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Target shares dive on earnings outlook, price cut plans


NEW YORK Target Corp (TGT.N) said on Tuesday it will rely more on low prices to compete with rivals like Wal-Mart and Amazon, admitted many of its stores needed freshening up, and told Wall Street its sales and profit estimates for 2017 are too high.

Shares of the retailer plunged to 2-1/2-year lows in heavy trading. Many of its rivals fell, too, including deep discount chains that will now face tougher competition on prices. For investors, the news was a shocking reminder that U.S. retailing remains a cutthroat business.

Target vowed aggressive promotions at a meeting with analysts and investors, saying new brands and investments in technology and small stores will allow it to eventually win back market share.

Although its e-commerce operation is growing, Target reported its third straight quarter of lower sales from existing stores, citing “unexpected softness” at its stores.

Target also forecast first-quarter profit short of Wall Street estimates. Shares sank 12.1 percent to $58.79, their biggest one-day percentage drop since 2008.

The stock has lost a quarter of its value since the holiday shopping season started in November, back to levels last seen in August 2014.

The retail industry faces pressure from lackluster U.S. economic growth, intense competition from Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and other online rivals and concerns about President Donald Trump’s planned border tax.

With Tuesday’s announcement, Target’s brand identity as a source for “cheap chic” fashion and other low-cost stylish goods is giving way to the push for lower prices, analysts said.

That prompted declines across the retail sector. Dow component Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) closed down 1.1 percent, Kroger Co (KR.N) fell 1.3 percent and Macy’s Inc (M.N) lost 1 percent. Dollar General Corp (DG.N) fell 4.9 percent and Dollar Tree (DLTR.O) was down 3.6 percent.

Shares of Amazon, whose market cap exceeds all those companies combined, closed down slightly.

The drop in Target shares also reflects missteps by the company, said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“Target didn’t do its job of trying to engage its customers and the theory is they may have lost the ability to do it,” she said. “That’s what the (stock) market is telling you.”

The retailer plans “aggressive promotional activities” that would erode its operating profit by $1 billion this year, Chief Executive Brian Cornell said at the meeting on Tuesday.

Revamping older stores is also part of Cornell’s plan. Target has “a large percentage of the portfolio where the buildings just don’t match the brand. They are old. They’re tired. And they have not been updated in years,” he said on a conference call.

Target said it planned to invest $2 billion in 2017 on analytics, supply chain and opening 100 more small-format stores in urban neighborhoods and college markets. It also plans to launch more than 12 exclusive brands.

Target forecast full-year earnings of $3.80-$4.20 per share from continuing operations, while analysts on average were expecting profit above $5.00, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. [nBw2wpt55a]

TARGETING GROCERY SHOPPERS?

One of the first areas where prices will come down at Target is food, the company said. Food and pet supplies account for about a fifth of Target sales, according to its annual report.

On Monday, Reuters reported Wal-Mart launched a new front in U.S. price wars with a test in 1,200 stores to lower grocery prices. [nL2N1GC03L]

With Wal-Mart and Amazon already facing off on price, including in the grocery aisle, Target is in an uncomfortable middle ground. And where Wal-Mart has established itself as the nation’s largest grocer, Target’s foray into food has been less successful.

“Target is neither a full-line grocer nor a player with lots of niche specialty products; it is neither a high-end player, nor a price-focused discounter,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

Target’s grocery offerings are “confusing,” he said.

Two years ago, bigger rival Wal-Mart aggressively cut prices across the board and boosted its online presence. Target could not act then due to costs related to a massive data breach and its decision to pull out of Canada.

“Target’s got bigger issues (than Wal-Mart had),” said analyst Brian Yarbrough of Edward Jones.

“They’ve struggled since Brian Cornell’s come on to figure out what to do with their grocery department … I think Target’s turnaround could take a little bit longer than Wal-Mart.”

Separately, CEO Cornell said he has been talking with the Trump administration to argue against a border tax that would raise the price of imports, including food like coffee and bananas.

“We are trying to make sure consumers are not waking up paying prices that are 15 or 20 or 25 percent higher,” Cornell said. “And it wouldn’t bring jobs back to the United States because we don’t have factories that are ready to start manufacturing these products.”

SALES DECLINES

Target’s same-store sales fell 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday season. That was steeper than the 1.3 percent drop analysts estimated, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Target expects same-store sales to decline by low-single digits in fiscal 2017. Analysts, on average, were expecting same-store sales to increase 0.4 percent in 2017.

