GOOGL - Alphabet Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
1,231.63
-8.40 (-0.68%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close1,240.03
Open1,230.44
Bid0.00 x 2200
Ask1,233.06 x 1200
Day's Range1,225.19 - 1,238.85
52 Week Range977.66 - 1,296.97
Volume1,410,880
Avg. Volume1,454,273
Market Cap853.848B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.96
PE Ratio (TTM)24.86
EPS (TTM)49.53
Earnings DateOct 23, 2019 - Oct 28, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est1,407.56
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Reuters

    Vietnam's social media crowd swells with new entrant to take on Facebook, Google

    A new social network has entered the already crowded field in Vietnam as the communist party squeezes U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google with a new cybersecurity law. Lotus, a social network that allows users to create content and share posts to a home page, had received 700 billion dong ($30.14 million) in funding from tech corporation VCCorp and hoped to raise another 500 billion dong, company General Director Nguyen The Tan said at the launch ceremony. "Lotus was born not to compete with Facebook or any other social networks," Tan said late on Monday.

  • Bank’s Race Against Crisis Puts India on Warning
    Bloomberg

    Bank’s Race Against Crisis Puts India on Warning

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- India’s fragile financial system is swinging between despair and hope. Two separate incidents — both featuring the lender Yes Bank Ltd. — recently underscored the drag of past underwriting follies as well as the lift from a digital reset. It will take time, but good things will come to Indian banking as a result of the present crisis. Start with the sudden default by financier Altico Capital India Ltd. on a 199.7-million-rupee ($2.8-million)  interest payment to Dubai-based Mashreqbank PSC. Clearwater Capital Partners-backed Altico, which borrows money from banks and mutual funds to make loans to property developers, called the situation a “liquidity crisis.” And that made Yes Bank investors gloomy. Based on January data, the midsize Indian bank had a 4.5-billion-rupee exposure to Altico, the third-highest after Mashreq and HDFC Bank Ltd. While HDFC Bank, the country’s most valuable lender, has the capital — and current profit — to take the occasional credit hit, Yes’s capital cushion is already frayed by dodgy loans to beleaguered shadow banks and troubled tycoons. Both these borrower groups have found it hard to refinance debt since the collapse last year of IL&FS Group, a large Indian infrastructure financier and operator. Altico’s unraveling shows that an end to credit woes is not yet in sight. At more than $200 billion, India’s world-beating pile of bad loans is bigger than Italy’s. State-run Indian banks are carrying the bulk of the burden, but at least they’re getting dollops of taxpayers’ money and being merged into fewer banking groups. A private-sector lender like Yes doesn’t have a formal public backstop. If it can’t fend for  itself, the central bank could step in and force an arranged match with a better-run bank. The terms won’t be favorable to Yes shareholders. To avoid such a fate, Yes needs to raise growth capital by convincing new investors that the worst is over. And that brings us to the week’s other big incident. Yes shares jumped 13.5%  after reports that One97 Communications Ltd., which owns the Indian digital payments network Paytm, may buy out a 9.6% stake in Yes from Rana Kapoor, the lender’s co-founder. Kapoor was forced to step down as CEO early this year by the Reserve Bank of India amid a controversy over bad-debt accounting. New CEO Ravneet Gill, brought in to clean up the mess, told Reuters last week that Yes was looking to sell a minority stake to “one of the world’s top three technology companies that had not previously invested in a bank.”Investors pushed the stock higher despite their many misgivings. Only two years ago, Yes had a high price-to-book multiple and an even bigger price-to-truth ratio, a term I’d coined to describe shareholders’ refusal to question the subterfuge at India’s private-sector banks. Although the banking regulator had found bad loans to be four times what Yes had disclosed in audited results, very few analysts believed something could go seriously wrong given Kapoor’s substantial stake — his skin in the game. That was then. Now, Yes is a battered lender gasping for capital. Despite the many regulatory hurdles on the way to a possible alignment with Paytm, which the latter hasn’t confirmed, a deal could help the bank break free of its checkered past — and reemerge as a digital lender. If Paytm can monetize the data of its 350 million mobile wallet users by giving them point-of-sale loans using the balance sheet of a bank — whether Yes or someone else — the payment firm will get a second wind. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had an early advantage as India’s mobile payments pioneer, but Walmart Inc.-owned PhonePe as well as Alphabet Inc.’s Google Pay are giving him stiff competition. Paytm’s losses are ballooning and it’s becoming evident that without old-fashioned lending, there may be no other path to profitability for a pure payments business. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest tycoon, plans to use his rapidly growing Jio telecom network to offer customers discounts and vouchers that would be honored even by neighborhood stores. But for extending point-of-sale credit, Ambani would also need to borrow the balance sheet of a bank. For Yes, point-of-sale financing could be a growth avenue at a time when the turmoil in India’s formal and shadow banking sectors refuses to end. It’s put the brakes on what authorities were until recently claiming to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy. But alongside the despair, hope is building for a new model led by supply-chain credit, asset securitization, digital lending, and joint underwriting by finance companies (which know their borrowers) and banks (which have stable deposits). The tug of war between the past and the future of banking in India is getting interesting. What happens to Yes could be a gauge of which way the balance of power is shifting.(Corrects location of Mashreqbank PSC in 2nd paragraph to say Dubai. )To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at amukherjee@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Could Apple See a Rebound in iPhone Sales?
    Market Realist

