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September 2017

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Microsoft Edge and a Kaby Lake processor are two boxes you have to check though

It looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel for the PC community. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is finally bringing 4K live streaming on the PC platform this week.

While users have been enjoying 4K Netflix streaming on their televisions for some time now, Windows 10 users have been devoid of that luxury. Now, it looks like the time is here for users to enjoy their favorite Netflix programs in ultra-high definition on their PCs. Due to the fears of piracy voiced by a number of studios and networks, 4K streaming on PCs has been a no-go territory so far for Netflix.

Now that it looks like 4K streaming might be making its way to PC after all, it has brought with itself a few issues that might need ironing out. Firstly, you’ll need Microsoft’s latest Edge browser packed within the Windows 10 package. Secondly, and this is the more troublesome part, users will need Intel’s seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors to support 4K Netflix streaming on their personal computers.

The former has been a particularly important point of glory for Microsoft to market its Edge browser, but the latter could place PC users between a rock and a hard place. As Kaby Lake processor systems are still fairly new, the adoption remains in its initial stages and hence, not a lot of users would be able to watch Netflix in 4K straight away.

A new system is in order if you’re a stickler for 4K resolution for your Netflix programs. Or maybe you could use the Chromecast Ultra stick that you may have lying around.

Canaccord’s Michael Graham sees a great buying opportunity in FANG stocks, after their recent sell-offs

Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have plummeted in recent weeks, due to outperformance of energy and financial sector, particularly after the election of Donald Trump. Given these movements in the market, Canaccord Genuity believes that the aforementioned stocks present a great buying opportunity for investors. Analyst Michael Graham maintained his Buy rating on all the stock in a research note published today Facebook Mr. Graham believes that Facebook’s valuation is quiet reasonable, and expects the company’s main social media platform and Instagram to continue carry on with strong fundamental growth through the next year. The analyst highlighted that there is a common belief to be concerned about, but he thinks it can be compensated with Instagram’s performance and pricing. Though, the research firm believes that investors’ focus on GAAP earnings per share (EPS) is a potential headwind for the stock; it has negatively responded to initial expense growth guidance over the last three years. Amazon Regarding Amazon, Canaccord thinks investments in India and the Prime Flywheel currently put weight on margins, with merely half of the investors worried about future growth. Last month, the online retailer announced another major price cut at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Mr. Graham views this along with tough comparables as big concerns. He believes that the first quarter of 2017 (1QFY17) guidance will be affected due to these factors. Netflix While most of the analysts think that Netflix’s valuation is “untenable,” Mr. Graham feels that the stock has a significant potential downside on the back of negative media coverage. While he remains bullish on the stock over the long term, he does expect the 1QFY17 guidance to be “overly conservative,” due to strong year-over-year (YoY) comparables. The investment firms highlighted that Netflix’s plans to ramp up original programming will create a competitive edge, but most investors believe otherwise. Google Canaccord remains positive on Google’s shares due to banking, short-term fundamentals, mobile, and YouTube. Mr. Graham sees the search giant’s approach of not revealing guidance as a favorable for the stock. He expects the gross margin’s degradation to be compensated by website growth.

Wells Fargo affirms Eros International at Market Perform with a valuation range of $14 – $16

Soon after Eros International plc (NYSE:EROS) announced that two existing institutional shareholders have raised their holdings in the company, Wells Fargo analyst affirmed the stock at a Market Perform rating. The firm has iterated a valuation range of $14-$16 on Eros stock. As of Thursday’s trading session, Eros stock rose 0.06% to close at $16.24. Eros raised nearly $30 million through the private investment. It aims to primarily use the proceeds to fund Eros Now expansion, which is the company’s Over-the-top content platform.

Wells Fargo commented on the activity saying that the firm is unaware of the rationale behind private placement versus equity issuance or public debt raise. “The press release is light on details, but we can only conclude two likely scenarios for the private placement: 1) the institutional holders wanted a larger stake in EROS, or specifically ErosNow, to participate more in the upside while also collecting a nice fee; or 2) the company needed the capital and didn’t want to approach the debt markets,” said Wells Fargo analyst.

