|Day's Range||2.3400 - 2.5000|
Shailene Woodley thinks the OTT/Streaming wars are good for Hollywood by creating opportunity for everyone in the industry.
Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T), spoke today at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York. While there, he discussed the company’s strategy, including capital allocation, and progress against 2019 priorities. Stephenson discussed AT&T’s plan to take advantage of two trends: continuous growth in time spent viewing premium content and increases in demand for connectivity and bandwidth.
In the second blockbuster streaming deal in as many days, WarnerMedia announced on Tuesday that "The Big Bang Theory" will stream on HBO Max when it launches sometime next year. The move is not a surprise, as the series was produced by WarnerMedia division Warner Bros. Television. "The Big Bang Theory" is the latest in a string of hit sitcoms demanding big bucks for streaming rights, including "Seinfeld" going to Netflix, "The Office" to NBCUniversal" and "Friends" also to HBO Max. Terms of the five-year "Big Bang" deal were not disclosed, but the complicated pact includes continuing the show's syndication on TBS, another WarnerMedia division, through 2028 and all told likely totals far north of the $500 million benchmark set by "The Office." "The Big Bang Theory," created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, debuted on CBS in September 2007 and went on to become the longest-running multi-camera comedy series in U.S. television history with 279 episodes.
AT&T; fell about 1.6% on September 16. The stock closed the trading day at $37.31, 3.72% below the 52-week high of $38.75 it saw on September 11.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. American business is holding back on investment, and that’s holding back the economy.After growing 5.9% last year, such corporate outlays -- including for equipment, software, commercial buildings, factories and mines -- have downshifted, laying economic growth prospects clearly at the feet of consumers. Household spending, which accounts for almost 70% of gross domestic product, didn’t skip a beat in the second quarter and is poised for another solid showing in the third.Nonresidential investment, on the other hand, has slowed abruptly -- falling an annualized 0.6% in the second quarter, the weakest performance in three years, after a 4.4% gain in the prior period. With profitability moderating, global economies grasping for growth and the negative repercussions from antagonistic trade policies, companies have precious little appetite to ramp up expenditures on facilities and equipment.That’s part of the reason Federal Reserve policy makers are forecast to cut interest rates Wednesday for a second-straight meeting. The central bank’s last two statements in June and July described business investment as “soft,” and spending may be poised to sag again in the third quarter. The New York Fed’s latest survey of manufacturers in the state, released Monday, showed the outlook for capital spending plunged by the most in three years.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg in September see a 35% chance of recession in the next 12 months.While business investment makes up about 15% of GDP, small potatoes compared with households, consecutive quarterly declines are rare “outside of recessions or shortly after recessions,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli said in a recent report.“Profitability -- defined as the rate of return on invested capital -- has decreased in recent years,” Feroli wrote. “This likely has been a headwind to capex. Another more commonly-cited challenge for business investment is trade policy-related uncertainty, through it is harder to find a clear empirical link between trade policy and capital spending.”For the past 50 years, he said, the nonfinancial corporate sector’s return on invested capital has mainly averaged 7.5% to 9.5%. “Over the last few years it has been moving toward the lower end of that range,” Feroli said.Randall Stephenson, chief executive officer of telecom giant AT&T Inc., said the weakness in investment may eventually filter through to consumers.“It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that business investment starts slowing down” amid trade tensions, Stephenson said at a Goldman Sachs investor conference Tuesday. “I don’t think we’re headed to a recession, but we’re definitely slowing down. And you can’t have that kind of slowdown in business investment and not find its way into the consumer, ultimately.”Monthly data on shipments of non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy of business investment used by economists to shape quarterly GDP estimates, declined at the start of the third quarter after no change in June. In the three months through July, these shipments advanced at a tepid 0.9% annual rate -- the weakest performance since late 2016.The energy sector is responsible for some of the weakness in investment. With oil prices still well below the October 2018 peak of $76, and inventories remaining elevated, exploration and production firms have been less than enthusiastic about drilling as investors demand capital discipline over production growth. The number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. is at a two-year low, Baker Hughes data show.Another reason for corporate hesitancy is bloated inventories. The ratio of the value of durable goods stockpiles relative to sales has been increasing. This could reflect companies’ accumulation of big-ticket items and manufacturing inputs ahead of tariffs, more restrained customer demand or a combination of both.While American consumers remain the bedrock for the economy and show few signs of flagging, the investment retrenchment and corporate profitability concerns are making the U.S. more vulnerable to a recession.(Updates with AT&T comment starting in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Katia Dmitrieva.To contact the reporter on this story: Vince Golle in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Scott Lanman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff KearnsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from AT&T Inc's WarnerMedia, has secured exclusive five-year streaming rights in the United States to all 12 seasons of comedy hit "The Big Bang Theory". Ranked as the No. 1 comedy on U.S. television for the past seven years, the show has garnered an audience of some 20 million people. The rights for the show cost HBO Max between $500 million and $600 million, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The activist investor wants AT&T to commit to increasing its dividend by 2% a year and spend of its remaining free cash flow on buybacks and half on debt repayment.
