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Alibaba dips on MS downgrade as PDD grabs spot of most valuable Chinese e-commerce firm


Alibaba’s U.S. shares slipped 1.5% to $73.7 in premarket trading, tracking a fresh one-year low. They are down 14% since the company posted in line second-quarter revenue and scrapped plans to spin off its cloud business.

Meanwhile, shares of PDD Holdings have surged following stellar quarterly results from the Temu parent this week. The company closed with a market capitalization of nearly $196 billion on Thursday, surpassing Alibaba’s market value of $190.45 billion.

Morgan Stanley analysts downgraded Alibaba to “equal-weight” from “overweight”, flagging concerns over softness in its customer management revenue and cloud business due to sagging economic recovery in China.

They also noted uncertainties from the decision to scrap the spin-off of its cloud business.

The brokerage cut its price target on the stock to $90 from $110, the second lowest on Wall Street, as per LSEG data.

Alibaba’s U.S. shares, down about 15% so far this year, are set for their third consecutive year of losses.

On the other hand, Morgan Stanley named PDD as its top pick in the sector, saying the company is best placed to navigate the current economic environment with its heavy discounting steps.

“We expect PDD to continue to gain share in the domestic market thanks to its favorable business model amid consumers’ behavior shift,” Morgan Stanley’s Eddy Wang noted, adding that its cross-border e-commerce business, Temu, is not fully valued by the market.

PDD shares were down 1.4% premarket at $145.4 but have surged more than 80% in 2023, handily outperforming its peers.

AstraZeneca halts Phase III trials for kidney disease treatment


Sharon Barr, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, assured that Lokelma maintains a strong safety profile and continues to deliver substantial benefits to patients dealing with hyperkalaemia. The drug is currently approved in 56 countries around the world.

AstraZeneca has also committed to ensuring that patients from the halted trials will continue to receive follow-up care. The company’s CVRM (Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism) sector remains focused on advancing treatments that protect organs affected by cardiorenal diseases and is working towards the development of regenerative therapies in this field.

AstraZeneca’s recent decisions in clinical trials reflect a strategic pivot, but their financial health, as indicated by real-time data from InvestingPro, remains robust. The company’s market capitalization stands at a substantial 199.8 billion USD, showcasing its significant presence in the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, AstraZeneca boasts an impressive gross profit margin of 89.17% over the last twelve months as of Q3 2023, reflecting efficient operations and strong pricing power.

InvestingPro Tips highlight AstraZeneca’s high earnings quality, with free cash flow exceeding net income, and a high return on invested capital, underscoring the company’s ability to generate profits from its investments. These factors are critical for investors considering the company’s potential for sustained financial performance, especially in light of recent clinical trial updates.

For those looking to delve deeper into AstraZeneca’s financials and future outlook, the InvestingPro platform offers additional insights. There are 18 more InvestingPro Tips available for AstraZeneca, providing a comprehensive analysis of the company’s financial health and market position. With the special Cyber Monday sale, subscribers can now access these valuable tips at a discount of up to 60%, and using the coupon code sfy23 will grant an extra 10% off a 2-year InvestingPro+ subscription.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

Wordline shares surge on report Credit Agricole could take stake


The French lender is exploring building a stake in Worldline in an effort to help stabilise its struggling payments partner, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Other French financial institutions could also look at playing a role in Worldline’s future, Bloomberg added, citing some of the people.

Credit Agricole and Worldline declined to comment.

Earlier this year, the companies signed a binding agreement to set up a joint venture to provide payment services to businesses and their customers. They expect to receive the necessary approvals by the end of this year before launching in early 2024.

Shares in Worldline pared some of their initial gains to stand 5% higher at 1220 GMT.

The stock lost more than half its value in late October, sending ripples through the sector, after Worldline shocked investors with a cut to its full year financial targets due to the economic slowdown, particularly in Germany.

It also severed ties with some of its merchants to reduce risks citing an increase in cybercrime.

Italian payments company Nexi (BIT:NEXII) last month confirmed its guidance while the Netherlands’ Adyen (AS:ADYEN) reassured the market with its “more realistic” medium-term guidance.

