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Cloudera's (CLDR) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results reflect strong growth in annualized recurring revenues, offset by higher expenses.
Does the December share price for Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we...
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s massive investment in WeWork triggered a multi-billion-dollar writedown and a rare apology from founder Masayoshi Son. But one analyst argues the deal is likely to work in the end and SoftBank will have the “last laugh.”Chris Lane of Sanford C. Bernstein says WeWork can have a bright future if SoftBank overhauls the business plan and more carefully focuses on the evolution of the corporate office market. He likens WeWork’s business model to Starbucks’s, where branding, consistency and global scale give it an advantage over the competition.Lane argues WeWork can achieve profitability if it pulls back on extraneous areas and calms a frenetic pace of expansion to focus on filling up existing space. That will allow it to grab an estimated 8% of an emergent market for pre-fitted offices for corporate clients, almost like a white-label tech gadget or home appliance.“We think investors should think of the basic business as being similar to Starbucks,” Lane wrote in a 21-page research report. “While profitable, the scale of profits that can be generated from a single site is small. Starbucks as a corporation only makes sense if you plan to open thousands of outlets.”It’s a contrarian take on a WeWork deal that has been widely viewed as a fiasco. After SoftBank invested in the co-working startup, its planned initial public offering fell apart as investors balked at its enormous losses and conflicted governance. Son conceded “there was a problem with my own judgment” as he announced the writedown last month. SoftBank has put about $14 billion into a startup that’s now valued at less than $8 billion.The Japanese company’s shares are down about 30% from their peak in April. They were little changed on Friday.After discussions with management, Lane explains they see an opportunity for WeWork to move beyond the niche of providing space for entrepreneurs to offering flexible real estate for a broad range of companies. He calls this “managed space as a service” and compares it to “software as a service,” which is the way many companies now buy from Microsoft Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc. WeWork, Lane says, sees the potential to make $500 per month on memberships as “an on-going annuity,” far more than software generates.SoftBank named Marcelo Claure, the former chief executive at Sprint Corp., executive chairman of WeWork and put him in charge of the turnaround effort. Under his leadership, Lane says the company will be able to focus on profitability by stopping any incremental expansion, filling its existing space and slashing overhead by getting rid of expansion staff and non-core businesses. WeWork’s ability to gather data about office-use and optimize layouts -- while not entirely substantiated -- could prove disruptive to the industry, he added.He estimates that WeWork’s revenue will rise from $720 million a quarter to about $1.5 billion if it can push occupancy to 90% on its current portfolio. Once profitable, WeWork will once again try to go public, perhaps in 2023, and then raise additional capital to resume expansion, albeit more slowly than before.With a discounted cash flow model, Lane projects WeWork would have an enterprise value of $28.8 billion in 2025. That would make SoftBank’s 80% stake worth about $19.1 billion, roughly 40% more than the estimated $13.8 billion the company and its Vision Fund have invested.“We believe WeWork’s valuation is justified if you believe in the long-term, ‘office space’ will be a managed service outsourced to professionals – and that WeWork will be the leading global player,” Lane wrote. “Despite the huge embarrassment WeWork has been for SoftBank this year, we suspect SoftBank will have the last laugh when they bring the company back to market in a few years – bigger and profitable.”(Updates with shares in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 57.14% and 5.02%, respectively, for the quarter ended October 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?
