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Former HBO CEO, Richard Plepler, is reportedly in talks to sign a production deal with Apple for Apple TV+. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts, Heidi Chung and Kristin Myers discuss on YFi AM.
Disney+ has a chance of becoming a major player in the streaming world. However, a major change can be on the horizon that would take streaming entertainment to the next level.
The T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth fund looks for companies that are consistently growing their dividends. Microsoft and Dollar General are among its picks.
Ever wonder which are the 10 most famous sports arenas in the world? There are many magnificent sports stadiums across the world that are used for various sports. They are used for multiple sports such as boxing, MMA fighting, wrestling, soccer, rugby, American football, Olympic events, and many others. Most of the stadiums are owned […]
Accomplishing the financial cushion to retire early is a fantasy for most, but bringing that fantasy to reality is not as difficult as it sounds. If you are willing to make some serious lifestyle adjustments, it can be achievable.
Amdocs' (DOX) fiscal fourth-quarter performance benefits from new customer gains, strong traction in managed services and solid growth across all regions.
The multi-year managed services agreement is part of the business transformation strategy of AT&T (T) and is likely to bring innovation to the market in an agile manner.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For Kumar Mangalam Birla’s textile-to-telecom empire, adversity is a 100-year-old companion. In 1919, when the Indian businessman’s great-grandfather wanted to start a jute mill, the dominant British firm, Andrew Yule & Co., bought all the surrounding Calcutta land. The Imperial Bank, the forerunner of today’s State Bank of India, initially refused Birla a loan.(1)The government of post-independence India stymied the Birla conglomerate with kindness. Soviet-style planning and state socialism protected the family’s legacy licensed firms by keeping competition out. But they inhibited growth. Birla’s father, Aditya Vikram, went to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines because he wasn’t allowed to expand at home. “I for one fail to see where the concentration of economic power is: with the big business houses or with the government?” he wondered in 1979. Fast forward 40 years, and the 52-year-old current chairman of the group would be justified to reprise his late father’s frustration. The liberalizing spirit of the 1990s Indian economy has lost much of its force. After dismantling the license raj, a system of strict government-controlled production, and encouraging capitalism, New Delhi is gripped once more by a feverish statism that’s making Birla’s shareholders nervous. The slide began before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, and was one of the reasons why businesses backed his call for “minimum government, maximum governance.” But five years later, relations between private enterprise and the government have turned even testier.Take telecommunications, the main source of investors’ anxiety. Ever since India opened up the state-run sector in the 1990s, the Aditya Birla Group has been an anchor investor. Partners and rivals like AT&T Inc., India’s Tata Group, and Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. came and went, but Birla remained. Currently, the group owns 26% of the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Vodafone Idea Ltd., with the British partner controlling 45%. An Indian court last month directed this bruised survivor of a nasty price war to pay 280 billion rupees ($4 billion) in past government fees, interest and penalties. Overall, India wants to gouge its shriveled telecom industry of $13 billion. The fund-starved government expects operators to cough up more at 5G auctions next year. How long can the Birla boss hang in? With Vodafone Idea saddled with losses and $14 billion in net debt, should he even bother?It’s doubtful whether partner Vodafone Group Plc will linger. This isn’t the first time it has been clobbered by unreasonable government demands. In 2012, India retrospectively changed its tax law to pursue a $2.2 billion withholding tax notice against the U.K. firm. Seven years later, that dispute is far from resolved, and the unit has now been slapped with a new bill.In its half-yearly earnings reported Tuesday in London, Vodafone fully wrote down the book value of its India operations, and warned that the unit could be headed for liquidation. Vodafone’s 42% stake in a separate cellular tower company in the country, once sold, will get used largely to pay off the loan it took to pump capital into the main telecom venture. After that, the U.K. firm will have a little over $1 billion left to support Vodafone Idea, according to India Ratings & Research, a unit of Fitch Ratings. However, the India business would be required to find $5.5 billion just for interest- and spectrum-related payments until March 2022.Will Birla step into the breach?Out of the Indian group’s 26% in Vodafone Idea, about 11.6% is held by Grasim Industries Ltd., and another 2.6% is owned by Hindalco Industries Ltd. Hindalco, among the world’s largest aluminum makers, is battling weak metals demand and a complicated takeover of the U.S.