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Salesforce and Slack Are Going After Microsoft

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Business software maker Salesforce.com (NASDAQ: CRM) is buying work-chat service Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK) for $27.7 billion in a deal aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). The acquisition announced Tuesday is by far the largest in the 21-year history of the CRM giant.

Fiscal Q3 earnings

Salesforce generated $5.42 billion in revenue, increasing 20% from the year-ago period and resulting in $1.08 billion in net income and earnings per share of $1.15. The figures were stronger than analyst estimates of $0.75 per share on revenues of $5.25 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.

Diversification

Salesforce has been building on its success in recent years to diversify into other fields, largely thanks to its stock whose value multiplied almost seven times over a decade. Slack is part of a series of acquisitions that included its previous largest purchase of data analytics specialist Tableau Software last year that amounted to $15.7 billion. But Microsoft has been threating Salesforce’s main products that aim to assist companies in managing their customer relationships. Salesforce also tried to buy LinkedIn in 2016 before Microsoft snatched the professional social media network for more than $26 billion.

Slack now has a shot against Microsoft Teams

Despite its services being increasingly used by companies and even governments who are looking for safer alternatives to emails, Slack didn’t achieve much since the service was launched to the public in 2014. Moreover, its stock price was around the same level it was when the company went public about a year and a half ago as Microsoft Teams was eating its lunch. But its investors will now be rewarded for their patience. But it’s up to Salesforce to prove with its leadership that this huge investment will help boost the company’s growth.

Guidance

Salesforce expects Q4 fiscal 2021 revenues to come in the range between $5.665 billion and $5.675 billion. This figure equates to growth of approximately 17% compared to the same quarter of the prior fiscal year. The company also anticipates that it will grow around 17% in its undergoing quarter, namely Q1 of its fiscal 2022. As for the full fiscal 2022, Salesforce a growth rate of 21%.

Salesforce has to prove its leadership

Salesforce was one of the first movers when it comes to selling software as a subscription-based service that could be used on any internet-connected device, eliminating the cumbersome installation process that needs to be repeated on each computer. This service has turned into a gold mine for long-time software makers and is an industry standard today. But it was Microsoft who thrived the most with its Office 365 that now also has Teams messaging app that offers pretty much the same function as Slack. In July, Slack even filed a complaint in the European Union accusing Microsoft of illegally bundling Teams into Office 365 in a way that blocks its removal, trapping customers who may want to use Slack’s six-year-old app. Although it is debatable whether the competition can ever be fair in this particular playfield, with this development, Slack and Salesforce at least have better odds by joining forces. Yet, after two anticipated quarters of 17% growth coming up, knowing that the company will accelerate up to 21% growth for the next fiscal year, investors are wondering was that really worth $27.7 billion? Hopefully, there’ll be more to this acquisition than a 4% fiscal year growth.

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

Five IPO Week Ahead

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This week’s schedule consists of five IPOs and one direct listing.

E-commerce

South Korea’s answer to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the giant Coupang (NYSE: CPNG) plans to raise $3.4 billion at a $51.0 billion market cap. A leading player in its market nearly doubled revenue in 2020 and has expanded its margins, but it is unprofitable. Also, significant investments in fulfillment will weigh on cash flow in the near term. Its public debut has been overshadowed by series of injuries and deaths of its workers as eight employees have reportedly died over the past year due to overwork. Although South Korea has strong labor laws for full-time workers, including a maximum 52-hour work week, compulsory one-hour breaks during an eight-hour shift, and mandatory medical insurance for work-related injuries, these laws do not apply to temporary workers without contracts, and unions say there are many loopholes that companies such as Coupang are exploiting. Moreover, Financial Times reported its warehouse workers claim that the workload is much heavier compared to the company’s rivals.

Online gaming

Online gaming platform Roblox (NYSE: RBLX) will be 2021’s first direct listing. With an estimated market value at listing exceeding $29 billion, the company is still unprofitable with strong free cash flow. Its growth has been accelerated by the pandemic, although all of its revenues depend only on 1% of players. The platform for user-generated games is a universe of interconnected worlds created by CEO Dave Baszucki and the late Erik Cassel who played around with physics in a virtual world. They ended up coded a platform where kids and adults could interact in 3D simulated virtual environments that resembles virtual Legos. Some of its games have been played billions of times.