    Could Apple See a Rebound in iPhone Sales?

    In a research note released yesterday, Apple (AAPL) analyst Ming Chi Kuo noted that more people from the US could choose the iPhone Pro than the iPhone 11.

  • Oracle Unveils More Autonomous Software to Boost Cloud Growth
    Bloomberg

    Oracle Unveils More Autonomous Software to Boost Cloud Growth

    (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. unveiled an operating system that runs without the need for human oversight, part of a raft of new software tools meant to ease the company’s rocky transition to cloud computing.The operating system expands Oracle’s line of autonomous products beyond databases, the company’s flagship software. Chairman Larry Ellison announced the new Linux-based product Monday during remarks at OpenWorld, Oracle’s annual user conference in San Francisco.“If you eliminate human error in autonomous systems, you eliminate data theft,” Ellison said on stage. The feature makes Oracle’s products more secure than those sold by cloud leader Amazon Web Services, he said.Ellison said the operating system, which the company’s Autonomous Database runs on, will update itself without any downtime.The world’s second-largest software maker has sought to revive sales growth after years of almost stagnant revenue. Oracle hopes that a lineup of “self-driving” programs could help differentiate the company’s offerings against products from Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Those companies are the top two in the market to rent storage and computing power, which is projected to reach almost $39 billion in 2019. The tools may also entice longtime Oracle customers to upgrade their technology to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.Oracle disclosed last week that Mark Hurd, one of the company’s two chief executive officers, would take a leave of absence to treat an unspecified illness. Ellison and Oracle’s other CEO, Safra Catz, said they would fill in for Hurd, who has overseen the company’s sales and marketing efforts.The Redwood City, California-based company also announced a variety of changes and new programs to bolster its partner ecosystem:Oracle unveiled an agreement with VMware Inc. to bring virtualization software to Oracle’s cloud, similar to deals VMware has signed with Microsoft and Google.Customers will be able to buy software made by other companies in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, which may help company partners including Cisco Systems Inc. and Palo Alto Networks Inc.Oracle also said it expanded a relationship with cybersecurity company McAfee Inc. to bring its security incident software to Oracle’s infrastructure cloud.Ellison said Oracle would offer a free version of its Cloud Infrastructure, giving developers, students and others perpetual access to the company’s autonomous database, computing and storage.The company plans to launch 20 additional cloud data-center hubs, called “regions,” by the end of 2020. Ellison said the company would have more regions around the world than AWS.Oracle will let customers run the autonomous database in their own data centers next year, and unveiled new servers with updated memory components from Intel Corp.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@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.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Mega-Cap Cloud Stocks for Tech Investors to Buy in September
    Zacks

    3 Mega-Cap Cloud Stocks for Tech Investors to Buy in September

    Check out these three mega-cap cloud computing stocks that tech investors should consider buying right now...

  • TheStreet.com

    Growth and Value Briefly Diverge -- Where Does This Leave Facebook and Google?

    Facebook and Google look inexpensive to some. But is the price justified?

  • Google Pays Up in France
    Zacks

    Google Pays Up in France

    Google's settlement with French tax authorities amounted to a billion dollars, the highest payout in Europe so far.

  • Barrons.com

    Zoom Stock Will Rebound Because It Has a Massive Market Opportunity, Analyst Says

    The recent dip in Zoom Video Communications’ share price is a buying opportunity, according to Baird.

