Uber CEO Touts ‘Great’ Talks With Toyota CEO on Autonomous Cars

Dara Khosrowshahi, on his first trip to Asia as chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., spent some quality time with his counterpart at the world’s largest carmaker. On Thursday, Khosrowshahi posted a photo on Twitter of him and Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, along with Executive …

Dara Khosrowshahi, on his first trip to Asia as chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., spent some quality time with his counterpart at the world’s largest carmaker.

On Thursday, Khosrowshahi posted a photo on Twitter of him and Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, along with Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama at the automaker’s headquarters. The Uber CEO is smiling and holding a black baseball bat, while Toyoda laughs at his side.

“Having fun with Akio-San and Tomoyama-San @ToyotaMotorCorpHQ,” he wrote. “Great discussions about growing our #autonomous partnership and lessons 4 me in building a great culture. And yep, those are Ichiro’s bats.”

Khosrowshahi is looking to move past an embarrassing legal battle with Alphabet Inc., which alleged that Uber stole autonomous driving secrets from it. Having settled that case this month for about $245 million, Khosrowshahi’s meeting with Toyoda shows his commitment to continue developing the technology with partners. For Toyota, closer ties could help it keep up with rivals like Nissan Motor Corp., which is working on its own autonomous solution.

“We have a very budding partnership with Toyota,” Khosrowshahi told investors at an event on Tuesday. “We have to make sure we have access to leading autonomous technology. And that means having access to it in a timely manner. I do believe we can develop our own autonomous technology that we’re doing, and at the same time partner with other players in autonomous technology.”

Khosrowshahi made it clear during his Japan trip that the ride-hailing company isn’t about to scale back its business to just countries where it already has a strong market position. During his first stop on the Asia tour, he said he’s willing to forge partnerships with Japanese taxi companies in order to succeed, even though Uber has less 1 percent market share and only offers limited services there.

“It’s clear to me that we need to come in with partnership in mind, and in particular a partnership with the taxi industry here,” he said.

It’s the clearest sign yet that ride-hailing giant will redouble efforts to take a piece of Japan’s $16 billion taxi market, even amid signs of pressure from its biggest shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp., to focus on core markets. Amid heavy operating losses, Uber has retreated from some markets, including China and Russia. It’s also said to be considering a sale of its Southeast Asian business. After Japan, Khosrowshahi is visiting India, where Uber is competing against local ride-hailing startup Ola.

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Why Uber 2018 is unlike Amazon 2002

Last week, Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi compared these initial years of his company’s ride-hailing business with those of Amazon. The poster child of e-commerce went from selling books to becoming ‘the everything store’. Uber wants to go from enabling consumers to hail cabs to …
Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi is in India today. Photo: Bloomberg

Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi is in India today. Photo: Bloomberg

Last week, Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi compared these initial years of his company’s ride-hailing business with those of Amazon. The poster child of e-commerce went from selling books to becoming ‘the everything store’. Uber wants to go from enabling consumers to hail cabs to providing every service that involves going from, in Khosrowshahi words, “point A to point B”: food delivery, freight, autonomous vehicles, buses, bikes. Uber will sacrifice profits for growth, he added, as Amazon has consistently done.

Through the prism of business expanse, the analogy sits fair: from one business line to many. But the contrast is stark in the way Amazon went about it and how Uber—now in its eighth year of operations—is going about it. In its eighth year, in 2002, Amazon generated $174 million cash from operations, which could be reinvested in its business. It has generated cash from operations every year since, and that figure has grown consistently, to $18.4 billion in 2017.

Such internal surpluses helped Amazon curb its reliance on external capital, even as it expanded at a brisk pace: since 2002, its annual revenue growth has always exceeded 20%, and was $178 billion in 2017. But Amazon generated only $3 billion in net profit. That was Khosrowshahi’s point: Amazon was prepared to sacrifice current profits for future growth, as is Uber.

Chief executive officer of Amazon Jeff Bezos. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Chief executive officer of Amazon Jeff Bezos. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Except, Uber’s operations are not generating any internal surplus, and its expansion is entirely fuelled by external capital—it has ploughed through $8 billion of capital. In 2017, it lost $4.5 billion on revenues of $7.5 billion—a net margin of -60%. Amazon lost that kind of money only in 1999 and 2000 (net margin of -44% and -51%). But never since, as it engineered a state of balance where its operations could fuel its expansion.

Uber isn’t at that place yet. It continues to rely on capital to expand its business range. It’s not short on capital, with $19 billion in reserve and a generous investor in SoftBank. But at some point, Uber’s needle will have to move from external capital to internal cash, as Amazon’s did with elan. If it does manage that, Khosrowshahi’s analogy will sit better.