The firm pointed out that Eros management looked confident prior to earnings release when it said that the company is well positioned to self-finance Eros Now investments. However, it could be a combination of the two possible scenarios highlighted above, as Eros is only slightly positive on free cash flow at this point in time, particularly because of withholding content sales for one quarter. Wells Fargo noted that a private capital funding might have made sense for both the company and the shareholders who were interested in a bigger piece of Eros, especially given the limited float of Eros stock.

Eros International is an Indian motion pictures producer and distributor. The company has its headquarters in Mumbai, India. It has a total market cap of $943.12 million and a 52-week range of $5.59-$33.09, while a 179.79 price to earnings ratio.

The merger between the two oilfield giants has been called off after antitrust regulators objected to it, forcing Halliburton to pay $3.5 billion as break-up fee to Baker Hughes

After rumors about potential termination of Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) – Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) merger floated across the market recently, Halliburton announced yesterday that the deal has been called off. The news came as no surprise though, as the deal seemed troubled since April 6, when the Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit against the $28 billion deal.

The multibillion deal was terminated after the DoJ and European Union regulators objected that the it would eliminate fair competition across 23 product lines. Despite being aware of the potential regulatory challenges they might have to face, both the companies aimed to overcome the obstacles when they announced the merger back in 2014. The tie up between the two oilfield services giants would have led to intense competition in global markets as it would have created a tough rival against Schlumberger, the leading oil field services provider in the US. On the other hand, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch views the termination of the deal as “a victory” for the US economy.

Martin Craighead, Baker Hughes CEO, said that the deal was a complex one, as he admitted the company’s failure to satisfy antitrust regulators’ concerns. The oilfield services provider is considered a prominent name in introducing state-of-the-art technologies in the oil services industry. The $21 billion company has struggled enough through its course of the deal, as it had to obtain approval from Halliburton for every sweeping change it had to make.

According to Baker Hughes’ first quarter earnings report, it was unable to avoid $110 million in merger-related costs, an amount that turned out to be a hefty contributor to the $981 million loss it reported for the quarter. However, Baker Hughes might be able to cushion the blow from the merger fallout, as Halliburton is due to pay a breakup fee of $3.5 billion by May 4, 2016, as mentioned in the press release.

Raymond James was among the firms who had predicted the fallout of the merger before Halliburton had officially announced it. The firm believes that after receiving the breakup fee, it might be able to cover merger-related costs. In contrast, the Street says the company would have about $5 billion to spend after oil prices recover and drilling activities increase.

ValueAct Capital Management, an activist hedge fund, is the largest Baker Hughes shareholder. The fund, which held 9% of Baker Hughes shares as of April 2016, suggested that the company should breakup and consider selling itself in case the merger fails to see the light of the day.

Get a taste of Google rendition of Android on the HTC One M8 with the Skydragon Google Play Edition ROM

Out of all the custom OEM skins applied on Android phones by manufacturers, HTC’s Sense stands amongst the top few. However, stock Android manages to trump all custom skins in terms of usability. So, what if you want to experience stock Android Marshmallow on your HTC One M8? That’s where the Skydragon 6.1.0 ROM comes in. The Skydragon ROM is based on the Google Play Edition M8 and offers smooth performance and stellar battery life. Follow this guide to flash the Google Play Edition Skydragon ROM on your HTC One M8:

Before You Begin

Please ensure that the contents of your device have been backed up completely. While the ROM installation procedure doesn’t normally wipe your data, errors can arise which require you to wipe the phone. Better to be safe than sorry. Install HTC USB drivers on your computer from here. Ensure that your HTC One M8 has an unlocked bootloader, and has custom recovery like TWRP or CWM installed. To perform these steps, download Windroid Toolkit. S-Off is not required. Enable USB Debugging on your device from the Developer Options in Settings Charge your device to at least 70 percent.

Files To Download

Skydragon Google Play Edition Version for HTC One M8 Gapps (Choose as per your preference; download Micro for light footprint)

How To Install

Step 1: Download the ROM file and the Gapps Zip and transfer then onto the root of your phone’s storage. In case you have an external SD card, it’s preferable to copy the files there instead.

