Today - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
- A significant barrier to Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) plan to put driverless cars on the roads has been removed, after the NHTSA supported its interpretation that a robot could meet the legal definition of a driver.
- Google has also filed for another potential use of its artificial intelligence system in a patent award that described an "autonomous delivery platform" for trucks.
- The driverless transport vehicle would carry several lockers that could only be opened by the recipient of a package, using a PIN code or credit card.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
- Lumos Networks (LMOS +1.3%) has attained authorized vendor status from the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, paving the way for more leverage with governments and nonprofits.
- The company had about 3,300 route miles of its fiber network in Virginia, of a total 8,408 miles. As of Q3's end, about 65% of its total on-net locations were in the state.
- The approved status will also support the company's e-rate efforts, targeted at getting eligible services to schools and libraries.
- VMware (NYSE:VMW) has added Tony Bates, currently GoPro's President and formerly Skype's CEO and Microsoft's business development chief, to its board.
- Donald Carty, formerly Dell's CFO and AMR/American Airlines' CEO, has also joined the board. Carty has been an EMC director since Jan. 2015. (VMware's board bio page)
- Separately, VMware has updated its Horizon desktop/app virtualization platform and Horizon Air hosted desktop virtualization platform. New features include the ability to provision 2,000 desktops in under 20 minutes, a display protocol supporting GPU offloading, and improved app management and IT security tools. In addition, Horizon Air now supports a hybrid mode that pairs a cloud-based management software layer (hosted by VMware) with on-premise infrastructure for delivering virtual desktops.
- Also: VMware has unveiled Workspace One, a solution for managing, deploying, and securing user iOS, Android, and Windows devices and apps. Features include single-sign on, the ability to self-configure devices for enterprise use, and secure e-mail, calendar, content, and chat apps.
- While its standalone server virtualization sales have been falling, VMware's end-user computing (EUC) software ops have been a strong point. EUC license bookings rose 20% Y/Y in Q4 and over 30% in 2015. VMware stated on its Q4 call (transcript) its EUC license bookings "could surpass that of our nearest competitor" (presumably Citrix) in 2016.
- America Movil (AMX -3.4%) posted a net profit that jumped fivefold Y/Y, thanks to exchange rates, but EBITDA fell 5.1% (down 2.9% in constant currency) and missed expectations in its Q4.
- Profit margins dropped to its lowest ever, and margin in its biggest market (Mexico) dropped to 36.7%, the first time below 40%, Itau BBA says.
- Access lines were down 0.3% Y/Y to 367M, due to mobile disconnections: 286M wireless, 35M landlines, 24M broadband accesses and 22M pay TV. The firm added 1.5M postpaid wireless subs (base increased 5.9% Y/Y).
- Capex was 164B pesos for the full year, while shareholder distributions came to 71B pesos (including dividends, buybacks and an extraordinary dividend in September).
- Shares are flat in after-hours U.S. trading.
- Conference call to come tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.
- Company release
- NCR has used its Q4 report to guide for 2016 revenue of $6.1B-$6.2B and EPS of $2.72-$2.82, below a consensus of $6.59B and $2.92. Free cash flow is expected to rise to $425M-$475M from 2015's $409M and 2014's $313M. The guidance is said to reflect forex headwinds, pension expenses, and the pending sale of NCR's commercial printing supplies unit (expected to close in Q2).
- Q1 guidance is for revenue of $1.44B-$1.45B and EPS of $0.30-$0.35, below a consensus of $1.49B and $0.52.
- Top-line performance: Hardware revenue fell 12% Y/Y in Q4 to $631M, software license/maintenance 7% to $176M, and professional services 6% to $149M. Cloud/SaaS revenue rose 4% to $134M, and other services 2% to $590M. Financial Services revenue -11% Y/Y, Hospitality +10%, Retail Solutions and Emerging Industries flat.
- Financials: Lifting Q4 EPS: Gross margin rose 390 bps Y/Y to 28.8%, GAAP SG&A spend fell by $34M to 254M, and R&D spend fell by $22M to $55M. Following its $820M Blackstone investment and $1B accelerated buyback, NCR ended 2015 with $328M in cash and over $3.2B in debt.
- NCR is unchanged after hours for now.
- NCR's Q4 results, earnings release
- In addition to First Solar and Sunrun, SunEdison, SolarEdge, SunPower, and Canadian Solar are lower after SolarCity (down 32.6%) missed its Q4 installation guidance and offered a weaker-than-expected Q1 forecast.
- SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), set to acquire SolarCity rival Vivint Solar, is down 6.1%. SolarEdge (NASDAQ:SEDG), which counts SolarCity as a major client, is down 6.6%. SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) is down 4.2%, and Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) down 3.5%.
- SunEdison, SunPower, and Canadian are expected to post Q4 results in the coming weeks. SolarEdge beat FQ2 estimates and issued strong FQ3 guidance last week.
- Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has guided on its Q4 earnings call for Q1 revenue of $554M-$570M and EPS of $0.61-$0.64 vs. a consensus of $567.1M and $0.61. The outlook appears to be better than feared in light of the Q4 guidance given in October.
- The CDN owner also forecast its two biggest media delivery customers (Apple is likely one of them, Microsoft could be another) would drop to 6% of revenue from 13%.
- Shares are now up to $45.89 after hours.
- Akamai's Q4 beat, details/reorg/$1B buyback
- Marketo (NASDAQ:MKTO) has jumped to $17.50 after hours after beating Q4 estimates (moreso on EPS than revenue) and reporting calculated billings rose 31% Y/Y to $68.1M (above revenue of $58.3M, +38%). Shares made a fresh 52-week low of $15.17 earlier today, and had closed just $0.53 above it.
- Guidance: 2016 guidance is for revenue of $267M-$277M (from 2015's $209.9M) and EPS of -$0.47 to -$0.53; the former is below a $277.1M consensus, and the latter above a -$0.58 consensus. Q1 guidance is for revenue of $61M-$62M and EPS of -$0.16 to -$0.18 vs. a consensus of $61.6M and -$0.19.
- Q4 details: The deferred revenue balance totaled $92M at the end of December, up 46% Y/Y but below guidance of $93M-$95M. GAAP operating expenses rose 22% Y/Y in Q4 to $54.8M, with $33.7M spent on sales/marketing. Marketo ended Q4 with $107.2M in cash and less than $3M in credit facility debt.
- Marketo's Q4 results, earnings release
- Ruckus Wireless (NYSE:RKUS) has dropped to $6.72 after hours after posting a Q4 sales miss and in-line EPS. Q1 guidance is in-line: Revenue of $96M-$101M (up from $82.1M a year ago) and EPS of $0.08-$0.10 vs.a consensus of $99.3M and $0.09.
- The Q4 shortfall is blamed on "a multi-million dollar E-rate opportunity that was postponed late in the quarter." 11 service provider and ~4,300 enterprise end-customers were respectively added vs. 14 and ~4,000 a year ago. The service provider and enterprise bases now respectively stand at over 260 and over 65,000.
- Op. margin rose 20 bps Y/Y to 14%. Ruckus ended Q4 with $230M in cash and no debt.
- Ruckus' Q4 results, earnings release
- SolarCity (down 28.1%) reported Q4 solar installations of 272MW, up 54% Y/Y but below guidance of 280MW-300MW. Moreover, the company has guided for Q1 installations of 180MW (+18% Y/Y).
- Top rival Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) is down 7.6% after hours. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is down 2.4%. Both companies are expected to deliver their Q4 reports in the coming weeks.
- With an FQ1 beat in tow, Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) is hiking its FY16 (ends Sep. '16) EPS guidance to $1.41-$1.51 from $1.35-$1.45; consensus is at $1.43. Revenue guidance of $1.98B-$2.03B is reiterated.
- FQ2 guidance is in-line: Revenue of $483M-$497M and EPS of $0.33-$0.36 vs. a consensus of $493.5M and $0.34.
- Bookings: Net new bookings rose 2% Y/Y in FQ1 to $308.7M. On-demand and maintenance/support contract growth led the deferred revenue balance to rise 18% to $732.7M. FY16 net new bookings growth guidance of 2%-5% is reiterated.
- Financials: Lifting EPS: $188.7M was spent to buy back 8.9M shares at an average price of $21.11. Also helping: Cost cuts led GAAP operating expenses to drop 11% Y/Y to $248.7M - non-GAAP op. margin rose to 28.6% from 22% a year ago.
Nuance ended FQ1 with $595M in cash/investments and $2.12B in debt. The company's FY16 net cash tax rate guidance has been lowered to 5%-6% from 6%-7%.
- NUAN -1.5% after hours to $15.92.
- Nuance's FQ1 results, earnings release, prepared remarks (.pdf)
- Update (5:10PM ET): Nuance is now up 5.5% after hours to $17.30.
