Today we are watching…
1. AT&T (#att)
$93.5 million in two days. That’s not bad going from Warner Bros., which premiered ‘Joker’ this weekend in theaters. Nobody knew what to expect at the box office, but some investors won big. By tracing the ownership tree of Warner Bros. back far enough, you eventually arrive at AT&T. Shareholders in the telecommunications giant will enjoy a blockbuster boost to earnings thanks to this record-breaking debut weekend for the film, and even further afield market players are pleased to see the American consumer in such fine form. Box office numbers for the movie’s second weekend are still up in the air. Some are worried that a poor score on Rotten Tomatoes will deter moviegoers. Others, however, think people will want to judge it for themselves!
2. Altria (#altria)
After a deadly lung disease and multiple deaths, regulators have become just angry about e-cigarettes as they always have been with traditional cigarettes. Marlboro-maker Altria gets it, and believes this is a perfect time to tell everyone about its new “tobacco heater,” ‘Iqos.’ It’s like smoking but with fewer toxins. No kids allowed – the tobacco industry is learning from its mistakes, and ‘pick-up and collect’ only. Friday’s official release should lift Altria investors who recently saw a merger with Philip Morris International (PMI) fall through. Incidentally, the Iqos was born when the companies were still together, and now they’ll team up on the marketing for it. Anticipation is growing, and the stock watchers know it. Cue some more disruption in the tobacco industry!