2,168.00 -2.22 (-0.10%)
Pre-Market: 9:05AM EST
|Bid||2,167.00 x 900|
|Ask||2,171.99 x 800|
|Day's Range||2,161.23 - 2,185.04|
|52 Week Range||1,586.57 - 2,185.95|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.62|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||94.32|
|Earnings Date||Apr. 22, 2020 - Apr. 26, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||2,404.29|
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is the latest US. billionaire to put his money into protecting the planet. He pledged $10 billion dollars on Monday (February 17) to fund scientists, activists and nonprofits countering the effects of climate change. An announcement said the fund will start issuing grants this summer. The move follows Amazon's goal to be net carbon neutral by 2040 the first major corporation to announce such a goal. But cutting the emissions will be challenging for a company that delivers 10 billion items a year. It has a massive transportation and data center footprint and has faced protests by environmental activists and criticism from within its own workforce. Bezos is currently the world's richest man with a net worth of $130 billion dollars. With the new fund, he joins a growing list of billionaires putting money into the battle against the impact of global warming. They include hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft's Bill Gates.
Teikametrics, a startup that helps retailers optimize their online ad spending, has raised $15 million in additional funding. The company launched with the goal of helping Amazon sellers advertise more effectively. More recently, it launched a similar partnership with Walmart.
(Bloomberg) -- As global streaming giants Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. spend millions of dollars to grab viewers in India, a country that could become their biggest overseas market, a homegrown rival is preparing to defend its turf.Zee5, the top domestic streaming platform set up by India’s biggest television broadcaster, is betting on local content to fend off big-spending rivals, Chief Executive Officer Tarun Katial said in an interview. The over-the-top, or OTT, service is playing to its advantage by adding more local-language shows and lower-price options to gain market share, he said.“International OTTs have neither legacy nor library with depth,” Katial said at his office in Mumbai, adding that Zee5 has produced more than 100 original shows in local languages, at least 10 times more than any rival.“We can win this content battle.”Zee5, which started in 2018, is among dozens of streaming platforms including Amazon.com Inc. locked in a race for Indian users, a market that Boston Consulting Group estimates will reach about $5 billion in 2023. With China closed to foreign streaming services, India has become a battleground for global streaming brands, with an emphasis on delivering films and TV shows to smartphone users expected to number 850 million in two years.After amassing 61 million active monthly users in its first 15 months in India, Katial says Zee5 has little choice but to keep producing new shows at even faster rates. The platform aims to add between 70 and 80 original shows over the coming year, while making 15 direct-to-digital movies for release in 2021.Representatives for Netflix and Disney’s Hotstar platform in India declined to comment.There are 22 official languages in India, creating a broad battlefield for niche audiences.“It’s a strategy to move away from fighting in the fiercely competitive segment of Hindi or English,” Bhupendra Tiwary, an analyst at ICICIdirect, said of Zee5’s local-content push. “Zee is creating its own space in this war zone where it sees more opportunity.”Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., part of the Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group, is increasing its investment in streaming, even though the broadcaster has seen its market value plunge on concern the group’s debt had grown too large. Chandra, who opened India’s first amusement park and brought satellite television to the country, has had to sell his stake in Zee, while staying on as a board member.“We are completely insulated from the financial concern which our parent group went through last year,” Katial said. He declined to say how much the company was planning to spend on growth.Zee Entertainment shares gained 2% as of 2:36 p.m. in Mumbai trading Thursday. Zee5, the streaming platform, is planning its local-language expansion just as some of its global rivals are pushing further into India.Disney PushDisney earlier this month said it will introduce its Disney+ streaming service in India through its Hotstar platform on March 29, at the beginning of the Indian Premier League cricket season. Hotstar, which has said it has 300 million active monthly users, has relied on India’s most popular sport to draw users after spending big to secure the rights.Disney is also re-branding the Hotstar VIP and Premium subscription tiers to Disney+ Hotstar to underline its global brand.Netflix, the world’s largest streaming platform by paid subscribers, has said it intends to sign on 100 million subscribers in India, almost 25 times the customer base it had in the country as of this year. