Aiton English

Learning Languages for Life

Category: Business

Business listening to speak: Google 3rd quarter 2017

Four steps

 

Step 1 – listen to / watch  the report from google

Step 2: Linguistic choice / flexibility:

For each gap below, brainstorm

 

We had a terrific quarter. Revenues  of $27.8 billion 1____ up 24% year-on-year. Advertising  revenues benefitted 2)____ strong performance in Sites, which was powered 3)__ tremendous  results in mobile search. 4)_______ growth in Network revenues was again led by our  programmatic business. We also benefitted from 5)______ growth in Other Revenues from  Cloud, Play and Hardware.    Turning to Alphabet revenues by geography, performance was 6)______ in all regions. U.S.  revenues were $12.9 billion, up 21% year-over-year. EMEA revenues were $9.1 billion, up 23%  year-over-year in both reported and fixed FX terms. APAC revenues were $4.2 billion, up 29%  versus last year, and up 31% in fixed FX terms. Other Americas revenues were $1.5 billion, up  33% year-over-year, and up 32% in fixed FX terms.    On a consolidated basis, total cost of revenues, including TAC, which I’ll discuss in the Google  segment results, were $11.1 billion, up 28% year-on-year. Other cost of revenues on a  consolidated basis was $5.6 billion, up 25% year-over-year, primarily 7)_______ by Google-related  expenses, specifically: costs associated with operating our data centers, including depreciation;  content-acquisition costs, 8)______ for YouTube; and Hardware related costs.    Operating expenses were $8.8 billion, up 11% year-over-year. Headcount at the end of the quarter was  78,101, up 2,495 people from last quarter. As in prior quarters, the 9)____ majority of new hires  were engineers and product managers. In terms of product areas, the most 10)_____ headcount  additions were once again made in Cloud for both technical and sales roles, consistent with the  priority we 11)____ on this business.    Operating income was $7.8 billion, up 35% versus last year and the operating margin was 28%.  Other income and expense was $197 million.

 

Now check:

We had a terrific quarter. Revenues  of $27.8 billion were up 24% year-on-year, and also up 24% in constant currency. Advertising  revenues benefitted from strong performance in Sites, which was powered by tremendous  results in mobile search. Healthy growth in Network revenues was again led by our  programmatic business. We also benefitted from substantial growth in Other Revenues from  Cloud, Play and Hardware.    Our outline for today’s call is: first I’ll review the quarter on a consolidated basis for Alphabet,  focusing on year-over-year changes. Next, I will review results for Google, and then Other Bets.    Finally, I will conclude with our outlook. Sundar will then discuss business and product  highlights for the quarter, after which we will take your questions.     Let me start with a summary of Alphabet’s consolidated financial performance for the quarter.  Total revenues were $27.8 billion, up 24% year-over-year. We realized a positive currency  impact on our revenues year-over-year of $255 million, or $64 million after the impact of our  1  hedging program. Holding currency constant to the prior period, our total revenues grew 24%  year-over-year.      Turning to Alphabet revenues by geography, performance was strong in all regions. U.S.  revenues were $12.9 billion, up 21% year-over-year. EMEA revenues were $9.1 billion, up 23%  year-over-year in both reported and fixed FX terms. APAC revenues were $4.2 billion, up 29%  versus last year, and up 31% in fixed FX terms. Other Americas revenues were $1.5 billion, up  33% year-over-year, and up 32% in fixed FX terms.    On a consolidated basis, total cost of revenues, including TAC, which I’ll discuss in the Google  segment results, were $11.1 billion, up 28% year-on-year. Other cost of revenues on a  consolidated basis was $5.6 billion, up 25% year-over-year, primarily driven by Google-related  expenses, specifically: costs associated with operating our data centers, including depreciation;  content-acquisition costs, primarily for YouTube; and Hardware related costs.    Operating expenses were $8.8 billion, up 11% year-over-year. The year-on-year expense  growth, in part, reflects the change in the timing of our annual equity refresh cycle from the third  quarter to the first quarter of each year. As discussed previously, this change in SBC grant  timing affects the quarterly pace of stock-based compensation in 2017, with elevated  year-on-year expense growth in the first half of the year, but benefits the year-on-year  comparisons for Q3 and Q4.    Stock-based compensation totalled $1.8 billion. Headcount at the end of the quarter was  78,101, up 2,495 people from last quarter. As in prior quarters, the vast majority of new hires  were engineers and product managers. In terms of product areas, the most sizable headcount  additions were once again made in Cloud for both technical and sales roles, consistent with the  priority we place on this business.    Operating income was $7.8 billion, up 35% versus last year and the operating margin was 28%.  Other income and expense was $197 million. We provide more detail on the line items within  OI&E in our earnings press release. Our effective tax rate was 15.6% for the third quarter. Net  income was $6.7 billion and earnings per diluted share were $9.57.

