Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

  • 7:01 PM
    • "I've been hearing Juniper (NYSE:JNPR) may go private for a while," says an "experienced [Silicon] Valley technology executive" speaking with Light Reading. "It's the same threat as Riverbed ... In Juniper's case, it would be cool…it is needed."
    • The "threat" in question is pressure from activist Elliott Management, which had a stake in Riverbed prior to its acquisition by P-E firm Thoma Bravo, and has prodded Juniper to carry out major job cuts and capital returns. To date, Elliott hasn't publicly demanded a sale.
    • Meanwhile, a "senior executive in the router sector" states Juniper has been looking for a buyer. In addition, Benzinga recently reported hearing "unconfirmed market chatter" (doesn't always pan out) that Juniper has hired Goldman to "assist it in handling offers to take the company private for $32 per share."
    • Earlier this year, the Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent deal fueled speculation Ericsson would counter by bidding for Juniper. Ericsson has said it's open to a major acquisition, but hasn't yet pulled the trigger on such a deal.
    • With a $10.9B market cap - a buyout might require a $13B+ price - Juniper would be a big fish for a peer or P-E firm to swallow.
    • Yesterday: Juniper rallies after landing Stifel upgrade, announcing AT&T deal
    | 7:01 PM | Comment!
  • 6:37 PM
    • As expected, Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR) shareholders have approved Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) $54/share ($16.7B) purchase of the company.
    • Over 97% of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the deal. When it was originally announced on June 1, Intel/Altera stated they expected it to close within 6-9 months.
    | 6:37 PM | Comment!
  • 6:33 PM
    • With Infinera's (NASDAQ:INFN) $300M+ acquisition of Swedish optical networking peer Transmode on the books, the company has rolled out an end-to-end solution pairing Infinera's bread-and-butter DTN-X long-haul optical transport systems with Transmode's TM-series packet-optical (integrated Ethernet/IP and optical networking) metro systems. The solution is enabled by new 100G modules for the DTN-X line that communicate with Transmode's gear.
    • Infinera, which (unlike Transmode) has historically received the lion's share of its revenue from the long-haul market, has also unveiled two metro DTN-X platforms - the XTC-2 and XTC-2E - that combine 100G WDM transport with OTN switching in a metro-friendly footprint. Infinera's next-gen oPIC-100 photonic integrated circuit (PIC) is leveraged.
    • Also launching: A new long-haul DTN-X platform (the XT-500) that uses the company's 500Gb/s PIC-500 PIC and supports the company's Instant Bandwidth rapid-provisioning solution.
    • IHS' Andrew Schmitt: "Infinera can now address the entire WDM market - which we expect to top $15 billion by 2019 -- from the edge to the core and across both traditional service provider and internet content provider applications. Infinera and the DTN-X played a major role in the optical reboot from 10 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s in the long-haul core, and the company is well timed to enter the metro portion of the market, which we expect to surge in 2016,"
    | 6:33 PM | Comment!
  • 5:54 PM
    • Al Pichelli, formerly a Teledyne (NYSE:TDY) EVP in charge of the company's instrumentation, aerospace, and defense electronics segments, has been promoted to the newly-created position of COO.
    • Rex Geveden, an EVP in charge of Teledyne's engineered systems and digital imaging segments, has resigned. Pichelli will assume responsibility for the businesses overseen by Geveden, in addition to the ones he was previously in charge of.
    | 5:54 PM | Comment!
  • 5:37 PM
    • Leidos (NYSE:LDOS) is one of 25 companies eligible to compete for task orders for a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) IT contract with a 1-year base period and four 1-year options. If all options are exercised, the contract is worth $6B.  (PR)
    • Leidos: "Under the contract, Leidos will provide worldwide coverage for IT requirements and technical services supporting the government through system design, development, fielding and sustainment of global intelligence and command and control (C2) assets vital to the security of the United States. Leidos will focus on improving integration, information sharing, gaining efficiencies and information safeguarding through a common IT approach."
