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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For GOOG;SSNLF From The Last 14 Days
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February 10, 2016
19:51 EDTSSNLFTSMC to be exclusive processor supplier for next iPhone, Reuters says
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16:45 EDTGOOGTwitter to fix 'confusing parts,' says timeline change already producing results
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15:36 EDTGOOGGoogle to increase search 'scrubbing' to appease EU regulators, Reuters says
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11:40 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Twitter to report Q4 earnings amid takeover speculation
Twitter (TWTR) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, February 10 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Twitter is a real-time social media platform with more than 320M active users. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 12c on revenue of $709.94M. The consensus range is 6c-16c for EPS and $695.0M-$726.51M for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Twitter reported third quarter adjusted EPS of 10c against estimates of 5c, on revenue of $569M against estimates of $559.6M. Twitter reported Q3 Monthly Active Users were up 11% to 320M. Excluding SMS Fast Followers, MAUs were 307M for the third quarter, up 8% year-over-year, and compared to 304M in the previous quarter. Mobile MAUs represented approximately 80% of total MAUs. In its Q3 earnings report, the company gave Q4 revenue guidance of $695M-$710M and Q4 adjusted EBITDA guidance of $155M-$175M. During its conference call, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company reduced the workforce by roughly 8%. He added that the focus with Moments is now making the feature easier to discover for Twitter users and will roll out the marketing campaign over the rest of the year and into 2016. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: Earlier today, Twitter announced that it is introduce a new Home timeline feature that gives users the option to "see the best Tweets first." The algorithmically generated timeline will show the tweets out of order based on what they think users want to see most. Dorsey had also confirmed last month that the company will change the 140-character rule. Over the past quarter, Twitter has had to address changes to its company as the stock price has dropped over 50%. In late January, Dorsey confirmed the departures of four executives. They include Twitter's head of product, Kevin Weil, head of media, Katie Stanton, head of engineering, Alex Roetter, and head of human resources, Brian "Skip" Schipper. Following the executive exits, Stifel downgraded the company to Hold, saying that it does not see how the departures can be viewed as positive in the middle of an attempted business turnaround. Evercore added that the likelihood of near-term growth re-acceleration at Twitter looks less likely following the departures. The analyst adds that traffic trends and agency channel checks continue "to point to the worst" for the company. Goldman lowered its price target to $28 after the executive exits, arguing that continued management instability likely further delays the development of the technology and product needed for Twitter to see user growth, engagement, and monetization. The firm also cut their Twitter 2016-2017 revenue estimates by 5%. As the stock price continues to fall, The Information reported that Marc Andreessen and Silver Lake have considered a deal for Twitter. Cantor added that Twitter is in play as a possible takeover target. Potential suitors include Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT), the analyst contends. On the media side, the firm thinks 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA) or Time Warner (TWX) could express interest in Twitter. A Re/code report said that Twitter could name two new board members when it announces its Q4 earnings tonight. The new board members are likely to take the place of Peter Chernin and Peter Currie, two current directors; potential names that have been mentioned for the company's board include Shonda Rhimes, Oprah and Kendrick Lamar. PRICE ACTION: Twitter shares are down over 45% in the last three months. In Wednesday midday trading ahead of its Q4 report, Twitter shares are trading up 1.9%.
