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March 2019

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According to Oppenheimer, International Business Machines current transformation strategy enough to deliver constant upside to the stock

After International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced a multi-year strategic alliance with Workday Inc. (NYSE:WDAY) yesterday, research firm Oppenheimer has updated its thesis on IBM. The firm reiterated its Perform rating on the stock.

Yesterday, IBM announced a multi-year strategic alliance with Workday. Under the partnership, Workday would use the IBM cloud to facilitate its developing and testing operations.

Oppenheimer believes that the $153.24 billion company is once again shifting focus toward core growth avenues in a bid to register stable revenue growth and free cash flow. At the same time, however, the firm noted that these initiatives, at the current stage, are not at par to support a significant bullish run on a recurring basis.

Meanwhile, Drexel Hamilton also reaffirmed its Buy rating and $186 price target on the stock yesterday. The analyst at the firm is of the opinion that IBM Cloud would allow Workday to carry out its expansionary efforts at an accelerated pace. The firm believes that Workday is emerging as an important player in the software-as-a-services (SaaS) segment after having seen its revenue grow 48% year-over-year to $1.16 billion in the first quarter. Additionally, the firm noted that Workday forming alliances with other cloud vendors would not result in a conflict of interest between the two companies as IBM is not pursuing the ERP SaaS product market currently.

IBM has one of the largest cloud-based operations across the world. The company has roughly 50 state-of-the-art datacenters offering advanced security. These datacenters are present in 17 countries spanning across six different continents. IBM Cloud currently offers services such as analytics, machine learning, Blockchain, and IoT through which it provides increased flexibility to customers. IBM stock ticked down 0.2% to $161.55 in the pre-market hours today, specifically as at 4:47 AM EDT.

Dissatisfied by the sound of your Android device? Amplify it to new levels with Viper4Android

It’s common knowledge by now that iPhone offers superior auxiliary sound output compared to most Android phones. It mostly has to do with the iPhone’s superior DAC, and optimizations to sound which Apple has made in the software. However, thanks to the amazing versatility of Android, you can boost and refine the audio quality from your phone’s headphone output jack to levels you would have never thought possible. All of this can be achieved with the insanely powerful Android audio tweak Viper4Android.

The tweak gives you complete control over the sound your device is generating, giving you the ability to boost output, use custom covolvers, enhance the bass/treble and much much more. Additionally, we’ll also show you how to install Dolby Atmos on your Android device for further enhanced sound quality. If you’re unsatisfied with the audio quality of your devices, this tweak will lay all your woes to rest as you’re granted complete control over the quality of sound coming out of your phone’s headphone jack.

Requirements

Since V4A works using a special sound driver, it will need root access to function. Rooting most devices is a simple process which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Ensure that other audio mods aren’t installed on your device. In case there are, be sure to remove them before installing V4A. Ensure that your device has a custom recovery installed to flash the following ZIP files for V4A

How To Install Viper4Android On Marshmallow And Lollipop

Step 1: There’s a variety of available versions of Viper4Android. You can either opt to download the stock version or one with added enhancements such as Dolby Atmos or DD+. All the ZIP files can be downloaded from here. You can choose the version yourself, however we recommend you download the Viper + Atmos combo.

Step 2: Copy the downloaded ZIP file to the root of your Android device’s storage.

Step 3: Now, boot into Recovery mode. Navigate to Wipe > Advanced and wipe the Dalvik Cache and the Cache.

Step 3: Go to the install section and select the V4A zip file from the root of your device’s storage. Confirm the flash and reboot your device once it’s done.

And that’s it. While other V4A installation methods require lengthy tutorials, the ZIP takes care of all the actions to be performed at the back end and provides you with a working V4A experience right after flashing. Viper4Android has a vast array of option which can appear confusing to new users, so if you want to get the most out of V4A, browse through any of the numerous configs from the original thread.

Google might soon be introducing a new iteration of the Nexus 6P with a Snapdragon 820 processor, according to Geekbench Benchmark

Google’s Nexus line is famous for packing a punch and what better way to do that than to equip the latest high end device with the mother of all current generation high end phone chipsets. Geekbench Benchmark, an established tool for testing devices has reported an iteration of the Nexus 6P equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820.

Geekbench tests are often times an indicator of an imminent launch and there have been rumors regarding a refresh of the Nexus 6P. However, if Geekbench is right, fans will soon be treated to a Nexus device that not only touts the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset but also the as yet unreleased flavor of the Google OS, Android N. While the Nexus 6P has been acclaimed as one of the best devices of 2015, it has struggled with issues such as video playback and call volume. The phone carries Qualcomm’s 810 chip which is infamous for its overheating issues. It seems the logical next step for Google to look to 2016’s most exciting chip, the 820, the unbeaten king of AnTuTu benchmarks and the flagship chip of the year coming with even Samsung’s S7 and every other major handset maker’s flagship.

