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September 2018

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The mini variant of the upcoming GPU smiles for the camera

NVIDIA Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is due for an announcement sometime this month. After the Asus Expedition variant was pictured in a recent leak, the mini version of GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has been revealed in a new leak provided by Videocardz.

Asus mini variant is not the only GPU in the picture. We can clearly see EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Superclocked and Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti versions. GTX 1050 Ti will be quite a power efficient GPU, even more so than GTX 950. It will have a TDP of under 75W and reference designs should have no external power requirement, though custom variants will have a 6-pin PCIE connector for overclock headroom.

We don’t exactly know when NVIDIA plans to unveil the graphics card but judging from leaks that have started popping up frequently and how AIB partners are apparently ready with their custom designs, it’s pretty obvious the announcement is imminent. According to rumors, the graphics card will carry an MSRP of $149. It is going to be faster than Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMD) Radeon RX-460 but fall behind the RX-470 in both performance and price. AMD is reportedly going to slash RX-470’s price by 10$ in anticipation of GTX 1050 Ti, even though the two GPUs are not expected to compete with each other.

GTX 1050 Ti will also get a non Ti version based on a cut down GP107 configuration. It is not likely to be announced alongside its sibling given that we have heard almost nothing about it.

The pharma giant has been working on multiple aspects of drug approvals in order to keep the revenue generation

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) is reportedly working on the label expansion of its blockbuster molecule, Opdivo. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given it a green single for the molecule’s usage among patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN); however, the approval has only been granted for patients who were not cured despite platinum-based therapy.

Opdivo has achieved the safety as well as efficacy parameters along with the enhancement in the overall survival (OS) for aforementioned patients. The OS level achievement is the golden standard in the oncology clinical trials.

The achievement marks molecule’s edge over its competitor drugs such as Merck’s Keytruda and Roche’s Tecentriq. It now has a clear chance to invade an open market and become the market leader. In addition to efforts for Opdivo’s label expansion, the drug giant is reportedly working to receive approval for bladder cancer treatment. 

The SCCHN is one of the fatal categories, which has extremely high potential of recurrence with a five-year survival rate of less than 38%. The drugmaker is said to be working on multiple oncological segments including immuno-oncology and their management through medicines despite surgery, radiation, and other factors. 

The molecule has already received approval for patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. In combination with Yervoy, the regulatory body approved it for the management and treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Additionally, FDA has given approval for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with previous anti-angiogenic therapy.

In the US, approximately 64,000 new cases in relation to the head and neck cancer are expected to be diagnosed including 13,000 deaths from them. In addition to working on the label expansion, the drug giant is putting in efforts on multiple agreements with companies such as Nitto Denko Corp. Following the deal, Bristol-Myers will receive global rights to develop and market Nitto’s investigational siRNA molecule indicated for the treatment of lung fibrosis as well as other organ fibrosis.

Korean Herald have reported that 100 million OLEDs will be supplied by Samsung for $2.6 billion

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) have reached an agreement of around $2.6 billion to supply the Cupertino company with OLED displays starting from 2017, according to the Korean Herald.

The report published by Korean Herald mentions an agreement running for three years, in which time Apple would be provided with 5.5-inch OLED panels by Samsung. The deal has not been commented upon by Samsung, obviously due to the company’s privacy policy.

Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED for short, has been the topic of much discussion over the last few months, as rumors of Apple adopting the display panels for the iPhone have gathered pace. Initially, the Cupertino company was reported to be looking at adopting OLED displays from 2018, mainly due to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reporting it. Lately, however, rumors have indicated that we could be looking at an Apple iPhone with OLED panels as early as this year with the iPhone 7.

However, it was Ming-Chi Kuo who also reported that a complete overhaul of the iPhone lineup was in order from next year, featuring a form-factor revamp and other major features. A throwback to the iPhone 4 and 4S’s all-glass design was reported, with wireless charging and maybe even a 5.8-inch screen replacing the 5.7-inch screen of the 6 Plus and 6S Plus.

However, all that still remains up in the air for speculation, and all we know is that this agreement probably means that OLED displays would be used in iPhones from next year if the agreement has been reached now. Samsung has previously provided displays for iPhones along with LG, and this multi-billion dollar deal between the two companies is further proof of how they get along when it comes to hardware manufacture.

The exclusion of stock based compensation in Twitter Inc’s earnings metrics by Wall Street was brought under the magnifying glass by Sanford C. Bernstein

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was the subject of a report by Sanford C. Bernstein dealing with the critique of Wall Street’s practice of using earning metrics without taking stock based compensation into account, a practice that is especially popular for the valuation of Internet stocks. Bernstein finds nothing wrong with the practice but says that stock based compensation can be quite a significant operating expense.

Bernstein noted that the method of evaluation was particularly troublesome for companies like Twitter whose stock compensation expenses were greater than its earnings even before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Commenting on the company’s IPO they said that its heady valuation caused investors to pay more than the stock was worth for the stock.

