|Day's Range||6.10 - 6.60|
The 50 attorneys general investigating Google’s advertising practices are expanding the antitrust probe into the company’s Android business as well.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Britain’s Labour party pledged to offer all consumers free fiber broadband within a decade by nationalizing phone carrier BT Group Plc’s Openreach unit at a cost of 20 billion pounds ($26 billion).BT shareholders would get newly-issued government bonds in return for their shares, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell told BBC Radio Four’s Today program on Friday. Shares of BT fell as much as 3.7% before recovering most of the loss.It’s the biggest new pledge of the election campaign yet from Labour, which already has plans to nationalize the postal service, the railways and water and energy utilities. While the radical proposals may win over some voters, Party leader Jeremy Corbyn may not be in a position to implement them. The Labour Party has an average of 29% support in recent polls, trailing the Conservatives, which have 40%.“What was once a luxury is now an essential utility,” Corbyn will say when he announces details of the policy in Lancaster, England on Friday. “It’s time to make the very fastest full-fiber broadband free to everybody, in every home in every corner of our country.”‘Ambitious Ideas’Labour puts the cost of the plan at about 20 billion pounds, which it would finance partly by taxing multinational corporations such as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. BT’s Chief Executive Officer Philip Jansen said the proposal would cost almost five times that amount.BT shares were down just 0.5% as of 9:54 a.m., suggesting shareholders are shrugging off the nationalization risk. That gives the company a market value of about 19.2 billion pounds.“These are very very ambitious ideas,” Jansen said Friday in an interview on BBC Radio 4. “The Conservative Party have their own ambitious ideas for full fiber for everybody by 2025.”“How we do it is not straightforward, it needs funding,” Jansen said, putting the cost of such a roll-out over eight years at “not short of 100 billion pounds.”BT has been working to speed up its own full-fiber build and Jansen said the company’s shares have fallen on the recognition that “we’re going to be investing very very heavily.” Shareholders “are nursing massive losses on their investment” in BT if they’d bought it a few years ago, he said.Legal QuestionsInvestors could get burned, as Openreach’s business would likely be undervalued in an expropriation, New Street analyst James Ratzer said in an email, adding that nationalization “rarely works well for shareholders.” Analysts at Jefferies put Openreach’s value at 13.5 billion pounds, flagging annual costs for operations and to service its high pension deficit.Another challenge for Labour is that nationalization and state aid of this kind are illegal under European Union law, according to Redburn analyst Nick Delfas, so may depend on Brexit going through -- something many Labour supporters oppose.Corbyn’s plan is meant to solve a connectivity gap: Britain lags far behind other European nations when it comes to full-fiber coverage, which allows for gigabit-per-second download speeds. About 8% of the country is connected -- just under 2.5 million properties -- compared with 63% for Spain and 86% for Portugal, according to a September report by communications regulator Ofcom.As policymakers and regulators have been creating conditions to spur more competition with BT, rivals including Liberty Global Plc’s Virgin Media and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-backed CityFibre have been jumping in to commit billions of pounds to infrastructure plans.“Those plans risk being shelved overnight,” Matthew Howett, an analyst at Assembly, said in an email. “This is a spectacularly bad take by the Labour Party.”The Labour announcement caused TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc to pause talks to sell a fiber project as the industry seeks clarity.Analysts are skeptical the government could roll out fiber more effectively than private industry and Howett pointed to delays and budget overruns from a state-led effort in Australia.It’s not the first time radical ideas have been proposed for BT’s Openreach unit, a national network of copper wire and fiber-optic cable that communication providers including BT, Comcast Corp.’s Sky and Vodafone Group Plc tap into to provide home internet to customers.BT was forced to legally separate the division from the rest of the company in recent years over concerns about competition, and that it wasn’t investing fast enough to roll out fiber, and some investors have suggested the company should fully spin it out into an independent, listed business to unlock value.‘Fantasy’ PlanNicky Morgan, the Conservative cabinet minister with responsibility for digital services, dismissed Corbyn’s plan in a statement as a “fantasy” that “would cost hardworking taxpayers tens of billions” of pounds.The Conservative Party’s own proposal for full-fiber broadband across the U.K. by 2025 -- eight years ahead of a previous government goal -- has raised eyebrows across the telecom industry, as some executives and analysts expressed skepticism about whether it’s doable, whether there’s consumer demand for the ultrafast internet service and how companies would make money.‘A Disaster’TechUK, the industry’s main trade body, called Labour’s plan “a disaster” for the telecom sector. “Renationalization would immediately halt the investment being driven not just by BT but the growing number of new and innovative companies that compete with BT,” said Chief Executive Officer Julian David.The announcement will provide more fodder for the arguments by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives that a Labour government risks plunging the country into an economic crisis. