Tag Archive | "past"

New York Maid Not Surprised By Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Antics, Has Husband Ready To Fuck You Up If Anything Is Tried With Her

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“These things that happened in the past two weeks aren’t surprising for us. We’ve been dealing with this for a long time…”I’ve had two scary experiences. A year after I started, I walked into a room and a Japanese guy was inside preparing to check out. Before he left, he came up to me and said, ‘Kiss, kiss.’ “I said, ‘No kiss, kiss. I’m going to call my husband. He’s going to hit you.’ [NYDN via Daily Intel]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

RBS Is Almost Done Paying For Bank’s Past F*ck-Ups, Says CEO

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A profit is nearly within reach.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester said the “sins from the past are receding” after the government-controlled lender posted a bigger-than-estimated first quarter loss.

“There are still a few of them with us, and there will be several more quarters obviously in which that receding happens,” Hester told reporters today. “As we tick off each of these items from the past, then that growing operating profit will become increasingly available to shareholders.”

RBS CEO Says ‘Sins From the Past’ Fading as Bank Has Loss [Bloomberg]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Microsoft Earnings Roundup: Analysts React

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Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) were falling 3.7% recently, despite the firm’s better than expected quarter, reported after the closing bell yesterday.

This morning, analysts were rehashing the quarter:

Collins Stewart analyst Kevin Buttigeig reiterated his Buy rating and $33 price target: “F3Q11 was on the whole a good quarter with solid bookings and opex discipline, and FY12 opex guidance was below consensus. Nevertheless PC’s, while in line with weak expectations, did little to assuage concerns of tablet cannibalization, the stocks’ biggest overhang. Still, broader PC market demand indications remain positive for this year, with MSFT’s C1Q11 disparity possibly a result of timing differences, and MSFT’s own PC numbers should improve over the course of CY11 simply from better comparisons and the continuing uptake of Windows 7 by businesses.”

Evercore Partners analyst Kirk Materne reiterated his Equal Weight rating and $30 price target: “Despite generally solid results, we believe the Windows results again illustrate how consumer PC weakness continues to offset solid enterprise demand. In our view, more success in Online, mobile, and tablets is necessary for the multiple to expand from current levels, and we believe the shares are likely range-bound given these concerns. Any incremental color on the broader strategy is now likely pushed back until the Financial Analyst Day in September (regularly in June). It’s also worth noting that MSFT’s 10-Q stated that 84% of its cash now sits off-shore, which could limit any potential dividend raise in September.”

McAdamas Wright Ragen analyst Sid Parakh reiterated his Buy rating and $34 price target: “While ongoing PC headwinds are concerning, we do not foresee a further material deterioration in the business. At the same time, traction in the company’s enterprise and entertainment products is encouraging. Over all, we think downside risks are well-reflected in valuation and continue to view the risk/reward on Microsoft as attractive.”

BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis reiterated his Buy rating and $34 price target: “The standout metrics for us were 1) the operating cash flow of $8.7B which was growth of 17% YoY, and 2) the operating expense guidance of 3%-5% growth in FY2012 which is impressive given the investments the company is making in phones, search, and its new windows platform. Unearned revenue grew 6% to $13B and contracted not billed is over $17B. Bookings for the company were up 8% and we continue to see earnings growing faster than revenue. We modestly increased our FY11 and FY12 revenue and earnings estimates. PC Slowdown. Investor concern over a sharply slowing PC market as reflected.”

UBS analyst Brent Thill lowered his price target from $35 to $32 on the news (Briefing.com summarizes): “Firm says the focus will be on Windows miss suffering from the PC slowdown but focus should be on positive FY12 OPEX guide +4% vs. Street +7% and total revs +13% despite PCs -2%. Firm says Windows is struggling but MSFT’s non-PC businesses are humming, OPEX discipline continues, and there are signs PC demand should improve in 2H.”

