Contested tax code a patch for decades of tax law allowing Irish loophole
As previously reported, the Diverted Profits Tax, also known as the "Google Tax," has come into effect in the United Kingdom today with very few changes to the proposed law. The tax law requires companies to list revenue and profit from other countries, aiding officials to determine if profits are being transferred elsewhere against UK tax code and making them subject to the tax.
Proposal to rescue majority of 1,740 RadioShack stores approved by bankruptcy court
A plan to co-brand the majority of remaining RadioShack stores with Sprint has been approved by a US bankruptcy court. The approval will give the carrier a large number of extra outlets, with its brand appearing on the signage of a number of the 1,740 remaining RadioShack locations, as part of a wider plan to try and keep the stores open and to safeguard approximately 7,500 jobs.
Apple to release fiscal second quarter report on April 27
Apple has announced that it will reveal the results of its fiscal second quarter of the year (which ends today) on Monday, April 27 at 2PM Pacific, or 5PM Eastern. The company generally offers a press release shortly after US markets close at 4PM Eastern. Analysts are expecting sales to be up from the year-ago quarter, but down around 25 percent from the holiday quarter.
Remainder of locations will re-open on April 4 with Best Buy branding
Canadian technology retailer Future Shop has essentially been absorbed into parent company Best Buy overnight. While 66 locations were completely shut down overnight, 65 locations will be reborn as Best Buy stores on April 4. Reports scattered across Canada are seeing employees being notified of the closure and their future employment status as they arrive for a Saturday shift at the store.
CEO calls recovery on track, Wall Street not so sure
BlackBerry is declaring a win on restructuring efforts, despite plummeting revenue. The company today reported a profit of $28 million for the last quarter despite currency exchange issues, and still falling sales. Wall Street was expecting a $5 million loss on the quarter, with $734 million in revenue -- well more than realized by the company.
Acquisition of rival carrier by Three owner could create largest UK mobile carrier
The owner of British carrier O2 has agreed to sell the company to Hutchison Whampoa, the result of negotiations between the two owners which started in January. Telefonica, the owner of O2, has confirmed it will be handing over the carrier for £10.25 billion ($1.53 billion), with the deal still to receive regulatory approval before it can close completely.
Raid in 2013 first step in hunting down diverted Apple profits
The Italian government has concluded its investigation into Apple's tax practices in the country, and diversion of profits generated in Italy to its Ireland operation. The investigation's completion, which spans tax years 2008 through 2013, paves the way for the Italian government bring Apple to trial in Italy with nearly $1 billion in taxes owed at stake, though it is unclear if the government found enough evidence of any malfeasance to bring the case forward.
FCC agrees with read of Title II, denies smaller companies fees from AT&T
AT&T continues to use Title II regulation as a tool to escape lawsuits and fees, while publicly deriding the mandate. In a court ruling this week, the telecommunications giant utilized its Title II status with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to escape fees from Great Lakes Comnet (GLC) and Westphalia Telephone Company (WTC) imposed for " interstate access services under an unlawful tariff."
Ex-CEO Peter Chou remaining in inventive role
Attempting to reverse sliding fortunes, electronics manufacturer HTC's board of directors has appointed co-founder Cher Wang as the company's new chief executive. She replaces Peter Chou, who is headed for a role as the leader of the company's new HTC Future Development lab, and will focus on future growth for the company. Over the last two years, Wang had been increasingly involved in the running of various aspects of the business.
CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better
Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.
Congratulates host on 10-year anniversary of 'Mad Money' stock show
Say what you want about CNBC financial host Jim Cramer, but he found a way to making talking about stocks for a good portion of the day interesting through a combination of hair-on-fire histrionics and old-fashioned physical comedy. On the occasion of the Mad Money show's tenth anniversary, Apple CEO Tim Cook called in as a surprise to congratulate Cramer, saying that "we love the fact that you highlight innovation as a centerpiece of your show." Cramer took the opportunity to praise Cook as well.
Company expects $12.8 billion plus or minus $300 million
Intel has released new financial guidance, cutting its revenue prediction dramatically. Noting lower demand for desktops and declining inventory levels at retail of non-tablet computers, the company has reduced its first quarter revenue estimate to $12.8 billion, versus the $13.7 billon it was expecting, and informed investors of the changes that will now be made in its last quarterly earnings report.