 

Step 3: Skim Read, make a note of expressions:

Click here to skim read through the report, pick out collocations of interest. Try and categorize the language you take out.

Step 4: Practice using the structures to talk about your business

 

 

Business Listening to Speak: Microsoft Anunal report 2017

This is taken and adapted from Miscrosoft’s 2017 annual report. Here is the full report if you’re interested.

Listen – find – practice – use:

Download the audio here: Annual Report Microsoft 2017

1 – listen on repeat to understand

2 – read what you don’t understand

3 – listen on repeat again, pick out structures and go through the 3 stages of activation (repeat and backchain where necessary   / changeparts of the structure / develop according to your life)

 

PROGRESS AND RESULTS – 1

We delivered $90.0 billion in revenue and $22.3 billion in operating income this past fiscal year. Adjusting for restructuring expenses, revenue was $96.7 billion with $29.3 billion in operating income.

We continued to invest in innovation and expand our market opportunities, while maintaining our commitment to shareholder return, which included total cash return of $22.3 billion this year.

Our commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate ended the year exceeding $18.9 billion, up more than 56 percent year-over-year. Our cloud growth puts us on track to reach the goal we set a little over two years ago of $20 billion in commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate in fiscal 2018.

The strength of our results across our reporting segments reflects our accelerating innovation as well as increased customer usage and engagement across our businesses.

PROGRESS AND OUR RESULTS -2 

We prioritized our investments to capture our expanding market opportunities. We are investing for the future with product innovation complemented by new acquisitions and partnerships. We have completed our acquisition of LinkedIn to connect the world’s largest professional network with the world’s leading professional cloud. We are investing to create broader economic benefit and opportunity with our datacenter expansion, bringing Azure to 42 regions globally — more than any other cloud provider. We have the most comprehensive compliance coverage in the industry.

PROGRESS AND OUR RESULTS – 3 

We broadened our offerings to reach new audiences, such as bringing Microsoft Office  to manufacturing. We took collaboration to a new level with Microsoft Teams, which brings people together in a digital hub. We are in the forefront of innovating in mixed reality. We are innovating in gaming with new services such as Mixe. We introduced hundreds of new services, including new cognitive services. We have galvanized the company’s efforts around AI. We inspired new ways for students and teachers to create and learn with Windows 10. And we continued to create new device categories with Windows 10 and Surface, including the new Surface Studio.

PROGRESS AND OUR RESULTS – 4

we’re continually transforming to better serve customers, evolving our sales and marketing approach to galvanize around five core customer solution areas.

Across every industry in every corner of the world, our customers are using Microsoft technologies to radically transform everything from agriculture to manufacturing, and we are only at the beginning.

 

Business LC Gapfill: Asset-backed / mortgage – backed securities

from here

What choice of words can you think of for each gap?
note:

_______= one word

______(1/2) = think of one or two word combinations

WTD = what’s the difference between these underlined items

(TENSE) = what tenses are possible / what’s the difference

 

Asset-backed securities (ABS) and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are two important types of asset classes. MBS are securities created from the 1)____________   of mortgages, and then sold to interested investors, whereas ABS have evolved out of MBS and are created from the pooling of non-mortgage assets. These are usually 2)_____________ by credit card receivables, home equity loans, student loans and auto loans. The ABS market was developed in the 1980s and has become increasingly important to the U.S. debt market. In this article, we will go through the structure, some examples of ABS and valuation.

