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March 2019

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A balanced scenario where the deal can produce positive or slow results for both the companies

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) plunged 3.68% to $255.27 as at 3:25 PM EDT yesterday, after the announcement of Leidos planned merger with it. The spinoff of Lockheed’s IT division to Leidos is not probable to boost earnings as the investors were expecting. This is mainly because the IT business is facing slow growth.

Lockheed Martin stated that it repurchased 9.4 million shares through Reverse Morris Trust, which the investors believe that Lockheed would withdraw but it didn’t. The repurchasing means that the deal will have no significant impact on EPS of Lockheed in the near quarters.

IT business was not doing phenomenally well and was facing stiff competition. The Silicon Valley and new entrants have given tough time to the IT business, making it a slow growth. As a result, many investors are skeptical about the deal.

Management at Lockheed believes that the deal will produce tangible value for both the companies. It will help both the companies to stay strong in the competitive market and will aid in delivering strong results to shareholders.

As part of the deal, Lockheed received $1.8 billion as cash payment. This will allow the company to pay back its debt.  The company also reduced its outstanding shares by 9,369,694 shares, which is 3% of the outstanding common shares. As part of the exchange, Lockheed Martin also received 50.5 percent stake in Leidos.

This stake in Leidos will help Lockheed to use its government connections and help both the companies strive. Synergies can be created if both the companies work engagingly and collectively using each other’s core competencies.

Lockheed is still in a very strong position. It is still gaining contracts which will help the company expand and grow further. Recently, it has signed a training contract with the US Navy for F-35s, which is Lockheed’s most profitable one. It has also signed an agreed for MK-7, part of the modification contract with the Navy.

The price target for Halliburton Company was also bumped

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) is now an Alpha Generator in the eyes of FBR Capital analyst Mr. Thomas Curran. He is of the view that the risk associated with Halliburton Company has been significantly reduced and the company’s recent hike in production and improvement in oil pricing has made the stock a risk free opportunity at current trading levels. Haliburton has replaced Contract Drilling in the Alpha generator list and has also earned itself a price target raise.

The analyst added that Contract Drilling had gained about 17% in value since its addition to Alpha Generator list. As it stands the risk/reward profile of Halliburton Company has become far more attractive than that of Contract Drilling and thus the analyst decided to swap the two. Contract Drilling is still a very lucrative stock according to FBR analyst but Haliburton’s upside potential is far higher.

From here onwards until the mid of fiscal year 2017, Halliburton will start to capitalize on better than expected frac pricing in North America and will make better use of its technological advantage over its peers. In the eyes of the analyst, this makes for one of the most attractive margin profiles in the industry for the next year. The analyst expects Halliburton to perform strongly in two of the healthiest regions for the oil industry, namely Middle East and Caspian.

The analyst concluded his report with remarks that Halliburton Company has, without any doubt, one of the best outlooks in the oil field services industry and the company’s balance sheet has come a long way from the status of “leverage constrained,” so much that we now believe that the company is ready to make a strategic move for the acquisition of another company.

The analyst reaffirmed an Outperform rating and raised the price target to $58 from his prior $53. The analyst ratings for the stock are 18 Buy, 18 Outperform, three Hold, one Underperform and one Sell. The stock currently trades at a price of $47.24 and has gained 0.47% since the open of the market.

Twitter’s recent changes to its platform are not expected to make any lasting impact when it comes to its growth story according to research firm Wedbush

Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) is still teetering on the edge when it comes to growth and has yet to be able to make any significant changes in that direction according to Wedbush analyst Michael Patcher. According to his research, the changes are expected to have little to no long term impact for the flagging social media giant which is unable to increase its core audience even as it continues to excel in monetizing it every quarter.

Twitter has announced some very large changes however, that it will begin to roll out to its consumers over time. It will no longer consider users being tagged as part of the 140-character limit for tweets being sent by users or being replied to. It will also stop effectively considering media files such as videos and photos to be counted as characters in a Tweet. More importantly, users will be able to retweet themselves as well as quote themselves if necessary, a much sought-after and requested function that users have been asking Twitter to ad for months. Twitter also stated that it was attempting to make existing ways to use it easier by adding flexibility and functionality over time as well as making it easier to enable new ways to use Twitter. No details were given, but it can be assumed that there will be significant UI and usability tweaks on the Twitter site and apps in the near future. Twitter has also added poll, GIF Search as well as live Periscope broadcasts for iOS users.