Does AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (EQH) have what it takes to be a top stock pick for momentum investors? Let's find out.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The merger floodgates broke open five years ago, and now U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to close the hatch. Her proposed bill to substantially restrict big corporate tie-ups is more a presidential campaign statement than viable legislation — and it certainly won’t score her any more points with the Wall Street crowd — but she is calling attention to the maniacal pace of dealmaking in corporate America and the need to modernize antitrust laws that have permitted some recent problematic transactions.More than $7 trillion of takeovers of U.S. companies have been announced since this day in 2014 — 52,694 companies to be exact.(1) That compares with just $4.4 trillion of deals in the previous five-year period. The transactions grew over time as balance sheets flush with cash and income statements desperate for growth created a perfect storm, which more often than not was stoked by pliable regulators. The Walt Disney Co. acquired 21st Century Fox Inc.; Charter Communications Inc. bought Time Warner Cable Inc.; CVS Health Corp. took over Aetna Inc.; Marriott International Inc. merged with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.; and T-Mobile US Inc. is trying to buy Sprint Corp. Those are just some of the more recognizable names. Warren, one of the top-polling candidates heading into the Democratic primaries, wants to ban deals in which one company has annual revenue of more than $40 billion, or both businesses generate more than $15 billion in sales, according to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg News. (A notable exception would be companies facing insolvency.) That could effectively prevent every top airline, insurer, manufacturer, oil producer, retailer, technology platform and other conglomerates — perhaps even Warren Buffett’s M&A vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — from making any acquisitions. It would sound the M&A death knell. The idea, however, is unlikely to gain broad support among lawmakers.Even so, it’s hard not to notice the rising drumbeat of politicians concerned about overreach by corporate giants, particularly those in the tech field. Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate, plans to introduce separate antitrust legislation soon, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Opinion, is also campaigning for president.)For the Trump administration’s part, the U.S. Justice Department is already investigating whether tech giants — namely Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google — are using their unchecked power to engage in harmful business practices. But as I wrote in July, if regulators are so concerned about protecting consumers from tech overreach, their glowing endorsement of T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint is a funny way of showing it; it will shrink the U.S. wireless market from four to three major carriers and remove a company that’s helped to keep customer prices in check.Antitrust regulation under President Donald Trump has at times created questionable optics. Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer, seemed to switch his stance on AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. as Trump railed against the deal. Time Warner was the parent of CNN, which Trump views as his personal nemesis. (I’ve argued that whatever the case, scrutiny of the megamerger was warranted considering the broad market power it gave to AT&T as media companies without such scale struggle to compete.) By comparison, Disney and Fox, which was controlled by Trump pal Rupert Murdoch, closed their megadeal with few regulatory hiccups. Warren has criticized other giant deals, such as the merger of SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. and the combination of seed makers Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. Given that they aren’t household names, though, most Americans are unfazed by or unaware of such deals, even though they may feel the effects later. Her bill would direct the government to take into account not just whether a merger will lead to higher prices but also what the impact might be on workers, privacy and industry innovation. To justify the cost of buying another large company, dealmakers tend to come up with ambitious estimates of synergies, a euphemism for layoffs. It’s clear that the meaning of “harm” needs to be expanded in the antitrust sense, and laws need to take a more holistic view of the potential consequences of M&A as the lines between industries continue to blur. The Big Tech factor also needs to be weighed, as some deals are being done in part to respond to companies like Amazon that are spreading their tentacles into new areas. On Wednesday, TV-network operators CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. completed their own merger, a bid to cut costs and create more scale to compete against a new roster of even more powerful media giants: Amazon, Apple, AT&T and Disney. Even then, ViacomCBS Inc., as the merged entity is now called, may not be big enough, and so it may be only a matter of time before it gets swallowed. Warren’s overly broad proposal likely isn’t the answer. But Democrats do seem ready to at least try to rein in a market that’s gotten out of hand. For dealmakers, this may be last call at the M&A party.(1) Data compiled by Bloomberg as of Thursday morning. Excludes terminated deals.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- I now have low expectations when Mark Zuckerberg writes a manifesto, gives a speech, grants media interviews or fields questions from lawmakers.In these settings, and particularly on questions about how the world should or does work, Facebook Inc.’s chief executive officer can seem over-rehearsed, scarily superficial, cravenly political, evasive — or all of the above. But in less-scripted moments, or when the world isn’t watching, Zuckerberg is often clear-eyed about where the internet is going and articulate about Facebook’s strategy. Fifteen years after Zuckerberg started Facebook in his college dorm room — maybe you’ve heard that story before? — that scary-smart version of Zuckerberg remains the internet executive I want to hear from the most. Don’t believe me?Check out the transcript the Verge published in October of two meetings between Zuckerberg and employees. Most of the attention focused on his forceful push back to Elizabeth Warren and others who want to break up Facebook. But I was more interested in Zuckerberg’s