Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been hamstrung by ISPs like Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), which have slowed its streaming service as a negotiating tactic, allegedly to make the company pony up money to retain the ability to serve its millions of clients. That's now over, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now sided with net neutrality.
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U.S. stock futures for Thursday, Jan. 22, forecasted a 70-point increase from yesterday's close.
This morning, investors jumped on an announcement by Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank (ECB) of a massive bond-purchasing program to help kick-start the struggling continent's economy to the tune of 60 billion euros a month.
Verizon is expected to confirm it will start providing service for the iPhone early next year, according to a report last week in The Wall Street Journal.
January may be a strange time to launch the much-anticipated product, but AT&T (NYSE: T) reportedly convinced Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to give it one last holiday season as the iPhone's exclusive U.S. provider, according to a report in Tech News World.
With millions of frustrated AT&T network users making noise and millions of loyal Verizon customers anticipating the iPhone's release, investors are wondering if the iPhone could give shares of both Apple and Verizon a shot in the arm.
However, the phone won't make it out in time for the Christmas season, as many had hoped.
Apple will be ramping up to mass produce the new touchscreen handset by the end of 2010 and release it in the first quarter of 2011, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. While the phone would be similar to the iPhone 4 sold by its current carrier, AT&T (NYSE: T), it would be based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon, the people said.
The Verizon iPhone will mark the end of AT&T's agreement with Apple that gave the telecommunications giant exclusive rights to market and sell the handset since 2007, when Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone.
Verizon has been testing its networks and capacity to handle the heavy data load by iPhone users, seeking to avoid the kind of bad publicity that plagued AT&T after booming sales of data-hungry iPhones crippled its network.
So, where can an investor go to find both yield and real assets?
I would suggest looking at components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow is full of companies that pay real yields on their common stock. And right now, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is the highest-yielding stock in the Dow Jones index. The stock is yielding more than 6% per year.
Verizon has a market capitalization of $91 billion and an enterprise value of $144 billion. While the company is fully levered up at the balance sheet, it is generating a staggering $63.5 billion in gross profit. This is one of the largest companies in the world, and should be able to weather the current economic upheaval.
The arrangement, which has yet to be unveiled, would allow Verizon to charge content providers more to give their services priority on its network, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the plan.
News of the agreement spread like a virus on Thursday, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called off industry-wide talks, saying it had failed to reach an agreement on a "robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet."
When Apple debuted the iPhone 4 on June 24 it broke sales records. In the first three days, the company sold 1.7 million devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany, the most for any version of its top-selling product.
But the popular device has been plagued by misfortune - including the suicide of a Chinese worker, lost prototypes, reception problems, and an inauspicious introduction to the press and public when Chief Executive Steve Jobs could not get the phone to connect to the Internet.
The changes could lower the cost of service for the vast majority of AT&T's users but potentially raise rates significantly for heavy data consumers. The new plans go into effect on June 7, the same day Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is widely expected to unveil the next generation of its popular iPhone.
By instituting usage limits on what were previously unlimited smartphone data plans, AT&T embarks on an important and long-awaited shift in how carriers bill their customers.
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Kraft Raises Cash Bid for Cadbury; Google Phone Sales Begin; Automakers See Strong U.S. Sales Gains; Whitney Slashes Goldman Forecast; Gulf Infrastructure Gets a Boost; Construction Collapse; IT Obstacle
- Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) has agreed to sell its DiGiorno and Tombstone pizza brands to Nestle SA (OTC ADR: NSRGY) for $3.7 billion, using all the net proceeds from the sale to boost the cash portion of its offer for Cadbury PLC (NYSE ADR: CBY) . In related news, Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) voted against Kraft's offer to issue up to 370 million shares for the Cadbury acquisition, saying it would change its vote if the transaction doesn't "destroy value for Kraft shareholders." Berkshire's stake of more than 9% in Kraft makes it the food maker's largest shareholder. Nestle, meanwhile, formally took its name out of the running of any possible bidders for Cadbury in a terse statement.