|Day's Range||188.79 - 192.60|
Earlier this year, Google said it would transition all Hangouts users on GSuite to Hangouts Chat and Meet by October 2019 and then retire the classicversion of Hangouts
People love to share YouTube videos among their friends, which is why in mid-2017 YouTube launched a new in-app messaging feature that would allow YouTube users to private-send their friends videos and chat within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app. After September 18, the ability to direct-message friends on YouTube itself will be removed. The change was first spotted by 9to5Google, which noted that YouTube Messages came to the web in May of last year.
British tech firms brought in a record amount of funding in the first seven months of 2019, and over half was from the U.S. and Asia.
(Bloomberg) -- Tokyo is about to get another mound of capitalism.Mori Building Co. is spending 580 billion yen ($5.4 billion) on a new, 20-acre hub of commerce in the city’s core. Similar in size to New York’s Rockefeller Center, the complex will have shops, restaurants, 213,900 square meters of office space, 1,400 residences, a world-class hotel, an international school and the city’s biggest food court.If this capital of 14 million has a king of the hills, it’s the Mori real-estate empire. The new project will eclipse the builder’s signature development, Roppongi Hills — home to Google and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. offices, and a magnet for shoppers and international visitors. The closely held company, whose late founder was once the country’s richest man, is betting that more people — especially foreigners — will flock to live and work in Tokyo over the coming years.“Japan’s office market is behind in relative size and depth,” Mari Kumagai, head of research at Colliers International Group Inc. “If you’re serious about making money from buildings, you have to do this.”Set to open in 2023, the new endeavor doesn’t yet have a name. For now, it’s called the Toranomon-Azabudai project, from the neighborhoods Mori will gobble up in Minato-ku, one of Tokyo’s toniest enclaves. Starting with the 1986 debut of nearby Ark Hills, the real-estate developer has been relentless in its push to transform Tokyo’s skyline with hefty buildings clad in steel and glass.Mori’s properties often cater to foreign businesses and visitors, offering sanctuaries for them to stay, work and shop in a megalopolis that can be difficult to navigate. Signage and restaurant menus in the city still often lack English or other languages. Green spaces are still few and far between, and the view from the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills betrays a sea of drab, gray low-rise homes and buildings that stretch to the horizon.“This is going to become Tokyo’s newest landmark,” said Shingo Tsuji, Mori’s chief executive officer. “We’ve spent 30 years thinking about this project, and how cities should be created.”Mori’s goal is to create a city within a city that people can “escape to, rather than flee from.” Ground broke this month on the big new project, which will connect two subway stations and create a new arterial road to relieve the development’s impact on vehicle traffic. Although the total footprint will be smaller than its predecessor, the new complex will have more floor space, with a 64-story main tower and two residential towers.When Mori embarked on its Roppongi project almost two decades ago, developers were jumping over each other to put up new buildings in Tokyo. Land prices were down 75% after Japan’s economic bubble burst in the early 1990s, interest rates were on their way to zero and new zoning laws made it easier to combine lots for big projects.That bet may have paid off. Mori’s new project is being built under a different scenario, coming after a long run-up in office space demand. Tokyo’s real-estate market is thriving, with vacancy rates near record lows below 3%, according to Colliers, the real-estate investment and services firm.The big question is whether that trend will continue, as well as Mori’s ability to keep riding the wave of mega projects. Although rental growth has been robust, Colliers predicts it will peak at around the current 5% before easing to an average of 0.8% over the next few years. All told, central Tokyo will have 70 major real-estate projects breaking ground from 2018 through 2023, according to the firm.“The office market is doing really well, vacancies are coming down,” said Patrick Wong, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “The issue is whether rents can keep going up further.”Tokyo isn’t the only frothy real-estate market in the region. Singapore and Sydney are also seeing low office-leasing vacancies as companies hire more people. Last month, the government of Singapore clamped down on speculative buying and selling, with the central bank citing “euphoria” in the property market.At the same time, protests in Hong Kong have put the brakes on demand for central office space in China’s special administrative region. Spooked investors are turning elsewhere to places such as Singapore, which saw private home sales surge a sequential 43.5% in July. Although no multinational corporations have said they’re leaving Hong Kong, it’s probably on their mind, according to Wong. “This could be an opportunity for Tokyo,” he said.That’s music to the ears of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who in 2014 pushed to establish new strategic special zones in Tokyo