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What’s in Store for Charter Communications’ (CHTR) Q4 Earnings?

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Charter Communications CHTR is set to report fourth-quarter 2021 results on Jan 28.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2021 revenues is pegged at $13.25 billion, indicating a 4.97% increase from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.
The consensus mark for earnings has moved down 0.4% to $6.91 in the past 30 days, suggesting growth of 25.64% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.
Charter’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters and missed the same in one. CHTR has trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.6%, on average.

– Zacks

Factors to Consider

Charter’s top line in the to-be-reported quarter is expected to have benefited from increased number of Internet subscribers fueled by work-from-home and learn-from-home trends and a spike in media consumption.
Charter Communications’ Spectrum Networks announced that Spectrum News witnessed year-over-year growth in December, solidifying its rank as the most-watched news network. The network averaged more than 2.6 million daily viewing households across its 11 metered markets on its linear and digital platforms
Spectrum News witnessed year-over-year growth in October, where customers averaged more than 2.5 million daily viewing households across all linear and digital platforms in its 11 metered markets.
In the to-be-reported quarter, Charter Spectrum Networks announced the launch of Spectrum News in Hawaii. The channel will bring its local reporting and community-based journalism to the Internet and video consumers via the Spectrum News app. The launch is expected to increase the company’s customer base.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Residential-Internet revenues is pegged at $5.42 billion, indicating 11.4% growth from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter. The consensus mark for Residential-Internet subscribers is pegged at 28.16 million, suggesting 4.2% year-over-year subscriber growth.
On Oct 4, Charter Communications announced that Spectrum News cemented its place as the most-watched news network by Spectrum customers in September. The network averaged more than 2.7 million daily viewing households, up 12% year over year across all linear and digital platforms in its 10-state footprint.
As of Sep 30, Charter Communications had 29.8 million residential customer relationships, up 3.2% year over year.
The company had 27.9 million residential Internet customers, up 4.3% year over year in third-quarter 2021. Internet revenues rose 13.6% year over year to $5.4 billion, driven by growth in Internet customers, promotional rate step-ups, rate adjustments and higher bundled revenue allocation. The trend is likely to have continued in the to-be-reported quarter.
Charter Communication’s expanding mobile subscriber base is also a key catalyst. The consensus mark for fourth-quarter mobile revenues is at $606 million, indicating a surge of 41.6% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.
In December, the company announced that it is offering NBCUniversal’s over-the-top video streaming service — Peacock Premium — for free to Spectrum service customers.
Per the deal with NBCUniversal, a Comcast CMCSA subsidiary, Charter will provide 12 months of free Peacock Premium services to the Spectrum TV subscribers and three months to the Spectrum Internet subscribers.
The new deal will provide Charter’s Spectrum TV and Internet customers greater access to thousands of hit, binge-worthy movies and shows like The Office, Two and a Half Men, and the Harry Potter film series. It would also enable live news and sports like Premier League and Olympics from the Comcast subsidiary — NBCUniversal — and other sources for the customers.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Residential Video revenues is pegged at $4.45 billion, indicating growth of 0.8% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.
However, Charter has been suffering due to video-subscriber attrition stemming from cord-cutting and stiff competition from Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon prime video.
Small and medium-sized businesses have been the worst hit during the pandemic. Charter’s substantial exposure (roughly 2 million customers) to this cohort is expected to have dented the company’s advertising revenue growth in the to-be-reported quarter.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for advertising sales is pegged at $453 million, calling for a 27.5% decline from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

What Our Model Says

Per the Zacks model, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.
Charter has an Earnings ESP of -1.28% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies worth considering as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings in their upcoming releases:
Gildan Activewear GIL has an Earnings ESP of +9.57% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is set to announce fourth-quarter 2021 results on Feb 23. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
GIL is up 49.9% in the past year against the Zacks Textile – Apparel industry’s decline of 4.1% and the Consumer Discretionary sector’s fall of 20.1%.
Electronic Arts EA has an Earnings ESP of +5.23% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is set to announce third-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Feb 2.
EA is down 7.6% in the past year against the Zacks Toys – Games – Hobbies industry’s decline of 10% and the Consumer Discretionary sector’s plunge of 20.1%.
Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.

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To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
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Startups

Down rounds are still rare by historical standards • TechCrunch

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If you thought that the recent venture capital market was tough, let me tell you about 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

With the first week of December under our belts, we’re not too far away from the end of the year. And that means that 2022’s venture capital story has largely been written. It’s not a single narrative; instead, this year started on a high, with momentum from the monstrous 2021 funding period persisting into the new year. From that point, we’ve seen a slowdown accelerate into what some consider a downturn.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money.

Read it every morning on TechCrunch+ or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.


Startups raised lots of capital this year. Less, yes, than last year, but more than in nearly any year in recent memory. It’s still a good time to build a tech upstart.

Does that perspective feel too sunny when we hear so much doom and gloom on Twitter regarding startup prospects in a more conservative investing climate?

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This Doggy DNA Test Ships Free for the Holidays

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Every pet owner wants the best for their animal sidekick. They want to spend as much time as possible with them, even at the office. But being the best dog owner you can be isn’t all about just being present. It helps to understand your dog on a genotypic as well as phenotypic level. That’s one reason why doggy DNA tests have become so popular.



DNA My Dog

If you’re wondering what to get for your pooch this holiday season, look no further than the DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test. If you order by December 8, you’ll get free shipping, but that date is coming up fast so don’t delay.

