• Airbnb in Talks to Raise More Debt Amid Global Crisis
    Bloomberg

    Airbnb in Talks to Raise More Debt Amid Global Crisis

    (Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. is in talks with investors to take on as much as $1 billion in additional debt after announcing a $1 billion debt and equity deal Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.The travel platform company announced Monday that it was raising $1 billion in debt and equity from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. The company has held discussions about raising $500 million to $1 billion more by either issuing first-lien debt, which would give its holders priority in case of a default, or a convertible note or selling an equity stake, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public.The additional funds would give Airbnb an extra financial cushion as prospects dim for an initial public offering this year. The money could help Airbnb weather the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic without going public, and could also allow the company to make acquisitions, a strategy it has been weighing, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg last month.Airbnb hasn’t disclosed the terms of its deal with Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. People familiar with the matter have said that the transaction was comprised of second lien debt, along with warrants for about 1% of the company’s equity. The warrants give Airbnb an $18 billion valuation, one of the people said. That compares with a value earlier of $31 billion.Monday’s deal carried an 11% to 12% interest rate, the people said. The investment doesn’t entitle the investors to a seat on Airbnb’s board of directors, one of the people said.Raising second lien debt, means that Airbnb has room to take on more senior debt, which it is considering. The company could also raise a convertible note or equity instead, the people said.As the home-sharing company raises debt, it is canceling a $1 billion credit facility with several banks that is administered by Bank of America Corp. Those banks include Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., both of which advised on the Silver Lake-Sixth Street transaction, one of the people said.The deal announced Monday was meant to help the home-sharing company make it through the pandemic that is devastating the global travel industry, Airbnb said in a statement.“The new resources will support Airbnb’s ongoing work to invest over the long term in its community of hosts who share their homes and experiences, as well as the work to serve all stakeholders in the Airbnb community,” the company said.(Updates with details about fundraising talks starting in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • DHT Holdings (DHT) Flat As Market Sinks: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    DHT Holdings (DHT) Flat As Market Sinks: What You Should Know

    DHT Holdings (DHT) closed the most recent trading day at $6.14, making no change from the previous trading session.

  • Cloud Computing Seen as Tech Haven Amid Pandemic Uncertainty
    Bloomberg

    Cloud Computing Seen as Tech Haven Amid Pandemic Uncertainty

    (Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus pandemic has pressured nearly every corner of the global economy, but analysts continue to see sunny days ahead for cloud computing and the ecosystem that surrounds the technology.The sub-sector is seen as a rare bright spot in the current environment, particularly as the outbreak pushes more people to work remotely, contributing to a long-term trend of rising demand. The boost is expected to be broad based, helping software companies, communication firms, and chipmakers that focus on data-center products, which are processors used in cloud computing.“The lasting impact of Covid-19 could actually be a net positive,” wrote Richard Baldry, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners. Cloud-based communication companies “should see increased customer activity, at least once operational bandwidth returns to a somewhat more normal level for prospects.” He listed Five9, Medallia, eGain and LivePerson as names that could see stronger demand and which were trading at valuations he views as attractive.So far this year, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF -- an exchange-traded fund that tracks an index of companies involved in the space -- is down 6.4%. A different ETF, the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF, is down 9.2%. Both have outperformed the S&P 500’s drop of more than 15% over the same period.According to Wedbush, the pandemic has thrown “sales cycles, procurement/IT departments, and budgets into a tornado-like state of chaos,” resulting in unprecedented risks to IT spending. Even in this environment, analyst Daniel Ives wrote, “cloud remains a theme”; he expects $1 trillion to be spent on cloud computing over the coming decade.Ives named Microsoft as “the Rock of Gibraltar cloud stock to own,” but said the trend would also support the cloud-computing businesses of both Amazon and Alphabet.Earlier this week, Bank of America referred to cloud-focused chipmakers as a “shining house in [a] tough neighborhood,” referring to the headwinds facing other areas of the industry. Analyst Vivek Arya expects cloud capex to rise 13% in 2020. While this is down from a prior view of 16% growth -- the lower estimate reflects “the most current Covid-19 headwinds” -- it represents a “robust acceleration” from 2019, when capex grew just 3.5%.The firm listed Broadcom, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, Marvell Technology and Intel among the chipmakers most exposed to this trend. Nvidia has been one of the rare semiconductor gainers this year, and analysts have pointed to its data-center business as a tailwind.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • WeWork Directors Sue SoftBank Over Decision to Abandon Deal
    Bloomberg

