|June 3, 2014|
|07:02 EDT||SNE, RENT||Rentrak and Sony announce measurement informational agreement|
Rentrak (RENT) and Sony (SNE) Pictures Television announced an agreement for Rentrak to provide measurement information from its national, local and newly-released national syndication TV services. The agreement will give Sony access to Rentrak's complete TV audience behavior insights in all 210 TV markets.
News For RENT;SNE From The Last 14 Days
|September 30, 2015|
|13:39 EDT||RENT||Analysts, 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.
|12:10 EDT||RENT||On 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 EDT||RENT||On 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 EDT||RENT||comScore 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. .
|09:02 EDT||RENT||comScore 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 EDT||RENT||Rentrak downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham|
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|07:14 EDT||RENT||comScore, Rentrak merger makes lot of strategic sense, says William Blair|
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|September 29, 2015|
|17:17 EDT||RENT||Rentrak up 13% after merger agreement with subsidiary of comScore |
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|16:26 EDT||RENT||Rentrak to resume trading at 4:30 pm ET|
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|16:21 EDT||RENT||Rentrak, 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 EDT||RENT||Rentrak to merge into wholly-owned subsidiary of comScore|
|16:14 EDT||RENT||comScore, Rentrak to merge in stock-for-stock transaction|
|16:00 EDT||RENT||Rentrak trading halted, pending news|
|12:29 EDT||SNE||Google 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.
|10:07 EDT||RENT||Rentrak to host investor day|
Investor Day to be held in New York on October 1 at 12:30 pm. Webcast Link
|08:01 EDT||SNE||Global 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.
|September 27, 2015|
|19:39 EDT||SNE||'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut|
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
|September 25, 2015|
|16:35 EDT||SNE||Stocks end week lower as biotechs sink, Volkswagen crashes|
Stocks ended the week lower after concerns about drug prices were reignited, sinking biotech stocks, an emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen (VLKAY), dragging down shares of automakers and their suppliers, and Caterpillar (CAT) announced that it may eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs in the next three years as commodity prices continue to slump. MACRO NEWS: Following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to wait before raising rates, the central bank made a concerted effort to give the market more clarity this week. Over last weekend, three Federal Reserve officials - San Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker - all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. Then, on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago... In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. Durable goods orders for August declined 2.0%, versus expectations for a drop of 2.3%. When transportation items were removed, the core reading was breakeven, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region, citing a weaker outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world's advanced economies. The bank now sees the Chinese economy growing 6.8% this year and 6.7% next year, down from its previous forecasts of 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for China fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled new economic targets, including a goal for a 20% increase in the target size of the Japanese economy to 600T yen, though he gave no timeframe for achieving this aspiration... In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Biotech stocks declined after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on its treatment for toxoplasmosis, reigniting a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and laying out a plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly xxx% for the week amid the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares trading in New York fell sharply to begin the week and ended the week far from where they'd been last Friday before the EPA said it found manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain of the automaker's diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters. In the wake of the scandal, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and selecting Matthias Mueller, the former head of Porsche (POAHY), as Winterkorn's successor as the company's new CEO... Caterpillar (CAT) shares dropped after the heavy machinery maker announced plans for job cuts and lowered its revenue guidance for this year and next. Caterpillar said that it would lay off 4,000-5,000 of its employees between now and the end of 2016 and could lay off up to 10,000 employees by 2018. Caterpillar cut its fiscal year 2015 revenue forecast by $1B and said its sees its fiscal year 2016 revenue to be 5% below this year, adding that it expects revenue declines in all three large segments next year... Online and mobile deal provider Groupon (GRPN) said it plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... Nike jumped after the athletic gear giant reported better than expected earnings and futures orders, prompting numerous price target hikes and at least one upgrade at Street research firms. Among other companies reporting earnings this week, BlackBerry (BBRY), ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell immediately following their quarterly reports... Apple (AAPL), which has previously been reported to be working on an electric car via its "Project Titan," is speeding up those efforts and setting 2019 as a target to ship its first vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in in the Asian nation, while Cisco (CSCO) announced a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) Chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was diagnosed with lymphoma. "Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors' and my own expectation is that I will be cured," Blankfein stated in an open letter that was shared by the bank... GoPro (GPRO) finished the week about xxx% lower after Barron's contended in a feature article last weekend that the company's stock could plunge another 30% to $25 as Apple, Sony (SNE) and others pressure the company's "one-hit wonder" products... On the M&A front, Atmel (ATML) agreed to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B and Starwood Waypoint (SWAY) announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. INDEXES: The Dow lost about 0.43% to close at 16,314.67, the S&P 500 fell about 1.35% to close at 1,931.34, and the Nasdaq declined about 2.89% to close at 4,686.50.
|13:17 EDT||SNE||Fly 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 EDT||RENT||Rentrak acquires SponsorHub|
Rentrak announced it has acquired SponsorHub, the Big Data platform for the sports and entertainment industry.