|Bid||136.51 x 800|
|Ask||136.97 x 800|
|Day's Range||135.72 - 137.07|
|52 Week Range||100.35 - 147.15|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.73|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||17.61|
|Earnings Date||Nov 6, 2019 - Nov 11, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.76 (1.29%)|
|1y Target Est||151.77|
Apple Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. could have merged had Steve Jobs not died, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger believes.
Roku (ROKU) shares closed down almost 14% on Wednesday as social media giant Facebook (FB) announced that they would be jumping on the streaming bandwagon.
Walt Disney World's Epcot will say farewell to its IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at the end of this month and welcome a new production. Epcot Forever will debut on Oct. 1 at the theme park and introduce a series of new elements to the nighttime show that appear to be a must-see for guests. "Epcot Forever will be an all-new, limited-time spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers and choreographed special effects kites," said a post on the Disney Parks Blog.
With new details pouring in about forthcoming digital video services from Apple Inc. and NBCUniversal, and blockbuster licensing deals at Netflix Inc. and HBO Max, the streaming wars are heating up. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has thrown down the gauntlet with plans to launch on Nov. 1 at a price point of $5 per month — or free for a year for subscribers who buy an Apple device.
Georgia Tech doesn’t rely on four meager cameras anymore to capture sports action around campus. Now the school has 23, and they’re all operated out of a new state-of-the-art broadcast production facility. ACC Network launched its 24/7 linear channel on Aug. 22 and delivered its first football broadcast in Clemson a week later.
Cable is at the end of its market cycle as streaming services enter the growth phase. Media firms are pivoting to remain competitive in the evolving digital economy.
Cable is at the end of its market cycle as streaming services enter the growth phase. Media firms are pivoting to remain competitive in the evolving digital economy.
Theme parks are well known for raising admission each year with Orlando's two major operators already over $100 for a single-day ticket.
Facebook is preparing to challenge Roku in the video streaming device market as the social media giant looks to a future beyond advertising.
The long-awaited rally in Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) stock finally has arrived. Activision Blizzard stock plunged in last year's fourth quarter and spent the first seven-plus months of 2019 trading sideways. Of late, however, ATVI has been on fire.Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com Indeed, as of Aug. 14, ATVI stock was down 2.8% year-to-date. Since then, its chart shows that Activision Blizzard stock is up 18% year-to-date. The launch of "World of Warcraft Classic" on Aug. 27 appears to have provided a particular boost of late.But the long-term problem for Activision Blizzard that I highlighted back in 2017 still holds. This is not a company that has posted significant earnings growth this decade.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsATVI stock has gained nicely, to be sure -- and its earnings per share have risen nicely. But that EPS growth has come from three catalysts. First, Activision Blizzard made a huge share repurchase from stakeholder Vivendi (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) at less than $14 per share, a quarter its current price. Second, tax reform increased after-tax income. And, third, the acquisition of King Digital appears to have been a smashing success.The core product portfolio, however, has driven minimal earnings growth for years now. Until and unless that changes, the rally in ATVI stock is going to come to an end. ATVI's Growth Problem ContinuesBack in 2010, Activision Blizzard posted non-GAAP net income of $991 million. 2019 guidance suggests a much higher figure: $1.4 billion.On its own, that number isn't all that impressive. It's a 58% increase total -- or about 5.1% annual growth. But consider two other factors. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip First, Activision Blizzard's tax rate has come down. The non-GAAP figure was 29% in 2010 and was guided to 20% this year on the second-quarter conference call. That alone created over 12 percentage points of growth. Second, Activision acquired King, whose 2015 net profit was over $600 million. Activision Blizzard's total growth in nine years is less than that.The two biggest hits in the Activision Blizzard portfolio -- "World of Warcraft" and "Call of Duty" -- seem to have been relatively stagnant. Elsewhere, performance has been mixed. "Candy Crush" continues to grow, as it and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) prove there's more life in social gaming than skeptics believed.But "Overwatch" revenues, according to ATVI's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, declined in both 2017 and 2018. "Diablo" has been solid, but not quite a hit. The same likely is true for "Hearthstone." "Skylanders" went on hiatus in 2017, despite the fact that Disney (NYSE:DIS) discontinued "Infinity" the year before.Qualitatively, the portfolio seems to have some holes. Even with the launch of Classic, "World of Warcraft" seems long in the