It must be noted however that Wedbush maintains its $20 price target and a Neutral rating on the stock because it feels that Twitter’s existing batch of features have been enhanced only and will essentially benefit power users as well as experienced day-to-day users. The argument is that Twitter has done little to attract new users, something it desperately needs to pitch itself as a scalable growth story and the platform remains difficult to use for new users and has limited “stickiness” compared to competing social media giant, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

TWTR shares currently trade at $14.44 at the time of writing, up 2.92% from yesterday with a market cap just under $10 billion.

The developers have released two different updates, one for the Xbox One and the other for PC version

One of 2016’s best-rated titles, Astroneer, has just been updated. The developers have released two different updates, one for the Xbox One and the other for the PC. However, both of them are aimed at fixing the game’s most recent bugs and glitches.

 

Update 0.2.111.0 is now available on the PC and since the game had a few more bugs on the PC, the patch features a more changes and additions. Here’s a look at the PC updates’ patch notes:

Fix invert Y for gamepad applying to cursor motion Controls screen accessed from pause menu now correctly displays controller buttons when using controller. Fix host’s gamepad cursor becoming bugged when a client joins Fix ability to pick yourself up while in a seat, and being unable to leave seat. Fix bug where after loading a save, unplaced dropships would freak out. Add ability to enter seat even when it’s detached from a vehicle Add ability to sit in a dropship while mounted on a vehicle Allow the 2 expansion slots on backpack to use Filters, Tanks, and Tethers Fix exploit allowing player to trade for infinite resources by thieving the item like a pirate while launching Fix bug that would not allow a full oxygen tank to save an Astroneer from suffocating Cut value of Fuel in half on Trade module Double power requirement and production time of Condenser Fix known physics problems when attaching things to large storage on truck Fix bug allowing player to make building platforms after a conduit hub has already been branched. Change the Shuttle/Spaceship conduit hub type to the same as the habitat Allow Shuttle/Spaceship to reattach to previously created hubs Fix algorithm that picks the height of new base platforms, so that flat terrain makes flat bases

As per popular opinion, the game has been somewhat better optimized on the Xbox One, which explains why the console version has received lesser changes than the PC version.

 

Having said that, the fixes for both, PC and Microsoft’s console are the same; there is no point in mentioning them. All you need to know about the latest changes are there in the list above.

 

That’s it for now, for more news and updates from around the gaming world, stay tuned to The Country Caller. 

Canaccord analyst raised his price target on NVIDIA stock to $120 and insists that it is a core holding

Given its compelling growth prospects and the involvement in the autonomous vehicle space, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) manufacturer NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has captivated the attention of several analysts on Wall Street.

In his latest sell-side report, Matthew Ramsay of Canaccord Genuity has raised his price target on NVIDIA stock to $120 from $97.50, and reaffirmed a Buy rating. In addition to this, the analyst also insisted that the stock is a core holding due to strong margins, and indulgence in gaming/Virtual Reality space accompanied by data center acceleration.

In his note, Mr. Ramsay said: “In short, despite investor debates about stock valuation, we believe NVIDIA is now a required core holding given compelling growth, strong margins and secular alignment with key multi-year themes of autonomous driving, gaming/VR and data center acceleration.”

Furthermore, the analyst elaborated that the investment firm maintains its belief of NVIDIA growing leaps and bounds to transform from a PC-leveraged GPU supplier to a company which is excelling in visual computing space. Mr. Ramsay believes that the technology company is equipped with all essentials for growth and has an overall earnings power which is now fueled by four target growth markets: Gaming, Enterprise, Automotive and HPC/Cloud.

NVIDIA was also a major contributor to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Santa Clara, California-based company, Jen-Hsun Huang, presented the participants with new Artificial Intelligence platforms.

Following the development, investment firm Jefferies’ analyst Mark Lipacis released a research note highlighting NVIDIA’s growing relationship with German automaker Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VLKAY). The car maker believes that it will be offering the most advanced autonomous vehicles to the customers by 2020, which will be powered by AI platforms developed by NVIDIA. Mr. Lipacis rates the company’s stock at a Buy with a 12-month price target of $110.

Boeing offered its wide-body 787 Dreamliner against 777 to Pakistan International Airlines

Yesterday, Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) made a switch over attempt, where it offered 787 Dreamliner family wide-body planes against 777-300 model. The offer was made to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

In his letter to Pakistan Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Boeing Company’s Vice Chairman Ray Conner expressed his inclination towards enhanced cooperation for PIA’s improved performance. Meanwhile, he offered 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft instead of 777, which was agreed in the previous contract signed in 2006.

