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June 24, 2013
09:23 EDTNWSA, YHOO, CMCSA, DIS, DTV, CVC, KKR, TWCHulu's future uncertain, NY Times reports
Depending on who buys Hulu, the website could be used to either advance cord cutting trends, or combat them by allowing only users with cable subscriptions to access the site, according to The New York Times. Possible buyers include Time Warner Cable (TWC), DirecTV (DTV), Yahoo (YHOO), and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the newspaper stated. Hulu, which the newspaper said is expected to sell for about $1B, is jointly owned by Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA), and News Corp. (NWSA). Reference Link
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September 29, 2015
16:24 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks on Wall Street hovered near the flat line throughout today's session before finishing mixed, with the Dow and S&P rising and the Nasdaq falling. A measure of U.S. home prices rose by about 5% in July compared to the prior year, as expected, while a measure of consumer confidence was stronger than expected. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September. Analysts expected the consumer confidence reading to pull back to 96.8 from the prior 101.5 figure, but it actually strengthened to 103.0. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metro areas in July gained 5% year over year, which was just below the projected a 5.1% gain. Stocks sold off in much of Asia last night, with China's Shanghai composite index sliding 2% while Japan's Nikkei dropped 4%, erasing year-to-date gains in the process. India was the one country in the region to buck the trend of stock market declines, after the Reserve Bank of India made a larger than expected cut to its interest rates, lowering its benchmark policy rate to 6.75% from 7.25%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) advanced about 2.4% to $28.26 after its board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA)... Reynolds American announced that the international rights to the Natural American Spirit brand name and associated trademarks, along with the international companies that distribute and market the brand outside the U.S., will be sold to the Japan Tobacco Group in an all-cash transaction with a value of about $5B. The purchase does not include the rights to the Natural American Spirit brand name and associated trademarks in the U.S. market or U.S. territories, which will be retained by a wholly owned subsidiary of RAI. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was IHS (IHS), which advanced $5.22, or 4.96%, to $110.56 after the company reported earnings and commented on its associated conference call that it was not pursuing an acquisition of Solera (SLH), whose shares lost 2.3% after the news. Also higher was Nexstar (NXST), which rose 8% to $46.99 after an upgrade to Buy at Jefferies, with the research firm saying it assumes the company's offer for Media General (MEG) will ultimately find shareholder support. Among the noteworthy losers was Esperion (ESPR), which lost $16.76, or 47.76%, to $18.33 after warning that the FDA could mandate additional studies before approving the company's ETC-1002 treatment. Also lower was Team (TISI), which dropped $7.93, or 19.34%, to $33.08 after pre-announcing Q1 earnings, with figures coming in significantly below expectations on what the company called softness in demand. INDEXES: The Dow rose 47.24, or 0.3%, to 16,049.13, the Nasdaq lost 26.65, or 0.59%, to 4,517.32, and the S&P 500 advanced 2.32, or 0.12%, to 1,884.09.
16:00 EDTYHOOOptions Update; September 29, 2015
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15:19 EDTDISDiscovery drops as investor day fails to dispell cord-cutting fears
Shares of Discovery Communications (DISCA) have dropped today as the company held its first-ever investor day amid ongoing concerns about the potential decline of pay TV. NEW GUIDANCE: Discovery Chief Financial Officer Andrew Warren updated the company's full year 2015 outlook, saying he expects constant currency adjusted earnings per share to grow in the low double digits. The company expects revenue for the year to grow 9%-10%, with free cash flow up in low single digits. Meanwhile, year over year currency headwinds were seen deducting $460M from revenue and 24c-29c from adjusted EPS. Discovery also established long-term guidance, saying it sees its adjusted EPS compound annual growth rate up in low double digits from 2015 to 2018, on a constant currency basis. "Third quarter results are on track, highlighted by strong U.S. advertising growth," Warren added. THREE BILLION SUBSCRIBERS: CEO David Zaslav commented during the investor day that the company is "confident in the long-term outlook for our business," adding that Discovery expects to reach 3B cumulative worldwide subscribers by year's end. The Chief Executive highlighted what he called five differentiators for Discovery's growth potential, including its ownership of a growing and diverse portfolio of content and IP "that uniquely positions Discovery for the changing media landscape." CORD CUTTING: Multiple Discovery executives showcased the company's European products, including Eurosport and the Eurosport Player OTT service, as well as the company's apparent first-mover advantage in Latin America. The seemingly increased attention on foreign initiatives comes as U.S. cord-cutting trends continue generating headlines, with Citi analyst Jason Bazinet arguing as recently as September 18 that Disney (DIS) would be the only cable network to make more money in a bundle-free world. According to media reports of today's Discovery event, Chief Executive Zaslav said "it's not rational" that media companies are selling so much of their content to streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) that threaten the appeal of cable bundles. The CEO added that Discovery has assumed a 1%-2% decline in pay TV over "the next couple of years," though he reassured investor day attendees that the company's adjusted operating income should be roughly flat even in a worst-case scenario. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Discovery crashed as much as 7% in early morning trading before seeing hesitant moves higher. The stock is down just under 4% to roughly $26.70 heading towards session close.
