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March 19, 2013
08:11 EDTNLSNNielsen has several potential catalysts, says RBC Capital
After meeting with Nielsen's management, RBC Capital believes that the company's online campaign ratings product is gaining traction, while it also has opportunities in emerging markets, Arbitron, and online commerce. The firm maintains an Outperform rating on the stock.
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September 30, 2015
13:39 EDTNLSNAnalysts, 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.
08:09 EDTNLSNMobee announces collaboration with Nielsen
07:14 EDTNLSNcomScore, Rentrak merger makes lot of strategic sense, says William Blair
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