Step 2: Reboot your phone into Recovery mode. To do this, first power off your HTC One M8 completely. Now, press and hold the Volume down key and then press the Home button to power up the device, but don’t release the Volume down until the bootloader mode appears. Select Recovery boot into recovery.

Step 3:  Create a nandroid backup so you have a working ROM installation as backup in case anything goes wrong. To do this, go to Backup and then create a new backup.

Step 4: Next, go to Wipe and select to Wipe Data/Factory Reset. Then go to Advanced Wipe and wipe the System/Data/Cache/Dalvik as well.

Step 5: Go to Install and then navigate to the location where you’ve copied the ROM and Gapps file. Select the ROM file, then add another zip to the queue and select the Gapps file.

Step 6: Finally, initialize the flashing procedure. The installation will take a few minutes and you’ll see some text scrolling down the window as it proceeds.

And that’s it. Once the install completes, reboot your device and you’ll be able to enjoy pure stock Android Marshmallow on your HTC One M8. The initial start can take a few minutes so be patient. To revert your phone back to stock, simply restore the Nandroid backup from Recovery at any point in time.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.

Maine and Quebec strengthen their relationship by establishing new charging facilities between the two regions

State of Maine has had a strong relationship with its neighboring state and the largest Canadian province, Quebec. As the world is moving towards technology and innovation, both regions plan to strengthen their bond by creating more new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations between them, according to Portland Press Herald.

Since Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has just one Supercharger and 26 slower Destination Charging stations, the joint effort by Maine Governor Paul LePage and Quebec Premier, Philippe Couillard, could lay the ground for the EV maker to not only install more charging facilities; but also add stores and service centers after getting the direct sales approval, as current law does not allow Tesla to operate stores in Maine.

Gov. LePage hopes to maintain strong ties between the state and the province and he aims to achieve their connectivity through modern transportation infrastructure. He also stated EVs have made substantial progress and are arriving in Maine; thus, it is essential for the state to open doors to such vital technological change.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2016 would be a massive year in terms of charging station additions in the state, as Tesla installed 19 Destination Charging locations at restaurants, hotels, and other locations last month. In 2014 and 2015, 15 and 16 charging stations were established, respectively.

Mr. Couillard applauded Gov. LePage’s plans to add “new dimension” to the well-established relationship between Maine and Quebec. He is willing to share expertise and also expand new links between the two regions.

Maine Department of Transportation and Governor’s Energy Office look forward to work with local EV companies, businesses, and a local group Drive Electric Maine to develop a viable EV charging station plan in this summer.

Last December, Tesla launched its first Supercharger in Augusta, Kennebec County last, which is located 215 miles from Drummondville Supercharger in Quebec City and 253 miles from Montreal-Ferrier Supercharger in Montreal. Since most of the local charging stations are in southern Maine, there is a lot of room for charging units in the northern side, closer to Quebec.

Tesla does not have store or service centers in the state because it does not allow it to directly sell vehicles to consumers. CEO Elon Musk can take advantage of the recent plan and make his way to state lawmakers to open its own dealerships in Maine.

We have witnessed a bearish response by investors lately in both companies, as the risks outweigh the prospects

A recent regulatory filing made by Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) said that there has been a computational mistake in valuing SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ:SCTY). The energy storage company has been valued $400 million less, according to the recent development. However, the terms of this deal shall not change, as SolarCity would still be valued at $2.6 billion. Perhaps, in our view, even $2.6 billion is a very hefty amount paid by the electric car maker for the company that has only posed some serious challenges since it was acquired.

Our thesis on Tesla Motors has been bearish, ever since the company announced the decision to acquire SolarCity. Maybe the deal was of interest to billionaire Elon Musk, as he heads both these companies. However, any potential benefit of this deal has not been seen yet, maybe because Mr. Musk envisions something that has not yet come into our minds, or may be because he only wants to save SolarCity from bankruptcy.

The Country Caller has discussed the recent developments, which have almost deprived SolarCity from obtaining any kind of debt, whatever security may be presented as collateral. Moreover, Tesla’s problems have also been getting bigger as the company seeks to expand its presence. The leadership of both the companies that includes Mr. Musk and his cousins has come through whenever their companies need debt.

