|Day's range||3.6600 - 3.8500|
The cybersecurity specialist's fiscal third-quarter results exceeded expectations, but a closer look reveals a less rosy picture.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the odds-on favorite to be the first company to cross the $2 trillion market cap threshold according to Wells Fargo Securities analyst Philip Winslow, citing strong growth in Microsoft's Azure cloud computing business.
Here's why stocks continue to be in rally mode despite the horrors sweeping America right now.
The increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence and 5G technology are threatening to drive up energy consumption, putting the technology sector on par with the aviation industry in the amount of CO-2 it releases, according to a leading researcher at Gartner. While data centers, tasked with processing the world’s data, have made significant investments to reduce energy consumption over the last several years, David Cappuccio, Gartner VP of Research, says that dynamic is likely to shift dramatically with the growing use of analytics and machine learning.
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.
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) -- Zoom Video Communications Inc. demonstrated that paying customers have flocked to its virtual-meeting software, transforming the once-niche appmaker into a popular communications service and positioning it to benefit as the nature of work, school and life is upended.Zoom reported sales soared in the three months ended April 30, when the coronavirus pandemic spurred a wave of stay-at-home orders for millions of people worldwide. The company expects the trend to continue the rest of the year, and projected that revenue and profit will leapfrog investors’ earlier expectations.“A shift in work culture triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic urges corporations to pull forward adoption of cloud-based video-conferencing tools,” Boyoung Kim, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote Tuesday in a note. Zoom’s “intuitive technology and strong brand recognition should help the company pick up market share in video conferencing, outpacing the industry.”Sales in the current quarter will be as much as $500 million, the San Jose, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Revenue in the third and fourth fiscal quarters should be consistent with that performance, Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg said during a conference call. Overall, Zoom expects to generate as much as $1.8 billion this fiscal year, which is almost triple the size of the business last year. Analysts, on average, estimated $930.8 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Zoom’s shares slid about 1% Wednesday morning in New York after closing at a record $208.08 on Tuesday. The stock has tripled this year.Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has tried to ensure that his virtual-meeting platform can cope with a swell of demand from people staying home to curtail the spread of Covid-19. While security and privacy issues plagued the system early in the quarantine, Zoom has become an essential service, attracting more than 300 million participants some days, up from 10 million in December. The software maker allows gatherings of as long as 40 minutes for no charge. While Zoom has attracted more buzz than corporate rivals, the results Tuesday suggested it can attract the paying clients needed to compete against services from Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.The software maker said its potential market has expanded beyond an estimate of $43 billion by 2022 made by analyst IDC, according to a 2019 regulatory filing. And executives said they have expanded hiring plans to take advantage of the opportunity. While Steckelberg warned that the lifting of stay-at-home orders may cause fewer people to use Zoom’s software, the company said it hadn’t seen the numbers decline yet in areas that have reopened.Many educational institutions that teach through Zoom have decided to host virtual classes through at least the fall, pointing to robust demand for the app through the rest of the year. To continue growing at a torrid pace, Zoom will sell its Phone software and Rooms hardware products to existing customers, Steckelberg added. Yuan vowed not to rely on advertising to make money from its legions of free users.In the fiscal first quarter, revenue increased about 170% to $328.2 million. Analysts, on average, expected $203 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some items, was 20 cents a share, compared with analysts’ average projection of 9 cents.The company said its expects adjusted profit in the fiscal year will be $355 million to $380 million, or $1.21 to $1.29 a share. Analysts had estimated 46 cents, just more than Zoom’s earlier forecast. The company has been spending to bolster its network capacity, including by buying cloud-computing services from Oracle Corp. during the pandemic. Zoom also continues to use Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud service, which provided the majority of the new capacity.Zoom’s daily meeting participants have dipped a bit below the blockbuster 300 million figure revealed in April, but Steckelberg said the company expects to consistently surpass that milestone in the future.The company said it ended the quarter with about 265,400 customers with more than 10 employees, a more than fourfold increase from the same period a year earlier. The company now has 769 corporate clients that have spent more than $100,000 on Zoom’s products over the last 12 months, about double from a year earlier.With Zoom’s popularity has come controversy over the company’s security practices. Trolls have invaded myriad meetings, religious gatherings and other events, to share pornography and shout profanity or racial epithets, in a phenomenon known as “Zoombombing.” The company highlighted or created a raft of tools users can employ to prevent the virtual attacks, including passwords and waiting rooms.There also were instances when Zoom calls were routed through servers in China even when no participant was based there and users were unwittingly sending metadata to Facebook Inc. when they signed in. Zoom put an end to both practices. The company pledged to commit to bolstering privacy over all other concerns for three months, purchasing a secure-messaging company, Keybase, to bring the highest standard of encryption to the platform, and hiring cybersecurity experts to guide safety efforts.Corporate clients will get access to Zoom’s end-to-end encryption service now being developed, but Yuan said free users won’t enjoy that level of privacy, which makes it impossible for third parties to decipher communications.“Free users for sure we don’t want to give that because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose,” Yuan said on the call.(Updates with shares in fifth 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.
Shares of Baozun (NASDAQ: BZUN) were moving higher today after the Chinese e-commerce services provider posted better-than-expected earnings results in its first quarter. Baozun said revenue rose 18.4% in the quarter to $215.2 million, beating estimates at $202.3 million, and higher-margin services revenue increased 22.9% to $116.2 million. Total gross merchandise volume, GMV, increased 17.6%, and the number of its brand partners, which include multinational companies like Nike, Starbucks, and Microsoft, rose from 200 to 239.
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.
(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.
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).
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.
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.