GOOG Jan 2021 1880.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
29.90
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 3:39PM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close29.90
Open30.20
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike1,880.00
Expire Date2021-01-15
Day's Range23.20 - 24.51
Contract RangeN/A
Volume6
Open InterestN/A
  • Pinterest adds DoorDash exec and Caviar lead Gokul Rajaram to its board
    TechCrunch

    Pinterest adds DoorDash exec and Caviar lead Gokul Rajaram to its board

    Pinterest is bringing on a new board member. The company announced today it has appointed Gokul Rajaram, Caviar lead at soon-to-go-public DoorDash, to its board of directors and as a member of its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The addition signals Pinterest's desire to bring more digital advertising expertise to its board, given Rajaram's experience as product director of Ads at Facebook and product management director at Google AdSense.

  • Investopedia

    Stocks Enter a Correction on Increased Coronavirus Worries

    Stocks fell into a correction over concerns about the effect the coronavirus will have on the world economy and corporate profits.

  • AMD, Apple, Intel lead Silicon Valley stock sell-off as coronavirus fears in U.S. grow
    American City Business Journals

    AMD, Apple, Intel lead Silicon Valley stock sell-off as coronavirus fears in U.S. grow

    Silicon Valley stocks led a historic Wall Street sell-off Thursday amid fears that the COVID-19 coronavirus has begun to spread in the United States, officially pushing the U.S. stock market into correction territory.

  • More companies logging more autonomous miles in California
    American City Business Journals

    More companies logging more autonomous miles in California

    The number of companies testing autonomous vehicles on California roads and the miles they covered jumped again in 2019, but there is little agreement on how much progress they have made.

  • Climate Fears About Cloud Computing Have Been Vastly Overstated
    Bloomberg

    Climate Fears About Cloud Computing Have Been Vastly Overstated

    (Bloomberg) -- This has been the decade of the data center, which can be measured in a ten-fold increase in traffic and a 25-fold jump in worldwide storage. The surge was thought to come with a steep cost for the climate, since all those racks of servers run hot enough to require special cooling systems and vast amounts of energy. But data centers are rapidly becoming more energy efficient, and new research suggests there’s no longer a close link between more cloud computing and more energy use. A report published Thursday in Science credits the progress to better management, more efficient hardware and the rise of “hyperscale” data centers created by tech giants.Back in 2010, according to the report, data centers globally used about 194 terawatt-hours of electricity—about as much power as Iran used that year. By 2018 that figure had increased to 205 TWh. That’s a 6% rise in power use, in a period that saw data-center computing grow by 550%.The data-center industry’s 20% annual improvement in energy intensity dwarfs all other major parts of the economy. The power used today by data centers, 1% of the global total, is roughly the same as it was in 2010.This was an unexpected result. Analysts have extrapolated the incredible rise in cloud computing on to data-center electricity consumption “leading to unreliable predictions of current and future global data center energy use,” according to the report in Science. Instead of collecting and analyzing power-use data, some researchers had been taking the growth factor seen in data-center internet traffic and assuming energy use was growing just as quickly. This new research is the first major attempt to compile a bottom-up view of data-center energy use in a decade. Researchers based their work on reports published by Cisco Systems, Inc., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the International Energy Agency, among other sources.“We don’t have nationally reported statistics for data centers,” said Eric Masanet, lead author and a mechanical engineering professor at Northwestern University. That created a lot of work for him and his colleagues. “We don’t see these estimates come out very often.”In a blog post Thursday, Google celebrated the findings and touted the company’s own efforts at buying renewable power and cutting energy use. Urs Hölzle, senior vice president for technical infrastructure, wrote that Google can now harness about seven times as much computing power from the same amount of energy as it could five years ago. (Google and its parent company, Alphabet Inc., were not involved in the research by Masanet’s team or its funding.)Can the trend continue? The rise of hyperscale data centers and potential for better efficiency in storage means that computing and power use may continue to diverge, at least through the next doubling of data-center workloads, which is estimated to take 3 to 4 years. Masanet and his co-authors recommend policy changes to support continued efficiency gains. Government efforts such as the Energy Star program in the U.S. can include servers and networking equipment. Renewable energy can play an even bigger role in data centers through tax credits and procurement standards. Finally, there can be better data about data centers. “Data centers are becoming way too important to not rally more research behind them,” Masanet said.To contact the author of this story: Eric Roston in New York at eroston@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Aaron Rutkoff at arutkoff@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    Zoom Teleconferencing Mania Drives Up the Wrong Stock as Investors Seek Virus Plays

    Zoom Video Communications has soared 70% year to date. Shares of an unrelated company with a similar name are taking off as well.