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said during a visit to the country in December that Netflix intends to spend 30 billion rupees ($419 million) over 2019 and 2020 to produce more local content.Netflix’s “Sacred Games” series, a local original, has drawn Indian viewers globally, the company has said. “Lust Stories,” a Hindi-language anthology of short films, released in June 2018, also drew attention.Zee5 has said its original “Rangbaaz Phirse” and “The Final Call” series are hits, along with “Auto Shankar,” a Tamil-language show.Price WarAt the same time, competitors are paring fees to draw subscribers in a country used to free services including Google’s YouTube, while paying little for bandwidth via mobile phone plans.Last year, Netflix slashed prices by as much as half in India for subscribers that commit to at least three months. Most of the country’s streaming services, including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime and Disney’s Hotstar have also offered discount deals this year and subscriptions at prices well below those in other markets.Zee5 has begun offering some region-specific packages at 49 rupees a month or 499 rupees a year to attract more viewers, said Katial. That compares with the standard packages at 99 rupees a month or 999 rupees a year.At the same time, Zee5 is planning to add 90-second videos to its platform to meet demand and compete with the likes of Beijing-based ByteDance Inc.’s TikTok, a platform that is growing fast globally among younger users. That effort will start “soon,” Katial said.(Updates with Zee shares in 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from Ragini Saxena.To contact the reporter on this story: P R Sanjai in Mumbai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave McCombsFor 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.
Donations are a big issue for us but small fry to Amazon. We keep on getting charity money which we know isn’t for us .... but Amazon is incapable of sorting it out
Facebook's content moderation plan, its IRS lawsuit, Amazon's defense in JEDI, Google Cloud deploying AMD Epyc and other stories are covered here.
(Bloomberg) -- Through the ups and downs of the choppy U.S. economic expansion, the consumer has been perhaps the lone consistent driver of growth, spending money at a steadily rising clip.And there have as yet been no real signs in the broad data of that changing, with unemployment, housing and gas prices remaining supportive. But back-to-back lackluster results from retail-industry bellwethers -- Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. -- are suddenly raising the possibility of a softening in consumer spending. Or, at the very least, they are sparking some economy watchers to start asking questions.“The U.S. has enjoyed a consumer-led expansion, and any slowdown in retail sales or shift in consumer behavior should be carefully examined,” said Thomas Majewski, managing partner at Eagle Point Credit Management. “When the largest retailer’s holiday sales were flat versus the prior year, it’s fair to say that’s a red flag.” To be sure, he pointed out that Amazon.com Inc. posted revenue gains of about 20% for the same period.Neither Walmart nor Target has so far pointed to any major concerns about the broader consumer environment, instead blaming the sales falloffs on one-time factors like the shortened Christmas selling season, poor merchandise decisions and a lack of must-have items in categories like toys and electronics. Walmart is already trying to put the poor quarter in the rear-view mirror, saying Tuesday that sales in February have started off well.There are other signs that consumers remain in good health. The housing market is strong, with sales rallying and permits rising to the highest level since 2007, while continued labor market strength is helping to sustain an economic expansion in its 11th year.Still, worries persist. While U.S. retail sales rose in January for a fourth straight month, a subset of sales that excludes food services, car dealers, building-materials stores and gas stations was unchanged after being revised sharply downward in December. That so-called control group’s performance is more closely tied to underlying demand, and includes electronics outlets, personal-care shops and clothing stores, which fell the most since 2009 last month.Consumer spending is helping prop up the economy at the moment while other areas, like manufacturing, have softened. So any weakening there is another sign that first-quarter U.S. economic growth could cool from the previous period’s 2.1% pace, a rate that’s below the Trump administration’s 3% goal for full-year growth. The end of interest-rate cuts, the looming U.S. presidential election and fallout from China’s coronavirus outbreak could also weigh on consumer confidence, analysts have said, jeopardizing a record-long economic expansion.“Are we starting to see cracks in the U.S. consumer?” Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward D. Jones & Co., said in an interview. “What really happened over the holidays, and why was the consumer not spending?”Sales of key gift categories rose just 0.2% in the U.S. between Nov. 3 and Dec. 28 compared with the same period last year, data tracker NPD said, hurt by sluggish demand for apparel and toys in particular. Consumers, especially younger ones, are also less enthused about the environmental impact of accumulating more and more stuff and increasingly favor spending their wages on experiences that don’t come in a box.Amazon GrabThe spending that is up for grabs is often swept up by Amazon, which accounted for 40% of the sales growth in U.S. retail in the fourth quarter, Evercore ISI analyst Greg Melich estimates. The Internet giant enjoyed a banner holiday quarter, with memberships to its Prime service topping 150 million thanks to a pledge to deliver most items to those dues-paying customers the next day.As Amazon thrives, traditional retailers continue to suffer. On Tuesday, Macy’s Inc.’s credit rating was cut to junk by S&P Global Ratings, which said the department-store chain falls on the wrong side of consumer preferences. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. hired its latest chief executive officer from Target to turn things around, but could be beyond saving. It’s not just mall-based retailers who are hurting: A trio of supermarkets including New York icon Fairway have filed for bankruptcy this year.It all adds up to a much tougher road ahead for U.S. retailers.“One thing we are certain of,” said Scott Mushkin, an analyst at R5 Capital, “is that the outlook seems much more uncertain.”\--With assistance from Sally Bakewell and Katia Dmitrieva.To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Boyle in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org, Lisa Wolfson, Sally BakewellFor 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.
The global Artificial Intelligence in agriculture market may see CAGR of 26.2% from 2019-2024. Here are five stocks that are likely to benefit.
The top stories here for the day are Apple's guidance cut, Qualcomm choosing Samsung to make its 5G chips, U.S. considering further restrictions on Huawei and Amazon's climate fund.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is denying a Pentagon cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion was unfairly tailored for the e-commerce giant.In a court filing made public Monday, Amazon countered rival Oracle Corp.’s claims that bidding for the lucrative cloud deal was tainted by relationships between its employees and former Pentagon officials.Oracle is appealing a July ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that dismissed its legal challenge of the cloud contract based on claims that the bidding violated procurement law and was marred by conflicts of interest. Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud unit, has filed a separate lawsuit challenging its loss of the contract known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, which was awarded to Microsoft Corp. in October. Amazon claims it lost the bid after interference from the White House and is seeking to interview President Donald Trump in that case.Oracle’s lawsuit claims that Amazon offered two former Pentagon employees jobs at the company while they were working on the contract. In one case, Deap Ubhi, who had worked at Amazon before joining the government, allegedly helped craft the JEDI procurement for weeks after accepting a job offer in October 2017 from AWS, according to the lawsuit.Amazon argued that Oracle’s lawsuit is based on “suspicion and innuendo” and that neither employee that Amazon hired disclosed any “competitively useful” information to the company. Government lawyers have also argued in court that the employees’ input on the JEDI procurement was minimal.Representatives for the Pentagon and Oracle didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in July that the Pentagon’s contracting officer properly determined the relationships had no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process and that Oracle didn’t have standing to challenge the contract. The Pentagon eliminated Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. from the competition in April 2019.Last week a federal judge temporarily blocked Microsoft from working on the Pentagon cloud project while Amazon’s lawsuit is litigated. The Pentagon’s JEDI project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. The contract is worth as much as $10 billion over a decade.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth WassermanFor 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) -- With a single Instagram post, Jeff Bezos pledged to become one of the most generous philanthropists in history. His gains this year have already covered the cost.The Amazon.com Inc. founder announced on Monday that he’s created the Bezos Earth Fund to help counter the effects of climate change. The commitment is one of the largest on record after Warren Buffett’s $36 billion pledge to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006 and Helen Walton’s $16 billion bequest to the Walton Family Foundation in 2007, according to data compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.It’s a good time for Bezos to make the donation. He’s already added $15.6 billion to his fortune -- or about $325 million a day -- in the first seven weeks of 2020. Even if the full value of the gift were to be immediately subtracted from his wealth, Bezos would still be the richest person on the planet with a $120.5 billion fortune, just ahead of Gates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Buffett and Gates also have seen their fortunes hit new heights even as their philanthropy grows. That reflects gains in the stock