  • What's Next for Apple (AAPL) Stock: Holiday Shopping, iPhone 11, Apple TV+
    Zacks

    What's Next for Apple (AAPL) Stock: Holiday Shopping, iPhone 11, Apple TV+

    Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone 11s, as well as its streaming TV service and video game push. The episode also breaks down what's next for Apple stock and why the tech firm looks strong heading into the holiday shopping season. - Full-Court Finance

  • Engineers Are the Reason Many of Us Are Alive
    Bloomberg

    Engineers Are the Reason Many of Us Are Alive

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Where would we be if not for engineers? The truth is, many of us wouldn't be here at all, according to this week's guest on Masters in Business.“Engineers have saved far more lives than all of the doctors in the world” through their inventions, said John Browne, the chairman of L1 Energy and chief executive officer of BP Plc from 1995 to 2007. Engineering and science are the “golden thread” that runs throughout almost all of humanity’s progress, from health care, economics and defense, to transportation, shelter and more, he said.In our conversation, Browne, a member of the House of Lords, explains how many of humanity’s most pressing problems already have engineering solutions; the impediment is typically a political impasse. This is as true for global warming and energy production as it is for wealth inequality, longevity and public health. Browne, author of numerous books including the recent "Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation," discussed why coming out of the closet is good business. He argues that being inclusive and building teams where people feel wanted and valuable should be every company’s goal.  Brown points out that there are only a handful of openly gay CEOs at Standard & Poor's 500 companies, when statistically, there should be 25 to 50. The lack of role models is a detriment to gay employees advancing. After he came out, one of his competitors said “John, we all knew you were gay, only none of us were ever brave enough to discuss it with you.”His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week we speak with Sarah Ketterer, chief executive officer and co-founder of Causeway Capital Management LLC, which has $52 billion under management. Ketterer was Morningstar's International Manager of the Year in 2017.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is Amazon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Charts Show
    Investor's Business Daily

    Is Amazon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Charts Show

    Amazon stock is edging closer to a record high that would place its market valuation above $1 trillion, as the e-commerce giant keeps pushing into new markets with disruptive thunder.

  • S&P 500 buybacks decline significantly in Q2 2019; expenditures still remain higher than the pre-2018 levels
    PR Newswire

    S&P 500 buybacks decline significantly in Q2 2019; expenditures still remain higher than the pre-2018 levels

    - Q2 2019 share repurchases were $164.5 billion - 20.1% lower than Q1 2019, 13.7% lower than Q2 2018, and 26.2% lower than the record Q4 2018. - Apple continues to lead, spending $18.2 billion - down from ...

  • Growing Data Center Network Makes Facebook Stock a ‘Buy’
    InvestorPlace

    Growing Data Center Network Makes Facebook Stock a ‘Buy’

    Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock is the little brother of the "Cloud Czars." With a market cap of $534 billion, Facebook trades at 31.7 times last year's earnings. This is helped by a balance sheet that showed $41 billion in cash and no debt in June, even while the company spends capital at a $15 billion per year rate.Source: rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Facebook's rate of capital spending growth is extraordinary. The company's capital budget was $293 million in 2009. In 2018 it was almost $14 billion.Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) gets primary credit for creating the cloud concept. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has turned the cloud into a market. But no company has been as dedicated to pushing cloud technology as Facebook. Its Open Compute Project, launched in 2011, continues to push cloud costs down.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet none of the Cloud Czars -- not Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), not Alphabet, not Amazon, not even Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- is as hated as Facebook. Blame the Free WebMany have come to believe that Facebook is partially responsible for the election of President Donald Trump. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later testified that he believes Facebook did not "do enough" to prevent disinformation and fake news articles from swaying election results.While Alphabet is actively pushing beyond its free web roots, Facebook is doubling down on all things free. As politicians call for the breaking up of the free web's giants, Facebook is choosing to more tightly integrate its ancillary services. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now This doesn't mean Facebook is ignoring the threats. In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle a Federal Trade Commission investigation into its privacy practices. In the aftermath of this fine, Facebook is changing its default settings on photos, so it won't automatically use facial recognition software to tag photos. This will ease the automatic collection of biometric data. Facebook is also considering hiding the likes on its news feed and is meeting with government officials trying to protect the 2020 election.In general, however, Facebook is showing government the same blank, bland face Zuckerberg showed in Congressional testimony last year. It tells the government what it thinks lawmakers want to hear but otherwise does what it wants. Exasperated, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden recently suggested that Zuckerberg belongs in prison. The Facebook FightbackUnder the surface, Facebook is fighting back.It is paying for a new series of fact-based media templates in Europe as part of its Facebook Watch platform. It has launched pop-up windows on its social media platforms to counter misinformation about vaccines. Facebook has also issued a white paper on data portability -- the notion that a user should be able to move their data from Facebook to another platform -- in response to growing demand.Facebook is often used for phishing. Picture friends' faces popping up through Messenger, earnestly asking for money or personal information. I have personally faced several of these phishing attempts and twice almost gave hackers hundreds of dollars as a result.Mainly, Facebook continues to treat political problems as technical ones. After this summer's Messenger Kids breach, which exposed thousands of kids to unauthorized users, its response was a technically focused letter.The test of whether this attempt to fight back is working may be Libra, its blockchain project. Libra seeks to replicate services already available from Chinese rivals like Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). While trying to get support, Facebook has said blockchain technology will protect payments and lower costs. The European Union is already investigating Libra to see if it harms its competitors, even before its launch. FB Stock's Secret SauceWhile there are analysts who think Facebook should double down on services, say by buying Yelp (NYSE:YELP), it is Facebook's data centers and its cloud network that hold the key to its future.That network now includes two data centers in Europe and an 11-story center in Singapore, all built with the low-cost standards created by the Open Compute Project.Analysts will continue to look at Facebook through the front door of political controversy and privacy policies. They need to look instead at the back door of Facebook's data center footprint.If the former is too deep and technical for you, Facebook is a buy.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of the environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at danablankenhorn@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in AAPL, MSFT AMZN and BABA. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Growing Data Center Network Makes Facebook Stock a 'Buy' appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • EU Court: Google’s $1.1 Billion German Copyright Fee Unenforceable
    Market Realist