The launch of another Huawei made Nexus 6P is a surprise considering that recent rumors had pegged HTC as manufacturer of Google’s next two nexus phones for 2016. However, these same reports also suggest that Huawei is exploiting its Nexus name with a Huawei 7P device which will not carry the Nexus branding. There could be a potential mix-up but Geekbench’s information is not to be taken lightly by any means.

Google’s Next Nexus Scores A Qualcomm 820 Processor

Google might soon be introducing a new iteration of the Nexus 6P according to Geekbench Benchmark with a Snapdragon 820 processor

 

After the poor performance of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple is in danger of losing its top spot of being the most valuable company in the world to Google, yet again

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been locked tightly in a battle for supremacy over the past years to determine who outweighs what, when it comes to being crowned as the most valuable company in the world. For a brief period earlier this year, Google over took Apple as the world’s largest company in terms of market value but Apple regained its title in May. However, due to the disappointing sales performance of the current iPhone models and due to Google’s innovations, it’s difficult to determine which of the two Silicon Valley behemoths will end the year as a top dog in this highly competitive tech world.

The iPhone has been a major source of revenue for Apple in the past years, so it was a huge blow to the company when the latest models of the iPhone failed to match the sales of its predecessor. Google is waiting in the cue to once again overtake Apple as the most valuable company in the world.

Another reason for Google to be optimistic about taking over from the current leaders is the saturation in the smartphone world that is increasing at a fast rate. This will allow the growth in the smartphone industry to be focused on services, something that Google is renowned for. This factor will continue to rise the stock prices for Alphabet, giving it a competitive edge over Apple.

Currently, both Apple and Alphabet are worth $522 billion and $496 billion respectively, so their battel for supremacy is fiercer than ever. Both tech giants are going neck and neck, as one tries to outperform the other. Both of the companies have been hugely profitable in recent years for entirely different reasons. While Apple has continued to set the trends by creating must have iPhones and other gadgets, Google has pushed the boundaries for innovation and software development.

Apple’s biggest concern at the moment is that the company has failed to impress its audience due to lack of innovation and technological breakthrough. As Apple’s fiercest rivals continue to innovate and capture the imagination of their users, Apple simply has not delivered on that front. Meanwhile, Google has learned to evolve and be so much more than just a search engine, with recent innovations and development in the smartphone market and the tremendous success of its Android operating system.

With recent investment in India and China, Apple has every reason to believe that it can hold on to its crown as the most valuable company in the world, but due to Google’s sheer determination, this is one battle that is excitingly heating up for round two.

Oppenheimer analyst reiterated Outperform rating for VZ stock

Timothy Horan, Oppenheimer analyst weighed in on Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) as the company announced nearly 7% increase in bucket plan pricing. The analyst remained convinced with an Outperform rating on the stock. Verizon shares were down 1.56% in yesterday trading hours, to close at $55.38. The wireless communications company rolled out its latest cell phone plans earlier this week for the migrating as well as the existing customers. The new data plans have higher prices than the existing data plans.

Mr. Horan said: “Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) increased wireless bucket plan pricing by approximately 7%, while giving customers more services (30% more data per bucket, data carryover and some international usage). Given the 50% per year data usage growth, this is essentially a price increase.” The analyst expects this move to help the company in reducing customer pain points and lowering of Selling, General and Administrative Expenses on multiple fronts.

Oppenheimer analyst noted that although the current wireless bucket plan price per GB is lower, but the “costs to deliver service are dropping much faster than the 20% price reduction this implies and is margin accretive.” However, Mr. Horan estimates Verizon’s Average revenue per user to grow approximately 2% per year, given the existing subscribers uptake per year of 30%.

On the other hand, as of Thomson Reuters, the consensus has positioned their 12 month average price target on $52.65 for Verizon Communications stock. The consensus PT indicates a 4.92% potential downside over the last close of $55.38. Out of the 35 analysts covering Verizon Communication stock, 24 rate it a Hold, 6 rate it a Strong Buy, while 5 rate it a Buy. VZ has a market capitalization of $224.79 and a price to earnings ratio of $12.59.

Vertical integration of LM Wind could reduce costs in wind turbine manufacturing process, as well as enhance value for its customers

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was affirmed at Outperform by RBC Capital. The firm also maintained a price target of $36 over the shares of the company and believes that optimism could arise as a result of the company’s plans of acquisition of LM Wind Power for approximately $1.65 billion. This announcement resulted in slight increment in stock momentum of about 0.21% on Tuesday, October 11. The shares closed at $28.92 on Tuesday.