market, but also the difficulty of giving away such massive sums and making sure it’s put to work efficiently. The post by Bezos didn’t specify a time frame for his donation.Bezos, 56, has stepped up his philanthropy after years of relative restraint. Unlike many of his wealthy peers -- including his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos -- he hasn’t signed the Giving Pledge, established by Buffett and the Gates, in which billionaires agree to donate the majority of their fortunes to charity.Bezos previously took to Twitter in 2017 to ask how he could best use his wealth to help people “right now.” That set off a frenzy of responses -- the tweet has more than 46,000 comments -- from every corner of the world. A year later he committed $2 billion to projects working to alleviate homelessness and improve education.Monday’s social media announcement, which has attracted about 300,000 likes, is another sign of the increasingly public posture Bezos is adopting. He’s upped the pace of his Amazon sales in recent months, bought a storied Los Angeles mansion, reportedly set records in the art market and increasingly frequents the red carpet with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.Bezos will have to ramp up his giving before he can match the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private foundation. It had an endowment of $47 billion at the end of 2018, largely thanks to donations by Buffett and the Gates family.To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Metcalf in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven CrabillFor 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 Opinion) -- Walmart Inc. has been battling to take on Amazon.com Inc., but it was weakness in old-fashioned categories of retailing, not whizzy tech, that undermined its holiday performance and prompted it to come up short of expectations for this year.And that pressure’s not going away anytime soon, considering the continued onslaught from rivals that excel at back-to-basics shopkeeping, such as European discounters Aldi and Lidl, and the Amazon assault, which shows no sign of a let-up. The world’s biggest retailer needs to show that its impressive turnaround isn’t going off track.While Walmart’s U.S. grocery business — which the retailer has transformed into a bridgehead against Amazon — held up, along with online sales, the company suffered the same fate as Target: weakness in toys, clothing and gaming. Consequently, U.S. same-store sales rose by 1.9% in the fourth quarter, compared with expectations of 2.4%.It’s a rare misstep. As my colleague Sarah Halzack has noted, Walmart has done a good job of leveraging its 4,800 U.S. stores to provide an asset that Amazon can’t match yet.But the battle isn’t slackening. Although Amazon hasn’t upended fresh food, it’s not giving up. It has signaled its continued intent by dropping the grocery delivery charge for Prime members in the U.S. and planning for a new chain of supermarkets to be introduced soon.But the behemoth isn’t the only rival Walmart needs to watch. It also faces an increasing threat from German discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, which are expanding aggressively in the U.S. Aldi, which has had an American presence for decades, plans to increase its store count from just less than 2,000 today to 2,500 by the end of 2022.Although Lidl got off to an uninspiring start when it launched in the U.S. in 2017, it is now opening supermarkets apace, helped by the acquisition of 27 Best Market stores, giving it a valuable foothold in New York and New Jersey. Walmart has been responding by improving the quality of its fresh food, developing its private-label brands — a particular strength of the European discounters — and cutting prices, which are now getting closer to Aldi’s, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank. Even so, it can’t let its foot off of the price-cutting pedal. It made this mistake with its U.K. arm Asda, and the discounters undermined its low-price message and picked off its customers.With the weaker-than-expected holiday season, Walmart must show that it hasn’t run out of steam. It says it is working to address the issues behind the disappointing fourth quarter. It needs to learn lessons, and fast.And it must do so at the same time as it rebuilds its operating margin, which has been eroded by those price cuts as well as the investments in the future. Progress toward profitability in its e-commerce division will be crucial. Walmart expects U.S. online losses to be flat or down this year.Investors have tolerated the pressures on profitability from investment — the shares were up about 18% over the 12 months to Friday’s close — because of the strong top-line gains. They trade on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 22.5 times, almost a quarter above the average over the past five years of 18.1.But to maintain this historic premium, Walmart will have to demonstrate that its holiday sales stumble was a blip and that it can keep up its progress against both Amazon and its other, often forgotten foe, the European discounters.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted 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 Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.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.
