GOOG Dec 2019 1215.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
56.41
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 3:52PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close56.41
Open56.41
Bid54.60
Ask60.50
Strike1,215.00
Expire Date2019-12-20
Day's Range56.41 - 56.41
Contract RangeN/A
Volume2
Open InterestN/A
  • State agents nearing big tech formal investigation
    Yahoo Finance Video

    State agents nearing big tech formal investigation

    A bipartisan group of state attorney generals are preparing to move forward with an anti-trust investigation of big tech companies. Loup Ventures Managing Partner Gene Muster joins Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro and Rick Newman to discuss.

  • Google tightens grip on Android data, Apple Arcade pricing
    CNET

    Google tightens grip on Android data, Apple Arcade pricing

    Today's major tech headlines include Google's tightening of sensitive Android data, Twitter and Facebook's suspension of suspicious accounts feeding propaganda and a report that says Apple's Arcade subscription service will go for $5 a month.

  • IFTTT warns against migrating Nest devices to Google accounts
    TechCrunch

    IFTTT warns against migrating Nest devices to Google accounts

    Google says it’s moving Nest devices over to a unified Google ecosystem for the sake of simplicity. IFTTT’s popular applets for the company’s camera, smoke detector and thermostat are among those exceptions. Do not migrate your Nest account to a Google account.

  • Waymo heads to Florida to test self-driving cars in heavy rain
    MarketWatch

    Waymo heads to Florida to test self-driving cars in heavy rain

    Google autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo says it will start testing on public roads in Florida to better experience heavy rain.

  • YouTube Plans to End Targeted Ads to Kids to Comply With FTC
    Bloomberg

    YouTube Plans to End Targeted Ads to Kids to Comply With FTC

    (Bloomberg) -- To satisfy regulators, YouTube officials are finalizing plans to end “targeted” advertisements on videos kids are likely to watch, according to three people familiar with the discussion. The move could immediately dent ad sales for the video giant -- though not nearly as much as other proposals on the table.The Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether YouTube breached the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA). The agency reached a settlement with YouTube, but has not released the terms. It is not clear if YouTube’s changes to ad targeting are a result of the settlement. The plans could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified citing an open investigation.A spokeswoman for YouTube declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment. The agency is expected to levy a multimillion-dollar fine.Since targeted, or “behavioral” ads, rely on collecting information about the viewer, COPPA effectively bars companies from serving them to children under 13 without parental permission. These commercial messages that rely on mountains of digital data, such as web-browsing cookies, are integral to the business of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, YouTube’s owner.YouTube has long maintained that its primary site is not for children. (The company says kids should use YouTube Kids app, which does not use targeted ads.) But nursery rhymes and cartoon videos on the main site have billions of views. The platform’s many issues with children’s content-- horrific imagery, problems that led to disabling comments-- have troubled its video creators, worried parents and empowered rivals.Getting rid of targeted ads on children’s content could hit Google’s bottom line -- but this solution would be far less expensive than other potential remedies that aim to placate regulators.In April 2018, a slew of consumer groups complained to the FTC that YouTube regularly collected information about minors to use in targeted advertising. Once the FTC picked up the case, these groups suggested that the agency force YouTube to move all kids’ videos to its designated app for children, YouTube Kids. Joseph Simons, the FTC chairman, has floated another idea. He asked the complainants in a July 1 call whether they would be content with YouTube disabling ads on these videos, Bloomberg News reported earlier.YouTube’s new proposal is even less drastic.Right now, YouTube sells two different types of video ads, broadly speaking. One simply pairs the context of a video with a commercial message. So, a YouTube clip about basketball might have an ad from Adidas. The other type uses an array of digital signals. With these ads, marketers can reach viewers in a demographic group, such as homeowners or new parents, based on Google’s vast data troves -- websites people visit, searches they make and so on.YouTube doesn’t disclose ad sales or prices, but most digital ads are more lucrative when paired with targeting data.Loup Ventures, a research firm, estimates YouTube’s revenue from children’s media between $500 million and $750 million a year. Paring back targeted ads would dent that revenue, although Google has the ability to make its contextual ads more compelling to mitigate the damage, said Doug Clinton, a Loup Ventures analyst. He pegged the potential impact of YouTube curbing targeted ads at 10% of its overall intake from kids’ videos-- so about $50 million. “That would be the worse case, in my mind,” he said.It’s not clear how YouTube would deliver this targeting ban with the thousands of video channels with whom it splits ad sales. It’s also unclear how YouTube would define which videos are “directed at children” and which aren’t.One certainty: This proposal is unlikely to please complainants. In a July letter to the FTC, the groups argued that bans on YouTube ad targeting would be difficult to enforce. Removing the feature from select kids’ videos doesn’t guarantee that YouTube stops tracking web habits if children watch other clips, said Josh Golin from Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, a complainant. “Is Google still going to be collecting all the data and creating marketing profiles?” he said. “That wouldn’t be satisfactory either.”Jeff Chester, executive director of Center for Digital Democracy, another complainant, said that if the FTC settlement only forced YouTube to curb targeting, his group would likely challenge the decision.\--With assistance from Ben Brody and Lucas Shaw.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Emily Biuso, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • DOJ Talking With States in ‘Broad’ Tech Antitrust Probe
    Bloomberg

