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BenzingaEditorial

The Media Sector Fighting for Survival Through Streaming

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Roku Streaming

Media companies produce and distribute the content we ended up consuming more than ever before when COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe. Whether it is in the form of film, television series, music, books or radio programming, these companies provided the world with the much-needed therapy during the lockdown.

Due to intense streaming wars ran by services a la Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), much of the media industry’s power has been consolidated in just a few names such as Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA), and ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC). Some have been acquired by telecom companies such as AT&T (NYSE:T), owner of WarnerMedia, and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), owner of NBCUniversal. By joining forces, they integrated quality content with powerful distribution. The competitive pressure is intense as even radio producers have turned to podcasts to capitalize on this opportunity.

Clear winners

As more people cut the cord and more advertisers shift their ad budgets away from TV towards direct-to-consumer platforms, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are set to benefit from these trends. These two growing players will only get stronger as competition in the streaming space grows. As media companies need to stand out, this trend will directly support their long-term revenue growth.

Discovery – Olympics

Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) owns strong content and brands, including HGTV, the Food Network, and its namesake channel. But the main asset of the communications giant is its portfolio of sports rights that allows it to span all over the globe. Its main jewel are the Olympic Games. Over the last five years, yearly sales growth amounted to 12.20%. When it reported its latest quarter in June, earnings per share amounted to $0.77 exceeding consensus estimates by $0.07.

Netflix isn’t scared of competitors

Although Disney+ achieved a record pace of new subscribers, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) remained as the largest direct-to-consumer video service in the world. As of 2013, it even started its original production to be less reliant on others for content. Despite fears, it is doing more than fine. In the last quarter reported in July, Netlix delivered a profit of $2.5 billion on increasing revenues of $6.15 billion. It blew estimates and eased concern it could be crushed by upcoming competitors with free cash flow of $1.06 billion, EBITDA at $9.77 billion, profit margins of 11.90%, ROE of 33.30% and ROA of 7.80%.

Netflix’s massive scale provides it with a lot of data it can use to improve the user experience and optimize its content production. While it fuelled its content library expansion through increased debt, the company’s growing recurring revenue and improved operating margin should lead to improved cash flow and give the streaming giant the ability to self-fund content investments in the future.

Disney

When it acquired 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) became one of the biggest media companies in the world. The iconic House of Mouse has a portfolio of intellectual properties that goes beyond legacy Disney Brands as it now includes Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar. Moreover, it has strong television brands such as ESPN with long-term contracts to broadcast premium sporting events. Its push into direct-to-consumer streaming has gone well since it acquired operational control of Hulu and launched its streaming star, Disney+. Both are bolstered by its acquisition of BAMTech, a streaming technology provider. Although its theme-park and cruise business slumped during the pandemic, streaming was a rare bright spot. Unfortunately, it will take a while before this segment reaches profitability. Theme parks produce a much higher operating margin and therefore, play a much significant role in company’s performance which was nearly wiped out.

But, its fiscal fourth quarter is about to end and with it, this brutal fiscal year. The figures won’t be pretty but there should be an improvement over the vicious 42% decline in revenue that it posted for its fiscal third quarter. After all, the current quarter is the period when theme parks reopened, sports programming returned to ESPN, and movie theaters started opening their doors. Fiscal 2021 can’t start soon enough for Disney.

Viacom

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) ensures a broad distribution and large audiences as its cable networks are well diversified across audience demographics. After all, it operates one of the four broadcast networks in the U.S. which has its perks. Although the company had many  carriage disputes with distributors, adding the CBS broadcast network should strengthen its negotiating power. Meanwhile, joining CBS and Paramount should result in sufficient content to feed its own networks, including direct-to-consumer services. During its second quarter, VIAC showed it was able to absorb the blow to its advertising business by reporting a profit of $2.79 billion with revenues increasing to $6.28 billion. With free cash flow of $1.02 billion from June, EBITDA at $1.41 billion which compares well with its peers, ViacomCBS Inc has strong fundamentals that helped it deal with a 27% drop in advertising and lack of sports. With a market cap of $18.15 billion, it is increasing its credibility in this sector as its digital revenue jumped 25%, boosted by a 52% increase in streaming subscription revenue.

Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic was double trouble for pay-TV industry because advertisers reduced their budgets and consumers started cancelling subscriptions as sport events and TV series productions were delayed or annuled. eMarketer forecasted that around 6.6 million U.S. households will cut the cord in 2020 with ad spending dropping 15%, forcing media companies to focus on direct-to-consumer content. As more consumers cut the cord and advertisers move to digital platforms, streaming players are set to thrive. Moreover, Roku is well-positioned to benefit from them all.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

BenzingaEditorial

Plugging Into the Future

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Tesla Electric Vehicles

BNEF predicts that by 2040 EV sales will rise to nearly 60% of the global auto market. That is quite a difference compared to 2010, when annual sales were close to zero. With consumer becoming more aware and conscious, along with favorable market forces that are gaining momentum, EVs are quickly becoming the future of the automotive industry with many EV companies showing massive growth potential.

e-tractors

Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX). has acquired 15% of California-based Solectrac, Inc. for $1.3 million, its very first US-based OEM, Solectrac develops, assembles and distributes 100% battery-powered electric tractors for agriculture and utility operations. With this investment in Solectrac, Ideanomics expands its global footprint in the EV industry through specialty commercial vehicles. Moreover, Ideanomics gained a seat on Solectrac’s Board of Directors. This opportunity will give Ideanmoics access to the global agricultural tractor market that is poised for rapid growth, although currently valued at $75 billion. The time has come to say goodbye to diesel tractors.

Solar powered EVs

Besides recently forming an agreement with Atlis Motor Vehicles, Worksport (OTC: WKSP) has announced today to engage Thermal Technology Services Canada to test the Company’s groundbreaking TerraVis™ solar panel technology and increase its efficiency. Increases in product efficiency of even a few per cent can make all the difference when it comes to the performance of an electric vehicle. Each additional mile counts and Worksport is set to deliver the most advanced product with solar technology, from which the technologically advanced and eagerly-anticipated for Atlis XT electric pickup truck can greatly benefit.

Traditional automakers are not wasting any time

General Motors (NYSE: GM) revived the Hummer for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, a fully electric truck that is expected to arrive in dealership next year. Last week, GM unveiled its “Factory Zero” as it gave a new life to its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. The new GMC Hummer EV electric truck will be built in this all-electric factory, accompanied by the Cruise Origin, a self-driving EV designed by GM and Honda (NYSE: HMC). Last month, Ford (NYSE: F) also announced plans for a new factory at its large Rouge site in Dearborn, Michigan, that will build it’s the all-electric version of its legendary F-150 pickups.

New entrants are upping their game

Northeast Ohio-based Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE), which purchased GM’s former Lordstown Assembly Complex and DiamondPeak Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: DHPC), a special purpose acquisition company, completed a merger that makes the EV startup a publicly traded company, effective Monday. The deal gives Lordstown the financing it needs to start production of its electric Endurance truck. It aims to deliver its truck by next September, the same time Rivian Automotive Inc., Tesla Inc.(NASDAQ: TSLA) and General Motors Co. plan to launch their own electric truck candidates.

Outlook

On Thursday, during the last presidential debate, former Vice President Joe Biden pledged to shift the U.S. economy away from oil. This goal is impossible to reach without a wider EV adoption as road transport accounted for almost 70% of America’s oil consumption in 2019. Therefore, market forces and green government policies can only accelerate the EV revolution, both in the United States and around the world, with Europe already being well on that path. A cleaner tomorrow where we will no longer have to choose between performance, economy and environmental sustainability is well underway.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Solar Energy Is on Track To Become the New Energy King

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Solar Stocks and Corona Virus

When COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe in March, there was some concern that it would put the solar industry to a halt. This fear was derived from the fact that residential solar sales are usually sold door-to-door as well as plant closures and increasing pandemic-related costs. But this scenario did not play out. In fact, the construction industry has been booming this year.

Innovation

The pandemic has also brought about some innovations that were a long time coming for solar energy. Residential solar companies were forced to adapt their sales to a digital framework. SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) is one of the leaders in this digital-first approach, but Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has also caught this wave. Moreover, when it reported its earnings last week, the company revealed it is aiming for its solar business to be just as strong as its main star, the EV business. Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s next ‘killer product’ is its Solar Roof, and that everyone will see why next year. But even Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) is adapting to a new normal with fewer physical touchpoints so competition will be intense.

