25.72 -0.04 (-0.16%)
After hours: 4:37PM EDT
|Bid||25.55 x 3100|
|Ask||25.77 x 1400|
|Day's Range||25.46 - 25.89|
|52 Week Range||23.31 - 34.44|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.06|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||6.35|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.80 (3.11%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
This weekend's Barron's offers a look at what's in store for North American railroad stocks. Other featured articles discuss changing oil stock dividends and potential results from a major media merger. "Railroad Stocks Could Run Out of Steam" by Bill Alpert suggests that cost-cutting is boosting profits for North American railroads, but declining freight volumes and increasing competition from truckers may pull the brakes on growth at the likes of CSX Corporation (NASDAQ: CSX).
(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.
Bob Bakish, tapped to lead the recombined CBS and Viacom, makes the case for the new stock. And he vows to avoid a dilutive M&A spree.
(Bloomberg) -- Viacom Inc., the media company that’s combining with CBS Corp., has emerged as the front-runner to buy a stake in Miramax films, which owns award-winning pictures such as “Pulp Fiction,” people familiar with the matter said.Another bidder, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., has dropped out of the process to focus on its core business, though it’s possible the company could come back, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Talks are ongoing and there’s no guarantee a deal will be reached. The parties have discussed a price in the nine-figure range, or at least $100 million, the people said.A deal would give Viacom a stake in more than 700 titles, including four best-picture Oscar winners, and an interest in future productions, such as Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen,” with Matthew McConaughey. Viacom is the parent of MTV and Comedy Central, along with the Paramount Pictures film and TV studio. BeIN Media Group, the Qatar-based owner of Miramax, began seeking investors earlier this year.The owners are looking to capitalize on soaring demand for film and TV assets, driven by new streaming services from companies like Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. Viacom and CBS, both controlled by the Redstone family, are merging to gain clout in this environment. Spyglass Media Group, the company formed through the acquisition of Weinstein Co. assets, dropped out of the process earlier.Viacom shares fell 1.5% to $26.15 in late trading in New York, while Lions Gate rose 6% to $11.67.Deal HuntA spokesman for BeIN declined to comment.The combined Viacom and CBS has been expected to seek other deals that bolster its portfolio. In March, New York-based Viacom acquired Pluto TV, an internet-based TV programmer, for $340 million.“While there is concern that ViacomCBS would be an aggressive buyer, in our discussions, we came away with a strong belief that the company would be ‘opportunistic’ and ‘disciplined,’” analysts at MoffettNathanson LLC said in a note this month.Lions Gate, meanwhile, has been trying to raise capital for the international expansion of its Starz premium cable network.Miramax was acquired by BeIN from Colony Capital in 2016 and is pursuing a revival under Chief Executive Officer Bill Block, the founder of Artisan Entertainment. Last year, the company co-produced a remake of “Halloween” to revive and extend the popular horror film series. But the library remains the key prize.Colony and other investors acquired Miramax in 2010 for $660 million. The independent studio was founded in 1979 by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who sold it to Walt Disney in 1993. The brothers went on to found the Weinstein Co. in 2005, which went into bankruptcy last year after revelations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein.(Updates with shares prices in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Anousha Sakoui in los angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;Nabila Ahmed in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIAB) have announced they will be merging in a stock deal, setting up an attractive value play in media, explains Chuck Carlson, dividend expert and editor of DRIP Investor.
Another niche streaming service is about to hit the market, this time from BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios. BET+ will launch on Sept. 19. The ad-free platform will cost $9.99 per month. The subscription video-on-demand service will debut with more than a thousand hours of programming, including original series; Perry's movies, TV shows and stage plays; and content from BET and other Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) brands.
A bestseller in its author’s native China, White Fox (Chicken House, RRP£6.99) follows the adventures of Dilah, orphaned Arctic fox cub, as he sets out on a quest to become human. All Dilah has to guide him is a magic moonstone that was bequeathed to him by his mother and which, according to legend, was created by Ulla, patron saint of Arctic foxes.
A combination of five years at my current address and London property prices means I am no longer considered a Yuppie incomer. My area, which is known for its unusually wide range of Victorian architectural styles, is beginning to experience banker-style gentrification. Where once we saw modest kitchen extensions, now we have garden-gobbling goliaths that double the square footage of the ground floor at a stroke.
Jerry Jones claims the NFL can get 50% more from its next TV contracts than it did last time around – thanks to sports betting legalization.
Shares of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. are off in premarket trading Tuesday after Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger grew more bearish on the prospects for the combined company once their merger goes through. He lowered his price target on CBS's stock to $35 from $46 and on Viacom's stock to $21 from $27. "Despite hundreds of years of trying, it remains impossible to have one's cake and eat it too," Juenger wrote. "Worse, we worry ViacomCBS will bake two cakes that nobody wants to eat." He argues that ViacomCBS will face hard choices as it tries to build out a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business while still competing in linear television. In Juenger's view, shows like "The Daily Show" hold little "library value" as viewers don't want to watch old episodes of news-oriented comedy shows, meaning that ViacomCBS wouldn't be able to draw consumers to a DTC offering by promising an archive of older seasons. If ViacomCBS were to drop new episodes on its streaming service at the same time as they aired on linear TV, Juenger worries that would " very quickly cannibalize [the company's] distribution and affiliate fee pricing." Viacom shares are down 14% in the past three months, while CBS shares have fallen 13%. The S&P 500 has risen 6.6% in that time.
Bob Bakish, CEO of Viacom, and Joseph Ianniello, CEO of CBS Corp., fared quite well financially in the aftermath of the companies' merger.
The two companies have agreed to merge, but they need more intellectual property to be a major player in the streaming market.
Some 60% of the combined company’s profits will come from traditional TV networks. That’s a tough sell in the age of streaming.
On CNBC's "Mad Money Lightning Round," Jim Cramer said he likes Penn National Gaming, Inc (NASDAQ: PENN ) at its current price. He wouldn't sell the stock, but he wouldn't double down either. ...
You never really know what someone is focusing on ahead of time during the Lightning Round on Mad Money but the recent news of Viacom and CBS Corp. made yesterday's call somewhat predictable. Let's go back again to charts of VIAB. In this updated daily bar chart of VIAB, below, we can see that prices quickly decline to the $26 area but did not break the March low.