|Bid||197.79 x 800|
|Ask||197.79 x 1300|
|Day's Range||197.44 - 199.68|
|52 Week Range||142.00 - 233.47|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.03|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.63|
|Earnings Date||Jul 29, 2019 - Aug 2, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.08 (1.55%)|
|1y Target Est||210.89|
Today, as a part ofGooge's educational announcements at ISTE 2019, the company officiallylaunched the App Hub with content from Epic!, Adode, Khan Academy, and others
Big tech is under the microscope, now that U.S. regulators investigate whether Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and Google (GOOG) have too much power. As calls for breaking up these tech titans gain momentum among lawmakers, at least one Silicon Valley insider says “trust” is at the crux of the increased scrutiny. “I think regulators are really responding to a crisis of trust in the tech industry,” Salesforce (CRM) President, Bret Taylor, tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
(Bloomberg) -- Of the five biggest tech companies in the U.S., Microsoft is the only one that isn't currently in the crosshairs of U.S. antitrust authorities. The software giant already took its turn through the regulatory wringer starting two decades ago, a years-long confrontation that resulted in the finding that the Redmond, Washington-based company had illegally maintained its monopoly for personal-computer operating-system software. The case dealt with the company's moves to kneecap the Netscape web browser by bundling its own product, Internet Explorer, into Windows, the dominant PC operating system.A federal judge ordered the company split in two in 2000, a fate Microsoft avoided when an appeals court reversed that part of the ruling and the company eventually settled. That 2002 settlement led to nine years of court supervision of the company's business practices and required Microsoft to give the top 20 computer makers identical contract terms for licensing Windows, and gave computer makers greater freedom to promote non-Microsoft products like browsers and media-playing software. Because observers and legal pundits almost uniformly agree the software giant did virtually everything wrong in the course of the investigation -- which had its start as early as 1990, followed by a 1998 Justice Department lawsuit -- in retrospect its story serves as a useful instruction manual of what not to do.While no formal inquiries have yet been opened, the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department carved up the territory of big tech -- Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. -- as they prepare to dig in on antitrust issues. The Department of Justice will look at Google, which dominates the online search and advertising spaces, and Apple, whose pervasive App Store is likely to be under examination. The FTC drew Facebook, with its behemoth social networking and messaging apps and a slew of recent privacy missteps, and e-commerce giant Amazon, which has been pushing into areas like grocery and health. As these companies build their legal teams and prepare strategies for the fight ahead, here are several lessons that Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook can learn from Microsoft's battle with the feds.Don't deny the obvious. Or don't even put up a fight about whether you have a monopoly. Microsoft, whose Windows software accounted for about 90% of the market for PC operating systems, opted to argue that the space was actually competitive. Parts of the argument included videos where Microsoft employees offered a straight-faced marketing pitch for the benefits of rival Linux programs with a tiny share of the market. The impulse is understandable -- monopoly sounds like a dirty word. But U.S. antitrust law doesn't expressly forbid having a monopoly; it outlaws doing certain things to establish, maintain or extend one. That led some legal scholars to argue that Microsoft would have been better served by copping to the Windows monopoly and establishing a legal beachhead against the idea that it did anything illegal to gain it or keep it. Arguing against something so self-evident via the company's very first witness strained credibility and started the case off on a bad footing.It's easy to imagine a similar issue applying to Google, which has more than 84% of the web-search market and controls 82% of mobile-phone operating systems. In the app-store business, Google and iPhone maker Apple together control more than 95% of all U.S. mobile app spending by consumers, according to Sensor Tower data. Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this month told CBS that his company doesn’t have a dominant position in any market. But regulators may look at the power it wields through its app store. It could be more effective for these companies not to start by denying that leadership position -- if you have 80% or 90% percent of a market, arguing that you don't really dominate isn't the hill you want your legal reasoning to die on. Don’t resort to spin. Microsoft's credibility with the press was no higher, hurt by constant counterfactual statements and spin. Each day, after a bruising in court as government lawyer David Boies poked holes in executive testimony and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson alternated between chuckling at the witnesses and chastising them, Microsoft deployed a hapless PR person to the steps of the courthouse to recite the words, "Today was another good day for Microsoft." It never was. Assume everything will be made public.Among the list of horrifying moments for Microsoft in court was the public showing of parts of the 20 hours of depositions of co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Bill Gates. The tapes (yes, they were tapes -- this was the 90s) showed an ill-lit, evasive and combative Gates engaging in Clintonian word-wrangling, such