Today - Friday, December 13, 2013
9:01 AMSky Deutschland to offer streaming service in Germany
- Sky Deutschland (FOXA) will enter the streaming video on demand market in Germany and Austria with a new service called Snap.
- Subscribers will have access to the vast library of content Sky has under its wraps.
- Snap will compete with Amazon's Lovefilm and beats Netflix (NFLX) to the sizable German market.
8:54 AMRetail darling Lululemon loses its shine
- Lululemon (LULU) is downgraded to Neutral by Credit Suisse and assigned a lowered price target of $59.
- Yesterday, execs with the retailer gave an uninspiring performance during the firm's earnings call. Outgoing CEO Christine day skipped the affair and those fielding questions seemed a bit bowled over by the brand's sudden lack of momentum. (earnings call transcript)
- LULU -0.1% premarket to $60.35.
8:51 AMCalgon Carbon won't pursue an MLP, expands stock buyback program
- Calgon Carbon (CCC) nixes the notion of creating an MLP, saying the concept is not accretive to shareholder value due to rules on qualifying income, the structural support needed, and the additional costs of creating and operating an MLP.
- Instead, CCC will expand its stock buyback program, authorizing up to an additional $100M of stock repurchases.
- CCC also plans an additional $10M in cost cuts, bringing to $40M its total annual cost improvements.
8:45 AMHonda recalls 19K 2014 Acura MDXs in the U.S.| Comment!
8:35 AMHome Depot on the move with another upgrade in tow
- Raymond James upgrades Home Depot (HD) to Outperform from Market Perform after taking in the company's Investor Day presentation.
- The investment firm sees margin upside in 2014 for the home improvement behemoth.
- Home Depot Investor Day recap: (same-day delivery, financial targets)
- HD +0.9% premarket to $79.21.
8:21 AMCoca-Cola higher after organizational shakeup
- Shares of Coca-Cola (KO) trade higher in early action after the company makes a dramatic split of its Americas business.
- The early beverage industry analysis on the development is favorable with Coca-Cola seen as being able to streamline its focus and squeeze out more efficiencies with the new operating structure.
- KO +1.1% premarket.
8:15 AMInvestors likely to applaud Las Vegas Sands' white flag in Spain
- Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) are on watch after Sheldon Adelson gives up on his vision of a $30B casino complex in Spain.
- Plenty of investors have been clamoring for Las Vegas Sands to stick to its strength of producing impressive returns in Asia and avoid the land of +25% unemployment.
- LVS +1.0% premarket.
8:09 AMBroad brand strength at Volkswagen
- Volkswagen (VLKAY) reports strong sales of its Audi brand in China and the U.S. helped group grands achieve a 4% gain in sales for November.
- By brand, the automaker has seen Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Seat, and Bentley all improve sales this year. Czech unit Skoda is the only Volkswagen brand which has moved in the wrong direction for the year.
8:01 AMAereo likes its chances with Supreme Court
- Aereo says it won't oppose a petition to the Supreme Court filed by broadcasters (FOXA, CMCSA, CBS, DIS) as it preps to let the high court decide the issue on if its service is legal.
- So far, Aereo has a decent track record in court cases filed against it in new markets where its has entered.
- However, the legal squabbles have slowed down Aereo's growth track. The company is only in 9 markets after setting a goal to be in 22 by the end of the year.
7:51 AMCoffee prices take a turn higher| 1 Comment
7:16 AMMovie theater operators take on IMAX
- Movie theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC) take on IMAX with a rapid expansion of the number of large-format screens for which they can charge premium ticket prices.
- The development could cut in IMAX's revenue if moviegoers associate the two different formats as offering the same experience. For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, IMAX collected close to $13M during the opening weekend compared to the $9.6M outsized private-label screens took in.
- Analysts think the private-label screen will have a tough time overtaking the power of the IMAX brand.
7:04 AMEurovegas is off
- Las Vegas Sands (LVS) decides to pull the plug on its $30B casino project planned for outside of Madrid.
- The company has continually clashed with local and national politicians over the plans for the 6 casinos and 12 hotels which were to be part of Eurovegas.
- Execs say new opportunities in Asia will be explored instead of investing in the massive casino complex in Spain.
6:57 AMReport: DirecTV close to new NFL Sunday Ticket deal
- DirecTV (DTV) is close to renewing its rights deal with the NFL for the package of games known as NFL Sunday Ticket, according to Bloomberg.
- The current four-year $4B contract expires at the end of the 2014 season.
- There was some scuttlebutt earlier this year that a tech company working on an online TV service could bid on the NFL programming.
5:13 AMIntel threatened as Google mulls creating own server chips
- Google (GOOG) is reportedly thinking about designing its own server processors using technology from ARM Holdings (ARMH).
- The idea is that with its own chips, Google could better better manage the interaction between hardware and software.
- The move could hurt Intel (INTC), which earns over 4% of its revenue from the search giant, and which has a 95% share of the market for server chips that use PC processors. The company has been hoping that rising demand for the components will offset the slump in the PC market.
4:40 AMCoke to split North American ops into two; major exec leaves
- Coca-Cola (KO) has announced a major reorganization of its Americas business that includes the departure of the head of the operations, Steve Cahillane, who was once seen as a possible successor to CEO Muhtar Kent.
- Cahillane's exit leaves International boss Ahmet Bozer as the clear number two at the company, with the latter's responsibilities being extended to include Latin America.
- The beverages giant also intends to split its North American unit into two units, Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Refreshments. The plan is part of Coke's strategy to return to a franchise model in the U.S. whereby the company will partner with independent bottling firms. However, Coke is expected to retain control over production. (PR)
Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:29 PMStrategic Hotels & Resorts divests Four Seasons Punta Mita resort for $200M
- Strategic Hotels & Resorts (BEE) sells the Four Seasons Punta Mita resort and adjacent 48 acre La Solana land parcel in Mexico for $200M to Bill Gates' Cascade Investment (a 6.4% shareholder of BEE). Closing is expected in Q1.
- The sale represents a price of ~$980K/key. The resort was acquired back in 2001 from DESC and Four Seasons for an undisclosed price.
- The company has been taken to task for its relative underperformance by activists like Orange Capital, with one of the fund's recommendations being that BEE explore strategic alternatives.
5:00 PMAmazon reportedly taking on Costco, Sam's with bulk goods service
- USA Today reports Amazon (AMZN) is prepping a service that will allow Prime subscribers to place as many consumer goods items as they wish into a set-sized box, provided a weight limit isn't exceeded.
- Sources state the service, called Pantry, will launch next year, feature a small shipping fee, and initially support ~2K items "typically found in the center of grocery stores." It would act as new competition bulk consumer goods sellers such as Costco (COST) and Sam's Club (WMT).
- Amazon appears intent on grabbing a larger share of grocery and consumer packaged goods spending. The company is in the midst of rolling out its AmazonFresh same-day/grocery delivery service in major U.S. metro areas, and its Quidsi unit has rapidly expanded into many consumer/household goods markets.