Monday, August 16, 2010

Media/Telecom; $AAPLE $GOOG $VZ $ERTS


· iPhone: The iPhone that is speculated to come to Verizon in January may include upgrades to the touch screen and processor, as well changes to the external antenna. [Brighthand]

· iPhone: According to a survey done by Morpace, 34% of AT&T’s iPhone users are waiting for another carrier to offer the iPhone before upgrading, while 47% of current AT&T users said that they would consider switching to Verizon. [Tech Crunch]

· AAPL: In an article that highlights Apple’s $46B in cash, Barron’s Mark Veverka said about Steve Jobs possibly making an acquisition, “I could see him making a content acquisition, given his positive experience with Pixar and board post at Walt Disney” [Barron’s]

· AAPL: Since launching iAd on July 1st, Apple has had some delays with ad campaigns because of Apple’s role in the process and advertising agencies having to deal with the system. [WSJ]

· IPG: The Financial Times highlights Interpublic’s CEO Michael Roth, and notes that IPG’s stock has outperformed its peers over the past 6 months. Regarding M&A, Roth said, “I don’t see that many big deals out there” and he also commented on speculation that IPG is a possible target for Publicis, “On paper there is some logic to a transaction given our client base and things like that. But there is no compelling reason for it. We don’t need the capital, we don’t need the areas of expertise and he’s [Mr Levy] not about to pay an exorbitant price that would cause us to look at it.” [Financial Times]

· 3D Film: The Financial Times highlights the some of the shortcomings of recent 3D films (e.g. “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” & “Step Up 3D”) Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo, “The studios are guilty of short-term thinking… They all jumped on the 3D bandwagon but they’re avoiding the real issue, which is their bankruptcy regarding storytelling.” [Financial Times]

· Hulu ready for an IPO? Hulu is looking to go public with an IPO (which could come this fall) that would value the company at >$2B. [NYT]

· VZ: A report from TechCrunch says that "a good number of reports" from Droid 2 users that have experienced signal problems. [Apple Insider]

· CBS: Rhonda Bynre’s “The Power” will be available tomorrow, and Atria Books (owned by Simon & Schuster’s) has printed 1M copies for the U.S. & Canada. [WSJ]

· DIS: Barron’s interviews Morris Mark of Mark Asset Management who said regarding DIS, “Disney trades at a premium to the other media companies, such as Time Warner and Viacom, but not at nearly the premium that I believe it deserves when you look at what management has done” [Barron’s]

· DIS: “Toy Story 3” is the highest grossing animated film ever, earning more than $920M since June 18th. [AP]

· TWC: Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt gave an interview to the WSJ and answered a question about media companies possibly paying for preferential access to networks, “I don't foresee that. I know this is a sensitive subject, but we're also in the early stages of this, so I don't know what someone may or may not want to pay us for five years down the road. That's why this is dangerous” [WSJ]

· ERTS: Electronic Arts COO John Schappert said in an interview, “We feel good about how we are positioned and the way we are competing in the consumer segment" Regarding digital revenue, ERTS is expecting $750M this fiscal year; Schappert added, “[Gaming] is a growth sector. The digital story is the biggest one and there is a new growing business [on multiple platforms] such as the Apple (AAPL) iPhone and iPad, android mobile devices and social networking.” [DJ]

· PCLN: Mentioned cautiously by Barron’s, saying that it’s time to take profits. [Barron’s]

· CSTR, NFLX: Coinstar’s Redbox business was mentioned positively by Barron’s. The article highlights that Redbox’s $1/night pricing and “DVDs may have more staying power than detractors believe” The story also mentions that CSTR (trading at 23x est. 2010 earnings) trades at a discount to NFLX (trading at 40x 2010 est. earnings) [Barron’s]

· Social Networking: According to EMarketer, as sales on social networking sites will be up 29% next year. [Bloomberg]

· Social Networking: The Financial Times says that Google is “piecing together the makings of a social networking infrastructure” in part to compete against Facebook. [FT]

· Social Gaming: According to some estimates, Zynga may be worth $5B if it chose to go public. [NYT]

· GOOG: According to TechCrunch, Google is in the last stages of buying for >$100M. [Techcrunch]

· Nokia: The NYT looks at Nokia’s attempt to increase its presence in the U.S. market. [NYT]

· MHP: Mentioned by Barron’s as part of an index that includes SP500 stocks that 1) Trade below the market’s 12x multiple of next year’s est. earnings 2) Yield at least 3% 3) Ordinary dividends have gone up during the last 5 years + last year 4) Dividend payout ratios of <50% last year’s earnings. While the index lagged the SP500 in the past 12 months, it’s currently yielding 2%. [Barron’s]

· Cable vs. Broadcast: While cable channels are averaging the same number of viewers as last summer, though the viewer-ship for the 10 biggest channels are up 5%. [NYT]

· Box office: LGF’s “The Expendables” was #1 in the weekend box office with $35M, while Sony’s “Eat Pray Love” was #2 with $23.7M. “The Other Guys” was #3 with $18M ($70.5M in two weeks) and “Inception” was #4 with $11.4M ($248.6M since July 16th) [Bloomberg]

· LGF: If “The Expendables” were able to take in $100M, it would help the studio defend against Carl Icahn’s takeover attempt. NYT]

· LGF: Sylvester Stallone said about a script for an Expendables sequel, “It's plotted out in my mind's eye. I believe this group has to continue to evolve; it just can't become the same people.” [Reuters] 

· NYT: The Telegram & Gazette will install a metered pay wall on their web site today. [NYT]

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