- Though SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) beat Q4 revenue and EPS estimates, the company has reported quarterly installations of 272MW (+54% Y/Y), below guidance of 280MW-300MW.
- Moreover, SolarCity expects installations in seasonally weaker Q1 to total 180MW (-34% Q/Q and +18% Y/Y). SolarCity: "This represents a higher-than-usual seasonal slowdown that we have historically experienced after strong fourth quarters largely owing to two reasons. First is the impact of our decision to end Nevada operations in December 2015; NV contributed 23 MW in Q4 2015. It also reflects our renewed focus on our cash conversion cycle, particularly in longer lead-time commercial projects." Q1 EPS guidance of -$2.55 to -$2.65 is below a -$2.36 consensus.
- The company expects installations to "ramp throughout 2016," and is reiterating full-year installation guidance of 1.25GW. SolarCity: "Though the ITC extension certainly provides us with more tailwinds to growth, the primary focus of our company in 2016 is our goal of generating positive cash by year-end ... our guidance still implies over 40% annual growth in 2016."
- Q4 metrics: Deployments +44% Y/Y to 253MW. Cumulative MW deployed +76% to 1.74GW. Cost/watt fell $0.13 Q/Q and $0.15 Y/Y to $2.71. Gross value of MW deployed fell $0.22 Q/Q and rose $0.06 Y/Y to $3.64. Delinquencies of 180+ days remain "comfortably below 1%."
- Financials: Operating lease & system incentive revenue +53% Y/Y to $75.4M. System/component sale revenue +77% to $40.1M.GAAP operating expenses +68% to $227M - sales/marketing spend totaled $128.1M, G&A $76.2M, and R&D $22.8M.
2015 capex totaled $176.6M. SolarCity ended the year with $394M in cash/investments, over $1.2B in PowerCo debt, and over $1.4B in DevCo debt. Solar bonds and convertible debt respectively accounted for $214M and $909M of the DevCo debt.
- SolarCity's Q4 results, shareholder letter (.pdf), slides (.pdf)
- Update (6:36PM ET): The post has been updated to include additional details about SolarCity's Q4. Shares are now down 32.6% after hours to $17.75.
- A 2013 report to Amazon's (AMZN -1.2%) leadership "envisioned a global delivery network that controls the flow of goods from factories in China and India to customer doorsteps in Atlanta, New York and London," Bloomberg reports.
- A source tells Bloomberg the project, codenamed Dragon Boat, is "proceeding." The initiative will provide competition for Alibaba and various cargo middlemen, as well as logistics partners UPS and FedEx.
- Bloomberg: "Amazon wants to bypass [the middlemen], amassing inventory from thousands of merchants around the world and then buying space on trucks, planes and ships at reduced rates. Merchants will be able to book cargo space online or via mobile devices."
- The 2013 doc: "Sellers will no longer book with DHL, UPS or Fedex but will book directly with Amazon. The ease and transparency of this disintermediation will be revolutionary and sellers will flock to [Fulfillment by Amazon - FBA] given the competitive pricing." Amazon would automate shipping paperwork and obtain cheaper wholesale cargo rates on account of its scale. Bloomberg adds the company could also provide financial services such as loans and payment-processing for merchants.
- The report follows ones stating Amazon has received a license (via its Chinese unit) to provide ocean freight services, and is in talks to lease or buy 20 Boeing 767 jets. CFO Brian Olsavsky downplayed Amazon's logistics efforts during the Q4 earnings call, stating the company is looking to supplement rather than replace logistics partners. The ocean freight report observed some merchants could be nervous about handing over their supply chain data to Amazon.
- As it is, FBA has seen massive growth - the service shipped over 1B units in 2015 on behalf of sellers, and the number of active sellers using FBA rose over 50%. Amazon has also begun hiring part-time delivery drivers for its Prime Now rapid delivery service, and is pushing ahead with its Prime Air drone delivery initiative.
- Revenue jumped and beat expectations in Digital Turbine's (APPS -6.6%) fiscal Q3, but net loss was wider than expected. Shares are flat in after-hours trading.
- Ad revenue grew about 28%; DT Media revenue was up 71% and Appia Core revenue grew 10%.
- Meanwhile, DT Content revenue fell 6% as DT Marketplace declined. The company reallocated resources from DT Content to DT Media, where it experiences higher margins.
- Adjusted gross profit was $5.5M (up from $4.6M in Q2) with gross margin coming to 23% (vs. Q2's 22%).