    EU Court: Google’s $1.1 Billion German Copyright Fee Unenforceable

    According to an EU court ruling, Google (GOOGL) will not have to pay a $1.1 billion copyright fee that a German publishing group demanded.

  • Alphabet Stock Investors Shouldn’t Sweat Antitrust Spotlight
    InvestorPlace

    Alphabet Stock Investors Shouldn’t Sweat Antitrust Spotlight

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock price has lagged the S&P 500 in 2019 despite some impressive growth numbers. One of the biggest reasons investors are skeptical is due to concerns about antitrust action.Source: turtix / Shutterstock.com Antitrust fears were stoked last week on reports of two new big tech probes by 48 U.S. state attorneys general. While the antitrust news may create headline volatility in the near-term, it's nothing for GOOGL stock investors to be concerned about in the long-term.Here's a look at exactly why investors are worried and why they shouldn't be.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips New Google ProbesTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton confirmed this week that he is leading 47 other state attorneys general in a bipartisan antitrust investigation of Google. The probe is reportedly focused on Google's dominance in online advertising and its use of consumer data. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The new state investigation comes after the Wall Street Journal previously reported that the Department of Justice is conducting its own antitrust investigation of Google.On the surface, antitrust investigations are serious business. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already fined Google for mishandling user data. But antitrust violations could potentially result in changes to Google's core algorithms or even a breakup of the company. Analyst Take on Alphabet StockThe good news for GOOGL stock investors is that it seems extremely unlikely regulators will actually break up Google or any other big U.S. tech companies. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives says the investigations are most likely just noise.Politicians and regulators are mostly just responding to outspoken critics of the big tech platforms. Ives says fines and potential forced changes to Google's business model are likely the worst-case scenario for Alphabet stock. Ironically, he says a forced breakup might unlock shareholder value."We continue to believe on a SOTP basis the valuation for names such as Amazon, Google, and Apple would be re-rated higher in the unlikely scenario there were ever significant business model breakups, such as the separation of AWS from Amazon's retail e-commerce business," Ives says.For Alphabet, a potential antitrust breakup could include a forced spin-off of YouTube, for example. But if Ives is correct, separating the high-growth YouTube from Google's core search business could lead to a much higher valuation of YouTube. Slap On The Wrist?At the same time, Google's recent FTC settlement for violating children's privacy laws was $170 million. To put that in perspective, Alphabet reported about $10 billion in net income in the second quarter alone. Any antitrust fine would have to be absolutely massive to make a dent in Google's cash flow. Even then, the positive impact of moving on from the antitrust crackdown could outweigh the temporary impact of a fine in the eyes of the market.Altering the ad business or the algorithm would be the worst-case scenario in my mind. But these types of changes are rarely as bad as the market assumes they will be.Of course, there could ultimately be no action at all taken against Google. After all, being big isn't a monopoly. Unless investigators can prove non-competitive practices, Google may get off scot-free. GOOGL Stock Will Be Just FineAs I said back in July, GOOGL stock has way too much going for it in the long-term for investors to be scared of these antitrust probes. Google is a market leader in secular high-growth fields such as internet and mobile search, online advertising, artificial intelligence, cloud services, machine learning and autonomous vehicles. It's still growing at roughly a 20% clip. Yet Alphabet stock is trading at 22 times forward earnings."We believe that Congress will investigate claims of anticompetitive behavior, but ultimately, we expect a 'no harm, no foul' outcome on these FAANG names once the DOJ concludes its potential investigation, although this news could add some headline risk to these tech stalwarts in the near-term," Ives says.I agree. Since when have politicians actually done anything productive or useful lately? They will make a big production out of this antitrust investigation. They will ultimately slap some kind of fine on Google or force them to make some minor adjustments to their model. Life will carry on, and GOOGL stock investors can stop talking about Washington and start talking about technology.As of this writing, Wayne Duggan did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Alphabet Stock Investors Shouldn't Sweat Antitrust Spotlight appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Apple Takes on EU’s Vestager in Record $14 Billion Tax Fight
    Bloomberg

