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Alibaba’s Looking for Black Swan Opportunities

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Alibaba Stock News

Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) earnings for the period ended Dec. 31. have topped expectations but coronavirus is having a ‘negative impact’ on the business with packages not getting delivered on time, and this uncertainty has caused its stock to fall on Thursday. But on a brighter note, the China e-commerce giant also says coronavirus outbreak, the so-called Black Swan event, is helping to accelerate digital transformation with more online grocery orders and work-from-home experiences.

Fiscal third quarter

Revenue for the quarter increased 36% to $23.2 billion (161.5 billion RMB, up from 117.3 RMB) billion a year earlier. According to FactSet, Wall Street expected earnings of $2.28 on revenue of $22.8 billion (RMB159.7 billion). But for the very first time, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s cloud business topped RMB10 billion. Net income achieved amounted to 52.3 billion RMB ($7.5 billion). Adjusted earnings of $2.61 a share went up 47% from a year earlier. But most importantly, active consumers on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces reached 711 million, an increase of 18 million which equals to 2.5%, from the previous quarter. As for mobile devices, active users on mobile devices reached 824 million, an increase of 39 million equaling to 5%. Revenue from its cloud operation jumped 62% to $1.4 million.

Coronavirus the Black Swan

The company is continuing to experience challenges stemming from the outbreak as there’s been a delay in employees’ return to work after the Lunar New Year holiday, with this celebration also greatly contributing to the pandemia. As a consequence, there is a negative impact on the ability for merchants and logistics companies to resume business as usual.

And management disclosed that the overall revenue growth rate is expected to be negatively impacted in the following quarter.

Revenue from local services expanded 47% before the impact of the virus could be felt. The fact that Alibaba anticipates that there could be negative revenue growth in these categories this quarter “shows the impact of the virus,” However, the issues seem to be largely supply-based, which is encouraging for Alibaba’s long-term prospects as there are also new opportunities on the consumer end.

Competitors

Meanwhile, its Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) managed to pause Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) $10 billion Pentagon contract. A judge has issued a temporary injunction preventing the contract from moving forward until a lawsuit from Amazon is resolved. Amazon’s case is President Donald Trump’s personal animosity toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. Overall, it finds the contract to have “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.” Its other competitor is also doing well, as Shopify Inc’s (NYSE:SHOP) stock has gained 222% over the last year and its price rose after a strong earnings report on Thursday, showing the company’s strong determination to hit the international front. Meanwhile, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has a few clouds on its relatively blue skies as it is shutting down its personal shopping service that allowed New Yorkers to text message orders for home delivery. Jet black will be down on February 21 due to inability to find adoption or additional investment. So, there is no lack of headwinds in the global industry, but these e-commerce giants are still coping well. For now.

New possibilities

Management hinted that the challenges brought on by the outbreak could prompt long-term behavioral changes from Chinese consumers and businesses alike. More consumers are ordering groceries from their homes and more employees are choosing to work from home, two trends that Alibaba plans to account for in its various service offerings. But globally, there is the inevitable trend that more and more businesses and more and more customers are opting for a digital life and a digital working style. Black swan and Tchaikovsky aside, Alibaba is trying to balance investment spending with operational improvements in its core-commerce segment.

Outlook

Alibaba’s shares have dropped nearly 5% over the past month, but they did before climb 20% if we look at the past three months. And its revenue did rise 38% year-over-year during a strong quarter. In the release, it showed an increased user engagement and rapid growth in the cloud computing services. Not to forget that shortly after the outbreak, the company fiercely began procuring medical supplies from all around the globe, donating over 40 million units to affected cities. It is tentatively monitoring how is the situation evolving and also using the opportunity to identify new opportunities to provide support and value that  can be incorporated in its business model. And helping customers through difficult times during this one-off pandemic is also expected to contribute to sustainable long-term growth. And let’s not forget that the definition of a Black Swan event also psychologically entails that its definition depends upon the observer. And Alibaba can surely make it work to its own favour by finding new ways to provide value added services to its current and potential customers- and become a White Swan in this scenario.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

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BenzingaEditorial

Working From Home Trend and Gaming Did The Trick for Microsoft

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On Tuesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) succeeded in beating forecasts far above expectations due to a boom in PC sales, increased demand for gaming and cloud services. The pandemic might have put a lot of constraints to its customers, but it also led to a structural change as businesses across the globe shifted to digital operations and saw it as key to increasing their resilience. Upon the results, Microsoft’s stock was up 5% in after-market trading.