The Spanish government has sent a bill to parliament proposing to tax revenues booked by web giants such as Google (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and Facebook (FB.O) in Spain, budget minister Maria Jesus Montero said on Tuesday. The government proposes to levy a 3% tax on large web companies that generate global revenue of more than 750 million euros ($811.05 million) per year and more than 3 million euros in Spain, Montero said.
(Bloomberg) -- Bill Gates paid Tesla Inc. a compliment for coaxing the car industry to go electric. If he was expecting kind words in return from Elon Musk, he apparently shouldn’t have spoken about challenges that still lie ahead -- or about his new Porsche.Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp., spoke with a YouTube influencer last week about the challenges of reducing emissions to slow climate change. He called the passenger-car industry “one of the most hopeful” sectors taking action in this regard.“And certainly Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” Gates told YouTuber Marques Brownlee.Then Gates discussed recently buying a Porsche Taycan. While he called the electric sports car “very, very cool,” he acknowledged its premium price -- the initial Turbo S models start at $185,000 -- and said consumers still have to overcome anxieties about EVs offering limited range and taking longer to recharge. Gasoline-powered cars travel longer between quick refuels at stations that outnumber charging points.WANT MORE? Upgrade the luxury in your life with the Pursuits Weekly newsletter. The best in high-end autos, food, real estate, fashion, culture, and lifestyle delivered every Wednesday. When a Tesla enthusiast posted about being disappointed in Gates’s decision to buy a Taycan instead of a Tesla and his comments about range anxiety, Musk replied: “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh.”Musk, 48, is of course no stranger to tweeting dismissively about fellow billionaires. The Tesla chief executive officer questioned Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of artificial intelligence risks in 2017. Last year, he called Jeff Bezos a copycat after the Amazon.com Inc. CEO embarked on an internet-satellite project that could rival one that Musk’s closely held company SpaceX is pursuing.The Tesla CEO’s commentary on Porsche’s Taycan has been mixed. After chiding the sports car brand for using internal combustion engine nomenclature for the high-end version of its debut electric vehicle, he tweeted in September that it “does seem like a good car.”(Updates with Musk’s tweets on Taycan in last paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at firstname.lastname@example.org, Will DaviesFor 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.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - As Wall Street approaches the 20th anniversary of the piercing of the dot-com bubble, today's decade-old rally led by a few small players shows some similarities that cautious investors are keeping an eye on. March 11, 2000 marked the beginning of a crash of overly-inflated stocks that would last over two years, lead to the failure of investor favorites including Worldcom and Pets.com and take over 13 years for Wall Street to recover from. Now, after hitting a record high on Feb. 13, the Nasdaq has reached over 9,700 points, almost double its high point in 2000 and about eight times the level of its trough in 2002.
