Why I'm Shorting Charter And Buying Comcast
Ranjit Thomas, CFA
Ranjit Thomas, CFA
You Probably Hate Comcast
Chris DeMuth Jr. • 28 Comments
Chris DeMuth Jr. • 28 Comments
Why I'm Shorting Charter And Buying Comcast
Ranjit Thomas, CFA
Ranjit Thomas, CFA
Thu, Apr. 14, 1:36 PM
- Morgan Stanley identifies 30 stocks for investors to snap up and hold until 2019.
- The investment firm narrowed its list by focusing on strong brands/franchises with distinct competitive advantages, while also scoring strong on pricing power, cost efficiency, and growth.
- The MS list includes Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Alphabet, Amazon.com, Apple, Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX),Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Danaher (NYSE:DHR), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), Facebook, First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), JPMorgan Chase, L Brands (NYSE:LB), Mettler-Toledo (NYSE:MTD), NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), Nike (NYSE:NKE), Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA), Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), Public Storage (NYSE:PSA), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), SBA Communications(NASDAQ:SBAC), ServiceMaster (NYSE:SERV), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), Visa (NYSE:V), WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:WWAV), and Zayo Group Holdings (NYSE:ZAYO).
Mon, Apr. 11, 8:04 PM
- It took late-Monday final numbers to decide it, but Melissa McCarthy and her new comedy The Boss knocked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (TWX -0.5%) out of the box-office lead in its third week.
- The Boss (CMCSA -0.3%) projected on early Sunday to take the No. 1 spot by around $50,000 -- just a bit over one ticket per theater. With later numbers in, it drew $23.586M to the DC heroes' $23.363M, a $223,566 victory.
- That's despite a "C+" audience CinemaScore and a low 17% positive score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Warner Bros. may not be especially sad, as Batman v Superman (battling its own poor reviews) has grossed a robust $296.6M domestically and $784.3M in worldwide totals in its three weeks in release.
- Falling in behind those two: Zootopia (DIS -0.2%) grossed $14.35M to bring its cumulative domestic total to $296M and worldwide total to $852.5M; and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (NASDAQ:CMCSA) totaled $6.5M in its third week to hit $46.8M domestic, $70.8M worldwide.
- Now read Disney May Be A Long-Term Gem At Current Prices »
Fri, Apr. 8, 6:30 PM
- Michael Cavanagh of Comcast (CMCSA +0.3%) is the nation's best-paid CFO (at least for the moment), according to a regulatory filing.
- Cavanagh earned total compensation of $40.64M in 2015, though he joined the company as recently as May. He received generous awards as part of his recruitment from Carlyle Group, where he had spent less than a year.
- Cavanagh's pay eclipsed that of Brian Roberts -- CEO and son of co-founder Ralph Roberts -- who made $36.2M, still 10% higher than the prior year.
- Outgoing CFO Michael Angelakis, who's still affiliated with Comcast via an investment vehicle, made $20.2M. NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke saw his package decline slightly, to $33.7M.
- Comcast 14A
- Now read Comcast Delivers ARPU Like No One Else »
Thu, Apr. 7, 2:58 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares have jumped into positive ground, now up 1.2%, on news that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is proceeding with a bid for its core assets.
- Shares were down as much as 2.6% today.
- Alphabet unit Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is also weighing its own bid, Bloomberg reports, with interest also showing up from Bain Capital and TPG. Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is still out there as well.
- AT&T (NYSE:T) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are losing interest, Bloomberg also said, with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also deciding it wouldn't bid.
- Verizon might also put in for Yahoo's Japan interests, the report said.
- Updated 3:06 p.m.: After a big spike into positive ground, Yahoo shares have gone negative again, -0.1%. Verizon is said to value the core business at less than $8B, vs. Yahoo's hopes for a $10B valuation, and has engaged three banks.
- Now read Yahoo Should Be At Least $48 A Share »
Thu, Apr. 7, 12:49 PM
- Cablevision (CVC -0.6%), an early pioneer among pay-TV systems in embracing over-the-top services, is now offering Hulu as a dedicated cable TV channel.
- That marks the first time that Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOX/FOXA) is available as a dedicated set-top box feed, accessible through the standard program guide. Competitor Netflix has been available via some pay-TV services for years.
- Cablevision is offering it on its Optimum TV subscriptions on channel 605. It's not a linear feed -- it's on-demand content -- but it puts Hulu on more of an equal footing with premium cable nets for Cablevision customers.
- Now read Is There An Opportunity In The Cablevision Acquisition? »
Thu, Apr. 7, 12:24 AM
- Universal Studios (NASDAQ:CMCSA) today opens the highly anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at its Hollywood theme park with high hopes for a magical boost.