and other cities as part of his Abenomics revitalization plan. The areas of Tokyo that fall under those zones, which offer deregulation and other incentives, are right where Mori has been developing properties for decades.No surprise, then, that the Toranomon-Azabudai mega project has been 30 years in the making. Work on it started even before Roppongi Hills. For its major projects, Mori’s employees spend years going door to door, persuading local residents and property owners to hand over their land in exchange for prime residential space in the new buildings.It’s hardly a coincidence that Mori’s suffix for its biggest developments — there’s also Toranomon Hills and Atago Green Hills — harks back to that other chichi neighborhood, Beverly Hills. It’s also a nod to the Japanese word, Yamanote. Transliterated as “the hill’s hand,” the term refers to the more desirable, hilly neighborhoods west of the Imperial Palace in feudal Tokyo that now include Mori’s properties.“We’ve poured everything we’ve learned from our Hills projects into this new development,” Tsuji said.Mori’s ultimate vision is to link up all of its properties into an uber-complex of offices, homes and retail space. Although the developer is going to unveil the project’s name just before it opens for business, odds favor it will end with “Hills.”(Updates with analyst’s comment in fourth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the timeframe of projects.)\--With assistance from Hiromi Horie.To contact the reporter on this story: Reed Stevenson in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma O'Brien at email@example.com, Reed Stevenson, Jeff SutherlandFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government this week meant to undermine the legitimacy of Hong Kong protests. It also said it would no longer allow state media to purchase ads on its platform.What Twitter didn’t mention in its series of blog posts this week was the increasing number of Chinese officials, diplomats, media, and government agencies using the social media service to push Beijing’s political agenda abroad. Twitter employees actually help some of these people get their messages across, a practice that hasn’t been previously reported. The company provides certain officials with support, like verifying their accounts and training them on how to amplify messages, including with the use of hashtags.This is despite a ban on Twitter in China, which means most people on the mainland can’t use the service or see opposing views from abroad. Still, in the last few days, an account belonging to the Chinese ambassador to Panama took to Twitter to share videos painting Hong Kong protesters as vigilantes. He also responded to Panamanian users’ tweets about the demonstrations, which began in opposition to a bill allowing extraditions to China.China’s ambassador to the U.S. tweeted that “radical protesters” were eroding the rule of law embraced by the silentmajority of Hong Kongers. The Chinese Mission to the United Nations’ Twitter account asked protesters to “stop the violence, for a better Hong Kong,” while social media accounts of Chinese embassies in Manila, India and the Maldives shared articles from China’s state media blaming Westerners for disrupting the city. “Separatists in Hong Kong kept in close contact with foreign elements,” one story says above a photo of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.“We know China is adept at controlling domestic information, but now they are trying to use Western platforms like Twitter to control the narrative on the international stage,” said Jacob Wallis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.It’s unclear if any of these diplomats were set up on the service by Twitter, but the state-backed attempt to discredit Hong Kong protesters continues to reach millions of global Twitter users. In many cases, the Chinese officials are promoting views similar to those in 936 accounts Twitter banned on Monday.The practice of supporting Chinese officials who use Twitter to spread the Communist Party agenda highlights how difficult it is for the social media company to balance its commitment to root out disinformation and allow the expression of varying opinions. It also raises concerns around why Twitter is helping Beijing make its case to a global audience when the service is banned in China, where dissenting voices are prohibited and officials sometimes detain users accessing the platform through virtual private networks.Twitter’s recent effort to curtail China’s government-directed misinformation campaigns, which provoked outrage from state media, seems at odds with continuing to welcome pro-Beijing accounts that attack Hong Kong protesters, said Wallis.