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.
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
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. 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. 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. 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, 9:54 AM| Dec. 4, 2014, 9:54 AM | 1 Comment
Nov. 24, 2014, 8:20 AM
Nov. 23, 2014, 8:20 PM
- Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) is talking to media companies about a buyout in the $5B range, according to the New York Post.
- The target deal price is a lush 46% premium over the current market cap on Starz.
- CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) have both shown an interest, say sources.
- If an outright sale isn't worked out, a strategic partnership could also be in the works as Starz looks to edge into the streaming world
Oct. 30, 2014, 8:12 AM
Oct. 30, 2014, 7:37 AM
Sep. 24, 2014, 9:55 AM
- Is 21st Century Fox's (FOXA +0.1%) reported interest in Starz (STRZA +5.4%) just a head fake while it ponders another run at Time Warner (TWX +0.2%)?
- Recent moves by Time Warner look strikingly similar to what might be expected from a company prepping itself for a sale, say some analysts, while Fox's sitdown with Starz is reported to have been just a courtesy.
- Shares of Starz are off their premarket highs, but are still in rally mode as the pay-TV concern could draw interest from multiple bidders.
Sep. 24, 2014, 9:20 AM
Sep. 24, 2014, 7:15 AM
Sep. 24, 2014, 3:21 AM
- 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) met with Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) yesterday to discuss a possible purchase of the company, although a person familiar with the matter says Fox took the meeting as a courtesy.
- While there is no deal yet, a full acquisition of the company would be valued at more than $3.2B, based on Tuesday's closing price.
- Starz has been recently struggling to create original programming, and also lost a deal to Netflix over accessing movies from Disney, which will take effect in early 2017.
Jul. 31, 2014, 7:48 AM
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