A 34 percent jump in digital sales was not enough to keep overall net sales in the black. They fell for the sixth straight quarter, to $20.69 billion; adjusted profit of $1.45 per share was below the $1.51 expected.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York, Richa Naidu in Bengaluru, Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru and Rodrigo Campos in New York; Writing by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Meredith Mazzilli)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/XZhsttt4wIc/us-target-results-idUSKBN16719S

Target’s profit outlook sinks retail stocks


Target Corp (TGT.N) shares plunged on Tuesday after executives issued a full-year profit forecast that fell well below analyst estimates and said the retailer would lower prices to compete with deep-discounting rivals.

Target at its investor day conference vowed aggressive promotions and said new brands and investments in technology and small stores will allow it to eventually win back market share.

Although its e-commerce operation is growing quickly, Target reported its third straight quarter of lower sales from existing stores, citing “unexpected softness” and raising new questions about the health of large national retailers in the United States.

Target also forecast first-quarter profit well below Wall Street estimates. Shares sank 13 percent, on track for their biggest one-day percentage drop in more than 18 years.

Target’s stock has lost a quarter of its value since the 2016 holiday season started in November, and is now trading at its lowest level since August 2014.

The retail industry is under pressure from lackluster U.S. economic growth, intense competition from Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and other online rivals, and concerns about the impact of President Donald Trump’s planned border tax on imported goods.

Unlike rival Wal-Mart, which is able to draw in grocery shoppers, Target’s grocery offerings are “confusing,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

“Target is neither a full-line grocer nor a player with lots of niche specialty products; it is neither a high-end player, nor a price focused discounter.”

Target’s plunge prompted declines across the retail sector. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) was down 2.0 percent, with Kroger Co (KR.N) down 1.2 percent and Macy’s Inc (M.N) off 1.7 percent. Dollar General Corp (DG.N) fell 4.2 percent.

“It’s that drum beat of bad retail news of the big-box retailers. So in case you thought maybe that was over, Target certainly reminded us all that it didn’t,” said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds in Purchase, New York.

“(It) underscores the travails that have been going on in the industry.”

The retailer would undertake “aggressive promotional activities” that would erode its operating profit by $1 billion this year, Chief Executive Brian Cornell said at the company’s investor day.

Target said it planned to invest $2 billion in 2017 on analytics, supply chain and opening 100 more small-format stores such as TargetExpress in urban neighborhoods and college markets. It also laid out plans to launch more than 12 new brands exclusive to the retailer.

The changes echo moves by bigger rival Wal-Mart two years ago when it aggressively cut prices and boosted its online presence.

Target, however, was unable to act then due to high costs related to a massive data breach and its decision to pull out of Canada.

“Basically, (Target is) doing what Wal-Mart did about two years ago,” Edward Jones consumer analyst Brian Yarbrough said.

“I think they realized that they’re going to have to invest to be more competitive … Most people thought they were going to take guidance lower, but this is definitely much worse than feared.”

Target forecast full-year earnings of $3.80-$4.20 per share from continuing operations, while analysts on average were expecting profit above $5.00, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

SALES DECLINES

Target’s same-store sales fell 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season. The decline was steeper than the 1.3 percent drop analysts had estimated, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Net sales fell for the sixth straight quarter, declining to $20.69 billion, while adjusted profit of $1.45 per share was shy of the $1.51 analysts’ were expecting.

One bright spot in the otherwise lackluster results was a 34 percent jump in Target’s digital sales.

Target said it expects same-store sales to decline in the low-single digit percentage range in fiscal 2017, after reporting a fall of 0.5 percent in 2016.

Analysts on average were expecting the company’s same-store sales to increase 0.4 percent in 2017.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu, Yashaswini Swamynathan and Nandita Bose; Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Writing by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/XZhsttt4wIc/us-target-results-idUSKBN16719S

JPMorgan eyes bigger investor payouts as it nears capital needs


No. 1 U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase Co (JPM.N) may return more money to shareholders than it earns over the next few years, it forecast on Tuesday, an encouraging sign for investors who have been waiting for richer dividends and share repurchases.

The prediction came in documents posted on JPMorgan’s website for its annual investor day, where top executives offered their vision for the four major business lines and financial targets for the broader institution.

Although JPMorgan is sticking to its long-term target of returning 55 percent to 75 percent of net income to shareholders, the bank could pay out as much as 120 percent in the medium term, according to a presentation. That would mean JPMorgan is generating more than enough profit to invest in its businesses and meet regulatory capital requirements, and can even reduce some of that capital.

