Robin Hood foundation scores Wall Street support for nonprofits

CEO of The Robin Hood Foundation, Wes Moore, speaks during The Robin Hood Foundation’s 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City.

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One of Wall Street’s favorite charitable organizations has raised several million dollars to support a fund that invests in nonprofit groups run by people of color. 

The Robin Hood foundation’s Power Fund kicked off this summer as the coronavirus pandemic spread and amid nationwide protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day.  

Robin Hood funds over 200 poverty-fighting programs in New York City. It is led by Wes Moore, an author and former investment banker at Citigroup.

“I think part of the thing we’ve seen is that everything we’ve witnessed post George Floyd, these aren’t new things because of George Floyd,” Moore told CNBC. “I think that the conversations we’ve been able to have with — whether they be donors or CEOs of companies — is about the more we look into the patterns and practices that we had even prior to all this, the more it just highlights that we have to move with a sense of urgency.”

Robin Hood’s board is full of Wall Street leaders, including chairman John Griffin, who was once a hedge fund manager; and the group’s vice chair, Dina Powell McCormick, an executive at Goldman Sachs. David Solomon, Goldman Sachs’ CEO, is also a board member.

Robin Hood’s latest 990 disclosure form shows that it raised almost $140 million in 2018 through contributions and grants. The group raised nearly $130 million the prior year.

The Power Fund, which has raised over $6 million on top of the seed money provided by the Robin Hood Foundation, has moved to support five organizations including America on Tech, which runs

American Well Climbs – What Wall Street Is Saying

American Well AMWL shares jumped on Monday after coverage of the stock was initiated by a number of analysts four weeks following the Boston telehealth company’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Amwell shares were trading at $34.29, up 5%, at last check. Here’s what Wall Street is saying:

Morgan Stanley analyst Ricky Goldwasser initiated coverage of the stock with an equal weight rating and $35 price target, saying the company’s telehealth platform is poised to gain share within a “large and expanding” market.

UBS’s Kevin Caliendo initiated coverage of Amwell with a neutral rating and $29 price target. 

Caliendo says the neutral rating reflects the stock’s 81% climb since its IPO in mid-September. But the company has the potential to accelerate its growth above the estimated 27% revenue growth excluding acquisitions that Caliendo anticipates. 

Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of Amwell with a neutral rating and $31 price target. 

Analyst Robert Jones says American Well “is a leading telehealth vendor with a diversified customer base and a clear runway for recurring 20%-plus revenue growth, gross-margin expansion and representing one of the most top-of-mind themes in health care,” according to Bloomberg. 

Cowen’s Charles Rhyee initiated coverage of Amwell with an outperform rating and $41 price target, which is a 30-times multiple to his 2022 sales estimate of $333 million. 

“Telehealth is currently one of the biggest themes in health care, and … AMWL should benefit from its focus on providers, who we see being a key driver in the next leg of growth in telehealth,” Rhyee said, according to Bloomberg. 

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Air Street Capital: AI industry remains strong despite academic brain drain, tech nationalization

London-based venture capital firm Air Street Capital today published the State of AI Report 2020, its third annual survey canvassing research, talent, industrial, and political trends in the field of AI. Coauthored by University College London visiting professor Ian Hogarth and AI investor Nathan Benaich, the report aims to highlight technological breakthroughs and areas of commercial application for AI as well as the regulation of AI, its economic implications, and emerging geopolitical issues.

Among other findings, this year’s report implies AI remains mostly closed source, harming accountability and reproducibility, while corporate-driven academic “brain drain” appears to be impacting entrepreneurship. Self-driving cars are in the Precambrian stages. And political leaders are beginning to question whether acquisitions of AI startups should be scrutinized or outright blocked.

AI research

According to Air Street Capital’s report, only 15% of AI research papers publish their code, and there’s been little improvement on the metric since mid-2016. Based on data from the website Papers With Code, which highlights trending research and the code to implement it, code availability has actually decreased from above 20% in December 2019. “For the biggest tech companies, their code is usually intertwined with proprietary scaling infrastructure that can’t be released,” the coauthors of the report concluded. “This points to the centralization of AI talent and compute as a huge problem.”

