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July 2019

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We take a look at the changes Apple has brought to El Capitan with the new 10.11.5 update

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) today released a new update to the public for its Mac OS X operating system. The new update brings the OS X version to 10.11.5 and it is the fifth one for OS EL Capitan since it was first released back in September 2015.

The new update comes two months after Apple released OS X 10.11.4, which for the first time, brought Live Photos for Messages on Mac OS X. It also let users protect their notes with passwords in the Notes App. The new update brings a bunch of under the hood bug fixes, along with some much needed performance improvements.

Most of the updates so far to El Capitan have been only minor bug fixes, security upgrades and performance improvements, the new update being no different. It did not bring in any new features whatsoever and according to Apple, the most notable change is bug fixes, the security and compatibility of Mac devices. This is the last major update Apple will be bringing to OS El Capitan as the company is expected to release a new OS for Mac devices at the WWDC next month.  

For users that were experiencing screen freezes after the 10.11.4 update, they will be disappointed to know the new update does not rectify this issue and users using the 10.11.5 beta version are still experiencing this issue.

Apple, however, claims that the new update has somewhat fixed this problem, as users on the new version of El Capitan are not experiencing the problem as frequently as before. Apple also reported to have fixed the issue with the Spotlight feature, which would consume a large amount of CPU time when the configuration profile was set to “Allow Internet Spotlight Results”.

The Country Caller explores the earnings whispers for the two global operators earlier to their planned earnings announcement

Before the opening bell on Thursday, August 18, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ) would announce their financial results. Wal-Mart Stores is expected to release their earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 whereas Canadian Solar is projected to do the same for 2QFY16. The two companies have shown trends of earnings beat in their previous quarters. In the last quarter only, the two companies were able to surpass the Street expectations both on top line and bottom line, by a fairly good margin leading to high hopes in this season as well.

 

Wal-Mart Stores

The hypermarkets chain is expected by the consensus to publish $1.02 in earnings per share in 2QFY17. However, earningswhipers.com forecasts that the company would beat the Street by three cents by posting $1.05 in EPS for this quarter. The discount stores chain has itself provided a range of $0.95-1.08 in EPS. Its guidance takes into account its expectations of increasing the comparable stores sales by 1% in the quarter. If it fulfills the analysts’ expectations on the bottom line, the retailer would observe sequential increment of 4.08% in its earnings. However, it is likely to witness a decline of 5.56% year-over-year by meeting the forecasted estimates.

Moreover, the $225.42 billion company is projected to release $120.1 billion in revenues for the second quarter. Compared to this, estimize.com expects the Arkansas-based company to post $120.36 billion in revenues, $260 million higher than the Street estimate. By doing so, the company would sequentially increase its revenues by 3.62%, however, the revenues would decline 0.08% YoY.

 

Canadian Solar

The analysts at the Street hold high expectations from Canadian Solar. The company is projected by consensus to declare 40 cents in earnings per share for 2QFY16. This figure is lower than the number announced by earningswhispers.com which is 46 cents, expecting the company to crush the Street expectations by six cents. Meeting Street forecasts would enable the Canada-based company to observe 2.56% sequential increase alongside 29.03% YoY increment in its earnings this season.

Additionally, along with its earnings, the $771.07 million company is also predicted to release its revenues for the season. In its revenues call, it is expected to release a figure of $710.9 according to the Street. This estimate is within the revenue guidance range provided by Canadian Solar which stands at $710-760 million. Estimize.com, however, is more optimistic than the Street and expects the company to surpass the consensus expectations by $13 million by reporting $723.9 million in revenues. The revenues are expected to fall 1.46% from the previous quarter. Nonetheless, the revenues are predicted to rise 11.5% YoY.

Mizuho Securities also raised the price target on Allergan plc considerably

Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) has been upgraded to Buy at Mizuho Securities. The upgrade comes a few days after Allergan reported a weaker than expected Q2 and failed to meet the consensus revenue estimate by quite a margin. In the analyst’s opinion, the risk associated with the stock has been reduced significantly and the risk reward profile now presents a very positive picture.

