Debenture payoff forces loss for the quarter, CEO promises profit in FY 2016
Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay off, given the improvement in the loss numbers, the company showed a 34 percent drop in revenue over the year-ago-quarter, suggesting that the road ahead for the company is still challenging.
Whole Foods, McDonald's, Walgreens seeing biggest jump in usage
A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced in October -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments - for comparison purposes, the three-plus-year-old Google Wallet system holds about four percent of digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in sales at top merchants that accepted Apple Pay, such as Walgreens, Whole Foods and McDonald's.
Broad proposal gains specifics; Internet penetration in Cuba about five percent
In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world.
Apple will get a little less, other creditors more in revised agreement
The judge in the New Hampshire-based bankruptcy court overseeing the legal wrangle between Apple and its former sapphire production partner GT Advanced Technologies has signed off on a revised agreement between the two companies that is intended to stave off additional court proceedings that could tie up the matter for years, from creditors who were concerned that Apple was getting paid first. The new deal doesn't change the fundamental tenets of the agreement, but allows other creditors more funds from the first sales of GT Advance's furnaces.
BT enters acquisition exclusivity agreement with Deutsche Telekom, Orange
British Telecom has confirmed it is looking to acquire a carrier in the United Kingdom, with EE being their primary target. BT has entered into an "exclusivity agreement" with Deutsche Telekom and Orange to acquire EE in its entirety, which if completed will mean that BT will own a mobile phone network for the second time in its lifetime.
South Korea, China fail to come to agreement on battery tariffs
Despite celebratory press releases issued in November by President Obama and the Chinese government trumpeting an imminent deal, international talks designed to dramatically cut technology tariffs by up to $15 billion worldwide have collapsed. The deal, had it been completed, would have reduced the price of technological consumer goods, and generated hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide in all aspects of technology manufacture, design, and sales, according to the two governments.
CFO Mark Garrett says company as 'completed' transition to subscription business model
As part of its fourth quarter and 2014 financial report, Adobe announced its agreement to acquire stock content marketplace Fotolia, and a new, often wished-for, collaboration feature in its Creative Cloud suite. Saying the firm had successfully transitioned to its subscription-based business model, CFO Mark Garrett said the company now expects revenue to grow sequentially every quarter of the year, rather than only when upgrades are announced.
Apple essentially spending all that it makes in US market on shares and shareholders
A new analysis by Above Avalon's Neil Cybert suggest that in order to avoid patriating foreign profits -- which now make up the majority of Apple's revenues -- the company is raiding its US cash reserve and ongoing US revenue to fund its ambitious stock-buyback and dividend programs. Of an estimated $155 billion in cash reserves, Apple has only around $18 billion in the US. Cybert believes that Apple will spend around $30 billion in 2015 on dividends and buybacks, keeping the foreign profits offshore until more favorable tax rates are enacted.
US' leading carriers seeing increased competition from T-Mobile, Sprint
In the telecom industry, "churn" is the rate at which subscribers jump from one service to another, and it appears to be increasing with 4G cellphone subscribers during the present quarter. So much so that both AT&T and Verizon have indicated to investors that their margins may be "impacted" in Q4 by the loss of subscribers, and the promotional efforts it will take to lure them back from rivals such as T-Mobile and Sprint.
Blog post by CEO promises Uber will become a humble company
Ride-hailing service Uber has increased its warchest, after its latest round of funding brought in $1.2 billion. The extra funds come at a turbulent time for the company following various negative reports, though CEO Travis Kalanick claims upcoming changes to the way the firm is managed will lead to a "more humble company" in the future.
Buying back stake claimed to help separation of Nook Media from retail business
The commercial agreement between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble is ending, the retailer has revealed. The termination of the two-year partnership is said in the latest quarterly earnings report for the book retailer to help "further rationalize the Nook business and provide a clearer path for the potential separation of our retail and Nook Media business.
