Technology Roundup – Verizon expands LTE Home Internet, Cisco to acquire security software firm Portshift

Published on: October 2, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Verizon expands LTE Home Internet into more rural areas

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is expanding its LTE Home Internet into more areas, broadening its rural reach for the 4G-based broadband service.

LTE Home Internet is now available in parts of 189 markets across 48 states.

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The service offers unlimited data and download speeds of 25 Mbps (peaking at 50 Mbps). It costs $40/month for Verizon wireless customers, and $60/month for everyone else.

Cisco to acquire security software firm Portshift for reported $100M

Cisco Systems (CSCO -0.4%) has agreed to buy Portshift, a privately held Tel Aviv-based company.

That deal’s coming in around $100M, according to Globes.

Portshift is focused on application security solutions, a “highly fragmented” space with many vendors addressing only one part of the problem, Cisco says.

“They bring cloud native application security capabilities and expertise for containers and service meshes for Kubernetes environments to Cisco, which will allow us to move toward the delivery of security for all phases of the application development lifecycle,” Cisco’s Liz Centoni says.

Portshift had raised about $5.3M in seed funding from the Team8 cybersecurity foundry.

Microsoft releases $550 Surface Laptop Go for remote workers and learners

Microsoft (MSFT +1.2%) debuts a new member of the Surface family with the Surface Laptop Go, which at about $550 (starting) is the second-cheapest model, above only the $399 Surface Go 2.

The Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, Intel’s 10th Gen i5 Quad-Core processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, up to 13 hours of battery life, fast charging, and only weighs 2.45 pounds.

Select models have a fingerprint sensor in the power button for signing in through Windows Hello.

Microsoft touts the built-in 720p HD camera and studio mics as well-suited for those working or learning from home during the pandemic.

Preorders start today with shipments starting on October 13 and three models are available: $549.99 (4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage), $699.99 (128GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage), and $899.99 (256GB RAM, SSD storage).

Microsoft’s Surface products have caught a pandemic tailwind. In the fiscal Q4 report in July, Surface sales were up 30% Y/Y.

Alibaba price target raised at Oppenheimer as strategic bets pay off

Following Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) three-day Investor Day event, Oppenheimer raises the price target from $290 to $325 and maintains an Outpeform rating.

Analyst Jason Helfstein is incrementally more confident in BABA’s “digital economy strategy” and says the strategic investments are paying off, with Cloud expected to turn a profit and  Cainiao achieving positive operating cash flow in FY21.

Helfstein raises his Q2 EBITDA by 3% and the FY21 metric by 2%, expecting smaller losses from the strategic segments. He also boosts fintech Ant Group’s valuation from $210B to $250B.

Alibaba shares are down 1.4% to $289.81.

Yesterday, Benchmark and Truist raised their Alibaba targets on the long-term growth prospects.

Amazon price target raised at Pivotal on undervalued ad business

Saying the investors have the wrong take on Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) sum-of-the-parts valuation, Pivotal Research lifts the e-commerce giant’s price target from $3,925 to $4,500 and maintains a Buy rating.

Analyst Michael Levine says advertising, while only 5% of revenue, is a “far greater contributor” to overall EBIT margins (ex-AWS) than realized.

Levine says investors are “materially underestimating” the earnings potential of the ad business and sees a “massive upside” to FY24 estimates.

Context: Amazon’s “Other” reporting segment primarily includes sales of ad services, as well as sales related to the other services offerings. In the Q2 report in July, Other sales totaled $4.2B, up 41% Y/Y.

Research firm eMarketer previously forecast nearly $13B in U.S. ad revenue for Amazon this year.

Amazon shares are up 1.5% pre-market to $3,196.94.