Source: Amazon annual reports (for Amazon data), news reports (for Uber data)

Graphics by Santosh Sharma/Mint

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First Published: Thu, Feb 22 2018. 07 58 AM IST

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Korea Accounting Institute Considers Classifying Virtual Currencies into Liquid Assets

In addition, their value as an asset will be fair value in the case of crytocurrencies with active markets where price information is reliable as the market has high transaction volume and transaction frequencies but historical cost will be regarded as the value of virtual currencies without active markets.

The Korea Accounting Institute said on February 21 that the institute is considering a plan to classify crytocurrencies such as Bitcoin into liquid assets in financial statements. The institute can, however, allow them to be classified into non-current assets depending on the purposes and periods (one or more years) of holding them.

In addition, their value as an asset will be fair value in the case of crytocurrencies with active markets where price information is reliable as the market has high transaction volume and transaction frequencies but historical cost will be regarded as the value of virtual currencies without active markets.

The Korea Accounting Institute added that they were discussing damage treatment methods when the book value of virtual currencies is lower than expected selling prices.

This discussion about a virtual currency accounting standard was had at the request of Bithumb, a December settlement corporation, among virtual money market exchanges. Bithumb is an exchange that is subject to the External Audit Act along with Korbit and Coinone. “A virtual currency accounting standard is still in the draft stage. We need to discuss more about it,” said an official of Korea Accounting Institute said. “We will prepare the virtual currency accounting standard by next month.”

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Analysts See $0.11 EPS for XO Group Inc. (XOXO)

Vanguard Group Inc Inc stated it has 0% of its portfolio in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). Northern Corporation has 0% invested in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). State Of Tennessee Treasury Department owns 21,441 shares. Georgia-based Voya Inv Mngmt Ltd Limited Liability Company has invested 0% …

February 22, 2018 – By Louis Casey

 Analysts See $0.11 EPS for XO Group Inc. (XOXO)
Investors sentiment decreased to 0.96 in 2017 Q3. Its down 0.21, from 1.17 in 2017Q2. It fall, as 8 investors sold XO Group Inc. shares while 45 reduced holdings. 16 funds opened positions while 35 raised stakes. 21.51 million shares or 0.99% more from 21.30 million shares in 2017Q2 were reported.

Federated Pa holds 0% of its portfolio in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) for 339 shares. The Colorado-based Arrowmark Colorado Limited Liability Corp has invested 0.29% in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). Vanguard Group Inc Inc stated it has 0% of its portfolio in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). Northern Corporation has 0% invested in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). State Of Tennessee Treasury Department owns 21,441 shares. Georgia-based Voya Inv Mngmt Ltd Limited Liability Company has invested 0% in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). Morgan Stanley reported 79,617 shares. Invesco Limited has invested 0% in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). 1,125 are owned by Zurcher Kantonalbank (Zurich Cantonalbank). State Of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D invested 0.03% in XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO). Texas Permanent School Fund holds 0% or 17,630 shares in its portfolio. Ariel Invs Lc holds 0.23% or 995,567 shares in its portfolio. Boston Prns has 218,447 shares. Her Majesty The Queen In Right Of The Province Of Alberta As Represented By Alberta Mgmt Corp reported 30,800 shares or 0.01% of all its holdings. Prelude Mgmt Limited Liability Corp stated it has 11,053 shares or 0.02% of all its holdings.

Analysts expect XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) to report $0.11 EPS on February, 27.They anticipate $0.01 EPS change or 8.33 % from last quarter’s $0.12 EPS. XOXO’s profit would be $2.72M giving it 43.73 P/E if the $0.11 EPS is correct. After having $0.13 EPS previously, XO Group Inc.’s analysts see -15.38 % EPS growth. The stock increased 0.63% or $0.12 during the last trading session, reaching $19.24. About 319,987 shares traded or 285.81% up from the average. XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) has risen 10.27% since February 22, 2017 and is uptrending. It has underperformed by 6.43% the S&P500.

XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) Ratings Coverage

Among 6 analysts covering XO Group (NYSE:XOXO), 2 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 4 Hold. Therefore 33% are positive. XO Group had 9 analyst reports since December 6, 2016 according to SRatingsIntel. The firm has “Neutral” rating by Roth Capital given on Thursday, October 12. Sidoti initiated XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) rating on Friday, December 16. Sidoti has “Buy” rating and $25 target. The rating was maintained by Roth Capital with “Buy” on Tuesday, August 1. The rating was initiated by Aegis Capital with “Buy” on Tuesday, December 6. On Wednesday, March 1 the stock rating was downgraded by Stifel Nicolaus to “Hold”. Roth Capital maintained XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) rating on Tuesday, October 31. Roth Capital has “Hold” rating and $19.5 target.

