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Mon, Mar. 7, 1:10 PM
- Following a test with advertisers, Facebook (FB -1.9%) has pulled the plug on a demand-side ad-buying platform (i.e. a DSP) for its Atlas ad-server/measurement solution.
- Ad tech chief David Jakubowski states low ad quality drove Facebook's decision. "[W]e plugged into a number of the usual exchanges and bought across several formats ... We were able to deliver ads to real people with unprecedented accuracy, but came up against many bad ads and fraud (like bots). While we were fortunately able to root out the bad actors and only buy quality ads, we were amazed by the volume of valueless inventory."
- Notably, he adds the only ad formats that "delivered significant value" during the test were native ads (Facebook and Instagram feed ads are native ad types) and video ads (another area Facebook is well-exposed to). Not surprisingly, mobile ads in general delivered much of the "true business value" found in the test. Facebook VP Brian Boland claims native/video ads delivered "7x better results than banner ads."
- As part of its efforts to double down on ad types it considers effective, Facebook is rolling out new tools for Atlas: A tool for measuring the impact of online ads on offline sales, a service that gives advertisers insights on how users see ads across devices before making a purchase, and a video-ad-serving/measurement service. Jakubowski: "[M]any marketers still choose to deliver and measure their ad campaigns using desktop-first tools that are not built for a cross-device world — and they’ve got the wasted spend to show for it."
- Facebook has tried to differentiate Atlas in part by using anonymous Facebook profile data (rather than cookies) to measure ad performance across devices. Atlas competes against Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) DoubleClick unit, which (among other things) is a major player in the DSP space through its Bid Manager platform. Independent DSP providers Rocket Fuel (FUEL +5.1%) and Sizmek (SZMK +3.9%) are higher today.
Wed, Feb. 24, 7:07 PM
- NBCUniversal (CMCSA +1.5%) has rolled out programmatic advertising for its "linear" broadcast and cable TV inventory, in what it's calling a first.
- Clients will use their own data and demand-side platforms of choice and compare against NBCU inventory to build their media plans, including ads on "regular" (non-digital) shows broadcasting on NBC, or USA Network or Syfy.
- It's not quite real-time bidding a la digital ads, though. It will still be sold in upfronts (as NBCUx is added to NBCU's upfront sales) or up to a week ahead of time, rather than via auctions. NBCU says this fall advertisers will be able to buy on a daily basis.
- Banner ad prices plunged when automated bidding hit the market, but NBCU's Krishan Bhatia says the lack of real-time bidding will give the company a bit more control over pricing.
- Ad-tech players soared today after some strong earnings reports: RUBI +17.8% after doubling revenue yesterday; FUEL up 4% today and up 19.8% after hours following its beat; TUBE +6.5%; CRTO +0.2%. After hours, CMCSA -0.7%.
Wed, Feb. 24, 5:21 PM
- Beaten-down Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL) is up 23% after hours to $3.85 after soundly beating Q4 estimates (especially on EPS). The programmatic online ad platform owner is guiding for Q1 non-GAAP revenue of $53M-$56M; the GAAP revenue consensus, which doesn't back out traffic acquisition payments, is at $99M. Adjusted EBITDA guidance is at -$11M to -$14M.
- Along with the numbers, Rocket Fuel has announced the hiring of Rex Jackson, formerly the CFO of chip design hardware/software firm Synopsys and optical component vendor JDS Uniphase, as its CFO. The move comes four months after Rocket Fuel announced (along with the hiring of Randy Wootton as CEO) CFO David Sankaran is leaving; Cal Hoagland, a partner at CFO services firm FLG Partners, has been serving as interim CFO.
- Boosting Q4 EPS: Non-GAAP operating expenses fell 11% Y/Y to $65.8M. On a GAAP basis, sales/marketing spend totaled $39.8M, R&D $10.8M, and G&A $13.7M.
- Mobile, social, and video channels produced Q4 GAAP revenue of $46.9M (37% of total revenue). Rocket Fuel ended 2015 with $78.6M in cash (compares with a $166M after hours market cap).
- Rocket Fuel's Q4 results, earnings release
Wed, Feb. 24, 4:17 PM
- Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL): Q4 EPS of -$0.04 beats by $0.15.
- Revenue of $125.4M (-10.1% Y/Y) beats by $5.97M.
Tue, Feb. 23, 5:35 PM
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Fri, Feb. 19, 12:45 PM
Mon, Feb. 8, 2:37 PM
- Many tech stocks are seeing 6%+ losses as investors flee to safety yet again. The Nasdaq is down 3.4%, and the S&P 2.7%.
- As was the case on Friday following Tableau and LinkedIn's disappointing guidance, a slew of enterprise tech stocks are seeing big losses, with cloud software and security tech names well-represented on the casualty list.
