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China's press and publication regulator has issued new rules on applications for publishing online games in China, signalling a possible acceleration in the handing out of formal approvals. China stopped granting licences to monetize online games in March 2018, hurting the industry and developers such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and NetEase Inc. It started up approvals again in December, only to ask local governments to pause on submitting applications in February.
HPE's brand-new, six-story home in North San Jose's America Center represents a major shift from its former longtime Palo Alto headquarters, a 1958 building in the Stanford Research Park, but the company is still holding firm to its roots in the design of its glassy new office. Take an exclusive look inside.
Hedge funds are known to underperform the bull markets but that's not because they are bad at investing. Truth be told, most hedge fund managers and other smaller players within this industry are very smart and skilled investors. Of course, they may also make wrong bets in some instances, but no one knows what the […]
FireEye (FEYE) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank 2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term.
If you're interested in BlackLine, Inc. (NASDAQ:BL), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Volatility is considered to be a...
Hedge Funds and other institutional investors have just completed filing their 13Fs with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing their equity portfolios as of the end of December. At Insider Monkey, we follow nearly 750 active hedge funds and notable investors and by analyzing their 13F filings, we can determine the stocks that they are […]
Finding top semiconductor stocks to buy involves understanding the health of markets that purchase chips for their products. Chip stocks have rebounded ahead of first-quarter earnings reports.
Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which reinvented itself this decade as a telecom equipment supplier, is still waiting for the 5G gold rush.Source: Shutterstock The new mobile phone standards will require new base stations and radios that can handle both huge amounts of data and new swaths of frequency bandwidth.The question has always been how fast, and how urgent, the equipment gold rush will be. There is also the question of how much of that gold Nokia will get.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat's because, while Nokia owns old-line phone equipment brands Alcatel and Lucent, it's not the only supplier. Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), also once known as a mobile phone brand, is in the market. So is Samsung (OTCKMKTS:SSNLF). The market power of Chinese competitors Huawei and ZDF, and U.S. startups like privately held Altiostar Networks, which recently won Rakuten's business in Japan with a software upgrade, will also be tested this year. The First QuarterThe first clues to Nokia's success will come in the March quarter report, now due to be delivered April 25. Analysts are expecting profits of 3 cents per share, about $170 million, on revenue of $5.77 billion. * 10 Best Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever Any profit would be welcome because Nokia hasn't had a positive bottom line since 2015. That year was also the heart of the 4G buildout. Since then, network owners have been buying frequencies or hoarding cash, to prepare for the technology now being introduced.Analysts will be looking, not just to the numbers, but to Nokia's success in winning 5G contracts. Network operators are looking to stagger their rollouts, spreading the cost out over several years. Nokia is also facing unspecified "compliance issues" at Alcatel-Lucent, the base station equipment unit it acquired in 2016 .Those problems, which don't seem to be shared by its primary competitors, are behind the Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) "sell" rating on Nokia, issued April 15, that hit the stock hard. Goldman notes that Samsung recently won the business of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and that Huawei is now equal to Nokia in market share. Nokia, Not NokiaConsumers have been seeing Nokia phones in stores for three years.But while these phones are Nokia-branded, and the company gets royalty payments on them, they're the product of another company. That's HMD Global, staffed by former Nokia executives, who picked up the business from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2016 and have their phones made by Foxconn, the same people who make the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. The designs are built around Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android software.The hope was that HMD phones would be a credit to the Nokia brand, but there are problems. Some went to the wrong countries, sending data back to China. The company's head of design left. The new designs, which compete with the Samsung Galaxy line, are drawing indifferent reviews, due to issues that should have been ironed out in the design phase. The Bottom LineGiven the collapse of Nokia after the launch of the iPhone, it is remarkable that it remains a consumer brand and an industry player.But it's not yet a winner.Analysts are hoping Nokia can earn 42 cents per share next year, which would make the stock dirt cheap at its April 17 price of $5.70 per share, a forward price to earnings multiple of just 14.Whether it can hit that mark, however, is increasingly questioned. There are 30 analysts following the stock, and five have downgraded it in the last three months, with less than half now saying you should buy it.I wish the company well, but not with my money.