  • Benzinga

    Today's Pickup: Four In Five Americans View Foreign Trade As An Opportunity

    Fewer than one in five (18%) of Americans view foreign trade as a threat to the country's economy – a number that is down from 34% in 2016, as recorded by a Gallup poll. People generally consider international trade to be a threat during times of recession, with the 2007-2009 period seeing more Americans finding imports to be a threat than an opportunity. The current favorable view towards foreign trade is also reflected in the Senate, with 82% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans viewing international trade as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat from imports.

  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Perfects Formula To Win Over Skeptics
    Investor's Business Daily

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Perfects Formula To Win Over Skeptics

    Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and CEO, created a company culture that valued zealous commitment and innovative thinking about the mission of Facebook to connect the world.

  • Benzinga

    Microsoft Keen On Investing In Indonesia, Says The President, Promises Simpler Regulations

    "Microsoft wants to invest immediately in Indonesia," Widodo said after the meeting with the technology giant's chief executive officer Satya Nadella, as reported by Reuters. Widodo further promised to bring "new, simple regulation" within a week to support Microsoft's investment in the country. Indonesia has been one of the fastest-growing economies in South-East Asia.

  • TikTok Marketers Chase Billions of Views in Uncharted Terrain
    Bloomberg

    TikTok Marketers Chase Billions of Views in Uncharted Terrain

    (Bloomberg) -- In an October post on TikTok, digital magician and video star Zach King walks up to the counter at Chipotle to receive a burrito bowl with chips. After he pays, he jumps and his clothes change in an instant into astronaut gear. Soon, everything in the store is floating in apparent zero gravity.Another star, Brittany Broski -- known as “kombucha girl” -- posted on the video-sharing app around the same time, biting into a Chipotle burrito and then suddenly sporting a mad-scientist wig. The famous pomeranian, @jiffpom, turns into a vampire after touching Chipotle. All of these TikTok videos were tagged boorito, for a U.S. advertising campaign promoting $4 burritos on Halloween. It’s the most viral campaign Chipotle has ever done, based on one measure: the hashtag has 3.9 billion views on TikTok.That’s a surprising metric given that TikTok has been downloaded only about 145 million times in the U.S, according to Sensor Tower. The viral social media app, where people post funny videos set to music, won’t disclose what counts as a “view,” so it doesn’t necessarily mean 3.9 billion people saw a boorito post, or that they were in the market to purchase a burrito. Still, numbers that high are gratifying for marketing executives justifying their experiments on a relatively new social platform, without much other data to go on and few ways to target their messages to a tailored audience.“The numbers are massive,” said Tressie Lieberman, a vice president of digital marketing at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. It’s not the restaurant chain’s only campaign that has crossed the 1 billion threshold on TikTok. “I don’t know that any brand has ever gotten that on YouTube,” she added. The company said Boorito sales were 15% higher than a year earlier.TikTok, owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance Inc., built its U.S. presence off the 2017 purchase of a similar app, Musical.ly, which was popular with young teens. After an advertising blitz on Facebook and Snapchat, TikTok soared in the charts to become a sensation among a younger audience for its feel-good content. Now, marketers are starting to experiment. They mention it alongside Snapchat as a way to reach the elusive teen demographic, to build their preference for brands just as they’re achieving independent spending power. According to influencer analysis firm Captiv8, 69% of TikTok users are age 14 to 26.Still, venturing into TikTok ads can be complicated, and the return-on-investment unproven. One can’t simply run the same ad created for Facebook or YouTube. The format is skits, set to music, that work on a phone held vertically and repeat over and over. Brands can run a campaign to promote a hashtag, like boorito, which can cost around $150,000; they can pay to take over the homescreen of the app, which can cost $50,000 a day for a guaranteed 5 million views; or can even run a campaign with the ability to buy a product within the app, according to case studies reviewed by Captiv8. TikTok said prices fluctuate based on an advertiser’s goals. Any effort requires careful coordination with both the TikTok sales team and outside “creators” -- stars such as King and Broski, the TikTok equivalent of Instagram influencers, who are paid separately.If a brand is spending enough, they can get an introduction to the creators through the company. Other times advertisers have to find connections on