Wipro shares fall nearly 7% as organic growth, revival plan disappoint

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Shares of Wipro Ltd fell 6.8% on Wednesday, a day after the software services firm posted quarterly organic revenue growth that was lower than peers and disappointed some investors with its plans to revive growth.

Chief Executive Officer Thierry Delaporte, who took the helm in July, said on Tuesday Wipro would focus more on large deals and “prioritize the markets and sectors that are relevant,” without giving more details.

The commentary let down some investors who were hoping for more concrete steps from a company that has underperformed its rivals in the recent past.

“The strategic roadmap from the CEO to revive growth was not as strong as it was expected to be,” IDBI Capital research analyst Urmil Shah said.

Wipro also saw a decline in revenue from its key markets of the Americas and Europe in the second quarter as clients cut spending, but some new deals helped to keep overall revenue largely flat at 151.15 billion rupees ($2.06 billion).

“Organic growth was down 4.5% year-on-year, lower than Accenture Plc (down 3%) and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (down 3.2%),” AMP analysts said.

Quarterly profit also fell and missed analysts’ estimates.

Wipro said it expects revenue at its IT services business to be in the range of $2.02 billion to $2.06 billion in the December quarter, lower than the $2.09 billion it earned a year earlier.

The company approved a 95 billion rupees share buyback at 400 rupees per share.

“While the quantum of buyback was largely in line with our expectations, the buyback price was a disappointment,” ICICI Securities said in a note.

Wipro shares were set for their biggest one-day percentage loss since April in a weak broader market, while rival Infosys Ltd was down 0.2% ahead of quarterly results later

Free Internet plan to benefit some 6,500 varsity students

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) will be providing free Internet to its students from low-income families to help in their online learning process.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs) Prof Dr Durrishah Idris said new students from the B40 bracket would be given free 10GB Internet data monthly with unlimited access to class-related websites and apps such as Zoom, Cisco Webex and UTM e-learning.

“This is in line with the Higher Education Ministry’s call for universities to conduct classes online due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

“About 6,500 students, which is half of UTM’s student body, will benefit from the free Internet initiative as we want them to have a good online learning experience along with other students,” she said in a press conference.

She highlighted that the free Internet data plan had been given to 2,500 students since June 9, across three phases and phase four would begin soon.

The free Internet would be available to the students for two months, she added.

Prof Durrishah said 8,177 undergraduate and postgraduate students were scheduled to register for the new 2020/2021 semester from Oct 10 to 13.

“This includes about 3,000 new intakes who will only be required to register online and participate in online classes.

“As for the orientation activities for new students initially slated for Oct 11 to 14, it will be held fully online as well, to eliminate physical interaction.

“Students currently staying on campus, including those undergoing internship and doing research, are allowed to stay in their dormitories,” she said, adding that students who had paid their on-campus hostel fee could seek a refund from the university.

Prof Durrishah revealed that two international students were undergoing quarantine upon arrival at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur as part of the standard operating procedure before they were allowed

Instagram & Plan International Team Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment

Instagram & Plan International Team Up With Girl Activists To Address Online Harassment

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2020

After landmark survey by Plan International points to unchecked online harassment, social media platform will work with girls’ rights organization to kick off a series of listening sessions with girl activists around the world, which will inform work across Facebook properties.

NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Instagram will hear from a global panel of girl activists on how the platform can address online harassment, in collaboration with Plan International.

(PRNewsfoto/Plan International USA)
(PRNewsfoto/Plan International USA)

Insights will also be shared with Facebook and WhatsApp as part of this initiative.

Plan’s Listening Sessions, which are being announced on International Day of the Girl [October 11, 2020], will feature a diverse group of 15 youth activists.

The Listening Sessions will give policy and product teams from Instagram — as well as other Facebook platforms — an opportunity to hear directly from girls about their lived experiences on social media, creating a dialogue about more ways the companies can continue to invest in protecting girls from bullying and harassment.

The panelists will consult a broad network of girls and civil society organizations to offer insights from thousands of girls and young women worldwide.

This partnership comes after Plan International’s new report shines a light on the harassment and abuse of girls and young women on social media. Plan surveyed 14,000 girls in 22 countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Benin and India, revealing more than half (58%) have been harassed or abused on social media. The organization spoke to 1,165 girls and young women between the age of 15 and 24 in the U.S. and found 43% reported that they have experienced some form of online harassment on social media

Moderna Doesn’t Plan To Enforce Coronavirus Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Drugmakers live and die by the exclusivity provided by patents on their medications. Generic competition or even a branded competitor can substantially cut a company’s market share. But Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is putting society ahead of its bottom line. The biotech announced on Thursday that it won’t enforce patents for its coronavirus vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company noted: “We feel a special obligation under the current circumstances to use our resources to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. Accordingly, while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.”

Moderna has patents on its base technology, which allows for the expression of protein-based vaccines in patients’ cells through the use of mRNA. The company also has patents on the delivery of mRNA-based vaccines using its lipid nanoparticles technology.

Investors shrugged off the announcement, with shares closing up 0.8% for the day. That might be because Moderna is in a no-win situation. If it did actually try to enforce patents to keep other drugmakers from launching competing vaccines, the biotech would be seen as a bully given the unprecedented need. At least by saying it won’t enforce the patents, Moderna gets a public relations boost.

The company could even make a little money off the situation. Moderna said it’s willing to license its intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines in the post-pandemic period. Competitors worried about a patent fight might agree to pay for a license to reduce their risk.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout

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House Panel Urges Tech Giant Breakup in Plan Republicans Shunned

(Bloomberg) — A House panel proposed far-reaching antitrust reforms to curb the power of U.S. technology giants including Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, culminating a 16-month investigation with a damning 449-page report that Republicans largely shunned.



David Cicilline looking at the camera: Representative David Cicilline a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.


© Bloomberg
Representative David Cicilline a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The recommendations from the House antitrust subcommittee represent the most dramatic proposal to overhaul competition law in decades, and could lead to the breakup of tech companies if approved by Congress.

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The findings target four of the biggest U.S. tech companies — Amazon, Google, Facebook Inc., and Apple Inc. — describing them as gatekeepers of the digital economy that can use their control over markets to pick winners and losers. The companies have abused their power to snuff out competitive threats, leading to less innovation, fewer choices for consumers and a hobbled democracy, the report said.

“Companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the panel’s Democratic leaders said. “These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement. Our economy and democracy are at stake.”

Facebook fell more than 1% in late trading after the report’s release. Amazon and Apple slipped less than 1% and Google was unchanged.

The staff report’s most consequential recommendation is for Congress to consider legislation that would prevent tech companies from owning different lines of businesses, which could lead to a mandate to break them up.

“Their ability both to use their dominance in one market as