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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 17, 2014
10:00 EDTPNC, IGT, COV, REXMY, MQBKY, GNC, CHTR, PETM, JMI, DEO, FOXAOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: 21st Century Fox (FOXA) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at ISI Group... Charter (CHTR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... Covidien (COV) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Diageo (DEO) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... GNC Holdings (GNC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... International Game (IGT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital... JAVELIN Mortgage (JMI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities... Macquarie Group (MQBKY) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... PNC Financial (PNC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... PetSmart (PETM) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... Rexam (REXMY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
News For FOXA;CHTR;COV;DEO;GNC;IGT;JMI;MQBKY;PNC;PETM;REXMY From The Last 14 Days
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February 4, 2016
08:08 EDTCHTRCharter reports Q4 served 6.7M residential, small and medium business customers
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06:51 EDTPNCBofA doesn't deserve to be in 'stock market doghouse,' WSJ says
Bank of America (BAC) is currently in the "stock market doghouse," but doesn't deserve to be, David Reilly of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape says. The overall beating of U.S. bank stocks has come amid the greater market selloff, reflecting the fact that slowing growth has brought doubt on the Fed's ability to raise rates in March, Reilly says. Since a rate increase is a far-off prospect, investors have little reason to own bank stocks, though Bank of America's valuation assumes "too dire an outcome," the report says. Banks with international outreach, such as Citi (C), are still arguably further behind in post-crisis cleanup, but Bank of America is more focused on the domestic U.S. economy and prices a U.S. recession as a given, not a possibility, the report says. Other large U.S. banks include Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), and SunTrust (STI). Reference Link
February 3, 2016
15:37 EDTCHTRCharter pressing California to expedite Time Warner Cable review, CTFN says
Charter (CHTR) is asking the California Public Utilities Commission to expedite its review of the company's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House, saying additional delays would cause significant financial costs, reports CTFN, citing a conference call between Charter and the Commission. Charter also told the Commission that, if it were to rush approval to April 21, the company could participate in the upcoming FCC spectrum auction, CTFN said. Reference Link
14:48 EDTCHTRNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Philip Morris (PM), consensus 81c... AstraZeneca (AZN), consensus 88c... Occidental Petroleum (OXY), consensus (12c)... ConocoPhillips (COP), consensus (65c)... Cigna (CI), consensus $1.80... Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), consensus $3.01... Boston Scientific (BSX), consensus 25c... Charter Communications (CHTR), consensus (12c)... Ralph Lauren (RL), consensus $2.13... Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), consensus 50c... GrubHub (GRUB), consensus 14c... Level 3 (LVLT), consensus 53c... AmerisourceBergen (ABC), consensus $1.25... Cummins (CMI), consensus $2.11.
07:37 EDTCHTRCharter volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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06:16 EDTFOXAHulu eyes Sundance film acquisitions, Bloomberg reports
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February 2, 2016
15:46 EDTFOXAEarnings 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.
06:55 EDTFOXAFox eyes cutting $250M in expenses mainly through buyouts, WSJ says
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February 1, 2016
16:12 EDTGNCGNC Holdings increases dividend 11.1% to 20c
GNC Holdingsdeclared the quarterly cash dividend for Q1 of 20c per share of the company's common stock, representing an 11.1% increase over its prior quarterly dividend. The dividend will be paid on or about March 25 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 11.
14:39 EDTFOXAFox eyes voluntary resignations to save $250M, Hollywood Reporter says
21st Century Fox is offering voluntary resignations in its film and TV networks units with a goal of reducing annual costs by $250M, reported The Hollywood Reporter, citing a memo to staff. Reference Link
12:58 EDTFOXADreamWorks falls after Piper says 'Kung Fu Panda 3' missed expectations
Shares of DreamWorks Animation (DWA) dropped in midday trading after an analyst from Piper Jaffray said that the studio's new film "Kung Fu Panda 3" slightly underperformed his expectations, despite having topped the U.S. box office in its opening weekend. WHAT'S NEW: DreamWorks' newest picture "Kung Fu Panda 3," starring Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, topped the U.S. box office this past weekend after its release Friday, grossing $41M domestically. The film was produced by DreamWorks and distributed by 21st Century Fox (FOX), which also distributed the weekend runner-up "The Revenant," which grossed $12.4M in the U.S. WHAT'S NOTABLE: 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. 'SLIGHT' UNDERPERFORMANCE: Commenting on the movie's performance over the weekend, Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh said in a note to clients that the movie's $41M debut figure was "solid" but still slightly missed the firm's expectations of $45M-$50M. Marsh noted that the movie grossed an "impressive" $58M in China, which set a new opening record for an animated movie in that region. The analyst added that "Kung Fu Panda 3" should still have a solid run over the next few weeks due to good reviews, minimal competition, President's weekend domestically and a Chinese New Year holiday abroad. Marsh maintained an Overweight rating and $31 price target on DreamWorks Animation. RECENT DOWNGRADE: Last week, Topeka analyst David Miller downgraded DreamWorks Animation to Sell from Hold with a $19 price target ahead of the "Kung Fu Panda 3" release, citing valuation. Miller said that shares had already reflected expectations for the movie and recommended that investors trim their positions. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, DreamWorks Animation fell 6.7% to $23.92.
January 31, 2016
20:11 EDTFOXATime 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 EDTFOXA'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.
12:33 EDTPNCU.S. banks could return 20% or more, Barron's says
The banking sector looks like "one of the best bargains in the market," Barron's contends in a cover story. Names such as Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), SunTrust (STI) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are showing healthy balance sheets and could offer "at least" 20% upside, the publication argues, adding that the industry's exposure to the energy sector "looks manageable" given information offered in recent earnings reports and conference calls. Reference Link
January 29, 2016
12:53 EDTFOXABox 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).
06:14 EDTFOXASky names James Murdoch chairman, WSJ reports
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January 28, 2016
08:57 EDTCHTRTime Warner Cable working with FCC, DoJ to get Charter deal approved
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January 26, 2016
19:23 EDTFOXANetflix bid $20M for 'Birth of a Nation,' Bloomberg says
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10:06 EDTGNCOptions with decreasing implied volatility
Options with decreasing implied volatility: SRPT GNC ALKS CALM NFLX CREE FFIV COH ISRG IBM
08:26 EDTFOXATwitter in play after executive departures, says Cantor
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali believes yesterday's news of several senior executives leaving Twitter (TWTR) puts the company in play and could encourage potential bidders to step forward. Twitter's current valuation and sizeable user base makes it a strategic asset for a number of potential buyers, Squali told investors last night in a research note. Potential suitors on the technology side include Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT), the analyst contends. On the media side, Squali thinks 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA) or Time Warner (TWX) could express interest in Twitter. No concentration of share ownership and no super-voting structure increase the odds of a buyout, Squali argues. The analyst, however, adds that the executive departures are not good news for a company in the midst of a turnaround. He maintains a Buy rating on the microblogging operator with a $45 price target. Twitter closed yesterday down 82c, or 5%, to $17.02..
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