Ranked as the No. 1 comedy on U.S. television for the past seven years, the show has garnered an audience of some 20 million people. The rights for the show cost HBO Max between $500 million and $600 million, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in the spring of 2020, WarnerMedia said in a statement.
AT&T (NYSE:T) is on a roll. In fact, AT&T stock is up over 10% in less than a month and ready to attack its 52-week high of $38.48 in the next few weeks leading up to its third-quarter 2019 results, which it will report on Oct. 23.Source: Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com With businesses across four general operating units covering premium media and entertainment content, telecommunications, Pay-TV and of course its traditional telecommunications, a bet on AT&T is a bet on the global economy.Any investor with concerns looking at an inverted-yield curve possibly signaling that the U.S. economy is headed into a recession need only look at the bullish sentiment regarding the T stock price over the last several weeks. This run-up in the T stock price was during a period of concerns over a global trade war with China and the U.S. Federal Reserve expressing a certain degree of skepticism about a cooling housing market.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWhile some investors may want to step back and wait for the enthusiasm to cool off, there are several reasons why the rally in AT&T stock may still have steam left. * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy Three Reasons to Keep an Eye on AT&T StockSeptember Is iPhone Apple Mania MonthSeptember is usually a huge month for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as it often comes down with plenty of hot announcements. And just recently AAPL announced its new iPhone line up. The media coverage will send shoppers flocking to their nearest AT&T store to place orders. AT&T will be among the first carriers to offer the newest iPhone 11, iPhone11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max as well as the Apple Watch Series 5.Regardless of the actual top-line revenue boost that the new iPhone product line delivers to AT&T, the launch will create buzz that should lift the price of T stock.Shortly after the Apple iPhone announcement, David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment, chimed in: "[the] iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are cutting-edge devices that deserve more than a 'just OK' network … AT&T is the nation's best wireless network that's also the fastest network for iPhones."Further, T has poured billions into its 5G Evolution and will be front and center in offering 5G speeds once the new technology standard is introduced. According to John Stephens, Chief Financial Officer, AT&T plans to have 5G in parts of 29 cities within six months and nationwide 5G coverage on sub-6 GHz spectrum by the first half of 2020.Warner Media Is Driving Revenues Across Businesses LinesAT&T is unique in the telecom sector in that it controls parts of the entire value chain from content creation, transmission to point of sale and direct to consumer distribution in premium brand names such as HBO, Directv and SKY. This comprehensive control of the value chain has delivered revenue growth across content sales, consumer distribution and advertising.According to an update by AT&T to shareholders, "Entertainment Group EBITDA was up nearly 4% in the first half of the year." The potential long-term strength behind T becomes even clearer when you add to that the fact that Stephens expects the Warner Media synergies to deliver $700 million additional revenue by the end of the year and direct-to-consumer sales will also see a boost next year as AT&T will move forward with the launch of a premium-priced HBO Max service in spring 2020.AT&T Is De-Leveraging and Optimizing Its Capital StructureAt a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Los Angeles, AT&T detailed plans of reducing debt and becoming essentially a company with less financial risk and increased free cash flow. The huge debt load among telecom firms caused in part by the billions spent in the run up to 5G has been an a risk issue plaguing the entire industry. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip However, at the conference, Stephens said that AT&T expects to reduce risk and raise between $6 billion and $8 billion by the end of 2019 through asset monetization, including real estate sales. He added that investors should expect share buybacks to be announced later this year. For 2019, AT&T estimates free cash flow in the $28 billion range.Indeed, AT&T stock has been hot. Some may argue that AT&T stock price may be overvalued, at least in the short term. Yet, as the underlying fundamentals are strong and likely to get even better, there is no sign of the bull run cooling off anytime soon. The third-quarter earnings call on October 23rd could ignite yet another round of buying that will likely push AT&T stock into new territory well past its 52-week high.As of this writing, Theodore Kim did not hold a position in any of 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 3 Reasons AT&T Stock Is Scorching Hot Ahead of Q3 Earnings Report appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(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 email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
