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Thursday, December 3, 2020
A banner featuring the logo of Palantir Technologies (PLTR) is seen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the day of their initial public offering (IPO) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 30, 2020. Andrew Kelly | Reuters Shares of Palantir slid more than 15% Wednesday after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to underweight from equal weight. The firm said the company is trading at a "significant premium" compared with its peers, with its stock more than doubling since it went public Sept. 30. "With PLTR up 155% since listing with very little change in the fundamental story, the risk/reward paradigm shifts decidedly negative for the shares," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. Co-founded in 2003 by tech investors Peter Thiel and Joe Lonsdale, CEO Alex Karp and others, Palantir provides data analytics software and services to government agencies, including the Defense Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the intelligence community. It also sells to companies like aircraft manufacturer Airbus and energy producer BP. The company last month reported its first earnings announcement since going public. The company said its new contracts in third quarter included a $91 million deal
David Zaslav Olivia Michael | CNBC Discovery is the latest media company to jump into the ever more crowded streaming wars. It will launch its streaming service Discovery+ on Jan. 4, 2021. The service will include a $4.99 per month ad-supported tier and a $6.99 per month ad-free tier. The lower $4.99 tier costs the same as NBCUniversal-owned Peacock's premium tier with ads. The ad-free $6.99 tier is on par with what Disney+ costs. Both offerings are much less expensive than WarnerMedia's HBO Max, which costs $14.99 a month, and Netflix, which raised its standard plan to $13.99 a month in Oct. Discovery is also partnering with Verizon, which will give 55 million customers up to 12 months of the ad-free Discovery+ plan for free, depending on their wireless plan with the carrier. Partnerships will be key to Discovery's success. The company owns networks like the Discovery Channel, famous for its annual Shark Week, as well as home improvement channel HGTV and Food Network, among others. Discovery says Discovery+ will launch with the most content of any new streaming service: 55,000 episodes from 2,500 shows. Discovery+ is
Apple Macbook Air Source: Apple Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo TF International Securities said in a note Wednesday Apple is building two redesigned MacBook Pros set to launch in 2021 and a new "more affordable" MacBook Air due to launch in 2022. Apple's MacBooks are overdue for a redesign. It launched a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in November with the Apple M1 chip, which proved Apple is capable of besting Intel in battery life and performance. But the laptops don't offer much new in terms of hardware design. While Kuo didn't point to a touchscreen, the M1 laptops now support iPad and iPhone apps, opening up the possibility that Apple might one day add a touch screen to its computers. Macs have been selling well during the pandemic, with revenue up 28% year-over-year in Q4, but Apple could use the redesign to really push its M1 chips to more users. Some people might not see much of a reason to upgrade to the first M1 laptops right now, since they look the same as Intel-based models, but a big design change might help Apple
LONDON — The Irish data watchdog is hoping to conclude a legal dispute with Facebook over the transatlantic transfer of data by early 2021, its chief told CNBC Wednesday. The Irish Data Protection Commission sent Facebook a preliminary order to suspend data transfers to the U.S. about its EU users in September. This came after the EU's top court issued a landmark ruling on two key mechanisms for data transfers. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated the so-called Privacy Shield framework, which was the successor to a previous system known as Safe Harbor. Both of those frameworks were scrapped on the back of legal action led by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems. But the ECJ stopped short of suggesting that standard contractual clauses (SCCs) used to move personal data from the EU to the U.S. was illegal. Johanna Geron | Reuters Facebook fired back at the Irish Data Commission, claiming it had opened an investigation into the company and "suggested that SCCs cannot in practice be used for EU-US data transfers." The company suggested it could be forced to withdraw from Europe if
Slack co-founder and CTO Cal Henderson Source: Slack LONDON — Slack co-founder and chief technology officer Cal Henderson said Wednesday that he had his doubts about whether companies could work from home before the coronavirus pandemic.   "I was definitely a remote work, like fully distributed work, skeptic prior to this year," said Henderson, whose platform facilitates working from home, in a virtual interview at the Web Summit technology conference. "I was as surprised as anyone that we were able to be so productive during that shift," he said. "We were already distributed because we have offices around the world, but we weren't fully distributed. Teams in general are co-located. They are in the same office and they can have in person meetings and whiteboarding sessions and all that kind of interaction." The Microsoft Teams rival closed its offices and asked people to work from home at the beginning of March before shelter-in-place measures were introduced in California. "It felt like it was just a short-term thing … we weren't going to be in this for months," he said. "In many ways it felt like it was
Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, speaks at an Economic Club of Washington luncheon in Washington on October 18, 2019. Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images Salesforce's market value topped Oracle's earlier this year, another sign that primacy in software had swapped hands. That was months before Salesforce made its biggest acquisition ever. Salesforce said Tuesday that it's buying chat app Slack for more than $27 billion, marking one of the largest software deals in history and by far the priciest for CEO Marc Benioff. It's Salesforce's third massive purchase in less than three years, following the $15.3 billion deal for Tableau last year and $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft in 2018. It's a path that was previously blazed by Benioff's old boss at Oracle, Larry Ellison. Benioff co-founded Salesforce in 1999 after 13 years at Oracle, where he became the company's youngest-ever vice president. As Benioff was getting Salesforce out of start-up mode in its early years, Ellison was turning Oracle into an M&A machine. Oracle made its biggest purchase in 2004, acquiring human resources software company PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion. The next
