Nuance leaps 18% on Microsoft’s deal to acquire the AI speech-technology software maker

Satya Nadella

  • Nuance Communications shares shot up 18% on Monday on a deal by Microsoft to buy the company in a $19.7 billion deal.
  • Microsoft plans to buy the speech-recognition software maker for $56 a share and the deal will include Nuance’s net debt.
  • Microsoft shares were slightly higher as the new trading week got underway.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nuance Communications shares surged 18% during Monday’s session following a deal under which Microsoft will purchase the AI speech-recognition software maker for $19.7 billion in cash, with the price to include Nuance’s net debt.

Microsoft, in a joint statement, said it will buy Nuance for $56 a share, which is a 23% premium to Nuance’s closing price on Friday at $45.58. Bloomberg reported late Sunday that the two companies were in talks, citing sources who asked not to be identified. An agreement with Nuance would be Microsoft’s largest since it purchased professional networking site LinkedIn in 2016.

Nuance climbed 18% to $53.93 as regular-session trading got underway. The stock during pre-market trade climbed by as much as 31%. Meanwhile, Microsoft shares edged up 0.1% to $255.97 as Wall Street’s new trading week kicked off.

Nuance and Microsoft have been working together since 2019, focusing on Nuance’s products that allow clinicians to capture patient discussions and integrate them into electronic health records. Microsoft said the deal will double its total addressable market in the healthcare provider space to nearly $500 billion.

“AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the statement.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year 2021 and has been unanimously approved by the boards of both Nuance and Microsoft. Nuance’s CEO Mark Benjamin will remain in his role.

“For Nadella & Co., this is the right acquisition at the right time with Microsoft doubling down on its healthcare initiatives over the coming years,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a Monday note in which he called the Nuance deal a “strategic no brainer” for Microsoft. Wedbush lowered its 12-month price target on Nuance to $56 from $65 to reflect the deal but maintained its outperform rating.

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SpaceX is betting big on its UK Starlink rollout, and is in talks to become part of the government’s $6.9 billion ‘Project Gigabit’ plan for rural internet

elon musk starlink internet 4x3
Elon Musk’s Starlink internet is spreading fast across the UK.

  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX is in talks with the UK government to provide Starlink internet to rural areas.
  • Starlink could become part of the government’s $6.9 billion “Project Gigabit” internet plan.
  • SpaceX has also signed a deal with a British telecoms company to connect satellites with fibre networks, The Telegraph reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

SpaceX is in talks with the UK government about expanding its satellite-internet service Starlink to rural areas as part of the nation’s $6.9 billion “Project Gigabit” plan.

SpaceX on Friday met with the UK minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman, a person with knowledge of the discussions told CNBC on Monday. The UK’s culture secretary confirmed on Friday that Starlink was being considered for getting internet to hard-to-reach communities in the UK.

On top of Project Gigabit discussions, SpaceX has also signed a deal with British telecoms company Arqiva to build ground stations and infrastructure to connect satellites to fibre networks and servers, a space industry insider told The Telegraph on Monday.

An Arqiva spokesperson declined to comment to Insider. SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The first phase of Project Gigabit was launched on Friday. The project promises to offer faster internet to more than 1 million homes and businesses in remote areas of the UK.

If Starlink and the UK reach a deal over Project Gigabit, Elon Musk’s space company could benefit from government funding to accelerate its coverage in the country. In the US, Starlink won nearly $900 million from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in December to deploy internet connection in underserved American communities.

Local internet providers in the US said Starlink shouldn’t get the FCC funding, saying the company uses “unproven” technology.

Starlink rival OneWeb also an option

The UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Friday that Starlink was one of the best ways to deliver internet in hard-to-reach communities, though other alternatives were being considered, such as balloons or autonomous aircraft, he said.

But Starlink satellites or those from OneWeb – a UK satellite company that was rescued by the government from bankruptcy in November 2020 – are preferred options because their technology are already in use, Sky reported.

People in the UK who signed up for Starlink began getting their kits at the end of December. Insider spoke to one of the first Starlink users in the UK, Philip Hall, who lives in rural Devon.

He said the service, which offers average speeds of around 150 megabits per second (Mbps), was “absolutely transformational.”

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The best Apple Watch deals happening now: $50 off an Apple Watch Series 6

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Apple fall September event Apple Watch iPad

The Apple Watch is the best smartwatch around, and one of the most popular fitness trackers on the market. Apple sells it in three different versions, Apple Watch Series 6, SE, and the Series 3, with the oldest model starting at $200.

Apple Watches go on sale frequently and there’s no need to ever full price for one. If you’re deciding which one to buy, here’s a quick breakdown:

Series 6 SE Series 3
Our review Best overall Best on a budget Best for the basics
Average price $350 $270 $170
Available sizes 40mm, 44mm 40mm, 44mm 38mm, 42mm
Introduction year 2020 2020 2017
Features Large always-on display, fast charging, blood oxygen app, ECG app, fall detection, heart rate data, fitness tracking Large display, fall detection, heart rate data, fitness tracking Fitness tracking, heart rate data, water resistance

Still wondering which one is right for you? Or how the Apple Watch stacks up to the competition? Here’s our guide for the best Apple Watches and our picks for the best smartwatches overall.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The best Apple Watch deals available right now

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium)Watch Series 3 (38mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Watch Series 3 (38mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Apple Watch Series 6 deals

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The Apple Watch Series 6 is the flagship model that comes loaded with all of Apple’s most advanced health features, its latest processor, a brighter always-on display, and fast charging.

