Today - Tuesday, March 31, 2015
- Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) plans to join competitors with its own mobile video streaming service (as early as June, in Verizon's case) could hit a snag with the FCC's recent net neutrality ruling.
- The key comes in data caps that most wireless customers face; trying to treat video as a "managed service" and exempting the streaming usage from the caps "would be a very provocative move," says analyst Craig Moffett. "I don't think the FCC would be pleased."
- Unlike key competitors pressing their own over-the-top services -- Sony, Dish Network, Apple -- Verizon operates its own 4G network, and could face resistance from content partners that need to maintain relationships with the pay-TV providers.
- If a managed service doesn't fly with the FCC, Verizon may need to sell unlimited LTE or its streaming plans could get too costly.
- Verizon may make the service ad-supported, in part or whole replacing subscription revenues, CFO Fran Shammo suggested last week. The company bought its OnCue streaming tech from Intel last year and has Digital Media Services technology to splice in ads.
- In the wake of yesterday's analyst day, Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) has announced it's expanding its partnership with server virtualization kingpin VMware (NYSE:VMW) to cover mobile security.
- The companies plan to integrate VMware's AirWatch enterprise mobility management platform (acquired last year) with Palo Alto's next-gen firewalls, WildFire threat-detection service (seeing rapid growth), and GlobalProtect mobile security service.
- They're also offering an iOS VPN app that uses GlobalProtect to create a secure connection between AirWatch-managed devices and Palo Alto firewalls, so as to improve traffic inspection and policy enforcement. In 2014, Palo Alto and VMware announced a solution that combines Palo Alto's virtualized (software-based) next-gen firewall with VMware's NSX SDN/networking virtualization platform.
- Also unveiled by Palo Alto: AutoFocus, a cyber threat intelligence service that gives IT security personnel "instant access to actionable intelligence derived from billions of file analysis artifacts" from data collected by 5K+ entities targeted by cyber attacks. The solution, which takes aim at FireEye's Mandiant unit and others, follows the September launch of a new endpoint security service, and comes amid strong corporate interest in better threat intelligence.
- Not surprisingly (given recent sell-side bullishness), reactions to Palo Alto's analyst day have been positive. FBR: "[W]e feel that the company is doing the right things at the right time with 'red-hot' growth prospects given execution acumen, a laser-focused growth strategy, and expanding total addressable market." Pac Crest has praised AutoFocus' ability to leverage the huge amounts of user data Palo Alto collects from its customers.
- Separately, CRN reports VMware is thinking of hiring a global sales chief, in part to boost sales of its huge enterprise license agreements (ELAs). ELAs accounted for 39% of VMware's Q4 bookings; the company is two months removed from providing light Q1/2015 guidance.
6:52 PM| Comment!
- GoDaddy's (Pending:GDDY) IPO price is above a $17-$19 range, and good for a $3.02B valuation (1.8x 2014 bookings).
- The Web hosting/domain name service provider begins trading tomorrow. Not counting a 3.3M-share overallotment option, it's set to raise $440M. Earlier today, the WSJ took a look at GoDaddy's efforts to overhaul its edgy image.
- Prospectus, IPO analysis
- Prior GoDaddy coverage
- Carl Icahn has disclosed he bought 4.06M shares of mobile ad firm Voltari (NASDAQ:VLTC) at $1.36. The famed activist now owns 4.74M shares, good for a 52.3% stake.
- The disclosure follows the closing of a rights offering (featured the right to buy 0.9 shares for each share owned) that gave shareholders exercising the right to buy 1.3M+ shares the ability to do so at $1.36 apiece; those buying less paid $0.97/share. The company raised $4.6M in net proceeds through the offering, via the sale of 4.3M shares.
- Voltari, once known as Motricity, has soared to $2.00 AH. The news might have leaked: Shares rose 18.8% in regular trading.
- Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI) has turned on its Voice over LTE service across Canada, and the company says it's the first to offer Canadians HD voice and video calls over that network.
- Customers will be able to conduct a voice call and stream another video as well at higher speeds, Rogers said.
- Standard transmission of data during a voice call is done over the slower HSPA network.
- Believing the expiration of ListHub agreements could respectively cost Zillow proper and Trulia 3% and 10% of their listings, Cowen's Thomas Champion has cut his Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) target by $4 to $105.
- Champion also thinks their could be spillover effects from the loss of ListHub data. "[I]t's possible the loss of ListHub could result in a thinning of listings in some geographies or heightened data inaccuracies ... Although there are many third-party listings sources, ListHub is perceived as being higher-quality. Overall listings and pricing accuracy have historically been an issue for Zillow based on our survey findings."