This simple, painless kit requires just a swab of your dog’s cheek to get a detailed report delivered in two weeks or less. That report includes a custom photo certificate of the breed breakdown found in your dog’s genetic breed composition, a percentage breakdown of the levels found in your dog’s DNA, and a report on the dominant breeds, personality traits, and health concerns that your dog may be genetically predisposed to. All of that information will help you be a better friend to your dog, making smarter decisions about food, training, and healthcare.

The DNA My Dog Kit was awarded at the 2020 GHO Biotechnology Awards and user Bonnie H. writes, “I loved this experience!!! The kit came immediately with great instructions. The results came exactly when promised. When I couldn’t open the attachment with the results, I emailed my concern and got instant help! To find out his DNA has been the coolest experience!”

Lock in free shipping on a unique gift for your dog by December 8. Grab the DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test on sale for 24% off $79 at just $59.99 now.

Prices subject to change.

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Howie Mandel gets a digital twin from DeepBrain AI

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Howie Mandel is stepping into the metaverse. DeepBrain AI has created a pretty realistic AI version of comedian and actor Mandel.

Deepbrain AI, based in South Korea and Palo Alto, California, calls its creation “AI Howie,” and it’s an interactive virtual human and digital twin for immersive and personalized fan experiences. AI Howie mentions VentureBeat and talks to me in the attached videos.

Unlike the “deepfakes” of Tom Cruise and other actors, the real Howie Mandel cooperated with DeepBrain AI to create the virtual human AI replica of the famous comedian, actor, host, and technology enthusiast. We used “virtual Paris” AI character at our recent MetaBeat event in San Francisco.

“I am equally thrilled, excited, and terrified to finally have the ability of showing up and doing things without going anywhere or doing anything,” said Mandel, in a statement. “Thank you, DeepBrain.”

DeepBrain AI applies deep learning technology to create hyper-realistic virtual humans through its AI Studios and the AI Human platforms. These virtual humans are digital twins of the real person, with the same appearance, voice, gestures, and subtle mannerisms. The AI Studios platform enables script-to-video software that synthesizes dynamic video content in seconds, producing the quickest and most
realistic AI-generated videos. The script-to-video editor makes it easy for customers to select a model and then make it say something based on a script. Within a minute or so the video is made.

This is a powerful communication and marketing tool for celebrities, professional athletes, news anchors, and even politicians. Before working with Howie Mandel, the DeepBrain AI team created digital twins of Premier League soccer superstar Son Heung-Min, multiple news anchors across Asia, and South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol.

Joe Murphy, business development manager for DeepBrain AI, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the virtual Howie is a conversational model that you pepper with questions. DeepBrain AI designs and develops these virtual humans for the purpose of creating digital twins (like Howie Mandel), digital people, and avatars.

It takes about four weeks of machine learning work to create a Howie Mandel digital twin.

“We create models of real people,” Murphy said. “We also have completely synthetic virtual humans. That is what we’ll call digital people. And then avatars are just the basic Roblox type of avatars. But where our technology comes in with the digital twins is we go through a deep learning process to clone the person’s voice, their mannerisms, their face, the way their eyes move, the way their lips move.”

He added, “So we create what we call the digital twin of the real person with all the uniqueness of that person. Our mission is to use this technology that we’ve developed throughout Asia and bring it to America.”

In addition to the script-to-video capabilities, the company provides fully conversational experiences with its AI Human software. The AI Human solution enables fans to interact and engage with AI Howie by simply asking questions. For example, when asked, “What was your favorite act on AGT this season?” the AI Howie model responds in real-time to support interactive, fun, and engaging fan experiences.

AI Humans are available within mobile apps, web browsers, or voice-activated kiosks.

“Our vision is to humanize digital experiences and empower creative teams to generate immersive content at scale,” said Eric Jang, DeepBrain AI CEO. “Working with Howie Mandel was a fun experience, and we are excited to see how the AI Howie collaboration will connect with his fans worldwide.”

DeepBrain AI, (formerly Moneybrain), a conversational AI startup based in Seoul, South Korea, has raised $44 million in a series B round led by Korea Development Bank at a post-money valuation of $180 million. The company started in 2016 and it has raised $54 million to date. The company has 130 employees.

The AI is being used for AI news anchors in South Korea and China at four different television networks. The networks flag that the anchor is an AI avatar so that no one gets confused.

The real Howie Mandel spent about a day shooting video with DeepBrain AI.

While multiple companies are working on virtual humans, DeepBrain AI’s avatars are hyperrealistic. One of Asia’s largest insurance companies is also using it, as is a “brand ambassador” for a soccer team.

“When we worked with Howie Mandel, we went down to his studio in Los Angeles, we provided a script, and fed our training data into our neural network,” Murphy said.

It took about a day to do a video shoot with Mandel and about three to four weeks of machine learning time on the computers to generate the first AI model.

Back in January, DeepBrain AI opened its office in Palo Alto, California, and it is talking to partners in Silicon Valley and the rest of the U.S. Over time, Murphy said that the hope is to create AI avatars in realistic 3D for the metaverse. In South Korea, kiosks are appearing in places like banks with both 2D avatars and 3D avatars.

Over time, Murphy said the avatars have gotten better at mannerisms, lip sync, and subtle gestures. The speed of real-time responses in conversations has also gotten faster. The company is talking about doing more with game companies and major brands.

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