U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, a day after the Dow plunged as much as 199 points, as investors weighed concerns over continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine. In early trading, Groupon stock tumbled following the company’s quarterly results as shares of Disney were flat. Meanwhile, Time Warner stock fell on earnings and the news that Twenty-First Century Fox withdrew its bid to acquire the company.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 56.83 points or 0.35 percent, to open at 16,372.64. The S&P 500 fell 7.30 points or 0.38 percent, to open at 1,912.91. The Nasdaq Composite lost 31.025.51 points or 0.59 percent, to open at 4,327.33.
Groupon Shares Plunge After Slashing Full-Year Outlook
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) reported a fiscal 2014 second-quarter loss of $22.9 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $7.6 million, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier. Shares plunged more than 16 percent in pre-market trading a day after the daily deals company posted the bigger-than-expected loss.
Revenue rose 23 percent to $751.6 million from $608.7 million in the same quarter a year ago. Wall Street had expected Groupon to post a profit of 1 cent a share on revenue of $762 million, according to analysts polled by Reuters.
“We had another record quarter in terms of demand, with worldwide billings increasing 29 percent and reaching their highest level ever,” Eric Lefkofsky, chief executive officer of Groupon, said in the earnings report. “Our marketplace continues to gain traction and add to our growth; we reached another all-time high in mobile, and with the launch of Gnome, we believe we’re making great strides in connecting local commerce.”
For the third quarter, Groupon expects revenue between $720 million and $770 million and non-GAAP earnings per share to range between zero and 2 cents. Groupon revised its full-year outlook and now expects adjusted earnings to exceed $270 million.
“Well when we look at Groupon, they’ve been transitioning their business from more of a push type of model to a pull model, and that seems to be bearing some positive fruit for them right now,” Keith Bliss, senior vice president and director of sales & marketing at Cuttone & Co., Inc., told IBTimes. “So you go to different aspects on the website and you pull down on the deals as opposed to them constantly hitting you with emails with deals all day long. That got a lot of people agitated, if you will, when they were looking at that particular model.”
At the end of the second quarter, Groupon said, on average, active deals exceeded 240,000 globally, compared with more than 200,000 at the end of the first quarter 2014. North American active deals increased to top 105,000.
“The other thing we want to see is what is their consolidation strategy inside of that marketplace,” Bliss said. “They recently bought a company up in Canada. Will they push and do more of that internationally? What is the vibrancy of the merchant market that they’re now coming to bear with?”
Shares of Groupon tumbled 18.22 percent on Wednesday to $5.78.
Time Warner Earning Beat, But Shares Fall After 21st Century Fox Withdraws Bid
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) on Wednesday reported fiscal 2014 second-quarter earnings of $843 million, or 94 cents per share, as revenue increased to $6.79 billion, compared with $698 million, or 73 cents per share, on revenue of $6.61 billion a year-ago. Wall Street had expected the company to post earnings of 84 cents a share on $6.87 billion in revenue, according to analysts polled by Reuters. Adjusted EPS rose 29 percent to 98 cents.
Although the company topped analysts’ forecasts, shares of Time Warner fell over 12 percent in pre-market trading a day after Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA) announced it withdrew its proposal to acquire the rival company. Fox offered an $80 billion bid in June for Time Warner, but was rejected.
“Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling,” Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox, said in a press release. “Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders.”
The board of directors authorized a $6 billion share repurchase program, the company said, and the repurchase of an additional $6 billion of Class A common stock is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.
“These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer,” Murdoch said.
Time Warner said in its earnings report it had completed the spinoff of Time Inc. on June 6, 2014. In addition, the board of directors authorized an additional $5 billion of share repurchases as the company repurchased 51 million shares for $3.5 billion year-to-date through Aug. 1.
Revenues increased 3 percent to $6.8 billion in the second-quarter of 2014 due to growth at Home Box Office. “With hits like 'Game of Thrones,' 'True Detective' and 'Silicon Valley,' HBO once again led the industry with 99 Primetime Emmy nominations, more than double its nearest competitor for the second straight year and the most nominations for the fourteenth year in a row,” Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner, said in the earning statement.
Following the earning release, Time Warner is scheduled to host a conference call with shareholders at 10:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the company’s quarterly results.
The news comes ahead of Twenty-First Century Fox’s quarterly earnings report for the three-month period that ended June 30, which is scheduled for release after the markets close on Wednesday. The company is scheduled to host an earnings call with shareholders at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
Shares of Time Warner dropped 10.85 percent on Wednesday to $75.95 in early trading, while Twenty-First Century Fox shares rose 5.11 percent to $32.90.
Disney Q3 Profit Jumps 22 percent With Help From ‘Frozen'
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) shares edged down 0.23 percent to $86.55 in pre-market trading a day after the company reported fiscal 2014 third-quarter earnings of $2.2 billion as revenue rose 8 percent to $12.47 billion. Earnings per share for the quarter increased 27 percent to $1.28 from $1.01 in the prior-year quarter, beating Wall Street expectations for a profit of $1.17 a share for the quarter, according to Reuters’ forecasts. Excluding items, EPS rose 24 percent to $1.28 from $1.03 a year earlier.
“This quarter we delivered the highest EPS in the company’s history, and we’ve now generated greater EPS in the first three quarters of FY 2014 than we have in any previous full fiscal year,” Robert A. Iger, Disney's chairman and chief executive officer, said in the earnings report.
Disney’s five segments that generate revenue are media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive.
The company’s media networks division said revenues for the quarter increased 3 percent to $5.5 billion and segment operating income was relatively flat at $2.3 billion. Disney said operating income at the company’s cable networks fell 7 percent to $1.9 billion due to a decrease at ESPN, partially offset by an increase at ABC Family. Meanwhile, the operating income at its broadcasting segment increased 66 percent to $354 million due to an increase in affiliate fees and higher income from program sales.
Revenues for the parks and resorts division increased 8 percent during the period to $4.0 billion as segment operating income increased 23 percent to $848 million. Studio Entertainment revenues for the quarter increased 14 percent to $1.8 billion. The increase in worldwide home entertainment was driven by lower per unit costs, higher net effective pricing and unit sales growth reflecting the success of 'Frozen.' Additionally, revenues for the consumer products division increased 16 percent to $902 million in the quarter.
Interactive revenues for the quarter increased 45 percent to $266 million and segment operating results improved from a loss of $58 million to income of $29 million. The company said the increase in game sales was driven by 'Disney Infinity,' which was released in the fourth quarter of the prior year, and the success of the 'Tsum Tsum' and 'Frozen Free Fall' mobile games.
“We’re extremely pleased with these results and we are also thrilled with the spectacular performance of 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' which holds great promise as a new franchise for our company and once again reinforces the tremendous value of Marvel,” Iger said.
Shares of the Walt Disney Company edged up 0.46 percent on Wednesday to $87.14 in early trading.