|Day's Range||4.6500 - 4.6500|
AT&T; rose almost 4.6% in the week that ended on September 13 to close at $37.91. AT&T; has been rising since the beginning of 2019 after struggling in 2018.
"It Chapter Two" topped ticket sales for Warner Bros, which also saw one of the worst openings ever for "The Goldfinch."
Despite a deadline passing over the weekend, Disney’s ESPN football programming continued on the Dallas company's television platforms, according to a report.
Netflix confirmed media reports that it acquired the rights for all 180 Seinfeld episodes. Netflix will have control of the program beginning in 2021 under the five-year pact with Sony Pictures.
As the wireless industry rolls out the 5G technology, the latest network deployment is triggering demand for tower leasing which looks encouraging for the days ahead.
In fact, I think the old sobriquet, “corporate raiders”, was more accurate. The telecoms group, which orchestrated a controversial and ill-advised merger with Time Warner last year, is an underperforming, mismanaged dodo bird of a company — big enough to have racked up $190bn in debt yet not large enough to fend off the Big Tech apex predators ready to eat its lunch. in AT&T, says the company “not only failed to keep pace with the broader market, but has actually underperformed by over 150 percentage points” over the past decade.
The media business has always been about frenemies and evolving alliances which makes for tricky navigation even in quiescent times.
Hedge fund Elliott Management is unlikely to prompt big asset sales or a management shake-up. But its involvement is good for investors.
The already big AT&T; video subscriber losses will get even bigger during the September quarter, forecasts a UBS analyst. AT&T; stock slipped on Friday, pausing from a recent rally.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Careful, AT&T, those Hollywood lights can be blinding. The industry newbie has just struck an eye-popping deal with sought-after director J.J. Abrams to bring more of his movie magic to the telephone-giant-turned-media-conglomerate. AT&T Inc.’s offer amounted to: Dear J.J., please take this wheelbarrow of money. The deal between AT&T’s new WarnerMedia division and the Bad Robot production company, led by husband-and-wife team Abrams and Katie McGrath, is reported to be worth more than $250 million. That’s after Apple Inc. bid $500 million, according to Hollywood Reporter, though Abrams was said to have turned down that offer in part because he wanted to maintain a large box-office presence. With WarnerMedia, Abrams can create content for both the big screen and online-streaming properties. Bad Robot has previously produced hits such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and the shows “Lost” and “Alias.” The outrageous sums that AT&T and reportedly Apple put forth are emblematic of the escalating arms race for content. Entertainment giants – those new to the business, in particular – are trying to secure hit TV series and films for new streaming-video services launching in the coming weeks and months to compete with Netflix. Apple TV+ is set to be released Nov. 1, followed by Disney+ on Nov. 12 and AT&T/WarnerMedia’s HBO Max next spring. (Last year, AT&T acquired WarnerMedia, formerly called Time Warner, the parent of Warner Bros., HBO, CNN, TBS and other networks.) While most of these relatively low-priced subscriptions are years away from being able to turn a profit, the media giants are willing to bear the cost and pay up for the content to attract and keep customers.But WarnerMedia also threw in an unusual perk for Abrams: He gets to own potentially as much as a 50% stake in the projects he creates for the company, according to NBC News. The inclusion of a term like that, combined with the value of the contract, makes the deal look like a rookie move by WarnerMedia and the executive spearheading its streaming strategy, John Stankey, a three-decade veteran of AT&T’s phone business. Either that or desperation. Virtually no other media or tech giant would likely agree to give up those content rights. In fact, Walt Disney Co. is moving to cut back on the profits it shares with showrunners and stars after hit series pass the crucial 100-episode mark and enter into lucrative syndication deals, according to the Los Angeles Times. Disney wants control over that future licensing windfall, preferring to instead divide profits earlier on, when they aren’t quite as big.It’s no wonder that after Disney, Comcast Corp., Viacom Inc., Sony Corp. and Netflix Inc. were all said to have looked at Bad Robot, AT&T and its new media moguls landed the deal. Stankey, known for a brusque management style, has already had a rough start when it comes to gaining the respect of his new media employees and shaping the vision for WarnerMedia. It's part of the reason shareholder Elliott Management Corp. launched an activist campaign at AT&T this week, calling for more operational focus and a clearer strategy. