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Amazon-backed Rivian to delay first EV deliveries until September

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(Reuters) -Amazon.com Inc-backed electric-vehicle startup Rivian Automotive will delay the deliveries of its debut vehicle by more than a month due to supply chain issues, according to a letter written by its CEO to customers.

Rivian, seen as a potential Tesla Inc rival, said the timing for the first deliveries of its R1T pickup initially slated for July has now been pushed to September, while that of R1S SUVs have been delayed until the fall.

“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated,” Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe said in a letter reviewed by Reuters.

“Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply has been impacted.”

The global semiconductor crunch has forced carmakers including Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors to cut output as the chip market was swept clean by makers of consumer electronics.

California-based Rivian, also backed by Ford, is looking to go public later this year and could target a valuation of about $70 billion, Bloomberg News reported in May.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/amazon-backed-rivian-delay-first-ev-deliveries-september/16414

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KDnuggets™ News 21:n28, Jul 28: Design patterns in machine learning; The Best NLP Course is Free

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KDnuggets™ News 21:n28, Jul 28: Design patterns in machine learning; The Best NLP Course is Free

What are the Design patterns for Machine Learning and why you should know them? For more advanced readers, how to use Kafka Connect to create an open source data pipeline for processing real-time data; The state-of-the-art NLP course is freely available; Python Data Structures Compared; Update your Machine Learning skills this summer.


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What are the Design patterns for Machine Learning and why you should know them? For more advanced readers, how to use Kafka Connect to create an open source data pipeline for processing real-time data; The state-of-the-art NLP course is freely available; Python Data Structures Compared; Update your Machine Learning skills this summer; and more.

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Source: https://www.kdnuggets.com/2021/n28.html

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Adecco Group to buy AKKA Technologies in $2.4 billion deal

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ZURICH (Reuters) – Adecco Group has agreed to buy AKKA Technologies in a deal worth 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) on an enterprise value basis, the companies said on Wednesday, with Adecco combining AKKA with its own Modis tech brand.

Adecco said it was buying the engineering and technical consulting group, which is listed on Euronext Paris and in Brussels, to expand its professional staffing line which has higher margins and is less sensitive to the economic cycle than its general staffing business.

“We are very pleased to announce today that AKKA Technologies and Modis will come together in a landmark transaction,” Adecco Group CEO Alain Dehaze said in a statement.

The Swiss company, which competes with Randstad as the world’s largest provider of temporary staffing, said the combination with science and IT staffing business Modis would create be the second largest player in the sector, with 50,000 workers on their books.

The deal would be margin and earnings per share accretive from the first year, and would be economic value added positive from year three, Adecco said.

The acquisition, for a multiple of 10.6 times estimated 2022 earnings before interest, tax and depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), is expected to be closed in the first half of 2022, subject to approvals.

AKKA reported revenues of 1.5 billion euros in 2020 and an operating loss of 170.5 million euros as it was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

($1 = 0.8460 euros)

(Reporting by John Revill and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Maria Sheahan)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/adecco-group-buy-akka-technologies-24-billion-deal/16674

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Microsoft sees steady cloud growth after record quarterly profit

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By Akanksha Rana and Julia Love

(Reuters) -Microsoft Corp posted its most profitable quarter on Tuesday, beating Wall Street expectations for revenue and earnings, as PC sales declines stemming from a global chip shortage were more than made up for by a boom in cloud services.

Shares ticked up 0.7% after Microsoft projected that growth in its Azure cloud computing business will continue apace following a quarter in which sales climbed 51%.

Overall revenue rose 21% to $46.2 billion, beating analysts’ consensus by about $2 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The pandemic-driven shift to remote work has boosted consumer appetite for cloud-based computing, helping companies including Microsoft, Amazon.com Inc’s cloud unit and Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud.

Microsoft’s “guidance was off-the-charts strong and it shows the cloud growth story in Redmond is hitting its next gear,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities.