Hundreds of people have been seriously injured at Amazon's UK warehouses over the last three years, new figures suggest. In Manchester, a worker received head injuries after a number of boxes fell on them, and they were later diagnosed with an inter vertebral disc prolapse. The figures show that 240 reports of serious injury or near misses were sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the 2019 financial year.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Who is Cathie Wood?She’s already in the pantheon of top money handlers over any period in the past five years, and has been the most persuasive — and so far prescient — champion of Tesla Inc.Her actively managed Ark Innovation ETF is the best performer among 584 funds with at least $1 billion of assets in the global equity market, crushing the likes of BlackRock with a return of 165% (income plus appreciation) the past three years, and she beat 99% of them since Ark Investment Management LLC became a registered investment adviser in January 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.For all of her success picking winners, the 64-year-old Wood has received relatively little notice during the past three years, aside from being an occasional outlier among investors on CNBC. You won’t find her at the Barron’s Roundtable, which “gathers some of Wall Street’s best minds.” She was included in the Bloomberg 50: The People Who Defined Global Business in 2018. Her focus on innovation, “centered around genome sequencing, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage and blockchain technology,” enabled Ark Innovation ETF to increase 127 times, to $2.4 billion from its $15 million grubstake in 2017. In the process, the Ark ETF rewarded its shareholders with more than three times the return of the S&P 500 Index and more than twice the Nasdaq’s bounty. Since its inception, Ark has earned almost 2.4 times more than the S&P 500 and 1.7 times the Nasdaq, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.At a point when money management mostly is a passive, index-driven business, Wood is a discerning stock picker with about $11 billion of assets. Her selection of health-care juggernauts Juno Therapeutics Inc., based in Seattle, and Invitae Corp., in San Francisco, returned 286% and 173%, respectively, in the past three years. Choosing Palo Alto-based Tesla and Buenos Aires-based MercadoLibre Inc. among consumer discretionary companies netted 185% and 269% in her fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“We’re all about finding the next big thing,” said Wood during an initial interview with David Westin on Bloomberg Wall Street Week earlier this month. “Anyone hewing to the benchmarks, which are backwards looking, they’re not about the future. They are about what has worked. We’re all about what is going to work.”Since she graduated summa cum laude in finance and economics from the University of Southern California in 1981, Wood has been assistant economist at the Capital Group; chief economist, analyst, portfolio manager and director at Jennison Associates; co-founder of the hedge fund Tupelo Capital Management, and chief investment officer of global thematic strategies at AllianceBernstein, where she managed more than $5 billion. Her favorite innovator is Copernicus, the Renaissance man who located the sun rather than the Earth at the center of the universe.Soon after launching Ark in 2014, Wood made Tesla her fifth-largest holding. In 2018, she increased it to No. 1, or 10% of the fund, as most analysts soured on the maker of zero-emission, battery-electric vehicles.In 2016, when Tesla plummeted 11%, and 75% of the analyst recommendations opposed any purchases, Wood almost tripled her Tesla position to 5,072 shares. The following year, after Tesla appreciated 46%, and 68% of the analysts remained bearish, she enlarged her stake more than 13 times to 67,653 shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. When Tesla rallied 26% last year amid tepid recommendations from 70% of the analysts, she almost doubled her stake to 471,594 shares.Tesla continued climbing this year — 91%, the best performer in the Nasdaq 100 index and No. 1 among the 500 most highly capitalized U.S. companies. Wood was a consistent seller during the rally — reducing her holding to 292,000 shares — solely to keep her Tesla stake at the designated maximum 10% of her fund.“If we hadn’t sold, Tesla would probably be well north of 20% in the portfolio,” she said during a phone interview last week. “Last year, we were buying aggressively when analysts were saying Tesla was going to run out of cash and go bankrupt.” Tesla still is “incredibly undervalued,” she said.That’s an opinion considered absurd by most analysts, who insist nothing justifies Tesla’s valuation at almost $150 billion, or 58% more than the market capitalization of global sales leader Volkswagen AG.On the contrary, says Wood, Tesla’s share of EV sales increased a percentage point to 18% when the so-called Tesla killers — from BYD Co. Ltd and BAIC Motor Corp. in China to Nissan Motor Co. in Japan and Volkswagen, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Daimler AG in Germany and General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. in the U.S — started selling their own battery-electric vehicles. Wood believes the legacy automakers will lose money on their EVs, while Tesla becomes increasingly profitable and remains years ahead of its rivals in battery and chip