AT&T claims it will adhere to fiber build, but freezing any new expansion plans
Following the US Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) demand for more information about a "frozen" fiber buildout, AT&T has responded to the call late yesterday. The company claims that the announced expansion of the gigabit network is not actually frozen -- only new, unannounced expansions have been halted in the wake of the FCC's net neutrality and Title II regulation discussion, though the announcement was seen a thinly-veiled threat against the FCC.
Company didn't warn about dangers in Apple contract
A Louisiana lawfirm, Smith Segura & Raphael, has filed a class action lawsuit against GT Advanced on behalf of investors. The case alleges that GT "failed to disclose the significant risk" it would incur in its sapphire supply deal with Apple, which it announced on November 4 of last year. Apple agreed to pay GT $578 million in four installments, with the expectation the latter would start paying it back in 2015. GT was unable to meet Apple demands though, which resulted in delayed payments, the withholding of the final one, and ultimately GT's bankruptcy on October 6, followed by the company being delisted from the NASDAQ.
Apple not given what it wanted; Samsung appeals, Apple filing shortly
Judge Lucy Koh, overseeing the myriad Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trials, has partially granted a motion by Apple. The ruling would allow the Cupertino manufacturer to collect post-judgement royalties on ongoing sales of some Samsung devices -- but the amount received will be less than Apple wanted. The motion, filed for the second Apple versus Samsung trial, covers two patents -- data detectors and "slide to unlock" -- and specifically covers 10 products and other devices that infringe on the patent or are not "demonstrably different" than the infringing products.
Pre-November record dates back to September 2012
Apple's market capitalization has temporarily surpassed $700 billion in early Tuesday stock trading, setting an all-time record for the company. The company's previous peak -- ignoring gains earlier this month -- was $658 billion, achieved in September 2012. Shortly after achieving the figure -- the first publicly-traded company to ever do so -- Apple stock prices dropped substantially and took some time to recover. At closing, it had been reduced to around $660 billion.
Retailer points to third party payment processors as guilty party
Five banks are suing retailer Target over the infamous "Black Friday" data breach in a federal lawsuit. In a hearing yesterday before US District Judge Paul Magnuson, Target claimed that the bank's losses weren't the retailer's fault, as they happened at the point of sale in many stores that the corporation claims it is not responsible for, as opposed to a central failure in corporate data services - therefore, the Minnesota and US Plastic Card Security Act provisions don't apply.
Strength of iPhone 6 demand, Apple Watch predictions to fuel growth, analysts say
Two leading investment and analysis firms have joined with others in raising AAPL target prices recently, in part because the stock has already outperformed most expectations on its most recent bull run. Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has raised his target from $120 to $135 on the strength of iPhone 6 demand, while Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her view to $126 per share from the previous $115, which the stock has already surpassed. The two join a growing list of AAPL bulls.
Lack of production experience, ineffective leadership to blame for bust-up, Apple says
More details on the collapse of the GT Advanced Technologies deal with Apple were made available today, as sources have reported that a letter sent by Apple to other creditors in the GT Advanced bankruptcy case reveals more details on why the partnership collapsed. Included in the letter were pictures of defective sapphire boules produced by GT Advanced, pointed to by Apple as the main reason the company went under -- it contracted to produce high-quality boules of the material, but simply couldn't produce enough usable product.
Note-holders want settlement hearing postponed, access to internal documents
[Update: Judge has delayed settlement hearing until December 10] Other creditors left holding the bag after the surprise bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies are crying foul over the proposed settlement between Apple and the sapphire-making company, which is due to be ruled on at a hearing next week. Note-holders such as Aristeia Capital have complained to the court that charges from GT Advanced executives that claim a "bait and switch" arrangement from Apple that forced the company into bankruptcy require investigation, and "call into question the adequacy" of the proposed settlement.
Some current employees may be able to continue working in revamped facility
The sapphire manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona owned by Apple but currently occupied by the now-bankrupt GT Advanced Technologies will eventually be re-purposed by the iPhone maker, according to a report from Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. This could allow some employees, who are looking at possible layoffs as early as this month, to continue working at the facility. Currently, GT Advanced is being allowed to remain in the facility rent-free through the remainder of the year in order to wind down operations.
