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The electric vehicle maker’s CEO told staff in an email that he wants to bring the Semi to “volume production.” The stock closed up 8.97 per cent on Wednesday, above $1,000 for the first time ever. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The Semi, announced in 2017, was originally slated to go into production in 2019. Neither missing that target—something that’s been a repeat occurrence for Tesla on other highly-anticipated models—nor the fact that Musk didn’t provide a specific timeline on Tuesday appears to have dampened investor enthusiasm. The stock jump comes amid a week-long rally for shares of rival Nikola, which is also working on electric semi- and pickup trucks.

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The business contact and information database firm brought in US$934.5 million in its IPO as the stock opened at US$40 after pricing at US$21. (Reuters

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Talking point: Markets have reacted well to new listings this week—Warner Music Group climbed 20.5 per cent on Wednesday, its first trading day. That follows a pandemic-induced lull in IPOs. The private tech companies that do go public may be smaller than anticipated. In September 2019, Airbnb said it planned to “become a publicly traded company during 2020”; in April, the short-term-rental company raised US$2 billion in extra funding as the outbreak challenged its listing prospects. In Canada, Emerge Commerce will soon hit the TSX Venture Exchange via reverse takeover. But investment bankers told The Logic the Canadian markets are likely to see smaller tech offerings over the next few quarters, as big firms hold off.

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The e-commerce giant reported revenue of US$505 million in last year’s fourth quarter, up 47 per cent year over year. It also projected revenues of between US$2.13 billion and US$2.16 billion for 2020, and predicted capital expenditures of US$80 million, mostly on new office space. The figures exceeded analysts’ consensus estimates as collated by Refinitiv, and the company’s shares were up more than nine per cent in late Wednesday trading. (The Logic, Reuters)

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Talking point: Shopify’s business outside North America contributed 25.5 per cent of its US$1.58 billion in revenue in 2019, crossing the quarter mark for the first time since the e-commerce firm went public five years ago. The company is growing particularly rapidly outside its four core countries as it localizes its products and services and adds on-the-ground staff in new markets. Its Plus business, which services its largest merchants, also represents a growing share of its monthly recurring revenue, accounting for 27 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2019.

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Revenues reached US$280 million in the quarter ended November 30, above the US$276 million that analysts predicted. The better-than-expected results were driven largely by demand in its patent licensing and the company’s cybersecurity businesses. Overall, BlackBerry lost US$32 million, down from a US$59-million profit a year earlier. Its stock was nonetheless up 12.71 per cent by close on Friday. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The revenue growth is a departure from the company’s middling performance of late. In October, its stock hit a 16-year low after reporting a US$44-million loss in its second quarter. Investors had hoped the company would glean double-digit revenue growth in 2019, after pivoting from smartphones to data management and security, and buying Cylance, a California-based cybersecurity firm. In a conference call on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company hit a milestone the past quarter in integrating technology from the US$1.4-billion acquisition into its operations—the company reported US$40 million in revenue from Cylance in the quarter.

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Shares went from 32 Saudi riyals, about $11, to 35.2 riyals, hitting an upward limit set by the Riyadh exchange at which the company listed. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Aramco raised $33.7 billion, beating out Alibaba’s 2014 $32.9-billion listing to claim the title of world’s largest IPO. Today’s raise falls far short of Saudi Arabia’s initial ambitions of raising $131.7 billion by going public. Much of what was raised today comes from Saudi investors, some of whom the government encouraged to invest out of national duty. Twenty-three per cent of the investment did come from foreign sources, but a majority of that is from Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, close allies of Saudi Arabia. The country is planning on using the capital to diversify its oil-focused economy.

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The projection is based on adjusted earnings, before accounting for interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. If successful, the company will be profitable a year sooner than what analysts expected. Lyft’s stock was up 5.16 per cent on the news in late afternoon trading, and rival Uber was up 3.50 per cent. (Wall Street Journal)

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Talking point: Public markets have been ramping up pressure on recent unicorns to deliver profits. Lyft is among a host of new public companies, including Uber and Slack, that have seen their massive valuations drop after going public. Investors have criticized their slow paths to profitability as the companies, used to generous venture capital funding, continue to burn cash and accumulate losses. “We need to build trust with a new class of investors and with two quarters beating expectations, we’re excited for the next few quarters,” said John Zimmer, the company’s co-founder and president. While Uber’s stock price also rose on Lyft’s news, the ride-hailing leader hasn’t yet said when it expects to turn a profit.