The Denmark-based business is observed to be its largest supplier of rotor blades. Following the deal announcement, the firm commented: “This deal effectively in-sources another component of the design and manufacturing of GE’s wind turbines within the Renewable Energy segment.”

The firm views the move as reduction of risks in supply chain due to vertical integration. This would result in reduced costs in wind turbine manufacturing process. It also believes that the Connecticut-based organization would be able to alleviate its energy output using wind turbines effectively, which would in turn enhance value for its customers.

The firm further stated a transaction multiple of 8.3x pro forma FY16 EBITDA seems feasible. This is because the multiple is consistent with the previous vertical integration deal of $257.2 billion company with Avio Aero in FY13. With these deals, it aims at capturing bigger share in renewable energy market, which is growing remarkably.

The firm further believes that the deal would prove to be accretive to earnings that would be realized in FY18. The company targets the completion of the deal in first half of FY17. Moreover, RBC expects the rotor blades manufacturer to maintain its global manufacturing footprint. Also, the new business is expected to be as a standalone division within its Renewable Energy segment operations. It is also predicted to continue its supplies to other OEMs working within the industry, apart from General Electric.

Tesla Model X gets the new Summon feature, and all-doors locking and seat-adjustment systems via new OTA update

Recently, Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) introduced some new features for its premium sedan, the Model S, while giving it a new nosecone and headlights. The company’s chief executive Elon Musk has been telling Tesla fanatics that more cowbells are coming soon for its technologically-advanced electric vehicles (EVs).

Electrek recently reported that Tesla has rolled out some small and fascinating new features to its premium SUV, the Model X, this year via an over-the-air (OTA) software update. The update consists of a new Summon feature which was introduced to the Model S last week, after the sedan crashed into a trailer in Utah.

The feature requires owners to select a direction in which they want to move their vehicle, while activating the Summon mode from the parking stalk. Now, Tesla’s SUVs which have the Autopilot feature will also include the new feature.

Additionally, the most impressive feature via the recent OTA update is the ability to close all the doors, including the front doors, falcon-wing doors, and the trunk, simultaneously via the fob key. The feature might prove useful for those owners having a family of four to seven members, but could be useless for those who have a small family . Yet, it appears quite appealing. Tesla shared an 11-second video uploaded by a Tesla owner named Steve Zimmermann on Twitter.

The all-doors locking feature might not be too popular among the Model X owners, but there is another update which they might love. Now, owners can adjust all the seats in the first, second, and third row by using the 17” center touchscreen. The feature would primarily be used by the driver to move the second-row seats forward or backward to allow passengers to gain access to the third-row seats. A Model X owner uploaded a demo video of the feature:

Sony has a comprehensive guideline for developers and it has leaked online

It is no secret that Sony Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is developing a more powerful PlayStation 4 model, codenamed “NEO,” after the official confirmation last month. The console’s existence and hardware specifications are common knowledge after various leaks. Now, Sony’s alleged PlayStation 4 NEO guide has leaked online and it reveals many interesting details. So let’s have a look at some of the new details brought forward by this developer guide.

 

 

Basic intro of the system: We already know Neo has more horsepower that will allow support for 4K resolution and deliver better graphics and framerate.

 

 

The decision to patch older games to take advantage of NEO’s hardware lies totally in the hands of developers. Older games without the patch will run the same way as they do now on PlayStation 4.

 

 

Hardware specifications were leaked months ago but to recap things, NEO will have the same 8-Core AMD Jaguar CPU but feature a higher clockspeed of 2.1 GHz compared to 1.6 Ghz in PlayStation 4 and 36 Compute Units clocked at 911 MHz versus 18 Compute Units clocked at 800 MHz. This combines to give the GPU a 2.3x more TeraFLOPs performance upgrade, which is certainly a big deal and the GPU will handle games much better. Memory bandwidth has been raised to 218 GB/s on the existing GDDR5.

 

 

Reserved CPU and GPU resources will remain the same but NEO games will have access to 512MB of excess memory.

 

 

Developers can enlist their games for NEO if they are launching by the time system launches. PlayStation 4 game submission with NEO support can be done till September but games releasing in October and onwards must have PlayStation 4 and NEO support. The document notes that games can be shipped with NEO support before the console’s launch.