- Conference call to come at 4:30 p.m. ET.
- Press release
- Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has used its Q4 report to announce a $1B buyback authorization - it's good for repurchasing over 12% of shares at current levels, and lasts through the end of 2018. The company spent $100M in Q4 to buy back 1.7M shares at an average price of $60.14, and $303M over the whole of 2015 to buy back 4.5M shares at an average price of $67.05.
- Akamai has also announced a reorg: Starting in Q2, each of the company's "current products and development organization and global sales, channels and marketing teams will be re-aligned into two divisions to focus on the company's Media and Web customers and solutions." Several execs reporting to CEO Tom Leighton will have "evolved responsibilities" following the shakeup.
- Boosting Q4 sales: Performance & Security Solutions revenue rose 16% Y/Y in Q4 to $286M, aided by a 46% increase in Cloud Security Solutions revenue to $73M. Media Delivery revenue (lower-margin, pressured by the growing use of in-house CDNs by major clients) fell 2% to $247M. Service & Support Solutions revenue rose 18% to $46M.
- U.S. revenue (hurt by Media Delviery weakness) rose just 5% to $416M. However, international revenue rose 17% to $163M (27% exc. forex). GAAP operating costs/expenses rose a moderate 5% to $456.5M.
- Akamai has jumped to $44.82 after hours.
- Akamai's Q4 results, earnings release
- Endurance International Group (EIGI -3.4%) has closed its acquisition of Constant Contact (CTCT +4.5%), it says.
- CTCT shares quickly closed the gap to the $32/share acquisition price. They had closed at $30.62 yesterday.
- As announced in November, the deal's in cash and amounts to $1.1B, including $200M of cash on Constant Contact's balance sheet; Endurance funded the deal with $735M in senior secured term loans and $350M in senior unsecured notes.
- Constant Contact shares will stop trading on Nasdaq at the close.
- Previously: Constant Contact shareholders approve buyout by Endurance International (Jan. 21 2016)
- Previously: Roth: Competing bid unlikely for Constant Contact (Nov. 03 2015)
- Ion Geophysical (NYSE:IO) has nosedived to new multi-year lows ahead of tomorrow afternoon's Q4 report. The seismic hardware, software, and services provider now sports a $44M market cap.
- A fresh selloff in oil prices could be weighing. WTI crude oil is down 5.2% to $28.16/barrel, and Brent crude down 6.7% to $30.67/barrel.
- Ion is less than a week removed from carrying out a 1:15 reverse split. A flurry of insider buys occurred in November.
- With investors in a risk-averse mood, Wayfair (W -13.4%) has tumbled below $30 over the last two days amid fresh criticism from Citron Research.
- Citron last Friday: "Wayfair still the worst biz model on the internet. It could go away and no one would care. Tgt price $5." On Monday, Citron's Andrew Left appeared on Bloomberg TV to explain why he thinks Wayfair will trade below $10 by year's end.
- Q4 results arrive on the morning of Feb. 25. Wayfair delivered a Q3 beat in November.
- Six months ago: Citron sets $10 Wayfair target, notes bearish SA column
- CyrusOne (CONE +0.3%) and Alaska Communications (ALSK -3.2%) have set a partnership where the latter will serve as a channel partner and use CyrusOne's Houston data center to give business/government customers secure storage alongside connectivity to Alaska.
- "Our customers trust us to securely enable their migration to the cloud," says Alaska Communications chief Anand Vadapalli, "and this partnership now connects Alaska businesses to any of CyrusOne's Lower 48 data centers."
- The deal will provide interconnectivity via CyrusOne's Internet Exchange to dispersed strategic data center sites in the continental U.S.
- Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines have signed with Global Eagle Entertainment (ENT +1%) to use its electronic flight bag solutions to outfit cockpits.
- Lufthansa will equip at least 31 Airbus A320s with Global Eagle's Navaero solution, which uses mounting systems for Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface devices along with a gigabit Ethernet connection to handle critical flight data.
- Swiss will deploy the solution across more than 70 short- and long-haul Airbus aircraft, where it uses Apple iPads in transitioning to a paperless cockpit.
- The two airlines are Star Alliance siblings to other airlines served by Global Eagle, including United Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Croatia Airlines.
- In addition to beating Q4 EPS estimates (while missing on revenue), Belden (NYSE:BDC) has reiterated 2016 guidance for revenue of $2.295B-$2.345B and EPS of $5.10-$5.40; consensus is at $2.33B and $5.28. With shares having gone into earnings just $0.64 above a 52-week low of $36.51, the reiteration is going over well.
