News Corp. Split, the Viacom Way

Were News Corp. to split its empire in two, a possibility it confirmed Tuesday, the media giant would be following in the footsteps of several other corporate-splitoffs and more directly the path of media giant Viacom.

eBay Inks Buy of WHI Solutions

eBay said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy WHI Solutions, which provides software and digital catalog solutions for auto parts distributors and retailers. Financial terms weren’t announced. Investors of Rye Brook, N.Y.-based WHI Solutions include Polaris Ventures, MidMark Capital, Viacom, Goldman Sachs and and Canopy Group. WHI’s offices will remain in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles at this time, eBay says.


Live Chat: The Rise in Executive Pay

Chief executives at the biggest U.S. companies saw their pay jump sharply in 2010, as boards rewarded them for strong profit and share-price growth with bigger bonuses and stock grants. The median value of salaries, bonuses and long-term incentive awards for CEOs of 350 major companies surged 10.7% to $9.27 million, according to today’s lead story on executive compensation in The Wall Street Journal. It follows two years in which pay declined or remained flat.

Why are there so many media companies in the top ten? Whose pay actually declined despite the larger trend?  And will CEO pay keep growing next year?

Wall Street Journal senior editor Scott Thurm has analyzed the data, and took reader questions on May 9. Editor Erin White moderated. Replay the event below.

What the Final Harry Potter Film Means to Time Warner

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Time Warner (TWX) logoWarner Brothers, Time Warner's (TWX) movie entertainment arm, is going to launch part 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in 3D during 2011. We take this opportunity to estimate the value of such movies from Time Warner's perspective. Time Warner competes with Viacom (VIA), News Corp. (NWS), CBS (CBS) and Disney (DIS) in the media and entertainment business.

Our price estimate for Time Warner's stock stands at $35.51, in line with market price.

Continue reading What the Final Harry Potter Film Means to Time Warner

What the Final Harry Potter Film Means to Time Warner originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Sun, 03 Apr 2011 11:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom’s Deal with Hulu Makes Sense

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Viacom logoViacom (VIA) competes with other media and broadcasting companies like Time Warner (TWX), News Corp. (NWS), CBS (CBS) and Disney (DIS) in the media and entertainment business. Our price estimate for Viacom's stock stands at $58.36, which is a roughly 15% premium to market price.

The company recently signed a deal with Hulu to make more of its TV content available on the subscription/ad-supported portal. In its press release Viacom stated that:

Continue reading Viacom's Deal with Hulu Makes Sense

Viacom's Deal with Hulu Makes Sense originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It’s Disney vs. Time Warner at the Multiplex

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According to Box Office Mojo's early estimates for the four-day holiday weekend, Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX) thriller Unknown has taken the number-one position with a domestic haul of $25.6 million. The next two movies on the chart came close to that figure, but the more interesting thing about them is that they come courtesy of The Walt Disney Company (DIS).

In second place is Gnomeo and Juliet with $24.8 million. Pretty cool, actually. I didn't think the cartoon would necessarily hold up as well as it has in the second weekend.

Continue reading It's Disney vs. Time Warner at the Multiplex

It's Disney vs. Time Warner at the Multiplex originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom Hits New 52-Week High

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Viacom logoViacom's B shares (VIA.B) hit a new 52-week high of $43 on Friday during the intraday session (it eventually closed at $42.28). This is a stock I watch fairly regularly, and it's looking like it wants to make a run to even higher heights.

The equity has done well since hitting a 52-week low of $27.89 nearly a year ago. The twelve-month chart shows the stock's escape from a sideways-trading pattern. You can't help but call the media company attractive from a technical viewpoint.

I also find the business to be interesting from a valuation perspective. Even with the appreciation in price, the shares are arguably not too expensive.

Continue reading Viacom Hits New 52-Week High

Viacom Hits New 52-Week High originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom finds friends in its case against YouTube

Representatives of a large part of the US media industry - with Microsoft also along for the ride - have lined up to back Viacom’s continuing legal battle with YouTube. It is a timely reminder of how far Google still has to go to win friends in the media world. The transgressions of which Viacom complained [...]

Viacom Up on Earnings Numbers

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Viacom (VIA.B) is seeing a bid today. The B shares are up, at the time of this writing, by 3.4% to $39.40. The 52-week high is currently set at $39.76, and it was hit during the intraday session. A look at the chart shows a stock that has been breaking through new trading levels.

