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(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is offering Seattle-based employees a choice of smaller offices outside the city, suggesting the Covid-19 outbreak and a new local employers tax have pushed the e-commerce giant to consider alternatives to its hometown.In a message to employees Thursday, Amazon asked which communities near Seattle -- including Tacoma and Redmond, Washington -- they’d prefer. The title on the message, which was shared on Reddit and later deleted, was “office workplace options.” Amazon declined to comment on the matter.Amazon, which reported a total global workforce of almost 877,000 as of June 30, has been expanding beyond Seattle for years. It is building a second major office center in suburban Virginia near the nation’s capital and has satellite locations in cities including New York, Austin and Los Angeles.The company has threatened to focus employment growth outside Seattle due to a rocky relationship with city officials and new taxes imposed on big employers. The message suggests Amazon could significantly shrink its presence in its hometown, where it employs about 50,000 people in a mixture of offices it owns and leases. In 2019, it announced it would relocate its worldwide operations division, which oversees Amazon’s shipping and logistics, to nearby Bellevue where it currently employs 3,000 people.Even before the pandemic, Amazon considered building more satellite offices outside the city, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company plans to expand its Bellevue offices, which it has had since 2017. Such locations are seen as an amenity for employees tired of commuting to Seattle and as a way to reduce the company’s exposure to the city’s taxes targeting big employers, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.Two years ago, Amazon helped defeat an effort in Seattle to raise money for homeless services and affordable housing by levying a per-employee tax on large businesses. The “head tax” would have raised about $47 million a year.The political climate has since shifted against the company after Amazon’s big spending on a Seattle City Council election backfired last year. In July, the council passed a new levy that will tax large businesses on employees who make at least $150,000 per year. The tax is expected to raise more than $200 million annually and cost Amazon even more than the earlier proposal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Oil prices advanced on Friday and were heading for a second week of gains amid growing confidence that demand for fuel is starting to pick up despite the coronavirus pandemic that has slammed economies worldwide. West Texas Intermediate had gained 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $42.36. "The situation has improved some, but the market dynamics are still less than stellar," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities, adding "the market is oversupplied".
2020 is turning out to be a tale of two halves for Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO).The vaccine maker's valuation increased 10-fold between January and early July, backed by vigorous coronavirus tailwinds. As one of several companies taking the fight to COVID-19, investors cheered the early development of its COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800.However, sentiment has soured recently, as analysts and investors have questioned whether Inovio’s offering can go the distance against its weightier rivals. Over the past month, the share price has declined by 30%.As a company with no product to sell (Inovio’s candidates are all still in development), investors’ focus was squarely on its programs’ progress, specifically INO-4800. Although the company expanded somewhat on the previously published data from INO-4800’s Phase 1 study (38 out of 38 patients in the study achieved overall immunological responses, compared to 34 out of 36 patients in the first June update), the presentation once again failed to impress, leaving more questions unanswered.Additionally, the Phase 2/3 clinical study, which was initially expected to kick off this summer, has now been pushed back to September, leaving Inovio’s COVID-19 vaccine program with even more catching up to do. The latest developments have done nothing to alter H.C. Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju’s thesis. The 5-star analyst stays on the sidelines with a Neutral rating and said, “We currently do not have a price target for INO shares due to market valuation and volatility. Our prior 12-month $17 price target was derived from an estimated market value of the firm at $2.44 billion, which includes a discounted cash flow based asset value of $2.54 billion for VGX-3100 (Inovio’s candidate for the treatment of HPV-related cervical pre-cancer with Phase 3 trial data expected in Q4) and INO-4800, with 80% and 30% probabilities of approval.” (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)Selvaraju’s take gets the rest of the Street’s backing. Based on 2 Buys, 5 Holds and 1 Sell, Inovio has a Hold consensus rating. However, following the recent pullback, according to the $15.60 average price target, the analysts expect an 8% premium to be added over the next 12 months. (See Inovio stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
(Bloomberg) -- Applied Materials Inc. gave a bullish forecast for the current period on increasing orders for equipment used by makers of computer chips.The Santa Clara, California-based company is the largest maker of machinery used to manufacture chips, the most important parts of the electronics supply chain. Its customers include Samsung Electronics Co., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Intel Corp. Chip equipment takes months to make and even longer to install and test in production lines that cost billions of dollars, which makes Applied Materials’ results and forecasts important early indicators of future demand in the electronics industry.Key InsightsRevenue in the fiscal fourth quarter will be about $4.6 billion, the company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts, on average, estimated $4.36 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Profit, on an adjusted basis, will be $1.11 to $1.23 per share in the three-month period ending in October, Applied Materials said. That compares with an average estimate of $1.02.Fiscal third-quarter net income was $841 million, or 91 cents a share, compared with $571 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier, the company said. Revenue gained 23% to $4.4 billion in the period ended July 26. Analysts were looking for $4.18 billion.Adjusted profit was $1.06 a share in the quarter compared with analysts’ average estimate of 95 cents.Executive CommentsThe company is projecting spending on chip-making equipment will rise this year and that growth will continue next year.