technology.The company also has 14 billion miles of real-world driving data. Its closest competitor, Waymo, has data on 20 million miles.The investors who have been Tesla naysayers have gotten far more attention than Wood. News articles about Tesla short sellers, including David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital LLC and Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates Ltd., are far more numerous on the Bloomberg system. More than 100 stories showcased Einhorn’s disdain for Tesla, and more than 40 similarly featured Chanos, while there were around 20 for Wood during the same period.Investors were similarly dubious about Amazon.com, which appreciated 1,029% during its first five years after the initial public offering in 1997 and 228% during its second five-year period. Tesla has gained 1,018% during the five years after its 2010 IPO and appreciated 206% since 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s the same idea that analysts hated Amazon during that entire period – not on the bubble but after the tech and telecom bust,” Wood said.In her latest assessment last month, she wrote: “Based on our updated expectations for electric vehicle (EV) cost declines and demand, as well as our estimates for the potential profitability of robotaxis, our 2024 expected value per share for TSLA is $7,000.”That’s a far cry from the $340 in August 2018, when Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”Musk subsequently received a letter from Wood urging him not to take the company private because she saw Tesla rallying to $4,000 in five years. Before the month ended, he said his plan to take Tesla private wasn’t “the better path.” Even Musk seemed impressed by Wood’s judgment. “The letter was to him and the board, and he did say that he and the board took the letter into consideration and it did influence them,” she said.Tesla said last week that it will sell about $2 billion of new shares and that Musk would purchase as much as $10 million of the offering.“I’m not going to tell you we were the reason,” Wood said. “We were a little peapod back then, and we’re still a little peapod in the scheme of the asset management world.” But, she said, “I think our research is the best in the world on Tesla.”So far at least, she’s been right on the money.\-- With assistance from Shin PeiTo contact the author of this story: Matthew A. Winkler at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Katy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matthew A. Winkler is Co-founder of Bloomberg News (1990) and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus; Bloomberg Opinion Columnist since 2015; Co-founder of Bloomberg Business Journalism Diversity Program in 2017. During his 25 years as Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg News was a three-time finalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and received numerous George Polk, Gerald Loeb, Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists and Editors (Sabew) awards.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.
(Bloomberg) -- Binance Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platforms, has made its first foray into business services by lending its technology and liquidity to those who want to start their own exchanges.The Malta-based crypto behemoth announced its cloud operation to help business clients and partners set up crypto exchanges using Binance’s tech infrastructure, ranging from matching engines to risk controls and data security systems, according to a company statement.Tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have over the years evolved beyond their core consumer-facing services and become some of the world’s biggest cloud providers -- and Binance envisions the same type of success in crypto. Binance Cloud will overtake the company’s main exchange to become its biggest source of revenue in five years, co-founder and CEO “CZ” Zhao Changpeng estimates.“Theoretically speaking, we can let anyone in the world create their own exchanges, and the demand is huge,” the 43-year-old coder-turned-entrepreneur said in an interview. “Even during the crypto winter of 2018 and 2019, hundreds of new exchanges popped up every day.”The cloud division -- which started just three months ago and now has nearly 20 people -- complements Binance’s strategy of attracting fiat money. Like its peers, Binance makes money mostly via transaction fees on its trading platforms, which fluctuate wildly with crypto prices. The shift into enterprise-oriented businesses could also help the startup unlock a more steady revenue stream.Binance started off in 2017 as a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, and gained momentum quickly by handling only tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, which allowed it to avoid dealing with banks and government watchdogs. Now a major player, Zhao’s firm is working to shake off its reputation as a regulatory arbitrageur: It has set up regulatory-compliant fiat exchanges in jurisdictions like Singapore and Jersey as it seeks to appeal to a much larger user base that hasn’t bought digital money yet.Binance Applied for Singapore’s New Crypto License, CEO SaysAnd this isn’t Zhao’s first crack at the cloud business. Before Binance, he was the founder of a Shanghai-based startup called BijieTech specializing in outsourcing tech solutions for crypto exchange operators.Zhao said Binance would favor fiat exchanges as its cloud clients, especially those that target regions or communities where the company doesn’t yet have a strong foothold. Ideally they would also have “good compliance status, relationships, and even strong influence with regulators,” he said.Competition is still nascent in cloud services for crypto exchanges. Binance rival Huobi rolled out its cloud operation in 2018 and has signed up partners including Russia’s VEB Bank and Taiwan’s Chi Fu Group, according to its website.Binance will announce the first fiat exchange powered by its cloud service in the coming weeks, while it has confirmed four other clients in the lineup, Zhao said, without sharing specifics.Aside from tapping into Binance tech, Zhao said clients will also be able to access the order books of all the existing trading pairs on Binance.