Fri, Oct. 2, 6:41 PM
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought VocalIQ, a U.K.-based developer of a "self-learning dialogue platform" that developers and OEMs can use to create personal assistants that understand natural-language questions and commands.
- VocalIQ's technology, which could be used to help Siri better decipher conversational language, relies on A.I./machine learning to steadily improve its understanding of human dialogue. Notably, the auto market was a focus area for the company, with GM a partner.
- Google (Now) and Microsoft (Cortana) have also been making investments in natural-language processing driven by machine learning. Facebook, meanwhile, recently showed off an assistant (known as M) that relies on both machine learning and actual humans to provide answers.
- iOS 9 brought with it Apple's Proactive assistant, which uses both Siri and user data to push relevant content a la Google Now. This year has also seen the launch of the Siri-capable Apple Watch, and is set to see the rollout of an Apple TV set-top supporting Siri. Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) is believed to help power the platform.
Tue, Sep. 15, 2:06 PM
- Nuance's (NUAN +0.4%) Dragon Drive voice assistant platform will be used to power weather, Web radio, local search, and dictation apps and services in select Mercedes-Benz models starting this month. Additional models will be supported later.
- Nuance's voice recognition software is already integrated within Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems; the new deal adds cloud-based speech and natural language recognition. Other Dragon Drive clients include Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai.
- The news comes a day after Nuance announced a partnership with Rovi (ROVI +0.6%) to integrate its Dragon TV voice recognition platform with Rovi's cloud-based Conversation Services, which enable voice-based content searching and discovery.
Mon, Aug. 24, 4:29 PM
- The Nasdaq opened down 7.5%, furiously rallied almost to breakeven, and then sold off again in the afternoon to close down 3.8%. Some tech stocks managed to rise nonetheless, while many others posted 5%+ declines.
- Major decliners included Citrix (CTXS -9.3%), Solera (SLH -8.9%), NCR (NCR -7.8%), Nuance (NUAN -6.9%), Infinera (INFN -6.4%), HomeAway (AWAY -6.6%), MagnaChip (MX -6.4%), Yandex (YNDX -7.5%), Neustar (NSR -6%), Ebix (EBIX -7.3%), SGI (SGI -8%), Monster (MWW -7.5%), Silver Spring (SSNI -6.6%), Perion (PERI -11%), and Synchronoss (SNCR -7.5%).
- Solera's decline comes 4 days after the company confirmed it's exploring strategic alternatives, and 5 days after Bloomberg reported a sale is being explored. Yandex has been hit hard in recent weeks by the ruble and crude oil's decline. Infinera is down 20% over the last 3 trading days, albeit still up 34% YTD.
- See also: Morning decliners, Chinese tech stocks, large-cap decliners
Tue, Aug. 18, 7:08 PM
- Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) asserts its Dragon Anywhere apps will deliver "Dragon's powerful voice dictation and documentation productivity capabilities to mobile devices for the first time." The apps will be available in the U.S. and U.K. this fall, come with cloud-based syncing services, and be monetized via subscriptions.
- Nuance: "With Dragon Anywhere, professionals can finish a meeting, a site visit, an inspection, or other work in the field and begin documenting the interaction on their mobile device ... Dragon Anywhere creates a powerful cross-device experience, enabling Dragon users to quickly and easily access documents saved to a preferred cloud service from their desktop. Customized vocabularies and auto-texts are also shared..."
- 9to5 Mac provides some positive comments for the iOS Dragon Anywhere app after seeing a demo, while noting Nuance's older Dragon Dictation iOS app is "outdated and does not add any functionality over the integrated Dictation button across iOS textfields." 9to5: "a user could technically write an entire paper or fill out a document using the Dragon Anywhere app ... Nuance provided us with an example of an insurance company distributing iPads to their agents pre-loaded with the Anywhere app and an auto-text setup of an insurance claim form. This form would become standardized across their workforce and the agents could simply fill out the form’s text fields quickly with their voice."
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:40 PM
- Though officially beating consensus, Nuance's (NASDAQ:NUAN) FQ3 results were in-line with the guidance provided in its July 21 pre-announcement. In its prepared remarks (.pdf), the voice recognition software giant has guided for FQ4 revenue of $497M-$513M and EPS of $0.33-$0.37 vs. a consensus of $509.4M and $0.35.
- Bookings: Net new bookings rose 47% Y/Y in FQ3 to $484.4M, aided by several "unusually large" automotive contracts and strong healthcare bookings. Over the first 3 quarters of FY15, bookings are up a modest 2% to $1.09B. In spite of the strong FQ3 performance, Nuance still only expects 1%-4% FY15 net new bookings growth.
- Segment performance: Healthcare revenue -1% Y/Y to $236.8M; op. profit of $81.8M (over half of total op. profit). Mobile/consumer -5% to $108.5M; op. profit of $27M. Enterprise nearly flat at $87M; op. profit of $24.9M. Imaging -8% to $56.3M; op. profit of $21.8M. Total FQ3 organic revenue growth was -3% (+1% exc. forex).
- Financials: Op. margin rose 290 bps Y/Y to 26.4%. A 210 bps increase in gross margin to 63.1% helped, as did a $3.2M drop in operating expenses to $179.2M. $122.4M was spent on buybacks. Nuance ended FQ3 with $489M in cash/investments, and $2.12B in debt.
- Shares have dropped to $17.00 AH.
