Browsing: Business

The Réseau des SADC et CAE Thanks the Government of Canada for the Addition of Funding Dedicated to Small Businesses in the Regions

QUÉBEC, April 17, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The Réseau des SADC et CAE would like to sincerely thank the Government of Canada for this essential financial contribution of $ 287 million that the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right honourable Justin Trudeau, has just granted to the 67 SADC and CAE of Quebec and to 268 organizations across the country. The discussions with Minister Mélanie Joly and her team have borne fruit, and we would like to thank her very warmly for her listening and her determination in this matter. Our strong partnership with Canada Economic Development also helped bring this announcement to fruition, helping smaller businesses survive during this extremely difficult time.
According to Daniel Dumas, president of the Réseau des SADC et CAE, “SMEs are the engine of the economy in rural Quebec. With this financial contribution from the federal government, we will be able to continue our work with the agility and speed of delivery, which are our hallmarks, to help entrepreneurs ensure their stability and prepare for recovery.”
Discussions will take place over the next few days with government officials to ensure the rapid delivery of this financial assistance. More details will be released shortly.
ABOUT RÉSEAU DES SADC ET CAEThe Network of Community Futures Development Corporations (SADCs) and Community Business Development Centers (CAEs) brings together 57 SADCs and 10 CAEs who have worked for nearly 40 years in the economic development of their community. Over 1,400 professionals and volunteers support and finance more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and local economic development projects each year. The SADCs and CAEs offer entrepreneurs personalized and sustained support, also flexible financing products tailored to their needs.
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SOURCE Réseau des SADC et CAE

Investor Mary Meeker says Covid-19 crisis is separating businesses with strong online strategies from laggards

Mary Meeker presents her annual Internet Trends Report at Code 2018.
Asa Mathat | Vox Media

Mary Meeker, the former tech investment banker who has spent the past decade in venture capital, is out with a new 29-page report on how the coronavirus is shaping economic activity, consumer behavior and technology.
The report, which Axios published on Friday, says businesses that are doing the best in the current crisis use cloud technologies, sell products that are always needed, can easily be found online, make other businesses more efficient and have a good social media presence.

Those dynamics are at work for restaurants, stores, online education, health providers and software companies.
“Many of these offline-to-online trends have been in place for a while,” the report says. “Covid-19 just accelerated them.”
In the world of on-demand services, which has raked in tens of billions of dollars in capital in recent years, fortunes are split. Uber and Lyft are struggling from a plunge in ridership and Airbnb is getting crushed from a drop in travel.
Meanwhile, Instacart and DoorDash, which are in the business of delivering food and groceries “have experienced surging demand and are aggressively bringing on new workers,” the report said. “Net, we believe on-demand and to-the-door delivery services may be gaining permanent market share in these unusual times.”
Meeker’s firm also sees technology’s role in health and medicine playing a bigger role as the crisis unfolds. Telehealth is allowing people to get critical services from home, connected monitoring devices are showing they can help improve outcomes and we’re seeing the importance of automation and artificial intelligence. 

“The current crisis is a reminder that our healthcare labor resources were already stretched then,” the report says. “Automation will continue to make inroads in healthcare to reduce workload and improve the quality of data capture.”
Meeker, who was previously a partner at Kleiner Perkins, is known for producing an annual “Internet Trends” report that spans hundreds of pages and details macro issues across the globe.  
WATCH: WHO issues warning about coronavirus testing

Flaws in America’s Plan to Save Midsize Business Portend More Trouble

Goodwill of San Francisco has too many employees to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s forgivable loans, but its income has ground to a standstill as the coronavirus closes stores and chokes off the clothing donations that make up its inventory.William Rogers, the Goodwill chapter’s chief executive, has been forced to furlough most of his 600 employees, many of them formerly incarcerated or recently homeless, and it is unclear when the nonprofit will have the business to bring them back.At the Tuscany Suites in Las Vegas, a privately owned hotel and casino that employs more than 700 people, revenues disappeared overnight as Nevada closed up shop for social distancing. The company laid off more than 600 of its employees, said Grayson McNees, the general manager, who is now focused on cutting costs.Both organizations are slipping through the cracks, highlighting a glaring omission in the government’s economic response to the pandemic.The government’s small-business loans, which can be forgiven if employers hang onto their workers, are only available to companies with up to 500 employees. Congress has left it to the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to help midsize businesses — those with roughly more than 500 employees and fewer than 10,000.But the Fed’s recently announced program will offer those companies only cheap bank loans that cannot be forgiven — potentially saddling them with debt loads that would make a post-crisis rebound more painful. Payments on the debt will be waived for a year, but borrowers will need to return the principal eventually. Those who cannot pay the money back quickly would owe interest on the four-year loan.That may be an unattractive prospect for many businesses facing uncertain futures, limiting program use.

