|Day's Range||16.35 - 16.35|
Facebook investors should really be paying attention to what regulators are saying about the company right now.
2Q19 uncertainty is not stopping Wall Street experts from being optimistic with Netflix stock.
Leaders from Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon all took turns publicly defending their companies during an antitrust hearing on Capitol Hill. They said their platforms all rely on a vibrant social ecosystem that encourages competition, but lawmakers voiced concerns about the growing power of big tech companies. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joined "Red and Blue" with more.
Apple Inc. plans to start trial production of its AirPods product in Vietnam, according to a new report from the Nikkei Asian Review, as it looks to reduce its dependence on Chinese manufacturing. One of the company's contract manufacturers will start testing its production processing for the next iteration of AirPods at a Vietnam facility, said the report, which cites multiple anonymous sources, though the initial trials would be very small. Apple declined to comment in the Nikkei Asian Review's story. Its shares are down 0.3% in Wednesday trading. They've gained 29% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 17%.
Tech’s day of reckoning Tuesday on Capitol Hill started with skepticism about Facebook Inc.’s proposed digital currency, and ended with a spirited debate over charges of anti-conservative bias on Alphabet Inc.’s Google search. In between, the industry’s big four took some body blows from both political parties.
FT subscribers can click here to receive Tech Scroll Asia by email. Apple’s plan to shift some of its AirPod production out of China to Vietnam is the latest scoop by the Nikkei Asian Review’s irrepressible Taipei team. An Indian mobile payments group is making a splash in Japan.
Podcasts were once widely accepted as a free and open medium, easily accessible if you had a free podcast app. Podcasting could become a lot more like television—with shows siloed on different services and companies competing to host must-have content. Apple (ticker: AAPL) is reaching out to media companies to gain exclusive access to their podcast content, according to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook, Google and Amazon grappled with multiple attacks across Washington from lawmakers and President Donald Trump over a range of grievances that underscored the kind of reckoning the companies could face.House Democrats on Tuesday grilled Amazon.com Inc. over perceived conflicts of interest on its platform, while senators from both parties slammed Facebook Inc. over its plan to introduce a cryptocurrency, saying the company can’t be trusted. Alphabet Inc.’s Google got broadsides from Senate Republicans who complained of anti-conservative bias and from Trump, who said he wants the Justice Department to look into its work in China.The pressure isn’t going away. Facebook Vice President David Marcus is facing another day of testimony Wednesday answering questions about its Libra cyrptocurrency project from the House Committee on Financial Services. Panel chairwoman Maxine Waters has called on the company to stop the project while Congress investigates.The technology platforms that came under fire Tuesday were darlings of official Washington in the Obama years as they grew to dominate their respective markets, from online retail to social media to digital advertising. That admiration has been swept away amid criticism from Republicans and Democrats over competition, privacy and control over content on their platform. At the root of the concerns is the view the companies have grown too big and powerful.Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called Facebook “dangerous” while Representative David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, portrayed Amazon as a “trillion-dollar” retailing behemoth that that can crush sellers on its platform. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, suggested a Google was being evasive. “You’re managing to be less candid than Mark Zuckerberg,” he said, referring to the Facebook chairman and co-founder, who testified before Congress last year.The scrutiny by lawmakers threatens to go beyond criticism of the companies to rein in their business models. Across Capitol Hill Tuesday, lawmakers were zeroing on specific aspects of the companies’ businesses, raising the possibility of legislation aimed at toughening regulation of the industry.Cicilline, who is leading a House antitrust investigation into competition in digital markets, told reporters that his inquiry was still in the fact-gathering stage but that it should eventually lead to legislative steps. Tech companies are incapable of regulating themselves, he said.“I think it will absolutely require some action by Congress, either by way of regulation, new statutory enactments, new resources for antitrust agencies, more likely a combination of those three things,” he said.Cicilline’s committee questioned executives of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple Inc. about whether they are harming competition. Amazon faced particular criticism with Cicilline suggesting its business model suffers from conflicts of interest and that it can use its control over data to thwart competition from third-party sellers on its platform.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton denied the company uses data it collects on sales to favor its own products over third-party sellers. He also argued that it’s common in the retail industry for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions in commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.In a separate hearing, a bipartisan group of senators told Google’s global policy chief, Karan Bhatia, that they continued to have concerns about the breadth of a liability shield that protects platforms like YouTube and Facebook from lawsuits over content posted by third parties.Cruz, fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii cast doubt on part of a 1996 law that helped internet companies thrive, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, by providing the legal protection.Lawmakers increasingly want to limit that protection, which was already trimmed in cases of sex trafficking last year. They cite concerns about online abuse, hatred, election misinformation and allegations of anticonservative bias.At the Senate hearing on Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, years of missteps over its handling of data and user privacy and exploitation of its platform by Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign caught up with the social media platform as lawmakers from both parties assailed the company and called it untrustworthy.