|Bid||315.04 x 800|
|Ask||314.89 x 900|
|Day's range||313.09 - 318.71|
|52-week range||170.27 - 327.85|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.17|
|PE ratio (TTM)||24.71|
|Earnings date||28 Jul 2020 - 03 Aug 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||3.28 (1.04%)|
|Ex-dividend date||08 May 2020|
|1y target est||308.91|
If you want to learn about what it takes to succeed as a retailer, there's no better company to study than Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST). Costco is also beloved by bargain shoppers for its low prices. The profits Costco makes from selling membership plans allow it to sell its wares only slightly above cost.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Jonathan Taffer, a long-time show business and nightclub impresario, has a grim message on this week's Masters in Business: A lot of bars and restaurants aren't going to make it through the coronavirus shutdown and long recovery.Taffer learned the ropes at the Troubadour, a legendary New York entertainment venue that booked acts such as Lenny Bruce, the Eagles, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Red Hot Chili Peppers and James Taylor.After seeing "Kitchen Nightmares," a reality TV show in which celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey tries to bail out troubled restaurants, Taffer pitched a nightclub-bar version. "Bar Rescue," with Taffer as host, now is in its seventh season and just aired its 200th episode.His prior foray into television was creating "NFL Sunday Ticket," predecessor to "NFL Red Zone."Taffer discusses the state of bars and restaurants under quarantine today, and he has some suggestions for what needs to be done to ensure more of them can survive. He estimates as many as 40% of all U.S. bars and restaurants will never reopen or will fail. He proposes that the federal government extend lines of credit to these businesses so they can ramp up inventory and hiring so they can re-open. He mentions purchasing Shift4 Cares gift cards as a tool to steer money to your favorite local bar or restaurant.His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Be sure to check out our next Masters in Business with Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball," "The Big Short" and many others. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- GoPro Inc.’s chief hardware designer Danny Coster left the camera maker earlier this year after joining from Apple Inc.’s design team four years ago.“After nearly four years at GoPro where Danny was instrumental in transforming our design function, Danny decided to take his career expertise and family back to his native New Zealand to begin a new chapter of his life,” a spokesman for San Mateo, California-based GoPro told Bloomberg News. Coster’s last day at the company was in February, the spokesman added.In April, GoPro cut more than 20% of its workforce, shifted its sales strategy away from physical retail to direct-to-consumer, and cut its 2020 financial guidance due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, action camera hardware is key to GoPro’s future, and the departure of Coster means the loss of an influential product and design leader.Read more: GoPro Cuts More Than 20% of Workforce, Changes Sales StrategyCoster joined GoPro in 2016 as vice president of design, and his departure from Apple’s famed industrial design team was one of the first for the Cupertino, California-based technology giant. After he moved, several other veteran team members left, including longtime leader Jony Ive.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.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. said it will reopen about 100 more retail stores in the U.S. this week, with more than half offering curbside pick-up service only.“This week we’ll return to serving customers in many U.S. locations,” Apple said Tuesday in a statement. “For customer safety and convenience, most stores will offer curbside or storefront service only, where we provide online order pick-up and Genius Bar appointments.”The move adds to about 30 U.S. store reopenings from earlier this month. The company has about 270 retail locations in the U.S.The company said the new openings will happen across Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Missouri, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia and Utah.Stores that let customers inside require temperature checks, social distancing and masks, Apple has said.The company has already reopened locations across Australia, Canada, Austria, Germany, South Korea, Italy and Switzerland, and plans to start opening stores in Japan and Sweden this week.(Adds more context on number of stores in third paragraph.)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.
Dividend stocks are a great option for a retirement account since you're earning income simply for holding shares. The coronavirus pandemic caused many companies to cut or cancel dividends. While other businesses saw substantial revenue declines from the current economic slowdown, there were at least three that delivered revenue and dividend increases in these tough economic times.
