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QUITE THE LOOKER
Google is dropping a cool $2.6B to acquire Looker Data Sciences. Google believes the move will help it sell more cloud storage and software. As of late, Google has been struggling to gain ground vs. its cloud competition, namely, Amazon and Microsoft. This, of course, lead to the replacement of head of cloud, Diane Greene, with Thomas Kurian, an Oracle alum, late last year.
Looker, the Santa Cruz, CA-based data firm, helps companies visualize and analyze the data stored in the cloud. Because apparently, it isn’t enough to simply boast about “big data” capabilities anymore. Google jumped at the opportunity to scoop up Looker after discovering that many Google clients are also users of Looker’s technology. Current clients of both platforms include Hearst, King, BuzzFeed, and Yahoo!
Looker’s current CEO, Frank Bien, will stay on board and report to Kurian, a move that makes sense given Bien’s previous roles helping to build and sell cloud startups to companies like VMWare and EMC. Lloyd Tabb, another Looker cofounder, helped make Mozilla what it is today after being an early Netscape exec. RIP to the OG.
What about that whole antitrust thing?
The move will undoubtedly be examined closely by Uncle Sam considering the current environment. According to policy counsel for Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, while Google is under the microscope, this move is considered a vertical merger making it harder for antitrust agencies to block.
Fake beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
How much do people like meat alternative? Enough to cause shortages, apparently. The stuff of Ron Swanson’s nightmares is flying off shelves at supermarkets and fast-food diners are going apesh*t for dishes featuring Beyond Meat and Impossible Food’s fare. FFS, it’s even getting people to eat Little Caesar’s pizza.
And the numbers don’t lie …
Shares of Beyond Meat are up almost 300% from its IPO price. And its first earnings report followed suit. The company beat revenue expectations with grocery store sales accounting for $19.6M of revs and restaurants like Del Taco making up $20.6M of BYND’s revenue for the company’s first quarter as a public company. But its upbeat outlook is what really got Wall Street hot and bothered.
The company announced a $210M annual revenue projection vs. an estimated $205M. Beyond’s CEO even went so far as to say he thought the company was being conservative with that figure. And Wall Street certainly doesn’t mind that BM continues to eat up market share. Shares were up almost 20% after hours.
Beyond Meat wasn’t the only company to pop its earnings report cherry on Thursday. Zoom, the video conferencing unicorn has been on a tear since its IPO, and it continued on that trajectory yesterday. Net income of “Chat Roulette for the workplace” came in at 3 cents per share vs. 1 cent expected.
Not unlike Beyond, Zoom lifted second-quarter revenue guidance from $122M to $129M. Unsurprisingly, shares rose nearly 12% after hours.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Barnes & Noble appears to have a suitor that will take over the struggling bookseller. Hedge Fund Elliott Management is the lead bidder and while the deal hasn’t closed, Barnes & Noble shares jumped as much as 22.4% on the news. The company mentioned that it received “expressions of interest” from “multiple parties” last October. In other news, B&N still exists.
- After news of missed orders and slower shipments to customers earlier this year, Tesla is making a come back. The company had its second best day of the year (both coming this week) spiking 4.8% and adding $1.6B in market value thanks to a report from Electrek that the company is pushing to make deliveries and has already shipped out 33k North American orders. That’s more than half of what it shipped Q1. Elon & Co. are offering big bonuses to sales and delivery employees if the company can reach its aggressive goals of 76k new whips in the month of June.
- Move over Serial, there’s a new podcast in town. The Obamas have signed a deal with Spotify to develop podcast content through their entertainment company that will be exclusive to the streaming platform. Purchasing the company, Higher Ground, is the latest move by Spotify to cement itself in the podcast game. The terms of the deal, and in what capacity the former first-family will participate are not fully defined.
- Nice package. AT&T is testing a $16 to $17 streaming package that will include HBO, Cinemax, and Warner Bros. content all-in-one. As a comparison, HBO sells for $14.99 on its own. AT&T is under pressure to bring down its price considering the cost of Netflix and Disney+. And let’s not forget that Apple and Comcast have plans to launch services of their own within the next year. Initially, the company planned a three-tiered approach that allowed users to pay premiums for more content but that just didn’t fly.
- “I’m an IBM-er … wait, what?” IBM announced it is cutting some 1.7k jobs as it prepares to integrate the recently acquired open source software provider, Red Hat. The layoff figure represents only 0.5% of IBM’s total 340k strong workforce. And the news comes as IBM is staging a bit of a comeback. Its stock has climbed 16% in 2019.
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