-based Aleris Corp. The bulk of the burden of a telecom rescue — should there be one — would fall on Grasim. It acts as a holding company for Birla’s cement and financial services businesses, apart from directly owning factories that churn out wood-based fiber and chemicals like caustic soda used in soap and detergent.Mumbai-based Emkay Global Financial Services says that in the worst-case scenario, where the government doesn’t back down and Birla refuses to fold his telecom cards, a rescue mounted by by Grasim could cost it 187 rupees per share. If Birla refrains from throwing good money after bad, the value of everything else Grasim owns net of debt is 1,126 rupees a share, or 47% more than the current stock market price. Clearly, the overhang of the Vodafone uncertainty is playing on investor psyche. Once the U.S.-China trade war stops making global textile markets jittery, fiber prices will firm. Grasim, in investors’ view, is better off spending $2 billion on new capacities in fiber, chemicals and cement than wasting any more money trying to salvage the telecom venture.The Indian government should see the folly of effectively turning the telecom industry into a two-horse race between Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., controlled by Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian, and Bharti Airtel Ltd., which, too, is staggering under a mountain of debt. As IIFL Securities put it, bankruptcy of Vodafone Idea would hurt all stakeholders. Vodafone and Birla would lose control, the government would forgo $1.7 billion in annual spectrum revenue and banks would take losses on their $4 billion-plus exposure.Such an outcome would cast a serious doubt on the ability of private entrepreneurs to flourish, especially if they — like Birla or Amazon.com Inc. boss Jeff Bezos — happen to find themselves in competition with Ambani in a tightly regulated industry. Future investors will think twice. The rift between the government and business wasn’t Modi’s creation, but to allow the mistrust to turn into a chasm would be one of his administration’s gravest mistakes.(1) See, “Aditya Vikram Birla: A Biography” by Minhaz Merchant, Penguin India, 1997To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Could "Friends" be getting back together, if only for a one night stand? The Hollywood Reporter and Variety on Tuesday reported that preliminary talks were underway for an unscripted reunion special that would feature all six "Friends" actors and air on upcoming streaming service HBO Max, a unit of AT&T's WarnerMedia. HBO Max had no comment on the reports, which follow hints by Jennifer Aniston that something might be underway.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested nearly $625 million in our Arkansas wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. AT&T's wireless network covers more than 99% of all Americans and has become the fastest wireless network in the nation, according to the second quarter 2019 results from tests taken with Speedtest® and analyzed by Ookla®. In 2018, AT&T made more than 900 wireless network upgrades in Arkansas, including new cell sites and additional network capacity.
Apple Inc. is on the verge of a coup. The technology company is in "advanced talks" with Richard Plepler, the former chairman and CEO of HBO, for Apple TV+, reported The Wall Street Journal. The move would add a marquee creative executive to Apple's stable.
Amdocs (DOX), a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies, and AT&T* (NYSE:T), are extending their collaboration to modernize and upgrade AT&T’s digital business support systems under a multi-year managed services agreement. "5G and the cloud will lead to new business and consumer applications we haven’t even imagined yet, and developers and creators will look to us to help make those visions a reality," said Andre Fuetsch, EVP & Chief Technology Officer, AT&T. "As the ecosystem continues to expand, we need to provide a solid foundation to build on. "AT&T has always driven our industry forward, improving the way people live and work," said Shimie Hortig, group president, Americas at Amdocs.
Disney’s first day with its streaming service had its challenges with reports of glitches – and that’s not going to go unnoticed by rivals. Before the morning was out on Tuesday, the Disney+ Twitter account asked for patience and said it was “working quickly to resolve any current issues” after demand exceeded expectations. “I think all these streaming service competitors are watching and learning,” said Jeff Kagan, a wireless industry analyst, in an emailed statement.
“David Levy is a respected media executive and a friend,” Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai wrote on Twitter. “Truly appreciate his efforts in the past few months. I wish him well in his next endeavors.”
