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  • Monday, July 27, 2015

  • 8:03 PM
    • Media companies continue to choose sides in a battle for daily fantasy sports dollars, with the latest move being a $300M funding round for DraftKings led by Fox Networks Group (FOX, FOXA).
    • Fox Networks is expected to have put in $150M for 11% of DraftKings, which would value the startup post-money at more than $1.2B.
    • DraftKings' key competitor, FanDuel, drew $275M in a round earlier this month (post-money valuation of almost $1.3B), with heavy backing from funds connected to Turner Sports and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) as well as Google Capital. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was already a backer, through NBC Sports.
    • Fox's new investment in DraftKings has a heavy advertising element, similar to DraftKings' deal with ESPN: It will spend $250M in advertising across Fox Properties.
    • The two companies -- whose games changed fantasy sports with a daily, for-cash aspets -- are runaway leaders in an industry expected to produce $2.5B in just U.S. revenue each year by 2020. DraftKings generated $30M in revenue last year; FanDuel, which had a two-year head start, pulled $57M in sales last year.
  • 7:49 PM
    • Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) and distributor DTS have been fined €15.5M by Spanish regulator CNMC for a soccer broadcast deal that allegedly infringed EU competition laws.
    • The regulator said DTS drafted auction conditions for Champions League broadcast rights in a way that favored Telefonica and limited competition, and that the broadcaster was aware of the strategy. And it said DTS drew up a wholesale offer on Canal Plus Liga rights such that Telefonica knew strategy and prices in advance.
    • Telefonica acquired full control of DTS just three months ago. The companies can't appeal to CNMC but can lodge an appeal with Spain's National High Court.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:22 PM
    • Orange SA (ORAN -0.2%) today took effective control of Morocco carrier Meditel, buying 9% to raise its holding to 49% and gaining the right to nominate five directors of Meditel's nine-member board.
    • Meditel's financials will be fully consolidated into Orange's results from here.
    • The investment is consistent with a shareholder agreement it signed in 2010, where Orange paid €640M for a 40% stake in the Moroccan carrier, agreeing to increase its stake to 45% in 2011 and 49% in 2015.
    • Meditel had 13M mobile subscribers and a 31% market share at the end of 2014. It launched 4G service last month, and fits into an expansion that Orange is pursuing in Africa and the Middle East.
    • Previously: Orange discussing takeover of four Airtel African operations (Jul. 20 2015)
    • Previously: Orange sees 20% boost to revenue from Africa, Middle East (Jul. 02 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 7:14 PM
    • Silicon Motion's (NASDAQ:SIMO) Q2 revenue (up 8% Q/Q) was in-line with the guidance provided in its July 7 pre-announcement (7%-9% Q/Q growth).
    • Q3 guidance is for revenue to rise 5%-10% Q/Q. That implies a range of $91.6M-$95.9M, below a $95.6M consensus at the midpoint. On the other hand, full-year guidance is for 22%-27% sales growth, better than a 22.9% consensus at the midpoint.
    • Client (PC) SSD controller sales were a Q2 strong point, rising 40% Q/Q and accounting for 15% of revenue. SIMO: "We are scaling sales to two NAND flash partners, a storage OEM customer, and a large number of module makers, for both PC OEM and channel markets ... Based on the number of sockets that we are winning, we believe that we will be the worlds largest merchant supplier of client SSD controllers by the end of this year."
    • eMMC NAND controller sales were pressured by "lackluster demand" for smartphones/tablets in China and other markets. However, SIMO add it secured a record 60+ eMMC wins, and expects eMMC sales to rise Q/Q the rest of the year. Overall, mobile storage sales rose 11% Q/Q to $70.8M, and mobile communications sales (4G transceivers, mobile TV ICs) fell 5% to $14.4M.
    • Financials: Gross margin (non-GAAP) fell to 51% from 52% in Q1 and 52.2% a year ago. However, with revenue growth outpacing opex growth, op. margin rose to 24.8% from 24.1% and 23.5%. Q3 and full-year GM guidance are both at 50%-52%. SIMO ended Q2 with $201.6M in cash, and no debt (compares with a $942M market cap).