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently promoted Stankey to chief operating officer in addition to his role presiding over WarnerMedia specifically.Stankey and Stephenson aren’t the only industry outsiders starstruck by Hollywood and feeling the pressure to pay whatever’s necessary to expand streaming-app libraries and keep viewers from canceling subscriptions. Apple TV+ has reportedly dished out $300 million for the first two seasons of “The Morning Show,” an original series starring big names like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Disney+ spent about $15 million on each episode of its “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian,” which adds up to the cost of a big-budget film. But AT&T’s leaders are showing their inexperience in the world of content and entertainment, driving away key internal personnel while so eagerly courting Abrams. The company’s post-deal turnover was punctuated by the high-profile exits of HBO’s Richard Plepler and Turner’s David Levy earlier this year.In reporting on the Abrams deal, Bloomberg News also uncovered an interesting detail about what actually happened to Kevin Tsujihara. He’s the former head of Warner Bros. who left in March amid a sex scandal involving an actress with whom he was having an affair and was accused of helping to land film roles. At first it seemed like Tsujihara was going to stay on despite the scandal, and in fact he had even just been promoted by Stephenson. However, Bloomberg reports that Abrams’s wife, McGrath, essentially gave AT&T an ultimatum, saying that’d it be hard for Bad Robot and WarnerMedia to work together if Tsujihara was there. It all makes sense now.As for the deal, Stankey had better hope Bad Robot makes good movies, because it seems none of his industry peers were willing to offer what he did. 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.
Sports network ESPN has been something of a double-edged sword for Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), as well as the owners of Disney stock, for a long time. On a per-subscriber basis, it generates the most revenue in the sector. As a result however, cord cutting has taken the biggest toll on the media giant.Source: David Tran Photo / Shutterstock.com And there's no sign that the cord-cutting movement is going to slow down anytime soon. In fact, it appears to be accelerating.That's a key part of the reason Disney has launched ESPN, a streaming app that delivers sports programming. It's also part of the reason Disney now owns the bulk of Hulu, and is planning to launch the entertainment streaming channel dubbed Disney+ in November.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession Of the three, though, it's the ESPN+ piece of the company's streaming offering that could prove the toughest for DIS, as it will eventually pit the company against the television providers who are also its de facto partners. It may boil down to a matter of who flinches first. Fighting an Oversized HeadwindDisney doesn't provide a detailed revenue breakdown of the components of its "Media Networks" division. (Accounting for about one-third of Disney's revenue, Media Networks is its largest unit.) But some estimates suggest ESPN accounts for about 50% of the unit's top line. A little math work leads to a rough assumption that ESPN makes up 15% of Disney's total revenue.Cord cutting has made that piece of Disney's revenue pie tough to defend, though.The majority of cable packages include most of Disney's channels. Nearly all cable providers offer ESPN to their subscribers, though, even if some cable providers leave out a number of the company's other channels.As of 2017, cable providers were paying Disney an estimated $7.21 per subscriber per month for ESPN. With ESPN2 and ESPNU, the monthly total rose above $9.00. That's pretty lucrative for DIS, and that revenue stream has been a key supporter of Disney stock.That's why cord-cutting mania has proven so problematic for Disney stock and so worrisome for the owners of DIS stock. As of late last year, ESPN had lost approximately 14 million subscribers in just seven years, and eMarketer anticipates that the number of customers canceling their cable package will grow by another 19.2% this year.The solution, of course, is to offer those defectors an alternative. Even at a monthly price of $5.00, Disney can collect something from ESPN+ customers who are no longer cable subscribers. Even though $9 per month is way below $5 per month, something is better than nothing.The matter isn't nearly that simple, though. At the Tipping PointContrary to the rhetoric, ESPN+ is not an alternative to cable-delivered ESPN. It's an addendum to ESPN's sports programming. No major event that's broadcast on one is shown on the other, and only a few of the commentary shows appear to be available on both channels.That leaves the all-important Monday Night Football out-of-reach for cord cutters. But MNF isn't the only key program that's not