- The target cut comes as Zillow/Trulia continue rapidly striking new deals with MLS' to get direct access to their listings. Earlier today, Zillow announced a deal with Arizona's ARMLS, which has 31K members in the state. Last week, Zillow stated it had added 16 new U.S. MLS partners.
- Zillow and Trulia are both set to lose ListHub's data in April. Trulia settled with ListHub 3 weeks ago.
- Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ:XNET) will sell its whole stake in video streaming platform Xunlei Kankan, for 130M yuan (about $21M).
- The buyer is Beijing Nesound International Media. Xunlei is making the move to streamline its non-core and unprofitable businesses as it focuses on mobile Internet from its previous PC focus.
- ETSY's $14-$16 IPO price range translates into a $1.55B-$1.78B valuation range. At the midpoint, that's equal to 8.5x 2014 sales. Given recent growth, the forward P/S multiple could be 6-7x. (prospectus)
- With Etsy selling 13.3M new shares through the IPO, the company's gross proceeds stand to total $186M-$213M. Existing holders are initially selling 3.3M shares, and could sell another 2.5M if a greenshoe option is picked up.
- Accel Partners and other entities associated with VC Jim Breyer are selling 1.53M shares, thus lowering their stake to 25% from 30%. Union Square Ventures affiliates are selling 861K shares (cutting their stake to 12.6% from 15.2%), Index Ventures affiliates are selling 724K (cutting their stake to 12.8% from 15.6%). and Acton Capital affiliates are selling 222K (cutting their stake to 3.3% from 3.9%).
- Prior Etsy coverage
- Crossroads' (NASDAQ:CRDS) new StrongBox 3.0 NAS storage appliance is able to automatically write data to two different tape libraries; the company argues the solution, said to work with all major 3rd-party libraries, eliminates "the problems associated with manually shipping duplicate tapes for off-site copies," and allows multiple copies of LTFS tape media to be automatically provided in separately locations.
- Crossroads also declares StrongBox 3.0 to be the "first and only solution that provides both file and object storage with LTFS tape." It begins shipping in April.
- Shares rose to $2.54 in regular trading. Crossroads is coming off a January quarter where its product revenue fell 30% Y/Y to $862K, thanks to declining OEM sales for the company's SPHiNX virtual tape/backup system.
- Online craft marketplace Etsy (Pending:ETSY) will kick off its IPO roadshow tomorrow as it files to sells 16.67M shares (13.33M shares with 3.33M additional coming from selling stockholders) and expects a range of $14-$16/share.
- At the top end of that range, the firm would raise almost $267M.
- While Etsy was previously valued at nearly $700M, its revenue numbers suggest a current valuation that may be north of $1B.
- Previously: Etsy files for IPO, reports strong revenue growth (Mar. 04 2015)
- Previously: Bloomberg: Etsy working with banks on IPO (Jan. 13 2015)
- Ad-tech firm Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI) says it will acquire "intent marketing" technology provider Chango for about $122M, mostly stock.
- The firm says that deal will let it expand its premium offerings with keyword, contextual targeting and retargeting budgets and give it access to an additional $35B of intent marketing spend.
- It also will accelerate Rubicon's Buyer Cloud business, "advancing our technology roadmap and team build-out by more than one year," says Rubicon CEO Frank Addante.
- Chango processes 1T pageviews/month and billions of search events from leading search engines.
- Rubicon Project reaffirmed its Q1 outlook and set a conference call to discuss the Chango acquisition for 5 p.m. ET today.
- Rubicon shares are up 1% after hours.
- Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) will pay a $750K civil penalty to the SEC to settle a probe regarding personal expenses billed to the company by ex-CEO Andrew M. Miller. (8-K filing)
- Miller himself might not be getting off so easily: The SEC has levied seven charges against him over the alleged use of nearly $200K in Polycom funds for personal use, including trips to luxury resorts with his girlfriend. Miller resigned in 2013 following a board investigation into his expense submissions.
- Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is up 6.2% and has touched a record-high $199 in the wake of its deal to acquire Bright House Networks, which would make it the country's No. 2 cable operator (Charter is now No. 4; Bright House is No. 6).
- The deal's dependent on Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) successful pursuit of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) -- Charter's own bid for TWC fell apart, and Charter could step back in if Comcast's plan falters -- and if Comcast takes such a clear lead, Charter may not stop at Bright House in trying to catch up.
- Mediacom, CableOne and Suddenlink could be the next targets. "I think it is inevitable most of the rest of the cable industry not owned by Comcast is sold to Charter," Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeff Wlodarczak tells Reuters.
- As for John Malone, his Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDA) -- Charter's biggest shareholder -- has agreed to purchase $700M of shares in the Charter/Bright House combo, in transactions that would leave it with voting power of about 25%.
- Charter bonds picked up on the news as well.
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