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News Breaks
August 6, 2014
13:41 EDTFOXA, FOX, TWX, NWSAEarnings Preview: Fox withdraws Time Warner offer prior to Q4 earnings
21st Century Fox (FOXA, FOX) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, August 6, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. 21st Century Fox is a media company that operates the cable, broadcast, and film assets formerly bundled under the News Corp. (NWSA) umbrella. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 38c on revenue of $7.99B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 36c-41c on revenue of $7.59B-$8.54B. LAST QUARTER: Fox reported third quarter adjusted EPS of 47c on revenue of $8.22B, which compared to estimates for earnings of 35c on revenue of $7.99B, respectively. Fox reported Q3 cable network revenue of $3.15B and filmed entertainment revenue of $2.28B. Fox reported that its Q3 television revenue was $1.59B. COMPANY NEWS: On June 10, Fox said in a filing that president and COO Chase Carey agreed to a two-year contract extension. On June 16, Both Time Warner (TWX) and Fox confirmed an earlier CNBC report that Time Warner rejected an $80B takeover offer from Fox. Time Warner said it turned down Fox's offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company for a combination of 1.531 of Fox Class A non-voting common shares and $32.42 in cash per share. Time Warner added that its board is confident that continuing to execute its strategic plan will "create significantly more value for the company and its stockholders and is superior to any proposal that Fox is in a position to offer." 21st Century Fox also confirmed that it made a formal proposal to Time Warner, which was rejected, and added that the companies are not currently in any discussions. On August 5, however, Fox announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Time Warner. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch commented: "We viewed a combination with Time Warner as a unique opportunity to bring together two great companies, each with celebrated content and brands. Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly. However, Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling. Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders. These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer." On July 25, Fox announced that it transferred Sky Italia and its 57.4% interest in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB to create a pan-European digital television leader through the combination of these assets. In exchange for the transfer, Fox will receive approximately $9.3B in value from BSkyB comprised of approximately $8.6B in cash and BSkyB’s 21% interest in National Geographic Channels International, raising Fox’s ownership stake to 73%. In addition, Fox participated in BSkyB’s announced equity offering by purchasing approximately $900M of additional shares in BSkyB to maintain the company’s 39.1% ownership interest. The net, after-tax cash proceeds to be received by Fox upon completion of all the elements of this transaction approximated $7.2B. STREET RESEARCH: Wall Street research had been quiet on Fox during the quarter. On July 1, Goldman Sachs downgraded Fox to Buy from Conviction Buy after cutting its rating on the U.S. Entertainment sector to Neutral from Attractive. Right after the company confirmed its Time Warner takeover offer, ISI Group downgraded Fox to Buy from Strong Buy and removed shares from the Top Picks list following news of its buyout bid for the firm. Cowen downgraded Fox to Market Perform from Outperform on July 23. PRICE ACTION: Since the first day of trade following its Q3 report, shares of Fox are roughly unchanged. In afternoon trading ahead of its Q4 report, Fox is up more than 4.6%.
News For FOXA;FOX;TWX;NWSA From The Last 14 Days
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October 16, 2014
12:29 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, though well off their worst levels. The market opened sharply lower following less than stellar quarterly reports from some of the country’s largest corporations and a number of in-focus "momentum" names such as Netflix (NFLX) and eBay (EBAY). The early drop extended the market’s recent declines and put the averages close to correction territory. The market moved off its lows after a regional Fed president, who'd recently been seen as hawkish, said in an interview that the central bank should consider delaying the end of quantitative easing and that it should be more data driven than time driven. The comments were attributed as the catalyst for a reversal that brought the averages all the way back to positive territory, though the market has once again drifted back into negative ground. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims decreased by 23K to 264K last week to hit their lowest level since April 2000. Industrial production rebounded 1.0% in September, beating expectations for a rise of 0.4% and pushing capacity utilization up to 79.3% from 78.7% previously. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index fell 1.8 points to 20.7 in October, which was not as low as the expected 19.9 reading. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index fell 5 points to 54 in October, versus expectations for it to hold steady at 59. Also of significant note, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is not a voting FOMC member though was quoted recently saying that a rate hike might be appropriate as soon as early next year, reversed course this morning and told Bloomberg in an interview that the Fed should consider delaying an end to its quantitative easing program. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Netflix (NFLX) plunged 22% after the company provided lower than expected Q4 profit guidance and reported lower than expected subscriber data. The move after its earnings report last night also follows Time Warner's (TWX) announcement yesterday of plans for a standalone HBO online service and Piper Jaffray saying it believes CBS (CBS) will similarly launch an over-the-top Showtime offering next year... eBay (EBAY) shares slipped nearly 6% after the company missed revenue expectations for the third quarter and lowered its outlook for fiscal 2014. Following the report, analysts at both RBC Capital and CLSA downgraded the stock. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Chesapeake Energy (CHK), which rose 17% after the company announced that it sold Marcellus and Utica shale assets to Southwestern Energy (SWN) for $5.375B. Shares of the buyer Southwestern, however, fell 8% after the deal announcement. Also lower was Extreme Networks (EXTR), which dropped almost 19% after cutting its first quarter outlook citing significant delays with its North American deals as well as headwinds in Europe. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 28.46, or 0.18%, to 16,113.28, the Nasdaq was down 16.16, or 0.38%, to 4,199.16, and the S&P 500 was down 2.08, or 0.11%, to 1,860.41.
