Written November 25, 2022, 4:19 p.mUpdated November 25, 2022, at 21.14.
Apple is absolutely ubiquitous, and not just in the world of smartphones… For the past two days, the Apple brand has been on everyone’s lips in every transaction. It must be said that with its approximately $200 billion in cash, which is growing day by day (23 billion in cash generated last quarter alone), the tech giant has the means to take an interest in all files, or almost.
On Wednesday, as Wall Street prepared to close its doors for Thanksgiving, it was the “Disney” rumor that once again animated the session. It’s not new, far from it, but it has returned to the forefront with the return of Bob Iger at the helm of the entertainment company, which he led from 2005 to 2020. The Board believes that as Disney navigates an increasingly complex period of industry change, Bob Iger is in a unique position to lead the company through this crucial time. “Advanced the press release published less than a week ago.
A catalog of premium content
Who says mutation of the sector obviously says Gafam, where the Cupertino company rules from the top of its 2,400 billion dollars in market value. All of them (Netflix, Disney, Apple, Paramont, etc.) have only one idea in mind: to increase their content catalog and quickly gain market share in streaming. Area where Disney has many assets in its portfolio with its studios and film production (enhanced by the acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars or even 21st Century Fox), as well as its ABC and ESPN television channels.
As for Disney+, the service is on the rise. It exceeded expectations for subscriber recruitment in the fourth quarter by attracting about 12.1 million new customers. It now has 164.2 million subscribers, and the total number of the group (Disney+ and other specialized streaming services such as Hulu and ESPN+) even reached 236 million, competing with the number one in the sector, Netflix.
Less than 200 billion capitalization
But the profitability is still not there. Even worse, losses for the “direct-to-consumer” division, which includes Disney +, worsened, doubling over the year (as did content sales) to $1.5 billion between August and October. During the year they reached 4 billion dollars. These include the increase in programming expenses and the cost of the global rollout of the service, not to mention the weakness in advertising revenue.
This weakens the company on the stock market, which has lost more than a third of its value since the beginning of the year. Its market capitalization has fallen below $200 billion. Well within Apple’s reach… even in cash, exclusive of acquisition premium. Bob Iger was a friend of Steve Jobs when the latter was head of the iPhone maker. They had already discussed such a takeover. However, according to various sources, the new CEO and the various shareholders of the media group do not seem, this time, to accept any offer for the company.
Manchester United, apparently not very credible
What are Manchester United doing in all this? This is the second rumor of the weekend. While the sale of the emblematic British football club is officially part of the hypotheses examined as part of the strategic review decided by the management of the group, the name Apple is once again mentioned as a possible buyer. According to tabloid Daily Star, which does not rely on any source, however, Tim Cook, the boss of the group, would be interested and ready to put 5.8 billion pounds on the table to acquire the…
It must be said that Apple also has the huge sports market in its sights, but more from the advertising angle at the moment. The company is in the process of creating an advertising network for its programs broadcast live on its Apple TV+ offering, the Bloomberg agency reported in early November, the initiative regarding the broadcast of the North American football championship (Major League Soccer). According to the MacRumors site, which specializes in all information related to Big Tech, which says it speaks from the belief of a very good source, Apple has no intention of offering the English club. In any case, the rumor has its effect on the stock market. After gains of nearly 15% on Tuesday and 25.8% on Wednesday, Manchester United shares rose another 10% this Friday in New York.