(Bloomberg) -- DefinedCrowd, an Amazon.com Inc.-backed startup that provides data sets to train artificially intelligent speech programs, is setting its sights on a public listing in the next five years as voice interactions between humans and machines become more common.The Seattle-based company raised $50.5 million in a recent funding round led by existing investors, paving the way for an initial public offering within the next five years, Chief Executive Officer Daniela Braga said in an interview. The company declined to comment on its valuation.“It’s the road to an IPO,” Braga said, adding her company’s ambition is to support the development of AI so that people eventually will “communicate with machines the same way we do with humans.”Founded by Braga in 2015, DefinedCrowd curates voice and text data for clients including BMW AG and Mastercard Inc. to train virtual assistants and customer-service chatbots. The company designs the sets to be diverse and balanced, representing certain dialects or age ranges for audiences most likely to use the systems. Revenue grew 656% last year and is expected to triple this year, Braga said.Once the pandemic subsides, Braga said she expects businesses from a range of industries – including telehealth and education – to build AI personal assistants to better serve customers, something that might require more specific data that incorporates an industry’s vocabulary.Amazon, Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have come under fire over revelations they used recordings of customers’ interactions with virtual assistants to train their AI systems. A former contractor working on Apple’s Siri transcription project in Ireland last week complained to European privacy authorities over the “massive violation of the privacy of millions of citizens.” The companies said they’ve made changes to provide users with more control over their data.By contrast, DefinedCrowd uses a crowdsourcing platform, Neevo, to generate data from a paid community of more than 290,000 members in 70 countries. Crowd members are asked to complete tasks like recording their voices or transcribing and annotating recordings rather than pulling data from customers who are using voice AI products.Braga said the newly raised funds will help the company expand its products and nearly double the number of employees in 2020. The company current employs around 268 people. Existing investors that participated in the funding round include Evolution Equity Partners, Kibo Ventures, Portugal Ventures, Bynd Venture Capital, EDP Ventures, and Ironfire Ventures as well as new investors Semapa Next and Hermes GPE.Amazon and Sony Corp., which is also an existing investor, didn’t increase their stakes in the latest round, Braga said, adding it was a strategic move not to increase the involvement of other companies as DefinedCrowd moves toward an IPO.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.
(Bloomberg) -- Arm Ltd., whose technology is a key component of chips that run most of the world’s smartphones, is offering new designs aimed at boosting the performance of Android handsets.The U.K. company said its new A78 model will offer a 20% increase in performance over its predecessor and announced a new Cortex-X program that will help chipmakers customize their offerings to deliver bursts of as much as 30% more processing speed.Arm offers chip designs and licenses the fundamental code used by processors to communicate with software that runs phones. Most Android phone makers use chips from Qualcomm Inc. or Mediatek Inc. Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. use those chipmakers’ components and their own products. Apple Inc. is an Arm licensee, but designs its own A series processors that are typically rated the speediest available.The customization that Apple has been able to bring to its own combinations of software and hardware has allowed it to claim performance leadership over phones that run Alphabet Inc.’s Google Android operating system. Such claims feature heavily in Apple’s marketing of the iPhone.“The pace of increasing performance in smartphones exceeds that of any other computing device category in the industry today,” Arm said in a statement. “To address this insatiable demand for the highest performance possible, we’re introducing a new engagement program called the Cortex-X Custom program to give our partners the option of having more flexibility and scalability for increasing performance.”Cortex X will let chip and phone makers add a different mix of cores to the combinations of components that run major smartphone functions. Current designs feature uniform sets of cores and more power-efficient ones that are used to maintain background functions without draining the battery. Arm’s new offering changes this approach. An X core might kick in for a short time, for example, when a piece of software is demanding the absolute maximum performance the chip can provide.Cambridge-based Arm is a division of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. Like other companies that rely on the smartphone market, Arm is looking for ways to help spur demand for the devices. The market already had stalled before the Covid-19 outbreak curbed sales and disrupted supply chains. In the first quarter of 2020, smartphone shipments dropped 12% from a year earlier, according to IDC.In addition to more powerful and efficient designs for the handsets, the smartphone industry is banking on faster fifth-generation, or 5G, networks to persuade consumers to upgrade their phones.Arm is also offering a new graphics chip design that will handle video and gaming content better, and updated machine-learning capabilities to help with artificial intelligence workloads.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.