Elsewhere, CT Capital’s Kenneth Hackel blasted the company for “wasting” more than $93 billion on share repurchases that aren’t rewarding shareholders effectively:  “In Microsoft’s 10-Q filed today, it was revealed that for only the second quarter in at least 10 years, the firm did not buy back net shares (repurchases minus new issuance). In fact, shares outstanding actually increased over the prior quarter.  Is management learning, or does it represent an anomaly? Over the past decade, MSFT has spent over a third of its current market value on its repurchase program, when it initially had a market value of $325 billion, or 46% higher than today. In the past 20 years, Microsoft repurchased a net $93.5 billion of its outstanding shares, surely to go down as a landmark waste of corporate cash.”

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

IBM Boosts Dividend, Buys Back Additional Shares

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IBM (IBM) was trading higher after the company announced a dividend hike and share repurchase plan.

Today, the company said its board had approved a 10-cent dividend increase, to 75 cents per common share, payable June 10 to stockholders on record by May 10. It represents a 15% increase over its current 65 cent payout; IBM has raised its dividend every year for the past 16 years.

Additionally, IBM added $8 billion to its share repurchase plan. At the end of March, the company had $4.7 billion remaining from a previous buyback authorization. It also said it would ask the board to approve additional share repurchases at its October meeting.

IBM was recently up$1.14, or 0.7%, to $168.81 in late morning trading.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Janney: 10 Reasons to Own GME

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Could GameStop (GME) be the next Netflix (NFLX)?

The company is facing a similar digital transition as it invests in new platforms to complement its packaged media and leverages proprietary information to offer the right content at the right time, according to research by Janney Capital Markets.

With this in mind, Janney analyst Tony Wible sees 10 reasons to own GameStop:

1. Loyalty: GameStop added over 8 million users since its October debut, allowing it to leverage this data to boost digital efforts and improve profitability.

2. Digital Investments : Kongregate, Spawn Labs, Impulse, and Gamestop.com allow GameStop to address the four areas of digital gaming : social/mobile, console/PC streaming, downloads and DLC.

3. Hardware Trojan Horse: Leveraging its refurbishment expertise, GameStop is now planning to refurbish tablets, adding a new product SKU and allowing it to establish an installed base for its digital products.

4. New Product Cycle: The release of the Nintendo 3DS and upcoming launch of Sony’s NGP could generate 14 cents per share in the first year and set the stage for morel growth. A new Microsoft device could be announced at E3 for 2012.

5. Cash Flow and Buyback: The company has purchased 17.7% of its shares in the past 15 months and is on pace to purchase an additional $100 million per quarter.

6. LBO Potential: With its low debt ($250 million), stable free cash generation (greater than $400 million per year), and low valuation,  GameStop could be taken out at a $30 price point and still generate almost 40% internal rate of return for a private equity buyer.

7. Riggio Overhang and Management Responsiveness: Leonard Riggio has liquidated most of his GameStop position, which reduces annual selling pressure on the stock. New management has been more responsive to shareholders.

8. Short Ratio: With a 26% short ratio, quite a few short sellers are already loosing money on the trade and eventual cover could provide a boost to its share price.

9. Holder Concentration: The top 15 holders own 72% of the company and 66% have increased their position in the past year, which could force a short squeeze.

10. Technical Break-out: According to Janney’s Technical Analyst, Dan Wantrobski, GameStop’s formation could result in a break-out and reach the $26 to $28.

GameStop closed up 6.5% at $25.36 and is trading flat after-hours.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Hedge Funds Not Taking This Insider Trading Probe Lying Down!

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Memo to the Feds- if you’ve tapped any hedge funds’ phone lines, they’re paying good money to find out.

Hedge fund managers are hiring security firms to sweep their offices and homes for listening devices, security experts say, in reaction to the US government’s insider trading investigations. “Over the past six months, there has been a really heightened interest in electronic sweeps for hedge funds,” said Christopher Falkenberg, founder of Insite Security, a security and risk management firm in New York. “They’re working harder at clamping down on their information security and making sure the telephones are secured and the offices aren’t being bugged. We’ve also been asked to sweep traders’ homes.”

