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June 5, 2014
07:19 EDTRHP, MCS, DCIN, NCMI, CNK, CKEC, EPR, RENT, OUTR, CIDM, IMAX, LGFGabelli to hold a conference
6th Annual Movie & Entertainment Conference to be held in New York on June 5.
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September 30, 2015
13:39 EDTRENTAnalysts, investors cheer Rentrak, comScore merger plan
Shares of both Rentrak (RENT) and comScore (SCOR) are driving higher in afternoon trading after the companies announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement following Tuesday's session close. The move could see the companies developing new, compelling products to track cross-platform media consumption amid changing viewership trends, according to executives and analysts. MERGER: Rentrak and comScore announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement that will see comScore shareholders owning approximately 66.5% of the combined company and Rentrak shareholders owning roughly 33.5%. comScore's current CEO, Serge Matta, will lead the combined company as Chief Executive, while Rentrak CEO Bill Livek will transition to executive vice chairman and president. The combined company expects total synergies of at least $20M in 2016 and at least $35M in 2017, with those figures "very, very heavily" weighted towards revenue, as noted by comScore CFO Mel Wesley. EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY: On a conference call discussing the merger agreement, comScore Chief Executive Matta remarked that the media industry is at an "inflection point" in terms of consumer behavior, which is trending towards cross-platform, cross-device, delayed media viewing. Rentrak Chief Bill Livek explained that the combined company will be capable of delivering cross-platform viewership and advertising metrics "that account for all of the ways in which content is consumed," something that the industry has been "pleading" for, according to Livek. ANALYST TAKE: William Blair analyst Timothy McHugh weighed in on the merger, saying that while both companies previously had some fledgling cross-platform initiatives, their combined capability is undoubtedly stronger. McHugh added that the industry "ultimately appears headed" towards cross-media consumption habits, to which the combined company should be better positioned to respond. On the other hand, Rentrak-comScore still cannot truly challenge Nielsen's (NLSN) TV metrics even as the company develops similar cross-platform capabilities, said McHugh, though he did acknowledge that the deal looks incrementally negative for Nielsen. Meanwhile, Needham analyst Laura Martin said the "compelling" deal still relies on the merged company's eventual cross-platform products, which must be seen as unknowns at this point. Martin downgraded Rentrak to Buy from Strong Buy and cut her price target to $60 from $85, noting that if the deal fails, she believes there are other potential purchasers for Rentrak. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Rentrak are up about 24% to roughly $54 in Wednesday afternoon trading, while comScore has risen about 12% to trade above $46 per share. Meanwhile, Nielsen has slipped about 2.5% to $44 per share.
12:40 EDTCNKCinemark management to meet with MKM Partners
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12:10 EDTRENTOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday as the unquestionably hard quarter looks like it will end on an up note. Relief, as well as end of the quarter window dressing, may be the main drivers of this morning's rebound as investors are certainly ready to turn the page on the third quarter with the monthly non-farm payrolls report and the start of earnings season on the horizon. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., payroll processor ADP reported that 200,000 jobs were added this month, topping expectations for 190,000 job additions. The Chicago PMI business barometer index fell to 48.7 in September, missing expectations for a reading of 53.6. Additionally, the Senate passed a continuing resolution, officially funding the government through December 11. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of two clothing companies moved in opposite directions after an executive for one left to take over for an icon at the other. Last night, Gap (GPS) announced that Stefan Larsson will step down as global president of Old Navy effective October 2. Larsson is leaving Gap to become the new Chief Executive Officer of Ralph Lauren (RL), replacing the man who founded the company that bears his name. At least three research firms downgraded Gap shares to sell or equivalent ratings and the stock fell 7% in the wake of the executive shake-up, while Ralph Lauren shares were upgraded to Buy at UBS and the stock advanced 12% near noon. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Rentrak (RENT) and comScore (SCOR), which gained 20% and 9%, respectively, after the companies agreed to a stock-for-stock merger. Also higher were shares of Western Digital (WDC), which rallied 14.5% after Unisplendour, a unit of China's Tsinghua Holdings, struck a deal to buy a 15% stake in the U.S. data storage company. Among the noteworthy losers was Barracuda Networks (CUDA), whose shares plunged 35% after the IT security and storage solutions company reported lower than expected revenue and provided weaker than expected guidance. Also lower were shares of Mellanox (MLNX), which were down 9% after the company agreed to acquire EZchip (EZCH) in a transaction implying a value of approximately $811M, or roughly $620M net of cash. Potentially overshadowing the deal was the fact that the company failed to reiterate its guidance despite being asked repeatedly by analysts on today's acquisition conference call, Summit Research analyst Srini Nandury told investors in a research note. EZchip, which will be bought for a cash purchase price of $25.50 per share, rose 14% following the deal announcement. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 128.64, or 0.8%, to 16,177.77, the Nasdaq was up 56.46, or 1.25%, to 4,573.78, and the S&P 500 was up 18.68, or 0.99%, to 1,902.77.
