|Day's Range||0.4000 - 0.4000|
On Wednesday, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee Patrick McHenry joined Jessica Smith on The Final Round following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Capitol Hill.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced intense questioning from congressional officials on Wednesday as he testified on the company’s cryptocurrency project. John Freeman, analyst at CFRA, joins Akiko Fujita on The Ticker to discuss Zuckerberg's response when Rep. Maxine Waters asked him about fact-checking political ads.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies in front of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services at Capitol Hill on Libra. Democratic U.S. Representative Jim A. Hines questions Zuckerberg about what investment Facebook has made so that freedom of expression can be allowed.
In an exclusive interview, Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC, confirmed to the Boston Business Journal that Cambridge-based Onshape is the “biggest acquisition ever in PTC’s history” and shared more details about the future of the company within PTC.
Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg got grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and some of the most pointed questioning came from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp.’s sales and profit got a boost from demand for Azure cloud-computing programs and internet-based versions of Office productivity software, lifting results above analysts’ expectations.Profit in the first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, rose to $10.7 billion, or $1.38 a share, compared with the $1.24 per-share average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 14% to $33.1 billion, the Redmond, Washington-based company said Wednesday in a statement, better than the $32.2 billion average prediction.Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has spent the past five years building up Microsoft’s cloud business, which lets customers avoid having to buy and run their own hardware and applications. Revenue from Azure cloud services rose 59% in the recent period, slowing from a 64% gain in the previous period and 73% for the quarter before that. As that growth decelerates, the company is working to improve margins and rack up a steady stream of large deals for Azure, which competes with Amazon.com Inc.’s web-services division. Sales of the subscription-based Office 365 for corporate customers, Microsoft’s other major cloud business, jumped 25%.“They’ve made the migration from core enterprise software to this cloud focus,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co. “You look at cloud, at expanding margins, at the corporate move to Windows 10, and at least the PC market was better than expected in the quarter.”Microsoft shares were little changed in extended trading following the report, after closing at $137.24 in regular New York trading. The stock gained 3.8% in the quarter, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.2%.The company’s shares have jumped this year on optimism about the cloud business. The stock is also being helped by some investors’ belief that Microsoft is a safer bet as U.S. and European regulators sharpen their scrutiny of other large technology firms, including Google, Amazon and Facebook Inc. Microsoft’s market capitalization rose above $1 trillion briefly in April and returned to that level in June. Apple Inc. overtook Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company earlier this month.In the latest period, Microsoft said commercial cloud revenue rose 36% to $11.6 billion. Margins widened by 4 points to 66%, “driven by material improvement in Azure gross margin,” the company said in a slide deck posted on its website. Microsoft doesn’t break out Azure revenue separately or comment on whether that business is profitable.Commercial cloud profitability will continue to improve in the coming quarter and the current fiscal year, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in an interview. Still, over time, as the lower-margin Azure becomes a larger piece of that business, “you will see more pressure on that number,” she said.The company will keep spending to construct data centers to keep up with strong customer interest in Azure, she said. “With the type of demand signal we have, we will continue to build.”Hood told analysts on a conference call that the company expects another strong quarter in the period that ends Dec. 31. Here are her forecasts:Intelligent Cloud sales, made up of Azure and server software, will be as much as $11.45 billion, Hood said, above the $11.2 billion estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Productivity unit sales, mainly Office software, will range from $11.3 billion to $11.5 billion, in line with estimates of $11.4 billion. Sales from More Personal Computing, including Windows, Surface and gaming revenue, will fall short of the $13.4 billion Bloomberg estimate and will range between $12.6 billion and $13 billion, Hood said.Keith Weiss, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, expects commercial cloud sales of $48 billion for the 12 months that end June 30, rising to $79 billion in fiscal 2022. He also expects continued improvement in margins as increasing use of Microsoft’s cloud data centers allows the company to run the services more efficiently.