- Q4 guidance is for revenue of $530M-$550M and EPS of $0.90-$1.00, in-line with a consensus of $541.5M and $0.98. CEO John Stroup: "As we shared with you in December, we expect industrial market softness will be offset by strength in our Broadband, Enterprise, and Network Security markets."
- Boosting Q4 EPS: Gross margin rose 570 bps Y/Y to 43.1%. Belden ended 2015 with $217M in cash and $1.75B in long-term debt.
- Belden's Q4 results, earnings release
- Perceptron (NASDAQ:PRCP) has tumbled to new 52-week lows after missing FQ2 sales estimates and posting in-line EPS. The company insists demand for its core In-Line measurement systems remained strong among automotive clients in FQ2, but does report seeing "some localized challenges," such as scheduling delays from Chinese clients.
- Bookings/backlog: Bookings remained strong in FQ2, rising 62% Y/Y to $20.6M (above revenue of $17.2M). Americas bookings totaled $7.4M, European bookings $8.8M, and Asian bookings $4.4M. Backlog rose by $3.3M Q/Q and $1.4M Y/Y to $40.4M.
- Financials: Gross margin was 29.6% vs. 29.4% in FQ1 and 48% a year ago. The Y/Y drop is blamed on lower revenue, mix changes caused by acquisitions, and forex. SG&A spend rose by $500K Y/Y to $5.4M; R&D/engineering spend was nearly flat at $2M. Perceptron ended FQ2 with $8.7M in cash and no debt.
- Perceptron's FQ2 results, earnings release
- Markit (MRKT -0.8%) has acquired systems integration software developed by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) for an undisclosed sum. The company will "make the software available to sellside and buyside institutions seeking to integrate with major systems used in the syndicated loan market, including agent-servicing platforms and Markit's trade settlement services."
- Customer deployments are expected to start in 2H16. Markit doesn't expect the purchase to have a material impact on 2016 results.
- Markit exec Scott Kostyra: "Acquiring this software allows Markit to provide the global syndicated loan market with a proven solution for integrating with the newest technology for straight through processing of loan transactions and lifecycle events. We are offering an alternative to expensive and risky internal software builds and helping expedite industry adoption of risk and cost reducing initiatives such as Markit Clear for trade settlement and FpML for electronic communication of loan information."
- Turkcell (TKC -1.5%) is going forward with an effort to buy out partner TeliaSonera (OTCPK:TLSNY +1.3%) in their Fintur Eurasian joint venture, its CEO says.
- The company has a non-binding bid in and will follow with a another offer after it completes due diligence, says CEO Kaan Terzioglu. TeliaSonera owns the other 58.55% of the venture, which owns operators in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
- Meanwhile, despite tough timing on the sale, TeliaSonera says "Several parties are interested in our holdings in Fintur and one of them is Turkcell."
- As much as TeliaSonera is interested in getting out of the region, Turkcell has been pursuing more cross-border expansion after the end of a long boardroom deadlock broken by regulators.
- Previously: TeliaSonera facing tough economic timing on Eurasian sale (Jan. 29 2016)
- Previously: RenCap: Turkey may be best bet for emerging telecom growth, dividends (Jan. 04 2016)
- SGI has struck an OEM deal with HP Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) through which the latter will incorporate technology found in the former's UV in-memory supercomputer line within a new 8-socket system.
- SGI: "The term of the agreement is three years and [SGI] expects to leverage HPE's significantly larger installed customer base and sales force to increase sales of its UV products globally." The deal is non-exclusive.
- SGI CEO Jorge Titinger mentioned on the FQ3 call SGI plans to announce an OEM deal with a then-unnamed "tier-1 supplier." The company expects to get over 10% of its FY16 (ends June '16) revenue from UV systems.
- With shares having fallen 20% from last Thursday's close thanks to a massive cloud software stock selloff, Jefferies' John DiFucci has upgraded Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) to Hold. His target is $54.
- DiFucci states industry talks suggest Salesforce's enterprise business has improved over the past few quarters - "We attribute this performance to exceptional sales leadership and execution, which we have always identified as the biggest risk of being short the stock." - and that a partner survey suggests mid-market momentum is strong.
- He does caution Salesforce faces tough comps for FQ4, and that subscription annual contract value growth is slowing. DiFucci also declares the cost of Salesforce's growth to be "egregious." FQ4 results arrive after the close on Feb. 24.
