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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
November 6, 2012
10:23 EDTHAS, DISHasbro advisors say no merger talks going on, CNBC's David Faber reports
News For HAS;DIS From The Last 14 Days
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February 5, 2016
13:46 EDTDISBox 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).
13:39 EDTDISDisney says new 'Star Wars' to reach $2B in global sales on Saturday
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09:37 EDTHASMattel, Hasbro not in deal talks, CNBC's Faber reports
While Hasbro (HAS) did make an approach to Mattel (MAT) months ago, the two toymakers are not currently in talks, CNBC's David Faber reports, citing sources. Potential merger discussions are unlikely to resume given the antitrust challenges of a potential tie-up, Faber added. Mattel did not have much interest in a deal due in large part to regulatory concerns, the reporter noted. Bloomberg yesterday reported that Mattel and Hasbro had been in talks about a potential merger.
09:33 EDTHASHasbro, Mattel not in deal talks now, CNBC's Faber says
08:40 EDTHASHasbro, Mattel merger possible but not likely, says Wells Fargo
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07:36 EDTHASHasbro volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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February 4, 2016
16:47 EDTHASOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
Stocks had a roller coaster session, moving in a wide range and crossing the flat line several times during the day as the market continues to move in conjunction with the price of oil. Early in the session oil prices met resistance near $34 a barrel and equities were up by triple digits. When the price of crude pulled back, equities followed suit and ultimately turned negative. Oil prices struggled during the afternoon hours and closed down for the day. However, the averages drifted higher into the close and finished in the green. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Labor Department said that productivity fell at an annual rate of 3% in the fourth quarter, marking the biggest quarterly decline in nearly two years and worse than the expected decline of 2%. Labor costs rose 4.5% in the fourth quarter, versus expectations for an increase of 4.3%. Initial jobless claims rose to 285,000 in the week ended January 30, versus expectations for 277,000 first-time claims. Factory orders declined 2.9% in December, versus expectations for them to be down 2.8% for the month. In Europe, the European Commission lowered its 2016 economic growth forecast for the 19-nation single currency area to 1.7% from the 1.8% expansion the commission had forecast in November. The Bank of England also cut its economic growth forecasts, saying it now expects Britain's economy to grow 2.2% this year and 2.3% next year, which is down from the 2.5% growth for 2016 and 2.6% in 2017 that it previously predicted. Additionally, the BoE maintained its bank rate and held the size of its asset purchase program steady. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of GoPro (GPRO) sunk to all-time lows after the action camera maker reported fourth quarter revenue that fell $60M short of expectations and guided first quarter revenue even further below analyst forecasts. The stock fell as low as $9.01 early in the session before ending the day down 8.68% at $9.78. Ambarella (AMBA), a chip supplier that has often traded in tandem with GoPro in the past, gained 5.13% to $39.35, with several analysts highlighting the company's healthy business outside of GoPro... Sumner Redstone stepped down as executive chairman of both CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), being replaced by the CEOs of the companies in both cases. CBS shares were up 0.31% after Leslie Moonves was named the next chair of its board, while Class A shares of Viacom were up 2.33% after Philippe Dauman was selected to succeed Redstone... Mattel (MAT) and Hasbro (HAS) gained a respective 1.67% and 1.2% following Bloomberg's report that the two toymakers have held intermittent merger discussions after Hasbro approached its peer late last year. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Cascade Microtech (CSCD), which spiked 32.26% to $20.21 after agreeing to be acquired by FormFactor (FORM) for $16 per share. FormFactor declined 12.61% following the news. Also higher was VirnetX (VHC), which soared 46.14% to $7.00 after being awarded $625.6M in a patent dispute against Apple (AAPL). In addition, GrubHub (GRUB), McGraw Hill (MHFI) and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) rose 12.8%, 7.7% and 7.6%, respectively, following their quarterly reports. Among the noteworthy losers were Ralph Lauren (RL) and Kohl's (KSS), which fell a respective 22.2% and 18.8% after reporting quarterly earnings and issuing underwhelming financial outlooks, with the negative signals also dragging down department store operators J.C. Penney (JCP), Macy's (M) and Nordstrom (JWN). Also lower was ConocoPhillips (COP), which declined 8.65% to $35.29 after the oil and gas explorer reported a worse than expected quarterly loss and slashed its dividend to 25c from 74c per share. CEO Ryan Lance said the decision to reduce the dividend was a "difficult one," but the company believes it is prudent to plan for lower commodity prices for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca (AZN), Credit Suisse (CS) and MetLife (MET) slipped 5.9%, 10.8% and 5.3%, respectively, following their quarterly reports. INDEXES: The Dow rose 79.92, or 0.49%, to 16,416.58, the Nasdaq gained 5.32, or 0.12%, to 4,509.56, and the S&P 500 advanced 2.92, or 0.15%, to 1,915.45.
13:45 EDTHASHasbro management previously skeptical of 'transformational' deal, says Goldman
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13:07 EDTHASHasbro approached Mattel about possible merger late last year, Bloomberg says
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12:51 EDTHASMattel options active on approached by Hasbro about transaction report
Mattel (MAT) February 32 and 33 calls are active on total call volume of 4,600 contracts (4,500 puts) on being approached Hasbro (HAS) about transaction, Bloomberg reports. February call option implied volatility is at 47, March is at 40; compared to its 52-week range of 22 to 54. Active option volume suggest traders taking positions for upside price movement.
12:46 EDTHASHasbro has held talks with Mattel about potential transaction, Bloomberg reports
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12:46 EDTHASHasbro calls active on approached Mattel about transaction report
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12:40 EDTHASHasbro approached Mattel about transaction, Bloomberg reports
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06:28 EDTDISNews Corp not interested in Yahoo acquisition, Business Insider says
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February 3, 2016
06:16 EDTDISHulu eyes Sundance film acquisitions, Bloomberg reports
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February 2, 2016
15:46 EDTDISEarnings 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.
February 1, 2016
07:13 EDTDISDisney price target lowered to $92 from $112 at Jefferies
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January 31, 2016
20:11 EDTDISTime 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 EDTDIS'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 EDTDISBox 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).
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