their own or through an agency. Since the success of boorito, Chipotle pays TikTok stars special attention, sometimes catering food to a Los Angeles mansion known as the Hype House, which is full of skit-makers collaborating on projects.Any time a new social media platform starts reaching a mass audience, the people who were there first reap the biggest rewards. Charli D’Amelio, whom the New York Times recently called the “reigning queen” of TikTok, started her career there in the summer of 2019 and now has 30.6 million followers. Other previously unknown teens have also seen a dramatic rise.The same is becoming true for advertisers. Brands can pay to promote a hashtag challenge for more people to see it, in the hopes that TikTok’s users will create videos using the hashtag on their own, thereby increasing its reach. The National Football League saw more than 1 billion views for its WeReady hashtag ahead of the Super Bowl in early February. Makeup company MAC saw 2.6 billion views for the tag YouOwnIt.That enormous reach is possible, in part, because the TikTok sensation in the U.S. is so new that it doesn’t have many advertisers -- which means less competition for eyeballs and fewer constraints by the platform to limit or throttle an ad’s visibility.“This type of virality just does not happen on Instagram or Facebook or YouTube,” said Krishna Subramanian, cofounder of Captiv8. “Getting to those billions of views is something that’s happening frequently. It’s something we haven’t seen on any other platform for quite some time.” The amount the creators make is similar to what Instagram influencers make on that app’s disappearing stories product. The biggest stars -- such as Loren Gray, with 39.6 million followers -- can garner $175,000 for a single sponsored TikTok video, Subramanian said.TikTok is new enough that most advertisers are still learning what works on the service. Some have had early success. ELF Cosmetics created an original song for people to use in the background of their own videos, and there are 1.7 million videos on TikTok that use the song. It was so popular that it was even trending on Spotify. The associated hashtag, eyeslipsface, has 4.5 billion views.Anish Dalal, chief executive of digital-marketing company Sapphire Apps Media, has developed his own playbook for TikTok. In some cases, he’ll scour the app for new, popular music that users are uploading and use that same audio clip in his own ads. One current option is the ability to target an ad to TikTok users looking for a specific hashtag. Dalal creates a new hashtag for a brand’s campaign, and pays influencers to create dozens of videos using the hashtag. Once that hashtag is big enough to lure in regular users, he starts running ads targeting the hashtag.The clients we work with “were excited to try something new,” Dalal said. “What we tell brands is, this is essentially Instagram in the early days.”The first-mover advantage will be short-lived. TikTok is already testing a self-service advertising tool, which will make it possible for any brand to buy ads. Snapchat parent Snap Inc. went through a similar transition in 2017, moving from selling expensive ads with a personal touch to a model where anyone could buy them online. The prices for its ads dropped, but eventually the company started building more advertiser relationships and a more stable business.To be successful with that strategy, though, TikTok will have to build more targeting options and controls for advertisers, according to Meghan Myszkowski, head of North American social media advertising at the ad agency Essence. Showing an ad to everyone can translate to a larger viewership, but isn’t necessarily efficient. Brands may waste money showing ads to an irrelevant audience, or run the risk of their ad appearing directly before or after a video that it wouldn’t want to be associated with. TikTok lets its advertisers target using basic information like a user’s location and gender; it’s less granular than what is offered by TikTok’s larger rivals, Instagram and YouTube, where ads can be targeted to specific interests and purchasing behavior.But in order to improve TikTok’s targeting, the app will have to gather more detailed information about its users’ behavior -- something that may prove tricky, as the U.S. government scrutinizes the app’s Chinese ownership. American lawmakers have warned the app could be a security threat; TikTok has repeatedly said it’s not influenced by the Chinese government and rejects the idea that U.S. user data is vulnerable. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., better known as CFIUS, is reviewing ByteDance’s purchase of the business that became TikTok, Bloomberg News has reported.Essence ran some TikTok ads in the first half of 2019, but Myszkowski said the agency has pulled back until TikTok builds more advertiser controls.“With risk can come great return,” Myszkowski added. “If you’re willing to take the risk.”To contact the authors of this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netKurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ice Cream and Thai Curries Are About to Fly Through Irish Skies
    Bloomberg