California governor names Steyer, Yellen and tech CEOs to business recovery task force

Gavin Newsom
Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, who launched an expensive unsuccessful presidential campaign, will co-chair a task force in California that will focus on getting the economy up and running again.
The panel, announced on Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, will be composed of more than 70 members including former Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Steyer’s co-chair will be Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary, a former senior advisor to Hilary Clinton.
The task force’s goal is to help Californian’s recover as fast as possible from the economic calamity resulting from the coronavirus.
The economic task force will meet twice a month through 2020.
California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world and Newsom has acknowledged the stunning economic toll of the coronavirus.
A record 2.7 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits in the last month, according to the governor.

The Newsom administration projects the unemployment rate could top records set during the 2009 Great Recession when close to 13% of Californian’s were unemployed.
Despite California being the most populous state in the country and containing two densely packed cities – San Francisco and Los Angeles – a relatively low 28,000 cases have been confirmed in the state, including 970 deaths, according to California’s Health Department.

By contrast, New York has confirmed more than 222,000 cases and more than 12,000 deaths. 

Newsom has been out front of American’s coronavirus crisis, issuing a stay-at-home order for the state on March 19, making California the first in the country to do so.
Earlier this week he outlined a framework for reopening the economy, along with west coast neighbors Oregon and Washington.
Newsom has declined to give a timeline for when stay-at-home orders would be lifted, it currently extends through May 3 statewide and longer in places like Los Angeles which has an order in effect until May 15.

They Filed for Unemployment Last Month. They Haven’t Seen a Dime.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has repeatedly promised to fix New York’s archaic unemployment-insurance system, which has been overwhelmed by an unprecedented wave of claims.The state has partnered with Google to overhaul the online application, staffed call centers with hundreds of additional workers and expanded their call-volume capacity, and vowed to address outstanding unemployment claims within 72 hours.Carly Keohane has yet to benefit from any of those improvements.Ms. Keohane, who lost her waitressing job in Rochester, N.Y., has been waiting a month to receive $2,124 in unemployment payments as a direct deposit into her bank account.But the state instead told her that the money had been deposited on a state-issued debit card, which she never received. She cannot get anyone on the phone to find out where it is.“I call the Department of Labor every single day, and I know the options by heart now,” said Ms. Keohane, 31, whose checking account was down to $10.35. “It would be OK if I just knew where the money was.”As the coronavirus pandemic and near-nationwide stay-at-home orders exact an astonishing toll on the American economy, states’ unemployment systems have cratered under a never-before-seen deluge of jobless claims. Over the past four weeks, about 22 million workers filed jobless claims, including about 1.2 million New Yorkers.Unemployment systems, some of which rely on an antiquated computer programming language that has largely gone the way of dinosaurs, were not built for such a rush of claimants.They also were not built for a new class of workers — independent contractors and the self-employed — now eligible for assistance during the pandemic.The results have been disastrous and maddening. Many people have had their online applications crash before they could hit submit, requiring them to start again from scratch. They have endured hourslong wait times over several days only to get randomly disconnected, or connected with representatives who say they cannot fix their issues.In other states, including Kansas and Missouri, applicants say that they are still waiting for their unemployment payments to arrive, and that they have experienced long wait times on the phone, as well as busy signals, disconnections and error-prone online applications.

Homebuilding just had its worst month since 1984. What traders see ahead for the group

Homebuilders are hurting.
U.S. home construction in March endured its worst monthly decline since 1984 as housing starts fell by over 22% from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Homebuilder confidence was also pummeled, with one key indicator seeing the biggest drop in its 35-year history.