    Apple Takes on EU’s Vestager in Record $14 Billion Tax Fight

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. fights the world’s biggest tax case in a quiet courtroom this week, trying to rein in the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief ahead of a potential new crackdown on internet giants.The iPhone maker can tell the EU General Court in Luxembourg that it’s the world’s biggest taxpayer. But that’s not enough for EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who said in a 2016 ruling that Apple’s tax deals with Ireland allowed the company to pay far less than other businesses. The court must now weigh whether regulators were right to levy a record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill.Apple’s haggling over tax comes after its market valuation hit $1.02 trillion last week on the back of a new aggressive pricing strategy that may stoke demand for some smartphones and watches. The company’s huge revenue -- and those of other technology firms -- have attracted close scrutiny in Europe, focusing on complicated company structures for transferring profits generated from intellectual property.A court ruling, likely to take months, could empower or halt Vestager’s tax probes, which are now centering on fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. She’s also been tasked with coming up with a “fair European tax” by the end of 2020 if global efforts to reform digital taxation don’t make progress.“Politically, this will have very big consequences,” said Sven Giegold, a Green member of the European Parliament. “If Apple wins this case, the calls for tax harmonization in Europe will take on a different dynamic, you can count on that.”Vestager showed her determination to fight the tax cases to the end by opening new probes into 39 companies’ tax deals with Belgium on Monday. The move addresses criticism by the same court handling the Apple challenge. A February judgment threw out her 2016 order for them to pay back about 800 million euros.At the same time she’s pushing for “fair international tax rules so that digitization doesn’t allow companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax,” according to a speech to German ambassadors last month. She urged them to use “our influence to build an international environment that helps us reach our goals” in talks on a new global agreement to tax technology firms.Apple’s fury at its 2016 EU order saw Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook blasting the EU move as “total political crap.” The company’s legal challenge claims the EU wrongly targeted profits that should be taxed in the U.S. and “retroactively changed the rules” on how global authorities calculate what’s owed to them.The U.S. Treasury weighed in too, saying the EU was making itself a “supra-national tax authority” that could threaten global tax reform efforts. President Donald Trump hasn’t been silent either, saying Vestager “hates the United States” because “she’s suing all our companies.”“There is a lot at stake given the high-profile nature of the case, as well as the concerns that have been raised from the U.S. Treasury that the investigations risk undermining the international tax system,” said Nicole Robins, a partner at economics consultancy Oxera in Brussels.Apple declined to comment ahead of the hearing, referring to previous statements. The European Commission also declined to comment. Ireland said it “profoundly” disagreed with the EU’s findings.Richard Murphy, a professor at London’s City University, said the EU’s case “is about making clear that no company should be beyond the geographic limits of tax law.”“Selective attempts to get round the law -- which is what tax avoidance is -- are unacceptable when companies seek the protection and support of that same law” in the rest of their business,” Murphy said.Vestager has also fined Google some $9 billion. She’s ordered Amazon to pay back taxes -- a mere 250 million euros -- and is probing Nike Inc.’s tax affairs and looking into Google’s taxation in Ireland.The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24.The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Those judgments could set an important precedent on how far the EU can question tax decisions national governments make on how companies should be treated.“It’s very clear that the largest companies in the world -- the frightful five I call them -- are hardly paying taxes,” said Paul Tang, a socialist lawmaker at the European Parliament. “Cases like these, Amazon in Luxembourg or Apple in Ireland, started to build public and political pressure” for tax reform in Europe.The legal battles may go on for a few years more. The General Court rulings can be appealed once more to the EU’s highest tribunal, the EU Court of Justice. Meanwhile, Apple’s back taxes -- 14.3 billion euros including interest -- sit in an escrow account and can’t be paid to Ireland until the final legal challenges are exhausted.For Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network campaign group, the issue is already in the past and “it’s not even the biggest tax scandal that Apple has” after reports on other structures it may use. Tax reforms under discussion “will ensure much closer alignment of taxable profits and the real economic activity” generated by them.The cases are: T-892/16, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v. Commission, T-778/16, Ireland v. Commission.(Updates with Vestager comment in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter ChapmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge
    InvestorPlace

    Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge

    Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) isn't exactly a household name. Enough people knew about it though (and liked it well enough) to Okta stock from its early-2017 IPO price of $17 to its July high of $141.85.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com Then, everything changed. The stock has peeled back from that high to its current price near $103 and is seemingly testing even lower lows. The 27% meltdown Okta stock has suffered in fewer than two months is the biggest selloff it has seen since became publicly traded.The likely reasons include that Okta pushed the average maturation date on some of its debt down the road. On top of that uninspiring decision, several cloud-computing names like Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) and Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) have also stumbled into selloffs over the course of the past few days. Industry influence can be potent at times.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThere's a more likely underlying reason OKTA has been hammered after being such an incredible performer though. That is, it's wildly, ridiculously overvalued, with little hope of ever justifying what was at one point in July a more than $16 billion market cap. A Closer Look at Okta StockOkta offers computer login-security services, remotely preventing unauthorized access to protected information. If you log into an app at work or even via your smartphone, it's possible you've passed through an Okta-managed digital gate. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now It's an important business given the countless number of data breaches and computer hacks we've seen of late, but it's not a business with a particularly high barrier to entry.The crowded field is evidence of that. Twilio is in the same arena, as is Nexmo. And Bandwidth. And Hearsay, Plivo and Voxbone just to name a few, along with dozens of other players.It's not just the small startups in the business though. Big rivals offer comparable services. Though Forrester gave Okta the highest praise in the second quarter of the year by calling it the leader of the IDaaS (identification as a service) industry, that industry's players also included Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG).No company wants to have to stand up to Google or Microsoft.It's not a message fans and followers of Okta want to hear about, and it's certainly not the new and modern way of thinking about evaluating equities. A good story is good enough. The idea is all the matters. The trajectory rather than the current situation is the key.Except, those premises are only true for a short while. Eventually, a company has to make some real money that at least comes close to making sense given its price.Even with its 27% selloff, Okta stock still isn't even close. The Real Problem for Okta StockThe sheer quantity and quality of its competition is only half the concern suddenly weighing Okta down, however. The other half is a valuation that makes little sense even if Okta can outpace its rivals.Forget the lack of earnings for the moment; lots of companies bleed cash in their infancy. Even just focusing on revenue, Okta is valued at a stunning 25.7 times its trailing sales of $486.8 million.The S&P 500's price/sales ratio right now is an above-average 2.2. By that measure, Okta is overvalued by a factor of more than ten.Okta would need to grow its top line all the way from $486 million now to $5.6 billion to fairly justify its current market cap of $12.3 billion. Even allowing a little more wiggle room that tech stocks often command, a top line of $5 billion would still be a necessity. That's more than a 1000% improvement in sales in a market that Microsoft and Google are also in.Earnings growth would have to be even more dramatic to justify the stock's current value, working its way out of the red. The Reality for Okta StockThe digital future will undoubtedly require even more secure login architecture. Okta provides it.Unfortunately, so do dozens of other companies. Investors went nuts in particular over this one, however, without ever really asking questions like, "How much revenue can this one company produce?" and "How much of that revenue can be turned into a viable, sustainable profit when the service is essentially a commodity?"Increasingly, investors are realizing that the company's insiders and early investors had more to gain by going public and touting the stock than they did by building the company's revenue base. The same goes for rivals. It's also arguable these insiders and major stakeholders of all these companies were ultimately gunning for an acquisition that's looking less and less likely.The timing of these realizations remains one of life's great trading mysteries.And that's not to say Okta stock won't bounce back from its recent setback. It probably will. Anything dropped from enough height will bounce. The question is, can any bounce be sustained?The scope and speed of the selloff, however, suggests the cloud-identification market's investors just had their aha moment. Okta's honeymoon period is officially over, and that ain't good for existing shareholders.As of this writing, James Brumley held a long position in Alphabet. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Amazon Brings Music Service to Brazil, Boosts Global Presence
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    Amazon Brings Music Service to Brazil, Boosts Global Presence

