Tag Archive | "conference"

Apple: iCloud To Increase iTunes Value, Says Sterne Agee

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Following word from Apple (AAPL) yesterday morning that the company will discuss its “iCloud” initiative next week at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu this morning writes that the service is “a very big deal,” with the potential to further enhance the utility of the company’s iTunes program.

“We believe reaching cloud music deals would be a great start and further distance AAPL from GOOG, AMZN, MSFT, and others, which in the last 10 years or so have failed to put even a minor dent to iTunes.”

Wu maintains a Buy rating on Apple shares and a $460 price target.

Apple stock this morning is up $3.39, or 1%, at $351.22.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Google Talks Ice Cream Sandwich, Project Tungsten

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While Microsoft (MSFT) this morning was explaining its $8.5 billion bid for Skype, Google (GOOG) was hosting an event in San Francisco called “I/O“, during which the company made several announcements pertaining to its mobile devices.

Total activated “Android”-based mobile devices now number 100 million, the company said, with 400,000 being turned on every day. There 200,000 “apps” available for the devices, the company said, of which 4.5 billion installations have taken place on Android devices.

The company plans later this year to introduce the next version of Android for phones, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” which will incorporate “everything you love” about the company’s “Honeycomb” version shipping on tablets, such as Motorola Mobility’s (MMI) “Xoom.” That includes the “holographic” user interface.

Similar to Amazon.com’s (AMZN) hosted music service, Google started up today the beta version of its music site, to let Android users upload their music collection and stream it to the phone. The company also started rentals of movies to users of the Xoom today, with availability for Android version 2.2 users “in coming weeks.” The rentals are priced at $1.99.

Google also said it formed a committee of handset makers and service providers to to coordinate when devices are updated with the last Android software and for how long those devices will continue to be updated. Verizon Communications (VZ), Samsung (SSNLF), HTC, Sprint-Nextel (S), Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics (LGERF), Vodafone (VOD), T-Mobile, Motorola, and AT&T (T) are among the initial committee members.

Google unveiled something called “Android @ Home” that will let Android-based devices control devices in the home. Part of that is a blueprint for a kind of home “hub” or server for connectivity, called “Project Tungsten.” In a demo at the conference, Google showed how a music CD with a wireless tag placed in front of a receiver can suck all the songs off the CD and start playing them back over the network.

Google shares today are up $5, or almost 1%, at $542.68.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

IDT FYQ4 Revenue, EPS Beat; Q1 Rev View Beats

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Chip vendor Integrated Device Technology (IDTI) this afternoon delivered fiscal Q4 revenue and profit ahead of expectations, reporting revenue of $147.3 million, up 7%, year over year, and EPS of 13 cents.

Analysts had been expecting $145 million and 11 cents.

Non-GAAP gross margin rose to 57.3% from 53% a year earlier.

CEO Ted Tewskbury said new product reeve rose more than 60%, communications clock revenue was up 40%, and revenue from “DDR3″ memory interface chips doubled.

IDT shares are unchanged at $8.22 in late trading.

Update: For fiscal Q1 ending in June, management is forecasting $150 million to $156 million in revenue, management said on the conference call. That is higher than the $152.5 million the Street has been projecting. CFO Rick Crowley said the company started the quarter with higher backlog than in the prior quarter, that bookings for the first five weeks have been “solid,” and that the book-to-bill ratio is above 1.

Update 2: IDT’s CEO Ted Tewksbury was kind enough to take a few minutes to talk this evening following the company’s conference call.

Revenue of 7% in the quarter is below the rate of growth in some other parts of the company’s business. For example, products that go into server computers saw sales rise 30%. That includes interface, or “buffer,” chips for DDR3 memory chips, as well as PCI Express chips. The rapid rise in server sales, which can be seen in Intel’s (INTC) server microprocessor results, is also benefitting IDT, notes Tewksbury.

IDT has been transitioning under Tewksbury from a company heavily levered to the PC business into a company more focused on servers and communications, with products demanding greater performance. Until the PC-related products are worked off of the income statement, their low rates of growth tend to constraint the total top line growth.

Tewskbury noted that the communications products, which saw revenue rise 6%, are benefitting from an acceleration of 4G, or “LTE,” wireless networking in the U.S. at Verizon Commuications (VZ) and AT&T (T). IDT’s timing products are used in base station equipment that is being developed for LTE.