Home construction stocks have reflected the weakness. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) and SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) are down this week, the ITB falling over 4.5% and the XHB losing nearly 3.5%. Year to date, the ITB is down almost 28% while the XHB is down over 28%.
 Some market watchers including Chantico Global CEO Gina Sanchez expect the pain to continue so long as measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus remain in place.
“I think the general feeling and consensus is that supply chains and just the ability to build inventory right now is really challenged,” Sanchez told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday. “Until the mitigation efforts are kind of removed and we have the ability to be able to walk in and see homes, we’re probably going to see continued slowdown in this market.”
Todd Gordon, managing partner at Ascent Wealth Partners, said investors could still find some attractive stocks within the two main homebuilding ETFs, adding that he likes the ITB’s technical setup.
While the ITB’s holdings are roughly 70% construction and homebuilding stocks, “there is still a large component in home improvement services, specifically Home Depot,” Gordon said. “We have about 10% in Home Depot and Lowe’s and other services like that. So, we hold Home Depot in our portfolios at Ascent and I view this as a nice place to hang out.”

The long-term uptrend on Home Depot’s weekly chart, which showed the stock holding above its 200-week moving average around $180, was encouraging, Gordon said. Home Depot shares were up 4% on Friday, near $207.79.
The daily chart indicates Home Depot has some more room to run, Gordon said.

“The daily has the 200-day [moving average] above us at 220. We have this breakdown period about 210,” he said. “That’s going to be a lot of wood to chop, but I do think [with] home improvement projects — I’m doing some at home — people will come back. And I do think once this thing normalizes, I do think people will start to move into homebuilding, perhaps move out of the metro areas.”
Sanchez agreed that things should look up once the U.S. coronavirus outbreak is under control.
“There is the expectation that once these mitigation efforts are removed and you have more ability to be able to get back to a normally functioning market, there is demand out there and there is a shortage of supply. That should be beneficial,” she said. “And, also, anecdotal evidence would suggest that there is a tremendous amount of home improvement activity going on in lieu of other activities.”
The ITB climbed nearly 5% Friday.
Disclosure: Ascent Wealth Partners owns shares of Home Depot.

Denmark's re-opening of some businesses sets off a stampede for haircuts

COPENHAGEN (BLOOMBERG) – On Monday (April 20), Danes will be able to get a professional hair cut for the first time in over a month, after lawmakers agreed to free hairdressers from the country’s lockdown.
The news triggered a frenzy of activity as thousands tried to get an appointment. It was too much for one of the country’s main booking sites, which crashed a few hours after the announcement was made. Even lawmakers and union leaders tweeted their intention to squeeze in a hair cut as soon as possible.
The development shows how desperate people are to return to normal life. Denmark stands out as one of the first European countries to impose severe restrictions on movement after the threat of Covid-19 became clear. Thanks to its early response, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says it’s now possible to try to return to normal sooner than others.

Denmark sent its youngest children back to school on Wednesday. Lawmakers agreed this morning to let judges resume normal operations later this month, while other businesses freed from the lockdown include driving schools and tattoo parlours. Dentists are also set to reopen their practices, though Danes seemed more eager to get their hair done than arrange to have their teeth checked.
With the latest data exposing the economic damage done by the lockdown, the government is fielding calls from business leaders to let firms get back to work. Danish consumers spent 25 per cent less over Easter than they did a year earlier, Danske Bank estimates (the figure excludes grocery stores, which have remained open throughout).
“No one wants to keep Denmark shut one day longer than is absolutely necessary,” Frederiksen said. “But we can’t proceed so fast that we’re unable to keep the epidemic under control.”

Morten Ostergaard, the leader of the Social Liberals that form part of the ruling bloc in parliament, said the new agreement is a welcome relief for small businesses. He also said he’d already made a hairdresser’s appointment, in a tweet sent just minutes after the deal was struck.
The latest decision follows considerable pressure from parliament’s centre-right parties. But talks were steered by guidance from Denmark’s top medical experts, Frederiksen said. And while some small businesses were cleared to resume business, many other corners of the economy will remain shuttered, including cafes, restaurants and bars. Denmark’s borders are still closed, travel restrictions still apply and groups of more than 10 will continue to be banned.

Denmark, like other countries, is weighing the health risks against the catastrophic economic damage of a protracted lockdown. Frederiksen’s government estimates a slow return to normal would wipe 6 per cent off GDP, double the contraction seen in a quick re-opening of the economy.
Frederiksen has made clear that any signs of a rebound in contagion rates would trigger an instant return to the tightest restrictions.