Pool equipment

Pool equipment supplier Hayward Holdings (NYSE: HAYW) plans to raise $725 million at its New York public debut at a $4.4 billion market cap. The company is a global industry-leader with a broad portfolio that holds an estimated 30% share of the North American residential pool market with its largest customer accounting for 30% of its 2020 sales, and its top five customers making 43% of its sales.

Craft

Fabric and crafts retailer JOANN (NASDAQ: JOAN) plans to raise $175 million but Barrons estimates it could raise as much as $186 million. The company operates a nationwide network of 855 sewing, fabrics, and arts and crafts retail stores, leveraged by an online digital platform as it sells fabric, sewing supplies, and paints and brushes, many of which became more needed than ever for mask-making. It is the nation’s leader in sewing as it controls approximately one-third of the market. The company is expected to make its NASDAQ debut on March 11th.

From after-school tutoring to an education group

The largest operator of private high schools in Western China and the third largest operator in China by student enrollment as of December 31, 2019, First High-School Education Group (NYSE: FHS) plans to raise $75 million at a $289 million market cap. Although it was originally established to provide after-school tutoring services, the company now owns 19 schools in its developing network.

Meat steak technology

Israeli tech company that develops cultured meat tech products, MeaTech 3D (NASDAQ: MITC) plans to raise $25 million at a $175 million market cap. This is a technology company focused on developing and out-licensing its proprietary 3D printing technology, biotechnology processes and customizable manufacturing processes to food companies that manufacture proteins without animal slaughter. In the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the company successfully printed meat tissue from stem cells as it delivered a thin, slaughter-free steak, but it has not generated any revenues and this will continue being the case in the near future.

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

Weekly Earnings Preview

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Here are a few spotlights on this week’s earnings front.

Personalized clothing is still trending.

On Monday after market close, Wall Street expects Stitch Fix Inc (NASDAQ: SFIX) to lose 22 cents per share and show revenue of $512.22 million as top line is expected to gain from continued growth in the company’s active client base. Valuation concerns have emerged, but the online clothing personalization specialist is investing heavily to expand the total addressable market and speed up purchase decisions. With a group of 145 data scientists, it is building an algorithmically-driven engine to showcase personalized apparel options so clients don’ need to search and browse to find desired clothing. But what investors want to see revenue growth acceleration and improved profit margins. What Stitch Fix did show is that even in times of a recession, consumers are willing to spend on clothing, as long as they’re given a helping hand which is exactly what its tech-powered team of stylists did.

Leaving the drama on the stage, or more precisely, the screen.

On Wednesday, Wall Street expects AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC) to lose $3.21 per share on revenue of $156.3 million. There has been tons of drama outside the movie theaters, along with comedy and suspense with the Reddit-related noise. In 2020, movie ticket revenues plunged 82% YoY to $2.1 billion but the combination of vaccines and eased social distancing restrictions, AMC’s prospects should improve. Additionally,  AMC’s has enacted several capital raises which has greatly reduced the risk of near-term bankruptcy. Nevertheless, AMC needs to show it has what it takes to stay strong, particularly as streaming giants begin to release movies directly from their platforms.

Oracle is aiming for the clouds.

Also on Wednesday, after market close, Wall Street expects Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) to earn $1.11 per share on revenue of $10.07 billion. The market appears willing to assign multiple expansion to Oracle shares as the company transforms its business into a cloud subscription-based model, something that resembles what Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) did a decade ago. But it remains to be seen if Oracle can compete with Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), Workday Inc (NASDAQ: WDAY) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). The company must demonstrate how it plans to gain a larger share of the market as the cloud market continues to accelerate.

DocuSign needs to show its digital framework is sustainable beyond the pandemic.

On Thursday, Wall Street expects DocuSign Inc (NASDAQ: DOCU) to earn 22 cents per share on revenue of $407.65 million. The selloff in tech stock have seemingly strengthened the pressure on its stock. DocuSign’s success is owed to enabling individuals and businesses to digitize an agreement process which was incredibly handy during the global pandemic as enterprises were forced to operate remotely. However, vaccines have made the market question DocuSign’s ability to sustain its growth rate. The company needs to show it can diversify its revenue stream with other products such as its contract lifecycle management platform which is seen as a strong growth candidate along with outlining its path towards profitability.

