150.24 -0.15 (-0.10%)
After hours: 7:59PM EST
|Bid||150.20 x 1800|
|Ask||150.24 x 1300|
|Day's range||150.20 - 151.33|
|52-week range||93.96 - 151.33|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.23|
|PE ratio (TTM)||28.38|
|Earnings date||28 Jan 2020 - 3 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.04 (1.36%)|
|1y target est||160.16|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors are turning their back on fossil fuels.Sweden’s central bank sold its holdings of sovereign debt issued by Canadian and Australian local governments dependent on fossil fuel extraction, the Riksbank said last week. A day later, the European Investment Bank said it would stop providing funding for conventional fossil fuels by 2022.One response might be to yawn. Divestment has “reduced about zero tonnes of emissions. It’s not like you’ve capital-starved people making steel and gasoline,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the Financial Times in September.That view seems to be grounded in solid academic research: One influential 1996 study of the divestment campaign against the shares of companies involved in apartheid South Africa found the moves had “little discernible effect.” Why should the current hue and cry against carbon-intensive fuels be any different?The argument that shareholder divestment campaigns don’t have a significant direct impact is probably right. Equity markets wouldn’t function without a diverse range of contrarian types with a high appetite for risk. To such investors, a major institution selling out of a cash-generative business like tobacco looks like an opportunity to buy at a discount. It’s a different matter on the debt side, however. Indeed, there’s ample evidence that, contrary to Gates’s view, capital starvation is already rampant.“Coal power plant financing is very challenging,” Dharma Djojonegoro, deputy chief executive officer of Indonesian generator PT Adaro Power, told Reuters in June. “In South Africa, out of the four biggest banks, three have stated that they won’t be funding us,” the former chief executive of generator Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., Phakamani Hadebe, told a conference the previous month. The withdrawal of coal finance was raising the cost of funding, the chief executive of Polish generator Enea SA told shareholders in May. Adani Enterprises Ltd. has promised to self-fund a controversial Australian coal mine after local banks refused to stump up the cash.Why should things be so different when it comes to debt?The equity market is kept alive by a large array of investors who like nothing better than to make a quick return by challenging the conventional wisdom, and don’t mind racking up a few losses as long as their better trades leave them ahead at the end of the quarter. Most debt investors are different — risk-averse, fearful of downsides, and more likely to follow the herd.For the syndicated loans that most companies use to fund their day-to-day operations, it’s rare to have more than a dozen banks on the ticket. Bonds are a bit more diverse, especially at the high-yield end — but more cautious players such as insurers and pension funds still have the largest chunk of the U.S. corporate fixed-income market.In this more circumspect corner of the capital markets, even investors who don’t have a problem with fossil-fuel finance may wind up backing out for fear of being left stranded by the retreat of other players, according to Fitch Ratings Inc.“As the pool of investors willing to lend to coal projects diminishes,” the cost of debt issuance and refinancing rates could be affected “over concerns that other lenders will not be forthcoming,” the credit company’s macro research affiliate wrote in a May report.Energy is already the highest-risk end of the bond market, with option-adjusted spreads — a measure of the extra return demanded by lenders over the government bond rate — well above other sectors.Even the debt binge that drove sovereign yields below zero across Europe this year has failed to set the market alight. Issuance of non-yuan debt by upstream and integrated oil and gas companies and coal producers is running 15% below its 2017 peak year-to-date, compared to a 32% increase in overall corporate bond issuance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As a share of total corporate issuance, the fossil-fuel extraction sector is running at its lowest levels since 2005, the data show.(2)Gates’s history makes him peculiarly ill-suited to understand how damaging debt divestment can be. Microsoft Corp. funded its growth from earnings rather than loans, and has held net cash in every fiscal year since 1990, in part because software is about the most capital-light industry that’s ever been invented. Over the past decade, a dollar of fixed assets has been sufficient to produce $15.23 of revenue at the median software company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One common factor of most sin stocks is that they’re also relatively capital-light. Tobacco companies generate $3.68 of revenue for each dollar of fixed assets, and even aerospace and defense companies achieve $4.45, according to Bloomberg’s data. Resource extraction couldn’t be more different: Over the same period, a dollar has produced just 63 cents of revenue for coal, oil and gas.(1) That makes these companies unusually vulnerable to changes in the appetites of lenders.At present, more than 100 financial institutions have put restrictions on their funding for thermal coal, and 41 insurers have divested from or restricted their coverage of the sector.The little coal financing activity that’s still going on is largely dependent on government support from China, Japan and South Korea. State investors already account for 77% of coal power finance in Asia, and it’s increasingly likely that withdrawal of more investors could result in a “domino effect within the industry,” according to Fitch.Don’t underestimate how quickly that could change things. Finance is the lifeblood of business. Cut off its flow, and the heart won’t keep beating for long.(1) We've excluded yuan-denominated debt because so much of the sector is dominated by state-owned lenders.(2) We've based our calculation on property, plant and equipment net of depreciation.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com – Shares of messaging platform Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) slumped on Tuesday on competition fears as a rival service from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) appears to be gaining momentum following a surge in active users.
Investing.com – Stocks struggled to keep the big rally moving Tuesday, but weakness in retail stocks pulled the Dow lower and kept the S&P; 500 in check.
NVIDIA (NVDA) and Microsoft attempt to democratize the utilization of supercomputer by enabling companies to rent the robust capabilities of one according to demand.
Baker Hughes (NYSE:BKR), C3.ai, and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today announced an alliance to bring enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to the energy industry on Microsoft Azure, an industry-leading cloud computing platform. This alliance will enable customers to streamline the adoption of scalable AI solutions for the energy industry that help promote safety, reliability, and sustainability. It leverages the significant energy technology expertise of Baker Hughes, C3.ai’s proven AI platform and applications, and the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform.