 

Eurogamer did an extensive coverage on NEO’s developer guidelines and we can absolutely see them here. Games will be delivered as one package but will run on two modes. Base mode is when you run the game on PlayStation 4 or when an old game without NEO support runs on the new system. NEO Mode is when you run a NEO support title on the new console. The game will automatically utilize the extra horsepower available.

 

 

Once a game has been added to support NEO, all future patches must support both modes. Additionally, saved data must also be supported on both systems with the ability to move freely between the two.

 

 

As we discussed earlier, NEO supports 4K resolution. A 1920×1080 or 3480×2160 display buffer will be prepared depending on the display connected. Developers can use display buffers lower than 3840×2160 but it must eventually scale to that resolution. Whatever resolution developers decide to work with, they must match or exceed PlayStation 4 version’s framerate. This suggests Sony is letting developers use the extra power as they see fit, we could see native 4K games on NEO.

Sony has received feedback from developers who prefer to use a single display buffer instead of two and then downscale to 1920×1080. So the developers could use a single high resolution of 3840×2160 or any other listed resolution and then scale for 1080p displays. This is the strategy Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is aiming for with Xbox One Project Scorpio. Games will deliver native 4K resolution but also work just fine on 1080p.

 

 

Resolutions such as 1440p are off the table as according to Sony, it provides little differentiation from 1080p. It is unfortunate though, NEO’s capabilities can perfectly deliver a combination of visuals, framerate and a higher resolution than 1080p if games were native 1440p then downscaled or upscaled.

 

 

While Sony has not shared a release date, the insight provided by the guide strongly suggests NEO will launch between October and December this year. As the slide above reads, prototype hardware sent out to developers will return to Sony at the start of 2017 and mass produced units will be available before that. It appears Sony has not yet decided on a final release date.

Holiday 2016 seems like a good time to bet on. By then, Sony would have launched PlayStation VR and there will be new games and buying fervor that will work in favor of the new system.

Tesla and SolarCity shares gear up after report that both companies are about to finalize the merger deal

Last month, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock faced heavy battering after its chief executive Elon Musk, also Chairman at SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), announced the proposed merger of both of his companies. The news was welcomed by the Street with a lot of skepticism and criticism, as it didn’t make sense to most of the analysts.

Today, conversely, both the stocks are trading higher during the market hours today after the weekend report that both the companies are nearing towards the deal finalization. While Tesla shares quickly accelerated 2.31% to $227.41 just 20 minutes after the opening bell, SolarCity stock opened the market about 3% higher.

During the weekend, sources familiar with the merger agreement told Reuters that Tesla and SolarCity are in the final stages of performing due diligence on each other and the terms of the deals. The deal announcement is expected in the coming days, which would create the only vertically integrated energy company in the world.

The electric vehicle (EV) and storage battery maker will combine its operations with the solar installer. The sources however could not confirm if SolarCity would manage to go-shop period in the agreement.

The reports looks even more convincing after Mr. Musk said last week that the deal will go through with overwhelming majority. The statement came shortly after he talked to the major shareholders of both the companies.

Tesla plans to sell zero-emission vehicle, home storage batteries, and solar inverters under the same roof and one brand name ‘Tesla.’ The company had also been transitioning from TeslaMotors.com to Tesla.com, as it aspires to be a technology giant in two of the biggest industries in the world: energy and transportation.

Mr. Musk expects the merger will alleviate distribution costs and it is essential for both the companies to merge to “create stunning solar roofs with seamless integrated battery storage.” However, some analysts have not bought the explanation and still show concern on the move.

Sony’s console remains the dominant entity

A new sales report has been published by industry sales tracking firm VGChartz, revealing a new global lifetime sales figure for Sony Corp.’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4, Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Nintendo Co. Ltd. (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) Wii U.

As expected, PlayStation 4 is leading the current-generation race with total sales of 39,885,660 units. It goes in line with Sony’s fiscal year earnings report that revealed a 40 million shipped figure for the console. Xbox One on the other hand has arrived second with 20,748,690 units, and finally, Wii U is currently at 12,990,603 units sold. It is an amazing achievement for PlayStation 4; it has more sales than the combined figures of its competition.

Sony’s console is leading the market share by 54%, with the rest split at 28% for Xbox One and 18% for the Wii U. The report has also revealed that while PlayStation 4 was the top selling console for last month, it actually experienced lower sales compared to previous year in the same month by 30,313 units. While the Xbox One and Wii U were up by 38,625 and 13,571 units, respectively. March’s sales are reported to be 1,327,347 for PlayStation 4, 483,074 for Xbox One and 201,737 for Wii U.

As it stands currently, Sony’s console has a nearly 2:1 lifetime sales edge over Microsoft’s console. This situation is likely to remain throughout this generation.