    DOJ Talking With States in ‘Broad’ Tech Antitrust Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department intends to work with state attorneys general in a broad review of whether large technology companies are harming competition, the department’s top antitrust official said.More than a dozen states are interested in the issue and will likely cooperate with the Justice Department, Makan Delrahim, the head of the antitrust division, said Tuesday at a technology conference in Aspen, Colorado.“We will be taking a broad look, and we look at it with no preconceived agendas,” he said. “I anticipate it would be in cooperative manner,” he added about the state and federal efforts.The Justice Department in July said it intended to scrutinize the conduct of the largest tech platforms. It didn’t specify which firms it would look at but strongly suggested Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. are in the cross-hairs, saying it would examine concerns about search, social media and online retail.A group of state attorneys general is also gearing up to investigate tech companies, Bloomberg reported in June.Facebook-Instagram Deal Warrants New Scrutiny, Colorado AG Says“We continue to engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies,” New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office said in a statement. “We must ensure we protect competition, protect our economy, and protect consumers.”Delrahim said cooperation between the Justice Department and the states would reduce the burden on the companies being investigated. His comments are likely to be welcome news to the tech companies. Separate state and federal investigations could mean multiple requests for documents and depositions as well as multiple penalties.Companies that are subjects of the Justice Department investigation are cooperating with investigators to provide information, Delrahim said. He said there is no specific time line for the probe.(Updates with comments on why companies would welcome joint investigation in 7th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Vicky Graham in Arlington at vgraham7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula Dwyer, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • CooTek (Cayman) Inc (CTK) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript
    Motley Fool

    CooTek (Cayman) Inc (CTK) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

    CTK earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

  • Could Accusing Google Help Trump in the 2020 Election?
    Market Realist

    Could Accusing Google Help Trump in the 2020 Election?

    During the heated run-up to the 2020 election, Alphabet (GOOGL) has faced frequent criticism from President Trump. Google stock has fallen 1.5% this month.

