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July 2017

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Any and all content can be saved for later and can be accessed from google.com/save

There are a lot of times when users wish to go back to content that interested them in the first place, but there really hasn’t been an effective tool to help make this possible. Even though Pocket does make this possible, it still has bugs and issues. Fortunately, there is a new alternative and this time, it is from none other than Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google itself. The tool is referred to as ‘Save to Google’ and has a lot of potential to say the least.

Basically, it is a save-and-read-it-later type of an app. It was released without a proper announcement from the tech giant, and it will help users save any content they may come across online. Additionally, the feature can save entire webpages as well.

It is important to note that any and all data saved is stored in one central location, Google.com/save to be more precise. Moreover, users can tag content to make it easier to find what they need right away.

To be able to take advantage of this feature, all users need to do is to install the extension first. Once installed, a star icon will appear in the browser, which is essentially used to save content.

Google never ceases to amazes its target audience, and it has managed to do so for quite some time now. Seeing how the tech giant is determined to make its products and services easier to use and adopt, there is no reason why users will not take advantage of them.

Toyota has set focus to fully electric vehicles after gaining great success in hybrid technology

Despite lacking large-scale manufacturing experience and having limited funds, Tesla Motors Inc (NSADAQ:TSLA) has shifted the innovation level of the automobile industry by 360 degrees, making electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving a reality. Traditionally automakers that once used to belittle the fledging EV maker now look up to it.

Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) is the latest automaker to show some sparks of innovation in its vehicle, as it gears up to showcase a new concept EV next month at the Milan Design Week 2016. Concept cars typically show upcoming technologies and future developments; however, the Japanese automaker has astonished everyone by adopting a tactic which is alien to concept cars. Toyota has built its latest concept model using wood instead of latest automotive manufacturing materials, like steel or aluminum.

The world’s largest car company stated that wood has been chosen because of the following characteristics: durability and modifiability. Toyota believes that a car made out of wood will easily evolve and will develop its own and unique character, which would symbolize how technologies undergo a transformation over the years.

The new wooden EV will be one of the most unique vehicles built and has broken the dilemmas of typical concept cars. The automaker hopes that this concept will survive a couple of generations and thus have installed 100-year meter inside the car.

Toyota’s wooden EV concept is a roadster and has been named Setsuna, which means moments in Japanese language. Tesla Roadster, the first-ever EV by Tesla, was discontinued in 2012. The company introduced Roadster 3.0 Battery Update, which increase range by more than 35% to 400 miles for $29,000, at the end of 2014. The revamped version of the vehicle was scheduled for 2016, but CEO Elon Musk postponed it to 2019.

Several carmakers are focused towards providing clean-energy solutions and thus many concept EVs are emerging in the market. The EV leader Tesla is one of the greatest inspirations for these latest initiatives taken by the traditional auto manufacturers throughout the globe.

The analyst believes that risk associated with Fitbit is negligible

Fitbit Inc. (NYSE:FIT) is now recommended by Wedbush to its investors looking for long term growth. Wedbush sees a lot of untapped potential catalysts for Fitbit which will push the stock far ahead and will help not only in multiple expansion but also provide opportunities to grow as an enterprise. The analyst believes that Fitbit seems all set for that next level of growth and it needs to venture out of its comfort zone and explore other related markets.

The analyst praised the innovation at Fitbit and believes that Charge 2 and Flex 2 are two very competitive products added to an already rich product portfolio. The company’s focus on gadgets and accessories remains strong and it will help in driving upside to the current yearly earnings estimate. The company’s huge global installed user base is proof of its popularity and the analyst expects a very strong response from its users in the event of a launch of accessories for its gadgets.

Taking a more details look at the two new product launches, namely, Charge 2 and Flex 2, the analyst commented that Charge 2 has about four times larger screen compared to the prior version and it is going to be its main selling point. The PurePulse technology is a refreshing new add-on and will add value for the customers. On the other hand, Flex 2 has seen a reduction in size by about 30% over its earlier version. However, its main selling point will be its swim-proofing, which enables the users to wear the gadget, while swimming to track their activity.

