Microsoft Strikes Nware Deal to Woo European Officials Over Activision Acquisition, Lyft Lay-offs Over 1K Employees, Big Oil Earnings: Top Stories For Today

Benzinga

Playing the Regulator Game: Microsoft Strikes Nware Deal to Woo Skeptical European Officials Over Activision Acquisition

  • Microsoft Corp MSFT President Brad Smith tweeted that European cloud gaming platform Nware inked a 10-year agreement to stream PC games built by Xbox on Nware's platform. After the acquisition closes, the deal also includes rights to stream Activision Blizzard, Inc's ATVI titles on Nware's platform.
  • Earlier, Microsoft forged similar deals with Nvidia Corp NVDANintendo Co, Ltd NTDOF NTDOY, and Boosteroid.

Struggling Lyft Proposes To Let Go Over 1K Employees Under Latest Layoff Round, Updates On Restructuring Plan

  • Ridesharing company Lyft Inc LYFT updated on its restructuring plans within a week after disclosing its layoff plans.
  • On Thursday, Lyft disclosed a restructuring plan as part of its efforts to reduce operating costs. 
  • The plan involves terminating approximately 1,072 employees, representing 26% of its employees. 
  • It proposes to scale back hiring and has eliminated over 250 open positions.

What Happens When ChatGPT Meets Boston Dynamics' Robot Dog

  • Boston Dynamics robot dog was given the ability to speak by a team of programmers who equipped it with OpenAI's chatGPT — and the result may prompt you to think of the possibilities. 
  • Santiago, a machine learning engineer, shared a video on Twitter where he and a colleague demonstrated how they used OpenAI's highly popular AI-powered chatbot to program Boston Dynamics' "Spot" robot dog to respond to system inquiries verbally. 

Exxon Q1: Earnings Beat, Higher Production Volume, Improved Margins, On Track For $23B - $25B Capex

  • Exxon Mobil Corp XOM reported Q1 2023 revenues of $86.56 billion, beating the consensus of $85.41 billion. 
  • The company witnessed higher Y/Y net oil and gas production of around 300,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day. 
  • The company reported Q1 adjusted earnings of $11.6 billion, higher than $8.8 billion a year ago, led by improved advantaged assets and mix and cost and execution efficiencies.

Chevron Q1 Performance: Flat Production and Lower ASP, Higher Downstream Earnings with High Refined Product Margins

  • Chevron Corporation CVX reported first-quarter FY23 sales of $50.79 billion, a decline of 6.6% year-over-year, beating the consensus of $47.98 billion.
  • Adjusted net earnings were $6.74 billion (+3.1% Y/Y), with Adjusted EPS being $3.55, beating the consensus of $3.41.
  • The company stated that the Q1 earnings increase reflects higher margins on refined product sales, partially offset by lower upstream realizations. Sales and other operating revenues decline reflect lower commodity prices.

FDA Warns Cybersecurity Vulnerability For Illumina Sequencers

  • The FDA issued a letter noting that nearly the entire Illumina Inc's ILMN sequencer lineup carries a cybersecurity vulnerability that could impact genomic data results or even result in a data breach.
  • At the time of the letter, neither the FDA nor Illumina had received any reports indicating the vulnerability had been exploited. 
  • Illumina developed a software patch to protect against the exploitation of this vulnerability.

Concerns Over PlayStation Clouds Sony's Prospects Despite Record Sale In Q4

  • Sony Group Corp SONY reported fourth-quarter FY22 sales growth of 35% year-on-year to $23.16 billion, beating the consensus of $17.55 billion. Adjusted EPS of $0.97 beat the consensus of $0.45. 
  • Sony sold 6.3 million PS5 units in the quarter versus 2.0 million a year ago. It held ¥1.48 trillion in cash and equivalents.
  • Sony expects FY24 sales of $88.46 billion (down by 0.3% Y/Y, above the consensus of $73.01 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 204. The company expects EPS of $6.46, above the consensus of $4.94.

Deutsche Bank Buys Numis For £410M, Boosts UK Investment Banking Business

  • Deutsche Bank AG DB disclosed the acquisition of Numis Corporation Plc in the U.K. for around £410 million.
  • The acquisition amount translates to over $511 million. The 350 pence per share offer represents a nearly 72% premium to Numis' Thursday closing price on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Numis' largest shareholder has agreed to vote in favor of the deal, which is expected to close in Q4 2023.

 

Reuters

Equitable Vaccine Distribution: Pfizer's RSV Vaccine Might Face Some Delivery Challenges for Low-Income Countries

  • Pfizer Inc PFE committed to better equitable access after being criticized for prioritizing wealthy nations for the COVID-19 vaccine early in the pandemic. 
  • The company said it wants to shorten a timeline in which poorer countries often get vaccines many years after they are available elsewhere.
  • The RSV vaccine will need a different delivery system for developing countries in Africa and Asia, including alternative packaging and syringes. According to the World Health Organization and the company, preparations for those modifications are just beginning - which is likely to push delivery back by several years.

 

Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Southeast Asia FIG Head To Join Deutsche Bank In Coming Months: Report

  • Nick Thursby, Credit Suisse Group AG's CS head of the financial institutions' group in Southeast Asia, will help lead Deutsche Bank AG's DB investment banking for FIG deals. 
  • The Singapore-based banker will take up his new post in the coming months and work on mergers & acquisitions and initial public offerings of financial institutions in Southeast Asia.

 

SCMP

State-run China Telecom Looks To Dole Out Discounts For ChatGPT-Like Service Following Alibaba's Recent Plans

  • China Telecom, the state-owned telecoms network operator and a key cloud service provider, proposes to launch its natural language training model to challenge the likes of Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA and many others chasing the ChatGPT frenzy.
  • China Telecom's cloud unit CTYun is testing self-developed pre-trained large language models that underpin generative AI technology like ChatGPT, which US-based start-up OpenAI launched last November.
  • CTYun looks to launch its product shortly when appropriate, said company general manager Hu Zhiqiang at an event on Wednesday.
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