Worldline shares have fallen more than 58% this year.

Morgan Stanley says PagerDuty stock is ‘too cheap to ignore’; Shares gain after earnings


EPS of $0.20 came in better than the consensus estimate of $0.14.

Revenue grew 15.4% year-over-year to $108.7 million, above the consensus estimate of $107.7M. Annual recurring revenue grew 13% year-over-year to $438.9M. Customers with annual recurring revenue over $100,000 grew 10% to 778, compared to 710 in the year-ago period.

“Momentum and innovation within the PagerDuty Operations Cloud continued in the quarter with new AI enhancements and the acquisition of Jeli in November to address our customers’ biggest operational challenges,” said CEO Jennifer Tejada.

For Q4/24, the company expects EPS in the range of $0.14-$0.15, compared to the consensus of $0.13, and revenue in the range of $109.5-$111.5M, compared to the consensus of $110.4M.

For the full year, the company sees EPS at $0.72-$0.73, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.64, and revenue at $429.0-$431.0M, compared to the consensus estimate of $428.44M.

“Growth remains under pressure, as indicated by: 1) another billings miss, 2) Q4 revenue guide of 9-10% YoY growth, 3) further deteriorating NRR, with Q4 guide of 106% following 110% in Q3, and 4) a decline in total customer count along with weak >$100K customer net new adds,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said.

“We think growth is unlikely to rebound until after the Q4 renewal cycle, but at16X CY25 FCF we view the stock as too cheap to ignore.”

Additional reporting by Senad Karaahmetovic

Fisker scales back production to divert cash for working capital


Shares of the EV maker, which has been struggling with a cash crunch, rose 7% in premarket.

“Fisker has made a strategic decision to reduce December production to prioritize liquidity to unlock over $300 million of working capital,” the company said.

Fisker cut its production target for the year – at least a second time – to just over 10,000 units, compared with its earlier forecast of 13,000 to 17,000.

The company said it delivered 123 vehicles on Thursday, adding it plans to accelerates sale and deliveries despite the tough market conditions for EVs.

Some EV firms are facing dwindling cash reserves, pressured by high costs related to production ramp-ups and inflation and price cuts by rivals such Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

In its most recent financial results, which were filed after a delay due to the departure of its former accounting chief, Fisker reported a loss of $91 million and revenue of $71.8 million for the third quarter, both missing expectations.

Signify to cut jobs in revamp to save 200 million euros annually


(Reuters) – Signify is to cut jobs as part of a restructuring that is targeting annual savings of 200 million euros ($218 million), sending shares in the world’s biggest light maker up as much as 6.6%.

Signify, spun off from Dutch technology group Philips in 2016, has already been cutting costs, including through layoffs, in response to a sluggish recovery in key market China and lower sales volumes.

“We will further adjust the size of our central organisation and reduce our costs to support the company’s performance,” CEO Eric Rondolat said in a statement.

A company spokesperson told Reuters the plan would involve “some job losses”, without providing further details.

As part of the restructuring there will be four vertical businesses which will aim to enhance speed of execution and focus on customers, the group said.

The maker of LED lighting systems and electrical components said three of the new units would focus on customers, while the fourth would be dedicated to conventional lighting technologies.

Signify’s shares rose 5.6% to 28.16 euros at 1110 GMT on Friday, among top performers on Europe’s benchmark STOXX 600 index.

Signify did not disclose how many people would be affected by the revamp, but reiterated its aim to keep non-manufacturing costs within 25%-29% of sales.

In the third quarter, its adjusted indirect costs as a percentage of sales increased by 160 basis points to 30.2%.

Rondolat had said in October that the group was doing whatever it could to return the costs to a targeted range.

J.P. Morgan said the magnitude of the cost saving plan was higher and came in earlier than the brokerage had expected.

“The new segment structure will also improve the disclosure and bring Signify closer to the customers, ” it added.

The changes will be implemented through 2024, with most of them set to be completed by the second quarter.

Signify’s nominal sales fell by 13.8% in the third quarter hit by slow demand across its geographies, it said in October.

($1 = 0.9179 euros)