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News Breaks
February 6, 2014
07:57 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox reports Q2 EPS ex-items 33c, consensus 33c
Reports Q2 revenue $8.16B, consensus $7.89B.
News For FOXA From The Last 14 Days
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February 5, 2016
13:46 EDTFOXABox Office Battle: 'Kung Fu Panda 3' expected to remain on top
DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) "Kung Fu Panda 3," starring Jack Black, is expected to retain the top spot at the box office in its second weekend of release, with an estimated domestic gross of $23M-$24.7M. Second place is likely to be a toss-up between Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Hail, Caesar!," directed by the Coen brothers and starring George Clooney, and Lionsgate's (LGF) Jane Austen parody "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," which are both predicted to open in the $10M-$11M range. Expected to round out the top five are Fox's (FOX, FOXA) survival story and Oscar contender "The Revenant," which is expected to earn an additional $8M-$9M, and Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which is expected to gross another $7M in its eighth weekend at theaters -- pushing it past the $900M mark domestically and the $2B mark globally. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Sony (SNE), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
10:02 EDTFOXAOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: 21st Century Fox (FOXA) initiated with an Outperform at Telsey Advisory... AbbVie (ABBV) initiated with an Outperform at William Blair... CBS (CBS) initiated with an Outperform at Telsey Advisory... Criteo (CRTO) initiated with an Outperform at Boenning & Scattergood... LHC Group (LHCG) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies... Marriott Vacations (VAC) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse... Prestige Brands (PBH) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Rubicon Project (RUBI) initiated with an Outperform at Boenning & Scattergood... TESARO (TSRO) initiated with a Buy at Lake Street... Time Warner (TWX) initiated with an Outperform at Telsey Advisory... TubeMogul (TUBE) initiated with a Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... Viacom (VIAB) initiated with an Outperform at Telsey Advisory... Wyndham (WYN) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse.
08:29 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox initiated with an Outperform at Telsey Advisory
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February 3, 2016
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
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.
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 26, 2016
19:23 EDTFOXANetflix bid $20M for 'Birth of a Nation,' Bloomberg says
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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..
January 24, 2016
17:55 EDTFOXA'The Revenant' tops box office as 'Ride Along 2' sags
"The Revenant" clawed past "Ride Along 2" as this weekend's snow storm left several box office newcomers grasping for ticket sales. WEEKEND LEADER: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Revenant" grossed $16M domestically for the weekend of January 24. The Leonardo DiCaprio-led survival Western was expected to take $19M-$21.6M, though results may have been dampened by the East Coast winter storm. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earned $14.3M and now stands at $1.94B globally. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Ride Along 2" dipped to $13M against expectations for $18M-$18.7M, with critics and audiences generally lukewarm on the film despite its $34M open last weekend. Rounding out the weekend's top five were Lionsgate's (LGF) "Dirty Grandpa" and STX Entertainment's "The Boy," with the two newcomers debuting at a respective $11.5M and $11.3M.

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