as asking about the definition of the word "definition" and arguing what "market share" meant. Microsoft claimed it had been assured the tapes would never be shown in court, or the company would have taken greater care with Gates’s appearance and manner. During their playback in court, the judge laughed at several points -- not the impression the software giant wanted to make on either Jackson or the public. Jackson told New Yorker reporter Ken Auletta that Gates came off as "arrogant" in the depositions.Just as bad for Microsoft, an array of internal emails were read aloud in court that contradicted the testimony of its executives, which further angered Jackson. The takeaway? Assume everything will be aired in the court of public opinion. If it was true 20 years ago, it’s even more apparent in the current era of oversharing, thanks to the tech companies’ own services. Don't be condescending about the technology. Most lawyers, judges and regulators don't appreciate being told or having it implied that they lack the ability to apprehend certain tech concepts. Or that the reason they think there's been an antitrust violation is because they just don't "get" the technology. It was true that Jackson and Boies seldom used a computer at the time. But it didn't require a computer science doctorate to divine the legal merits of the case. At the height of Microsoft's hubris (or carelessness, or both), the company sent Windows chief Jim Allchin to the stand with a doctored video that purported to show how computing performance would be degraded when the browser was removed from Windows on a single PC. It was actually done on several different computers and was an illustration of what might happen rather than a factual test, as the company initially claimed -- a fact that came to light only after several days of the government picking through every inconsistency in the video. Microsoft remade the simulation several times in an effort to save the testimony. The company seemed to think it could get away with baldy stating a technological claim and mocking up something that backed it up, perhaps reasoning that no one would know the difference, but it miscalculated badly (Joe Nocera, now a Bloomberg columnist but then writing for Fortune, recounts the whole cringeworthy story).Choose your lawyers wisely.Microsoft took on the U.S. government led by a combative Gates and an equally aggressive general counsel, Bill Neukom. Gates, the son of an attorney, was outraged, frustrated and convinced the company was being unfairly targeted. One of the company’s outside lawyers, from the firm Sullivan & Cromwell, said the company could put a ham sandwich into Windows if it wanted to. And throughout, Neukom not only failed to tamp down his executives’ worst impulses, he seemed to amp them up. His legal style led observers to point out that his last name -- pronounced `nuke 'em’ -- was quite fitting.The U.S. government’s latest antitrust targets should take heed: If your top executive's style tends towards waving a red flag in front of a bull, you may be wise to consider a top lawyer with a more conciliatory style. Google’s top executives have already raised the ire of lawmakers for refusing to appear before Congress, and no one has ever accused Jeff Bezos of being afraid of a fight. At Facebook, where Zuckerberg regards Gates as a mentor and observers see similarities in their styles and temperaments, this lesson might be particularly important.There are many different ways to lose.Right now, the companies are only at risk of an inquiry -- the agencies are deciding what, if any, action to take. But even at this stage, they should keep in mind that a loss doesn’t only mean a full-scale breakup or forced divestiture. Companies can avoid that extreme fate and still find, as Microsoft did, that the years of distraction from the fight have hampered their business and sucked up executive time and mental energy.In an interview last year at the Code Conference, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith lamented the distraction the case caused, and cited it as a reason the company missed out on the search market -- the business that fueled the runaway success of Google, now under the microscope itself. Others have pinned Microsoft’s abysmal performance in mobile computing partially on constraints and distractions from the case. Some of the company’s business missteps can fairly be attributed to poor execution and strategic errors that had nothing to do with the government dispute. Still, the notion that merely fighting an antitrust battle may do almost as much harm as losing one brings us to our last point.Consider settling early. It's hard to say with certainty what the late 1990s and early 2000s might have looked like for Microsoft had it found a way to settle with the government earlier than 2002. Still, for the government’s current targets, it's worth weighing a settlement against the impact of several years of investigation, a possible loss in court and potentially harsher restrictions or remedies. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google probably have a pretty good idea of what regulators may object to, and it’s worthwhile for them to consider ways to assuage those concerns while keeping the core of their businesses and future ambitions intact. The alternative is years of investigations, possibly damaging evidence and testimony, and ample distraction, all leading up to what could be a devastating loss in court. (Updates with earlier comments from Tim Cook. A previous version of this story corrected the attribution of an anecdote about a ham sandwich.)To contact the author of this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone shipments have been hit badly in the last two quarters due to various factors, from sky-high prices putting off consumers to longer upgrade cycles. Here's what it's doing to address the slowdown.
