|Bid||30.10 x 0|
|Ask||30.15 x 0|
|Day's range||30.00 - 30.65|
|52-week range||25.40 - 40.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.06|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||06 Aug 2020 - 08 Aug 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.38 (1.26%)|
|Ex-dividend date||19 Aug 2019|
|1y target est||56.50|
(Bloomberg) -- Peter Chou, the man who led HTC Corp. through its most prosperous years as an Android phone maker, is returning to consumer electronics with the unveiling of a new virtual reality headset, platform and company.Called XRSpace, the project has been in the works for three years and its centerpiece is a mobile VR headset equipped with fifth-generation wireless networking and over three hours of battery life. Partnering with Deutsche Telekom AG and Chunghwa Telecom Co., XRSpace is also building the VR platform on which services, games and social activities can be accessed and experienced.Priced at $599, the XRSpace headset has a high cost of entry, but the company envisions bundling it with carriers’ 5G service packages or in other forms for educational institutions. After its home market of Taiwan, it’ll look to expand to the U.S. and Europe, Chou said in an interview with Bloomberg News, with the rest of Asia to follow.Chou’s headset is the latest in a long line of devices like Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift, which have tried to bring VR into the mainstream without much success so far. The XRSpace gadget is still months away from store shelves and few have had a chance to test or even view it. But the entrepreneur says he’s already signed up 40 to 50 apps for his VR platform.XRSpace’s ambition is to come up with uses for the 5G networks that carriers are rolling out globally.“5G is coming. It feels like 2002, when we first had 2.5G data networks and the first smartphones like the O2 XDA started coming out,” Chou said. “Today, the smartphone experience of togetherness is primitive” because it fails to capture the full range of human expression. XRSpace’s headset uses cameras to pick up hand gestures and track the wearer’s motions, and it creates a lifelike avatar from a selfie. Chou promised it’ll let users perform real-world actions like shaking hands or shooting a basketball in a natural way.The XRSpace founder quit HTC after the popularity of its smartphones waned, but now he’s hoping VR will help a comeback.To build its virtual world, XRSpace has been designing public and private spaces for users to inhabit and even creating virtual stadiums where sports fans can gather together for a shared viewing of a ballgame. The coronavirus outbreak has triggered an uptick in interest in shared remote experiences, as signaled by rapper Travis Scott’s virtual concert in the game Fortnite and Sony Corp.’s Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida expressing interest in streaming live concerts to the company’s PlayStation VR headset.Read more: Fortnite, Rappers and the Billion-Dollar Pandemic Gaming BoomThe pandemic was initially an obstacle for XRSpace, whose launch had been planned for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, one of the first global events to be canceled by the spread of the virus. Chou said that manufacturing was set back by roughly two months because of it, and the XRSpace headset is now expected to launch in the third quarter of this year, starting with Taiwan where the company has the most partnerships lined up.But the upside for XRSpace, according to Head of Content Kurt Liu, is that many more interested parties -- such as educational institutions asking about distance learning and collaboration tools -- have been reaching out. Liu’s team has been working with hundreds of developers since last year and already has more than 40 apps embedded in the platform, he said. Those include games as well as wellness and relaxation applications, for which the company has recruited health care experts with decades of experience.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. confirmed it acquired NextVR, a startup that provides sports and other content for virtual-reality headsets.The acquisition may help Apple’s development of VR and AR headsets with accompanying software and content. NextVR supplies content to several existing VR headsets, including Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and devices from Sony Corp., HTC Corp. and Lenovo.NextVR has deals with sports leagues including the National Basketball Association and entertainment networks such as Fox Sports. The startup also has expertise in live streaming in virtual reality, which could also be useful for live concerts and games.The Newport Beach, California-based startup officially shut down this week, saying on its website that it is “heading in a new direction.” Apple said it buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and generally does not discuss its purpose or plans. It didn’t disclose a purchase price, but website 9to5Mac reported in April that Apple was in talks to buy NextVR for about $100 million.The deal is at least the third for Apple this year, following the purchase of Voysis, an Irish startup that focuses on voice technology, and Dark Sky, a popular weather app.