Here are some things going on today in the world of tech :Snap Judgment
Shares of Snap (SNAP) are up 23 cents, or 2%, at $10.82, after Michael Nathanson with the boutique MoffettNathanson research house raised his rating on the shares this morning to Neutral from Sell. Nathanson concluded " several factors could potentially improve Snap's situation throughout the year, including the redesign of the app redesign, completion of the shift to a programmatic advertising model, launch of the new Android app, and a leaner organizational structure."
Nathanson thinks it's time to unwind the short thesis given what could be an improving story for the stock.
After cutting his estimates for this year's revenue by 40%, to $1.17 billion, he finds the stock is "still crazy expensive at 12 times 2018 revenue," but that as the company "reverses" its "ill-conceived redesign, user growth will improve which could help the narrative."Micron Hikes Numbers
Shares of memory-chip technology firm Micron Technology (MU) are up $1.96, or almost 4%, at $55.35, after the company this morning hiked its quarterly outlook for revenue and profit well above what it predicted back on March 22.
The update came in advance of the company's annual analyst day meeting happening in New York this afternoon. Micron now expects revenue this quarter of $7.7 billion to $7.8 billion, up from a prior range of $7.2 billion to $7.6 billion, and earnings per share of $3.12 to $3.16, up from a prior range of $2.76 to $2.90.
In response, Evercore ISI's CJ Muse reiterates an Outperform rating, and an $80 price target, writing that Micron's outlook suggests " DRAM pricing is holding up well in the May Q," and that "Micron's cost down efforts, particularly in 3D NAND, are going extremely well […] gross margins for NAND are tracking higher by 200bps Q/Q to ~45%."
He also thinks Micron's paying down of its convertible debt "could be coming in faster than expected." All this means earnings for the August-ending fiscal Q4 could end up being over $3.40 per share-"nicely ahead of consensus of $2.87." Look for "peak" EPS of $13 or $14, he believes.
To tune in to this afternoon's analyst meeting, follow the link to the webcast on the Micron investor relations site.Alphabet's 60 Minutes Turn
Alphabet (GOOGL) shares are up $15.88, or 1.5%, at $1,085.52, after the company yesterday evening was the subject of a segment on 60 Minutes hosted by Steve Kroft. The feature was an exploration of the "growing concerns about the enormous, unchecked power accumulated by Internet giants."
Alphabet's Google was deemed the "most powerful, intriguing in our lives" among those Internet giants.
Among the damning quotes were those of Gary Reback, famed anti-trust lawyer, remarking on the company's many lines of business that "of course Google's a monopoly. In fact they're a monopoly in several markets. They're a monopoly in search. They're a monopoly in search advertising."
And Annenberg Innovation Lab director emeritus Jonathan Taplin says "They have this phrase they use,'competition is just a click away.' They have no competition. Bing, their competition, has 2% of the market. They have 90%."
Yelp (YELP) CEO Jeremy Stoppelman says anyone trying to do what he did in making Yelp would fail because "if you provide great content in one of these categories that is lucrative to Google, and seen as potentially threatening, they will snuff you out."
Not much response yet from the Street, but CFRA Research's Scotyt Kessler reiterates his Strong Buy rating on the stock, writing that "we do not think the segment revealed or made news, highlighting only Google critics, including three interviewees (of the four featured in the piece) who have been well-known and mostly long-time antagonists of the business."
"We acknowledge legal and regulatory risks, but see a compelling valuation, and think a federal U.S. inquiry is unlikely."
Google declined to be interviewed, notes Kroft, and offered a written statement saying its algorithms do not give specific placements in its results for certain companies but instead seeks to provide the best search results.VMware Trends Looking Good
Shares of virtualization pioneers VMware (VMW) are down 61 cents at $138.38, after Credit Suisse's Brad Zelnick reiterated an Outperform rating, and raised his price target to $155 from $140, in advance of the company's May 31 earnings report. His "field checks" of the business suggest a "solid quarter," with "healthy traction across the portfolio."
The stock has gotten less pricey with the headlines over majority owner Dell Technologies (DVMT) possibly doing a reverse merger: "VMW is trading at 14.3x EV/CY19 uFCF, a significant discount to peer RHT, which trades at 24.8x."
"We highlight the multiple gap has widened by 2 turns since news of the potential Dell-VMW merger arose. VMW trades at a discount to slower-growth infra."
Sign up to Review & Preview, a new daily email from Barron's. Every evening we'll review the news that moved markets during the day and look ahead to what it means for your portfolio in the morning.