    Ice Cream and Thai Curries Are About to Fly Through Irish Skies

    (Bloomberg) -- In the suburbs of Dublin on a windy, overcast day in January, several alumni of Airbus and the U.K.’s Royal Air Force watched as a flying object, shaped a bit like a crouching frog, hovered about 10 meters (33 feet) up in the air.The craft, called MNA-1090, opened its cargo bay door, and lowered a package — about the size of a shoebox — to the ground on a string. The robotics engineers who’d helped design the vehicle opened the carton, looked inside, and smiled: the dozen-or-so pots of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were still perfectly frozen.In late March, customers on the outskirts of Dublin, far from the dense metropolises that make services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo viable in terms of revenue, will get to try ordering food and drink the same way. Manna.aero built the MNA-1090 drone to be an airborne replacement for the human-and-bicycle formula used the world over by food-delivery apps, and is preparing to run a couple of hundred test flights per day over several weeks to lay the groundwork for a permanent service for small Irish towns. Ben & Jerry’s, U.K. food delivery firm Just Eat Plc, and local Irish restaurant chain Camile Thai are signed up to participate in the pilot that will take place at the University College Dublin campus.“In five years, it’s going to be the most normal thing you can imagine,” Manna Chief Executive Officer Bobby Healy says.If you live in a city, having a hot meal delivered to your doorstep in under an hour has never been easier or cheaper. For about the price of a small coffee, a human being will cycle to a restaurant, collect your freshly baked pizza and bring it to your apartment. Innovations in smartphones, mapping and gig-economy logistics have catalyzed growth of the sector, which research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates will be worth $200 billion by 2025.But the margins are tiny for the companies handling the delivery, and the competition fierce. In October, Grubhub Inc. executives told shareholders they didn’t believe it was even possible to generate significant profit from food delivery. The cost of paying people to drive food around was just too much, they said.Companies are looking for an alternative, and a roster of investors believe Healy might have a model that could work: a drones-as-a-service for restaurants and delivery apps.Here’s how Healy said it will work: Manna will partner with restaurants or food courts that have a high-throughput of orders and a small outdoor space to house a drone-loading team. The Manna craft itself is about the size of a computer printer and will carry meals weighing around 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) in under three minutes, even in wind and rain.Upon arriving at its destination, the drone will hover and wait for the customer to accept delivery using an app, having indicated when ordering exactly where they want their food to land — on the lawn, an outdoor dining table or just in the driveway. The drone will descend and lower the food parcel that, Healy said, will still be “piping hot.”Manna’s vehicle has been designed to travel for 100 million hours without a problem, Healy said in an interview. But, alongside space for three 10-inch pizzas, it also has a backup battery and two parachutes, just in case.The 51-year-old Irish entrepreneur is a mobility veteran: In 2003, he sold off travel software firm Eland Technologies to industry titan Sita.Aero. He then helped build CarTrawler into a transportation platform used by more than 100 international airlines. Healy’s got some well-known names putting $5.2 million behind Manna, including billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Dynamo venture capital, and FFVC, among others.For food platforms, Manna says the service is more than just a gimmick — it will lower delivery costs and allow them to scale to currently under-served suburban areas in a profitable way. Healy said Manna’s drone delivery will cost platforms $3 to $5 per delivery.Fabricio Bloisi, CEO of online delivery platform iFood in Brazil, said the use of drones is a “great breakthrough” for the industry because of their efficiency and ability to travel relatively large distances. He said his company’s working with Sao Paulo-based Speedbird to reduce delivery time by combining the use of drones with bicycles and motorbikes.Uber’s testing a drone for food delivery in the San Diego area, and Alphabet Inc.’s Wing is already delivering coffee, food, medicine and household items directly to homes in Finland, Australia and the U.S. state of Virginia.Amazon.com Inc.’s also developing its Prime Air service, with a view to delivering parcels, not necessarily food, of up to five pounds via drone. The company’s bidding for a stake in the U.K.’s Deliveroo.Healy isn’t worried. He’s pitching Manna as a business-to-business company, where its drones are used by food delivery companies, not end consumers. To the entrepreneur, Wing isn’t his rival. “We’re arming their competitors.”Still, not everyone is so rosy about the drone delivery trend. In a sign of how divided views are on the technology, Dutch food delivery firm Takeaway.com NV — which recently bought Just Eat, one of Manna’s partners for the March pilot — said it thinks drone delivery for food is a “fantasy.”“We just don’t see any way how it can work currently from a technical perspective,” said Joris Wilton, a spokesman for Takeaway. “We will not be investing in developing it in-house.”Miki Kuusi, co-founder and CEO of Helsinki-based food delivery company Wolt, said his company has tested drone deliveries, but, “it’s been more PR than actually about a business case.”That partly has to do with complexities around picking up the food orders, he said. Drone services have to be deeply integrated with the restaurants to ensure that drones are loaded in the right way, something “most restaurants in a hectic environment are not equipped to do.”Then there’s the tricky issue of regulation. Airspace authorities have tightened restrictions on drone usage as their popularity with consumers and troublemakers has grown. People also express discomfort at the idea of machinery whizzing above their homes — both for privacy and safety reasons. Add to that the complexity of hauling hot food in the sky over several kilometres and it’s an uphill battle for any startup to launch a service.Healy recognizes that changing the industry won’t come overnight, given the need to safely test the technology, get approvals from regulators at each new stage as well as from the local communities.Still, he expects to have completed between 20,0000 and 50,000 successful deliveries by year-end.“With this industry it’s ‘crawl, walk, run,’” Healy said, “and we want to crawl for a little while, we want everyone to feel good about it.” To contact the author of this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nate Lanxon at nlanxon@bloomberg.net, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Google, Facebook And Others Not Bound By First Amendment, Judge Rules