Reduction in Samsung smartphone launches an attempt to reverse drop in profit
Samsung plans to release fewer models of smartphone next year, in an attempt to improve its profit margin following its most recent quarterly financial results. The electronics giant's head of investor relations Robert Yi advised it will be reducing the number of device variants released in 2015 down by between 25 and 30 percent compared to 2014.
CEO Krzanich emails company, confirms shift
Perhaps burdened by the weight of the "post-pc" era, Intel is planning to combine its PC and Mobile Chip groups into a "Client Computing" department. The shift will take place in early 2015, and will consolidate marketing, production, and staff into one department serving both needs of the company. The division will be led by the PC Client group chief Kirk Skaugen. Mobile's lead Herman Eul, a veteran of Infineon Technologies, has been asked to help with the transition until his new position is generated in 2015.
Analyst firm believes Apple will sell 20 million units in first full year
The Apple Watch is not yet out, and is expected to entirely miss the holiday buying season this year -- and may not even hit the alleged internal goal of coming out before Valentine's Day -- but is still expected to sell some 20 million units in its first year, according to analyst Amit Darayanani of RBC Capital Markets. The firm raised its target price on AAPL from its current $115 a share -- a goal likely to be accomplished before the year's end -- to $120. Darayanani predicts the average selling price of the Apple Watch range will be about $520.
FCC lawyer calls AT&T's anti-Title II gambit
Just days after AT&T said that it would pause new gigabit fiberoptic deployments pending resolution of the net neutrality discussion, the US Federal Communications Commission has requested information on the buildout. The FCC is demanding information on the current number of households that the carrier provides fiber to, the demographic breakdown of those locations, and proof that the AT&T investment model in fiber is unprofitable as it claims now or in the future.
Record falls even taking into account split, buyback programs
Apple on Friday ended the week with a new all-time record high for its stock, even taking into account the huge swing in the number of outstanding shares, which has changed significantly in the past two years. Last reaching its peak in September of 2012, the company has now broken its record for both its stock price and its highest-ever market capitalization, which now stands at $669.65 billion, with the stock still rising in after-hours trading from its Friday close of $114.18 per share.
Hachette allowed to set e-book pricing for all its titles on Amazon storefront
The long-running and rancorous dispute between publisher Hachette and Amazon seems to be over. Both companies have announced that a deal has been struck, with Hachette being able to set prices on the e-books that it sells. Other specific terms of the deal have not yet been made public, and will not likely ever face public scrutiny outside the publishing industry.
Predicts overall 190 million units for iPhone 6 models, Plus to be a hit in China
Financial analyst Steve Milunovich from UBS has raised that firm's target price on Apple stock by $10, to $125, based on a survey showing strong demand for the iPhone 6 Plus in China and other countries. Polling some 4,000 respondents across the US, UK, Italy and mainland China, Milunovich found strong demand for the larger, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in all the countries, but particularly in China. The 64GB model appeared to be the most popular choice among potential buyers, which included a third who are current Samsung phone owners.
Split, buyback program makes true all-time high price a moving target
Apple's stock closed at a new "all-time" high today, settling at $109.70 per share after an intra-day high of $109.75 -- breaking the record set just over a week ago. The company, now valued at $643.37 billion -- more than a third more than the next most valuable publicly-traded company -- may be within sight of besting its own split- and buyback-adjusted all-time high and market capitalization records, which would currently be around $113.86 per share and $667.77 billion, respectively.
Spoke on Apple Pay-CurrentC 'skirmish,' Apple Watch, Carl Icahn
The Wall Street Journal has now released the full 34-minute interview given by Apple CEO Tim Cook on its web site. In the conversation, Cook discusses Apple products, not-yet-available Apple products like the Apple Watch, the thinking behind Apple Pay, and activist investor Carl Icahn, among other issues. While little that was genuinely new was revealed, Cook again shared his thinking on the interface of television and made some fresh comments on things competitors and allies are doing.