tooth. The same is true for "Call of Duty." Elsewhere, there isn't anything that really qualifies as a hit. And that seems like a problem given that Activision Blizzard stock now is trading at over 27 times its 2019 EPS guidance. Where's the Catalyst for Activision Blizzard Stock?If that's the case, why has ATVI stock rallied? As noted, "World of Warcraft Classic" has posted big numbers, and that appears to have helped lately.But Wall Street also has turned bullish in recent weeks. Activision Blizzard stock has received multiple upgrades this month alone. The "World of Warcraft" re-launch and the new "Overwatch" game for the Nintendo (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) Switch both seem to be helping.The Street sees 2019 adjusted EPS of $2.19 against $2.02 guidance, given Activision Blizzard's long-running penchant for sandbagging its guidance. 2020 consensus implies 15% growth next year.That said, the rally of late seems to have incorporated that good news. Even backing out net cash, ATVI stock trades at over 21 times forward earnings. The average Street target price is $56.21, less than 1% above Monday's close of $55.78.And the re-launch of old products might help 2019 and 2020 numbers -- but they don't do much for 2021 and beyond. This still is a company that needs a hit. It hasn't really had one this entire decade (depending on how an investor feels about "Overwatch"). The company can only go for so long milking existing franchises and cutting costs, as it did with layoffs earlier this year.Esports often is cited as a catalyst, but this is a company with a $42 billion market cap. "Overwatch" franchise fee costs of $50 million don't necessarily move the needle all that much. Activision Blizzard, and Activision Blizzard stock, need another big-time game. At least at the moment, there doesn't appear to be one on the horizon. The Case for ATVI StockTo be sure, it's possible that the existing base is enough, or close. Activision Blizzard can keep repurchasing shares. Esports will help. The re-launches should as well. Investors still look reasonably bullish on video games.But investors at the moment should also heed the lesson of rival Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA). EA stock saw a big rally earlier this year when "Apex Legends" opened big. But the initial buzz faded, and so did Electronic Arts stock. It's down about 7% from those levels in roughly seven months, during which time the broad market has gained and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) has bounced some 40%.And it's worth noting that, backing out its cash, EA stock trades at less than 17 times 2020 consensus EPS, a large discount to ATVI stock. It wouldn't be stunning to see a similar story play out with Activision Blizzard stock. Fading "World of Warcraft Classic" numbers remove the catalyst from the stock. Forward multiples compress below 20 times. And ATVI heads back below $50. That's probably not enough for a short case -- but it's certainly enough to be careful after the rally of the past few weeks.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Beware the Rally in Activision Blizzard Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Kizuna Ai, the most popular streamer in Japan, is an anatomically exaggerated, perpetually adolescent girl in frilly thigh-high socks and a pink hair ribbon. She’s also an entirely virtual character, given life by the actions and voice of an invisible actress.In the home of anime and “Ghost in the Shell” futurism, millions now follow Kizuna Ai online, and that success has spawned thousands of copycat acts and a cottage industry catering to so-called virtual YouTubers, or VTubers. Defying the Western streamer blueprint of young male gamers like PewDiePie and Ninja, Japan has invented a new class of streaming star that’s equal parts digital avatar and interactive anime.“What separates VTubers from regular anime characters is that you can believe they actually exist,” said Takeshi Osaka, founder of Activ8 Inc., the Tokyo-based company behind Kizuna Ai. “That presence is an important part of what makes them so appealing.”Sidestepping the labor-intensive and time-consuming process of traditional animation -- ill-suited to the fast-paced world of YouTube content -- Activ8 uses Hollywood-grade motion capture equipment to crank out music videos, skits and game streams just about every day for more than 4 million subscribers.The technology allows Kizuna to interact with fans in real time at exhibitions, give interviews on live TV and perform in concerts. It’s a virtual influencer that can patronize real-world events.While Activ8 doesn’t disclose technical details, its product is an almost seamless combination of lifelike movements, gestures and facial expressions, all of which contribute to the suspension of disbelief.