  • Apple's TV Splurge Just Adds to the Madness
    Bloomberg

    Apple's TV Splurge Just Adds to the Madness

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get ready, TV fans, because the next few months are going to be wild. Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are spending billions of dollars on so much new streaming content that there will be little reason to leave your couch this winter – or to keep your cable subscription.Apple gave a taste yesterday of what it’s been working on by releasing a trailer for “The Morning Show,” an original series that looks so good it could easily be mistaken for an HBO production. With an all-star cast led by Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, Apple is said to be spending $300 million alone for the first two seasons. The company has committed a whopping $6 billion overall to produce original shows and movies, according to the Financial Times, which would match what Netflix spent in 2017 and would also be in the same ballpark as Amazon.com Inc.’s expected content investment for this year. Other outlets have disputed that Apple’s budget is quite so large. Either way, it’s clear the iPhone maker is serious about streaming. The Apple TV+ and Disney+ video-on-demand apps will both be available by mid-November, followed by AT&T’s HBO Max product. They are game-changers for the pay-TV industry, already littered with live-TV streaming products from Sling TV to YouTube TV.Disney has spent about $15 million per episode to make “The Mandalorian,” a live-action “Star Wars” series that will serve as the flagship of Disney+, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s about $120 million for the first season, which isn’t far from what Disney shelled out for “Captain Marvel,” the third-biggest movie of the year in terms of U.S. box-office ticket sales. The company expects to invest more than $1 billion in original content for the app next year and another roughly $1 billion for licensed content. These streaming wars are risky. Studio owners generally have a sense of what a TV program could deliver in advertising revenue and how large of a theater audience a film might draw. But Disney+ will charge just $7 a month and contain no ads. The company is betting it can build a large enough customer base so that all these pricey investments that have shareholders wincing right now will pay off some day.In the Apple TV trailer above, Aniston’s character at one point says, “I just need to be able to control the narrative so that I am not written out of it.” It struck me as funny because that’s exactly what Disney and its peers are trying to do as they flood the market with content and turn a blind eye to the cost. Disney predicts it will have 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024, when the app finally begins making money. Analysts see Apple TV+ topping 100 million in the next five years, according to Bloomberg News. While both are starting from zero, they do have the advantage of strong, far-reaching customer relationships – Disney through its movies and theme parks, and Apple by physically being in most of our pockets already. Netflix is protecting its turf by lighting it on fire. It’s projected to spend about $15 billion for in-house and licensed content this year while burning $3 billion of free cash flow. The company paid $100 million just to keep “Friends” on its platform through 2019. Even though the sitcom hasn’t aired new episodes in more than 15 years, it’s the second-most-watched program on Netflix. After this year, AT&T is reclaiming the rights to the show for its HBO Max product.A little over a year ago, Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, referred to such spending as “irrational exuberance.” But then earlier this year, his boss, HBO Chairman Richard Plepler, left the company in a shake-up by its new parent AT&T. HBO is now ramping up its production slate to reduce churn, or the rate at which bored subscribers are canceling, and HBO Max is reportedly paying $425 million to carry “Friends” for five years starting in 2020. Likewise, the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal has its own $500 million five-year exclusive rights deal for “The Office,” the No. 1 show on Netflix. There is a potential fallacy in the companies’ thinking around these lavish deals: What if Netflix subscribers were streaming “Friends” and “The Office” for hours on end simply for background noise, something to mindlessly tune in and out of as they scrolled Instagram or did chores? In that case, perhaps users won’t necessarily miss those specific shows and won’t switch to other services at a rate that would come close to justifying nearly $1 billion for two old sitcoms. In any case, I keep writing about the frustration of needing to pay for and toggle between numerous apps just to access all your favorite content and the confusion that comes with doing so. It’s only going to get worse once Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max launch. But at least there will be no shortage of stuff to watch, and with all this money being thrown around, you know it’ll be good. To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., media and telecommunications. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny
    Bloomberg

    Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at lbeyoud2@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    Tech Companies Might Face More Antitrust Scrutiny From States

    Despite a new report that said up to 20 or more states might participate in a joint antitrust investigation of big technology companies, shares of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet weren’t moving much.

  • Motley Fool

    Disney Announces Additional Launch Dates for Disney+

    Soon after its U.S. debut, the streaming service will begin rolling out globally.

  • 3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around
    Motley Fool

    3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around

    But will a cloud partnership, subscription rental service, and a clothing resale platform really win back shoppers?

  • Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time
    Market Realist

    Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time

    Google’s (GOOGL) Android software will continue to dominate the global mobile operating system market. Android will also widen its market share.

