Wednesday, December 24, 2014
- Shares of TASER International (NASDAQ:TASR), a maker of electronic control devices, and Digital Ally (NASDAQ:DGLY), which provides video imaging services including the in-car videos used by police use, racked up strong gains following the shooting of an 18-year-old black man by police Tuesday in Missouri.
- Police say the officer shot and killed the man after he pointed a gun at him at a gas station.
- TASR +3.2%, DGLY +5.5% in today's trade.
- Samsung has decided to close its flagship Experience Store in London, after opening around 10 stores across the U.K. since April and launching more than 20 others across Europe.
- The store had been seen as its main retail base in the country, playing host to a number of product launches in the past year.
- Samsung’s (OTC:SSNLF) electronics arm has faced a difficult year, suffering from falling earnings due to slumping smartphone sales. In response, the group has executed a management shake-up and cut back on its smartphone portfolio.
- Sony (NYSE:SNE) plans to stream The Interview on its own site and make it available for rental through Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube and Google Play, sources tell Re/code.
- Online distribution is expected to start tomorrow.
- Previously: Online launch of The Interview to be closely watched
- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) signs a deal with the NFL for the rights to video clips.
- The league has been tight with access to game highlights in the past, even precluding some broadcast partners from streaming game video clips to mobile devices.
- The video highlights on Facebook will be followed by advertisements from Verizon (NYSE:VZ).
- The initiative starts next week just in time for the start of the NFL playoff season.
- What to watch: The high-profile deal could send a chill through the C-suites of broadcasters due to the NFL's strong ties to Madison Avenue ad agencies.
- After years of takeover drama, j2 Global (NASDAQ:JCOM) has informed Carbonite (NASDAQ:CARB) of its intention to commence a cash tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Carbonite at $15/share.
- Carbonite is flying on the news, up over 8% premarket.
- Previously: J2 offers to buy Carbonite (again) (Dec. 03 2014)
- Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) strikes a deal with Sony (NYSE:SNE) to bring PlayStation Now to certain Smart TV models next year.
- The partnership is part of Sony's strategy to open up the PlayStation system to non-Sony devices.
- PS Now will be accessible through an app on the Samsung Smart Hut interface.
- The companies plan to give a sneak peek at the innovation at CES in January.
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- Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick has been indicted in South Korea, along with Uber’s Korean unit and car-rental partner MK Korea, for flouting a local transportation law prohibiting rental cars from operating as cabs.
- The maximum penalty for the alleged violation is a two-year prison sentence or a fine of as much as 20M won ($18K).
- Uber became the most highly valued U.S. technology start-up after a fundraising round this month valued it at $40B, although it is coming under increased scrutiny worldwide as governments step up regulation of its car-sharing service.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
- Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) $1.1B acquisition of Tumblr is looking like a "home run" purchase, argues Topeka's Victor Anthony, hiking his target by $3 to $60 and reiterating a Buy.
- Anthony cites a slew of positive metrics. "As of 3Q, Tumblr had 420M users (+40% since purchase), some of which are logout-out users, and the number of registered blogs is now 215.6M, up from 105M at purchase. Monthly mobile users are growing 50% YoY and time spent of registered users has grown from 22 minutes to 28 minutes."
- He adds over 260 brands are now spending on Tumblr, and that the blogging platform "over-indexes on teens relative to other social media platforms." Yahoo stated on its Q3 CC Tumblr is expected to have 2015 revenue of over $100M, and generate positive EBITDA.
- Meanwhile, a weekend NYT Magazine column (adapted from a new book) by Nicholas Carlson on Marissa Mayer's time at Yahoo continues to draw attention. Among other things, Carlson offers a critical view of Mayer's hiring practices and media/ad skills, and of her perceived attempts to run Yahoo as a growth company rather than as an established, slow-growing, tech firm.
- Yahoo fell 2.2% in regular trading, thanks to Alibaba's 3% drop.
- China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) ended November with 803.6M mobile subscribers, up 2.4M from October and still #1 globally. 4G subs rose by 16.8M to 71.2M - CHL has an early Chinese 4G deployment lead - while 3G subs fell by 700K to 242.2M due to 4G cannibalization.
