Coca-Cola won't run ads during Super Bowl, Variety reports » 14:1901/1501/15/21
KO, PEP, VIAC, VIACA
Following a similar move…
Following a similar move by PepsiCo (PEP), Coca-Cola (KO) will not run advertisements during CBS' (VIAC) broadcast of this year's Super Bowl, citing a "difficult choice" made to "ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times," Variety's Brian Steinberg reports. The move follows PepsiCo's decision to focus on its annual halftime show rather than run commercials for its flagship beverage, Steinberg says. Reference Link
Activision's 'COD: Black Ops: Cold War' best-selling game of 2020, says NPD » 10:5401/1501/15/21
ATVI, NTDOY, OTGLY, SNE, MSFT, UBSFY, CCOEY, TCEHY, EA, TTWO
NPD analyst Mat…
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said that Activision's (ATVI) "Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War" was the best-selling game of both December as well as 2020, while "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" was 2020's 2nd best-seller. "Call of Duty" ranked as the best-selling gaming franchise in the U.S. market for a record 12th consecutive year. Nintendo's (NTDOY) "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" was 2020's 3rd best-selling title, and the 6th best-selling game of December. In 2020 the title achieved the highest physical dollar sales for a Nintendo published game in a calendar year since Wii Fit Plus in 2010. CD Projekt's (OTGLY) "Cyberpunk 2077" debuted as the #2 best-selling game of December, and the 19th best-selling game of 2020, despite the lack of digital tracking. Sony's (SNE) "The Last of Us: Part II" finished 2020 as the year's 6th best-selling title overall. "The Last of Us: Part II" now ranks as the 3rd best-selling Sony published game in U.S. history in dollar sales, trailing only "Marvel's Spider-Man" and 2018's "God of War." Half of the top 20 best-selling games of December 2020 were published by Nintendo, Piscatella said. Other companies in the video game software space include Microsoft (MSFT), Ubisoft (UBSFY), Capcom (CCOEY), Tencent (TCEHY), Electronic Arts (EA), and Take-Two (TTWO). Reference Link
December video game spending grew 25% y/y to $7.7B, says NPD » 10:5101/1501/15/21
SNE, MSFT, ATVI, TTWO, GME, NTDOY, EA, UBSFY
NPD analyst Mat…
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said that December 2020 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached a December record $7.7B, 25% higher when compared to a year ago. Full year spending also set a new record, totaling $56.9B, 27% higher than 2019. Hardware dollar sales reached $1.35B in December 2020, an increase of 38% when compared to a year ago, and the highest total for a Decemeber month since the $1.37B achieved in December 2013. Annual hardware dollar sales totaled $5.3B, 35% higher than 2019, and the most since $5.6B was reached in 2011. The Nintendo Switch (NTDOY) was the best-selling hardware platform in units and dollars for both December and the 2020 year. Annual dollar sales of Switch hardware were the 2nd highest for a platform in U.S. history. Only the 2008 dollar sales of Nintendo Wii were higher. Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 5 finished 2020 as the #2 best-selling console in dollar sales, while PlayStation 4 ranked 2nd in units sold. PlayStation 5 set a new dollar sales record for PlayStation hardware through each platform's first December. Publicly traded companies in the space include Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA), GameStop (GME), Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE), Nintendo (NTDOY), Take-Two (TTWO) and Ubisoft (UBSFY). Reference Link
AMC Networks appoints Christina Spade as CFO » 09:1601/1501/15/21
AMCX, VIAC, VIACA
AMC Networks (AMCX) has…
AMC Networks (AMCX) has appointed Christina Spade as EVP, CGO. In this role, Spade will oversee financial operations, including treasury, tax, accounting, financial planning & analysis, as well as investor relations and global technology, for the AMC Networks portfolio, which includes AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv; streaming services AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK; and AMC Networks International. Her appointment is effective as of today. Spade, most recently as EVP, CFO for the newly-combined ViacomCBS (VIAC). Spade succeeds former AMC Networks CFO Sean Sullivan who stepped down in October 2020.