Will it continue to do so? Well, the third-quarter numbers show something of a mixed bag, in my opinion. Adjusted earnings from continuing businesses increased a mere 6% to 75 cents per share. That was enough to beat the estimate of 70 cents per share, as indicated in this Associated Press article.

Continue reading Viacom Up on Earnings Numbers

Viacom Up on Earnings Numbers originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 11 Nov 2010 14:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Disney Set to Report Q4 Earnings

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The Walt Disney Company (DIS) will report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, November 11. This company is a big long-term holding for me, and if you've read anything I've ever written on the media conglomerate, you'll know that I haven't been too happy with it. Over the years, the stock just hasn't done as well as I thought it would do, not only in terms of capital appreciation, but also as it relates to dividend growth. On both counts, I'm thoroughly disappointed, but I'm particularly displeased with the dividend aspect. Sure, the shares have been a good trade at times, but when you've been an owner since 1998, like I have, the overall picture isn't one to be looked at with admiration.

So, I come up to yet another quarterly report. I enjoy reading them, but I'm not always satisfied with the reaction of the stock once the release has come and gone. What am I hoping for this time around? Please, Wall Street, buy this stock and push it past the 52-week high of 37.98! Is that too much to ask?

Continue reading Disney Set to Report Q4 Earnings

Disney Set to Report Q4 Earnings originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 10 Nov 2010 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom Dominates Theaters with ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

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Last time around, Viacom (VIA.B) had the number-one film of the weekend with Jackass 3D. Well, the studio has done it again, this time with a project more suited for the upcoming holiday dedicated to ghosts, goblins, and low-budget celluloid horrors.

According to early estimates at Box Office Mojo, Paranormal Activity 2 obliterated the competition at domestic theaters. It took in well over $40 million, more than enough for first place. Of course, the company behind the picture that came in second isn't crying: Jackass 3D, which captured another $20 million and is now on its way to passing $100 million in total gross, is also from Viacom.

Continue reading Viacom Dominates Theaters with 'Paranormal Activity 2'

Viacom Dominates Theaters with 'Paranormal Activity 2' originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 25 Oct 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom’s ‘Jackass’ Franchise Makes Triumphant Return

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Viacom (VIA.B) scored this past weekend with Johnny Knoxville and his self-abusing colleagues. The film Jackass 3D came out on top, making $50 million at domestic theaters in its debut, according to early estimates at Box Office Mojo. Viacom beat out high-profile products from various media companies: Summit Entertainment's Red, Sony's (SNE) The Social Network, Time Warner's (TWX) Life As We Know It, and Disney's (DIS) Secretariat all had to step aside and watch as multiplexes filled with fans eager to see the comedy saturated with a series of painful stunts.

It isn't too surprising. The promotional campaign for the movie seemed to have hit its target demographic, creating an appropriate amount of excitement that eventually translated into copious ticket sales. Plus, except for Red, the other movies mentioned were already out in the marketplace, making them not as much of a threat to the energetic new kid on the block.

Continue reading Viacom's 'Jackass' Franchise Makes Triumphant Return

Viacom's 'Jackass' Franchise Makes Triumphant Return originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 18 Oct 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Analyst Calls: AAPL, CYH, DIS, ISRG, IVR, NYT, SNDK, TWX, VIA, VMC, WFMI …

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Analyst Upgrades

  • Soleil upgraded Community Health (CYH) to buy from hold based on expectations for improved 2011 demand. The firm has a $40 price target on the stock.
  • Wunderlich upgraded Invesco Mortgage (IVR) to buy from hold following the company's better-than-expected Q3 dividend. The firm also raised its target price for shares to $23.50 from $21.50.
  • Goldman upgraded SuccessFactors (SFSF) to conviction buy from buy, citing cloud exposure.
  • Vulcan Materials (VMC) was upgraded to buy from hold at Jefferies.
  • Comstock Resources (CRK) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Ladenburg.
  • Trimble Navigation (TRMB) was upgraded to buy from hold at Canaccord.

Continue reading Analyst Calls: AAPL, CYH, DIS, ISRG, IVR, NYT, SNDK, TWX, VIA, VMC, WFMI ...

