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Tech, Media & Telecom Roundup: Market Talk

1 Jun 2018 8:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering Technology, Media and Telecom. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

0744 GMT - Investors aren't fully appreciating the quality of SAP's cloud assets yet, says Jefferies. The research firm initiates its coverage of the stock at buy with a EUR120 price target. The German software maker's cloud business does well on growth compared with peers, but lags in profit margins, Jefferies says. SAP shares therefore have the potential to re-rate as margins improve, Jefferies argues. SAP shares trade 0.9% higher at EUR97.24. (Max.Bernhard@dowjones.com; @mxbernhard)

0532 GMT - As Taiwan smartphone-case maker Catcher is poised to generate 70% of its revenue in 2H after a slow start to 2018, JPMorgan thinks the company should be able to seize 30% market share--and more if competitors fail to deliver--regarding glass backcovers. Shares climbed 2.2% today, putting the year's rise at 8.5%. (john.wu@wsj.com)

0313 GMT - Singapore Telecom is pushing back on the contention from a US cybersecurity firm that a tech mistake opened gates to potential cyberattacks on nearly 1,000 routers. Newsky Security last week pointed out the lapse to Singapore authorities after it says Singtel left a port open after doing some troubleshooting. The firm, which calls the incident "ForgotDoor," was able to access routers on a particular port. Singtel says it took prompt action to fix the issue when alerted and have reviewed processes to prevent similar incidents in future. But it disagrees that the incident would have given "complete access" to potential attackers. Shares are off 2.1% this week, a touch less than Singapore stocks in general. (saurabh.chaturvedi@wsj.com; @journosaurabh)

0212 GMT - NAB's online retail sales index accelerated 1.4% in April, putting year-over-year growth at 18%, with the bank estimating that Australian consumers spent some A$25.8 billion ($19.5 billion) the prior year through web purchases. That's equivalent to 8.2% of spending at traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. The fastest growth seen in April was at department stores, whose online sales jumped 25.5% from a year earlier. (james.glynn@wsj.com; @JamesGlynnWSJ)

0129 GMT - Down 15% from late January's record high, the 2 1/2-year bull run for Taiwan Semi shares is over, says research firm Amareos. But that's doesn't necessarily imply a bear market is at had, with Amereos saying the chip giant's outlook would even be rosier if it continues to show market-share strength on its most-profitable chips. Shares are up 0.7% this morning. (john.wu@wsj.com)

0016 GMT - UBS junks its bullish call on online real-estate classifieds site Domain on signs that new listings are starting to soften. While Domain is in good shape to achieve a forecast A$49 million ($37 million) FY net profit, the investment bank points to a 5.7% fall in listings in Australian capital cities last month. Sure, the sample set was small and Domain had some strong year-earlier numbers to match. "Nevertheless, we remind Sydney and Melbourne are especially important for both Domain and REA." But UBS notes Domain has several levers--yield, depth, transactions, slower cost growth--to cushion the earnings impact from sustained weak listings. Amid the downgrade, UBS' stock target rises 3.1% to A$3.30 following Domain's 5.2% gain last month. Shares are off 1.5% this morning at A$3.20. (david.winning@wsj.com; @dwinningWSJ)

0006 GMT - Melbourne IT's reduced earnings view is, paradoxically, good news to Bell Potter. The software firm had to add to the price tag for InfoReady, which it bought in 2016, because "the acquisition is performing well," the broker notes. Having originally set aside A$2.3 million, it recently paid out A$5.7 million. (david.winning@wsj.com; @dwinningWSJ)

2356 GMT - Credit Suisse calls software developer Gentrack's F2H guidance disappointing but understandable. The firm predicted Ebitda broadly in line with 1H levels even while talking up a strong pipeline of opportunities in all markets. "A more-balanced distribution of earnings is unsurprising given the nature of acquisitions," the investment bank says. Credit Suisse says. Still, implied FY Ebitda falls some 6% short of consensus, and the bank calls that especially disappointing given currency swings have been in Gentrack's favor. Shares slumped 6.7% Wednesday on the guidance, but ticked up 2.2% yesterday and 0.7% so far today. (david.winning@wsj.com; @dwinningWSJ)

2104 GMT - Firms from industrial giants to car makers are competing with each other and traditional technology outfits for people with expertise in high-tech fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. US universities awarded nearly 4,000 doctorates in math and computer sciences in 2016, almost twice as many as in 1996, according to the National Science Foundation. But in narrow subfields such as applied math or statistics, the numbers are meager compared with demand. In 2016, 120 people received Ph.Ds in robotics, a specialty so new that it wasn't tracked until 2010. Employers are handicapped by several factors, recruiters say: Cutting-edge skills are evolving faster than universities can train people, the supply of talented young workers entering these fields isn't satisfying the huge demand for them. Mobility--workers' willingness to uproot their lives for a job in a new place--has also declined. (lauren.weber@wsj.com; @laurenweberWSJ)

2057 GMT - Canadian stocks closed higher on Thursday, led by gains in information technology and metals and mining companies. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at 16,061.50, up 12.84 points, as declines were ahead of advances 896 to 671. Trading volume was about 428.8M shares. The blue-chip S&P/TSX 60 Index rises 1.38 points, to 950.45. (bowdeya.tweh@wsj.com; @BowKnowsBiz)

1949 GMT - Facebook investors came armed with fiery questions at the social-media company's annual meeting Thursday. "If privacy is a human right, than we contend that FB's poor stewardship of user data is tantamount to a human rights violation," a representative of Northstar Asset Management said, pointing to the fact that more than 80 million users had their data compromised by Cambridge Analytica, the political firm that bought Facebook user data and aided the Trump campaign. "Scandal is not good for the company's bottom line," another investor said. Executives responded by reiterating that Facebook is taking a broader view of its responsibilities. (deepa.seetharaman@wsj.com)

1046 GMT - Auto Trader Group is forecast to report higher revenue, adjusted earnings and dividends for fiscal 2018 next week, despite continued weakness in the U.K. new car market, Shore Capital says. The online car-sales portal is expected to grow revenue by 7.6%, adjusted earnings per share by 11% and dividend by 9.6%, according to the brokerage's estimates. "We are positive on Auto Trader's strategy, track record, brand strength, unrivalled reach and the quality and value-add of its dealer and consumer offerings," Shore says, adding that the results will give the opportunity to assess whether a period of weak new-car registrations has hit the used market. (adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2018 04:20 ET (08:20 GMT)

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