|Day's range||24.60 - 25.85|
Wall Street is betting that the most popular U.S. technology and internet stocks can keep outshining the broader equities market but their latest rally leaves little room for error this earnings season. Investors dashed for the exits after Tuesday's less-than-stellar quarterly report from Netflix - the N in FAANG - an acronym for the group of U.S. tech companies that have been the biggest drivers of the bull market. Hopes remained high for the other FAANGs - Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet, as well as Microsoft, ahead of their financial reports.
Robust adoption of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) graphics cards and EPYC deal wins are expected to have driven top-line growth in fourth-quarter 2019.
Microsoft's (MSFT) fiscal second-quarter results are likely to reflect gains from strength in Azure and robust adoption of business productivity offerings.
Popular mobile video app TikTok said on Friday it has hired attorney Erich Andersen from Microsoft to serve as the company's global general counsel, reporting to president Alex Zhu. Andersen was most recently Microsoft's chief intellectual property counsel, bringing expertise in an area of key concern to TikTok as it builds out its music offerings. TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, allows users to create and share short videos that can be set to snippets of songs from its music library.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Technology’s most influential leaders have a new message: It’s not us you need to worry about -- it’s artificial intelligence.Two years ago big tech embarked on a repentance tour to Davos in response to criticism about the companies’ role in issues such as election interference by Russia-backed groups; spreading misinformation; the distribution of extremist content; antitrust violations; and tax avoidance. Uber Technologies Inc.’s new chief even asked to be regulated.These problems haven’t gone away -- last year tech’s issues were overshadowed by the world’s --- but this time executives warned audiences that AI that must be regulated, rather than the companies themselves.“AI is one of the most profound things we’re working on as humanity. It’s more profound than fire or electricity,” Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland on Wednesday. Comparing it to international discussions on climate change, he said, “You can’t get safety by having one country or a set of countries working on it. You need a global framework.”The call for standardized rules on AI was echoed by Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.“I think the U.S. and China and the EU having a set of principles that governs what this technology can mean in our societies and the world at large is more in need than it was over the last 30 years,” Nadella said.It’s an easy argument to make. Letting companies dictate their own ethics around AI has led to employee protests. Google notably decided to withdraw from Project Maven, a secret government program that used the technology to analyze images from military drones, in 2018 after a backlash. Researchers agree.“We should not put companies in a position of having to decide between ethical principles and bottom line,” said Stefan Heumann, co-director of think tank Stiftung Neue Verantwortung in Berlin. “Instead our political institutions need to set and enforce the rules regarding AI.”The current wave of AI angst is also timely. In a few weeks the EU is set to unveil its plans to legislate the technology, which could include new legally binding requirements for AI developers in “high-risk sectors,” such as health care and transport, according to an early draft obtained by Bloomberg. The new rules could require companies to be transparent about how they build their systems.Warning the business elite about the dangers of AI has meant little time has been spent at Davos on recurring problems, notably a series of revelations about how much privacy users are sacrificing to use tech products. Amazon.com Inc. workers were found to be listening in to people’s conversations via their Alexa digital assistants, Bloomberg reported last year, leading EU regulators to look at more ways to police the technology. In July, Facebook Inc. agreed to pay U.S. regulators $5 billion to resolve the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. And in September Google’s YouTube settled claims that it violated U.S. rules, which ban data collection on children under 13.Read more: Thousands of Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell AlexaPrivacy DebateInstead of apologies over privacy violations, big tech focused on how far it has come in the past few years in terms of looking after personal data.Facebook Vice President Nicola Mendelsohn said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday that the company has rolled out standards similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation in other markets.“Let’s be very clear, we already have regulation, GDPR,” Mendelsohn said in response to a question about the conversations Facebook is having with regulators. “We didn’t just do it in Europe where it was actually regulated. We thought it was a very considered and useful way of thinking about things so we actually rolled a lot of that out around the world as well.”Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer, also spoke at a separate conference in Brussels this week about how the company is working to find ways to minimize the amount of customer data it needs to collect.