Structure

There are three parties involved in the structure of ABS and MBS: the seller, the issuer and the investor. Sellers are the companies that 3)____________loans and sell them to issuers. They also take the responsibility of acting as the servicer, collecting principal and interest payments from borrowers. Issuers buy loans from sellers and pool them together to 4)__________ABS or MBS to investors. They can be a third-party company or special-purpose vehicle (SPV). ABS and MBS benefit sellers because they can be removed from the balance sheet, allowing sellers to 5)_____________additional funding. Investors of ABS and MBS are usually institutional investors and they use ABS and MBS to obtain 6)___________yields than government bonds, as well as to provide a way to diversify their portfolios.

Both ABS and MBS have prepayment risks, though these are especially 7)_________________for MBS. Prepayment risk is the risk of borrowers paying more than their required monthly payments, 8)_____________reducing the interest of the loan. Prepayment risk can be determined by many factors, such as the current and issued mortgage rate difference, housing turnover and path of mortgage rate. If the current mortgage rate is lower than the rate when the mortgage was issued or housing turnover is high, it will lead to higher prepayment risk. The path of the mortgage rate might be difficult to understand, so we will explain with an example. A mortgage pool begins with a mortgage rate of 9%, then 9)__________to 4%, rises to 10% and finally falls to 5%. Most homeowners would refinance their mortgages the first time the rates dropped, if they are aware of the information and are capable of doing so. Therefore, when the mortgage rate falls again, refinancing and prepayment would be much lower compared to the first time. Prepayment risk is an important 10)_______________to consider in ABS and MBS. Therefore, to deal with prepayment risk, they have tranching structures, which help by distributing prepayment risk among tranches. Investors can choose which tranche to invest based on their own preferences and risk tolerance.

Business LC Gapfill: Invertment in metals

From mobe.com

 

What choice of words can you think of for each gap?
note:

_______= one word

______(1/2) = think of one or two word combinations

WTD = what’s the difference between these underlined items

(TENSE) = what tenses are possible / what’s the difference

 

Investing your money into gold, silver, platinum, palladium and other industrial metals can be a very smart way to 1)__________ your money, but before you buy into the first opportunity you see, take the time to learn the basics of the market.

Here is the most 2)________ information you should understand before choosing how to invest in metals:

1. Not all metals are categorized the same way.

Gold and silver are among the most popular metal investments but did you know you can also invest in other metal 3)______________? Metals used in manufacturing, like rare earth and base metals, are now becoming increasingly important due to high industrial demand. Therefore, they could 4)__________ good potential for asset diversification 5)__________ a variety of trading 6)________ including stocks, futures, options and exchange-traded funds.

2. There are various ways to invest in metals.

You can buy stock of the metals themselves, invest in mining companies or even invest in security companies that store precious metals like gold and silver. You can also purchase an Exchange-Trade-Fund, which is similar to buying a share of stock 7)________ that you’re actually buying a share of a fund. That fund contains various stocks, bonds, options and futures (WTD?).

3. Precious metals need to be stored securely.

This probably sounds obvious, but are you prepared to keep your gold or silver safe at home? If not, you can usually buy storage from the company that sold you the physical metal, but costs are 8)_______. Mike Clarke, President of Diamond State Depository, says that an account valued at $50,000 would generally be charged an annual storage fee of $375.

4. Physical metals come in two forms.

When you buy physical stock of precious metals, you can choose between bullion or coins. Bullion is precisely-weighed bars, stamped with information about the weight, purity and source of the metal. Coins, on the other hand, are collector’s items that may differ in value according to rarity and popularity.

5. Experts disagree on whether to safeguard your wealth with industrial or precious metals.

History shows that gold and silver 9) (always + be – TENSE) valuable, even in times of war or recession. 10)_________ (½ words) this information, there is a school of classic economics that insists, “If disaster strikes, gold is the metal we will 11) ______ (½ words) if paper-money, and the system that supports it, no longer exists.” The modern approach 12)_______ that industrial metals such as platinum and palladium will be more valuable in an economic breakdown because they are used to manufacture high-tech devices and machines.

6. Precious metals aren’t just for jewelry.

Just because gold, silver and platinum are popular for creating jewelry doesn’t mean they have no other purpose. All the so-called precious metals are used inside of computers, which in turn are used for everything from cellphones to space travel. This functionality boosts the current value of gold, silver and other metals.

