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Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

  • Mon, Sep. 28, 5:56 AM
    • As leaked a couple of weeks back, Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal agreed to the purchase of a majority stake in Universal Studios Japan from Goldman Sachs and other owners of the theme park.
    • “We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. “This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally.”
    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) currently has a majority stake in USJ, the owner/operator of Universal Studios Japan, with remaining shares held by Japanese P-E firms and a U.S. hedge fund. All will be selling more than half of their holdings to NBCUniversal.
    • The deal is expected to close in November.
    • Source: WSJ
    • Previously: WSJ: NBCUniversal considering buying majority of Universal Studios Japan (Sept. 15)
    | Mon, Sep. 28, 5:56 AM | Comment!
  • Thu, Sep. 17, 11:11 AM
    • Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) is up 15.3%, hitting highs it hasn't seen in more than four years, in the wake of its $17.7B deal to be acquired by France's Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY).
    • Shares are trading at $32.90 against Altice's $34.90/share proposal, though analysts are sounding off largely in consensus that there shouldn't be any regulatory issues with the deal. Altice was up nearly 13% in Amsterdam, but has settled down to a gain of 0.8%.
    • Most analysts rate Cablevision a Hold. The combination doesn't surprise Pivotal's Jeff Wlodarczak, but the price does a bit, considering a willing seller and Altice likely the only bidder; he expected a $32.50/share deal.
    • Wunderlich's Matthew Harrigan was surprised the sale happened with this FCC in place; he expected a deal after a new administration, perhaps to Liberty's John Malone or Charter's (and formerly Cablevision's) Tom Rutledge.
    • Michael McCormack at Jefferies thinks Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) or Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) could look at getting into the bidding for Cablevision. He says a synergy target of $900M "looks aggressive" and implies some best-in-class margins.
    • Overall, analysts are taking Altice's Patrick Drahi at his word: The company probably isn't done expanding in the U.S. Likely targets could be any number of telecom assets, including private players like Cox or Mediacom, or CLECs.
    | Thu, Sep. 17, 11:11 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Sep. 2, 4:57 PM
    • Prestige studio Miramax, previously rumored to be exploring a sale, has hired Morgan Stanley to find a buyer, Bloomberg reports.
    • Qatari investment bank QInvest will co-advise on the process, which is said to start formally after the Labor Day holiday. The studio is part-owned by Qatar through the country's sovereign wealth fund.
    • Miramax could be looking for up to $1B after its current owners bought it from Disney for $660M in 2010, and bidders could include streaming services like Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOX, FOXA), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or's Instant Video (NASDAQ:AMZN), or studios like MGM or oft-rumored buyer Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF).
    • Miramax's most recent release is Mr. Holmes, with Ian McKellen as famed detective Sherlock Holmes, and it currently produces From Dusk Till Dawn, the TV adaptation of the film now in its second season on the El Rey network.
    | Wed, Sep. 2, 4:57 PM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 25, 2:25 PM
    • Home-focused Web community Houzz is making its first acquisition in GardenWeb, which it's buying from NBCUniversal (CMCSA +1.5%).
    • Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but GardenWeb originally came to NBCU in 2006, as part of a $600M deal for iVillage when NBCU was still part of GE.
    • Houzz, which has raised more than $200M in funding and was last valued at $2.3B last year, will get millions of discussion threads (with more than 14M discussion posts) in the deal while expanding outside home design to garden design. It's launched its first TV ads this month.
    | Tue, Aug. 25, 2:25 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Aug. 20, 3:39 PM
    | Thu, Aug. 20, 3:39 PM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 18, 4:30 PM
    • Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%) has a deal to acquire This Technology, a multiscreen video company that will help speed its new parent's transition to IP video.
    • Terms were undisclosed. This Technology specializes in dynamic ad insertion and, interestingly, features an alternate content delivery platform that enters play during TV blackouts (such as for sports events).
    • Most of the Denver-based This Technology team will join Comcast's VIPER team in Colorado, with others joining Comcast Wholesale.