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid over the weekend released analysis estimating Labour would raise spending by 1.2 trillion pounds over five years. McDonnell at the time called it “fake news.”McDonnell told the BBC that Parliament would set the value of Openreach when it’s taken into public ownership and that shareholders would be compensated with government bonds. He said the expenditure was needed because only 10% to 12% of the country has coverage now, compared with near complete coverage in Japan and South Korea.Under Labour’s plan, the roll-out would begin in areas with the worst broadband access, including rural communities, followed by towns and then by areas that are currently well-served by fast broadband.According to elections expert John Curtice, Corbyn’s chances of forming a majority government are “as close to zero” as it’s possible to get. The election is still hard to predict, and it is possible that Labour could yet win power, either on its own or with the support of smaller parties.(Updates with comments from analysts from 11th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jennifer Ryan and Kit Rees.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Thomas Seal in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Tim Ross at email@example.com, Frank ConnellyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. stock futures rise after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says the U.S. and China are 'getting close' to reaching a phase one trade agreement; Nvidia issues a weak revenue forecast for the fourth quarter; Amazon challenges the Pentagon's awarding of a $10 billion cloud contract to Microsoft.
As it turned out, Ascension had signed a fairly standard cloud deal with Google for its patient data to be stored and processed. This is no different to the arrangements companies in many industries have reached with public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft. Had Ascension contracted instead with IBM — and if a few dozen IBM workers, rather than Googlers, were able to see patients’ personal data — it wouldn’t have caused a stir.
Expedia Group's vacation rental business Vrbo plans to reposition itself as a family travel site that would offer vacation rentals, resorts, and other features facilitating family vacations. The unit's new general manager Jeff Hurst told Skift Thursday that the move has been in the works behind the scenes for some time. Hurst, who was interviewed […]
Google’s Kubernetes software container platform ultimately forced this Bay Area startup to throw in the towel and sell off the vast majority of its business.
Amazon.com Inc. plans to protest the award last month of a 10-year, $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract to Microsoft Corp. that many assumed would go to Amazon. The controversial JEDI deal has been contested for months, prompting one previous bidder, Oracle Corp. , to file a lawsuit disputing the selection process. "AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD's modernization efforts. We also believe it's critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified," an Amazon spokesman said in a statement to MarketWatch on Thursday.
The AGs are preparing subpoenas, called civil investigation demands, to support the inquiries, according to a report on CNBC. To date, the investigation has focused on Google’s advertising business.
(Bloomberg) -- Nvidia Corp. reported quarterly sales that topped analysts’ estimates, but the chipmaker gave a tepid forecast that suggests demand for gaming graphics chips is recovering slower than predicted.Revenue in the fiscal third quarter was $3.01 billion and profit excluding certain costs was $1.78 a share, the company said. Wall Street was looking for earnings of $1.57 a share on sales of $2.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter will be $2.95 billion, plus or minus 2%, the Santa Clara, California-based company said in a statement Thursday. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $3.1 billion. Gross margin, or the percentage of sales remaining after deducting the cost of production, will be 64%, plus or minus 50 basis points.Nivdia said it expects "strong sequential growth" in its data center chip business, offset by a seasonal decline in sales of GeForce notebook graphics chips and other components for gaming systems.Nvidia shares rose 1% extended trading following the report. Earlier, they closed at $209.79 in New York.Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang has almost doubled the market value of Nvidia since 2017 by finding new customers for gaming chips. But the majority of sales still comes from that market. The use of graphics chips to speed up artificial intelligence software in data centers has been the biggest driver of new growth.Before Thursday’s results, Nvidia had posted three straight quarters of declining revenue as customers accumulated unused chips and didn’t need to buy as many new ones.Nvidia’s GeForce chips are particularly popular with serious video-game players who will spend more than the price of a laptop on just one component for their machines. That has helped Nvidia dominate this profitable market. This year, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. introduced new chips -- particularly for more affordable systems -- that are more competitive.In data centers, while Huang’s company pioneered the use of accelerators to help with AI work, other companies have designed rival components, including the owners of data centers themselves, such as Google.To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The several dozen attorneys general investigating advertising practices at Alphabet Inc's Google are planning to expand their antitrust probe into the unit's flagship Android business, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The investigation, led by the Texas attorney general's office, is known to have focused on Google's search and digital advertising businesses since it began in September. Google has said it is cooperating with the probe by U.S. states and territories and that previous investigations in several have considered similar issues without charging the company with wrongdoing.