The pro forma method is a rather bad fit for Twitter. According to Bernstein’s calculations in which they made some generous assumptions considering the state of Twitter’s current user growth problems and average revenue per user as well as the company’s margins arriving at a valuation of $15-20. However taking stock based compensation into account its price target was revised to merely $12-14. However Bernstein argues that since the proforma method is a standard on the street their price target of $17 reflects that as well as the afore mentioned $15-20 range of possibilities for the stock.

Apple is reportedly set to announce a host of new devices during its upcoming event

Rumors regarding the highly expected Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Pro 2016 have taken a fresh twist, as the Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly set to announce its upcoming laptop device before Halloween kicks off. However, previous reports heavily reported that the company would launch its next generation MacBook Pro during its upcoming event which kicks-off in October 24. If the latest reports are true then it indicates that tech giant will release its MacBook Pro 2016 a week before its upcoming October event. Apple has remained very tight-lipped regarding the release date of its upcoming projects which has added further confusion to the release of its next generation MacBook Pro. However, reliable sources are convinced that we will see the highly anticipated MacBook Pro 2016 before the end of the month. Here is a quick review regarding the upcoming laptop device.

The MacBook Pro is being refreshed after almost four long years since the current generation model was released, so it’s only logical to assume substantial upgrades incorporated in the upcoming laptop device. It is anticipated that the upcoming MacBook Pro 2016 could sport a 4K resolution display screen which would represent a huge boost in resolution compared to the display incorporated in its predecessor MacBook Pro model. The device is tipped to feature the sixth generation Intel Skylake processor which is a bit disappointing considering that Intel has launched its next generation Kaby Lake processing chipsets. However, the next generation MacBook Pro’s release date will come too soon for Intel to mass produce its latest generation Kaby Lake processing chip for the device. The upcoming device will be powered by the recently released MacOS Sierra operating system which is designed to incorporate a host of updates, including Apple’s personal digital assistant Siri in compatible devices. The new operating system will also allow users to unlock their laptop device with the help of an Apple Watch which is an innovative feature to have on board. Furthermore, the MacBook Pro 2016 is highly tipped to release in a slimmer and lighter design which will improve the portability of the upcoming device.

If the rumored specifications for the next generation MacBook Pro turn out to be true then the wait for the upcoming device will be absolutely worth every second. Hopefully, the Cupertino based tech company has plans to launch its upcoming devices by the end of the month. Let us know in the comments section if you are looking forward to the upcoming MacBook Pro 2016.

Caterpillar witnesses declining sales but positive outlook in future, especially in emerging markets

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) suffered 12% year-over-year (YoY) decline in retail machines sales worldwide for the three month rolling period ended October 2016. The company added that it is an improvement over a drop of 18% in September and 17% drop in August.

Total sales in energy and transportation segment dropped 28%, which is far poor than a drop of 25% in September. The decline is continuous and needs improvement or some change in decision making at the larger level.

According to Jefferies analyst, the overall sales are getting worse, but there is room for further recovery. As the overall demand scenario improves, sales are automatically going to increase.

Elections and Stock

Caterpillar stock rose up significantly after Donald Trump won the elections. The move was mainly investor speculations that resulted in the rally. Other than that, new administration’s infrastructure plan has also given a huge boost to the stock, believing that Caterpillar would be a key player in the infrastructure drive.

Future Outlook

The expected earnings per share (EPS) are expected to be at $2.35, which could be less if the elections results and agenda are not taken into account. It should be noted that the exact call and timings for the infrastructural development process to start is still not decided.

Caterpillar is expected to benefit a lot from its ongoing and future projects in emerging market, especially India. The company is expected to work on highway trucks in India. They will be manufactured in Tamil Nadu at Caterpillar’s facility. It is working with a diverse portfolio in India, including railways, underground mining, power and oil, and defense.

Stock Update

Caterpillar stock traded at $92.90, rising 0.61% at the closing bell on Monday. It has a market capitalization of $54.10 billion. The stock trades in the 52-week range of $56.36-95.50, with a year-to-date (YTD) increase of 36.7%.

Take a look at the GTX 1060 in the first ever close up picture

There have been reports surrounding NVIDIA Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) plans to launch a third GPU in the Pascal lineup after GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, which successfully launched in May and June. The third GPU is none other than the GP106 powered GTX 1060, which will be positioned as the midrange offering in Pascal lineup and go head-to-head against Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMD) RX-480.

An image has popped up on the internet out of Reddit which provides us with the first look at what is allegedly GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition (via Videocardz). The graphics card features a similar design we’ve seen with GTX 1080’s and GTX 1070’s Founders Edition, there are more areas colored in black on the shroud in comparison and the same blower type fan.

The picture also reveals that NVIDIA will release a Founders Edition version for its midrange GPU. Rumors thus far indicate that GTX 1060 will feature 1280 CUDA Cores, 192-bit memory interface and 6GB GDDR5 memory.

According to Benchlife, there will be two variants of GP106 chip. The first is a 6GB version powered by GP106-400, and the second is 3GB version powered by GP106-300. Now that we have gotten our first look at the GTX 1060 in all its glory out from manufacturing, we can safely assume that the GPU is on its way for a Q3 2016 release. It should release sometime in August to tackle AMD’s RX-480 in the same segment.

