Category Archives: Finance News

Apple iPhone -A Disappointment?

Apple iPhone -A Disappointment

Multiple leaks have been made about the tech giant’s soon to be launched

A large number of people have been impatiently waiting for Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhone 7. However, several unnamed sources have brought down the anticipation level citing that the impatient shoppers should better focus on Galaxy Note 7.

The Journal has earlier reported that the tech giant’s iPhone 8 –which is expected to be released sometime in 2017 –will undergo major changes and ramping up. For soon to be launching iPhone 7, it reported that the biggest change in the handset will be the removal of the headphone plug. This removal will likely make the device less thinner and strengthen its water resistance, according to the sources privy to the matter disclosed on the basis of anonymity. The sources further opined that the Lightning connector is likely to serve double duty including as a port for connecting headphones and for phone’s charging.

The removal of the headphone jack is something which several analysts had earlier anticipated. A famous and renowned Japanese analyst, Mac Otakara has also highlighted a handful of design changes in the latest iPhone 7 but none of them were too major.

It is no doubt that with its new handset, the tech giant has always made upgrades however in this case it should be assumed that the changes relate to internal software of the phone instead of the external outlook. Mr. Otakara has also opined that the new iPhone 7 will bear resemblance to its predecessors –from the outside though.

Regarding the phone, he expressed, “[The] iPhone 7 has its proximity sensor on the front changed to the dual specification in addition to the ambient light sensor on the side moving from the left side to the right with a slightly longer receiver.”

Apart from this, it has been noted that the latest iPhone will be accompanied by a bigger rear camera. Also, the iPhone 7 Plus rear camera will be converted to a dual lens setup.

The absence of any big or notable design revamping is a bit discouraging but the subtle design changes also form a small irritant which according to analyst is that: “iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus cases cannot be used while it’s also likely that front LCD protection films etc. cannot be used for the new model.”

For the users which will be upgrading from much older models such as iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, the new iPhone will definitely be accompanied with a large number of changes however for the consumers who will be upgrading from iPhone 6 then the latest edition will not likely offer something much newer or unique.

As of now, iPhone sales have been witnessing a sluggish growth. Therefore, the tech giant is struggling quite hard to increase its sales so not to tamper its revenue any further. The most valuable company is making a lot of efforts to offer one of a kind handset to its loyal customers. The iPhone 8 which is expected in the year 2017 will have major design changes including edgeless display and all glass chassis.

The near future will endorse whether company’s strategies pay off or not. Currently, at the market which closed on Monday, Apple stock stood at a price of $92.04. The 52 week range of the stock is $89 to $133.

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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Finance News, Technology


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Will GoPro Inc. Revive Again?

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The action camera maker is searching for revenue streams to turn the company back into profits

The action camera maker, GoPro Inc. is finding it harder to penetrate into smartphone market. The smartphone market is already saturated and people have the access to compact and lighter devices which have considerably good cameras.

Just a decade ago, the San Mateo, Calif. firm gained extraordinary success with its portable cameras that could be accompanied by skiers, surfers, and other similar extreme-sports athletes anywhere they want to take.

Last year, the action camera maker failed badly when it launched its first everyman camera on an exorbitant price. Moreover, the company wasn’t prompt in resolving the bends and curves which made the usage of the device a lot difficult. Currently, it is trying to convince other companies to assimilate GoPro cameras into their products which range from cars to baby bouncers.

The risk is high for the action camera maker. For the current year, the $2 billion company expects its revenue to decline by close to 17%. This will be the first time for the tech firm to encounter a sales decline since its sales of flagship product in 2010. Last year, the company posted sales figure of $1.62 billion. According to an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, in comparison with last year’s same period’s profit of $36 million, the company might suffer a loss of $167 million.

While talking about the company’s intended penetrance in other markets, the President of GoPro, Tony Bates cited that the vision of the company has never only been to conquer the extreme sports arena however there are others areas which the company would like to enter into.

The competition against the companies which manufacture “do-it-all smartphones” is a lot tough. Nowadays, tech giants like Apple and Samsung Electronics are developing such smartphones which are of higher quality and answer to almost every need of the users. Companies like AliphCom Inc.’s Jawbone and Fitbit Inc. had to debunk major chunk of the market share once Apple Watch entered into the scene. The Watch let the users to sync it with their iPhones. On the issue, a senior research analyst at Dougherty & Co., Charles Anderson cited: “Is the person who was going to buy a GoPro to take pictures of their baby going to, now that they can use their iPhone? Probably not, [since] smartphones have caught up with the video quality that GoPro cameras had.