The investigation, led by the Texas attorney general's office, is known to have focused on Google's search and digital advertising businesses since it began in September. Google has said it is cooperating with the probe by U.S. states and territories and that previous investigations in several have considered similar issues without charging the company with wrongdoing. The Alphabet unit also faces two other major inquiries — a U.S. Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee — both of which have broad reviews of the big internet companies underway.
Understanding parking — how it’s paid for and how it shapes how we get around and use the limited supply of land in San Jose, especially downtown — is critical in figuring out how government and business are trying to shape the city’s future.
Technology giants are showing a heightened interest in the financial-services industry as they see Chinese tech companies succeeding in payments, an area that could be lucrative for data collection.
An antitrust investigation of Alphabet is expanding to include more of its business practices, according to a published report Thursday. 50 state attorneys general, who represent the 48 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., are preparing subpoenas that will focus on Google search and its Android platform, in addition to its advertising business, according to CNBC. The investigation was formally announced in September by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who emphasized Google's handling of user data and its dominant advertising business at the time.
Attention students: using a budget priced Google Chromebook instead of an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) laptop will limit your chances of success, in the eys of Phil Schiller, Cupertino's senior vice president of marketing,. Apple oversaw a study many years ago and concluded that successful students are those who are engaged — a "really simple" concept to understand, Schiller said in a CNET interview. After all, kids who want to learn have better success, and in order to learn in the modern era, they need "cutting-edge learning tools," he said.
Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced a new partnership with Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) to launch a new checking account service starting in 2020. Project Cache received mixed early reviews from regulators and the media, but Bank of America analyst Justin Post said a push into banking is the right play for Google and its investors. Google is already facing criticism related to its data collection practices, and adding banking data to the mix could potentially brighten the regulatory spotlight on the tech giant.
(Bloomberg) -- Google said it would make changes to its advertising technology to better protect people’s privacy following scrutiny by European Union watchdogs.Starting in February, Google will no longer divulge information to participants in its ad auction about the type of content on a website or page where an ad could appear, the Alphabet Inc. company said in a blog post Thursday.This type of targeting is a major reason why Google was able to absorb the bulk of online ads bought and sold with machines, so-called programmatic advertising. Google doesn’t share its sales from web display ads, but frequently cites programmatic as a key driver of revenue growth.“This change will help avoid the risk that any participant in our auctions is able to associate individual ad identifiers with Google’s contextual content categories,” Chetna Bindra, senior product manager, user trust and privacy at Google, said in the post.Google includes contextual content categories in the bid requests it sends to buyers participating in an auction, indicating whether the website is about news or weather, for instance.That information has helped advertisers avoid displaying ads alongside content they don’t deem suitable for their brands. Google in recent years almost lost major clients after some of their ads ran before extremist videos on its YouTube site.But Google has faced criticism for how it processes data for personalized online advertising.Ireland’s data protection regulator in May opened a probe into how the search giant processes user data in advertising transactions. The watchdog is trying to determine whether Google’s practices are in line with EU strict privacy laws, which mandate transparency and the minimization of data collection.Some feel this is only a small step by Google to increase privacy.“Google will still broadcast ‘bid requests’ that detail what you are watching, reading, or listening to to countless companies,” said Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer at Brave Software Inc., which makes an ad-blocking browser. “These big requests will include information about where you are, and enough data to link things about over time.”Brave has previously filed a legal complaint with European data protection authorities over Google’s ad auction technology.Google said in the blog post Thursday that it already has measures in place to protect user privacy, for instance, by requiring publishers to get consent from individuals for targeted adverts. It said it decided to take the extra step announced Thursday following engagement with data protection authorities.\--With assistance from Mark Bergen.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org;Stephanie Bodoni in Trier at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
As promised a few months ago, Expedia Group began this week to send hotel listings lower in the sort order on its Expedia.com and Hotels.com pages when properties add resort fees to base room rates. Speaking at a lodging breakout session on stage at the Expedia Explore '19 conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, Cyril Ranque, […]
Most of the time when executives in transportation and logistics cite "machine learning," it's little more than a buzzword that evokes vague notions of technology continually improving itself. In a presentation at FreightWaves LIVE Chicago, Rusnak explained exactly how machine learning works, the problems in time-critical logistics it is best suited to solve, how Airspace has implemented it, and the results the forwarder has achieved. Rusnak said machine learning is "programming backwards," that instead of a large code base of complicated if-then logic, machine learning algorithms are dumb and generalized.
