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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 7, 2013
15:59 EDTTWXTime Warner CFO says Q4 was fastest growth quarter in FY12
News For TWX From The Last 14 Days
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September 1, 2015
13:06 EDTTWXNetflix dives as Apple reportedly explores original programming
Shares of streaming video giant Netflix (NFLX) are underperforming a down market today after a Variety report that said Apple (AAPL) is exploring an entry into the original programming business. Amazon (AMZN) also said it expanded Prime Video downloads to the iOS and Android platforms. WHAT'S NEW: According to the Variety report, Apple recently held preliminary discussions with Hollywood executives to measure their interest in "spearheading" a move into entertainment content. Exclusive content has been an integral part of Netflix's success with programming such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black. Amazon and Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, which recently launched a streaming-only version of its service, are also counting on exclusive content. According to Variety, the extent of Apple's ambitions vary, according to sources, with some saying the plan is to create long-form content and compete directly with Netflix while other sources say that Apple's efforts are more of a "flirtation." WHAT'S NOTABLE: Netflix announced this week that it will not renew its agreement with Epix, which allowed Netflix to stream movies released on the cable movie channel. Netflix noted that the Epix movies are widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix. The streaming video giant said in a blog post that it knows some subscribers will be disappointed by the end of Epix movies but added that its goal "is to provide great movies and TV series for all tastes, that are only available on Netflix." Also noteworthy was the announcement by Amazon today that it will now allow Prime members to download movies and TV episodes, including Amazon Original Series, to iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets for offline viewing, at no additional charge. The company noted that Amazon Video is the only online subscription streaming video service that enables downloads of titles, meaning unlike other subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Prime members can enjoy movies and TV shows as part of their membership even when they don't have an internet connection. ANALYST TAKE: In a note to investors this morning, BofA/Merrill analyst Nat Schindler raised his price target on Netflix shares to $133 from $121 following reports the company will officially launch in Japan on September 2 and recently raised prices in Europe. The analyst, which maintains his Buy rating on shares, also pointed out that Netflix is in an agreement with Softbank (SFTBF), a leader in Japan's telecom and internet space. The Softbank partnership will bolster subscriber growth through pre-installed Netflix apps on Softbank phones, automatic subscription payments through Softbank's payment system, and in-store signups and marketing. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Netflix are underperforming a weak market and are down 8.15% to $105.65, while Apple and Amazon are both down over 2%.
August 30, 2015
17:13 EDTTWX'Compton' leads again as 'We Are Your Friends' stumbles at box office
Hip hop biopic "Straight Outta Compton" continued its domestic box office dominance while Christian drama "War Room" outpaced analyst estimates and electronic dance flick "We Are Your Friends" fizzled. U.S. WEEKEND LEADER: Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Straight Outta Compton" grossed $13.2M domestically for the weekend of August 30, securing the top box office spot for a third consecutive week. In a record-breaking performance for musical biopics, the gangster rap film has earned $134.1M in the U.S. since opening earlier this month. Though Warner Bros.' (TWX) "We Are Your Friends" was predicted to challenge "Compton" with sales ranging $8M-$10M, the Zac Efron-led electronic music film flopped at just $1.8M. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Produced with an estimated budget of $3M, Sony's (SNE) faith-based drama "War Room" debuted at $11M against expectations for $5M-$8.5M after leading in advance ticket sales. Viacom (VIA, VIAB) subsidiary Paramount's "Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation" relinquished its grip on second place with an $8.3M gross for the weekend, while Weinstein Company's action thriller "No Escape" opened in fourth place at $8.29M. "Sinister 2" from Comcast subsidiary Focus Features rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $4.7M.
August 28, 2015
10:43 EDTTWXFly Watch: 'Straight Outta Compton' expected to lead box office for third week
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August 25, 2015
10:57 EDTTWXHilliard Lyons upgrades Disney after recent pullback
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06:07 EDTTWXWarner Bros. in talks with China Media Capital to form film JV, WSJ reports
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August 23, 2015
16:22 EDTTWX'Straight Outta Compton' finds little contention for No. 1 box office spot
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August 21, 2015
08:53 EDTTWXAfter rough week, Disney shares expected to recover
With fears of cord cutting and declining advertising rates consuming the minds of investors and analysts this week, Disney (DIS) shares have dropped 7% over the past five trading days. Stepping out of the growing pack of bearish analysts is FBR Capital's Barton Crockett. ROUGH WEEK: On Tuesday, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker downgraded her rating on Disney (DIS), CBS (CBS), 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to Market Perform from Outperform. None of the large media companies reported that their revenue from cable stations or broadcast networks increased in the most recent quarter, Ryvicker told investors. TV distributors have more favorable characteristics than the media companies, she argued. Then on Thursday, Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger downgraded Disney (DIS), along with Time Warner (TWX), to Market Perform from Outperform. The move by viewers away from ad-supported platforms to non-ad-supported services like Netflix (NFLX) will bring a "prolonged structural decline" to the U.S. television industry, Juenger contended. PATH TO RECOVERY: Sentiment is driving Disney and the media stocks lower, FBR Capital's Barton Crockett tells investors this morning in a research note titled "Performance Is the Best Defense: How Disney, Near Term, Can Separate from Peers." Cord cutting and advertising fears are taking down the valuation multiples in the media sector, but consensus earnings estimates are little changed, the analyst writes. Cord cutting is the term used to describe the dropping of cable or satellite TV in favor of an online streaming service. Crockett sees a number of "performance positives near term" that can help shares of Disney recover. The owner of ESPN can separate itself from peers with solid second half of 2015 advertising trends when football returns, he believes. Disney can also benefit from the retail push for Star Wars movie merchandise, starting with a midnight door-buster national product launch on September 4, the analyst writes. PETER OUT: Crockett expects cord-cutting fears to "peter out." Cable bundles broadband with TV, and most households have a sports fan, he points out. While Netflix takes audiences from non-sports content, sports will save the bundle subscription model that benefits Disney's ESPN unit, Crockett thinks. He has an Outperform rating on Disney with a $124 price target. The stock closed yesterday down $6.44, or 6%, to $100.01. Over the past three months, Disney is down over 9%.

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