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APX, APPEN LIMITED
nipper
post Posted: Sep 10 2021, 05:18 PM
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Matthew Kidman (Livewire Markets): Here is one that has been absolutely torched, and no wonder everyone is looking at it because it used to be a market darling. Chris, we will start with you. Appen: buy, hold or sell?

Chris Stott (1851 Capital) : Sell, Matthew. Its earnings were disappointing in the recent release. We think the guidance they provided for the full year is a bit of a stretch. It needs a huge second half to get there. The last few earnings results have been disappointing from this company, so we will sit on the sidelines and sell.

Matthew Kidman (Livewire Markets) : James, it was only a year and a half ago this was one of the market darlings. It was teaching computers how to understand voices around the world, it was selling to the big tech companies. Been a disaster since. Buy, hold or sell?

James Gerrish ( Market Matters): I am going to say sell on it as well. I agree with Chris. What the last 12 to 18 months have shown is the lack of visibility in earnings for this sort of business. Some technology businesses have really strong abilities to forecast. These guys do not, and that has come home to roost. So for me, Appen is a sell. Even though it is around the $10 dollar level. It's been whacked, but it is a sell.



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
panda21
post Posted: Aug 30 2021, 05:27 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Aug 30 2021, 01:38 PM

thanks nipper for the view - great tips for sure.

 
nipper
post Posted: Aug 30 2021, 01:38 PM
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In Reply To: panda21's post @ Aug 30 2021, 01:03 PM

QUOTE
... any view around their sliding performance lately?
Welcome..

ooh ahh.... that is quite a slide. Appen was one of the WAAAX stocks, trading at high PEs and needing to grow spectacularly to make it?? These were momentum stocks, and some seem to have come to a grinding halt.

Six months ago, this was some of the chat : https://www.livewiremarkets.com/wires/appen...-of-opportunity

Latest results out last week are not pretty. Revenue slid 2 per cent to $US196.6 million (about $270 million), while profit crashed 55.1 per cent to $US6.7 million for the first half of 2021.
QUOTE
Shares in Appen plunged on Thursday, after the AI data services company reported profits had more than halved during the first half of the year, as customers such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google, grappling with global data privacy changes, redirect spending away from intrusive user tracking technology.
Appen, which collects and establishes clean data sets to sell to technology companies wanting to experiment with artificial intelligence and machine learning, said its customers had shifted their priorities towards augmented reality, virtual reality and geolocation projects, rather than advertising....



Plus, is there truth in these sorts of advancements? : There are some interesting articles about new developments in AI which largely make the work of companies such as Appen irrelevant. Users are developing self supervised learning for AI that bypasses the work that companies like Appen do with lots of humans.



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

Said 'Thanks' for this post: panda21  
 
panda21
post Posted: Aug 30 2021, 01:03 PM
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Hi all - newbie here ... any view around their sliding performance lately?

 
nipper
post Posted: Sep 3 2020, 08:36 AM
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Industry background:

Appen is one of the two big players in the artificial intelligence data services industry. It provides the world's biggest technology companies with the crowd-sourced data needed to train the AI algorithms that power everything from search engines to voice assistants and autonomous vehicles.

Its biggest rival is Lionbridge, which was acquired by New York based private equity firm H.I.G Capital in 2016 for $US360 million ($489 million). There is also a range of smaller venture capital-backed players in the market.

Appen has flourished in recent years as the major tech giants, such as Microsoft and Facebook, have invested more and more in AI.

The result: Appen's half year result to June 30 was solid, with the business resilient against the pressures of COVID 19.

Its revenue grew 25 per cent to $306.2 million and its net profit after tax increased to $22.3 million, up 20 per cen

The company's content relevance division, which is data annotated for the purpose of improving search results, is the growth engine of the business, with revenue up 34 per cent to $273.9 million. But its substantially smaller speech and image data segment fell 20 per cent from a bumper first half in 2019, despite being the second strongest half for the segment in the company's history.

Its speech and image results came in below analyst expectations and was the catalyst for an 11 per cent sell-off on the day, undoing share price gains in the week leading up to the result.

Outlook: Despite taking a minor hit from COVID-19 because of smaller customers delaying some projects, Appen reaffirmed its previously-upgraded full-year guidance.

It has forecast underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the range of $125 million to $130 million, at a $1 equals US70¢ conversion rate, having already booked $475 million of revenue, plus orders in hand, as of August.
Over the longer term, the company's future is also bright. It is well positioned to benefit from the acceleration of digital transformation and the boom in e-commerce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its services required by more and more businesses investing in AI.



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: Jun 4 2020, 07:43 PM
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Chairman Chris Vonwiller has sold two million shares for "a number of personal reasons" and delivered himself a $58 million payday after selling at $29 a share. He remains the company's largest shareholder with approximately nine million shares, or around 7.5 per cent of issued capital. His remaining stake is worth around $272 million.

Appen chief executive Mark Brayan sold 95,535 shares, pocketing $2.9 million, to satisfy tax obligations and diversify his personal investments. He sold at $30.60 a share.

Non-executive director Bill Pulver sold 275,000 shares, delivering a windfall of around $8.4 million. He sold at $30.68 a share

Appen's share price closed at $30.48. Shares have rallied from a low of $17.14 on March 12.