“I don’t trust Facebook,” said Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona, “and I’m not alone.”Brown, the committee’s ranking Democrat, denounced the company, calling it “dangerous” and comparing it to a toddler with a book of matches.“Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience,” he said.American officials, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Trump, have expressed skepticism about the Libra project. Facebook has other problems in Washington, including a privacy investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over a scandal involving political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Last week, the FTC approved a $5 billion settlement to resolve the case, but lawmakers and privacy advocates objected, saying that it didn’t go far enough.Regulators were aghast that the tech giant wasn’t able to address concerns about money laundering, consumer protection and other potential risks after Facebook presented a white paper to more than a dozen officials from the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies about the Libra project, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.“The calls to break up, the calls for data privacy laws, the calls for concern around Libra and Calibra are all around this idea of kind of the abuse of the dominance of the platforms, the lack of accountability,” Ashkan Soltani, the former FTC chief technologist, told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.\--With assistance from Daniel Stoller, Kurt Wagner, Robert Schmidt, Ben Bain and Gerrit De Vynck.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
You don't have to look just at the technical charts to understand the appeal of Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU). Thanks to the momentum of rapidly increasing digitalization, smaller companies are able to disrupt much larger establishments. With ROKU, the company specializes in over-the-top streaming devices that essentially bypass broadcast-television platforms (and their associated restrictions); hence, the dramatic rise in the Roku stock price.Source: Shutterstock And it's not just the disruption that has many investors eyeballing this upstart firm. Instead, ROKU has already levered an outsized impact on the broader media landscape. Shortly after its introduction, the company's streaming-TV equipment dominated market share, beating out behemoths like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).Even more impressive, ROKU has held onto its overwhelming superiority. For instance, the company leads the connected-TV devices market, accounting for 30% of U.S. sales in the first quarter. Notably, the number-two provider is Sony's (NYSE:SNE) ultra-popular PlayStation network. Obviously, this provides an even greater impetus to buy up Roku stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond And if that wasn't enough, research firm Strategy Analytics forecasts that Roku's connected-TV devices market share could hit 70%. From that perspective, investors can justify the astounding leap in the Roku stock price.From everything that we see, as well as the company's track record, very few analysts will contest the point that ROKU is a worthy tech name. But the question now isn't whether the streaming-equipment provider has a viable business. Rather, it's whether prospective buyers should consider taking a stab at Roku stock.Although I respect the disruption, I can't recommend going all-in here. Let me explain why: Roku Stock Trading Well Above Its FundamentalsAmong the many bullish factors driving the Roku stock price is the underlying company's monthly active user (MAU) base. In the most recent Q1 earnings report, ROKU registered 29.1 million MAUs on $206.7 million in revenue. Thus, the company generates $7.10 of sales per user.It's an impressive feat because between Q3 2016 and Q3 2018, the revenue generated per MAU appeared to be declining. But come Q4 2018 with its record-busting sales haul of nearly $276 million on 27 million MAUs, the narrative quickly turned incredibly bullish. Click to EnlargeMoreover, Q1 2019's sales-per-user metric of $7.10 exceeded the year-ago quarter's tally of $6.57. In Q1 2017, sales per user measured $7.05. Thus, we're seeing a noticeable shift in individual consumer demand.So why shouldn't investors consider piling into ROKU? Because at some point, the fundamentals matter. Yes, the company dominates the streaming-TV and equipment market ahead of established players. But the established players are all profitable. On the other hand, ROKU is not, which detracts from its overall argument.Let's give credit where it's due. Management has done an incredible job whittling down earnings losses last year. For example, back in 2017, net income measured a whopping loss of $63.5 million. Last year, losses were slightly less than $9 million.But in Q1 2019, the streaming-equipment provider recorded a loss of $9.7 million, noticeably more pronounced than the $6.6 million loss in Q1 2018. Stated differently, the company is in a race to have its revenue potential convert to real earnings.Working against management, though, is the fact that MAU year-over-year growth has steadily slipped from Q3 2017's 48% to Q1 2019's 40%. Plus, current per-user revenue is still down from Q4 2016's haul of $10.99. Just Look at the Charts…At the top, I commented that you don't need to look at the technical charts to gauge Roku's massive outperformance and popularity. But on the flip side, the technicals also provide ammunition for the bears. * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip Consider that on a YOY basis, shares have skyrocketed over 112%. But in terms of revenue, the company gained only 51%. Further, per-user revenue increased by only 8%. Don't get me wrong: these are strong numbers. But I don't they're strong enough to pile in at this price point.Also, please don't confuse this write-up as a perpetually bearish angle on Roku stock. As I mentioned, this company has a firm hold on the OTT market. Therefore, depending on the magnitude of a possible correction, I may be interested in picking some shares up myself.Invariably, though, you must stay agnostic with the markets. Right now, I'm afraid this consumer-tech firm has taken on an almost cult-like furor. Let it cool and at that point reconsider the narrative.