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A US$250,000 ticket for a rocket ride to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere also gets you a customized one-piece flight suit akin to those worn by characters in Star Trek, plus a training suit, jacket, boots and special underwear. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour designed the outfit, unveiled Wednesday by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson at an event that featured dancers in a skydiving chamber demonstrating the garments’ flexibility. (CNBC)

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Talking point: Branson told reporters he believes “the whole experience of going to space should be sexy.” For the high price, which will get passengers about 10 minutes of weightlessness, it needs to be. Though Virgin’s progress is years behind schedule, it said it is now in the late stages of testing its spacecraft, and expects to begin commercial flights next year. As of June, it claimed a waiting list of over 600 customers. Virgin Galactic is also anticipated to be the first company of its kind to go public, with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange expected before year’s end. A March report from UBS estimated the space tourism sector could be worth US$3 billion by 2030.

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Revenue for cinemas, drive-in theatres and film festivals increased 5.7 per cent from 2016 to 2018, according to new data from Statistics Canada. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Movie theatres are using a combination of technology and elbows-up conflict with streaming giants to keep revenue high. E-commerce sales hit 19.4 per cent, up from 14.6 per cent in 2016. Although the number of paid admissions dropped 4.2 per cent, total box office sales were up 1.0 per cent, partially on higher ticket prices for experiences like IMAX and 3D. Meanwhile, some of the largest movie theatre chains—including AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Cineplex—have refused to screen Netflix films, a fight that came to a head this month when Cineplex declined to screen Amazon or Netflix films during TIFF. Not all Canadian movie theatres are pushing back against the tech giants, however. Titles from Amazon and Netflix are being shown at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox, instead.

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The Ottawa-headquartered commerce giant brought in US$362 million in sales, up 47.7 per cent from the same period in 2018, and above its US$350-million top-end prediction made in April. The company said it expects revenues of between US$1.51 billion and US$1.53 billion in 2019, up US$300 million from its forecast last quarter. (The Logic)

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Talking point: While Shopify is expecting a revenue boost, the loss-making firm is not promising it’ll get closer to profitability as a result. That’s partly because it’s planning to speed up its spending on a $1-billion network of U.S. warehouses and artificial-intelligence tools that its merchants can use to predict how much to stock in different parts of the country, and deliver most products to consumers within two days. CFO Amy Shapero said demand for early access to the program has been “much stronger than anticipated” since the firm announced it in June. She did not provide merchant enrollment numbers. The firm’s consolidated warehouse option for sellers, and its faster-delivery goal, mirror those of e-commerce giant Amazon. Shopify won’t use its merchants’ transaction data it collects to launch competing retail brands of its own, CEO Tobi Lütke said on Thursday; in September 2018, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she was looking into allegations of similar behaviour by Amazon.

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The point-of-sale company brought in $77.5 million in revenue in its 2019 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, a 36 per cent increase over the previous year. Fourth-quarter sales grew to $21.3 million, compared to $15.7 million in fiscal 2018. The Montreal-based firm also announced the previously-undisclosed acquisition of Chronogolf, a club- and course-management tool based on Lightspeed’s platform. The stock rose 13.78 per cent by late Friday trading. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The growth was driven by an increase in the number of merchants using Lightspeed in their stores and restaurants, from 41,000 in fiscal 2018 to 49,000 in fiscal 2019. That’s a bigger jump than each of the two previous years. The company had a strong year in North America, with U.S. and Canada sales remaining steady at 69.5 per cent, compared to 70.0 per cent the previous year. But growth outside the company’s home base could soon pick up. As my colleague Zane reported earlier in May, Lightspeed is looking to recruit salespeople in the U.K., the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as a business development representative in Australia.