Revenue in Microsoft’s “Intelligent Cloud” segment rose 30% to $17.4 billion, with growth in Azure revenues handily surpassing the 43.1% jump projected by analysts, according to consensus data from Visible Alpha.

Microsoft’s market capitalization stands at nearly $2.2 trillion, after climbing nearly 30% so far this year, compared with 18% for the overall S&P 500 Index, according to Refinitiv Eikon data based on Monday’s closing price.

It has surpassed the price-to-earnings ratios of tech titans Apple Inc and Google, fueling concerns among some analysts that it may be overvalued.

“Microsoft’s stock has made a big run since the beginning of the pandemic, and is trading at rich multiples,” said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at Investing.com. “After such a powerful rally, its shares may take a breather, especially when investors are still unclear how the demand scenario will evolve in the post-pandemic environment.”

Revenue from personal computing, which includes Windows software and Xbox gaming consoles, rose 9% to $14.1 billion.

But Xbox content and services revenue dipped, suggesting that a pandemic-fueled gaming boom is beginning to wane, said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight. The company must strengthen its presence in the home to better compete with rivals, he added.

As makers of cars to smartphones grapple with an unprecedented chip shortage, Microsoft has not been immune.

“OEM revenue declined 3% and Surface declined 20%,” Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said on a call with analysts. She added that “both were impacted by the significant supply constraints noted earlier in a good demand environment.”

The chip shortage could also be contributing to Microsoft’s dip in Xbox content and services revenue, as constrained hardware sales lead to a weaker performance in services, Ives said.

“If there’s any lagging part of Microsoft, it’s the consumer piece,” he said. “I think that continues to be a work in progress.”

Microsoft projected strong growth for professional social network LinkedIn, which benefited during the quarter from robust advertising and a strengthening job market.

The company reported earnings of $2.17 per share, above the consensus estimate of $1.92.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Julia Love; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Richard Chang and Cynthia Osterman)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/microsoft-sees-steady-cloud-growth-record-quarterly-profit/16673

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LG Display’s Q2 profit beats estimates as panel prices rise; shares up

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By Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd on Wednesday posted a better-than-expected second-quarter profit as pandemic-led demand for TVs and laptops drove up panel prices, pushing its shares up as much as 4.2% in morning trade.

The display maker, whose customers include Apple Inc, reported an operating profit of 701 billion won ($607 million) in the April-June quarter, beating an average analyst forecast of 599 billion won from Refinitiv SmartEstimate. Revenue rose 31% on-year to 7 trillion won.

Prices of LG Display’s mainstay 55-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for TV sets more than doubled in the April-June quarter from the same period a year earlier, according to market data from TrendForce’s WitsView.

Still, panel prices are slated to fall in the latter half of the year, as Chinese panel makers ramp up production on the back of a slight easing in the shortage of semiconductor parts, especially display driver integrated circuits (DDI), analysts said.

As well, vaccinated people around the world are venturing outdoors and watching less TV, prompting TV makers to take a conservative view on demand and lower panel procurement levels, analysts said.

“We are planning to operate our business on the assumption that IT panel prices might be partially mitigated and decline,” Chief Financial Officer Suh Dong-hee told an earnings briefing, citing issues including competitors’ panel production capacity and the parts supply situation.

Market demand for LCD TVs was likely to decline more quickly than for IT devices, which would likely lead to weaker panel prices for LCD TVs, Suh said.

Apple on Tuesday said a global chip shortage that has bit into its ability to sell Macs and iPads will start to affect iPhone production and forecast slowing revenue growth.

Analysts said the global chip supply crunch has pushed up prices of consumer electronic gadgets, including laptops, TVs and smartphones as manufacturers adjust prices to reflect component cost increases in their pricing, however, prices were unlikely to continue to rise as the chip shortage is expected to ease in the second half of the year.

LG Display’s stock has risen more than a fifth so far this year, versus a 12.5% rise in the broader market. The stock was up 2.2% in late morning trade.

($1 = 1,154.2800 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/lg-displays-q2-profit-beats-estimates-panel-prices-rise-shares/16672

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