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News For TWX;VIVHY;SNE From The Last 14 Days
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October 5, 2015
09:39 EDTSNEeSports seen as next big growth opportunity in media
Competitive video game playing in organized leagues, or eSports, is on the verge of reaching mainstream adoption and moving from an engagement tool to a monetization opportunity for video game makers, according to Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, who calls the trend the "biggest media and sports growth opportunity you've never heard of." NEXT BIG THING: eSports could have 200M active and engaged participants as early as next year and can grow from about $200M this year to $1B in revenues by 2018, Sebastian tells investors this morning in a research note. Game publishers such as Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) are "natural beneficiaries," according to Sebastian, who believes that eSports has the potential to drive earnings growth and multiple expansion for the sector. eSports is still mainly a tool to help engage and keep core gamers, but Sebastian expects this to change quickly as game makers focus on incremental revenue opportunities and increasing average revenue per user. The analyst also sees "significant opportunities" from eSports for online streaming platforms, like Amazon's (AMZN) Twitch and Google's (GOOG) newer platform, as well as for Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and PC and component makers. ANOTHER eSPORTS BULL: Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis previously told investors that he believes the surging popularity of competitive video gaming on a global basis will benefit game publishers as well as hardware companies like NVIDIA (NVDA). In a note to investors last month, the analyst said that Activision Blizzard had five of the top fifteen most popular games on Twitch in July, and contended that the company looks best positioned among game makers to benefit from the eSports opportunity. On the date of his eSports note, Lipacis upgraded NVIDIA to Buy from Hold, saying secular growth in gaming will trump PC weakness. The company's Gaming Graphics Processing Unit is "under the radar" and has grown 23% annually over the past three years, noted Lipacis, who raised his price target for shares to $30 from $23. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Activision Blizzard rose 1.4% to $31.90, Electronic Arts gained 1.04% to $67.18 and Take-Two Interactive advanced 0.85% to $29.64.
08:10 EDTTWXTime Warner downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
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October 4, 2015
17:39 EDTTWX, SNE'The Martian' soars in box office debut
Science fiction film "The Martian" rocketed to the top of the box office amid widespread critical acclaim. WEEKEND LEADER: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian" grossed $55M in its domestic open for the weekend of October 4, beating expectations for $40M-$50M and nearly setting a record for October debuts. Director Ridley Scott's return to science fiction after 1979's "Alien" and the more recent "Prometheus" was applauded by critics and audiences alike, with "Martian" garnering a 94% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Sony's (SNE) "Hotel Transylvania 2" stepped down to second place with $33M after last weekend's strong open, while Lionsgate's (LGF) drug cartel thriller "Sicario" earned $12.1M after expanding nationwide, outpacing expectations for $8M-$10M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" and Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" took in a respective $11.6M and $7.7M.
October 2, 2015
12:43 EDTSNE, TWXFly Watch: 'The Martian' expected to win weekend box office
Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Martian," based on the best selling science fiction novel by Andy Weir and starring Matt Damon, is expected to win this weekend's box office with an opening of between $40M-$50M. Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which set a record last weekend for a September opening with a $48.5M debut, is estimated to gross in the range of $29M-$31.5M in its second week. Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario," which opened two weeks ago in six theaters and expanded to 59 theaters last week, is expected to take in $8M-$10M in its first weekend expanding nationwide, now playing in about 2,500 theaters. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to bring in $8.5M-$8.9M in its second weekend. Fox's "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" is expected to earn an estimated $7.8M in its third weekend of release. Also new in theaters is Sony subsidiary TriStar's "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which opened Wednesday exclusively on 448 IMAX (IMAX) and large-format screens, and is expected to earn $3M through the weekend.
06:59 EDTTWXHBO had talks with Zack Snyder about 'Watchmen' series, Deadline reports
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October 1, 2015
12:57 EDTTWXOptions with increasing put volume
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September 30, 2015
16:43 EDTSNEInterDigital expands Convida Wireless research scope with Sony
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September 29, 2015
12:29 EDTSNEGoogle 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.
10:39 EDTVIVHYVivendi acquires 30% stake in Mars Distribution, Variety reports
Vivendi has bought a 30% stake in Mars Distribution, a Paris-based distributor, Variety reports. Reference Link
08:01 EDTSNEGlobal 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 EDTTWX, 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 EDTSNEStocks 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 EDTSNE, TWXFly 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 EDTTWXMorgan 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 23, 2015
20:08 EDTSNEChinese president visits U.S. amid cybersecurity, copyright worries
As part of his first official U.S. visit, Chinese president Xi Jinping held a meeting with American business leaders on Wednesday to address concerns of copyright infringement and cybersecurity, among numerous topics. In attendance were corporate giants from both nations, including Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Cisco (CSCO), Alibaba (BABA), Tencent (TCEHY), and Baidu (BIDU), according to media reports. COPYRIGHT CONCERNS: Responding to oft-cited concerns of copyright infringement by Chinese companies, Xi said China will "stand firm to protect" the intellectual property rights of American companies, according to Wall Street Journal coverage of the event. Note that in late 2014, China began establishing specialized courts to deliberate on intellectual property rights cases, and Xi commented Wednesday that "the newly established IPR courts are working smoothly. This means there will be much stronger IPR protection which will serve the interests of foreign businesses as well as Chinese companies." Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi is perhaps the most talked-about firm when it comes to the matter, with media outlets frequently criticizing its alleged "copying" of Apple design sensibilities. In mid-July, Xiaomi VP of global operations Hugo Barra told Bloomberg that the company is preparing to enter U.S. markets, though he cautioned that the launch could be "much more" than a year away as it seeks to build up its patent portfolio. CYBERSECURITY TENSIONS: Wednesday's meeting comes in the wake of numerous high-profile "hack attacks," with Sony (SNE), American Airlines (AAL), Anthem (ANTM), United Airlines (UAL), and Target (TGT) all reporting digital security breaches in recent years. Xi has consistently denied the involvement of state-backed hackers, but tensions have nevertheless arisen as cybersecurity firms such as FireEye (FEYE) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) backtrace connections to the country. Cybersecurity intrusions originating from China have recently slowed ahead of Xi's visit, according to Reuters, with Kevin Mandia of security firm Mandiant telling the publication, "In my gut, I feel like the Chinese and the U.S. over the next couple of years are going to figure this out."
10:00 EDTVIVHYOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Baidu (BIDU) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at CLSA... BioMed Realty (BMR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord... Carnival (CCL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... (CTRP) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Daktronics (DAKT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... FMC Corporation (FMC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Finish Line (FINL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital... Intel (INTC) upgraded on potential PC, client business rebound at Bernstein... MTN Group (MTNOY) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Mitcham Industries (MIND) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Parker Drilling (PKD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Raytheon (RTN) upgraded on international outlook at Bernstein... Regional Management (RM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Vivendi (VIVHY) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies... Wolverine World Wide (WWW) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi.
05:20 EDTVIVHYVivendi upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
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September 22, 2015
12:54 EDTSNEGoPro CEO says market share has grown since Sony entered market
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12:53 EDTSNEGoPro CEO says competitors like Sony have helped grow total reach
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10:07 EDTTWXMedia companies adjust Netflix strategy ahead of OTT growth, Bloomberg says
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