Tewskbury noted that as it winds down its own fab operations, gross profit in the quarter after this one, the fiscal Q2 ending in September, will see a slight decline in gross profit, to about 55.5% or 56%, from 57.3% this quarter, as the company builds inventory to serve as a “bridge” as it transitions to using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (TSM) foundry services.

And as for Japan, IDT has said it is seeing no impairment from the disaster in that country in March. However, Tewksbury also concedes that not all of the facts are in yet on the total impact to the supply chain, and there’s no way to know now if there may be further indirect impact to IDT and others in the industry power outages and other follow-on effects.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Highlights from Google’s Conference Call

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Shares of Google (GOOG) were off 5.5%, to  $546.40 in after-hours trading following the company’s EPS miss.

Newly returned CEO Larry Page began the conference call, saying that his resumption of control went smoothly. He said the company had been streamlined, and that he was optimistic about what the search giant would achieve in the future.

CFO Patrick Pichette then took over for Page, and defended Google’s spending. (Operating expenses rose  $1 billion year-over-year to $2.84 billion and numerous analysts on the call wanted to address the issue.) He touted the fact that 350,000 Android devices are being activated daily as one triumph that the company’s high spending rate has achieved. He also noted that the company was scrutinizing costs carefully.

Management said that it has been working to reduce spam results in its searches, which has successfully addressed about 80% of sites that users have reported. Adding pictures and videos to ads are also making them more engaging.

Google said that YouTube revenue is doubling year-over-year, and that AdMob (its mobile ad network) has more than 150 million devices getting ads every month, a 50% jump in the past four months.

As for the earthquake in Japan, Pichette admitted that it did have an impact on the quarter and would continue to make itself felt in the near future, although he stated that he believed it was a strong market that would stage a recovery.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Caris: Facebook-Led Social Media Ecosystem Emerging Rapidly

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For years, there has been a Google (GOOG)-led paid search ecosystem, but now there is a rapidly emerging social media ecosystem led by Facebook, according to analysts at Caris & Co.

Analyst Sandeep Aggarwal attended the 2011 Ad:Tech Conference in San Francisco and called the development of this ecosystem the conference’s most noteworthy trend.

“We interacted with nearly half dozen such companies that are providing products/services for social media ads/strategy, social e-commerce, social media analytics, and other social media user engagements/interactions,” he wrote.

Most of these companies are 12 to 18 months old, Aggarwal wrote, and are seeing “a hockey-stick style adoption of their products and services.”

Other noteworthy trends from the conference included the fact that ad budgets for social media were coming mostly out of resources previously devoted to print and off-line ads, as opposed to search and display.

In addition to social media, Aggarwal wrote, affiliate marketing, email marketing and mobile are other “hot areas.”

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM Off 10%: Q1 View Light (Update)

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Research in Motion (RIMM) this afternoon reported fiscal Q4 revenue for the three months ending in February that missed analysts’ estimates, but beat on the bottom line. The current quarter forecast was short of estimates.

Q4 revenue was $5.56 billion, yielding EPS of $1.78. Analysts had been modeling $5.64 billion in revenue and $1.76 in earnings per share.

The company sold 14.9 million BlackBerry smartphones, it said, which was toward the upper end of its projected range. Gross profit came in at 44.2% of sales, ahead of the 43.6% reported in the prior quarter.

For the fiscal Q1 ending in May, the company sees $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion in revenue and EPS of $1.47 to $1.55. Analysts have been modeling $5.64 billion and EPS of $1.65.

RIM said it expects gross profit margin to decline in Q1 to 41.5%. Some of that is because of a decline in average selling price for phones, and some of it reflects greater investment in sales and marketing, RIM said.

RIM said its Q1 forecast was “wider than normal” to allow for some uncertainty surrounding developments in Japan.

For the full year ending February of 2012, RIM sees EPS “in excess of” $7.50, well ahead of the average of $6.81.

RIM will hold a conference call with analysts at 5 pm, Eastern, which you can listen to via Webcast at the company’s investor relations site.

RIM shares are down $5.09, or almost 8%, at $59.00 are down $5.67, almost 9%, at $58.42 are down $6.09, or almost 10%, at $58.00.

