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April 2019

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Aimed to expand its industrial business base, General Electric extends partnership with APR Energy

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) recently announced in partnership with APR Energy to renew their strategic partnership to keep providing fast-track power services through mobile turbine technology. The current move will support General Electric’s long-term strategy to strengthen its industrial segment aimed to boost its operating revenues in future.

As part of the extended partnership deal, APR Energy will be exclusively allowed to offer its rental provider services of GE mobile gas turbines under 50MW. Furthermore, APR will also acquire new GE TM2500+ mobile turbines through which the company will also upgrade its turbine fleet. Collectively, GE and APR Energy will share new customer leads that will benefit both companies in the long term.

Analysts related to the industry believe that through the acquisition of new power turbine, APR Energy will be able to strengthen its position as mobile gas turbine power energy provider. Through the acquisition of new power turbine, the company will be able to increase its power production capacity to more than 2GW.

The current deal would benefit General Electric’s Power and Water segment, specifically the one that manufactures gas turbines. The conglomerate has been investing in the unit to introduce more efficient power turbines amid increasing requirement around the world. Earlier in 2016, General Electric also signed a deal with Egypt to provide gas turbines that increased its total backlog value for the year.

Originally, the partnership between General Electric and APR Energy was first signed in October 2013; since then, the two companies have been working closely to increase their industrial business base. General Electric, on the other hand, announced its long-term strategy to sell most of its GE Capital financial assets to increase its presence in industrial segment. Since then, the conglomerate has sold around $200 billion worth of GE Capital financial assets around the globe.

 

Patch Notes now available

Sega has just unveiled its latest update for Football Manager 2017, taking the game’s version up to 17.2.0. The update comes with some serious stability and performance tweaks, along with fixes for some of the game’s recently reported bugs and glitches.

The update includes a fix for one of the game’s biggest issues which restricts German players to move clubs. According to the official patch notes, this bug has finally been dealt with which means players from the Bundesliga can now transfer to different clubs.  

Here are some of the fixes that have been fixed with the 17.2.0 Update:

Stability and Performance Changes

Fixed rare instances of crash on continue Fixed lag when browsing inbox

Gameplay

Fixed issue in Austrian leagues which prevented staff in certain roles from being appointed Adjusted German players willingness to move clubs Fixed issue where players asked to be removed from the transfer list, but were not Adjusted payments received for players they had offered out on loan Adjusted likelihood of user in charge of an international team being offered club role Fixed rare examples of players complaining about being left out of continental squads for rounds they are unavailable for Fixed incorrect strings on promise panel related to different context promises to accept bids for players Fixed rare contradictory inbox items regarding promises not being met Added unhappiness reason to list of players supporting/against a manager in group unhappiness meetings Fixed rare example of a player not becoming happy again after playing more following a first team football unhappiness Improved AI squad building in salary cap leagues Fixed issue where user couldn’t postpone game due to large number of international call-ups in MLS Fixed hot seat issue where holidaying one manager past a match, also continued the other manager past their match Fixed issue where user cannot add players/confirm squad for national U23s Fixed issue where user is incorrectly asked about facing newly appointed manager Fixed various issues with records Fixed derby question appearing for non-derbies Fixed various odds issues Adjusted effect of training intensity on injuries Fixed examples of league enforced stadium upgrades going wrong Improved Tottenham’s attendances when switching grounds

For the complete list of gameplay changes and additions, check out the official post here. Comment below and let us know what you think of the game’s latest update. Are you satisfied?

SolarCity Corp customers can produce enough electricity to power almost the entire Tesla fleet

Over the decade the company has spent in the promising US solar market, SolarCity Corp.’s (NASDAQ:SCTY) customers have increased to over 230,000. Not only are customers of Tesla Motors Inc.’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) sister company playing an active role as a source of energy in the country, but they can even power almost the entire fleet of Model X crossovers and Model S sedans.