XO Group Inc. provides multiplatform media and marketplace services to the wedding, pregnancy and parenting, nesting, and local entertainment markets. The company has market cap of $475.13 million. The firm operates a network of Websites under various brands, such as The Knot, which offers wedding resources and marketplaces through wedding Website and mobile apps, national and local wedding magazines, and nationally published books; and The Bump, a pregnancy and parenting brand that provides personalized information, content, and tools for navigating the journey from fertility to pregnancy and parenting through the toddler years. It has a 58.3 P/E ratio. The Company’s network of Websites also include The Nest, which focuses on nesters setting up homes and navigating new lives together; and GigMasters, an event marketplace for finding and booking the entertainment and vendors for birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, and others.

More recent XO Group Inc. (NYSE:XOXO) news were published by: Techcrunch.com which released: “XO Group, owner of The Knot, acquires wedding photo app Veri” on September 27, 2017. Also Prnewswire.com published the news titled: “XO Group Inc. Schedules Fourth Quarter 2017 Conference Call For March 1st At 8 …” on February 20, 2018. Prnewswire.com‘s news article titled: “Jeffrey Yin Joins XO Group Inc. as General Counsel” with publication date: January 02, 2018 was also an interesting one.

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Weekly Focus: India E-Commerce Expected to Hit £32bn by 2020

It noted, however, that SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund last year forked out USD$2.5bn (£1.78bn) for about 20% share of Flipkart. With almost a 40% share of the country’s online retail market, Flipkart operated its own e-commerce site, as well as fashion portals Jabong and Myntra, the report noted, quoting …

With China celebrating the lunar new year, we put the spotlight this week on India, where online consumer spending is projected to climb from USD$40bn (£28.5bn) to USD$100bn (£71.24bn) by 2020.

This growth would be fuelled largely by e-commerce spending, which would climb from USD$18bn (£12.82bn) to USD$45bn (£32.06bn) by 2020, according to a report jointly released by Boston Consulting Group and Google India.

The travel and hotel sector would be the second-fastest growing, generating USD$20bn (£14.2bn) by 2020, followed by financial services at USD$30bn (£21.37bn), and digital media at US$570m (£406.08m)

The report noted that as mobile phone penetration continued to grow and data plans became affordable, the number of online buyers would increase and there would be a significant change in the profile of such consumers.

For instance, by 2020, female shoppers would grow 2.5 times, while shoppers aged above 35 years would increase by more than three-fold. In addition, shoppers from cities outside of metros would comprise more than half of India’s total community of online shoppers.

With 75-80% of online users in the country currently still not spending online, there is significant growth potential.

Google India’s industry director Nitin Bawankule said: “Digital spending in India is at the cusp of a significant wave of change. While we have seen enthusiastic response to adopting newer forms of digital payments in the last few years, the base is still relatively small. The ecosystem needs to focus on creating a very targeted value proposition for different segments of users and across different categories to drive larger adoption.

“For example, in the food and grocery category, convenience becomes a key trigger for frequent shoppers, while discounts are important for occasional shoppers and quality is a key barrier among offline shoppers”, noted Bawankule.

The report further outlined the need for brands to offer value-added services such as loyalty schemes and customised communications to encourage buyer stickiness.

A separate study released in December 2017, by Indian industry body ASSOCHAM and Deloitte, predicted that the country’s digital commerce market would be worth USD$50bn (£35.62bn) by end-2018. Growth would be driven by an increasing internet population as well as online shoppers.

The report noted that the apparel sector saw the highest growth last year, climbing almost 72%, followed by demand for food items, which grew 65%, and electronics items, which increased by 63%.

Amazon Delivers Food Business in India

The U.S. e-commerce giant has entered India’s food retail business with a pilot in Pune, marking the first time a foreign e-tailer stocks up and sells food items directly to consumers.

According to local reports, the Indian government approved Amazon’s plans to invest USD$500m (£356.21m) to set up a wholly owned retail subsidiary offering locally produced and packaged food products. These items would be made available via both offline and online platforms.

The Indian online grocery and food retail markeplaces currently included market players such as Grofers, Bigbasket –which was recently acquired by China’s Alibaba – and Supr Daily, which also had secured government approvals to enter the online food retail sector.

Walmart Reportedly Eyeing Stake in India’s Flipkart

While Amazon’s U.S. rival, Walmart, has yet to follow suit, the latter this week was reported to be making plans to buy at least a 40% stake in Indian e-commerce giant, Flipkart.

Terms of the negotiations were not available, reported Reuters, citing sources familiar with the issue. It noted, however, that SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund last year forked out USD$2.5bn (£1.78bn) for about 20% share of Flipkart.

With almost a 40% share of the country’s online retail market, Flipkart operated its own e-commerce site, as well as fashion portals Jabong and Myntra, the report noted, quoting Forrester figures.

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