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Disney Needs to Do More With Less on Streaming
  + stars: | 2022-12-05 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: +1 min
But those moves will prove easy compared with the challenges he faces with Walt Disney ‘s streaming business, where he must find a way to make do with less. Two weeks into Mr. Iger’s return to the Mouse House’s corner office, investors remain optimistic. As of Friday’s close, Disney ‘s shares are up 8% since the Nov. 20 announcement—more than double the S&P 500’s gains in that time. The fact that Mr. Chapek had McKinsey consultants running around to push those changes didn’t seem to help his case internally. At the end of the day, even Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy turned on him, according to The Wall Street Journal’s reporting.
Salesforce Isn’t on Cloud Nine
  + stars: | 2022-12-01 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Marc Benioff might get lonely in the months ahead, but he certainly won’t be bored. The co-founder and longtime chief of Salesforce is bidding farewell to the second person with whom he has attempted to share the top job. The cloud software giant said Wednesday that Bret Taylor is stepping down from his roles as vice chairman and co-CEO at the end of the current fiscal year, with Mr. Taylor saying the move was about a desire to “return to my entrepreneurial roots.”
Even CrowdStrike Isn’t on Safe Ground
  + stars: | 2022-11-30 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
George Kurtz, CrowdStrike’s CEO, cited an 11% rise in the days required to close sales deals in the most recent quarter. At least no one can accuse CrowdStrike Holdings of playing it safe. The provider of subscription-based security software has been one of the hottest names in the cloud sector since going public in mid-2019. That is due to sky-high revenue growth rates that—before its fiscal third-quarter results late Tuesday—had averaged 68% year over year over the previous eight quarters. CrowdStrike is currently generating a little more than $2.2 billion in annual revenue—nearly five times what it made in the fiscal year that ended in January 2020.
Apple Has No Easy Road Out of China
  + stars: | 2022-11-28 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com. https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-has-no-easy-road-out-of-china-11669661578
Amazon Can’t Get Peloton Back in the Black
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Peloton has been working to reduce the number of showrooms it runs, like this one in Walnut Creek, Calif. Even the Everything Store can only do so much. When it comes to Peloton, Amazon can definitely be of some help. The e-commerce giant started selling Peloton’s basic stationary bike in late August, one month before the end of the equipment company’s fiscal first quarter.
Zoom Stuck in Single-Digit Purgatory for a While
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com. https://www.wsj.com/articles/zoom-stuck-in-single-digit-purgatory-for-a-while-11669140176
Robert Iger just got a $12 billion vote of confidence. He will need all of it. That is how much Disney ’s market value jumped Monday morning on the surprise news that Mr. Iger is returning to the Magic Kingdom’s throne. In a statement Sunday night, the company’s board said he will take back the chief executive officer role for two years “to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.” Bob Chapek , Mr. Iger’s handpicked successor, was unceremoniously escorted from the stage without so much as a quote in the press release.
Chip Outlook Depends on Tech Giants Not Cutting Too Deeply
  + stars: | 2022-11-18 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: +1 min
In what has been a confusing week for the chip industry, one thing is clear: its near-term fate may be in the hands of the same tech giants who are under a lot of pressure to slash their own costs. Quarterly results from Nvidia and a production cut warning from Micron, both on Wednesday, seemingly painted two different pictures. Nvidia managed to beat Wall Street’s estimates for its key data center and videogames businesses while also sounding an optimistic note for 2023, because of new products for both segments. Micron, on the other hand, says it plans to slash production in order to produce less DRAM memory next year than it will this year, as part of an effort to address oversupply caused by the rapid deterioration of major chip markets such as PCs and smartphones. Morgan Stanley’s Joseph Moore , who has covered Micron for more than a decade, called the move “unprecedented” in a note to clients.
Jennifer Schulp, a director at the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, said the Republicans' unexpectedly tight margin of control in the House will not prompt them to tone down their rhetoric. 'REGULATORY EXUBERANCE'Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican in line to lead the House Financial Services Committee in the new Congress, said in an emailed statement to Reuters before the election that Biden's administration "is pushing its agenda through financial regulators because they don’t have the votes to pass it in Congress." "Committee Republicans will work together to conduct appropriate oversight of activist regulators and market participants who have an outsized impact," McHenry said. "The appropriations process in the House will be a messaging exercise, and it's less worrisome since the Democrats will have the Senate," McGannon said. While those Senators will not be in the majority, House Republicans have also criticized companies on ESG-related matters.