- Declaring the company to be in the early stages of a "long-tailed enterprise HR implementation cycle," Mitsubishi UFJ's Stephen Bersey has launched coverage on Workday (WDAY +2.5%) with an Overweight rating and $60 target.
- Bersey: "[H]uman resources (HR) has been an area of IT neglect within the enterprise application market, and that has created a large market opportunity for cloud-based vendors." He's also upbeat on the long-term potential of Workday's cloud financials offerings, while cautioning HR products will remain the main near-term growth driver. "[T]he value of the financials end-market could be greater than that of the HR market and that this opportunity is not fully reflected in the stock’s value.”
- Workday is bouncing a little after having dropped 24% over the prior two trading days thanks to a tech rout in which cloud software firms were among the hardest-hit names. FQ4 results arrive on the afternoon of Feb. 29.
- Three months ago: Wedbush downgrades Workday post-earnings on Oracle fears; others defend
- Four months ago: Stephens upgrades Workday, expects more financials traction
- Though the company beat FQ3 estimates, American Superconductor (AMSC -2.2%) is guiding for FQ4 revenue of $18M-$22M and EPS of "less than" -$0.70. That's unfavorable to a 3-analyst consensus of $22.6M and -$0.50.
- FQ3 details: Wind division revenue (wind turbine controls/systems) +14% Y/Y to $17.2M. Grid division revenue (smart grid components/systems) +40% to $8.5M. Gross margin rose to 25.3% from 14.9% a year ago.
GAAP operating expenses fell 10% Y/Y to $9.8M - $7M was spent on SG&A, and $2.8M on R&D. AMSC's cash balance rose by $1.1M Q/Q to $37.7M. Cash flow is expected to "approach neutral" in FQ4.
- AMSC's FQ3 results, earnings release
- RetailMeNot (NASDAQ:SALE) is 15.7% lower after a Q4 beat where profits still slipped 36% and which featured guidance for 2016 below analyst expectations.
- Of total net revenues that fell 5%: In-store and advertising net revenues were up 57% to $21.7M (26% of total) and mobile online transaction net revenues rose 19% to $9M (11% of total), but the bulk of sales were in desktop online transactions -- 63% of total net revenues, and they declined 21% to $52.4M.
- Total website visits were down 5% to 214.8M, and mobile unique visitors were up 9% to 23.2M.
- The company guided to current-quarter revenue of $49M-$54M (down 15% at midpoint), below an expected $57M. For the full year, RetailMeNot forecasts revenues of $225M-$240M -- down 7% at the midpoint and below a consensus of $247M.
- It's authorized a $50M extension to its $100M stock buyback authorization.
- Press Release
- E.C. Sykes, most recently the CEO of LED lighting firm Switch Lighting and before that a Group President at contract manufacturer Flextronics, has been named Black Box's (BBOX) new CEO, effective Feb. 29. He'll also join the board.
- Sykes will replace Mike McAndrew, who announced in December he'd step down once a replacement is found. McAndrew will be leaving the board on Feb. 29.
- In addition to missing Q4 estimates, Allot (NASDAQ:ALLT) is guiding for 2016 revenue of $102M-$108M, up from 2015's $100.3M but below a $111.9M consensus. Op. margin is expected to rise Y/Y, and revenue is expected to be higher in 2H16 than 1H16.
- Deal activity: 22 large orders were received in seasonally strong Q4 (3 from new customers) vs. 26 a year ago. 13 of the large orders came from mobile carriers, and 9 from wireline carriers. $1M+ deals rose to 6 from 5 a year ago. Book-to-bill was above 1.
- Financials: Thanks to a $5.8M impairment charge, gross margin fell to 48% from 75% in Q3 and 66% a year ago. GAAP operating expenses fell by $2.9M Y/Y to $19.8M. Allot ended Q4 with $123.3M in cash and no debt.
- ALLT -1.8% premarket to $4.86. Nasdaq futures are down 1.5%.
- Allot's Q4 results, earnings release
- Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has received a stock award valued at $199M, lifting his equity stake in Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) to more than $600M, while making him one of the world's highest-paid executives.
- The grant appears to be part of an effort to hold on to Pichai, who last year took responsibility for businesses that generate about 90% of Alphabet's revenue and an even larger percentage of its profit.
- Pichai's salary is not known, however, because he wasn't included as an executive officer in Google's annual proxy statement, although that may change next time around.
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