“There’s a clear tension for Twitter here having seen that Beijing is willing to use the platform in deceptive and manipulative ways, whilst desiring to use the platform for state diplomacy,” Wallis said.The tweets are part of a broader campaign by China to reshape the narrative over Hong Kong, particularly in Western nations more sympathetic to the democratic aspirations of protesters. China this week also sent a 43-page letter to senior editors at foreign news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg.Twitter says it works with public officials and politicians around the world, not just in China, and that everyone deserves a voice in the public discourse, as long as they follow its rules and policies. The company has used the same argument to defend hosting tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump, which some users have questioned. Twitter has said it aims to “advance global, public conversation” and that public figures “play a critical role in that conversation because of their out-sized impact on our society,“ in a blog post last year.On Monday, Twitter said in a blog post that it would block more than 900 accounts because they appeared to be part of a “coordinated state-backed operation” to “sow political discord in Hong Kong.” Some of the accounts accessed Twitter from unblocked IP addresses within mainland China, it said, suggesting the state condoned their activities. Twitter also said it would stop accepting advertising from state-controlled media: “Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products.”Twitter’s embrace of Chinese officials on the platform also highlights how some American tech companies try to make inroads in the enormous market, despite government restrictions on their services. Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example, has repeatedly expressed a desire to enter China. Twitter oversees the China business from offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.Like Google, Facebook and other sites blocked in China, Twitter sells advertising to Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. that are trying to reach overseas users. Before Twitter’s policy change this week, it had also sold ad space to Chinese state media companies that used them to push the narrative that Hong Kong protests were orchestrated by foreign forces and angry mobs unrepresentative of the city’s majority.Facebook said it has trained Chinese state media entities to use its services, but declined to comment on whether it also works with government officials. “We provide a standard set of guidance and best practice training to groups around the world including governments, political parties, media outlets, and non-profits so they can manage their Facebook Pages,” the company said in a statement, noting that their guidance is publicly available online.YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc., doesn’t have a specific policy that bars state-funded media, but the company’s ad policies require government-funded channels to be labeled as such. This week, state media including the Global Times published videos about the Hong Kong demonstrations, including an interview with a police officer who said he was “critically injured by violent protesters.” The company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.Both Twitter and Facebook have established programs to make sure public figures around the world sign up for their sites and understand how to use them effectively. The idea is that people who have a following — athletes, actors or singers — will create interest for their other users in the website. For years, the work has extended to politics, with the social networks signing up and training political figures. For example, Facebook has embedded staff with or trained Trump; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, known for encouraging extrajudicial killings; and Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in how to most effectively use the platform, Bloomberg News has reported.Twitter and Facebook have implemented terms of service that ban certain practices, including bot accounts that appear to be real people and promote misinformation. But government officials and state media still have wide latitude to say what they want.“If Trump is going to use Twitter to deliver his message to the Chinese government, then it makes perfect sense China should be using this medium to send signals back,” said Samm Sacks, cybersecurity policy and China digital economy fellow at think tank New America. “But then we get into this coordinated state misinformation domain and it raises problematic questions around what is propaganda and what is misinformation.”(Updates with Facebook’s comment five paragraphs from the bottom.)\--With assistance from Mark Bergen, Kurt Wagner and Daniel Ten Kate.To contact the reporters on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Advances in technology can allow you to order food by voice or unlock your phone with your face, but those new capabilities could take a toll on the environment.
San Jose lawmakers have created a zone next to Diridon Station in which the city will charge an impact fee on top of building permits there to pay for an estimated $74 million in infrastructure expenses the city expects to incur. The new fee is likely to be the first of many new levies the council will be asked to charge as Google and other developers work on big projects in the area.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is down 0.4% YTD, lagging the S&P 500's 14.3% gain. For such an established company, the stock has seen a lot of movement in the past year.
Hey Google, who is the best digital assistant? If you ask your Google Assistant that question, it would be able to immodestly proclaim itself the best — though if it’s being honest, it should give its competitors credit and say they’re pretty good too. The test posed 800 questions to each assistant.
The DOJ's antitrust chief said he was working with several state attorneys general to investigate alleged anti-competitive behavior of big tech companies.
Hedge funds soured on technology stocks such as Alphabet in the second quarter, but increased their exposure to potentially politically sensitive health-care stocks.