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long SNE. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy for Less Than Book * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * The 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond The post Here's Why Patience is the Best Call for Roku Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Anglo-German chip designer Dialog Semiconductor on Wednesday raised its second-quarter earnings outlook, citing strong revenue and gains from a transfer of assets to iPhone maker Apple. The operating profit includes $28 million in one-offs, including $16 million on the transfer of assets to Apple and $12 million from non-recurring engineering contracts. Dialog completed a $600 million deal in April to transfer programmers and patents to Apple.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter and Square Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey addressed Apple Inc. employees at the iPhone maker’s headquarters Tuesday, a signal of the strong ties between the Silicon Valley giants.Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., is one of several speakers talking to select Apple employees as part of an ongoing series, people familiar with the matter said. The billionaire spoke with staff from the marketing department, they said, asking not to be identified discussing internal matters.While the address itself didn’t point to a new partnership between Dorsey’s companies and Apple, it was indicative of their bond and existing collaboration. Apple promoted Twitter as an iOS app coming to the Mac this fall, and the social media service is deeply integrated into both the iPhone and iPad. Apple was also among the first retailers to sell Square’s now-common credit-card reader. Apple and Twitter representatives declined to comment.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. was challenged by a top House lawmaker over whether the online retail giant is harming competition as the biggest tech companies faced their harshest antitrust scrutiny in years on Capitol Hill.Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who chairs the House antitrust panel, put Amazon on the hot seat at a hearing Tuesday, suggesting its business model suffers from conflicts of interest and that it can use its control over data to thwart competition from third-party sellers on its platform.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton denied the company uses data it collects on sales to favor its own products over third-party sellers. He also argued that it’s common in the retail industry for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions in commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.The exchange, as Amazon’s Prime Day sales event extended into a second day, came at hearing where four of the biggest U.S. tech firms -- Amazon, Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. -- defended their businesses against criticism that they are too dominant. The session marked the first time the companies have faced grilling from Congress about whether they are hindering competition.Cicilline said his inquiry is still in the fact-gathering stage but the series will eventually lead to legislative steps that go beyond self-regulation.“I think it will absolutely require some action by Congress, either by way of regulation, new statutory enactments, new resources for antitrust agencies, more likely a combination of those three things,” he told reporters after the executives testified.Cicilline is bearing down on the companies as antitrust enforcers prepare their own scrutiny after a mostly hands-off approach to the industry.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, which share antitrust jurisdiction, have taken the first steps toward investigating conduct by the biggest companies by divvying up oversight with the Justice Department taking responsibility for Google and Apple, and FTC overseeing Facebook and Amazon.A report by the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center this year found that digital markets tend to be winner-take-all in which one firm comes to dominate. That creates an incentive for the companies to edge out new challengers that could threaten that dominance.Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin on Tuesday cautioned against calls for breaking up the big technology companies.“Just because a business is big doesn’t mean that it is bad,” he said. Antitrust laws “do not exist to punish businesses just because they are big.”All four companies repeatedly insisted that they face abundant competition, from one another and from other companies. Although Amazon controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, Sutton pointed out the company makes up just 4% of all retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co., among others. Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others.That argument met with skepticism from lawmakers. Representative Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat, pointed out that Facebook has the most monthly active users worldwide of any social media platform, with its Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook messenger in the top six.“You can understand the skepticism because when a company owns four of the largest six entities measured by active users in the world in that industry, we have a word for that, and that’s monopoly – or at least monopoly power,” he said.\--With assistance from Daniel Stoller.