- The new section, five years in the making, is expected to boost attendance to the park by 20-25%, a jolt similar to what Harry Potter attractions did for the company's Orlando park. Thursday's first-day tickets sold out even amid price hikes of 21%.
- VIPs, including execs and some Potter film cast members, took part in a glittering premiere night that featured a performance by John Williams conducting the L.A. Philharmonic.
- Revenues rose 27% to $3.3B in 2015 at the Orlando and Hollywood locations, and Universal has invested $1.6B in the Hollywood facilities, including upgrades to its film and TV studios.
- Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Connecting With Telecom »
Tue, Apr. 5, 9:49 PM
- In cable ratings, CNN (NYSE:TWX) is benefiting from a (let's say) vivid presidential election season, finishing ahead of Fox News in the age 25-54 prime-time demographic this week for the fourth time in seven weeks.
- Fox News (FOX, FOXA), though, prevailed in total day viewers (averaging 1.1M), and was No. 3 among primetime cable viewers, with 1.8M to CNN's 1.2M. MSNBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was behind them, with 965K in prime time and 549K in total day.
- Among the other top five prime-time cablers: basketball-fed TBS, AMC, HGTV (NASDAQ:SNI) and USA Network (CMCSA).
- Meanwhile, Sunday's season finale of AMC's (NASDAQ:AMCX) flagship show The Walking Dead drew 14.2M viewers --great, but still down from the 15.8M who watched last year's finale and the 17.3M who watched last year's premiere.
- Earlier, Jefferies initiated coverage of AMC with a Hold amid concerns that The Walking Dead may have peaked and the network may be a bit dependent on the hit.
- Now read What Does ValueAct See In Fox? »
Tue, Apr. 5, 3:29 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA -0.3%) has set a licensing deal with Walt Disney (DIS -1.7%) that will make both library content and new titles available for purchase by Xfinity TV users.
- The deal covers a wide swath of Disney content, including its eponymous label, Walt Disney Animation Studios (makers of Zootopia), Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disneynature and Touchstone Pictures.
- It's launching with immediate availability of blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in standard and high definitions), and the coming weeks will see the offering fill out with classics as well as new Disney releases.
- Comcast also joins as a participating retailer in Disney Movies Anywhere, a cloud-based "locker" that allows Disney customers to access purchased content across a variety of devices and platforms.
- Now read Disney's Planned Movie And Theme Park Segments Will Boost Shareholder Returns »
Mon, Apr. 4, 6:27 PM
- As a next step in a partnership they advanced last year, NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Vox Media this week will begin cross-selling ads on each others' sites, with both companies' teams selling packages to marketers with their combined sites offered.
- The move is called Concert and it offers an ability to run a customer's ads on about 20 sites collectively reaching more than 150M viewers a month -- and allowing for enticing TV programming/website combo advertising for greater targeting.
- Vox in particular hope to get more media partners to adopt its custom ads, and the two companies expect to better compete with rivals' programmatic offerings as they help advertisers use their own data for targeting purposes.
- Now read DISH And Comcast: A Tale Of Two Growth Strategies »
Mon, Apr. 4, 3:52 PM
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (TWX +0.8%) easily prevailed at the box office for its second weekend despite a falloff of near 70% in grosses from its debut.
- Of course, a dropoff like that hurts less when you log a historic opening. The film grossed $52.4M for the weekend (down from $166M) to top Zootopia (DIS -0.4%), still going strong in its fifth week with $20M.
- Batman v Superman now has $261.5M domestically and $682.9M worldwide. For its part, Zootopia has totaled $276M domsestically and $787.6M worldwide.
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (CMCSA -0.3%) fell off 38% from its opening week to draw $11.1M, slotting in just ahead of the week's biggest new film, God's Not Dead 2.
- Now read Disney's Character-Driven Ecosystem Will Reverse Its Recent Lull And Start Disney Moving Back To New Highs »
Tue, Mar. 29, 11:14 AM
- NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has sold $1B in national ads for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games beginning this August, it said -- a pace that would make it the biggest ever Games in terms of ad sales.
- The network is benefiting from a same-hemisphere competition: Rio time is one hour later than Eastern U.S. time, putting the most visible contests into U.S. prime time television hours.
- The figure includes national broadcast, cable and digital ad sales. Some inventory is sold out, though some prime-time slots are available on broadcast NBC and the cable channels.
- The broadcaster had spent $7.65B two years ago to secure rights to air six Olympics, from 2022 to 2032, locking out other U.S. media companies from bidding.
Mon, Mar. 28, 5:09 PM
- It was a tale of two fortunes at the box office over a U.S. holiday weekend, with Warner Bros. reaping the benefits of a long-awaited superhero launch.
- Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) rose 3.6% today as a critically panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice still rolled to a $166.1M domestic gross and more than $424M globally. That's almost Warner's biggest domestic opening -- final numbers put it just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- and the biggest domestic opening weekend ever in March (passing The Hunger Games' $152.5M).
- The film's having no trouble selling tickets despite negative reviews: Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes still has the film about 29% positive reaction, and it's drawn an (audience-based) CinemaScore of a flat B -- with a B-minus coming form the males that are making up 62% of the film's clientele.
- Meanwhile, Hunger Games studio Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF +1.6%) rose today despite a serious drop-off in receipts for its The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which drew just $9.5M in its second week ($46.6M cumulative). The film's proving a letdown, and there's still another sequel in that series, Ascendant, yet to come in summer 2017.
- Behind the dueling heroes, Zootopia (DIS +0.9%) took second with $23.1M, bringing its domestic total to $240.5M, and a counterprogrammed My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (CMCSA +0.1%) logged $18.1M for the No. 3 spot.
- Previously: IMAX scores big from Batman vs. Superman opening (Mar. 28 2016)
- Previously: 'Batman v Superman' nails box office record (Mar. 28 2016)
Mon, Mar. 28, 1:41 PM
- While Disney sells out its first day in Shanghai, Universal Studios (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is getting ready for their (closer) opening of a high-profile Harry Potter attraction.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens April 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood, topping off what has been a five-year project to upgrade the park. The company has brought in new rides based on Transformers, Despicable Me and Fast & Furious as well as expanding its Simpsons attraction.
- Universal said revenues got a boost in Orlando, Fla., from Harry Potter attractions there. Revenues rose 27% to $3.3B in 2015 at the Orlando and Hollywood locations.
Tue, Mar. 22, 7:42 PM
- Hoops added life to the usual strong lineup of dramas from CBS, lifting the network back to the top in broadcast ratings.
- Buoyed by the NCAA basketball tournament -- it's broadcasting 21 games -- CBS averaged 7.7M prime-time viewers, ahead of NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with 6.2M. ABC (NYSE:DIS) slotted in at No. 3 with 5.6M on average, and Fox (FOX, FOXA) fourth with 3.9M.
- Among cable nets, Fox News Channel was again on top, with 2.57M prime-time viewers on average, followed by also-balling TBS and TNT (NYSE:TWX) with 2.13M and 1.97M respectively; HGTV (NASDAQ:SNI) with 1.74M and AMC (NASDAQ:AMCX) with 1.68M.
- The week's top 10 programs again had a heavy CBS emphasis with five programs, led by NCIS at the very top with 15.1M viewers. NBC marked a Sunday hit with Steve Harvey's children-focused Little Big Shots (13.3M), settling in at No. 2 just ahead of AMC flagship The Walking Dead (12.69M).
Tue, Mar. 22, 3:45 PM
- With the opening of Harry Potter attractions just two weeks out, Universal Studios Hollywood (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is taking advantage with a 21% increase in day pass pricing.
- The Los Angeles park operator raised its one-day use-anytime pass to $115, an unusual move in an era of $5 annual increases. The change comes in conjunction with a drift toward on-demand ticket pricing -- encouraging visitors to plan ahead (and make revenue planning easier) if they want to save money.
- Comcast acknowledged in an employee memo that it had previously underestimated the potential of the Universal theme park business; opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (with a giant castle and broomstick ride) is a sign it's stepping up competition with Disney.
- The new attraction is part of a $1.6B investment in Comcast's Hollywood facilities, including upgrading TV and film studios.
Mon, Mar. 21, 7:25 PM
- In its biggest online retail partnership yet, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has begun selling its triple-play of Xfinity services through a new Amazon.com "Cable Store."
- The deal also includes dedicated customer service for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) customers -- which could prove a notable draw for a cableco that has faced down a rough reputation for service.
- Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) said it was also in talks with Amazon about a retail tie-up, which means there could be company in the Cable Store.
- The Comcast-Amazon partnership came about after about a year of talks, and as with other third-party sales Amazon will take a fee each time it logs a sign-up.
- Amazon helped Comcast reduce the number of interactions it took to finish a transaction, says Comcast cable division chief Neil Smit: “We’re partnering with a company that’s so good at the customer experience -— I think that’s really what excites me."
- Comcast is setting aside some 90 customer representatives trained to receive inquiries about the Amazon sales and provide an answered call inside of a minute.
Comcast Corp. is a media, entertainment and communications company. The company provides video, high-speed Internet and phone services to residential and business customers in the United States. The company operates its business through five reportable segments: Cable Communications, Cable... More
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States
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