|Day's Range||14.10 - 15.00|
(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.
During the blockchain hype of 2017 and 2018, it was difficult to establish who exactly needs a blockchain and why. The market became flooded with innovations, ideas, and scams as startups and established enterprises alike looked for ways to profit from the technological revolution. As the hype died down, many critics accused blockchain as being […]
Hewlett Packard's (HPE) Q3 fiscal 2019 results are likely to benefit from the growing momentum in Value Compute portfolio. However, a fall in the tier-1 server shipments is a downside.
Facebook's (FB) launch of Off-Facebook Activity tool is expected to strengthen privacy control initiatives, which will boost user engagement.
During the past 15 years, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has been one of the best performers in the tech world. Keep in mind that the average annual return on CRM stock was an impressive 31%.Source: Shutterstock But lately things have not been so stellar. For example, the year-to-date return is 5%. This has lagged other mature tech companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Adobe (NADAQ:ADBE) and even IBM (NYSE:IBM).OK then, might Salesforce stock be an opportunity for investors now? Is this the right entry point? Well, perhaps so. In fact, we'll get more details on Thursday on how things are tracking as the company will report its fiscal second-quarter results.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHere's a look at the Wall Street expectations: * For revenues, the consensus forecast is for $3.95 billion, up 20.4% from the same period a year ago. Keep in mind that CRM's own forecast is for a range of $3.94 billion to $3.95 billion. * Wall Street is looking for earnings to hit 47 cents a share. This compares to 39 cents a share a year ago.As for the prior quarter, CRM posted revenues of $3.74 billion, up 24% on a year-over-year basis. There was also a nice 34% jump in operating cash flows to $1.97 billion. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential What's more, the company announced full-year guidance on revenues of $16.10 billion to $16.25 billion, for a growth rate of 21% to 22%. An Eventual QuarterThe biggest event for CRM stock during the quarter was the $15 billion acquisition of Tableau, a top player in the analytics space. The deal is actually the largest in the company's history.Founded in 2003, Tableau focused on a new approach to analytics, with an attempt to disrupt the dominant legacy companies in the industry like IBM, SAP (NYSE:SAP) and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL). At the heart of the platform was a focus on interactive data visualization that seamlessly integrated with a myriad of databases and spreadsheets.As for CRM, Tableau will become a key part of the Customer 360 analytics system. The deal will also provide a nice boost to the top-line (last year the revenues came to $1.16 billion).But of course, there were other notable highlights for the quarter. Here's a look at some: * Salesforce shelled out $1.35 billion to acquire ClickSoftware Technologies, which is a provider of field service and workplace systems. The company will become part of the Service Cloud. * A report from Forrester (NASDAQ:FORR) quantified the total economic impact and benefits of Salesforce Lightning for the Service Cloud. The result: there was a 475% return on investment over a three year period for a typical customer. * Gartner (NYSE:IT) reported that Salesforce was positioned as a leader in its 2019 Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development Platforms. Bottom Line for the CRM Stock PriceSalesforce.com has a knack for beating its numbers. And this upcoming report should be no different. If anything, the Tableau deal should be a help (at least for the guidance).But the dealmaking will also be critical for the long-term of CRM stock. The focus on data companies is spot-on since this allows for the leveraging of next-generation technologies, especially AI (Artificial Intelligence).In the meantime, Salesforce remains dominant in its core areas like CRM, service/support and marketing.Then again, when it comes to CRM stock, it may not be realistic to expect the kinds of standout returns of prior years. The company is much more mature nowadays and it is getting tougher to gin up organic growth.Regardless though, CRM still looks like a good choice for a core holding for investors that want exposure to enterprise categories like the cloud and AI.Tom Taulli is the author of the book, Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post There's No Need to Pull the Trigger on CRM Stock Before Earnings appeared first on InvestorPlace.
DXC Technology's (DXC) technological expertise combined with Google Cloud's strong solutions portfolio will help enterprises to access, manage and leverage data-intensive workloads globally.