Q2 2021 figures

Revenues increased 17percent as they amounted to $43.1 billion and exceeded $40.2 billion expected by Bloomberg. Earnings per share were $2.03, topping the expected $1.64.

The commercial cloud businesses which Wall Street sees as the main engine of Microsoft’s future growth is reaccelerating. These businesses that include Office 365 and Azure cloud platform, generated revenue of $16.7 billion in the latest quarter, which is 34 per cent up from a year before. At the same time, the launch of a new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X lifted the gaming business as revenue of Xbox content and services was up a whopping 40% in the quarter. Personal Computing division was also up by 14 per cent as revenues amounted to $15.1 billion.

Meanwhile, the Productivity and Business Processes division reported revenue of $13.4 billion, which is a 13 percent increase. This growth was fueled by strong demand for Office 365 which grew 20 percent when adjusted for currency, which is line with the previous quarter.

Adding more fuel

Microsoft recently announced that it was investing $2 billion to be the preferred cloud provider of the General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Honda-backed (NYSE: HMC) autonomous vehicle firm Cruise. Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide cloud infrastructure for Cruise to better enable autonomous vehicles to navigate highways and surface streets in the future.

A sign of confidence

Microsoft also forecast revenue for the current quarter in the range between$40.35billion and $41.25bn. Themidpoint of the rangewould represent another quarter of 17 per cent growth, beating the 11 per cent that Wall Street forecasted.

Takeaway

Its strength in the cloud and personal computing enabled Microsoft to blow away Q2 expectations. As Mr. Nadella had put it, digital transformation is sweeping every company and every industry across the globe. Microsoft is powering this second wave of transformation that is even stronger than the first one as the world is now creating a new normal that will stay long after the COVID-19 pandemic becomes history.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

This Week’s IPOs

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This week has eight scheduled IPOs with three billion-dollar deals coming from bio tech, diagnostics, software and solar equipment, among others.

Biotech

The US biotechnology company that received emergency approval from the FDA for its COVID-19 antibody and antigen tests, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (NASDAQ: OCDX), plans to raise $1.5 billion at a $4.9 billion market cap. This pure-play in vitro diagnostics business provides diagnostic testing solutions. It is profitable on an EBIT basis, with a revenue retention rate of 99% in 2019.

Customer-survey software

Qualtrics International (NASDAQ: XM) seeks to raise as much as $1.46 billion. It provides a customer and employee experience management platform to over 12,000 organizations. But, despite its sticky customers, it operates in a highly competitive environment with low barriers to entry.

Solar equipment supplier

Shoals Technologies Group (NASDAQ: SHLS) designs and manufactures products used in large solar energy projects. It is a profitable and growing company that plans to raise $1.0 billion at a $3.6 billion market cap. However, its growth depends on international growth and its track record abroad is not impressive.

Asset-light container liner shipping company

Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM) plans to raise $306 million at a $2.1 billion market cap. This company positions itself as a global leader in niche markets with competitive advantages that allow it to maximize its profitability.

Mortgage

Residential mortgage producer Home Point Capital (NASDAQ: HMPT) plans to raise $250 million at a $3.0 billion market cap. It utilizes a wholesale mortgage origination channel to connect with nearly broker partners, which allows it to serve roughly 300,000 customers.

Asset management

Brazilian asset manager Vinci Partners Investments (NASDAQ: VINP) plans to raise $236 million at a $944 million market cap. Its portfolio includes private equity, public equities, real estate, credit, infrastructure, hedge funds, and investment products.