The new prediction is up from a 65 percent medium-term scenario that JPMorgan offered last year.

“It does feel like we have reached an inflection point for capital,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said at the event.

There is “no good reason” why JPMorgan could not have a capital ratio at the lower end of a targeted range, she added. The bank aims to maintain enough high-quality capital to cover 11 percent to 12.5 percent of its risk-weighted assets.

Big U.S. banks have encountered a slew of new capital requirements in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, many of them implemented over a period of years. They also must get their capital plans approved by the U.S. Federal Reserve through an annual “stress test,” meaning that banks cannot unilaterally decide to increase dividends or share repurchases.

Prior to the crisis, it was not unusual for big banks to distribute all of their earnings to shareholders. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. lender, has managed to stay ahead of capital requirements while increasing earnings and boosting payouts, but not to that level. Last year, it returned $15 billion to shareholders, roughly 61 percent of earnings.

At Tuesday’s confab at JPMorgan’s headquarters in New York, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and other top executives mingle with investors, analysts and reporters. It drew hundreds of besuited money managers who got a chance to press managers about a wide range of topics, from geopolitics to expense ratios.

JPMorgan said it plans to spend more this year to grow its credit-card business and stay competitive in an industry that has become increasingly technology-focused.

But even with higher costs, the bank maintained its long-term targets for a cost-to-revenue ratio of 55 percent and for a return on tangible common equity of about 15 percent, signaling management’s belief that the investments will pay off.

Although executives say JPMorgan is focused on efficiency, they have also pushed back against the idea that they should, for instance, cut branches to get a quick profit boost. They have instead advocated for investing in key businesses, like credit cards, as well as technology that can help JPMorgan lure more customers and keep existing ones happy.

One of its slides characterized its approach to costs as: “Innovate, automate, and eliminate waste.”

Innovation was a theme for the day, with displays highlighting JPMorgan’s technology bona fides in ATMs, cybersecurity and “trader experience,” among other things.

JPMorgan’s shares were down 0.2 percent at $90.25. They have risen about 29 percent since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Dan Freed; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/6DxwQaZSj-U/us-jpmorgan-outlook-idUSKBN1671ER

Wilbur Ross sworn in as secretary of commerce


WASHINGTON Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was sworn in as U.S. commerce secretary on Tuesday after helping shape Republican President Donald Trump’s opposition to multilateral trade deals.

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Ross, 79, a day after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the corporate turnaround expert’s nomination, with strong support from Democrats.

After the swearing in, Ross welcomed the Democratic support and said the vote suggested that “perhaps, finally building America up again may become a bipartisan thing.”

Ross is set to become an influential voice in Trump’s economic team and was expected to start work on renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico.

While commerce secretaries rarely take the spotlight in Washington, Ross is expected to play an outsize role in pursuing Trump’s campaign pledge to slash U.S. trade deficits and bring manufacturing jobs back to America.

Some Democrats criticized Ross as another billionaire in a Trump Cabinet that says it is focused on the working class and for being a “vulture” investor who has eliminated some jobs. Reuters reported last month that Ross’s companies had shipped some 2,700 jobs overseas since 2004.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/iY-Iuf9bqsY/us-usa-trump-commerce-idUSKBN1671XC

Wall Street slips ahead of Trump’s address to Congress


U.S. stocks dipped Tuesday morning, dragged down by financial and consumer discretionary shares, with investors awaiting President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress.

Trump’s promises of tax reform, infrastructure spending and simpler regulations have sparked a post-election rally that has propelled the main U.S. market indexes to record highs.

“What we’re looking for tonight is just more meat on those bones,” said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Alpine Funds in Purchase, New York.

“We’ve gotten these generalities and we’re trying to figure out how things are going to be constructed,” he said.

The address at 9:00 p.m. ET (0200 GMT) could touch on tax reforms, defense spending and his plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

But on Wall Street, financial and consumer discretionary stocks dropped, pulling down the major indexes.

Target (TGT.N) fell 12.2 percent and was on track for its worst day since December 2008 after the retailer’s full-year profit forecast missed estimates and the company said it would take a $1 billion hit to margins.

Also weighing on sentiment was data that showed U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

The dollar dropped 0.3 percent to 100.85 against a basket of major currencies, while prices of safe-haven gold edged up by a similar degree.

At 11:06 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 0.37 points, or flat, at 20,837.07, the SP 500 .SPX was down 2.46 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,367.29 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 17.85 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,844.05.

Four of the 11 major SP sectors were lower, while three rose. The rest were little changed.