The brainchild of both the innovative companies, Elon Musk, tweeted late Thursday: “SolarCity panels produce enough zero carbon energy to charge entire Tesla fleet.” SolarCity also said in a recent a blog that all its customers together have produced billions of kWh of energy, powering their businesses, municipal buildings, neighborhoods, as well as US military units. A few weeks back, the solar panel owners generated their highest energy level of over 8 million kWh in just 24 hours.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a fully-charged Model S has a range of roughly 234 miles, enough to drive from Washington DC to NY. In its 4QFY15 Shareholder Letter, Tesla said that it has sold over 107,000 premium sedans around the globe by the end of last year. Including the latest deliveries, that number has increased to over 122,000.

The base-model of the Model S has a battery pack of 70 kWh. The solar company estimates that eight million kWh of power could fully charge roughly 114,300 Tesla cars.

“Whether solar panels are fueling your car, powering your home’s air-conditioner and appliances, or powering the US economy … 8 million kilowatt-hours in one day is a lot to go around,” SolarCity said. “We couldn’t be more excited for the rest of spring and summer — to see even more awesome results that the sunniest days of the year bring to our customers and their communities.”

Mr. Musk is one of the very few people who actually care about the world and the worsening environment. While Tesla produces zero-emission vehicles, SolarCity’s panels produce carbon-free electricity. Driven by hefty government subsidiaries, while the solar-company enjoys increasing revenues in the US, the EV maker sees extraordinary demand for its mass-market vehicle, the Model 3, which will not hit the roads before the end of 2017.

Although there is no data regarding those SolarCity customers who are Tesla owners at the same time, the launch of the affordable sedan could push many of them to become Model 3 owners as well in the coming years.

GoPro Inc management stays positive over future outlook

GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) might have underperformed the market in the past one year, but it doesn’t imply that it has become unattractive for investors and they are reluctant to invest in the company. Moreover, the management of the company is optimistic over future outlook and believes that the Karma drone will be a game changer. Although the shares of GoPro are down by 70% in one year’s time but Zander Laurie is confident over the capabilities of GoPro’s dynamic team and believes that future performance of the company will overcome the incurred loss in market value.

One of the most recent products by GoPro is an omni spherical camera rig and the company is planning to release some other exciting camera products this year. Moreover, GoPro management has announced its intention to launch the Karma drone by the end of this year, which is the most anticipated product of the company. Laurie, in an interview, said that Karma drone will be one of the most popular products and market analysts seconds this. The drone could be a game changer amid the ongoing craze in the people to record their important and significant moments.

GoPro stock is up significantly by 13.70% and is trading at £13.29 as of 9:05AM EDT on April 13. However, year-to-date (YTD) market value of company’s stock has declined by 34.78% while Dow Jones Index is up 1.35% and S&P 500 index gained 0.67% YTD. GoPro has total number of outstanding shares of around 110.60 billion with a daily average trading volume of 6.29 million shares. The current market capitalization of the company is $1.59 billion. Moreover, GoPro stock has a wide 52-week range which stands at $9.01-65.49.

According to sell side updates, the consensus price target of GoPro stands at $12.363 as per 11 analysts’ poll at Zacks Investment Research. The most bullish analyst has given a price target of $21 while most bearish analyst has suggested a $7 for GoPro stock. The consensus rating for GoPro stock is a Hold.

Users in more than 20 countries and regions will start getting their Rift headsets in the coming week

Microsoft Corporation (NADSAQ: MSFT) Oculus Rift has started shipping to pre-order customers, Oculus keeping true to the March 28 shipping date that it gave at the launch of the virtual reality headset.

Oculus is obviously prioritizing units for the Kickstarter funding campaign of 2012, before the acquisition of the company by Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) two years later in 2014. Oculus raised more than $10 million in the 2012 crowdfunding campaign, and it is only fair that the first units are being shipped for free to those who backed the initiative before anyone else.

Experts have dubbed the shipping of Rift, a start of a new era in technology; the era of virtual reality. Apart from Rift, Samsung Electronics’ (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) Gear VR shipped in Fall of last year, and HTC Vive is set to be officially available in early April this year. The two devices, along with Oculus Rift, will mark the beginning of the industry, which is projected to be worth $30 billion by 2020 by Augmented and Virtual Reality advisers Digi-Capital.

Oculus Rift units for March have already been run out of stock due to pre-orders, and users could even be looking at a wait-till-July to get something even remotely close to a virtual reality headset from Oculus. More than 30 games, as well as Oculus Video and Photo content, is available for users to take their Rift out for a spin, and more content is set to make its way to the platform experts have dubbed the future of computing.