Cook commits to more work on diversity, dodges questions on board opening, Tesla
The annual Apple shareholders' meeting was held on Tuesday at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, with shareholders re-electing the entire board of directors, expressing confidence in the management team, and following Apple's recommendations on various proposals. The board was re-elected with 95 percent approval, but Apple CEO Tim Cook notably avoided questions about diversity on Apple's board, as well as shareholder questions about a possible Tesla relationship.
Product debut build-up resulting in rare access to CEO and design chief
A new interview with Apple design head Sir Jonathan Ive and recent remarks by CEO Tim Cook are shedding some light (and building up hype) for both the Apple Watch and the current outlook of the company and the men who run it. Ive, in an interview with London's Financial Times, explains the rationale behind the development of the Apple Watch, while Cook expanded on his view on privacy, and Apple's industry leadership. In other news, a forthcoming Apple Watch app has already set the bar to a new low.
Move happens March 18 at close of trading
Apple stock is going to supplant AT&T's on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. After market close on March 18, Apple will be listed on the average, with the low-performing AT&T being pulled. The move was precipitated by a Visa four-to-one stock split, effective on the same date. Apple's seven-to-one split last summer brought the stock price down closer to the median price in the DJIA.
Apple files notice with judge that it is in talks with battery tech company
After our recent story two weeks ago about litigation being brought against Apple for poaching battery engineers and scientists from A123 Systems (an automotive and vertical-market energy research firm), Apple has informed the judge in the case that it is seeking a settlement and is in talks with the company. Apple had recruited former A123 Chief Technical Office Mujeeb Ijaz, who then helped Apple poach several of his former colleagues from A123.
Revenue from iOS makes up 10 percent of gross revenue, UBS claims
Being the default search engine option in iOS is such an important position that losing it could cost Google around 10 percent of its gross annual revenue, according to a new analysis by investment bank UBS. The advertising giant is at risk to lose upwards of $8 billion if it should lose the default search engine position, a real possibility with the deal between Google and Apple coming up for renewal. Investors are worried that Apple will refuse to renew the arrangement.
Apple Watch, abilities will expand over time, replace car keys as well
In a new interview with the UK newspaper the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed a few new tidbits about the forthcoming Apple Watch, as well as some of the larger vision behind such innovations as the watch, and Apple Pay, and Touch ID -- an all-out attempt to reduce the ephemera people need to carry with them, from wallets to car keys. In the same report, Cook also confirmed that Apple will "tweak" its retail look to accommodate Apple Watch buyers, who are likely to be even more upscale than average Apple customers.
Cisco, Citrix also banned; government cites security concerns
A weekend move by China has stricken Apple, Intel, Cisco, Citrix, and McAfee from approved vendors for governmental purchase. Ostentibly to protect national security interests, the move appears to be more about giving state run and other Chinese companies a leg up on procurements in the country, similar to regulations inside the US government that does the same.
Reason Cook is in Germany not clear, pays visit to Bild tabloid newspaper
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.
Current boost to stock may render estimates irrelevant even as they are published
A number of analysts revised their expectations for Apple's stock last week -- only to watch those year-end estimates melt in the face of the stock's current performance, which ended trading on Monday at yet another all-time high of $133 per share. The combination of much better-than-expected sales in the holiday quarter and the increasing interest in Apple's other initiatives -- ranging from Apple Pay to forthcoming products like the Apple Watch and a possible-but-far-off car design -- has sent the stock skyrocketing.
Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years
Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.
Company still riding streak from record iPhone, Mac sales
In what has now started to become a routine occurrence, AAPL on Friday ended the week with a new all-time record high for its stock, as well as its market capitalization. The stock closed on Friday at a price of $129.49 per share, though it is down a nickel in after-hours trading at the time of this article. The market cap for the company now stands at $754.28 billion after the stock rose 0.81 percent on the day, compared to $710 billion just 10 days ago.
CEO claims T-Mobile now third-largest US carrier
T-Mobile managed to post great results in its fourth quarter financial report, with the carrier's $101 million profit equating to 12 cents per share, reversing the 12 cents per share loss in the previous quarter. Revenues are also up 19.4-percent year-on-year, reaching $8.15 billion, with the company overall beating analyst expectations of a 5 cent EPS and revenues of $7.89 billion.
