Cloudy with a chance of $16B healthcare cloud
It's banks' big week on Wall Street (even more so than usual): JPM Chase, Citi, Goldman, and others drop earnings tomorrow.
Stocks dipped yesterday as investors prepped for the busy earnings week ahead. And others got antsy...
The biggest IPO... that never was. Ant Group is the Chinese fintech giant that was supposed to have the largest IPO ever. In November, Ant was on track to raise $34B+ in its Shanghai and Hong Kong IPOs (at a huge $300B valuation). Ant's Alipay app offers every money service imaginable (think: payments, loans, insurance, and investing... all in one). It's massive, with 1B+ users.
Jack of all problems... China may have felt threatened by Ant's financial dominance ($17T in digital payment transactions per year). Now, Ant will have to shrink its assets under management, and break an “information monopoly” on its vast consumer data. Ant is falling in line: it "will spare no effort in implementing the rectification plan.” But it's not the only one getting heat...
China's power > company's growth... China wanted to “set an example” for regulation of the platform economy... and it did. Not even billionaire Ma or Alipay's 1B+ users could stop that. Now, analysts expect Ant’s profit potential to fall as it scales back. In China, these regulatory crackdowns could limit future innovation in tech. Abroad, they could make investors think twice before buying into Chinese companies. And other companies might think more carefully about building a presence there.
Did you say, cheesy fiction?... Close: acquisition. Microsoft is buying voice recognition company Nuance Communications for a loud $16B. If investors approve, it'll be Microsoft's biggest corporate shopping splurge since LinkedIn in 2016 (price tag: $26B). Nuance shares popped 16% yesterday. The 30-year-old company sells AI speech recognition tools for doctors' offices, customer service calls, and voicemails. And get this...
(Doctor's) Office 365... Microsoft looked at industries ripe for technological innovation... and decided it's bullish on healthcare. That's why it'll use Nuance's tech in its cloud solutions for healthcare providers. The doctor-savvy AI tech level up its game in a fast-growing field: Nuance's healthcare cloud sales jumped 29% last year. And it'll double Microsoft’s total addressable market in the healthcare provider space to ~$500B.
Max out the core competency... Microsoft is an enterprise software beast. But when it launched its old consumer voice assistant Cortana, it was competing with Apple's Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google's Home assistant. When Cortana fell behind, Microsoft pivoted: instead of competing for consumers like us, it focused on businesses. With Nuance, it's investing in strengthening its key competency: enterprise. That boosts its competitive edge.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Microsoft, Apple, Uber, JPM Chase, Google, and Tesla