The analyst expects the company to post revenue of $2.7 billion with an EPS of $1.25 for the year 2016. Wedbush reaffirmed an Outperform rating and a price target of $18. The analyst ratings for Fitbit are five Buy, seven Outperform and 10 Hold. The stock currently trades at a price of $15.39 after having appreciated by 2.98%.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program costs are out of control, according to Donald Trump, as he looks ahead to save billions of dollars

After criticizing Boeing Co’s (NYSE:BA) Air Force One project, Donald Trump turns to Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) F-35 project regarding the elevated cost as he looks ahead to reduce project costs after taking over the office. According to the latest news, Donald Trump tweeted that the F-35 program and its cost is out of control; billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20.

The current announcement is not good news for Lockheed Martin as its F-35 contract is one of the costliest that the US government has signed. The aircraft manufacturer has been facing technical issues since the beginning of the project based on which, the project cost has swelled tremendously. Donald Trump’s tweet points toward other military purchases along with these two biggest contracts that might also receive Trump’s criticism in near future.

Earlier last week, Donald Trump criticized Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) Air Force One contract and alleged that its costs are high based on which it should be cancelled. Mr. Trump later changed his statement by saying that he will negotiate cost structures with Boeing, which will have to reduce the cost in order to keep working on the project.

Current criticism also points towards Lockheed Martin’s F-35 project in which Donald Trump might ask cost reduction that might decide the future of the project. Previously, analysts related to the industry were of the opinion that defense based companies will begin to get approval from the US government after Donald Trump takes over in January 2017; however, based on the current scenario the defense based companies might have to increase their project efficiencies along with reducing cost structures in order to get new contracts.

Despite the criticism, officials at Lockheed Martin remain confident in closely working with the President-elect and his administration to further build on the program. Pentagon plans to acquire around 2,400 F-35 military aircraft; however based on the project delays, the cost is expected to be doubled as compared to initial cost of $400 billion.

Social media giants join hands to combat hate speech online

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube, are partnering up to combat hate speech and pro terrorist content online on their platforms. These social media behemoths and tech giants will create a shared database of terrorist content with images and videos that are frequently used to recruit people globally into terrorism. This move will make it faster, reliable, and easier, to track down hate speech and remove violent content off the Internet.

This collaboration will not only be beneficial for these social giant platforms but even for the users and the Internet community in general. The European Union (EU) warned all these tech companies on Sunday that if the hate speech issue was not addressed with proper measures, the EU will enact a legislation that will push them unwillingly to do so. A code of conduct was signed by all these companies which also agreed to begin fighting extremist content and hate speech from their respective platform within 24 hours. On Sunday, the EU opined that the companied have not complied to the signed code of conduct, but that has now changed apparently.

A joint blog post by the social media giants stated, “There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies.” A similar move was taken by all these companies to catch and remove child pornography in the past. Google even scanned every personal Gmail for child porn.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft, will share a database which will consist of images, videos, and digital fingerprints. The database will be used to identify terrorist groups and content, which will later be reviewed and removed, according to the statements provided by the companies on Monday. Numerous terrorist organizations use social media platforms to recruit and promote their message around the world, which is why an aggressive action needs to be taken.

The companies will start sharing hashes of extreme terrorist content and remove it from their platforms. It is about time an action is taken against hate speech as companies have been criticized massively this year on their neglectful approach toward such content. Twitter faced a lawsuit in the US because of being slow in removing tweets b the ISIS, luckily the case was dismissed. A cleanse is surely on its way and the social platforms might be children appropriate by next year.

Deutsche Bank analyst reiterated Buy rating on Alibaba stock, trims price target to $109

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stock is trading down about a meager 0.25% during today’s pre-market trading session, following a research note by Deutsche Bank analyst, Alan Hellawell. The analyst reaffirmed his Buy rating on the stock, bur trimmed his 12-month price target to $109 from $115. Moreover, the investment firm also slashed the full year 2017, 2018 and 2019 revenue expectations by 2%.

Mr. Hellawell mentioned in his research note that in its earnings release for the June 2016 quarter, the company mentioned that users launch Taobao about seven times each day. While having offered several new social media features, such as the likes of Quanzi, Wendajia, Taobao Live Broadcast and Taobao Newsfeed during this year and the previous one, the analyst believes that the e-commerce giant has deepened the user engagement through adding the social element to the Taobao experience.

The management at Alibaba also elaborated that the user engagement and the average time spent per user on Mobile Taobao exhibited impressive improvement. The average time spent per user peaked at 26.7 minutes during June, while the company’s competitors such as Amazon.com Inc, Snapchat and Facebook Inc had 9 minutes, 30 minutes and 35 minutes, respectively.

