In what has become an industry-leading conference, Goldman Sachs once again is holding its annual Communacopia conference. For the 22nd year, the conference will attract the top names in telecommunications, media cable companies and the Internet. Last year the main theme of the conference was the convergence across all of these powerful sectors. It is very likely, after a tremendous year of growth and change in those industries, convergence is again front and center among those attending.
With virtually every company with any influence in the sectors represented at the conference presenting, we looked through the names that may prove to be the most interesting for investors going forward. With huge structural changes emerging, and a healthy cross-pollination between companies for content production, packaging and delivery, the face of communication and entertainment continues to evolve as they are seemingly becoming one. Here are some of the top names appearing at the conference. A solid presentation could give these stocks an immediate lift.
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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has continued to expand its U-verse package for entertainment delivery. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $38, and investors receive a large 5.2% dividend.
AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) supplies niche programming that continues to gain traction with viewers. The consensus price target is $77.
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) has everything from content to delivery, after its purchase of NBC Universal. The consensus price target for the largest cable company in the United States is $51. Investors are paid a 1.8% dividend.
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The Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (IPG) is an interesting name to attend. Formerly known as monster advertising agency McCann-Erickson, it is an integral cog in the entertainment and media machine. The consensus price target is $17.20. Investors receive a 1.7% dividend.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) has cranked out some of this year's top movie box office hits. With the follow up to "The Hunger Games" scheduled for a Thanksgiving release, the company may end the year on fire. The consensus price target is $34.
News Corp. (NWSA) boasts a cable-leading news operation and a host of additional entertainment properties. The consensus target for the stock is $17.30.
Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) has been on fire the past 90 days. The company recently completed a very successful secondary stock offering. The consensus price objective for the stock is $24.
Starz (STRZA) is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ and ENCORE pay-TV networks. Recently spun off from Liberty Media Corp. (LMCA), the company may soon be a takeover candidate for a larger entity hungry for content. The consensus target is set at $24.
TiVo Inc. (TIVO) is the company that brought DVR recording to millions of Americans. The consensus target for the stock is $15.
Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) said recently it is willing to take on more debt to make the right acquisition. That acquisition could be another cable company. The consensus price target is pegged at $126. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend.
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) continues to expand its fiber optic to the house FiOS offering. Like its chief rival, AT&T, the increase in bundled services that include content, phone and Internet is providing strong revenue. The consensus price objective is $54, and investors are paid a stellar 4.4% dividend.
The convergence so talked about at the conference quickly is becoming a reality for the American consumer. In just 15 short years, technology has totally transformed the way we communicate, are entertained and exchange data. The next 15 years could be even more dynamic. Many of the stocks at the Goldman Sachs conference figure to be a big part of that new dynamic.