- FQ3 results, PR
Thu, Aug. 6, 4:04 PM
Wed, Jul. 22, 5:41 PM
Tue, Jul. 21, 10:09 PM
- Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) now expects to report FQ3 (calendar Q2) revenue of $485M-$489M and EPS of $0.31-$0.32. That's better than prior guidance of $468M-$482M and $0.25-$0.29, and a consensus of $477M and $0.28. Formal FQ3 results arrive on Aug. 6.
- The voice recognition software giant also announces Tom Beaudoin, its CFO since 2008, is leaving at month's end to "pursue an opportunity at a smaller, privately held company." Finance SVP/chief accounting officer Daniel Tempesta will replace him.
- Shares rose to $17.59 in AH trading. The 52-week high is $18.66.
Tue, Jul. 21, 5:40 PM
Thu, Jun. 25, 11:03 AM
- Amazon's (AMZN +0.2%) Alexa Fund will invest up to $100M in "developers, manufacturers, and start-ups of all sizes who are passionate about creating new experiences designed around the human voice."
- Investment decisions will be based on "the potential for unique or novel applications of voice technology that leverage the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or the Alexa Voice Service (AVS)," both of which were announced today and aim to create an ecosystem around Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. To date, Alexa has been built into Amazon's Echo Web-connected speaker/assistant (just became generally available for $180).
- ASK provides developers APIs to create Alexa-powered apps with custom "skills." One of Amazon's examples: "A fitness service can enable Alexa to access a user’s workout history, so a customer can say 'Alexa, ask My Fitness how many miles I have run this week.'"
- AVS provides hardware makers and their developer partners with tools for creating Alexa-powered devices and related apps. One of Amazon's examples: "A home sound system that lets customers turn on music just by saying 'Play my barbeque playlist on the back deck.'"
- Google (Now), Apple (Siri), Microsoft (Cortana), and Nuance (Dragon PC, mobile, and auto assistants) are among the other firms investing heavily voice assistant platforms, with varying levels of API support. Nuance (NUAN -0.8%) is believed to be powering Amazon's Fire TV and Phone's voice search features; no word yet on its role with Alexa.
- Earlier: Evercore downgrades Amazon, cites valuation and growing capex
Wed, Jun. 3, 9:51 AM
Tue, May 26, 11:19 AM
- The latest version of the Roku 3 streaming set-top relies on Nuance's (NUAN -0.8%) Dragon TV platform to enable voice search for movies and TV shows, as do Roku's complementary iOS/Android apps.
- Dragon TV has been built into Samsung Smart TVs since 2012. There has also been speculation Nuance is powering voice search for Amazon's Fire TV set-top. Meanwhile, the next-gen Apple TV set-top is rumored to support Siri, which Nuance helps enable.
Thu, May 7, 4:23 PM
- Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) uses its FQ2 report to state it's adding $500M to its buyback, bringing its total aurhorization to $591.7M. $120.3M was spent in FQ2 to buy back 8.56M shares at an average price of $14.06.
- The company guided in its prepared remarks (.pdf) for FY15 (ends Sep. '15) revenue of $1.94B-$1.98B and EPS of $1.13-$1.23; the former is unfavorable to a $1.98B consensus, but the latter is above a $1.12 consensus. FQ3 guidance is for revenue of $468M-$482M and EPS of $0.25-$0.29, mostly below a consensus of $487.7M and $0.28.
- FY15 net new bookings growth guidance has been cut to 1%-4% from a prior 4%-5%. A strong dollar is now expected to have a $55M impact on FY15 revenue ($10M worse than previously forecast), and a $32M impact on net new bookings.
- Net new bookings fell 27% Y/Y in FQ2 to $304.7M, thanks largely to a $100M connected car deal booked a year ago. However, the deferred revenue balance rose 26.3% Y/Y to $637.8M.
- Healthcare revenue (47% of total revenue) -4% Y/Y; mobile/consumer +9%, enterprise -7%; imaging -7%. In addition to buybacks, EPS got a lift from a 7% Y/Y drop in GAAP operating expenses to $245.3M.
- Nuance has risen to $15.82 AH.
- FQ2 results, PR
Thu, May 7, 4:04 PM
Thu, Apr. 23, 2:28 PM
- Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) is sharply higher on volume of 2.19M shares (above a 3-month daily average of 1.89M). Shares (largely range-bound this year) have risen to their highest levels since December.
- Earlier today, the voice recognition software/services provider announced its FQ2 (calendar Q1) report would arrive on May 7. With Nuance having provided light guidance in February (thanks in part to soft mobile/consumer demand), expectations are low.
Tue, Apr. 14, 12:13 AM
- Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN) has used this year's HIMSS health IT conference to unveil PowerMic Mobile, an app that lets physicians dictate and edit electronic health records (EHRs) by using iOS/Android phones that automatically pair with workstations running Nuance's Dragon Medical 360 voice recognition software. The app, which will be offered in May via subscription, eliminates the need for dedicated USB microphones.
- Also announced: 1) Solutions (test cases at this point) that let PowerMic Mobile dictate using Samsung's Gear S smartwatch, and for using Nuance's Florence healthcare mobile assistant with the Gear S. 2) A partnership with medical tech firms IMO and Meditech to create an offering that extracts structured data from physician notes and automatically creates patient problem lists and allergy lists.
- Though the company's consumer-facing products get more ink, Nuance's healthcare ops still accounted for 47% of the company's FQ1 (December quarter) revenue, and 58% of its op. profit. Organic growth was flat Y/Y, with Dragon Medical, diagnostics software, and Clintegrity growth offset by declining demand for traditional dictation offerings.
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