Virtual reality has been in the works for quite some time, and it is refreshing to finally have a home-oriented VR headset which users can put to test themselves. Obviously, the number of high-end applications for the technology are a little scarce at the moment. But as the adaption of this new gadget gathers pace, more and more content will find its way to users.

Of course, for Microsoft, Oculus Rift represents a major bet as the company has placed all its VR eggs in Rift’s basket, leaving itself to concentrate on the augmented reality “HoloLens” project. How this turns out, with PSVR also in the mix, remains to be seen.

BioWare has made it clear that it does not like having its IPs used for political campaigns

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has rarely talked about video games, but earlier today he thought it necessary to post a fan-made video on Twitter that only ended up ruffling some feathers. 

Titled “Trump Effect,” the video projected an overlay of Trump on an official Mass Effect 2 trailer, where the game’s Illusive Man performs certain voiceovers such as “We’re at War” and other dramatic statements. All of this makes absolute sense when you consider the setting of the 2010 sci-fi action role-playing game, but with Trumps mug in the middle, the message conveyed ended up sounding too political. Especially, when you consider that the bottom line in the video was highlighting that Trump is the only one who stands “between humanity and the greatest threat of our brief existence.”

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was not too happy at the proceedings. The publishing giant instantly issued a DMCA take-down notice and had the video removed from both YouTube and Twitter. An official spokesperson later followed up by stating that EA does not support having its video game assets used for political campaigns. Furthermore, the usage of Mass Effect 2’s trailer was an “unauthorized use of our [EA] IP.”

Developer BioWare also found the video in distaste. Game Designer Manveer Heir later pointed out that Trump and his supporters are oblivious to the fact that the Illusive Man’s role in the game is considered to be of an antagonist. In that light, democrats would perhaps have no issues with the “Trump Effect” video.

EA is currently working on Mass Effect: Andromeda; the next game in the franchise will take place in the same universe but have little to do with the main trilogy. It’s expected to release in early 2017 for all major platforms. We expect to see new footage at the publisher’s EA Play event this summer.  

 

 

The company failed to show any meaningful growth during the quarter despite posting inline results

Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) posted Q1 results a few days back that was in line with consensus. The investor focus however was more towards the MAU growth which failed to conform to expectations. The results were overall pretty disappointing, specially, if one factors in the impact of soft guidance coming in below expectations.

Argus remained skeptical regarding the long term growth as the analyst pointed out the negativity in growth momentum and trends are likely to continue throughout the year, unless, the company employs invigorating policies to turn things around. The statistics regarding user growth trends show only 3% growth in the past year which is quite minimal given 14% growth shown by Facebook with a user base five times as large. The company also struggles with monetization inadequacy as it has failed to drive revenue from its global user base as effectively when compared to the domestic users. The analyst fears that company’s risk reward profile can further deteriorate if the management fails to turn the tides in their favor in coming quarters.

Twitter posted revenue of $595 million slightly below the consensus of $607.8 million and EPS of $0.15 beating the consensus of $0.10. Revenue growth rate was observed at 36.5% y/y, while, EPS grew at 114.3% y/y.

Following Q1 earnings, the shares saw a sharp decline largely because of the soft guidance and weak MAU growth rate. The analyst sees risk of further decline in share price until the MAU growth gets on track. The near term of the stock remains cloudy as Argus downgraded the stock to a Hold from a Buy rating upon lack of upside potential.

The analyst opinion for TWTR has five strong Buy, nine Buy, 26 Hold, two Underperform and two Sell recommendations. The stock is currently traded at $14.58 in the premarket session.

Nomura reiterated its Buy rating and $115 price target on Disney

After a visit to Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE:DIS) Shanghai location, Nomura Securities has reiterated its Buy rating and $115 price target on the stock, presenting 16.87% upside potential over the last closing price. The equity research firm is of the opinion that Disney parks’ broad appeal would result in better operating results for the company as it nears full capacity.