    • It's the second significant ad-tech acquisition for Comcast this summer. In June, Comcast announced its deal to acquire Visible World, with an eye surely to highly targeted ZIP code-based ad targeting based on data from set-top boxes.
    | Tue, Aug. 18, 4:30 PM | Comment!
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 4:16 AM
    • Seeking access to younger audiences, Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal is scouting out several new media companies for potential deals, WSJ reports.
    • Comcast has engaged in preliminary discussions with several online publishers including Vice Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider, and has discussed increasing its roughly 14% stake in Vox Media.
    • The talks are all at an early stage and it isn’t clear if any of the deals might come to fruition.
    | Fri, Jul. 24, 4:16 AM | Comment!
  • Fri, Jul. 17, 8:27 PM
    • Miramax, the studio home for prestige films founded by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, is looking for a buyer in a sale it hopes will draw $1B, Bloomberg reports.
    • Investment is coming back to the film sector in a rebound year for movies, and studio owners Colony Capital and Qatar Holding are betting that content-hungry distributors will take an interest in an award-heavy film library, including Oscar winners like Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting.
    • Colony Capital and the Qatar sovereign wealth fund were among the group that bought Miramax from Disney for $660M five years ago.
    • Potential buyers? That could include content-acquisitive streaming services like Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or's Instant Video (NASDAQ:AMZN), or studios like MGM or oft-rumored buyer Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), says Variety's James Rainey. A price of $1B is too steep for some of them, but with low information, it's tough to put a solid value on Miramax.
    | Fri, Jul. 17, 8:27 PM | 23 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 8, 9:00 PM
    • With its failed bid for Time Warner Cable fading into memory, Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) earnings call this month is likely to focus on its performance refocus, growth and other metrics -- including its buyback plans, notes Reinhardt Krause.
    • TWC's sizable cash flows would likely have meant a step-up in stock repurchases by the merged company, while Comcast alone is likely to have mostly used up its existing $10B authorization by the end of the year.
    • In an environment when companies are taking on low-interest debt to fuel buybacks, "With capital intensity decreasing longer term, Comcast could buy back 20% of its market cap in 2015-19 while actually deleveraging," says Barclays' Kannan Venkateshwar.
    • Meanwhile, in M&A, few are expecting Comcast to rebound from the failed TWC deal with more deals. A wireless firm likely isn't in its plans, though an Internet content deal (a la Verizon/AOL) isn't out of the question.
    • New CFO Michael Cavanagh will debut in the July 23 earnings call in a year where the company's TV businesses face pressure even as the stock has hit record highs, with no small help from Universal Studios.
    | Wed, Jul. 8, 9:00 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jun. 17, 3:45 PM
    | Wed, Jun. 17, 3:45 PM | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 17, 8:48 AM
    | Wed, Jun. 17, 8:48 AM | 9 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 12, 5:19 PM
    • Today in telecom consolidation speculation: While Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) have been talking about a deal with upsides for both (and shareholders have driven DISH up 2.6%, TMUS up 1.8% since word broke June 3), they aren't each other's only option.
    • And much of what transpires there depends on T-Mo parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) and what it wants to do with an asset that can command top dollar as perhaps the last attainable big U.S. cell provider.
    • “They’re obviously controlled by a German company who has strategic initiatives, both in Europe and the United States, and they may not be in a position where they want to do anything," Dish chief Charlie Ergen said in a Bloomberg TV interview.
    • From Dish's perspective: It doesn't need to rush, as it's making free cash flow and has time to sit on its large spectrum stockpiles yet. Ergen could look for a sale to Verizon (NYSE:VZ), or break the spectrum off into a separate company with a sale-leaseback. In any case, many deals that seemed well under way have been kiboshed by the mercurial Ergen.
    • Fron T-Mobile's: Deutsche Telekom is reportedly worried about an overvalued Dish and getting too much of that stock. T-Mobile could probably command $49/share in a sale, or a 25% premium, says Gabelli's Sergey Dluzhevskiy. One company that wouldn't blink at that price would be Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) in its own quad-play grab.
