Posted Nov 25, 2022, 4:19 PMUpdated Nov. 25, 2022, 9:14 p.m.
Apple is definitely ubiquitous, and not just in the world of smartphones… For the past two days, the Apple brand has been on everyone’s lips, in all deals. It must be said that with its approximately 200 billion dollars in cash, which is growing day by day (23 billion in cash generated in the 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 is not new, far from it, but it has returned to the forefront with the return of Bob Iger at the head 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 pivotal 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, in which the Cupertino company reigns supreme from the top of its 2.400 billion dollars of market capitalization. All of them (Netflix, Disney, Apple, Paramont, etc.) have only one idea in mind: to increase their catalog of content and quickly gain market share in streaming. Area in which Disney has a lot of assets in its portfolio with its studios and film production (reinforced 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 some 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 profitability is still not there. Worse, the losses of the “direct-to-consumer” division, which includes Disney +, worsened, doubling over one year (like those of content sales), to 1.5 billion dollars between August and October. Over the year, they reached 4 billion dollars. In question, the increase in programming expenditure and the cost of the global deployment of the service, not to mention the weakness of advertising revenues.
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 the $200 billion capitalization mark. Quite within Apple’s reach… even in cash, excluding 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. But according to various sources, the new CEO and the various shareholders of the media group seem in no way inclined, this time, to accept any offer on the company.
Manchester United, apparently not very credible
What is Manchester United doing in all of this? This is the other rumor of this weekend. While the sale of the emblematic British football club is officially one of the hypotheses studied as part of the strategic review decided by the management of the group, the name of Apple is once again cited as a possible buyer. According to the tabloid Daily Star, which however does not rely on any source, Tim Cook, the boss of the group, would be interested and ready to put 5.8 billion pounds on the table to acquire it…
It must be said that Apple also has the huge sports market in its sights, but more from the angle of advertising for the moment. The firm is in the process of setting up an advertising network for its programs broadcast live on its Apple TV+ offer, the Bloomberg agency reported at the beginning of November, the initiative concerning the broadcasting of the North American football championship (Major League Soccer). According to the MacRumors site, specializing in all information relating to Big Tech, which says it speaks on the faith of a very good source, Apple has no intention of offering the English club. The rumor has in any case its effect on the stock market. After gains of nearly 15% on Tuesday and 25.8% on Wednesday, Manchester United shares climbed another 10% this Friday in New York.