    • Yesterday, Leidos stated it was among the companies awarded an Air Force contract worth up to $950M. The company's backlog stood at $10.2B at the end of Q2.
    | 5:37 PM | Comment!
  • 5:27 PM
    • (NYSE:COUP) has announced it's changing its name to Quotient Technology, effective Oct. 20.
    • The company expects its stock will stop trading on the COUP ticker and begin trading under a new CUSIP number as the symbol QUOT on the NYSE, as of Oct. 21.
    • It's one of many name changes in the company's history; it launched as in 1998 before changing to ValuePass and later to It's been working to evolve its approach to coupons, using its Retailer iQ as a digital platform tied directly to point-of-sale systems.
    • Shares are down 47.1% YTD.
    | 5:27 PM | 2 Comments
  • 5:21 PM
    • Vasco (NASDAQ:VDSI) is acquiring Silanis, a Montreal-based provider of on-premise and cloud/SaaS electronic signature software for banks, insurers, and government agencies, for $85M in cash.
    • Vasco: "Both VASCO and Silanis are focused on addressing the business needs of organizations conducting secure transactions that must meet strict regulatory and compliance requirements. VASCO has identified demand for digital transaction solutions among its customer base and, following the closing of the transaction, can immediately start selling Silanis solutions to its global banking customers."
    • Silanis is expected to post 2015 revenue of $16M (+30% Y/Y), and deliver 25% 2016 sales growth. Fast-growing DocuSign (recently valued at $3B) is a major rival, as is Adobe's eSign (formerly EchoSign) service. Vasco expects to pay for the acquisition with cash on hand (offshore?), and aims to close it by the end of January. It's expected to be dilutive in 2016, and accretive in 2017.
    • Vasco is unchanged after hours. Shares rose 9.1% in regular trading following a bullish coverage launch from Sidoti.
    | 5:21 PM | Comment!
  • 4:59 PM
    • Gerri Martin-Flickinger, formerly Adobe's chief information officer (CIO), has been hired by Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to fill the newly-created role of chief technology office (CTO). She'll report to COO Kevin Johnson.
    • At Adobe, Martin-Flickinger oversaw the company's cloud infrastructure as the company migrated much of its user base from traditional software licenses to cloud subscriptions. Johnson: "As we continue to shape our global technology agenda at Starbucks, we needed leadership talent with deep experience in cloud, big data analytics, mobile and security to take us to the next level."
    • Starbucks, of course, isn't a stranger to making big digital service investments. The company handles over $1B/year in payments through its mobile apps, has partnered with Google to offer fast Wi-Fi, and has been rapidly rolling out its Mobile Order & Pay solution.
    | 4:59 PM | 2 Comments
  • 4:14 PM
    • SBA Communications (SBAC -1.1%) has priced $500M in secured tower revenue securities through a subsidiary.
    • The company's SBA Tower Trust is issuing the securities, which will bear interest at 3.156%/year. Final maturity is in October 2045, though the anticipated repayment date is October 2020.
    • Net proceeds will flow through to repay revolving credit, and for general purposes.
    | 4:14 PM | Comment!
  • 4:10 PM
    • Ahead of an analyst meeting at its annual Adobe MAX conference, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) has guided for FY16 (ends Nov. '16) revenue of $5.7B and EPS of $2.70, below a consensus of $5.93B and $3.19.
    • The company forecasts a 20% revenue CAGR, 25% op. cash flow CAGR, and 30% EPS CAGR from FY15 to FY18.
    • Digital Media (Creative Cloud, Document Cloud) and Marketing Cloud (online ad software) revenue are both expected to rise 20% in FY16, with Marketing Cloud bookings rising 30% and Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR) 25%.
    • Digital Media revenue, Marketing Cloud revenue, and Digital Media ARR are each expected to see 20%+ CAGRs from FY15 to FY18. Marketing Cloud bookings are expected to see a 30% CAGR.
    • Shares have tumbled to $77.97 after hours. The analyst meeting starts at 5PM ET (webcast).
