YELP has acquired Restaurant-kritik, a leading German restaurant reviews site, for an undisclosed sum. Restaurant-kritik claims 330K+ reviews for 94K+ restaurants.
Meanwhile, the parent company of popular Japanese restaurant review/guide site Tabelog has disclosed Yelp offered to buy Tabelog, and was turned down. Tabelog claims 5.82M reviews of nearly 790K Japanese restaurants.
News of both moves come in the wake of a post-earnings selloff caused by light Q4 guidance and slowing unique visitor growth. On its Q3 CC (transcript), Yelp noted international growth was affected by softer Google traffic, and suggested (when asked about slowing unique growth) the mobile shift was affecting PC traffic.
International monthly uniques totaled 30M in Q3, +40% Y/Y but -3% Q/Q. U.S. uniques totaled 109M, +22% Y/Y and +2% Q/Q. Mobile uniques still rose 46% Y/Y to 73M.
"Google obviously continues to make changes on their side both competitively and algorithmically," observed CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. Yelp has been one of several firms to harshly criticize Google's integration of its own content within search results, as well as an EU settlement that requires Google to prominently show content from rival sites, but doesn't stop it from also showing its own content. Eric Schmidt recently defended Google's policies.
Thanks in large part to a 41% increase in taxes, America Movil's (AMX -0.9%) Q3 net income fell 39% Y/Y to 10.1B pesos ($746M). EBITDA (adjusted for the Telekom Austria deal) rose 0.4% to 69.2B pesos ($5.1B).
On an adjusted basis, service revenue rose 3.8% to 198.6B pesos ($14.6B), a slight improvement from Q2's 3.6% growth. Equipment revenue rose 6.2% to 22.2B pesos ($1.6B), and costs/expenses 5.8% to 151.7B pesos ($11.2B).
Total wireless lines +0.1% Q/Q and +0.5% Y/Y to 286.8M. Mexican lines fell 1.1% Q/Q to 70.5M amid regulatory pressure, but Brazilian lines rose 1.3% to 69.6M, and U.S. lines (via TracFone's prepaid services)1.5% to 25.9M.
Wireline revenue-generating units (RGUs) rose 1.8% Q/Q and 6.8% Y/Y to 77.6M. Mexican RGUs fell 0.1% Q/Q to 22.2M, while Brazilian RGUs rose 3.1% to 35.6M (~46% of total RGUs).
Net debt fell by $2.3B during the quarter to $36.2B.
AMX used its Q3 CC to state its isn't currently talking to anyone about a T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.3%) acquisition. A German magazine speculated yesterday (while reporting Deutsche Telekom is still open to a T-Mobile sale) AMX could bid for T-Mobile.
"Investor pessimism doesn’t seem to dampen [Jeff] Bezos’s appetite for risk. Employees unsettled by Amazon’s (AMZN -8.2%) steadily depreciating stock price are probably the only thing that can force Bezos to slow down," writes BloombergBusinessweek's Brad Stone in the wake of Amazon's Q3 miss and soft guidance.
Stone, who wrote a popular book on Bezos and Amazon, notes declining employee stock grant values caused by investor angst over Amazon's losses could increase employee turnover, something management is unlikely to ignore. Thus, curbing spending (with the goal of boosting Amazon's shares) could go hand-in-hand with keeping needed employees happy.
How much could lower spending boost profits? In a much-discussed September post, Benedict Evans estimated Amazon's trailing free cash flow would be around $4B (rather than a current $1.08B) if its capex/sales ratio remained at 2009 levels.
Nonetheless, Evans defended Bezos' strategy: "Amazon has perhaps 1% of the US retail market by value ... Jeff Bezos’s view is pretty clear: keep investing, because to take profit out of the business would be to waste the opportunity ... The question to ask isn’t whether Amazon is some profitless ponzi scheme, but whether you believe Bezos can capture the future."
The sell-side was in a less forgiving mood today: Two downgrades arrived (from Cowen and Janney), as did a slew of target cuts. Notably, analysts often expressed more concerns about Amazon's top-line growth slowdown (particularly for media and international sales) than its bottom-line pressures.