Maneuvers to enhance the user engagement have in turn been beneficial to both large and small scale merchants. The analyst said: “We believe that Alibaba seeks to increase ad inventory, and add less premium, other non-front page ad products.” In addition to this, Mr. Hellawell states that the afore-mentioned strategies would aid in appealing brands which lie in “middle of the pyramid” and do not get the liberty to enjoy the upscale marketing activities and customized programs organized by Alibaba for large scale merchants.

At current levels, the stock has a total market capitalization of $237.32 billion along with an average daily trading volume of 16.30 million shares. Alibaba stock is trading at $95.66 with about half-an hour before the market opens today.

The Instant Book partnership between Expedia and Tripadvisor is seen as a huge positive

Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) is going to face some major headwinds from increased competition as two of its competitors have joined hands and entered a partnership agreement. Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Tripadvisor Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) are now operating Instant Booking program jointly. Having Expedia listed in Tripadvisor’s Instant Booking feature will provide the consumers with far greater number of options to choose from and therefore result in a far greater number of bookings.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Naved Khan believes that the playing field is now leveled between the three major players in the industry and it will be interesting to see what kind of financial impacts result from this change in scenario. Since the introduction of the Instant Booking feature last year, Priceline has enjoyed a sort of monopoly on the feature and it has proven to have worked wonders for the company and resulted in significantly higher top and bottom line numbers than originally expected.

The participation of Expedia in the Instant Booking is currently under the testing phase and the accessibility is only limited for the users in the United States. However, it will soon be rolled out on a global scale and according to Mr. Khan it will create a total 100 to 200 basis points uplift for Expedia. The analyst predicts that the impact of the said addition will be apparent on the company’s topline but the bottom line of the company will be majorly unchanged due to the underlying economics of the channel.

The obvious winner here is Tripadvisor which will see a major uptick in the amount of traffic and number of nights booked while for Expedia it will depend on how its offerings fare compared to Priceline’s. Cantor Fitzgerald has reaffirmed an Overweight rating for all three of the involved companies.

Qualcomm announces to power Samsung Galaxy Note 7 following Q3 results, further attracting investors

QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported its 3QFY16 earnings on Wednesday, July 20. In its earnings, the company was able to beat the Street expectations. It reported $1.18 earnings per share and revenues of $6 billion against the consensus estimate of 98 cents in EPS and $5.6 billion in revenues. The company grew its revenues by 3.6% year-over-year and with this performance, it has set investors’ expectations even higher. Due to this, many investors have set high price targets set on the stock, the highest being $75, showing an increment of 21.28% over the average price target set by other investors.

With the issuance of its quarterly earnings, the company also released its fourth quarter guidance. It issued an estimate of EPS within the range of $1.05-1.15 and a revenue range of $5.4-6.2 billion. However, the Street has higher expectations from the company; it has set the EPS estimate at $1.09 and looks forward to the company posting revenues of $5.74 billion in 4QFY16.

Following these results, Qualcomm announced on Wednesday, August 03, that it would power the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This is considered as the most intelligent smartphone by Samsung. The semiconductor developer is to reported to have given its Snapdragon 820 processer for the development of the smartphone. This processer would enable 4K video capturing and playback on Note 7 alongside supporting slow motion videos. Qualcomm Haven is also to be a part of the phone and would provide secured iris biometric scanning to enable user to use their eyes to unlock their phone or make mobile payments. The phone also includes Qualcomm Aqstic to provide users with high audio performance. The battery performance in Samsung phone would also be made better using Qualcomm technologies. The phone is expected to release later in August in four colors: Gold Platinum, Blue Coral, Black Onyx, and Silver Titanium.

Furthermore, Qualcomm announced licensing agreement with Chinese company, OPPO Mobile Telecommunications. This agreement is said to be a great step towards achieving Chinese loyalty. This would secure over 75% of its global sales from Chinese OEMs. Improving terms in China is important to the mobile-chip maker as they make up to one-third of its revenues and approximately three-quarters of its annual profits. Following this, Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette restated his Overweight rating on the stock. He maintained a price target at $65.

Not only this, the $88.09 billion company continues to impress other analysts as well. With a tablet and 60 seconds, Qualcomm technology was able create a 3D model of one the analysts on Monday, August 01. The company official walked around him using a tablet, the laser transmitter and the IR receiver on it gathered data to create the model. The technology was successful in taking accurate in-depth scans that are necessary for replicating all the facial features. The information attained by the receivers and the camera is then combined to form a rendered and color-corrected model that can be used for editing as well as animation of any sort.