Back in 2004, when the company had commenced its business of selling the cameras, the cellphone cameras too hit the market but they were not of good quality. The major turnover for the company came in 2010 when it launched its blockbuster HD Hero –the palm sized compact waterproof camera device had the ability of high-definition filming –which became highly popular among surfers and skiers. The device became the best seller and, according to market-research firm NPD Group Inc. held close to 70% of the U.S. video-camera market. According to the company, it has sold over 20 million cameras.

However, over the years, the quality of the smartphones’ cameras became significantly better. In 2014, the South Korean tech giant, Samsung, released a water-resistant smartphone. Apple has assimilated 4K high-resolution video and used higher density of pixels.

Last July, the company launched a stripped down ice-cube sized camera which targeted the more placid customers and not the usual targeted audience of enthusiastic athletes, surfers, and skiers. But, the camera couldn’t generate many sales. The action camera maker initially released the camera with a price tag of $399, however, due to disappointing sales, it slashed down the price and, at first, brought it to $299 and later at $199. This move let the company to lose around $40 million in revenue, as per the company’s filing.

But the company is struggling harder to get its lost revenue and share back. It’s highly anticipated drone is expected to be released sometime later this year. Additionally, last month, it launched six-camera rig for the capturing of virtual-reality video.


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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Finance News


Last Ditch Effort To Save The Sinking Ship: BBRY Slashed Priv’s Price

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The Canadian smartphone maker is witnessed a slow year with a decline in its stock price and decline in Priv’s sale; to spice things up the company decided to slash the price of its latest android based smartphone.

Blackberry Ltd has seen a rough start to the current year as the stock of the smartphone maker has declined by as much as 21% as the company is still making efforts with a struggling hardware business. Re/Code has reported that the Canadian smartphone maker has slashed the price of its Priv, android powered smartphone to $649 while initially the phone was being sold at a price of $699.

At the time of Blackberry Priv’s launch, many had though that the price was a bit out of boundary given that it was no longer a leader in the smartphone industry nor had it ever launched a phone that was android based. However, during its initial months we believe the product did fairly well in the market, as it was sold out at most stores plus it was competing at Google’s and Apple’s level. We do believe that even this slashed in the price is not justified by the former smartphone leader; however it does put it in par with other flagship smartphones.

According to the recent earnings report, BBRY managed to sell around 600,000 units in total which is a fewer than expected number however this current price slash seems like the last effort made on the company’s part to save the sinking ship. Initially the chief executive officer John Chen had stated that in case the device fails to do well in the market, the company will exit the smartphone industry and direct its focus towards its security software.

This current situation that can be seen via the latest earnings report suggests that the handset business future and profitability seem rather grim. The CEO again mentioned last week that if the handset business did not generate profit for Blackberry, it would completely shut that division down.

Before 2007, Blackberry was one of the leading companies in the smartphone industry; everyone wanted to get their hands on a Blackberry Bold or Curve and everyone wanted to be on BBM. However, with the advent of Steve Job’s iPhone, BBRY slowly and gradually started to lose its market share. The reason for its failure in the smartphone market was mostly due to its reluctance to keep pace with competition as well as technology. But with the launch Android based Priv, the company proved that it can (after a long period of nine years) keep pace with technology and provide the customers with exactly what they are looking for.

Furthermore, in an interview with Bloomberg, John Chen stated that its latest product’s distribution model needed a revision due to which the there was a delay in the launch of the product. In addition to that he said that the organization will need to sell as many as three million units yearly in order to make the company’s hardware business profitable.

As per the recent rumors, BBRY is planning on launching two new android based smartphone in mid-price range however launch dates for these products have not been announced as yet. Since these will be mid-range priced phone, the company will need to sell extra units to cover its lower average selling price.



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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Blackberry, Finance News


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Tesla Admits Incompetence Behind Sluggish Sales Growth

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Tesla concedes that its hubris and lack of capability has contributed to its slow sales growth

Tesla Motors said its first-quarter global sales grew to 14,820 automobiles, up by half over a year ago but crimped due to supply shortages and, what the automaker stated, its own “hubris”.

The electric vehicle manufacturer had forecasted deliveries of 16,000 units in the year’s first quarter, a figure little less than the 17,400 vehicles sold in the past three months. The company does not reveal sales figures region-wise.

In the first quarter of the year, Tesla said it delivered 2400 Model X SUVs and 12,420 Model S vehicles. It blamed trouble in producing the automobile due to its own “hubris in adding far too much new technology to the Model X in version 1.”

It lacked enough in-house ability to manufacture some auto parts, the organization told. Yet, it produced 750 Model X vehicles weekly, by late March, which is approximately its full capacity. In addition, Tesla said it would maintain its forecasted figure between 80,000 and 90,000 EV deliveries in the upcoming year.

The sales of Tesla have been growing as it enters new auto markets and adds to its manufacturing capability. It delivered only over 50,000 automobiles last year. It revealed in the first quarter of the year that new orders surpassed the vehicles sold by a “wide margin”.

The report came days after the automaker began taking reservations for Model 3, a compact car with a 215-mile range on a single charge that provides seating to five people. According to Bloomberg, the mass-market car is also capable of running more than 215 miles on a single charge.

Through, March 2, 2016, the company had logged reservations of 276,000 units of Model 3, each reserved with a refundable deposit of $1000. The interest in Model 3 shows a robust demand for the company’s car that currently is inhibited by the costly price of its present offerings, which are offered at a starting price of $76,000 and often offered for over $100,000 with its options.

Reservations for the upcoming Model 3 lifted the shares to a 7-month high, reaching 4% at price of $246.99 at 4 p.m. On February 9, the organization’s share trading ended at $142.32. After the release of the sales report, its stock fell by 2.4% in trading done after the closure of the regular stock market on NASDAQ.

Sydney Morning Herald reported the company is challenged by rival automakers, which are ready to enter the EV market. It is facing supply-side problems. Washington Post claimed that it now looks to achieve what everyone has failed to achieve – deliver electric vehicles to the masses.

It could be said that by accepting its mistake, Tesla would be able to enhance its image in the competitive industry.

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Posted by on April 6, 2016 in Finance News, Tesla Motors


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IBM Acquires UK based CRM Firm Optevia

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On March 18, 2016 International Business Machines Inc. announced the acquisition of a UK based relationship management firm (CRM) by the name of Optevia. The financial terms of the acquisition have not yet been disclosed however the newly acquired firm will be a part of IBM’s Global Business Services department. This latest acquisition is likely to help the technology company with the rising demands of its public sector clients.

The CRM firm, Optevia was founded back in 2001 and is privately-held Software as a service (Saas) consultant firm that focuses mainly on public sector companies. The main aim of the company is to help its clients improve their customer services along with changing processes in their client’s business.

In a press release, IBM’s Public Sector in Europe, Joanna Davinson stated that with the help of this latest acquisition IBM will be able to improve its Public Sector clientele as it will have more industry focused customer relationship management solutions. Furthermore, he added while talking about the specific purchase that it strategic move on the company’s part will help to strengthen itself as a SaaS provider along with being a Global Software Integrator.

With the involvement of the SaaS consultant firm, IBM which currently lacks in its SaaS CRM products in the Public Sector entities will probably be able to benefit from it a lot. Furthermore, with its specialty the CRM firm will also help IBM diversify and grow its cloud portfolio.

In addition to that, with Optevia on board there are two advantages, one that the company will be able to better make its presence in the UK market and also scale globally with the CRM firm. The CRM firm has made quite a mark in the UK market as it has been there for over a decade now but that is the only market that it has focused on. This plays well for Optevia as well since now they have an entity on board with it with the help of which it can make its service available globally.

Furthermore, during fiscal year 2015, the Global Business Service department of IBM witnessed a significant decline in its revenue. On a year over year basis, there was a decline of 10% in revenue contribution. The acquisition can benefit the company from a number of angles one being that there might be an increase in the revenue contribution and along with that as it will bring diversification to the organization, they are likely to widen their customer base through that which would ultimately help the company grow in revenues.

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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in Finance News, IBM


Tags: , , , Enters The Fashion Industry

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The world’s largest retail giant has also decided to tap the clothing market as now it officially owns its own clothing line.

According to a report by Quartz, the retail giant rolled out over 1,800 fashion products under the over seven trademarked brand names. As per the report by WWD, the Seattle tech company has a variety of fashion clothes for men, women and children. The products have been launched under seven brands which include Lark and Ro, Society New York, North Eleven, Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailor and Scout + Ro.