Walmart U.S. eCommerce CEO Marc Lore to retire » 09:1101/1501/15/21
On January 14, Marc Lore…
On January 14, Marc Lore notified Walmart of his intent to retire from his position of Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. eCommerce, effective January 31. Lore will continue to serve in a consulting role as a strategic advisor to the company through September. Lore joined the company in September 2016 in connection with the company's acquisition of Jet.com. Lore was previously the founder and CEO of Jet.com. Prior to founding Jet.com, Lore founded and led various e-commerce and internet companies, including Quidsi and The Pit, Inc. Walmart said, "Following the Jet.com transaction, we unified the Jet.com team with Walmart.com. Over the past couple of years, we have unified our store and eCommerce teams which better enables us to create one brand experience for our customers. That was completed in 2020 and so our Walmart U.S. segment has been operating and continues to operate as an omni-channel business. After Mr. Lore retires on January 31, 2021, the U.S. business, including all the aspects of US retail eCommerce, will continue to report to John Furner, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S., beginning on February 1, 2021."
Palo Alto Networks price target raised to $385 from $270 at Credit Suisse » 06:4901/1501/15/21
Credit Suisse analyst…
Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick raised the firm's price target on Palo Alto Networks to $385 from $270 and keeps a Neutral rating on the shares. Zelnick says 2020 was a strong year for Palo Alto, with performance up 54%, slightly above the IGV software index of 52%. Into 2021, the analyst sees Palo Alto as well positioned to benefit from its strong brand, incumbency position, and relatively broad cloud security portfolio as organizations look to re-architect security for the cloud, and sees potential upside to its Next Gen Security segment as the recent Sunburst attack will likely drive spending towards trusted brands that can help map and identify anomalous behavior and vulnerabilities.
Salesforce price target raised to $260 from $245 at Credit Suisse » 06:2601/1501/15/21
Credit Suisse analyst…
Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick raised the firm's price target on Salesforce to $260 from $245 and keeps an Outperform rating on the shares. Zelnick believes Salesforce will outperform in 2021 driven by its leadership in enabling digital transformations and ability to execute against this secular trend.
ViacomCBS price target raised to $50 from $26 at MoffettNathanson » 06:2501/1501/15/21
MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson raised the firm's price target on ViacomCBS to $50 from $26 and keeps a Neutral rating on the shares. The analyst believes there will be a rebound in the advertising market during 2021 led by digital and that linear TV "will be strong."
Microsoft, Oracle, Salseforce, others form Vaccination Credential Initiative » 18:4701/1401/14/21
ORCL, MSFT, CRM, CERN, CHNG
A group of health and…
A group of health and tech companies that includes Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Cerner (CERN), Change Healthcare (CHNG), and Salesforce (CRM) is working on an inititiave known as the Vaccination Credential Initiative. The VCI is a coalition of public and private partners committed to empowering individuals with digital access to their vaccination records based on open, interoperable standards so they can protect and improve their health, and demonstrate their health status to safely return to travel, work, school and life while protecting their data privacy. Participating health organizations agree to provide individuals with digital access to their vaccination records using the open, interoperable SMART Health Cards specification based on W3C Verifiable Credential and HL7 FHIR standards and be listed in a common registry of issuers. Vaccination Data Sources can provide individuals with access to their SMART Health Cards. Reference Link
GE says Siemens stole trade secrets in bid to rig contracts , Reuters reports » 14:3601/1401/14/21
General Electric (GE)…
General Electric (GE) says that a rival Siemens (SIEGY) subsidiary stole trade secrets to unfairly compete for for "lucrative" contracts supplying public utilities with gas turbines, and subsequent moves by the rival to "cover up" suspicious profits "totaling more than $1 billion," reports Reuters, citing a lawsuit filed on Thursday. Reference Link