PIA – Boeing Relationship

The business relationship between the two companies extends way back in 1961, when PIA placed four planes order for Boeing 707 and Boeing 720. So far, the airline had ordered 11 planes order for Boeing 707/720 family, six planes order for Boeing 737 family, two planes order for Boeing 747 family, four planes order for Boeing DC-10, whereas 13 planes order for Boeing 777 family.

This accumulates to the total of 36 planes of different models, out of which 31 planes are duly delivered by the aircraft manufacturer. For the remaining five 777-300ER model planes, the aforementioned offer was made. The order was initially placed in 2002, which is still undelivered.

Boeing 777 vs 787

According to the company’s official specification, Boeing 777-300ER has 396 passengers capacity; whereas it has the capability to travel 13,650 kilometers distance in one go. Its maximum allowed takeoff weight is 351,530 kilogram. Its official market price as of August 2016 is $339.6 million.

On the other hand, Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner has 330 passengers capacity, having the capability to travel 11,910 kilometer distance in one go. Its maximum takeoff weight was not disclosed, since it is still in the completion mode and is expected to be released later this year. Its official market price as of August 2016 is $306.1 million.

Boeing 787 Excess Inventory Issue

Last week, Boeing CFO Greg Smith attended Jefferies Industrials Conference. In this conference, he disclosed that the company is intended to reduce Boeing 777 family production to halt Boeing 787 family, if both these wide-body aircraft keep depicting lower demand. It is pertinent to note that as of August 2, 2016, the aircraft manufacturer had claimed collective $1.7 billion in after-tax duties against excess Boeing 787 inventory and sluggish Boeing 747 sales, in its 2QFY16 financial results.

It is hereby apparent that PIA had paid more amount to Boeing against which it gets offer of lesser value plane, after 14 years. Furthermore, through 777-300ER, PIA could offer more passengers’ commutation against 787-10 Dreamliner. Besides this, 787-10 Dreamliner delivery will take another couple of years, as it is slated to start deliveries from 2018 onwards.

SolarCity losing share in California’s Rooftop solar markets, states Axiom Capital

Analyst Gordon Johnson at Axiom Capital stated that as per recent data, SolarCity Corp’s (NASDAQ: SCTY) demand in California’s rooftop solar market is declining at a fast pace.

The analyst mentioned that SolarCity is slowly losing its share in California’s Rooftop market as its growth is slowing a bit. As per data, the new rooftop applications in the Californian region for the month of April is down at 28.1% on Month-over-Month (MoM) basis, and lower by around 29.88% on Year-over Year (YoY) basis. Moreover, he mentioned that this is the lowest level seen since April 2014.

In addition, the analyst stated that Growth in California’s new photovoltaic (PV) applications also declined in past 9 months out of 13, while the decline in April was for a second consecutive month.

The Sell-Side has presented his Sell rating for the stock, with Price Target of $7 on the stock. The stock currently trades at $20.72 as of 11:06 AM EDT. The average Price Target for the stock by analysts at Street is of $29.47. The most bullish and bearish PT estimates by analysts are of $50.00 and $7.00 respectively.

Out of 18 analysts covering the stock at Street, ten have rated the stock as Hold, while four have rated Strong Buy. Three analysts have presented Buy rating for the stock while one analyst has rated the stock as Underperform.

Since the beginning of the year, the stock performance has been poor as Year-to-Date (YTD), it lost around 59.35% of its value. This represents investor’s reduced confidence in the company and its performance. Despite the increasing volatility, the stock has started to pick up a slight positive momentum and has appreciated by around 3.41%.

We believe the decline in stock price can prove to be an attractive point for investors, as the stock is available at a highly discounted price. Any investment spree in the company can begin the positive rally in the stock, pushing the stock upwards.

A more budget-friendly and mainstream Pascal has been spotted

Even though NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) unveiled only two Pascal GPUs earlier this month, there are reports of a third GPU that may be available later this year, once GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 have settled down.

A report from WCCFTech cites Zauba’s database for the discovery of GTX 1060. The little info we could gather is that GTX 1060 will be based on GP106 board and feature a 256-bit interface. The mid-range GPU will switch back to a 256-bit bus interface after NVIDIA decided to keep GTX 960 at 128-bit. Other than that, it will feature GDDR5 memory, which comes as surprise to no one.

