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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been involved in the news in some form or fashion for far longer than its longtime rival Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), most prominently with its partnership with NBC for MSNBC that dates back to the mid-'90s; Microsoft exited that pact in 2012. More recently, the software giant revamped its mobile news offerings a couple years ago, including its Microsoft News platform, while still maintaining the MSN network. Meanwhile, Apple has continued to expand its Apple News platform, which now reaches 125 million people every month.
The stock surged past the coveted $200 a share mark to an all-time high of $205.87 on Jun 1 as investors await its quarterly results.
In this episode of Industry Focus: Tech, Dylan Lewis and Motley Fool contributor Brian Feroldi discuss the competitive dynamics between Slack (NYSE: WORK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and the enterprise software segment in general. To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. Dylan Lewis: It's Friday, May, 29th, and we are talking about the ongoing war between Microsoft and Slack.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) shook off some truly bad news on Monday, up about 0.2% at 11:40 a.m. EDT. Just as the U.S. economy was beginning to recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest in major U.S. cities threatened to impede that recovery. Shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) made only small moves as the companies closed some stores on Sunday due to the unrest.
(Bloomberg) -- Okta Inc. projected revenue in the current quarter in line with Wall Street estimates, suggesting that a swell of remote workers has created steady demand for its security software.Sales will be $185 million to $187 million in the period ending in July, the San Francisco-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts, on average, projected $185 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Okta expects a loss, excluding some items, of 1 cent to 2 cents a share, better than analysts’ projection of a loss of 9 cents.The company affirmed its annual revenue forecast of as much as $780 million. The company now projects a narrower adjusted loss in the fiscal year of as much as 23 cents a share compared with an earlier forecast of 36 cents.Okta makes identity-management software used to log in to various systems. The company has benefited from businesses’ need to have employees remotely access corporate systems in a secure way. Chief Executive Officer Todd McKinnon has sought to integrate his technology with programs from various other companies in a bid to compete against larger rival Microsoft Corp. In April, Okta expanded an alliance with onetime foe VMware Inc. to help protect networks and applications from unsafe software and devices. The company announced similar pacts with CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. and Tanium Inc.“The good news for us is only 12% of our business is in Covid-19 impacted industries,” McKinnon said in an interview. “There are other companies going quickly to remote work and doing contracts that got fast-tracked.”Okta’s revenue climbed 46% to $183 million in the period that ended April 30, beating analysts’ estimates of $172 million. Excluding some items, the company lost $8.1 million in the quarter, or 7 cents a share. Analysts projected a loss of 18 cents.Okta’s remaining performance obligations, a measure of future business, jumped 57% in the quarter to $1.2 billion.(Corrects explanation of remaining performance obligations in final paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Google has taken aggressive action to scrub coronavirus conspiracies from its news service and YouTube, at a time when social media companies have come under intense scrutiny for their potential to spread dangerous disinformation about the global pandemic. It has begun labeling misleading videos aimed at U.S. audiences, and has joined with other major internet companies to coordinate a response against what the World Health Organization has described as an “infodemic.”But Google is also placing advertisements on websites that publish the theories, helping their owners generate revenue and continue their operations. In at least one instance, Google has run ads featuring a conspiracist it has already banned.One ad for Veeam, an independent Microsoft 365 backup service, appeared atop one website featuring an article that includes false claims that Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates’s charitable efforts on pandemics and vaccines are a part of a world domination plot. A Microsoft Teams ad ran with a French language article that alleged Gates tried to bribe Nigerian lawmakers to vote for a Covid-19 vaccine. An ad for the telecommunications provider O2 showed up on another article linking the virus to 5G networks, a common conspiracy theory. The ads were placed through Google’s automated system for matching marketers with websites. The Global Disinformation Index, a research group, recently reviewed 49 sites running baseless claims about the virus, including the stories about Gates and 5G networks. Alphabet Inc.'s Google placed ads on 84% of them, generating the majority of the $135,000 in revenue the sites earned each month, according to the Global Disinformation Index’s estimate.Google has faced criticism for funding hyper-partisan publishers such as Breitbart News in the past. The company has avoided making blanket policies about which publishers can run its ads. Instead, it removes ads only from the specific pages carrying content that violates its content policies. It also allows advertisers to blacklist specific sites. The company has been particularly reluctant to take action with political ramifications now that the Trump administration is taking concrete action to punish companies that it argues show bias against conservative viewpoints. Christa Muldoon, a Google spokesperson, said none of the web pages flagged by the Global Disinformation Index violated its policies. “We are deeply committed to elevating quality content across Google products and that includes protecting our users from medical misinformation. Any time we find publishers that violate our policies, we take immediate action,” she said.