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Amazon Rides High on Profit Stunner
October 26, 2015
Amazon last week stunned Wall Street by releasing third-quarter earnings that blazed past consensus estimates on the strength of its growing cloud services business and surprisingly strong response to its efforts to boost membership in its Prime program. Shares rose almost 7 percent to $601.72 in late trading Friday. Net income was $79 million in the quarter, or 17 cents a share.
Tesla Stock Plummets After Consumer Reports Do-Over
October 21, 2015
Tesla Motors' stock price on Tuesday dropped more than 11 percent following Consumer Reports' withdrawal of its favorable recommendation for the company's Model S sedan. Poor reliability contributed to the decision to withdraw its recommendation, but the magazine noted that 97 percent of Tesla owners surveyed said they would buy a car from the company again despite the problems.
Ingress Maker Niantic Scores $20 Million for AR Gaming
October 16, 2015
Niantic on Thursday announced that it was the beneficiary of a big bet pooled together by benefactors Google, Nintendo and The Pokémon Co. Niantic, which develops augmented reality games, will receive $20 million in the Series A funding round and could receive another $10 million if it realizes certain undisclosed goals. The company was founded by Google Earth cocreator John Hanke.
Salesforce Investors Applaud European Startup Plans
October 15, 2015
Shares of Salesforce were up Thursday as it gained momentum from investors cheering on its plans to invest $100 million into European startup firms. The company on Tuesday announced that its Salesforce Ventures unit had allocated $100 million to fund startups in the European market and improve customer service in the region. Salesforce already has partnerships with a number of European firms.
Half a Dorsey May Mean Trouble for IPO-Bound Square
October 15, 2015
Square on Wednesday announced that it had registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for its long-expected initial public offering. A startup that specializes in electronic payments, Square has been operating in the red. It plans to raise up to $275 million in its IPO, it disclosed in its SEC filing. However, market conditions currently are not considered very favorable for IPOs.
Twitter Slashes Workforce as Dorsey Aims to Restore Confidence
October 14, 2015
Investors cheered after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement to cut up to 336 jobs, or 8 percent of the global workforce, as part of an effort to strengthen long-term growth. Dorsey, the company cofounder who last week reclaimed his former position as chief executive, announced the painful round of cuts in a memo to employees, emphasizing plans to monetize the company's core product offerings.
Handmade at Amazon Could Needle Etsy
October 9, 2015
Amazon has announced Handmade at Amazon, a new specialty site designed to sell original handcrafted wares to a unique set of customers in a market led by rival etailer Etsy. Etsy, in its 10th year of operation, put the retail industry on notice in April, when its share price rose to $31, up 88 percent from its initial public offering price of $16. However, its stock price recently has struggled.
Groupon Rethinks Its Road Map
September 23, 2015
Groupon on Tuesday announced plans to cut 1,100 jobs and close operations in seven countries and said it has filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to that effect. The biggest cuts will hit its customer service and international deals centers, as the company regroups to leverage new efficiencies. The restructuring will be complete in about a year.
Tests, Lies and Volkswagen
September 21, 2015
German automaker Volkswagen on Sunday admitted that it installed software that doctored the pollution tests for diesel vehicles sold in the United States. Volkswagen stock, which is listed in Europe, fell more than 20 percent Monday morning on the announcement. The company apparently was concerned that meeting the federal emissions standards would require it to degrade the vehicles' engines.
New iPhones Poised to Do Land Office Business
September 14, 2015
Apple is trumpeting the figures for its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus preorders, saying that it's on track to beat last year's first-weekend iPhone sales record of 10 million units. Last year's models included Apple's first large-screen smartphone, the iPhone 6 Plus. Getting off to a good start is very important for a product, said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.
Intel Pumps OpenStack Up
August 27, 2015
As part of a new strategic collaboration, Intel will lead a $100 million funding round in Mirantis, the companies announced earlier this week. Intel is a long-time investor in Mirantis. This round includes existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital, as well as new investor Goldman Sachs.
Will Google Win the Alphabet Game?
August 13, 2015
Google suddenly announced something much bigger. It is splitting itself into several different companies under one master brand called "Alphabet." Splitting up is what Google has needed to do for several years. The idea of creating a master brand makes enormous sense for a company like Google, which is an octopus with many arms. However, it is only right if it is done correctly.
Feds Break Up Hacker-Powered Insider Trading Ring
August 12, 2015
In two indictments unsealed by the U.S. Department of Justice in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., nine people were charged in federal court with carrying out an international scheme to hack into three business newswires, steal yet-to-be published press releases, and use them to make trades that generated approximately $30 million in illegal profits.
Now Google Knows Its ABCs
August 11, 2015
Google on Monday announced a restructuring that will make it a wholly owned subsidiary of a new umbrella company called "Alphabet." Product Chief Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Google, while Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergei Brin will be CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet. Pichai "is ... the right person to lead the core Google search effort," said Covestor's Barry Randall.
Sprint Sinks to 4th Place, T-Mobile's Legere Gloats
August 6, 2015
Sprint continued to make progress in its turnaround during Q1, it said Tuesday. However, it apparently wasn't enough to keep the company from slipping to fourth place among major wireless carriers, exchanging places with T-Mobile, which climbed up to third. Among other things, Sprint cut postpaid customer losses in the quarter to 12,000 -- the lowest ever.
Amazon Reaps What It Sowed
July 27, 2015
Amazon's market capitalization on Friday reached $270 billion, surging past Walmart, following a surprisingly strong second quarter earnings report. That amounted to a $46 billion boost in investor confidence, with shares hitting a record high of $580.57. Analysts had projected that Amazon would take a hit in its second quarter. Instead, it reported a profit of $92 million.
