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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 26, 2013
06:12 EDTLNVGY, MSFTLenovo to participate in next-generation Windows development, DigiTimes says
Lenovo (LNVGY), Acer and Asustek Computer are among the brand vendors that plan to participate on Microsoft's (MSFT) integrated development program for the next-generation Windows, reports DigiTimes. The brands have declined to comment about their product plans. Reference Link
News For MSFT;LNVGY From The Last 14 Days
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February 3, 2016
16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; February 3, 2016
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11:33 EDTMSFTCiti slashes PC outlook, expresses caution on related stocks
Citi significantly lowered its 2016 PC sales estimates, citing recent negative data points. In conjunction with the call, the firm lowered its estimates for three companies whose results are significantly affected by PC sales: HP Inc. (HPQ), Marvell (MRVL) and Intersil (ISIL). WHAT'S NEW: Citi analyst Jim Silva now expects PC sales to drop 6% this year, down from his previous estimate of a 2% decline. Recent data points indicate that demand for PCs has dropped significantly so far this year, while inventories are above normal, the analyst explained. Constrained budgets and macro concerns are restraining demand for PCs, Silva believes. Meanwhile, "there is not enough evidence" to conclude that the launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 10 will be a positive catalyst for PC sales this year, Silva said. Citing his view of PC trends, along with increased competition in the printer space, Silva lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for HP to $1.53 from $1.64. Statements by other printer makers, including Xerox (XRX) and Canon (CAJ), suggest that HP's margins on printers will "come under additional pressure," the analyst believes. He lowered his price target on the name to $10.75 from $14.50 and expects the stock to remain range-bound until analysts reduce their estimates further or its end markets improve. Intersil has 20% exposure to the PC market and the sales of its products related to computing are still strongly correlated with PC sales, Citi analyst Atif Malik stated. As a result, the company will face revenue headwinds throughout this year, stated the analyst. Malik, who expects the company's 2016 and 2017 EPS to come in below consensus levels, downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral and set an $11.50 price target on the shares. Estimating Marvell's PC exposure at about 60%, Malik lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for the company to 42c from 48c and kept a Sell rating on the name. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed this morning that it had bought a 6.7% activist stake in Marvell. The hedge fund said the shares are "undervalued" and The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Starboard is betting the company can its boost margins by cutting costs, perhaps exiting its mobile device business. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, HP Inc. fell 3.3% to $9.55, Marvell rose 1.25% to $8.78 and Intersil dropped 4.4% to $11.93.
11:09 EDTMSFTMaxim says sell Tableau before it goes the way of Netscape
Shares of Tableau Software (DATA) are declining in late morning trading after Maxim initiated coverage with a Sell rating. NEXT NETSCAPE: Maxim analyst Nehal Chokshi started Tableau Software with a Sell rating and $70 price target, saying his channel checks indicated that Microsoft (MSFT) "has the pieces in place to render Tableau the next Netscape." Chokshi doesn't see Tableau's effective $400/year/user average selling price as sustainable, considering Microsoft's Power BI "matches the ease of use and functionality of Tableau" at an average selling price of $123/user/year. Further, since Tableau threatens Microsoft's cash cow, Office, Microsoft and its CEO, Satya Nadella, will be "highly motivated" to execute and leave Tableau as a "casualty." PRICE ACTION: Tableau is off its lows of the day, but is still trading down over 2% near $77 per share. The stock fell as low at $73.37 earlier in the session.
09:18 EDTMSFTCitigroup to hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:58 EDTMSFTTableau initiated with a Sell at Maxim
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07:48 EDTMSFTMicrosoft confirms purchase of SwiftKey in blog post
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07:41 EDTLNVGY, MSFTCiti lowers 2016 PC estimates to down 6% from down 2%
Citi analyst Jim Suva says recent data points indicate above normal PC inventories and "materially below seasonal demand" in early 2016. The analyst cut his 2016 PC estimates to down 6% from down 2%, well below IDC's estimate of down 3%. Suva believes there is a lack of evidence to suggest that Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows' 10 launch will drive a PC refresh in 2016. The analyst cut his estimates and price target for HP Inc. (HPQ) and kept a Neutral rating on the name.
06:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft's SwiftKey buy more to do with AI, Re/code reports
Microsoft's acquisition of the U.K.'s SwiftKey was less about the mechanics of entering text on a touchscreen and more about the increasing role that context is playing in artificial intelligence, Re/code reports. The company has been looking more deeply into AI, including with Cortana, the report says. Reference Link
05:57 EDTMSFTMicrosoft ships 6M Surface tablets in 2015, DigiTimes reports
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05:14 EDTLNVGYLenovo reports Q3 EPS $2.70 vs. $2.30 last year
Reports Q3 revenue $12.91B vs. $14.09B last year. Lenovo achieved its stated goals of achieving breakeven in its mobile business 4-6 quarters after the close of the Motorola deal, and remains on track to reach US$5 billion in Enterprise revenue, on a constant currency basis.
February 2, 2016
18:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to acquire Swiftkey for $250M, FT says
Microsoft will pay roughly $250M to acquire Swiftkey, a developer of AI-driven smartphone typing technology, reports the Financial Times, citing sources. The deal is set to be announced this week, said the report. Reference Link
11:28 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Yahoo set to unveil cost reduction plan following Q4 report
Yahoo (YHOO) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 2 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Yahoo is a digital media company that provides properties and services such as Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! News. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 13c on revenue of $1.19B. The consensus range is 6c-18c for EPS, and $1.17B-$1.22B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Yahoo reported third quarter EPS 15c against estimates of 17c on revenue of $1.23B against estimates of $1.26B. The company reported Q3 Gross Search revenue down 2% to $870M, Display revenue down 14% to $509M, price-per-ad up 8%, and price-per-click down 2%. Looking ahead, Yahoo guided Q4 revenue of $1.16B-$1.20B, net income of $10M-$50M, and adjusted EBITDA of $160M-$200M. CEO Marissa Mayer commented that the Q4 guidance is "not indicative of the performance we want." Mayer added that the company will be disciplined on its headcount and will work differentiate search product over the next few quarters. In its Q3 earnings report, Yahoo also announced a services agreement with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) that runs through 2018. Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google's AdSense for Search service web algorithmic search services through Google's Websearch Service, and image search services. CEO Marissa Mayer said the partnership will be nonexclusive and will remain supplementary to the existing Microsoft (MSFT) relationship. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Yahoo announced that it suspended work on its plan to spin off remaining holdings in Alibaba (BABA). The company said it will evaluate alternative transaction structures to separate Alibaba stake following concerns about the market's perception of tax risk. Yahoo added that a reverse spin of the Alibaba stake may take a year or more to conclude. In a call to discuss the decision, Yahoo said it was "prudent" to explore options given the tax uncertainty while an Alibaba spin would take too long to get clarity. On an interview with CNBC, Mayer said the core business sale is on a "board level consideration," but no determination was made to sell the company or part of it. Following the announcement, SunTrust said Yahoo made a "great" decision given the tax risks of selling the Alibaba stake. The firm added that a sale of Yahoo's core or the entire company is the most likely outcome after reasoning that investors will not want to undergo "a year long spin process." Analysts at Sterne Agee CRT say the investors should begin to apply tax discounts to the Yahoo Japan stake and the Yahoo core, instead of Alibaba stake. Different reports from the NY Times and the NY Post said staffers and shareholders were beginning to lose faith in CEO Marissa Mayer. In January, Starboard sent a letter to Yahoo's board, expressing its belief that shareholders have lost confidence in the ability of current management. It added, "Despite over three years of effort and billions spent on acquisitions, the management team that was hired to turn around the Core Business has failed to produce acceptable results, in turn, causing massive declines in profitability and cash flow." In response, Yahoo said it will maintain "regular, open dialogue" with all its shareholders. A few days later, a Bloomberg report stated that Yahoo is considering an outright sale of the company. According to sources in a Reuters report, the company will wait to decide on its future strategic steps until it releases the Q4 report. The company wants to gauge shareholder reaction after outlining its "strategic vision" during the conference call. Mayer is expected to announce plans to slash costs and shift the focus away from an improving market share. She is also expected to unveil a plan to cut the company's costs, including several business unit closures, and lashing up to 15% of the company's workforce. Ahead of the earnings report, Re/code's Kara Swisher said investors are looking at how Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman may lay out plans to spin off core assets and other detailed cost reductions. Swisher notes that what may be essential is whether there are "explicit" signs from the CEO and whether the company is open for a buyout. PRICE ACTION: Yahoo shares have dropped more than 11.5%, since the first day of trading following the company's Q2 report. In Tuesday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Yahoo shares are trading down over 2.5%.
10:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft recalls AC power cords for Surface Pro Devices due to fire hazard
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06:48 EDTLNVGYTablet market continued to decline in Q4, VentureBeat says
The tablet market continues to see a decline, with 4Q15 representing the fifth straight quarter to see a year-over-year decrease in shipments, VentureBeat reports, citing market research firm IDC. 65.9M tablet units shipped in Q4, a decline of 13.7% from 76.4M units in the same period last year, the report says. Shipments for FY15 were down 10.1% year over year to 206.8M, the report says. In Q4, top five vendors Apple (AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF), Amazon (AMZN), Lenovo (LNVGY), and Huawei accounted for 54.2% of the market, up from 51% last year, though only Amazon and Huawei grew their own market share year over year, the report says. Reference Link
February 1, 2016
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; February 1, 2016
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13:42 EDTLNVGYEarnings Watch: Alphabet to report Q4 results under new corporate structure
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Monday, February 1 with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Alphabet is a multinational conglomerate that serves as the parent company of Google, Calico, GV, Google Capital, and Nest Labs. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $8.09 on revenue of $20.77B. The consensus range is $7.32-$8.59 for EPS, and $20.33B-$21.68B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Alphabet reported third quarter EPS of $7.35 against estimates of $7.21, on revenue of $18.7B against estimates of $18.53B. Google reported Q3 aggregate paid clicks up 23%, paid clicks on Google websites down 5%, aggregate cost-per-clicks down 11%, and cost-per-click on Google websites down 4%. The company also reported Q3 Sites revenue up 16% to $13.08B and Q3 Total advertising revenue up 13% to $26.78B. During its Q3 earnings report, the company said it will begin to disclose the Google business as a single segment in Q4. It also announced that the board authorized the company to repurchase $5.1B of Class C shares in Q4. GOOGLE SEGMENT: Alphabet announced that it will report Google as a single segment within its company beginning in Q4. It stated, "The new operating structure is being introduced in phases. For financial reporting purposes, we expect the reorganization will result in disclosing our Google business as a single segment and all other Alphabet businesses combined as Other Bets beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015." Within Alphabet, the Google segment now has 6 products with over 1B users, including Search, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, Android and Google Play. Gmail is also closing in on the mark with its 900M user base. RBC Capital believes that the disclosure of segment results by Google in conjunction with its Q4 results will cause the stock to rerate. The firm believes that the segment results will highlight the high profits of core Google, supporting an increase in the stocks' sum of the parts valuation. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Alphabet had a strong holiday season with ChannelAdvisor reporting Google Shopping was up 31.7% over the entire holiday period. Specifically, Google Shopping was up 35.9% on Thanksgiving, up 40.3% on Black Friday, up 25.7% on Cyber Saturday, and up 18.6% on Cyber Monday. Alphabet announced the redesigned launch of Google+ in November, the exploration of Fiber in Chicago and Los Angeles, and announced plans to open its first retail store in New York City. The company also targets the China launch of the Google Play app store in 2016, according to multiple reports. Lenovo (LNVGY) CEO Chen Xudong confirmed that Google Play is expected to come to China at some point this year. The company is expected to make its self-driving car company under the Alphabet structure as a stand-alone business. Ford (F) and Google are in discussions over self-driving cars, with the currently negotiated contract likely to "last a long time." According to a Reuters report, Google expects fewer software failiures in self-driving cars as it learns from its mistakes. Google tested solar-powered Internet drones and expects consumer package delivery via drone to begin in 2017. Google is also in talks with the NFL for streaming rights for London games next year. STREET RESEARCH: Oppenheimer said cloud providers like Alphabet may have a huge opportunity in the coming years. The firm said Alphabet may look for a major partner like Salesforce (CRM) to drive its cloud business. Cantor said Google ad revenue growth should continue to be strong and BMO Capital said Alphabet's outlook has improved as valuation has become more reasonable. Bernstein said the Street continues to underestimate the resilience and growth potential of Alphabet's search ad business and YouTube. Barron's, in particular, was extremely positive on YouTube, saying its revenue per viewer could potentially double in five years. It added it could be twice as valuable as Netflix (NFLX). JMP Securities was also bullish on the company, saying Alphabet benefitted from a relatively strong holiday season for online advertising. Ahead of its Q4 earnings report, JMP Securities expects the company to report "relatively strong" results. PRICE ACTION: Google shares have gained about 6% over the last three months. In Monday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Google shares are up almost 2%
09:41 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Neutral from Long-Term Buy at Hilliard Lyons
06:10 EDTMSFTMicrosoft testing underwater data center, NY Times reports
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January 31, 2016
19:04 EDTMSFTApple acquires Flyby, assembles 'secret' virtual reality team, FT says
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14:12 EDTMSFTApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
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