Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 244
Google have just announced a plan in which we'll see the company split its stock in an effort to preserve its corporate governance, and still give co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page control of the company. This will create a 2-for-1 stock split, where Google have said it will create a new class of stock, Class C, that won't sport any voting power.
Any share holders of Google with Class A or Class B stock will automatically receive a share of the new Class S stock. This new class of shares will trade under a different ticker symbol. This new deal is said to preserve the voting power of Google co-founders. The stock proposal was announced as Google reported a first-quarter profit of $2.89 billion, or $8.75 a share, from $1.8 billion, or $5.51 a share, twelve months ago.
Excluding one-time charges and other items, Google's profits sat at $3.33 billion, or $10.08 per share, compared to last years $2.64 billion or $8.08 per share. Google easily beat Wall Street estimates which pegged them at $9.65 per share. Revenue-wise they were not too bad at all, hitting $10.65 billion, a 24-percent increase over $8.58 billion year-over-year. After backing out traffic acquisition costs, revenue amounted to $8.14 billion, missing Wall Street expectations by a slither, pegged at $8.15 billion.
Sony have been struggling over the years, and much more so in the last year or so. We know this, and with newly-appointed CEO Kaz Hirai steering the ship that is Sony, they are now hoping a new set of initiatives designed to revitalize the sluggish business will help. The new strategy is called "One Sony".
One Sony is said to focus on games, mobile and digital imaging in an effort to generate roughly 70-percent of Sony's total sales from these three divisions. Hirai's first big move is One Sony, and from his previous position within the PlayStation division of Sony, he is adding new titles to their downloadable catalog for the PlayStation Vita as well as the PlayStation 3, and will also improve subscription services on the PlayStation Network.
On top of this, the company is preparing better games for their tablet lineup and Vaio-based devices, as well as leveraging their accessories and peripherals market. Sony hopes to generate revenue of around $12.4 billion through gaming by fiscal 2014.
It's pretty hard to find a site on the internet these days without some sort of advertising. The larger the site, the more it costs to run and the more income the site needs to have. Tumblr receives and incredible 4.5 billion impressions each week which makes it one of the internet's biggest destinations.
Incredibly, Tumblr has zero ads on it and they plan to keep it that way. Hosting servers for 4.5 billion impressions a week isn't cheap, so the company is trying to find a way to make money and become self-sufficient. Right now they are simply running on investment dollars, something that can't go on forever.
CEO David Carp has said in an interview that the site does not want ads. He says that Tumblr is "selling our desks to avoid that, it's a complete last resort." That's some dedication to keeping the site ad free, but can it really work? Karp and Tumblr are hiring a professional revenue executive to help monetize the site.
In an interesting turn of events, the US Government has filed papers objecting to Megaupload's legal firm choice. Last week, it became known that Megaupload had retained the services of Andrew Schapiro. Schapiro is the same lawyer who led YouTube to a summary judgment in its copyright trial against Viacom.
According to TorrentFreak: "In a new court filing the US government complains that Schapiro's past record in copyright cases, and that of Quinn Emanuel as a whole, present a series of conflicts of interest." Mainly, the government is concerned about a possible conflict with YouTube. Their legal battles against Viacom are back on, and they are also listed as a victim and possible witness against Megaupload.
The government says that Schapiro can't have an interest in both cases. Additionally, Schaprio or the law firm he works for has represented many of the companies that could possibly be called as witnesses against Megaupload. These companies include Google, Disney, Fox, Time Warner, Warner Bros., HBO, and various software companies.
We reviewed (in both text, and video) the new iPad, and loved it. But how much does the rest of the world love Apple's latest tablet creation? A lot, it seems. A new study by analytics analyst firm Chitika, has suggested that the third-generation iPads in Internet traffic has doubled since the initial four-day launch window.
The new iPad now makes up around 10-percent of all iPads surfing the web only three weeks after it splashed down. Online tracking metrics aren't a direct method of measuring sales, but it does help. Apple announced four days after the new iPad launched that they had sold 3 million units worldwide, and Chitika have noted that this figure correlated into about 5-percent presence of all iPad traffic, correlating with Apple's own total figure of around 55 million iPads sold up until that point.