    WeWork Directors Sue SoftBank Over Decision to Abandon Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- Two independent WeWork directors sued SoftBank Group Corp., its biggest shareholder, after the Japanese investor scrapped a $3 billion deal to buy stock from ex-Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann and other shareholders to bail out the struggling workplace provider.SoftBank reneged on promises to “use its reasonable best efforts to consummate” the stock-purchase agreement because of “buyer’s remorse,” the directors, which make up a special committee of WeWork’s board, said in the Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit.“Instead of abiding by its contractual obligations, SoftBank, under increasing pressure from activist investors, has engaged in a purposeful campaign to avoid completion of the tender offer,” said Bruce Dunlevie and Lew Frankfort, who make up the committee. The pair regret “the fact SoftBank continues to put its own interests ahead of those of WeWork’s minority stockholders,” according to an emailed statement.A spokesperson for SoftBank said it would vigorously defend the lawsuit. “Nothing in the special committee’s filing today credibly refutes SoftBank’s decision to terminate the tender offer,” the spokesperson said Tuesday in a statement. Softbank said several conditions for completing the tender were not met and called the special committee’s filing a “desperate and misguided attempt” to revise history.“The Special Committee will not prevail in this mistaken attempt to force SoftBank to purchase their shares when it is not legally obligated to do so,” the spokesperson said.Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., a major investor in Softbank, has advocated for the Japanese company to boost its own value by engaging in stock buybacks.Bailout PackageSoftBank agreed to buy shares from Neumann, Benchmark Capital and others as part of a bailout package last year, but notified stockholders in mid-March that some of the deal’s conditions hadn’t been met. After the deal’s closing deadline passed last week, SoftBank confirmed it was pulling the offer.In a message to shareholders last month, Softbank cited nearly a half-dozen conditions that WeWork officials hadn’t met as the basis for pulling out of purchase, including its failure to renegotiate some leases in the wake of the economic havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Of the tender offer, $450 million is currently allocated to current and former employees, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.The directors pointed to efforts by SoftBank executives to “thwart” a consolidation of WeWork’s Chinese joint venture as evidence that they had second thoughts about the deal. Softbank cited the failure to complete the “roll-up” of the China unit as one of the conditions that hadn’t been met, while WeWork executives accused their erstwhile partner of creating a pretext for pulling out of the agreement.Softbank’s argument that WeWork failed to gain the necessary regulatory approvals for the deal also doesn’t fly because the only country left to sign off on the transaction was Mexico and WeWork has until August to gain that country’s okay, according to the suit.“SoftBank’s apparent buyer’s remorse” was spurred by its own declining financial condition, the WeWork directors said in the suit. “SoftBank’s enormous and growing debt burden, which is now over $109 billion, led Moody’s to issue a rare two-notch downgrade in SoftBank’s debt rating in March 2020,” according to the suit.‘Material Adverse Effect’The directors also noted the agreement doesn’t contain a so-called “material adverse effect” provision or similar termination right that is common in such deals. Two years ago, a Delaware judge found such a provision permitted Germany’s Fresenius SE to walk away from its takeover of U.S. rival generic drugmaker Akorn Inc.The WeWork directors want a chancery judge to order Softbank to carry out the stock purchase and acknowledge it trampled on the rights of some investors in the workplace provider. “SoftBank’s actions harmed the company’s minority stockholders by depriving them of liquidity, which was the primary consideration they were to receive under” the agreement, the suit said.The suit was filed in Delaware because it’s the corporate home to WeWork and more than half of U.S. public companies.The case is The We Company v. Softbank Group Corp, No. 2020-0258, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington)(Adds comment from Softbank in fourth and fifth paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • US STOCKS-Wall Street gains on hopes of coronavirus slowdown
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-Wall Street gains on hopes of coronavirus slowdown