12:57 EDTTWCFCC nod for TWC, Charter deal may not be as easy as expected, dealReporter says
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12:33 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher at midday as the market seeks to break its losing streak, helped by an improvement in consumer confidence that came despite the recent market volatility. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September. Analysts expected the consumer confidence reading to pull back to 96.8 from the prior 101.5 figure, but it actually strengthened to 103.0. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index was up a seasonally adjusted 0.2% month over month in July, versus the consensus forecast for a rise of 0.1%. Stocks sold off in much of Asia last night, with China's Shanghai composite index sliding 2% while Japan's Nikkei dropped 4%, erasing year-to-date gains in the process. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) advanced 3% after its board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Radius Health (RDUS), which rose nearly 10% after Ben Harrington of the Betaville blog stated during an appearance on Tip TV that he has heard that "something will be happening" in terms of M&A involving the company over the "next few weeks." Also higher were several recently beaten down biotech stocks that were seeing some bounceback, including Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), which gained 5%, and Biogen (BIIB), which advanced 4%. Notably, both of them, along with Amgen (AMGN), were mentioned in a note to investors by Cowen analyst Ken Cacciatore as "hypothetical" targets for Allergan (AGN). Among the noteworthy losers was OvaScience (OVAS), which dropped 38% after saying it now longer expects to meet its 2015 goal of 1,000 Augment cycles. Esperion (ESPR) also fell 38% after the company warned that the FDA could require it to undertake new studies before its ETC-1002 is approved. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 7.27, or 0.05%, to 16,009.16, the Nasdaq was up 7.38, or 0.16%, to 4,551.35, and the S&P 500 was up 4.56, or 0.24%, to 1,886.33.
11:09 EDTCMCSAGoPro announces launch of channel on Comcast Watchable
GoPro (GPRO) announced it's bringing the GoPro Channel to Watchable, Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) new, cross-platform video service. GoPro's first Multichannel Video Programming Distributor agreement will deliver GoPro content to users on iOS,, and X1. Launching in beta, all Watchable content is free, the company stated.
11:05 EDTCMCSAComcast launches video platform Watchable, Business Insider reports
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09:27 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Yahoo (YHOO), up 4.5% after the company's board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA)... Phoenix Companies (PNX), up 164% after Nassau Reinsurance agreed to acquire Phoenix for $37.50 per share in cash... McDonald's (MCD), up 1.4% after the stock was upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse... Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), up 1% following upgrade at Deutsche Bank. LOWER: Esperion (ESPR), down 29% after reporting that the FDA has encouraged the company to initiate a cardiovascular outcomes trial promptly since any concern regarding the benefit/risk assessment of ETC-1002 could necessitate a completed cardiovascular outcomes trial before approval... Solera (SLH), down 2% after IHS (IHS) said on its earnings call that it is not pursuing an acquisition of the company, as previouly indicated in media reports... Zosano (ZSAN), down 54% after the company announced that it would discontinue its ZP-PTH agreement with Eli Lilly (LLY).