Unsurprisingly, technology firm Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is enjoy a strong year in 2019. After years of ugly legal battles with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) over patent disputes, the two giants settled their differences. Immediately, QCOM stock shot to the moon.Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com Of course, shares have settled down into their usual cadence, ebbing and flowing based on the news or interpretations of earnings reports. Still, Qualcomm stock is up 37% for the year. Outside of an extremely bearish news item, QCOM seems assured of closing out 2019 deep in the black.That said, some of the positive momentum appears to be waning. For instance, QCOM stock recently incurred three negative sessions in a row. And yesterday, Sept. 16, was particularly interesting.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsOn this day, Qualcomm announced that it would buy the rest of its interest in RF360 Holdings, a joint venture between QCOM and TDK (OTCMKTS:TTDKY). RF360 specializes in RF front-end filters, which are necessary components in rolling out the 5G network. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now According to a statement from Qualcomm, the acquisition enables the organization to "deliver a truly complete solution" for mobile platforms. Theoretically, the news should lift Qualcomm stock. Thanks to rival Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) bungled attempt at developing 5G modems, QCOM enjoys significant breathing room.Unfortunately, that's not how the markets viewed things. Instead, QCOM stock slipped about 0.5% in the Monday session.This is hardly a time to panic. Nevertheless, it is interesting that despite having a clear advantage in the 5G arena, Qualcomm stock has not been able to capitalize on it recently. Still, I wouldn't give up on this compelling tech opportunity. Nearer-Term Concerns Conflict with Longer-Term NarrativeJust as it's not surprising that QCOM stock is having an outstanding year overall, it's also no mystery why shares have recently slowed.Primarily, the ongoing U.S.-China trade war puts a damper on most industries. More worryingly, some economic experts have voiced their concerns that the trade war could drag on for years. Such a scenario is especially problematic for Qualcomm stock. The San Diego-headquartered tech firm generates about 65% of its revenue from China.Moreover, troubles in Europe, such as Brexit and Germany teetering toward recession, weigh on global markets. Logically, if Europe's biggest economic powers hit choppy waters, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the continent. Also, such a negative development hurts broader consumer demand.After all, 5G-ready phones are rare. And if you really want one, you're going to have to pay a pretty penny. According to CNBC, you're looking at $1,300 for a Samsung Galaxy S10+ 5G, which runs on Qualcomm's current Snapdragon 8 platform.Moreover, the 5G rollout has only occurred in limited locations. Thus, if you're not in one of those areas, you're out of luck. In the here and now, these nearer-term concerns weigh on QCOM stock.That said, speculators may want to advantage these lulls in the pricing dynamics for Qualcomm stock. The tech firm is hard at work in not only driving innovation, but also toward implementing cost efficiencies. Earlier this month, management announced that they're developing 5G platforms for less expensive phones.Just as importantly, this news item coincides with telecom giants AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) committing to developing 5G infrastructures in dozens of major U.S. cities. Thus, the tech-based fundamentals for QCOM stock are lagging the underlying infrastructure. But by the end of next year, this situation should resolve itself. Geopolitics Favor QCOM StockUnderstandably, many investors are leery about tech names. That sentiment would only be amplified during a recession.But even here, I think Qualcomm stock has some safety measures. Amid the natural capitalistic drive to develop 5G technologies, a geopolitical motivation exists as well. Like it or not, we're embroiled in a tech cold war with our adversaries, primarily Russia and China.Everyone is seeking to gain an edge here. Tomorrow's wars may not be kinetic but instead digital. As such, America's brightest tech firms dominating the landscape isn't just a matter of pride; it's also a matter of national security.Thus, when push comes to shove, I see federal oversight and regulation as less of a concern. While enforcing privacy and antitrust laws are important, they pale in comparison to potentially losing the tech cold war. It's just another factor to keep in mind if you're considering QCOM stock.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long AT&T stock. 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 Be Patient When Considering Qualcomm Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
During a conference hosted by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday morning, AT&T; CEO Randall Stephenson called Elliot Management's letter a "mixed bag," calling the investors "smart guys," and spoke about John Stankey's forthcoming role as COO.