Are you looking for a tip on the next hot investment? Goldman Sachs has an interesting idea… Move toward US companies with high exposure to international sales. Goldman points out that such companies are on an upswing in 2H19, and that a basket of such stocks has been outperforming both the firm’s other portfolios and the broader S&P 500. For comparison, the firm notes that its ‘international sales exposure’ basket is up 29% this year, compared to the S&P gain of 23%.Stephanie Cohen, Goldman Sachs’ chief strategy officer, in an interview last week talked down fears that the US-China trade tensions are unwinding long-established economic cooperation between the two countries. She said, after a visit to Chinese tech companies in Shenzen, “It’s not that we’re decoupling. If you sit on the ground and you’re talking to companies, people are continuing to talk about ways that they can do business together.”Goldman Sachs has a decades-long record pursuing investment and business openings in China. The firm has partnerships with Chinese banks, and has taken the time to learn the facts on the ground. And now they see opportunity in the US companies that are most exposed to the international scene, where China is working hard to throw its weight around.Looking into Goldman’s basket of stocks with international exposure, we’ve chosen three that TipRanks’ database reveals have shown recent strong gains, a healthy upside potential, and recent Buy ratings from 5-star analysts.KLA Corporation (KLAC)This company services the semiconductor chip industry, providing essential process control and management systems for manufacturers of silicon wafers and integrated circuits, along with quality control and precision metrology. As the industry shifts to new, higher performance chips, and to 5G networks, the need to maintain quality tolerances becomes more important, and KLA, with operations across the US, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific regions is well-positioned to benefit. KLA shares have brought in a disproportionate 97% year-to-date return to the Goldman’s international exposure basket.Looking at the numbers, KLA’s revenue growth over the last few years confirms the company’s importance to the industry. It brought in $2.98 billion in 2016, and has seen that number grow to $4.6 billion in fiscal 2019. In its fiscal Q1 2020 report, the company showed that revenue is still growing, with quarterly sales gaining 12% year-over-year to $1.41 billion.KLA has been active in the past several years making relevant acquisitions. The most recent, metrology tool-maker Capres A/S, was purchased in March of this year for an undisclosed amount. Last year, in a deal worth $3.4 billion, KLA acquired Orbotech, a major producer of circuit boards and flat-panel displays. The deal was completed in February of this year, after clearing regulatory hurdles in China.Writing from JPMorgan, top analyst Harlan Sur sees KLAC shares in a boom period. He writes, “We believe semiconductor capital spending is in the midst of a technology-driven cycle for 7nm/5nm Foundry/Logic, sub-20nm DRAM, and high layer count 3D NAND. As device manufacturing complexities increase, the need to analyze defects and metrology issues at critical points in the IC manufacturing processes increases significantly… [KLA] has diversified end-market exposure through the acquisition of Orbotech." Sur gives KLAC a $200 price target, implying an upside of 13%. (To watch Sur's track record, click here)KLA stock has a resounding “yes” on Wall Street. TipRanks analytics show that out of 12 analysts, 10 are bullish, while 2 remain sidelined. The average price target of $191 shows a potential upside of about 8%. (See KLA stock analysis on TipRanks)Microchip Technology (MCHP)With a market cap of $22.3 billion, Microchip is the sixth largest semiconductor manufacturer in the US. The company produces chips for the microcontroller and microprocessor industry, power management applications, memory solutions, and wireless connection devices. In the 2019 fiscal year, ending this past March, Microchip brought in $5.35 billion in total revenues. Last year, the company acquired competitor Microsemi in a deal with $10 billion.The US-China trade war has hurt Microchip, depressing sales through much of this year. Until this past September, the stock showed high volatility. Even with that, the MCHP is up 30% year-to-date, a solid performance based on the quality and necessity of its products. The company’s first and second quarter fiscal 2020 reports have also helped to allay investor fears. Microchip earnings beat or met expectations in both quarters, while revenues were up year-over-year.Even with the two good quarters, Microchip’s sales are down year-over-year, and the company has revised its full-year guidance downward. In a way, this may be a case of lowering expectations to set up a positive financial report – BMO's top analyst Ambrish Srivastava points out.