With these developments, Qualcomm stock is trading up in the market at 22.05% year-to-date, alongside Samsung, which is trading up 20.62% on YTD basis. The stock has outperformed the market indexes, Nasdaq and Dow Jones, which are trading up 3.02% and 5.33% respectively, on YTD basis.

The analysts remain bullish on the stock. FactSet Fundamentals maintains that the consensus has 13 Buy, one Overweight, 16 Hold, and one Sell ratings on the stock. The stock is traded between the daily range of $60.5-61.11 and 52-week range of $42.24-64.82. The company has a total of 1.47 billion shares outstanding in the market, out of which 6.45 million trade in active-market sessions. The consensus price target stands at $61.84, depicting an increase of 1.36% over the last close.

Micron Technology Delays Inotera Deal Worth $4 Billion

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is a multinational organization headquartered in the state of Idaho, United States. The company specializes in the production of semiconductor devices, namely, DRAM (for both PC and Mobile), NAND based flash devices and SSDs. The consumer products of Micron are licensed under the brand names, Crucial Technology and Lexar. Micron is currently ranked among the top five companies in the semiconductor industry and was founded in 1978. The company’s current head of management is Mr. Mark Duncan who serves as the CEO.

Micron Technology lost a significant part of its value when the weakness of the PC market began. The company’s products saw a period of sharp decline in demand coupled with inventory fills and rising competition. In a recent turn of events, the semiconductor maker was largely relieved of ASP pressures as its drive to cut costs and revival of some portion of lost demand resulted in partial recovery of fundamentals.

The company recently announced that it is going to delay the closure of the $4 billion deal with Inotera. Sterne Agee CRT analyst Douglas Freedman believes that the transaction is delayed in order to maximize the shareholder value. Previously, the deal was expected to close by the end of July this year and according to analyst, the delay is most likely to be more than a quarter. It is understood that the delay is enforced by Micron and the management is yet to provide any reason for the said delay. It may be noted that this delay doesn’t constitute any breach of contract, however, third parties are likely to press Micron to give an updated schedule for the closure of the deal.

Furthermore, if the deal is not closed by the end of November 2016, the parties reserve the right to terminate the deal without any penalties. Sterne Agee reaffirmed a Buy rating and a price target of $18. The analyst opinion for MU has five Strong Buy, 12 Buy, 10 Hold, four Underperform and one Sell rating. The stock now trades at $12.44 and has lost 1.55% since the opening.

Alibaba Pictures signs a deal with Working Partners and Coolabi Group for film rights to Warriors, a popular book series

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (NYSE:BABA) movie division, Alibaba Pictures Group has recently signed a deal with Working Partners, a UK-based fiction packager and Coolabi Group, its partner company. This deal allows Alibaba Pictures Group to attain film rights for “Warriors,” a popular book series based on four tribes of warring feral cats. This deal was signed in the Frankfurt Book Fair.

 Working Partners is a famous movie creator of children’s books and has re-created more than 100 series on the big screen such as Rainbow Magic, Beast Quest and many more. Coolabi, the parent company is responsible for publication of books, television as well as digital content.

The Warriors book series has sold over 30 million copies and is penned by writer Erin Hunter which is a pseudonym for Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry and Victoria Holmes writing team. The book was first published by HarperCollins in 2003 and in the past decade has been licensed in 35 different languages. Eight more languages are planned to be licensed in the coming two years. Warriors has a wide fan base along with superior online presence and has hit over 70 million viewership of Warriors UGC on YouTube.

The book series is based on a bold and fearless cat named Rusty who goes in to a forest and makes friends with a group of wild cats. Later on Rusty also joins ThuderClan and becomes an apprentice warrior. The series progresses and Rusty becomes the clan leader named Firestar. Alibaba Pictures Group aims to turn the popular book series into a world-class fantasy movie franchise and bring these much loved characters to life using real life visual effects.

Managing Director of Working Partners, Chris Snowdon has stated that the characters and plot have touched millions of readers of the new generation and the company is extremely pleased at the opportunity to bring Warriors on the big screen.

Alibaba Pictures Group has been very active in the global film industry and has become a renowned name in the industry. The company has also acquired a minority stake in Amblin Partners, Steven Speilbergs’s venture. Amblin Partners is responsible to co-produce as well as finance films for Chinese as well as the global market. This new addition of Warriors will win Alibaba further accolades and fans.