    In a bid to focus on global expansion, Amazon (AMZN) expands the Music Unlimited service to Brazil.

  • Amazon's Texas Air Hub to be Operational Soon, Create Jobs
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    Amazon's Texas Air Hub to be Operational Soon, Create Jobs

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  • Bloomberg

    BTG Takes Cue From Blankfein With Digital Bank to Weather Storms

    (Bloomberg) -- Andre Esteves once joked that Banco BTG Pactual SA, the Latin American investment bank powerhouse he helped create, would one day become “better than Goldman” -- a play on the firm’s name.Now, BTG is chasing Goldman Sachs Group Inc. down another path, looking to build a digital retail bank for the masses.The firm, under the BTG Digital brand, will offer credit and debit cards, checking accounts and loans to individuals by mid-next year, adding to the investment platform focused on high-income clients, Chief Executive Officer Roberto Sallouti said in an interview at the bank’s Sao Paulo headquarters. The plan remains on track after a new round of police investigations targeted the bank in August.“Being a latecomer in this case is a benefit,” Sallouti said, adding that not having branches or old technology allows BTG to offer new products and better service. His five-year goal is to gain a 10% stake in the holdings of retail and private-banking clients, which totaled 2.8 trillion reais ($690 billion) last year.Years after the global financial crisis, Goldman’s then-CEO Lloyd Blankfein set out to build an online bank called Marcus to help diversify his firm’s funding and sources of revenue. The idea is to offer personal loans and savings accounts online at better rates than brick-and-mortar competitors -- helping consumers save money while disrupting incumbents.“The Brazilian middle class has now access to the same products millionaires have and at the same prices,” Sallouti said.Both BTG and Goldman have learned the benefits of drawing low-cost, diversified funding from individuals. That was one of the takeaways of the 2008 financial crisis for New York-based Goldman.For BTG, the lesson came later, in a 2015 crisis when Esteves, 51, was arrested in a probe known as Carwash, sparking withdrawals from big clients. Esteves was ultimately acquitted of all charges, with the prosecutor’s office saying there was “no sufficient proof” against him.See also: BTG in turmoil anew as Esteves is circled by police againThen in August, police searched the firm’s offices and Esteves’s home once again, sending shares tumbling and prompting the bank to react quickly to reassure investors that panic wasn’t warranted. Even after falling more than 20% from from their peak, BTG shares have more than doubled this year and are the second-best performer of Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa index.BTG Digital has already helped retail deposits jump from 3% to near 17%, bringing a “brutal change in the quality of our funding,” Sallouti said. Once again, there’s a parallel with Goldman Sachs, which said it expected to increase consumer deposits by more than $10 billion a year with Marcus.BTG started its digital initiative in 2016 with a product similar to the one by XP Investimentos SA, which was offering middle-class clients deposits, bonds and stocks at lower fees. While BTG doesn’t disclose such details, Santander analysts Henrique Navarro and Olavo Arthuzo estimated in an Aug. 21 report that the digital unit would have 150 billion reais in assets under custody in three to five years, valuing the venture at around 18.7 billion reais.Sallouti expects the digital platform to break even by mid-2020. Alongside all the new retail banking features, the bank’s digital push includes a new small and mid-size firm lending business, a data-analytics firm, an insurance platform and Banco Pan SA, a smaller lender BTG has a stake in that serves low-income individuals.Fintech firms have multiplied in Brazil, attracting money from the likes of billionaire Warren Buffett, SoftBank and Goldman itself. The newcomers hope to challenge the dominance of the nation’s top five lenders, which hold 85% of total assets compared with 43% in the U.S. Leading the pack are Tencent-backed Nubank, a $10 billion digital bank with more than 10 million users, payments company StoneCo, and XP Investimentos.“We’re moving forward in a way I never thought would be possible for BTG, talking to a client that was once out of our reach,” Sallouti said.Another sign of change? A recent roadshow presentation by BTG included not only the usual financials like ROE or FICC revenues -- but also a chart on the growing number of the bank’s Instagram and YouTube followers.To contact the authors of this story: Felipe Marques in Sao Paulo at fmarques10@bloomberg.netCristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at clucchesi5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael J Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Dan ReichlDavid ScheerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bear of the Day: DXC Technology Company (DXC)
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    Bear of the Day: DXC Technology Company (DXC)

