network services to business customers, including enhanced core data and voice services and carrier grade transport solutions." Proceeds from the transaction are approximately $29M, subject to post-closing contingencies. The divested IT services assets generate approximately $37M in annualized run-rate revenue.
13:54 EDTCMCSANFL says CBS to retain Thursday night rights, NBC added as partner
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13:33 EDTCMCSACBS, NBC to split rights to Thursday Night Football, WSJ reports
The National Football League has agreed to a rights deal with CBS (CBS) and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC under which each will broadcast five Thursday night games that also will be simulcast on the NFL Network, said The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Each network will pay about $225M for the rights under the new deal, or $450M in total, which is an increase $300M CBS paid to the NFL this season, the report noted. Reference Link
13:20 EDTCMCSANFL reaches deal with CBS, NBC for Thursday night football, Dow Jones says
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13:18 EDTCMCSANFL near deal with CBS, NBC to split up Thursday games, Bloomberg says
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08:54 EDTCMCSAComcast shares should be owned into Q4 results, says Pacific Crest
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08:20 EDTNWSTwitter jumps after The Information breaks potential deal
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) are rising in pre-market trading after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen and have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Lessin said in her report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal considerations are "active" now with Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake. Silver Lake calls itself "the global leader in technology investing," stating that it has over $26B in combined assets under management. FREQUENT SPECULATION TARGET: Twitter has often been the subject of takeover rumors in the past year. Last April, Re/code's Kurt Wagner reported that Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) had looked at a potential acquisition of Twitter in the past, but noted at that time that neither tech giant was in discussions to acquire the social network owner. On January 20, News Corp. (NWSA) declined comment to CNBC regarding speculation about its potential interest in acquiring Twitter. Speculation also circulated the same day regarding an activist investor taking an interest in Twitter, trading sources told The Fly. PRICE ACTION: In pre-market trading near 8:15 am ET, Twitter rose 7% to $18 per share.
07:35 EDTDISCAIMAX, Discovery enter global distribution, marketing partnership
IMAX (IMAX) announced a distribution and marketing partnership, which provides Discovery Communications' (DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) flagship network Discovery Channel with 18 months of exclusive paid global television rights for up to 10 IMAX documentary films to be released through the IMAX Original Film Fund, following the titles' theatrical release across the IMAX institutional theatre network. The alliance marks IMAX's first television distribution agreement for original content. Under the partnership agreement, Discovery Channel will air IMAX documentaries worldwide following their theatrical IMAX release, and consult on development, production and marketing. The IMAX Original Film Fund was established in 2014 to deliver new educational documentaries for the Company's institutional partners, which include many of the world's most prestigious museums, science centers and aquariums. The Fund will finance an ongoing supply of educational documentaries that push the envelope of traditional documentary filmmaking for a new generation of moviegoers.
January 31, 2016
20:11 EDTCMCSATime Warner, Hulu talks heat up over issue of current seasons, WSJ says
Time Warner's (TWX) negotiations to potentially buy into Hulu, a joint venture of Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), Fox (FOX, FOXA) and Disney (DIS), have been heating up lately over the issue of Hulu subscribers being able to view current-season TV shows, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing sources. Though the feature is a differentiator for Hulu when compared to Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN), Time Warner believes the presence of full, current seasons contributes to cord cutting, the report says. Reference Link
18:07 EDTCMCSA'Kung Fu Panda 3' swings to first, 'Finest Hours' lands in choppy waters
"Kung Fu Panda 3" topped the box office in its U.S. debut while nautical disaster drama "The Finest Hours" floundered. WEEKEND LEADER: "Kung Fu Panda 3," produced by DreamWorks (DWA) and distributed by Fox (FOX, FOXA), grossed $41M against expectations for $35M-$50M in its domestic debut during the weekend of January 31. The computer-animated action comedy, featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, set a new box office record for January animated film openings but fell somewhat short of the $60.2M and $47.7M debuts seen by previous films in the franchise. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: "The Revenant," also from Fox, grossed $12.4M. Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" took in an additional $10.8M and stands at $1.98B globally, while the company's "The Finest Hours" earned $10.3M in its domestic start despite an estimated $70M-$80M budget. Rounding out the top five was Universal's (CMCSA, CMCSK) "Ride Along 2" with $8.3M.
13:15 EDTVIAViacom could appeal to long-term investors, Barron's says
Viacom shares look appealing for long-term value oriented investors, Barron's contends in its 'Trader Extra' column, citing activist firm SpringOwl's recent calls for change at the company. Reference Link
11:39 EDTSS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
January 29, 2016
12:53 EDTCMCSABox Office Battle: 'Kung Fu Panda 3' expected to kick 'Revenant' from top spot
DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) "Kung Fu Panda 3" featuring Jack Black is expected to break the record for the largest January opening for an animated feature, topping the opening of "The Nut Job" in 2014. The first two films in the "Kung Fu Panda" franchise took in $60.2M and $47.6M, respectively, in their opening weekends and grossed a total of nearly $1.3B worldwide. With a strong base of Po the Panda fans and the popularity of a recent TV show, conservative early estimates say "Panda 3" is expected to bring in $35M-$50M. Also opening this weekend are Disney's (DIS) "The Finest Hours," starring Chris Pine, and Open Road Films' "Fifty Shades of Black," starring Marlon Wayans. "The Finest Hours" may disappoint, with expectations topping out at $10M in its opening weekend. "Fifty Shades of Black," meanwhile, is the latest spoof movie from the team of Wayans and Michael Tiddes from "Haunted House" fame. The last film from Wayans had an opening weekend of $8.8M, and this one is currently expected to take in a similar amount. Both films will battle with Fox's (FOX, FOXA) survival story and Oscar contender "The Revenant," starring Leonardo Dicaprio, and Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" for spots in the top five. "The Revenant" and "Star Wars" should each take in $9M-$12M even as they continue to lose theaters this coming weekend. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Lionsgate (LGF), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), and Sony (SNE).
06:49 EDTVIAViacom chairman to be evaluated by doctor hired by Manuela Herzer, NY Post says
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06:14 EDTNWSSky names James Murdoch chairman, WSJ reports
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