“They’re doing a good job with the move to the cloud,” Synovus’s Morgan said. “Of all the old smokestack tech companies -- you look at IBM, you look at Oracle -- of all those companies, Microsoft is the one that has done a really good job.”Sales of Windows to PC makers rose 9%. Surface revenue declined 4%, in part because the company introduced new models for the holiday season after the end of the first quarter. LinkedIn revenue grew 25% and gaming revenue fell 7%.Microsoft still gets more than 15% of its sales from Windows, and that business remains heavily dependent on the cycle of companies replacing PCs. In the September quarter, global shipments of personal computers increased 1.1%, Gartner said earlier this month, fueled by businesses upgrading to the latest Windows operating system. Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7, which was released in 2009, in January, meaning companies need to upgrade to Windows 10 if they want to continue to receive updates and service on their systems.The older software’s expiration is also helping boost sales of the company’s Microsoft 365 bundle, which includes Windows and Office cloud software such as Word, Excel and Teams, Microsoft’s rival to Slack Technologies Inc.’s product.(Updates with forecast in 10th paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the day of the week in the second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Mark Zuckerberg was ready for a Congressional interrogation on Facebook Inc.’s cryptocurrency project. On the stand for more than six hours Wednesday, he got a lashing on every other controversy facing the social media giant, too.The 35-year-old chief executive officer arrived on Capitol Hill prepared to defend the company’s plans for Libra, describing the advantages of a global digital coin that would help open up financial systems to the poor and underbanked around the world. From the start of his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, however, lawmakers made it clear that beyond the questions they had over the new currency, they are skeptical that Facebook should be trusted with the tremendous power it has amassed over 2.7 billion global users.https://t.co/K2g4PUIriZ— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) October 23, 2019 During the CEO’s lengthy appearance, many of Washington’s grievances about Facebook were laid bare. There were heated questions about Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads; accusations of rampant child exploitation on the platform; Facebook’s move to encryption and the impact that would have on the ability to obscure criminals; the company’s continued problems with election interference heading into the 2020 presidential election; what it’s doing to prevent “deepfakes,” or manipulated videos; and critiques of its poor record on workforce diversity.“I think you can appreciate using a person’s past behavior to determine their future behavior,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term Democrat from New York. “In order for us to make decisions about Libra, we have to dig into Facebook’s past behavior in respect to democracy.” She then dove into a line of questioning about what Zuckerberg knew and when regarding the Cambridge Analytica data-privacy scandal that erupted in 2018.Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters set the tone early on in a tweet she sent just as the hearing got underway.“Facebook has allowed election interference, released private data, violated civil rights laws, among other offenses & now they’re trying to launch a BigTechTakover by creating this mysterious ZuckBuck?”Waters, a California Democrat, said Facebook should stop work on its cryptocurrency project until the company addresses a series of unrelated “deficiencies” in its social-media business.Zuckerberg vowed to try to address lawmakers’ concerns but also said he hoped to “address the risk of not innovating. I don’t know if Libra is going to work, but I believe in trying new things.”He also conceded that it has been “a challenging few years for Facebook.” The company has acknowledged the unauthorized use of private user information by U.K. research firm Cambridge Analytica, shut down several state-backed disinformation campaigns, been targeted with multiple antitrust investigations and been hammered for taking money to publish false political advertising.Facebook has gone to great lengths to try to rehabilitate its image. For years, Zuckerberg had described his social network’s purpose as “connecting the world,” but that mission ended up as a grow-at-all-costs strategy that created blind spots on how the platform could be used in harmful ways, such as live-streaming terrorist shootings and attacks. Zuckerberg last testified to congress in April 2018, answering 10 hours of questions about how Facebook allowed app developers to collect data on users, and how the platform was used by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.The company spent a record $4.8 million on lobbying in the third quarter, according to federal disclosures filed Monday, up 70% from the same period a year earlier. Since October 2018, Facebook has hired 12 external lobbying firms to supplement the 11 lobbyists it counts among its own employees, according to the company’s filings. Facebook brought on many of the outside firms to support the launch of Libra.Waters has been one of the loudest critics in Congress of Facebook’s effort to create the Libra digital token. When the social-media giant first announced its plans in June, she almost