    • Shares haven't yet moved AH. They fell 3.4% in regular trading ahead of the report.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:27 PM
    • Not counting the cash/stock Audience (NASDAQ:ADNC) acquisition (closed on July 1), Knowles (NYSE:KN) expects Q3 revenue of $275M-$295M and EPS of $0.25-$0.33, in-line with a consensus of $290.7M and $0.28.
    • Audience, meanwhile, is expected to have Q3 revenue of $10M (down from Q1's $18.5M) and EPS of -$0.18. As disclosed at the time of the acquisition announcement, Audience's sales have been hit hard by declining Samsung demand
    • Discussing the Q2 numbers (revenue missed, EPS beat), Knowles states "weaker-than-expected shipments to a Korean OEM and anticipated softness at a major customer in connection with its transition to a new operating system offset the strength from other customers." The former is likely Samsung, and the latter Microsoft.
    • On the other hand, Knowles saw "strong sequential sales growth at a North American OEM on continued microphone share gains as well as a rebound in growth from Chinese OEMs." The former is likely Apple.
    • Financials: Gross margin was 27.3%, down from 29.2% a year ago but up from 24.6% in Q1 and contributing to the EPS beat. Operating expenses were 22.4% of revenue vs. 21.8% in Q1 and 21.6% a year ago.
    • Shares have risen to $18.49 AH.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • 6:23 PM
    • An aggressive AT&T (NYSE:T) is fighting back hard against a proposed FCC fine of $100M, saying it's "unprecedented and indefensible," and has asked for a total withdrawal of the fine.
    • Last month, the agency charged Ma Bell with misleading customers about slowing mobile data for customers on unlimited data plans.
    • At the time, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the ultimate fine would depend on AT&T's response, and might include customer refunds.
    • AT&T says the FCC is "abandoning any pretext" of being impartial and suggests the fine is beyond agency authority, expecting it to be thrown out in court.
    • Meanwhile today in analyst action, after AT&T's quarterly results and the closure of its DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) acquisition, Goldman Sachs reinstated coverage of the company at Neutral with a price target of $37; and Canaccord Genuity has raised its price target to $35 (from $34).
    • Shares closed today up 0.2% to $34.35.
    • Previously: AT&T details closure of DirecTV deal (Jul. 24 2015)
  • 6:10 PM
    • Silicon Motion Technology (NASDAQ:SIMO): Q2 EPS of $0.51 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $87.21M (+25.6% Y/Y) beats by $0.84M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 5:46 PM
    • In addition to missing Q2 estimates, Amkor (NASDAQ:AMKR) forecasts Q3 revenue of $700M-$750M and EPS of -$0.03 to $0.06, below a consensus of $795.9M and $0.17.
    • CEO Steve Kelley: "We expect sluggish mobile device market conditions to persist through most of Q3, with revenues slightly down compared with Q2,  We are cautiously optimistic that demand will strengthen in the fourth quarter with the anticipated launch of flagship mobile devices." The last sentence is presumably a reference to the iPhone 6S and Galaxy Note 5.
    • Business metrics: "Advanced products" revenue (e.g. flip-chip and wafer-level packaging) fell 1% Y/Y in Q2 to $362M. "Mainstream products" revenue (e.g. wirebond packaging and test services) fell 7% to $375M. Chip packaging was 85% of revenue, and test services 15%. Communications (mobile devices/Wi-Fi) was 56% of revenue, consumer products (TVs, consoles, etc.) 12%, automotive 12%, networking 11%, and PCs 9%.
    • Financials: Gross margin fell to 15.6% from Q1's 18.2% and Q2 2014's 19.6%; Q3 GM guidance is at 13%-16%. GAAP operating expenses fell 15% Y/Y to $76.5M. Amkor ended Q2 with $442M in cash, and $1.5B in debt. The 2015 capex budget has been cut by $50M to $550M.