(Bloomberg) -- NBCUniversal revealed the name and initial lineup for its new online TV platform, aiming to challenge Netflix Inc. and other streaming rivals with more than 15,000 hours of programming.The service, slated to debut in April 2020, will be called Peacock, a tip of the hat to NBC’s logo. It will include reruns of NBC shows, including “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” as well as a slate of original shows, the Comcast Corp. division said on Tuesday.Peacock will join a crowded field of streaming services, all of which are fighting for TV viewers’ eyeballs and wallets. Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. are both launching offerings in November, while AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia is readying a product for early next year.Peacock’s original programming will include a “Battlestar Galactica” reboot from “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail and the drama “Dr. Death” starring Alec Baldwin. It also will feature comedies from the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels.The company will draw heavily on its vault of content. In addition to streaming reruns, Peacock will reboot the comedies “Saved by the Bell” and “Punky Brewster.”To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Turner in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- As streaming services fight for rights to popular sitcoms, AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia has locked down a key show: “The Big Bang Theory.”The company’s new streaming service, HBO Max, will have the U.S. rights to all 279 episodes of the comedy when it launches in the spring, WarnerMedia said on Tuesday. The show also extended a separate agreement with WarnerMedia’s cable network TBS to air “Big Bang Theory” through 2028.The move comes a day after Netflix Inc. secured the rights to all 180 episodes of “Seinfeld,” starting in 2021. Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures Television, the distributor of that show, currently has a deal with Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu. The “Seinfeld” bidding war followed battles over the rights to “The Office” and “Friends” -- two sitcoms that Netflix is losing to streaming rivals.In the case of “Big Bang Theory,” there wasn’t much of a contest. It was widely expected to go to HBO Max since the show is distributed by the same parent company. The in-house deal, which lasts five years, was valued at close to $500 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Still, the comedy should be a key draw for the nascent platform. “Big Bang Theory,” which debuted in 2007, is billed as the longest-running multicamera comedy in U.S. TV history. It won 10 Emmy awards.“We’re thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020,” said Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer business. “This show has been a hit virtually around the globe, it’s one of the biggest shows on broadcast television of the last decade, and the fact that we get to bring it to a streaming platform for the first time in the U.S. is a coup for our new offering.”To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Turner in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - HBO staff aren’t happy with the direction the channel is taking and at least four senior-level staff are expected to leave in the next few weeks, NBC’s Dylan Byers reported on Tuesday..
Randall Stephenson called the activist recommendations 'a mixed bag' and argued that AT&T; is well on its way to achieving its main objectives.
Apple has the money to buy a Hollywood studio, like Sony or Lionsgate, to build out its TV+ ambitions. But its content strategy is different from competitors such as Netflix or Disney.
The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular television shows of the past decade, was one of these crown jewels. The prices of classic shows have soared as bidding wars emerged, even for programmes that have not aired live in decades.
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.