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Let me start by saying that I am new to writing about Alphabet Inc. I’m usually based in Asia, where I write about Foxconn Technology Group, Samsung Electronics Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., among others.These are huge companies that lead their sectors and have different levels of transparency. When I started preparing to cover U.S. technology giants, I figured that the high standards of earnings disclosure at the center of global capitalism would make life a little easier.Then I started looking at Alphabet Inc., which on Monday reported revenue that missed some estimates. It beggars belief that for more than a decade analysts, investors and traders were forced to navigate blind through the black box that was its earnings report.Then came Monday’s announcement.For the first time, executives deigned to tell investors just how much revenue comes from YouTube ($15.1 billion) and from its cloud business ($8.9 billion). It feels like a revelation, as though we’ve been let in on a secret. But when you live in a dark cave, even candlelight can seem bright.While I welcome this move toward transparency, it feels more like a company trying to pacify investors rather than truly inform them. It’s long overdue, but the company can do even more.Before the fourth-quarter earnings announcement, Alphabet broke down advertising revenue only by properties, by network members’ properties, other revenue and other bets. By region, investors are given EMEA, APAC, U.S. and Other Americas. And it shares traffic acquisition costs. Now it’s added two more line items: YouTube, the world’s most ubiquitous video-sharing platform, and Cloud — a hot business that competes against Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and dozens of others.Despite this additional information, I still don’t think investors truly have an understanding of exactly where this company gets its revenue, what divisions make and burn money, and which platforms are lucrative and which are loss leaders (or just losers).Google search and other advertising accounted for 61% of sales last year; that’s a very big pie that could certainly by sliced up further. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that the two extra divisions it’s breaking out are the ones that grew the fastest last year.Still lacking is any clarity on the product that gives directions to more people than anyone else (Google Maps), the one that has become one of the most pervasive email services (Gmail) nor the operating system that’s in the hands of literally billions of people across the planet (Android). I don’t own shares in Alphabet or any company I cover. But as an investor, I’d want to understand just how Google monetizes the Android operating system and whether that’s improving or deteriorating in tandem with the spread of smartphones globally. I’d also like to know whether Maps and Gmail are winners or loss leaders. Of course, it would be fascinating to know how that $1 billion HTC Corp. acquisition is faring, given that it’s meant to be a springboard into hardware devices that pit Google against its own Android partners.I guess Alphabet just lumps all this in with Google search or “Other.” Investors are right to want more information.And it’s not some esoteric pondering. There’s evidence to suggest that disclosure truly matters. For example, a study by Stanford University accounting professor Mary Barth and her co-authors found that “firms with more transparent earnings enjoy a lower cost of capital.” And Professor Robert G. Eccles of the University of Oxford and previously of Harvard Business School has written numerous papers discussing transparency from different angles, including the conclusion that the U.S. ranks low in terms of quality of disclosure.Amazon.com Inc. is an example of a company that’s improving. Its disclosures, in my opinion, have become more enlightening over the years to the point that observers can analyze multiple slices of the business to get a sense of which units are more profitable, which are growing, and where it’s making money. Investors can see, for example, that its overseas business is a loser and physical retail shrank. Yet those facts didn’t stop its market value from surpassing $1 trillion last week. Amazon still falls a little short, though.For a gold standard in transparency, let me offer up Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which trades in New York and Taipei. Despite being a $270 billion company entrusted with the secrets of the world’s most important technology clients, the chipmaker offers so much information about how it operates that you could almost replicate its business model. It may be worth noting that both TSMC and Amazon provided better risk-adjusted returns over the five years to Dec. 31 than Alphabet, though remember that correlation doesn’t equal causality.So while I applaud Alphabet on these latest disclosures, there’s no doubt that the world’s biggest search engine has a whole lot more to share.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.