10:49 EDTTWXCBS likely to launch Showtime OTT service in 2015, says Piper Jaffray
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10:01 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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09:18 EDTTWXMoonves: Showtime standalone service in 'not too distant future,' NY Times says
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08:37 EDTTWXTime Warner upgraded at Topeka
As previously reported, Topeka upgraded Time Warner to Buy from Hold. The firm upgraded shares citing better than expected guidance targeted at yesterday's analyst day. Price target raised to $90 from $70. Note that BofA/Merrill also upgraded shares today.
08:23 EDTTWXTime Warner price target raised to $85-$90 from $79-$81 at Wells Fargo
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07:49 EDTTWXTime Warner upgraded at BofA/Merrill
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07:47 EDTTWXTime Warner added to Focus List at JPMorgan
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07:10 EDTTWXTime Warner upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka
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06:31 EDTTWXTime Warner upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
October 15, 2014
13:22 EDTTWXEarnings Preview: Netflix falls after HBO announced plans of streaming service
Netflix (NFLX) is expected to report third quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, October 15 with a conference call scheduled for 6:00 pm ET. Netflix is an Internet subscription service that allows members to watch TV shows and movies through DVD and on-demand streaming. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 93c on revenue of $1.41B. The consensus range is 86c-$1.24 for EPS, and $1.39B-$1.43B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Netflix reported second quarter EPS of $1.15 against estimates of $1.16, on revenue of $1.15B against estimates of $1.33B. It reported Q2 total streaming net additions of 1.69M and Q2-end total streaming members of 50.05M. The company reports Q2 international streaming net additions of 1.12M and Q2-end members of 13.8M. Netflix gave Q3 EPS guidance of 89c and revenue guidance of $1.22B. It also expects to add 3.69M net additions, with international approaching contribution profitability. Netflix said it can achieve U.S.-like margins in its international business. During its Q2 earnings interview, Netflix said it sees a dip in free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 as company expands original content. NEWS: Netflix launched in several countries in the past quarter, including France, Germany, Gelgium Austria, Switzerland, and Luxemburg. It also signed a deal with Weinstein Co. to release a feature film sequel to "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" that will be released to a number of IMAX (IMAX) theaters. Netflix signed Judd Apatow to a two-year commitment for an original comedy series, and Adam Sandler to star in four feature films. The company announced a peering deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC) for faster streams and direct access. In a recent post on Facebook, CEO Reed Hastings said the company passed Time Warner's HBO in subscriber revenue. HBO, however, announced plans today to launch a standalone streaming service in the U.S. that does not require a cable TV subscription. STREET RESEARCH: MKM Partners said Netflix's international opportunity is larger than most realize and will eventually be able to provide a global product. The company's price target was raised at RBC Capital due to the opportunities in new European markets, along with favorable survey results in the U.S. and the U.K. Barclays and BTIG upgraded the company, saying international estimates are likely achievable no longer see the stock as underperforming its peers. BTIG expects Netflix's streaming service may reach 100M subscribers worldwide by 2017. Ahead of Q3 earnings, Canaccord said Netflix will likely report in-line results with continued strong subscriber additions and improved international performance. PRICE ACTION: Netflix shares have fell more than to 3.31% since the first day of trading following the company's Q2 report. In Wednesday mid-day trading ahead of Q3 report, Netflix shares are trading down 2.67%.
12:36 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:26 EDTTWXNetflix obtains streaming licensing rights to 'Friends'
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10:55 EDTTWXHBO to launch standalone online service in 2015
HBO's plans to launch a stand alone streaming service in the U.S. that does not require a cable TV subscription were announced at Time Warner's (TWX) analyst day meeting. HBO's upcoming service may be viewed as another competitor to Netflix (NFLX).
10:03 EDTTWXTime Warner's Turner unit sees low double-digit operating income CAGR 2013-18
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09:59 EDTTWX, FOXA, FOXTime Warner CEO says has more than sufficient scale, sees doubling EPS
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09:52 EDTTWXTime Warner CEO sees investing more in content over time
Time Warner notes it invested $13.8B in content in 2013. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is speaking at the company's investor day meeting.
09:51 EDTTWXTime Warner sees adjusted EPS $6 by 2016, $8 by 2018
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07:58 EDTFOXARentrak deal with Fox affirms strategy, says Brean Capital
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October 12, 2014
15:54 EDTFOXA, FOX21st Century Fox's 'Gone Girl' wins at box office with $26.8M, Bloomberg says
21st Century Fox's (FOX, FOXA) “Gone Girl” took first place at the box office this weekend taking in $26.8M, says Bloomberg. "Dracula Untold,” from Comcast's (CMCSA) Universal Pictures came in second this weekend taking in $23.5M, added Bloomberg. Reference Link
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