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News For SNE From The Last 14 Days
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October 12, 2015
11:29 EDTSNEBattleground: Analysts diverge on Apple with new iPhone forecasts
Two research firms had very different views on the outlook for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales today. Citing "surprisingly robust" demand in the U.S. and China" and "record iPhone share gains," Morgan Stanley raised its fiscal 2016 iPhone unit growth estimate to up 7% from up 3%. Meanwhile, Pacific Crest estimates that 67M iPhones will be shipped in the fourth quarter, versus the consensus outlook of 76M. BULLISH TAKE: After conducting surveys about smartphones in the U.S. and China, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her fiscal 2016 iPhone unit growth estimate to 7% from 3%. Moreover, iPhone unit growth could realistically reach 12% in fiscal 2016 in a bullish scenario, the analyst stated. The percentage of U.S. consumers who expect to buy a smartphone over the next 12 months has risen compared with a year ago, Huberty reported. Meanwhile, China, where consumers replace their smartphones more often, is becoming a bigger part of the global smartphone market, she stated. Additionally, Apple's share of the high end smartphone market in China should increase 16 percentage points, while its share of the U.S. smartphone market should increase four percentage points, the analyst estimated. She raised her price target on Apple to $162 from $155 and kept an Overweight rating on the shares. BEARISH TAKE: After conducting checks with iPhone component makers, Pacific Crest analyst John Vinh reported that Apple, "in response to disappointing sales," had reduced its component orders for Q4 by about 15%. Based on his conversations with carriers, Vinh believes that initial sales of Apple's iPhone 6s have been below expectations. The analyst expects Q4 iPhone sales to come in at 67M versus the consensus estimate of 76M. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Vinh trimmed his estimates on iPhone component makers Analog Devices (ADI), ARM Holdings (ARMH), Avago (AVGO), InvenSense (INVN), Qorvo (QRVO), Skyworks (SWKS), and Synaptics (SYNA). However, the analyst is upbeat on the longer term outlook for ARM Holdings, Avago and Skyworks and recommends buying those names on "any meaningful pullbacks." In conjunction with her note, Huberty recommended that investors own the shares of iPhone component makers Qualcomm (QCOM), Sony (SNE) and ARM Holdings, as well as those of SanDisk (SNDK), which develops flash memory used in the iPhone. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Apple was flat near $112 per share.
October 11, 2015
17:04 EDTSNE'The Martian' stays soaring as 'Pan' disappoints
"The Martian" retained its lead at the box office while fantasy adventure "Pan" disappointed, coming up short of sales expectations and meeting with generally negative reviews. WEEKEND LEADER: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian" sold $37M in the U.S. for the weekend of October 9. The space epic's $108.7M total domestic gross sits roughly $79M behind that of last year's similarly-themed "Interstellar." BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Sony's (SNE) "Hotel Transylvania 2" remained in second place, earning $20.3M and offering the studio some consolation after Joseph Gordon Levitt-led "The Walk" took in just $3.6M for Sony in its expanded release. Meanwhile, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "Pan" grossed $15.5M despite sales expectations for $18.45M-$20M and a budget of $150M. Telling the origin of classic children's character Peter Pan, the film was met with generally unfavorable reviews by critics and audiences alike. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Warner Bros.' "The Intern" and Lionsgate's (LGF) "Sicario" took in a respective $8.7M and $7.3M.
October 9, 2015
11:15 EDTSNEFly Watch: 'The Martian' again expected to win weekend box office
Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian," based on the best selling science fiction novel by Andy Weir and starring Matt Damon, is again expected to top the weekend box office with a gross of $30M-$34M in its second weekend at theaters. Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which has already grossed almost $94M domestically, is estimated to gross in the range of $21.6M-$23.2M in its third weekend in theaters. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "Pan," based on classic J.M. Barrie character Peter Pan, is estimated to gross $18.45M-$20M in its opening weekend at over 3,500 theaters. This would be a disappointment for the film, which reportedly cost $150M to make. Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to bring in $7.5M-$7.6M in its third weekend in theaters. Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario," which opened wide last weekend, is expected to take in $6.5M-$7.9M in about 2,620 theaters. Sony subsidiary TriStar's "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is expanding beyond its IMAX (IMAX) release to over 2,500 theaters, and is expected to gross $4.7M-$6M. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Steve Jobs," directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen, is also set to open in limited release at four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
October 8, 2015
06:06 EDTSNESony cuts cost to PlayStation 4
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05:59 EDTSNESony acquires Softkinetic Systems for an undisclosed amount
Sony announced that it has completed the acquisition of Softkinetic Systems, after reaching an agreement with the company and its major shareholders. With this acquisition, Softkinetic has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. No material impact is anticipated on Sony's consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 as a result of the acquisition.