Charles Schwab (SCHW.N) was the top drag on the financial sector .SPSY after the company said it would reduce its ETF trade and online equity commissions, following similar cuts by Fidelity Investments. TD Ameritrade (AMTD.O) dropped 9.3 percent and was the top loser on the Nasdaq.

Priceline (PCLN.O) rose 5.9 percent to $1,728.87, following quarterly revenue that blew past estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,639 to 1,149. On the Nasdaq, 1,934 issues fell and 769 advanced.

The SP 500 index showed 43 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 88 new highs and 34 new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/-05UFRAd7Lg/us-usa-stocks-idUSKBN1671EV

EU parliament says governments delayed new rules on car emissions


BRUSSELS European governments delayed stricter car engine emissions tests by six years and did not do enough to uncover cheating by car manufacturers, a European Parliament report into the dieselgate scandal said on Tuesday.

The investigation into Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) emissions test cheating also blamed the European Commission for failing to scrutinize governments’ legal obligation to enforce a ban on so-called defeat devices, which can scale back car exhaust pollution under certain driving conditions.

“We now have a crystal-clear understanding of the failures in the oversight of the car industry that made dieselgate possible: the fraud could have been prevented,” said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch lawmaker who helped draft the report.

It called for a drastic strengthening of market surveillance to break the cosy relationship between regulators who test emissions and car manufacturers, including new EU-level tests that could lead to fines.

Lawmakers said delays to the introduction of more realistic emissions tests came about due to politicians caving in to lobbying from the car industry and seeking to avoid burdening manufacturers after the 2008 financial crisis.

The non-binding report named France, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Romania as the main culprits blocking the adoption of more realistic emissions testing on roads, leading to a six-year delay.

VW admitted in September 2015 to using defeat devices to confound nitrogen oxide (NOx) tests in the United States, prompting several European governments to launch their own investigations.

They revealed that actual NOx emissions by cars on the road were as much as 15 times above regulatory limits and the use of defeat devices was widespread.

More than 70,000 Europeans die prematurely each year from high levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities, according to the European Environment Agency.

In a bid to prevent a repeat of the VW scandal, the European Commission has proposed an overhaul of rules on how vehicles are licensed and tested throughout the bloc. A draft bill which would bolster EU oversight won the backing of the European Parliament’s internal market committee this month.

But it still faces a tough battle to be approved by member states. EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has accused governments of obstructing the bloc’s efforts to rein in what it sees as wayward behavior by the car industry.

Julia Poliscanova at campaign group Transport and Environment said the report had rightly pointed the finger at national regulators.

“At the heart of the dieselgate scandal in Europe lies a testing system that is shrouded in secrecy and cronyism,” she said.

(Editing by David Clarke)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/AqFOR4U-j78/us-volkswagen-emissions-europe-idUSKBN167208

TransCanada’s U.S. Keystone XL lawsuit suspended: arbitration court


CALGARY, Alberta TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) has suspended a $15 billion suit filed against the United States over the Keystone XL pipeline after U.S. President Donald Trump approved the project last month.

The monthlong suspension of the challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement came after Trump signed orders smoothing the path for Keystone XL, inviting the company to reapply for a permit after the administration of former president Barack Obama had rejected the project.

Environmentalists had campaigned against the pipeline for more than seven years.

In an entry dated Monday, the website of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes showed TransCanada’s legal challenge over the pipeline was suspended until March 27, pursuant to mutual agreement.

TransCanada confirmed the challenge has been suspended but did not immediately offer additional comment.

TransCanada Corp had sought $15 billion in damages, according to legal papers, seeking to recover what it says are costs and damages.

The Keystone XL was designed to link existing pipeline networks in Canada and the United States to bring crude from Alberta and North Dakota to refineries in Illinois and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico coast.

(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Calgary, Alberta; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/c6Z4-Gq3tlU/us-canada-pipeline-lawsuit-idUSKBN1671W1

Welcome or not, ECB buying crushes German two-year bond yields


LONDON Germany’s record low short-term borrowing costs have further to fall as the ECB, faced with a scarcity of eligible bonds for its monetary stimulus program, takes advantage of recent rule tweaks to buy more shorter-dated paper.

Traders say the German Bundesbank, acting on behalf of the European Central Bank, has been buying bonds below the minus 0.40 percent deposit rate in the past two weeks.

Speculation about further buying in this area is exacerbating demand for top-rated German debt and prolonging a move that is out of kilter with a pick-up in economic growth and inflation in the euro zone’s biggest economy.