    Wall Street rose on Tuesday on early signs of the coronavirus outbreak plateauing in some of the biggest U.S. hot spots, with the New York governor saying social distancing measures to curtail the spread of the virus were working. The S&P 500 was set for its biggest two-day gain in nearly two weeks, building on a 7% jump on Monday, as health officials also said the pandemic may kill fewer Americans than recent projections. The S&P 500 is up about 22% from March intraday lows, but remains 19% below its mid-February record high as strict stay-at-home orders crushed demand across industries including airlines, automakers and hotels.

  • 5 Stocks Up on Signs of Slowdown in Coronavirus Cases
    Zacks

    5 Stocks Up on Signs of Slowdown in Coronavirus Cases

    Coronavirus shows signs of slowdown in the United States and some other countries. While investors look for positive developments in the stock market, here are five must-buy stocks poised to grow.

  • Intel (INTC) to Divest Home Gateway Division to MaxLinear
    Zacks

    Intel (INTC) to Divest Home Gateway Division to MaxLinear

    Intel (INTC) is set to sell off its Home Gateway Platform Division to MaxLinear (MXL) for $150 million.

  • Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 7th
    Zacks

    Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 7th

    Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 7th

  • 7 Low Price-to-Sales Stocks to Consider Amid Coronavirus Woes
    Zacks

    7 Low Price-to-Sales Stocks to Consider Amid Coronavirus Woes

    A stock's price-to-sales ratio reflects how much investors are paying for each dollar of revenues generated by a company.

  • 4 Internet-Based Stocks to Buy Amid Coronavirus-Led Lockdown
    Zacks

    4 Internet-Based Stocks to Buy Amid Coronavirus-Led Lockdown

    Here, we have picked four Internet-based services stocks that are poised to benefit significantly from the COVID-19-incited panic.

  • Intel Stock Rises 5%
    Investing.com

    Intel Stock Rises 5%

    Investing.com - Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Stock rose by 5.05% to trade at $61.32 by 12:15 (16:15 GMT) on Tuesday on the NASDAQ exchange.

  • 3 Funds Fighting Coronavirus with the Help of Cloud and AI
    Zacks

    3 Funds Fighting Coronavirus with the Help of Cloud and AI

    The implementation of AI, cloud and machine learning to tackle pandemic-related challenges has taken a big leap in this hour of need.

  • U.S. Blacklist Hurt Megvii’s Sales Before IPO Attempt
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Blacklist Hurt Megvii’s Sales Before IPO Attempt

