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The Show Must Go On – Event Industry Rising to the Challenge of COVID-19

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Overwin Corona Virus

Collectively, we are navigating this public health crisis one day at a time. To flatten the curve, businesses are shutting down for the foreseeable future. And if there is one industry that is disrupted, it is the event industry. The Olympic Games got postponed for a whole year and for the very first time. In the past, they were only canceled and three times due to ongoing wars. And now, waking up to cancellations has become the new normal thanks to COVID-19. This new everything-but-ordinary scenario is asking the event industry to find ways both to survive the losses caused by this storm but also think of new ways to protect the health and safety of its staff, sponsors and event attendees.

Canceled events have affected all industries

According to estimates that the data intelligence company PredictHQ pulled for Recode, the direct economic loss from the cancellation of more than 10 major tech conferences has surpassed $1.1 billion. And considering this was reported back in March, rest assured that the figure is much greater than that. What’s even worse is that it doesn’t even include the amount of money that organizers would have made from hosting the events. It is merely a sum of losses caused to airlines, hotels, restaurants, and service providers that would make money from the attendees.

The biggest tech loss was incurred by GSMA’s Mobile World Congress that amounted to $480 million, as it was supposed to host more than 100,000 attendees in Barcelona in February. It is followed by South by Southwest (SXSW) which is about the convergence of tech, movie and music industries in Austin. The event had 280,000 attendees last year and its cancellation resulted in at least $350 million in direct losses. Google I/O (NASDAQ:GOOGL), a 5,000-person developer conference, had a direct loss estimate of nearly $20 million. On the bright side, there’s Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) F8, Adobe Inc’s (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Apple events (NASDAQ:AAPL) which had virtual components that could still be held but the cancellation of their physical portion still incurred significant costs.

Some are trying hard not to give in to COVID-19 stampede

Roland Garros has been postponed for September unlike Wimbledon which had no choice but to cancel but then also is supposedly able to amortize the cost. French Open organizers are holding on to a thread in an effort to try avoiding losses amounting to $284 million.

As for the Olympic games, there is an additional cost of ¥22.5 billion (approx. $206.8 million) in terms of extra maintenance costs for venues and the Olympic Village. Another ¥390 billion (approx. $3.6 billion) will be needed to keep organizations in place for a whole year. And post-Olympics effects will take a hit of  ¥218 billion (approx. $2 billion) as a result of the delay. The U.S. television network NBC owned by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) paid the IOC $4.38 billion for the rights to the games through 2020 so hopefully it doesn’t interfere with their 2021 summer programme as matters become stickier with broadcasting as insurance is sometimes more useful when it comes to cancelations.

Arts – film industry disappoints fans but theatre fans rejoice in free performances

The new James Bond film, Daniel Craig’s last, has been postponed for November, costing MGM Studios $30 million. Even Tom Cruise’ eagerly awaited Maverick has also been postponed as it needs packed theaters to return its investment of over $150 million that it took to make the movie that has been awaited by fans for 34 years. Whether you are a sports fan or a movie fan, you’re likely hating COVID-19 even more. But good news for theatre and museum fans are that many institutions around the globe have opened their virtual doors and are giving virtual tours and are streaming performances- for free! So, here’s to some sort of silver lining.

Nothing will ever be the same

The brave ones who will be planning large events in the COVID-19 aftermath will surely need to be in contact with both local and national public health authorities for a long time after all this is over.  Even when authorities start allowing large gatherings, there will be no way of going around the serious precautions and more severe hygiene regulations. And they are bound to result in additional costs.

New trends and best practices to cope with this large-scale disruption

Virtual events are taking place more than ever during the last few weeks as almost half of the world’s population is stuck at home. Meetings and conferences have been redesigned to become virtual events and they are doing a great job in keeping people connected. Just ask Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) whose Teams application now has over 44 million users!

But as this crisis comes to an end, rest assured there will be a lot of hybrid events which will feature a mix of live and virtual components. Simply put, although they take place in a physical location, the large part of the audience is attending remotely.

For example, The Event Institute in Paris has not given up its activities as it’s organizing virtual open doors for its prospective students at its LéCOLE which trains future event managers across Paris’ finest venues. Of course, the logistics involved in such type of events is more complex as it requires both the physical and digital infrastructure. But as long as you don’t give up, you will be even pleasantly surprised with the benefits of such futuristic events as they eliminate many kinds of constraints while expanding the organisation’s ROI potential. That doesn’t sound bad at all!

The show must go on, but how?

We do not know how or when this crisis will end yet history shows us that we prevailed through many things and came back even stronger from each crisis. Did we learn from our mistakes is an entirely different question. Let’s hope we will this time. But the good news is that the event industry, although one of the most severely hit is the one that will be needed most when things restart. Events are the most efficient way to build human connections and to build something called ‘intangible value’, one which for example defines how much a brand is worth. And events are invaluable due to this immense power they have to make an impact on people. So, rest assured, the event industry will be among the first to adapt its operations to the new post-COVID-19 era that awaits us. And who knows, maybe it can even help the overall economy pull itself out of a rut, although it seems pretty stuck for now. But the event industry will have an honorable role in our recovery as it is the most competent of all to bring humanity back to life after this virtual standstill.

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

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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