Alphabet board sued on allegations of sexual misconduct cover-up. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Two shareholder lawsuits filed this week accused the board of Google parent Alphabet Inc of playing a direct role in covering up sexual misconduct claims against two former executives over the last five years. Martin's attorney, Frank Bottini, said his team plans to show that Google suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages including payouts made to executives accused of sexual misconduct, lost productivity from employees around the world walking off the job briefly in November to protest the payouts and hits to its brand reputation. Ellen Winick Stross, an attorney for Rubin, said on Thursday that Martin's lawsuit, "like much of the recent media coverage, mischaracterizes Andy’s departure from Google and sensationalizes claims made about Andy by his ex-wife. Andy left Google voluntarily. Andy denies any misconduct, and we look forward to telling his story in court."
SG Americas Securities LLC lessened its holdings in BT Group plc (NYSE:BT) by 65.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Dearborn Partners LLC now owns 14,864 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $220,000 after acquiring an additional 3,579 shares during the period. The stock has a market cap of $30.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.06, a P/E/G ratio of 9.14 and a beta of 0.67. BT Group plc has a twelve month low of $13.53 and a twelve month high of $18.97.
Buy Facebook (FB) Stock Down 34% With Instagram Ads Set to Boom? Meanwhile, Facebook’s dominance of the digital advertising market, along with Google GOOGL, is only set to grow with Instagram’s popularity among advertisers set to soar. This alone could be incentive enough for investors to think about buying FB stock as the market seems ready to try to climb back, driven by post-Christmas gains from giants such as Amazon AMZN. More specifically, Facebook is still an advertising powerhouse with 2.27 billion monthly active users across its platforms. Therefore, even if Facebook never gained another user its revenues would climb has marketers try desperately to reach consumers as Netflix NFLX, Amazon Prime, and other non-ad supported platforms grab a larger portion of the entrainment market.
A shareholder filed a lawsuit Thursday against Google parent Alphabet Inc. related to a reported $90 million severance payout to former Android chief Andy Rubin, who left the company after being accused of sexual misconduct. The suit, filed by shareholder James Martin, claims Alphabet failed in its duties to shareholders by attempting to cover up the misconduct. It seeks three new, independent board members and the reimbursement of severance payouts to executives who left under a cloud of misconduct. Rubin left the company in 2014, but the New York Times reported in October that Google had found the allegations credible but kept them secret.
The drop in Apple’s stock price (AAPL) has hit Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) stock portfolio. “On a cumulative pro forma basis, investments in Apple Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., and American Express Co. are down just over $25 billion during that time, with Apple's 34% drop wiping out $19.2 billion of Berkshire market value.”. As of the third quarter ended September 30, Berkshire Hathaway owned more than 252.47 million shares of the iPhone-maker, making it the No. 1 largest equity holding. Assuming the position is unchanged, it’s valued at over $38.83 billion based on Thursday’s closing price of $153.80. Apple’s stock came under pressure after CEO Tim Cook said the company lowered its revenue guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2019, citing weakness in China and lower-than-expected iPhone sales.
Google shareholders sue over company's multi-million dollar payout to fired Android creator. Google shareholders are suing the company board and senior management for covering up executives' sexual harassment and rewarding them with large payouts for leaving quietly. Last year it emerged that Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system had been given $90m to leave in 2014, despite Google concluding that sexual harassment allegations from another employee were credible. The story detailed how Google had covered up sexual harassment accusations against at least three other male executives, who were either allowed to continue their role or offered a similar severance package.
The shares took a beating then, as well as after its negative preannouncement, while continuing to lead the S&P 500 by a mile-. But estimates have come tumbling down as analysts began to get a sense of just how much of a decline the hardware business was in for: by 22.6% for the December quarter, 11.9% for the March quarter, 9.7% for fiscal 2019 and 8.4% for fiscal 2020. On Jan 2, Apple lowered its revenue guidance for the holiday quarter from $91 billion (at the mid-point) to $84 billion, its gross profit from $34.8 billion at the mid-point to $31.92 billion, its operating expense from $8.75 billion to $8.7 billion (effectively lowering operating income from $26.05 billion at the mid-point to $23.22 billion) and its other income from $300 million to $550 million. Slower iPhone sales in China (one of its largest markets) aren’t a particularly encouraging signal given strained sino-U.S. relations and recent market gyrations. If negotiations fall through, iPhone parts will come in for some rather heavy tariffs and Apple maintains that there isn’t adequate expertise in the country to allow a production shift back to the U.S. So prices of iPhones (a high end consumer good) will rise and a corresponding impact on sales will follow. Apple’s intentions are obvious: first, to grow its services revenue as fast as possible to offset the increasing pressure on device sales; second, to woo Android device owners into its ecosystem and failing that, to profit from them where possible; and three, to increase options for Apple device owners by letting them stream phone content onto their Samsung TVs. Since Apple TV hasn’t been wildly popular, the need to combine with leading TV makers is all the more important, especially as it gets ready to launch its video streaming service in the second half of the year.
Chinese Tesla Rival NIO Beat Its 2018 Sales Guidance -- but 2019 Will Be Tougher. The ES8, an upscale battery-electric three-row SUV positioned as a domestic Chinese alternative to Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Model X, went into production in late June. He said the company will continue to focus on market penetration in 2019, emphasizing service as a differentiator. While CFO Louis Hsieh said he was "pleased" with NIO's production ramp and delivery totals in 2018, he noted that the company's strong year-end total was due in part to a reduction in government subsidies for electric vehicles that took effect at the beginning of 2019. It's one size smaller than the ES8, with longer range and a lower price. But if Tesla can deliver the Model Y to Chinese customers at a competitive price, NIO may find itself watching its big American rival run away with its hoped-for sales.
The Plaintiffs, Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund, are current stockholders of the Company and are represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLCand Berman Tabacco, as local counsel. In the 62-page complaint, the shareholders seek redress from the injury and losses that they allege were sustained by Alphabet as a result of breaches of fiduciary duty and “culture of concealment” that led Defendants to pursue their own interests and participate or acquiesce in the cover-ups of a long-standing pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination by high-powered male executives. “We are hoping this lawsuit will create greater value for Alphabet’s stockholders and will also ensure that the Company demonstrates a greater commitment to a safe and fair workplace,” said Julie Goldsmith Reiser, partner at Cohen Milstein who represents the shareholders. The lawsuit also alleges Alphabet failed to disclose a data privacy breach that exposed the personal data of a half a million users of Google+, a social networking website operated by the Company.
Alphabet board faces lawsuit on allegations of sexual misconduct cover-up. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A shareholder's lawsuit filed on Thursday said the board of Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) played a direct role in covering up sexual misconduct claims against two top executives in 2014 and 2016. The lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court in California by shareholder James Martin cites minutes from Alphabet board and board committee meetings. The lawsuit seeks to force Google to upgrade its governance and oversight to stop future sexual harassment and discrimination.