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  • Financial Times

    Jio jolt to India’s broadband market

    Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani changed India's mobile market forever when he launched the operator Reliance Jio three years ago. India’s fragmented broadband market seems ripe for the taking. Reliance Jio plans to compete with existing providers such as Bharti Airtel and sign up new users, with an initial target of 20m homes and 15m businesses.

  • Bloomberg

    Lawmakers Seek Intel From Customers in Big Tech Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- A House panel investigating big tech companies for potential antitrust violations is seeking information from customers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook about the state of competition in digital markets and the adequacy of existing enforcement, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg.It’s the latest development in the bipartisan congressional investigation being conducted by House antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island.The eight-page survey doesn’t mention any companies by name, but it seeks information about the industries they dominate such as mobile apps and app stores, search engines, digital advertising, social media, messaging, online commerce and logistics as well as cloud computing.The survey asks respondents to identify the top five providers for the various digital services and how much it paid each of those providers since Jan. 1 2016. It also asks for any allegations of antitrust violations or business practices that hurt competition. The committee offered respondents the possibility of confidentiality if they desired.The panel has asked for responses to its survey by mid-October.Assessing AntitrustThe survey appears geared toward businesses that pay the big technology companies for services such as cloud computing, digital advertising and help selling mobile apps and products online. It doesn’t appear to focus on general retail consumers that buy products from Amazon or iPhones from Apple.It also shows how regulators are relying on customers and competitors of Big Tech to help them better understand digital markets and and how dominant players can stifle competition. The Federal Trade Commission has been quietly interviewing online merchants that sell goods on Amazon to better understand the business.The questionnaire shows the House panel trying to assess the grip big technology companies have in various markets, a first step in probing for antitrust violations. If the panel finds competition is so scant that the customers of big technology companies have no viable alternatives, it justifies further scrutiny of business practices as well as mergers and acquisitions.The questions also suggest the panel is open to examining how antitrust laws are applied in digital markets and if enforcement and laws need to be updated.A Google spokesman declined to comment. Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon and Facebook both declined to comment, but pointed to previous comments by executives in which both companies said they welcomed government scrutiny and maintain they exist in markets with healthy competition. Emails to representatives for the House committee weren’t immediately answered.The survey sent to customers follows the public disclosure of letters the House antitrust subcommittee sent to Google parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Those letters, posted online, seek detailed information about acquisitions, business practices, executive communications, previous probes and lawsuits. The letters followed a July hearing in which lawmakers grilled tech executives.The House panel has been the most visible of various probes of technology companies. Representative Cicilline has been a vocal critic.Speaking at an antitrust conference in Washington, D.C. last week, he said, “you would be amazed” at the number of companies that have come forward with concerns about the potentially unfair way that big tech companies compete. Some have even expressed fear that the tech giants will respond with economic retaliation if the smaller companies’ concerns are made public, Cicilline said, without providing more detail.The House panel’s probe is part of a broader examination of the control companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook have over the U.S. economy. The FTC is investigating Amazon and Facebook while the Justice Department is probing Google. Separately, 50 state attorneys general have announced an antitrust probe of Google.(Adds requested date for survey responses in fifth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the spelling of David Cicilline.)\--With assistance from Naomi Nix and Ben Brody.To contact the reporter on this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Social media concerns as new survey says 1 in 5 had privacy violated
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Social media concerns as new survey says 1 in 5 had privacy violated

    Yahoo Finance recently conducted a survey to see how social media users feel about privacy. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, Sibile Marcellus and Brian Cheung, along with CampusReform.org Editor-in-Chief Cabot Phillips discuss.

  • Amazon is boosting profitable products
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Amazon is boosting profitable products

    Amazon has changed its search algorithm in a way that boosts products that are more profitable for the company. Instead of showing customers the most relevant and best selling items, it now shows the ones that are most profitable. Yahoo Finance's On The Move panel discusses.