139.22 +0.32 (0.23%)
Pre-market: 6:01AM EDT
|Bid||0.00 x 900|
|Ask||139.43 x 1100|
|Day's range||138.46 - 139.54|
|52-week range||93.96 - 139.54|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.02|
|PE ratio (TTM)||30.86|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.84 (1.32%)|
|1y target est||N/A|
Microsoft's considerable reach into the corporate world isn't something Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is very concerned about.
(Bloomberg) -- Amsterdam reckons it has more data centers than any other major city in the world, and that’s turned out to be too much of a good thing.The Dutch capital, which lured tech companies with attractive taxes and relatively cheap electricity, is halting the setting up of any more data centers until the end of the year, saying the speed with which they’ve opened is putting an untenable strain on its property market and power networks.“It is necessary to take a break and formulate policy first, so that we can get a better grip on the location of data centers,” said Mariëtte Sedee, Alderman for Spatial Development, Environment and Agricultural Affairs in Haarlemmermeer, a municipality southwest of Amsterdam.The Amsterdam region, which encompasses a radius of about 50 kilometers (31 miles) around the capital, houses about 70% of the data centers in the Netherlands. The area in and around the city is home to about a third of all data centers in Europe, including those run by Interxion Holding NV and EdgeConnex Inc to E-Shelter UK LTD and NLDC BV. Many of them opened in just the last five years.Tech companies have rushed to build such facilities because businesses and individuals increasingly store data online and want rapid access to it. The push for such centers has also coincided with demand spurred by a vast number of online transactions. The Netherlands is among Europe’s largest fintech hubs, with more than 430 companies active in the market, according to Holland Fintech.Digitization HinderedThe Dutch Data Center Association said it was dismayed by the city government’s decision to suspend data-center investments.“Our excellent data center infrastructure is a magnet for (international) tech companies and brings a lot of employment with it,” the group said in a statement. “We are surprised that a rigorous decision like this is being taken right now and so suddenly.”Big technology companies like Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have built large data centers outside Amsterdam, in Middenmeer and Groningen, while laying a cable to the capital. Microsoft’s regional hub for cloud-computing services is in the Netherlands while Google unveiled plans at the end of June to invest 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to expand its data center infrastructure. A new facility will be built in Agriport, about 30 miles north of Amsterdam, while an existing site about 130 miles further north, in Eemshaven, will be expanded.Amsterdam has gone out of its way to lure such companies. The Netherlands also offers a relatively cheap supply of sustainable electricity, according to its foreign investment agency.The suspension of approvals for new data centers is aimed at taking stock of the situation, according to the city government. At present, municipalities have few means at their disposal to steer where data centers are located, or the requirements they must meet, it said. The aim is to ensure data centers occupy as little space as possible and that they fit well -- architecturally -- with the environment, the government concluded.The demand on commercial property and the need for new housing, combined with policies for safeguarding space for other businesses and nature, is putting pressure on Amsterdam’s real estate market. Property prices in Amsterdam have steadily hit records as more companies and people have moved to the city -- many after the Brexit vote in the U.K.[For more on Dutch Housing Turmoil: Amsterdam Housing Market Gets Some Help From Dutch Government.]While the Dutch Data Center Association asserted that its members are at the top of the list in terms of sustainable development “with data centers fully electrified and running for 80% on green energy,” the city says it may need more.“We are going to set requirements in the area of making available residual heat free of charge for the heating of homes and the use of green energy,” said Marieke van Doorninck, Alderman for Sustainability and Spatial Development in Amsterdam.To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Proper in Amsterdam at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Vidya Root, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
China released its second-quarter GDP report today. The country’s GDP expanded 6.2% in the second quarter, marking its slowest growth since 1992.
Shares of IBM (IBM) have easily outpaced the market in 2019 and the firm officially announced the completion of its $34 billion deal to buy Red Hat last week. With this in mind, let's see what investors should expect from the tech firm's Q2 2019 financial results...
A gauge of global stocks advanced on Monday as economic data from China came in as expected, although stocks on Wall Street were little changed as financials showed some weakness in the wake of Citigroup's earnings report. China's second-quarter annual GDP growth rate fell to a 27-year low of 6.2%, as expected, while June reports on industrial production, retail sales and urban investment were above forecasts.
Adobe, Microsoft and SAP are pointing to more customers for their Open Data Initiative, which frees data from silos and puts them together for enrichment.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, UnitedHealth, Costco, Uber and Microchip Technology
Growth of Microsoft Corp.’s cloud service Azure will be key in determining whether the software giant maintains its leading trillion-dollar market cap after its earnings report.