The analyst believes that the reduced guidance for the upcoming quarters does not spell doom for the stock but is in fact a positive, as it has resulted in a more realistic outlook. The estimate for the stock are now within reasonable ranges and despite reduction, provide plenty of room for growth in terms of revenue.

The analyst believes that given the changes in the guidance, the stock is now more than likely to deliver a beat which will help in reinvigorating investors. The gross margins are also likely to expand over the next few quarters and will result in strong EPS beats down the line.

Botox is currently the most critical product for Allergen, asserts analyst. Societal norms and growing consciousness regarding physical appearances is likely to push Botox numbers even further, as it gaining rapid popularity not only among females but males as well.

According to a study done by an Australian dermatologist, Botox usage is expected to rise 50% in the next few years. Apart from Botox, the management guides for about 10% growth in overall business during the year 2017.

The stock has the ability to perform and deliver under pressure and given the more realistic assumptions, the risk associated is at its lowest. Mizuho upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $318 from $246. The analyst ratings for the stock have eight buy, eight outperform and four hold ratings. The stock now trades at a price of $252.93.

Baron Capital’s founder provides another confidence boost to Tesla’s shares after reaffirming his bullish stance

In June, Baron Capital Founder, Ron Baron, said on CNBC’s Squawk Box that Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) could be one of the world’s largest companies, as it is way ahead of its competition. During the month of June, Tesla’ shares surged 5.45% and closed the trading session at $232. However, things have changed since then, as the stock has declined over 19% on the back of SolarCity merger and accidents related to the autopilot feature of its electric vehicles (EV).

Today, the billionaire investor told CNBC again and went on record saying that investors could make 30-50 times their investment through Tesla shares over the next 15 years. Although the stock did not react as strongly as it previously did, but it is trading up 1.32% at $189.89, as of 10:26 AM EDT.

During the annual Baron Investment Conference in NYC, Mr. Baron claimed that Tesla is probably “the most interesting” company he has ever invested in in his entire career of 46 years. He has holdings of 1.5 million Tesla shares worth $284 million, representing 1.5% of the assets of his investment management firm.

When Baron Capital invested in TSLA stock, it was priced at $33, which at present is available at an average cost of “over $200 now.” Though it is “risky,” he added. He explained that initially Elon Musk & Co had to prove that EVs are better than gas guzzlers, then they had to prove that they can build such vehicles, and now they have to show that they can build them profitably.

Mr. Baron believes no one wants Tesla to succeed except for those who purchase their products. For example, he said that car dealers want Tesla to fail because its vehicles do not require service and the unions want it to fail because it is “remaking the way you make cars.”

While most of the analysts at the Street are dubious about the SolarCity deal, Mr. Baron supports Mr. Musk’s vision and believes that the transaction is a need because eventually all the vehicles around the world will run on electrical energy.

Given the electricity grid is not expanding, alternative energy sources will be required to fulfill increasing demand for electricity in the future, he said. Therefore, Tesla requires buying SolarCIty to provide sufficient energy for its vehicles, which it couldn’t otherwise.

Mr. Baron added: “The reason you’re buying it is you are reinventing the electric grid. That’s a bigger opportunity than cars.”

CEO Jeff Bezos’ past run-ins with President-Elect Donald J. Trump suggest the outcome of this election could have serious implications for the online retailer

The results of the 2016 presidential election rolling in favor of Donald Trump must have wriggled Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, who had been very critical of Trump’s election campaign. While the two had a few run-ins in the past, Mr. Trump suggested the outcome of voting could create serious implications for AMZN stock.

Mr. Bezos, who acquired the Washington Post with his private funds for $250 million three years ago, had a very critical and sharp review of Mr. Trump. Naturally, the reviews were not appreciated by the incoming president and he routinely backfired at the Amazon CEO. A tiff between the two initiated back in December 2015 after Mr. Bezos expressed his intention to send Mr. Trump to space. Consequently, the president-elect retorted on Twitter, “The @washingtonpost, which loses a fortune, is owned by @JeffBezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no profit company, @amazon.”