“Unlike the better guidance/commentary we got for December from companies last week, Microchip's guidance is for lower revenues than expectations, and calling for yet another double-digit y-y decline in sales,” Srivastava noted. In his bottom line, however, Srivastava says, “We like Microchip's operating model. We like the valuation, we like the two rounds of estimate cuts we have already seen. We see the company as among the higher rungs of diversified businesses we would like to recommend in our coverage.” His $110 price target implies a 16% upside for the stock. (To watch Srivastava's track record, click here)Hans Mosesmann, 5-star analyst from Rosenblatt Securities, also sees management’s performance as key to MCHP’s share price prospects. He writes, “MCHP's environment remains uncertain, as the trade war and broad-based macroeconomic weakness hinder visibility. Management continues to execute well, however, and has managed the down-cycle with low channel inventory going forward... We continue to believe mid-to-longer term investors will have increasing confidence in management's ability to execute, as the company looks to exit this down-cycle gaining market share in secular MCU/analog markets and increase operating margins.” Mosesmann puts a $115 price target on the stock, for a 22% upside potential. (To watch Mosesmann's track record, click here)Wall Street’s analysts are sanguine about this stock’s ability to gain going forward. Microchip’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 12 Buys and 2 Holds. It doesn’t hurt that its $109.31 average price target puts the potential twelve-month rise at 16%. (See Microchip stock analysis on TipRanks) Alphabet (GOOGL)And now we move away from the semiconductor sector and into the internet. We all know Alphabet; the parent company of Google, with a market cap of $893 billion, is the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded company. With over $136 billion in annual revenue, and $30 billion in net income, there is no doubt that Alphabet will hold its position near the top.GOOGL shares are up 24% year-to-date, just slightly outperforming the S&P 500, after an earnings miss in the Q3 report. While revenues were up, at $40.5 billion, the EPS of $10.12 missed the forecast by 18.5%. The earnings slip came as the company increased capital expenditures from $5.28 billion one year ago to $6.73 billion in the current report. The company is increasing spending on its cloud sales force, and has just made a $2.1 billion offer to acquire smartwatch company Fitbit. The acquisition, if approved, will put Google in a direct position to compete against Apple in the smartwatch and wearable niche.Fitbit will make an interesting addition to Alphabet’s ‘other revenue’ category, which includes both cloud systems and hardware. This category saw quarterly revenue of $6.43 billion, beating the forecast of $6.32 and coming in 38.5% above the year-ago quarter.So GOOGL has a firm foundation in its core search engine business, strong ad revenue, and rising revenues in its other endeavors. It’s a solid picture, and explains why the stock makes up 2.26% of Goldman’s ‘international exposure’ basket. Google’s global reach and profitability are undisputed.5-star JMP analyst Ronald Josey is enthusiastic about the Fitbit acquisition, putting a $1,450 price target on GOOGL and writing, “We believe Fitbit is a natural fit with Google’s current hardware brands that include its Pixel phones, Nest connected home products, and Google home smart speakers under its Made By Google brand, along with its Android OS… we believe Google is investing in developing the hardware and touchpoints that will enable its ambient computing strategy…” Josey’s price target suggests an upside for 12% for GOOGL shares. (To watch Josey's track record, click here)5-star analyst Stephen Ju, of Credit Suisse, focused more on Alphabet’s free cash flow position in his comments, saying, “Google in our view is a controlled outcome, with management looking to drive consistent revenue and FCF growth through the amassing and creation of a portfolio of assets even as the law of large numbers begin to result in deceleration for some of the largest businesses… overall revenue growth has once again settled into a managed ~20%+ range… Google has resumed free cash flow growth this year after two years of investments.” Ju puts a $1,700 price target on the stock, showing confidence in a bullish 31% upside. (To watch Ju's track record, click here)GOOGL’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 25 Buys set in the past three months, against just 4 Holds. Analysts are confident that the company can meet the challenges inherent in the ever-changing digital world. Shares sell for an eye-popping $1,296, but the average price target, $1,455, truly gets into nosebleed territory. The stock has an average upside of 12%. (See Alphabet stock analysis on TipRanks)