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of a new mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he owned shares in MSFT and AAPL. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 5 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees * 7 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Isn't Over Yet * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Compare Brokers The post Nokia Stock Is Still Waiting for the 5G Gold Rush appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) stock has rewarded shareholders handsomely so far in 2019. Alibaba was founded in Apr 1999 and had its IPO in Sept 2014 -- at an initial price of $92.7. On Apr. 15, the stock price closed at $183.07. In the past two decades, BABA has become a highly regarded global company, and Alibaba stock offers U.S. investors the chance to invest in the growing Chinese consumer and e-commerce markets. As its second decade ends, the group is increasingly focusing on becoming a social hub.Source: Shutterstock Although there might be volatility in BABA shares in the coming weeks as the global e-commerce platform gets ready to report earnings in early May, long-term investors may regard any upcoming dip in the stock price as an opportunity to buy into the shares. Here is why: Alibaba Stock Has Robust FundamentalsOnline shopping represents about 35% of China's total $5.5 trillion retail market -- and BABA has a 53.3% share. Alibaba's Tmall and Taobao are China's largest online business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer marketplaces respectively. One highlight from the company's past quarter is that its mobile monthly active users (MAUs) on the e-commerce platforms have now reached 699 million.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Stocks to Buy for Spring Season Growth For example, with the successful Taobao app, users share product reviews, watch webisodes, or live-stream various tutorial. As the time spent on the app increases, so does the money spent on the e-commerce marketplace.As Alibaba gets ready to release its quarterly results in early May, investors who are seeking capital appreciation should keep in mind the company's dominant position in the Chinese e-commerce space. In its earnings report, investors should pay attention to four areas of revenue: * Core commerce (its largest segment which showed 40% year-over-year, YOY, growth); * Cloud computing (which showed 84% YOY growth); * Digital media and entertainment (which showed 20% YOY growth); and * Innovation initiatives (which showed 73% YOY growth).The company's latest quarterly earnings on Jan 30 showed that BABA's gross profit margin is over 45%. Many analysts expect its revenue to continue growing at double-digit-percentage rates, at an average of 20% annually, through both organic growth and acquisitions.It is also important to note that much of its recent growth has been coming from less populated areas of China. At present, around half of China's 1.4 billion citizens reside in rural areas and reaching out to these consumers has become a top priority for Alibaba.The fact that the company is not highly leveraged also contributes to my upbeat view of Alibaba's management and balance sheet. Its 'current ratio', which measures BABA's ability to pay its short-term debt, stands at a healthy 1.25.Although the Chinese economy may slow further in 2019 or even 2020, its GDP is still expanding at an average annual rate of 6% minimum. In other words, China's growing middle class will continue to drive increases in the country's consumer spending and in China's e-commerce market. And when average Chinese citizens have more money in their pockets, more of it can be spent on online shopping sites like Alibaba. Alibaba Is Diversifying in ChinaBABA's core business of online retail contributes to 88% of revenue. However, it's been branching out into other business ventures. This expansion is made possibly partly due to its steady free cash flow (FCF), which measures a company's ability to produce cash. Investors care a lot about FCF as it can be used in a discretionary manner, for example, to invest in growth opportunities and to strengthen Alibaba's balance sheet further.The e-commerce giant now has multiple equity stakes in growth companies in a plethora of industries, such as Ant Financial, the Chinese payments giant; Ele.me, the local delivery company; and Alibaba Cloud, its cloud computing arm. The rapidly growing cloud business, which has brought in about 6% of total revenues in Q4 2018, has long-term growth potential and may help improve the company's margins further.Like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alibaba is also paying considerable attention to developments in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), two areas that will contribute to its bottom line and possibly boost BABA stock in coming years. The company announced that it is building its own AI chip to be used in various industries, such as self-driving cars.In its efforts to become a hybrid e-commerce platform that offers social shopping experiences to customers, especially to the tech-savvy youth, Alibaba has been increasing its exposure to social media platforms. For example, it owns 31% of Weibo (NASDAQ:WB), the Chinese microblogging company.Alibaba's Taobao marketplace has recently taken an 8% stake in Chinese anime streaming and entertainment company Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI) whose users have an average age of 21. The company, which has about 92 million monthly active users, "covers genres and media formats, including videos, live broadcasting, and mobile games." Through this acquisition, Alibaba opens the door to reaching the Gen Z