The struggles continue for Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Just as investors thought the company finally turned the corner, disappointing earnings reports have dashed both the hopes for and the price of Intel stock.Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Intel has seen its share of setbacks recently. AMD (NASDAQ:AMD), the company once regarded as "little brother" during the PC era, has taken a huge technological lead over Intel.The company also found itself unable to catch up with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) in the 5G smartphone modem market. Intel stock attained a low valuation. However, the company has much to prove in its struggle to regain a leadership position in the chip market.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Intel's Playing Catch-UpThe recovery that has blessed PC-era stocks such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has somehow left Intel behind. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential As these companies found success in new niches, Intel continued to struggle with where to go next. Management missteps and scandals over the last few years only contributed to the lack of growth.The company had tried to compete with Qualcomm in the smartphone modem market. During the second quarter, they waved the white flag and sold that business to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).Also, Intel's management had hoped data center chips could become the company's next great revenue driver. Intel has not lost this battle yet, but it has faced a strong competitive challenge from AMD. Rumors abound that Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) has begun to make Google-specific server boards with chips from AMD and not Intel.This represents a severe setback to Intel. This happened because AMD took a massive lead over Intel in this key area. AMD continues to increase CapEx on its 7nm chip at a time when Intel struggles to ramp up production on its 10nm chip. Intel Still Could RecoverIntel saw a massive decline following the first-quarter earnings report. A subsequent recovery fell back following the second-quarter release. Consequently, Intel only trades about 10% above its 52-week low.However, despite these setbacks, investors should not count Intel out . As our own James Brumley mentioned, AMD's 7nm Ryzen chips have not always reached the advertised operating speeds. Hence, AMD's lead in this area may turn out to be much less than advertised.Moreover, InvestorPlace contributor Chris Lau also points out that Intel has an enormous opportunity in 5G. Once users begin to adopt 5G, "network cloudification" could again bring servers powered by Intel chips to the forefront. The Bottom Line on Intel StockIntel appears well-positioned for buyers. Now, the INTC stock price currently stands at around $47 per share. This takes the forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio to just 10.6.Admittedly, the fact that profits will shrink by an estimated 4.1% this year and only grow by 1.4% in 2020 does not inspire investors. And with INTC falling back after looking like it will sustain a recovery, investors may feel gun shy.However, the current valuation represents a low for INTC by historical standards. The PE ratio averaged 15.6 over the last five years. Also, INTC stock often saw a PE ratio well above 30 during the PC era.If the current performance of MSFT stock is an indication, a return to prominence could bring Intel the same level of multiple expansion. Furthermore, Intel stock has repeatedly bounced back whenever it fell below the $45 per share level. Hence, I see little downside at current prices.Also, indications point to a sustained recovery, eventually. Analysts forecast an average profit growth rate of 7.33% per year over the next five years.Also, the dividend of $1.26 per share yields almost 2.7%. It also has risen every year for the last four years and has never seen a cut. All of this leaves investors with little to lose by buying at these levels.Profiting from Intel stock may require some patience. However, it could again attain some level of market leadership once 5G becomes more widely adopted. If nothing else, investors can do worse than collecting a 2.7% dividend yield while they wait for this recovery.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post You Should Buy Intel Stock Before It Mounts Its Comeback appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Norway's $1-trillion-plus sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, may seek to shift the balance of its investments between Europe, the Americas and Asia, a senior official said on Wednesday. North American equity markets have grown faster than European ones since the last time Norway examined the regional weight of the fund's reference portfolio, in 2012. "This (regional weighting) is exactly the question that we are considering now, and we are giving advice to the (finance) ministry about regional weighting of the equity reference index, by the end of this month probably," Egil Matsen, deputy central bank governor in charge of the fund, told Reuters.
Norway's $1-trillion-plus sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, may seek to shift the balance of its investments between Europe, the Americas and Asia, a senior official said on Wednesday. North American equity markets have grown faster than European ones since the last time Norway examined the regional weight of the fund's reference portfolio, in 2012.
The Research Affiliates founder thinks "value" is cheap, sees shades of the 2000 tech bubble in today's market, and takes issue with multifactor investing, among other matters.
Fortnite is the most popular battle royale game worldwide, and generates huge revenues even though it is offered for free by developer, Epic Games.