“The innovation here is in how they combine real-time 3D computer graphics, motion capture and video streaming sites like YouTube to create two-way interactions with audiences,” said Eiji Araki, a senior vice president at Gree Inc. who heads a division specializing in VTubers.Kizuna Ai debuted on YouTube in December 2016 and was responsible for coining the term “VTuber.” The technology that opened the door for its many imitators arrived that same year, in the form of the first commercial virtual reality goggles. Designed to do precise head and hand tracking, the VR kits from Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and HTC Corp.’s Vive turned out to be perfect animation rigs for VTuber aspirants on a budget. With free-to-use animation engines and 3-D models from the likes of Unity Technologies, anyone could create a virtual puppet studio for cheap in their living room.Virtual Beings Get Real With First Emmy From HollywoodIt’s no accident that VTubers found fertile ground in Japan. The country has a long history of user-generated content centered on anime, and performances by virtual idols like Hatsune Miku have drawn real-world crowds for more than a decade. While international audiences may prefer more photorealistic characters -- which are more difficult to create and animate -- their Japanese counterparts raised on comic book heroes have no problem with cartoonish looks.The VTuber phenomenon has so far been almost exclusively Japanese, however its underlying technology and formula of combining popular culture with increased interactivity -- and thus believability -- are universal. And Activ8 already has ambitions to expand its VTuber portfolio beyond Japan.While Japan’s global tech leadership may have faded since the days of the Walkman, its trendsetting habits remain strong in the gaming realm. Three out of four gaming consoles sold in the world today are made by Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp., while free-to-play mobile games are taking over the globe with monetization techniques pioneered by Japanese companies. And then there are globally beloved game series like Super Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter and Pokémon. Anime, another major Japanese cultural export, is a $20 billion industry whose products range from Oscar-winning high-brow works by Hayao Miyazaki to action-packed light entertainment like “Battle Angel Alita,” which recently got a Hollywood remake. VTubers are a cross between these two Japanese pastimes.Market researcher User Local Inc. estimates there are now over 9,000 VTuber channels. The most popular ones are produced by a handful of professional studios like Activ8, each managing dozens of characters. In the space of less than three years, virtual streamers have morphed from an obscure subculture to a big business. Kizuna Ai can now be found in ads for instant cup noodles and eye drops, appearing at local carrier SoftBank Corp.’s launch event and helping the Japan National Tourism Organization’s promo campaigns.“There is no doubt that this will change the future of entertainment,” said Hironao Kunimitsu, the founder of Gumi Inc., an early investor in Activ8 and about 70 other VR startups. He cautions, however, that “for this type of content to resonate outside of Japan, it will have to be adapted to local tastes and sensibilities.”For now, Japanese VTubers are taking the path of least resistance and exporting their characters to China’s large and underserved anime market. Activ8 earlier this year introduced a Chinese version of Kizuna Ai, changing its dress and voice, and now it has close to 820,000 followers on the country’s Bilibili video-sharing service.Ultimate success for Activ8’s chief means making it into Hollywood, which is already a well-trodden path for Japanese gaming franchises like Resident Evil, Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog. Given the world’s appetite for Japanese culture, VTubers might not even have to dilute their product very much.“I started this virtual entertainer business because I believe it can be done worldwide,” Osaka said. “Our goal is to become the next-generation Disney.”To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Yuki Furukawa in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad Savov, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
2019 is shaping up to be quite the year in the battle for America's streaming market. Almost every week there's some big piece of news. Different competitors are launching new services, price points, content, hardware, and the like quite regularly.Source: Shutterstock Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the latest entrant, as it has just revealed plenty of details about its Apple TV+ service which will launch later this fall. What will it mean for Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock?Apple isn't the only streaming company making news. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) just announced its latest big move, grabbing the streaming rights for "Seinfeld," starting in 2021 from Sony (NYSE:SNE).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn a highly competitive market, what is Disney doing to stay ahead of the field? Disney Ties Up With Microsoft, Breaks Up With AppleLast week, as Apple was rolling out its TV offering, one of its board members stepped down from their role. Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, was the departing member. With Apple and Disney now in direct competition, it no longer made any sense for Iger to help oversee Apple's affairs. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip As Disney distances itself from Apple, it's moving in another direction. Variety reported that Disney and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have reached an agreement to work together on a cloud solution using Azure to help Disney produce movies more easily.Disney specifically picked Microsoft because it was focused on the media space. However, unlike rivals, it hasn't been accused of looking at people's data to try to refine their own content. By contrast, who knows what data Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) might harvest for use in its original content if Disney had picked Amazon Web Services. Apple's Streaming Threat to DISIt appears that the streaming wars will end up having a major impact on tech hardware producers as well. Apple's latest moves around Apple TV+ suggest as much.Apple will be giving out a free one-year trial to its Apple+ TV service. Analysts expect this to have a negative impact on Apple's earnings. Goldman Sach's analyst, Rob Hall, for example, slashed his price target from $187 to $165 on AAPL stock. Hall suggested that this trial will work, in effect, as a $60 reduction in the sales price for new Apple hardware, significantly lowering the company's average selling price for new products.Apple, for what it's worth, disputed Hall's assessment of the situation and said there would be no significant impact to the company's financials as a result of its Apple TV+ promotion. One certain impact for Apple, however, is that it is losing any friendly ties with Disney. Disney Can Partner With a Variety of Hardware MakersRegardless, Apple's move raises an interesting point for Disney stock. Amazon has long been lumping services together within Prime to try to drive more customer stickiness. Now it seems that Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG), among others, may rely more heavily on cross-subsidizing its various products and services.This gives Disney a real opportunity as it has a ton to offer hardware producers. It can deliver video, audio (it has Disney Radio and Records among other things), games, and tons of other IP. Yet Disney itself is more hardware-agnostic. This allows it to partner with various TV, phone, and other electronics markers to offer packages emphasizing native Disney content.While Microsoft is not strong in hardware outsize of video games at the moment, Disney's partnership with them shows potential. Disney can work with companies like Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei, and other giants that don't have competing content services.Meanwhile companies like Apple and Amazon that try to control both hardware and content will find themselves increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. Especially given the increasing anti-trust concerns, it seems unlikely that conditions will allow one ecosystem to dominate everything as much as, say, the iPhone did in the past. This gives Disney's streaming a leg up on the offerings from the big tech companies. Disney's Top Rival Is Still NetflixEven with all the excitement out of Apple and Amazon, among others, Disney stock owners shouldn't sleep on the company's biggest rival in streaming: Netflix. We have seen a lot of people saying that Netflix has peaked and that rivals will overtake it soon. I say critics have exaggerated the death of NFLX stock. Netflix is still spending an ever-increasing amount of money on licensing and original shows and movies -- its all-in content budget is up to $15 billion this year. On top of that, Netflix is spending almost $3 billion annually on marketing.With that sort of growth engine in place, it's fanciful to write Netflix off as a serious competitor yet. For people that were doubting Netflix's staying power, particularly with 30-and-40 something viewers after it elected to let "Friends" leave the platform, the arrival of "Seinfeld" should put these concerns to rest. Netflix still has the budget and appetite to go get blockbuster franchises.DIS stock owners need not worry too much. If there's any content player with a library that matches up favorably to Netflix, it's Disney. However, Netflix's huge overseas presence including a ton of locally-relevant content for individual foreign markets will keep Netflix as a top rival to Disney going forward.Like Disney, Netflix doesn't have internal conflicts of interest between hardware and streaming services. That said, Disney could be a better partner for other neutral tech firms than Netflix. It has a much wider array of intellectual property and tangible assets beyond just film and video. Disney Stock VerdictI have long been skeptical of how the streaming battle will play out. It seems like everyone is destined to lose money, at least in the short-run. Pricing on many of these services is very low, and operators are paying exorbitant amounts of money to bring in fresh content. Disney's entries into this space -- like Netflix -- won't be a cash cow from day one.But the eventual winner in this space will be a company willing to play the long game. Disney's combination of a huge range of assets, a strong balance sheet, and its independence from other tech firms give it a strong hand to play. In addition, its aggressive pricing shows it is willing to match Netflix with solid marketing and customer engagement efforts of its own.I don't expect streaming to power overnight success for DIS stock, but I'm warming up to the company's long-term strategy for the streaming wars.At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek held no positions in any of the aforementioned securities. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Disney Stock May Have a Secret Weapon in the Streaming Wars appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The Walt Disney Company announced today the pricing information of the previously announced cash tender offers of Disney and its indirect subsidiary, 21st Century Fox America, Inc.