As the FOMC meeting progresses, markets seem cautious. After rising 0.97% yesterday on easing trade tensions and a growing tribe of rate cut hopefuls, the S&P 500 is trading on the sidelines today. Here's what a cut today could mean for these stocks.
US equity markets rallied yesterday, and the S&P 500 (SPY) gained almost 1.0%. Markets have now largely recouped their May losses. Along with the dovish stance taken by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, positive comments on US-China trade talks lifted markets yesterday.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump officially launched his 2020 reelection campaign in Florida. We're now more than halfway into his presidency, so the question now is whether President Trump has delivered on his 2016 promises.
Wedbush says a breakup of these tech giants is unlikely. But changes along those lines could be a catalyst for innovation.
Apple has asked suppliers to evaluate moving a substantial portion of their production outside of China, Nikkei reported.
Apple (AAPL) seems to be exploring options to partially move its iPhone and other product manufacturing out of China. Apple wants to move ~15%–30% of its production out of China.
We saw a sharp rally in US markets yesterday. The S&P 500 (SPY) gained almost 1.0%. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted at more stimulus amid the region’s sagging economic growth. While the move lifted markets, President Trump wasn’t very happy.
The technology ban on Huawei is expected to slash the revenue of its US chip suppliers in the second half of the year. However, there could also be a positive effect on the Huawei ban, but it will take some time to materialize.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Slack Technologies Inc. couldn’t have picked a better time to go public. Investors have lost their minds about software companies.Earlier this year, I wrote about how stock buyers were willing to pay handsomely to own shares of fast-growing companies that sell cloud software to businesses. As investors had grown antsy about the FAANGs — the elite technology superpowers such as Apple Inc. and Google parent company Alphabet Inc. — the software PUTIN stocks, as I semi-apologetically called them,(1)were ascendant. Since then, investors have warmly greeted new stock listings by even more business software firms including Zoom Video Communications Inc., Pagerduty Inc. and CrowdStrike Holdings Inc.I went back to my self-selected cohort of 17 business software firms that included Salesforce, Adobe, Atlassian and ServiceNow. The median stock multiple of my cohort, which I had to adjust slightly because of acquisitions, didn’t budge much since the February analysis.The median market value adjusted for cash and debt was about 10.3 times a blend of revenue estimated in the next year, compared with 9.8 times in February. The price-to-earnings multiple of the S&P 500 index has also increased since then.(5) What really stood out was the top-tier companies in my PUTIN index have grown even more bubbly.Look behind the velvet rope to find the 20x Club, the most popular hot spot in stock markets. More than half a dozen software firms now have enterprise values that are more than 20 times expected revenue in the next year, according to Bloomberg data.That is — to put it mildly — not normal. Relative to revenue, buying a share of pharmaceutical software firm Veeva Systems Inc., a member of the 20x Club, is four times the price of Alphabet, one of the dominant companies of this generation. Some of the members of the 20x Club are newly public, and it’s not unusual to see young companies with stock market values that are a bit out of whack. But 20x Club members also include Veeva, Atlassian Corp., Okta Inc., MongoDB and other companies that have been public for 18 months or more. As corporate-messaging service Slack plans to list its shares Thursday in a not-IPO,(2)it may join this elite crew. A valuation for Slack of $17 billion or so would work out to an enterprise value to forward revenue in the ballpark of the 20x Club.There are understandable reasons these business software firms, which are relatively unknown by normal humans, have become darlings of the stock market and technology investing. Something real and seemingly permanent is changing in how companies large and small buy technology. Companies are desperate to modernize their technology so they don’t get left behind and can take advantage of growth opportunities, and that has made them open their wallets to buy new types of internet-friendly, easy-to-use software that promises to help make their marketing spending more efficient, catch cyberattacks before they cripple systems or enable seamless communications among far-flung employees.I’m not yet convinced that these young cloud software companies can ever grow as large as their investors believe, particularly if an economic downturn forces companies to rationalize their technology budgets. But software truly is eating the world, and that has accrued to the benefit of both titans such as Microsoft and relative newcomers like the members of the 20x Club.At the same time, investors are desperate for growth, and business software firms are delivering it in spades. They can also be relatively easy to understand — they sell software in exchange for cash — and businesses have proved to be relatively reliable consumers, unlike people and their tendency to flit from one hot internet thing to the next. And now that superstar tech companies have run into regulatory problems, been hit with tariffs or otherwise have more question marks than before, a bet on a company selling software that an antitrust lawyer would never