When Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring the Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia, many analyst asked why Redmond would buy a company that some saw as a slowly dying giant. Today Nokia released their third quarter financial results, and it appears that the landscape has changed for Nokia and Microsoft.
During the last quarter Nokia managed to sell 14.7 million phones, of which 8.8 million were Lumia devices running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. During the second quarter of 2013, Nokia only managed to push out 11.7 million phones total which means that 3 million more phones went out the door in Q3. Virtually all of the company's sales growth came from North America, which means that Microsoft stands to do well in 2014 with its new smartphone division if they can keep the momentum up.Additionally, operating profits were at $162 million on a total revenue of $7.8 billion.
If there's a company capable of making a tremendous return, stomping its foot down firmly into the ground to claim victory, it's AMD. The chipmaker has finally returned to profitability after numerous years of bad results.
AMD posted a Q3 revenue of $1.46 billion, representing a 15% year-over-year increase, and a net income of $48 million - or 4c per share. Moving onto the non-GAAP basis, AMD posted a net income of $31 million, with this figure including $22 million in restructuring charges. If AMD didn't have to take that restructuring charge, it would've enjoyed earnings of 6c per share.
The 'experts' over on Wall Street expected the company to report Q3 earnings of 2c per share on revenue of $1.41 billion. AMD CEO, Rory Read, said that the company's turnaround is part of its strategic transformation it talked about years ago: "We achieved 26 percent sequential revenue growth driven by our semi-custom business and remain committed to generating approximately 50 percent of revenue from high-growth markets over the next two years. Developing industry-leading technology remains at our core, and we are in the middle of a multi-year journey to redefine AMD as a leader across a more diverse set of growth markets."
At the time of writing, AMD's shares were down 0.6% to $3.32 a piece.
This afternoon, Apple made its earnings report for quarter 4 2013 public and while things look good for Apple, gross margins are down year over year. During its earnings call to investors, Apple said that it managed to earn $7.5 billion in profit on $37.5 billion in revenue.
Year over year, revenue is up about $1.5 billion, but the company saw its margin slip from 40-percent to 37-percent. The Cupertino based company also announced that i managed to sell 33.8 million iPhones during the quarter, which was undoubtedly bolstered thanks to the iPhone 5S and 5C being released last month. iPad sales remained stagnant with about 14 million being sold in Q4. Apple said that it's Mac devices managed $5.62 billion in revenue with 4.6 million devices being sold.
One of the more interesting things to come from the weekend of news is that Google is building itself a gigantic floating data center, which is being constructed in the San Francisco bay.
It's a four-story tall building, which sits on some shipping containers. CNET donned its detective hat and took a look, snapping the picture above. Why would the search giant be building a data center on the water? Well, what do data centers require the most? Cooling. It needs to keep all of those servers cool, where the body of water around it being the perfect spot.
But, saltwater is a different ballgame, so Google would require a desalination or filtering plant to use the water appropriately - which I'm sure it has planned.
Update: We've had an e-mail from a Qualcomm representative who says that Anand is still with the company, serving as Senior Vice President where he is "exploring certain enterprise-related initiatives."
When Apple launched its iPhone 5S last month with the A7 processor rocking inside, most people rolled their eyes thinking "why?" Well, one of those people was Qualcomm representative Anand Chandrasekher, who called the A7 processor a "gimmick."
Chandrasekher is no longer with Qualcomm, with the company stating in a statement to CNET: "Anand Chandrasekher, is moving to a new role leading our exploration of certain enterprise related initiatives...Anand will continue to report to Steve Mollenkopf, COO and President of Qualcomm. This will be effective immediately."
Well, it looks like Qualcomm wasn't happy with his statement, so much so that it got rid of him. I guess when the future of mobile processors is 64-bit, and you go and insult it, you get laughed at and kicked out of the company. It wasn't long ago that we reported that Chandrasekher said 8-core processors for smartphones are dumb, if you didn't remember.
Even though LG is finally seeing some success with its smartphones, the South Korean company actually bled some money this quarter selling its handsets. LG posted its Q3 earnings, with a -2.6% operating margin.
The company shipped over 12 million handsets, which provided it with a nice $2.75 billion in mobile sales and an even better 24% year-over-year in mobile sales. LG says it is still losing money in its mobile division due to "increased competition and higher marketing investments." Looking into the future, LG says it "plans to focus on increasing sales of new premium products such as the LG G2 smartphone during the peak holiday season as well as maximizing 3G and mid-tier mass devices such as the L II Series and F Series."
