The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: DIRECTV, News Corp., Walt Disney, Comcast
CHICAGO, June 4, 2013
CHICAGO, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include DIRECTV (Nasdaq:DTV), News Corp.
(Nasdaq:NWSA), Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA) and
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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:
DIRECTV Opting for Hulu
Growing saturation in the U.S. pay-TV market and increased competition from
the low-cost online video streaming service providers are forcing established
pay-TV operators to restructure their business models. A recent Reuter report
stated that DIRECTV (Nasdaq:DTV), the largest satellite-TV operator in the
U.S., has offered $1 billion to acquire Hulu, the online video streaming
Hulu is currently jointly owned by News Corp. (Nasdaq:NWSA), Walt Disney Co.
(NYSE:DIS) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq:CMCSA). However, Comcast has no
management control over Hulu as it had been restricted by the FCC after its
acquisition of NBC Universal. Reuter reported that seven firms have bid for
Hulu. Apart from DIRECTV, two other firms have also offered $1 billion.
The U.S. pay-TV market is extremely competitive. In addition to the
traditional Cable TV and satellite TV operators, telecom giants are also
offering fiber-based high-speed video services. In contrast, low-cost online
video streaming services have also become very popular especially when the
economy is still reeling under fluctuations.
In order to survive in this juncture, traditional pay-TV operators are
diversifying in related fields. Comcast acquired content developer NBC
Universal and deployed several innovative services such as X1, Streampix, and
high-speed business services. Time Warner Cable is concentrating on high-speed
residential and business services. DISH Network is desperately trying to
deploy a nationwide wireless network.
Similarly, we believe that DIRECTV also needs to restructure its business
model and the decision to bid for Hulu is one such step. Hulu commands over 4
million subscribers and generates revenues of about $700 million per annum
through subscriptions and a free ad-supported service. Hulu will enable
DIRECTV to offer low-cost online video in addition to the company's expensive
premium-brand pay-TV package.
In the U.S., DIRECTV had 20.105 million subscribers at the end of the first
quarter of 2013. Although the company is still generating net new subscribers,
the rate of growth has slowed down. In the last quarter, it added just 21,000
subscribers compared with 81,000 subscribers in the year-ago quarter.
DIRECTV also has a solid footing in the Latin American markets. However, even
there, competitive pressure is gradually increasing due to high-speed 3G
bundled services of voice, video and data offered by the large telecom
DuPont CEO Outlines Priorities
DuPont's (NYSE:DD) CEO and Chair announced, at the Strategic Decisions
Conference that its "Integrated Science" strives to deliver value to customers
and shareholders and provides it an advantage like no other companies.
Agricultural sciences, biosciences and material sciences, these are the three
scientific strength areas of DuPont that are well integrated across the
company. These segments provide unique solutions to customers' problems and
create value for the shareholders. The CEO emphasized that DuPont has worked
for improving fuel efficiency, creating advanced biofuels, improving food
quality and growing applications of renewably sourced polymers.
DuPont's CEO further pointed out its strategic priorities for delivering
greater shareholder returns. DuPont remains committed to extending its
leadership in the science-driven segments of the agriculture-to-food value
chains and leverages the linkages across these segments. It also focuses on
offering unique and, high-value advanced materials through science-based
solutions and create transformational, new bio-based businesses like biofuels
Over the past five years, DuPont has increased its research and development by
about 50%. The company also allocates more cash to those businesses which give
higher returns. Thus DuPont's strategy of allocating resources speeds up
science-driven innovations for customers and increases the value for its
DuPont is a global chemical and life sciences company and provides innovative
products, materials, and services to the global market. The company beat
expectations in first-quarter 2013 on the strength of its agriculture
business, reflected by strong corn seeds and crop protection products sales.
DuPont currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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