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Comcast's Universal Studios to Vend 45% Stake in Oriental

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Leading cable multi service operator and media giant Comcast Corp.’s (CMCSA - Free Report) unit, Universal Studios, is reportedly looking to sell its 45% stake in Chinese movie studio, Oriental DreamWorks, to Warner Bros. The remaining 55% stake is owned by Chinese investment and media group, China Media Capital. 

Oriental DreamWorks was inherited when Comcast’s NBCUniversal segment purchased DreamWorks Animation in a deal worth $3.8 billion. Universal Studios is a division of NBCUniversal.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ parent company, Time Warner Inc. , is heading towards a proposed merger with AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) worth $85 billion. The pending merger has been approved by antitrust officials in 17 countries and is waiting for the same from other necessary important approvals.

One of the probable reasons for this sale can be the strategic differences between the two firms. While China Media Capital is focused in the Chinese market, Universal Studios aims to make films in China for an international audience.

In addition to expand its Filmed Entertainment portfolio, NBCUniversal is also leveraging the DreamWorks to reconstruct some of its cable networks. Effective Sep 9, Sprout will be renamed Universal Kids and its programming will target kids between ages 2-11..Universal Kids will feature more unscripted programming, including Top Chef Junior, a spinoff of the Top Chef series which currently airs on Bravo owned by NBCUniversal. More of Universal Kids’ programming will be filled by existing DreamWorks shows including All Hail King Julien.

Notably, Comcast has to compete against rivals like The Walt Disney Company (DIS - Free Report) , Time Warner Inc. and Viacom Inc. (VIAB - Free Report) in the kids and family entertainment segment.

Currently, Comcast is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Price Performance

Over the past month, shares of Comcast have increased 2.7% compared with the industry’s gain of 1.9%.


When compared with the market at large, the stock’s performance looks favorable, as the S&P 500 index has declined 0.1%, over the same time span.

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