“Semiconductor equipment demand is strengthening,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Dickerson said on a conference call with analysts. “Based on what we’re hearing from our customers we believe growth will be sustained in 2021.”Applied Materials is operating at pre-Covid levels of productivity, he said.The company can raise its profitability to previous historical highs over time, Chief Financial Officer Dan Durn, told analysts.Stock ReactionShares gained about 3.3% in extended trading. The stock closed at $65.07 in New York, leaving it up 6.6% this year.More InformationFor more details, click here.To see the statement, click here.(Updates executive comment section, share price move)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the contenders aren’t about to cross the finish line just yet. As the deadly virus resurfaces in several countries, the world is anxiously waiting to see which name will be the first to bring the coveted solution to market. Already underway for months now, it’s still anyone’s game in this battle of the ages.Who is emerging as a likely winner? If you ask 5-star analyst Vernon Bernardino, of H.C. Wainwright, of the 165-plus vaccine candidates (38 in clinical-stage testing) in development, Vaxart’s (VXRT) chances are looking pretty good.Based on the company’s Q2 2020 corporate update, it has reached multiple milestones that position it at the front of the pack. That being said, the analyst cites one accomplishment in particular as deserving of a major shoutout.Bernardino believes its selection to take part in a non-human primate (NHP) challenge study organized and funded by Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is the most “notable” of these milestones. Highlighting the candidate’s “broad potential” in the battle against the virus, the analyst argues the Street might just be underestimating the role it could play.Expounding on this, the H.C. Wainwright analyst stated, “...our positive view of Vaxart’s oral COVID-19 vaccine program advancing was bolstered by its selection for OWS participation, as this, in our opinion, represents recognition by BARDA that oral vaccines tested by Vaxart for other infectious diseases, such as influenza, norovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), point to an oral vaccine as a potentially important approach to vaccinating what is likely to be more than 100 million people in the U.S., and perhaps billions of people globally, most of which have no existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2.”The implications of the OWS selection go even further. NHPs are a rare resource for conducting preclinical studies, with only seven primate research centers able to perform NHP studies. In addition, the number of subjects is limited and the waiting lists are long.Given that the task of conducting the NHP challenge study has been assigned to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), it’s unclear what the timeline for completion and release of results will be.Nonetheless, Bernardino remains confident in VXRT’s prospects. “...in line with the pace of progression of competitor COVID-19 vaccine candidates, we expect the NHP study with Vaxart’s vaccine to be given high priority and be conducted quickly. We look for results in late Q3 2020 to be a positive catalyst,” he explained.Accordingly, Bernardino keeps a Buy rating on the stock. The positive assessment also warrants a substantial increase to the price target, which moves from $7 to $17. This target suggests shares could jump 87% in the year ahead. (To watch Bernardino’s track record, click here)VXRT has kept a relatively low profile, as only one other analyst has thrown an opinion into the mix. The additional bullish call means that the stock gets a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $19.50, the average price target is more aggressive than Bernardino’s and implies 114.5% upside potential. (See Vaxart stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model Y brought huge manufacturing improvements over the company's last mass-market car, the Model 3. Although they share 70% of the parts, the Model Y was made with a two-piece rear body, much less than the Model 3's over 70 pieces for the same area of the car.Now, it seems the rear casting machine will be operational soon. "Biggest casting machine ever made," Musk said in a tweet. This will make the construction of the car faster and more efficient while using fewer parts, costing less, and at the same time reducing the weight of the vehicle thus increasing efficiency.> Will be amazing to see it in operation! Biggest casting machine ever made. Will make rear body in a single piece, including crash rails.> > -- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 13, 2020Benzinga's Take: Tesla is also expected to use a large press for Model Y produced in Gigafactory Shanghai and Gigafactory Berlin. This will allow the company to produce many more Model Y vehicles for mass sales. The improvements made here are also expected to be brought to the Model 3, but a timeline for those improvements is unknown.Estimated Model Y delivery on Tesla's website is 3-7 weeks, which brings next available U.S. deliveries pretty close in line with Tesla's Investor and Battery day on Sept. 22.See more from Benzinga * Chinese Battery Supplier CATL Looks To Increase EV Range * Tesla's Website Shows Mass Hiring For New Texas Gigafactory(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy bought some bitcoin Thursday with the help of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.The post Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy buys bitcoin after Winklevoss pitch appeared first on The Block.