Update: With the conference call underway, management is saying that it will provide “guidance” for expected shipments of its PlayBook tablet computer “next quarter,” which I assume means when fiscal Q1 is reported in June. The company said that some customers are delaying their purchases of tablet computers because they are waiting to buy a PlayBook.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Wharton Students Recommend SemGroup

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Their stock pick won the school the third annual “Michigan Interactive Investments Undergraduate Investment Conference” title. Here, the delegates sent by Wharton to compete explain what they like about the company (“big post-bankrupty opportunity”).

Wharton Wallops Stock Competition [Forbes]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Rajaratnam Defense Resents Insider Trading Accusations, Claims Galleon Conducted “The Best Research In The Business”

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If the spandex fits, you must acquit.

Earlier this afternoon, opening statements in the Raj Rajaratnam case were heard, with the prosecution telling the jury, “exploited a corrupt network of people to earn millions of dollars in illegal profits,” including Rajat Gupta, a former McKinsey partner and Goldman Sachs director. This accusation, according defense attorney John Dowd, could not be further from the truth. “The government has it wrong,” Dowd said, adding that prosecutors “didn’t do their homework.” You want to know how Raj made all that money? He’ll tell you how.

Dowd told jurors that Rajaratnam’s firm “conducted the best research” in the business, had the benefit of expert analysis, and reached decisions “based only on public information.”

“He assembled a mosaic of information and did his own calculations,” Dowd said after outlining for jurors how Rajaratnam — or “Raj, to his friends” — launched Galleon after emigrating to the U.S. It’s “natural” for “people like Raj” to develop information, Dowd said. “Talking to corporate executives is what Raj did for a living,” Dowd said. “It’s what investors hired him to do.” Dowd said the stock trades at issue in this case are just a “tiny percentage” of the billions of dollars of trades that Galleon did each year. “The information Raj gathered was available to anyone willing to work hard,” he said. Galleon “hired professional research consultants” and its traders “questioned executives from companies themselves,” he said.

“They would analyze company’s published statements and regulatory filings,” as part of “exhaustive research,” Dowd said. “The evidence will show that Raj did not cheat.”

If the jury would like evidence of Raj’s exhaustive research, it need look no further than the hedge fund’s investment in Lululemon. Pretty sure someone who’s getting inside info doesn’t need to make junior analysts buy and model spandex on the conference room table. The ass alone should prove innocence. Having said that, how dare Dowd suggestion a) Raj has the “best” research in the biz and b) that he’s the only one who goes to such great lengths to research and analyze companies. I’ll have him know that at Southern Connecticut’s premiere hedge fund, the founder takes an even more hands on approach to this sort of thing, modeling the goods offered by retailers like American Apparel himself, rather than passing the work off onto an underling.

Rajaratnam Defense Lawyer Says US ‘Has It Wrong’

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Raj Rajaratnam Shows Up To Court With Enough Lawyers To Either Successfully Argue Innocence Or Win Over Jury With Modern Day Production Of Snow White

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This could set a precedent for all future accused insider traders.

Rajaratnam came to court with seven lawyers. There is a row of two tables reserved for the defendant and his lawyers and Rajaratnam is sitting at a seat at the far left of the second table, as far away from the jury box as possible. In the first row are his lead defense lawyers, John Dowd and Terence Lynam of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Rajaratnam Trial Begins [Bloomberg]

Related: “In the conference room was a dwarf whom Mr. Rajaratnam introduced as an analyst hired to cover “small-cap” stocks. He was, in fact, an actor hired for an April Fool’s Day gag.”

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

HP warns consumer PC sales may slip in 2011

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Leo Apotheker’s first quarter results as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard have a bit of a Mark Hurd feel to them.

HP’s revenue was up 3.7 percent to $32.2 billion in its first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year, up from $31.2 billion the same quarter in its 2010 fiscal year. But the company’s operating profit shot up 16 percent to $2.61 billion in the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year, compared to $2.25 billion the same quarter a year earlier.

That’s because HP’s gross margins rose by 1.5 percentage points to 24.4 percent — meaning the company was operating more efficiently despite slimmer revenue growth. Despite the strong showing, HP trimmed its outlook for the full fiscal year — saying they would be around $2 billion short of their original expectations from Wall Street analysts. That weakness will probably come from PC sales — since consumers are still limiting their discretionary spending — and from their services sector, Apotheker said on the company’s quarterly conference call.

Mark Hurd, HP’s former chief executive, also had a penchant for cutting costs where he could to bring about a higher profit and a cleaner balance sheet — sometimes at the expense of research within the company.