There's a lot of debate over using active mutual funds versus their passive cousins. Much of that debate has low-cost index ETFs and mutual funds winning the fight. The truth is, most active mutual funds and their managers tend to underperform passive vehicles such as the iShares S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:IVV).However, investors shouldn't be so quick to throw away active mutual funds from their portfolios. There are situations when being active can pay some serious benefits. This is especially true in a volatile and rocky time such as this.For one thing, active funds don't have to stick to a certain basket of stocks. They can flee to cash when the market gets rough to avoid losses. At the same time, they can use down days to scoop up bargains. Moreover, multi-asset and go-anywhere funds don't have to stick out in stocks. They can go get a good return in any asset class -- stocks, bonds, you name it.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential The reality is, there are plenty of reasons to go active when the market gets wonky like this. Ignoring active mutual funds could be a recipe for disaster when volatility spikes and the market trends downwards. And with that, here are three top active mutual funds worth buying today. BlackRock Global Allocation Fund (MDLOX)Source: David Tran Photo / Shutterstock.com "Unconstrained in search of opportunity." That's how the BlackRock Global Allocation Fund (MUTF:MDLOX) bills itself. For nearly 30 years, the team at MDLOX has been combing the world's markets in search of better returns and they have succeeded in spades.With nearly $26 billion in assets, MDLOX is one of the largest go-anywhere mutual funds on the planet. Its wide-sweeping mandate allows it to buy stocks and bonds from nearly 40 countries as well as plenty of non-traditional asset classes.The fund's investment committee of more than 29 individuals aligns its portfolio with their general macroeconomic predictions. This has the fund changing its holdings as the market shifts direction or the managers see opportunities. In this case, a shift towards volatility and lower global economic conditions have it allocating more towards U.S. fixed-income assets of quality. Currently, the fund has roughly 65% of assets in stocks and about 30% in bonds.However, this could and will shift if the overall global economic situation changes.MDLOX's mandate has served investors well. The fund has long held a Morningstar Bronze Medal as well as top scores from Lipper. This has translated into some strong returns for the fund. Since its inception in 1994, the fund has managed to score a 9.74% average annual return. The best part is that it has managed to do just that with lower overall volatility than the S&P 500.In the end, MDLOX is a wonderful core active mutual fund for investors and it has proven itself over time. Expenses run 1.08%- or $108 per $10,000 invested. Many brokerages offer it without a sales charge and low minimums. T. Rowe Price Equity Income (PRFDX)Source: Shutterstock Dividends remain a great way to beat market volatility and get through the current environment. It's here that active mutual funds can shine. As the market dips, yields on quality dividend stocks go up. Active managers can snag these higher yields and quality stocks often on the cheap. A great fund to take advantage of this fact is T. Rowe Price Equity Income (MUTF:PRFDX).PRFDX focuses its attention on large-cap stocks here in the U.S. that pay dividends. However, the focus isn't just on headline yield. Manager John Linehan and his team are value investors at heart, and put more emphasis on quality over quantity. To meet the test, stocks have growing revenues, low debt levels and improving profit margins to be considered. Particular attention is made to price paid -- P/E, P/B, P/S ratios -- for shares. This conservative value investment approach is specifically done to limit potential downside and volatility over time.This focus on quality and value creates a rather concentrated portfolio. The fund stretches its nearly $21 billion dollars over just 127 different names including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), utility Southern (NYSE:SO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).The focus on quality dividends has also worked wonders in the returns department. Over the last ten years, PRFDX has managed to return over 12% annually. With a big part of that return coming from dividends. And with the fund adding value over its benchmark in the recent bouts of volatility this year, it's worthy of a portfolio addition. * 10 Mid-Cap Dividend Stocks to Buy Now Expenses for the active mutual fund run at just 0.64%. Nuveen Preferred Securities and Income Fund (NPSAX)Source: Shutterstock With everyone running to safety these days, bond yields aren't exactly returning anything. Right now, you can score a 10-year Treasury bond paying about 1.67% in interest payments. That's not great at all. But holding too much in equities could make for a bumpy ride. The best bet? Combine them in preferred stock.Blending both attributes of equities and bonds, preferred stock provides a happy medium of high returns and lower risk. One of the best active mutual funds to dabble in the sector is the Nuveen Preferred Securities and Income Fund (MUTF:NPSAX).NPSAX combs the full gamut of preferred stocks to find values. That includes common $25 par issued retail preferreds as well as institutional $1,000 par valued stocks. Moreover, the