You may cherish your Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) device to meet your entertainment needs. But unless you want to get played by shares on the price chart, now is not the time to purchase ROKU stock. Let me explain.Source: AhmadDanialZulhilmi / Shutterstock.com I love my Roku streaming stick. I cut the cable cord with my first Roku device more than six years ago and have never looked back. Now, and with more and more people making the same switch, the future continues to look very good for ROKU.Roku's hardware is the overwhelming platform of choice when watching streaming content from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Hulu and the soon-to-launch Disney+, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime and AT&T's (NYSE:T) HBO Now. And that's great news.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsStill, that doesn't mean there are threats that Roku stock can completely ignore.Front and center, there's always the possibility of competition for the Roku stock price. Others like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have and will continue to try and muscle in on Roku's action. Speaking of which, the tech giant is fighting back once again with the introduction of Apple TV+ and a slew of less-expensive, high-quality original programming for consumers. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip There's also the market itself to be cautious of when it comes to investing in ROKU.A bit more than a month into a confirmed rally, the S&P 500 has clawed its way back up to an all-time-high this past week as the market moves into the second half of a seasonally difficult September and ever closer to the notorious calendar month of October. And that could have seriously implications for a growth name like Roku stock and its price chart, which is already looking technically suspect for today's buyers. Roku Stock's Weekly ChartIf ever there was a mover and shaker on the price chart, ROKU would undoubtedly be in the running for top honors. That said, volatility is a two-way street. And while just a short time ago shares of Roku could have been played profitably for upside momentum, today is a very different story and the odds are stacked against bullish investors.As the weekly chart shows, Roku shares have established a confirmed bearish engulfing candlestick. Coupled with an incredible market-leading rally off its August bottom, a stratospheric 2019 for shareholders, an overbought and bearish stochastics crossover and technical support well below today's ROKU stock price, bullish investors need to wait before buying.Given the potentially treacherous near-term environment for ROKU, my suggestion is to watch for a leg down into or between the first couple support zones from roughly $127-$130 and $116-$119 for bottoming. A challenge of those key price areas on the Roku stock chart offers investors an opportunity to buy into a great name after a minimum, but much-needed correction of at least 25%.I'd also recommend that instead of simply trying to catch a falling knife into a support zone, investors should wait for the weekly stochastics to support the potential for a bottom. Lastly, locating a reversal pattern -- not unlike those formed in December, April and early August -- makes a good deal of sense before buying Roku stock.Investment accounts under Christopher Tyler's management do not currently own positions in securities mentioned in this article. The information offered is based upon Christopher Tyler's observations and strictly intended for educational purposes only; the use of which is the responsibility of the individual. For additional market insights and related musings, follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post The Bull Market in Roku is Over -- For Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Netflix stock has reached deep support, while extreme relative strength readings raise the odds for a bounce that rewards well-timed positions.