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. technology giants are headed for their biggest antitrust showdown with Congress in 20 years as lawmakers and regulators demand to know whether companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. use their dominance to squelch innovation. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the market power of the largest tech companies. Executives from Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook are testifying. Here’s the latest from the committee room:Facebook Denies Its Integration Plan Designed to Thwart Breakup (5:37 p.m.)Facebook’s Matt Perault denied that the company’s planned integration of its Messenger app, its WhatsApp chat service and its Instagram photo app was designed to thwart calls to break up the properties.“There are many services in the market that offer more privacy-protective services,” he told Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland. “Our pivot toward privacy with respect to inter-operating our services was because of the competition that we faced in the market.”Raskin had suggested the announcement was a “ploy” and said it coincided with growing calls to break up Facebook by splitting off WhatsApp and Instagram.Democrat David Cicilline, who chairs the panel, also asked Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton about reports that the fees merchants must pay have been increasing in recent years.“Aren’t these steady fee hikes by Amazon a pure exercise of its outsize buyer power?” Cicilline asked.Sutton said that the estimates weren’t accurate.“The fees that are necessary to be paid in our store to sell items have actually been steady for a number of years and slightly declining,” Sutton told Cicilline.Heated Exchange Over Amazon’s Third-Party Sellers (4:32 p.m.)Democrat David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is chairing the hearing, pressed Amazon on whether its business model suffers from a conflict of interest because it sells its own products that compete directly against those from third-party sellers. That is a complaint also raised by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton said it’s common in retail for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions of commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.Cicilline repeatedly pressed Sutton about whether the company uses data on the third-party sellers to advantage its own products. Sutton said Amazon ranks results by the same criteria and doesn’t use data to compete against sellers.“You do collect enormous data,” Cicilline said. “You’re saying you don’t use that in any way to promote Amazon products, and I remind you sir, you’re under oath.”Cicilline says companies have de facto ‘immunity’ (3:38 p.m.)Cicilline slammed the dominance of the tech companies, saying they are shielded from competitive threats because of barriers to rivals that could potentially take them on. They also use their resources to prevent startups from challenging them and pose a risk to small businesses, he said.Cicilline said the dominance of tech companies stems from policy choices. Antitrust enforcers haven’t challenged a single one of their acquisitions or sued them for anticompetitive conduct like they did with Microsoft Corp. 20 years ago, he said.“Congress and antitrust enforcers allowed these firms to regulate themselves with little oversight,” Cicilline said in his opening remarks. “As a result, the internet has become increasingly concentrated, less open, and growingly hostile to innovation and entrepreneurship.”“Together, these enforcement decisions have created a de facto immunity for online platforms,” Cicilline added.Companies argue they face widespread competition (2:56 p.m.)The four tech giants tried to head off criticism that they dominate their respective markets, as executives in prepared testimony all cited intense competition they say they face from rivals.Nate Sutton, a lawyer for Amazon, which controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, told the House antitrust panel that the company makes up just 4% of U.S. retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co.Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others, in his remarks.The companies also touted their development of innovative products that have won over consumers and their investment in research and development. Google’s director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, said the company spent $21.4 billion on R&D, three times more than in 2013.The hearing, led by Cicilline, started at about 3 p.m. Dozens of people were waiting in line to get into the hearing room.Here’s What Tech Faces in Washington:The hearing is one of a several that big tech companies face this week in Congress as Washington calls the giants to task for a range of concerns. President Donald Trump is pressuring the companies in Twitter barrages for issues including anti-conservative bias, while the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have taken the first steps toward investigating their conduct. The Justice Department is taking responsibility for scrutiny of Google and Apple, as the FTC oversees Facebook and Amazon.Also on Tuesday, David Marcus, who leads Facebook’s Libra and block chain efforts, heard from disdainful Democrats at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the company’s proposed cryptocurrency.Trump said Tuesday morning that his administration will look into allegations by billionaire Peter Thiel that Google’s work with China is “seemingly treasonous.”Trump has also said he wants gather tech executives at the White House.Google’s global public policy chief is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate hearing focused on allegations the company engages in censorship.More on tech and antitrust: Did Big Tech Get Too Big? U.S. Joins Europe in Asking: QuickTakeTo contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Different situations call for different measures — literally. And this applies to the cup with handle, a very important chart pattern for growth investors as well.
The cable killer is on the loose and releasing earnings tomorrow. Netflix (NFLX) has been on a tear over the past 5 years. This stock has displayed returns close to 500% outpacing the rest of the FANG.