    • Shares have fallen to $4.22 AH, making new 52-week lows along the way.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • 5:41 PM
    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will customer-test its upcoming video service -- Go90 -- in the coming weeks via a beta version, ahead of a planned late-summer launch.
    • “This is unlike any other system,” says Verizon's Alberto Cana. “This is a completely new product, and the beta piece is about testing the platform and some of the functions, like sharing.”
    • The service has been delayed from an expected early-summer start, but CFO Fran Shammo has maintained it'll be ready by late summer, at least in a limited version, as the company integrates more content from AOL.
    • And now we know what that name means: Rotate your mobile screen 90 degrees in order to get a viewing angle suitable for watching videos.
    • Verizon fell 0.5% today and is up 0.2% after hours.
    • Previously: Verizon video details: Go90 service to be free to consumers (Jul. 24 2015)
  • 5:29 PM
    • SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) has bought the project pipeline from Australia's Infigen Energy for an undisclosed sum. It includes projects "in varying stages of development across 11 states."
    • Some of the projects are expected to go to the company's 8point3 Energy (NASDAQ:CAFD) YieldCo JV with First Solar (recently went public). The pipeline includes 55MW of projects in Kern County, CA for which SunPower expects to begin construction this year, and begin commercial operation in 2016.
    • SunPower recognized revenue on 736MW of solar plant deals in 2014, and 115MW in Q1. Q2 results arrive Tuesday afternoon.
    • SPWR +0.5% AH to $25.23.
  • 4:48 PM
    • Though it posted in-line Q2 sales (and beat on EPS), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is guiding for Q3 revenue of RMB18.17B-RMB18.58B ($2.931B-$2.997B, +34.4%-37.4% Y/Y), below an RMB18.79B consensus.
    • Mobile: After rising to 50% of revenue Q1 from 42% in Q4 and 36% in Q3, mobile remained at 50% of revenue in Q2. Mobile search monthly active users (MAUs) +24% Y/Y to 629M; mobile maps MAUs +48% to 304M.
    • Metrics: Online ad customers rose 12.6% Q/Q and 20.9% Y/Y to 590K. Revenue per ad customer rose 15.1% Q/Q (seasonality) and 13.2% Y/Y to $4,419. GMV for online-to-offline (O2O) services rose 109% Y/Y to $6.5B.
    • Financials: Spending remains aggressive: SG&A spend rose 81% Y/Y to $627.4M, and R&D spend rose 56.2% to $437.5M. Traffic acquisition costs were 12.7% of revenue, down 80 bps Q/Q and flat Y/Y. Bandwidth costs fell to 5.4% of revenue from 5.8% a year ago; content costs (online video-driven) rose to 5.1% from 3%. Baidu ended Q2 with $12.1B in cash, and $657M in debt.
    • Baidu has fallen to $186.80 AH.
    • Q2 results, PR
    • Yesterday: Baidu investing heavily in O2O services to head off mobile app threat
    • Update (5:08PM ET): Shares are now down 9% AH.
  • 4:40 PM
    • In tandem with its Q2 results, MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) says it has named Phong Le, currently the CFO of telecom carrier XO Communications, its next CFO. Le will succeed, Doug Thede, who announced his plans to retire in March, on or around Aug. 24.
    • Shares have jumped to $190.00 AH in response to MicroStrategy's Q2 beat. As was the case in Q1, job cuts boosted EPS: Operating expenses fell 39% Y/Y to $72.3M.
    • Product license/subscription services revenue (drives future support revenue) rose 3% Y/Y in Q2 to $36.4M, a turnaround from Q1's 15% decline. Product support revenue fell 5% to $70.7M; other services revenue fell 20% to $25.8M. The BI software vendor ended Q2 with $427.9M in cash/short-term investments, and no debt.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • 4:34 PM
    • CTS Corporation (NYSE:CTS): Q2 EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $100.1M (-2.8% Y/Y) misses by $5.97M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:32 PM
    • Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU): Q2 EPS of RMB11.19 beats by RMB0.61.
