Tag Archive | "quarterly"

The AP Is Using Robots To Write Earnings Reports

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Tech Stocks Slip On Earnings Weakness

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It has been a difficult 24 hours for tech earnings, with Apple, Yahoo, and VMware losing ground after reporting their quarterly results.

Apple, despite growing its revenue and earnings per share, reported flat net profit and an iPhone sales figure that, while higher than the year prior, disappointed the investing class. Its stock fell in after-hours trading and today dropped a corresponding 7.91 percent in regular trading. Its shares are flat in after-hours trading.

The damage totaled nearly $40 billion in market cap.

Yahoo reported its earnings today, showing revenue decline but an earnings per share win. Despite rising search revenues — for which Microsoft is at least partially responsible — Yahoo’s revenue decline highlights continued weakness in its core product makeup. If it can’t grow its top line, its earnings per share have a low ceiling on growth. As TechCrunch reported earlier:

Display advertising, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was $491 million down 6% compared to $520 million for Q4 of 2012. Display revenue ex-TAC was $1,737 million for the full year of 2013, a 9 percent decrease compared to $1,899 million for the prior year.

Losing revenue despite growing the very user base — mobile for Yahoo, of course — that is focused on could highlight a weakness in its business plan. Investors sent Yahoo down 2.8 percent in after-hours trading after bidding up its shares during regular trading. Yahoo’s quarter was mixed, but in all frankness until Yahoo manages year-over-year top-line growth the company is little more than a declining cash flow lashed to equity in a foreign tech company.

And finally, VMware is down 2.3 percent in after-hours trading after reporting essentially in-line earnings in decent year-over-year revenue growth.

Facebook reports tomorrow, and Twitter will be clocking in next week. Tech earnings continue, but the last 24 hours haven’t been very easy on the industry.

Top Image Credit: Flickr

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

HTC Narrowly Avoids Another Quarterly Loss, Thanks To Beats Audio Stake Sale

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Back in October, in its Q3 results, HTC reported its first ever quarterly loss – of around $102 million. Now, in unaudited consolidated results for its Q4, released quietly Sunday as the tech press’ gaze is focused on Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, HTC revealed it has narrowly avoided a second consecutive quarter of loss.

HTC reported net profit after tax of NT$0.31 billion (circa $10.3 million) on total revenues of NT$42.89 billion ($1.4 billion). In its Q4 outlook, back in November, HTC had said it expected revenue for the quarter to be in the range of NT$40 billion to NT$45 billion.

However the small profit HTC squeaked in the quarter appears attached to the one-time windfall from selling its stake in Beats Audio, rather than selling enough phones to get back in the black. In September, HTC said it intended to sell its 24.84% stake in the audio brand for $265 million. Bloomberg expected the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

HTC’s unaudited results for its Q4 also report an operating loss of NT$1.56 billion (close to $52 million). Unaudited earnings per share after tax were NT$0.38 based on 823,541 thousand weighted average number of shares, which falls within HTC’s earlier expected EPS range of NT$0.1 to NT$1.7.

While it’s narrowly avoided another quarterly loss, there’s no denying HTC is running out of room for manoeuvre in the Samsung-dominated Android smartphone space. And that 2014 is going to be a critical year for the company.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Dell Looks To Set A New Tone For Its Private Life

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The story of Dell is business legend: How a kid starting in his dorm room, hiding computer parts in the bathroom when his parents visited, managed to build a computing giant that employs over 100,000 people.

The Dell saga added a new chapter this year, when its founder and Silver Lake took it private, borrowing $2 billion of Microsoft’s foreign cash in the process.

The deal that closed on October 30th valued the company at $24.9 billion. Tucked away from the public eye, and released from the quarterly trial of investor expectations, Dell may now have the flexibility to retool its troubled PC business, and invest in new areas that could sport better margins.

Now that Dell has crossed the public-private Rubicon, it appears ready to recultivate its image. The firm has released a new video that compares its history to that of other well-known technology companies, like Dropbox. The clip has a clear point: Dell was started just like the other technology companies that you respect. The implication is that it retains that DNA.