market in China better.BABA's Youku is now the third biggest video streamer in China, behind Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU). And Alibaba is not shy to invest in the platform to create new content and bring in new subscribers so that it can increase its 22% share in the Chinese video streaming market.Finally, as China increasingly moves into a cashless society, the group's mobile platform, Alipay, is likely to grow exponentially. The digital wallet has already hit 1 billion users in more than 110 countries worldwide. In other words, investors are hopeful that these new ventures will become significant revenue contributors soon. BABA's International Growth Looks PromisingIn addition to its ever-growing presence in China, BABA has investments in start-ups in South Asia and Southeast Asia, too. Southeast Asia is en route to becoming the world's fourth largest economic region by GDP and analysts expect its e-commerce sector to expand tremendously within the next decade.Among the start-ups in those regions in which BABA has stakes are Paytm, an Indian digital-payments provider, and Lazada, a Singapore-based e-commerce company that is growing in overseas markets.The "Amazon of the East" has also set its eyes on moving west through partnerships with European companies, including Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) in Germany and El Corte Ingles in Spain. Many European companies are still discovering new ways to enter the Chinese market, and BABA may enable them to connect with Chinese customers faster. BABA's mobile payment network, Alipay, is also looking to expand in Europe.Such international growth will not only help increase the company's bottom line, but it will also enable BABA to diversify away from China, lowering the macro risk facing BABA stock. Is It Time to Invest in BABA Stock?The answer depends on your investment style and horizon, i.e., whether you are a short-term trader or a long-term-growth investor. BABA stock is a compelling long-term investment. I also believe that most of the adverse effects of the U.S.-China trade war have already been priced into Alibaba stock. If the two sides reach a deal that's seen in a positive light this year, BABA stock is likely to rally.Yet, the markets are likely to continue to be choppy in April and May, especially since many other tech heavyweights are expected to release their quarterly reports. The volatility of Alibaba stock is high, giving it a broad trading range, so short-term traders should proceed with caution in the coming weeks.As a result of the recent impressive run-up in the stock price, short-term technical indicators have become somewhat over-extended. Investors who pay attention to short-term oscillators should note that BABA's professional message has also become "overbought." So, in the next few weeks, there might be some profit taking in Alibaba stock. The Bottom Line on Alibaba StockAlibaba's growth in e-commerce, cloud computing, and other investments throughout China and globally make it a disruptor and a sound and long-term investment. 2019 has given Wall Street a glimpse of how great BABA's comeback could be as, year-to-date, the stock is up 33%.Therefore long-term investors could view any decline in the BABA stock price as an opportunity to buy the stock. By the end of 2020, I expect the stock to reach $230. * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm However, traders with a short-term horizon should remember that there might be some profit-taking in the stock around the earnings report.As of this writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks to Buy for Spring Season Growth * This Is How You Beat Back a Bear Market * 7 Dental Stocks to Buy That Will Make You Smile Compare Brokers The post Alibaba Stock Has Several Catalysts to Drive Its Growth Story Further appeared first on InvestorPlace.
This article is written for those who want to get better at using price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll look at Monolithic Power Systems, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:MPWR) P/E ratio and reflect on what it tells us about the company's sha...
If you look closely, there are signs of progress at FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE). The cybersecurity company has been a disappointment, admittedly: FireEye stock once traded above $90, and now changes hands at $16. But FireEye generally has performed well in the past couple of years, and there's reason to see further improvements ahead.Source: David via Flickr (Modified)Growth in billings (which back out deferred revenue changes) shows demand is increasing, particularly as the company shifts from appliances to software. Operating margins are exceedingly thin, just 3% on an adjusted basis in 2018, which means earnings can jump sharply with even modest expansion.An ~80x multiple to the midpoint of 2019 EPS guidance makes it seem like FEYE stock is pricing in massive growth, but that's not quite the case. Margins can easily double or triple, which alone can move earnings substantially higher in coming years.