Items tagged with Business

The number of brick-and-mortar electronics shops available to do-it-yourself (DIY) system builders and consumer electronics (CE) junkies has fallen dramatically in the past several years. First it was Good Guys that fell by the wayside in 2005, then CompUSA that sunk itself into financial trouble a year later before being bought out by Systemax, and finally Circuit City, which Systemax also scooped up after the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Could Fry's Electronics be next? Take this with a grain of salt, but a popular news and rumor site claims to have heard from sources (and confirmed with store employees "more than willing" to broach the subject) that Fry's Electronics has fallen behind... Read more...
Not even a week after Apple held a press event to announce the iPhone 5 (and new iPod models), the company's share price has shot up and above the $700 mark, ending the day at $702.10 on Wednesday. Apple's market capitalization now sits at $658.15 billion, an obscenely high valuation that underscores the legacy Steve Jobs left behind. Credit should be given to Tim Cook as well. He had big shoes to fill when Jobs passed away, and Apple is more valuable than ever before under his helm. Of course, Apple had enough momentum going that, in the short term, it would have seen some measure of success no matter who took over. But after a little more than a year of sitting in the driver's seat, Cook has... Read more...
With each quarter that passes, it's clear Lenovo knows how to run a business. A little less than three weeks ago, Lenovo announced it had raked in more than $8 billion in revenue and $141 million in profits during its first financial quarter, representing year-over-year gains of 35 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The company is outpacing the competition and has gone from holding a 7 percent share of the global PC market in 2006 to 14.7 percent currently, trailing HP by a miniscule 0.2 percent. The point of all this is to not read too much into Lenovo's declining stock price. Oh, did we mention? Lenovo's shares are down more than 8 percent today, the result of a knee-jerk reaction by investors... Read more...
"Nothing lasts forever," as the saying goes, and the time has come to wave goodbye to a staple of the photography industry. Eastman Kodak has announced intentions to sell off the film business that made it an icon around the world. In an effort to raise cash for itself (and perhaps fund ongoing digital patent battles), its traditional print-film business and "several others" will be sold. Those others include things like kiosks that develop photos on-site, heavy-duty commercial scanners, and software used for enterprise companies to process thousands of forms at once. Heck, it's even selling off the business that takes those theme park photos as you waltz in. Kodak says that the selling will... Read more...
An unlikely partnership was formed when HTC acquired a controlling interest in Beats Audio, the headphone company co-founded by hip-hop/rap artist Dr. Dre. In August 2011, HTC purchased a 51 percent stake for $300 million and promptly gave itself exclusive rights to build smartphones with Beats Audio sound. That arrangement worked well for the two companies, and while the two will continue to work together moving forward, HTC announced that it's selling shares back to Beats Audio. Beats Audio is buying back about 25 percent of its total shares for $150 million, resulting in 75 percent ownership. HTC will retain a 25 percent stake, making it the largest outside shareholder. More importantly, however,... Read more...
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) saw its share price drop by more than 8 percent after announcing preliminary second quarter financial results with lower than expected sales numbers. The chip designer told investors it expects revenue to dip around 11 percent sequentially in Q3, which is in sharp contrast to a previous forecast of a 3 percent gain, plus or minus 3 percent. "The lower preliminary revenue results are primarily due to business conditions that materialized late in the second quarter, specifically softer-than-expected channel sales in China and Europe as well as a weaker consumer buying environment impacting the company's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) business," AMD explained.... Read more...
It's really not a great time to be in retail consumer electronics sales. Or maybe it's just not a great time to be Best Buy. The United States' largest consumer electronics retailer hasn't had a great year, with its CEO stepping away and sales / profits sliding. Now, it's taking measures to ensure that it doesn't slip too far behind, and that's bad news for select employees. The company has just confirmed a 1.4% employee cut, representing 2,400 jobs. This is following the company's announcement that it would have to close 50 lower performing stores in the U.S. Best Buy will cut 600 of those jobs from Geek Squad (which currently employs around 20,000 people), with the other 1,800 coming from "store... Read more...