    • Altice (OTC:ATCEY), which considered a run at Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), could be a long-shot for T-Mobile, or even Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR). And with AT&T expanding in Mexico, how interesting would it be if América Móvil (NYSE:AMX) pumped up its U.S. presence with Big Magenta?
    | Fri, Jun. 12, 5:19 PM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Jun. 9, 9:33 AM
    • With merger talks ongoing between T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) -- T-Mobile's controlling shareholder -- is reportedly more interested in merging T-Mobile spectrum (TMUS -1.2%) with Sprint's (S +1.1%) than in the Dish combo, The New York Post reports.
    • The stance is centered in the idea of creating a valuable combination that would be more appealing for a sale to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), sources told the paper. Adding Dish Network to T-Mobile makes more sense in the future, but it would kill the chance of a sale to Comcast on regulatory concerns, the sources paraphrased Höttges as saying.
    • There's no word on how he feels about regulatory resistance to combining with Sprint (which reportedly killed such a merger last year).
    • He reportedly told investors at last week's RBC Capital Markets road show that the Sprint combination would create huge value in teaming up when the broadcast incentive spectrum auction begins in early 2016. Sprint and Dish Network both have swaths of spectrum that would help T-Mobile fill in gaps.
    • Previously: Telecom consolidation game may force Sprint's hand (Jun. 05 2015)
    • Previously: Dish Network, T-Mobile up on report of merger talk; Sprint slips (Jun. 04 2015)
    | Tue, Jun. 9, 9:33 AM | 27 Comments
  • Mon, Jun. 8, 3:42 AM
    • While mergers and acquisitions have accelerated sharply since the financial crisis, the government's pace for reviewing proposed deals is slowing.
    • In such deal reviews concluded this year, more than 10 months elapsed, on average, between the transaction's announcement and a yes-or-no decision by the FTC or Justice Department. That's an increase from an average of seven months in recent years.
    • Notables: Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) bid for Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) was pending for 14 months before it was dropped in April. Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) walked away from its deal to acquire Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELY) 19 months after it was announced, while the FTC spent more than a year examining Sysco's (NYSE:SYY) planned acquisition of U.S. Foods before bringing a lawsuit against it in February.
    | Mon, Jun. 8, 3:42 AM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 5, 9:46 PM
    • With cable consolidation in the air, Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) began riding high as another takeout candidate, and CEO James Dolan said onstage at INTX that consolidation needed to happen, ideally market by market.
    • The past two weeks, though, have seen some negative takes from analysts. After hitting a 52-week high on May 26, Cablevision is down 9.2%. Today it gained 1.4% to settle at $24.06.
    • Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock last week at Neutral with a $23 price target, and Credit Suisse launched coverage at Underperform on Wednesday with a $20 target. Citigroup downgraded the shares to Sell on Tuesday.
    • That culminated today with Telsey Advisory Group downgrading the shares to Market Perform as part of a report where analysts Tom Eagan said cable/satellite stocks are trading on M&A activity rather than fundamentals. He maintained a $23 price target for Cablevision.
    • He thinks neither Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) nor Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) would be interested in Cablevision, which he says has struggled with customer growth and operating cash flow facing a 50% overlap with Verizon's FiOS.
    • "We believe that the high-level household penetration of its existing service and the high-level Verizon FiOS overlap caused Cablevision to focus more on growing AOCF than subscribers," Eagan says.
    | Fri, Jun. 5, 9:46 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jun. 4, 3:46 PM
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has agreed to buy ad-tech firm Visible World, giving it a toehold into data-driven ad targeting.
    • The companies were reported to be talking about an acquisition back in February.
    • Visible World helps marketers to send ads to very specific audiences based on ZIP codes based on aggregated data, including that from set-top boxes, and to create customized TV ads based on small demographic or geographic divisions.
    • Still unclear is whether other cable companies, which are clients of Visible World's, would keep supplying space to the firm if it were owned by Comcast outright.
    • At NBCUniversal's upfronts last month, the company said it would start tapping the sea of data from millions of parent Comcast's set-top boxes to enable audience targeting.
    | Thu, Jun. 4, 3:46 PM | Comment!
CMCSA vs. ETF Alternatives
Company Description
Comcast Corp is a 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