 

 

The GTX 1060 is meant to deliver the sweet spot 1080p performance. Pascal lineup’s performance thus far looks very promising and a significant upgrade over Maxwell. So expect the GTX 1060 to easily handle every game at near maxed out settings at 1080p – you could even game perfectly at 1440p, albeit with a few sacrifices. The GPU is likely to cost somewhere between $250 – $300. The amount of memory has not been revealed but an earlier rumor pointed to a 6GB memory size.

GTX 1060 will feature at least 4GB memory as that is the minimum standard for GPUs nowadays, considering games are getting VRAM hungry by the day and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) will be targeting this segment first with Polaris 10. GTX 1060 will no doubt have more memory, given the fact that NVIDIA decided to eventually phase out 2GB variants of GTX 960 last year in favor of its 4GB variant to compete against AMD’s R9 380, which utilized 4GB memory from the beginning.

GTX 1060 is likely to launch during Q3 2016.  

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been personally testing the Model X quality controls and frequently uses a sleeping bag at the Fremont factory

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has had a rough times with its best-ever automotive creation, the Model X. The all-electric SUV was not only delayed by over 18 months, it has been facing production quality issues which led to its first recall last month.

During the recent earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said that his company is “hell-bent on being the world’s best” manufacturer.” To ensure that and address Tesla’s key issue for now – Model X manufacturing quality – the boss is personally reviewing the SUV’s production results. He told analysts that working lately at a desk which is located at the end of the vehicle’s assembly line and sleeping in the Tesla Factory in Fremont, CA.

“I have a sleeping bag in a conference room adjacent to the production line, which I use quite frequently,” Mr. Musk stated.

This isn’t something new for the visionary leader, who also had a desk at the end of the Model S assembly line, during the sedan’s production ramp. However, he believes that he will be spending most of his time elsewhere by the end of 2QFY16.

Consumer Reports highlighted many weaknesses in the crossover, particularly related to the unique falcon-wing doors, windows, 17” display, windshield, as well as the revolutionary Autopilot features.

Tesla President of Global Sales Jon McNeil sent an email to Model X customers ensuring them that the company is busy working on the vehicle’s performance and Mr. Musk himself is testing the SUVs as they roll off the assembly line.

Electrek published an extract from the email:

“Thank you for your patience as we’ve taken a little extra time to ensure your Model X meets the highest standards of quality. For the last couple of months, we held back our production rate to check and recheck every part of Model X from each of the ground-breaking features to road performance. We’ve had members of our management team, including Elon, test drive Model X as it came off the line so that we can confidently say that you’re going to love your Model X.”

Tesla reiterated that the Model X productivity per week will hit 1,000 units by the end of this quarter. He said that even Bob Lutz would agree that it is the most complex vehicle to build in the world, justifying the company’s problem with the SUV.

“Friday at 3 a.m. we achieved our first flawless production of the Model X, where we went through the whole production process and had zero issues,” he added. 

Before 1QFY16 earnings release, Tesla told Bloomberg that two top production VPs are leaving the company. The company plans to announce a massive hiring of big production management shortly. The automaker plans to learn from the Model X mistakes to ensure that the Model 3 doesn’t face the same fate.

Here’s how to easily get around this pesky error

The jailbreak community is abuzz again with excitement as we finally have a stable working jailbreak for iOS 10-10.2. The veteran iOS hacker Luca Todesco has been developing the tool for weeks and after several betas, earlier today he released beta 6 which has been deemed stable enough for daily use. The jailbreak supports the following devices: 

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPhone SE: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPhone 5S: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPad Pro: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPad Air : 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPad Mini 2 and 3: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

iPod Touch 6G: 10.0.0 -> 10.2 

While most users are posting positive results, there are quite a few who haven’t been able to jailbreak their devices yet. There have been numerous reports from users getting stuck on the following error during the jailbreak process: 

“provision.cpp:150 Please sign in with an app-specific password. You can create one at appleid.apple.com.” 

To get past this step, you simply need to create an app-specific password and then use it to install the IPA. In order to generate an app-specific password, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Click on this link and the sign in with your Apple ID. 

Step 2: Navigate to Security > App Specific Password and then click on Generate Password. 

Step 3: Follow the on-screen instruction to create the app-specific password. 

Step 4: Use the generated app-specific password to login during the jailbreak process. 

And that’s it. The process should proceed as intended now without any errors. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.