Today - Friday, December 13, 2013
11:41 AMOpenTable slumps in response to Apple patent application
- Apple has filed a patent application for an advanced restaurant reservation/ordering system. The systems would be aware of how much time a customer has spent at a table, would alert waiting customers when a table is ready, and would provide menu recommendations based on customer preferences.
- OpenTable (OPEN -4.1%) investors appear nervous about the patent application. However, taking share from OpenTable in the face of the restaurant reservation leader's huge network effect would be an uphill battle, especially if (as one would expect) Apple's offering is only available on mobile devices to iOS users.
- OpenTable's services have been integrated with Siri for more than a year.
11:08 AMEA, Take-Two rally after NPD's November figures released
- NPD estimates U.S. physical retail video game sales fell 24% Y/Y in November, after having risen 12% in October and (thanks to the Grand Theft Auto V launch) 52% in September. The fact many gamers directed their discretionary income towards buying next-gen consoles may have played a role here.
- Electronic Arts (EA +7.2%) investors appear pleased Battlefield 4 came in at #2 on NPD's bestseller list, in spite of the well-publicized bugs and gameplay issues EA is scrambling to address. In addition, Madden NFL 25 is ranked #4 after falling out of the top-10 in October, and FIFA 14 is at #10.
- Activision's (ATVI +0.1%) Call of Duty: Ghosts topped the bestseller list, and Skylanders: Swap Force is ranked #7. Take-Two (TTWO +2%) investors appear content with the fact GTA V came in at #5 after easily topping NPD's list for two months; Take-Two's NBA 2K14 is ranked #6, up one spot from October.
- NPD also states the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in November both in terms of hardware and game sales. But that might simply be the result of an earlier launch (Nov. 15 vs. Nov. 22). Sony claimed 2.1M+ PS4 sales as of Dec. 3, and Microsoft claimed 2M+ Xbox One sales as of Dec. 11.
10:34 AMNimble Storage takes off following IPO
- After pricing its 8M-share IPO at $21 (above an elevated range), Nimble Storage (NMBL) opened at $31.10 and is currently trading at $30.07, up 43.2%.
- The maker of hybrid flash/hard drive storage systems sports a market cap of $2.11B, or perhaps ~20x 2013 revenue (given how sales have been trending). Investors appear willing to pay steep multiples for Nimble on account of its triple-digit growth and proprietary CASL architecture.
- Nimble's strong showing might encourage rival Nimbus Data (makes flash-only storage systems) to speed up its IPO plans.
10:21 AMSunEdison drops after upsizing, pricing convertible debt offering
- SunEdison (SUNE -2.1%) has upsized its convertible debt offering to $1B from $800M; the company will sell $500M worth of senior notes due 2018, and an equal quantity of notes due 2021. (PR)
- Net proceeds are expected to total $974.2M. As previously stated, SunEdison plans to use $750M of the proceeds to pay down existing high-interest debt. The rest will be used for hedge transactions and "general corporate purposes."
- The 2018 notes carry an interest rate of 2%, and the 2021 notes a rte of 2.75%. Both sets of notes have an initial conversion price of $14.62/share; that represents a 30% premium to current trading levels.
- Shares are adding to the losses they saw yesterday in response to SunEdison's Q4 warning.
9:58 AMSonus buying Performance Technologies for $30M
- Sonus (SONS +0.7%) is acquiring Performance Technologies (PTIX +24.3%), a player in the fast-growing 4G diameter signaling software space, for $3.75/share in cash, or $30M net of cash on hand and acquisition-related costs. The price represents a 24% premium to PTIX's Thursday close. (PR)
- The acquisition allows Sonus to address another fast-growing telecom software market, albeit one where it'll face plenty of competition - F5, Oracle, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Huawei are some of the other firms with diameter signaling offerings. Sonus has already been offsetting soft demand for its mainstay VoIP gateways by growing session border controller sales.
- The deal is expected to close in Q1 2014. Sonus sees it diluting 2014 EPS by $0.02 or less, but being accretive to 2015 EPS.