Analyst Anthony DiClemente at the firm mentioned that Nomura’s visit to Disney’s Shanghai location earlier this week has left a positive impression on the firm. He further expressed some of his concerns for the company, such as softer subscribing trends and margin compression at ESPN, due to which Disney’s multiple has compressed by around 20% in the last 12 months.

However, the firm mentioned that Disney’s benefit associated with the Shanghai resort and its diversification from Cable Networks would be supportive for the company. In order to update the impact of Disney’s Shanghai Resort, the firm updated its model for Disney.

Cumulatively, Nomura is of the view Disney could report around $150 million in earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2018, with only modest assumptions, and single-digit margins and around 18 million attendees. The stock last closed at $98.40.The average 12-month price target for the stock at the Street is $109.11, representing 10.88% upside potential over its last close.

Out of the 35 analysts covering the stock at Street, 14 have presented a Hold rating on the stock, while 13 have rated it a Buy. Six analysts have rated the stock Strong Buy, while one analyst each have rated the stock as Underperform and Sell.

Disney shares have performed poorly year-to-date, as they have declined by 6.36%. We hope that following the research firm’s update, investor confidence in the stock might improve.

Paypal reiterated as Buy at Nomura on the back of positivity shown by the company’s management

Stock rating for Paypal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) was maintained at Buy by analyst Bill Carcache at Nomura Securities. The reiteration in the stock rating was just before the company’s 3Q 2016 earnings results, which would be released on October 20 after the market closes.

The analyst mentioned that he expects the company’s numbers to be in line with the expectations, but more importantly, he stated that much of the focus should be towards the stock outlook. Moreover, the analyst mentioned that he doesn’t anticipate a full blown guidance for 2017 in this quarter, but he expects the stock Paypal to present additional details related to its margin expansion.

The analyst further stated that he believes that investors walked away from company’s latest quarterly earnings call, as they believed that Paypal was guiding towards a margin compression. However, the commentary in the company’s recent public appearances has seem to be more bullish.

The analyst further mentioned that the sell side thinks stability would be good enough for the company’s margin outlook, but expects the shares to enjoy a lucrative incremental boost if the management guides towards the possible expansion. He stated that it could serve as a possibility to make the risk-reward seem attractive enough, which may result the sell side to recommend the purchase of Paypal into the print.

In his research note on the stock, the analyst has made no changes to his Price Target of $54 for the stock, which is currently trading at around $39.50. The Year-to-Date return for the stock has been appealing, with a return of over 7.50%. However, the stock has undergone a downward trajectory in the past one month of trading, with a decline of 3.54%. Investors would hope that the stock continues to move upwards again.

Visa has been in another legal battle after Wal-Mart over PIN debit transactions

The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) has taken legal action against Visa, Inc.(NYSE:V) for threatening and taxing fines for letting customers use Personal Identification Number (PIN) rather than signature verification, according to the Wall Street Journal. Recently, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) also sued Visa for similar debit transaction issues.

The issue rooted lately, as several of these merchants have started installing a new payment equipment which does not use the magnetic stripe but a computer chip. The chip is considered to be faster and safer for customers as it is widely used all around the world. However, Visa issued a notification to Kroger that the payment method does not comply with Visa’s rules. According to Visa, the preferred way for customers is to pay from signature method rather than the PIN method. Therefore, threats from Visa started to pour from raising fees, to charging fines and cutting off debit payments.

Chris Hjelm, executive vice president and CIO of Kroger, said in a statement, “Our goal is to provide our customers with a safe and secure payments environment, and two layers of protection are better than one.”

Along with Kroger, both Wal-Mart and Home Depot had the same argument that PIN debit transactions are arguably safer than signature transactions. The PIN method is much cheaper for merchants to transact and the difference it would make to a number of transactions rung up by merchants. According to Kroger, it rung almost $29 billion transactions in 2015. On top of that, a threat to increase fees or cutting off debit transactions would damage the merchant which Visa is aware of.

The question arises then that why is Visa not willing to accept the safer payment method? According to US Federal Reserve data, debit transactions with the signature method costs twice as much to merchants and retailers, compared to the PIN transactions. The extra cost is passed on to the payment network as an extra margin on every transaction. The PIN also gets cheaper for merchants because similar technology can be used with other competing networks. Home Depot sued both Visa and MasterCard over similar fee structure.