Deal gives AT&T foothold in area, may buy more assets from other companies
AT&T has declared that it will purchase Mexico-based wireless carrier Iusacell for $1.7 billion in cash. The Mexican company has a network that blankets 70 percent of the country with 3G, and uses the same GSM frequencies that AT&T uses. The deal will also see AT&T take on $700 million in debt that Iusacell holds.
Inquiry should focus on selloffs linked to Apple woes
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has opened up an inquiry into potentially suspect share trading at former Apple supplier GT Advanced Technologies. Although the information was only revealed today, the SEC sent a letter to GT on October 15, requesting "certain information regarding trading activity in the Company's securities," plus more data on its sapphire business and securities, dating back to January 1 of last year.
Most makers not quite breaking even or losing money on device sales, analysts report
An analysis done by Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity has revealed that for the calendar third-quarter of the year, Apple took home 86 percent of all profits in the smartphone industry. He further found that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were, by far, the top-selling smartphones at all four major US carriers, and that buyers are tending to purchase the higher-capacity models, which should boost the average selling price (ASP) and Apple's profitability.
Parties agree to waive confidentiality agreements, but some documents remained hidden
The judge in the bankruptcy case involving GT Advanced Technologies and its chief client Apple ordered more documents unsealed and made public in the proceeding on Tuesday. Both Apple and GT Advanced came to an agreement regarding the papers that waived the confidentiality conditions of the two companies' original contracts, allowing GT Advanced to drop its objections to making the documents public. A statement made by GT Advanced officials detailing the firm's agreement with Apple is among the papers that will be made public.
Money will go towards financing buybacks, dividends in US
Confirming earlier rumors, Apple has set forth plans to issue its first-ever bonds in Euros rather than US dollars. The bonds will be available in two sets, maturing in eight and 12 years. Ultimately, the company is hoping to raise 2.8 billion Euros, or about $3.5 billion, to help finance share buybacks and dividends in the US without repatriating some of its foreign cash reserves.
Reduced revenue causes $192M operating loss for Sprint
Sprint's fortunes have suffered in the last quarter, the carrier's latest financial results advise. A loss in postpaid subscribers and reduced revenue in the period has led the company to an operating loss of $192 million for the quarter, with the carrier also announcing it is getting rid of 2,000 employees, as part of an effort to make $1.5 billion in annual cost reductions.
Money will allow company to pay for buybacks and dividends
Apple, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs will today host a conference call with investors arranging for a bond deal that will be at least partly in Euros, a source tells the Wall Street Journal. The bonds could be issued as soon as this week, and would mark the first time Apple bonds would be issued in a currency other than US dollars. The timing for such a deal is believed to be ideal, since borrowing costs in Europe are at record lows.
Strong sales of PlayStation 4 not enough to reclaim profitability
Earlier this week, Sony reported its quarterly earnings, missing already-bad Wall Street estimates. Friday, Sony reported a staggering $1.2 billion loss, even with the company having unloaded its television and PC operations. The only bright spot in Sony's future appears to be the PlayStation 4. Much of the bad news came from an operating loss of 172.0 billion yen ($1.6 billion) attributed to the company's mobile communications segment. This compares to an operating profit of 8.8 billion yen in the same quarter a year ago.
Stock is up nearly 35 percent for 2014, has reduced outstanding shares by 800M
Shareholders of record in AAPL as of November 6 will receive a dividend of 47 cents per share once again in the second dispersal of revenue since the stock was split 7-to-1 last June. The company will pay out some $2.75 billion in dividends on 5.866 billion outstanding shares -- about 800 million fewer shares than seen before the aggressive share buyback program started last year. The stock closed the week at an all-time record high of $108 per share for the second week running.
Deal would apply Title II to content providers, less regulation to consumers
Reports are circulating that US Federal Communications Commission chief Tom Wheeler is evaluating a hybrid approach to Internet regulation and net neutrality proposals. One of the four proposals would apply Title II regulation to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but would also allow them to sell "fast lane" access, breaking up applicable fees and regulations into wholesale and retail transactions.