Announcement of Periodic Review: Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of AT&T Inc. New York, November 12, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of AT&T Inc. and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Is it just me, or does the $100 million “severance” being paid to Joe Ianniello, the acting chief executive officer of CBS Corp., stink to high heaven? For starters, you can make a pretty compelling Elizabeth Warren-esque argument that handing a $100 million “severance” to someone who is not, in fact, leaving the company is exactly why income inequality has become such a hot-button issue.But let’s be old school about this. Let’s focus on the shareholders and how this is their money that’s being handed to Ianniello. It is also an unpleasant reminder of how the father-daughter combo of Sumner and Shari Redstone seemingly can’t resist throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at executives who have not done much for their stockholders.The Redstones, of course, control CBS through their privately held film exhibition company, National Amusements Inc. They also control Viacom Inc., which Sumner Redstone bought for $3.4 billion in 1987. (Viacom acquired CBS in 1999.) Until 2016, Sumner Redstone, now 96, was the executive chairman of both companies, though he had largely disappeared from public view two years earlier amid allegations that he was in serious decline. Shari Redstone, 65, is the vice chairman of both companies.In 2003, when CBS was still part of Viacom — and Sumner Redstone was still in charge — Les Moonves became its CEO, a position he retained when CBS was spun off in late 2005. Between 2007 and 2018, when Moonves was fired for sexual improprieties, the CBS board, led by the Redstones, paid him just shy of $700 million, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. That’s an average of $63.6 million a year.I happen to think that $63 million a year is an absurd amount to pay a manager to run a company. But even if you accept that entertainment companies pay their executives insane amounts — Discovery Inc. paid its CEO, David Zaslav $129.4 million last year, for crying out loud — it is reasonable to assume that such an outsized paycheck would be justified by outsized performance.Not so. During the Moonves era at CBS, the S&P 500 Index returned an average of 9% a year. CBS returned 8.7% a year. In other words, the Redstones and the CBS board paid hundreds of millions of dollars of its shareholders’ money to a man who could barely keep pace with an index fund. (By comparison, the Walt Disney Co. returned 14.6%, and 21st Century Fox returned 10.5%.)The situation at Viacom is even worse. Remember Philippe Dauman, the former CEO whom Sumner Redstone once called “the wisest man I know”? He ran Viacom for a decade, from 2006 to 2016. According to Equilar, a company that compiles executive compensation figures, his compensation during those 10 years was nearly $500 million — while the stock gained a paltry 2.7% a year on average. You may recall that Dauman wound up in a nasty court fight with the Redstones in 2016, trying to keep his job by contending that Sumner Redstone was no longer mentally competent to make key business decisions. After winning that battle, the Redstones still handed Dauman a parting gift as they pushed him out the door: a $75 million severance package.Which brings us back to Ianniello. Although he has been acting CEO only since Moonves departed late last year, Ianniello has also been the recipient of the Redstones’ largesse: Between 2016 and 2018, as the company’s chief operating officer, his compensation averaged $27 million a year, according to Bloomberg. The stock? It dropped from the low 70s to the mid-40s during those three years. This is what’s known as “pay for pulse.”So why did Shari Redstone feel the need to hand Ianniello an additional $100 million? The reasons are twofold. First, Redstone is recombining Viacom and CBS. She doesn’t want Ianniello to leave — at least not right away — but she also isn’t going to make him the top dog. Second, for legal reasons, she can’t ramrod this deal through by herself, even though she is the controlling shareholder. She needs the CBS board and senior management to support the bid. “You need Joe to get the merger done,” Robin Ferracone, the CEO of executive compensation consulting firm Farient Advisors, told Bloomberg. “So you need to make him indifferent to whether he’s going to lose his job or not.”Yes, $100 million is certainly likely to buy a whole lot of indifference. Then again, $10 million probably could have achieved the same result. And in any case, if Shari Redstone needs $100 million to, er, persuade one of her executives to support her merger plan, maybe that suggests the merger’s success is not exactly a slam dunk.I have a hard time seeing how combining two underperforming media companies with a hodgepodge of assets will create a worthy competitor to powerhouses such as Disney, which rolled out its Disney+ streaming service on Tuesday morning, and AT&T, which next year will bundle its media assets into another streaming entrant, HBO Max. But Shari Redstone wants to combine Viacom and CBS, and with the help of that $100 million, that’s what’s going to happen. When the companies are merged, which is expected to take place next month, the CEO of the combined entity will be Bob Bakish, who is Viacom’s CEO.Since he took over Viacom, Bakish’s compensation has been surprisingly normal, at least by modern CEO standards. According to company filings, he received about $20 million a year in total pay in 2017 and 2018.But fear not. Once the deal is done, Bakish’s pay is set to jump to more than $30 million. I predict that he’ll be in Moonves/Dauman territory in no time. After all, overpaying executives is the Redstone way.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested more than $70 million in our Nebraska wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. In 2018, AT&T made 289 wireless network upgrades in Nebraska.