astute explanation of how TikTok, the short-video app from China’s Bytedance Inc., is a distilled, video-focused version of Instagram’s “explore” section. He is not wrong.With those employees, Zuckerberg also talked in more nuanced ways than he has in public about the novelty of a Chinese internet app gaining traction outside its home country, how Facebook was trying to copy elements of TikTok and why TikTok was vulnerable. This was the opposite of the thousand-yard-stare Zuckerberg the public sees in media interviews. This was Zuckerberg in his element as a skilled and confident internet diagnostician and tactician.That Zuckerberg may not be the likable Everyman who pets a calf, but I wish we got to see more of him. Repeatedly in Facebook’s quarterly earnings calls over the years, Zuckerberg has given moments of insight that distill Facebook’s playbook or explain what trends such as online video, the Snapchat app and the Pokemon Go mobile game show about the future of technology.You get a likewise incisive, perhaps cutthroat, version of Zuckerberg from reading Facebook internal emails that come out in occasional lawsuits or investigations. Those glimpses are of a ruthless and savvy executive trying to undermine rivals and devise partnerships that would make people more loyal to Facebook. You might read those selective disclosures and feel Zuckerberg is unethical and selling out people who use Facebook. You might be right. But he is also astute about what works on the internet and how to position Facebook for success.And if Facebook was the mystery bidder for wearable gadget company Fitbit Inc., Zuckerberg refused to get involved in a conventional corporate acquisition process and basically nagged Fitbit’s CEO to make a deal on his terms. It was kooky, and the CEO of the unidentified suitor seemed like a loose cannon, at least in the one-sided telling of this Fitbit securities document. It’s also true that Zuckerberg’s personal involvement and unconventional personal persuasion helped Facebook acquire Instagram, which likely added more value to Facebook than anything else the company did this decade. Look, even the savvy tactician Zuckerberg can be horribly wrong. He brushed off the effects of misinformation spreading on Facebook around the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He plunged his company rashly into live video, a feature that is rife with risks and one that has not taken over the internet as Zuckerberg once predicted.Maybe Zuckerberg is just like the rest of us. When he’s talking out of the glare of shouting members of Congress and engaging on topics he feels confident about, he’s like a different person. Today, though, more is expected. Leaders — particularly those like Zuckerberg whose products are so widely used and influential — are expected to be capable of thinking deeply about problems in the world, not only to devise clever product and business strategies.The people who lead large companies must play many roles: diplomat, policy maker, motivational captain of their employees and an assuring public face to customers. It’s a nearly impossible assignment, but that doesn’t mean we should lower the bar for these executives. A version of this column originally appeared in Bloomberg’s Fully Charged technology newsletter. You can sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Century Casinos' (CNTY) the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau ("Cape Girardeau") and Lady Luck Caruthersville ("Caruthersville") buyouts are likely to be sealed this December.
(Bloomberg) -- More than 110 Northern California city and county officials representing the majority of bankrupt PG&E Corp.’s customers are proposing to turn the utility giant into a customer-owned cooperative.The coalition led by the city of San Jose includes officials from 58 cities and 10 counties who altogether represent more than 8 million residents, according to a statement from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. The group is proposing, among other things, to continue managing PG&E’s expansive territory as a single system, honor existing power and labor contracts and have a board overseeing the co-op set customer rates.“With these principles, we’ve presented a framework for a viable customer-owned PG&E that will be transparent, accountable, and equitable,” said Liccardo, who has spent weeks getting local officials behind the idea of a cooperative. He didn’t detail how the governments would finance a takeover, but a consultant for the group said bonds would be issued to cover much of the cost.Calls for a takeover of San Francisco-based PG&E have intensified since the company filed for bankruptcy in January amid billions of dollars in liabilities tied to wildfires that its equipment ignited. The latest proposal comes as PG&E’s shareholders and creditors are jostling over control of the state’s largest utility in bankruptcy court.Takeover ThreatPG&E has been trying for months to come up with a viable restructuring plan that would settle its fire liabilities and have the reorganized utility emerging from Chapter 11 by a state-imposed deadline of June 30, 2020. California Governor Gavin Newsom has threatened a state takeover if the company doesn’t come up with a plan soon.Read More: California Governor Newsom Fielding More PG&E Takeover CallsSan Francisco has been trying to buy PG&E’s equipment within the city’s limits for $2.5 billion, an offer the company has rejected. Backers of the co-op proposal are taking a notably different approach, saying they want to keep the company’s service territory intact to ensure that residents of rural, fire-prone areas don’t face a steep increase in costs.The co-op would still be subject to all of California’s requirements for increasing the use of renewable power, as well as the state’s open-records law, according to the new guidelines.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;David R. Baker in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Aaron ClarkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Playrix Holding Ltd., a mobile-game developer that made billionaires of its Russian founders, has bought into about a dozen studios to take on the likes of Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc.Brothers Igor and Dmitry Bukhman said in an interview that by 2025 they want Playrix’s sales to catch up with those of the U.S. gaming giants. Over the past year they’ve spent more than $100 million on acquisitions and are planning to more than quadruple their portfolio of titles from about four that are available now.While the gaming industry is awash in investors from KKR & Co. to Zynga Inc., the Bukhman brothers are determined to go it alone. They told Bloomberg News in April that while Wall Street dealmakers such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had been in touch, they wanted to expand the business themselves.Since then, the brothers haven’t been persuaded of the merits of giving up control over Playrix in favor of a bigger pot of cash to spend. They prefer to leverage their understanding of the industry to act as a consolidator and nurture smaller players.