Google’s Heads Need to Make It Count
  + stars: | 2022-11-16 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Even today, Google has no problem making plenty of money. But the fact that it is getting a little harder is still painful. The internet giant’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., generated operating income of $78.6 billion for the trailing 12-month period ended September—the third-highest among S&P 500 companies over that span, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. But margins have taken a hit as a big jump in costs has run headlong into a broad-based slowdown in online advertising. The operating margin for the third quarter came in at 24.8%—a drop of nearly 8 percentage points from a year earlier, as the company added 12,765 workers to its rolls in the most recent period.
ASML Plays the Very Long Chip Game
  + stars: | 2022-11-15 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
ASML has one of the best spots in a temperamental industry. A lousy year or even two is no reason for the Dutch maker of chip-manufacturing equipment to shelve some ambitious expansion plans. Business isn’t great for semiconductor manufacturing gear right now—or at least it isn’t going to be. Chip makers are pulling back on their capital-spending plans quickly as their own businesses get hit by slumping demand in key markets such as PCs and smartphones. For 2023, the association projects a 2% decline.
Elon Musk could succeed in making Twitter Inc. both bigger and smaller. His new rivals certainly wouldn’t mind the latter. The voluble billionaire’s first two weeks running the social platform he spent $44 billion to buy have been predictably messy. Half the workforce has been canned, several top-level executives have either quit or been fired, new subscription plans and verification changes have seen hasty and problem-riddled rollouts, and policies around key topics like content moderation have seemingly been made by tweet and discarded the same way.
Amazon May Not Look Like Amazon for a While
  + stars: | 2022-11-10 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Amazon is hardly alone among tech giants cinching their belts. But the latest move stands out as the storied tech giant possibly going after some sacred cows. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning that Amazon has launched a “cost-cutting review” that is focusing on unprofitable business units. Among those is the Alexa business, which covers Amazon’s pioneering voice-recognition technology and the now myriad devices that use it. Documents reviewed by the Journal suggest that Amazon’s hardware business that includes Alexa runs operating losses in the neighborhood of $5 billion a year.
Zuckerberg Didn’t Move Fast, Still Broke Things
  + stars: | 2022-11-09 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Some problems at Meta Platforms—including investors’ lack of enthusiasm for CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse—have been evident since early this year. The company once known as Facebook announced broad layoffs Wednesday morning, in a letter to employees from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. The action will cut the size of Meta Platforms ‘ workforce by 13%—about 11,000 employees. Facebook has never done a major retrenchment in its 18-year history, since the bulk of that history has involved double-digit growth and sky-high operating margins. They enabled the company to draw workers by the thousands every year, even in an industry marked by generous salaries and lavish perks.
Disney Shows the Limits of Streaming
  + stars: | 2022-11-09 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
The quarter included the launch of shows and movies from the company’s well-regarded brands, including the Star Wars series ‘Andor.’The streaming spell might be wearing thin at the Magic Kingdom. Disney said Tuesday afternoon that it added 12.1 million net new subscribers to its flagship Disney+ streaming service during its fiscal fourth quarter. That was 36% more than analysts were expecting, and this time Disney didn’t fully depend on growth from regions that generate very little revenue.
Activision Scores Some Downside Protection
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Fantasy videogames can still inflict real-world wounds, but a 19-year-old franchise is also proving very hard to kill. Activision Blizzard’s latest “Call of Duty” iteration is selling strong, which marks a notable comeback after last year’s flop. The game publisher said Monday that “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II” surpassed $1 billion in global sell-through in 10 days from its Oct. 28 release, which is faster than any previous version of the game has crossed that threshold. Later in the day, the company reported stronger-than-expected net bookings for the third quarter and projected growth of at least 20% year over year for the fourth quarter. It also confirmed that it will make a new “Call of Duty” sequel in 2023, countering previous reports that it was planning to skip a year in what has historically been a steady annual release cadence.
Movie Theaters Are Now All About the Coming Attractions
  + stars: | 2022-11-05 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Disney’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is one of the few blockbuster-scaled releases set for the rest of the year. The new boss of HBO Max wants more people in movie theaters. That isn’t as weird as it sounds. Discovery Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav used part of his company’s third-quarter call late Thursday to further expound on the importance of theatrical releases as opposed to producing expensive, blockbuster-sized movies solely for streaming. He added that such movies have done “almost nothing for HBO Max in terms of viewership, retention or love of the service.”