‘A Huge Issue’ Google's network ad system is a massive machine for automatically generating money for its owner. Websites apply for Google's program, and they add display banners and pop-ups advertisements to their pages. Google's system automatically fills these slots with digital marketing and takes about 30% of the revenue they generate. Although Google offers a level of control to its marquee advertisers, the self-service system sometimes places ads for brands on websites with which they’d prefer not to be associated.Google’s systems have recently placed ads for eBay Inc., Oracle Corp. and HBO on websites like activistpost.com, thegatewaypundit.com and thewashingtonstandard.com, all of which routinely publish conspiracy theories, according to the Global Disinformation Index.Another company that placed ads on the sites in the study was Criteo SA. When contacted by a reporter about an ad mentioned in the report, Luca Sesti, a spokesman for the company, said it was breaking off its commercial relationship with the website in question, thegatewaypundit.com. “In the event we find a partner is not adhering to our policies, we will terminate the relationship immediately,” he said. “We recognize that the dissemination of inaccurate information through ‘fake news’ is a very real problem on the internet.”Often the ads the researchers found made for uncomfortable pairings. The O2 ad ran alongside an article promoting false claims that 5G wireless technology causes people to experience symptoms of coronavirus because it "poisons their cells." “This is a huge issue that Google needs to tackle now,” said Craig Fagan, program director at the Global Disinformation Index. “It is creating a financial incentive for these websites to continue promoting the conspiracy theories. You go to these sites and there are ads galore, pop ups everywhere. The ads are there to get clicks, monetizing each reader.”A Banned Provocateur ReturnsIn one case, Google accepted ad revenue from a company promoting a conspiracy theorist it tried to remove from its own platforms. In early May, YouTube removed the account of David Icke, a British provocateur who often ranted about "Rothschild Zionists" controlling global institutions and has questioned the efficacy of vaccines. In a recent interview about Covid-19, he said that 5G makes people sick and sends out signals that can control their emotions. Icke had posted on YouTube for more than 14 years.Guillaume Chaslot, a former Google engineer and founder of the research group AlgoTransparency, estimated that Icke’s YouTube channel gained 200,000 subscribers during March and April, when he largely touted unproven theories about the virus. Chaslot's research tracks how often YouTube's recommendation system sends viewers to particular videos and channels. In a 10-year span, YouTube promoted Icke's videos about a billion times.YouTube removed Icke’s account for violating its rules about coronavirus disinformation. Since then, Icke has appeared on other YouTube channels and in YouTube ads for Gaia Inc., a streaming network that promotes yoga and alternative healing. "We have to break out of this perceptual prison," Icke said in a voice-over during an ad that ran weeks after his ban. Gaia's network runs several shows featuring Icke. On a recent earnings call, Gaia executives said YouTube had become a "pretty significant" way to get new subscribers.Gaia didn’t respond to requests for comment. Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a U.K. nonprofit, argues that social media platforms should remove Icke entirely. “In a pandemic, lies cost lives," said Ahmed. "Misinformed people put us all at risk through their reckless actions.” His group estimated that Icke earned about $177,000 a year from YouTube ads before the ban.Jaymie Icke, a spokesman for Icke's video service Ickonic, said the earnings estimate was inaccurate because YouTube has restricted ads on controversial videos for several years. "Revenue is nothing and has been for a while," said Icke, who is David Icke’s son. "They removed all ads from the channel two months prior to the full deletion anyway. So that figure has simply been made up."Icke and others blocked from the site are allowed to appear on other accounts and in ads as long as those videos don't break rules, according to Muldoon, the Google spokesperson. While web giants like Google have tried to handle conspiracy theories on their user-generated services, they have also tried to reform their ad systems to handle the growing problem. In October 2018, Google and Facebook Inc. signed a European Union code of conduct on disinformation that contained a commitment to “improve the scrutiny of advertisement placements to reduce revenues of the purveyors of disinformation.”According to Fagan, however, the issue remains a blind spot for the companies. Some of the conspiracy websites attract a large number of visitors, promoting their content across social media platforms.The 49 websites promoting Covid-19 conspiracies that were reviewed by the Global Disinformation Index were just a small sample and offer a snapshot of a much larger program, Fagan said. Last year, the Global Disinformation Index published a study of about 20,000 websites promoting disinformation and conspiracy theories. It estimated that they were generating $235 million every year in advertising revenue, approximately $86.7 million of which was paid out by Google.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
This is forcing data center operators to upgrade their capacities and capabilities to handle the increased load. Chinese giant Alibaba recently announced that it will spend $28 billion to bolster its data center infrastructure over the next three years in preparation for a post-COVID-19 world. Market research firm TechNavio estimates that spending on data center construction could increase at an annual rate of 10% through 2024.