Improved profitability

At the end of the day, the reason solar stocks are up this year is the improved financial performance. Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), SolarEdge (NASDAQ:SEDG), and Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH), four of the biggest equipment suppliers in the industry have remained strong during the pandemic, with some companies also seeing margins increase.

But this piece of good news is a result of the industry focusing more on specializing rather than vertically integrating. For example, SunPower has spun off its development business, inverter manufacturing, and its solar manufacturing arm which led it to better financial results and better margins almost across the board.

Politics

Considering that Joe Biden has taken a clear polling lead over Donald Trump, the boost of solar stocks is not a surprise. Biden’s strategy is much more focused on clean energy than Trump’s, despite not being supportive of the “Green New Deal”.  The overall perception is that Biden will be good for the industry.

Affordability

Solar power is already the cheapest source of electricity in some parts of the world, according to a new report released on October 13th by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This was greatly enabled by governmental policies in more than 130 countries that aim to encourage the rise of renewables by reducing the cost of building new solar installations.

Outlook

As solar technology continues to improve and innovation continues to drive those costs down, solar is on track to become “the new king of electricity supply”. With global efforts to put climate change under control, the solar industry is expected to dominate over the next decade. The EU alone has set a goal to source 32 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030, therefore, the forecast for solar is sunny.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Procter& Gamble Benefits From the Cleaning Boom

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Emerging Companies

On Tuesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) managed to beat estimates and raised forecast amid strong demand for its household products. Its shares rose 2% in morning trading.

Key figures

Fiscal first-quarter sales rose 9% as the pandemic fuelled higher demand for cleaning and laundry products, exceeding the prior quarter’s 6% increase. Net sales amounted to $19.32 billion, topping expectations of $18.38 billion. Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign currency, also rose 9% in the quarter. This sales boost was enabled by stronger demand in P&G’s largest market, North America.

Sales growth resulted in a net income of $4.28 billion, or $1.63 per share. Not only is this figure higher than Refinitiv’s average of $1.42 per share, but it is also an improvement from last year’s $3.59 billion, or $1.36 per share, a year earlier.

Improved Forecast

Supported by these strong quarter results, P&G also raised its outlook for fiscal 2021. Overall sales growth is now expected in the range between 3% to 4%, up from its prior forecast of 1% to 3%. As for organic revenue, the forecasted range also improved from 2% to 4% to a new range between 4% and 5%. The outlook for its core earnings per share growth has also improved from prior forecast of 3% to 7%. While the early retirement of debt will reduce its net income up to 20 cents a share this fiscal year, core earnings per share are still forecasted to grow between 5% to 8%. As for the impact of after-tax foreign exchange impacts and freight costs, they are estimated to impact earnings at approximately $375 million.

The “antiseptic” cleaning boom

Although the laundry care and healthcare divisions were standout performers as consumers prioritized home cleaning spending, all of P&G’s five business segments enjoyed organic sales growth. Moreover, U.S. consumers did not opt for cheaper brands which was expected to the absence of a new stimulus package.

Fabric and home care, which includes Tide, saw the highest jump. Organic sales rose 14% in the quarter. The home care segment alone saw organic sales soar 30% due to a boost in demand for home cleaning products, like Mr. Clean.

Health care, which includes Oral-B,s saw a double-digit organic sales growth as more consumers bought its digestive and wellness products.

Its beauty segment saw organic sales growth of 7% with the launch of Safeguard hand soap and hand sanitizer as well as new products from Olay that lifted North American sales for skin and personal care. It’s already a known fact that skincare became the new “lipstick index” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organic sales for its grooming business rose 6% in the quarter. However, Gillette and Venus brands saw flat organic sales as men don’t appear to be shaving as much during the pandemic. But women’s razors and blades rose by single digits.

The company’s baby, health and family care segment reported organic sales growth of 4%, including Pampers diapers, paper towels and toilet paper.

Outlook

It didn’t take long for Procter & Gamble to leave its conservative fiscal 2021 outlook behind. As consumers spend more time in their households, watching TV and engaging with their social media profiles, P&G is putting more money into advertising to put its brands front and center. The overall image is that P&G’s strong results and growth were enabled by increase in sales volumes, but average prices also rose. P&G did a great job in catching the cleaning boom wave which is why the company expects only a modest slowdown from pandemic-influenced growth rates that result in spiking sales over the recent months.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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