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Imaflex Reports 2019 Q4 and Fiscal Year Results, Provides Business Update

Imaflex considered an essential vendor; all plants remain fully operational
Strong 2019 performance on constant currency basis, particularly given dynamic pricing environment and reduced high margin citrus film sales versus prior year
Q4 2019 revenues of $18.7 million, versus $22.5 million in 2018; FY 2019 down 6.1% to $81.1 million, primarily due to pricing
Q4 and FY 2019 gross margins strengthen over 2018
Excluding foreign exchange, Q4 and FY 2019 EBITDA1up year-over-year
Q4 net income of $0.3 million, compared to $0.6 million in 2018
FY 2019 net income of $1.5 million or $0.03 per share, versus $3.6 million and $0.07 per share in 2018 2 
Q4 and FY 2019 operating cash flows remain strong
MONTREAL, April 17, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Imaflex Inc. (“Imaflex” or the “Corporation”) (TSXV: IFX), announces its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and fiscal year (FY) ended December 31, 2019 and provides a business update. All amounts are in Canadian dollars.
“During 2019 our solid line-up of innovative products allowed us to attract and retain customers, albeit at lower than historical sales prices, due to a competitive pricing environment and decreased resin costs,” highlighted Mr. Joe Abbandonato, President and Chief Executive Officer of Imaflex.  “Despite this, our revenues, profitability and cash flows remained more than respectable, particularly given the impact of currency on 2019 profitability and the fact that there were very few sales of our high margin citrus film.”     

Consolidated Financial Highlights (unaudited)

Three months ended December 31,

Year ended December 31,

CDN $ thousands, except per share amounts(or otherwise indicated)



% Change



% Change








Gross Profit







Selling & admin. expenses







Foreign exchange (gains) losses







Net income







Basic EPS







Diluted EPS







Gross margin



6.2  pp



1.0  pp

Selling & admin. expenses as % of revenues



2.3  pp



1.2  pp

EBITDA (Excluding FX)














EBITDA margin



 (0.2) pp



 (1.3) pp


EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.  See “Caution Regarding Non-IFRS Financial Measures” which follows.

Basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS)

Financial Review: Quarter and Year ended December 31

RevenuesRevenues were $18.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, down 16.6% from $22.5 million in 2018.  The decrease largely reflects the impact on product pricing resulting from competitive pressures and lower resin prices. As well, sales of the Corporation’s high margin citrus film were $nil for the current quarter, versus $1.4 million in 2018. Excluding citrus film sales, revenues were down 11.1% versus 2018. 
Fiscal 2019 sales totaled $81.1 million, down 6.1% from $86.3 million in the prior year. The decrease from 2018 was mainly due to the same variables outlined for the quarter, partially offset by favourable movements in foreign exchange. Citrus film sales totaled $0.9 million in 2019, down from $2.8 million in 2018. Excluding citrus film sales, revenues were down 4.0% year-over-year.
Gross Profit  The quarterly gross profit was up year-over-year, coming in at $2.6 million or 14.1% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus $1.8 million and 7.9% of sales in 2018. A year-over-year decrease in certain variable costs, such as transportation, had a positive impact on the gross profit for the current quarter. As well, in the fourth quarter of 2018, the gross profit was particularly impacted by resin price fluctuations. Resin price decreases are normally reflected immediately in product pricing for Imaflex’s customers, while increases usually take about 30 days to be priced in. As such the effect of a resin price decrease is that an immediate opportunity loss is incurred with respect to resin inventory previously purchased when resin prices were higher.   
For fiscal 2019, the gross profit was $11.0 million or 13.5% of sales, versus $10.8 million and 12.5% of sales in 2018. The improvement over 2018 was largely driven by the aforementioned variance explanation relating to resin price fluctuations.  
Operating ExpensesSelling and administrative expenses were $1.7 million or 8.9% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2019, up from $1.5 million and 6.6% of sales in 2018.  Fiscal 2019 expenses came in at $7.0 million or 8.7% of sales, compared to $6.5 million and 7.5% of sales in the corresponding prior-year period. The year-over-year increases for the quarter and year-to-date were mainly driven by an expanded sales team to stimulate demand for Imaflex’s products and new production equipment, namely the five-layer extruder. 