While other companies seem to be struggling to post massive profits and keep their share prices high - I'm talking about Apple, folks - its biggest competitor has just posted another record high in operating profits.
Samsung has just posted its earnings for the Q3 period, with profits of $9.6 billion setting a new record high for the South Korean giant. The increased profits are thanks to its cheaper Galaxy smartphones, as well as profits from its memory side of things - such as Flash storage and RAM. Samsung has seen increased demand for its chips in the upcoming next-gen consoles, smartphones, servers, PCs and much more.
The company is seeing less profits on its TVs as prices continue to drop, but sales of its 60-inch and higher TVs are said to be growing.
Microsoft has been somewhat struggling with its Surface tablets, but that hasn't stopped the company from posting an impressive Q1 earnings report. From $18.5 billion in revenue, the Redmond-based giant took a nice $5.2 billion in net profits home.
The company pegs most of this success in the growth of its corporate-focused Commercial group. Unfortunately, the Devices and Consumer division isn't doing so well, with Windows revenue from PC makers down a sharp 7%, but search ad revenue climbed an impressive 47%. The Surface line of slates from Microsoft saw revenue increases quarter-over-quarter to $400 million.
With Windows 8.1 launching just recently, Microsoft has netted $113 million in pre-order revenue, which could see a surge in PC sales in the coming quarter. We're also set to see the Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro and Xbox One sales make a huge increase in revenue for the company in the coming months.
Two marketing firms representing Samsung have been caught red-handed hiring writers to post good reviews about its products while at the same time giving HTC products a bad review. This practice violates Taiwan Fair Trade Rules and has ended up costing the electronics giant $340,000 USD in fines from the Taiwanese government.
The two firms who were the actual offending parties have been fined more than $100,000 each themselves for their participation in the violation. This is not the first time something like this has happened either. Earlier this year, Samsung was caught up in a similar scandal where 3rd party firms were hiring developers to promote Samsung on StackOverflow.
We know HTC is experiencing issues, with one of those roads it could go down would result in the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturing shutting its doors. But according to the company, it won't be doing so.
HTC issued a statement, where it talked to Reuters and said it was "not shutting down or does it have plans to sell any of its factory assets." This doesn't mean that the company won't be selling itself in pieces to another company, which is where I think it is headed in the coming months.
Reuters even claimed that HTC had already shut down one of its four major production facilities, after one of its reports actually went there and found it abandoned. The Taiwanese manufacturer fired back stating it closed the factory because "like any manufacturer, we do volume planning to optimize our lines, our manufacturing and production facilities."
AT&T posted its Q3 earnings on Wednesday, with some impressive results. The US carrier saw $0.66 earnings per share over a consolidated revenue of a hefty $32.2 billion.
This means the carrier beat Wall Street expectations of $0.65 EPS. AT&T's Q3 results saw an addition of 363,000 more post-paid subscribers, including an additional 178,000 smartphone subscribers. Continued strong wireless performance helped AT&T increase its wireless revenues by 5.2% year-over-year from the same quarter of last year.
It looks like Samsung's Galaxy S4 has been super popular for the South Korean giant, with Samsung CEO JK Shin announcing that the flagship Android-powered smartphone from Samsung has sold over 40 million units.
Considering the Galaxy S4 launched just five months ago, this is a mammoth effort. At the two-month mark, there had been over 20 million Galaxy S4's sold, but now we're talking about double that. Considering the Galaxy S III sold 30 million units in its launch last year, this is a great jump. We should expect Samsung to break through the 50 million unit milestone before 2013 is wrapped up.
The makers of Gorilla Glass have just signed an agreement with Samsung to see the South Korean electronics giant secure a 7.4% stake in the company. Corning and Samsung have been involved in each others worlds for the past 40 or so years through equity investments, product development and commercialization initiatives.
The agreement will see Corning securing Samsung's 43% stake in their Samsung Corning Precision Materials joint venture for $1.9 billion, as well as minority investors for around $300 million. Samsung will slap down a $400 million investment in Corning, which would see them acquire 7.4% of the company at today's share prices.
We should expect the deal to close early next year, and will see the two sign a 10-year LCD display glass supply agreement that will add a hefty $2 billion to Corning's annual sales.
If you thought that Apple's Tim Cook, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, or even Google's Larry Page held the top spot for highest paid CEO in North America, you are sadly mistaken. Today a report released by GMI Ratings shows that in fact, it is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg who claims the #1 spot as highest paid CEO.