This is not the first time, Amazon has tried to dip its toes in the fashion market; it has done so for over decades now but has not always been successful. However, it’s a first for the company to be making the clothing products itself – initially in 2012 it shut down one of its fashion site by the name of which had shoes, bags, jewelry etc. This site had operated for more than five years but did not do much for the organization.

At this point, the retailer has not yet confirmed the launched of these in-house brands but the vice president of the fashion sector of the company, Jeff Yurcisin stated that when the company’s sees a gap in the market and other brands decided to not sell their products with us, the customer still wants that product and our job is to get it for them.

The aim of the organization is to provide its 300 million customers with those products that the businesses third party seller do not offer to the customers via amazon’s platform. Ever since 2006, the retailer has been trying to venture into the fashion market – at this time it acquired Shophop and later on it acquired My Habit and East Dance as well.

The clothing and accessory industry in the United States is worth as much as $250 billion; that is an opportunity that the e-commerce will not let go of that easily. As per Cowen and Company, Amazon could surpass the largest clothing retailer in the country; Macy’s and become the biggest seller in the U.S.

The clothing products in the website are mostly priced below $100 and have been on the website for the past few months. However, customers cannot tell that the products are made by amazon itself – as it just display’s the brand name.

An analyst stated that the organization is being quite strategic about this move and if amazon succeeds in this venture it would be quite disruptive for the industry as a whole.

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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in Amazon, Finance News


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Alphabet Inc. Has Reintroduced Its Think Tank as a Tech Incubator; Jigsaw

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Posted by on February 19, 2016 in Finance News, Google, Technology


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Amazon To Open Numerous Physical Stores

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Amazon is considering to increase its margins through newly planned brick and mortar stores


According to Venture Beat, the online retailer has finally started to consider its profit margins in the coming times. The first launched its first ever physical book store last year. Usually, the US tech firm makes waves but this time it is completely silent. Sources suggest that this silence could result in something gold in the coming times. It was reported last week that Amazon is set to open 300 to 400 brick and mortar stores in the United States.

The CEO of General Growth Properties, Sandeep Mathrani, also stated during the earnings call of Amazon that the firm is ready to open hundreds of physical stores. Furthermore, the focus of these brick and mortar stores would not be limited to books only it could go beyond them as well. Mr. Mathrani later changed his statement however Amazon did not respond to the comments. This suggests that the firm indeed has big plans in sight in the near future.

Amazon opened its first ever physical book store last fall and it is believed that the online retailer must have seen good outcome from its test store in Seattle. This can be one of the reasons of as to why the company is determined and increasing its bet on building hundreds of brick and mortar stores. The irony is that Amazon entered this market as an e-book service provider in order to put the traditional physical book stores such as Barnes & Noble out of business.

Barnes & Noble, which is still the largest US book store chain, cannot compete against the offerings of Amazon. It is believed that extra discounts for the buyers and dealing in bulk has benefitted the US e-commerce behemoth. Analysts say that if the firm really opens as many stores in the foreseeable future then it will get more easier to get access to the content in bulk.

Nearly half of the American online shoppers prefer Amazon as their first destination for shopping hence it would not be jumping into this sector for no reason. The company already faced massive losses with its Fire Phone product line but it has now recovered all of it and the journey has been smooth in the past quarters.

Amazon missed to meet expectations if the fourth quarter of its 2015 fiscal year which resulted in 10 percent decline in its stock. Even then it remains the clear market leader in terms of market share and revenues when compared to its domestic competitors such as Wal-Mart and EBay etc.

The new store openings might surprise other companies as well as analysts as the industry leaders in brick and mortar section including Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and others are constantly closing down numerous stores every now and then. This move is a gamble but considering the market status and position of Amazon as of this moment, it is a risk worth taking.

Previously, the reigning monarch of American online shopping did not care about its profit margins but with expanding into numerous physical stores, it is considering to increase its margins through this.

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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Amazon, Finance News, Technology


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Buying eBay Might Be A Valuable Option For Yahoo

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Buying eBay is the best possible option for Yahoo for now, instead of selling its core business.

Valuentum, the renowned investment research firm that was initially led by Brian Nelson, Morningstar director, claims the right way to bring Yahoo Inc. out of its turmoil is not a spin off or selling out a core business segment, but instead acquire eBay.