A large company freed from quarterly earnings reports is a company unbound from many of its prior shackles. Dell bought its freedom, and we now get to see what it will do with it.

Top Image Credit: Flickr

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Can Yahoo’s Growing Mobile Usage Drag It From The Revenue Doldrums In Q3?

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Yahoo will report its third-quarter earnings tomorrow. Analysts expect per-share profit of $0.33 on revenue of $1.1 billion. That compares unfavorably to Yahoo’s year-ago third quarter, in which it reported $1.1 billion in revenue, and a slightly higher $0.35 per share income.

So investors are expecting Yahoo to be essentially stagnant at best. This is almost an oddity, as Yahoo has posted reasonably strong user growth in the past year, especially on mobile platforms. In September, Yahoo reported 350 million monthly active mobile users, up from 300 million reported for February 2013 in its 2012 annual report. During the 18 months preceding the end of 2012, Yahoo doubled its mobile user tally.

In under three years, Yahoo picked up several hundred million monthly active mobile users. Yet, in its most recent quarters, the company has suffered from declining, or flat, revenue figures. GAAP display and search revenue, for example, were both down on a year-over-year basis in its most recent quarter. Though, if you remove traffic acquisition costs, those figures are roughly flat.

Total ads sold across Yahoo properties have declined in every quarter since (and including) the third quarter of 2011. The impact of those declines was blunted by rising per-ad revenue, something that was consistent until two quarters ago. Starting with the first quarter of 2013, Yahoo’s per-ad income began to fall. That decline coincides with a decline in the quarterly decrease of Yahoo’s total ad sales.

Taking each component in order, we have growing mobile usage of Yahoo, a slowing of the fall of Yahoo’s ad volume, and a decline in per-ad rates. That points to, in my view, increasing monetization of Yahoo’s mobile properties and usage. Those sold ads are staunching its overall ad decline, but are perhaps not monetizing at rates similar to desktop ads. So the per-ad price slips as sales improve.

Here’s what we are discussing in chart format, via Yahoo’s second-quarter earnings slides:

Third Quarter

All that is preamble of a sort to Yahoo’s earnings report tomorrow. The company has been on an aggressive tear to grow its mobile development staff, improve its mobile apps, and drive mobile usage. It has accomplished each, via strong updates and acqui-hires. The question now becomes “when do we see the results?” (We’ve asked a similar question before, but we now have more numbers to play with.)

If Yahoo can’t show year-over-year revenue growth from the third quarter of 2012, when it had – let’s guess – 100 million fewer monthly mobile users (that’s one-eighth of its entire user base that it reported last month!), it would seem to indicate that mobile usage growth can’t replace falling search and desktop display ad incomes for the company — at least not yet.

And that leaves Yahoo with a falling or flat top line until something changes. If the company can’t monetize the growing traffic that it directly wanted to monetize, how sound is its strategy? So, tomorrow we will be afforded another benchmark into Yahoo’s larger push to revamp its business.

If revenue doesn’t beat expectations, and things are middling, we’ll hear the usual miasma of “we remain optimistic” and “our metrics are on par with our expectations” and something close to “stay the course.” But what would be encouraging would be a revenue beat on the back of rising mobile usage. Such a result would be the strongest possible validation of CEO Mayer’s strategy for the company as sound and operational.

Facebook and Twitter have both recently proven that it is possible to monetize mobile traffic, provided that ad products match user activity. It’s Yahoo’s turn to step up. We’ll be watching tomorrow.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook platform industry news: Mass Relevance, Unified

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Mass Relevance

Social curation and engagement platform Mass Relevance and marketing communications organization VivaKi announced a strategic partnership on Monday. The partnership will give all agencies with Publicis Groupe, which founded VivaKi in 2008, access to the Mass Relevance platform. The Mass Relevance platform can aggregate, filter and display posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube in real time. Publicis Groupe is currently one of the third largest buyers in the world for social advertising. The organization’s adoption of the Mass Relevance platform will give it a significant boost. The Mass Relevance platform has already powered social experiences for the the 2012 elections with CNN and Facebook; the Olympic Games with NBC and Twitter; as well as campaigns for brands like Pepsi and Doritos.

