3 Media Stocks in Focus: Viacom’s Speedy Growth, Disney’s Faux Pas, Time Warner Puts HQ on the Block
Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA)(NYSE:VIAB): Viacom has reported earnings per share of $1.55, beating by 11 cents, as revenue of $3.65 billion also beat expectations, by $0.05 billion. Media Networks grew 7 percent on rate increases in global and domestic markets while Filmed Entertainment surged 11 percent, led by a strong release of World War Z. An accelerated pace of revenue helped offset the increased programming and corporate expenses.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS): Disney’s big aspirations for the Chinese market may have been crippled by a recent segment aired on its ABC network, in which an American boy tells Jimmy Kimmel that the U.S. “should fix its financial problems by ‘killing all the people in China.’” The Chinese government has since called on the company to “respond to the Chinese community’s demand in a sincere way.” It’s possible that anti-ABC protests in the U.S. could lead to anti-Disney protests in China, which could disrupt the run-up to the opening of the company’s most recent theme park in Shanghai, scheduled to open in 2015.
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE:TWX): Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Pte, is part of a group that is buying the Time Warner Cable headquarters building in New York City. The media company’s 1.1 million-square-foot space attracts more than 16 million visitors per year, and it is being sold for approximately $1.3 billion. After selling its space, it’s speculated that Time Warner will move to “a new skyscraper on Manhattan’s far west side”; the company has been searching for a more cost-effective real estate presence in New York, where its offices are spread between several different Midtown buildings.