    (Bloomberg) -- Megvii Technology Ltd.’s revenue growth dissipated in the second half of 2019 after it joined Huawei Technologies Co. on a U.S. trade blacklist, underscoring the extent to which White House sanctions are hurting China’s technology leaders.The company backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. grew revenue a mere 2.7% in 2019’s second half after more than tripling sales in the first six months of the year, according to unaudited numbers for investors seen by Bloomberg. On a full-year basis, Megvii fell short of its target for 2.9 billion yuan ($409 million) in sales by almost 28%, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing internal targets.Megvii and its biggest competitor, SenseTime Group Ltd., had been among China’s fastest-growing startups but are now under scrutiny after the Trump administration blacklisted them over alleged involvement in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China. The surprise action in October encompassed several leading players in the field of artificial intelligence, a key area of contention between the world’s two largest economies.Megvii suspended certain operations while it determined which parts of the business may violate the blacklist, which prohibited the export of American technology, and that delayed some orders or shipments in the second half, another person said. To re-energize the business, the AI giant is now developing new revenue streams, including temperature detection solutions deployed to help China curb Covid-19 this year.U.S. sanctions helped tank Megvii’s attempt to go public, a $1 billion deal regarded as the unofficial coming-out party for China’s burgeoning AI sector. Megvii, backed also by Alipay-operator Ant Financial, ICBC Asset Management and Lenovo Group Ltd., this year allowed its application for a Hong Kong IPO to lapse, throwing its future plans into question. Megvii representatives declined to comment.Read more: U.S. Blacklisting Undermines Megvii IPO, China’s AI Ambition China’s advances in AI have unnerved Washington because both countries are vying for leadership in a technology at the heart of everything from autonomous driving and robot waiters to facial recognition. Chinese names like Megvii and SenseTime are joined by established players including Huawei, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Didi Chuxing in a race with the likes of Google and Microsoft Corp. to develop systems fundamental to future modern economies.The company, last valued at about $4 billion according to people familiar with the matter, generates most of its revenue from products that combine software and sensors to help government agencies and other clients enhance public safety and optimize traffic management. Megvii disclosed in its August IPO documents that sales from that business, which it labeled “city IoT solutions,” jumped 270% to 694.8 million yuan in 2019’s first six months. It said in its prospectus that it served 112 cities in China, 38% of the country’s total, as of June.It also sells face-scanning systems to companies from iPhone-maker Foxconn Technology Group to Lenovo and Ant Financial, the payments affiliate that supports Alibaba’s e-commerce business. The company generated 207.2 million yuan from the segment it dubs “personal IoT solutions,” or 22% of its revenue. Its third major business line, solutions for logistics that deploy AI-empowered robots and sensors, made up some 5% of revenue.Megvii lost 3.4 billion yuan in 2018, partly due to changes in the value of preferred shares, according to its prospectus. It listed 1.4 billion yuan in cash, equivalents and bank balances at the end of June, while it used nearly half of that for operations in the first six months of the year. Its term deposits, which refers to short-term bank deposits with maturities of three to twelve months, stood at 3.3 billion yuan as of June, according to the IPO document.(Updates with ICBC as an investor in the fifth paragraph. A previous version was corrected to remove China Mobile as an investor.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Chinese AI Giant Megvii Faces HKEX Queries on IPO Application
    Bloomberg

    Chinese AI Giant Megvii Faces HKEX Queries on IPO Application

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese artificial-intelligence giant Megvii Technology Ltd. is facing additional queries from the Hong Kong bourse ahead of its planned initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.Some questions relate to public complaints about whether the company adequately disclosed risks related to U.S. sanctions, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Megvii, which met Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s listing committee Thursday, will need to address the concerns before it receives formal clearance to go ahead with the share sale, the people said.A recent online campaign has been encouraging people to send complaints to the listing committee and HKEX Chief Executive Officer Charles Li, lobbying the exchange not to approve Megvii’s listing application. A letter circulated online said Megvii breached the listing rules by failing to make adequate disclosures of sanction risks.Megvii filed its IPO documents in August. The exchange’s queries aren’t necessarily an indication it will block the listing, and in some previous cases it has allowed a deal to go ahead after receiving a company’s explanations. A representative for Megvii declined to comment.The IPO could be the unofficial debut on global stage for China’s artificial intelligence industry. The AI startup is among several Chinese companies that the Trump administration blacklisted over alleged involvement in human rights violations against Muslim minorities in China.Megvii has said it “strongly objects” to the blacklisting and that the company complies with all regulations in the markets in which it operates.Any deal will add to the $34.3 billion raised in Hong Kong IPOs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The startup counts Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its financial affiliate Ant Financial and Lenovo Group Ltd. as strategic investors.Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are the joint sponsors of the deal, according to a preliminary prospectus.(Corrects story from November to remove reference to China Mobile as an investor in the penultimate paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of Megvii’s name in the first deck headline.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alibaba-Backed AI Startup Sales Triple Enroute to IPO
    Bloomberg

