Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Google Bill Pay: Wise Move, But Don’t Expect to See Benefits

A Google bill pay service isn't likely to threaten Apple Pay

Re/code recently reported that it had examined a “lengthy document” detailing a new project in the works from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) that will facilitate the receipt and payment of bills directly from within Gmail.

This Google bill pay service will apparently be called Pony Express and is slated to go live in the fourth quarter this year.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

6 Industries Threatened by Driverless Cars

Driverless cars are a win for consumers, but not for these industries

Driverless cars are coming, and there’s nothing anybody can do to stop it. While Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) was first to bring the futuristic concept into mainstream focus in 2010, several other companies have massive amounts of money into research and development to compete with GOOG in the driverless cars arena.

Twisted Nonsense Nissan NASA driverless autonomous self-driving car
Source: Nissan
Alongside GOOG, Audi (OTCMKTS:AUDVF) and Daimler AG’s (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) Mercedes-Benz appear to be the frontrunners in the industry. But traditional auto manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM), Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VLKAY), and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) are not far behind.

Additionally, relative newcomer and electric-car goliath Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that its vehicles will begin self-driving on major highways as early as this summer. In January, Japanese auto giant Nissan Motor Co Ltd (OTCMKTS:NSANY) announced a five-year partnership with NASA to further R&D of driverless cars in an attempt to prepare for the industry’s impact on commercial uses.

Technology behemoth Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most recent powerhouse to join the race, launching a secret research project last month.

With this many billion-dollar companies dedicating resources to develop autonomous vehicles, there’s no doubt that driverless cars are in our future. The question is — how will this advancement affect industries and publicly traded companies?

We’ll look at six industries that face a threat from driverless cars.

Red Hat: RHT Stock Looks Even Better After a Solid Q4

Thursday's gains aren't a reason to hold back -- they're a taste of more to come

After yesterday’s market close, open source computer software provider Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) released fourth-quarter earnings data for fiscal year 2015. RHT reported solid figures for the quarter, beating analyst expectations as well as management’s guidance.

Red Hat is up solidly today, but if you’re not yet in RHT stock, don’t worry.

The party is far from over.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Facebook News Feed Is About to Get Real (FB)

Will media companies turn over control of their news feeds?

Facebook news feed real fbEarlier this week, The New York Times reported that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been hosting negotiations with some big names in the news industry such as National Geographic, BuzzFeed, and of course, the Times itself. Discussions have focused on the social media giant’s desire to host publishers’ content directly on the FB website.

For consumers — and, obviously, for Facebook — the idea seems attractive.

By hosting news media content directly, FB users won’t have to leave the site to read articles or watch video clips. This would reduce the time it takes for users to remain informed about current events, and make sharing new stories that much easier.

But, is it really all that difficult to get the news the way you do now? How long does it actually take to click a link to a news website and read the article there, then return to the FB site?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Facebook Messenger Payments Can’t Compete

Facebook Messenger payments system lacks significant capabilities

Facebook Messenger Payments
Yesterday, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced that the long-awaited money-transfer capabilities for Messenger are finally being rolled out. Described as “a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends,” the Facebook payments system will become available on desktop, Android, and iOS over the next several months.

The Messenger payments feature requires users to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card — credit cards apparently can’t be used with the service — issued by a U.S. bank.

Transactions will be handled exclusively by Facebook, and all data will be passed through FB’s multi-layered hardware and software security channels.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Avago Stock Is Worth the Risk

Stiff competition and troubling lawsuits aren’t likely to slow Avago stock's upward momentum

Avago Technologies AVGO stock
Avago Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) was recently hailed as the fastest-growing company in the Standard & Poor’s 500. A look at its stock performance confirms it’s doing a lot right. The Singapore-based chipmaker is currently trading around $125 per share, up more than 99% over the past year and an amazing 536% over the past five years.

Last year, Avago increased revenue more than 96% to $5 billion. The consensus on Wall Street is that AVGO will grow revenue another 60% in 2015 to reach $6.8 billion.

Monday, March 16, 2015

ADBE: Expect More of the Same From the Adobe Earnings Report

Adobe stock will continue to perform well, thanks to new partnerships between ADBE and other cloud service providers.