06:20 EDTGOOGGoogle awarded patent for 'autonomous delivery platform,' Fortune says
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06:17 EDTGOOGNHTSA: AI system in self-driving Google car counts as driver, Reuters says
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February 9, 2016
15:02 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Akamai to report as client losses, Google competition looms
Akamai (AKAM) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the close on Tuesday, February 9, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Akamai is a provider of cloud computing services and content delivery networks. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 62c on revenue of $568.72M. EPS consensus ranges 58c-64c on a revenue range of $559.0M-$576.23M, according to First Call. During the company's last earnings conference call, Akamai forecast Q4 EPS of 60c-64c on revenue of $557M-$577M, and also noted expectations for declining revenue from its large media clients. LAST QUARTER: On October 27, Akamai reported third quarter EPS of 62c against expectations for 58c, and revenue of $551M versus estimates of $550.29M. NEWS: On November 2, Akamai announced the acquisition of cybersecurity firm Bloxx, which it said would enhance its cloud security offerings. On November 19, the company announced a collaboration with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to reduce hosting and traffic costs for Akamai customers who also use Google's cloud platform. In early December, Google quietly began rolling out its own cloud content delivery network. STREET RESEARCH: Akamai saw no less than five analyst downgrades following its last earnings report, with JPMorgan, Canaccord, Cowen, Craig-Hallum, and FBR all negative on the company in the wake of its disappointing guidance and lower traffic growth from its three largest customers. On November 20, Goldman Sachs downgraded Akamai to Sell and lowered its price target to $52 from $62, with the research firm highlighting reduced orders from large clients as well as an industry focus on cutting download sizes. On November 24, JMP Securities said its checks with content delivery network experts revealed that "very few" of Akamai's clients other than its largest customers can build their own CDN systems. The firm reiterated its Outperform rating and $85 target on the shares, saying Akamai is well-positioned for the growing opportunity in over-the-top streaming and the convergence of cloud security and CDN. On December 9, JPMorgan said Apple's (AAPL) suspension of its TV streaming plans removes a catalyst for Akamai's media business recovery, leading the research firm to struggle to see a near-term driver of sustainable volume improvement. Following reports of Google planning its own content delivery network, JPMorgan and Craig-Hallum cut their outlooks on Akamai on December 14, saying the news could mark a first step toward Google competing for some of Akamai's business. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Akamai have slipped 2.4% to $40.00 ahead of Tuesday's results.
10:21 EDTGOOGRising competition may weigh on PayPal margins, analyst says
Research firm Piper Jaffray warned that PayPal continues to face increased competition, which may weigh on its results. Meanwhile, the company announced a change in its Chief Technology Officer. PIPER STICKS WITH SELL RATING: Other leading digital payment systems are becoming more competitive with PayPal's offering, according to well-known Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. More financial and technology competitors - including Visa (V), MasrterCard (MA), Google (GOOG,GOOGL), Samsung and Apple (AAPL) - are offering "similar functionality" to PayPal, Munster believes. Moreover, Apple and and Samsung will begin accepting mobile Web payments in 2016, intruding on PayPal's core competency, and Facebook (FB) is looking to partner with multiple players in the space, Munster noted. The credit card networks are poised to launch online checkout systems, further increasing PayPal's competition, Munster warned. In the face of all this competition, PayPal's appeal to its customers is questionable, according to the analyst, who kept a $33 price target and Underweight rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: PayPal announced that its CTO, James Barrese, would resign "to take time off." Barrese will be replaced, effective April 1, by Sri Shivananda, who led eBay's (EBAY) Global Platform and Infrastructure team, PayPal reported. Shivananda's team has worked closely with PayPal, the company noted. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, PayPal slipped about 1% to $33.30.
09:34 EDTGOOGChannelAdvisor says Amazon SSS grew 17.8% in January, eBay SSS up 4%
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06:34 EDTSSNLFPiper's Munster sees mixed reality headset replacing iPhone in 15 years
Recent acquisitions and hires by Apple (AAPL) make it clear the company is working on mixed reality, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster tells investors in a research note. As a starting point, Apple will add virtual reality to the iPhone in the next two years, which should make it easier for third parties to build headsets powered by the device, similar to Samsung's (SSNLF) Gear VR today, Munster writes. He believes Mixed Reality will be a "new computing paradigm" in 10-plus years, allowing the digital world to be "woven into the real world through wearables." The analyst expects Apple to release a mixed reality headset with a 15-plus year goal of replacing the iPhone. Munster has an Overweight rating on Apple with a $172 price target. The iPhone maker closed yesterday up 99c to $95.01.