(Bloomberg) -- Iqiyi Inc., a Chinese Netflix-style streaming service that’s backed by Baidu Inc., tumbled as much as 19% after disclosing that the company is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.Iqiyi said on Thursday that it’s cooperating with the probe, which is seeking financial and operating records dating from January 2018. Investigators are also seeking documents about acquisitions and investments that were cited by short seller Wolfpack Research in a report in April, the company said. Iqiyi has hired advisers to conduct an internal review.“These professional advisers have been examining the company’s books and records and undertaking testing procedures that, in their judgment, are necessary and appropriate to evaluating the key allegations in the Wolfpack Report,” Beijing-based Iqiyi said in a statement, which accompanied its second-quarter results. The review will include “accounting policy analysis, data analytics on whether the company manufactured orders and inflated revenues and/or expenses.”The SEC probe is the latest example of U.S. scrutiny of Chinese tech firms. The Trump administration has sought to crack down on TikTok and WeChat, two popular China-based apps.Iqiyi’s U.S.-traded shares fell as low as $17.50 in late trading. The stock had been up 2.7% this year through Thursday’s close.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The iPhone maker will bundle CBS All Access and Showtime content for $9.99 per month. Separately, CBS All Access costs $9.99 and Showtime $10.99 per month on Apple TV+. The bundle is the first of its kind on Apple TV+, which debuted in November with shows such as "Oprah's Book Club" and Jennifer Aniston's "The Morning Show".
Which stocks are leading the pack out on Wall Street? Biotechs. Understandably, investors have taken a more cautious approach when navigating the confused financial environment, but focus is locking in on the healthcare sector as it has been able to withstand the COVID-19-induced pressure on the market. The space’s resilience combined with a limited impact on Q1 fundamentals and the elimination of macro headwinds regarding drug legislation, has caused sentiment surrounding 2H20 performance to swing strongly positive.While there certainly are exciting opportunities at play, biotech stocks aren’t for the faint of heart. Seasoned market watchers know that they are notoriously volatile, prone to huge movements on account of a single update. This makes them riskier investments, but it also enables them to deliver massive returns. As a result, it can be hard to gauge which biotech names are primed for explosive growth. Not to worry, there are strategies that can help make this process a little easier like taking a cue from the analysts.With this in mind, we turned to investment firm Wedbush to get some investing inspiration. Using TipRanks database, we got a closer look at three of the firm's Buy-rated picks, which happen to trade for less than $10 per share. The cherry on top? The firm's analysts believe that each of the tickers could see their share prices take flight over the next months. Five Prime Therapeutics (FPRX)Developing protein therapeutics designed to address the needs of patients, Five Prime Therapeutics hopes to be able to provide innovative new treatment options. Ahead of potential near-term inflection points, shares are changing hands for $4.65 apiece, reflecting an attractive entry point, according to Wedbush.Pointing to the upcoming clinical data readouts for FPT155 and bemarituzumab, firm analyst Robert Driscoll believes these events are “important value drivers for the company.” Phase 1 monotherapy data for FPT155 in advanced solid tumors, which will include a first look at efficacy, could come by YE:20. As for bemarituzumab, data from the Phase 2 FIGHT study evaluating the therapy in combination with mFOLFOX6 in frontline Gastric/ GEJ cancer is slated to readout by YE:20 or early 2021. Management is expecting the FIGHT study to yield enough PFS and OS events to meet this timeline.“Given these upcoming readouts, we see a favorable risk/reward profile for shares, particularly given management’s recent substantial strategic clinical development adjustments and corporate restructuring,” Driscoll commented.Looking more closely at FPT155, the Wedbush analyst noted, “We see a lot of value in FPT155’s dual mechanism of action which includes CTLA-4 antagonism and CD28 agonism. We are excited about this mechanism for two reasons – first, CTLA-4 is a clinically validated target that has demonstrated monotherapy and clear combination activity with anti-PD-(L)1s, and second, it has been shown preclinically that CD28 co-stimulation contributes critically to the efficacy of anti-PD1 therapy.”To this end, Driscoll rates FPRX an Outperform (i.e. Buy) along with a $9 price target. Should his thesis play out, a potential upside of 94% could be in the cards. (To watch Driscoll’s track record, click here) FPRX has kept a relatively low profile, as only one other analyst has thrown an opinion into the mix in the past 3 months. The additional Buy rating means that the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $9, the average price target is identical to Driscoll’s. (See FPRX stock analysis on TipRanks)Aravive Inc. (ARAV)Focusing on the targeting signaling pathways that drive the activation, migration and invasion of abnormal cells into healthy tissues, Aravive develops treatments designed to stop life-threatening diseases like cancer and fibrosis in their tracks. Based on its recent clinical results and $5.83 share price, the stock looks “undervalued” to Wedbush.Writing for the firm, 5-star analyst David Nierengarten tells clients that the recent results for AVB-500 in ovarian cancer are encouraging. In the Phase 1b/2 study, the candidate in combination with paclitaxel (PAC) produced overall response rates of 35%, with 3 out of 5 responses in patients dosed in the 15 mg/kg cohort. Additionally, progression free survival (PFS) in patients dosed with the AVB-500 plus paclitaxel combination was 7.4 months. It should be noted that prior Avastin (bevacizumab) treatment in AVB-500 and PAC patients could lead to worse outcomes (6/10 ORR without prior bevacizumab vs. 2/13 ORR with prior bevacizumab). “Given these Avastin outcomes, it would be interesting to determine if AVB-500 has additional activity in combination, before the patients are Avastin-experienced. We expect the company to explore these and other combinations to move AVB-500 into earlier lines of therapy,” Nierengarten commented. Given other positive trends demonstrating improvements at higher doses and in patients with high sAXL/GAS6 ratios, Nierengarten argues “there is additional evidence that AVB-500 combination therapy could be efficacious in ovarian cancer patients.” He also points out that ARAV wants to design an adaptive study using biomarkers to support eventual approval.With the significant unmet need in the space, Nierengarten believes it's very likely that the trial will ultimately come to fruition. He added, “With an adaptive design, we could see an interim look at the pivotal study data in 2021.” If that wasn’t enough, Nierengarten highlights the fact that “ARAV is planning to begin its Phase 1b/2 study in clear cell renal carcinoma (ccRCC) in 2H20 and potentially look at combinations in earlier lines of ovarian cancer in 2021.”All of this prompted Nierengarten to state, “At just under $4 per share in cash, and ~$35 million enterprise value, with a soon-to-be registration-enabling study in ovarian cancer patients, we view the risk/reward as favorable.”In line with his optimistic take, Nierengarten rates ARAV an Outperform (i.e. Buy), along with a $24 price target. This figure implies upside potential of a massive 320%. (To watch Nierengarten’s track record, click here)Overall, based on all the above factors, Wall Street analysts are thoroughly impressed with ARAV. It boasts 100% Street support, or 4 Buy ratings in the last three months, making the consensus a Strong Buy. If this wasn’t enough, the $27.75 average price target implies that shares could surge 391% in the next twelve months.(See Aravive stock analysts on TipRanks)Magenta Therapeutics Inc. (MGTA)Through its research efforts, Magenta Therapeutics wants to create a world in which patients’ immune systems can be reset via stem cell transplant to cure autoimmune diseases, blood cancers and genetic diseases. With more clarity on its clinical programs set to come in the second half of the year, its $7.28 share price presents investors with an opportunity to get in on the action, if you ask Wedbush.Analyst David Nierengarten, who also covers ARAV, is looking forward to data from the first subjects in MGTA-145's Phase 2 stem cell mobilization studies in H2:20, with the results expected to be readout shortly after enrollment wraps up. On top of this, the company has partnered with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match organization to conduct a Phase 2 study to advance the therapy’s development.Reflecting another positive, Nierengarten commented, “MGTA is currently advancing their anti-CD-117 amanitin-based ADC for non-genotoxic, selective stem cell ablation in IND-enabling studies and expects to enter the clinic soon and have data next year. We look forward to early data, which should also be rapidly obtained once the company enters the clinic.”It should also be noted that the company is working with AVROBIO and Beam Therapeutics, with MGTA potentially applying its technology to their gene therapy and gene editing