    • Update (5:33PM ET): Adobe is now only down 2.5%.
    | 4:10 PM | 3 Comments
  • 4:04 PM
    • Following multiple rumors to the effect, Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) has announced a deal with rival Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) at the AWS re:Invent conference under which Rackspace will "offer tools, expertise, application management, and operational support to customers on the AWS Cloud."
    • In addition to a core support service known as Fanatical Support for AWS, Rackspace is launching (in beta) AWS-related services for managed security, compliance support, and the management of Adobe's Experience Manager content management solution. The company has also become an authorized AWS reseller and consulting partner.
    • With revenue of $6B for the 12 months ending June 30, AWS remains the 800-lb. gorilla of the public cloud infrastructure (IaaS) market. Rackspace closed down 0.5% today, after rallying strongly yesterday.
    | 4:04 PM | Comment!
  • 3:16 PM
    • Investments into daily fantasy sports may end up a win-win for big media, say Bloomberg analysts Paul Sweeney and Sean Ford.
    • The quickly growing industry -- dominated by two firms, FanDuel and DraftKings -- has received partnerships and investments from a number of media firms, funds that are likely to come back to them via (very) heavy ad campaigns during football season.
    • Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%), Time Warner (TWX +0.2%) and Fox (FOX -0.8%, FOXA -0.1%) have invested into the two, pumping each to a $1B-plus valuation after they raised a combined $575M in funding. Fox has a 12% stake in DraftKings.
    • The two firms put $24M into TV ads in the seven days ended yesterday. Not only are the ads helping in a sluggish advertising market, the analysts say, they promote the media companies' "highly coveted sports content."
    • A wrinkle comes in the "insider trading" firestorm that erupted in daily fantasy sports yesterday as news emerged that an employee of DraftKings made $350K on a $25 bet at FanDuel, using nonpublic user information. Lawmakers are examining whether the companies should be exempt from the online gaming ban as they blow up into a $26B industry.
    • Previously: Daily fantasy sports business on the radar of regulators (Sep. 22 2015)
    • Previously: CBS, Disney set to gain from daily fantasy ramp-up (Sep. 18 2015)
    | 3:16 PM | 2 Comments
  • 3:11 PM
    • "Multiple content owners have told me that Amazon (AMZN -1.6%) has been quietly asking them about licensing content for a live streaming service," streaming industry analyst Dan Rayburn reports. He cautions those he has spoken to haven't disclosed how far Amazon has progressed in creating such a service, and that the company may simply be exploring its economics.
    • Rayburn notes Amazon's recent purchase of video encoding/processing software and service provider Elemental Technologies (reportedly for ~$500M) would be helpful if it goes ahead with a live streaming launch. This year has seen Dish and Sony respectively launch their Sling TV and PlayStation Vue Web TV services; there have also been several reports Apple is prepping an offering.
    • Separately, in a report that helps back up Eric Schmidt's assertion that Amazon (rather than Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.) is Google's (GOOG -0.2%) biggest search rival, e-commerce software firm BloomReach states a survey of 2,000 U.S. shoppers found 44% go directly to Amazon's site/apps when looking looking to buy/research a product online. 34% start with Google or another search engine, and 21% go to another retailer's site.
    • Direct visits to Amazon affect Google's search ad revenue, which depends heavily on ad-buying from online retailers (including Amazon). Google has been trying to counter Amazon by integrating its successful Product Listing Ads with search results, and (through a feature called Purchases on Google) by allowing those who click on the ads to complete their orders on Google's site, using payment data already connected to their Google account.
    • Amazon's AWS re:Invent conference kicks off today. New product announcements, including possibly an analytics service, are expected during a Wednesday keynote (starts at 11:30AM ET) from AWS chief Andy Jassy.
    | 3:11 PM | 2 Comments
  • 2:45 PM
    • Arista (ANET) has caught a bid following a report the company is set to win a challenge of two Cisco patents asserted by the networking giant in its infringement battle against Arista.