News of Waze adding YouTube Music to its list of audio partners is good for commuters.Source: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com According to a recent press release, YouTube Music is now available to some users of the Waze app. However, not everyone has access to it just yet. The release notes that support is being added over time and that all 50 markets where YouTube Music is available will have the feature soon.Waze adding YouTube Music to its service comes as it expands audio options for users. This gives them the ability to choose between various music and podcast streaming services for listening to while they drive.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWaze users that want to make use of the YouTube Music option will have to have a subscription to YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium. Anyone new that wants to try it out can check out a one-month free trial of the music streaming service."All of the albums, playlists, personalized mixes, and more that fans love to listen to are now available with a couple of quick taps as they navigate to where they need to go," Lawrence Kennedy, Product Manager for YouTube Music, said in a statement. "With YouTube Music and Waze together in one experience, there has never been a more entertaining way to get around." * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill YouTube Music coming to Waze doesn't come as much of a surprise. It was only a matter of time with both of the companies belonging to Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG,GOOGL) Google. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Waze Adding YouTube Music to Its List of Audio Partners appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- The co-founder of DeepMind, the high-profile artificial intelligence lab owned by Google, has been placed on leave after controversy over some of the projects he led.Mustafa Suleyman runs DeepMind’s “applied” division, which seeks practical uses for the lab’s research in health, energy and other fields. Suleyman is also a key public face for DeepMind, speaking to officials and at events about the promise of AI and the ethical guardrails needed to limit malicious use of the technology.“Mustafa is taking time out right now after 10 hectic years,” a DeepMind spokeswoman said. She didn’t say why he was put on leave.Suleyman did not return multiple email requests for comment. He founded DeepMind in 2010 alongside current Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis. Four years later, Google bought DeepMind for 400 million pounds (currently $486 million), an ambitious bet on the potential of AI that set off an expensive race in Silicon Valley for specialists in the field.DeepMind soon began working on health-care research, eventually creating a division dedicated to the area. Suleyman, nicknamed “Moose” and whose mother was a nurse, led the development of the DeepMind Health team, building it into a 100-person unit.But DeepMind was heavily criticized for its work in the U.K. health sector. DeepMind Health’s first product was a mobile app called Streams that was originally designed to help doctors identify patients at risk of developing acute kidney injury. In July 2017, the U.K.’s data privacy watchdog said DeepMind’s partner in the project, London’s Royal Free Hospital, illegally gave DeepMind access to 1.6 million patient records. Suleyman apologized in a statement at the time.In late 2018, Alphabet Inc.’s Google said the team that created Streams would join a new Google division called Google Health. The DeepMind Health brand was shelved, and Suleyman was removed from the day-to-day running of the unit.Suleyman sat on an external panel of experts Google created to review thorny ethical issues related to AI. Bloomberg News also reported that he served on a smaller group within the company to vet particular projects, formed after an uproar over a Google AI contract with the Pentagon.To contact the reporters on this story: Giles Turner in London at email@example.com;Mark Bergen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at email@example.com, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) posted stellar earnings when they reported two weeks ago, but have since fallen along with the rest of the market. The GOOGL stock chart shows the big spike after earnings and since then, the stock has drifted lower.So what does this mean for investors? Strong Results for GOOGL StockAnalysts were expecting revenues of $38.21 billion and GAAP EPS of $11.17 per share. Alphabet stock crushed expectation by reporting revenue of $38.94 billion and GAAP EPS of $14.21 per share. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSource: TradingView.com The strong results led to shares of Alphabet being up more than 10% the day after they reported earnings. This was the largest single day gain since July of 2015. Looking beneath the headline numbers for each major segment, you can see that each area showed growth above what analysts were expecting. The clear source of growth came from the "Google Other" segment, which is where the cloud division data is. In addition, YouTube was a strong point of growth as well. Two quotes from the conference call show the importance of YouTube and the cloud business. * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill The first comes from Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai: "Q2 was another strong quarter for Google Cloud, which reached an annual revenue run rate of over $8 billion and continues to grow at a significant pace."And CFO Ruth Porat said, "In the second quarter, YouTube was again the second largest contributor of revenue growth. And really pleased with the ongoing momentum that we're seeing here."Just look at the numbers they reported:-Properties, $27.34 billion vs. est. $27.26 billion-Ads, $32.6 billion vs. est. $32.58 billion-Other, $6.18 billion vs. est. of $5.63 billion Alphabet Share Buybacks and Regulatory RisksOne of the items investors may have overlooked in the earnings press release is the fact Alphabet authorized the repurchase of $25 billion in Alphabet class C stock, which is the ticker GOOG.When you look at cash flow and the balance sheet, it is easy to see that Alphabet can support large share repurchases. Over the last year, Alphabet has generated over $27 billion in free cash flow, and as of the most recent earnings report, Alphabet noted that it had about $121 billion in cash and marketable securities.Even with all the positives Alphabet has, one of the main risks in the stock is regulatory risk. "The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said