Richard Plepler, the former chief executive of HBO, is in talks to produce content for Apple, according to two people familiar with the matter, which would see the tech group snag one of the most high profile Hollywood names for its new television service. Mr Plepler left HBO abruptly earlier this year, as part of an exodus from the company in the wake of AT&T’s blockbuster acquisition of Time Warner. Mr Plepler has since established his own company, RLP, to produce shows.
Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into some of Disney's recent quarterly results, before we look at Disney+ and discuss which company, from Netflix to Amazon might win the streaming TV war...
It has been feast or famine at the box office for Warner Bros. this fall. The studio's two biggest blockbusters this year — "Joker," which is approaching a billion dollars at the global box office, and "It Chapter Two" — opened in October and September, respectively.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- John Legere may be exactly the kind of CEO WeWork needs. He brings much of the eccentricity and charisma that was initially appreciated about ousted founder Adam Neumann, but without all the headaches and liabilities. Is Legere ready to retire his closet of magenta T-shirts? We Co., the parent of the beleaguered office-sharing startup, is in discussions to recruit Legere, the current head of wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc., as its next CEO, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The talks come after WeWork’s plans for an initial public offering imploded in grand fashion in recent weeks, as a litany of questionable decisions and conflicts of interests involving then-CEO Neumann came to light in a saga that has captivated Wall Street. WeWork, for a short time one of the world’s most valuable startups, had said in its summer IPO prospectus that its “future success depends in large part on the continued service of Adam Neumann.” Weeks later, Neumann was considered such a risk that the company decided it was better to effectively give him $1.2 billion to step away.Hiring Legere would immediately help improve WeWork’s tarnished reputation, though repairing the business is another story. Office vacancies increased in the third quarter, and the company was at risk of running out of cash next year. Legere’s garish style and hectoring on Twitter may also cause some to wonder whether he’s just another Neumann; it’s certainly hard not to notice the physical resemblance between the long hair, loud personality and signature T-shirt-and-sports-coat pairing.But few CEOs can say they’ve taken on a challenge as difficult as reviving T-Mobile — and succeeded. That’s Legere’s claim to fame. As I wrote in July 2018, even the groaners who are tired of his shtick and Twitter snark can’t argue against his track record.When Legere became CEO of T-Mobile in 2012, it was a distant fourth-place competitor in the U.S. wireless market and losing customers. Now it’s the fastest-growing member of the industry, and its displaced Sprint as the No. 3 carrier. T-Mobile’s lower-priced plans and marketing mojo have even given AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. a run for their money. In the last five years, shares of all its closest rivals advanced anywhere from 12% to 21%. T-Mobile’s nearly tripled. Legere may seem like an odd choice given that he’s spent his career working in the telecommunications and technology industries. The connection becomes clearer when considering SoftBank Group Corp.’s role. The Japanese conglomerate built by billionaire Masayoshi Son not only controls WeWork — the result of a $9.5 billion rescue package — but also Sprint Corp., T-Mobile’s closest competitor and hopeful merger partner. Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure, who is also chief operating officer of SoftBank, was tapped to help fix WeWork’s problems. He’s spent a lot of time with Legere these last two years as they worked to sway federal and state officials to support the merger of the two wireless carriers. Legere has done with T-Mobile what Claure and his predecessors couldn’t with Sprint, even as SoftBank injected billions along the way. One might think that WeWork would seek out a lower-profile leader, given the roller-coaster it has been on the past few months; Legere is anything but that. And at 61 years old, it’s a little surprising that he would consider following up such a successful run at T-Mobile with a stint at a company as troubled as WeWork. T-Mobile has become part of his identity — he’s spotted in magenta T-Mobile gear whether he’s going for runs in New York City or filming his Facebook Live cooking show from his kitchen. T-Mobile shareholders wouldn't be happy to see Legere go. Worse, there's the appearance of a conflict of interest if SoftBank is pursuing Legere while the companies are separately renegotiating the terms of the Sprint merger.That aside, it’s clear that Legere likes a challenge, and WeWork is the ultimate one.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.