    • Revenue of RMB16.58B (+38.3% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares -6%
    • Press Release
  • 4:30 PM
    • Cadence (NASDAQ:CDNS) has used its Q2 report to announce a $1.2B buyback program that replaces an existing $450M program. The EDA software vendor expects to use up its new program within 6 quarters.
    • The $1.2B buyback is good for repurchasing over 1/5 of shares at current levels. Cadence plans to use a mixture of existing cash, future cash flows, and debt to pay for it. The company had $744M in cash/short-term investments as of July 4, and $349M in debt. $93.1M was spent on buybacks in 1H15.
    • Q3 guidance is for revenue of $423M-$433M and EPS of $0.25-$0.27, in-line with a consensus of $429.8M and $0.26. 2015 guidance is for revenue of $1.685B-$1.715B and EPS of $1.00-$1.06, in-line with a consensus of $1.7B and $1.02.
    • CDNS +0.9% AH to $19.16.
    • Q2 results, PR
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:19 PM
    • A little over a year after reports surfaced that EBAY plans to shutter its Now same-day delivery service (in test mode), the company has officially done so. An eBay spokeswoman states her company concluded same-day works better for items such as groceries and diapers than for many of eBay's core Marketplace offerings (collectibles, used goods, etc.), and that the logistics of managing same-day deliveries for 3rd-party sellers proved difficult.
    • She adds eBay continues to "explore a variety of delivery options such as buy-online-pickup-in-store," and that in-store pickup will still be provided at retailers such as Best Buy and Guitar Center. Now had been launched in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, and parts of the Bay Area.
    • Also getting axed: A Brooklyn pilot program offering same-day deliveries from ~80 local merchants, and eBay's Motors, Fashion, and Valet apps. The company attributes the latter move to a desire to focus on its core app, and eliminate user confusion about which app should be used.
    • eBay's same-day exit comes as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) continues rapidly expanding its same-day footprint. The company recently began providing free same-day services to Prime subs in 14 metro areas. Google, meanwhile, continues to invest in same-day services provided for retail partners.
    • eBay closed down 0.8% today, following markets lower.
  • 4:15 PM
    • Knowles (NYSE:KN): Q2 EPS of $0.08 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $240.9M (-14.3% Y/Y) misses by $9.73M.
    • Shares +5.5%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:12 PM
    • Amkor Technology (NASDAQ:AMKR): Q2 EPS of $0.08 misses by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $736.72M (-4.0% Y/Y) misses by $10.03M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:10 PM
    • GigOptix (NYSEMKT:GIG): Q2 EPS of $0.06 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $9.84M (+22.4% Y/Y) beats by $0.14M.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:10 PM
    • Sources tell dealReporter Synchronoss' (NASDAQ:SNCR) efforts to sell itself have slowed. Shares tumbled briefly before the close in response.
    • The WSJ reported in June P-E firms were interested, and that i-bank Qatalyst Partners had been hired. Synchronoss jumped in response.
    • The mobile activation software/white-label cloud service provider delivers its Q2 report on Wednesday morning.
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:08 PM
    • Smith Micro Software (NASDAQ:SMSI): Q2 EPS of -$0.01 in-line.
    • Revenue of $9.38M (+10.0% Y/Y) misses by $0.42M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:07 PM
    • Cadence Design Systems (NASDAQ:CDNS): Q2 EPS of $0.27 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $415.88M (+9.8% Y/Y) misses by $0.48M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:06 PM
    • Harmonic (NASDAQ:HLIT): Q2 EPS of $0.05 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $103.1M (-5.9% Y/Y) misses by $0.38M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:04 PM
    • MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR): Q2 EPS of $1.95 beats by $0.56.
    • Revenue of $132.94M (-6.3% Y/Y) beats by $4.95M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:04 PM
    • Monolithic Power (NASDAQ:MPWR): Q2 EPS of $0.46 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $81.4M (+18.9% Y/Y) beats by $0.5M.