Facebook, Inc. (FB) Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and Alphabet, Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google have outperformed during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. will begin reopening its retail stores in Japan this week, one of its most important markets, after the stores had been shuttered for months due to Covid-19.Two locations -- the stores in Fukuoka and Nagoya Sakae -- will reopen on May 27, according to the company’s retail website. Reopening dates for the country’s eight other Apple stores have not yet been posted. In September, Apple opened its latest and largest outlet in Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district, moments away from the historic Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace.Tokyo remains under an official state of emergency, though Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Monday that the government’s advisory panel had approved a plan to lift the measure later that day, a week ahead of schedule.Read more: Japan’s Government Says Time Right to Lift Tokyo EmergencyApple has already reopened stores in Australia, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Switzerland and some stores in Italy and the U.S.In a statement confirming the Japan openings, Apple reiterated that stores will require temperature checks at the door, social distancing and the use of masks by customers and staff alike. This is in line with requirements among local Japanese retailers such as Montbell, which turns away customers without face masks.(Updates with Japanese government plans in third paragraph)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.
Digital media companies have understood podcasts for years. Now tech giants are getting in late, but bringing big dollars to buy instant footholds.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a massive stock market sell-off in late February and March, many investors have bought stocks with the expectation that they'd make nice gains when the market rebounded. Sure enough, the stock market began to rebound in late March. The major market indices have regained much of their losses.
Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has made no secret of its efforts to dethrone Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) in the world of podcasts, scooping up four start-ups over the past year and a half as part of its broader strategy and announcing a major exclusivity deal with Joe Rogan just this week. Considering the sheer size of Rogan's following, the pact has the potential to transform the economics of the podcasting ecosystem, as Spotify is reportedly paying over $100 million as part of the exclusive licensing agreement. Apple isn't going to sit still while Spotify tries to take a bite out of its podcasting business.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp are in the firing line as Europe’s leading privacy watchdog for U.S. tech giants edges closer to delivering its first major sanctions under the region’s tough data-protection rules.The Irish Data Protection Commission said on May 22 that it finalized a draft decision linked to a data breach at Twitter and has asked its peers across the European Union for their sign-off.The regulator said it’s also completed a draft decision in a probe of WhatsApp’s transparency around data sharing. The Facebook service will be asked to give its comments on any proposed sanctions before EU counterparts can weigh in.The Irish authority’s probes have been piling up since the bloc’s tough General Data Protection Regulation took effect in May 2018 -- but with no final decisions to date. The regulator is the lead data protection authority for some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple Inc.GDPR empowered regulators to levy penalties of as much as 4% of a company’s annual revenue for the most serious violations. The biggest fine to date was a 50 million-euro ($54.5 million) penalty for Google by France’s watchdog CNIL.The Irish regulator said it has also made progress in a number of its other pending cases, including an investigation into obligations of Facebook’s local unit “to establish a lawful basis for personal data processing,” adding that this “inquiry is now in the decision-making phase.”Twitter and WhatsApp representatives declined to comment on the Irish probes.While sanctions in the two cases wouldn’t be the first under the new GDPR rules, they will be the first to test the cooperation between all 27 EU data authorities. Due to the EU-wide effects of the alleged violations in the two cases, the Irish regulator has to share its draft decisions with other regulators, allowing them to weigh in and either approve or object to its findings.(Updates with company response in seventh paragraph)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.
One of Apple’s best-known former designers is raising funds to launch a “revolutionary” new home audio system to rival Sonos and the iPhone maker’s HomePod later this year, according to several people familiar with the plans. Having spent more than 20 years working closely with Jony Ive in Apple’s design team, Christopher Stringer left Silicon Valley in 2017 to start his new venture, Syng, in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Mr Stringer, who was born in Australia but grew up and studied in England, is named on more than 1,400 US patents, including for designs related to the iPhone, Apple Watch and HomePod.
