Media Giant Earnings: Comcast, Time Warner, Viacom Report

<b class="credit">Jin Lee/Bloomberg</b>
Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Three media giants are in the spotlight, and a drug maker wins a key ruling on a controversial contraceptive.

The S&P 500 edged up 4 points yesterday to another record high, wrapping up its sixth monthly gain in a row. The total gain during that time: 13 percent. The Dow Industrials and the Nasdaq both gained 21 points.

Comcast (CMCSA) says its quarterly net rose 17 percent from a year ago. The company was helped by some hefty price increases for its cable subscribers. Comcast is the nation's largest cable company and last year it acquired NBC Universal.

Rival Time Warner (TWX) says its net jumped 24 percent, easily beating Wall Street targets.
And Viacom's (VIA) net fell 18 percent, but still met expectations.

Mixed results from Merck (MRK): Its net fell but still slightly exceeded expectations. Sales were hurt by the expiration of some key patents, and the drug maker lowered its outlook for the rest of the year.

And the film studio DreamWorks Animation (DWA) posted a surprise profit, led by a strong showing by "The Croods."

After the close we'll hear from Facebook (FB).

Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) won FDA approval to market its emergency contraceptive to women 15 and older, without requiring a prescription. This reversal by the FDA follows an order by a federal judge to make the so-called morning after pill more readily available.

A group of private equity companies, including Bain Capital, is reportedly the top bidder for BMC Software (BMC). Reuters says the group's offer is valued at more than $6.5 billion dollars.

An IPO for a real estate venture that includes the Empire State Building is a key step closer to happening. A judge says a share buyout proposal in the plan does not violate the law. The IPO could raise $1 billion dollars.

And we're not looking for any major shifts when Fed policymakers wrap up a two day meeting and release their statement this afternoon, but it could lead to some volatility.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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