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February 5, 2013
05:55 EDTVZ, VZ, CVC, CVC, POM, POM, AWK, AWK, CMCSA, CMCSA, NSR, NSR, HMC, HMC, SE, SE, CTL, CTL, XEL, XEL, ED, ED, S, S, TWC, TWC, T, TNational Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners to host annual meeting
NARUC Annual Meeting 2013 is being held in Washington, D.C. on February 3-6.
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September 28, 2015
07:28 EDTTSamsung to pay customers up to $120 for buying new Galaxy phone, Verge says
Samsung's (SSNLF) new promotion in the U.S. will pay the rest of a customer's monthly payments in 2015 towards a new Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, or Galaxy Note 5, the Verge reports. The promotion will result in $120 off the price of any of those phones if users buy one under a new carrier installment plan between now and October 9, the report says. AT&T (T) will sit the promotion out, the report says. Reference Link
07:17 EDTCVCAltice scales back bond sale to finance Cablevision buyout, Financial Times says
Altice (ATCEY) has scaled back a bond offering to finance $17.7B buyout of Cablevision (CVC), reports the Financial Times. According to people familiar with the fundraising discussions, Altice was forced to downsize its planned offering to $5.3B and had to promise investors a higher yield. Reference Link
06:50 EDTVZVerizon's go90 wins $80M from backers, NY Post reports
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06:08 EDTCMCSAComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
September 27, 2015
20:20 EDTSSprint says will not participate in 600 MHz spectrum auction
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19:39 EDTCMCSA'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
17:24 EDTAWKAmerican Water awarded Vandenberg Air Force Base contract
American Water Works Company announced that its Military Services Group has been awarded a contract for ownership, operation and maintenance of the water and the wastewater systems at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. According to the agreement the award revenue is estimated at approximately $298M over a 50-year period. The contract will be subject to annual economic price adjustment.
17:22 EDTAWKAmerican Water awarded $298.9M government contract
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13:17 EDTCMCSAFly 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.
10:48 EDTCMCSAMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
September 24, 2015
20:04 EDTCMCSAFacebook 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%.
19:03 EDTS, VZVerizon offers annual upgrade plan for iPhone users
In the wake of recent iPhone purchase plans announced by Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS), Verizon (VZ) announced that customers who purchase either the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with Verizon's Device Payment option will be eligible to get a new iPhone every year. "Yes, no more waiting for your contract to end... The new program allows you to turn in your phone and upgrade to a new iPhone every year," remarked the company. Verizon added that its customers will still have the option to pay off the phone without upgrading.
14:04 EDTSSprint CEO expects to have adequate supply of new iPhones, Re/code says
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13:44 EDTCMCSAOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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12:34 EDTSSprint volatility at one-year high
Sprint October weekly call option implied volatility is at 78, October is at 71, November is at 72; compared to its 52-week range of 37 to 75, suggesting large price movement.
12:10 EDTVZVerizon management to meet with Jefferies
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11:24 EDTVZAOL's head of video McCormack exiting company, Variety reports
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10:30 EDTEDAmerican Gas Association to hold a forum
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09:22 EDTVZ, S, TSprint to offer iPhone 6s 16GB for $1 per month
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06:30 EDTCVC, SAltice to aggressively expand presence with Cablevision buy, Variety says
Altice's (ATCEY) proposal to acquire Cablevision (CVC) is a signal that Altice founder Patrick Drahi intends to extend his vision across the Atlantic, Variety says. Altice may just be getting started when it comes to shopping for U.S. media assets, and has already snatched some $40B worth of cable, wireless and telecom assets over the past two years, the report says. There's talk of Altice also going after a wireless firm such as Sprint (S) or T-Mobile (TMUS) to further its strategy for growth, the report says. Reference Link
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