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Bed Bath & Beyond Stock is Pricing Right

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Home goods retailer Bed Bath Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) stock has collapsed from its meme stock highs of 2021. Supply chain disruptions, logistics and inflation have beaten down this stock its fiscal Q3 2021 earnings and forward guidance. Granted, the Company had planned (-14%) revenue decline related to planned reduction from non-core banner divestitures, it also declined an additional (-14%) of top line in the quarter. The COVID-19 omicron variant is also impacting sales and could further hurt back-to-school sales if it continues to spread into the summer. The bar has been set low moving forward, especially with holiday sales figures due out shortly. Prudent investors seeking exposure in the former meme stock on the cheap can watch for opportunistic pullback levels to scale into a speculative position.

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Q3 FY Fiscal 2021 Earnings Release

On Nov. 23, 2021, Bed Bath & Beyond released its third-quarter fiscal 2021 results for the quarter ending November 2021. The Company reported a earnings-per-share (EPS) loss of (-$0.25) excluding non-recurring items versus consensus analyst estimates for a breakeven quarter, a (-$0.25) miss. The Company blamed shortfalls on supply chain constraints. Revenues fell 28.3% year-over-year (YoY) to $1.88 billion, missing consensus analyst estimates for $1.95 billion. Comparable sales fell (-10%) but improved sequentially.

CEO Commentary

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Britton commented, “During a quarter where our sales momentum was not where we wanted it to be with sales of $1.9 billion and a 7% comp decline, improved momentum in November and strong gross margins demonstrated progress in our transformation. After our previously announced slower start to sales in September and October, we drove a change in trends by November with our comp decline improving, particularly in stores. However, overall sales were pressured despite customer demand due to the lack of availability with replenishment inventory and supply chain stresses that had an estimated $100 million, or mid-single digit, impact on the quarter and an even higher impact in December. Nevertheless, our customer acquisition strategy for the Bed Bath banner is gaining traction as evidenced by our Beyond+ loyalty program, which grew by nearly half a million members after one of our largest new subscriber quarters. Our Buy Buy BABY banner continues to deliver double-digit growth and we are on track to achieve approximately $1.3 billion in sales in this first year of transformation – ahead of our investor day goals – all while improving profitability and market share.” He continued, “In response to a sharp increase in inflation and pervasive freight and supply chain headwinds, we swiftly implemented market-driven pricing, promo optimization and product mix plans. Our decisive actions led to an adjusted gross margin rate significantly exceeding plan and above 2020 and 2019 – a key financial barometer of our three-year transformation strategy. Our Owned Brands also continued to produce higher merchandise margins at increased penetration rates. We now intend to expand the Owned Brands strategy to BABY in 2022 as we look at margin enhancing strategies, given sales results in this business have stabilized as a result of our targeted efforts to improve this banner. We are identifying exciting new opportunities to drive sales and BABY is an important cornerstone of our plans, including our recently announced collaboration with Kroger and our own digital marketplace.” He concluded, “”Just as we delivered on gross margin during the quarter, our holistic focus is on improving our top and bottom line results as we continue to transform. While we continue to target sales improvement, we are also focused on SG&A. We are pursuing additional expense optimization measures of approximately $100 million annualized that will explore areas such as store fleet optimization, fixed costs and discretionary savings opportunities. Earlier this quarter we also announced that we expect to complete our $1 billion three-year share repurchase plan by the end of fiscal 2021, two years ahead of schedule, which underscores our ongoing confidence in our turnaround and commitment to our capital allocation framework. Having concluded just the third quarter of our multi-year plan, we will continue to execute our strategic transformation by diagnosing and reforming our legacy business to achieve our goals. As we prepare for 2022, we look forward to operating in a normalized environment with a base of business upon which to grow”

Downside Guidance

Bed Bath & Beyond issued downside guidance for Q4 2021 EPS coming in between $0.00 to $0.15 versus $0.70 consensus analyst estimates. The Company expects revenues to come in between $2.1 billion versus $2.25 billion consensus analyst estimates.

Bed Bath & Beyond Stock is Pricing Right

BBBY Opportunistic Pullback Price Levels

Using the rifle charts on the weekly and daily time frames provides a precision view of the landscape for BBBY stock. The weekly rifle chart attempts a bottom near the $12.44 Fibonacci (fib) level. The weekly rifle chart downtrend is stalling as the 5-period moving average (MA) starts to flatten at $15.15, followed by the 15-period MA at $17.18 nearly overlapping with the weekly 200-period MA. The weekly stochastic has slowed down as it stalls under the 20-band to either coil and cross back up or form a low band mini inverse pup towards the weekly lower Bollinger Bands (BBs) near $7.60. The daily rifle chart bottomed as the stochastic coils through the 20-band with a mini pup. The daily 5-period MA is sloping up at $14.09 attempting to breakout on a crossover through the 15-period MA at $14.52. The daily market structure low (MSL) buy triggered on the breakout through $13.92.  Prudent investors can watch for opportunistic pullback levels at the $14.17 fib, $13.38 fib, $12.44 fib, $11.34 fib, and the $10.44 fib level. Upside trajectories range from the $18.65 fib up towards the $23.37 fib level.

