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Starz (STRZA)

  • Thu, Apr. 9, 9:08 PM
    • Don't let recent merger challenges and failures fool you, Michael Wolff argues: "M&A mania" is coming to a media conglomerate near you amid pressure for a new wave of consolidation.
    • "Perhaps never before has consolidation been so much the flavor of the month, nor has it seemed so difficult to get a taste," he writes. "The table is set, but nobody's sitting down to eat."
    • If Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fails in its bid for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), he notes, it just means other cablers will step up to match Comcast's ambition, and Comcast will still look for a way to stay dominant.
    • He points to a number of mergers he thinks are easily imaginable: Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and FOX? Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)? TWC and Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR)? Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and, well, most anyone (Disney, Fox, CBS)?
    • Factors encouraging the wave: Media's all about video now, and the pure-play aspect makes merger logic cleaner; distribution and content are separate and now even antagonistic businesses; the growth of over-the-top means not unbundling but re-bundling; and everyone needs scale for negotiation strength in content and ad deals.
    • Other key players: John Malone (LMCA, LBTYA, STRZA); Verizon (NYSE:VZ); Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF); Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI); Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX); DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and AT&T (NYSE:T); Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
    | Thu, Apr. 9, 9:08 PM | 17 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 30, 5:10 PM
    | Mon, Mar. 30, 5:10 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Mar. 9, 8:04 PM
    • Don't be surprised if there's more to John Malone's tie-up with Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), says Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei -- but don't count on it either.
    • Speaking to Deutsche Bank's Media, Internet & Telecom conference, Maffei hinted that Liberty Chairman Malone joining the Lions Gate board as part of a Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) stock swap would help both parties get to know each other.
    • “You need to have partnerships, you need to do more,” Maffei said. “Whether that ultimately leads to acquisitions ... you need to be able to do more with bigger people.”
    • Maffei says HBO's rollout of its streaming service bodes well for Starz, demonstrating how to distribute product in more ways, though "I think we can do it in a way that is in conjunction with our cable, telco, and satellite partners. which is attractive."
    • Previously: Starz, Lions Gate deal may presage closer relationship (Feb. 11 2015)
    • Previously: Lions Gate adds Liberty's Malone to board in Starz stock-swap deal (Feb. 11 2015)
    | Mon, Mar. 9, 8:04 PM | Comment!
  • Wed, Feb. 25, 8:10 AM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) beat on top and bottom lines for Q4 as it continued to segue from a chiefly movie-based program provider into more original series and alternate distribution methods.
    • Adjusted OIBDA up 27% to $148.3M; operating income up 31% to $136.1M.
    • Revenue breakouts: Starz Networks, $332.6M (up 3%); Starz Distribution, $85.6M (up 2%). For the full year, Starz Networks revenue was up 1% to $1.312B; Starz Distribution revenue slipped 28.5% to $321.5M, on fewer new releases from Weinstein Company and Starz Original series.
    • For the quarter, STARZ subscriptions were up by 800K, ENCORE subs up by 300K.
    • Full-year STARZ subs were up by 1.1M to 23.3M total; combined STARZ/ENCORE subs of 57.3M.
    • The company expects 70 episodes of scripted series in its Starz Originals slate this year and extended its distribution deal with the Weinstein Company through 2020. Starz launched channel packages on Google Chromecast and Xbox One.
    • Conference call at 1 p.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | Wed, Feb. 25, 8:10 AM | Comment!
  • Wed, Feb. 25, 7:36 AM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA): Q4 EPS of $0.74 beats by $0.21.
    • Revenue of $425.6M (+2.6% Y/Y) beats by $2.35M.
    • Press Release
    | Wed, Feb. 25, 7:36 AM | Comment!
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 5:30 PM
  • Wed, Feb. 11, 6:29 PM
    • The deal John Malone struck to get a board seat and 3.43% of Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) might be just the beginning for Malone's Starz network (NASDAQ:STRZA), Miriam Gottfried notes.
    • TV networks are entering a new, shaky era of consolidation and direct-offer channels using the Internet, but Starz lacks the benefit of size and has struggled to produce hits.
    • As a stand-alone studio, Lions Gate could benefit from getting closer to Starz and its steady cash flow, or even merging.
    • The network has been for sale since spinning off from Liberty in 2012, though its CEO tossed cold water on takeover prospects just last month.
    • Today: LGF +9.2% (and +0.3% after hours); STRZA +3.5%.
    | Wed, Feb. 11, 6:29 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 11, 9:20 AM
    • Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) is up 6.4% premarket with a stock exchange agreement that adds Liberty's John Malone to its board.
    • The deal has Lions Gate exchanging 3.43% of its common stock for 4.51% of stock in Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) held by Malone, who says the transaction "creates the potential for a number of strategic opportunities around the world" with LGF.
    | Wed, Feb. 11, 9:20 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Jan. 26, 12:33 PM
    • Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) will report Q4 results on Feb. 25.
    • The conference call is scheduled to begin at 1.00 p.m. ET.
    • Consensus view is EPS of $0.53 on revenues of $424.30M.
    | Mon, Jan. 26, 12:33 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Jan. 20, 7:59 AM
    • Morgan Stanley upgrades Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) to an Overweight rating from Equalweight.
    • Analysts with the investment firm set a $32 price target on shares.
    • M&A remains in the background of the discussion on Starz with several Chinese conglomerates and tech giants seen as hungry for a content acquisition.
    • STRZA +1.8% premarket.
    | Tue, Jan. 20, 7:59 AM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jan. 8, 8:33 AM
    • Shares of Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) are on watch after the company's CEO made a firm pronouncement on the odds of a takeover during his chat at the Citi 2015 Internet, Media, and Telecommunications Conference yesterday.
    • "I've never looked at Starz being acquired as a great end result," said Chris Albrecht.
    • A stand-alone Starz appears to still be the primary goal of managment.
    • Albrecht has a solid explanation for how the rumors on CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Lions Gate being on the hunt for Starz got started - noting bankers trying to disrupt deals for other bankers are the culprits.
    • "This is one incestuous giant mess that results in me sitting and reading something about the company I run," laments the exec.
    • Conference webcast
    | Thu, Jan. 8, 8:33 AM | Comment!
  • Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
    • Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
    • Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
    • Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
    | Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 9, 2014, 11:09 AM
    • Starz (STRZA +0.3%) CEO Chris Albrecht gave some evasive answers to questions on buyout talks during his appearance at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference this morning.
    • "There are only about 10 of us left in the media business... We travel in a pack and we’re always talking to each other," noted the exec.
    • Other highlights from the presentation include a strong defense of the decision not to license content to Netflix and a rundown on the strength of the original programming slate at Starz.
    • By all appearance, Starz appears to be staying firmly inside the pay-TV system if it isn't swallowed up.
    • UBS conference webcast
    | Dec. 9, 2014, 11:09 AM | Comment!
  • Dec. 5, 2014, 9:16 AM
    • A bet on Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) at its current level factors in a takeover, warn some media analysts who think valuation is too high.
    • The loss of exclusive rights to Disney movies in 2016 makes pinning a number on Starz problematic, they note.
    • Several entertainment giants are reported to have walked away from the $5B takeover price Starz wants.
    • The bull camp thinks strong original programming from Starz gives it upside.
    • Starz (STRZA) was upgraded by Macquarie to an Outperform rating from Neutral.
    • STRZA +2.2% premarket to $28.37.
    | Dec. 5, 2014, 9:16 AM | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 4, 2014, 3:33 PM
    • Starz (STRZA -3.8%) still has considerable potential to be purchased by a larger media company despite CBS walking away, writes Congress Wealth Management CIO Peter Andersen.
    • Anderson thinks Comcast (CMCSA -1.5%) or 21st Century Fox (FOXA +1%) might be interested in pulling the trigger near the expected Starz deal price of $5B.
    | Dec. 4, 2014, 3:33 PM | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 4, 2014, 9:54 AM
    • A deal for CBS (CBS -1.1%) to buy Starz (STRZA -1.4%) won't materialize, sources tell CNBC.
    • Shares of Starz have a little bit of takeover premium baked in due to ongoing speculation over a sale.
    • Lions Gate (LGF -1.1%) has also been mentioned as a potential Starz buyer.
    | Dec. 4, 2014, 9:54 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Starz is a media and entertainment company. It provides premium subscription video programming to U.S. MVPDs, including cable operators, satellite television providers and telecommunications companies.