Simon Segars, chief executive officer of ARM Holdings Plc, Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images LONDON — Arm Holdings CEO Simon Segars told CNBC that he expects regulators to "take a good look" at the company's deal with U.S. chipmaker Nvidia. Nvidia announced Sep. 13 that it plans to buy the British chip designer from Japan's SoftBank in a $40 billion mega-deal but the acquisition has several hurdles to overcome. "There are regulatory approvals to go through in many jurisdictions around the world," Segars said Tuesday evening. "That is a drawn-out process. There's a lot of interaction that has to go on with the regulators to provide the information that they want." When the deal was announced, Nvidia and Arm said they expected the deal to take 18 months to complete. "We're about two months into that now and we still expect that it's going to take the remaining 16 months to go through the process," said Segars. The Cambridge-headquartered firm has a joint venture called "Arm China" with Chinese private equity firm Hopu Investments. Arm China is headquartered in Shanghai, meaning China's Ministry of Commerce
Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of enterprise cloud computing company Salesforce. Kim Kulish | Corbis News | Getty Images Salesforce is making the biggest acquisition in its 21-year history, announcing on Tuesday that it's buying chat software developer Slack for over $27 billion. Through a combination of cash and stock, Salesforce is purchasing Slack for $26.79 a share and .0776 shares of Salesforce, according to a statement. That comes to about $45.86 a share. Prior to initial reports of a deal last week, which led to a 38% pop in Slack's shares, the stock was trading at under $30. The purchase marks one of the largest ever for the software industry. The biggest was IBM's $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2018, followed by Microsoft's $27 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. Last year, the London Stock Exchange agreed to buy data provider Refinitiv for $27 billion, though the deal has yet to be cleared by European regulators. For Salesforce, the Slack deal is the latest in CEO Marc Benioff's multiyear acquisition spree. The company spent $15.3 billion on data visualization company Tableau in 2019
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy told CNBC in an interview aired Tuesday that he believes the coronavirus pandemic may leave a lasting impact on the future of work, with a growing share of employees doing their jobs remotely.  "I don't think you're going to have people coming back to the office 100% of the time the way that they did before," Jassy told CNBC's Jon Fortt. "I think there's going to be some type of hybrid model and I think it will probably differ depending on your job function." That possibility has changed how Amazon thinks about hiring, Jassy said. Amazon is now less focused on hiring employees from locations where it has "critical mass," and can instead recruit workers from any location, as long as they're able to collaborate with other teams, he said. In a post-pandemic world, employees who can work productively from home will continue to do so, but they'll still make trips to the office when they need to work on some projects, Jassy said. That will most likely cause office buildings to evolve to focus on collaboration and meeting spaces. "My suspicion is that a lot of these office buildings will start to
Antonio Neri, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Anjali Sundaram | CNBC Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the latest tech company to shift its focus away from Silicon Valley, announcing Tuesday that it will relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas. "HPE's largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus," the company said in its fourth quarter earnings release. It's unclear how many employees the move will affect, though the company said no layoffs will be with the move. HPE will keep the San Jose campus, and will consolidate some of its Bay Area sites there, it said. For its fourth quarter, the company reported: Revenue: $7.21 billion vs $6.88 billion expected, according to a consensus estimate from Refinitiv. Earnings: $0.37 per share (adjusted), compared with $0.34 expected, as per Refinitiv. The company also raised guidance for the 2021 fiscal year. Shares were little changed in after hours trading. The coronavirus pandemic has given a number of tech companies and prominent Silicon Valley figures
Salesforce shares moved 4% lower in extended trading on Tuesday after the enterprise software maker reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations. Here's how the company did: Earnings: $1.15 cents per share, adjusted, vs. 75 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue: $5.42 billion, vs. $5.25 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Salesforce also announced its intent to acquire work communication app Slack at an enterprise value of $27.7 billion. Revenue grew 20% in the quarter ended Oct. 31, according to a statement, compared with 29% in the prior quarter. The company's core Sales Cloud product for keeping track of current and potential customers delivered $1.3 billion in revenue, up 12% year over year. Service Cloud, for handling customer service, generated $1.4 billion in revenue, up 21%. Salesforce's Platform and Other category, which includes the Tableau data visualization software Salesforce acquired last year, came up with $1.6 billion, a 24% gain. In the quarter Salesforce became one of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Salesforce announced Work.com for Schools, a tool to help educators with decisions about when to return to classrooms, along with Salesforce Meetings software that
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Beck Diefenbach | Reuters Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed a theoretical question about whether or not Tesla would be game for a merger with one of the incumbent car companies. "I think we're definitely not going to launch a hostile takeover," Musk told Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner on Tuesday during a live event streamed to YouTube. Döpfner pressed Musk if he's consider a friendly takeover. "If somebody said, 'hey, we think it would be a good idea to merge with Tesla,' we'd certainly have that conversation. But we don't want it to be a hostile takeover situation," Musk replied. The scenario was purely theoretical. Tesla currently needs its capital for other things, like its battery plans, mining, and manufacturing advances that it has said will lead to, among other things, lower vehicle prices. In a letter to employees on Tuesday, for example, Musk highlighted the importance of controlling costs. "...in order to make our cars affordable, we have to get smarter about how we spend money," Musk said. "This is a tough Game of Pennies, requiring thousands of good ideas to