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Viacom Inc. (VIAB)

  • Dec. 24, 2014, 8:10 AM
    • Media analysts expect an announcement shortly from Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) on how it plans to distribute The Interview online.
    • The options for the movie studio are plentiful - including using a powerhouse tech outlet such as Google (via Google Play or YouTube), Apple, or Netflix.
    • Sony-owned Crackle is also an option as is a deal with a pay-TV operator.
    • What to watch: A successful online launch of the film could have some wider implications for movie studios (LGF, VIAB, VIA, TWX, DIS, FOXA) and theater chains (RGC, CKEC, AMC, CNK) with the industry's mainstream distribution model showing some signs of cracking.
  • Dec. 16, 2014, 1:47 PM
    • The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies opened in many international markets last weekend with an impressive $122.2M haul.
    • The Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) film had strong openings in Germany, France, and Brazil ahead of the U.S. debut scheduled for this weekend.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is up over $334M globally for Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) with China and Japan still untapped.
    • Interstellar from Paramount (VIA, VIAB) became only the 4th film ever to top $100M at IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) theaters.
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  • Dec. 12, 2014, 12:13 PM
    • Time Warner (NYSE:TX) CEO Jeffrey Bewkes speculated on the potential for a mega-merger in the media industry yesterday during a discussion at a conference sponsored by Dealbook.
    • The exec mentioned CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) as two companies that might like to combine within the sector.
    • Time Warner remains very much in the M&A discussion after spurning an $85-per-share offer from 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) earlier this year.
    • "I don’t want to talk about it," says Bewkes after already pointing to the elephant in the room.
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  • Dec. 11, 2014, 7:21 AM
    • Cowen Research forecasts national TV advertising has been flat for the last two quarters on a slowing growth trend.
    • National TV advertising as a percentage of overall advertising has been falling.
    • Related stocks: CBS, TWX, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, AMCX, VIAB.
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  • Dec. 3, 2014, 7:43 AM
    • Americans decreased the amount of daily time spent watching TV by 4.4% Y/Y to 4 hours and 32 minutes in Q3, according to a new report from Nielsen.
    • The amount of time viewing video on the Internet and time-shifted content both rose during the quarter.
    • "What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion," observes Nielsen.
    • This year's upfront ad meetings saw flat sales for broadcast networks and a 6% decline in ad sales for cable networks.
    • Related stocks: NFLX, FOXA, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, SNE, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, DISCA, SNI.
  • Nov. 23, 2014, 8:47 PM
    • Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 earned $123M in the U.S. and $275M globally in its opening weekend, according to estimates from Rentrak.
    • Though the third Hunger Games installment had the strongest debut of the year in the U.S., the movie fell short of the +$150M openings of the first two HG films.
    • Mockingjay's strong showing in key international territories helped make up for the U.S. shortfall.
    • Shares of Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) fell 5.0% Friday as Thursday night's tally for Mockingjay tipped off a sub-$150M weekend.
    • Interstellar showed some strong legs as buzz remained strong for the sci-fi mind-bender. The Paramount (VIA, VIAB) film got a boost as it stayed in most IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) theaters even with Katniss Everdeen unleashed.
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  • Nov. 18, 2014, 9:41 PM
    • Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) will begin tracking TV viewership on online subscription services in December, sources tell the WSJ.
    • The technology used by Nielsen to derive the ratings measurements won't require any cooperation from streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN).
    • The development could help content owners compute the impact of licensing their programming and prevent them from having to negotiate in the dark.
    • Related stocks: TWX, AMCX, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, FOXA, SNE, LGF, VIA, VIAB, RENT.
  • Nov. 16, 2014, 7:57 PM
    • Interstellar had a strong second weekend at the box office, taking in $29.2M in the U.S. and $135.2M globally as positive word of mouth kept interest high.
    • The Paramount (VIA, VIAB) film played in 64 territories.
    • Universal's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Dumb and Dumber To was the top film in the U.S. over the weekend with a $38.1M haul, despite the uncommon 20-year lag between the original and sequel.
    • Though Big Hero 6 had another solid weekend in the U.S. with $36M, the bigger news for Disney (NYSE:DIS) is that its movie business passed $4B in annual global box office receipts for only the second time in history.
    • The top 12 films in the U.S. earned an estimated $135M, up 13% from the corresponding week from a year ago.
    • Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 9:35 AM
    • Execs with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) made some negative comments about Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) during post-earnings commentary.
    • The company says it will increase ad sales outside of the Nielsen-monitored universe after feeling an impact from missing out on some digital/streaming channels.
    • The development could set up well for Rentrak (NASDAQ:RENT).
    • Viacom earnings call webcast
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  • Nov. 13, 2014, 6:53 AM
    • Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB): FQ4 EPS of $1.71 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $3.99B (+9.3% Y/Y) beats by $90M.
    • Press Release
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  • Nov. 12, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Nov. 12, 2014, 10:49 AM
    • There is a harsh take on TV stocks out this morning from Sanford Bernstein.
    • Analyst Todd Juenger thinks the "unprecedented" declines in TV viewership amid SVOD competition will continue.
    • A vicious cycle is in play where content companies sell to streamers in order to make up for lost ad revenue which only accelerates the erosion of the medium.
    • "We believe ad-supported TV is in the early stages of a structural decline." says Juenger.
    • Sanford on TV stocks: CBS (NYSE:CBS) price target reduced to $55, Scripps Network (NYSE:SNI) price target cut to $79, Viacom (VIA, VIAB) downgraded to Underperform from Market-perform, Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) downgraded to Market-perform from Outperform.
    • Related ETFs: PBS
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  • Nov. 11, 2014, 7:24 AM
    • The FCC votes to uphold a previous ruling by its Media Bureau covering the access by third parties to pay-TV contracts.
    • In-person access to the information will open up on November 17 unless programmers win a new court order.
    • FCC statement (.pdf)
    • Related stocks: DIS, CBS, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, SNI, FOXA, CMCSA, CRWN.
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  • Nov. 9, 2014, 9:52 PM
    • Disney Animation's (NYSE:DIS) Big Hero 6 took in an estimated $56.2M during its opening weekend in the U.S. to outpace the debut of Interstellar from Paramount (VIA, VIAB) which also appears to have crossed the $50M level.
    • Interstellar's global box office haul was $130M spread across 63 territories, while Big Hero 6 played in 18 markets to $63.8M.
    • IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) showings accounted for 25% of Interstellar's box office sales and the film is expected to remain a strong draw in the format up until the premiere of the next Hobbit movie on December 17.
    • Big Hero 6 is also tapped to show some legs with no major animated feature due out until November 26.
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 3:00 PM
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  • Oct. 31, 2014, 9:44 AM
    • The U.S. premiere for Interstellar from Paramount Pictures (VIA, VIAB) is set for November 5 with expectations starting to be pushed even higher.
    • Fandango and both report strong advanced ticket sales for the film, while some IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) theaters have added 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. screenings for next Wednesday.
    • Hollywood insiders say the film has the potential to create a must-see-in-theater buzz after director Nolan shot the movie on film to open up the potential to see it in the striking 70mm format.
    • Nolan also pleased the top brass at Paramount by coming in under the production budget of $175M by about $10M.
    • Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
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Company Description
Viacom Inc is an entertainment content company. It connects with audiences in 165 countries and territories and creates television programs, motion pictures, applications, games, consumer products, social media & other entertainment content.