Micron Technology, founded in 1978 in Boise, Idaho and one of the state's largest employers, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire struggling Elpida Memory in a deal worth $2.5 billion. Under terms of the agreement, Micron will acquire a 100 percent stake in Elpida in exchange for a lump sum cash payment of 60 billion Yen (about $750 million), followed by 140 billion Yen (around $1.75 billion) in future annual installment payments through 2019 for foundry services provided by Elpida. "We are creating the industry-leading pure-play memory company," said Micron CEO Mark Durcan. "Today's transactions will help strengthen the combined companies' market position in the memory industry... Read more...
Quick, someone queue up Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," because that song describes how LinkedIn must be feeling after Twitter decided it was time to end their two-and-a-half-year partnership and move on. "Consistent with Twitter’s evolving platform efforts, Tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn starting later today," LinkedIn stated in a blog post. "We know many of you value Twitter as an additional way to broadcast professional content beyond your LinkedIn connections. Moving forward, you will still be able to share your updates with your Twitter audience by posting them on LinkedIn." Image Source: Flickr (Unlisted Sightings) The decision to part ways was all Twitter's.... Read more...
T-Mobile announced two new suites of mobile broadband data plans that are designed with businesses in mind. The new plans offer the choice of predictable monthly billing with no overage fees or high-speed access plans with pre-determined rates. The predictable monthly billing plans will slow data transmission speeds when the monthly data allotment has been reached rather than charging overage fees. For customers who want consistent speed and are willing to pay for the data they use beyond the allotment in their plan, the high-speed data plans have predefined overage charges. The new plans start at $19.99 per month for 500MB on the high-speed data plan. T-Mobile Rolls Out New Business-Focused... Read more...
New research suggests that higher ups holding positions in senior management either don't know where their company's data resides, or aren't sure. That might not be surprising to folks who find themselves continually frustrated trying to communicate with decision makers who seem disconnected from day-to-day operations, but it's alarming nonetheless. Varonis Systems, a U.K. provider of comprehensive data governance, conducted the study in which 67 percent of respondents said senior management was clueless regarding the whereabouts of company data. What's more, 74 percent of organizations reported not having a process in place for tracking which files have been placed on third party cloud digital... Read more...
Amazon founder and chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, once held a job flipping burgers at McDonald's. Today his net worth is estimated at $20.2 billion, making him the richest Internet entrepreneur in the entire world. He's far from the only one to have made billions on the Internet, however, as there are at least 30 people who leveraged the Web in some way, shape, or form to increase their net worth to 10 figures. Larry Page, co-founder and current CEO of Google, is worth $17.5 billion and is the second richest Internet businessman in the world, according to a recently compiled list of the Web's wealthiest Web folks. Behind him is Sergey Brin ($17.4 billion), the other co-founder of Google... Read more...
At nearly $590 per share, you might be wondering how you can afford to purchase shares of Apple (AAPL), especially in this economy. But if you have money to invest, a better question to ask is how can you afford not to purchase Apple stock? That might sound absurd, but in a note to investors, Topeka Capital Market's Brian White reiterated a Buy rating and said that "investors should think of Apple's market cap potential in terms of trillions, not billions." White's recommendation comes at a time when some are wondering if $500 billion is a market threshold above which Apple will have a hard time moving past, similar to how other $500 billion companies in the past seemed to get stuck. Image Source:... Read more...
Job cuts in the tech industry has become an all too common theme in the past couple of years, and the latest round of redundancy reductions is set to take place at Logitech. The peripheral maker announced plans to restructure its operations and simplify its organization to "better align costs with its current business to and free up resources to pursue its growth opportunities," and part of the process will entail handing out 450 pink slips. "As we announced in April, this organizational streamlining, along with our strategy to deliver fewer but more compelling products, should position Logitech for renewed growth and profitability," said Bracken Darrell, Logitech president. "While we are saddened... Read more...
So, this is interesting. Evidently, making $1.6 billion in pure profit in a quarter isn't enough to justify keeping 27,000 on the payroll. It's obviously never that easy, nor that cut and dry, but HP is choosing a quarter where it profited more than some companies will ever gross to suggest that job cuts are in the pipeline. The company's most recent quarterly earnings have hit, and restructuring is at the top of the priority list. Supposedly, cutting around 8% of the workforce will lead to "annualized savings in the range of $3.0 to $3.5 billion exiting fiscal year 2014, of which the majority will be reinvested back into the company." This, however, may be the best part: "These moves are expected... Read more...