he's prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary," according to a Bloomberg article.In addition, as election season heats up over the next year, there will be continued talk on the Democratic side of aisle about breaking up large companies. Then on the other side of the aisle, President Donald Trump recently made news by accusing Alphabet of illegal actions. Therefore, GOOGL stock could be in the crosshairs of both political parties over the next year as the 2020 election approaches. Bottom LineThe bottom line for Alphabet is they reported strong results, generate a ton of cash and have a stellar balance sheet. While there is a potential for regulatory risk and political risk, the company looks compelling right now. Buybacks only sweeten the pot. For now, pullbacks are opportunities in GOOGL stock.As of this writing, Brad Kenagy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post Market Pullback Creates Opportunity In Alphabet appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Three companies — Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. — quietly dominate the world of cloud computing.With more more than 100 giant data centers worldwide, they rent out computing power to all manner of customers, making billions of dollars along the way. In fact, cloud computing has done more to fuel Amazon’s earnings in recent years than its e-commerce business.But there’s a threat looming on the horizon, quite literally at the edge of the network. With so many mobile devices and sensors now connected to the internet — and relying on artificial intelligence — more people and companies need their computing power close to them. For everything from fast analysis of road conditions to streaming holographic concerts, remote data centers are just too far away.That’s going to hand a huge opportunity to wireless carriers, which are building fast 5G networks to handle the task. And create a threat for the dominant cloud-computing players, according to telecom analyst Chetan Sharma. “Over time, cloud will be primarily used for storage and running longer computational models, while most of the processing of data and AI inference will take place at the edge,” said Sharma, who just wrote a report on the topic sponsored by software provider AlefEdge Inc. He pegs the size of this so-called edge-computing market at more than $4 trillion by 2030.Wireless carriers and the owners of cell towers have a big advantage in the edge-computing race: Not only do they control access to high-speed telecommunications networks, they have valuable real estate, such as tens of thousands of cell sites all over the country.Cloud computing isn’t going away by any means. But there’s more pressure on the industry’s Big Three to team up with wireless carriers, so they’re not left out of the burgeoning edge market.“The big players realize that at a minimum they need to partner up with operators to get access to their real-estate property,” Sharma said.Already, AT&T Inc. — the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier — has joined forces with Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp., two cloud providers.“Our goal is that our partners are wildly successful,” said Sam George, a cloud executive at Microsoft. “If our partners are wildly successful, we’ll be wildly successful. There’s a lot of money to be made for partners.”Amazon and Google declined to comment on their plans.AT&T has hundreds of workers focused on edge computing, and it’s “a core part of our 5G strategy,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer of AT&T’s business division.“This is one that takes a village.”IBM, meanwhile, is also working with carrier Vodafone Group Plc in Europe.“The networks are essentially themselves becoming a cloud,” said Steve Canepa, IBM’s global managing director for the telecom industry. “The telcos today have a point of presence at the edge, and that becomes a great place to have an extension of the platform.”Cloud providers in China — such as Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — invested in carrier China Unicom two years ago. And more such investments and partnerships could be coming, Sharma said.For other tech companies, including chipmakers like Intel Corp., the hope is the shift leads to a bigger opportunity for everyone.“We see a rapid convergence between the cloud providers and connectivity providers,” said Caroline Chan, a general manager at Intel. “In our view, it’s a bigger pie.”Other telecom players are angling to team up with both carriers and cloud providers. Crown Castle International Corp., which owns fiber lines as well as more than 40,000 cell towers in the U.S., is in talks with the two camps, said Paul Reddick, a vice president at the company.Crown Castle also is an investor in startup Vapor IO, which is deploying edge computing this year in six metro areas, including Chicago.“I would say this is one that takes a village,” Reddick said.Other projects are already well underway. At CenturyLink Inc., about 100 facilities that used to store telecom equipment are now outfitted with servers. And it’s making them available to corporate customers in sectors like retail and industrial robotics.“We’ve already sold these facilities to a number of customers that need to get that compute closer to the network edge,” said Paul Savill, a senior vice president at CenturyLink. “We’ve seen enough activity in this space that we can confidently build out this infrastructure.”To contact the author of this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Google's (GOOGL) search dominance is about to increase. The Internet giant has made its much-awaited Google Go Search app available worldwide.
Google LLC plans to sublease Akamai Technologies Inc.’s current headquarters when the Cambridge-based internet giant moves into its newly constructed home across the street. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will occupy floors two through nine at 150 Broadway, and plans a fall 2020 move in. Akamai will keep the first floor, but plans to move into its new headquarters at 145 Broadway this November, a spokesperson said. “Google has finalized a deal to sublease office space from Akamai at 150 Broadway,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to the Business Journal. “This will serve as additional space to accommodate our continued short-term and long-term growth in Cambridge.” Office and lab vacancy in Cambridge's Kendall Square has been near zero for some time, as tech and biotechnology tenants flood the neighborhood in search of skilled talent and proximity to nearby institutions like MIT and Harvard University.
Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) unquestionably has had an incredible 2019. Earnings continue to beat expectations. Growth has impressed. The ROKU stock price has soared, climbing 348% to this point. Among stocks with a market capitalization over $4 billion, not one has come close. Snap (NYSE:SNAP) is in second place, with a paltry-by-comparison 184% gain.Source: jejim / Shutterstock.com Even after those gains, ROKU stock looks reasonably cheap -- at least by the standards of this tech market. The midpoint of revenue guidance for 2019 suggests a roughly 14x enterprise value/revenue multiple. In a market where Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is getting 25x+ and double-digit EV/sales multiples aren't uncommon, that figure isn't necessarily out of line.With Roku's pole position among cord-cutting and international possibilities, that type of multiple seems merited. But I'm no longer sure that's the case. The issue isn't necessarily the headline multiple. Investors mostly have done well by paying up for growth in this market. It's that, looking closer, Roku's current valuation for several reasons looks highly questionable -- even if, admittedly, I've made that argument before.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Player Revenue Shouldn't Count for the ROKU Stock PriceAgain, 14x revenue isn't that crazy in this market, even if that statement alone makes some investors wonder if the entire market has gone crazy at this point. But it's important to remember, as I've noted before, that not all of Roku's revenue is worth paying up for.The company's guidance, updated after this month's second-quarter earnings report, is for revenue of $1.1 billion at the midpoint. But roughly one-third of those sales are coming from Roku players -- which are actually unprofitable. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential Player gross margin in the second quarter was just 5.5%. Gross profit dollars for players over the past four quarters total just $23 million -- suggesting 6.5% gross margins. Given that research and development spending alone has been over $200 million during that stretch, the player business obviously is a loss leader for the company's platform business.And that's fine. Platform revenue is growing at an exponential rate: 79% year-over-year in Q1 and 86% in Q2. But investors shouldn't be paying 14x revenue -- or really, anything, for the player revenue.Back out those hardware sales, and the ROKU stock price now sits above 20x this year's revenue. That is a multiple that, on its face, looks questionable. It's a multiple assigned to companies that have the potential for dominance of their market. Roku isn't necessarily one of those companies, at least not yet. The Market Share QuestionWhat's interesting about Roku is that it's driving growth while facing competition from absolute giants. This is a company going directly against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) -- three of the four most valuable companies in the world. It has leading market share in terms of streaming devices in use.But it's still a relatively fragmented market. And in smart TVs, which is where Roku management itself believes streaming is going to go, its share in the first half of this year was "more than one in three," according to the shareholder letter.To be sure, Roku may be able to take share over time. More users means more data, which combined with the company's machine learning capabilities improves the experience. The Roku Channel increasingly looks like a gateway to streaming. It also looks like a business in which Roku can take dollars from streaming services, take dollars from advertisers and potentially take eyeballs (and maybe at some point dollars) through its own content.Still, Roku seems potentially unlikely to ever truly dominate the space. Competition is always going to be a factor -- and those larger rivals can find a way to undercut on pricing for streaming services and for advertisers. At 20x+ platform revenue, an investor should at least think she's buying the clear winner in an industry. That's not yet guaranteed to be the case. Where Does Streaming Go?The broader question is that this remains an industry still in the early stages -- which means Roku's long-term role in the ecosystem may change over time. Right now, there are dozens of streaming services of all sizes -- with more on the way. Disney (NYSE:DIS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and AT&T's (NYSE:T) unit WarnerMedia all are launching major efforts within the next 12 months.But many of the existing services -- and possibly one or two of the larger offerings out there -- are going to go by the wayside at some point. The glut of so-called virtual multi-channel video programming distributors like YouTube TV, Sling, DIRECTV NOW and others will ease.Roku's potential base of advertising customers, in particular, is likely to peak in the next 12-18 months. A less-fragmented streaming universe would give more power back to the winners -- and lower overall demand and pricing power for Roku.From a broad standpoint, there are simply a lot of questions here. Roku certainly is going to grow going forward. This is not the next TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO). But, again, this is a stock selling at 20x its key revenue stream -- and something like 400x 2019 adjusted EBITDA.It's a valuation that leaves little room for questions. And it's a valuation that is likely to recede if, at some point, those questions are raised.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post Why the Roku Stock Price Needs to Pull Back appeared first on InvestorPlace.