- China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) had 298.3M subs at the end of November, up 554K M/M. 3G & 4G subs - they're not broken out individually - rose by 1.1M to 148M. China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) ended the month with 184.1M subs, an increase of 1.3M. 3G subs grew by 2M to 184.1M; CHA's hybrid FDD/TD-LTE 4G network remains in trial mode.
- Rosenblatt Securities forecast today CHL will procure 200M 4G phones next year, up from 75M-80M in 2014. CHU and CHA are expected to collectively procure 80M 4G phones next year.
- GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) ended lockup expiration day above $61. Shares are up 14% over the last two trading days after getting clobbered over the prior month.
- Helping the company's cause: A note from Wedbush's Michael Pachter in which GoPro's cameras are deemed "the gift of choice this Christmas," and channel checks are reported to be strong.
- Pachter maintains an outsized $98 target on GoPro, and isn't worried about its steep multiples. "We believe [GoPro] deserves a high multiple due to its nascent and rapidly growing addressable market, the phenomenal benefits of its viral free marketing, its ability to reinvest in leading edge technology and design, and its strong brand that permits premium pricing for its products.”
- Earlier: GoPro +3.7% as lockup expiration arrives
- GoPro Black Friday reports
- Litigation investment firm 1624 PV is providing ParkerVision (NASDAQ:PRKR) with "up to $7 million in legal fees and expenses for future patent infringement litigation to be brought by ParkerVision."
- The deal calls for 1624 to be repaid from "gross proceeds resulting from the funded legal actions up to a maximum amount" determined by the amount of funds disbursed. 1624 "may also receive a portion of gross proceeds from the Company's other patent litigation and patent-related monetization activities, subject to the Cap."
- ParkerVision is also selling three 3-year warrants to 1624 for the purchase of up to 5.65M shares - 1.88M shares apiece at $1.50, $2.50, and $3.50 - for $1.3M.
- ParkerVision had $17M in cash at the end of Q3, down $4.8M Q/Q. The company has mentioned on multiple occasions it's exploring legal financing deals that could help it pursue its suits against Qualcomm, Samsung, and HTC, in exchange for a cut of the proceeds.
- As expected, Equinix's (NASDAQ:EQIX) board has unanimously approved the company's conversion into a REIT for tax purposes "effective for its taxable year commencing January 1, 2015."
- Equnix still hasn't received a REIT private letter ruling (PLR) from the IRS, but is confident it will get a favorable one either by year's end or in early 2015, given "existing legal precedent, opinions of counsel and the fact that many other data center companies currently operate as REITs."
- A $7.57/share distribution needed to gain REIT eligibility remains on tap.
- CalAmp (NASDAQ:CAMP) expects FQ4 revenue of $66M-$70M, below a $71.1M consensus. EPS guidance of $0.26-$0.30 is in-line with a $0.28 consensus.
- FQ3 wireless datacom revenue +10% Y/Y to $54.6M; it was up 11% in FQ2. Satellite revenue -37% to $8.6M; it fell 23% in FQ2. CalAmp notes "specialized telematics device shipments to a key OEM customer in the heavy equipment industry" lifted wireless sales.
- Wireless datacom revenue is expected to be up Q/Q and Y/Y in FQ4, while satellite revenue is expected to fall to $8M.
- Gross margin +40 bps Q/Q and +190 bps Y/Y to 35%. Opex +4% Y/Y to $15.6M. CalAmp ended the quarter with $40M in cash/marketable securities (up $3.2M Q/Q), and no debt.
- FQ3 results, PR
- Looking to counter frequent complaints about the sale of counterfeit merchandise on its marketplaces, Alibaba (BABA -2.3%) says it has spent over RMB1B ($161M) since the start of 2013 battling fake goods and improving customer protection from them.
- The remarks come as Alibaba steps up its efforts to expand in the U.S. and other international markets where counterfeits risk becoming a political/regulatory problem if unaddressed. The company recently announced it's launching an international version of its massive Taobao marketplace (focused on smaller merchants), to complement its existing overseas-focused sites (Alibaba.com, AliExpress).
- A few years ago, the U.S. Trade Representative put Alibaba's marketplaces on its list of "notorious markets" for IP infringement. More recently, a Chinese ministry reported 10.6% of the goods it bought online (from Alibaba sites and elsewhere) during a Singles Day investigation were fake or very suspicious.