    Internet companies such as YouTube, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), and others are not constrained by the First Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously. This gives internet platforms the freedom to restrict user speech or content.

  • Microsoft Joins Apple, HP in Scrapping Outlooks on Virus
    Bloomberg

    Microsoft Joins Apple, HP in Scrapping Outlooks on Virus

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. became the latest tech giant to reduce its quarterly outlook based on the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that’s slowing production of computers and crimping sales of an array of consumer services and electronics.In a statement Wednesday, the company said it doesn’t expect to meet earlier guidance for fiscal third-quarter revenue in the Windows personal-computer software and Surface device business because the supply chain is returning to normal at a slower pace than expected. Last month, Microsoft gave a wider-than-usual sales target -- $10.75 billion to $11.15 billion -- for that division, citing uncertainty related to the spread of the deadly respiratory virus.The world’s largest software maker joins iPhone maker Apple Inc. and PC company HP Inc. in cutting estimates because of supply-chain disruptions related to the virus, known as Covid-19. Merchants who sell on Amazon.com Inc. also are trimming ad spending on the e-commerce giant’s marketplace, seeking to moderate demand amid worries they may run out of inventory of Chinese-made goods. Questions about the virus’ economic ripples had already sent the S&P 500 Index down by 6.6% this week; Microsoft’s acknowledgment that the PC market is being hit reinforces investor concerns about broader consequences, said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.“It fans the flames on Corona worries,” Ives said. “Apple and Microsoft now confirm the negative impact the Street had feared.”In recent days, anxiety has mounted about the spread of the virus outside of China, where it originated. For the first time, more cases were reported in countries other than China in the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization said late Wednesday, a significant development as new cases spread around the globe, with South Korea, Italy and Iran particularly hard hit. Globally 2,771 have died and 81,317 people have been infected.As component makers and tech-gadget assembly companies in China continue to face production slowdowns due to quarantines and shuttered factories, U.S. technology companies are reported to be scrambling for alternatives. Microsoft and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are looking at manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Thailand, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Wednesday.Microsoft shares declined about 2% in late trading following the announcement. The stock has fallen in four of the last five trading sessions, along with the broader market, on concerns that the spreading health crisis could hurt the global economy and the technology sector. The shares had been trading at all-time highs earlier this month. Shares of Intel Corp., the biggest PC chipmaker, and rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. also fell in extended trading, as did PC makers Dell Technologies Inc. and HP. Dell reports earnings Thursday.The reduced forecasts come as Covid-19’s impact spreads through global companies in a range of industries. Booking Holdings Inc. on Wednesday said room nights booked would drop 5% to 10% in the first quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates for an increase of 5%. The company said cancellations are rising.For Microsoft, demand for Windows operating-system software is strong and has been in line with the company’s forecasts, according to the statement. The rest of the company’s outlook for the current quarter remains unchanged. On average, analysts were predicting total sales of $34.6 billion for the period ending in March, according to estimates gathered by Bloomberg. The More