Supermarket portfolio

Southeastern Grocers (NYSE: SEGR) plans to raise $134 million (100% secondary) at a $725 million market cap. The company itself won’t sell any shares as part of the offering and will not receive any net proceeds from its public debut.

Agriculture

Agricultural technology company Agrify (NASDAQ: AGFY) plans to raise $25 million at a $115 million market cap. This company is highly unprofitable but fast growing. It aims to differentiate itself with a bundled solution of equipment, software, and services that is optimized for growth.

By the looks of it, the 2021 IPO market seems to be continuing 2020’s momentum.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

This Earnings Week Will Be a Busy One

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Apply (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are ready to report record sales this week, along with nearly a quarter of S&P 500 companies scheduled to release their earnings reports. It will also be a busy week, or more precisely a busy Tuesday, for the Dow with 3M (NYSE: MMM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) joining Microsoft as fourth-quarter earnings season gets into full swing.

Tuesday

The chip saga continues with Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) whose shares rose about 5% over the past week and are now up 1.2% year to date. Expectations are high due to its strong fourth quarter results and Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ: INTC) upside guidance that was issued last week. Wall Street expects earnings of47 cents per share on revenue of $3.02 billion as it assumes the pandemic made a minimal disruption to its business with positive trends in the datacenter business and PC sales. AMD has steadily gained market share from Intel in both of these categories.

Microsoft will also report after the close with Wall Street expecting earnings of $1.64 per share on revenue of $40.18 billion. The trends of working and learning from home continue to intensify demands for Microsoft’s offerings, as evidenced by the strong Q4 demand. But its biggest strength over the past year has been the commercial cloud business and Wall Street remains strongly positive about the company’s outlook for fiscal 2021 due to Azure’s momentum as it’s revenue was up 48% on a YoY basis in the previous quarter. But, this is a slight deceleration from the 50% growth in Q4 and investors will want some evidence that both Azure and Microsoft’s Teams that competes against Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) can continue fueling its revenues to new heights.

Wednesday

Apple will report after the close and Wall Street expects earnings of$1.40 per share on revenue of $102.76 billion. Holiday quarter is the quarter for Apple and it needs to meet these high expectations as last year’s quarter saw earnings of $1.25 per share on revenue of $88.5 billion. This quarter will be all about sales of the iPhone 12 that has been lauded as revolutionary. The iPhone 12 came with 5G capabilities and features such as its world-facing LIDAR sensor. However, Apple is about more than the iPhone as its services business now accounts for almost 22% of total revenue. Last quarter, its revenue surged to a new record of $14.5 billion.

Facebook will also report after the close with Wall Street expecting earnings of $3.19 per share on revenue of $26.34 billion. Facebook shares had an impressive run over the past week, suggesting that the concerns over digital advertising due to the pandemic have vanished. The social media giant topped consensus earnings expectations in each of the past eleven quarters and has missed earnings estimates just once over the past half of a decade. Yet, over the past year, its shares have been under-performing due to fears of regulatory and political risk. But if it shows a strong surge in daily and monthly active users with an upbeat revenue guidance, its stock should be just fine.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will report its first quarter since it became part of the S&P 500 after the close. Wall Street expects earnings of$1.00 per share on revenue of $10.32 billion. Tesla’s shares are up 20% year to date and 99.9% since the company last reported earnings on October 21st, confirming that it is not showing any signs of slowing down. Elon Musk’s focus has been on executing the strategy that brought top and bottom-line improvements, while delivering almost half a million vehicles in 2020. Now, the electric vehicle pioneer has to show it intends to keep pressing the gas pedal.

Takeaway

A number of Republicans don’t support President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion new round of fiscal stimulus and have even criticized the price tag. Fortunately, mega tech companies that are reporting this week don’t depend on fiscal stimulus that much, as dar revenue and earnings growth is concerned.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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