    • A month ago, Arista tumbled after the ITC staff concluded (ahead of a pending administrative law judge ruling) the company infringes Cisco's IP. Cisco has been alleging both patent and copyright violations.
    • Separately, Arista announced this morning a security solution for its CloudVision software platform (runs on top of Arista's switches) for environments featuring a mixture of virtualized server workloads and traditional/physical workloads. It works by integrating with and enabling services delivered by firewalls and application delivery controllers from the likes of F5, Fortinet, Check Point, and Palo Alto Networks, as well as VMware's virtualization software.
    | 2:45 PM | Comment!
  • 2:30 PM
    | 2:30 PM | Comment!
  • 2:09 PM
    • Oil prices are continuing a recent rally after the EIA forecast global oil demand will see the most growth in 6 years in 2016, and that non-OPEC supply growth will stall. The agency also estimated U.S. crude production fell by 120K barrels/day in September. WTI crude is up 3.8% to $48.01/barrel.
    • Seismic equipment and data-processing services provider Ion Geophysical (NYSE:IO), whose shares have plunged into penny stock territory, is posting big gains. Peer Geospace Technologies (NASDAQ:GEOS) is also doing well.
    | 2:09 PM | Comment!
  • 1:54 PM
    • Marvell (MRVL +3%) and Exar (EXAR +4.2%) are rallying after Skyworks announced a $2B deal to buy PMC-Sierra. Marvell competes against PMC in the storage controller IC and network processor markets; Exar does so in the telecom IC market.
    • Marvell has already been the subject of some M&A rumors as the chip industry continues consolidating. Light Reading reported in July Avago is thinking of buying Marvell after digesting (Marvell rival) Broadcom. The company's recent decision to launch major job cuts at its money-losing mobile baseband chip unit could make it more appealing to a would-be suitor.
    | 1:54 PM | Comment!
  • 1:54 PM
    • Orange (ORAN +1.3%) is investing into Afrostream, a video-on-demand service that provides African, African-American and African-Caribbean films and TV.
    • Through its Orange Digital Ventures unit, Orange will supply expertise in networks, distribution and payment for the subscription service, which is already available on screens in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
    • Afrostream should be launched on Orange TV by next summer, says Deputy CEO Pierre Louette.
    | 1:54 PM | Comment!
  • 1:38 PM
    • Looking to cater to Android OEMs hoping to offer something similar to Apple's 3D Touch pressure-sensing/haptic feedback tech (arrived with the iPhone 6S/6S+), Synaptics (SYNA +0.9%) has unveiled ClearForce, a technology it promises will crate "new dimensions in user interfaces such as speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, and text or photo editing by applying variable force with a finger or stylus."
    • ClearForce-capable smartphones are expected to arrive in early 2016. Use cases include variable speed scrolling and gaming controls, picture zooming/panning, image editing, and device unlocking/wakeup.
    • Analog Devices (ADI -1.1%) is believed to be supplying Apple with controller ICs that enable 3D Touch. Meanwhile, Immersion (IMMR -0.1%) has inked licensing deals with numerous Android OEMs for its haptic IP; it's still hoping to strike a deal with Apple.
    • Also: Synaptics has launched three new lines of ClearPad touch controller ICs for mobile devices. A new flagship line for smartphones (the 3700 series) supports ClearForce, as well as SideTouch edge gesturing. Back in July, the company began sampling a second-gen TDDI (integrated touch controller/display driver) IC.
    • Last week: Synaptics soars after reportedly rejecting $110/share buyout offer
    | 1:38 PM | 1 Comment
  • 1:02 PM
    • Mitek (MITK -0.6%) has obtained $1.7M worth of reorders - one from a U.S. client, one from a Canadian client - for its bread-and-butter Mobile Deposit product.
    • The reorders cover $1.4M in license revenue, and $0.3M in maintenance revenue. A $1.4M Mobile Deposit reorder was disclosed two weeks ago.
    | 1:02 PM | 4 Comments
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