Stocks jumped last week, as investors celebrated the resumption of more normal activity across big parts of the economy. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained over 3%, which put the S&P at just a 6% decline so far in 2020, while the Dow is lower by 11%. A few big-name stocks will announce earnings results over the next few trading days, including Ambarella (NASDAQ: AMBA), Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK), and Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ: ZM).
For retirees or those planning their retirement, stocks that pay their dividends monthly are particularly attractive investments. With its stock 66% below the 52-week high of almost $8.50 per share hit last September -- or even the $7 level it was trading at just before the COVID-19 outbreak struck -- investors have an opportunity to realize significant capital appreciation with Enerplus while continuing to receive their monthly dividend check.
5 Tips to Help You Become a Better Dividend Investor
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The stock market is not the economy. Perhaps that’s never been as clear as during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Even as nations stare down the inevitability of long, deep recessions and unprecedented levels of unemployment, U.S. stocks as measured by the S&P 500 Index have rallied for two straight months after plunging in February and March. There are a few reasons for optimism. First, there was the quick response by the government to pump trillions of dollars into the economy and financial system. And with the rate of new infections slowing, people are emerging from lockdowns into new socially-distanced economies. But the outlook is far from sunny. Covid-19 continues to kill thousands of people globally every day, there is no vaccine, and mandatory social-distancing rules (and fear) are contributing to what is forecast to be the worst recession since the Great Depression and squash corporate earnings for the foreseeable future. And that’s without accounting for a renewed worsening of U.S.-China tensions.Are stocks completely out of control? Bloomberg Opinion columnists have been pondering that very question:Jamie Dimon Captures the Stock Market Moment: “This is a recovery based so far on asset-price inflation rather than any economic data. Central bank and government action may have restored financial valuations but real incomes will still suffer dramatically for a long while to come … The stock market is looking even further into the distance than usual to justify its valuations, which is sometimes hard to square away against a constant stream of dire economic statistics and evaporating company earnings.” — Marcus AshworthFor Markets, It's the Economy's Direction That Matters: “It’s important to recognize that the magnitude of the weakness in the data is not driven by what we would think of as typical business cycle dynamics where a negative shock expands over time throughout the economy. Instead, we literally flipped a switch and told companies to close. You can’t feign surprise at layoffs in the leisure and hospitality sector when restaurants and entertainment venues are all shuttered overnight.” — Tim DuyOptions Market Signals a Dire Picture for Stocks: “The market prices of options play a vital role in informing market participants of what risks lie ahead, and given market efficiency, they often tell a reliable story. When viewed through the lens of options prices, the current equities rally appears tenuous.” — Alankar and ScholesWhat’s Keeping Stocks Afloat? The ‘Microsoft Market’: “No company has defied the pessimism more than Microsoft Corp., and for a lot of sensible reasons. The Seattle-based maker of global business and consumer software led all publicly traded companies most of the year with a $1.4 trillion market valuation.” — Matthew A. Winkler More ReadingStocks Have Reached a Tipping Point: John Authers Stock Prices Make Lofty Promises That Earnings Can’t Keep: Nir Kaissar Bank Stocks Are Either Cheap or Signal More Pain: Brian Chappatta All the Stocks Are the Same Now: Matt Levine Stock Traders Should Heed the Lessons of the 1930s: Gary ShillingThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lara Williams manages Bloomberg Opinion's social media channels.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Workday's (WDAY) expanding partner base is expected to aid it acquire more customers and expand its presence in the HCM market.
Microsoft (MSFT) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
Shares of data analytics firm Datadog (NASDAQ: DDOG) have surged nearly 150% since their IPO last autumn. As a leader in cloud-based software for managing big data and cloud operations, Datadog has a bright future, although much of that future has been priced into its shares at this point. According to tech researcher Gartner, spending on IT operations management is expected to reach $37 billion by 2023.
