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$GOOGL $GOOG intends to use cash primarily to support organic growth. The stock repurchase program has been extended to 8.6Bil more Class-C shares. The primary areas of investment will be machine learning, Cloud, Search and YouTube. In 4Q17, the company forged partnerships with Cisco, Salesforce and SAP for Cloud, G-Suite and Analytics services.
$GOOGL $GOOG said it expects traffic acquisition costs to continue to increase in near term, reflecting the growing strength in mobile search. In 2Q18, products of home gadget division Nest were launched in 12 new countries. During the quarter, Waymo, the fleet of fully-automated self-driving cars, surpassed 4MM miles of driving on public roads.
Search service giant $GOOG $GOOGL incurred a heavy tax-related charge in 4Q17, and slipped into the negative territory. Contrary to expectations, Alphabet reported a loss of $4.35 per share, triggering a sharp fall in the stock price. Strong advertisement revenues lifted the topline by 24%. Other Bets remained in loss, despite a rise in revenues.
$CSCO announced the Cisco Container Platform, a production-grade software container platform. The Cisco Container Platform enables an open, multicloud environment with consistent application deployment and management on multiple deployment platforms, including Cisco HyperFlex and virtual machines, both on premises and in the cloud.
$CSCO unveiled the Cisco Network Assurance Engine, which uses continuous verification of the entire network to enable smooth running of the business. The Cisco DNA Center Assurance helps reduce the time and money spent on troubleshooting. The Cisco Meraki Wireless Health reduces mean time to remediate wireless issues.
$CSCO said Ameritas has selected Cisco computing, networking and security technology as the foundation for upgrading its data centers. The goal of the infrastructure upgrade was to improve operational efficiency and increase IT security. The new technology infrastructure has reduced Capex by 30-40% in switching devices alone.
$IBM said it expects to deliver operating EPS of about $13.80 for 2018. The company also expects free cash flow of about $12Bil, resulting in free cash flow realization of over 100%. Additionally, for 2018, revenue growth is expected at current spot rates.
For FY17, $IBM generated free cash flow of $13Bil, excluding Global Financing receivables. The company also returned $9.8Bil to shareholders through $5.5Bil in dividends and $4.3Bil of gross share repurchases. $IBM ended 4Q17 with $12.6Bil in cash, while debt totaled $46.8Bil, including Global Financing debt of $31.4Bil.
Big Blue $IBM reported its first ever revenue growth in five years, with 4Q17 revenue growth of 3.5% YoY to $22.5Bil, driven by cloud computing business and artificial intelligence investments. However, $IBM reported a net loss of $1.05Bil or $1.14 per share, impacted by a one-time charge of $5.5Bil associated with the enactment of U.S. tax reform.
$SSNC agreed to buy $DST in an all-cash transaction for $84 per share plus assumption of debt, equating to an enterprise value of about $5.4Bil. $SSNC plans to fund the acquisition and refinance existing debt with a combination of debt and equity. Both $SSNC's and $DST's BoD have approved the transaction, and it is expected to close by 3Q18.