JTech stocks ended higher, with Friday’s late buying helping to reverse earlier declines. The SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF (XLK) advanced 0.8% while the Philadelphia semiconductor index climbed 2.0% this afternoon.
In corporate news, CI&T (CINT) fell 8.1% after the Brazilian software company announced its acquisition of Somo Global, paying £49m in cash and stock for the agency. UK-based digital products, which is also eligible for up to £9.8 million in top-up.
Cerence (CRNC) slid 7.9% after RBC Capital Markets downgraded its stock rating for the virtual assistant software company to lift the sector’s performance from outperformance and cut its price target from $18 to $77, saying expectations for the company’s connected services business might be too high.
On the upside, SAP (SAP) rose 2.2% after the German software company reported preliminary net profit of 1.86 euros ($2.13) per share in the fourth quarter, excluding one-time items, against an adjusted earnings of 1.70 euros per share during the same quarter in 2020 and exceeding the Capital IQ consensus of 1.62 euros per share. SAP also on Thursday evening authorized a new €1 billion share buyback program beginning Feb. 1 and running through the end of the year.
Guardforce AI (GFAI) rallied on Friday, climbing 54% in lagging trade, after the cash-in-transit company announced plans to acquire Shenzhen Keweien Robot Service Co. and Guangzhou Kewei Robot Technology Co. for $10 million in cash and stock, expanding Guardforce’s robotics-as-a-service offerings.
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