9:43 AMARC Group forms 3D printing division, Brean ups PT to $30, shares +5%
- ARC Group Worldwide (ARCW +5%) shares spike after the company announces it has formed a 3D Material Technologies division which will utilize 3D printing, CNC machining, and MIM Technology to create prototypes for customers.
- The company notes its experience with FDM, SLS, and SLA 3D printing tech, and "views metal 3D printing as a significant area to build out its capabilities."
- Brean Capital, which initiated shares at Buy with a $25 PT on Wed., raises its PT to $30 on the announcement, and believes shares could be worth upwards of $45-$50.
- Brean believes "ARCW is in an incredibly advantaged position to lead in metal 3D parts," with the firm likening ARC's new ops to 3D Systems' Quickparts and Stratasys's Redeye businesses.
9:38 AMA roundup of tech ratings changes
- Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) has been upgraded to Strong Buy by ISI.
- Stratasys (SSYS +2.5%) has been started at Overweight by Stephens.
- Ciena (CIEN +1.5%) has been upgraded to Outperform by BMO a day after posting mixed FQ4 results and slightly disappointing FQ1 revenue guidance (midpoint below consensus).
- Ubiquiti (UBNT +1.1%) has been started at Outperform by Wells Fargo.
- Procera (PKT +2.1%) has been started at Buy by D.A. Davidson.
- China Mobile Games (CMGE +3%) has been started at Buy by Brean.
9:31 AMCamtek guides for Q4 revenue of $23M-$25M, sees $600M-$750M GreenJet market
- In an investor presentation, Camtek (CAMT +4.5%) management issues Q4 revenue guidance of $23M-$25M (+36.4% Y/Y at the midpoint).
- The company notes that its breakeven point has been reduced to revenue of $17M-$19M.
- It sees a total available market for its GreenJet solder mask 3D printer of $600M-$750M (in the range of SA contributor Jonathan Fishman's estimates).
9:26 AMNimble Storage prices IPO at $21, shares begin trading today
- From all indications, Nimble Storage's (NMBL) IPO will avoid the fate seen by rival Violin Memory's offering. The maker of hybrid flash/hard drive storage systems has priced its IPO at $21, above an elevated range of $18-$20. Shares are set to begin trading today.
- Nimble raised $168M by selling 8M shares, and has an IPO valuation of $1.48B. That gives the company a market cap well above the ones possessed by Violin ($211M) and Fusion-io ($908M).
- S-1, IPO preview, FY14 performance
9:14 AMSeagate, Western Digital upgraded to Buy by Citi
- Citi's Joo Yoo has upgraded Seagate (STX -0.3%) and Western Digital (WDC +1.3%) to Buy, while respectively raising his PTs to $62 and $100.
- Echoing recent Intel upgrades, Yoo expects Seagate and Western improving/stabilizing PC demand. He also sees the hard drive giants to getting a boost from sales to cloud infrastructure services firms; Western is targeting these companies (and others) with its new helium drives.
- Yoo downgraded Seagate and Western to Sell in Oct. '12, and upgraded them to Neutral in July. Shares have had a pretty good run over the last 14 months.
- STX +1.6% premarket.
8:22 AMElephant inks 5-year contract extension with client; +24%
- Elephant Talk (ETAK) soars 24% after getting a 5-year extension with an existing Mobile Network Operator (MNO) client in Europe. Elephant expects hosting fees to increase approximately 13% on average, per SIM per month, in exchange for improved service levels. Elephant will receive continuous prepayments of about $10M for the duration of the contract.
- Press release
8:03 AMAdvertising works on Twitter; RBC boosts price target
- "A substantial 40% of Twitter (TWTR) advertisers reported improving ROI over the last six months and 40% have also increased their Twitter spend," says RBC Capital, upping its price target on Buy-rated Twitter to $60 from $33.
- 59% of respondents plan to increase ad spend with Twitter over the next twelve months, says the team, while only 4% plan to decrease.
- Shares +1.2% premarket to $56.
7:54 AMAmid MSFT rumor, Qualcomm names Mollenkopf CEO| 9 Comments
5:13 AMIntel threatened as Google mulls creating own server chips
- Google (GOOG) is reportedly thinking about designing its own server processors using technology from ARM Holdings (ARMH).