7. Some precious metals may be subject to taxation.

If you purchase bullion or coins, you might need to pay tax if and when you sell them for a profit. If you trade often, the government may classify your investments and sales as a business, and tax you based on business tax. Check with your local tax office to find out exactly how national laws affect your physical stock.

8. Not every vendor is trustworthy.

Under no circumstances should you put your trust and money in the hands of anyone out there selling gold coins or stocks in platinum mining companies. Read reviews, talk to professionals, and ask family members for advice about reputable vendors that you can check out for yourself. If anything seems suspicious, run far away!

9. Physical stock needs to be insured.

At least, that is if you don’t want to risk losing your entire investment. You may be able to buy insurance through the vendor or the storage company; otherwise, you can look for good rates through other non-affiliated companies.

10. Even historically valuable metals can suffer in the short term.

Most metals are meant to be long-term investments that protect the investor’s money from short-term dips in other markets. That doesn’t mean, however, that gold, silver or palladium is going to retain the same value day in, day out. It will rise and fall just like anything else you invest in—the difference is that over the course of a lifetime, these metals should more or less retain their original value.

 

Finish reading the text and check your answers here

 

Business LC Gap Fill: Online Gambling

1 – Read through the article and test your flexibility by thinking of as many “fillers” as possible, even if you’re just guessing. In some cases many are possible, in some only a few, in some only one.

2 – When you’ve finished, make a note of gambling topic-related, business topic-related and general expressions you like.

6 Reasons to Launch an Online Gambling Business Today

The online gambling industry has been on the move for the last years and the present ongoing development is an 1)______________fact of the major success this domain enjoys these days.

But just how much has the market grown over the last years? Will the growth continue? How much capital is available? And which countries have 2)____________an online gaming regulation? These are just a few questions new operators, investors and stakeholders ask themselves before launching a new gambling website.

Check the following insights, facts and figures we collected for you and make sure you are fully prepared to launch an online sportsbook or a casino right about now.

1. Total market value of online gambling is expected to increase

The online gambling market is generally 3)_____________________ solid numbers and the market has enjoyed a 4)_______________growth rate for a long period of time.

From 2009 to 2013 the average CAGR of the online gambling market was nearly an impressive 10 percent at 9.4 percent and it is expected to reach a two figure growth rate averaging 10.6 percent from 2014 to 2018.

Why not grab your share of this growth?

The steady CAGR has resulted in the total online gambling market value 5)________________ to an impressive £23.7bn in 2013. In 2018 the market value is expected to hit a 6)__________________________£37.4bn.

 

2. A huge amount of funds is awaiting allocation

The performance of the increasingly 7)_____________________online gambling market attracts the attention of many investors. This is 8)________________________in the huge amount of funds waiting to be 9)_______________into the market.

If we continue to analyze Tim Stocks’s paper, we notice that during the past 10 years, PE funds 10)___________________ on the US gaming market have raised a total of £18.9bn, while Europe and UK focused funds have raised £13.8bn and £11.6bn 11)________________.

 

Click here to check your answers and continue reading

 

 

 

Business Gap-fill: Macau Gambling business

article is adapted from here.

1 – Read through the article and test your flexibility by thinking of as many possible “filllers”. In some cases many are possible, in some only a few, in some only one.

2 – When you’ve finished, make a note of gambling topic-related, business topic-related and general expressions you like.

 

Macau Is ‘Vegas On Steroids’

Kenneth Rapoza , Contributor

Las Vegas will always be Las Vegas. There’s no place in the world like it. But for people who love the bling and the sin of a casino city, Vegas is a has-been. On a truly global stage, the casino money is flowing to one place and that’s Macau in China. Billions in fact. Macau is now officially Las Vegas on steroids.

On Thursday, Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau released 1) _________ data for the month. For July, up 20% from June to MOP$29.5 billion (about $3.5 billion) and up 15% year to 2)___ to MOP$200.9 billion ($25.5 billion).

China’s weaker than expected economy has kept away some of the mainland’s high rollers who tend to 3)_____ six figures a pop during a night out on the island.  But overall economic weakness has failed to slow tourist traffic to Macau. Macau is weathering the slowdown as well as analysts expected.  Market consensus was for July revenue growth to 4)______ in between 18% and 21%.