Personal Computing unit typically generates more than a third of Microsoft’s annual sales.Microsoft will have to account for supply issues with its Surface devices and lost software sales from Windows on PCs made by other manufacturers who may be facing the same production and parts challenges in China. The Redmond, Washington-based company is also preparing to release a new generation of Xbox video-game consoles in the fall, and will need to work through setting the final production lines and then building up inventory ahead of that release, a process that could be affected by lingering shutdowns in China.The spread of the virus outside of China also raises the chances of impact of work shutdowns, quarantines, store closures, and conference and meeting cancellations in other countries where technology and other global firms have a significant presence.To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Etsy Gives Optimistic Annual Sales Forecast on Free Shipping
    Bloomberg

    Etsy Gives Optimistic Annual Sales Forecast on Free Shipping

    (Bloomberg) -- Etsy Inc. reported fourth-quarter gross merchandise sales that beat analyst estimates and gave an optimistic forecast for 2020, signaling the company’s free-shipping initiative has begun to pay off. Shares jumped more than 10% on the news.Gross merchandise sales, or GMS, a key metric for the e-commerce industry, increased 33% to $1.66 billion in the period ended Dec. 31, the Brooklyn, New York-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Revenue jumped 35% to $270 million. Analysts, on average, estimated $1.6 billion in GMS and $264.8 million in revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.For 2020, Etsy projected GMS, or the value of the products flowing through the website, of as much as $6.4 billion, compared with analysts’ projection of $6.04 billion. The company also said revenue would be $1.04 billion to $1.06 billion, which topped Wall Street’s projection of $1.02 billion.“Etsy.com and our sellers had a great holiday season,” Chief Executive Officer Josh Silverman said on a conference call. He said the company’s marketing efforts, including its holiday television campaign, helped drive those sales. Cyber Monday and Tuesday -- the days after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend --- saw the highest daily levels of gross merchandise sales ever for the company, he said.Net income declined to $31.3 million, or 25 cents a share, from $41.3 million, or 32 cents, in the period a year earlier.Prior to Wednesday’s results, there were doubts over Etsy’s free-shipping initiative for its U.S- based customers, which wasn’t progressing as planned. The company requires all sellers on its platform to offer free shipping for orders of more than $35 to be prioritized in search results. But sellers didn’t pass on 100% of the savings from free-shipping to buyers.Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser acknowledged the initiative’s shaky progress. Helping sellers better plan their pricing strategies to not absorb free shipping costs and expanding buyer knowledge about the program will take time, Glaser said on the call.The company also introduced a new advertising service in 2019, where Etsy uses sellers’ ad budgets to promote their brands on Etsy’s website and on Google Ads. It announced an update to the service Wednesday by introducing Offsite Ads, in which Etsy will use its budget to promote sellers’ brands on multiple platforms including Google, Facebook and Instagram. If sellers make a sale through such an ad, they pay a fee of 12-15% of the order value. The fee is capped at $100 per order.Etsy shares jumped to a high of $57.50 in extended trading after the results were released. The stock closed at $50.69 in New York and has declined 26% in the past 12 months.(Updates with CEO comments in the fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Nikitha Sattiraju in New York at nsattiraju@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Booking Shares Slip on Weak Guidance Linked to Coronavirus
    Bloomberg

