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December 2017

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Baird has maintained an Outperform rating for eBay in its monthly update for April

Sell side firm Baird’s analyst Colin Sebastian, in his report on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), updated his Marketplace Tracker for the month of April, and stated that company is expected to have growth in its Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) growth.

On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, eBay’s volumes remained fairly steady while posting mid-single-digit growth, which was in line with March’s trend after adjusting the Easter shift. The report however also mentioned that during the last half of April, growth slowed a bit.

The 2H of April was a slower one for eBay, and  its overall growth still lags behind the broader e-commerce trends, as recent investments in the structured data and seller policies are yet to drive further growth for company in 2H of current year.

After 1Q results, which have cooled down the fear of slowdown in growth rate, eBay appears to have been a decent track in 2Q and is expected to have a 3% growth in GMV.

The UK retail data reflected a mixed macro-economic picture, but e-commerce remains a brighter spot for the company. According to data released by Barclaycard, the overall consumer spending in UK soared by 1.9% on YoY basis in April as compared to 1.6% in March. On the other hand, online spending witnessed increase of 14% in April, as compared to the same period a year ago. The growth rate for online spending amounted to 10% on YoY basis in March. (Online Spending comprises of 25%of overall consumer spending).

The sell-side firm has maintained an Outperform rating for the stock, with a price target of $30.

The average price target of analysts covering the stock at the Street is of $28.10, with highest and lowest target of $36 and $22.50 respectively. Out of 39 analyst covering the stock at Street, 24 rate it as a Hold, seven rate it as a Buy, while six rate it as a Strong Buy.

Although there are concerns that may bog the progress down, they are fixable for the most part, says Imperial Capital

Imperial Capital, a financial research and sell-side analysis firm, has now added United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) to its coverage list. Analyst Michael Derchin, senior research analyst at Imperial Capital, believes that the risk-reward profile of United Continental is very positive and most of the concerns raised by shareholders and investors are addressable with minor changes in strategy and execution. The company’s financials provide a very strong impression and the company has already proven its ability to perform ahead of expectations on several occasions.

The company’s latest financial quarter was reported on July 19, which was slightly ahead of the consensus and since then, there have been a few positive developments that the analyst believes will make investors more constructive regarding United Continental. The company has made a name for itself in domestic circuit and has a very strong presence in Denver, Newark, Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago. The company has also done well in Asia-Pacific region but the competition in other geographical areas continues to be one of the biggest threats to the stock. It may be noted that United and Continental airlines were two different entities and they chose to merge into one entity in late 2010.

The company has also recently changes its few top managerial positions and among the most prominent was the hiring of Andrew Levy and Julia Haywood, who will serve as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, respectively. This step has been taken in order to further strengthen the think tank of the company and provide a boost to the operations of the respective departments.

The analyst has given Outperform rating to the stock and a price target of $57, which is about $10 below the current trading price of $47.72. The analyst ratings for the stock are 5 Buy, 4 Outperform and 4 Hold.

You can now download and review all the code which has gone into the upcoming jailbreak

Even though it’s been a few months since the launch of the iOS 10, there is still no stable jailbreak for the device. This is mainly due to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tightening its hold on iOS security, making vulnerabilities hard to find and even harder to exploit. But over the past few weeks, the jailbreak scene for the firmware has picked up considerably. Veteran iOS hacker Luca Todesco promised a few weeks ago that he would release a jailbreak for iOS 10.1.1 and iOS 10.2. And after a preliminary iOS 10.1.1 jailbreak, he has now released that Yalu 10.2 source code on GitHub

Unfortunately, the source code is not intended for end users and there are still quite a few things missing. But as checked by a Reddit user, the jailbreak is working. The source code is meant for developers so that they can check for errors in the code and perform testing.  

If you’re holding out for the tool to be released so that you can jailbreak your device, you’ll need to ensure your device stays on the compatible firmware. The jailbreak will be compatible with iOS 10.1 – 10.2 on 64-bit devices. Apple recently released iOS 10.2.1 which patches the exploits used for the jailbreak Luca is developing. So now is the time to update your phone to 10.2, since the firmware will stop being signed soon.  

iOS jailbreaks are getting harder and harder to create since Apple has beefed up security. We suggest that if you want to have a jailbroken phone in the future, manually update your phone to iOS 10.2 or download the SHSH blobs for the firmware at the least.

