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News Breaks
April 7, 2014
08:19 EDTVIAB, VIA, DIS'Captain America' sequel breaks records with $96.2M debut, LA Times says
Disney's (DIS) "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" earned a record-breaking $96.2M in its North American debut weekend, reported the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, "Noah" from Paramount Pictures, fell to the number two rank after generating an estimated $17M in ticket sales during the weekend. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom (VIA, VIAB). Reference Link
News For DIS;VIA;VIAB From The Last 14 Days
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October 1, 2015
10:37 EDTDISBofA/Merrill's Top 10 US Ideas for Q4 2015
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September 29, 2015
18:55 EDTVIAB, VIACablevision, Viacom in talks to settle antitrust dispute, Reuters says
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15:19 EDTDISDiscovery drops as investor day fails to dispell cord-cutting fears
Shares of Discovery Communications (DISCA) have dropped today as the company held its first-ever investor day amid ongoing concerns about the potential decline of pay TV. NEW GUIDANCE: Discovery Chief Financial Officer Andrew Warren updated the company's full year 2015 outlook, saying he expects constant currency adjusted earnings per share to grow in the low double digits. The company expects revenue for the year to grow 9%-10%, with free cash flow up in low single digits. Meanwhile, year over year currency headwinds were seen deducting $460M from revenue and 24c-29c from adjusted EPS. Discovery also established long-term guidance, saying it sees its adjusted EPS compound annual growth rate up in low double digits from 2015 to 2018, on a constant currency basis. "Third quarter results are on track, highlighted by strong U.S. advertising growth," Warren added. THREE BILLION SUBSCRIBERS: CEO David Zaslav commented during the investor day that the company is "confident in the long-term outlook for our business," adding that Discovery expects to reach 3B cumulative worldwide subscribers by year's end. The Chief Executive highlighted what he called five differentiators for Discovery's growth potential, including its ownership of a growing and diverse portfolio of content and IP "that uniquely positions Discovery for the changing media landscape." CORD CUTTING: Multiple Discovery executives showcased the company's European products, including Eurosport and the Eurosport Player OTT service, as well as the company's apparent first-mover advantage in Latin America. The seemingly increased attention on foreign initiatives comes as U.S. cord-cutting trends continue generating headlines, with Citi analyst Jason Bazinet arguing as recently as September 18 that Disney (DIS) would be the only cable network to make more money in a bundle-free world. According to media reports of today's Discovery event, Chief Executive Zaslav said "it's not rational" that media companies are selling so much of their content to streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) that threaten the appeal of cable bundles. The CEO added that Discovery has assumed a 1%-2% decline in pay TV over "the next couple of years," though he reassured investor day attendees that the company's adjusted operating income should be roughly flat even in a worst-case scenario. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Discovery crashed as much as 7% in early morning trading before seeing hesitant moves higher. The stock is down just under 4% to roughly $26.70 heading towards session close.
September 28, 2015
09:36 EDTDIS Active equity options trading on open
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September 25, 2015
10:48 EDTVIAB, VIAMorgan 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 EDTDISFacebook 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 EDTDISOculus 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 EDTDISMedia 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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13:31 EDTVIA, VIABAfter Emmys, analyst sees 'growing threat' to established content creators
Netflix (NFLX), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA) shares fell in midday trading following last night's Emmy Awards, while Amazon (AMZN) climbed. An analyst called the combined nominations for Netflix and Amazon a an indication that emerging over-the-top streaming services have become a "growing threat to the establishment." WHAT'S NEW: HBO, a Time Warner network, dominated the 67th Annual Emmy Awards, walking away with 43 awards overall, including 29 Creative Emmys, while Netflix won four awards, as did Viacom's Comedy Central. Amazon, meanwhile, achieved its first-ever Emmy wins with five total awards. Following HBO's performance at the annual awards show, Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings tweeted: "Congrats @HBO on supporting so much Emmy-winning talent. Your leadership of great television is inspiring." Netflix was nominated for 34 awards, while Amazon was nominated for 12. STREET RESEARCH: Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali said that while Netflix's four Emmys this year was "somewhat disappointing" considering last year's seven, the service's performance at the awards show was "notable," particularly since the company has long been underestimated by bigger and more established content creators. Squali said that the combined 46 nominations for both Netflix and Amazon is a "clear indication" that emerging over-the-top streaming services have become a "growing threat to the establishment" and that it's "a matter of time" before such services begin to rival and possibly exceed their "linear cousins." The analyst sees Netflix gaining strong momentum heading into the second half of fiscal 2015 and 2016 and reiterated a Buy rating on the company's stock with a $125 price target. PRICE ACTION: Netflix shares are down 1.95% to $100.62 in afternoon trading. Meanwhile, Time Warner is down 0.29% to $69.44, Viacom is down 2.42% to $45.58, and Amazon is up 0.94% to $545.32.
13:01 EDTVIA, VIABViacom to cut back on primetime commercials in October, Variety reports
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09:14 EDTVIAB, VIANetflix CEO congratulates HBO on Emmy dominance
Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings tweeted out: "Congrats @HBO on supporting so much Emmy-winning talent. Your leadership of great television is inspiring." Time Warner's (TWX) HBO dominated the Emmy awards ceremony with 43 awards over all, including 29 Creative Emmys last week. Viacom's (VIA) Comedy Central, with four wins, was the network with the second-highest number of awards last night. Meanwhile, Hastings' won Netflix won four awards and Amazon (AMZN) earned its first-ever Emmy wins with two awards for its series "Transparent." Reference Link

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