Shoppers should expect to pay 15% less than retail for this model on a regular basis. Discounts over 20% are a little rarer.

Apple Watch SE deals

Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)

The Apple Watch SE comes with many of the features you’d want from the Series 6, but lacks the new blood oxygen sensor, brighter always-on display, and fast charging. However, for most people, the Apple Watch SE may be the best option, since it costs over $100 less but can do almost everything the Series 6 can.

Like the Series 6, shoppers shouldn’t pay retail price for the SE. It sees a discount of 15% regularly.

Apple Watch Series 3 deals

Watch Series 3 (38mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Watch Series 3 (38mm, GPS) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

If price is your main concern, the older Apple Watch Series 3 is worth consideration. It is the cheapest option sold by the Apple Store. Even though it lacks more advanced features like an always-on screen and ECG monitoring, it offers the core Apple Watch experience at a much more accessible price.

The Series 3, while listed as $200, rarely leaves its discounted price of $169. Suffice it to say, shoppers should not buy it for more than $169, but should take advantage of any price below $169.

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Okta drops after company gives weak guidance and announces $6.5 billion Auth0 acquisition

Okta Auth0 deal
Okta cofounders Frederic Kerrest and CEO Todd McKinnon (top L to R) on a video call signing the agreement to acquire Auth0 for $6.5 billion with its cofounders CEO Eugenio Pace and Matias Woloski (bottom L to R)

  • Okta fell by nearly 10% Thursday as the ID-authentication software company’s outlook missed Wall Street’s view. 
  • The company expects a first-quarter adjusted loss of $0.20 to $0.21 a share compared with the consensus of a loss of $0.07. 
  • Okta plans to buy rival Auth0 in a transaction valued at $6.5 billion. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Okta shares dropped nearly 10% Thursday following a quarterly outlook that missed Wall Street’s estimate while the identity-authentication software maker said it plans to buy rival Auth0 in a $6.5 billion stock deal.

The company late Wednesday projected a first-quarter adjusted loss of $0.20 to $0.21 per share, which was wider than the consensus estimate of a per-share loss of $0.07. It also expects year-over-year growth in total revenue to $237 million to $239 million compared with Wall Street’s view of $237 million.

Shares of Okta lost as much as 9.6% when it hit an intraday low of $218. The stock later pared the decline to 4.5%. Over the past 12 months, the shares have advanced about 79%.

The company’s projection came within its fourth-quarter financial report and alongside a separate announcement about planning to buy Auth0. Okta said its guidance does not include any potential impact from the proposed Auth0 deal.

Okta said the pending deal will stoke growth in the $55 billion identity market. Auth0 will run as an independent business unit inside of Okta and both of its platforms will be supported and integrated over time.

The transaction “will accelerate our innovation, opening up new ways for our customers to leverage identity to meet their business needs,” said Todd McKinnon, Okta’s CEO and co-founder, in the statement.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted adjusted earnings of $0.06 a share, swinging from a loss of $0.01 a year ago. Revenue of $234.7 million increased from $167.3 million in the same period a year ago.

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Peridot Acquisition Corp. surges as SPAC set to merge with battery recycler Li-Cycle

Lithium-ion battery factor
A trove of startups are working on a breakthrough battery technology using silicon that could make them last 20-40% longer. Here, a lithium-ion battery factory in France.

  • Peridot Acquisition Corp. stock climbed past $17 in early trading Tuesday on news it would merge with Li-Cycle. 
  • The newly combined company Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. will trade on the NYSE under ticker ‘LICY’. 
  • The deal is expected to close in the second quarter and have a pro forma equity value of about $1.67 billion. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Peridot Acquisition Corp. stock climbed Tuesday as the SPAC struck an agreement to merge with Li-Cycle, a lithium-Ion battery recycler.

The two companies said in a joint statement that the deal will result in the creation of Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. and that the combined company will have a pro forma equity value of about $1.67 billion.

Peridot stock rose by as much as 14% to $15.74 before paring the gain to 4% during the regular session. The stock ahead of the opening bell climbed as much as 28% to $17.79. 

Li-Cycle, which was founded in Toronto in 2016, has commercial contracts with more than 40 blue chip suppliers, among other business agreements, with customers including 14 of the world’s largest automotive and battery manufacturers.

The companies said Li-Cycle should receive about $615 million in gross transaction proceeds, which will be used toward the company’s plans to expand worldwide. All of Li-Cycle’s existing shares will roll into the combined company, they said.

“Li-Cycle is at the forefront of one of the most crucial and under-penetrated markets in clean technology that is growing in lock-step with the electrification of mobility,” said Peridot Chief Executive Alan Levande, who will join Li-Cycle’s board of directors.

Investors in the deal include Neuberger Berman Funds, Franklin Templeton and Mubadala Capital and Peridot’s sponsor Carnelian Energy Capital.

The newly merged company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol “LICY.” The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Roughly 130 SPACs have gone public in 2021, outpacing the first nine months of 2020, according to investment firm Accelerate. 

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