Sales of Samsung smartphones, televisions expected to pick up over holidays
Samsung has recorded an operating profit of 4.06 trillion won ($3.84 billion) in its latest quarterly financial results. Just as the manufacturer warned at the start of this month, the operating profit represents a decrease of 3.13 trillion won ($2.96 billion) from the previous quarter, with other parts of the financial report offering similar dismal and disappointing figures.
Purchase valued at $12.5 billion, with Google retaining most of the patents
Lenovo has completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobile from Google. The deal, according to Lenovo, makes the combined company the "world's third-largest maker of smartphones." Motorola is a now wholly-owned subsidiary of Lenovo, but will remain headquartered in Chicago. Lenovo is expecting profitability to return between four and six quarters from now.
Handheld game sells 3.32 million units, propels company to $85 million profit
Nintendo posted surprising figures for it second quarter results for 2014, seeing an $85 million (¥9.25 billion) operating profit. The news comes on mixed analyst projections, with Thomson Reuters Starmine expecting a $33 million (¥3.7 billion) loss and Quick expecting a net profit of $63 million (¥62.4 billion). Nintendo posted a net profit of $222 million (¥24.2 billion) for the period ending September 30.
'Limited time promotion' sees Verizon, Netflix coexisting
Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.
Company beats projections, monthly users up only 2.2 percent from last quarter
Facebook released its third quarter results for the 2014 fiscal year, announcing that $3.2 billion in revenue was pulled in for the period ending September 30. The company beat Wall Street projections of an earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 on $3.12 billion in revenue. While Facebook beat the EPS on diluted non-GAAP figures by three cents, the company posted only a $0.30 EPS under GAAP.
Mostly grandfathered plans hit by throttling, speeds cut to dial-up
The US Federal Trade Commission has launched a suit against AT&T for its admitted throttling of unlimited wireless data users. The FTC claims that AT&T has implemented the up to 90 percent slower data speeds on over 3.5 million customers a total of more than 25 million times since implementation on October 1, 2011.
Company admits to sagging iTunes music sales
Apple's 2014 10-K filing, just published by the Securities and Exchange Commission, shows major increases in acquisitions and research spending. Even excluding its $3 billion Beats takeover, the company still managed to increase acquisition spending from $496 million to $957 million during the last fiscal year. Annual research and development spending has more than doubled during the past three years, rising from $2.4 billion to $6 billion.
Best revenue performance in seven reporting periods, user growth strong
T-Mobile's growth continues according to their third quarter figures for the 2014 fiscal year. In the financial results released late Monday night, T-Mobile said it pulled in $7.35 billion in revenue for the reported period. Consumer growth hit 2.34 million, the second highest number of additions to the carrier in the last seven reporting periods.
Posts $175 million net loss, average monthly active users increase by 13 million
Twitter posted its third quarter results for fiscal year 2014, posting $361.2 million in revenue. Revenue was up compared to the same quarter in 2013, with quarter-on-quarter results improving by approximately $49 million. The company beat out analyst projections of $351.35 million, but posted lower than the $0.01 earnings per share (EPS) expected with a loss of $0.29 EPS.
Stitcher content to be integrated with Deezer Talk
Paris-based streaming music service Deezer has acquired Stitcher, the company has announced. The purchase, for an undisclosed amount, will allow Deezer to take control of the personalized Internet talk radio service, which currently provides access to eight out of the top ten US terrestrial radio programs to users, as well as a collection of around 35,000 radio programs and podcasts.
Icahn endorsement, strong iPhone sales, coming holiday behind push
Apple's stock on Thursday hit a new all-time closing high, reaching $104.83 per share at the closing bell. While many are waiting to see if the company can close the week at that level or higher, others -- including activist investor Carl Icahn and CEO Tim Cook -- believe the stock remains undervalued. AAPL also set a new intra-day high of $105.05 during trading, and is up slightly from its close at this writing in after-hours trading. Stronger-than-expected iPhone numbers and the coming holiday season has helped fuel the rise.