IBM is laying off employees amid the pandemic, and Apple wants to use podcasts to promote its Apple TV+ streaming service.
TSMC (NYSE: TSM), the world's largest contract chipmaker, recently announced plans to build a new $12 billion plant in Arizona by 2024. The announcement might seem like good news for Taiwan-based TSMC and Arizona, but it also indicates the company is becoming entangled in the escalating trade war. Let's see how this deal could affect TSMC's business, and whether or not it's becoming a pawn in the messy tech war between the U.S. and China.
Apple (AAPL) looks to build backlog content library in Tv+ streaming services to boost subscriber growth amid intensifying competition.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are two important lessons in this week’s announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally succeeded in cracking two mobile phones belonging to Mohammed Alshamrani, the aviation student who killed three people last December at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.The first lesson is that cracking an encrypted device takes time and effort even when the federal government brings all its resources to bear. The second is that Apple still refuses to build tools to make hacking its mobile devices easier.Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m happy about both.The story is a familiar one. After the Pensacola attack, the FBI found a pair of iPhones belonging to the shooter. The Justice Department promptly obtained a warrant for their contents, and, lacking Alshamrani’s password, went to Apple to ask for help breaking the encryption that protects the contents from snoopers. Although the company did provide certain assistance, it refused to develop software tools to crack its own devices. This has been Apple’s position for years, and it’s one I’ve defended in this space.So what happened? As in the past, after fulminating for a bit, the FBI got down to work and managed, through means not disclosed, to get into Alshamrani’s phones, obtaining valuable intelligence in the process. It just took longer than the government had hoped.That the FBI found a way past the phones’ defenses is no surprise. The tech community was skeptical from the start of the government’s claim to be unable to crack the devices. Security consultants have long warned that end-to-end encryption is never fully secure. This is particularly true “when the data is at rest rather than in transit.” So even if a hacker (governmental or not) cannot monitor a communication while it’s being sent, as long as the message remains resident on either the sending or the receiving device, there’s a target for technological attack.In other words, the feds don’t really need Apple to get into an iOS device. Just this past January, the Justice Department admitted that the FBI had been able to break into an iPhone owned by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who faces criminal indictment. The government complained that because Parnas wouldn’t provide his password, the FBI needed “nearly two months” to unlock the phone. The implication is that cracking encryption should be easier. But it shouldn’t. That breaking into a locked mobile device takes time and effort is one of the few guarantees we have that the government will only rarely invest the resources needed to do it.Encryption is getting better. As innovations in the field begin to scale, it may soon be a whole lot better. That’s why under both the current administration and its predecessor, national security officials have called upon tech companies to include in their devices special keys that will allow access in an emergency.(1) The tech industry has resisted these demands, but few went as far as Apple — until recently. Just over a year ago, Google added protections that make hacking Android phones harder, even when the hacker is law enforcement. Some experts believe that Android phones are now harder than iPhones to crack.I'm told that behind closed doors, much of Silicon Valley thinks Apple is wrong to be so intransigent. Cooperation with law enforcement is routine among U.S. businesses; some techies see no reason for Apple to get a pass. Although I see the point, I continue to find the company’s position attractive. I’m left uneasy by the notion that privacy should be restricted because bad people might misuse it.Still, the pressure has had its effect. Although Apple steadfastly refuses to build a back door into its mobile devices, earlier this year, the company abandoned plans to allow iOS users fully encrypt their iCloud data. Given that iCloud has an estimated 850 million users — and that the service is the only practical way to back up an iPhone — this is no small concession.What this means in practice is that when law enforcement comes to Apple with a warrant for the contents of your phone, the company will turn over whatever you’ve uploaded. In the case of the Pensacola shooter, Apple has proudly touted that it did exactly that. The caveat is important. Even if what attracts you to Apple is the end-to-end encryption of messaging and the difficulty of breaking into your phone, whatever you upload to the cloud is available.Maybe this is an attractive compromise: Keep your data resident only on your phone and the government will need months to break in. Upload your data to the cloud, and a warrant will gain rapid access to all.But I worry. My rather old-fashioned view is that privacy