  

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These are the 12 big bets of future disruptive technologies

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The 12 big bets on future technologies as per Nasscom report

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) have identified 12 big bet technologies that can potentially disrupt markets in the next 3-5 years.

A report titled “Sandboxing into the Future: Decoding Technology’s Biggest Bets”, has identified these technologies of the future: autonomous analytics, Artificial Reality and Virtual Reality, autonomous driving, computer vision, deep learning, distributed ledger, edge computing, sensortech, smart robots, spacetech, sustainability tech, and 5G/6G.

AR VR concept image

The report noted that these 12 technologies will unravel in diverse ways, giving way to regional and vertical-specific big bets. While buyers in North America and Europe are betting on technologies such as autonomous analytics, APAC is likely to focus more on 5G/6G technologies, sensortech and smart robotics. Overall, technology buyers anticipate that investments in emerging technologies will account for 70%- 80% of tech spending by 2030.

“Going forward, it will be interesting to see how businesses will put their bets on emerging technologies and how they would be taking ahead the tech revolution for the larger good of the society,” said NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh.

Cognizant acquires Utegration

Leading technology services company Cognizant has said it bought Houston-based Utegration LLC, a full-service consulting and solutions provider specializing in SAP  technology and SAP-certified products for the energy and utilities sectors.

Cognizant will gain approximately 350 employees in North America and India upon the close of this acquisition.

“We believe Utegration’s rich industry expertise and differentiated portfolio of energy and utilities-focused products and accelerators is a perfect complement to our SAP practice,” said Rob Vatter, Executive Vice President of Cognizant’s Enterprise Platform Services.

Utegration serves over 50 North America-based clients in the energy and utilities sector with solutions across four domains aligned to market needs: customer experience, billing and advanced metering infrastructure, managed services, data science and analytics, and finance and asset performance management.

HCLTech partners with Intel and Mavenir for 5G solutions

HCLTech, a leading Indian technology services company revealed a new collaboration with Intel Corporation and Mavenir to develop and provide scalable private 5G network solutions for communication service providers (CSP) and broader cross-vertical enterprises.

Through this new collaboration, the companies will work closely on a range of projects and activities across enablement, go-to-market and sales acceleration, with the goal of delivering more 5G solutions to CSPs, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise verticals, a statement said.

HCL

The three companies will work cross-functionally to add new offerings and help generate greater value for enterprises. The companies will develop a cloud-native enterprise-to-enterprise (E2E) architecture of an Intel Xeon processor-based 5G solution leveraging Mavenir RAN, Intel SmartEdge and HCLTech’s management, orchestration and automation services.

“There is currently a great need for scalable, reliable 5G solutions across nearly every enterprise and industry,” said Kalyan Kumar, Chief Technology Officer, HCLTech. “This need represents a major opportunity to innovate and deliver solutions that will have a major impact on business operations and outcomes.”

Collins Aerospace to expand operations in India

Collins Aerospace, which is part of Raytheon Technologies has announced that it will be expanding its operations in India. The company inaugurated its Global Engineering & Tech Centre and a new India Operations Centre to mark its 25th year in Bengaluru.

Collins Aerospace has also pledged significant capital and manpower investments over the next five years given that the Indian aerospace & defence (A&D) market is projected to reach $70 billion by 2030.

The team at Collins India is actively collaborating with Indian R&D organisations like NAL, CMTI, DRDO for study into materials, additive manufacturing, pre-qualification tests and other important projects.

Wipro bags top honour for workplace inclusion

Wipro Limited, a leading Indian technology services and consulting company, has been recognised as a ‘Gold’ employer by the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) 2022.

Awarded to the top employers by IWEI, the gold employer is the highest of 3 levels, where an organisation is credited with ‘embedding inclusion in the workplace.’ Highlights of Wipro’s efforts in this journey include recognition of Wipro’s leadership in India to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, from organisational policies to external communications.

wipro

It also demonstrates a long-term and in-depth commitment towards LGBTQ+ inclusion, where Wipro has implemented several initiatives enabling its employees to become active allies for the community.

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Corraling Kafka: New ecosystem simplifies, democratizes event-streaming data for enterprises

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Aiven, a cloud-data platform based in Helsinki, has fleshed out an open-source ecosystem for Apache Kafka, a popular event-streaming platform. The new offerings promise to help enterprises consolidate their Kafka infrastructure using open-source components. 