Stock buybacks had a gangbusters 2018, with companies purchasing $223 billion worth of their own stock in the final quarter of last year. That trend dropped down to a mere $205 billion in the first quarter of this year, but overall analysts expect this to be the biggest year for repurchasers yet. CEOs are thrilled about this development. Critics, less so. Buy What Backs? In case you need a refresher, a buyback is when a company purchases its own stock using cash reserves or profit. As we recently explained, this has the effect of driving up stock price by creating rarity, as the less shares of a company there are available to purchase on the stock market, the higher the price. Since CEOs typically own company shares and have various stock plans, buybacks make them wealthier without increasing their salary. So you can see why people like them. Big Fans While most CEOS, like Apple’s Tim Cook, are buyback fans, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon are particularly outspoken in their support. Dimon calls them a “no-brainer” and “an important tool that businesses must have to reallocate excess capital." Bye Buy One of the main complaints buyback critics have is that companies will use their excess capital to further enrich CEOs and investors, instead of spending it on employee compensation, research and development and other long-term investments. Buybacks have caught the ire of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to introduce a bill that would require companies to increase employee compensation before they can repurchase shares. -Michael Tedder Photo: Brendan McDermid / REUTERS
Tech’s grilling on Capitol Hill intensified Tuesday afternoon when a House Judiciary Committee took aim at four of its biggest players, whom chairman Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., called “powerful online gate keepers.”
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reports its Q4 earnings on July 18, and expectations are high. Its market cap of $1.06 trillion makes Microsoft the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company, and MSFT stock has been up 37% this year. Microsoft stock closed at an all-time high of $138.90 on Friday, repeating that performance on Monday -- after breaking $139 early in the day. Despite the record highs, many analysts think there is still room for growth, with some now calling for MSFT to hit $150. Here's what has investors excited about Microsoft.Source: Shutterstock MSFT Stock Continues Its Meteoric ClimbFor much of 2019, Microsoft news has been largely focused on the company's rise in value. Not that long ago, MSFT was dismissed as a tech dinosaur that completely bumbled the smartphone -- the most important device in the past decade, and the product that drove Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) rise to the top. The PC market has been on a long, slow slide and with it goes Microsoft's Windows and Office revenue, along with MSFT stock. At least that was the thinking…However, that hasn't been quite the way things have played out. 2019 has seen Microsoft stock continue its relentless growth. In April, the company's market cap hit $1 trillion for the first time ever, and with yet another all-time high close of $138.90 MSFT is currently worth $1.06 trillion. At the moment, it's the only American company in that lofty trillion dollar club, with Apple currently worth $944.19 billion and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) at $995 billion.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip Many investors remain bullish on MSFT, despite its record high valuation. In fact on Thursday, Cowen gave Microsoft an outperform rating and set a price target of $150 for Microsoft stock. Bets on the Cloud and Professional Networking are Paying OffOne of the keys to Cowen's bullish outlook on MSFT is the company's investments in cloud computing. Microsoft's Azure cloud service posted 93% revenue growth in Q3, and the company has been steadily gaining market share in the cloud computing market. According to numbers from Canalys, MSFT Azure's global market share hit 16.5% in Q4 2018. Amazon Web Services continues to be the undisputed leader with a 32.3% share, but Azure's rate of growth is significantly higher at 75.9% for 2018 compared to 46.3% for AWS.That Azure investment doesn't just mean revenue for Microsoft, it also makes initiatives like the company's new gaming cloud division possible. That technology will see MSFT's xCloud streaming game service launch this fall.Analysts also see revenue growth potential in Microsoft's ownership of professional networking site LinkedIn. That division saw 27% revenue growth in Q3. And Teams -- Microsoft's answer to Slack (NYSE:WORK) team collaboration software -- overtook Slack in July, with over 13 million daily users. Gaming and Surface Continues to Grow, While Windows Keeps ChuggingWindows and Office seemed to be well past their best-before dates with the decline of PC sales. However, the computer market is still far from dead and the company is able to sell Windows licenses for legacy machines as well as new models hitting the market, and that resulted in Windows OEM revenue being up 9% in Q3. Pushing a subscription model for Office has also paid off, with Office commercial and consumer revenue both showing healthy growth.Microsoft's investment in Surface hardware has also helped to boost MSFT stock, with Q3 revenue growth of 21%. The company's gaming revenue has also been up this year, despite a relatively poor showing for the Xbox One compared to competing game consoles in this generation. With the xCloud streaming gaming service expected later this year, and the new Xbox Project Scarlett game console due to launch in 2020, that gaming division should see revenue growth ramp up considerably. * 8 Penny Stocks That Have Fallen From Grace We'll see in two days whether Microsoft has been able to maintain the momentum it's showed so far this year. If those Q4 results are as good as expected, Microsoft stock could very well be on the path to Cowen's $150.As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip * 7 Services Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 6 Stocks to Buy and 1 to Sell Based on Insider Trading The post Heading Into Q4 Earnings at All-Time Highs, Microsoft Stock Still Has Incredible Upside appeared first on InvestorPlace.