“Many firms are seeking acquisition targets to add to their revenue and show growth to investors,” Igor said. “We don’t have this pressure and are taking a more long-term approach -- we are helping our portfolio companies to grow. We are sharing our experience and playing a role in their growth.”Playrix said 2019 revenue is likely to reach $1.5 billion, as much as 30% more than the previous year’s, from sales of existing games including Gardenscapes. It was the ninth-biggest publisher last year, according to independent gaming data provider App Annie.New TitlesThe Bukhman brothers are betting their new titles, to be released over the next two years, will push sales into the realm of rivals such as Activision, which reported $7.5 billion in revenue for 2018.“Within five years, we are seeking to join the same league as Activision Blizzard or NetEase Inc., but in the European region,” said Igor, without specifying a revenue target.Playrix’s purchases include studios in Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Croatia and Armenia, and the 600 people added boost its headcount by more than 50%. The investments range from 30% holdings to controlling stakes in companies that will continue to operate independently. These include Nexters, based in Cyprus and one of Europe’s 10 top-grossing game developers, and Vizor Games, based in Belarus.The brothers are valued at about $1.4 billion each by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They landed in the rankings by creating a new variety of match-3 games, which involve completing rows of at least three elements to progress through an animated storyline. The latest acquisitions will allow expansion into gaming genres such as hidden object and simulation.The mobile gaming business is set to exceed $68 billion in revenue this year, according to researcher Newzoo, and have been attracting attention from investors. Playrix will have to compete against these deep-pocketed players if it’s to achieve its goals.Zynga acquired Finnish developer Small Giant Games for $560 million last year, while Israeli Playtika Ltd bought Germany’s Wooga and Austria’s Supertreat. KKR-backed AppLovin invested in Belarusian developer Belka Games and two other firms in September.“Capturing lightning in a bottle twice is the true challenge for a creative firm,” said Joost van Dreunen, managing director of SuperData, Nielsen’s game research arm. “With the popularity of Gardenscapes, Playrix has finally established itself as a force to be reckoned with. However, to build a legacy it will need to repeat this trick.”(Adds analyst comment in last paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at email@example.com;Alex Sazonov in Moscow at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, Jennifer Ryan, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - U.S. futures pointed to another day of gains on Wall Street, with belief in a near-term trade deal reviving again after Tuesday's shock comments by President Donald Trump.
Smartsheet (SMAR) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 16.67% and 2.58%, respectively, for the quarter ended October 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?
(Bloomberg) -- PG&E Corp. is close to finalizing terms for a $13.5 billion payout to victims of wildfires ignited by its power lines, a key step toward resolving the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to people familiar with the matter.The California-based power giant would pay half in cash and the rest in stock in the newly reorganized utility, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The cash portion would be paid with a lump sum upfront, and the remainder would be paid over 18 months, they said. No final agreement has been reached, and the talks could still fall apart.In a statement, PG&E said it was “committed to satisfying all wildfire claims in full” as required by law and as laid out in its bankruptcy plan. A representative for the wildfire victims declined to comment.Shares in PG&E rallied Wednesday and were up 22% at $10.42 at 2:54 p.m. in New York.The company last month proposed $13.5 billion in compensation to the wildfire victims, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The two sides were at odds, however, over how to structure the payout and how much should come in the form of cash and stock.A deal now would be a victory for PG&E, which has spent months trying to negotiate a viable restructuring plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the middle of next year. The utility has already agreed to pay $11 billion to insurers and other wildfire claim holders, and the judge overseeing its bankruptcy is holding a hearing on that settlement Wednesday. The company also has a deal to pay $1 billion to local government agencies.Catastrophic WildfiresPG&E filed for Chapter 11 in January after its equipment was blamed for starting catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018, burying it in an estimated $30 billion worth of liabilities.Compensating victims of wildfires emerged as the largest sticking point in PG&E’s restructuring. The company had initially offered victims $8.4 billion, a fraction of what they said they were owed. California Governor Gavin Newsom had threatened a state takeover if the utility failed to reach a deal with creditors and wildfire victims soon.The progress toward the deal comes as PG&E is drawing outrage from state lawmakers and residents for carrying out deliberate mass blackouts to keep its power lines from igniting more wildfires during wind storms. In October, it plunged millions of Californians into darkness four times. The backlash increased pressure on Newsom to restructure PG&E and overhaul its governance.(Adds company statement in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Scott Deveau in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Lynn Doan at email@example.com, Joe Ryan, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The company had proposed paying the victims no more than $8.4 billion in September. The wildfire victims had opposed the company's reorganization plan and allied themselves with PG&E bondholders, who proposed their own reorganization plan.