Facebook (FB) just can’t seem to catch a break in the media these days. I mean, to be fair, when you, as the largest social media platform in the universe, partner up with consulting firm who lied about their intentions to perform psychological research on 270,000 but ended up selling user data from 50 million profiles to help the Republican Party take the 2016 election, it’s only fair that you receive a bit of bad press.
In most recent negative news, Michael Vachon, an aide to billionaire George Soros, is demanding that Facebook (FB) conduct an external investigation following the release of a report published by the New York Times, the subject matter of which describes seemingly sketchy measures exercised by the Facebook leadership team in the wake of the 2016 US election scandal. According to the report, Facebook employed the help of Definers, a historically right-leaning research firm to “discredit protesters, in part by linking them to liberal financier George Soros.
“A research document circulated by Definers [the PR firm engaged by Facebook] to reporters this summer, just a month after the House hearing, cast Mr. Soros as the unacknowledged force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.”
–New York Times Report
The report published by the Times also suggests that Facebook (FB) used their connections to lobby a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic. Facebook (FB) immediately responded to the allegations presented in the report, and fully denied ever instructing Definers to conduct any sort of a smear campaign on its behalf.
“Definers did encourage members of the press to look into the funding of ‘Freedom from Facebook,’ an anti-Facebook organization. The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company.To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.”
–Official statement from Facebook
In addition to handling the Soros investigation, on Thursday, Facebook (FB) published the details of thirteen national security letters sent from the FBI demanding immediate access to the platform’s user database.
For the uninformed public, a national security letter or NSL is an official request from the federal government for information related to an investigation into a threat to national security. Traditionally, NSLs are served in secret to companies or individuals in question, alongside a cute little NDA or, “non-disclosure agreement,” commonly referred to in the business as a “gag order.”
In the aftermath of the Russian interference debacle, Facebook (FB) added a ‘Transparency’ section to their platform as a sign of good faith to any mistrusting users. The page alleges that every request the company receives from the government is “carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency” and, on occasion, the company “may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague.” Facebook’s latest transparency report indicates that demands from the federal government have climbed nearly 26% year-over-year, from 82,341 to 103,815 requests. According to the report, over 50% of the requests included a non-disclose agreement that restricted the company from informing its users that their data was being analyzed.
“While fulfilling your obligations under this letter, please do not disable, suspend, lock, cancel, or interrupt service to the above-described subscriber [Facebook user] or accounts. A service interruption or deflation may alert the subscriber and account users to the investigative action.”
-FBI National Security Letter File No. NSL-17-431971
In laymen’s terms, the FBI, on multiple occasions, conducted investigations into Facebook (FB) user data, and the feds expected Facebook (FB) to keep its mouth shut. The obvious question is this: can we still trust Facebook (FB)? The fact that at any moment, pursuant to a subpoena from the US government, our data may be analyzed and used as evidence to support a federal investigation.
Though I fully support deterring threats to national security, I think if the FBI is flipping through my profile pictures and “likes/dislikes” I, along with the other billion users on Facebook (FB), have a right to know.
Blackberry Stock Price Corrects 23% In A Month, A Value Buy?
There was a time when BlackBerry Limited (BB) used to be one of the leaders of the telecommunication industry by virtue of its smartphones. However, the company’s glory days are well in the past and the stock declined by more than 15% recently after it released its results for Q1 2019. The stock is now trading less than $8 but at the same time, it is important to note that the company has managed to deliver as far as its top-line figures are concerned.
Poor Earnings Lower Blackberry Stock Price
The software and services division is now the company’s most important division. It has emerged as the biggest revenue generator for the Canadian company. Overall sales for Blackberry rose 16% year over year in the latest reported quarter.
However, in the software and services, it was a far more pleasing picture. Its GAAP revenues rose 27% year over year. The company seems to be on the right track in terms of its plan to turn around. But the market doesn’t seem to take a fancy to it. The reasons behind this might have something to do with allegations made by certain parties.