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut even with that case, and even with FireEye stock basically flat YTD, it's difficult to get too excited. Margin expansion looks priced in. So does decent billings growth. That's particularly true when considering stock-based compensation and the fact that investors shouldn't be willing to trust FireEye just yet. * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm The Case for FireEye StockOn its face, FireEye stock looks ridiculously expensive. Multiples of 4x+ EV/revenue and ~80x earnings hardly seem fitting for a company that at the midpoint of guidance expects billings to grow 7%+ in 2019 - and revenue just 6.5%.Indeed, that guidance was disappointing, and it was the key reason why FEYE fell 12% after Q4 earnings back in February. But even with modest top-line growth, there's still a case that FireEye stock can grow into its valuation. Operating margins last year, as noted, were just 3%.That was a 300 bps improvement over the ~flat figure posted the year before. Full-year guidance projects margins this year of 5-6% - continuing the positive trend.Combine a move to 9-10% margins along with revenue growth and FireEye earnings double in relatively short order. Indeed, FEYE stock jumped last month when JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) analysts upgraded the stock for similar reasons. The firm saw revenue growth accelerating thanks to product improvements - which should leverage operating expenses and continue margin expansion.JPMorgan also pointed out that the shift to software impacts reported revenue and earnings, since upfront sales are recognized over the course of the contract. The firm said billings and cash flow were better metrics. Indeed, FireEye's free cash flow guidance for 2019 suggests generation of $50-$60 million. That's a more reasonable 58x P/FCF multiple at the midpoint.Double that thanks to margin expansion, and continue high-single-digit billings growth into the future, and FEYE can grow into, and beyond the current valuation. The firm gave FireEye stock a price target of $20, which is line with the average Street target at the moment, and suggests over 20% upside. The Case Against FireEye StockThere are reasons for caution, however. For one, it's not guaranteed that margins are going to expand continuously or at least at the same rate as seen in 2018 and 2019. Management did say on the Q4 conference call that it expected headcount to stay relatively flat this year.That's not necessarily going to be the case going forward. FireEye isn't guaranteed to get two or three points of operating leverage each year. If it doesn't, earnings growth might not be good enough. To drive upside, FireEye has to at least get EPS moving toward the $1 level. It's guided to just $0.17-$0.21 this year. Something like 200-300% growth is easily priced in already, and if margin expansion slows, that type of growth is going to take several years.The second issue is that cybersecurity is a tough space with no shortage of options. Indeed I called out 5 cybersecurity stocks for investors of varying styles earlier this month. Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) is the clear industry leader. ProofPoint (NASDAQ:PFPT) is the hot young growth stock. Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) offers a turnaround story of its own.There are plenty of reasons to like the sector but the plethora of options suggests investors can find an easier, better-priced bull case than the one offered by FEYE.Finally - as is so often the case in tech - there's the issue of stock-based compensation. FireEye is targeting operating margins of 5-6% next year, and $50-$60 million in free cash flow. Stock-based compensation last year was $153 million, over 18% of revenue.Even if that figure falls in 2019, it significantly colors non-GAAP results (from which the compensation is excluded). Is FireEye really generating mid-single-digit margins? Is it really generating $50M+ in free cash flow? Or is just accomplishing those feats by diluting shareholders? Good, but Not GreatThe underlying story when it comes to FireEye makes some sense, admittedly. Margins should get better. Billings growth should continue - and may even accelerate.But even with FEYE lagging the market so far this year, the valuation really isn't compelling. There's still a lot of work left to do in terms of building margins and a long time for investors to wait. Competition is going to be intense, and it's tough, as yet, to call out FireEye as a clear leader. Given all that, in a hot sector, it seems like there are better choices out there.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Stocks to Buy for Spring Season Growth * This Is How You Beat Back a Bear Market * 7 Dental Stocks to Buy That Will Make You Smile Compare Brokers The post The Case for FireEye Stock Isn't Strong Enough to Make It a Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
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In the latest trading session, Vishay Intertechnology (VSH) closed at $20.38, marking no change from the previous day.
How Are Cybersecurity Stocks Trading Compared to Valuations?(Continued from Prior Part)Stock returns Cybersecurity (HACK) stock FireEye (FEYE) has taken investors on a volatile ride over the last few years. The stock generated returns of -16% in the
German car parts maker Continental and French rival Valeo have joined Daimler and Bury Techologies to seek an EU antitrust investigation into Nokia's patent licensing practices for cars, the Finnish tech company said on Wednesday. Last month, German carmaker Daimler and Bury complained to the European Commission about Nokia's patents essential to car communications.
Autonomy’s management waged a “vendetta” against Daud Khan, that culminated in Lynch offering to hire JPMorgan as an adviser on its next transaction if he was replaced, Khan told a London court Wednesday. Khan, who worked for JPMorgan’s Cazenove unit until 2011, was testifying on behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. in its $5.1 billion suit against the British software founder. “JPMorgan senior management did not ultimately bow to Dr. Lynch’s pressure and I remained the analyst covering Autonomy," Khan said.
Anyone researching Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE:PLT) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatili...