Maersk Raises Outlook as Shipping Giant Sees Demand Rebound

(Bloomberg) — A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S raised its full-year guidance amid a recovery in demand and sweeping efforts to cut costs.



a large ship in the background: Inside DP World Plc London Gateway Port


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Inside DP World Plc London Gateway Port

The container shipping company, which is eliminating hundreds of jobs, said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be in the range of $7.5 billion to $8 billion, before restructuring and integration costs. That compares with an earlier forecast of $6 billion to $7 billion, according to a statement.

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“The upgrade underlines the strong earnings momentum,” Brian Borsting, a credit analyst at Danske Bank A/S, said in a client note.

Copenhagen-based Maersk, which transports about 15% of the globe’s seaborne freight, said there was a “continued recovery in demand” in the third quarter. It reported revenue of $9.9 billion for the quarter, and an EBITDA before costs of $2.4 billion.

Maersk is undertaking a major restructuring as the world’s biggest shipping company grapples with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’ll take restructuring costs of around $100 million in the third quarter related to around 2,000 job cuts, as it reorganizes its ocean and logistics and services operations.

The almost 20% increase in the full-year EBITDA guidance means analysts are likely to materially upgrade their estimates, Jefferies analyst David Kerstens said in a note.

Read More: Maersk Plans Major Restructuring Affecting Thousands of Jobs

The upgrade could also be more good news for holders of Maersk debt, as the borrower may see a change in the negative outlook that it’s been assigned by S&P Global Ratings, according to Danske’s Borsting. Moody’s Investors Service already recently lifted its outlook to positive, he said.

Spreads on the company’s euro bonds maturing in March 2026 tightened 2.5 basis points to 102.3 while its shares fell 1.1%, according to levels compiled by

Meditation Giant Headspace Taps Intuit Alum CeCe Morken To Be Its First Female CEO

Over the last seven pandemic-ridden months, meditation app Headspace has seen its downloads double. The company made its offerings free for first responders and the unemployed, and the number of people using a specific “stressed meditation” series is up sixfold. And as CEOs have become increasingly more mindful of their employees’ mental health, corporations such as Tesco, Hewlett Packard Enterprises and Publicis have signed on for Headspace for Work, while Microsoft is even integrating the meditation service into its Teams platform.

Behind the scenes of much of this recent growth has been CeCe Morken, the woman who is currently serving as Headspace’s president and COO. She assumed the position in April after spending 13 years leading different business units at Intuit—but six months into the job, she’s getting a promotion. Headspace announced Monday that effective January 1, 2021, Morken will become the company’s CEO, while current CEO and cofounder Rich Pierson alongside cofounder Andy Puddicombe will transition to new roles as co-executive chairmen of the board.

“The founders have looked at what we’ve done in six months and said ‘we’re super comfortable with where you’re taking things, and so we want to we want to offer this role to you,’” Morken told Forbes in an exclusive phone interview, noting that the CEO role was not part of the initial conversations she had with Headspace when she joined in the spring.

“When we founded Headspace in 2010, we never imagined it would become the meditation and mindfulness leader it is today,” Pierson said in a statement Monday. He went on to note that for him and Puddicombe, this period of growth marked the right time to step away from

The AI partners Walmart is working with to become a software giant

  • Walmart is perhaps the best example of the commonly used mantra “every company is now a technology company”: The world’s largest retailer has invested heavily in building out its tech team to create new offerings, like express delivery. 
  • But it also partners with a slew of outside AI partners — some which it purchased — that help with operations like store cleaning, supply chain negotiations, and ad placement.  
  • “This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business Insider.
  • Sign up here to receive updates on all things Innovation Inc.

No company embodies the ongoing digital push underway across corporate America better than Walmart. 

Walmart has transitioned into a software behemoth over the last several years as it strives to catch up to Amazon in e-commerce. For example, it has invested in emerging technology like artificial intelligence across the enterprise, from robotic cleaners in physical stores, to applications that autonomously manage the company’s intricate web of suppliers around the globe.

While Walmart relies on vendors for some of the tech, it’s also building much of it in-house through an army of thousands of data scientists and software engineers. The system for its recently-launched express delivery offering — which relies on AI to make real-time calculations based on factors like weather conditions and labor costs to figure out the fastest way to get products to a customer’s door — was all built internally.

“This is a company that had really focused on execution in more traditional ways of doing business and was a little behind the curve in the last few years. It’s significantly caught up,” UBS analyst Michael Lasser told Business

An Emerging Internet Giant in China

Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ: PDD) is turning out to be the second most successful e-commerce channel in China. Through its advanced and integrated business model, it has outperformed many of its competitors in a noisy and over-crowded industry. In terms of number of orders and consumers, Pinduoduo is the second largest internet giant in China, according to a detailed analysis by Turner Novak.

Pinduoduo was founded initially back in 2015 as Pinhaohuo (PHH). The initial business model of PHH was buying fruits in bulk from farmers and selling them directly to the consumers using online channel. Pinhaohuo, since a newly established entity did not have its own website or application, used the group chats platform of Tencent’s popular Wechat – often referred to as the Facebook of China. Since a huge chunk of people were using it, it proved a jump-off point for Pinhaohuo’s growth.

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Initially, it got fame and the orders started rolling in. In a few months, it was China’s #01 free app, receiving 100k orders daily and 10 million registered users. Due to the increasing number of orders and deliveries, PHH joined hands with SF traders for delivery. In 2016, PHH merged with Pinduoduo (PDD) which was game-like ecommerce platform. This merger proved an inaugurating point for the new entity as it doubled the number of its users. PDD already had 70 million active users and took 0.6% of all the sales. Majority of the revenue came about the in-app ads for PDD.

Pinduoduo has brought revolution in the market place through its customer-centered business model. The sales strategy is simple: buy everyday products and receive discount up to 90%, invite friends and family. Another strategy of their success is the team buying. Their goal is to make every purchase a team purchase. They charge an upfront

German tech giant Software AG down after ransomware attack

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Image: Software AG

Software AG, one of the largest software companies in the world, has suffered a ransomware attack over the last weekend, and the company has not yet fully recovered from the incident.

A ransomware gang going by the name of “Clop” has breached the company’s internal network on Saturday, October 3, encrypted files, and asked for more than $20 million to provide the decryption key.

Earlier today, after negotiations failed, the Clop gang published screenshots of the company’s data on a website the hackers operate on the dark web (a so-called leak site).

The screenshots show employee passport and ID scans, employee emails, financial documents, and directories from the company’s internal network.

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Image: ZDNet

Software AG disclosed the incident on Monday when it revealed it was facing disruptions on its internal network “due to [a] malware attack.”

The company said that services to customers, including its cloud-based services, remained unaffected and that it was not aware “of any customer information being accessed by the malware attack.”

The message about the attack remained on its official website homepage all week, including today.

Software AG did not return phone calls today for additional details or comments about the incident.

A copy of the ransomware binary used against Software AG was discovered earlier this week by security researcher MalwareHunterTeam. The $20+ million ransom demand is one of the largest ransom demands ever requested in a ransomware attack.

Software AG is Germany’s second-largest company with more than 10,000 enterprise customers across 70 countries. Some of the company’s most recognizable customers include Fujitsu, Telefonica, Vodafone, DHL, and Airbus.

Its product line includes business infrastructure software such as database systems, enterprise service bus (ESB) frameworks, software architecture (SOA), and business process management systems (BPMS).

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