Tesla says that a bolted electrical connection in the Model S led to a fire during a test drive in France last month

During a test drive event at the Electric Road Trip in Biarritz, France, a Model S 90D burst into flames, melted down, and totaled within five minutes. Thankfully, two customers along with a Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) representative managed to get out of the vehicle in time, after it sent a warning of an issue.

While the reason for the fire was unclear at that time, Fox News reported that Tesla has found the cause after investigating on the matter for about a week. Tesla Paris Communications Manager, Charles Delaville, told the media house that the vehicle had “a bolted electrical connection” that was “improperly tightened.”

He added, “Usually, these electrical connections are installed by a robot, but for this car this connection was installed manually. There has never been a similar incident in another one of our cars.”

Earlier this year, a Model S caught fire while getting charged at a location in Norway due to a short circuit. However, Tesla carsusually catch fire after a major accident, particularly severe front crashes damaging the entire frontend, according to Electrek. There were also some Teslas that caught fire because of faulty electricity equipment or damaged battery packs.

Instead of using machines, the automaker uses employees to manually install electrical connections. Mr. Delaville did not give further details on the accident, as well as why Tesla uses humans instead of robots. The company should provide more details on the accident and why exactly the bolted electrical connection flames up its vehicles.

Additionally, the accident calls for new over-the-air (OTA) software updates to resolve the issue. If such incidents continue to exist, Tesla will not only lose its credibility but also increases its costs which are already skyrocketing.

Last week, a Model S driver in the Netherlands died in an accident and stayed inside the burning vehicle for hours before the firefighters managed to put away the fire. The fire originated from broken battery pack of the sedan.

Boeing Co (BA) faces cost competition from Airbus Group SE (EADSY)

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) plans to cut thousands of jobs in 2016, as a measure to become more cost efficient so that it could compete with its rival Airbus Group SE (OTCMKTS:EADSY) in a better way. The rivalry between the aerospace companies has led to lower prices in recent years as Airbus offers discounts on the back of strong dollar position. Boeing management faces pressure to offer similar discounts in order to close aircraft deals. Therefore, the company’s management intends to shrink its workforce along with other expenses, such as traveling cost, overtime cost and supplier costs, as a measure to cut cost by billions of dollars.

Boeing management plans to slash the headcount amid this year by 4,000. Deutsche Bank analyst believes that reduction in headcount may continue even after this as company is facing problems in terms of cost because of softness in prices and production decline. Moreover, the analyst has a theory that Boeing stock outperforms the market whenever there is a reduction in headcount in the company. For example, in nine out of 18 years after the McDonnell Douglas merger, the company had reduced the headcount and outperformed the market in eight of those years. However, 2001 was an exception and analysts believe that this year will also be an exception as Boeing stock has already underperformed the market so far. The bank maintained a Buy rating with $160 price target for company’s stock.

Boeing stock has underperformed the market since the year 2016 started. The company’s stock is down 13.26% year-to-date (YTD). However, in mid-February it seemed like the stock is gaining momentum but by the time it entered March, it was on the plunge again. The Dow Jones Index is finally in the green and has gained 0.01% YTD whereas S&P 500 index is still down 0.67% YTD.

As per 19 analysts’ ratings, Boeing stock has a consensus price target of $137.95. The most bullish analyst has suggested price target of $196 while the most bearish analyst believes that the company’s stock will drop to $98 in coming 12 months. Boeing stock is currently trading at $125.84 down 0.91% as of 9:13AM EDT, which gives the company a market capitalization of 81.64 billion with a total float of 662.50 million shares and an average daily trading volume of 4.99 million shares.

General Electric and Vattenfall Europe Wärme signed an agreement under which the former will overhaul two of the latter’s Siemens turbines

Last Friday, the Power Services business of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) announced that it had entered into an agreement with Sweden-based Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG for the overhaul of its two steam turbines. These Siemens turbines are located at DHP Wedel Power Plant in Hamburg, Germany.

Vattenfall Plant Manager, Markus Wonka stated on the occasion: “We are pleased to work with GE, who presented us with a comprehensive proposal to refurbish the Wedel station’s steam turbines, which ensure lifetime extension measures to help guarantee a sustainable operation of the plant.”

