The latest earnings season has kicked off, with Citigroup being the first major company to unveil its figures. Since this occurred in the morning, we won't get into Citigroup's results here. Suffice it to say that in the coming days, quarterly results will be closely tracked by investors, and should impact the relevant stocks and sectors accordingly.
Outside of a spot of earnings-related news trickling in after hours, we're also hearing about developments in a long-germinating merger. Here's the skinny on the post-closing market scene.
CBS and Viacom: In a hurry to marry?
According to a report published by CNBC after market close, broadcasters CBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA)(NASDAQ:VIAB) have set a deadline to agree on a deal to merge. The report, citing "people familiar with the matter," states that Aug. 8 is the line in the sand for the two companies.
That date has not been chosen at random: Both CBS and Viacom are scheduled to report their Q2 earnings then.
The two companies have a long history together. Viacom was a unit of CBS, then was spun off. It returned in a 1999 merger, then a new form of CBS was, in turn, spun off from Viacom in 2006. Over the past few months, speculation has been rife that the two are engaged in serious discussions to combine.
If the article is accurate, the imposition of a deadline gives plenty of impetus for a merger. There isn't much time to waste -- big rivals like AT&T and Walt Disney have recently introduced very compelling streaming services of their own. Such services are the present and future of the entertainment industry; it'll be hard for any major company in this space to be competitive without a good one stuffed with content.
Neither CBS nor Viacom has yet commented on the CNBC report.
CBS shares are trading slightly lower tonight on the news, as is Viacom's B stock. The latter company's A stock is up marginally.
OrganiGram's innovation flops, Q3 results affected
Marijuana stock OrganiGram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI) is trading a bit lower in the evening hours. Perhaps this has something to do with an interview the company's CEO, Greg Engel, gave MarketWatch that was published after market close.
In the interview, Engel elaborated on the company's attempts to grow marijuana using a new technique that affected Q3 results (released this morning). Engel said that OrganiGram tried to clone plants by using a flower in early bloom from an existing plant. Apparently, initial attempts at this were promising, but were inconsistent when used in a broader group of plants.
The process took several weeks, as did a subsequent reversion to more traditional means of cloning. This back-and-forth cost the company almost 50% more in cash during the quarter, said Engel, and in turn affected earnings.
Regardless, OrganiGram still did relatively well. For the quarter, gross revenue came in at 30.4 million Canadian dollars ($23.3 million), a nearly tenfold increase from the Q3 2018 figure. On the bottom line, the company lost CA$10.2 million ($7.8 million), or CA$0.07 ($0.05). In the year-ago quarter, its profit was CA$2.8 million ($2.1 million).
That revenue figure was higher than the consensus analyst estimate of CA$29.7 million ($22.8 million), but the expectation for per-share earnings was a profit of CA$0.03 ($0.02) per share.
Although the stock gained nearly 5% during standard-hours trading, it's down almost 2% in post-market action. Investors shouldn't be discouraged, though -- most marijuana stocks are still early stage, and costs are generally outpacing sales. Big revenue gains like the one OrganiGram posted today indicate that some are taking advantage of a rapidly increasing opportunity in the still-nascent marijuana market.