“The Best Casino Market On Earth”

Sales per square foot of retail space in Macau are better than anywhere in Vegas. The 5)___ goes for table game performance. Ader gave me an estimate for the industry: between 10 to 20 times more than Vegas’ daily table revenue.

Eight years ago, casino giants like the Sands, Wynn and MGM were spending billions on new properties.  Once they were done, the recession 6) ___ Vegas hard. Room prices today are 40% below 2007 room rates, Ader said.  Of the top 100 hotel markets in the United States, Vegas is at the bottom in 7)_____ of recovery from its recession year low.

Macau just keeps booming by comparison.

The island’s gaming revenue is six times greater than Vegas.

“The Sands properties in Vegas are huge. You can spend the entire week in Venetia or The Palazzo. But Vegas is just ten percent of their business now,” said Ader, an investor. The Sands is a company with around four billion 8)__ profits, but it is all coming from Asia and most of it is Macau.”  Singapore brings 9)___ around $1.5 billion. “Macau is amazing.  You have to see it to believe it. It is the best casino market in the world,” he said.

Investor 10)____

Ader is a bit biased when it comes to Macau gaming. Of course he recommends the Las Vegas Sands Corp. But another one he recommends his family practice (he runs an RIA on Avenue of the Americas in midtown) is Melco Crown Entertainment. 11)_____ out of Hong Kong, they own City of Dreams and their 12)____ is up 52.32% year to date.

Another favorite is Galaxy Entertainment. The stock is up 36.63% this year alone 127% over the last 12 months.  By 13)__________, the FTSE China (FXI) exchange traded fund is down 13.68% year to date and up only 2.36% in the last 12 months.

 

Government UBI money for everyone!

What is Universal Basic Income? (UBI)

Universal Basic Income = is a form of social security[3] in which all citizens or residents of a country receive a regular, unconditional sum of money, either from a government or some other public institution, independent of any other income.[4

i.e. you get this money even if you have a job!

What is the difference between UBI and traditional unemployment benefits / welfare?

With traditional unemployment / welfare benefits you receive money if you do not have a job, but if you get a job you lose the benefits.

 

Does UBI sound crazy? Think again…

 

Reading 1

Pre-reading ideas / language activation:

  1. Guess the author’s linguistic choice (LC) for this sentence: Robot-to-worker  ratios are rising gradually / constantly / rapidly.
  2. Which country has the highest robot-worker ratio?
  3. Author’s Linguistic Choice (LC) :The cost of robot implementation is shrinking / decreasing / plummeting.
  4. True / False: When it comes to jobs at risk, the developing world is not much better-off that the developed world.
  5. True / False: Some believe UBI could be given as a lump sum when people turn 18
  6. Author’s LC: You could make exclusions for households / people / families earning $100,000  a year or more
  7. LC: The greatest / most substantial / key benefit of UBI would be the elimination of people living below the povery line
  8. True / False: Trial projects are currently being undertaken in Kenya and Switzerland

 

Now read the infogaph here

Post -reading discussion:

  1. What do you think about the arguments for and against?
  2. Of the two case studies, Namibia and  Alaska, which is more interesting for you?
  3. Why do you think that those countries mentioned are undertaking experiments but others like Australia are not?
  4. Which proponent quote did you
  • like the most
  • find the strangest
  • disagree with

Reading 2

Pre-reading ideas / language activation:

Author’s linguistic choice (LC): Finland’s pilot UBI scheme is radical / groundbreaking / unprecedented

True / False: The scheme sees people receiving 500 Euros a month

Author’s LC: The scheme is addressing / combating / tackling poverty

True / False: Under the current social welfare, claimants are afraid of losing out if they find a job.

LC: Finland has generous social security. As a result people refuse work because they feel better off with social benefits. This problem is growing / acute/ inevitable

Now read the article here

 

Post -reading discussion:

  • Do you agree that generous benefits can lead to an acute problem in terms of people turning down work?
  • The article references one person’s quote concerning “reduced stress”. What was the situation? How representative do you think it is?
  • How much do you agree with the listed benefits?