When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the iPhone 11 -- and a handful of other new iPhone models -- last week, some analysts were disappointed by the absence of a 5G iPhone. Others were more excited by news that Apple TV+ will launch Nov. 1 at $4.99 per month, setting it up as a competitively priced rival to Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Disney+ and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). In this episode of Matt McCall's "Moneyline" podcast, he shares his takeaways from the launch event and his bigger picture insight on Apple stock and 5G investing.McCall isn't worried about the lack of a 5G iPhone. Heck, he knows 5G is right around the corner, and Apple's devices will be leading the way. For example, as a long-time Apple Watch wearer, McCall is confident that future iterations of the smart watch will be big players in 5G connectivity. He predicts that Apple users with chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes will be able to get accurate, real-time updates on their health stats thanks to 5G smart watches.Want further proof of Apple's upside potential? AAPL stock is just 6% off all-time intraday highs in the days following its hardware event. Apple's promising future in 5G investing is just one of many reasons why AAPL is among McCall's favorite stocks.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips McCall's PodcastLooking for more ways to play 5G investing? In this episode Matt McCall interviews Defiance ETFs President Paul Dellaquila, who helped launch the first ever 5G exchange-traded fund product. According to Dellaquila, the Defiance 5G Next Gen Connectivity ETF (NYSEARCA:FIVG) was designed to take a longer-term view of 5G. The ETF's components are all companies he believes will benefit in huge ways over the next few years. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Interested in the FIVG ETF? Its top holdings include Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS), Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI), Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK). Think about how Netflix and some of the big names in the semiconductor business jumped in the years following the advent of 4G. To McCall and Dellaquila, investors must think outside the box in terms of the internet of things and broader 5G trend if they want to see big returns down the line.Beyond 5G iPhones, McCall expects to see the $53 trillion trend play out in autonomous vehicles -- picture a connected web of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) cars. Just like with the Apple Watch, 5G will bring connected healthcare. It will also simply mean faster video streaming on mobile devices. If you want to learn more, join McCall as he walks through the history of 3G, 4G and now 5G technology and what it means for your investing strategy.Tune in to "Money Line" for more of McCall's analysis on 5G investing, the FIVG ETF and everything you need to know about the Apple hardware event.Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors -- by getting them into the world's biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being "first" gave Matt's readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post VIDEO: Make 5G Investing Plays Like the Pros appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Microsoft's (MSFT) IoT initiatives aimed at providing robust tools and platform to developers, and strengthening partner base will aid it in improving overall performance.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- AT&T Inc. is a very different company today from the wireless-service provider it was five years ago. CEO Randall Stephenson, who transformed AT&T by acquiring pay-TV and media assets such as HBO, is now eyeing retirement. It raises the question of whether the man who appears to be the next in line – John Stankey, another three-decade veteran of the phone business – is the right person for the job.Stephenson, who has been at the helm since June 2007, is interested in stepping down as soon as next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unnamed sources. For much of his 37 years at the telephone giant, Stephenson has worked alongside Stankey, who he’s been priming to take over as the next CEO. While speaking at an investor conference Tuesday morning, he praised Stankey’s leadership, saying that he would have to be on “the very short list of people” who could run AT&T’s diverse set of businesses. But Stankey has also emerged as a controversial figure within AT&T, so much so that his recent promotion to the role of chief operating officer is largely what motivated Elliott Management Corp. to press ahead with an activist investor campaign, according to people familiar with the shareholder’s thinking. (Last week, Elliott sent a public letter to AT&T’s board calling for it to review ways to improve earnings and the stock price.)AT&T may benefit from running a broader search for Stephenson’s replacement, and outside pressure led by Elliott may give the board one more reason to do so. The $273 billion company could use someone with more expertise in growing media properties and who’s willing to part with weaker assets that are serving as distractions. While wireless data plans and business connectivity services still drive the bulk of AT&T’s profits, the company generates half its revenue elsewhere, such as pay-TV subscriptions, cable networks and the box office.Under