“We’re definitely getting more calls from hedge funds and smaller financial institutions related to providing services that arise out of the government’s current investigations,” said Andrew O’Connell, chief executive of Guidepost Solutions, a New York investigation and security firm that does not accept requests to search for government listening devices. “The hedge funds calling for these services, which includes sweeps but also compliance guidance, has grown 1000% over the past year.”

Unfortunately these high-priced services…aren’t actually that helpful.

Mr Stroz said he counsels clients to think twice before requesting sweeps, noting that “it’s almost never the case” that they have been tapped. “What led you to think this? Is it really worth the effort, or are you thinking back to some movie you saw?” he asks them.

Calling for sweeps may also give hedge fund managers a false sense of comfort. Wire-taps are executed through phone companies without any need to enter a company’s office, security experts say, and cannot be detected during sweeps.

SEC Case Prompts Hedge Funds To Sweep For Bugs [FT]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Former Congressional Aide Has An Idea For How To Stop “All The Bullshit” On Wall Street

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His plan is fairly simple: “put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison.”

Naturally he shared this idea with Matt Taibbi, “on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month.”

“You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street,” says a former congressional aide. “That’s all it would take. Just once.”

Why Isn’t Wall Street In Jail [RS]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

With LinkedIn, outsiders can get in on the PayPal mafia’s racket

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For the past half-decade, a gang of well-connected entrepreneurs who worked together at online-payments startup PayPal have quietly built a string of successful Internet companies. At last, with Linkedin, public-market investors can get a piece of the action.

Not since Peter Thiel took PayPal itself public in 2002, ending a post-dotcom bubble drought in the IPO market, has this group produced a publicly traded company. Now LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman is playing a part in a similar revival of the market for hot tech startups.

Hoffman’s baby, LinkedIn, a social network for business professionals, has finally filed to go public — ending months of speculation as to whether it would beat Facebook to the stock market.

LinkedIn is a social networking site for business types looking to expand their professional networks. The site suggests potential business contacts and lets users build out extensive profiles with work experience and recommendations. The site makes money off its premium services — which make it easier to contact other business professionals — and by slapping advertisements on the site. According to its S-1 filing, the company has lost money for the past several years, but is on track to be profitable this year.

The PayPal crew, so tight they’ve been dubbed a “mafia” by Fortune and others, has seen a good bit of success since eBay bought the company just a few months after it went public, making many of them wealthy enough to back other entrepreneurs. Since starting LinkedIn, Hoffman has invested in the likes of Zynga, Digg, Last.fm, and a number of other startups. Thiel, PayPal’s CEO, was one of Facebook’s earliest investors. David Sacks, formerly the COO of PayPal, started up a collaboration service called Yammer that’s raised $40 million after launching in 2008. Jeremy Stoppelman went on to found local-reviews site Yelp.

So far, though, their success has only touched Silicon Valley’s inside circle. PayPal alumni Steve Chen and Chad Hurley started YouTube, but then sold it to Google, ending the online video’s site independence before public investors could ever get a piece of it. LinkedIn is the first company started by a member of the PayPal crew that has gone public and is open to investors outside that closed circle of investors and players.

PayPal, meanwhile, has become eBay’s growth engine — leaving some early employees with the feeling that they sold out too early.

That chip on the PayPal mafia’s collective shoulders has been a powerful motivator. Instead of resting on their laurels, they’ve pushed to rack up a success that outdoes the deal that made them all healthy. And that kind of bravao, in turn, drives investors in Silicon Valley wild. Will the PayPal mafia find a similar fervor on Wall Street? With LinkedIn’s IPO, we’ll finally get a chance to find out.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

In a rare chip funding, Tilera raises $45M for multi-core communications chips

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Tilera is one of the leaders in designing chips with many brains, or cores, with as many as 100 on a single chip. The San Jose, Calif.-based company is announcing today it has raised $45 million in a fourth round of funding.