05:50 EDTSNEMulti Screen Media, ESPN announce agreement to create digital platform in India
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October 7, 2015
17:24 EDTSNESony considering sale of music publishing unit, WSJ says
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17:08 EDTSNESony considering sale of music publishing unit, Dow Jones says
The sale price has not yet been set, DJ added.
15:14 EDTSNEAmazon considering possible online service for live TV, Bloomberg says
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11:33 EDTSNEGoPro drops to 52-week low after Morgan Stanley slashes price target
GoPro (GPRO) shares, which are down over 50% year-to-date, fell to a new 52-week low in morning trading after an analyst from Morgan Stanley lowered the action camera maker's price target as a result of disappointing sales of its Session device. WHAT'S NEW: Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette maintained an Equal Weight rating on GoPro's shares but slashed his price target on the stock to $35 from $62, saying that "disappointing" HERO4 Session sales indicate future disappointments, absent marked improvements in usability. Faucette said that recent checks were "decidedly more negative" since customers prefer the HERO4 Silver's screen and video quality over the Session's smaller form factor. Disappointing demand for the Session resulted in the company deciding to reduce the price to $299 a week ago, down $100 lower than the $399 price tag in July, the analyst noted. Faucette added that mobile software improvements and editing are still lagging behind apps available on Google's (GOOG) Android and Apple's (AAPL) iOS systems. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On September 23, Cowen also lowered its price target on GoPro shares to $60 from $76, saying that the slower than expected sales for the HERO4 Session now seem well discounted. Separately, on September 19, Alexander Eule argued in a Barron's article that GoPro's share price may drop to as low as $25, calling the company's cameras a "one-product wonder" akin to BlackBerry (BBRY) smartphones and Palm digital organizers. Three days later, GoPro chief executive officer Nick Woodman said in an interview with CNBC that it was "short-sighted" to refer to his company as a "one trick pony." Woodman added that the Session was selling against incumbents and that it was unreasonable to believe it would immediately become a top seller. RISING COMPETITION: In the same CNBC interview, GoPro's head said that companies such as Sony (SNE), which is viewed as a major competitor in the market for cameras, have actually helped GoPro expand total reach and that its market share has grown since Sony entered the market. In addition, on September 22, Woodman said that he does not believe Apple (AAPL), which was granted patents for action cameras in January, is "investing and exploring GoPro-like devices," Fortune reported. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GoPro shares dropped 9.7% to $27.69. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new 52-week low of $27.52. ANOTHER TO WATCH: Ambarella (AMBA), which supplies chips to GoPro, fell 2.5% to $60.15.