An open letter was posted to the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo, Ms. Marissa Mayer, in which Nelson came up with a four-step plan that will enable the company to monetize with the help of Alibaba shares and use that money to buy eBay eventually. This move will help it to gain momentum and double its intrinsic value by the fiscal year of 2025.

The plan is as follows:

For every share of Alibaba owned by Yahoo, it needs to come up with Class B shares. Then place around 20% of the recently issued Class B shares at a value of $60 each where the remaining 80% is held in Treasury, which can be issued in the future as per need. This will result in proceeds worth $4.6 billion approximately that can be used to generate finances from which a company can be purchased. However, the business needs to have assets that are undervalued but generating substantial cash reserves similar to eBay.

After this, it will be required to push the growth of eBay through high traffic platforms such as Flickr and Tumblr, which will lead to the creation of an e-commerce behemoth that can benefit the company’s core offerings.

Nelson mentioned in the letter, “We believe they will augment Yahoo’s intrinsic value, position it favorably from a competitive standpoint, enhance its existing properties, while facilitating a growth engine for innovation.”

When Mr. Nelson was approached on call, the executive laid emphasis on the fact that the letter was designed for generating ideas. Valuentum is an independent research organization, which has no stakes in the company and does not have any plans to buy Yahoo stocks.

However, his stance is neutral and unbiased which makes the opinion very concrete. “We just wanted to offer up an alternative idea. This is something we’re not sure many people thought about,” he told Business Insider.

Whatever Nelson has claimed might just have a solid point. Since the organization went through a spinoff of PayPal, eBay has been performing at a very low rate, he claimed. This is hard for a business that has a consistent free cash flow generation of $2 billion. It gets almost millions of visitors each month, which can push eBay’s traffic also.

There are several factors that need to be worked out, such as tax related issues, in order to make the deal a reality; but according to Nelson, this is the most viable option for Yahoo as of now.

“There is a very large potential for value creation on a long term basis,” he stated.

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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Finance News, Technology


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General Motors Reported $1.39 EPS Beating Analyst’s Estimates

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The automaker has a fairly good year in a number of fronts including North America and China; however South America was a tough cookie to crumble.

In 2015, General Motors Corporation literally rode sales of its SUVs as well as trucks in the American market as it reported an upbeat financial earnings result for the fourth quarter.

The Street has estimated that the revenue generation for the year would amount to $39.03 billion while the auto-maker posted revenue of $39.6 billion in total; additionally a year earlier the revenue was around $39.62 billion. The earnings per share for the quarter that were reported also outperformed the analyst’s expectations by as much as $0.19 since the company posted EPS of $1.39 while the experts had predicted it to be $1.21.

In the fourth quarter, the number 1 automaker in the United States generated revenue of $2.8 billion before taxes and interest. From the same quarter in the previous year, there has been a jump of at least 600 million. The adjusted earnings before interest and tax were $0.4 billion for the international operations – which were in line with the earnings reported back in 2014.

Additionally, Chuck Stevens, the Vice President and CFO of GM stated during the earnings call that for the current year, the company plans to improve the financial results with the help of vehicle launch cadence, simultaneously working on its other businesses and furthermore focusing on efficiency in its operations.

However these impressive results are generated from the North American market, on the other hand the Chinese market paint a different picture – similar but different. In the previous year, the automobile market in the world’s country slowed down significantly. However, General Motors was able to adapt to that change as it introduced its latest crossover SUVs which include Baojun 560 and Buick Envision. These two automobile managed to outperform in the market and were a big hit in China.

In equity it earned $579 million income during the fourth quarter suggesting an increase of 12% from a year earlier. During the previous year, the Buick Envision was a major hit in the Chinese market; due to that success in the region it has decided to bring the new SUV model in the United States as well. It plans to do so later this year.

Furthermore, the places that have found to be different for the company were Europe and South America. These countries have been quite challenging for the automaker as in Europe, General Motor lost $298 million during the quarter. In comparison to a year ago, the company managed to improve by $95 million.

On the other hand, South America has been quite challenging for the auto-maker as well; but it is not the only automobile manufacturer in the region that has suffered, due to the recessions in the key market other rivals such as Ford Motors has incurred losses too. GM however has incurred a loss of $47 million during the fourth quarter in the market while it reported a profit of $119 million a year earlier. The company explained this drop in numbers by the swing in the exchange rates as well as the ‘lower industry wide sales volume’.

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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Finance News


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