Adobe Systems ADBE
Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE) is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings for fiscal 2015 after the bell on March 17. And while investors shouldn’t necessarily expect Adobe earnings to send Wall Street into a euphoric frenzy, ADBE is making enough right moves that it should meet or slightly beat expectations.

And more importantly, ADBE should continue its steady uphill climb — currently at 90% gains over the past two years.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Will AAPL Save INTC’s Struggling Mobile Division?

Intel continues to lose money with its mobile division

Earlier this week, VentureBeat reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has chosen to install LTE modem chips from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) in the new iPhone beginning next year. From the initial launch of the first iPhone in 2007 through 2010, AAPL sourced its smartphone modem chips from Infineon.

However, when INTC acquired Infineon in 2010, Apple management severed the relationship and turned to Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM).

The apparently uneasy relationship between AAPL and QCOM led to the new arrangement with INTC. At one time drastically behind in the mobile chipset race, Intel has poured countless millions into research and development in an attempt to remain a respectable presence in the mobile device arena.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Will PlayStation 4 Sales in China Help Sony Stock?

The PlayStation 4 will finally be available in China starting March 20

Earlier this week, Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE) finally announced a firm date for the start of PlayStation 4 sales in mainland China.

Originally, Sony planned to release the game console in early January, but the Chinese government — notoriously known for its formidable censorship — apparently insisted that SNE modify consoles sold in the country to prevent access to prohibited content.

After lengthy negotiations, SNE has finally satisfied government regulators and set an initial launch date of March 20. This represents a major win not only for Chinese gaming enthusiasts, but Sony stock investors as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why YELP Stock is Overvalued

Yelp shares have fallen 50% in the past year, but the stock is still significantly overvalued

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) is one of the most embattled tech companies of the past few years. This is due mainly to the overwhelming number of complaints about the local business review site.

Nonetheless, for two years after its March 2012 initial public offering, YELP stock could do no wrong. It climbed almost 550% to an all-time high of $97.25 by early March 2014. Today, however, shares trade around $45, more than 50% below the level of one year ago.

Yelp released its fourth-quarter 2014 results last month. Despite year-over-year revenue growth of 56% and EBITDA (earnings before appreciation, taxes, depreciation and amortization) growth of 141%, YELP stock tanked more than 21.5% after the announcement.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Why PayPal Will Thrive as an Independent Company

PayPal will reward investors as the e-commerce giant forms new partnerships

Last month, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) and PayPal Inc. formally began the process of separating themselves into two independent publicly traded companies with the submission of Form 10 to the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the documents, eBay and PayPal will finalize the split in the later half of the year.

How will this affect current and prospective investors of PayPal?

PayPal has been part of eBay since mid-2002 when eBay purchased the online payments disruptor from Elon Musk for $1.5 billion. According to a Feb. 25 blog post from eBay, the separation “will provide strategic flexibility to set up each stand-alone company for success while preserving the synergies between the two companies.”

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Vivint Solar Earnings Preview (VSLR): Expect Few Bright Spots

Expect losses and shrinking revenue from VLSR's Q4

Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE:VSLR) will release its fourth-quarter earnings on March 4, when analysts are expecting VSLR to report a decrease in revenue and a loss on earnings.

VSLR is a newly public residential solar energy systems provider. Shares first became available on Oct. 4 at an opening price of $16, but immediately began falling. Within two weeks, VSLR stock traded for just above $10, and within two months prices were below $8.50 per share, where they currently sit now.

Will the Vivint Solar earnings do anything to reverse that slide? Don’t count on it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

AMBA Earnings Preview: GoPro Worries Won’t Weigh on Ambarella

Analysts are anticipating scorching-hot earnings growth from AMBA

Ambarella AMBA
Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA) is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter earnings for fiscal 2015 after the bell on Tuesday, March 3. Expectations are high, and word on the Street is that the video chipmaker will report an impressive EPS increase approaching 90% year-over-year. Further, analysts expect revenue to be up almost 50%.

The consensus on Wall Street is comfortably within AMBA’s Q4 guidance (quarterly revenue of $57 million-$60 million). Management guided for $15 million-$17 million of non-GAAP net income and adjusted gross margins of 62%-64%.

It’s also entirely possible that AMBA could release fourth-quarter figures that beat expectations, as the company has posted positive earnings and revenue surprises for the past seven quarters in a row.