But for how long will they be able to do it remains a question, as there is a risk of default for their investments too. We have witnessed a bearish response by investors lately in both companies, as the risks outweigh the prospects. Perhaps any substance in these companies would only come, should they look to improve their financial condition.

Amid news of merger with Tesla Motors, SolarCity stock is downgraded at Baird

In a research note issued today, Baird analyst Ben Kallo has downgraded SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) stock to a Neutral from an Outperform and has also slashed his 12-month price target to $25 from $37.

The downgrade comes on the back of the news regarding the San Mateo, California based solar power systems provider’s merger with the high-end electric car maker Tesla.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies have reached an agreement whereby the car maker is set to buy the alternative energy company for a price which is less than what was proposed initially. Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity comes on the heels of the aims Elon Musk has – to combine his upscale electric car and solar energy companies.

The deal between the two companies is all-stock and valued at about $2.6 billion. The shareholders of SolarCity would receive 0.11 share of Tesla, against a share of the solar energy company, which are valued at $25.83 each. Back in June of this year, the electric vehicle producer had proposed a range of $26.50 and $28.50 per SolarCity share.

Yesterday, Tesla CEO mentioned that he had no involvement in the decision making regarding the purchase consideration. If the deal valuation is approved by the shareholders, it would result in Tesla’s workforce being doubled to almost 30,000 employees and create a unique hybrid of transportation, power storage and now solar product offerings. The management at Tesla believes this would be the only integrated sustainable energy company across the globe.

While the deal has a lot to offer to Tesla, Baird analyst believes it is highly unlikely that the shareholders would approve the merger. He said: “Although SCTY has a 45-day go-shop period which could provide additional upside, we believe it is highly likely the TSLA and SCTY merger will go through, and are moving to the sidelines.”

Tesla is set to report earnings for the second quarter of this year tomorrow, after the market closes. The consensus estimate suggests a rise of 71% year-on-year, resulting in $1.64 billion revenue for the quarter. Additionally, the analysts still believe the company will be occurring a quarterly loss of 58 cents per shares.

20 Wall Street analysts provide coverage on Tesla stock; of them, seven analysts suggest a Buy, another eight analysts rate the stock as a Hold while the remaining advocate a Short.

BMW is launching a new car sharing program in the US, beating rival Tesla Motors Inc which has still only hinted at launching a similar program in the future

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is already behind World’s largest luxury automaker BMW (ETR: BMW) in the space of mass market mid-priced electric vehicles. Its city car BMW i3 – already selling successfully in all major electric vehicle markets in the world including the US – already has a two year edge over Tesla’s Model 3, unveiled only recently and slotted for a rollout not before the last part of 2017. However, BMW may have just pinned down Tesla in another game altogether: Ride Sharing.

Tesla has hinted that its entire EV product line-up would fit perfectly in a multi-tier ride sharing scheme that Tesla plans to launch in the future. BMW, along with some major other automakers, is in much more of a hurry.

The European automaker has announced launching its car sharing program dubbed ‘ReachNow’ in Seattle, Washington – and is what the company says, just the beginning of the scheme. Over the coming years, BMW has plans to roll out the service more aggressively in at least 10 other major American cities – a move spurred by confidence it gained in the local European market where a similar program garnered interest from more than 600,000 people.

ReachNow allows users to register with the program in only a few minutes by scanning their driving licenses and taking a quick facial snapshot for identity through the program’s mobile application. The service which allows users to use an app to locate a nearby available vehicle, drop it off at a pre-designated spot, will start off by charging users only $0.41 a minute and no registration fee – very much like a “premium AirBnb for cars”, claims the company.

Eventually however, users will be charged $0.49 per minute and a one-time $39 registration fee. Longer commutes will cost $50 for three hours, $80 for 12 hours and $110 for four hours. Not surprisingly though, BMW’s electric i3 is among the 370 vehicles that BMW is using for the program in Seattle, along with the 3-Series sedan and the Mini.

Other automakers like GM, Ford and Daimler are all testing their own ride-sharing services on a limited scale across the country. Tesla, however, is yet to enter the game. Some analysts claim Tesla’s move could be awaiting the rollout of its mass market Model 3 sedan.