Although this might not be a very busy earnings week with five scheduled IPOs, we’re still in for some interesting insights as the world is building a new kind of post-pandemic normalcy.

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

Healthcare Industry- A Diamond In the Rough

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When looking for growth stocks, the healthcare industry probably isn’t the first place you’d think to look. Yet, what we realized last year is that an invisible enemy that weighs less than 1g can not only threaten our lives but actually stop the world – and healthcare ended up being the only superhero that we could turn to. Over the past decade, healthcare companies working behind the scenes have produced market-crushing gains. But US healthcare, which has dealt poorly with the pandemic, is worth almost $4 trillion a year.

Three years ago, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon unveiled a joint initiative to fix the already troubled US healthcare system. But, the Haven venture will dissolve in February. Even the bosses of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-B) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) were no match for this complex industry. The trio had a good plan as this is just the kind of legacy set-up tech should be able to skewer. They wanted to use their combined workforce that exceeds 1 million in a non-profit, tech-driven venture, to show what could be achieved without intermediaries.

But disruption alone cannot finish the job as hiring renowned surgeon Dr Atul Gawande as chief executive, someone better known for writing about healthcare than running a business, suggests the project prioritized talking over doing. Perhaps this is what got us in the trouble with the global pandemic in the first place. Fortunately, vaccine makers such as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) delivered on their promises and we can see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel thanks to their candidates. But, even though three of the world most successful businessmen didn’t succeed, does not mean that massive potential is not there.

Healthcare’s where the money goes

In 2019, U.S. healthcare spending grew to $3.8 trillion, which was 4.6% more than 2018. We can be sure this figure will keep rising because the pandemic has amplified how vulnerable human health is. The beauty of the industry is that health encompasses so many different segments such as clinical services, manufacturing of drugs and medical equipment, and healthcare-related support services, including medical insurance. These companies play a key role in the diagnosis, treatment, nursing, and management of illness, disease, and injury. They are essential for the health of the population which can easily be considered as the most important task on the planet.

Electronic health records still didn’t bring any benefits

Over the past decade, the federal government has spent about $36 billion to ditch paper records and switch to electronic health records. But accessing that data and actually using it to make better decisions for patients is still more challenging than it should be. If you want to know what your doctor looks like when he or she is angry and frustrated, try asking them about their experience with EHR providers.

In a nutshell, the hired providers focused primarily on facilitating complex billing systems that don’t have a lot to do with the main service. In simple words, the software hospitals bought was not made with healthcare in mind and the goal to help physicians make better treatment decisions and therefore it was set for failure from the very beginning. Healthcare is a noble profession that is much more about qualitative than quantitative figures. But, this does not mean it cannot benefit from software, on the contrary. Technology can do a great job in taking control of automated processes away from so doctors and nurses can devote their energy to what no machine can do – restore a patient’s health and save a life. We can take a medicine for a symptom or boost our immune system, but only a human being can find a way to identify what went wrong and make a roadmap to get us on a path to health, sometimes with their own hands. Have no doubt, what medical staff does is nothing short of magic. In order to serve them, the people behind the technology need to be aware of what these magnificent people do before creating the software.

Achieving scale and speed

The healthcare industry spends more than $600 billion per year on administration costs, which makes about 30% of all healthcare costs. Healthcare Business Resources, Inc. is one of the rare companies focused on providing technology solutions to make healthcare organizations more efficient. They are able to provide modern management, marketing, and technology solutions and refresh the antiquated healthcare business model because its officers, directors and advisors have a healthcare background. They are an SEC reporting issuer but not yet publicly traded.  They cumulatively acquired companies with a combined value exceeding  $20 billion who run billion dollar healthcare systems. They plan to grow primarily through strategic acquisitions to benefit from the power of synergy in which one plus one is not only greater than two but can also be greater than 11 – because when the right people come together, magic happens.

Healthcare is the place to be

The last drop that contributed to Haven’s collapse may have been the Amazon-ifying of healthcare as the ecommerce giant has launched online prescription service Amazon Pharmacy and a virtual primary care facility for employees. Even Jeff Bezos knew that if he wants to shake some of the criticism, US healthcare is always a good place to start. If 2020 taught us anything is that without healthcare, the world collapses and so do we. The potential is there, all that it needs is someone who is not afraid of a challenge and who will let action speak for itself.

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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