AMD has positioned RX-480 as a strong contender for any GPU in the mainstream market. Its $199 price tag and performance close to a GTX 980 gives it a very strong standing in the market. NVIDIA must deliver on performance without a price tag that could play in favor of RX-480. At launch, it seems that AMD will have the edge as NVIDIA is assumingly going to launch Founders Edition first, and we know that it will not cost cheap.

The South Korean giant is pondering over a move to make a contract with LG Chem over supplying components for their smartphones in the future

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (SSNLF) may soon ditch its own battery supply chain. The company might team up with LG Chem, which makes batteries for Samsung’s close rival, LG Electronics. The change might be prompted by the Galaxy Note 7’s exploding batteries.

Batteries for Galaxy Note 7 were supplied by Samsung’s sister company, Samsung SDI, responsible for around 60% of the phone batteries. The rest were supplied by Amperex Technology Limited (ATL). However, when the devices were replaced after the recall, ATL was the primary supplier of batteries. Samsung reportedly plans to stay away from both suppliers for its next smartphones as they failed to resolve any of the problems in Note 7.

According to a high ranked official in Samsung, the company plans to diversify its suppliers, including those which provide batteries. It may even strike a deal with LG Chem, a company that supplies components, such as adhesives for touchscreens and battery cells. The official chose to remain unnamed.

The batteries are in line to replace the current range of Samsung batteries as soon as the company’s latest smartphone. Amid reports that Samsung might launch the S8 earlier than expected, both companies are in a rush to complete any deals on the table. However, if the company does start taking batteries from LG Chem, it is likely that the new phone will not be released before May 2017. This is because battery testing process takes up to 6 months as the company would want to test compatibility with the device.

Samsung and LG have usually kept their distance in terms of components as both companies make high-quality components. LG Chem and the South Korean giant have also had an attempt at creating a partnership in the past, over the polarizer plate among other parts. However, the deal fell through and did not materialize.

Due to the battery problem, Samsung has suffered around $5.3 billion and also dented its reputation as being one of the best smartphone makers in the world. The company’s situation has reached a level where people who work at the company are scared and uncertain about their future. The company is also on its way of failing to meet the goals it had set for 2016. Can Samsung come back from the Note 7 fiasco? Everyone wants an answer to this and we shall see that in the coming weeks.

The game will be as close as possible to its final Beta Version

Usually betas give you a little more than a taste of what you would hope to see with a piece of software, be it an Operating System or a game, but Blizzard Entertainment has come out with all guns blazing with the Overwatch beta.

The open beta will run from May 4 at 4:00 pm PDT, which means around midnight for the UK on May 5. You can pre-purchase the beta from the Battle.net store or from your local retailer.

The system requirements for the game are:

OS: Windows 7/8/10-64 bit Processor: Intel core i3/AMD Phenom X3 8650 RAM: 4GB Graphic Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460/ATI Radeon HD 4850/Intel HD Graphics 4400 Storage: 30 GB should be available Internet Connection Display: 1280×720

Director Jeff Kaplain confirmed on Blizzard forums that players would be getting their dessert early this year when the Overwatch Beta is released. He said that the version we’ll be getting will go live at the launch on May 24 except for some bug fixes and errors that will be fixed in the time being.

Overwatch features 12 maps, 21 players and 4 game modes but unfortunately one awesome feature, Competitive play, will not be present in the open beta. This is due in part to the ‘ton of great feedback on how to improve the system’ that Kaplan said they received after it was made available on the closed beta which is code for ‘this feature currently sucks and hardcore gamers are angry’.

Overwatch will also be adding some post launch features and content that will make this ‘a pretty amazing summer’ according to Kaplan.

Multiple rate hikes in a year will raise banking revenues considerably

Major financial institutions, including Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), gained massive benefits from the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates. TheCountryCaller had covered in its earlier articles that how the benefit of increased rates will take a lot of time to pass onto the consumers. The FED Chairperson, Janet Yellen, said on Wednesday that the central bank raising the interest rates in the future makes sense.

Ms. Yellen hinted at rising rates in the near future while talking to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco. “Waiting too long to begin moving toward the neutral rate could risk a nasty surprise down the road – either too much inflation, financial instability, or both.”

She said that if this happens, then they would have to raise the interest rates much rapidly, which would harm the economy. Ms. Yellen also said that it could be expected by the central bank to raise interest rates several times till 2019, which will then place the short-term interest rate near its long-term benchmark of 3%.

The FED Chairperson also mentioned that the economy is near its maximum employment level and the inflation is also on its right track. Her comments of the economy on track have placed her in a potential conflict with the upcoming President Donald Trump as viewed by various analysts. Her statement is a sign that years of progress and efforts made by the Federal Reserve are beginning to finally pay off. There is a risk now that the goals of the FED and the upcoming Trump administration goals will collide and may prove to be a challenge for both the sides.

The hint of increasing rates more than once a year is a good sign for large financial institutions. Due to a delay in passing the effect onto customers, the revenue for Bank of America is set to rise considerably benefitting its shareholders. The shares of the banking giant rose 2.63% in the last session closing at $22.63.