Unified

Enterprise marketing technology company Unified has announced the quarterly release of its cloud-based Social Operating Platform. In its spring 2013 release, the company has added more data-driven applications for more thorough insights. These applications include an insights application for tracking audience and engagement analytics as well as a content application for real-time feed optimization and monitoring. The company has also added an advertising application for cross-channel planning and buying. With these new applications, Unified adds to its existing capabilities such as automated ad creation, targeting, optimization, and programmatic bid management for native, mobile and premium Facebook ads.

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

PSA: Baidu Is *Not* Trying To Buy Zynga

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Looks like Baidu and Zynga are the most recent victims of a bogus press release stunt. This morning, a company called PR*Urgent put out a press release saying that Baidu — known as the “Google of China” — wanted to acquire Zynga, the social gaming giant. It claimed Baidu offered to pay $10 per Zynga share in cash. But a PR representative for Baidu has categorically denied the news. “Baidu had nothing to do with this news release,” he told TechCrunch.

The release recalls an incident from November last year, when a press release agency called PRWeb distributed false news that Google would be buying WiFi technology company ICOA for $400 million. The news was picked up by a lot of outlets (including TC, I hate to admit), but both companies debunked the news, and PRWeb apologised for the hoax. Like PRWeb, PR*Urgent offers a “free” distribution service.

As with the Google/ICOA incident, it looks like the Baidu/Zynga news may have been put out either as a prank, or an attempt to boost Zynga’s stock price, or lower Baidu’s.

Zynga closed Friday trading at $3.19 per share, and is up 3.45% in pre-market trading. Baidu closed Friday at $86.43 per share. Both Zynga and Baidu will be reporting their quarterly earnings this week, Zynga on April 24, and Baidu on April 25.

The bogus release claims that Baidu’s interest in Zynga was based on its foray into real-money gambling. “The acquisition will enable Baidu to supercharge Zyna’s new ‘real money’ gaming and will enhance competition in mobile and internet gaming,” the fake press release notes. “Baidu’s user base would be a huge boost to Zynga’s business model, Baidu has upwards of 500 million users. Given the company’s recent setbacks, Zynga really needs a win—and if that comes via real people gambling real money, then all the better.”

Back in the real world, Zynga, of course, really is embarking on a real-money gambling business — pursued as Zynga looks for further ways to monetize its gaming platform amid overall growing competition in social and mobile gaming. That strategy finally saw its first launch earlier this month, in the UK. There are further rollouts expected in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

While most rubbish like this isn’t worth reporting, we’re putting this out because at this moment, the release is coming up near/at the top of Google News searches for both companies.

And if you know anything about Baidu’s business — strong on search, but looking to grow that by going big on mobile, increasing moves into gaming and other content, and international growth — there’s just enough of a kernel of truth there to give some pause to people browsing if they don’t bother to look a little deeper.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Q2 User Stats: 955M Monthly Active Users, 552M Dailies (And 543M Monthlies On Mobile)

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Facebook’s first earnings report is out, and on top of a decent quarter, the company also shared some new stats about the user base. Basically, it’s still growing.

Worldwide, the site had 955 million monthly active users in June, up 55 million from the 900 million it had announced in April. Meanwhile, daily active users account for more than half of the monthly total now, at 552 million for June — broadly, this fits the historical trend of more than half of all users coming back every day.

Meanwhile, within that 955 million monthlies number, mobile has also continued to grow, reaching 543 million last month. A look at year-over-year percentage growth shows mobile’s growing importance. While MAU grew by 29%, and DAUs by 32%, mobile MAUs grew by 67%.

Zooming back to the quarterly changes, MAUs grew by nearly 12%, while DAUs grew by nearly 20%. Mobile, meanwhile, increased by nearly 22%.

On the call today, founder Mark Zuckerberg also said that usage numbers were looking strong across demographics.