- The idea is that with its own chips, Google could better better manage the interaction between hardware and software.
- The move could hurt Intel (INTC), which earns over 4% of its revenue from the search giant, and which has a 95% share of the market for server chips that use PC processors. The company has been hoping that rising demand for the components will offset the slump in the PC market.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
5:57 PMTwitter makes new highs again as ad product barrage continues
- Following today's gains, Twitter (TWTR +5.7%) is up 23% on the week, and 113% from its $26 IPO price.
- The microblogging service continues to unleash a torrent of new ad products. After launching its Tailored Audiences ad retargeting solution last week and a new TV ad product shortly before that, Twitter has launched Broad Match, an ad product that allows a keyword purchase to cover similar words.
- In addition, the company's MoPub mobile ad network unit has added support for in-stream ads similar to Twitter's Promoted Tweets and Facebook's sponsored news feed ads. The products aims to profit from a general boom in demand for native advertising formats.
- Short-covering could be contributing to this week's gains. As of Nov. 29, 17.8M Twitter shares were shorted; the company sold only 70M through its IPO.
5:33 PMQualcomm COO reportedly added to Microsoft CEO candidate list
- Bloomberg reports Qualcomm (QCOM) COO/chip division chief Steve Mollenkopf has been added to Microsoft's (MSFT) list of potential Steve Ballmer replacements.
- The news service adds Alan Mulally's candidacy "has faded in the last two weeks amid concerns about his lack of technology experience." However, it adds scenarios still exist in which Mulally would get the job, such as one where he grooms an internal candidate (previous).
- MSFT -0.6% AH. All signs suggest the Street would prefer Mulally, reportedly being pressed by Ford about his future plans, to take over the reins at the software giant.
5:00 PMAmazon reportedly taking on Costco, Sam's with bulk goods service
- USA Today reports Amazon (AMZN) is prepping a service that will allow Prime subscribers to place as many consumer goods items as they wish into a set-sized box, provided a weight limit isn't exceeded.
- Sources state the service, called Pantry, will launch next year, feature a small shipping fee, and initially support ~2K items "typically found in the center of grocery stores." It would act as new competition for bulk consumer goods sellers such as Costco (COST) and Sam's Club (WMT).
- Amazon appears intent on grabbing a larger share of grocery and consumer packaged goods spending. The company is in the midst of rolling out its AmazonFresh same-day/grocery delivery service in major U.S. metro areas, and its Quidsi unit has rapidly expanded into many consumer/household goods markets.
4:35 PMAdobe +3.9% AH; FY14 guidance light, but long-term forecast strong
- With its near-term results continuing to be pressured by the shift to Creative Cloud subscriptions from up-front Creative Suite licenses, Adobe (ADBE) is guiding for FQ1 revenue of $950M-$1B and EPS of $0.22-$0.28, below a consensus of $1.02B and $0.34. Likewise, Adobe forecasts flat FY14 (ends Nov. '14) revenue growth and EPS of $1.10, below a consensus for 7.8% growth and EPS of $1.60.
- On the other hand, with much of the revenue getting pushed out by the Creative Cloud shift set to be recognized in future years, Adobe expects to see a 20% revenue CAGR from FY14-FY16. The company is also targeting FY15 EPS of $2 and FY16 EPS of at least $3.
- 402K paid Creative Cloud subs were added in FQ4, up from 331K in FQ3, 221K in FQ2, and 153K in FQ1. The total base is now at 1.439M. Creative annual recurring revenue (ARR) rose 41% Q/Q to $768M, and total digital media ARR rose 39% to $911M.
- Thanks to both strong organic growth and the Neolane acquisition, Marketing Cloud (online/mobile ad tech) revenue rose 38% Y/Y to $316.2M (30% of total revenue). That represents an acceleration from FQ3's 28% growth.
- Deferred revenue rose by $94.7M Q/Q to $828.8M, and EPS was boosted by $405M in buybacks.
- CC at 5PM ET. FQ4 results, PR, datasheet, slides