    • Shares +0.6%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:02 PM
    • Plantronics (NYSE:PLT): FQ1 EPS of $0.67 beats by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $206.4M (-4.7% Y/Y) beats by $0.81M.
    • Press Release
  • 3:00 PM
    • Twitter (TWTR -2.8%) has joined Facebook, LinkedIn and a slew of other Internet stocks in selling off amid a 0.9% drop for the Nasdaq. Q2 results arrive Tuesday afternoon.
    • Possibly weighing on Twitter: SunTrust's Bob Peck, who downgraded to Neutral in April shortly before Twitter plunged in response to a Q1 sales miss and soft guidance, has cut his Q2 monthly active user (MAU) estimate by 4M to 310M (+2M Q/Q). Peck expects 302M "core" MAUs, and 8M via Twitter's SMS Fast Followers service in Q2, compared 302M core and 6M SMS users in Q1. "We point out that the headline number may be confusing, as the company may not break out SMS users, leaving the core MAU growth in doubt."
    • Shares currently trade for 7.2x a 2016 sales consensus of $3.24B.
  • 2:59 PM
    • Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) has moved back further into positive ground, +1.2%, as it says it's come to a deal with the Communications Workers of America in California -- where it's taking on customers from Verizon as part of a wireline asset transfer.
    • The CWA represents about 3,400 Verizon employees in the state. Under the deal, after it closes the Verizon transaction, Frontier will add 150 new union-repped positions as well as new customer service jobs.
    • Frontier will honor and extend existing collective bargaining agreements. The company is also committing to a 100% U.S.-based workforce and will give union employees 100 shares each of Frontier restricted stock on the deal's closing.
  • 2:45 PM
    • Though it beat Q2 estimates, SOHU is guiding for Q3 revenue of $470M-$500M and EPS of -$0.55 to -$0.80, below a consensus of $530.2M and -$0.39.
    • Meanwhile, gaming subsidiary Changyou's (NASDAQ:CYOU) Q2 beat is accompanied by guidance for Q3 revenue of $172M-$175M and EPS of $0.64-$0.73. The latter is mostly above a $0.65 consensus, but the former is below a $204.6M consensus.
    • Business performance: Sohu's Sogou search platform remained a strong point in Q2: Revenue rose 27% Q/Q and 62% Y/Y to $147M. Online game revenue (Changyou) fell 7% Q/Q and rose 12% Y/Y to $172M, and brand ad revenue rose 13% Q/Q and Y/Y to $151M, with Sohu Video ad revenue rising 17% Q/Q and 36% Y/Y to $59.
    • Financials: Sohu's gross margin was 55%, up from Q1's 51% and down from Q2 2014's 58%. Operating expenses (non-GAAP) rose 8% Q/Q and fell 11% Y/Y to $237M; both the Q/Q increase and Y/Y drop were due to marketing/promotional spend changes. Sohu ended Q2 with $1.2B in cash/short-term investments, and $370M in bank loans.
    • A broader selloff in Chinese stocks is likely weighing on both companies' shares.
    • Sohu: Q2 results, PR
    • Changyou: Q2 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • 2:19 PM
    • Further paring its ambitions for the platform, Google (GOOG +0.7%, GOOGL +0.6%) will no longer require users on YouTube and various other services to identify themselves with their Google+ profiles.
    • Google: "People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier. But we’ve also heard that it doesn’t make sense for your Google+ profile to be your identity in all the other Google products you use. So in the coming months, a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google ... And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles."
    • The company is 15 months removed from shifting resources away from Google+ (launched in 2011) to other teams, and announcing Google+ chief Vic Gundotra is leaving. More recently, Google placed its cloud photo-storage/sharing features (previously a part of Google+) into standalone Google Photos apps.
    • In spite of the pullbacks, and the platform's inability to challenge Facebook's social networking hegemony, Google+'s identity services and +1 button have been seen as a valuable way to gather demographic and interest data on Google users - data that could later be used for ad targeting.