available on ESPN+.That's because Disney doesn't want to further alienate the conventional TV providers it still relies on for a wide swath of its revenue.But nonetheless, DIS is starting to clash with the cable companies. Case in point: Disney is currently warning customers of AT&T's (NYSE:T) satellite TV provider, DirecTV, that they could soon be losing access to all of their Disney-driven content if the two companies don't renew their deal soon.Now that streaming platforms are being established and cord cutting is an increasingly viable option, DIS could take a harder line and start offering some content via ESPN+ that previously was only offered on older types of TV.Disney likely knows that access to sports programming is one of the key reasons consumers have not yet canceled their cable and satellite service. Many of those relationships are hanging by a thread, though. Bolstering the amount of content available through ESPN+ could help greatly accelerate the exodus from conventional TV. The Bottom Line on Disney StockThe great irony, of course, is that Disney is helping to drive the very cord-cutting movement it's also lamenting.Granted, it's got help from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime streaming service, which offers a fair amount of sports programming itself. For Disney and Disney stock, though, establishing an alternative sports venue outside of traditional TV is still a savvy option that makes the best of a tough situation.At the very least, ESPN+ effectively monetizes the ESPN name and relationships with professional sports leagues. But ultimately, the company's relationships with cable companies may become too strained to continue in its current form. If DIS adds stronger programming to ESPN+, the $12.99 per month bundle of ESPN+, Hulu and Disney would become more appealing. It may even become appealing enough to accelerate the already rapid cord-cutting movement.However Disney decides to balance cable and streaming, ESPN's content is sure to remain its most enticing asset.As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post Disney's ESPN Strategy Will Have a Major Impact on Disney Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Income in the bond market is rapidly disappearing, and that's a weird concept to try and wrap your head around.For decades -- centuries, even -- investors around the world have bought fixed-income instruments for relatively risk-free income. The concept is simple. You give money to a government or corporate entity who turns around and pays you interest for lending that money to compensate for risk and time.But this simple concept has been flipped on its head recently. Specifically, the "interest" part of the above fixed-income equation has gone out the window. Consider the following:InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * The 10-year Treasury yield is flirting with all-time lows around 1.8%. * The 30-year Treasury yield has plunged to all-time lows around 2.2%. * About one-third of tradeable bonds around the world now have negative yields, amounting to $17 trillion in negative-yielding debt. * The yield curves are entirely negative in countries like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.In other words, across the world, the income part of the fixed-income equation is rapidly disappearing. Weird, right?Despite this, U.S. equities are still giving investors income. That is, the S&P 500's dividend yield presently hovers around 2% -- significantly above all-time low levels (roughly 1% in 2000) and also on the upper end of where the S&P 500 dividend yield has hovered over the past 20 years.Big picture, then, while the fixed income market is suffering from disappearing income, stocks are still paying good income. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession The implication? Buy stable dividend stocks which pay more than any other relatively risk-free bond in the world will. As investors grow tired of not even beating inflation by buying a 10-year Treasury note, they will inevitably pile into stocks which: 1) have much higher yields, and 2) have a history of steady and consistent dividend hikes.Without further ado, let's take a look at five dividend stocks that fit this description. Dividend Stocks to Buy: AT&T (T)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com Dividend Yield: 5.3%Dividend History: The dividend has consistently increased over the past 34 years.At the top of this list, we have a stock which many consider the blue-chip dividend king: telecom giant AT&T (NYSE:T).AT&T has everything investors are looking for in a stable, income-paying stock. Big yield? Check. The stock yields 5.3%. History of dividend hikes? Check. AT&T has consistently hiked its dividend over the past three decades.Stable operations? Check. AT&T provides telecom services which U.S. consumers have become exceptionally dependent on -- indeed, the internet and wireless services which AT&T provides may be the most important utilities