Gifts From VIPs: Quarterly Grabs $1.25M From Collaborative Fund And True Ventures

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If you were to make a list of the business models most popular among tech startups today, a snail mail-based subscription service probably wouldn’t be at the top of the list. On that level, the Los Angeles-based Quarterly is somewhat of an outlier, having created a design-oriented subscription service and accompanying web platform, which allows anyone to sign up and receive receive curated, physical gifts from influential contributors like President of the Rhode Island School of Design, John Maeda, Behance Founder Scott Belsky, and Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, Breadpig, and Hipmunk fame — by mail.

Tapping into the piping hot collaborative consumption movement, with notable designers and tech entrepreneurs contributing original products, it appears that Quarterly’s quirky cause has not gone unnoticed among investors. Today, we’ve uncovered a SEC Form D filing, which shows the startup recently closed a $1.25 million round of Series A financing, led by Tony Conrad and True Ventures as well as Craig Shapiro’s Collaborative Fund.

We first covered Quarterly back in December, when it launched its subscription service into the wild. At the time, founder Zach Frechette (formerly Editor-in-Chief of GOOD Magazine) told us that Quarterly sprung out of our increasing reliance on digital technologies to interact and communicate with each other.

With digital blinders on, people forget the pleasure of tangible, more traditional interaction and sharing, so Quarterly wanted to bring the tastemakers of digital technology and social networks into the real world to facilitate an old school connection between influencers and the people who “follow” them. And, because it’s essentially a universal truth that people love to receive cool stuff in the mail from people they love, or are inspired by, Quarterly naturally chose the United States Postal Service as its distribution service.

Having worked in media, Frechette draws an analogy to magazines, explaining that, instead of subscribing to receive words on a page, Quarterly users pay $25 every three months to receive packages that “tell a compelling story crafted and narrated by the contributor.” What kind of “packages” do subscribers actually receive? It depends, but they are meant to help you better understand or connect with them, as well as to support the “process of creatives,” so if the contributor is a novelist, a user might receive the same kind of notebook they used to plot their bestseller.

With revenue models still in development, the startup raised a round of seed funding pre-launch to help it get off the ground. Investors included Craig Shapiro, Behance Co-founder and Pinterest early investor Scott Belsky, CEO of Sugar Inc. Brian Sugar, and Co-Head of IDEO NY, Ryan Jacoby, among others.

Quarterly isn’t giving any details at this point on its Series A raise, so it’s not clear what other firms, if any, participated in the raise beyond the follow-on contributions of Collaborative Fund and first-time investor, True Ventures.

The team is also being tight-lipped about its progress since launch, but at the time, it was adding a new subscription every 5 minutes. Quarterly’s website does give some indication, however, saying that “due to high demand,” it has temporarily closed the service to new subscribers. The website also seems to make mention of some new contributors on deck, so we’ll update when we learn more.

Readers can check out Quarterly at home here.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Larry Page Is Super Excited To Announce That Google+ Has 90 Million Users

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The official numbers are in for Google’s new social network, Google+. Beating out most previous third-party estimates that we’ve seen, the company said today that it now has 90 million users worldwide. Presumably this means monthly uniques visitors given that the earnings release says “now,” but we’ll try to get more clarification around engagement numbers when we get on the quarterly call in a few minutes.

The most recent third party stats we’ve seen (from comScore) have indicated it had around 67 million unique visitors as of November. Worldwide December numbers from the measurement firm aren’t out yet, but US ones are: they showed G+ bringing in 15.9 million November then growing healthily to 20.6 million last month.

Google is evidently so pleased with this growth — or so eager to refute doubts about it — that the company led off the release with a statement from chief executive Larry Page on the matter. ”I am super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally – well over double what I announced just three months ago. By building a meaningful relationship with our users through Google+ we will create amazing experiences across our services. I’m very excited about what we can do in 2012 – there are tremendous opportunities to help users and grow our business.” (As Dan Frommer notes, Page seems to be especially fond of the “super excited” California colloquialism.)

Like I said, engagement numbers are key to understanding what’s really going on with the search engine leader’s social network. The heavy integration of G+ across other Google properties could be leading lots of people to check it out once but not come back. But enough skepticism, this growth is very impressive no matter how you look at it, especially in such a short amount of time. For the many G+ fans/users out there (especially all you TechCrunch commenters), and for companies looking to use it as a new developer or marketing platform, this is a big day.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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