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TV Broadcasters File Brief Against Aereo to Supreme Court

Stocks in this article: FOXA CBS CMCSA DIS

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fox (FOXA), CBS (CBS), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), ABC (DIS), and other broadcasters have filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court arguing against the startup Aereo.

The brief argues that Aereo is a subscription service that "publicly performs" broadcast TV by streaming it over the Internet. The broadcasters say that Aereo shouldn't be allowed to sell subscriptions to rebroadcast their content over the web.

Earlier this month Aereo said it will not challenge a Supreme Court filing. It will instead let previous cases stand for themselves as its defense. In those court cases Aereo argued that it doesn't sell subscriptions to the content, but instead sells access to its tiny antennas and cloud DVR service to subscribers. By subscribing to the service Aereo users can view the over-the-air broadcasts those antennas pick up on their computers, tablets, or smartphones.

The distinction between selling subscriptions to the rebroadcasted content and selling access to physical equipment could mean the difference between Aereo's continued existence and a ruling against it.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Twenty-First Century Fox as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC (FOXA) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FOXA's share price has jumped by 34.64%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.91 versus $0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.04 versus $2.91).

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