    • Google is higher on a day many Internet stocks are posting steep losses. The Nasdaq is down 0.8%.
  • 1:40 PM
    • QuickLogic (NASDAQ:QUIK) is seeing major losses ahead of earnings. 322K shares have been traded thus far vs. a 3-month daily average of 367K.
    • Thanks in large part to the soft guidance it provided in February and April, the FPGA/mobile sensor hub maker is down 63% YTD. Shares now go for 1.4x a 2-analyst 2016 sales consensus of $45.4M.
  • 1:25 PM
    • Believing EPS can rise to $6.54 from an expected FY15 level of $4.63 (down from FY14's $5.27), Morgan Stanley's James Faucette has upgraded Qualcomm (QCOM +1.3%) to Overweight a few days after shares sold off on account of the FQ4 guidance provided with the company's mixed FQ3 results and job cut/strategic review announcement.
    • Faucette is optimistic Qualcomm can maintain a competitive edge in the merchant baseband/app processor market in spite of major job cuts, particularly given Intel has been slashing capex and recently pushed out its 10nm CPU ETA to 2H17. "We believe that the push by Qualcomm to close the [process] geometry gap with Intel has been a key driver of the annualized [cost of goods sold] + R&D increase of ~$7B over the last 4 years."
    • He also sees several potential EPS growth drivers, including regained app processor share at Samsung, Chinese 3G/4G growth, improved Chinese royalty capture, and the closing of the CSR deal (expected to be accretive). Concerns about lower 4G/5G royalty rates relative to 3G rates are downplayed. "These devices may carry a lower royalty rate, but if they include 3G connectivity, we believe Qualcomm is entitled to collect the full 3G royalty rate."
    • At the same time, Faucette is skeptical Qualcomm will spin off its chip unit (QCT) from its IP licensing unit (QTL). "We think chipset sales from the QCT segment create an easier path to collecting royalties in QTL. If the businesses are separated ... so too does this enforcement mechanism." Others have also noted QCT creates IP that's subsequently licensed by QTL, and that QTL lowers QCT's royalty bill for 3rd-party chip IP.
  • 12:47 PM
    • TerraForm Power (NASDAQ:TERP) hosted a conference call (webcast) at 8:30AM ET to discuss the company's financing plans for the assets it's acquiring from Vivint Solar and U.S. wind project developer Invenergy.
    • The SunEdison YieldCo had $153M in cash, $78M in restricted cash, and $2.19B in long-term debt and financing lease obligations at the end of Q1. A $599M stock offering was carried out in June.
    • SunEdison's TerraForm Global YieldCo (focused on emerging markets projects) is set to go public later this week under the ticker GLBL.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:20 PM
    • JinkoSolar (JKS -5.5%), Yingli (YGE -5.9%), and JA Solar (JASO -2.8%) are off after the Shanghai exchange fell 8.5% overnight, reversing a bounce seen in recent weeks as Beijing pulled out all the stops to halt a market crash. The Nasdaq is down 0.9%.
    • Many Chinese Internet stocks are having a rougher time.
  • 12:04 PM
    • A day after officially becoming CEO, Chuck Robbins has named Zorawar Biri Singh, once the head of HP's cloud ops and then a partner at VC firm Khosla Ventures, Cisco's (CSCO -0.1%) CTO of Platforms and Solutions. His role will be to "further [Cisco's] success at anticipating customer and industry transitions, and define the [company's] technology strategy to stay ahead of the market."
    • In June, Cisco named M&A chief Hilton Romanski its chief technology and strategy officer, as part of a broader announcement regarding Robbins' leadership team. However, Romanski's bio page only refers to him as chief strategy officer. Robbins states Singh will work with Romanski and Cisco's strategy team "to align our technology strategy with our business strategy and corporate development priorities."
    • Also: Kevin Bandy, once an exec at and Accenture (and after than an industry consultant), has been named Cisco's chief digital officer. His (vague) job description is to "design a comprehensive vision for [Cisco], and our customers, to capture the true value of digitization by leveraging Cisco’s broad portfolio of solutions and services." Bandy will work with recently-appointed operations SVP Rebecca Jacoby.