immediately demanded that the company halt development. Government officials and central bankers in Europe have also raised concerns about how the project would protect users’ privacy and prevent criminals from using it to launder money.Facebook sent David Marcus, the executive who leads the company’s blockchain team and has so far served as the de-facto leader for Libra, to address the same committee in July. He too spent much of his time defending his employer for its previous missteps, and trying to convince Congress that people will be able to use Libra without ever having to use Facebook.Zuckerberg reiterated Wednesday that he has no intention of launching the cryptocurrency without approval from U.S. regulators. That was a point of contention and confusion before the Libra Association was officially formed this month.Though he has made the promise before, Zuckerberg took it a step further on Wednesday, saying that Facebook could even be forced to leave the Libra Association entirely if the group decides to move forward with the currency without approval from U.S. regulators. It’s an unlikely scenario, but Zuckerberg’s suggestion that Facebook could abandon a project it started is meant to appease lawmakers who have pushed back aggressively. Zuckerberg said he wants the project to meet or even exceed U.S. government standards.At the same time, Zuckerberg made the case that if the U.S. doesn’t lead in innovation, specifically in areas like cryptocurrency, then China will leap ahead.“We can’t sit here and assume that because America is today the leader that it will always get to be the leader if we don’t innovate,” he said.But members of Congress poked holes in Zuckerberg’s argument that Libra would improve America’s dominance in finance around the world. If that were the case, why would Libra need a home base in Switzerland, with a global roster of members and need to be backed by multiple currencies beyond the U.S. dollar? How would the currency actually work, and would it allow transactions that were anonymous or non-refundable?Zuckerberg didn’t have many answers. The Libra product is still just an idea, and its launch will require agreements by association members on how it will function and fit within global regulatory frameworks. He said he didn’t know whether other Libra members were planning to contribute money to back the currency, and that the idea of anonymous transactions is still “an open question.”Facebook originally had 27 partners that planned to join it in the Libra Association, which is supposed to share in the governance of the cryptocurrency. Recently about a fourth of those original members dropped out, including PayPal Holdings Inc., Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican, said the departure of those members was a disturbing sign. Zuckerberg said some of Libra’s early partners abandoned the project probably because it was risky and because of the intense regulatory scrutiny. Facebook has made an effort to make clear that the social network won’t be solely responsible for managing Libra.Several lawmakers questioned Facebook’s motives for basing the Libra Association in Switzerland instead of in the U.S. A big part of other crypto companies’ decision to set up in the country is the flexible tax treatment they can get. There has also been much clearer regulatory guidance from the Swiss compared to U.S. regulators like the IRS or SEC. And Zuckerberg said he views the financial infrastructure in the U.S. as outdated.Zuckerberg, who has a personal interest in cryptocurrencies, came prepared with lofty arguments about Libra’s purpose: It could help reduce income inequality by giving people -- including 14 million in the U.S. without access to bank accounts -- an easier, faster and cheaper way to send money around the world. At the same time, it would secure America’s international financial leadership, since Libra would be backed mostly by the U.S. dollar, especially if the cryptocurrency is allowed to launch prior to similar planned efforts in China.But lawmakers pushed Facebook to clearly outline the business reasons for the project -- beyond the pitch meant to appeal to regulators. Facebook envisions Libra being incorporated into the company’s various messaging apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The company believes that the currency could help benefit its existing advertising business, or create opportunity for new revenue streams. Zuckerberg said in the hearing that Libra will eventually help boost Facebook’s ad prices, but he later said Libra is more than a business plan and that he’s “certainly not doing this because I am trying to make more money.”At the hearing’s end, there was still no consensus on what lawmakers would need to be comfortable with the project. It’s still unclear what agencies or bodies will regulate Libra and when it will actually launch.Patrick McHenry, the ranking Republican on the committee, said he’s not sure lawmakers learned anything new.“We don’t have a deeper understanding of how Libra would work.”Zuckerberg will have another attempt to clarify when he responds to potentially hundreds of pages of written questions from the legislators.\--With assistance from Joe Light.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.com;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The prospect of a Libra led without Facebook may become a reality, but that's not all we learned from Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress.
