Below is a review of tech stock news for the week ending August 30th:
1. The Trade Desk (TTD) President and CEO Sells $74.4 Million Worth of Shares
The Trade Desk (TTD) President and CEO Jeffrey Terry Green recently sold 288,000 TTD shares at $258.27 per share for a total of $74.4 million. The sale was done on August 23.
For context, The Trade Desk has a total market cap of around $11.28 billion, with each share traded at around $250.86. TTD specializes in providing self-service, online advertising solutions for businesses that want to manage their own advertising campaigns using their own in-house staff.
It’s also worth mentioning that the 288,000 shares sold last week was the third batch in the month of August. Earlier this month, Green sold 10,000 shares of TTD for an average price of $267.93 back in August 1st and another 294,000 shares of TTD stocks for $259.44 back in August 13.
Aside from Green, TTD’s CFO Paul Ross, Chief Technology Officer David Randall Pickles, Chief Legal Officer Vivian Yang and various other company directors and officers also sold substantial amounts of TTD shares all throughout August and late July.
2. Modest Expectations for Apple’s Upcoming iPhone 11
Over the past few months, various news sources ranging from Bloomberg analysts to Twitter leakers have offered several hints on Apple’s new iPhone 11. According to these sources, the latest iteration of iPhone will be similar to its predecessor.
Speculation about the iPhone 11 hints that it mainly offers incremental upgrades, such as a more advanced camera, faster chips and the latest operating systems. Analysts also believe that the new product will most likely cost around $1,000.
However, the new phone will be facing tough competition once it’s released into the market. Samsung, Google and other major phone manufacturers have delivered high quality products which feature the latest in mobile phone technology, and most of them are cheaper than iPhones.
Additionally, many analysts also believe that demand for the iPhone 11 will be affected by geopolitical concerns. Given the ongoing US-China trade war and other similar trade issues in other parts of the world, there are expectations that the iPhone will face rocky challenges in Asian markets.
3. Baidu Partners With Chongqing Municipal Government to Explore AI Services
Chinese internet company Baidu recently partnered with the municipal government of Chongqing in China to test several AI technologies, most notably self-driving cars, smart government services, smart city services as well as blockchain solutions.
By partnering with the Chongqing’s municipal government, Baidu aims to develop China’s automated vehicle and smart mobility industry. The deal is also part of the company’s strategy to accelerate China’s automotive industry, and at the same time, enhance Chongqing’s urban traffic management services.
One of the key features of Baidu’s plans is the use of the Apollo autonomous driving platform. The company plans to deploy this platform at Chongqing and Yongchuan to test the use of robo-taxis and other automated vehicle services.
Furthermore, Baidu is also planning to use AI technology to facilitate valet parking, smart court systems and centralized meteorology services. There are also plans to use blockchain technology to facilitate healthcare services and explore other potential applications.
AI and machine learning technologies developed in recent years in response to data analysis and online research. However, these technologies have yet to be fully applied to the consumer convenience market. By working with Chongqing’s municipal government, Baidu hopes to be a pioneer in the latest iteration of AI technology.
4. Tesla to Raise Prices in China
Tesla is planning to raise prices in China. The price hike was originally planned for September, but was pushed back to the tail end of August due to the escalating Chinese-American trade war as well as the declining value of the yuan.
Tesla had planned the price hike back in December as a contingency against Chinese threats to re-impose tariffs on US-brand cars and auto parts. The PRC had discontinued the tariffs back in April but with the trade war escalating, Tesla and other US auto makers may have no choice but to adapt accordingly.
However, Tesla’s problems are not quite the same as those of other US car makers. China remains the largest market for electric cars, and the company is under tremendous pressure to adapt to the escalating tariff situation. To make matters worse, Tesla has no local production facilities in the PRC, which means that its products are directly impacted by any and all tariff increases.
Finally, there is the problem with Chinese yuan, which tumbled to an eleven year low against the dollar earlier this week. A weaker yuan could hamper domestic consumption in China, which in turn could harm Tesla’s sales in the country.
On the other hand, it’s also worth mentioning that Tesla is building a plant in China, a move that is intended to reduce the effects of the tariff war. However, it will be quite some time before it will have an impact on Tesla’s latest problems.
5. Okta Earnings
Okta’s earnings and revenue report beat second quarter estimates however, the October quarter bottom line guidance also missed Wall Street expectations. The reports caused Okta shares to tumble after extended trading, losing 5 cents per share, though it was significantly smaller than the 11 cent loss projected by analysts.
According to reports, Okta’s revenue increased by 49% to reach $140. 5 million during the second quarter. However, the projected estimate for the current quarter puts Okta at a loss of 12 to 13 cents on revenue of around $143.5 million.
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