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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

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 On August 5, however, Fox announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Time Warner.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 21, 2014
09:55 EDTTWXBlackout not 'game changer' for Time Warner, DISH, says Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo believes the removal of several of Time Warner's (TWX) Turner channels from DISH's (DISH) line-up will not be a "game changer" for either company. Wells notes the majority of Time Warner's affiliate growth comes from TNT and TBS networks, and it does not expect the channel loss to impact DISH's subscriber trends. The firm expects the networks to come back to DISH "eventually."
October 20, 2014
06:49 EDTFOXA, FOXTumblr, TV shows collaborate to broaden reach, NY Times says
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06:46 EDTNWSANews Corp. upgraded at Macquarie
As previously reported, Macquarie upgraded News Corp to Neutral from Underperform. The firm upgraded shares based on valuation and expectations for operational trends to improve in 2015. Price target is $16.70.
06:40 EDTNWSANews Corp. upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie
October 19, 2014
18:38 EDTFOXA, FOXSony's ‘Fury’ wins at the box office,'Gone Girl' keeps second place, WSJ says
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17:39 EDTFOXA, FOXDish's AutoHop wins wins tentative ruling over Fox, Bloomberg says
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October 17, 2014
10:58 EDTTWXHBO streaming service may cost around $15 a month, The Information reports
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09:33 EDTFOXATribune, 21st Century Fox renew, extend Seattle affiliate agreement
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08:00 EDTTWXHBO may have fight with cable operators over OTT service price, Reuters says
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October 16, 2014
16:30 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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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
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