05:55 EDTSSNLF, GOOGPiper's Munster sees PayPal product differentiation being reduced
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February 8, 2016
06:22 EDTGOOGWall Street view of Yelp soured by higher costs, slowing user growth, WSJ says
Wall Street sentiment towards Yelp (YELP) has soured as the company struggles with rising costs and weakening user growth, Steven Russollilo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the tape says. With the company poised to report Q4 results Monday, Yelp is closer to falling below its $15 IPO price for the first time, which seemed very unlikely a few years ago when its shares were trading above $100, the Journal says. The company has nearly tripled its employee count over the past three years, but generates a lower revenue per employee than multiple tech companies, including Facebook (FB) and Alphabet (GOOG), the report says. In addition, Yelp's niche market is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies like Google diverting traffic to its own listings, the report says. Reference Link
February 7, 2016
17:49 EDTSSNLF, GOOGGoogle developing new virtual reality headset, FT says
Google (GOOG) is developing a new virtual reality headset for smartphones and updating its Android VR technology, reports the Financial Times, citing sources. The headset will be a successor to the company's Cardboard device, still relying on a user's smartphone but featuring improved sensors, lenses, and solid plastic casing, the sources told the Financial Times. The device will be similar to Samsung's (SSNLF) Gear VR and is expected to launch alongside the improved Android VR tech this year, the report added. Reference Link
17:32 EDTSSNLFNVIDIA wins Samsung patent dispute, Bloomberg says
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February 5, 2016
16:37 EDTGOOGStocks end week lower as tech melts down despite strong Alphabet report
Stocks ended the week lower, with the Nasdaq index the clear laggard, as a number of well-known tech stocks felt the brunt of the market pullback. The week was bookended by a strong report Monday night from Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), which still ended the week lower despite its better than expected earnings, and weak guidance Thursday evening from social media name LinkedIn (LNKD), which was severely punished by investors and analysts alike in the wake of its outlook. MACRO NEWS: In the U.S., nonfarm payrolls rose 151,000 in January, versus expectations for an increase of 190,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, versus expectations for it to stay at 5.0%. Average hourly earnings climbed 0.5% month-over-month, versus the consensus forecast for them to rise 0.3%. The trade deficit widened 2.7% to $43.4B in December, as exports dipped 0.3% and imports rose 0.3%. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index for January dipped to 52.4 in the final January reading, down from the 52.7 flash reading and below the 52.6 reading that was expected. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for January came in at 48.2, below the 48.4 that analysts expected. Markit's services PMI came in at 53.2, versus the consensus 53.7 forecast. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index came in at 53.5 for January, down from 55.3 in the previous month and below the 55.1 reading forecast by analysts. The Labor Department said that productivity fell at an annual rate of 3% in the fourth quarter, marking the biggest quarterly decline in nearly two years and worse than the expected decline of 2%. Labor costs rose 4.5% in the fourth quarter, versus expectations for an increase of 4.3%... In Asia, China's National Development and Reform Commission set its economic growth projection range for this year at 6.5%-7%, noting that attempts to curb overcapacity will increase unemployment in provinces with high output of steel and coal. The Chinese government's official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. The private Caixin manufacturing PMI edged up to 48.4 from 48.2 in the prior reading, but both figures still remain in contraction territory. The Caixin services PMI for China climbed to 52.4 in January from 50.2 in December, while Japan's services PMI rose to 52.4 from 51.5 in the prior month... In Europe, Markit's manufacturing PMI for the euro zone dropped to 52.3 from December's 53.2, in-line with the earlier flash estimate. The European Commission lowered its 2016 economic growth forecast for the 19-nation single currency area to 1.7% from the 1.8% expansion the commission had forecast in November. The Bank of England also cut its economic growth forecasts, saying it now expects Britain's economy to grow 2.2% this year and 2.3% next year, which is down from the 2.5% growth for 2016 and 2.6% in 2017 that it previously predicted. Additionally, the BoE maintained its bank rate and held the size of its asset purchase program steady. COMPANY NEWS: After the closing bell Monday, Alphabet reported better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue, along with breaking the results of its core Google businesses out from its "Other Bets" for the first time. The report was followed by analysts around Wall Street hiking their price targets on the stock, with Deutsche Bank notably raising its target to $1,080 per share, but the company's Class A shares only gained a bit more than 1% on Tuesday and finished the week down by nearly 8%... Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) declined nearly 5% on Wednesday after the embattled Internet company reported fourth quarter results and announced plans to simplify its product portfolio and reduce its workforce by roughly 15%. Maynard Webb, Yahoo's chairman, said the board is committed to its turnaround efforts and supportive of management's plan, but also believes that exploring additional strategic alternatives is in the best interest of its shareholders, but the assurance that the company will listen to offers from potential suitors did little to help its stock performance this week... GoPro (GPRO) shares sunk to all-time lows on Thursday after the action camera maker reported fourth quarter revenue that fell $60M short of expectations and guided first quarter revenue even further below analyst forecasts... LinkedIn (LNKD) plunged over 40% on Friday after the professional network reported stronger than expected fourth quarter results, but its 2016 guidance came in significantly below expectations. At least nine Wall Street research firms responded to the guidance miss by downgrading the stock. "Big Data" software provider Tableau (DATA) similarly issued full-year guidance significantly below expectations and also fell sharply, tumbling nearly 50%... In addition to tech companies, it was a big week for earnings reports from names in the oil space. Exxon Mobil (XOM) posted better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2% on Tuesday after the report. Fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged more than 8% the same day after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring. ConocoPhillips (COP) declined nearly 9% on Thursday after the oil and gas explorer reported a worse than expected quarterly loss and slashed its dividend to 25c from 74c per share. CEO Ryan Lance said the decision to reduce the dividend was a "difficult one," but the company believes it is prudent to plan for lower commodity prices for a longer period of time... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Dow Chemical (DOW), Comcast (CMCSA), Michael Kors (KORS), Mattel (MAT), Sysco (SYY), and Aetna (AET) gained immediately following their reports, while Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), General Motors (GM), Mondelez (MDLZ), Match Group (MTCH), Cardinal Health (CAH), ADT (ADT), Royal Caribbean (RCL), Ralph Lauren (RL) and Kohl's (KSS) all slid following their own... On the M&A front, Syngenta (SYT) agreed to a $43B-plus takeover offer from ChemChina. Alere (ALR) surged after Abbott (ABT) agreed to acquire the company for $56 per share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. Questar (STR) jumped on Monday as well after Dominion Resources (D) agreed to acquire it for $25 per share, or about $4.4B. Lowe's (LOW) fell 6% on Wednesday after agreeing to acquire Canada's RONA in a deal valued at $2.3B... Sumner Redstone stepped down as executive chairman of both CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), being replaced by the CEOs of the companies in both cases. CBS shares were up fractionally Thursday after Leslie Moonves was named the next chair of its board, while Class A shares of Viacom gained 2% after Philippe Dauman was selected to succeed Redstone... Like Chipotle has been in the past months, Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) shares were punished by food safety worries after one of its restaurants was named a suspected source of new norovirus-like cases in suburban Kansas City, though the company disputed a link between its location and the illnesses. Late in the week, the Department of Health of Johnson County, Kansas, confirmed one case of norovirus associated with an area Buffalo Wild Wings location, according to Bloomberg. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow fell 1.6% to 16,204.83, the Nasdaq lost 5.4% to 4,363.14, and the S&P 500 declined 3.1% to 1,880.02.
06:49 EDTGOOGApple, Amazon, Google, Verizon in mix to bid for NFL stream rights, Variety says
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06:40 EDTSSNLFApple requests Supreme Court not hear latest Samsung appeal, 9to5Mac says
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06:37 EDTSSNLFGartner: Global wearable sales to grow 18.4% in 2016, DigiTimes says
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06:13 EDTGOOGApple considers porting more services to Android, 9to5Mac reports
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February 4, 2016
15:17 EDTGOOGObama to propose $300B in investments in 'clean transportation,' Politico says
Aides to President Barack Obama told Politico the president will propose more than $300B worth of investments over the next decade in "clean transportation," such as mass transit, high-speed rail and self-driving cars, and will call for a $10 "fee" on every barrel of oil to be paid by oil companies to fund the plan. The report added that there is "no real chance that the Republican-controlled Congress will embrace Obama's grand vision of climate-friendly mobility in an election year." Tesla (TSLA), Mobileye (MBLY) and Google (GOOG) are among companies that have been working on self-driving automobile technology. Reference Link
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