 

Video 1

Pre-reading ideas / language activation:

Elon Musk believes large-scale unemployment will happen. In the video he talks about UBI, and mentions a “much harder challenge” than how to deal with income for those without jobs. What do you think this challenge is?

Now watch..

http://aitonenglish.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=488&action=edit

 

Post -reading discussion:

To what extent do you agree that:

goods and services will be in abundance due to automation?

a lot of people derive their meaning from their employment?

finding a replacement for “meaning” will / would be much more difficult than implementing a UBI sloution

 

 

Video 2

Pre-reading ideas / language activation:

  1. In this talk,  Professor Peterson mentions the connection between computational (computer) power and concentration of wealth. What is the connection?
  2. When asked about the feasability of UBI,  he introduces sled dogs as a metaphor. Why do you think he does this?
  3. How do you think unemployment affects conscientious people as opposed to unconscientious people?

 

Post -video discussion:

  • To what extent are computational and cognitive skills important for making money in your country?
  • According to the speaker, people on the right believe that everyone can find a job, whereas those on the left believe everyone is equal. Do you agree with this?
  • Do you agree that people are pack animals?
  • To what extent does a person’s personality effect how the react to unemployment?
  • Do you also doubt that people with “enforced” leisure will / would figure out what to do with their lives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google 1: All roads lead to Bermuda

Reading One: Public Opinion

Pre-reading

The article is about how Google tries to influence opinion.

  1. How might Google do this?
  2. Why might Google do this?
  3. How effective is it?
  4. What is your range of linguistic choice for the gapped-combinations below?

“Google uses its (1)________wealth and power to attempt to influence policymakers at every level,” said Daniel Stevens, CfA executive director. “At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the (2)___________ independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”

Google described the report as “highly (3)__________” as it included any work supported by any organisation to which it has ever donated money.

 

As well as reading the article in the link below, read through the comments and find 4 + that you find (interesting, strange, new, stupid, insightful… etc)

 

here is the article

 

Reading Two: Taxes

Pre-reading

The article is about Google not paying backtaxes.

Which other companies may be trying not to pay backtaxes?

If Google didn’t pay tax in FRance, where did it pay tax in Europe?

 

Google (1)_____ $.127 billion bill for back taxes in France ………………………….

Court ruling comes after six-year (2)___________with French tax authority over taxes due for years 2005 to 2010, and could have big implications for  (3)___________________________________. ………………………………

The court added that Google France doesn’t have the human resources or the technical means to allow it to carry out the (4)_____________advertising services on its own…………………………………………….

 

Here is the article

 

 

Follow-up videos

France – same piece of news

 

 

 

Same topic but in Britain:

 

American take:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Langauge for shareholders: Microsoft

Read the report below from Microsoft’s 2016 annual report. Think about as many words as you can for each gap. When you finish click on the link below

I’m proud of the progress we’ve made as a company this past year and  (1)__________ )about the opportunity for even more progress in the year ahead. We’ve advanced our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to (2) ___________ more. We’ve continued to cultivate a Microsoft (3)______________  in which people connect their individual energies and passions for technology to this mission. We’re leading profound digital transformation both for people and institutions. We’ve (4)____________  strong financial results. And we’re building a (5)____________foundation for an even brighter future.

We generated   (6) $______ billion in revenue. These results reflect exciting new product innovations as well as increases in customer usage and engagement across our businesses.

 

……………………………………….

The next generation of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence is going to transform every life, every industry, and every country.

What this means for organizations is that Microsoft is their partner in digital transformation – engaging (7)  _________, empowering employees, (8)_____________operations, and transforming products.

 

https://www.microsoft.com/investor/reports/ar16/index.html

 

Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition task

 

Presentation (pitch) Aim / Features:

  • You will “sell” your  business model and value proposition.
  • It can be for your current business or a business you might start up in the future.
  • The target audience can be start-up partner, investor, major client, or whoover you prefer.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Watch videos below
  2. Conduct own further research as fit (send a link to videos / articles done)
  3. Prepare and practice presentation (with slides if time or inclination allows, without slides if not)

 

Business model canvas

 

Case study (If necessary, look up Pokemon game first)

 

Value proposition canvas

Case study: (if necessary, look up what Amazon Prime is first)

 

 

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