5 Top Stories

ARK Rebound; Amazon Ditches Takeover; Samsung Partners with Baidu

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

Amazon Ditches iRobot Takeover

iRobot [IRBT] CEO Colin Angle stepped down and the Roomba maker’s share price fell by some 19% in early trading after Amazon [AMZN] pulled the plug on its $1.4bn acquisition of the firm. The move came following threats the EU would block the merger. iRobot will now instigate a restructuring plan and cut some 350 jobs, approximately 31% of its staff. The firm has not been performing well in recent years, Bloomberg reported.

Ernie Bot Will Be on New Galaxy

When it launches in China, Samsung’s [005930:KS] next-generation, artificial-intelligence-enabled Galaxy S24 smartphone series will feature Baidu’s [BIDU] Ernie Bot. Among other functions, the AI tool will support Samsung’s “circle to search” feature, which in other markets is run on Google’s [GOOGL] Android software. Samsung’s share in the Chinese smartphone market is at less than 2%, eclipsed both by Apple’s [AAPL] iPhone and local brands.

ARK Rebound

“I think we did pay our dues in 2021 and 2022, and now we’re on the other side of that,” Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, told the Financial Times. Morningstar data shows that, after losing 67% in 2022 and 23% in 2021, Ark logged a 68% gain in 2023. Nevertheless, ARK’s 2.8% five-year annualised return is lower than most of its mid-cap growth and technology peers.

Philips Drops 5% On FDA Ruling

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday that Dutch giant Philips [PHG] will not be able to sell sleep apnea devices in the US until it brings its facilities up to standard, following the 2021 recall of millions of breathing devices over cancer fears. “We believe it will be very difficult for Philips to recover its US Respironics market position,” wrote ING analyst Marc Hesselink in a note seen by Reuters.

Is Africa the Future of Gaming? Sony Thinks So

“We believe very firmly that there is an incredibly underrated console opportunity in Africa,” Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and Co-Founder of Cape Town game studio Carry1st, told CNBC. Japanese giant Sony [SONY] has invested an undisclosed sum in Carry1st via its Sony Innovation Fund venture arm — an attempt to get a foothold in the high-potential African market.

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