UPDATE 2-Time Warner Cable: Charter deal closing in 2015 seems “ambitious”

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Middle EastWearable-camera maker GoPro posted weaker-than-expected earnings and sales in the third quarter and gave poor guidance for the holiday season, adding to concerns about the company’s business.(Reuters) – Time Warner Cable Inc said it is working to close its merger with Charter Communications Inc by the end of this year, but that target seems “ambitious”. Bunge Ltd. reported a steeper-than-expected slide in third-quarter revenue as strength in the commodity trading firm’s oilseeds and grains businesses wasn’t enough to counter weakness elsewhere. Both operators beat Wall Street analysts’ earnings estimates, and Charter added a net 12,000 residential video subs while TW Cable dropped only 7,000.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. issued earnings guidance for its recently started fiscal year that topped expectations as the drug wholesaler posted revenue growth of 12% for the latest quarter. The improved numbers come after cable giant Comcast this week reported a net loss of 48,000 video subs for Q3, versus a decline of 81,000 a year earlier.

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. reported better-than-expected earnings on Thursday despite a decline in sales as the industrial gas company completed a restructuring of operations that eliminated about 2,000 jobs during the year but increased profitability. The relatively strong results from the top MSOs on the TV front led analysts to wonder whether the cord-cutting worries that hammered media stocks over the summer were overblown. “It’s time to change the narrative about cord cutting,” MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a note Thursday. The deal has been approved by the shareholders of both companies and most U.S. states, but is still awaiting clearance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). National Association of Broadcasters and Dish Network Corp have separately filed petitions asking the FCC to reject the proposed merger, which Dish said would be no better for public interest than the one proposed by Comcast.

Xcel Energy Inc. said third-quarter profit rose 16%, beating analyst expectations, as electric and gas margins were boosted by an increase in retail electric rates and favorable weather. Video average revenue per subscriber decreased for both TW Cable and Charter in the quarter, Juenger pointed out. “Media bulls will point to better than expected pay-TV sub count, combined with an expected slight improvement in Q3 TV advertising (which we think is mostly driven by an inventory squeeze),” Juenger wrote. Enterprise Products Partners L.P., one of the largest pipeline companies in the U.S., said its third-quarter revenue was cut nearly in half from the same period last year, pressured by the plunge in energy markets.

Defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. swung to a loss its in third quarter, thanks to a big write-down of its cyber unit National Security Solutions. While the company is benefiting from rising demand for high-speed internet services, it has moved to stem video subscriber losses by offering “triple play bundling” services that combine pay-TV, high speed data and voice services. CME Group Inc., the world’s biggest futures-market operator, said profit soared in its third quarter, lifted by higher trading volume and growth in the company’s market data and information services business. There’s some investor uncertainty about whether the Charter-TW Cable deal will go through, with Time Warner Cable’s stock price 7% lower than Charter’s bid price. Cable companies have been grappling with declining subscriber numbers as viewers shift to cheaper and more flexible streaming services offered by Netflix Inc , Amazon.com Inc and Hulu.

That would decrease the chance of a competing bid for the cable operator from the likes of France’s Altice, which is acquiring Cablevision Systems.

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