team at Nuveen will search for deals across the entire credit spectrum and even internationally for bargains or high yields. the idea is to optimize value and create a balance between risk and reward. That has worked wonders for the active mutual fund -- with NPSAX gaining an annualized 9.66% per year over the last decade. That's pretty close to the broader market's return over that time and it came with far less volatility.There are other benefits to owning the fund as well. For one thing, NPSAX pays its dividend monthly. Even better is that dividend could be tax-advantaged for many investors. Most preferred stock dividends are considered qualified. This allows them to come in at 15% tax rate. This allows many investors to score a high monthly income -- currently a 4.82% yield -- at a low tax rate.With a Morningstar four-star rating and a low expense ratio of 0.78%, NPSAX offers one of the best active mutual funds to ride out the market's current storm with ease.At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt did not hold a position in any stock mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post 3 Great Active Mutual Funds for the Current Environment appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Fears of a trade war with China, coupled with the specter of an upcoming recession, have hit the market hard. But shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) have so far managed to stay afloat, falling from a 52-week high of $1,289 down to a recent close of $1,164. This modest fall of just under 10% shows just how resilient Alphabet stock is.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock.com By comparison, both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are both down by nearly 15% from their 52-week highs.With last week marking the fourth anniversary of the creation of Alphabet stock, which has Google as its core operating unit, there is still plenty of gasoline left in the tank.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe restructuring of the company separated the core internet business, www.Google.com, from the peripheral mega-tech moonshots, which may take a decade or more to pay off. Whether its self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence or healthcare, buying Alphabet stock is like placing many different bets on many different areas of the global economy that technology will re-invent. At the same time, GOOGL's core business generating internet advertising revenues remains rock-solid and growing.With all of that in mind, here are three key reasons why GOOGL stock is a strong buy. GOOGL Is Unaffected by the Threat of a China Trade WarThe bulk of Alphabet's revenues are generated in Western economies, particularly North America and Europe. Advertising sales in these markets are not affected by a slowdown in exports to China nor increased tariffs of cheap Chinese imports. * The 10 Best Cheap Stocks to Buy Right Now Goldman Sachs has recommended a service sector strategy, as opposed to goods manufacturers, for investing around the threat of a trade war."Services stocks have less exposure to trade conflict given they have lower foreign input costs that might be subject to tariffs and lower non-US sales than Goods firms," said Goldman Sachs strategist David Kostin.In his client note, Kostin recommends buying stocks such as Alphabet as well as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Amazon as a part of a greater strategy to circumvent trade war woes. Alphabet Stock Is Backed by Strong Top Line RevenuesGoogle has consistently delivered growth in top lines revenues for the last five years. There is little reason why this trend will stop anytime soon.Further, GOOGL posted net positive earnings every year for the previous five years. At the same time, GOOGL is heavily invested in moonshots that should help bolster the GOOGL stock price in the future when the ideas behind these businesses are fully realized and start to pay off. And many of these moonshots should pay off just when the internet sector becomes a mature industry, just like steel, autos and telecom from decades past with ever-dwindling profit margins.This aspect alone makes GOOGL stock an appealing long-term stock to buy. Google Cloud Is Driving GrowthGoogle cloud revenues are not broken down separately but instead reported within the broader Alphabet segment "Google Other Revenues." While Alphabet management has made it clear that Google Cloud Services (GCS) is their fastest-growing business, they have not given specific numbers.However, the management consulting firm Gartner estimates that the total global cloud market is expected to grow to $331.2 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 16.1%. Google has invested heavily in cloud technology with many analysts estimating that GCS alone could generate $20 billion form Alphabet stock by the end of 2020. Bottom Line on GOOGL StockAlphabet has covered the roulette table with chips. From their proven core business of internet advertising to the further-off possibility of autonomous vehicles -- propelled by a dynamic cloud business in-between -- Alphabet is undoubtedly holding out well in the current market storm.When the selloff in tech stocks finally plays out, the GOOGL stock price could be set for a strong bounce back.As of this writing, Theodore Kim did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post 3 Reasons Alphabet Stock Is Still a Bargain Amid Trade War Peril appeared first on InvestorPlace.
