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Tech, Media & Telecom Roundup: Market Talk

17 Nov 2017 9:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering Technology, Media and Telecom. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

0850 GMT - A full bid for Sky is likely even if 21st Century Fox's stake in the broadcaster is sold to another U.S. company, says Liberum. The brokerage notes reports that Comcast and Verizon are both interested in Fox assets, potentially including its 39% stake in Sky. Liberum says Comcast in particular would be interested in then bidding for all of Sky in order to expand its non-U.S. assets. Liberum keeps its buy rating and 1,060-pence target price on Sky stock. Sky shares are up 26.5 pence, or 2.9%, at 929.5 pence. News Corp--parent company of Dow Jones, which publishes Dow JonesNewswires and The Wall Street Journal--and 21st Century Fox share common ownership. (adam.clark@dowjones.com)

0848 GMT - Ubisoft, the maker of videogames such as Assassin's Creed, trades lower after Vivendi ruled out a takeover. In an earnings call Thursday, Vivendi's CEO said the company "does not intend to launch a public tender offer on Ubisoft, nor to acquire the control of the company in the coming six months." Vivendi, which holds more than 26% in Ubisoft, also isn't seeking representation on its board. Bryan, Garnier & Co believes the statement will put Ubisoft under short-term pressure. "We are convinced that the only positive way forward for Vivendi is to sell its stake and communicate on a huge capital gain," analysts say. Ubisoft trades down 0.3% at EUR66.15. (pietro.lombardi@dowjones.com; @pietrolombard10)

0821 GMT - More record highs from index heavyweight Tencent allowed the Hang Seng to close at a fresh 10-year high and log a 3rd-straight winning week. The index rose 0.6% to 29199.04. Tencent jumped 3%, putting its market cap at US$490 billion, in continued post-3Q buying. Meanwhile, recent laggards China Construction Bank and ICBC also outperformed as investors shrugged off the weak October M2 data out of the mainland. The H-share index rose 0.7%. Meanwhile, Yixin--the high-profile online automobile platform which debuted yesterday, fell 3.1% to put it just 2.2% above its IPO price. (john.wu@wsj.com)

0654 GMT - Valuations for the Chinese telcos are close to all-time lows on worries of a price war in mobile data, but New Street Research thinks the fears are overdone. Some regard the sector as "ex-growth," but it notes overall revenue is rising nearly 8% annually and could get faster as online-video consumption continues to grow. New Street sees Unicom, the country's No.2 operator, as the key beneficiary given its alliance with the internet companies--particularly Tencent. Its shares are up 0.9% in Hong Kong, versus larger rival China Mobile's 0.2%. (john.wu@wsj.com)



0310 GMT - Lower effective tax rate has helped NetEase to beat market expectations in 3Q results, says Nomura. The bank notes that while the Chinese internet and online gaming operator's 3Q earnings was 5% above consensus, operating margin was largely in line. Key to watch in the upcoming quarters are gross billings from the launch of game titles including massively-multiplayer online role-playing games, and bigger margin contraction from ecommerce investments, it says. The stock's ADRs closed 7.9% higher at US$326.24, putting the gains to 18% from Nov. 1. (joanne.chiu@wsj.com; @joannechiuhk)

2200 GMT - Tyson Foods' technology drive reaches into the meatpacker's boardroom with the appointment of Dean Banks, an executive at Alphabet moonshot unit X, as a director. Banks spent a year at X and previously worked in venture capital; his addition at Tyson follows the Arkansas company's June hire of Hewlett Packard Enterprise exec Scott Spradley as chief technology officer. Tyson's looking for ways to harness new food technologies, such as its investment last year in plant-based burger firm Beyond Meat. Banks fills an empty chair left by 3M executive Brad Sauer, who resigned from Tyson's board in February, and puts Tyson's board at 11 members, nine of whom are independent, the company says. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

2032 GMT - DoubleLine Capital's Jeffrey Gundlach says India is his favorite emerging market. Likening the story there to China and highlighting the country's cultural emphasis on education and technology, he predicts huge gains in the coming decades. "I think it's going to go up 1000% in the next 20 years," he says Thursday at the Charles Schwab adviser conference in Chicago. (lisa.beilfuss@wsj.com)

2111 GMT - New Zealand's NZ50 is 0.1% lower at 8033.21 in early trading Friday. The biggest news of the morning is that Xero founder and CEO Rod Drury is selling 3M shares in the accounting software company which plans to de-list from the NX50 in early 2018. It's down 1.5% to NZ$32.50. (ben.collins@wsj.com)

1828 GMT - Barnes & Noble shares climb quickly after WSJ reports that an activist investor would like to see the country's largest publicly traded bookstore chain go private. The plan values Barnes & Noble at more than $650M. Earlier efforts to buy the bookseller have fallen short. Barnes & Noble shares surge 8% to $7.13. (Jeffrey.Trachtenberg@wsj.com ; @JeffreyT1)

1802 GMT - Data security is the top concern for finance chiefs at large global companies, according to a survey by Ernst & Young LLP. 56% of respondents said data privacy and security were their core challenges, with executives in India, China and the US appearing particularly worried. EY questioned more than 1000 executives at firms with revenues in excess of $500M in 25 countries. "There is a high level of uncertainty on how to approach the issues of data security and privacy," said Peter Wollmert, head of EY's Financial Accounting and Advisory Services unit, in a note. "CFOs need to ensure that they have clear governance processes in place for how they look after financial information and ensure that data is both compliant with relevant local laws and is secure," Wollmert said. (Nina.Trentmann@wsj,com; @Nina_Trentmann)

1628 GMT - Airbnb said it acquired Accomable, a small competitor focused on overnight home listings with features for the disabled, such as step-free entries. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed and Airbnb will wind down the Accomable site, while integrating its listings on its own site. Airbnb said the acquisition is part of a broader push to ensure the disabled can find appropriate listings. The company is still smarting from accusations last year that some of its hosts discriminated against potential lodgers on grounds of race or sexual orientation and likely wants to forestall any similar claims around the disabled. (greg.bensinger@wsj.com; @gregbensinger)

1414 GMT - Conventional wisdom says a new iPhone isn't selling well unless it takes weeks to get. Not so this year, according to T-Mobile US finance chief Braxton Carter, who says he's "extremely happy with what we've seen with the iPhone 10," touting strong demand and "more supply than we anticipated." Carter tells a Morgan Stanley conference audience in Barcelona that supply should still get tight as the holiday season ramps up, pushing some sales into 1Q. It's still "a much better situation on supply than some of the previous launches." Sales of the new iPhone 8, meanwhile, were "definitely not performing to the extent of prior-generation launches." ( andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com ; @drewfitzgerald)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2017 04:20 ET (09:20 GMT)

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