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Google had their Q4 2012 earnings call earlier today, with Google executives diving into the Motorola situation. With the current state of Motorola's financials being the subject at hand, we saw Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette answer a few questions.
When asked about the current situation of Motorola's financial position, Pichette said that when Google acquired Motorola, they also acquired their 12- to 18-month product pipeline that isn't easily changeable. When Google purchased Motorola, they also purchased their future product line up that has been promised to customers.
Pichette explained that while there have been improvements made within the company in regards to selling the home division of Motorola as well as rejigging their finances, that Google are still only 6 months post-acquisition, and these changes do take a while to happen. Pichette said "it's jsut the nature of the beast when you're reinventing a business".
South Park Studios not happy with THQ auctioning off rights to 'South Park: The Stick of Truth' game
At least one company isn't happy with THQ auctioning off their assets as part of the bankruptcy process. Specifically, South Park Studios is unhappy that THQ is attempting to sell its rights to the South Park: The Stick of Truth game that is currently in production by Obsidian.
South Park Studios asserts that THQ doesn't have the right to sell the contract off. THQ would be required to first pay the $2.3 million it currently owes South Park Studios. South Park Studios is also required to sign off on any transfer of the contract and the purchasing company is required to abide by the contract.
THQ, of course, denies what South Park Studios is claiming. THQ also says they do not owe $2.3 million to South Park Studios, though are investigating if they owe any debts. If they do, they plan to pay them accordingly. THQ also plans to find a buyer who would see the game through to the end.
There will be plenty more news from the THQ bankruptcy and we will be sure to keep on top of it.
Today is a popular day for companies to report their fourth quarter financial results and Google certainly didn't want to be left out. Google performed quite well during the fourth quarter with revenue and profit both increasing, though cost-per-click has continued to decline.
Google recorded a revenue result of $11.34 billion, which doesn't include results from Motorola Home. This figure is up from $8.13 billion in 2011, so nearly 50 percent higher. Non-GAAP profit is up to $3.57 billion, which is up from $3.13 billion year-over-year.
Cost-per-click prices are down 6 percent year-over-year, though they recovered 2 percent from the third quarter of 2012.
For the fiscal year 2012, Google managed to bring in $50 billion in revenue. This is up from 2011, where they only managed to bring in $38 billion.
"We ended 2012 with a strong quarter," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year - not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half."
AMD's fourth quarter financial results are in and the picture is still gloomy, but they did do better than previously expected. Revenue came in at $1.16 billion, with losses coming in at $473 million. Keep in mind that a large portion of those losses can be attributed to restructuring costs as well as the deal with Global Foundries.
Fiscal Year 2012 revenue came in at $5.4 billion, which is down 17 percent year-over-year. Operating losses came in at $1.18 billion. Losses like this effectively offset the profits that AMD had managed in 2009, 2010, and 2011. This has brought back concerns over AMD's ability to make money and turn a profit.
However, it's worth noting that AMD has been doing quite a bit of restructuring and personnel changes. 2013 could end up being a turning point for the company as we hopefully start to see results out of these new employees.
This morning AT&T announced that it has signed an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network to acquire the company's Alltel holdings for $780 million. The acquisition lands AT&T 585,000 new paying customers, some spectrum space, licenses, and all the Alltel retail locations.
In 2008 Alltel was previously scooped up by AT&T rival Verizon which was ordered to divest subscribers in 105 markets where the US government feared Verizon may grow too large. AT&T had previously secured 79 of those markets with ATNI landing just 26. Today's approval lands AT&T the full 105 markets once owned by Verizon.
AT&T gains spectrum in the 700MHz, 850MHz and 1.9GHz ranges. The big issue lies in Alltel being a GSM carrier, meaning existing customers will have to be "transitioned" to new phones working on ATT's GSM, HSPA and LTE networks. Pending a review by the FCC and Justice Department, the deal should finalize sometime later this year.
AMD has hired two new senior engineers who had previously worked for the company earlier in their careers. Wayne Meretsky was the technical lead for Mac OS at Apple before joining AMD in 1999, then left for a position at a robotics company only to return to AMD in December.
Charles Marar, also a former AMD employee, is returning as vice president of System-on-Chip Development after spending some time at Qualcomm. AMD describes the two hires as an effort to expand into new markets. These hires come on the heels of Apple's Jim Keller who joined AMD as chief architect this past August.
Rumors are floating around that both Sony and Microsoft may be using AMD chipsets in their next-generation consoles set to launch this spring. If those rumors are true, and AMD's Temash tablet processor is a hit, 2013 could prove to be a pivotal year for the company which has seen a downtrend over the past few years.
Thanks to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Al Gore, who sits on the Apple board, recently purchased 59,000 shares of Apple stock. This shouldn't be news, but the following bit will make you realise why: Gore purchased the stock at a rock bottom price of $7.48 per share.
At just $7.48 per share, Gore made a ridiculous amount of profit. The reason he was able to grab the stock at such a low price, is that he exercised his director stock options. Gore's 59,000 shares are worth a very nice $29.5 million, a nice profit as he only paid $440,000 for the stock. Gore was awarded 30,000 options when he joined the board of Apple in 2003 and at the time the stock in Apple was worth $14.95 per share.
Gore purchased 60,000 shares in Apple at the same price back in 2008, when Apple shares were worth $124 or so each. The Apple board member still has 61,574 share options available through his heavy discount options, even after this transaction has taken place.
Atari, a pioneer in the video game industry, has filed bankruptcy in the US. Unfortunately, it seems that the parent company, Atari SA, is debt-laden and this move is a way to free the company from the parent. By doing this, Atari is looking to continue as a company, just on its own.
Atari is selling off assets in the next three to four months, including its iconic logo. The company that emerges from the other side of bankruptcy is slated to be a company focused on the digital and mobile platforms. Atari has already been gearing up towards Android and iOS development since 2010.
Atari has reportedly received a debtor-in-possession investment of $5.25 million so that the company is capable of continuing to operate during the bankruptcy process. The plan is to seek a private buyer after the bankruptcy process, though that could be hard if they have sold off their iconic franchises and logo.
Google-commissioned survey shows that US P2P users buy 30 % more music, another study showing P2P users not bad
As much as the RIAA and MPAA would like to convince lawmakers and citizens that pirates and people who illegally download movies and music are harming the industry, study after study suggest quite the opposite. Take, for example, a study commissioned by Google, which shows that US P2P users buy 30 percent more music.
Google commissioned Columbia University's American Assembly research center to survey Americans on file sharing and copyright enforcement. In the survey, data suggests that Americans are generally against the use of bandwidth throttling and disconnection as punishment for illegal downloading.
The most important piece of information to come from the study is the finding that US P2P users tend to buy 30 percent more music than their non-sharing brethren. More studies are needed, however, but this study can join the pile of others that show file-sharing doesn't harm sales.
Right now 3D printing hasn't taken off into the mainstream, but over the coming years it's definitely going to be leaving a bigger footprint. A Dutch architect is looking at 3D printing a home, where he hopes it'll be constructed by 2014.
Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture is the man behind the idea, and the 3D printed home is his project which is part of the Europan competition which lets architects in over 15 different countries build projects over the course of two years. Ruijssenaars will work with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who is the founder of the D-Shape 3D printer.
The project will use 6x9 chunks of frame, which will be comprised of sand and inorganic binder. After this, they'll fill the frame with fiber-reinforced concrete. The final product looks amazing, which features a single flowing design, and will be a two-storey building.