In today's market of rich valuations and erratic trading, it can be difficult to come by solid, long-term investments. That's especially true when you're talking about the tech space, but Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is one such stock that investors shouldn't pass up.Source: gguy / Shutterstock.com MSFT stock has already risen nearly 30% so far this year, but don't let that put you off -- the tech giant has further to climb in the years ahead. Growth Ahead for MSFT StockOf the 32 analysts covering MSFT stock, 27 have given the firm a buy rating, while just one recommends selling. While you should never follow analyst advice blindly, the fact that 90% of analysts have given Microsoft stock a buy or overweight rating should at least give you reason to consider adding the tech stock to your portfolio.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe big reason that many analysts are bullish on Microsoft stock is the fact that the firm's cloud business, Azure, is becoming increasingly larger and more profitable. A few years ago, many were skeptical about Microsoft's ability to change with the times and become a cloud competitor. However, what skeptics didn't take into account was the fact that Microsoft is already a huge part of many business' operations with its Office suite and other business solutions. That has given the firm the foot-in-the-door it needed to build out a compelling cloud offering. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential Shifting to cloud computing is relatively painless for current Microsoft customers, a huge selling point for Azure. As long as management is able to keep Azure's offerings in key growth areas like the internet of things and artificial intelligence up-to-date, MSFT's cloud arm looks poised to continue adding new customers. Pentagon ProjectOn top of its current potential in the business world, MSFT's Azure also has the potential to win a massive contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to power the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program. Project JEDI is the federal government's proposed solution to connect government employees and military personnel across the globe. This project would allow for more efficient decision making. While the DOD appears to have narrowed its choice of providers down to just Microsoft and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), it's worth keeping in mind that as with anything government-related, a series of probes, questions regarding legality and general disagreement about how to proceed are likely to tie JEDI up for months to come. The Perfect SetupWhile most agree that Microsoft can't dine out on its Office suite forever, the firm has done well switching over to subscriptions. MSFT still holds a monopoly on productivity software and that position at the top of the food chain brings in a lot of cash for the firm each year. Microsoft has wisely been using that money to build out Azure in hopes of eventually building the cloud provider into as large a part of the firm's business as Windows and Microsoft Office have been.MSFT stock faced some backlash when it announced plans to add an additional fee in order for its Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Server licenses to be used on third-party clouds. Starting in October, the company will require its customers to pay for "license mobility" in order to keep using its software systems on another cloud infrastructure. However, according to Deutsche Bank's Karl Keirstead the "license mobility" could be a boon for Microsoft stock. He argued that as long as Microsoft is careful not to be too restrictive, the added fee could make licensing much simpler and entice more clients to use Azure over smaller rivals. The Bottom Line on MSFTAny way you slice it, Microsoft stock looks to be in a great position right now. The company's future growth plans look solid. Its Azure cloud computing arm appears to have a long growth runway ahead. MSFT has been leveraging its dominance in the software space and it's paying off. Unlike some of its peers, MSFT isn't teetering on the edge of a turnaround. The company appears to have pivoted with the times and is already on an upswing. It doesn't have a particularly juicy dividend with a yield of 1.3%, but it's safe and reliable.As of this writing Laura Hoy was long AMZN. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Microsoft Stock Is a No-Brainer Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Vulcan Capital, the investment house of late Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, has opened its first international office in Singapore. The multi-billion dollar fund intends to invest an initial $100 million across Southeast Asian startups.Vulcan Capital is an unusual addition to the city-state’s investment scene. It is part of Vulcan Inc., which oversees the billionaire’s holdings and supports his causes in everything from elephant conservation to artificial intelligence research. Chief Executive Officer Bill Hilf channeled his late boss’s methodical approach when Vulcan took almost three years to decide on Singapore as an Asian base.“Before we take a step into Singapore, we know everything about it; we know every university, we know every politician, the politician’s friends,” Hilf said, describing the cautious approach. “That’s because we hold Paul, his family name and the Vulcan reputation as a sterling brand.”Allen died in 2018 and left a $26.1 billion fortune behind, an estate that some experts predicted could take years to sort out. Hilf said the process of shifting Vulcan from a management company to an estate trust may take close to a decade to complete because of the complexity of businesses it oversees.The Seattle-based company plans to use the nine-figure allocation in Singapore to back tech startups in Southeast Asia, making it one of the largest early-stage platforms in the region. The firm has hired financiers Tommy Teo and Minjie Yu as managing directors to lead the Singapore outfit. They will focus on seed, Series A and Series B investments in a broad range of areas including financial services, real estate technology and consumer internet, according to Teo. Their initial target markets will be Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.“There is a great momentum right now,” said Teo, who formerly worked at Singapore-based private equity firm Northstar Group and Citigroup Inc. among others. “It’s early enough for us to come in here in a meaningful way.”Investors like Vulcan will help build the ecosystem in the region, said Wilton Chau, who teaches entrepreneurship, VC and PE in Hong Kong and Singapore. “International VCs will have the network, the expertise and the knowledge of different markets and they will be more attractive to ventures here,” he said.Vulcan Capital takes an unusual approach to investing. Like any venture capital firm, it will aim to maximize returns from its investments. But the returns from those investments will go directly into Vulcan’s broad range of philanthropic projects, including climate change and wildlife conservation in Africa. The company is hoping its model will help attract young and mission-driven startup founders in the region.Paul Allen, Billionaire Who Co-Founded Microsoft, Dies at 65 (3)Southeast Asia is drawing more attention from U.S. investors. With deepening mobile penetration and an emergent middle class, the region has given birth to tech giants such as Grab, Gojek and Tokopedia in the past decade.“There are some really powerful players here,’” Hilf said. With 5G and satellite telecommunications, “I think we are going to leapfrog in connectivity in a way that most people are not even predicting.”To contact the reporters on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org;David Ramli in Singapore 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.