According to Mr. Trump, Amazon CEO bought Washington Post to get away with the taxes. In his perspective, Mr. Bezos had been using monopolistic tendencies and Machiavellian politics to prop up Amazon stock. While it’s obvious that the result of this quarrel between the two could pressure AMZN stock, the CEO of the online e-tailer could face DoJ antitrust investigations and additional scrutiny by Internal Revenue Service, under Mr. Trump’s presidency.

However, just two days after Mr. Trump won, Mr. Bezos congratulated the newly elected President on Twitter. Shares of the $345 billion company have plunged sharply over the past two days since Mr. Trump won.

AMZN shares closed down 3.82% at $742.38 in Thursday’s trading session. Amazon has a 52-week high price of $847.21 and a 52-week low price of $474. It has a market cap of $345.65 billion with a 170.09 price to earnings ratio.

Piper Jaffray currently has a Neutral rating on Yelp stock

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) has been criticized on many occasions on how its uses its position of being the leading social ratings platform as leverage over small business.  An upcoming documentary named ‘Billion Dollar Bully’ which discusses the subject in great detail has been making major rounds in the news over the past few months.

The documentary tackles the issue of Yelp executives allegedly coercing small businesses such as restaurants into buying advertisement spaces from the website. The film through various testimonies, suggests that Yelp blackmails business owners by threatening them with negative reviews on its website. The film at points accuses Yelp of outright extortion through review manipulation.

 Considering the level of negativity this sheds on Yelp’s entire business model not to mention the criminal implications that results from it, certain investment firms have expressed concern with regard to the impact the documentary may have on the company’s stock price.

Investment firm Piper Jaffray, in an updated research report sent out to clients and investors today, noted that Yelp could be ‘hurt’ by the documentary. According to the firm, Prost Productions the company behind the documentary has initiated another round of funding for Billion Dollar Bully. Although the film itself has attracted severe scrutiny from critics and Yelp itself, analysts at Piper Jaffray contend that regardless of the validity, the release of the documentary could result in the stock plunging to significantly lower levels. The firm advises investors to wait for Prost Productions’ upcoming efforts before building positions on Yelp’s stock. The firm currently has a Neutral rating on Yelp shares.

In spite of this negative campaign however, Yelp stock has been on a bullish run on the back of growing margins for the company. During the past three months shares of the online ratings platform in the past three months have surged by 44.4% while the S&P 500 has only ticked up by 3.6%.

More upside is probably in store, as the company accelerates cost-cutting and sells Blue Coat’s Web and cloud protection software to new clients

The developer of Norton Antivirus, Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) had been out of investors’ sight for long but now it seems that the company has successfully attracted their interest. According to Gartner, an investment of around $92 billion is expected to me made on technological security this year, compared to $84 billion in 2015. Despite of the hefty investments, Symantec stock has mostly traded in between $20-25 range since 3 years. Given a new leadership, major acquisition, and an advance cyber security system, Symantec earnings could propel over the next two years, lifting the share price up 25% or more, wrote Barrons.com.

The company has been in trouble for long as it announced dismal earnings forecast for the upcoming quarter, which led the stock to plunge below $17. Furthermore, the CEO also stepped down in the same month. But the market has grown more optimistic since June 2016 as the shares have rebounded to a much stable price. In June 2016, Symantec acquired Blue Coat Systems and appointed Greg Clark, Blue Coat CEO, to lead the company. The company is now running cost cutting initiatives and is also selling Blue Coat’s cloud and web protection software to new clients. Given these positive outcomes, Bullish analysts expect earnings per share to grow above $2 by FY19 from $1.03 last year.

Franklin Templeton portfolio manager, Christian Correa believes that the company is finally ready to hone its focus amid growing tech security demand. He said: “There’s a new management team with a clearer focus on security, and it’s in a market where the threats grow every day. In 12 to 18 months, there’s no reason the stock can’t be in the low $30s.”