10:01 EDTRENTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abengoa Yield (ABY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... American Airlines (AAL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Baidu (BIDU) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... Banco Santander (SAN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Barracuda (CUDA) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... Basic Energy (BAS) downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Imperial Capital... C.H. Robinson (CHRW) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... FleetCor (FLT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Gap (GPS) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... Genuine Parts (GPC) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Grupo Televisa (TV) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... ITC Holdings (ITC) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... Lantheus (LNTH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Rentrak (RENT) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham... SQM (SQM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Sequenom (SQNM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... Team (TISI) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... Universal Truckload (UACL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T.
09:16 EDTRENTcomScore deal to improve competitive positioning, says Oppenheimer
After comScore (SCOR) agreed to buy Rentrak (RENT), Oppenheimer says that the merger "significantly increases (the company's) competitive positioning with respect to digital media analytics and measurement" The firm thinks that the deal strengthens comScore's cross-platform and video offerings. It keeps a $68 price target and Outperform rating on the shares. .
09:07 EDTLGFLionsgate signs deal with Buena Vista International for distribution in Russia
Lionsgate has forged an output deal with international theatrical distributors Buena Vista International for distribution of Lionsgate titles in Russia and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agreement will kick off with Lionsgate's revenge thriller Sicario this fall.
09:02 EDTRENTcomScore acquisition positive, says SunTrust
After comScore (SCOR) agreed to buy Rentrak (RENT), SunTrust says that comScore's valuation is attractive, if it is able to obtain the synergies that it's projecting from the deal. The firm notes that comScore's customers thinks the deal has "strategic merti." The firm keeps a Buy rating on comScore.
07:54 EDTRENTRentrak downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham
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07:14 EDTRENTcomScore, Rentrak merger makes lot of strategic sense, says William Blair
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September 29, 2015
17:17 EDTRENTRentrak up 13% after merger agreement with subsidiary of comScore
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16:26 EDTRENTRentrak to resume trading at 4:30 pm ET
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16:21 EDTRENTRentrak, comScore announce stock-for-stock merger agreement
comScore (SCOR) and Rentrak (RENT) announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in a stock-for-stock merger. Pursuant to the terms of the merger, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, Rentrak will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of comScore, and each share of Rentrak will be converted into the right to receive 1.15 shares of comScore. comScore shareholders are expected to own approximately 66.5% and Rentrak shareholders are expected to own approximately 33.5% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. comScore's current CEO, Serge Matta, will lead the combined company as CEO. Magid Abraham will remain as the executive chairman of the board. Bill Livek, Rentrak's current vice chairman and CEO, will serve as the company's executive vice chairman and president. Mel Wesley will continue as CFO, and David Chemerow, Rentrak's current COO and CFO, will serve as a strategic advisor to the CEO, focused on the integration of the two companies. The combined company's board will consist of twelve directors -- eight from comScore and four from Rentrak. "This merger also recognizes the critical importance of combining digital and TV assets for next generation media measurement, which requires a higher degree of precision at both a national and local market level," remarked Serge Matta. comScore expects the transaction to be mildly dilutive to its adjusted EPS in 2016, and accretive in 2017. The combined company is expected to have total synergies of at least $20M in 2016 and at least $35M in 2017. The company also anticipates a significant portion of the synergies to be revenue related, which it expects to grow over time with an "attractive" contribution margin. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2016.
16:16 EDTRENTRentrak to merge into wholly-owned subsidiary of comScore
16:14 EDTRENTcomScore, Rentrak to merge in stock-for-stock transaction
16:00 EDTRENTRentrak trading halted, pending news
10:07 EDTRENTRentrak to host investor day
Investor Day to be held in New York on October 1 at 12:30 pm. Webcast Link
September 25, 2015
13:17 EDTIMAX, LGFFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
07:01 EDTRENTRentrak acquires SponsorHub
Rentrak announced it has acquired SponsorHub, the Big Data platform for the sports and entertainment industry.
September 24, 2015
20:04 EDTLGFFacebook virtual reality initiative picks up speed with $99 Samsung device
Thursday's Oculus Connect 2 event saw numerous announcements from Facebook (FB) virtual reality subsidiary Oculus VR, including content deals with major media players as well as a $99 VR headset developed in conjunction with Samsung (SSNLF). CONTENT OFFERINGS: The virtual reality firm will be partnering with Fox (FOX, FOXA) and Lionsgate (LGF) to bring more than 100 films to the Oculus Store at launch. Additionally, Netflix (NFLX), Amazon's (AMZN), TiVo (TIVO), and Hulu -- the joint venture of Disney (DIS), Fox, and Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) NBCUniversal -- will be launching apps for the company's virtual reality products, bringing web TV and streaming content to early adopters of the new technology. MAINSTREAM DEVICE: Samsung joined with Oculus to reveal a new $99 "Gear VR" headset on Thursday. Standing in contrast to Oculus' own pricier devices, the Samsung headset will rely on the company's Galaxy line of smartphones to power its virtual reality experiences. Note that a major point of contention regarding the "blockbuster" potential -- or lack thereof -- of VR technology is whether consumers will be willing to pay upwards of $399 for the Oculus gadgets. Samsung's Gear VR tends more towards what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has called "medium immersion" devices, potentially allaying investor concern over adoption rates with its more attractive point of entry. PRICE ACTION: Facebook shares closed higher by 0.5% and continued to rise in after-hours trading, up another 0.2%.
10:13 EDTIMAXHigh option volume stocks
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