Due to unfavourable currency fluctuations, Imaflex recorded a foreign exchange loss of $0.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus a $0.9 million gain in 2018. This resulted in a negative $1.3 million year-over-year variance. For fiscal 2019, the Corporation similarly recorded a foreign exchange loss of $0.9 million, versus a gain of $1.3 million in 2018. This generated a $2.2 million negative year-over-year variance. The majority of the Corporation’s foreign exchange gains and losses are non-cash impacting and largely relate to intercompany balances for which Imaflex can control the time of settlement. 
Net Income and EBITDA  The Company recorded net income of $0.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus $0.6 million in the corresponding prior-year quarter. The decrease was largely due to unfavourable movements in foreign exchange and higher 2019 selling and administrative expenses, partially offset by the improved quarterly gross profit.
For calendar 2019, net income stood at $1.5 million, down from $3.6 million in the prior year. The $2.1 million decrease was largely due to unfavourable year-over-year movements in foreign exchange and higher 2019 selling and administrative expenses, partially offset by the higher gross profits in 2019 and lower income taxes versus 2018.
EBITDA was $1.5 million ($1.2 million excluding the impact of IFRS 16) or 7.8% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2019, versus $1.8 million and 8.0% of sales in 2018. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, EBITDA was $1.8 million or 9.8% of sales for the current quarter, up from $0.9 million and 4.0% of sales in 2018.
For fiscal 2019, EBITDA came in at $6.3 million ($5.1 million excluding the impact of IFRS 16) or 7.7% of sales as compared to $7.8 million and 9.0% of sales in 2018. Excluding foreign exchange, EBITDA was $7.1 million or 8.8% of sales, up from $6.5 million and 7.5% of sales in 2018.

Liquidity and Capital ResourcesNet cash generated by operating activities stood at $2.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, as compared to $0.6 million in the prior year. The year-over-year improvement was largely driven by movements in working capital and foreign exchange.
For calendar 2019, net cash generated by operating activities totaled $9.7 million, up from $1.1 million in 2018. The improvement was driven by the same factors outlined for the quarter, along with movements in depreciation and a decrease in 2019 income taxes paid, partially offset by the lower net income recorded versus 2018.
As at December 31, 2019, Imaflex had approximately $7.6 million of cash available for operating activities, including the unused portion under its $12.0 million revolving line of credit.  
Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Imaflex considered an essential vendorTo date, Imaflex’s three plants in Canada and the U.S.A. have remained open, fully operational and running at normal business levels. The Corporation is considered an essential vendor in both countries due to the important role its products play in protecting and preserving food and consumer products.  Presently, all manufacturing facilities have the ability to take on more volume should it be required due to business interruption at another plant or heightened order flow. Furthermore, Imaflex is not experiencing any delays with its suppliers. The Corporation believes it has sufficient capital to fund its operations and grow the business, assuming business levels remain the same.  Despite this, Imaflex has and will utilize any available capital payment moratoriums on long term debt payments to maximize cash flows throughout the crisis. “We are monitoring developments closely and taking all necessary steps to protect our employees, customers and business,” highlighted Mr. Abbandonato. “I would like to thank all of our employees who have continued to work with dedication during this difficult time. Our thoughts also go out to all those families and businesses negatively impacted by this devastating virus.”  
Outlook  “We continue to operate in a dynamic pricing environment, while resin prices also remain lower than historical levels,” said Mr. Abbandonato. “This said, our strategy remains the same. We will continue to differentiate ourselves in advanced extrusion and innovative crop protection films, building out our addressable markets with innovative products. With the investments in new production equipment brought online in 2019, most notably the five-layer extruder, we are well positioned to do better in 2020.

Longer term, our next generation agriculture film, ADVASEAL® , offers some exciting opportunities for growth.  We achieved some important milestones in recent months, including positive interim results for our Efficacy Trial.  This said, some key milestones remain and I thank shareholders for their on-going support and patience. If successful, the benefits of ADVASEAL® for growers, the environment and shareholders, should justify the wait.
We operate in an ever changing business environment, but we are well positioned to drive profitable growth and are excited about our future potential. I look forward to providing updates on ADVASEAL® and our overall business as we progress throughout the year.” 
Changes to Critical Accounting PoliciesEffective January 1, 2019, Imaflex adopted IFRS 16, Leases. Under IFRS 16, lessees are required to account for leases on their balance sheet by recognizing a “right of use” asset and a lease liability, essentially removing the distinction between an operating and finance lease. Certain exemptions exist for short-term leases and leases of low value assets. Imaflex applied the modified retrospective method of application and as such comparative prior-year information has not been restated. 
Caution Regarding Non-IFRS Financial Measures The Company’s management uses a non-IFRS measure in this press release, namely EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) and EBITDA excluding foreign exchange.   
While EBITDA is not a standard International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) measure, management, analysts, investors and others use it as an indicator of the Company’s financial and operating management and performance. EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net income determined in accordance with IFRS as an indicator of the Company’s performance. The Company’s method of calculating EBITDA may be different from those used by other companies and accordingly it should not be considered in isolation.          