With Washington playing a greater role in cryptocurrency innovation, the blockchain company wants to have a stronger voice with regulators and policymakers.
Representatives sought answers from the Facebook CEO on money laundering, terrorist financing, discriminatory ads, fake news, hate speech, and privacy, in a hearing that was intended to assess the company’s impact on the finance and housing industries.
U.S. stocks rose slightly in a choppy session of trading as investors considered major corporate bellwethers’ concerns that a slowing global growth environment was crimping their quarterly earnings results.
The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services raised concerns that Facebook’s proprietary algorithms could perpetuate housing discrimination, despite the social media company’s recent anti-discrimination measures.
A terse Congressional hearing saw Mark Zuckerberg vow to abandon the Libra project in the event regulators refuse to approve it.
Longtime investors know the stock market is forward-looking. That means a stock’s share price is more a reflection of what investors collectively think the company will do in the future than what it did ...
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee today to lay out Facebook’s plans for its Libra cryptocurrency. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi, Alexis Christoforous, and Jessica Smith discuss what to expect from the testimony.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday walked in to testify before the House Financial Services committee with the task of winning lawmakers over on the social networks' plan to launch a global digital currency called Libra. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING: "As we sit here there are more than a billion people around the world who don't have access to a bank account but could through mobile phones but could if the right system existed. The idea behind Libra is that sending money should be as easy and secure as sending a message." Not surprisingly, Zuckerberg faced a skeptical crowd on both sides of the aisle. Democratic head of the committee Representative Maxine Waters pointed to Facebook's inability to combat the spread of misinformation, as one reason why it can't be trusted with people's money. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA, SAYING: "As I have examined Facebook's various problems, I've come to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for all - if Facebook concentrates on addressing its many deficiencies and failures before preceding any further on the Libra project." Also looming large over his testimony - the Cambridge Analytica scandal - where Facebook allowed customer data to be misused by the consulting firm in order to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING: "I believe that this is something that needs to get built but I get that I'm not the ideal messenger for this right now. We've faced a lot of issues over the past few years and I'm sure there are a lot of people who wish it was anyone but Facebook who were helping to propose this." Some of the committee's Republican members defended Facebook, fearing it is being over scrutinized in way that will stifle American innovation. Here's ranking Republican Representative Patrick McHenry. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER PATRICK MCHENRY (R) NORTH CAROLINA, SAYING: "There's a lot of anger out there and now it's being directed at the architects of this system. That's why you're here Mr. Zuckerberg, that's why you're hear today. You are one of the titans of what we call the digital age." But that doesn't mean Zuckerberg got a free pass. He was peppered with questions about the possibility of Libra being used for money laundering, terrorism, pornography, child sex exploitation, and other anonymous transactions. What about refunds for bad transactions? How will customer data be protected? And the role Libra could play in undermining the role of the dollar as the world's reserve currency? Many of those questions went unanswered....but Zuckerberg did try to reassure lawmakers regarding Facebook's involvement in the Swiss-based consortium backing Libra. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG, SAYING: "I just want to make sure it is 100 percent clear to everyone today that my commitment running Facebook is that we're going to launch anything that is a product or a part of this until we have full support from U.S. regulators, regardless of what international regulators say." Criticism from some of those regulators and lawmakers around the world has caused Libra to falter even before its planned 2020 launch. Feeling the heat - major financial partners such as MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and eBay have pulled out.