  • Why Apple Stock May Be Peaking Again
    InvestorPlace

    Why Apple Stock May Be Peaking Again

    The recent history of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has been consistent -- even if trading in AAPL stock has been anything but. Investors generally have followed the iPhone upgrade cycle. As the cycle nears, investors buy Apple stock. Once it passes, fears about the seemingly inevitable end of iPhone growth dominate the coverage of the stock -- and AAPL shares fall.Source: View Apart / Shutterstock.com Indeed, Apple stock fell sharply starting in late 2012 amid worries that the company couldn't offer much innovation beyond that contained in the iPhone 5, which launched that year. It faded in 2015-2016 as investors grew impatient waiting for the iPhone 7. And AAPL shares fell in the fourth quarter last year, not long after the launch of the $1,000-plus iPhone XS seemed to cement the fact that the iPhone's best days were behind it.Apple stock of course has rallied again, gaining around 31% in 2019 alone. And the bullish focus has turned away from the iPhone, to services, wearables and other offerings.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut I've long believed that the company, and the stock, are at significant risk from potentially declining smartphone sales. That's still the case. And with AAPL stock hitting technical resistance, and the news surrounding the company still not quite that impressive, recent levels may in retrospect prove to be another iPhone-driven peak -- even if it doesn't appear to be at the moment. Why AAPL Stock Fell (Briefly) After EarningsAAPL stock didn't get much mileage out of its fiscal third-quarter earnings beat at the end of July. In fact, Apple shares actually lost 9% of their value over the following three sessions. * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now To be sure, tariff and Federal Reserve concerns played a role. But given that Apple's numbers were nicely ahead of the Street earnings per share of $2.18 beating consensus by 8 cents and revenue increasing 0.7 points better than expected -- it might have seemed like Apple gave enough to offset external fears.Perhaps it did: AAPL stock has climbed steadily since tariffs were delayed through December. It's now back to basically the same level at which it traded before earnings. That said, from here, Q3 earnings, despite the headline beat, look somewhat concerning.The key reason is that Apple's earnings actually were pretty good looking close. Services revenue grew 18% excluding the effects of currency and a one-time legal settlement boost in the prior-year quarter. Wearable sales, per the Q3 conference call, increased "well over 50%" year-over-year. Revenue in Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, after a nearly 25% decline in the first half of the fiscal year, bounced back to a 4% drop in Q3. According to the call, sales grew in constant currency.Those are three of the key drivers for Apple's growth going forward. Indeed, they are three of the pillars of the bull case for Apple stock. And yet, on a consolidated basis, revenue increased just 1%. Operating income declined 8.5% against Q3 FY18.In other words, Apple did what bulls hoped it would do. Profits (both pre-tax and after-tax) still declined. The Hardware Problem for Apple StockAnd so skeptics, myself included, might see the quarter -- and indeed, year-to-date results -- as validating the bearish thesis here. There's no argument that Apple can and will grow its services business. The Apple Watch is a clear hit and long since has left the likes of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) in the dust. AirPods are a winner, and even the iPad has made an impressive recovery, with revenue up 15% so far in fiscal 2019.But this still is a company with a market cap of some $950 billion. Those products would be hits for any other company. For a company this size, they barely move the needle. CFO Luca Maestri said on the Q3 conference call that wearables on a trailing four quarters basis were now the size of a Fortune 200 company. The 200th company in the Fortune 500 (which measures companies by revenue) is General Mills (NYSE:GIS), with revenue around $16 billion.$16 billion is less than seven percent of Apple's trailing four quarter revenue. The profit contribution may be even smaller, given that services gross margins are roughly double those of products. Again, the business grew 50%+ in Q3 -- and total revenue rose 1%. Profits fell.This still is an iPhone story, which even with a 15% year-over-year decline has driven 55% of year-to-date revenue. (That says something about just how awe-inspiring that product is in sales and profits.) And that's still a really, really big problem.It's likely unit volumes have peaked, as phones last longer. Models that run on the Android OS from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL) have much greater market share internationally and will catch up in quality over time.There might be one more demand spike when the 5G model comes out. But over half of Apple's revenue -- at least, depending on the long-term health of the iPad and the Mac business -- is in decline. Q3 shows just how difficult it is for Apple, even running on all cylinders, to offset that problem. The Trillion-Dollar CurseAnd so there's been some reticence for the market to truly jump on board the Apple story over the past year-plus. It's really only Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that has been able to avoid the so-called "trillion-dollar curse." That market cap level has proven to be resistance for Apple stock -- and may well do so again.Technicals aside, the trade war still can buffet AAPL stock. Apple still needs to prove it can actually grow earnings if iPhone revenues are declining. It hasn't done so yet. And until it does, history suggests that at some point hardware-related worries will return -- and Apple shares will again pull back.As of this writing, Vince Martin held no aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Why Apple Stock May Be Peaking Again appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Bloomberg