Stephenson, 59, AT&T morphed into a communications and media conglomerate through the 2015 acquisition of DirecTV for $67 billion, followed by last year’s $102 billion takeover of Time Warner, a business unit now called WarnerMedia. Stankey, 56, is in charge of WarnerMedia, in addition to his new duties as COO of AT&T. During Stephenson’s tenure, Stankey has been his go-to for overseeing special projects, such as buying spectrum and helping the Time Warner merger clear the courts.Stephenson has been criticized for his bold dealmaking, and yet I don’t think his plan to reinvent AT&T was inherently bad. He has a vision for the company to be a leader in entertainment, which people are increasingly consuming on mobile devices, and 5G wireless networks like AT&T’s will facilitate more of that. But Stephenson did overpay for DirecTV, and he may have underestimated the challenge of integrating both that business and WarnerMedia, the latest tasks assigned to Stankey. As two executives who have worked in the telephone industry since their early 20s, they perhaps not surprisingly may have difficulty operating media assets, especially at a time when Netflix Inc. has changed what it means to watch TV.AT&T’s lagging stock price looks to be the consequence of an incoherent strategy and an attempt to juggle too many things at once: building 5G, devising a plan for WarnerMedia, paying down debt and managing the decline of the DirecTV satellite business. There have also reportedly been tensions between Stankey and his new Hollywood employees. It’s said that his approach and at times irascible personality have clashed with that of WarnerMedia’s veterans. Richard Plepler, the former HBO boss, is among those who have departed. One can see why Stankey’s attempt to break down silos in WarnerMedia was a necessary step and one that wouldn’t sit well with legacy top brass. And to his credit, he brought in Bob Greenblatt, who formerly ran Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and before that Showtime, to manage WarnerMedia’s entertainment properties and streaming platforms. It also seems likely that Stankey will name a new chief to oversee all of WarnerMedia. Still, it’s concerning that more of HBO’s top people are said to be leaving in the next few weeks, in part due to frustrations with Stankey, as NBC News reported Tuesday morning.The capstone project of Stankey’s WarnerMedia integration is HBO Max, a Netflix-like streaming-TV service that’s expected to launch next spring. Plans for that service seem to be ever-changing, and Stankey’s handling of the roll-out stands in contrast to Walt Disney Co.’s meticulous approach to the Disney+ app, which launches Nov. 12. WarnerMedia also recently struck a production deal with director J.J. Abrams for an exorbitant amount of money that a company like Disney probably wouldn’t have offered, as I wrote last week. A key date for Stankey and WarnerMedia is Oct. 29, which is when investors will get a first look at HBO Max.The topic of succession is a valid concern. Any conglomerate could benefit from having a CEO for whom there are no sacred cows. At best, Stankey may promise more of the same, which investors haven’t been that pleased with lately. At worst, he could be at risk of botching AT&T’s transformation. His compensation looks high when viewed through that lens. After the Time Warner deal closed in June of last year, Stankey’s base salary more than doubled to $2.9 million, which AT&T said was “to reflect the increased scope and complexity of his new role as CEO of WarnerMedia.” He also received a $2 million “merger completion bonus.” Including stock grants and performance-linked awards, Stankey’s total realized compensation was $12.74 million. That was 89% higher than what John Donovan, the outgoing CEO of AT&T Communications – a division larger than WarnerMedia – earned in 2018. (1)The Wall Street Journal reported that the board supports Stankey, citing a person familiar with its thinking who said there aren’t many outside the company “who would be obvious candidates to run a complicated media and communications business.” But isn’t it at least worth looking around? And if the answer is that no one is capable of doing it, then perhaps all these businesses don’t belong together.(1) Stephenson earned $18.84 million. AT&T hasn’t said yet how Stankey’s pay will be adjusted to reflect his COO promotion.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The future of Walt Disney World travel — the new Disney Skyliner system — is set to debut Sept. 29. The Skyliner is a gondola-based transportation system that will connect Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot theme parks in Orlando to Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and the future Disney's Riviera Resort, which will open this December. The system will travel through various stations around Disney property in Orlando that each are inspired by its respective resort or theme park.
Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal will name its upcoming streaming service "Peacock," offering a broad slate of original content, including "Dr Death" starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin, the company said on Tuesday. Peacock, which will also offer classic sitcoms like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation", is scheduled to launch in 2020, NBCUniversal said. The company owns traditional television network NBC, whose logo features a peacock.