Cross-platform LoopPay PIN-based; data stored locally, not in the cloud
Samsung Electronics today confirmed that it has agreed to acquire LoopPay, the mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless receivers. LoopPay's technology has the potential to work in approximately 90 percent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals, according to Samsung research, with no investment in new infrastructure required by merchants.
First Bank, Morgan Stanley added to roster of Apple Pay banks
Apple has added 19 new banks in a February addition update. Notable additions include the Credit Union of Southern California, FirstBank, and Morgan Stanley. The new additions bring the total of banks supporting Apple's service to 84. Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed during a Goldman Sachs tech conference that over 2,000 banks and credit unions would support the service by the end of the year worldwide.
JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray, Icahn all call for higher targets in 2015
Thanks to both the recent record-shattering performance of the company as well as known forthcoming debuts, a number of analysts have recently revised their target goals for Apple stock. While pundits are clearly guessing on things like how well the Apple Watch or the next iPad revision will sell, the solid performance of the iPhone, rising Mac sales, and success of other foundational technologies give the company a likely bright future for 2015.
Analyst famous for Apple television prediction changes mind for 2015
Apple pundit and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has changed tack from his normal annual predictions of an Apple-branded television set for this year, and now believes that a refreshed Apple TV will be seen in the fall 2015 product refresh. While he still believes an Apple television is inevitable, a revamped and upgraded fourth generation Apple TV will bridge the gap between a set top, and a full set, he has told clients.
Progress made on conflict-free smelters, fallback on overtime issues
On Wednesday, Apple updated its annual Supplier Responsibility Report, and for the most part reported continued progress in its struggle to ensure that workers in its Asian factories are not suffering abuse or dangerous conditions. The biggest change in the report is that Apple has barred recruitment firms and employers from charging workers any fee to get jobs on its assembly lines. The iPhone maker also noted that it increased supplier audits by 40 percent in 2014.
Apple holds new record as first company to pass $700 billion
During Tim Cook's interview at an investor's conference today in San Francisco, Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn told Cook that his company, Apple, had become the first publicly-traded company to ever top $700 billion in market capitalization, and the stock also closed the day at a new record high of $122.02 per share. The peaks come just a under a week after the previous all-time high last Wednesday, following a record-shattering holiday quarter.
Apple CEO expected to reiterate previous statements on product pipeline
Apple CEO Tim Cook will again be a speaker at this afternoon's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, taking place in San Francisco. Cook will be among numerous tech company speakers, including executives from Seagate, NetApp, SanDisk, AMD, ZenDesk, and Jive Software, among others. Cook will address the conference at 12:30PM PT (3:30PM ET) today, and the audio stream is being carried live by Apple on its investor web page.
Deal likely reverts to 2011 patent agreement between MS, Samsung
Microsoft and Samsung have ceased the most recent round of legal hostilities over unpaid Android patent royalties due to the Surface maker. As expected, very few details are known about the deal, with both companies identically saying little more than "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in US court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential."
Verizon wireline operations in Florida, Texas, California being sold for $10B
Verizon is raising a large amount of cash, by selling some of its wireline operations to another company for $10.54 billion. It is not the only transaction Verizon is performing, as it is leasing the rights to some of its wireless towers to a third party, bringing in another $5 billion, with the company also announcing an accelerated share-repurchase program worth $5 billion.
Financial results slightly lower than expected, iOS 8 pinned for loss
In the quarterly conference call discussing Twitter's financial results, Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto pointed to Apple's iOS 8 rollout as the reason why the company's monthly active users figure was short by four million members, at least in part. While initially a throwaway line in the discussion, the company's CEO has clarified the remarks somewhat, and has pointed specifically to iOS Twitter integration, and features in the new Safari as specific reasons for the user drop.
Up to 1,750 RadioShack stores to be co-branded Sprint, according to filing
Electronics retailer RadioShack has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Following a week of speculation, the troubled company filed its papers earlier today, and confirmed plans to sell off a large proportion of its stores to Sprint and Standard General, one which will provide the carrier with a considerable boost to its overall outlet count.
