3 Consumer Stock Stories Buzzing Along On Monday

The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO): Closing price $568.70

On Monday, the Washington Post Co. said that it will sell its newspaper publishing divisions, including The Washington Post newspaper, to the Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, who is the purchaser in his individual capacity and not Amazon.com, Inc. Further, Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy are not a part of this transaction and will remain with The Washington Post Co., along with the WaPo Labs and SocialCode units, the firm’s interest in Classified Ventures and certain real estate assets, including the headquarters building in downtown Washington. The Washington Post Co., which also owns Kaplan, PostNewsweek Stations and Cable ONE, will be changing its name, pursuant to the transaction; no new name has yet been reported. The purchase price is $250 million, subject to the usual working capital adjustments, payable at the close, later in 2013.

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CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS): Closing price $53.86

The CBS network becoming dark in Time Warner Cable markets “could cost CBS Corp. about $400,000 per day, including lost retransmission revenue and a loss of advertising dollars at both the network and the stations,” according to the analyst John Janides at UBS. In a report Sunday night, he added that it “means a negative effect on the entertainment conglomerate’s stock of only about 1 cent per share for every two week.” Janides said that this would have a “minimal” effect, and he reiterated his Buy on CBS shares, remarking that ”Our view continues to be that consumers have more loyalty to the content rather than the company, which is responsible for distribution, and with contracts often running five-plus years, CBS can’t afford to take below-market value given the inability to renegotiate terms.”

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US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE:LCC): Closing price $19.17

The European Commission said on Monday that the proposed merger between US Airways and AMR Corp., including its main subsidiary American Airlines Inc., can go forward, so long as certain conditions are satisfied. The Commission did say that the transaction would potentially lead to a monopoly situation on the London-Philadelphia route, because of a joint venture with British Airways and Iberia. The decision is thus conditional upon the release of one daily slot pair at London Heathrow and other commitments to induce competition on the London-Philadelphia route, according to the EU’s antitrust watchdog. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia observed that “The Commission could clear this transaction in the first phase given the  commitments offered by the parties which address the competition concern we identified on the London-Philadelphia route. The commitments include a corresponding slot at London Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements to induce entry by a new  competitor on the route.”

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