“Event streaming is transitioning toward the main stack of the IT infrastructure,” Filip Yonov, director of data streaming product management at Aiven, told VentureBeat. “At Aiven, we have witnessed the fastest growth in the event-streaming domain compared to all other products.”

Apache Kafka provides the infrastructure for wiring streams of data together from databases, apps, IoT devices, and third-party sources. Kafka helps organize raw data into event streams that reduce data size and are easier to integrate into event-driven apps and analytics. Enterprises use it to improve customer experiences, build the industrial metaverse and monitor patients. 

However, building out a Kafka infrastructure involves a lot of moving parts. Aiven has consolidated all the necessary tooling into one place to simplify this process. Key new enhancements include support for Apache Flink and data governance. These complement existing tools for connecting services, replicating data and managing schemas for Kafka deployments.

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The need for simplicity

LinkedIn originally developed Kafka to integrate data across its large microservices infrastructure and open-sourced it in 2011. Over the intervening years, large enterprises have customized the tooling for their own needs, and several vendors have rolled out proprietary enhancements to fill in gaps around governance and integration. Many organizations use Kafka for various data pipeline scenarios, such as transferring data between applications in real-time or moving data from a database to a data warehouse.

Yonov told VentureBeat that as Kafka clusters become larger and more complex, they require additional tooling and governance to ensure proper operation and management. “Unlike existing Kafka solutions, Aiven’s offering does not require organizations to choose between proprietary tools and vendor lock-in or open-source technologies without support,” he said.

Improving the developer experience with event streaming

One essential aspect has been to democratize the experience for working with event-streaming data. The open-source tool, Klaw, provides a self-service interface for managing Kafka clusters. Kafkawize, which develops Klaw, recently joined Aiven’s open-source development office in September to help integrate their tools together. Now they are working together to improve self-service, simplify user management and enforce data governance. 

Another significant development was to connect streaming data to SQL queries familiar to data engineers. The new Aiven for Apache Flink tools allows teams to process larger volumes of events and run real-time analytics using SQL. Aiven provides this as a fully managed service that reduces the complexity of deploying a Flink cluster. It also simplifies the integration with Aiven for Apache Kafka to filter, enrich and aggregate events on the fly. 

Aiven hopes to replicate the success of other open-source frameworks like PostgreSQL, Kubernetes and Linux, built by a healthy mix of contributions from various communities. 

“We truly believe that fostering an open-source, community-driven and inclusive ecosystem of technologies around Apache Kafka can drive further innovations and new developments in the data-streaming domain, ensuring the long sustainment of the technology in the future,” Yonov said.

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How do tech layoffs impact PERM and the green card process? • TechCrunch

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Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie,

I handle HR and immigration at our tech company. We filed a PERM for one of our team members about five months ago for her EB-2 green card, and we’re awaiting certification from the Labor Department. We’ve been gearing up to start PERM for another employee.

Will the layoffs in the tech industry affect the PERM process for EB-2 and EB-3 green cards? What will happen to my team members’ green cards if our company has to do layoffs?

— Pondering in People Ops

Dear Pondering,

It’s wonderful that you’re steadfastly supporting your team with green card sponsorship. This can provide unfathomable peace of mind for people still on non-immigrant status in the U.S. through the green card process. We’re here to help ease the holiday season with education on the options for both companies and individuals.

Let’s dive into the winter wonderland of PERM and employment-sponsored green cards.

Will tech layoffs impact the PERM process?

For the permanent labor certification application — or PERM — your company is currently working on, the short answer is yes, the layoffs may have several different effects depending on where your company is in the process.

The PERM green card process is a multistep and time-intensive one involving a labor market recruitment test requiring employers to demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that there are no qualified U.S. workers (U.S. citizens and green card holders) who are qualified, willing and able to fill the EB-2 or EB-3 PERM position. PERM also aims to ensure that the opportunities, wages and working conditions of U.S. citizens and green card holders are protected.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

If you are in or will soon start the PERM recruiting phase, you may receive a larger number of job applicants for your job posting due to the recent layoffs in the tech sector. With an uptick in potentially qualified applicants, it could prove more difficult to demonstrate that there is no qualified U.S. worker to fill the PERM role. If a qualified U.S. worker is ready, willing and able to fill the PERM role, the labor market test fails and the DOL will not grant the company’s PERM labor certification.

Keep in mind that unemployment is a big concern for the DOL. During the last recession, when millions of jobs were lost, DOL increased its scrutiny of the adjudication of PERMs, particularly within the financial sector, to ensure displaced U.S. workers were considered for positions before international talent.

At the moment, the U.S. unemployment rate is under 4%, so we have a ways to go before we match the 10.6% unemployment rate in 2010. Although there have been many layoffs in tech, I remain optimistic, as there are other indicators that the economy is still strong and there are many job requirements in and beyond the tech sector.



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