(Bloomberg) -- Google is taking over a chunk of Vodafone Group Plc’s data operations to help the world’s second-biggest mobile phone company identify cost savings using artificial intelligence.Vodafone will shift data processing and storage from its own premises to Google’s cloud and use Google’s real-time analysis tools to develop new services for business clients and streamline the carrier’s operations in 24 countries, the companies told Bloomberg.It will become “the brains of our business as we transform ourselves into a digital tech company,” said Simon Harris, Vodafone’s head of big data delivery.Alphabet Inc.’s Google is vying with Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. for dominance in data centers and cloud computing. Vodafone has launched an internal platform dubbed “Neuron” to aggregate and crunch the ocean of data from its customers and networks. Chief Technology Officer Johan Wibergh said Vodafone can’t do that without Google’s capabilities.The companies didn’t give the price of the contract.Many phone companies are closing their aging data centers and outsourcing the work to a new generation of huge server farms developed by U.S. tech giants. Telecom Italia SpA has partnered with Google to sell cloud and edge computing services to corporate clients. Britain’s BT Group Plc is shifting from owning its data infrastructure to partnering with tech giants and selling complementary services such as system integration and cybersecurity.The Google deal is much more cost-effective than trying to build the same technological tools in-house, said Wibergh by phone. Vodafone is not selling its own data centers as they are still being used for other things, he added.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Seal in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at firstname.lastname@example.org, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today we searched for highly-ranked, large-cap stocks using our Zacks Stock Screener that dividend investors might want to consider buying. All three of the stocks also happened to be Dow components from completely different industries...
(Bloomberg) -- Google announced plans to buy enterprise software firm CloudSimple Inc., another sign the search giant isn’t letting a flurry of antitrust investigations interrupt its expansion strategy.CloudSimple will join Google Cloud, a priority business for the Alphabet Inc. unit. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.The acquisition could help Google get a foothold in a corner of the cloud-computing market where larger rivals, Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., have run ahead. CloudSimple builds tools that help companies move information, applications, databases and other systems from in-house data centers to the public cloud.The Santa Clara, California-based startup specializes in VMware virtualization software, which helps businesses run corporate networks and business software more efficiently. VMWare’s large enterprise customer base has made it an attractive partner for the leading public cloud providers, including Google.In a Google blog post announcing the deal, Ajay Patel, a VMware Inc. senior vice president, said his company will continue to work with CloudSimple.In recent months, U.S. regulators and Congress have opened multiple inquiries into Google over competition concerns, including the company’s history of acquisitions. Since those probes began, Google has announced multibillion-dollar takeovers of Looker Data Sciences Inc., a cloud company, and Fitbit Inc., a device-maker.Google has argued that it has a small market share in cloud computing, enterprise software and consumer devices. Antitrust officials cleared Google’s $2.6 billion bid for Looker in early November.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at email@example.com;Nico Grant in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department No. 2 official explained the reasoning behind an investigation of large technology platforms, underscoring the department’s commitment to the probe at the highest levels.Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a speech Monday at an American Bar Association antitrust forum in Washington that there are “serious and substantive issues” regarding competition by the largest online platforms. While he noted that top department officials are keeping close tabs on the inquiry, no conclusions have been reached yet about the sector, he said.“Even dynamic industries characterized by rapid technological progress can be monopolized to the detriment of consumers,” Rosen said.The Justice Department is investigating whether Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. thwart competition laws as part of its broader inquiry into digital marketplaces. Attorney General Bill Barr, who has antitrust experience, authorized the probe and is closely watching it.Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons, who spoke after Rosen, said his agency is also conducting “multiple” probes of technology companies. Facebook has disclosed it’s also being investigated by the FTC.Rosen compared the technology giants to the film industry, which was the subject of multiple antitrust actions in the 20th century. He also referenced the U.S. case against Microsoft Corp. that began in the late 90s and ended in settlement.He cited an appeals court ruling that the software giant’s “operating system was a monopoly” because it was so broadly used that consumers and developers alike were reluctant to switch to competitors.Some antitrust scholars have said that Google, Facebook and other contemporary tech giants are dominant because they benefit from so-called network effects in which platforms become more valuable the more they are used. The companies say they face robust competition.Rosen also acknowledged there are other concerns about the companies that go beyond antitrust that may need to be addressed.“We do not view antitrust law as a panacea for every problem in the digital world,” Rosen said. “We are keeping in mind other tools in areas such as privacy, consumer protection, and public safety as part of a broader review of online platforms, to whatever extent warranted.”To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org;David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com – Stocks finished at new closing highs Monday and hit intraday highs in the process. The gains were modest, however, because of unease about whether a U.S.-China trade deal really will get done.
The dual tailwinds of renewed trade optimism and stronger-than-expected corporate earnings drove the rally. The bullishness was further fueled by rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.
Investing.com – Stocks were modestly higher Monday afternoon, and the major indexes hit new intraday highs on the hope of some sort of U.S.-China trade deal.
We highlight blue-chip companies slated to gain in the near term as they have large market capitalization, strong balance sheet and solid cash flow.
Microsoft said on Monday it was updating the privacy provisions of its commercial cloud contracts after European regulators found its deals with European Union institutions failed to protect data in line with EU law. The EDPS, the EU's data watchdog, opened an investigation in April to assess whether Microsoft's contracts with the European Commission and other EU institutions met data protection rules.
The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF has nearly reclaimed its old high. Microsoft has been a big help, but seeing former leaders bounce back, building right side of bases.