Dow Jones' journey past 25,000 points this week could mark the beginning of a series of gains ahead, owing to some major tailwinds.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Stocks were supposed to be mired in a bear market after they plunged in March as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered business and sent U.S. unemployment to its highest rate since the Great Depression.Even a 62% recovery by the S&P 500 Index by the middle of May failed to comfort experts like billionaire money managers Stan Druckenmiller and David Tepper , who characterized stocks as the worst investments of their careers. They weren't alone; amid an estimated 47% collapse in gross domestic product, fewer than a quarter of respondents to an Evercore ISI survey said they expected the next 10% move in the market to be higher.So far, though, stocks have held their own as economic indicators sagged, regaining 37% of their value from the low point in mid-March. “The stock market looks increasingly divorced from economic reality,” a New York Times article on the phenomenon proclaimed.Or maybe not — not if you think of it as the Microsoft market. No company has defied the pessimism more than Microsoft Corp., and for a lot of sensible reasons. The Seattle-based maker of global business and consumer software led all publicly traded companies most of the year with a $1.4 trillion market valuation, exceeded only by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. which isn't yet freely traded.Unlike the largest fossil fuel company, which lost 13% since its December $1.9 trillion initial public offering, Microsoft is within 5% of its Feb. 11 record high and appreciated $947 billion since 2015, more than any of the 10 largest companies, including Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The gap between Microsoft and Aramco narrowed to $229 billion from $840 billion, a trend likely to continue amid weak global growth in the months ahead.That's because Microsoft, unlike Aramco, is a mainstay of the global economy, developing and supplying 75% of the operating systems used by computers and servers worldwide, according to the market-analysis company IDC.Microsoft's vast infrastructure and productivity applications enable companies, governments and individuals to navigate increasing social and workforce disruption caused by the pandemic and other disasters stoked by global warming and climate change.As one of the anchors of the Nasdaq 100 Index (more than 80% are technology firms) Microsoft signifies the growing dependence of the economy on these companies, which this year outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average by the most since 2000 (Nasdaq 100 gained 8% as the DJIA lost 10%), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Microsoft could emerge stronger than most of its rivals once the Covid-19 crisis subsides, in our view, as enterprises spend more to upgrade their infrastructure and applications, translating into above-consensus, double-digit sales growth from fiscal 2022-2021,” said Anurag Rana, a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence in a May 15 report. “Its deep portfolio of cloud products, client relationships and security spending are differentiators.”Such confidence is prompted by the past five quarters, when Microsoft earnings for the first time exceeded forecasts by at least 10% after beating the average of analyst estimates in all but one of the 23 quarters since 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Unlike its five more glamorous peers — Facebook Inc., Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (Alphabet) — Microsoft has an uninterrupted growth rate with the least volatility, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.To be sure, the Faang companies and similar technology marvels retained much of their value during the Coronavirus pandemic. Netflix has gained 28% since the end of 2019; Amazon is up 30%, Apple 9%, Facebook 10%. Tesla Inc., the maker of electric, battery-powered vehicles, rallied 93% since the end of 2019 and is worth just $59 billion less than No. 1 Toyota Motor Corp.Tesla anticipated the remotely engaged economy by selling its vehicles online and improving the customer experience with periodic, automatic software upgrades. The traditional auto companies haven't fared well. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, is down 24% since the end of 2019 and General Motors Co., the largest U.S. auto maker, declined 28% and is worth only 26% of Tesla's current market capitalization of $149 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.That's why the Dow, once the benchmark of corporate America, is a shadow of its former self as industrial companies represent just 9% of the average, down from 16% in 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Microsoft already had a great relationship with Fortune 2000 tech departments because of its dominance in Windows and Office software products,” said Bloomberg's Rana in a recent interview. “As these legacy companies look to invest more digitally transforming their business post Covid-19, Microsoft should get its fair share of work” — lifting the stock market as it helps transform the economy.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Bloomberg News, writes about markets.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Microsoft (MSFT) closed at $181.40 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.23% move from the prior day.
Shares of Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY) have popped today, closing out the session with gains of 7% after the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings yesterday. Subscription revenue was $882 million, and the cloud-based human resources platform now has a subscription revenue backlog of $8.2 billion. "The cloud is playing a critical role in today's climate, with organizations leaning on Workday to pivot -- whether it's helping employees learn virtually, closing books remotely, or scenario planning to determine what path to take," CEO Aneel Bhusri said in a statement.
There’s a brand-new $30 trillion investment trend that has investors across the globe giving on up old way of doing things, and focusing more on sustainable investments