    Booking Shares Slip on Weak Guidance Linked to Coronavirus

    (Bloomberg) -- Booking Holdings Inc. gave a bleak outlook for the first quarter due to the spreading coronavirus that’s put a damper on global travel.The Norwalk, Connecticut-based online travel operator said room nights booked would drop 5% to 10% in the first quarter. Analysts were looking for an increase of 5%, having already lowered their expectations from earlier projections of 8% growth in mid-January. The company also said revenue would decline as much as 7% in the current period from a year earlier.“The coronavirus has had a significant and negative impact across our business during the first quarter,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.Booking has seen an increase in cancellations, a reduction in new bookings and pressure on average daily rates from the virus, the company’s Chief Financial Officer David Goulden said on the earnings call. “As you will know, it’s not possible to predict where and to what degree outbreaks of the coronavirus will disrupt travel patterns,” he added. Booking expects growth declines will continue through March.The Covid-19 virus, which is on track to becoming a pandemic, sent the stock market tumbling 6% over two days earlier this week, and the travel sector is among those worst affected. Airlines have halted flights, hundreds of hotels have been shuttered and tourism reports estimate billions of dollars in visitor spending will be lost this year. The virus was first reported in China, but has since spread across Asia and into Europe and the Middle East. Its scale and spread has already dwarfed the SARS outbreak and health officials in the U.S. are bracing for an outbreak at home. Booking shares have dropped 19% this year and rival Expedia Group Inc., which has less direct exposure to China, has shed about 6%. Booking slid 2.4% in extended trading after the report.China is by far the world’s largest source of travel, with more international departures than any other country, said Nicholas Wyatt, head of research and analysis for travel and tourism at GlobalData. “This is an extremely difficult thing to put a number on because we don’t know how long it’s going to go on for, how long restrictions will be in place for or how long it will take for consumer confidence to return,” Wyatt said.More than 20% of Booking’s room nights were generated in the Asia-Pacific region last year, according to Cowen & Co. Kevin Kopelman, an analyst at the firm, said he expects “the whole year to be impacted.”But it’s not just China. Booking is also “heavily exposed to travel disruptions in Europe, where it has a room-night exposure of over 50%, while in China it’s about 15%,” through its partnership with Trip.com and ownership of Agoda, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Rik Stevens.A recent report from consulting firm Tourism Economics estimates the U.S. will lose 1.6 million visitors from China as a result of the coronavirus, a 28% drop for 2020.In the fourth quarter, before the virus erupted, Booking did better than expected. The company, formerly known as Priceline, reported revenue of $3.34 billion, topping the $3.27 billion analysts were projecting. Room nights booked grew by 12% in the period, the company said in a statement, compared with the average analyst projection for an increase of of 9.47%. Profit excluding some costs was $23.30 a share, also better than forecasts.Aside from the virus, Booking is also being squeezed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google and home-share startup Airbnb Inc.Last year, Google redesigned its hotel search function which pushed online travel companies down in search results and means they are no longer getting as many free clicks from travelers. Earlier this month, Expedia Chairman Barry Diller said Google was an “existential” threat to online travel agents. Airbnb also is a formidable competitor as the dominant player in the alternative accommodation market, forcing Booking to pumping resources into its vacation rentals segment to keep up. This is the fastest growing part of its business and now makes up 20% of total revenue. Booking, which is most well-known in Europe, has been running brand campaigns in the U.S. to drive customers toward its non-hotel listings.(Updates with CFO comments in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Carville in New York at ocarville1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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