“What has changed since December is that the scarcity constraints, even if faced later in the year, are having an impact on policy today,” said Frederik Ducrozet, a senior economist at Pictet. “That is the most important development and holds the most risks to markets.”

Aware that the ECB is on the prowl, investors can’t seem to get enough of German short-term debt, paying for the privilege of lending to the government through negative yields.

Germany sold two-year bonds at record low yields at auction of minus 0.92 percent on Tuesday.

“Every dealer wants to buy it because they want to sell it on to the central bank,” DZ Bank strategist René Albrecht said.

To free up more bonds for its 2.3 trillion euro stimulus scheme, the ECB in December scrapped a rule that prevented it from buying bonds yielding below the depo rate or with a minimum maturity of less than two years.

Having signaled it would only buy bonds yielding below the depo rate as a last resort, the ECB took markets by surprise last month by using the first available opportunity to take advantage of the rule tweak.

According to Commerzbank, since the deposit floor restriction was removed in January, the Bundesbank has been increasing offers on German bonds with a one-year maturity to meet its 800 million euro daily target of asset purchases.

Rabobank puts the daily buying at around 625 million euros. Given that there is about 450 billion euros of outstanding German debt in the 1 to 5 year maturity range, Rabobank says it would not be unreasonable to assume that about two-thirds, or about 400 million euros, of the daily buying target is being diverted towards shorter-dated bonds.

Germany’s two-year bond yield hit a record low of minus 0.96 percent DE2YT=TWEB last week and is set to end February down 21 basis points — the biggest monthly drop in four years.

The scarcity of high-quality short-term debt, which is used as collateral in funding markets, is also driving yields lower.

Concern about France’s presidential election has also boosted demand for low-risk German debt.

NEW DYNAMIC

But ECB buying is the main driver, suggesting that short-dated bond yields will be less effective in their traditional role as a gauge of how investors view the outlook for short-term interest rates.

Another side effect is a further steepening of the government bond yield curve, seen as beneficial for the banking sector.

“I think we’re going to hit minus 1 percent on two-year bond yields within the next couple of weeks,” said Martin van Vliet, senior rates strategist at ING.

Before Tuesday’s auction, the outstanding volume of German two-year debt stood at 106 billion euros, according to German Finance Agency data. The agency plans to issue $52 billion in Schatz notes this year, down 1 billion on 2016.

Many banks expect the ECB to push up against a self-imposed limit that prevents it from holding more than 33 percent of a country’s eligible bonds around year-end, even as it looks to reduce its overall monthly asset purchases by 20 billion euros to 60 billion euros from April.

“The bottom line is that the ECB is running out of German bonds to buy and that the program is reaching its limits,” said ABN AMRO senior fixed income strategist Kim Liu. He says the bond-buying limits in Germany could be hit as early as June if the Bundesbank keeps buying at the current pace.

In Ireland and Portugal, where the ECB is also running out of eligible debt, the central bank has slowed its purchases and deviated from the so-called capital key, under which it buys bonds based on the size of a member state’s economy.

It is seen as less willing to do that in Germany, where the bulk of QE purchases are made. Instead of slowing purchases, the ECB is likely instead to buy more shorter-dated bonds to keep the scheme going until its end-2017 end-date, analysts said.

The ECB could make further tweaks that free up more bonds, but that’s seen as unlikely as stronger inflation and economic growth increases pressure on the bank to scale back QE.

“The nuclear option is abandoning the capital key – but they won’t abandon that unless there was a crisis,” Mizuho strategist Peter Chatwell said.

(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Graphic by Nigel Stephenson Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/O2QVEgdoPQo/us-eurozone-bonds-ecb-analysis-idUSKBN1671YU

Comcast to buy remaining 49 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan


Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) said on Tuesday it would buy the 49 percent it does not already own in Universal Studios Japan (USJ) for 254.8 billion yen ($2.27 billion) as the No. 1 U.S. cable operator seeks to expand its Asian theme parks business.

The deal values the Japanese theme park operator at 840 billion yen ($7.5 billion), including the assumption of net debt.

Comcast is buying USJ from Goldman Sachs (GS.N), private equity firm MBK and other owners.

Elsewhere in Asia, the company is building a theme park in Beijing and licenses one in Singapore.

Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001 as a Japanese company with a license from NBCUniversal. Comcast bought a 51 percent stake in 2015.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of April 2017.

Comcast shares fell 0.4 percent to $37.36 in morning trading on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and W Simon)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/4UdVMdYbErE/us-usj-m-a-comcast-idUSKBN1671RQ