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 


blacksheep
post Posted: Nov 8 2019, 11:36 AM
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FWIW - extract from recent article - opinion from Phil King of Regal Funds Management.
QUOTE
Why we still like Appen and Zip
"We still own Appen, because we think the valuation's very attractive. We're looking forward a few years, and I think that's fine. If a company has got a very strong market position, I feel comfortable looking forward a few years to see where that stock will be in a couple of years. There are other similar growth stocks out there as well. I think one reason that we've been very successful this year is that we've focused very heavily on small growth stocks.

We're very much in a low interest rate, low growth environment. If we can identify earnings growth, organic earnings growth before the market discovers it, then not only will we benefit from that EPS growth, but we'll get a strong rerating in that stock as well.

We've had a number of stocks double or triple this year as the market discovers the EPS growth and rerates them. I think a lot of stocks, as I said earlier, will go up heavily as they enter the index as well. That's something we're very focused on, stocks before they get too big or big enough to enter the index.

Well, investment is all about making forecasts. Making forecasts always involves a little bit of uncertainty, but I feel a lot more confident forecasting Appen's future cash flows than many cyclical stocks in Australia. I think stocks that rely on the economy for earnings growth can disappoint, and I think there have probably been more value traps in Australia over the last six months than I've seen in a long time.

Whereas something like Appen, if we do the research, explore the competitive landscape, if we talk to suppliers, if we talk to customers, we talk to management, we get very, very comfortable. They're in a very strong spot, and their growth is almost accelerating at the moment. They've established themselves as the go-to for their customers, and the main criticism they used to get was that they were too reliant on one or two customers. They've very much diversified their customer base.

A few years ago, they took out one of their large competitors, and I think they've very much established themselves as the go-to for their machine learning speciality, as well as speech recognition.
When we bought Zip it was on a valuation that was about 10% the size of Afterpay. As I've said, the first step in our process is valuation. We just thought all the hype was on Afterpay, and we thought people hadn't really discovered Zip.

We made a large investment in Zip and that's been very, very successful for us. That stock I think is up two or three times since we invested. We think in the buy now pay later space there'll probably be two or three winners. I think the merchants have an incentive to have more than just Afterpay on offer.

Just like most merchants accept two or three different credit cards, I think most merchants will accept two or three different buy now pay later providers. We think Afterpay and Zip will be certainly the two winners. We just prefer Zip on the valuation".
https://www.livewiremarkets.com/wires/phil-...were-in-the-gfc


Another stock that's come off recent highs - Mr King might be talking up his investment
Total short positions as at 1/11/19 = 1.27%
https://www.shortman.com.au/stock?q=apx
Attached File(s)
Attached File  apx.png ( 119.64K ) Number of downloads: 21

 




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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
nipper
post Posted: Oct 2 2019, 10:05 AM
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QUOTE
Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

Last month this leading developer of high-quality, human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence was one of the worst performers on the S&P/ASX 200 index. Appen’s shares appear to have been hit by a combination of profit-taking in the information technology sector and concerns over its Figure Eight business. This means its shares have lost a third of their value since peaking at $32.00 in July.

With long-term growth potential thanks to increasing demand for its services due to the proliferation of machine learning and artificial intelligence, has this created a buying opportunity for investors?



--------------------
"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Aug 29 2019, 12:02 PM
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29th August 2019
APPEN DELIVERS AGAIN
QUOTE
Appen Limited (“Appen”) (ASX:APX) a global leader in the development of high-quality,
human annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), has today
announced its First Half results for the half year ended 30th June 2019.
• Revenue up 60% to $245.1M
• Underlying EBITDA1 of $46.3M up 81%, statutory EBITDA up 48%
• Underlying EBITDA margins improved from 16.8% to 18.9%
• Underlying NPAT2 of $29.6M up 67%, statutory NPAT of $18.6M up 33%
• Momentum building for Speech and Image3
. Revenue for the half up 85% to
$39.9M, all from organic growth
• Relevance revenue of $193.7M4, up 48%, with margin expansion
• Leapforce now fully integrated
• Figure Eight delivering on the strategic thesis
• The Company’s full year underlying EBITDA for the year ending Dec 31st, 2019
including Figure Eight is trending to the upper end of $85M - $90M (at A$1 =
US$0.74 Aug-Dec 2019)5


Market not too impressed - SP down 12.28% @ $24.01. Maybe it's because the market is down generally, or the partially franked dividend failed to impress. Could be something else buried in the report which I've not fully read

QUOTE
The Board has declared an interim dividend of 4.0c per share, partially franked in line with the same period last year.


https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190829/pdf/...zhq8j88qg7t.pdf
https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190829/pdf/...zh95bd6zn6s.pdf
https://www.shortman.com.au/stock?q=apx

Attached File(s)
Attached File  apx.png ( 95.39K ) Number of downloads: 9

 




--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
plastic
post Posted: Mar 20 2019, 07:49 AM
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Haven't studied it to know but my guess if you haven't got the necessary infrastructure, maybe a super computer or two, then all you're doing is wave riding.




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What did Uncle Mel do to us?
 
 


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