Apple's Tumble: Trouble in Paradise?
July 22, 2015
Apple's stock slid on Wednesday following the company's fiscal Q3 earnings report late Tuesday. Shares opened at $122.05 -- more than $8 down from Tuesday's closing price of $130.75 -- but inched upward to close the day at $125.22. Analysts were atwitter over the quarterly results, some implying they heralded big trouble in little doses for Apple. Others insisted there was no basis for the fuss.
PayPal Flies Solo on Nasdaq
July 21, 2015
PayPal on Monday returned to the Nasdaq as an independent company, no longer tethered to eBay. PayPal debuted at a market value 1.4 times its former parent -- $46.6 billion -- while eBay's capitalization shrunk to $34 billion. The companies agreed to split in September due to market pressures and some nudging by corporate raider turned shareholder value advocate Carl Icahn.
NYSE, United Shutdowns Spark Cyberattack Rumors
July 9, 2015
The New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday halted all transactions for three hours, due to what it maintained was a technical glitch. Trading continued on the other exchanges belonging to its owner, holding company Intercontinental Exchange. "The markets did not plummet with the shutdown," said Jim Wright, chief investment officer at Harvest Financial Partners.
Time of the Season for Innovating?
June 25, 2015
Not all innovation is good. Let me illustrate with a few examples of how poor innovation can harm a company. Bad innovation can quickly cut down a brand that took years to build. Generally speaking, innovation is good. Without innovation, we would still be driving a Model T and getting blocks of ice delivered to keep our refrigerator cool while sitting in our uncooled home listening to our radio.
Spotify Ain't Afraid of No Apple
June 11, 2015
Spotify has raised $526 million in its latest round of funding, according to reports that surfaced Wednesday. That's more than half the $1 billion Spotify raised in funding over the past nine years, said Susan Schreiner, analyst at C4 trends. Given that Apple just announced its new music-streaming service, why would companies pump all this money into Spotify?
WWDC 2015 Didn't Need to Rouse Investors
June 10, 2015
Apple shares were down half a percent about an hour before the company set the tone for the next 12 months with its keynote address at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. That story continued through day two of WWDC 2015. Still, the lead that couldn't be buried was the fact that Apple was still moving at a pace that saw the biggest quarterly profits in corporate history.
HP vs. Apple: The Contrast Is in the Turnaround
June 1, 2015
I was at Dell's analyst conference last week and HP Discover is this week. As I was considering the contrast between the two companies, I started to think the contrast between Apple and HP is greater. There is a lot of cross-pollination between the firms -- and given how often Apple has embarrassed HP in the market, you'd think HP would have learned from its mistakes. Apparently, it hasn't.
Xactly: From Transaction to Process
May 20, 2015
It is subtle, but in the spring conferences I see a pattern emerging around the importance of process. Admittedly, my analysis in this case is less than scientific, and I have no statistics to support my idea, but I my instinct says a trend toward process is beginning. Two conferences that support my contention include Xactly and Zuora, both of which are taking place this week in San Francisco.
Walmart Banks on Shaking Up E-Commerce
May 18, 2015
Walmart will be releasing its earnings report on Tuesday, and analysts are expecting hear a lot about the role of e-commerce in the current quarter, as well as an important factor in the company's growth strategy. One of things it's planning to do is to take on Amazon Prime. Walmart last week confirmed that it will roll out its own subscription shipping service, reportedly code-named "Tahoe," this summer.
Comcast Blithely Juggles Its Options
May 4, 2015
Although its year-long effort to merge with TWC was derailed last month, Comcast gave investors good news about its first-quarter performance. It reported a 10 percent earnings hike for its first quarter, driven by growth in its high-speed Internet business. Total revenue increased by 2.6 percent to $17.9 billion for the quarter, despite $99 million in costs related to its failed merger attempt.
Twitter Takes It on the Chin
April 30, 2015
Twitter's stock took a hit when investors got an early look at first quarter earnings, leaked just ahead of closing time on Tuesday, ahead of the company's Wednesday announcement. Shares plummeted about 18 percent from Tuesday's opening price of $51.84. The slide continued on Wednesday, with the loss of a couple more percentage points, and the share price hovered near that level through Thursday.
Shiny Apple Has a Few Soft Spots
April 29, 2015
Apple on Monday reported another quarter of stellar earnings, detailing its drive to 27 percent revenue growth on the backs of its iPhone, Mac and App Store sales. The company generated $58 billion in revenue in the second quarter -- about a $12 billion increase year over year -- and posted a net profit of $13.6 billion, roughly $3 billion more than the year-ago quarter.
VCs Cough Up $100M for Cybersecurity Startup Illumio
April 23, 2015
Illumio, a 2-year-old cybersecurity startup, last week announced it had raised $100 million in a Series C round of financing, bringing its total funding over the past 27 months to more than $142 million. Illumio will use the fresh funds to meet demand for its Adaptive Security Platform software, to invest in R&D, to grow sales and marketing efforts, and to fuel international expansion.
Investors Squirm as Zynga Founder Takes Back Reins
April 13, 2015
News last week that Zynga founder Mark Pincus had replaced Don Mattrick as CEO, less than two years after vacating the position, sent the company's shares tumbling. The sharp reaction was a clear indicator of investors' concern over the management change. Pincus' return to the helm sparked concern from investors worried about the company's lackluster earnings.
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Google just announced Home, a voice-activated speaker similar to Amazon's Echo. What do you think of these devices?
I have an Echo and I love it.
I have an Echo but rarely use it.
I plan to buy an Echo or Home.
Google's Home will be much better than Echo.
They're expensive novelties.
They're intrusive and creepy.