The current agreement is an extension to General Electric’s servicing provision at Vattenfall’s various power plants that are spread throughout Germany. The company is already engaged in providing up-to-date technology to Vattenfall that includes boiler, generator, steam turbine and air quality control systems. These enhancements were fetched through Alstom Power’s acquisition, which GE made in November 2015.

GE’s Power Services business General Manager, Pascal Schweitzer expressed his remarks on the signing ceremony: “We are excited to work with Vattenfall to demonstrate our enhanced capabilities to service other manufacturers’ turbosets by providing a customized package to meet Vattenfall’s efficiency and reliability requirements and demonstrate how GE’s coal-generation portfolio is well-positioned to respond to the region’s future energy needs.”

As per the agreement terms, General Electric will renovate the generating equipment of these two stations in CY17 and CY18, respectively. Each unit will be powered by a turboset that constitutes one of each; high-pressure, intermediate-pressure and low-pressure turbines. General Electric claims that these elevations will not only increase the operating life cycle of the units but will also increase its efficiency.

Besides, General Electric will also deliver the valves as per the prerequisite of these units. Furthermore, it will also supply the static and rotating blades of low-pressure turbines. Major overhauling procedure will take place on-site. However, rotors will be moved to GE’s Berlin-based factory for servicing. These turbines are scheduled for overhauling in April to August 2017 for unit 2, while April to August 2018 for unit 1, respectively.=

A weak guidance for Q3FY16 and poor performance in Q2 may not be so pleasing to investors

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) released its second quarter earnings yesterday, and it seems that the dark days for the short messaging app aren’t over it. The company reported a higher increase in revenues as compared to the same period last year, while the bottom-line results did not show any improvements, as the company reported a loss of fifteen cents per share. Meanwhile, other indicators were also weak as the social media site only had 313 million users for the quarter. Mobile advertisements constituted 89% of the total advertising revenue for Twitter.

Despite a weak financial performance, CEO Jack Dorsey still feels that his company is well on track and has dealt its priorities in the recent quarter. Moreover, he said that the company is making efforts to improve its services and is also entering new market segments such as video streaming. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto added that the company has a disciplined approach to deal with its priorities and would continue to add more users and retain the current ones. He further said that the company is on the verge of becoming a unique and compelling experience provider.

One of the impressive things we learnt was the efficiency of its operations as they contributed significantly to the company’s liquidity. However, a loss still persists which should be dealt with some strict cost control measures. Twitters finance costs have also been on the higher side, even though the company has been repaying its debts. Thus, we expect the financing to remain so as to support the company.

The Country Caller has been actively pursuing on the messaging app’s stock and we reported the company’s initiatives into content streaming and virtual reality. While these initiatives may sound good, it will be worth noticing how the company positions itself against bigger rivals such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. Investors have been bullish on the stock as the stock prices have risen more than 20% in the past two months. Shares of Twitter dropped significantly as the company reported a weak guidance for Q3FY16.

Analyst at Raymond James highlights major concerns which could stimulate short squeeze of Solar City stock

In a recent note, Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov reiterated his target price of $50 on SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ:SCTY) stock. The price target indicates an impressive upside potential of 150% over the solar giant’s last close of $20. The analyst remains convinced with his “Buy” rating on the stock.

Mr. Molchanov hosted successive management meetings with the investors, in which he spoke about reasons behind major pushback from investors. He highlighted three major misconceptions, which he believes might trigger a substantial short squeeze of the stock. For his first one, the analyst said that residential PV demand is not disappearing, as the only saturated market seems to be Hawaii. Other than that, 1% of households in the US have rooftop PVs, while 2% fall within SolarCity’s service coverage.

Secondly, the analyst believes financing is not a struggle. He said that SunEdison’s financial struggle was a result of uncontrolled acquisitions, but SolarCity does not follow the same strategy. Mr. Molchanov said that the company has successfully completed two securitizations this year, at higher yields than last year’s.

In order to clear the third misconception, the analyst said that the 6% discount rate is unrealistic. The analyst said that the last securitization had an annual rate of return of 6.25%, while the Hancock deal had an ARR of 8%. Based on these, 6% is indeed quite low.