Company now closing in on $700 billion in value
Apple's stock closed on Wednesday at a new all-time high, closing at $119.56 for the day, breaking the record set on November 26 when it closed at $119 even. The company, now valued at $696.41 billion -- more than a third more than the next most valuable publicly-traded company -- recently reported the best all-time quarterly revenue and profit of any company ever. The latest peak comes after a spike a week ago, following the results of the quarter.
Fitness app acquisitions help bolster Under Armour platorm
Sports apparel brand Under Armour has made another set of acquisitions, buying two well-known fitness apps for over half a billion dollars. The company picked up MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, two cross-platform apps, which Under Armour will combine with its previous purchase of MapMyFitness to increase its holdings in the quantified self and fitness platform market.
Rapidweaver, Clear devs bring distraction-free writing to blog publishing
Every so often, we like to bring our readers' attention to crowdfunding efforts or projects that catch our eye and might be something you'd be interested in investing in. None of these crowdsourcing projects pay us or anything like that for the attention; we pick them based on what we think are their merits, and share them with you for your consideration for no reward, just the joy of helping cool new projects get off the ground. This week, we're looking at blogging platform Typed.
Ex-Sony development studio free to work on other platforms
Sony has sold off Sony Online Entertainment, an in-house game development studio and publisher known for Everquest, Planetside 2, and other massively multiplayer online games. The sale was confirmed today by the company and places the studio in the hands of investment management firm Columbus Nova, though as part of the transaction terms, it has to lose the Sony branding and be renamed Daybreak Game Company.
Negotiations could lead to rebranding of half Radioshack stores, shuttering of remainder
RadioShack may be preparing to close its chain of electronics stores, according to a report. The troubled retail chain, which revealed it was close to bankruptcy last month, is said to be in discussions to sell approximately half of its store leases to Sprint, shuttering the rest and effectively ending the 94-year-old company's life as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Money will presumably finance ongoing dividends and buybacks
Apple will soon sell another $5 billion in bonds, according to the Associated Press. Earlier today, the company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission about the sale; while the submitted documents don't mention any rates or amounts, the AP says the total will be $5 billion, and likely issued in a mix of floating-rate five-year notes and fixed-rate notes with timespans ranging from seven to 30 years. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are managing the sale.
Parent company of Tidal, WiMP agrees to $56M acquisition by rapper
Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million).
Net income of $4.76B up year-on-year, fails to meet Wall Street expectations
Google managed to bring in gross consolidated revenues of $18.1 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent and up from the previous quarter's $16.52 billion, according to its latest financial results. Increased traffic acquisition costs (TAC) of $3.62 billion bringing the ex-TAC revenues down to $14 billion. Net income also increased to $4.76 billion from $3.38 billion the same period last year, but the search company failed to meet analyst expectations.
Sales up 15 percent to $29.3 billion, Amazon Prime boost credited
Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.
Chip segment strong, but not enough to make up for lagging smartphone segment
Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago quarter. The news comes on the heels of a record-shattering report from its main rival, Apple.
Increasing figure still a fraction of cost incurred by rivals
Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significantly increased spending on research and development (R&D).
Sony's answer to iTunes will close in February
The official PlayStation blog on Wednesday posted an announcement letting PlayStation users know about a new partnership with Spotify. The service includes existing playlists for those who already have Spotify accounts. The post also, however, contained the news that Sony's own Music Unlimited service will be discontinued in late March.
Over half a billion Facebook users access social network only through mobile devices
Facebook's latest quarterly earnings reveal the social network is in good shape and continuing to beat projections, with a lot of it down to the continued increase of mobile devices to access the service. The social network's total revenues of $3.85 billion with earnings per share of $0.54, up from the previous quarter's $3.2 billion revenue and $0.40 earnings.
Amount still more than double paid in 2013
Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.
Alibaba shares valued at $40B to be spun into own company
Yahoo's quarterly financial results reveal it has marginally missed market estimates, but it still managed to improve on the last quarter, bringing in $1.18 billion in revenue after traffic acquisition costs (TAC), with a $0.30 non-GAAP earnings per share. The company also revealed it's intentions to spin out the last of its Alibaba stake, a move designed to prevent it from paying out a large amount of tax.