programs. Nierengarten added, “The company is also advancing their CD45-ADC lead candidate through IND-enabling studies program for eventual use immune reset via killing disease-causing aberrant T-cells.”To sum it all up, the Wedbush analyst stated, “Overall, 2021 should have several data releases from clinical studies that will be predictive of future success, given the nature of MGTA's programs.”Everything that MGTA has going for it convinced Nierengarten to stay with the bulls. As a result, he rates MGTA an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, along with a $22 price target. This target conveys his confidence in MGTA’s ability to climb 202% higher in the next twelve months.Other analysts don’t beg to differ. Out of 3 total reviews published in the last three months, all 3 analysts rated the stock a Buy. Therefore, MGTA is a Strong Buy. The $17.33 average price target implies shares could appreciate by 138% in the coming year. (See Magenta stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) shares are trading lower on Thursday after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.A report also mentioned that DRAM and NAND flash currently has an oversupply until the first half of 2021, according to the president of Apacer Technology.Finally, Micron CFO David Zinsner said today at KeyBanc's the Future of Technology virtual conference that the company there is some near-term uncertainty surrounding the company's revenue forecast over the next few quarters due to the pandemic.Micron Technology historically focused on providing DRAM for PCs and servers. The firm then expanded into the NAND flash memory market. It increased its DRAM scale with the purchase of Elpida (completed in mid-2013) and Inotera (completed in December 2016).Micron Technology shares were trading down 4.74% at $46.18 on Thursday at the time of publication. The stock has a 52-week high of $61.19 and a 52-week low of $31.13.Latest Ratings for MU DateFirmActionFromTo Aug 2020Deutsche BankDowngradesBuyHold Jun 2020RBC CapitalMaintainsOutperform Jun 2020MizuhoMaintainsBuy View More Analyst Ratings for MU View the Latest Analyst RatingsSee more from Benzinga * Micron Trades Higher On Q3 Beat(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Aug.13 -- Airlines are “in a very, very critical situation right now,” said JetBlue Airway's Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes. He says the industry needs more federal help. He spoke to Bloomberg's Guy Johnson.
A stock split doesn't change a company's fundamentals in theory, but the move will attract retail investors who were otherwise limited to low-dollar stocks, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday on his "Mad Money" show.New 'Cohort Of Investors': Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk got it right when they announced their respective stock splits, Cramer said.The stock "price tag matters" with the young generation, and companies need the young demographic investor group to be counted as shareholders, the CNBC host said. "We know what happens after the split," he said. "This new cohort of investors, the ones who love low-dollar amount stocks, will start buying and holding these best-of-breed names rather than the darned penny stocks."Mega-cap companies are "ignoring" the small investor, and Cramer said doing so is a mistake. After all, retail investors are often "more stable shareholders" compared to hedge funds that are known for offering "no loyalty," he said. 10 Stocks To Split: Cramer's list of 10 stocks that should be split to attract a broader investor base includes: * E-commerce and retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). * Google and YouTube parent company Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) * Casual fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) * Streaming video company Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) * Chipmaker Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) * Fast-growing cloud play Adobe Inc (NASDAQ: ADBE) * Wholesaler Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) * Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) * Social media giant Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) * Tech giant and cloud company Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)Related Links:Apple Shares Breach 0 After Tech Giant Announces Record Quarter, Stock SplitMusk Always Cared About 'The Little Guy' And Tesla Stock Split Shows That: WSJ's HigginsSee more from Benzinga * Musk Always Cared About 'The Little Guy' And Tesla Stock Split Shows That: WSJ's Higgins * Why These 2 Traders Are Pumping The Brakes On Ford's Stock * 2 Trading Pros Make The Case For Nikola, Nio Over Tesla In EV Stock Race(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.