Nov. 4, 2014, 3:00 PM
- Media stocks are skittish after Discovery Communications lowers guidance and Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen tips off a willingness to play hardball in carriage fee negotiations.
- Decliners: 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) -4.1%, Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) -4.0%, Disney (NYSE:DIS) -1.6%, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) -3.5%, CBS (NYSE:CBS) -3.9%, AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) -3.3%, Lion's Gate (NYSE:LGF) -2.6%.
- The PowerShares Dynamic Media ETF (NYSEARCA:PBS) is -1.1% on the day.
- Previously: Dish Network gains after earnings call bravado
- Previously: Light guidance trips up Discovery Communications
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 MovieTicket.com 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.
Oct. 28, 2014, 12:44 PM
- Viacom (VIA, VIAB) says it will expand the amount of programming it offers on Hulu under the terms of a new deal.
- Series from Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TVLand, Spike, BET, and Logo will all be added to Hulu over the coming weeks.
- Hulu is owned by Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
Oct. 28, 2014, 7:43 AM
- A merger between CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) would create a programming giant with enough appeal to strike better carriage fee deals, reasons Gabelli & Co. analyst Brett Harriss.
- He says a pairing of the CBS network with the Paramount movie studio would also be a profit driver.
- CBS broke off from the Viacom tree in 2006.
- What to watch: The commentary from the analyst is in line with speculation in the industry over significant media mergers being struck. Earlier this week, a potential Alibaba investment in Lion's Gate (NYSE:LGF) was bandied around, while talk of a Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) buyout isn't completely dead.
- Related ETF: PBS
Oct. 15, 2014, 7:52 AM
- Lion's Gate (NYSE:LGF) exec Kevin Beggs delivered a little bit of a thunderbolt during his talk at the Mipcom media conference.
- Beggs says he see very few barriers to entry for more streaming services to pop up in the near future, perhaps even from a tech major.
- He notes that even a $5-$10/per month streaming service doesn't need a huge number of subscribers to break even.
- A host of streaming companies bidding on content could be a positive for Lion's Gate and other studios (VIA, VIAB, SNE, DIS, TWX).
Oct. 10, 2014, 7:43 AM
- The top 40 cable channels have lost 3% of the subscribers over the last four years, according to data compiled by The Wall Street Journal.
- ESPN (NYSE:DIS), TNT (NYSE:TWX), Nickelodeon (NASDAQ:VIAB), USA (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and CNN all shed more than 3% of their subscribers as consumers sought smaller bundles.
- Basic plans with a trimmed list of channels account for 12% of all pay-TV subscriptions, up from a level of 8%-10% just a few years ago.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC.
Oct. 8, 2014, 8:15 AM
- Viacom (VIA, VIAB) is playing hardball with regulators in Canada with a threat to move its networks online if an a la carte sytem is mandated.
- The Canadian government has been making quite a bit of noise over forcing a la carte on the pay-TV industry.
- A+E Networks (DIS, Hearst) has also warned that it will explore strategic options if a pick-and-pay TV environment is established in the nation.
Oct. 8, 2014, 7:26 AM
Oct. 6, 2014, 7:09 AM
Sep. 26, 2014, 5:37 PM
Sep. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
Sep. 10, 2014, 10:30 AM
- Sony (NYSE:SNE) strikes a deal with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) which could be an important boost for its upcoming online TV service.
- Viacom networks (BET, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2 Nickelodeon, Nick Jr.) will be included in Sony's online TV programming on a live basis, as opposed to the delayed-viewing model of Hulu and Netflix.
- More details on Sony's cloud-based TV service are expected to be released in the near future.
Sep. 6, 2014, 8:43 AM
- The "total" yield of a company combines the dividend yield and the buyback yield - that is the yield boost from reducing the total amount of shares outstanding. Together with S&P's Howard Silverblatt, Barron's puts together a list of the top 20 companies in the S&P 500 based on "total" yield.
- While buybacks don't guarantee a strong stock - witness consistent buyback champs like IBM and Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) - Warren Buffett goes to bed at night praying for IBM's share price to go down so the company can buy back more stock for a given dollar amount (though The Oracle has said he doesn't expect this logic to win many fans).
- The flip-side are those companies - financials and energy come to mind - who tend to buy back stock at high prices only to find themselves forced to reissue it at lower prices when times get tough. A consistent plan helps, and Travelers (NYSE:TRV), under CEO Jay Fishman, has been maybe the best example of this - halving the share count since the end of 2006.
- ETFs? The Powershares Buyback Achievers Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PKW) gained 45.6% in 2013, 1,300 basis points better than the S&P 500. Since inception in 2006, it's up an annualized 9%, more than 200 basis points better than the S&P. A newcomer - the Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (NYSEARCA:SYLD) - has beaten the S&P by about 250 basis points since its May 2013 inception.
- The list (ranked in order of "total" yield): ADT, CAM, CF, MOS, MPC, VIAB, GLW, ITW, STX, IBM, NOC, CTL, TRV, VRSN, IR, CCE, KSS, NTAP, HES, DO.
Aug. 28, 2014, 8:59 AM
- Cowen Research analyst Doug Creutz thinks the soft summer box office season this year is evidence of a secular decline in domestic attendance as viewing habits evolve.
- The analysis runs counter to the line of thought of some media analysts who think a weak and uninspiring summer slate is the culprit.
- Creutz points out that the number of summer releases is in-line with historical averages, while box office bulls note tent-poles are spread out throughout the year more than in the past making the summer compare tougher.
- On tap in 2015: Blockbuster releases next year include Star Wars: Episode VII (Lucasfilm), Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel), Fifty Shades of Grey (Universal), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Lionsgate), The Good Dinosaur (Walt Disney Pictures), Bond 24 (Columbia).
- Related stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, LGF, SNE, CMCSA, DIS, VIA, VIAB, IMAX.
Aug. 18, 2014, 11:44 AM
- The top 12 films in the U.S. took in $128.8M over the weekend to mark a 6% improvement over last year's corresponding haul.
- U.S. box office sales for August are on track to set a record for the month.
- The development gives some support to the argument that the weak box office in June and July was tied to a weak slate - not fundamental demand shifts.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (VIA, VIAB) and Guardian of the Galaxy (NYSE:DIS) took in $28.4M and $24.7M, respectively, to dominate the weekend - while Expendables 3 (NYSE:LGF) limped in with a disappointing $16.3M opening.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC, FOXA, DWA.
Aug. 13, 2014, 12:46 PM
- Nielsen ratings for cable TV viewing fell 6.8% in July, while broadcast viewership was off 3.7% for the period.
- The development comes on top of a weak upfront for the fall season which could pressure media companies in 2H, and widespread interest in the World Cup which aired on ABC and ESPN during the month.
- Broadcast viewership Y/Y gains/losses: ABC +3%, Fox -12%, CBS -6%, NBC -2%.
- Cable viewership Y/Y gains/losses by parent: AMCX -15%, FOXA +12%, SNI +2%, DIS +1%, DISCA -9%, VIAB -9%, NBCU (NASDAQ:CMCSA) -11%, TWX -17% A&E -20%.
VIAB vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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