Qualcomm’s Longer Life With Apple Comes at a Cost
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
The company Wednesday became the latest chip maker to see its numbers hit by a rapidly weakening smartphone market. Qualcomm will be keeping Apple ’s lucrative iPhone business a while longer—for better and for worse. Qualcomm told investors during its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call late Wednesday that it expects its modem chip to have the “vast majority” of Apple’s iPhone business for the next crop of devices expected to launch in the fall of 2023. That is a shift from the company’s previously stated assumption of 20% share, but the news wasn’t a big surprise. An influential Apple supply-chain analyst reported back in June that Apple’s efforts to develop its own modem had hit a snag and were unlikely to be ready for the 2023 iPhones.
Electronic Arts Needs FIFA to Stay Hot
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
The world’s biggest game hasn’t always been a big winner for Electronic Arts . That is five months later than normal, because of the intense summer heat of the hosting nation. But the timing might prove ideal for Electronic Arts and its mega-popular soccer videogame franchise. Past World Cups have taken place about nine months after the release of the company’s annual “FIFA” game for the corresponding year. This one comes less than two months after the launch of “FIFA 23” in late September.
This Chip Sector Is a Diamond in the Rough
  + stars: | 2022-11-02 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
In a brutal market for semiconductors, one part of the business can take a beating—literally. Chips made with silicon carbide are superior to those made with regular silicon for certain applications that involve large amounts of power conversion, such as inverters and drivetrains in electric cars. It is also a challenging material to work with, being second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. In an in-depth report earlier this year, Matt Ramsay of Cowen noted that simply sawing off a single wafer, which are most commonly 6 inches wide, takes more than three hours.
Amazon’s Holiday Blues Come Early—and Hard
  + stars: | 2022-10-28 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Even the One Ring seems to have its limits. Amazon became the latest tech giant to disappoint Wall Street on Thursday—and to pay a heavy price for doing so. The company’s third-quarter results included revenue that was slightly below analysts’ estimates and another sharp drop in operating income—the latter down 48% year-over-year. Adding insult to injury, growth in the company’s subscription service revenue fell into single-digit territory for the first time ever, despite the debut of its costly “Lord of the Rings” series for subscribers of its Prime streaming service.
Apple’s High Note Clears a Low Tech Bar
  + stars: | 2022-10-28 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Apple’s revenue and operating earnings for the September quarter came in ahead of Wall Street’s forecasts. Apple Inc. should probably consider sending a thank-you card to Microsoft , Amazon , Google and Facebook . In what has been a brutal earnings season for big tech, the biggest of them all had the best report. Apple’s revenue and operating earnings for the September quarter that was reported late Thursday came in ahead of Wall Street’s forecasts, and its outlook contained no real negative surprises.
Microsoft Casts a Very Big Cloud
  + stars: | 2022-10-26 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Among corporate tech managers, it might still be true that no one gets fired for buying Microsoft . But buying less of anything seems the more likely path these days. Microsoft managed decent results for the September quarter despite a well-known global meltdown in sales of personal computers, most of which still use the company’s storied Windows operating system. The company’s revenue and operating-earnings growth slowed but edged out Wall Street’s projections, even in the segment that contains the bulk of the Windows business.
Google’s Bottom Line Is Now Top of Mind
  + stars: | 2022-10-26 | by ( Dan Gallagher | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Despite reports of tech giants cutting back on hiring amid global economic troubles, Google recruiters stayed busy as the company added 12,765 workers to its rolls in the third quarter. Google’s no stranger to spending, but the company picked a bad time to stop watching its bills. Third-quarter results Tuesday afternoon from parent company Alphabet finally showed the weight of the sharp global downturn in online advertising. Total ad revenue rose only 3% year-over-year to about $54.5 billion, while ad revenue from the company’s YouTube unit fell for the first time ever—slipping 2% year-over-year to about $7.1 billion. The search ad segment that has been an area of strength for the company during an otherwise tough year for its rivals also grew revenue just 4% year-over-year after averaging 29% growth over the preceding four quarters.
NHL roundup: Sabres top Flames behind Alex Tuch's hat trick
  + stars: | 2022-10-21 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +8 min
Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY SportsOctober 21 - Alex Tuch produced his first career hat trick to help the visiting Buffalo Sabres earn a 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt each added a goal and an assist while Rasmus Dahlin also scored for the Sabres. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterTuch extended his goal streak to three games 46 seconds into the second period. Dahlin has scored in each of the Sabres' first four games, the longest season-opening goal streak by a blue-liner in NHL history. The Canadiens also got first period goals from Josh Anderson, Cole Caufield and Brendan Gallagher to get off to a 5-0 start.
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