“We’re right now really focused on doing more with less data,” Enright said at a data-protection conference on Wednesday. “This is counter-intuitive to a lot of people, because the popular narrative is that companies like ours are trying to amass as much data as possible.”Holding on to data that isn’t delivering value for users is “a risk,” he said.But regulators are still devising on new laws to protect user data. The U.S. is working on federal legislation that calls for limits on sharing customer information and, similar to GDPR, require companies get consent from consumers before sharing data with third parties. Facebook, Amazon, Apple Inc. and Microsoft all increased the amount they spent on lobbying in Washington last year, with some of those funds going to pushing industry-friendly privacy bills.And even though tech executives called for AI rules, they still cautioned against regulating too much, too fast. Pichai reminded lawmakers that existing rules may already apply in many cases. Lawmakers “don’t need to start from scratch” he said.\--With assistance from Nate Lanxon and Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at email@example.com;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Jillian WardFor 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) -- Intel Corp. gave bullish quarterly and full-year revenue forecasts, driven by a surge in demand for chips that power large cloud-computing centers. The shares jumped as much as 7.8% in late trading.Sales in the current quarter and in 2020 will be well above what analysts had predicted and are outpacing normal industry trends, the chipmaker said on Thursday. Fourth-quarter revenue and profit also topped Wall Street’s highest estimates. As the biggest provider of server chips, Intel is benefiting from a rush to build capacity in data centers operated by companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc’s AWS.“We’re well ahead of our expectations in the quarter and it’s continuing into this year,” Chief Financial Officer George Davis said in an interview. “That’s just a great dynamic.”Revenue from cloud-service providers, which offer computing power and storage via the internet, surged 48% in the fourth quarter, fueling a gain in sales of the company’s most lucrative chips. A spike in demand from these buyers is helping to ease concerns that Intel was losing its technology leadership in computer processors and faced a competitive threat from customers’ own development efforts. Some high-end server chips cost more than compact car.Revenue in the current period will be about $19 billion, and profit will be $1.23 a share, excluding certain items, Intel said. That compares with average analysts’ projections for $17.2 billion and $1.04 a share. Sales in 2020 will be about $73.5 billion, the company said late Thursday in a statement. Analysts were looking for $72.2 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company’s annual forecast implies growth will abate in the second half of the year, Davis said. Big purchases from data-center owners tend to come in lumps, followed by slower periods when the components are being built into computers.“The hard part is forecasting when they’re going to slow down and digest,” he said.Fourth-quarter sales rose 8% to $20.2 billion, the Santa Clara, California-based company said. Analysts on average had predicted $19.2 billion. Net income was $6.9 billion, or $1.58 a share, compared with estimates for $1.23 a share. Gross margin, or the percentage of sales remaining after deducting the cost of production, was 58.8% in the quarter.The largest U.S. chipmaker has fallen behind rivals in semiconductor-manufacturing technology, sparking concern on Wall Street about sales growth and future profit. In November, the company told PC customers inventory remained tight because of limited manufacturing capacity. Still, executives have said that Intel is targeting a broader range of markets and the company has plenty of room to expand in new areas, such as networking and the auto industry.Intel will increase spending on new plants and equipment to $17 billion in 2020 in part to boost production to a point where it’s not only able to fill all customer orders, but build inventory, Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan said on a conference call. After again failing to meet all demand in the fourth quarter, avoiding a repeat of that mistake is one of his biggest priorities, he said.The company’s struggles with its move to advanced 10-nanometer production are beginning to ease, Swan said. Intel plans to have server chips built with that technique available in the second half.Demand for personal computers held up well in the recent period, Davis said. Global PC shipments rose 2.3% from a year earlier in the December period as companies upgraded to a new version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Intel expects the market this year for PCs to be flat from 2019 as that replacement cycle comes to an end.Intel has more than 80% market share in PC processors, and it controls even more of the server-chip market. In that business, semiconductor rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has fielded new products, and companies such as Amazon have said they’re designing some chips on their own -- leading some analysts to predict Intel would begin to lose business and struggle to grow this year. Intel executives said that part of the reason they’re predicting less growth for the second half is the expectation that competition will intensify.So far, there’s no sign of that hurting the company’s performance. In the fourth quarter, Intel’s data center unit reported a sales increase of 19% to $7.2 billion. PC-chip sales gained 2% to $10 billion. The company’s programmable-chip unit was the only division to post a decline. Sales at the Mobileye unit, which makes chips used to help vehicles pilot themselves, grew 31% to $240 million.(Updates with comment from CEO in 10th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.comFor 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.
