Stylus technology could help Microsoft improve handwriting input in apps
Microsoft has acquired the technology behind the Surface Pen used in the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. The acquisition from Israel-based patent holder N-trig allows Microsoft to invest in improvements to the stylus, as well as making it harder for other tablet manufacturers to use the same technology in newer tablets, without Microsoft's agreement.
Commission may demand back taxes avoided due to Irish corporate tax laws
Apple has filed its latest quarterly report with the US government, and in so doing noted that an ongoing European Commission investigation of Ireland and its government's corporate tax rate could "require Ireland to recover from the company past taxes covering a period of up to 10 years reflective of the disallowed state aid," calling that potential amount "material." While difficult to gauge, the eventual impact could be in the billions for Apple.
Mobile plummet may be halted by Galaxy S6 launch
Samsung has posted its quarterly earnings statement, missing analysts' and Wall Street estimates by nearly eight percent. The company reported income of 4.63 trillion won ($4.35 billion), notably lower than its 7.49 trillion won ($7.04 billion) it posted the same time last year, and the 5.35 trillion won ($5.03 billion) it posted last quarter. The vast majority of the declining profits came from what appears to be a struggling mobile division of the company pre-Galaxy S6 release, posting 2.74 trillion won ($2.58 billion) in profit, down from 6.43 trillion ($6.04 billion) won this time in 2014.
Spherical video software will help GoPro produce content for VR headsets
GoPro, the action camera manufacturer, is joining other manufacturers in the virtual reality market, by acquiring French startup Kolor. Specializing in spherical media, namely 360-degree videos and the associated software, the Kolor purchase will help provide GoPro with a way of creating content for the slowly-growing VR headset market and content stores.
Alleged debt problems may prompt Ouya sale at auction in future
Ouya, the Kickstarter-funded Android game console, may be in significant financial trouble. The company is looking to sell itself at auction as soon as possible, according to an allegedly leaked memo reportedly sent to investors, with the sale prompted by the company's failure to restructure it's hefty debt, and potentially being used as a way to rectify itself financially.
Buyback program will add another $50 billion, dividend set at $0.52
On Monday, Apple announced major increases in dividends, as well as an increase in both the share buyback program and total capital return to investors. Apple will expand its buyback program to $140 billion, an increase of $50 billion over the current program. Dividends will increase starting with fiscal Q2, rising to 52 cents per share from 47 cents per share -- and the company has reiterated that there will be more dividend increases annually.
Apple Watch debut doesn't materially affect debut, China growth up sharply
Unexpected strength in Mac sales along with the previously-predicted strong staying power of the iPhone 6 line has helped Apple see record-breaking performance for a fiscal second quarter this year. The company sold more than 61.17 million iPhones, about 80 percent of the number sold during the holiday quarter, which is usually followed by a drop of about 40 percent. Macs sold 4.56 million units, another record for a fiscal Q2 and up 10 percent year-over-year.
Analysts expect continued monster iPhone sales and pressure on iPad's share
Last month, Apple announced that its financials for fiscal Q2 2015 would be released on April 27. Just one day before the conference call, analysts are rushing to get their predictions out regarding what is very likely to be another monster quarter for the company. The short version is that the iPhone will continue to drive the lion's share of revenue and grow sales from the year-ago quarter, while the downward pressure on earnings from the iPad will continue -- and nobody's really sure what's going to happen with the Apple Watch.
Future uncertain for AT&T and DirecTV merger, future suitors for TWC
As expected, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have both walked away from the blockbuster merger deal, citing governmental resistance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. In a statement about the collapse, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that "we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away."
Company in the middle of model shift from Windows to services revenue
Microsoft today announced that revenues for the quarter that ended March 31 grew to $21.7 billion. Net income, however, was a bit less than expected, coming in at $5 billion -- a 12 percent drop from the same quarter a year ago. These financial results include $190 million of integration and restructuring expense related to Microsoft's turnaround plan, and the ongoing integration of the Nokia Devices and Services business.
Company points to foreign exchange rate issues, maintains execution excellent
Despite posting sales figures of $22.7 billion, e-retailer giant Amazon has posted a net loss of $57 million in its first quarter of business of 2015. Net sales increased 15 percent to $22.72 billion in the first quarter, compared with $19.7 billion in first quarter 2014. Excluding the $1.3 billion unfavorable impact from changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 22 percent compared to first quarter 2014.
Company posts income of $3.6 billion for the quarter
Google today announced financial results for the quarter that ended on March 31. Google's first quarter revenue was $17.3 billion, up 12 percent from the same time period of 2014. Income for the company hit $3.6 billion, up from $3.5 billion, sitting in the middle of its own guidance, as well as meeting Wall Street estimates. The company's cash on hand and marketable securities grew to $65 billion, from $59 billion in the previous quarter.
FCC, Department of Justice threatening deal
Facing stiff opposition from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as staunch opposition from the Department f Justice and members of Congress, Comcast is reportedly going to drop plans to acquire Time Warner Cable. A final decision will be made today, and an announcement of the breakdown could be as soon as Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Apple is three-quarters to previously-unthinkable all-time world record
Although it is well-known that Apple is the world's most profitable and most highly-valued publicly-traded company, most of the public and even many investors are unaware that its market valuation of nearly $750 billion now puts it 75 percent of the way to world record that has been a dream of investors for decades: the world's first company valued at $1 trillion. A Virginia-based investment bank now believes Apple will reach that goal by 2016.
Company points to acquisitions, costs growing stifling profit growth
Facebook today reported financial results for the quarter that ended on March 31. Revenue for the first quarter of 2015 totaled $3.5 billion, an increase of 42 percent, compared with $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Revenue slightly missed Wall Street estimates, with the consensus being $60 million more than the company reported. On the strength of user growth, revenue from advertising was $3.3 billion, a 46 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 73 percent of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2015.
Wall Street estimates missed badly, stock taking a hit
Chip manufacturer AMD continues its financial slide. AMD yesterday announced revenue for the first quarter of 2015 of $1.03 billion, an operating loss of $137 million and net loss of $180 million, or $0.23 per share. AMD's results fell far short of Wall Street estimates for the company, which is attempting to maintain consistent profitability.
Over 40M Netflix subscribers in United States, $1.57B total revenue
Netflix has crossed the 60 million members barrier, the streaming service revealed in its latest quarterly results. Globally, it now has 62.27 million members in total, 59.62 million of which are paid, and reflects a quarterly increase of 4.88 million users. In the United States, total members reached 41.4 million, with paid subscribers nudging past another milestone, with 40.32 million subscribers.
Acquisition will help Nokia bolster network services, research efforts
Nokia has confirmed rumors it was interested in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent to increase its network technology holdings, by announcing it will do just that. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the boards of the two companies have agreed to a purchase price of 15.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion) in stock, more than double the cost of what Microsoft paid for Nokia's mobile business.
Rumored sale of Here could aid Nokia in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent wireless business
Nokia is looking into the possibility of selling off its mapping business and apps, a report claims. The remains of the company, following the sale of its smartphone business to Microsoft last year for $7.2 billion, is apparently planning to hand off its Here maps business in order to focus on its wireless network division, and is said to have already received some interest.
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.