Though its Q3 revenue was only in-line (EPS beat by $0,03), Constant Contact (NASDAQ:CTCT) is forecasting 2015 revenue growth of ~17%, above a 14.3% consensus. Adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to grow by ~150 bps.
Q4 guidance is mixed: Revenue of $87.4M-$87.8M vs. a consensus of $87.2M and $0.32.
In spite of intense competition in the cloud marketing automation space from the likes of Salesforce, Oracle, and Marketo, CTCT ended Q3 with 625K customers, up from 615K at the end of Q2 and 585K a year ago. ARPU rose to $44.89 from $44.40 in Q2 and $41.40 a year ago.
Gross margin rose 60 bps Y/Y to 72.2%. GAAP opex rose 13% to $52.2M.
Credit Suisse's Jonathan Pitzer likes the face Freescale's gross margin rose 110 bps Q/Q in Q3 (better than guidance for a 50 bps drop), and that op. margin reached a record high of 18.7% thanks to a 3.5% Q/Q opex drop. " This should alleviate investor concerns relative to margin drivers that often seemed ambiguous."
Deutsche's Ross Seymore: "Despite near term revenue headwind, we continue to view FSL as a company that is righting the ship on revenue, focusing on gross margin progression and opex discipline, which should result in better free cash flow to further de-lever the balance sheet and unlock earnings power."
Oppenheimer's Rick Schafer is more cautious, calling Chinese 4G infrastructure demand "the lone bright spot" for the chipmaker's sales as it deals with auto/industrial softness.
Initially up over 15% yesterday in response to its leveraged recap plans, KLA-Tencor (KLAC +6.6%) has given back over half those gains after guiding on its FQ1 CC (transcript) for FQ2 revenue of $620M-$700M and EPS of $0.46-$0.70, below a consensus of $755M and $0.89.
A broad bookings guidance range of $700M-$900M has been provided. FQ1 bookings totaled $567M, below guidance of $600M-$800M. As was the case 3 months ago, KLA blamed delayed orders from a foundry customer related to FinFET (3D transistor) process investments.
Like many of its peers, KLA is maintaining an optimistic tone for 2015, predicting strong demand from foundry, logic, and memory clients due to investments in advanced technologies and processes (14nm/16nm FinFET, 3D NAND, etc.). After accounting for just 25% of FQ1 orders (lower than normal), foundries are expected to account for 62% of FQ2 orders.
Credit Suisse and B. Riley have both downgraded KLA to Neutral. Each cites valuation.
Though Ericsson (ERIC -3%) beat Q3 estimates, the mobile infrastructure giant stated North American business activity "slowed down during the quarter as operators currently focus on cash flow optimization." It added North American spending patterns make it tough to judge near-term demand.
Ericsson's North American sales fell 3% Y/Y to $1.93B, partly offsetting strong growth in China, India (+56%), the Middle East (+38%), and other emerging markets. Top-line figures were boosted some by M&A.
AT&T and Verizon have been taking cautious approaches to capex, and Sprint (though investing heavily in 4G following the SoftBank deal) has been looking to cut costs under new CEO Marcelo Claure. The U.S. and Japan have been ahead of many other developed markets in ramping 4G coverage.
Juniper (JNPR -6.3%) offered light Q4 guidance two weeks after delivering a Q3 warning, and reported its service provider sales were down 6% Y/Y due to soft demand from Asia-Pac, EMEA, and (especially) U.S. carriers.
When the world's #2 carrier router vendor was asked on the CC (transcript) about 2015 sales, CEO Shaygan Keradpir admitted Juniper has poor near-term visibility, and that a rebound could take time. "Because we think these cycles typically take 2 to 4 quarters ... our planning assumption is that growth will return in the second half of 2015."
Nokia and Infinera recently offered more positive numbers/commentary. Bulls have argued strong data/video traffic growth will lift capex. Bears have argued soft (if not negative) carrier revenue growth will continue pressuring spending.