    The Venture-Capital Opportunity in Basic Sciences

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Venture capitalists tend to focus mostly on funding software, apps and technology rather than the basic sciences. This created an opportunity for this week's guest on Master in Business, Josh Wolfe, and his partners at Lux Capital. The venture firm was set up to “support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles in physical and life sciences.”In our conversation, Wolfe, a Lux co-founder, discusses the process of investing in entrepreneurs in basic sciences, noting that it requires a mix of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of contrarian thinking.One of Lux’s first investments epitomized this: In an era of rising alternative-energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, ethanol and batteries, Lux went in a different direction. Concluding that nuclear energy was being neglected by the venture community, Lux invested in a high-tech solution to nuclear waste. The work required expertise in a variety of basic sciences, including materials, chemicals, physics and vitrification. The firm backed a start-up to address the issue, naming it Kurion (after Marie Curie). When the Fukushima disaster occurred in Japan, Kurion played an important role in the cleanup. The company was eventually sold to French energy giant Veolia Environnement SA, returning a 100-fold return on the initial investment.Wolfe also discussed the advantages of locking up investor capital for seven to 10 years, seeking a threefold return on invested funds. The assumption is that all the gains will be the result of one of two companies out of many seeded with capital, while the others will break even or be losers.His favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak Jay Bowen of Bowen Hanes & Co., which has been the sole manager of the Tampa Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Pension Fund during the past 44 years, outperforming the markets during that period.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Google IPO 15 Years Later: Was It the Best in Tech?
    Market Realist

    The Google IPO 15 Years Later: Was It the Best in Tech?

    Alphabet (GOOGL) stock has risen exponentially since its IPO in 2004. Google has grown via acquisitions and technologically-advanced product launches.

  • Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Nears Key Level
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Nears Key Level

    Stock futures: About a dozen states reportedly plan a Big Tech antitrust probe, likely ensnaring Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google. Baidu, spinoff iQiyi and Fabrinet moved on earnings.

  • 3 Stocks to Build Your Portfolio Around
    Motley Fool

    3 Stocks to Build Your Portfolio Around

    Some stocks you merely buy. Others are at the core of your portfolio. These three belong in the latter category.

  • Reuters

    REFILE-Inverted what? Searches for obscure financial term spike on Google

    Searches on Google for "inverted yield curve" have spiked after the unusual bond market phenomenon presented itself last week for the first time in over 12 years and helped tank Wall Street amid chatter that an economic downturn was imminent. As it happens, that abnormal bond market dynamic often precedes U.S. recessions, and when it appeared last Wednesday for the first time since 2007, it rattled investors worried that a U.S.-China trade war might kill both a record-long economic expansion and a decade-long bull market for stocks. U.S. web searches for "inverted yield curve" are on track in August for their highest month on record, and more than double the next highest month December 2005, according to Google's Google Trends analysis tool https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=inverted%20yield%20curve.

  • Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty
    Bloomberg

    Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Huawei Technologies Co.’s founder Ren Zhengfei warned in an internal memo the company is at a “live or die moment” and advised underutilized employees to form “commando squads” to explore new projects. Workers who fail will have their salaries cut every few months and may lose their jobs, the billionaire said yesterday.Since May, Huawei has occupied the uncomfortable position of being both an established global technology brand and a member of the United States Entity List, which bars it from trading with American suppliers. Despite a series of 90-day reprieves, the latest of which came yesterday, the uncertainty caused by American sanctions has already cost the company a great deal. Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of this summer’s upheaval will be widespread and painful.The most immediate of Huawei’s losses is the international smartphone market. The company’s internal estimates show it expects to sell 60 million fewer phones in 2019 than it would have done without the U.S. impositions. In 2018, Huawei grew its mobile shipments by 34% to 206 million, according to IDC data, and in the first quarter of 2019 its pace accelerated to a 50% improvement while rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. both saw shrinking sales. By the second quarter, partially affected by U.S. sanctions, Huawei’s growth had been slashed to 8.3%.Having successfully penetrated the European mobile market, Huawei was on a path to becoming the world’s biggest phone vendor, however the loss of Google’s Android, the brains inside its handsets, and the related Play Store app ecosystem made Huawei devices undesirable outside of China.Ren warned in his memo that redundant staff need to find a way to make themselves useful.“They either form a ‘commando squad’ to explore new projects -- in which case they could be promoted to company commander if they do well,” he wrote. “Or they can find jobs in the internal market. If they fail to find a role, their salaries will be cut every three months.”Read more: Huawei’s Founder Wants an ‘Invincible Iron Army’ to Fight U.S.The consumer division is, according to Huawei itself, its growth engine. Accounting for 45% of its revenue last year, the business that sells phones and other gadgets is instrumental to Huawei’s future health, and it’s taken a substantial reputation blow from all the allegations and sanctions levied against Huawei. That won’t be repaired anytime soon.On the same front is Huawei’s loss of software engineering time as it’s had to scramble to create a potential Android substitute. In the wake of the U.S. ban, the company switched to 24-hour days, working as many as 10,000 developers across three shifts and three offices to eliminate the need for American software and circuitry. Huawei ended up hurrying its HarmonyOS out this month, just to demonstrate it can code its own operating system, though it convinced very few people that it has anything approaching an Android alternative waiting in the wings.Less quantifiable but still significant will be the talent drain that Huawei suffers from the tarnishing of its global reputation and the overwork that’s resulted from its efforts to recover. The company has downsized its workforce in response to its new circumstances.Ren wrote that the company’s priorities are for employees to make “meritorious deeds” and for management “to promote outstanding employees as soon as possible and infuse new blood to our organization.”In explaining the fresh extension to Huawei’s reprieve from U.S. sanctions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that some American telecoms are “dependent” on Huawei tech and need time to wean themselves off it. So while the Washington authorities are giving Huawei a little more breathing room, the company’s situation is still very much precarious, as its founder has indicated.Without the U.S. trade intervention, Huawei would be threatening Samsung for the crown of the world’s most prolific smartphone vendor and it would be capitalizing on its lead in 5G technology instead of counting the cost of lost customers. The company remains in a strong position, but the dynamism of its growth and the luster of its cutting-edge technology have both been diminished by the measures taken by the American government.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at vsavov5@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter Elstrom, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals
    Bloomberg

    Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- So challenging are the times for Baidu Inc. that even meager revenue growth is cause for celebration.The Chinese search leader’s shares surged as much as 10% in extended trading after it reported sales inched up 1.4% to 26.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in the June quarter, versus projections for a drop. Baidu foresees current-quarter revenue of 26.9 billion yuan to 28.5 billion yuan, flat to down a tad and roughly in line with estimates.The better-than-expected results will soothe investors’ worries for now that the 19-year-old company is losing steam rapidly as China’s internet evolves from desktop to mobile. Yet it continues to grapple with a broader economic slowdown as well as competition for advertisers from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Inc. The latter is chipping away at Baidu’s ad sales via increasingly popular news and social media apps, and also recently launched a general search engine -- a direct challenge to Baidu’s core business.“Facing severe outside challenges and a weak macro environment, the company has initiated a series of groundbreaking changes from top to bottom, involving company structures, personnel moves and business consolidation,” Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said in a letter to employees after the results. “Despite periodic pain, these changes will have positive and profound impact, enabling Baidu to walk farther and steadier.”Read more: Baidu’s $66 Billion Dive Knocks It Out of China’s Internet Top 5Net income dropped to 2.41 billion yuan, reversing a loss in the prior quarter -- Baidu’s first since going public in 2005. The company enjoyed a near-monopoly in online search after Alphabet Inc.’s Google exited China in 2010 but has in past years suffered a plethora of troubles from a regulatory clampdown over healthcare ads to the departure of a slew of top executives including Xiang Hailong, a 14-year veteran who ran its core search business.The search giant is betting on new technology such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, but these pushes aren’t going to pay off financially any time soon. In the meantime, Baidu is investing in content to hold onto users, backing social media platforms including Q&A site Zhihu and science sharing platform Guokr. Daily active app users climbed 27% in the June quarter to 188 million, while subscribers on its Netflix-style iQiyi service grew by about 50% to 100.5 million in June.Baidu had fallen off the list of China’s five most valuable internet companies, trailing Meituan and NetEase Inc., after shedding more than 40% of its market value this year. Once touted as a member of China’s tech triumvirate alongside Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent, Baidu has been left behind as the country’s internet evolves.Baidu’s forecast “indicates continued pressure from multiple headwinds, including China’s weakening macroeconomic environment hurting advertisers’ sentiment, the company’s cleanup of low quality health-care advertisers, and the large influx of competitive advertising inventory depressing industry prices,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum Murphy, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • InvestorPlace

