Two trading days into 2018, the news explosion kicks off.
Paging the Next CEO of Tesla
Time and time again Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk promises a goal and badly whiffs on it. Yet up until now, the market generally ignores the misses and cheers the fact Musk has created nifty electric cars that sell at steep premiums to peers. At what point do investors push for Musk to slide into a chairman role (which is all about big thinking) and hand the execution oriented CEO spot to a proven industrial executive (paging former Ford (F) CEO Mark Fields)? Maybe after analyzing Tesla's nasty miss on Model 3 deliveries revealed this evening? It's one thing to design a cool automobile, it's another thing to get it profitably down a production line on a consistent basis.
Investors aren't too happy with the Model 3 miss, as they sent shares of Tesla down as much as 2% on the news. Perhaps this is the moment to consider whether the big-thinking Musk is in over his head.
Oh My, Intel
TheStreet has investors covered with several stories on Intel's terrible day...with more coming Thursday.
- Chris Nolter: Intel Defends Security of Chips, Says Others Are Vulnerable as Well
- Eric Jhonsa: Intel's Security Flaw Is Messy, But Probably Not a Reason to Panic
Roku Is a Beast
Roku (ROKU) continues to impress in that it knows what it does well and goes after opportunities accordingly. Over time, it's the laser focused companies like Roku that win over ones chasing everything and earning little for their efforts.
Case in point is Roku readying to unveil a new wireless audio platform called Roku Connect. No, Roku isn't entering the smart speaker market dominated by Amazon (AMZN) . Instead, as it does with its budding TV business, it will license its well-regarded software to third parties. The software will allow people to more easily control their home entertainment systems with their voice.
Some insight into Roku's approach via TheStreet's interview in November with founder Anthony Wood:
I think the two most important areas in our future are our advertising business and our Roku TV licensing business. On the platform side, 90% of the business is advertising and there is a lot of innovation happening there. In terms of building active accounts, a metric that increased 48% year over year in the third quarter, there are two ways to do that. Sell Roku players and sell directly to TV companies.
The TV part is the fastest-growing part of the business. It's a huge shift that has played out elsewhere before. In the old days, for example, phone companies made their own software. But then smartphones came out and the software quality people expected to use became higher. It was impossible for a phone company to make its own software, so then came Android. The same thing is happening in smart TVs. It used to be that smart TV players would make their own software, but then that software isn't competitive anymore. And so they are all starting to license, and Roku is leading here.
About 1 in 5 smart TVs sold this year ran Roku's platform.
Roku shares are up about 140% since the company's Sept. 2017 IPO.