According to Thomson Reuters, the 12-month average mean target for the $2 billion company stands at $30.47, suggesting an upside potential of 52.35% over the stock’s last close. The Street currently has eight Hold, six Strong Buy, and three Buy ratings on Solar City.

The jailbreak you’ve been so impatiently waiting for may be released sooner than you think

Last month, after months of waiting, the jailbreak for iOS 9.1 was released by the Pangu team. Even though the exploits had been burned in the latest iOS 9.3 at the time, the team released the jailbreak for users who faithfully stayed on the firmware. However, most users had already upgraded their devices to iOS 9.2.1 or iOS 9.3 or the latest version. Only a small community of users is currently on jailbreakable iOS 9 firmware and there are numerous people who are eagerly waiting to jailbreak their devices once a tool for the latest firmware version is released.

So, how long until the release of the iOS 9.3.2 jailbreak? Fortunately, the wait won’t be that long. According to Neurogadget, the jailbreak for iOS 9.3.2 and earlier firmwares will be released before June 13. If this date is ringing any bells, it’s because this is the same date the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) 2016. At its annual conference, Apple makes many major announcements and product unveilings, which will probably entail the 2016 MacBook Pro, iOS 10 and the newest iteration of OS X.

In fact, the jailbreak could even be released earlier. Let us explain why. After every major iOS 9 iteration’s release, there are almost always bugs which need to be patch in subsequent version, for example iOS 9.3.1 after iOS 9.3. Now, if the jailbreak team had released the iOS 9.3 jailbreak at the OS’s launch, Apple would have blocked the exploit in the subsequent bug fixing release. Due to this, once again the latest iOS iteration would be rendered non-jailbreakable until a new exploit could be found.

For this reason, the iOS 9.3 jailbreak has been delayed, and for good reason. Just a week after its release, iOS 9.3.1 was released. With iOS 9.3.2 already in the works, this is the reason why jailbreak developers aren’t release the jailbreak just yet. As soon as the bugs in iOS 9.3 are fixed in iOS 9.3.2, the jailbreak will soon follow.

 

Despite beating the Street’s expectations during 1QFY16, Netflix posts weaker-than-expected subscriber additions for domestic and international markets

Netflix reported its first quarter of fiscal year 2016 (1QFY16) financial results after the closing bell on Monday. The company completely crushed analysts’ expectations for the quarterly subscriber numbers for the recent quarter but 2QFY16 guidance was too weak for domestic, as well as international subscriptions.

Soon after closing the market down 2.79% at $108.40, Netflix shares dipped as much as 12.36% to $95, increasing the year-to-date (YTD) losses. The decline came after Amazon converted its Prime Videos into a standalone service, with better pricing and a new offering. By 11:29 AM EDT today, the stock was trading down 10.80% at $96.70.

Domestic Woes

Since Netflix has planned to increase subscription prices for over half of its US customers, its quarterly additions were expected to be effected because of churns. In the earnings release, the company said that “churns from un-grandfathering” will be modestly increased because of customer loyalty and growing content library.

Yet, it guided just 500,000 additions for 2QFY16, compared to 900,000 additions in 2QFY15. Analysts were looking at least 505,000 subscribers. Additionally, increasing content cost is expected to put a cap on year-on-year (YoY) contribution margin growth at 33%. But contribution profit is expected to increase 18% YoY to $403.

Dull International Prospects

Since Netflix’s global launch earlier this year, the Street has been very optimistic over Netflix’s international opportunities in terms of more subscribers. However, the company has been facing regulatory issues and lack of local content in the new markets. Thus, it expects to add just 2 million in this quarter, down from 2.37 million in the prior-year quarter. The market had projected 3.45 million additions.

Soft international guidance was given because of tough YoY comp against successful Australia/New Zealand launch.

While contribution margin is expected to improve by 960 basis points to -10.60%, contribution loss is expected to decline 15% to $80.

1QFY16 Results

With a record 6.74 million additions, Netflix’s global subscriber base stood at 81.5 million at the end of 1QFY16, as the company added 2.23 million Americans and 4.51 international users. The additions were more than the company’s guidance of 1.75 domestic and 4.35 international members and the consensus estimates.