As many of you have already heard, Marci has taken the plunge and left Wall Street after an exemplary 17 years to join Comcast as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. We wish her the absolute best of luck in this new chapter of her career.
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The hottest names this week were ETM (627 bps better than the S&P), CCO (597 bps), BBGI (589 bps), LAMR (326 bps), and GTN (231 bps).
The Sports Database lists the number of major pro and college games by network, and tallies the games by platform. It also includes the average viewership by sport, the top 100 shows of 2018, and lists the upcoming TV contracts up for renewal over the next several years.
Despite all the noise from whatever random blog you are reading (cordcutters.com, wehatethecableguy.com, or cordcuttingrulesaccordingtooneanalyst.com), it is still really hard – make that impossible – for the average sports fan to access live, in-market games outside of the bundle. Yes, you can stream a few here and there. Yes, you can access most of the NFL via an antenna. And if you happen to live in Florida but want to watch the Chicago Bulls, Bears and White Sox (like my Dad), you can pay a whopping $506 for a combination of the NFL Sunday Ticket, the NBA Team Pass, and MLB.tv. (Of course, these exclude all primetime games and any game where Chicago plays Florida). But, if you are an average sports fan, a) you likely engage with more than one sport; and b) you likely watch in-market games. In short – you’re stuck with Pay-TV.
The hottest names this week were ETM (1,023 bps better than the S&P), CMLS (698 bps), BBGI (603 bps), WWE (449 bps), and DIS (398 bps).
We’ve finally had the time to digest the Q3 prints – for which we provide our observations and lessons learned. We also answer the question: “How can I make money from now until year-end?” as well as provide investor feedback now that we are through the last earnings cycle of 2019. Our note has a lot of cool charts – such as how each company did relative to Consensus expectations for Q3, and where Consensus estimates have gone up and gone down for both 2019 and 2020.
This is going to be short and sheet as we now say……given we had 18 companies report and my wrist hurts.
Q3 was solid, but the excitement is around FCF/buybacks & a potentially larger DTC product . The Q3 print itself was fine with rev. in-line despite softer US ad trends, and EBITDA & EPS beating nicely. But the stock isn’t up 11% today on Q3 alone (vs. S&P +0.5%). It’s the DTC spend of only $300MM (the low-end guide for ’19), the huge FCF generation (plenty for DTC + buybacks), and the hint of a broader DTC package coming (with the entire DISCA library). It wasn’t all sunshine though – affiliate fees are a bit softer in Q4, margins have plateaued, higher DTC spend is coming in ‘20, and Olympics rev. won’t recoup the costs in ‘20 (it’s longer term). There are a lot of moving pieces, but for now we slightly lowered our ’19 & ’20 OIBDA (by ~1% – see p. 3-5) but we are still slightly above pre-earnings Cons. OIBDA in ’19 and slightly below in ‘20.
EPAM shares outperformed in today’s session (up 6.6% vs. the S&P +0.3%) following this morning’s 3Q top and bottom-line beat with raised guidance. Growth was broad-based in the quarter, with another quarter of +50% growth in Life Sciences & Healthcare, a reacceleration in Travel & Consumer (partially offset by select European projects winding down), and continued acceleration in Financial Services (up 25% vs 2Q’s 19%). On a geographic basis, strength was led by North America and Europe (>90% of revenue), reporting another quarter of +20% growth. Management continues to project +20% organic growth through 2020, with ample cash stores to continue synergistic M&A and investment in employee skills training. We also see opportunity in the company’s consulting build-out as an important driver of incremental revenue medium term.
DISCA beat Street and our EBITDA and EPS nicely – while revenue beat us, it was in-line with the Street.
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