Technology Roundup – Uber scaling back finance efforts, Apple re-closing 14 stores in Florida

Published on: June 25, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Uber scaling back finance efforts – Bloomberg

In an email to employees viewed by Bloomberg, Uber (NYSE:UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the company will “de-prioritize” several finance-related projects, which include credit cards and a digital wallet.

Uber Money head Peter Hazlehurst announced his departure in a separate email to his team. Uber Money workers will now report directly to Peeyush Nahar, VP of technology.

The ride-share company has worked to cut costs and trim non-core businesses after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out about 70% of the rides.

Uber recently trimmed its workforce by 25% and pulled Eats from eight underperforming global markets.

Apple re-closing 14 stores in Florida

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will re-close 14 stores in Florida on Friday as the state’s coronavirus cases rise.

The company has now re-closed 32 stores in the United States, including locations in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

Apple statement: “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

During the fiscal Q3 report in April, Apple said the last three weeks of the quarter felt the pressure of retail stores outside of China closing due to the pandemic.

SolarEdge cut to Sell, Vivint to Hold at Goldman after recent rally

SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG -6.8%) sinks after Goldman Sachs downgrades shares to Sell from Neutral with a $126 price target, saying the company’s U.S. residential market share has peaked and is now on the decline, while gross margins are expected to remain challenged due to segment and geographical mix shift.

With the stock trading near all-time highs, Goldman’s Brian Lee thinks SolarEdge’s risk-reward skews negatively at current levels.

Lee also cuts Vivint Solar (VSLR -3.4%) to Neutral from Buy with a $10 target, believing the company may see less meaningful growth due to its high reliance on door-to-door sales, while key operating metrics around cost reduction and battery storage attach rates lag its peers.

SEDG’s average Wall Street analyst rating and Seeking Alpha Authors’ Rating are both Bullish, while its Quant Rating is Neutral.

Spotify +7.3% as Goldman sets Street-high target

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is up 7.3% after an update from Goldman Sachs that included a significantly higher price target.

The firm reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to a Street-high $280 from $205, now implying 7% further upside.

It’s the seventh straight daily gain for Spotify, its longest such run in a couple of years.

It’s raising estimates due to reaccelerating user growth, as well as recent podcast deals (including those for Joe Rogan and Kim Kardashian).

Verizon expands 5G Home Internet

Verizon (VZ +0.1%) is expanding its 5G Home Internet service in various locations.

Today customers in parts of Houston have access to enhanced 5G Home, adding on to recent expansions of 5G Home into Detroit, and enhanced service in Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

It’s also partnering with Pivotal Commware (a portfolio company of Verizon Ventures) on trials of repeater technology in Dearborn, Mich., to improve 5G coverage and performance.

By the end of the year, Verizon is planning 5G Home Internet in 10 cities nationwide.