    Alphabet Stock Is Undervalued, But Upside Remains a Challenge for GOOGL

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock has traded in the $1140-$1265 per share range since announcing earnings July 25. The company saw sales grow 26% year-over-year. With shares trading at a reasonable valuation, is Alphabet stock a buy? A rebound in the company's flagship advertising business, along with growth in the cloud business, are strong catalysts going forward. But several risks remain on the horizon, which could mean downside to the GOOGL stock price.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock.com Let's take a closer look at GOOGL stock, and see what lies in store for the search giant's shares. A Closer Look at Alphabet StockAlphabet saw quarterly earnings in the second quarter of $14.21 per share. This beat expectations by $2.75 per share. As mentioned above, this was thanks to a rebound in the company's advertising business. Sales bounced from $28 billion in Q2 2018 to $32.6 billion in Q2 2019. Alphabet's non-advertising revenue saw even more impressive growth. Sales grew roughly 40% year-over-year, jumping from $4.4 billion to $6.2 billion.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now Operating income was $9.2 billion, up from an adjusted $8.1 billion in the prior year's quarter. With the market absorbing last month's earning report, what's the next move for Alphabet stock? Shares continue to be down from their 52-week high of $1296.98. Material upside could be a challenge. A myriad of risks could impact the GOOGL stock price. Regulation and Competition Are Risks to GOOGL Stock PriceWith about $50.8 billion in operating cash flow, the company has plenty of capital to boost shareholder value. While the company loses around $1 billion per quarter from their "Other Bets" growth initiatives, this is a mere drop in the bucket. With more cash than opportunities, the company announced a $25 billion stock buyback plan. This is modest compared to Alphabet's market cap ($831 billion). As InvestorPlace contributor Todd Shriber discussed Aug. 15, Alphabet could easily plow their $121 billion of cash on hand into a massive buyback. This would really move the needle for GOOGL stock.The GOOGL stock price faces downside risk from increased regulatory pressure. Last year's $5 billion European Commission fine is just the start. In the U.S., politicians on both sides of the aisle want to rein in Alphabet. Additional movement by U.S. regulators will cause additional downside in the stock.Beyond governmental regulation, Alphabet stock could face headwinds as the tech space evolves. While Google built a license to print money with search advertising, cloud computing is highly competitive. Rivals such as Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Server rule the market. In this and other growth areas, GOOGL will not have the 80% market share they have in online search. Future growth opportunities will not be cash cows like search advertising.With this in mind, is the current valuation of GOOGL stock justified? Compared to its "FAANG" peers -- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Google -- Alphabet stock appears undervalued. But given the opportunities and risks, this valuation could be justified. Shares Remain Undervalued Relative to FAANG PeersGOOGL stock is a constituent of FAANG. Compared to this esteemed group of tech giants, GOOGL stocks trades at a discount. Alphabet stock currently has a forward price per earnings ratio of just under 22. The company's Enterprise Value/EBITDA ratio is 16.3.Here are the valuation ratios for the rest of the FAANG components:Facebook: Forward P/E of 19.6 and EV/EBITDA of 18.1Amazon: Forward P/E of 54.7 and EV/EBITDA of 27.7Apple: Forward P/E of 16.5 and EV/EBITDA of 12.4Netflix: Forward P/E of 54.9 and EV/EBITDA of 72.2You can make the argument that GOOGL has less runway than NFLX and AMZN. But both are reaching the limits of scale themselves. Alphabet has the capital to chase the opportunities the rest of FAANG are targeting. Each of them has the opportunity, but not the edge, in dominating these markets. With Alphabet stock offering earnings today and growth opportunities tomorrow, it may just be the best of the bunch to own. Bottom Line on GOOGL StockCompared to the other big tech high-flyers, GOOGL stock is a bargain. Shares trade at a slight discount to Facebook, and a substantial discount to Amazon and Netflix. But unlike the latter two, Google has matured to "cash cow" status. With more capital than they can put to work, Alphabet stock needs a big catalyst to move the needle.Meanwhile, regulation and competition remain big risks. With Washington putting Alphabet in its crosshairs, the company could face substantial headwinds. The new frontiers of tech (cloud computing, artificial intelligence) are highly competitive. Alphabet will likely not find another cash cow to compliment their search advertising business. Both of these threats could cause material downside in the GOOGL stock price.With these factors in mind, what's the call? If you are looking for a growth stock with a reasonable valuation, consider GOOGL. But with the specter of recession just around the corner, investors may soon have the opportunity to enter GOOGL stock at a lower entry point.As of this writing, Thomas Niel did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Alphabet Stock Is Undervalued, But Upside Remains a Challenge for GOOGL appeared first on InvestorPlace.