Apple Inc. (AAPL) said on Wednesday it planned to lay off 190 employees in its self-driving car program, Project Titan, changes that provide a rare window into the automotive technologies the company has been pursuing.
The tech firm said in a filing with state regulators that it planned to lay off people from eight different Santa Clara County facilities near its Cupertino, California, headquarters, as of April 16. A company spokesman confirmed that the reduction was from the self-driving car program.
While the iPhone maker has acknowledged its interest in self-driving cars in broad terms, it has never detailed precisely which technologies it is working on and whether it seeks to build a whole vehicle or the sensors, computer system and software to control one.
The public documents filed with regulators provide some previously undisclosed clues.
Among those laid off were at least two dozen software engineers, including a machine learning engineer, and 40 hardware engineers, according to a letter sent by Apple to California employment regulators earlier this month.
Chatter’s rising around Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO), which is up 3.3% on growing volume after it canceled this morning’s scheduled presentation at the Morgan Stanley TMT Conference.
The company was set to present about 45 minutes ago.
Top 3 Gainers: Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Eros International (NYSE:EROS), Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS)
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 2.5% after Benchmark reiterated its Buy rating in a look-ahead at Q2 earnings. The firm’s expecting a beat and solid guidance for Q3, and it’s raising its guidance for the fiscal year.
Tailwinds from the pandemic won’t dissipate easily, Benchmark suggests, and the videogame maker’s acquisition of Peak (and with it new “forever franchises” in Toon Blast and Toy Blast) will drive audience, bookings, margins and free cash flow, it says. The firm has an $11 price target, now implying 14% upside.
Eros International (NYSE:EROS) is up 5.8% today, making up the last week’s lost ground, after news that its streaming service Eros Now is partnering with Sony India (SNE +2.3%).
That will mean Eros Now’s app is pre-installed on selected Sony smart televisions in India, along with availability on a large base of existing models (Bravia E series and newer).
The country over the past year has seen a 25% growth in demand for smart TVs, fueled by overall industry growth of 15%, to a record 15M units/year.
Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS) personal safety tracker sees strong market with increased orders from the electronics retail chain in the US.
The boost in product demand comes ahead coronavirus pandemic that provides company to expect delivery of 250K units this year. It reflects over 3x the volume delivered in 2019, the year of its launch.
Borqs’ mobile personal safety devices designed particularly for senior citizens come with panic button, location tracking, and fall detection.
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): US agencies investigate fatal Tesla Model 3 crash in Florida
American safety officials are looking into the circumstances surrounding another fatal Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) crash. Both the NTSB and the NHTSA have confirmed that they’re investigating a collision between a Model 3 and a semi truck in Delray Beach, Florida on March 1st. According to the police report, the truck was turning left to enter a main thoroughfare when the Model 3 crashed into the semi’s trailer, shearing off the car’s roof and killing the driver. It’s not certain if Autopilot was active, although the Model 3 kept traveling for more than 500 yards before coming to a stop.
Tesla said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” about the collision and was “reaching out” to authorities to cooperate. The NTSB added that it typically takes one to two years to complete investigations like this.
This certainly isn’t the first time US safety agencies have investigated Tesla crashes to determine the possible role of Autopilot. However, there are unusually close parallels to a deadly incident from May 2016, when a Model S driver in Florida struck a trailer. His vehicle had Autopilot engaged and also kept going a significant distance after the crash, although investigators cleared Tesla and noted that the driver in that case ignored safety warnings. While the particular circumstances are different, it wouldn’t be out of the question for agents to compare the two cases.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Are In News On Monday
Evercore raises its Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) price target from $1,800 to $1,965 saying that gross profit has become a “more important indicator” than Y/Y revenue growth.
Key quote: “As such, we remain bullish on AMZN at least in part because the company’s gross profit is expected to grow ~400bps faster than revenue for AMZN over the next 3 years.”
Amazon shares are up 0.9% pre-market to $1,686.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) alleges in a San Diego federal court that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) violated three of its patents and asks for tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Qualcomm has filed a series of patent actions against Apple around the world that will conclude before the antitrust trial starting in April, which will hear Apple’s challenge to QCOM’s business model.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw will open an eight-day trial today deciding whether Apple violated Qualcomm’s patents with its iPhones that contain Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips.
Qualcomm shares are up 0.8% pre-market to $54.65.
Apple shares are up 0.5% to $175.88.