- Also: Solar stocks are having another brutal day (TAN -6.7%) as energy stocks get routed amid fears Chesapeake Energy is close to bankruptcy. WTI crude oil is once more near $30/barrel.
- Enterprise software decliners: Adobe (ADBE -9.6%), Paylocity (PCTY -19.1%), Salesforce (CRM -9.9%), Workday (WDAY -12%), Guidewire (GWRE -12.5%), ServiceNow (NOW -11.5%), Zendesk (ZEN -13.8%), Paycom (PAYC -13.4%), Marin Software (MRIN -10.3%), Castlight (CSLT -8.4%), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD -12.1%), Atlassian (TEAM -13.2%), inContact (SAAS -9.6%), and Bazaarvoice (BV -14.5%).
- Enterprise security decliners: Palo Alto Networks (PANW -12.2%), FireEye (FEYE -9.8%), CyberArk (CYBR -11.5%), Proofpoint (PFPT -12.7%), Qualys (QLYS -8.9%), Imperva (IMPV -9.7%), Rapid7 (RPD -9.4%), and Barracuda (CUDA -8.4%).
- Solar decliners: SunEdison (SUNE -11.3%), SunPower (SPWR -8.8%), JinkoSolar (JKS -7.6%), SolarEdge (SEDG -7.9%), Yingli (YGE -7.1%), TerraForm Power (TERP -10.7%), and TerraForm Global (GLBL -9.2%).
- Other major decliners: Micron (MU -9.1%), Western Digital (WDC -10.5%), Arista (ANET -10.9%), Universal Display (OLED -10.6%), Rackspace (RAX -11.3%), Fitbit (FIT -8.7%), Nimble Storage (NMBL -11.3%), Sierra Wireless (SWIR -9.9%), Rocket Fuel (FUEL -9.8%), Knowles (KN -9%), Mitel (MITL -8.9%), and Alarm.com (ALRM -8.9%).
- Previously covered: Yelp, Cognizant, Tableau, Globant, Ambarella, European tech stocks
Fri, Jan. 29, 7:03 PM
- Video ad specialist Adaptive Medias (OTCQB:ADTM -8.6%) has received an acquisition bid, Barron's reports, from private AdSupply, with whom it entered a strategic partnership last week.
- AdSupply has offered $35M -- about $1.50 a share, a ten-bagger premium over the current price of $0.144 -- in a letter to Adaptive's board.
- The company will form a committee to review the deal and Adaptive CEO John Strong says they'll do their fiduciary duty to check all options.
- AdSupply chief Justin Bunnell said companies in the ad-tech space (particularly sometime candidates Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI), Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL) and Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO)) should be ready for what might be a wave of acquisitions with stock prices lower than before and "as companies prepare for the next round of competition."
- Previously: Adaptive Medias in marketplace partnership with AdSupply (Jan. 21 2016)
Fri, Jan. 15, 2:53 PM
- In Wall Street's latest bloodletting, the Nasdaq is down 3.1% and the S&P 2.4%. The decline comes amid tumbling energy prices (crude is below $30/barrel), soft macro data, and disappointing earnings reports from the likes of Intel and Citigroup.
- Tech companies seeing outsized losses amid the carnage include chipmakers NXP (NXPI -8.1%), Qorvo (QRVO -8.9%), InvenSense (INVN -3.7%), IDT (IDTI -6.4%), Sigma Designs (SIGM -6.5%), and Knowles (KN -6.6%), as well as solar plays Trina (TSL -9.3%), ReneSola (SOL -11.5%), JinkoSolar (JKS -10.7%), Enphase (ENPH -8.5%), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ -8.4%).
- Also off sharply: Action camera leader GoPro (GPRO -8.7%), 3D printer maker 3D Systems (DDD -7.5%), daily deals leader Groupon (GRPN -6.4%), server interconnect provider Mellanox (MLNX -8.5%), OLED materials/IP provider Universal Display (OLED -10.3%), Latin American online marketplace MercadoLibre (MELI -7.2%), data management software firm Varonis (VRNS -8.3%), ad tech firm Rocket Fuel (FUEL -7.1%), Chinese online retailers Vipshop (VIPS -6.9%) and Jumei (JMEI -12.7%), and home automation system provider Control4 (CTRL -7.8%).
- GoPro is down 22% since issuing a Q4 warning on Wednesday afternoon. Trina has been downgraded to Neutral by Goldman. IDT and Mellanox could be affected by the weaker-than-expected Q4 sales reported for Intel's server CPU division (DCG).
- Previously covered: Chip equipment makers, Yandex/Qiwi, Intel, Textura, PC industry firms, Rackspace, CommVault, Ericsson
- Wednesday's notable decliners