It's a tricky time to be an investor right now. The market keeps climbing to new highs, but the threat of a recession continues to loom as political uncertainty and troubling macroeconomic factors keep investors from getting too comfortable. The result has been an unstable bull market in which traders are constantly worried about a drop-off. So are there any good stocks to buy in a market that keeps ticking upward?Yes and no. If you've got a long timeline and you can stomach a bit of turbulence, then you should be focused on buying quality companies that have the financial fortitude to thrive in a downturn. Dave Ramsey, a best-selling author, radio host and the CEO of Ramsey Solutions says now isn't the time to start panicking about a recession.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips"If the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrinks, or recedes for two consecutive quarters, we call that a recession. Nobody's coming to your house to take your children. It's two quarters -- six months that the economy shrinks. It's not the end of the world. The job market has been strong. There are more jobs today than people looking to fill them. Do I think the economy will shrink in two consecutive quarters? I don't know. Maybe, but it would first have to shrink in one quarter and that hasn't happened yet." He's not wrong. If you stayed out of the market completely over the past few months because you were worried about a crash, you could have missed out on some pretty incredible gains this earnings season. Now isn't the time to panic, it's the time to ensure you're well diversified and pick up long-term bets that will carry you through a downturn should it materialize. * 7 Large-Cap Stocks to Give a Wide Berth Here's a look at three stocks worth considering as the market continues to fly higher. Stocks to Buy: Dow Chemical (DOW)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) stock is a spin off from DowDuPont that has had a turbulent few months since it hit the market on its own back in March. The firm makes a wide variety of coatings, paints, packaging and polymers. As part of its packaging arm, DOW makes styrofoam, which has been one of its best selling products.While the firm's ties to crude oil make it susceptible to volatility associated with the rise and fall of oil prices, DOW stock's 5% dividend yield is a great way for long-term investors to build their wealth over time. Its most recent earnings results also suggested that easing tension with China should be a boon to DOW stock in the coming months. Visa (V)Source: Shutterstock Visa (NYSE:V) stock is up 26% so far this year, but it still makes for a good buy for long-term investors. The firm boasts a strong balance sheet and a track record of consistent dividend increases, V stock is a great play for those who are looking for a buy-and-hold investment. * 10 Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy for the End of the Year As payments continue to shift away from cash, Visa's strong position makes it likely to benefit as the industry grows over the next decade. The firm is also relatively safe compared to peers in the case of a recession. Visa operates as a payment processor and doesn't actually lend out money. That means the firm won't be bogged down by credit delinquency if the economy takes a turn for the worst. AT&T (T)Source: Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com AT&T (NYSE:T) stock suffered through the beginning of 2019, but despite the firm's impressive comeback so far, I believe it has further to climb in 2020. AT&T is working to pay down its debt pile and rework its business model, which hurt investors sentiment and took the share price lower at the end of 2018. However, T stock is on the edge of greatness should management be able to execute its strategy over the next few years.The firm is working to roll out a streaming service that will put its TimeWarner acquisition to use by drawing on the company's massive media library. Plus, AT&T is rolling out a 5G network across the U.S., which many believe will help the firm regain pricing power. To be sure, T stock likely still has some volatility to come in the near-term, but its 5.18% dividend yield makes riding out the bumps a bit easier. As of this writing, Laura Hoy was long T. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Large-Cap Stocks to Give a Wide Berth * 7 Potential New Stocks That Should Not Go Public * 5 Chinese Stocks to Buy Surging Higher The post 3 Stocks to Buy Even If Markets Keep Climbing appeared first on InvestorPlace.