Microsoft shares have surged 55% in the last year. Here's what investors can expect from the tech giant's Q2 fiscal 2020 earnings results and beyond...
The top stories here are Apple's ITP vulnerability, Amazon's motion to stop work under the JEDI contract, Amazon's soaring music subs and the UK digital tax.
Quarterly earnings results from Comcast, Southwest, American Airlines, and more. And a look at why Pure Storage, Inc. (PSTG) is a Zacks Rank 1 (Strong Buy) stock right now, as it trades under $20 a share...
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) on Thursday reported a stronger-than-expected outlook on profit in the upcoming quarter after topping analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom lines, led by strong growth in its data-center business. For the first quarter, Intel said it expected to report earnings of $1.30 a share on revenue of $19 billion, above estimates for earnings of $1.03 a share and revenue of $17.2 billion. Intel had announced EPS of $1.42 on revenue of $19.19 billion in the previous quarter.
"We have found an agreement with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and we are still in the process of defining the basis with the OECD."
Amazon, originally considered to be the favorite to win the award, had indicated last week that it would file a temporary restraining order to require the Pentagon and Microsoft to hold off beyond initial activities for the contract. Known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud, or JEDI, the contract is intended to give the military better access to data and technology from remote locations.
Apple stock has skyrocketed nearly 110% in the last year. Now the question is should investors think about buying the iPhone giant's stock before Apple reports its Q1 2020 earnings results on Tuesday, January 28?
Check out these three high-yield tech stocks we found using our Zacks Stock Screener that dividend investors might want to buy right now...
(Bloomberg) -- Four of the five biggest U.S. technology giants boosted their lobbying spending last year as they battled charges of unfair competition, sought to shape privacy legislation and pursued large government contracts in an increasingly hostile Washington.Facebook Inc. led spending increases by Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and Microsoft Corp. Search giant parent Alphabet Inc. was the lone member of the quintet with a decline.Alphabet’s Google reported a 44% decline in 2019 spending, to $11.8 million from $21.2 million. The company spent much of last year reshuffling its Washington office, including ending its relationships with more than a dozen lobbyists at six outside firms. It also replaced Susan Molinari, a former Republican House member, with Mark Isakowitz, a onetime GOP Senate aide, to head up its Washington policy shop.The tech industry has become one of the biggest spenders in Washington and is rivaling traditional lobbying powerhouses, including the pharmaceutical industry and big business lobbies.Together, the five biggest tech companies by market value shelled out $62.2 million in 2019, 3% less than what they spent the year before. That topped the biggest spender among the business groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $58.2 million to lobby in 2019.It was also more than double the $28.9 million spent by the pharmaceutical industry’s lead trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which typically conducts the lion’s share of the industry’s lobbying.On a company level, the five largest U.S. drug makers -- Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. -- spent $34.7 million in lobbying last year, 44% less than the five biggest tech companies.While the amounts spent on lobbying by the tech giants pale in comparison with the billions in revenue each company receives and, in some cases now, their trillion-dollar market values -- money can buy influence in the nation’s capital.The disclosures, which are filed quarterly with Congress, include amounts spent to weigh in on legislation or other pressing matters before Congress, the White House and Executive Branch agencies. The reports were due Tuesday.Existential ThreatsWith their broad portfolios, U.S. tech companies have been worried about everything from Trump’s trade deals to stalled privacy legislation and drone regulations. But perhaps their most existential threats are the antitrust probes.