Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has revealed that the government has been working with Canadian tech giants Shopify (SHOP) and BlackBerry (BB) on a contact-tracing Covid-19 app to be launched early July.
“It will be up to individual Canadians to decide whether to download the app or not, but the app will be most effective when as many people as possible have it,” Trudeau stated during Thursday’s daily briefing, as Covid-19 cases in Canada officially reached 100,000.
He added that it would be ‘extraordinary useful’ if half of Canadians sign up. “There are over 30 million smartphones that could take this app in Canada, so we can talk about a significant portion of the Canadian population that could be protected by this app” the Prime Minister said.
The app, named COVID Alert, will first be launched in Ontario, then rolled out to the rest of the country. Users voluntarily upload Covid-19 test results to the app, which then sends anonymized updates to anyone with the app who came into contact with positive test cases within the last two weeks. Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the app “100% private.”
Shopify commented that company volunteers are helping develop the app, saying it is “not a Shopify initiative.” “The national app will be owned and operated by the government of Canada in cooperation with the provinces and territories,” said SHOP spokeswoman Sheryl So. Meanwhile BlackBerry is conducting the security review.
Shares in e-commerce software company Shopify have more than doubled year-to-date, and as a result, analysts have a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus on SHOP’s outlook. The $688 average analyst price target indicates downside potential of 20% from current levels. (See SHOP stock analysis on TipRanks).
However, RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney believes the Street is underappreciating Shopify’s potential. “Despite a doubling in its share price YTD, we believe the market still underappreciates three things about SHOP: its TAM (total addressable market), its Take Rate Potential, and its Operating Margin potential…and hence its EPS power” he explained. The analyst now sees shares powering higher to $1,000.
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