Surprisingly upbeat economic soundings from China pushed world shares towards an 18-month high and steered the Aussie dollar upwards on Monday, as Citigroup delivered Wall Street's first heavyweight beat of the new earnings season. Investors were picking through Citigroup's 7% profit jump and waiting on what could be a prickly G7 finance chiefs meeting in France later in the week, but there was already plenty to get on with. China's second-quarter annual GDP growth rate fell to a 27-year low of 6.2% as expected, but its quarterly growth reading of 1.6% was ahead of forecasts along with June reports on industrial production, retail sales and urban investment.
Oracle (ORCL) fails to win the lawsuit challenging JEDI contract's policies and qualifying criteria. Oracle's opposition to JEDI is likely to weigh on its ongoing business with DoD.
Microsoft's (MSFT) fourth-quarter results are likely to benefit from enterprise strength, robust Office 365 & Azure adoption.
Second-quarter earnings are usually pretty sleepy, with forecasts for the back-to-school and holiday periods tucked away for later review amid summer vacation schedules. You may want to pay attention this year, though.
Microsoft's (MSFT) robust execution and better-than-expected demand from customers for hybrid cloud offerings is likely to act as another tailwind.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The share of income and wealth going to the so-called “1%” has incensed protesters and agitated economists around the world. From the Occupy Wall Street movement to the work of academics such as Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman, attention has zeroed in on what the super-rich earn and own, and on how governments should use taxes for redistribution.Such policy ideas have taken center stage in the primaries of the U.S. Democratic Party, which decide who will challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. One of the runners, Senator Elizabeth Warren, advocates a 2% wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million. She has found unlikely billionaire allies, including the investor George Soros and Facebook Inc.’s co-founder Chris Hughes, who say they’d accept a levy on their riches to “help address the climate crisis, improve the economy, improve health outcomes.”These are all smart people but there’s a danger they may be missing something here. The French economist Philippe Aghion points out that there’s a direct correlation between high levels of inequality in favor of the top 1% and innovation (the creation of new technologies). Given that every country is eager to foster innovation — because it brings huge economic benefits — might there be an argument that a concentration of wealth at the top isn’t necessarily a great evil?Aghion’s view is that instead of seeking to punish the 1%, the main priority for governments should be to ensure that the top strata of the wealthy isn’t allowed to remain a closed shop — that is, new innovators must be free to challenge and replace incumbent companies. Given the entrenched positions of giant technology companies such as Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., this is going to need a bit of work.The London School of Economics professor, who presented his findings in Paris last month, also said there was no evidence that faster innovation would produce more inequality further down the income scale. This is only about the difference between the 1% and the rest. And he said increases in innovation were linked to better social mobility. Aghion believes that new inventions give people the chance to rise up the ladder faster.Indeed, mobility (admittedly at the top end) is the prime motivation for all those technology pioneers in the first place. They want to make enough money to join the ranks of the very wealthiest. Aghion’s conclusion, in line with the tradition of the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, is straightforward: Companies come up with new processes and products to generate and appropriate “rents.” Governments shouldn’t target these extra profits excessively since it would stifle the desire to innovate.This doesn’t mean there’s no role for public policy. Quite the opposite. Aghion also showed how all is not well in innovation-land. The growth rate of total factor productivity, a measure of efficiency, rose sharply in the 10 years after 1996 but then declined. In particular, productivity growth among tech companies and firms that are the biggest technology users appears to have peaked respectively in the mid-1990s and in the mid-2000s, and has slumped subsequently.Meanwhile, as the academics Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout have shown, companies are becoming ever more able to charge markups in excess of their costs. Yesterday’s innovators are enjoying a quietly untroubled and lucrative life today, which may well be down to the barriers to entry they themselves have erected.While many on the left hanker after higher taxes to shrink the share of income and wealth of the 1%, it’s not even clear that they’re an effective tool. Aghion looked at the tax reforms introduced by the French president Francois Hollande in 2012, including a 75% tax on earnings above 1 million euros. He found that the changes prompted more of the ultra-rich to leave France but that any improvement in social mobility — measured as the number of people who have moved upward in the bottom 95% of the income scale between 2011 and 2015 — was extremely limited (although it’s too soon to draw strong conclusions).So if we want to encourage the bursts of innovation that actually support genuine upward mobility, tackling the quasi-monopolistic practices of the biggest companies might be a better use of political energy. For years, Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Google and their ilk have been subject to relatively little antitrust scrutiny. This may be changing: The European Union has fined Google three times for a total of about 8.2 billion euros ($9.3 billion) for abusing its dominant position. There are signs too that U.S. antitrust authorities are finally waking up to this problem.Of course, proponents of higher taxes on wealth and income believe they can foster competition and social mobility. If they fund improvements in education, such thinking goes, that may help today’s poor become tomorrow’s champions. But France’s experience in 2012 poses questions about how much can be raised before wealthy individuals move abroad. In the U.S. there’s a vocal debate over how much Warren’s wealth tax would actually bring in.The rise of left-wing politicians such as Warren and Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn suggests a hunger among younger voters for much greater redistribution. While higher taxation may make the world fairer, there’s little evidence it will make the economy innovate more or grow faster. Robust competition enforcement is a better answer. Before you bash the rich, try busting the trusts.To contact the author of this story: Ferdinando Giugliano at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ferdinando Giugliano writes columns on European economics for Bloomberg Opinion. He is also an economics columnist for La Repubblica and was a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. lost its legal challenge to the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud contract on Friday, clearing the way for the government to award the contract to Amazon.com Inc. or Microsoft Corp.Federal Claims Court Senior Judge Eric Bruggink dismissed the company’s argument that the contract violates federal procurement laws and is unfairly tainted by conflicts of interests. Bruggink said that because Oracle didn’t meet the criteria for the bid, it “cannot demonstrate prejudice as a result of other possible errors in the procurement process.”The decision is a major blow to Oracle, which risks losing a share of its federal defense business if the Pentagon awards the contract to another cloud company. The ruling eliminates a headache for the Pentagon, which has been fending off challenges to its winner-take-all strategy in the cloud contract for more than a year.“Oracle will likely be most threatened by this” decision, said Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst James Bach. “They stand to lose the most ground in the Defense market if the DOD decides JEDI is the end-all be-all.”Oracle looks forward to “working with the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and other public sector agencies to deploy modern, secure hyperscale cloud solutions that meet their needs,” company spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. She didn’t comment on whether the company plans to appeal the decision.Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that the ruling “reaffirms the DOD’s position: the JEDI Cloud procurement process has been conducted as a fair, full and open competition, which the contracting officer and her team executed in compliance with the law.”Amazon Web Services, which was also a defendant in the case, said in a statement that the company “stands ready to support and serve what’s most important – the DoD’s mission of protecting the security of our country.”JEDI ProjectThe project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud -- or JEDI, an acronym intended to evoke “Star Wars” imagery -- is intended to be the Defense Department’s general-purpose cloud for most of its systems and applications.The Pentagon is investing in commercial cloud services, in which computing power and storage are hosted in remote data centers, to consolidate its existing technology products, embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning, and enhance its technical capabilities on the battlefield.Vying for the contract became contentious as legacy tech companies such as Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. waged a fierce lobbying and legal campaign against the Pentagon’s decision to choose just one provider. Although they are long-time government contractors, those companies were late entrants to the cloud computing market and eyed market leader Amazon as a threat to their traditional revenue streams from the Defense Department.In April, the Pentagon eliminated Oracle and IBM from the competition, leaving Amazon and Microsoft as the final contenders. Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, has said the Defense Department expects to make an award in August.Amazon Web Services was widely seen as the front-runner for the contest because it had already won a $600 million contract from the Central Intelligence Agency that helped it obtain much-needed security approvals. Microsoft is catching up to Amazon through its advancements in winning such clearances, as well as a recent cloud deal with the intelligence community and years of experience working with the Defense Department.Partial VindicationThe ruling is a partial vindication for Pentagon officials who have battled months of allegations that its procurement process was corrupt, including the circulation of a 33-page anti-Amazon dossier around Washington that suggested improper personal relationships had given Amazon an edge. The Defense Department has also faced pressure from lawmakers, who criticized the deal for lacking enough competition from industry.There are still potential hurdles for the Defense Department as it moves forward with the bid. Either Microsoft or Amazon could lodge a challenge of the contract with Government Accountability Office or in the Federal Claims Court if they were to lose. Oracle could also appeal the ruling in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.On Friday, Chris Lynch, the former director of the Defense Digital Service, which designed the project, praised his former team for their work on the project.“JEDI will immediately deliver much needed capabilities to the warfighter, deliver incredible capabilities that are built from the best tech, and it will change lives,” he tweeted. “Couldn’t be more proud.”Contested TermsOracle’s lawsuit, which was filed in December, alleged that the Pentagon’s minimum requirements for the contract as well as its decision to pick just one winner violated federal procurement laws designed to ensure competition. The government has said choosing one winner would reduce security risks and better enable it to consolidate its technology products.The suit also claimed that the procurement has been marred by conflicts of interest, including ties between former Defense Department officials and Amazon. At least two of the former employees were offered jobs at the company while working on the contract, according to the lawsuit.The Pentagon determined in its internal review that the relationships had no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process but said the department’s inspector general was looking into potential unethical conduct. Bruggink said in his ruling that the Defense Department’s determination on the allegations was not “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.”(Updates with Pentagon comment in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Nico Grant.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.