    Alibaba-Backed AI Startup Sales Triple Enroute to IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- Megvii Technology Ltd. for the first time revealed the stunning growth fueled by a nation’s obsession with security.The Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-backed startup tripled revenue to 949 million yuan ($133 million) in the first half. It generated more than 73% of those sales from AI services for major clients like government agencies, hospitals and real estate developers, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.Seven-year-old Megvii is said to be angling to raise as much as $1 billion in its initial public offering, becoming the first of China’s fast-rising AI stars to debut and beating Sensetime Group Ltd. to the punch. Its share sale however will run up against a host of uncertainties from violent pro-democracy protests that’ve gripped Hong Kong to the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive campaign to contain China’s tech champions.Megvii is moving forward even as other companies pump the brakes on their Hong Kong listing ambitions, wary of the turmoil. Its fundraising will further Beijing’s effort to lead the sector by 2030. That’s in turn prompting the Trump administration to sound the alarm about investment into Chinese technology.Megvii generates the bulk of its revenue from products that combine software and sensors to help government agencies and other clients enhance public safety and optimize traffic management. Sales from that business, which it labeled “city IoT solutions,” jumped 270% to 694.8 million yuan in 2019’s first six months. Megvii said it served 112 cities in China, 38% of the country’s total, as of June. It posted 5.2 billion yuan in losses for the first half, while adjusted profit reached 32.7 million yuan.‘IPOs‘ have been pretty disappointing in the past few months, but since AI is a hot category at the moment it could gain more traction,” said Mark Tanner, founder of Shanghai-based research and marketing company China Skinny.Read more: China AI Startup Files for Hong Kong IPO Despite ProtestsThe filing kicked off the formal process for an IPO, though it could be months before Megvii’s actual debut. The offering faces particular challenges. Washington has upped its rhetoric about inspection of investment into Chinese technology, which may erode the interest of U.S. money managers in the country’s AI startups.In a list of risk factors, Megvii warned of possible economic and trade restrictions similar to curbs imposed on Huawei Technologies Co. Should that happen, it would prevent the company from procuring technology, and impair its ability to develop solutions. The company stressed that it’s made sure it’s compliant with relevant restrictions, while making contingency plans to minimize the negative impact of potential curbs.Read more: Trump Aides Say He Has Power to Force Companies From China (2)Megvii also warned that sanctions on sales of American technology to Huawei may roil industries from consumer electronics to telecommunications. “Prolonged restrictions against Huawei could cause a turmoil to all such industries, which may in turn materially and adversely affect our business,” it said.Megvii also sells face-scanning systems to companies from iPhone-maker Foxconn Technology Group to Lenovo Group Ltd. and Ant Financial, the payments affiliate that supports Alibaba’s e-commerce business. The company generated 207.2 million yuan from the segment it dubs “personal IoT solutions,” or 21.8% of its revenue. Its third major business line, solutions for logistics that deploy AI-empowered robots and sensors, made up some 5% of revenue.Megvii counts Alibaba and its financial affiliate Ant Financial and Lenovo Group Ltd. as strategic investors. Alibaba indirectly held 14.3% of its shares, while Ant Financial indirectly held 15.1%.Read the IPO filing here.(Corrects story from August to remove reference to China Mobile as an investor in final paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • US STOCKS-S&P 500 set to recover $1 trillion in value as virus deaths slow
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-S&P 500 set to recover $1 trillion in value as virus deaths slow

    The S&P 500 was on track to recover about $1 trillion in market value in a furious rally on Monday after a drop in the daily death toll in New York, the country's biggest coronavirus hot spot, raised hopes that the pandemic could level off soon. All three main stock indexes jumped more than 5%, with the blue-chip Dow Industrials adding 1,200 points. The S&P 500 banking index jumped 7.2% and was set for its best day in more than a week.

  • Chewy, Cedar Fair, Baidu, Alibaba and Alphabet highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
    Zacks

    Chewy, Cedar Fair, Baidu, Alibaba and Alphabet highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

    Chewy, Cedar Fair, Baidu, Alibaba and Alphabet highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

  • Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in DHT Holdings (DHT) Stock?
    Zacks

    Is the Options Market Predicting a Spike in DHT Holdings (DHT) Stock?

    Investors need to pay close attention to DHT Holdings (DHT) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.