“Liquidity is a chicken-and-egg problem for small exchanges,” he said. “Without liquidity, they won’t have users.”To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joanna Ossinger, David ScanlanFor 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) -- Apple Inc. doesn’t expect to meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter because of work slowdowns and lower smartphone demand, showing that the virus outbreak in China is taking a bigger-than-predicted toll on one of the world’s most valuable companies.The company said that the iPhone, which generates the bulk of Apple’s revenue, is temporarily constrained due to production ramping up more slowly than anticipated. “Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,” the company said in a statement Monday. In addition, demand for iPhones has been reduced because stores in China have been closed or operating with reduced hours and few customers, the company said.Apple had forecast revenue of $63 billion to $67 billion for the fiscal second quarter ending in March. Analysts on average estimated $65.23 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company said in January when it announced its guidance that it anticipated factories reopening beginning Feb. 10. That process however has been slow as factory workers and manufacturing partners look to contain the virus, which has resulted in about 1,800 reported deaths in China, from spreading further.U.S. stock futures slid after Apple amplified worries about the blow to corporate earnings and economic growth from the deadly coronavirus. Apple suppliers TDK Corp. and Murata Manufacturing Co. slid more than 3% in early Asian trade.“This is the double-edged sword of being in China,” said longtime Apple analyst and Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster. “They’re the only big company with China exposure, so they are working through the pain of what has largely been a success for the company over the past decade.” Apple is the only major U.S. technology giant to offer the majority of its products and services in China. Products from Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. are either limited or unavailable.Still, Apple isn’t the only big tech company impacted by the virus. Nintendo Co. is likely to struggle with production of its Switch gaming device due to coronavirus, while Facebook previously said that it will see production of its Oculus VR headsets drop due to the epidemic.Apple said that, outside of China, products and services sales have been “strong to date and in line with our expectations.”The Cupertino, California-based technology giant didn’t say what its new revenue outlook is for March but that situation is “evolving.” The company said it will share more information during its April earnings call. The disclosure marks the second time in two years that Apple has readjusted its earnings forecast due to China-related factors. For fiscal 2019, it cut holiday earnings projections on slower than expected iPhone sales in China, which it attributed in part to the trade war with the U.S.Apple had been planning to start producing a new low-cost iPhone in February, putting it up for sale as early as March, Bloomberg News has reported. It’s unclear how coronavirus has impacted those plans.Read more: ‘Nightmare’ for Global Tech: Virus Fallout Is Just Beginning (3)“This unexpected news confirms the worst fears of the Street that the virus outbreak has dramatically impacted iPhone supply from China/Foxconn with a demand ripple impact worldwide,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a research note. He kept an outperform rating on the stock and remains bullish on the longer-term outlook.The company said that despite missing its guidance, all of its manufacturing sites for iPhones in the region have reopened. In addition to iPhone constraints, the company cited its inability to sell products at its retail and partner stores in China due to the virus. China represents Apple’s third-biggest market in terms of revenue and has 42 stores, which have been closed for much of February.“Stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic,” Apple said in its statement. “We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can.” Apple said its contact centers and corporate offices in China have already reopened. It has opened a few stores in China, including in Beijing and Shanghai, but with limited operating hours.(Updates with Asian share action from the third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at email@example.com;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Andrew Martin, Catherine LarkinFor 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.