This development perhaps isn’t surprising, given that professors are departing universities for corporations at an accelerating rate. The report points out that Google, DeepMind, Amazon, and Microsoft hired 52 tenured and tenure-track professors from U.S. colleges between 2004 and 2018 and that Carnegie Mellon, the University of Washington, and Berkeley lost 38 professors during the same period. To put that in perspective, no AI professor left in 2004, whereas in 2018, 41 AI professors resigned.

The report’s coauthors believe this has

Amazon Price Target Raised to Wall Street High by Pivotal

Investors and analysts have been framing the Amazon  (AMZN) – Get Report sum-of-the-parts valuation wrong, according to a Pivotal Research analyst, who raised his price target for the internet retail giant to $4,500 from $3,925.

Shares of the Seattle-based Amazon were up 1.6% on Thursday to $3,200.08.

Analyst Michael Levine, who kept a buy rating on the shares, said in a note to clients that Amazon’s advertising was only 5% of revenue, but is a “far greater contributor” to overall non-Amazon Web Services EBIT margins than Wall Street recognizes.

“Said differently,” the analyst said, “if advertising was viewed as a stand-alone business unit … it would represent well north of 300% of 2020E non-AWS EBIT.”

Based on his view that there is “massive upside” to estimates by fiscal year 2024, the analyst increased the firm’s target to a Wall Street-high of $4,500. 

Levine thinks investors are “materially underestimating” the earnings power of the ad business. He called Amazon the “best mega-cap on a multi-year basis.”

“Ironically, AMZN over the last few years has gone from the mega-cap disclosing the least to the one disclosing the most,” he said.

Levine estimated that at least 85% to 90% of the Amazon business today is sponsored listings.

“In this scenario,” he said, “an advertiser pays for higher placement within the sort order, the user stays on AMZN, and AMZN keeps the transaction and transaction data.”

Separately, Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said the company hosted a conference call with a supply chain/logistics expert to discuss the current state of Amazon’s fulfillment network.

Thill, who has a buy rating and a $3,144.88 price target, said increased customer demand is causing Amazon to expand capacity at an unprecedented pace and that expanded same-day delivery could be just 12 months away. 

In addition, he said,

Palantir Shares Go Up in Wall Street Debut

Palantir Technologies, a company that helps government agencies analyze vast amounts of digital data, saw its shares jump in its Wall Street debut on Wednesday in a sign of continued investor excitement for money-losing software companies.

The company’s shares began trading at $10 on the New York Stock Exchange, a 38 percent increase from a “reference price” of $7.25 set Tuesday evening, and closed the day at $9.73.

Palantir is one of many companies rushing to go public before the election on Nov. 3. It hit the market the morning after a presidential debate seemed to foreshadow political turmoil that could rattle investors in the coming months.

Still, as the rest of the American economy has struggled with mass unemployment and the closing of businesses big and small, Wall Street has been welcoming to new public offerings. The three months that ended with September were the busiest quarter for initial public offerings in 20 years, with 81 offerings set to raise $28.5 billion, according to Renaissance Capital, which tracks I.P.O.s.

Shares of Asana, a collaboration software provider, and Velodyne, which makes sensors for self-driving cars, also began trading on Wednesday. Asana’s stock rose, valuing the company at $4.4 billion, up from its last private valuation of $1.5 billion, while Velodyne’s stock fell 24 percent to $18.69.

Recent successful debuts have included the gaming company Unity Software, the software provider JFrog, and Snowflake, a business technology company whose value increased more than fivefold in its initial public offering this month.

Airbnb, DoorDash and several other tech companies are also expected to go public in the coming months.

Investors embraced Palantir despite its inability to turn a profit and the many controversies swirling around it. Among them is the highly unusual way Palantir has kept most of its corporate voting power in