Analyst Calls: AAPL, CYH, DIS, ISRG, IVR, NYT, SNDK, TWX, VIA, VMC, WFMI ... originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SanDisk - Whole Foods Market - Viacom - Apple Inc - Time Warner

If Snooki Can Beat Viacom, Is the Hollywood Business Model in Trouble?

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SnookiI've been thinking about the whole Jersey Shore zeitgeist. You know the show. It's on Viacom's (VIA) MTV. It's a huge hit, everyone is talking about it and its stars (Snooki, The Situation, etc.). It also was mentioned in a recent conference call the media company had with investors.

It was reported that the cast was able to significantly increase its salary for the reality series. When I first heard about the demands, I mused to myself that this was a grand opportunity for Hollywood to say no to minor celebrities. After all, it's just a reality show, folks. Even though Snooki is immensely popular, there are many more Snooki-type individuals out there. Dime-a-dozen comes to mind when thinking of the goofy girl with the poofy coif.

Continue reading If Snooki Can Beat Viacom, Is the Hollywood Business Model in Trouble?

If Snooki Can Beat Viacom, Is the Hollywood Business Model in Trouble? originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jersey Shore - Walt Disney - Viacom - Time Warner - BloggingStocks

Analyst Calls: ADSK, ATK, BCS, GENZ, H, ROCK, SFD, UL, VIA …

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Analyst Upgrades

  • Credit Suisse upgraded Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to outperform from neutral following the company's increased FY11 guidance. The firm has an $85 target on the stock.
  • FBR Capital upgraded Hyatt Hotels (H) to market perform from underperform following the company's Q2 results. The firm raised its target for shares to $44 from $38.
  • BB&T upgraded to Smithfield Foods (SFD) to buy from hold, citing tighter supplies, strong pork prices and improving export demand. The firm has a $19 target on the stock.
  • Holly (HOC) was upgraded to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
  • Cogent Communications (CCOI) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Cowen.
  • Catalyst Health (CHSI) was upgraded to overweight from equal weight at First Analysis.

Continue reading Analyst Calls: ADSK, ATK, BCS, GENZ, H, ROCK, SFD, UL, VIA ...

Analyst Calls: ADSK, ATK, BCS, GENZ, H, ROCK, SFD, UL, VIA ... originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 06 Aug 2010 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Smithfield Foods - Business - Alliant Techsystems - Investing - Viacom

Viacom Beats in Q2 — Market Doesn’t Care

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Viacom's B shares (VIA.B) closed today's session at $33.70. They were down a little less than 1%. Volume was strong. Those who were hoping that the second-quarter earnings report, which was released earlier in the morning, would turn out to be an exciting catalyst were unfortunately disappointed.

The media company, whose colleagues include CBS Corporation (CBS) and The Walt Disney Company (DIS), said it made 69 cents per share this time around versus income of 46 cents per share in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, profit from continuing operations was 68 cents per share, which was two pennies ahead of estimates.

Continue reading Viacom Beats in Q2 -- Market Doesn't Care

Viacom Beats in Q2 -- Market Doesn't Care originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 05 Aug 2010 17:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Walt Disney - Viacom - CBS Corporation - Walt Disney Company - BloggingStocks

Why Viacom ruling could take YouTube to profitability

The judge who today threw out Viacom’s $1bn copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube may just have given the video site the final lift it needs to reach profitability. That is the less-noted result of  judge Louis Stanton’s decision to grant a motion for summary judgment in the  case. The reason: he has given YouTube an emphatic [...]

Viacom’s Dividend: Does This Mean Growth Is Over?

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Here's a media flash for you from DailyFinance: Viacom, Inc. (VIA) will be distributing its first dividend ever. The company will also be resuming its stock buyback. While the latter is cool, I think the bigger story here for shareholders is the dividend. The first quarterly payment is set at 15 cents per share.

You know, you've got to ask yourself if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In general, dividends are an awesome part of the investing experience. I love them, and I wrote a positive piece on the recent news surrounding Target Corporation's (TGT) payout this afternoon. Being rewarded for holding a stock is not something to be taken lightly.

Continue reading Viacom's Dividend: Does This Mean Growth Is Over?

Viacom's Dividend: Does This Mean Growth Is Over? originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 10 Jun 2010 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Viacom - BloggingStocks - Target Corporation - Dividend - Stock