  • 12:03 PM
    • Sprint (S -8.5%) has the "dubious distinction" of being the first wireless carrier implicated in an automobile hack, says automotive analyst Roger Lanctot.
    • Fiat Chrysler is taking the fall, he writes, for "Sprint’s failure to properly secure its network and the Jeep in question – which was subjected to some comical and terrifying remote control in real-time on the highway thanks to an IP address vulnerability."
    • The hack is bad news for Fiat Chrysler, he notes, as the company deals with a record fine over safety practices -- but it might also mean a "fatal" blow for Sprint's Velocity telematics platform.
    • Sprint's looking to sell Velocity, he says, which might be seen as damaged goods after a very damaging story.
    • Previously: Hacking demo leads to recall of 1.4M Fiat Chrysler vehicles (Jul. 24 2015)
  • 11:36 AM
    • Following AT&T's (T +0.6%) closure on its acquisition of DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), the company reached a new multiyear carriage deal with Starz (STRZA -0.7%).
    • Talks had broken down a week ago -- and now AT&T speaks for DirecTV subscribers as well.
    • Terms were undisclosed but the two companies renewed their deal with hours to go before a blackout. The talks had been ongoing for several months.
  • 11:28 AM
    • Noting LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) remains 44% more expensive than Facebook on a 2016E EV/EBITDA basis (in spite of being expected to grow 10% slower), Brean's Sarah Hindlian is reiterating a Sell ahead of the company's Thursday Q2 report.
    • Hindlian, who launched coverage at Sell 6 weeks before LinkedIn plunged due to the guidance provided with its Q1 beat, also notes a 3% Q2 beat would still represent a 14% deceleration in growth from 2014 levels.
    • Cantor's Youssef Squali is out with a more positive note today, forecasting  LinkedIn's Talent Solutions ops (62% of Q1 revenue) will post 30% Y/Y growth as the business continues taking share from online job rivals. Marketing Solutions (pressured by industry display ad weakness) is expected to see 19.4% growth, and Premium Subscriptions 23.2% growth.
    • LinkedIn has sold off amid a 0.6% drop for the Nasdaq. Shares are down 5% YTD.
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:54 AM
    • TrueCar (NASDAQ:TRUE) is now down 44% since issuing a major Q2/full-year warning last Thursday afternoon, while blaming softer-than-expected traffic. YTD, shares are down 74%.
    • The car-buying site now trades for just 2.4x 2014 sales. Last Friday, Goldman pulled TrueCar from its Conviction Buy list, arguing the warning and the potential for further dealer loss spell limited top-line visibility.
    | Comment!
  • 10:16 AM
    • With its shares having tumbled to new 52-week lows in response to the company's Q2 sales miss and soft top-line guidance (posted on July 16), SolarWinds (SWI +1.4%) is launching a $200M buyback.
    • The buyback is good for repurchasing 7% of shares at current levels. The systems/app management software firm had $246M in cash/short-term investments at the end of Q2, and no debt.
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:07 AM
    • GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB) is off 7.3% after Cowen points to competitor inroads in downgrading the stock to Market Perform.
    • The firm set a price target of $30, down from $39. Shares closed Friday at $33.79 and are trading currently at $31.33.
    • Cowen's proprietary delivery survey found "surprising competitive inroads, esp. among high volume Manhattan customers, and saturation in key GrubHub markets."
    • Competitors have raised $500M YTD -- not counting Uber, Kevin Kopelman notes.
    • Cowen's expecting a continued slowdown in orders: Q2 organic orders +25%, down from +28%; slowing to +23% in 2H from a previous +25%; and +20% in FY16 (prior +25%).
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:57 AM
    • "Recent launches of vertical solutions, Box Governance and Enterprise Key Management are increasing competitive differentiation and driving better monetization of the installed base," writes Pac Crest (KeyBanc), upgrading BOX to Overweight and setting a $24 target.