They say that the company uses non-GAAP methods to report earnings. If there is any kind of accounting cloud over a company, growth may be far away.
Where Does This Leave Blackberry Stock Price?
However, Blackberry has been quick to defend itself against these allegations. Financial disclosures of the company are fully SEC compliant. It remains to be seen whether the SEC takes an interest in the matter.
This problem has been the biggest reason behind the underperformance of Blackberry stock price. That’s despite the company’s decent performance. The acquisition of machine learning company Cyclane is also a positive development. But it remains to be seen how it affects Blackberry’s future growth.
Uber Technologies (UBER) Stock Price Hits $45 Mark Again; Are Delivery Stocks Set To Fly?
Uber Technologies (UBER) stock price hit its IPO level of $45 again. Since its IPO, this becomes the fourth time that the company has hit its $45 mark. Each time it has been a real challenge for the company to rise above the IPO price.
Uber has made its name through its market dominance however it’s growth continues to be slow-paced and also has continuous losses, making Uber less attractive to many. However, the thing that Uber has done is bring more attention to the on-demand and delivery stock arena.
Special Delivery: Small-Cap Delivery Stocks Are Gaining Ground In Cannabis
Driven Deliveries Inc. (OTC: DRVD) is one of the only publicly traded cannabis delivery service operating in the United States. Now that’s what we call first-mover advantage. Driven Deliveries provides on-demand marijuana delivery in select cities where allowed by law. The service provides the legal cannabis consumer the ability to purchase and receive their marijuana in a fast and convenient manner.
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Consumers are growing increasingly lazy with most of all purchases from retail to food shopping being done online. And now you can add weed to that list. Driven Deliveries (OTC: DRVD) is quickly gaining steam in legal US markets as the new delivery option for customers is resulting in increased revenue and transactions for dispensaries.
Food delivery apps and services such as GrubHub and Uber Eats have already expanded revenue generated in the food-service industry by 22% or more. Consumers love getting what they want without having to leave their house to get it, plain and simple.
In Spite Of Being A Broken IPO, Still Worth An Investment
Cannabis is just one small niche expanding into the on-demand technology market. Uber has always managed to capture the headlines. This week it did that by launching itself in the sixth German city, Hamburg. The company further has plans to acquire Postmates which gives UberEats a heavy competition provided the price is right.
McDonald’s exclusivity with Uber also came to an end this year with the former getting into a contract with DoorDash. The company is set to report its financial results for Q2 on August 8. Uber had given accounts of its earlier performance through the prospectus issued during the IPO.
UBER stock price has been trading at $40 range since June. But, the figure is likely to change in the coming future for better. Uber has been able to disrupt various markets like those of food delivery, personal mobility, and freight logistics. In Q1 results, the company had reported 93 million monthly active platform consumers.
The revenue of the company has been on a slow rise especially on a net basis. The company sends a major portion of the money received to its drivers to keep them encouraged and active. This is a move that is not going away anytime soon. The deep deficits could also prove to be advantageous for the company.
Even though Uber looks like a broken IPO, it still leads in its industry. The concerns with the valuation persist still for good reasons. Uber continues to ride at a market cap which is five times the current year’s revenue. But, one would have to wait till 2025 to see a positive earning in the growing market.
Stock Price Friday Update – July 19, 2019
ROKU Stock Price Hits Another Life Time High: Good News For Tech Stocks?
In 2019 alone, ROKU stock has risen by as much as 271% as the company continued to add new customers and boosted revenues from advertising. However, could the latest surge be a signal for the next bull market in tech?
3 Biotech Stocks To Watch After Big News This Month
Here is a look at 3 biotechnology stocks that proved to be winners recently.
IPO News: Medallia Goes Public On Friday, July 19
Over 14 million shares of the company will be available to be traded at $16 to $18 per share on NYSE. And of course, investors will be watching MDAL stock price closely. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo Securities will oversee the IPO.
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