outside of water, food and electricity. Healthy catalysts on the horizon? Also, check. Next year, AT&T: 1) is launching new streaming services which should help offset cord-cutting weakness, and 2) will benefit from the mainstream and widespread deployment of 5G infrastructure and devices.AT&T stock is the quintessential stable dividend stock to buy at the current moment. American Electric Power (AEP)Source: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com Dividend Yield: 2.9%Dividend History: The dividend has consistently increased over the past six years.Next up, we have a utility giant that is best known for its stability and resiliency: electricity services provider American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).Relative to other "big dividend stocks," AEP's yield isn't that big. It sits at just 2.9%. But, there are three things to note here. First, that 2.9% yield still smashes the 1.8% 10-year Treasury yield. Two, American Electric Power has a long track record of consistent dividend hikes that dates back at least six years, a stretch during which the dividend increased 100%. Three, American Electric Power has an equally long track record of consistent and stable revenue and profit growth, which has powered consistent gains in AEP stock over the past decade. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now As such, what AEP lacks in yield, it makes up for in operational consistency and stability. Consequently, the best way to look at AEP stock is as the best "stable" stock to buy. It just so happens to yield almost 3%, too, which is an added bonus. Qualcomm (QCOM)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Dividend Yield: 3.1%Dividend History: The dividend has consistently increased over the past eight years.Third, we have a global chip giant that appears to be on the verge of finding its winning stride again -- Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).Unlike AT&T and American Electric Power, Qualcomm is not traditionally seen as an icon of stability. Just look at a five-year chart of QCOM stock to see why. But, most of the turbulence in QCOM stock over the past five years has been driven by operational noise -- namely, a big legal battle with their largest customer, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). That legal battle is now over, and it ended in a favorable outcome for Qualcomm.Consequently, looking in the rear-view mirror here is the wrong way to look at QCOM stock. It's not about what has happened. It's about what will happen. What will happen is good stuff. Qualcomm has locked in Apple as a customer for the next several years. At the same time, 5G phones are launching next year, and it appears pretty much every smartphone provider is leaning into Qualcomm to provide the infrastructure for those 5G phones. As such, Qualcomm will find itself as a big beneficiary of the 5G tailwind. This tailwind should last for several years, meaning that Qualcomm should be in winning stride for the foreseeable future.Ahead of the company regaining its winning stride, the stock still yields an impressive 3.1%. Thus, not only does QCOM stock have a compelling multi-year bull thesis, but the stock is also paying investors to buy into that compelling bull thesis. It's a win-win situation that ultimately gives QCOM the nod as a stable dividend stock to buy here and now. CVS (CVS)Source: Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com Dividend Yield: 3.1%Dividend History: CVS last increased its dividend payout in 2017.Fourth, we have an undervalued, stable stock that is in the midst of a potentially huge breakout -- retail pharmacy giant CVS (NYSE:CVS).It's been a rough few years for CVS stock. On the retail pharmacy side, increased competition has simultaneously pressured current sales trends and depressed investor sentiment regarding future sales trends. On the pharmacy benefit manager side, legislation has similarly pressured sales and profits.Consequently, by mid-2019, CVS stock had dropped to $50 -- the stock's lowest level since early 2013 -- and was trading at under 8x forward earnings.Since then, retail sales trends have improved as CVS has refreshed stores and expanded omni-channel capabilities to overstep the competition. Such improvements should persist as the company expands a local healthcare program which has potential to dramatically improve core operational performance trends. At the same time, the White House has scrapped a bill which would've been disastrous for PBMs. And now the outlook on that side of the business is also improving significantly. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September In response to these positive developments, CVS stock has rallied nearly 20% over the past three months. This rally is just getting started. The stock is still cheap, the yield is still big, the outlook is still improving and the upward momentum is very real. As such, CVS stock appears to be in the first few innings of a huge breakout. Target (TGT)Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com Yield: 2.4%Dividend History: The dividend has consistently increased over the past 51 years.Last, but not least, we have a blue-chip retail giant that is absolutely on fire today: Target (NYSE:TGT).The story at Target is pretty simple. A few years back, the mainstream emergence and adoption of e-commerce caused a traffic exodus out of Target stores. For a short period of time, Target struggled. Then, Target adapted. It built out a big e-commerce operation, refreshed stores to be more tech-savvy, built out omni-channel capabilities, expanded in-store and online offerings and much more.In a nutshell, Target became the quintessential, modern omni-channel retailer that leveraged technology to optimize customer convenience in every way possible.It worked. Over the past few years, Target has fired off its best numbers in a decade. We are talking decade-best sales growth, comparable sales growth, online sales growth and traffic growth. At the same time, margins have been largely stable, so profit growth has been equally robust. TGT stock has naturally rallied big in response to this operational excellence.This rally is far from over. Target has optimally positioned itself so that -- so long as the U.S. consumer remains healthy -- Target will continue to report impressive numbers. The stock isn't terribly expensive at all (17-times forward earnings), the yield remains big (2.4%) and TGT stock has very healthy upward momentum.TGT stock is a stable dividend stock which should stay in rally mode for the foreseeable future.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long T, QCOM, and CVS. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post 5 Stable Dividend Stocks to Buy as Fixed Income Vanishes appeared first on InvestorPlace.
AT&T; (T) stock fell about 1% on Thursday. The stock closed the trading day at $38.38. The stock is trading just 0.95% below the 52-week high of $38.75.
What does "on the cheap" mean in the stock market? To me, it means stocks which are valued not only below fair market values when looking at assets and revenues, but also when looking at the proven progress underway in the company.So far this year, the general stock market has been on a tear. The S&P 500 has climbed in price by 21% year-to-date. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now But I can easily steer you to a collection of stocks with much more reasonable, and even ample, dividend yields. And this is a collection of stocks that are performing -- but are also still values to buy right now.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Dividend Stocks to Buy: AllianceBernstein (AB)Dividend Yield: 7.5%AllianceBernstein (NYSE:AB) is a pass-through company in the asset management business. The key thing about asset managers is knowing the value of assets under management. They don't have to be exceptional in their investing -- just good enough to attract and keep assets on which they earn fees year-in and year-out.AllianceBernstein's assets under management has climbed 25.8% over the trailing four years to a current $581 billion. That has resulted in revenue gains for the same period of 30.1%. This in turn is driving higher returns for shareholders with the return on equity running at 14.9%. But the real deal is that the shares trade at a discount to revenue by some 18.7% making the shares cheap.AB stock has been a good performer with the trailing five years generating a total return of 60.4% with an average annual equivalent of 10.4%.**All total return figures were calculated by Bloomberg Terminal, factoring in dividends reinvested on the day of distribution. Compass Diversified (CODI)Dividend Yield: 7.6%Compass Diversified (NYSE:CODI) is an investment holding company set up under the Investment Companies Act of 1940. As such it operates without paying federal corporate income taxes, meaning that CODI has more cash for dividend payments to investors.The company buys and owns a collection of well-branded industrial and consumer goods companies. And it in turn works with management teams to further develop business values. From time to time, Compass Diversified will sell the companies when appropriate. Along the way, CODI collects cash flows from the operating companies and in turn pays an ample dividend currently yielding 7.6%.Revenues are firmly on the rise with the trailing year's sales gain at 33.2%. Margins are positive, helping to drive a return on shareholder equity of 39.3%. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September And the stock is very cheap as it is valued at a 30% discount to trailing sales -- which as noted are firmly on the rise.Compass Diversified continues to deliver with shares generating a total return over the past five years of 62.1% for an average annual equivalent return of 9.9%. W.P. Carey (WPC)Dividend Yield: 4.7%W.P. Carey (NYSE:WPC) is a highly successful real estate investment trust with a diverse collection of properties across segments. But these properties all have in common is the company's signature structure of triple-net sale-leasebacks. This is where W.P. Carey typically acquires a property from a significant company -- or even government entity -- and in turn leases it back to the seller for long-term lease. In addition, the tenant pays the taxes, insurance and general upkeep costs, hence the term "triple-net."This structure has major benefits. To start, W.P. Carey gets established tenants for their leased properties. And with longer-term leases it sets the company up with more dependable income. With the expenses of taxes, insurance and maintenance it reduces costs and uncertainty for the company.Revenues are up for the trailing year by 4.4%. The return on funds from operations, which measures the profitability of just running the properties, is at a very healthy 12.8%.The dividend is yielding 4.7% and the actual distributions have been rising each and every quarter for years. Some estimate that it has been raising dividends since 2001. The stock has generated a trailing five year total return of 77.2% for an average annualized equivalent return of 12.1%.And despite the quality of the company's assets and performance along with that rising dividend distribution, the stock is cheap compared to the general REIT market -- as measured by the Bloomberg U.S. REIT Index. The stock's price is at a mere 2.2 times book which is significantly cheaper than the general market average of 2.74 times. This make W.P. Carey a cheap stock with great assets and a rising dividend. TPG Specialty Lending (TSLX)Dividend Yield: 7.5%TPG Specialty Lending (NYSE:TSLX) provides financing and capital to a variety of companies. TPG Specialty is part of the famous TPG Capital, formally called the Texas Pacific Group. Texas Pacific Group is one of the largest and more successful private equity firms in the world -- and TPG Specialty draws talent and resources from that relationship.Revenues are up on a tear with the trailing year climbing by 24.2%. Its net interest margin, which measure the difference in funding costs against interest earnings, is running at 10% and it keeps its efficiency ratio humming at a profitable 31.5% which means that it costs only 32 cents to earn each dollar of revenue.The company has generated a return of 90.7% over the trailing five years for an average annual equivalent of 13.8%.It pays regular dividends quarterly, providing a yield of 7.5%. But it also regularly pays additional dividends from ongoing profits for a current annual yield of 8.63%. * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market In addition, since it is also set up under the Investment Companies Act of 1040 and the Small Business Investment Incentives Act of 1980 -- it avoids federal income taxes -- leaving more cash to feed that dividend. The company is cheaply run with great margins and a great dividend stream, making for a good value right now. AT&T (T)Dividend Yield: 3%American Telephone & Telegraph referred to as Ma Bell, or now as AT&T (NYSE:T), is a well-known company. It offers wired and wireless communications, internet and data transmission, satellite and cable content distribution as well as streaming. And oh yes, it comes with a huge content warehouse and generator in WarnerMedia.The direct comparison is Verizon (NYSE:VZ) which is a good dividend stock. But AT&T is way, way cheaper. AT&T's stock is valued at a mere 1.5 times book which is way cheaper than Verizon's stock value of 4.4 times book.Revenue is rising with the trailing year up by 6.4%. And while the company has a lot of components, overall operating margins are running at a fat 15.3% which in turn drives a nice return on equity running at 9.5%.It has built up debt in its acquisition of Time Warner -- but it is manageable at only 33.2% of its assets.The stock has trailed Verizon until recently. Elliott Management announced that it has amassed $3.2 billion of the company's stock. Activist investor Paul Singer wants AT&T to hone its focus and sell some of its superfluous operations. And the market likes what it sees.Over the past five years, the stock has returned 46% for an average annual equivalent return of 7.9%. But for the year-to-date, the stock has returned 34.7%.The dividend is running with a yield of 5.3%. Good and rising dividends, a stock that's cheap compared to its prime rival and a shake-up potentially in the works make AT&T a good buy right now.And now that I've presented some dividend stocks on the cheap, perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. Click here to learn more.Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 7 Strong-Buy Stocks Hedge Funds Are Buying Now * The 7 Best Penny Stocks to Buy The post 5 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Apple Inc. is getting ready to launch its own streaming-video service, Apple TV+, in the coming weeks. Compared to Netflix and other rival offerings, the new app will feature a rather skimpy lineup of viewing choices. That’s reigniting the will-they/won’t-they debate around Apple and the handful of Hollywood studios that look ripe for an acquisition.The tech giant announced this week that Apple TV+ will launch on Nov. 1, beating Walt Disney Co.’s rival product to the market by 11 days. Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 a month, which is $2 less than Disney+, and on the face of it, significantly cheaper than Netflix and AT&T Inc.’s HBO Max, set to debut next spring. What’s more, Apple will let customers have the service free for a year when they purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV console. Much has been made of Apple TV+ undercutting competitors, but the price was set low to make up for the fact that, unlike rival services, it won’t contain a backlog of content out of the gate. Disney and AT&T both own immense libraries of films and TV shows and can stuff them into their streaming services even as they work to produce new original content exclusively for app subscribers. Remember, Disney owns Marvel, Pixar, “Star Wars,” “The Simpsons,” National Geographic and so on, while AT&T acquired Warner Bros., HBO and Time Warner’s other television networks last year. Apple TV+, on the other hand, will contain just nine originals on Day One and nothing else. Apple’s lack of a library argues for the company to buy a production studio. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (which also owns the Starz premium channel), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (known as MGM), Sony Pictures and indie studio A24 are all prospects. Even a combined Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. – two content companies that are in the process of merging – could be an appealing option given their diverse set of assets, including Paramount Pictures, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Showtime. (Shari Redstone, the billionaire who controls Viacom and CBS, would likely be a willing seller.)(1)It all depends, though, on how Apple CEO Tim Cook sees streaming video fitting into the company’s future. Is the goal to build a bona fide competitor to Netflix, available on anything with a screen? Or is Apple TV+ a loss leader meant to help drive sales of Apple devices? This week’s unveiling seemed to suggest the latter. After all, Apple’s revenue from iPhones decreased by $19 billion in the latest fiscal year, my colleague Shira Ovide noted in her column this week. In 2017, she wrote that Apple should try bundling software – such as video and music subscriptions – with its hardware to help boost sales. Apple is essentially doing just that by giving TV+ as a freebie for buying a new Apple product. “They’re doing it to sell hardware,” Marci Ryvicker, an analyst for Wolfe Research, said in a phone interview. “This isn’t Apple’s core business.”It’s noteworthy that Cook, while on stage Tuesday, compared the Apple TV+ fee to the cost of renting a single movie on demand – not to the price of other streaming subscriptions. That may provide some insight into his thinking. At $5 a month, Apple TV+ is also a long ways from making any money. That’s another reason it looks more like an internet add-on than a stand-alone product intended to take on Netflix, a business running on negative cash flow and junk debt. The cost of going all-in on streaming is steep. Disney, for example, doesn’t think its own $7-a-month app will start turning a profit until 2024, by which point it expects to have at least 60 million global subscribers. Even then, Ebitda for Disney+ may be just $51 million, a paltry 1% profit margin, according to a model by Alan Gould, an analyst for Loop Capital Markets. In 2025, he sees that figure jumping to $2.6 billion, though it still pales in comparison to the roughly $10 billion of Ebitda that Disney’s traditional TV and film businesses generate.Still, some analysts see Apple TV+ topping 100 million subscribers within five years, and it’s already planning to spend billions of dollars on content. It could be that Apple doesn’t know exactly what it wants from Apple TV+ yet. If it turns out to be successful early on, that may be what leads Cook to acquire a studio. Dan Ives, an analyst for Wedbush Securities, made the same bold prediction at the start of the year, and he told me this week that he’s sticking to it.“Right now, they’ve built a house with no furniture,” said Ives, who interprets Apple’s aggressive pricing strategy as a sign that it’s changed its past thinking and is ready to commit to streaming content in a big way. “It’s hard to envision them being massively successful in streaming without doing a major acquisition.”I agree. The question is, does it plan for Apple TV+ to be massively successful? This week may have signaled “no,” but when it comes to M&A, never say never. (1) Viacom is also said to be the front-runner to buy a stake in Miramax films.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.
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