Despite all the lawsuits with Apple and bickering over patent claims, injunctions, and all the other behind the scenes drama, Samsung has hit its stride, posting record quarterly operating profit of 5.8 trillion won ($5.13 billion in United States currency). That's up from 2.95 trillion won ($2.6 billion) from one year ago, and up from 5.3 trillion won ($4.7 billion) from last quarter. Lee Ka-keun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities, tells The New York Times that Samsung and Apple are about to "engage in a full-fledged war," with Samsung planning to launch its new Galaxy S smartphone in the second quarter and Apple prepping another iPhone model (iPhone 5 or 'new' iPhone). In the meantime, Samsung... Read more...
Yahoo today confirmed plans to hand out around 2,000 pink slips to its employees, which is roughly equivalent to 14 percent of its workforce. The planned layoffs are an attempt to turn things around at Yahoo in a massive reorganization effort led by the company's new CEO, Scott Thompson, the former PayPal president who joined Yahoo in January of this year, four months after Carol Bartz was ousted from the position. "Today's actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require. We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our... Read more...
Sonic the Hedgehog could use a big hug right about now, and so could everyone else at Sega. After holding a meeting with the company's Board of Directors, Sega this weekend decided it was time to restructure its operations in order to cope with a "challenging economic climate" and adapt to "significant changes in the home videogame software market environment in the U.S. and Europe." If you're a fan of Sonic, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Sega's most popular franchise is safe. Sega said it will also continue to focus on Football Manager, Total War, and Aliens, all of which "are expected to continue posting solid earnings." At the same time, Sega said it's cancelling the development... Read more...
Slumping PC sales and a struggling economy have done nothing to stifle Intel's swagger, and in fact the Santa Clara chip maker is sitting pretty with its highest annual market share in more than a decade, according to data compiled by IHS iSuppli.The leading chip maker grew its overall semiconductor market share from 13.1 percent in 2010 to 15.6 percent in 2011, which is the highest it's been since at least 2001 when it reached 14.9 percent. "Intel in 2011 captured the headlines with its major surge in growth," said Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research for IHS. "The company’s rise was spurred by soaring demand for its PC-oriented microprocessors, and for its NAND flash... Read more...
Job security is tough thing to come by these days, a fact that resonating in various departments at International Business Machines (IBM), the third-largest publicly traded technology company in the world and the largest computer services supplier on the planet. Despite its credentials and standing in the global community, IBM has let go of over 1,400 employees in the U.S. and Canada this past week, according to Alliance@IBM, an organization that's trying to form a union of IBM workers recognized by the company. As of Tuesday, the number of pink slips handed out in the U.S. and Canada stood at 1,100 and it's now at 1,440 at the time of this writing. In the grand scheme of things, the job cuts... Read more...
Shares of Apple rose to above $500 for the first time ever on Monday, continuing a rally that began over two weeks ago when the Cupertino outfit reported record quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share. Those and other positive figures weren't lost on investors, who continue to drive up the price of Apple stock. The price per share has gone up 11 out of 14 days since Apple announced its quarterly results, and it's not officially cheaper to buy an iPad 2 tablet (16GB, Wi-Fi) than it is to own a single share of the company who builds it (technically, Foxconn builds the iPad, but you get the drift). What's so remarkable about... Read more...
Lenovo's been on a roll as of late, and as a result, it's been rolling in the dough. The PC maker reported pre-tax income of $192 million for its third fiscal quarter ended on December 31, 2011, a whopping 59 percent year-over-year increase and a record high, along with record quarterly sales of $8.4 billion. Those aren't the only personal records Lenovo shattered. The PC maker recorded its highest-ever global market share of 14 percent, along with its highest-ever market share in China where it dominates the competition with a 35.3 percent stake, representing increases of 3.7 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. And Lenovo's doing this while the market tries to recover from a hard drive shortage.... Read more...
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