October 6, 2015
18:12 EDTSNESony to establish semiconductor solutions business
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October 5, 2015
19:04 EDTSNESony, Verizon cancel plans for Xperia Z4v smartphone in U.S., Verge says
Sony (SNE) and Verizon (VZ) have cancelled plans to launch the Xperia Z4v smartphone in the U.S., reports The Verge, citing spokesperson statements. "Sony is a strategic partner as we continue having ongoing discussions together as part of our future portfolio," remarked Verizon, while Sony itself stated that it "remains dedicated" to the U.S. market, the report adds. Reference Link
09:39 EDTSNEeSports seen as next big growth opportunity in media
Competitive video game playing in organized leagues, or eSports, is on the verge of reaching mainstream adoption and moving from an engagement tool to a monetization opportunity for video game makers, according to Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, who calls the trend the "biggest media and sports growth opportunity you've never heard of." NEXT BIG THING: eSports could have 200M active and engaged participants as early as next year and can grow from about $200M this year to $1B in revenues by 2018, Sebastian tells investors this morning in a research note. Game publishers such as Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) are "natural beneficiaries," according to Sebastian, who believes that eSports has the potential to drive earnings growth and multiple expansion for the sector. eSports is still mainly a tool to help engage and keep core gamers, but Sebastian expects this to change quickly as game makers focus on incremental revenue opportunities and increasing average revenue per user. The analyst also sees "significant opportunities" from eSports for online streaming platforms, like Amazon's (AMZN) Twitch and Google's (GOOG) newer platform, as well as for Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and PC and component makers. ANOTHER eSPORTS BULL: Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis previously told investors that he believes the surging popularity of competitive video gaming on a global basis will benefit game publishers as well as hardware companies like NVIDIA (NVDA). In a note to investors last month, the analyst said that Activision Blizzard had five of the top fifteen most popular games on Twitch in July, and contended that the company looks best positioned among game makers to benefit from the eSports opportunity. On the date of his eSports note, Lipacis upgraded NVIDIA to Buy from Hold, saying secular growth in gaming will trump PC weakness. The company's Gaming Graphics Processing Unit is "under the radar" and has grown 23% annually over the past three years, noted Lipacis, who raised his price target for shares to $30 from $23. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Activision Blizzard rose 1.4% to $31.90, Electronic Arts gained 1.04% to $67.18 and Take-Two Interactive advanced 0.85% to $29.64.
October 4, 2015
17:39 EDTSNE'The Martian' soars in box office debut
Science fiction film "The Martian" rocketed to the top of the box office amid widespread critical acclaim. WEEKEND LEADER: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian" grossed $55M in its domestic open for the weekend of October 4, beating expectations for $40M-$50M and nearly setting a record for October debuts. Director Ridley Scott's return to science fiction after 1979's "Alien" and the more recent "Prometheus" was applauded by critics and audiences alike, with "Martian" garnering a 94% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Sony's (SNE) "Hotel Transylvania 2" stepped down to second place with $33M after last weekend's strong open, while Lionsgate's (LGF) drug cartel thriller "Sicario" earned $12.1M after expanding nationwide, outpacing expectations for $8M-$10M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" and Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" took in a respective $11.6M and $7.7M.
October 2, 2015
12:43 EDTSNEFly Watch: 'The Martian' expected to win weekend box office
Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian," based on the best selling science fiction novel by Andy Weir and starring Matt Damon, is expected to win this weekend's box office with an opening of between $40M-$50M. Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which set a record last weekend for a September opening with a $48.5M debut, is estimated to gross in the range of $29M-$31.5M in its second week. Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario," which opened two weeks ago in six theaters and expanded to 59 theaters last week, is expected to take in $8M-$10M in its first weekend expanding nationwide, now playing in about 2,500 theaters. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to bring in $8.5M-$8.9M in its second weekend. Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" is expected to earn an estimated $7.8M in its third weekend of release. Also new in theaters is Sony subsidiary TriStar's "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which opened Wednesday exclusively on 448 IMAX (IMAX) and large-format screens, and is expected to earn $3M through the weekend.
September 30, 2015
16:43 EDTSNEInterDigital expands Convida Wireless research scope with Sony
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September 29, 2015
12:29 EDTSNEGoogle announces Nexus 6P smartphone
The Nexus 6P features an all-metal body and a 5.7-inch AMOLED display. The phone is manufactured in cooperation with Huawei, and includes a USB-C port that can charge the device twice as fast as an Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6 Plus, according to Google (GOOG). The 6P uses a 12.3 megapixel rear-facing Sony (SNE) camera, as well as a 5 megapixel front-facing camera. The phone also includes Nexus Imprint, an advanced fingerprint authentication technology. Google executives are speaking at the company's Nexus 2015 event.
08:01 EDTSNEGlobal Eagle strikes worldwide IFE agreement with Sony Music
Global Eagle (ENT) announced a global licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment to add thousands of songs from Sony (SNE) Music's iconic catalog to GEE's leading inflight entertainment portfolio. The broad-based deal is Sony Music's first licensing pact with an inflight entertainment content service provider and gives Global Eagle access to hit songs from leading recording labels, including Columbia, Epic, RCA, Masterworks, Legacy, Sony Music Nashville for use in its airline inflight entertainment systems around the globe.

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