notice suddenly looks like a good idea. The question is what that promise costs. As stock buyers pay more relative to a company’s revenue, any wobble in growth can result in a crash, and investors’ room for error narrows when stock prices are already high relative to a company’s financial prospects. High stock valuations may also deter some needed consolidation in business software. It has become fashionable not to care about valuation, but there can be a high price to bubbles in share prices. Of course, I could have called a bubble in business software stocks at multiple points in the last decade and it would have been accurate in the moment yet completely wrong. An index of mostly business software companies, the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index, has more than quintupled since 2013, compared with a 74% gain for the S&P 500 over the same period. It’s true that 10 years into an unprecedented bull market in stocks, unusual valuations are par for the course. Maybe the bubble for business software firms will never end, or stock prices of these highflying software firms will deflate slowly rather than blow up. Maybe. Or there may be a high price to pay for software companies in an unprecedented stratosphere. (1) No, I am not sorry at all. I will say, however, that the "U" in PUTINs, Ultimate Software Group Inc., was sold in May to an investor group. My acronym is broken.(2) Yes, these software companies tend to be valued as a multiple of revenue rather than profits. In many cases they don't have profits.(3) Bloomberg Beta, the venture capital arm of Bloomberg Opinion parent Bloomberg LP, is an investor in Slack.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
The specter of antitrust action against four of the largest tech companies in the world has evolved into a parlor game among some in Silicon Valley: What antitrust suspect is the most vulnerable?
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Apple Inc. has asked its largest suppliers to consider the costs of shifting 15% to 30% of its output from China to Southeast Asia in a dramatic shake-up of its production chain, the Nikkei reported.The U.S. tech giant asked “major suppliers” to evaluate the feasibility of such a migration, the newspaper cited multiple sources as saying. Those included iPhone assemblers Foxconn Technology Group, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., MacBook maker Quanta Computer Inc., iPad maker Compal Electronics Inc. and AirPod makers Inventec Corp., Luxshare-ICT and GoerTek Inc., Nikkei cited them as saying.China is a crucial cog in Apple’s business, the origin of most of its iPhones and iPads as well as its largest international market. But President Donald Trump has threatened Beijing with new tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, an act that would escalate tensions while levying a punitive tax on Apple’s most profitable product. Company spokeswoman Wei Gu didn’t respond to a request for comment.Two major Apple suppliers pushed back against the Nikkei report. The U.S. company has not asked for cost estimates for shifting production out of the world’s No. 2 economy, although suppliers are running the numbers on their own given the trade dispute, said one person familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Another supplier said it too had not gotten such a request from Apple and that the Cupertino, California-based company had resisted a proposed production shift to Southeast Asia.Apple does have a backup plan if the U.S.-China trade war gets out of hand: Primary manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has said it has enough capacity to make all U.S.-bound iPhones outside of China if necessary, Bloomberg News reported last week.The Taiwanese contract manufacturer now makes most of the smartphones in the Chinese mainland and is the country’s largest private employer. Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, has said Apple has not given instructions to move production but it is capable of moving lines elsewhere according to customers’ needs.Apple hasn’t set a deadline for the suppliers to finalize their business proposals, but is working together with them to consider alternative locations, the Nikkei said. Any move would be a long-term process, it cited its sources as saying.Beyond Apple’s partners, the army of Taiwanese companies that make most of the world’s electronics are reconsidering a reliance on the world’s second-largest economy as Washington-Beijing tensions simmer and massive tariffs threaten to wipe out their margins. That in turn is threatening a well-oiled, decades-old supply chain.Taiwan’s largest corporations form a crucial link in the global tech industry, assembling devices from sprawling Chinese production bases that the likes of HP Inc. and Dell then slap their labels on. That may start to change if tariffs escalate, an outcome now in the balance as Washington and Beijing spar over a trade deal.Apple is an outsized figure in that negotiation. The high-end iPhone, which accounted for more than 60% of the company’s 2018 revenue, drives millions of jobs across China as well as a plethora of different industries from retail to electronics. The country is also a major consumer market in its own right, yielding nearly 20% of last year’s revenue -- weakness there pushed Apple to cut its sales forecast in January.“Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market,” Hon Hai board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei last week. “We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand.”(Updates with a source’s comments from the second parapraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.