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are reviewing the biggest internet platforms to determine if they are harming competition. The FTC is scrutinizing Facebook and Amazon, while the Justice Department is investigating Google and is also looking at Facebook.Large coalitions of state attorneys general are likewise considering cases against Facebook and Google.For more: Justice Department Questions Publishers in Ongoing Google ProbeIn addition, the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, led by Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, has a sprawling inquiry underway. Cicilline has hauled executives before his subcommittee and peppered the companies with exhaustive questions about their business practices.Facebook surged to the front of the pack among the tech behemoths. The social-media company spent $16.7 million last year, its highest-ever yearly spending and up 32% from $12.6 million in 2018. It lobbied on such issues as intellectual property, cybersecurity, privacy, cryptocurrency and election integrity, according to the annual lobbying disclosures.E-commerce giant Amazon was close behind Facebook, upping its spending to a record $16.1 million from $14.2 million. Despite the increase, its public policy shop has experienced a number of high-profile failures. In October, for example, Amazon learned that it lost a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract to rival Microsoft.Amazon has blamed that loss on presidential meddling. Numerous parts of the “evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified,” the company said in November.It doesn’t help that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump have been feuding since before Trump was elected and that Bezos owns the Washington Post, which Trump sees as one of his fiercest critics.Apple RecordApple’s $7.4 million lobbying outlay last year was also a record. That amount was up 10% from $6.7 million in 2018. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has had a better working relationship with Trump than have many of his tech rivals. He was among several dozen global tech leaders who attended a breakfast with the president at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.But Cook is also in the hot seat for his company’s refusal to help the FBI unlock an encrypted iPhone used by the Saudi air force student who allegedly killed three people at a Florida naval base.Microsoft, which spent $10.2 million on lobbying last year, up from $9.5 million the year before, has largely avoided the political pitfalls of its peers. Winning the Pentagon’s lucrative cloud contract was a major victory, considering its underdog status. In August, Pentagon vendors also were awarded a contract worth as much as $7.6 billion to provide Microsoft software to the Defense Department.Privacy PushSome of the big checks Facebook, Google and others are writing in Washington are going to lobbying firms and trade groups pushing industry-friendly privacy bills. The industry hoped to see federal privacy legislation adopted last year, but that didn’t happen.California’s new privacy law went into effect Jan. 1, becoming the most influential U.S. privacy statute. New York, Washington State and others are considering their own privacy bills, which could create a patchwork of state privacy regulations, making compliance difficult for global tech giants.The tech companies, hoping to avoid that, are again lobbying Congress to adopt a federal privacy law before the 2020 elections.Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co., after minimal outlays, started spending heavily on lobbying in the second half of last year as it found itself in the crosshairs of the Trump administration. In May, the Commerce Department placed the company on a blacklist designed to cut it off from U.S. suppliers.Huawei spent $1.1 million in the fourth quarter and nearly $3 million for the full year, up from $165,000 in 2018. The increase was primarily to pay lobbyist Michael Esposito, who touts his connections to Trump, though the president has said he doesn’t know him.Trade WarsIn the final months of 2019, companies and trade groups intensified their lobbying on international trade issues as the Trump administration sought to end the tariff war with China and pass a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.Earlier this year, the U.S. and China signed what they billed as the first phase of a broader trade pact that commits China to do more to crack down on the theft of American technology and avoid currency manipulation. The Senate passed Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement or USMCA, which replaced the North America Free Trade Agreement, following House passage late last year.The National Association of Manufacturers’ spending on federal lobbying rose to $8.4 million in the last three months of 2019, a nearly 313% jump compared with the third quarter, and $14.6 million in all of 2019. The trade group lobbied on both China and North American trade issues, according to its filings.\--With assistance from Naomi Nix.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Molly Schuetz at email@example.com, Paula DwyerFor 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.
Microsoft (MSFT) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.