|Bid||27.75 x 1400|
|Ask||30.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||27.98 - 28.54|
|52 Week Range||26.30 - 38.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.12|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||6.93|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.80 (2.83%)|
|1y Target Est||78.00|
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).
NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2019 -- If you own shares in any of the companies listed above and would like to discuss our investigations or have any questions concerning this.
(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 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.
(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 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.
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.
THE BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” 2019 WILL PREMIERE ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2019 AT 8PM ET/PT ON BET NETWORKS
Making a popular TV series into a big-screen movie used to be a rarity. Robert Altman’s “M*A*S*H” begets Alan Alda’s. But back in 1979, my first Christmas-movie-madness season with the AJC, one such, um, miracle loomed ahead. Thanks to a determined and dedicated fan base, after disappearing from sight for a decade, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was upon us.
(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 email@example.com;Nabila Ahmed in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.com, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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.
NEW YORK, Sept. 06, 2019 -- If you own shares in any of the companies listed above and would like to discuss our investigations or have any questions concerning this notice.
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.
A new home in the city holds big adventures, laughs and love around every corner in Nickelodeon’s new original animated series The Casagrandes, premiering Monday, Oct. 14, at 1:30 p.m. (ET/PT). A spinoff of Nick’s animated hit The Loud House, The Casagrandes tells the story of 11-year-old Ronnie Anne who moves to the city with her mom and older brother to live with their big, loving family, the Casagrandes.
Viacom Inc. today announced that Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures, will participate in a question and answer session during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.
Kenan Thompson, who grew up in College Park, told The Washington Post he has no plans to end his historic run on Saturday Night Live and will also soon be taking an even more prominent role on the NBC network of shows.
The duo who brought the "Madea" films to worldwide prominence have reportedly launched a new production company named after famous streets in Atlanta and Hollywood.
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.
CBS (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today jointly announced that Julia Phelps has been named Executive Vice President, Chief Communications and Corporate Marketing Officer of ViacomCBS, effective upon closing of the deal to combine CBS and Viacom. Phelps will report to Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom, who will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of ViacomCBS upon close.
CBS (NYSE:CBS.A and CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today jointly announced that Anthony DiClemente has been named to the position of Executive Vice President, Investor Relations, ViacomCBS, effective upon closing of the deal to combine CBS and Viacom. DiClemente will report to Christina Spade, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CBS Corporation, who will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company, as previously announced. In his new role, DiClemente will coordinate and oversee outreach strategies to the investment community.
It’s time to pull up the Thinking Chair and follow the paw prints as Blue and her crew return in Nickelodeon’s brand-new preschool series Blue’s Clues & You!, debuting Monday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. (ET/PT). Steve Burns (Steve) and Donovan Patton (Joe) will reprise their roles in the series premiere, “Meet Josh!,” and help new live-action host Josh (Joshua Dela Cruz) and the audience solve their first game of Blue’s Clues.
MTV and Save the Music—a non-profit organization that has launched over 2,000 music programs within schools across the country—today announced a first-of-its-kind program supporting electronic music production to develop students’ creative and technical talents and reflect how modern music is being made today. The grant, which was developed in partnership with Pharrell Williams’ creative collective i am OTHER and Arizona State University (ASU), is named the J Dilla Music Tech Grant after the legendary producer who worked with De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Common and Erykah Badu, among others, and whose revolutionary approach to making beats continues to inspire artists more than a decade after his death.