Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For Investors Only: Comcast Pops -- Will Buy GE's 49% Interest In NBC; Also A Bit Of Trivia Probably Missed By Most

Comcast to buy rest of NBC Universal from GE in $16.7 billion deal.-- Reuters. Also at the Wall Street Journal.

Comcast to buy GE's 49% interest in NBC. In pre-market trading, Comcast is surging a couple of dollars. It closed at $38.97 yesterday. So, we'll see where it closes today.

But that's not the big story. This is the much bigger story.

Apple and Apple TV have been in the news for several years now. Everyone was focused on the hardware/software. There was not a lot of talk about content. Apple and Disney have a relationship of which I've long lost track. Important/unimportant? Who knows? (Rhetorical; don't comment.)

My hunch is that Steve Jobs was looking at all the pieces that were required to make Apple TV a success including content.

So, it was interesting to hear Jim Cramer suggest some days ago that Apple could buy CBS.

Today, with the news that CMCSA is buying GE's 49% share of NBC, one has to take Cramer's "off-hand" (?) comment seriously.

Market cap for CBS: <$30 billion.

Apple cash: $130 billion, folks are saying. (Though Yahoo!Finance says a lot less.)

It didn't hurt that Tim Cook, Apple/CEO, was sitting next to Michelle Obama during the State of the Union Address. 

Of course, this all started with Al Gore selling his content / distribution to Al-Jazeera. Things are moving fast in this arena. There is only so much sprectrum.

Other comments:

CNBC anchors saying that CMCSA had lots of cash sitting around not earning much. Yahoo!Finance says CMCSA had about $10 billion in cash (how current?). GE valued NBCU at $40 million; this deal was about $17 billion. Put that in perspective with APPL: at least $130 billion in cash. CBS with a market cap of $30 billion, and with a 50% premium, at about $45 million, similar to NBCU.

Yesterday Apple/CEO, Tim Cook, defended Apple's cash position.

This will be very interesting to watch.


By the way, on a completely different note:

There were several (many?) guests and friends sitting with Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address. I did not watch the speech so I don't know if any of this was commented upon. I just noted it now. Pretty cool. Very important. Counter-intuitive.  This from Daily Mail (UK):
One of the guests: Tracey Hepner is a co-founder of Military Partners and Families Coalition and her presence comes just days after the Pentagon announced extended benefits for the spouses of military members. Ms Hepner is married to Army Birgadier General Tammy Smith. 
And this from Yahoo!News:
Last week, Brigadier General Tammy Smith became the first openly gay officer of flag rank in the United States army. She was promoted in an Aug. 10 ceremony at Arlington at which Brig. Gen. Smith's wife, Tracey Hepner, pinned the star onto her uniform.

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