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Shares in Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s animation studio pop 16 percent on speculation Comcast is aims to buy it at roughly a 25 to 30 percent premium

DreamWorks Animation shares jumped in early trade Wednesday, after news emerged late Tuesday that Comcast is in talks to acquire the animation studio in a deal worth more than $3 billion.

DreamWorks Animation’s stock rose 16 percent to $31.32 a share in early trade. A $3 billion deal value implies a bid worth about $34 to $35 a share, at least a 25 percent premium to Tuesday’s closing price.

Before the news of Comcast interest, DreamWorks Animation shares were essentially trading right where they were a year earlier, up just 1.7 percent over the last 12 months.

Comcast’s Class A shares traded 1.3 percent higher at $61.86. The cable giant earlier Wednesday reported better-than-expected financial results, as it expanded its base of video customers despite an overall weak pay-TV market.

DreamWork’s Animation stock has a history of leaping on reports of a takeover interest, only for the strength to disappear when a deal evaporates. The latest takeover speculation follows a failed acquisition offer from SoftBank in 2014 and another unsuccessful merger negotiation with Hasbro a couple months later.

However, analysts noted Wednesday that a tie-up with Comcast could have better chances than past takeover talks. DreamWorks Animation’s ownership of teen digital-video darling AwesomenessTV, its strengthened consumer products and access to China make it more attractive to Comcast, PiperJaffray analyst Michael J. Olson said. FBR analyst Barton Crockett noted Comcast appears to be following Disney’s playbook of investing in intellectual property that could be valuable for theme parks and consumer-product licensing.

Is Jon Snow dead or alive? A machine-learning algorithm pegs the percentage chance of every “Game of Thrones” character surviving or perishing

So, did Jon Snow really die in “Game of Thrones” season finale? Did Sansa survive her leap from Winterfell’s wall? Before Sunday’s return of the series starts unraveling those mysteries, researchers at a German university say their algorithm knows the answers. A student team at the Technical University of Munich analyzed data on all the “Game of Thrones” characters and built a machine-learning program that gives each one a percentage chance of survival or doom. Who is the most and least likely to die next? 

April 27, 2016

DreamWorks Animation Shares Surge on Comcast Takeover Bid

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