If this growth continues, we could be looking at 12 million units sold by the time Apple's fiscal Q2 comes around, and 15 million new iPads sold overall by the end of June. The iPad makes up around 60-percent of all tablets shipped, with online usage rates indicated that in most areas the iPad is responsible for up to 90-percent of tablet web traffic. Some very impressive digits for the Cupertino-based company.
Best Buy has been heading down hill for a while now, and now their CEO has jumped ship. Besides, who better to know how the company is doing and when to get out than the CEO? This announcement by Best Buy comes on the heels of the announcement of the big losses suffered over the past few months and the plans to close 50 stores across the US.
Best Buy's press release states that there were "no disagreements between between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies, or procedures." Curiously enough, however, it was still a "mutual" decision that the CEO and company part ways. Director G Mike Mikan has been named interim CEO.
"I have enjoyed every one of my 28 years with this company, and I leave it today in position for a strong future. I am proud of my fellow employees and I wish them the best," said Dunn.
The economy can not still be as bad as every seems to think it is. Apple's building a new data center and even spending the extra cash to power it with an alternative fuel. Now, Microsoft has joined into the party. Microsoft is building a new data center in Wyoming at a cost north of $100 million.
Wyoming is hoping that this new project will bring other new data centers to the state. Microsoft has been quite busy with its construction projects as of late. Just recently, Microsoft has turned on two new data centers for its cloud service Azure. It's not clear if this new data center is for Azure or not.
Microsoft announced the construction this way:
Apple are definitely on their way toward quite an amazing milestone: becoming the world's first $1 trillion company, according to a Wall Street analyst. Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets recently predicted that Apple stock would push past the $1,000 per share barrier in the next twelve months, which would tip the company very close to the $1 trillion mark.
Apple stock has been quite popular over the last few years, with no signs of it stopping. Share prices topped Google's for the first time last week, a milestone that the late Steve Jobs was rumored to be working toward. How could Apple hit $1,000 in share value? Well, it's not that hard at all, really.
Apple's new iPhone could really boost their value, a new iPad that smashes the previous third-gen iPad, iOS 6.0, new MacBooks, iMacs, they're all coming this year alone. On top of this, Apple is opening up in the Chinese market, which is until now, nearly untapped for Apple. It's a huge market, and sure to boost their share prices considerably as iDevices start flooding into the hands of China-based customers.
Former Intel engineer, newly-hired AMD employee, pleads guilty to stealing sensitive Intel documents
Biswamohan Pani, a former Intel engineer and newly-hired AMD employee has plead guilty to fraud that is centered around the theft of sensitive Intel documents. The stolen information is considered to be worth approximately $1 billion, which includes chip-related design and manufacturing data.
It's thought that Pani intended to use the information for career advancement, but AMD has denied any knowledge of Pani's wrongdoing, and has fully cooperated with federal investigators. Pani had previously worked at Intel's Hudson-based chip making plant located in Massachusetts before submitting his resignation on May 29, 2008. Pani's last day at Intel was June 11, but little did Intel know he had actually begun working at AMD on June 2, while simultaneously retaining access to Intel's network.
It is thought that during this time, Pani had been downloading sensitive documents that held information on Intel's manufacturing and chip designs. Corporate espionage and intellectual property theft, in the form of trade secrets, schematics, or other proprietary information can be extremely lucrative in the right hands. Investigators have found no links between Pani and AMD.
With all the fanfare that Apple often brings to a financial discussion, it's odd to hear the words "Apple" and "downgrade" in the same sentence. But those two words found themselves together in a sentence released by BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk when he downgraded Apple's rating on the company's shares from "buy" to "neutral."
And why shouldn't he? There is plenty for investors to be worried about in the company. First, they no longer have Steve Jobs. Old news I know, but it still has an effect on the company's future. More importantly, though, is that wireless carriers are getting fed up with the subsidies that they give to new iPhone buyers.
Carriers are taking a cut in their profit margins while Apple continually earns larger and larger portions. Take a look at AT&T: in 2010, AT&T's margin was over 44% but now are hovering around only 30%. "We expect post-paid wireless operators to remain firm in their plan to stunt the pace of phone upgrades in 2012 and we expect to see some initial evidence of their success in the current quarter," Piecyk said.