    • Pac Crest: "[A] focus on developers is driving adoption within third-party applications ... We believe competition is falling behind in enterprise capabilities and that an expanded product set is creating an opportunity for Box's platform to be the leading content management and collaboration layer across the enterprise market."
    • CEO Aaron Levie has offered some of the same arguments when asked how Box's platform stands out from aggressively-priced cloud storage and collaboration services from the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Box is bouncing after having touched a post-IPO low of $16.15 on Friday.
  • 9:52 AM
    • Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) have renewed their carriage agreement -- a move that wasn't without bumps as Discovery opposed the cable giant's Time Warner Cable takeover earlier this year.
    • The companies say they've signed a "long-term, comprehensive" renewal, including TV Everywhere rights.
    • Both stocks are trading down with the broader U.S. market: CMCSA -1.9%; DISCA -0.6%.
    | Comment!
  • 9:29 AM
    • After bouncing in recent weeks with the help of massive government support, Chinese markets nosedived once again overnight amid a backdrop of weak manufacturing data. Shanghai fell 8.5%, Shenzhen fell 7%, and the ChiNext Index fell 7.4%.
    • Not surprisingly, many U.S.-traded Chinese tech names are off sharply in premarket trading. YY -4.2%. Qihoo (NYSE:QIHU) -5.5%. (NASDAQ:JD) -5.4%. SOHU -6%. iDreamSky (NASDAQ:DSKY) -9.6%. SouFun (NYSE:SFUN) -8%. SINA -5.5%. Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) -7.8%. Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) -4.8%. Youku (NYSE:YOKU) -6.2%. Qunar (NASDAQ:QUNR) -6.2%. Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) -5.4%. (NYSE:WUBA) -4.7%. (NYSE:WBAI) -7.2%. Jumei (NYSE:JMEI) -5.7%. NQ Mobile (NYSE:NQ) -6%. Bitauto (NYSE:BITA) -6.3%. Autohome (NYSE:ATHM) -4.8%. Cheetah Mobile (NYSE:CMCM) -10.1%.
    • Sohu and Changyou reported this morning. Baidu reports after the close.
  • 9:24 AM
    | Comment!
  • 9:15 AM
    • Dougherty's Andrea James has upgraded Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) to Buy ahead of Thursday's Q2 report, and set a $45 target.
    • Shares have risen to $35.48 premarket. They're still down 57% YTD.
    • Update: James cites low multiples and North American channel checks pointing to improved demand. "Stratasys has fought industry headwinds and made missteps that cost it two-thirds of its share price. Shares have been re-rated as a low-margin industrial, but this re-rating should correct as this disruptive technology company builds back credibility ... We've assessed that HP will compete more directly with competitors than with Stratasys ... We project Q2 results will not disappoint, and we see a strong pipeline into the back half of the year."
  • 9:09 AM
    • AVX (NYSE:AVX): FQ1 preliminary EPS of $0.21 beats by $0.02.
    • preliminary revenue of $300.52M (-14.3% Y/Y) misses by $0.78M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 7:02 AM
    • Roper (NYSE:ROP): Q2 EPS of $1.70 beats by $0.06.
    • Revenue of $892.1M (+0.8% Y/Y) misses by $16.14M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 5:41 AM
    • (NASDAQ:CYOU): Q2 EPS of $0.95 beats by $0.29.
    • Revenue of $202.15M (+13.7% Y/Y) beats by $12.23M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 2:31 AM
    • (NASDAQ:SOHU): Q2 EPS of -$0.71 beats by $0.09.
    • Revenue of $493.57M (+23.3% Y/Y) beats by $12.91M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 1:55 AM
    • The Apple Watch (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be available at more than 100 Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stores in the U.S. starting in August, and more than 300 locations before the holiday season, marking the first time the watch will be sold outside of the Apple retail store.
    • During its earnings announcement last week, CEO Tim Cook said the Watch was selling better than expected, but didn't say how many the company had sold or what its projections were.
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