The deal shows that funding for semiconductor companies, particularly those with strong customer traction, hasn’t completely dried up. Chip companies often require $80 million or more just to bring a product to market, so it also isn’t surprising to see Tilera raise such a large round.

Tilera has been shipping its many-core microprocessors since 2007. Customers are concentrated in the cloud computing and communications infrastructure, so Tilera effectively makes sure that the internet stays up and running despite heavy loads from serving videos and other heavy-duty apps. Tilera expects to reach profitability later this year, said Omid Tahernia, chief executive of Tilera, in an interview.

But it needs the money as it undergoes a big expansion, including accelerating development of its fourth-generation processor family. Investors in the new round include Artis Capital, West Summit, Cisco, and Samsung. Existing investors Walden International, Bessemer Venture Partners and Columbia Capital also participated. Other past investors include Broadcom, NTT Finance, VentureTech Alliance and Quanta Computer.

When we wrote about the introduction of the Tile-Gx processors in the past, we noted that the new chip will have many times the performance per watt consumed as Intel’s fastest Nehalem-class server microprocessors. Since it’s difficult for programmers to write software that can keep all the cores busy, the current Intel chips max out at eight cores, and many computer scientists say core efficiency maxes out at 32.

But Tilera has come up with a unique programming model with tools that make the process of creating software to run on Tilera’s chips much easier, such as an ANSI C/C++ compiler, GNU tools and the open source Eclipse integrated development environment. The result, the company claims, is unbeatable performance and performance-per-watt of power used, Tahernia said.

Tilera has 36 and 64-core processors in production, and Quanta is now shipping a TilePro-based server with 512 cores. The company has 150 customers. The first Tile-Gx 100-core processor will be available in engineering samples this quarter. Tilera was founded in 2004 and has 85 employees. To date, Tilera has raised $109 million.

Rivals include Cavium Networks, RMI, Netlogic, Freescale, Intel and others.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Nvidia makes big gains in supercomputing in deal with Amazon Web Services

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Graphics chip maker Nvidia announced today that users of Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud-computing arm, which hosts web computing infrastructure for lots of companies, will now be able to tap the power of graphics chips on demand for cloud applications.

That’s an important endorsement for Nvidia, which is trying to spread the popularity of GPU computing (GPU stands for graphics processing unit). In the past, most servers and supercomputers have used microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which didn’t use graphics chips. But Nvidia’s CUDA programming environment makes it easier to create non-graphics applications that tap the power of graphics chip, which are very good at processing tasks in parallel.

In many applications, GPU computing can speed performance dramatically, Nvidia argues. By now, Intel should be getting a little nervous about GPU computing, as every non-graphics GPU that Nvidia sells likely displaces server chips made by Intel. Each server or supercomputer will still have microprocessors but will have fewer of them per machine.

Amazon Web Services is an important client for Nvidia because Amazon has built a huge e-commerce computing infrastructure and farms out that infrastructure to other companies via its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud offering. Now the Amazon EC2 service will offer Cluster GPU Instances, or servers with graphics chips that use Nvidia’s Tesla GPUs. That means big companies and startups alike can use GPU computing to speed the performance of their web applications. In the past, the upfront cost of GPU supercomputers has been relatively high, limiting their use to government and university applications. Those uses range from drug discovery to financial simulations.

Peter De Santis, general manager of Amazon EC2, said the addition of the power-efficient and fast GPUs will allow Amazon’s customers to come up with more innovative applications. In particular, customers can run more detailed simulations and pay for the infrastructure they use, said Andy Keane, general manager of the Tesla business at Nvidia.

In addition to the Amazon announcement, Nvidia said today that three of the top five supercomputers in the world now use Nvidia GPUs. The world’s fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-1A supercomputer, which has performance of 2.507 petaflops (a measure of its precision math computing capability), uses Nvidia GPUs.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals