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Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

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  • Today, 6:37 PM
    • Fresh off their vote for re-regulation of Internet transmissions, the five FCC commissioners will be spending mid-March on Capitol Hill answering to the GOP Congress.
    • The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding its hearing March 19, a day after the members are scheduled with the Senate Commerce Committee.
    • The chairmen of the two committees, Greg Walden and John Thune, are backing a bill that would reverse the FCC's Title II reclassification (treating Internet providers more like utilities) and substantively narrow its approach to ensuring net neutrality.
    • Following the 3-2 vote, major carriers indicated their strategy would be twofold: Lawsuits (CMCSA, T, VZ, CHTR worried about "years" of litigation); and legislative action to undo the move, with a cooperative congress apparently ready to act.
    • Other related stocks: CVC, TWC, CTL, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
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  • Today, 5:23 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is in talks to buy ad-tech firm Visible World, The Wall Street Journal is reporting -- a move that could give the omnivorous cable giant a foothold in the growing data-driven targeted ad market.
    • The talks aren't advanced, though, and could end up in more of a partnership. Even so, the discussions are a sign of the times in a TV industry that has been slower to adopt ad technology more common in the digital world.
    • One strength the ad-tech firm boasts is in its ability to quickly customize TV commercials based on very small demographic or geographic divisions.
    • Other cablecos are clients of Visible World, so it's not clear whether they would continue supplying space to a Comcast-owned firm.
    • Any price under discussion is unknown. Comcast wrapped a $320M purchase of FreeWheel last year, picking up ESPN, Fox, Amazon and its own NBCUniversal as clients.
    • Visible World has raised $33M from investors so far.
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  • Yesterday, 9:09 PM
    • Reactions to the FCC's landmark net neutrality vote from the telecom industry were unsurprisingly negative -- though perhaps surprisingly vintage in a few cases.
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) says the move is "certain to lead to years of litigation" and that it doesn't believe provisions "adopted when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president should be stretched to govern the 21st century Internet."
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) -- who had already threatened certain litigation -- is no stranger to weighing in on its policy blog, where today it feared "revisiting the decision, over and over and over": "Instead of a clear set of rules moving forward, with a broad set of agreement behind them, we once again face the uncertainty of litigation, and the very real potential of having to start over – again – in the future."
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- which hastily issued a manually "typewritten" release dated 1934 -- doubled down on their blog with a statement in Morse code.
    • Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) expects the action will "add fees to customer bills, create regulatory uncertainty and lead to years of litigation."
    • Several parties are noting the same key issue: We haven't read the order yet. The details of the document, when they come, are likely only to set off a new round of pointed reactions.
    • More reactions, including the positive side
    • Previously: Facing new broadband era after FCC vote, related stocks stable for now (Feb. 26 2015)
    | 73 Comments
  • Yesterday, 7:14 PM
    • Aereo -- the streaming-TV service that cratered after it lost to broadcasters before the Supreme Court last summer -- hoped to get $4M-$31M at its bankruptcy auction, but were picked clean for less than $2M total by 10 bidders.
    • TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) picked up Aereo's customer list and trademark, and patent risk-management company RPX (NASDAQ:RPXC) got the patents. "We are very disappointed," said Aereo lawyer William Baldiga.
    • Meanwhile in the key litigation, a lower court is determining how much in damages Aereo owes angry broadcasters (DIS, CBS, FOXA, CMCSA), and it's likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
    | Comment!
  • Yesterday, 1:39 PM
    • In the wake of the FCC's new regulations, key telecom and Internet stocks are tracking mostly where they were prior to the vote -- in part due to the fact that the vote's likely outcome was baked in, but also because details (including any late changes) are yet to be published.
    • The FCC majority must review and respond to the dissenters before publishing the result, which they will provide on the Web when it's ready.
    • Key stocks largely unchanged from the morning: Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%), Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.9%), Cablevision (CVC +1.3%), Charter (CHTR -1%), Centurylink (CTL +0.4%), Frontier (FTR +0.9%), Cogent (CCOI -1%).
    • AT&T (T +0.9%); Verizon (VZ +0.4%); Dish Network (DISH -0.6%); DirecTV (DTV +0.1%).
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) -- whose traffic is such that the regulatory difference in its delivery costs may mean as much as $100M/year -- is up 1.6%. Interconnection fees may yet need some clarification.
    • For its part, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) uses its old-fashioned typewriter to put out a press release for "Feb. 26, 1934" warning that rules "written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph" won't work today.
    • Speaking of Verizon: Next up will be lawsuits. Courts invalidated the FCC's last two attempts at net neutrality, most recently in January 2014.
    • Wheeler statement on vote
    • Previously: Report: AT&T, Verizon will sue FCC immediately after reclassification (Feb. 04 2015)
    | 42 Comments
  • Yesterday, 1:01 PM
    • The FCC approves tough net neutrality restrictions on the Internet -- reclassifying broadband services under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- on a party-line vote of 3-2.
    • Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly opposed the measure.
    • To open applause, Chairman Tom Wheeler said the action is an "irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one -- whether government or corporate -- should control free and open access to the Internet."
    • Pai thinks the result of reclassification will be even less competition, and calls the rules a "Kingsbury Commitment for the digital age ... If you loved Ma Bell in the 20th century, you will love Pa Broadband in the 21st."
    • Prior to the key net neutrality vote, the commission voted along the same party lines to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that put restrictions on municipal broadband initiatives.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, TWC, CTL, CHTR, FTR, T, VZ, NFLX, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    • Previously: FCC begins convening for historic net neutrality vote (Feb. 26 2015)
    | 57 Comments
  • Yesterday, 10:29 AM
    • The FCC is ready to begin a meeting at which it plans a historic vote on re-regulating Internet providers, though a bit of the drama has gone out of the vote as Congressional Republicans yesterday conceded approval is likely.
    • That's not to say some things aren't still in flux this morning: Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn is pressing Chairman Tom Wheeler for some more clarity on one part of the proposal, and Google lobbying on the "sender pays" issue has apparently moved Wheeler to last-minute revisions.
    • The vote is expected to end 3-2 in favor of Title II regulation, along party lines.
    • Republican commissioner Ajit Pai continues his full-court press against the rules and will hold his own response press conference after the meeting.
    • Meanwhile, Wheeler's proposal may not go far enough to achieve its goals, if key loopholes remain available to service providers.
    • The FCC will start meeting at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will first vote on whether to pre-empt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee restricting municipal broadband.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 24 Comments
  • Yesterday, 2:50 AM
    • The FCC is expected to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed "net neutrality" rules today, which will regulate broadband providers more heavily than in the past and restrict their power to control download speeds on the web.
    • The vote comes after a year of jostling between net neutrality advocates and cable and telecom companies, which are expected to launch a volley of lawsuits should the new rules be passed.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 66 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 7:38 PM
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  • Tue, Feb. 24, 12:25 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is "optimistic" it will close its $45B acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) in "early 2015," and CEO Brian Roberts' comment on today's earnings conference call that there's "lots of information-gathering" between Comcast and regulators is likely an understatement.
    • Roberts hopes that as soon as the FCC handles this week's vote on re-regulation (a stance he calls "antiquated"), the commission can turn its attention to the TWC transaction.
    • As part of its Cable Communications revenue (up 6.1% to $11.3B), Comcast noted a 9.9% increase in revenue from high-speed Internet (to $2.9B), which outpaced Video (up 1.3% to $5.19B).
    • And while NBCUniversal revenues were up 2.3%, that was mitigated by a revenue slip in filmed entertainment -- down 10.6% to $1.3B -- as home entertainment revenue slipped. Theme parks carried the day for this division, up 30% to $735M.
    • The company dropped some hints about how it might move into WiFi-fueled services, like Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) has, and has deployed about 8.3M hotspots, in-home and outdoors: “We do believe in the asset and [are] working on ways on bringing it to market in the coming months," says Cable CEO Neil Smit, noting it might even evolve into a new business. Comcast has MVNO relationships with Sprint and Verizon.
    • Currently, CMCSA up 1.7%.
    • Q4 earnings
    • Previously: Comcast beats on revenue as cable sales grow 6% (Feb. 24 2015)
    | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 8:30 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has turned higher premarket, +0.1%, after posting Q4 earnings that increased 16.7% (after adjustments) but slightly missed expectations.
    • EBITDA of $5.976B came in slightly higher than the $5.95B expected.
    • Segment revenues: Cable communications, $11.31B (up 6.1%); NBCUniversal, $6.6B (up 2.3%).
    • Customer relationships were up by 178K (up 47% Y/Y). For the full year, customer relationships increased by 358K (up 67% Y/Y).
    • The company is hiking its dividend 11% and will provide exact guidance on buybacks after closing the TWC merger, though it expects to repurchase at least $4.25B.
    • Conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 7:28 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) declares $0.25/share quarterly dividend, 11.1% increase from prior dividend of $0.23.
    • Forward yield 1.72%
    • Payable April 22; for shareholders of record April 1; ex-div March 30.
    • The board approved increase in share repurchase authorization to $10B. The company plans to repurchase $4.25B shares in FY15, balance repurchase will be determined after Time Warner cable merger and divestiture transactions.
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 7:03 AM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA): Q4 EPS of $0.77 misses by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $17.73B (+4.7% Y/Y) beats by $30M.
    • Shares -0.41% PM.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 3:59 AM
    • Republicans are increasing pressure on the FCC to delay Thursday's net neutrality vote, saying the public needs time to see and review the plan.
    • The proposal has been subject to heated battle since Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed reclassifying broadband from a lightly regulated information service to a more strictly overseen telecommunications service.
    • Supporters of the approach say that without such rules, broadband companies could charge tolls to websites for their fastest speeds, while critics say the plan would give the agency the authority to regulate pricing.
    • Related stocks: CMCSA, CVC, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK, DISH, DTV, CCOI
    | 31 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 23, 8:33 PM
    • For the second weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey (NASDAQ:CMCSA) led U.S. box office -- though it's showing substantially less in the way of legs than its actors, with receipts slipping 73% to $23.2M.
    • Blame went to it being an "of the moment" hot-topic viewing, according to analyst Paul Dergarabedian, though there was lackluster word of mouth around its faithfulness to the book -- and its performance is in keeping with other recent female-driven films that plummeted in week two.
    • The film's worldwide take so far is $410.6M.
    • The No. 2 spot went to Kingsman: The Secret Service (NASDAQ:FOXA), with $17.5M to bring its two-week take to $67.1M.
    • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water kept counter-programming its way to No. 3 and $15.5M -- good news for maker Paramount (VIA VIAB), whose Hot Tub Time Machine 2 flopped in its debut with just $5.8M on 2,880 screens.
    | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 23, 5:30 PM
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Company Description
Comcast Corp is a global media and technology company. The Company's business segments are: Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment, and Theme Parks.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States