About Imaflex Inc. Founded in 1994, Imaflex is focused on the development and manufacturing of innovative solutions for the flexible packaging space. Concurrently, the Corporation develops and manufactures films for the agriculture industry. The Corporation’s products consist primarily of polyethylene (plastic) film and bags, including metalized plastic film, for the industrial, agricultural and consumer markets.   Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Imaflex has manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States. The Corporation’s common stock is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol IFX. Additional information is available at
Cautionary Statement on Forward Looking InformationCertain information included in this press release constitutes “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Canadian securities laws.  Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the management of the Corporation, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, risks and contingencies. The Corporation cautions the reader that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual financial results, performance or achievements of Imaflex to be materially different from the Corporation’s estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and that the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are also based on certain factors and assumptions. For more details on these estimates, risks, assumptions and factors, see the Corporation’s most recent Management Discussion and Analysis filed on SEDAR at and on the investor section of the Corporation’s website at The Corporation disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.  Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Imaflex Inc.

Microsoft stock is up because businesses want secure video conferencing, says Robert Herjavec

Cybersecurity entrepreneur Robert Herjavec said Thursday that Microsoft’s stock has been lifted by businesses who want secure video conferencing during the coronavirus pandemic.  
“The use of Teams at the corporate enterprise level is really taking off,” the “Shark Tank” investor said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”

“I think that’s one of the reasons Microsoft’s stock is doing so well.”
Shares of Microsoft rose 3% to $177 each on Thursday. While the stock sits about 7% below its February high, it is up 12.2% year to date.  The S&P 500, by contrast, is down about 13% in 2020. 
Teams, which lets people exchange chat messages and hold video calls, is part of the Office 365 subscriptions that also includes access to Word and Excel. 
Herjavec, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group, said his company has recently turned to Teams as work-from-home policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic changed how business is conducted. 

Robert Herjavec, CEO, Herjavec Group
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

“When all of this first happened we wanted to use Zoom because all our customers use Zoom but I’ve got to tell you, some of the security issues are really pretty bad within Zoom,” he said. 

Zoom has seen dramatic usage increases as the Covid-19 outbreak forced millions of people to stay at home.
While initially targeted toward enterprise use, the company’s service has been adopted by schools and people who want to host virtual happy hours with friends, for example. 
But its newfound popularity has brought about privacy concerns, for which the company has apologized and vowed to fix. 
Herjavec told CNBC earlier this month that in general his company, which provides cybersecurity products and services to business, has seen a spike in security breaches. He said the pandemic has created “the golden age for hackers.” 
In addition to companies like his own now turning to Teams, Herjavec said his firm also sees an increased reliance on Webex, the video conferencing service by Cisco.  
Herjavec’s comments Thursday came shortly after Verizon announced its acquisition of BlueJeans, another video conferencing platform. 
The increased use of these services will likely outlast the coronavirus crisis, Herjavec argued. 
“Customer meetings will change forever. In the past, I never thought that I could do a Zoom call or a Teams call with the CEO of a company I’m trying to sell to,” he said. “In the future, I don’t think my customers will want me to come and see them.” 
Also on Thursday, Microsoft announced a deal with the National Basketball Association to use its Azure cloud and Surface tablets.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” on which Robert Herjavec is a co-host.

Uber shares pop after the company scraps guidance and forecasts investment writedown

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019.
Adam Galica | CNBC

Uber shares rose as much as 7% in extended trading on Thursday after the company said that it was withdrawing guidance given during its Q4 earnings call and warned that it expects an impairment charge because of declines in investments. 
The company’s ride-sharing and delivery businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, but Uber has given little guidance on the expected effects. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on a call with analysts March 19 that booking declines in Seattle had reached 60% to 70% on an annualized basis.

Investors may be cheered by the relatively small effect of programs that Uber rolled out to help drivers during the pandemic. The company said it expects that program to reduce GAAP net income by an estimated $17 to $22 million in Q1 and an estimated $60 to $80 million in Q2. 
Uber also said it would take a one-time charge between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion on the value of equity investments, affecting GAAP net loss by that amount. As of the end of last year, Uber had had stakes in Didi, Grab, Zomato, and its Yandex.Taxi joint venture, according to its annual report.
Last year, Uber reported $8.51 billion net loss, primarily because of stock-based compensation.
WATCH: Uber, Lyft rideshare businesses drop by 50% due to coronavirus: Report

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