is less a “right” than a check on the power of the state. Government can’t regulate what it’s unaware of. That’s why I’m glad that even for the FBI, cracking a phone takes time and effort. The cost in resources forces officials to be picky about when to try.You might object that the next case might present a true need to hurry. You’d be right. There’s always a hard hypothetical: a child at risk, a hidden bomb ticking away. But even if we can imagine a moment when we’d all agree that the maker ought to find a way to open the phone, we do better to pretend that we can’t. Nearly six decades ago, the great constitutional scholar Charles Lund Black pointed out that absolutist rules have the virtue of being rarely breached. As rules grow more flexible, we become more creative at coming up with exceptions.That’s why if our goal is to ensure that manufacturers will help government break into our phones only in the most urgent circumstances, the best approach is to cheer them when they say “Never.”(1) As the National Research Council predicted a quarter century ago.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Britain’s mobile phone app for tracking coronavirus infections has been delayed by bureaucracy and the addition of more symptoms to monitor, according to a person familiar with the matter -- who said they expected the government to abandon it in favor of the model backed by Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged Wednesday that the U.K. would have a tracking-and-tracing system -- essential to lifting the current lockdown -- in place by June 1. But he emphasized recruiting 25,000 workers to trace potential cases, rather than using the app that was due in the middle of May.The app is being developed by VMware Inc. and Zuhlke Engineering Ltd at a cost of 4.7 million pounds ($5.8 million). There has been controversy about the U.K.’s decision to reject the structure backed by Apple and Google, a move that has been criticized by privacy campaigners.The U.K. has opted for a “centralized” model, where people who test positive for coronavirus upload all their recent contacts to a database, and those people are then contacted and warned.Apple Inc. and Google released their Covid-19 exposure-notification tools on Wednesday. Some governments have criticized the “decentralized” system because it doesn’t let authorities store data on who has the virus and track where it is spreading. Instead, it just notifies individuals if they have been exposed.But one person involved in the U.K. app’s development suggested that after initially using its own model, the U.K. would end up using Apple and Google’s software tool because it would be more battery-efficient and better at alerting users to nearby positive cases.Development of the app began in March, commissioned by Matthew Gould, head of NHSX, the digital arm of the sprawling state-run health service. Since then, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his officials, digital oversight officials at the Cabinet Office and security specialists at the National Cyber Security Centre have all had a say in its development. The growing number of stakeholders led to difficulties over deciding how to tackle various problems, two people said, who asked not to be named discussing confidential matters.After an initial trial on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England, the app’s national launch should have gone ahead by now, but Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Sky News on Wednesday that June was a more likely date. The new timetable came as the nation’s cybersecurity center said Tuesday the app contains flaws that could leave it vulnerable to attack, including a lack of encryption in the test app.The app will flag to users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive to Covid-19. Users can also opt to record their symptoms. However, the U.K. has been increasing the number of symptoms that should lead to a positive test. On Monday the loss of taste and smell was added as an official symptom.Because the app is health-related, changes to it require an extensive authentication process before it is approved for Apple and Google’s app stores, leading to further delays, one person said.On Tuesday John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, told Sky News a “well-functioning track and trace” system needed to be “embedded and working well” before schools could re-open. Johnson’s spokesman James Slack said volunteers may be able to start work before June 1, although that is unlikely to allay union fears.Teachers’ unions are in a battle with government over what safety conditions should be met before they return to work. While ministers had urged primary schools to return by June 1, they appeared to water down the instructions on Wednesday, with Buckland telling BBC radio the date is conditional on tests being met. The large numbers of children unable to go to school means the restarting of the economy is being held back. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak warned Tuesday of a “severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen.”The Department for Health and Social Care said in a statement the app would be available “soon,” adding, “we are working at pace to develop our test and trace service, which will significantly improve our ability to track the virus and stop the spread,” a spokesperson said.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.