Today - Thursday, November 20, 2014
- Skift reports Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is "poised to launch its own travel service, featuring booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities." The service, known as Amazon Travel, will likely go live around New Year's, and initially "feature a curated selection of hotels" near NYC, L.A., and Seattle.
- Amazon would collect a standard 15% commission from hoteliers who would upload inventory and set prices. A source says hoteliers would normally list properties at rack rates, but would also be free to discount.
- Though limited in scope, Amazon's service would put the company into competition with online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and Orbitz (NYSE:OWW). OTAs have already seen Google, the recipient of much of their ad spend, encroach on their turf a bit with new services.
- As Skift notes, Amazon could appeal to independent/boutique hotels with less marketing reach than major chains. Amazon, meanwhile, could leverage its user data to cross-sell or bundle various goods.
- Separately, Amazon has inked a 17-year lease to rent 470K sq. feet of office space (effectively an entire 12-store building) across from the Empire State Building. The WSJ previously reported Amazon wants the building to be the location of its first brick-and-mortar store, and also serve as a warehouse and order pickup/return hub.
- Renren (NYSE:RENN) expects Q4 revenue of $15M-$17M, down 44.6%-51.1% Y/Y and well below a $21.3M consensus.
- Q3 online ad revenue -40.3% Y/Y to $8.8M; value-added services -19.6% to $4.7M; games -60.5% to $8.1M.
- Sales/marketing spend -22.5% to $12M; R&D -36.3% to $12.7M; G&A +3.5% to $13.8M.
- Renren ended Q3 with $740M in cash and term deposits, and no debt. Due to the company's recent performance, its market cap is currently $743M.
- Q3 results, PR
- In lab tests, Gorilla Glass 4 was up to 2x as likely to survive a 1-meter, face-down, drop onto a rough surface as Gorilla Glass 3 and other alternatives, Corning (NYSE:GLW) claims - a survival rate of "up to" 80% was seen overall. At the same time, Corning promises GG4 delivers the same optical clarity as its predecessors.
- GG4's launch comes after Apple opted against using sapphire cover glass (thinner and more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass) in the iPhone 6/6 Plus, reportedly after tests resulted in sapphire cracking during drops. Would-be sapphire supplier GT Advanced is in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings.
- It also comes after Corning guided for Specialty Materials revenue (driven by Gorilla Glass) to fall by a low-to-mid teens % Q/Q in Q4; soft tablet demand and competition from low-end glassmakers is believed to be taking a toll. Analyst Paul Semeza. "Generally those cheaper solutions are not as good, in physical durability. But for low-end products they could be good enough."
- In addition to mobile OEMs, improved damage-resistance could appeal to automakers - Corning has been trying to sell them on Gorilla Glass' weight-saving potential.
- "Demand for product sales has fallen in direct association with reduced capital spending by our customers due to diminished seismic exploration activities across most sectors of the industry," says Geospace (NASDAQ:GEOS) in its FQ4 report. "To the extent that oil and gas companies continue to reduce exploration spending to find new energy, we expect the demand for these products to remain soft."
- FQ4 product revenue -70% Y/Y to $19.4M, thanks in large part to $38.7M drop in reservoir product revenue (the result of a major deal with Statoil concluding). Rental equipment revenue rose 167% to $6.1M.
- Gross margin fell to 23.1% from 43.6% a year ago. GAAP opex fell 11% to $9.4M.
- Fellow seismic equipment provider Ion Geophysical (NYSE:IO) could follow Geospace lower.
- FQ4 results, PR
- Windstream's (NASDAQ:WIN) job cuts impact over 2% of its 13K-strong workforce. The telco expects record a $7.5M Q4 charge, and reap $20M/year in cost savings.
- The announcement comes two weeks after Windstream forecast its 2014 revenue growth would be at the low end of a prior guidance range of -2.5% to +1%.
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) has struck a deal with existing client Wal-Mart (previous) that covers "the installation of new solar projects at facilities in up to 36 states over the next four years." The deal also involves ten new energy storage projects.
- SolarCity notes it has "completed more than 200 solar projects at Walmart locations since 2010," and also "installed and tested energy storage projects co-located with solar power generation at 13 Walmart facilities since early 2013."
- Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) founder/chairman Graham Weston has bought $2.5M worth of shares on Tuesday at an average price of $42.75, and plans to buy up to $2.5M more over the next year through a 10b5-1 trading plan.
- Weston's move comes in the wake of last week's big post-earnings gains. Rackspace is making new 52-week highs in AH trading.
5:01 PM| Comment!
- Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) now expects FY15 (ends Jan. '15) billings growth of 15%-17% (above a prior 10%-12%) net subscriber adds of 325K-375K (above a prior 200K-250K).
- With heavy spending and a mix shift towards subscriptions (leads more revenue to be deferred) weighing on near-term results, FQ4 guidance is mixed: Revenue of $640M-$655M and EPS of $0.22-$0.25 vs. a consensus of $635.5M and $0.30.
- Subscriber figures have been boosted by a decision to begin including Delcam subs in its count: Delcam accounted for 25K of the company's 121K FQ3 subscriber adds. The total base was at 2.13M at quarter's end.
- Subscription revenue +15% Y/Y to $297.5M; license/other revenue +8% to $320.5M. The deferred revenue balance rose 31% to $1.01B.
- GAAP opex rose 23% Y/Y to $517.4M, with big increases in both sales/marketing and R&D spend. Nonetheless, op. cash flow rose 50% Y/Y to $136M. 1.9M shares were repurchased.
- FQ3 results, PR
- Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL) expects FQ4 revenue of $880M-$900M and EPS of $0.22-$0.26, almost entirely below a consensus of $930.9M and $0.26.
- No explanation is given in the FQ3 report for the company's big revenue miss; analysts have raised concerns about Marvell's China-dependent baseband chip sales.
- Helping EPS meet estimates: FQ3 gross margin was 51%, +40 bps Q/Q and +70 bps Y/Y, and at the high end of a 49%-51% guidance range. FQ4 GM guidance is at 49.5%-51.5%.
- Also helping: GAAP opex fell 3% Y/Y to $359.6M, and $45M was spent on buybacks.
- FQ3 results, PR
- Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) expects FQ4 revenue of $135M-$137M, above a $133.3M consensus. Op. margin guidance is at 4%-5%.
- Preliminary FY16 (ends Jan. '16) guidance is for revenue of $575M, above a $570.3M consensus. Splunk has a history of upping its full-year guidance as a year progresses.
- License revenue rose 41% Y/Y in FQ3 to $71.8M, after growing 44% in FQ2. Services revenue rose 59% to $44.3M vs. 67% in FQ2.
- 500+ new customers were signed, even with FQ2 and raising the base to 8.4K+. AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, and the DOE were among Splunk's FQ3 clients.
- GAAP opex rose 73% Y/Y to $146.7M, exceeding revenue growth of 48% but slowing from FQ2's 101% clip. Sales/marketing spend totaled $85.7M, R&D spend $39.5M, and G&A $21.4M.
- FQ3 results, PR
4:06 PM| Comment!