During the last fiscal year Zuckerberg received a total compensation of just over $2.28 billion, most of which came from share options when Facebook completed its IPO in which Zuckerberg exercised 60 million stock options that he was given in 2005 and vested in 2010. This landed him more than $2.7 billion in profit when the IPO launched at $38 per share.
If a new report is correct, BlackBerry's knight in shining armor could be coming out of the far east. A new report from Digital Trends is suggesting that Lenovo is seriously considering purchasing BlackBerry as a whole. This deal would provide Lenovo a cheap and easy entry point into the US smartphone market, something it has been eyeballing for sometime now.
While Fairfax Financial has experienced issues securing the $4.7 billion it would need to purchase the company, Lenovo would have no such issues and could offer up cash on very short notice. The only thing standing in the way of the deal would be BlackBerry's co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fredin who are also considering buying the company. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Lenovo has signed a nondisclosure agreement that allows them to look at BlackBerry's books, so this offer could be more serious than originally thought.
Google is on a path of serious domination, with its stock prices hitting nearly $1000 a piece after it had reported a large increase in mobile and video advertising that helped the Mountain View-based giant increase its quarterly revenue up 23%.
The company has seen paid clicks increase 26% in the last three months ending on September 30, which represents the highest rate of growth in the past year. There's an offset though, with an 8% fall in average cost-per-click. J.P. Morgan analysts said "We view solid paid clicks growth to be a good indicator of demand, driven by the continued shift to mobile." The analysts expected a huge 21.5% growth.
Comparing this to Apple in 2012, who were poised to become the first company to be worth $1 trillion, it has certainly fallen from grace. Google is now positioned to be a serious contender as one of the most powerful, valuable companies in the world.
Huawei is set to build a new R&D center in the UK, where the Chinese telco giant will spend around $200 million on it as part of its $2 billion investment plans. At the moment, Huawei employ around 80 R&D staff in its office in Ipswitch, with this number ballooning out to 300 once the new R&D offices are opened in 2017.
This is big news as it pushes Huawei to be bigger and bigger, with the Chinese company now the biggest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, where it employs over 150,000 people across the world. Over the next couple of years Huawei will employ an additional 5,500 people throughout Europe as it focuses on making inroads into Europe after the US accused it of having strong ties with Chinese military and the government.
Sony has some great devices, but it looks like those in the two biggest smartphone markets in the world, China and the United States, won't be markets that Sony will be concentrating on going into the future.
The Japanese electronics giant will instead focus its business to markets where it is strong, which is Europe and Japan. Sony does not have any plans for "the world's two largest smartphone markets, China and the United States." Sony CEO, Kazuo Hirai, says: "Those two are the most important areas for us and we'll put substantial resources there. But not yet for the U.S. and China."
The US market is a hard one, and even harder for Sony as T-Mobile is the only major US carrier to offer consumers Sony smartphones. Moving to China, where "homegrown brands" like ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi are making leaps and bounds, even in front of global superstar Apple and its iPhone.
Following in Google's footsteps, Apple is looking to gain from BlackBerry's ongoing demise. Unlike Google who opened up an engineering hub just down the road from BlackBerry, Apple is looking to poach employees from the failing company via LinkedIn.
Just days after BlackBerry announced that it would be laying off more than 4500 employees, Apple began sending out invitations via LinkedIn to a recruitment event that was being held just 15-minutes down the road from BlackBerry headquarters. Normally poaching employees is frowned upon, but with BlackBerry now resuming talks of being split up and sold off, I am sure that these engineers see these acts from Google and Apple as a blessing.
BlackBerry's board of directors have once again resumed talks of breaking the company up into pieces and selling things off to the highest bidder. The breakup talks have resumed after Fairfax Financial announced that it has failed to secure capital to fund the $4.7 billion needed to purchase the company.
A breakup sale might actually turn out to be more beneficial for BlackBerry as the company's patents are estimated to be worth over $3 billion alone, the rest of the company could be sold for another $2 or $3 billion as companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung could buy bits and pieces to strengthen their grip on the smartphone market.
HP CEO, Meg Whitman, told analysts on Wednesday that the company she steers, has been "a little late to the game" when it comes down to shifting from the traditional PC to the mobile market.
Whitman added that Microsoft and Intel have gone from longtime partners of HP, to "outright competitors." She said that HP is moving, very aggressively, to diversify behind traditional PCs, which are looking like a dead end for HP. She said: "Wintel-based devices are being aggressively displaced by ARM-based PCs and mobile devices. PCs are declining while tablets are growing... Current long-running partners such as Intel and Microsoft are becoming outright competitors."