Global markets were higher overnight on hopes that top-level US-China trade talks would yield at least a partial deal, while a rise in Apple’s shares lifted the technology sector. London stocks finished a roller coaster session with gains as domestic companies rose after Britain and Ireland said they saw a pathway to a Brexit deal.
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Stock in Focus: Sky TV (SKT:NZX / SKT:ASX)
Sky Network Television was routed by the loss of its rights to broadcast domestic cricket matches, with the stock slumping to an all-time low in heavy trading.
The pay-TV operator has lost the rights to broadcast cricket played domestically after being outbid by rival Spark New Zealand, at a time when Sky's market value of $365 million hinders its ability to make big offers without having to ask shareholders for permission. The news also shows to us that Spark is committed to the pay-TV sport space, creating a meaningful competitor for Sky TV. Spark has shown it has appetite to lose small amounts of money in the content space with Lightbox, Lightbox Sports, the RWC in FY20 and now likely NZ cricket.
With key rugby rights up for renewal we expect investors to remain cautious on Sky TV's ability to retain them. Sky will ask shareholders for greater freedom when bidding to retain the SAANZAR rugby rights, which end late 2020, at next week's annual meeting.
We remain negative on Sky TV, as the business continues to struggle with question marks around the viability of its business.
We currently have a SELL rating on Sky TV.
Australia & New Zealand Market Movers
The Australian market was virtually flat on Thursday (ASX 200 Index +0.01%) by the end of the seesaw session. The Mining sector weighed on market returns as iron ore prices were lower. Also negative was financial services company AMP, as its shares slid on confirmation it would merge its banking and wealth divisions. Brambles shares were higher after a well-received first-quarter trading update showed sales revenue reaching $1.16 billion in the period.
The New Zealand market was lower yesterday (NZX 50 Index -0.49%) with Sky TV being punished, while Spark and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares also weighed on the market.
3 Things Markets Will be Watching this Week
- Trade War related news-flow will remain a feature with negotiations between the US & China set to restart.
- Minutes from the last US central bank meeting will be released, as well as a speech by chairman Jerome Powell.
- Australian business conditions & confidence figures are released on Tuesday.
Have a Great Day,