06:45 EDTYHOOAlibaba volatility elevated as shares trade near IPO low
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06:28 EDTYHOOYahoo volatility up, board authorized to continue to pursue the Aabaco spin-off
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September 28, 2015
19:11 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
HIGHER: Yahoo (YHOO), up 3.3% after the board authorized Yahoo to continue to pursue the Aabaco spin-off plan... Cheniere Energy (LNG), up 0.67% after Carl Icahn raised his stake in the company to 11.43%... Republic Airways (RJET), up 7.4% after the company was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Exelon (EXC) and Pepco (POM), higher by 1% and 2.4%, respectively, after the DC Mayor's office released a statement confirming discussions of a settlement agreement with the companies. LOWER AFTER EARNINGS: SYNNEX (SNX), down 2.7% after the company reported Q3 results, gave Q4 guidance, and raised its quarterly dividend. ALSO LOWER: Zosano (ZSAN), down 52.5% after it discontinued development of its Daily ZP-PTH treatment for severe osteoporosis and terminated a collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly (LLY)... OvaScience (OVAS), down 15.9% after the company announced it doesn't expect to meet its previous 2015 goal of 1,000 Augment treatment cycles.
17:25 EDTYHOOYahoo board authorizes company to continue to pursue Aabaco spin-off plan
On September 8, Yahoo! (YHOO) filed a Current Report on Form 8-K disclosing, among other things, that the Internal Revenue Service had notified Yahoo's counsel that it had determined, in the exercise of its discretion and without ruling adversely, not to grant Yahoo's request for a private letter ruling regarding certain aspects of its previously announced plan for a spin-off to Yahoo's stockholders of all of the stock of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company, which will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) and Aabaco Small Business,. Yahoo further disclosed in the September 8 Form 8-K that work was proceeding on the Aabaco spin-off plan, and that Yahoo's Board of Directors would continue to carefully consider the Company's options, including proceeding with the spin-off transaction on the basis of an opinion of counsel. On September 14, the IRS issued a formal "no-rule" policy with respect to certain transactions similar to the Aabaco spin-off and, in a notice released on the same day, indicated that the IRS and U.S. Department of the Treasury are studying the possibility of promulgating new guidance with respect to such transactions in the future. Neither this ongoing guidance project nor the IRS's decision not to rule with respect to the Aabaco spin-off transaction changes the current law applicable to the proposed spin-off. In addition, on September 19, an IRS official indicated in a public statement that any future guidance issued as part of the project would not apply retroactively to transactions completed prior to the issuance of such guidance. On September 23, Yahoo's Board of Directors authorized the Company to continue to pursue the plan for the Aabaco spin-off transaction as previously disclosed, except that completion of the spin-off will not be conditioned upon receipt of a favorable ruling from the IRS. The spin-off transaction will continue to be subject to certain other conditions, including final approval by Yahoo's Board of Directors, receipt of a legal opinion with respect to the tax-free treatment of the transaction under U.S. federal tax laws and regulations, the effectiveness of an applicable registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and compliance with the requirements under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and other customary conditions, each of which conditions may be waived, in whole or in part , by Yahoo in its sole discretion.Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2015, subject to the conditions described above.
09:36 EDTDIS Active equity options trading on open
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09:12 EDTTWCRovi news a 'small positive first step,' says JPMorgan
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09:06 EDTYHOOCiti sees 'few if any' roadblocks for Yahoo's Alibaba spin
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08:07 EDTTWCRovi, Time Warner Cable extend existing agreement
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08:06 EDTYHOOYahoo announces updates to advertising technology portfolio
Yahoo announced key updates to its advertising technology portfolio at Advertising Week in New York: BrightRoll is Yahoo's new, unified brand for programmatic advertising technology, offering a suite of media-agnostic tools to help advertisers, publishers and partners connect with consumers across ad formats and devices. Yahoo Gemini, the company's proprietary marketplace for search and native advertising across devices, introducing new product features and the Yahoo Preferred Partner Program. Over the past year the company has focused heavily on product development, and is bringing together the strengths of Yahoo, BrightRoll and Flurry to build a robust technology offering that simplifies the overall experience of digital advertising and drives measurable results for advertisers.
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
06:08 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
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.
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