All-electric cars like those from Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report were the breakthrough a few years ago. Now it's all about self-driving cars and autonomous technology. Could tomorrow's project be flying cars?
If you ask Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report , he'll tell you it is. That or it's one of his really fun hobbies. Page has been putting money behind a few flying car startups, perhaps more than $100 million. So his ambition certainly isn't small.
One of the companies is called Kitty Hawk and Sebastian Thrun serves as the company's CEO. Thrun formerly led Google's self-driving car initiatives, so he and Page not only know each other, but also share ambitious goals when it comes to pushing the limits of the automobile.
The company's product is taking shape, too. However, it's not the kind of futuristic Jetson's vehicle that most consumers likely have in their head.
Instead, the Kitty Hawk Flyer is an all-electric flying vehicle that takes off and lands vertically in water. The aircraft is designed to fly over fresh water and can hold an altitude of up to 15 feet, according toSiliconBeat.
Because of how the aircraft is categorized with the FAA, a pilot's license won't be necessary. It also doesn't need to be registered, although it should only be flown in non-congested areas.
Again, it might not be what we all envisioned, but it's certainly a step forward. The list price isn't available, but consumers will reportedly be able to purchase the vehicle by year's end.
Shares of Alphabet closed at $878.93 Monday, up 2.3%.
One of the convenient things companies can do is raise capital from investors. This can be done with equity, where the company sells more stock in exchange for moeny. It can also be done with debt - a maneuver most of us are familiar with.
In this case, Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report looked to the latter of the two options, announcing that it "intended to offer, subject to market and other considerations, €1 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes through an offering outside the United States to non-U.S. persons."
TheStreet further reported that, "The interest rate, redemption provisions, maturity date and other terms of the Notes will be determined by negotiations between Netflix and the initial purchasers."
So how are others interpreting this? Some have speculated that Netflix is looking to boost its content, particularly for its overseas customers. Netflix is expected to have hit 100 million total subscribers last weekend, but recently on its conference call said live sports weren't in the cards for the company.
That means Netflix will either be making its own content or purchasing more content.
Shares of Netflix closed at $143.83 Monday, up 0.7%.
With speculation of a Spotify IPO mounting, could the dominant music-streaming company be considering a wearable device?
A report fromTechCrunch pointed to a job posting for Spotify, looking for someone who will be "leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles."
Call me a skeptic, but taken at face value, let's hope Spotify is just using this as a means of exploring other possible business avenues. At least when it comes to Wall Street, investors tend to cheer moves into software and frown upon hardware announcements.
The reasoning is simple. First, the wearables market is really tough. We've seen companies like Pebble and Jawbone go under, while the ones that are doing OK are hard to break customers away from.
Entrance is one reason, profitability is another. As if the competition front weren't hard enough, the margins on hardware vs. software aren't even comparable. Many hardware companies struggle when it comes to profit margins, with the exception of a company like Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report .
Maybe I'm too close-minded to grasp what Spotify may be attempting here, but anything more than headphones seems like a reach. And even headphones would seem like a reach.
Shares of Apple closed at $143.64 Monday, up 1%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.