Overall, Symantec earnings are expected to boost in near term, reinforced by cost cutting. Symantec has announced to save $550 million by the end of FY18. The company has also announced to trim its workforce by 10%. With the cost cuts, the security juggernaut expects to earn $1.7-1.8 per share in fiscal 2018. On the other hand, Nowinski expects Symantec earnings to grow 12-14% from FY 2019-2021 as Blue Coat’s cloud and web protection would improve cash flows. Moreover, Symantec’s consumer business is also expected to improve because of a recent shift to subscription model. The company is growing at a rapid pace, and will soon grab a stronger market position.

More details are surfacing about Pascal mobile GPUs as we move closer to launch

It’s been a while since the rumors have been mentioning the upcoming NVIDIA Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) Pascal mobile GPUs and the first laptops that will feature them. The notebooks are expected to be available in September. A recent report byDigiTimes said that NVIDIA will unveil the GTX 1000 series based notebooks at Gamescom 2016 between August 17 and August 21.

Clevo is one of the manufacturers that will be updating its gaming notebook lineup with the new GPUs. In news, the manufacturer accidentally posted product page of its upcoming Clevo P870DM3-G and Clevo P870DM2-G. Unfortunately, the product page has been taken down, but luckily the specification manual was saved. (via Videocardz)

 

 

 

 

The choices for graphics card include GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 with SLI compatibility. Notice how the manual does not refer the graphics card with the “M” post-fix. As we have been hearing for the past weeks, NVIDIA will not be referring the GTX 1000 Mobile series as “M” variants. The simple reason is because the laptop variants are a very close match in performance compared to their desktop counterparts. In fact, GTX 1070 reportedly has more CUDA Cores than its desktop version. This is to mitigate the performance difference due to slower clock speed.

A recent leak about the GTX 1070’s performance put it close to GTX 980 Ti. It is an exciting upgrade for the notebook segment which is now closer to desktops in performance than ever before. Gaming laptops were already not cheap to begin with and with the inclusion of fully enabled chips, we may be looking at even more expensive notebooks. But the good thing here is that due to the performance bump, you don’t need to buy a GTX 1070 just to play games at 1080p. A GTX 1060 equipped notebook will be capable enough to deliver gaming at even 1440p with ease.

The South Korean smartphone giants have become a laughing stock of the Internet and add another thing to laugh about with their fireproof return kits

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) has started shipping fireproof boxes along with protective gloves to US customers. The move has been seen as a joke amongst most users on the Internet. The phone itself has been the butt of the joke for the battery explosions in the past few months.

The latest move by Samsung has been greeted with a lot of controversy. The company has only sent out precautionary boxes and gloves to its users so that it can allow them to return the device unharmed. However, the Internet has a funny way of working and people on the Internet feed on instances like these. And we have to admit, some of the pictures which are used to mock the Note 7 are pretty funny.

People started mocking the return kit which Samsung has sent to the users as soon as it started shipping. Some have asked if the box won’t catch fire itself. Others asked for the boxes to be tested if they are fireproof. Most users have just made fun of the contents of the box, as the box is a box in a box with a bag for your phone—strange.

The matter of returning the kit may prove to be troublesome for the company. The return kit of the Note 7 is something which can only be transported via trucks as it is not allowed on board an aircraft. Neither has any courier service taken responsibility to deliver the box back to Samsung via their planes. The Department of Transportation said that when the boxes are being returned to Samsung, they will be under strict regulations.

A Sprint Corp. (S) spokeswoman said that the company’s retail employees have been told to take the phone out of the case, turn it off and secure it in the fireproof box. The company is rounding up all the units it has sent out at a warehouse in Illinois. It will then forward it to Samsung. Whereas a Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) spokeswoman said that the company was keeping the returned merchandise separate from the rest. However, they did not share any other detail. The spokeswoman added that the returns of the smartphone are going steady and most users are opting for other Samsung devices rather than switching to Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhones, due to their desire to stay on the Android platform.