Tag: Lexmark

Lexmark dumps inkjets

After years of selling cut-price printers, Lexmark has decided to give up and focus on its more profitable imaging and software businesses.

Although Lexmark will sell laser printers, it said that it will sell more than 1,000 inkjet-related patents and would cut 1,700 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce.

Printer makers have had problems with falling sales. According to Reuters it is all because corporates are rushing to buy Apple tablets, however it is more likely that ink-jets have become out-dated by cheaper and better laser printers. This killed off the ink-jet model, as defined by HP, where people had to mortgage their house to pay for ink cartridges.

The inkjet market declined nearly 13 percent in the second quarter.

Lexmark said that revenue from inkjet hardware and supplies, which accounted for 21 percent of revenue last year, is to drop to about 10 percent in 2013.

It will continues to supply ink and support printers it already sold.

The company had already laid off 625 employees related to manufacturing consumer ink supplies in January. 

STMicro tops MEMS revenue, again

STMicroelectronics continues to top the charts as the biggest foundry manufacturer of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors, beating the second place competition, Texas Instruments, with five times as much in revenue.

It has been leading the MEMS foundry market for four years now, and is the only company to achieve revenue in the hundreds of millions. The reason for its success? HP’s printers. Inkjet wafers accounted for the majority of its revenue in MEMS.

Despite some trouble in inkjet production, STMicro has managed to win contracts from other manufacturers like Kodak – as well as using its track record to run production lines in bio MEMS, including insulin pumps with Switzerland’s Debiotech.

Analyst outfit IHS iSuppli, which follows the MEMS market closely, reports STMicro brought in an estimated MEMS foundry service revenue of $228.6 million – compared to second place TI’s $47.4 million – in 2010 alone. Together with IDS MEMS production, the third, fourth and fifth spots were taken by Sensonor, Sony and SMI respectively.

Sony has performed well, growing 51.2 percent in MEMS market revenue – down mainly to Knowles Electronics, its biggest client.

Texas Instruments’ main problem has been in Lexmark’s shrinking inkjet business, TI’s main customer. However, IHS iSuppli says the company will grab some revenue share back following a consumer MEMS manufacturing agreement with a top 15 company in the inkjet business. 

Mosaid sues Intel, Dell, Huawei, Marvell, AsusTek, RIM and more

Mosaid, the semiconductor memory and communications intellectual property outfit, is shouting at every company it can think of about patent infringement.

Companies accused of breaching patents, and filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas are: AsusTek, Atheros, Canon USA, Dell, Digi International, Huawei, Intel, Lexmark, Marvell, Murata Manufacturing, Ralink Technology Corporation, Realtek Semiconductor, Research in Motion, Wasp Barcode Technologies, Wistron Corporation and Venture Research.

Patents are mainly communications based. The first patent in question is 5,131,006 which is for carrier detection for a wireless local area network. That’s whereby a LAN uses a wireless transmission link and has network stations, with polarised antennas. Then data transmission uses spread spectrum in the receiver, utilised in an integrator and registers a circuit, providing orrelator outputs that are integrated in symbol intervals. 

Patent 5,151,920 is a radio LAN station, with an improved frame delimiter detection for a spread spectrum environment, while 5,422,887 is for medium access protocol for a wireless local area network. That’s when a station broadcasts information over a wireless LAN, before waiting to let other stations communicate before broadcasting another frame of information – Mosaid says it improves access fairness and reduces collision probability, increasing data flow through the network. 

Patent number 5,706,428 relates to multirate wireless data communications and patent 6,563,786 relates to orthogonal frequency division multiplexing system with a selectable rate. Patent 6,992,972 relates to a frequency division multiplexing system with selectable rate.

Mosaid says it has licensed its portfolio of patents and applications out to 15 companies that have “recogised the value” of the IP – possibly following legal threats from Mosaid.

Just a couple of days ago, Mosaid announced that it had settled a patent agreement with both LG and MediaTek, granting both licenses to use microcomponents and microcomponents in semiconductors.

Lexmark CEO retires after posting Q3 earnings, shares plummet

Lexmark’s CEO, Paul J. Curlander, has announced that he will retire, after the company posted lower-than-expected third quarter earnings, sparking dismal performance on the stock market, where shares fell nearly 20 percent.

Lexmark, which specialises in printing and imaging products for consumers and businesses, posted its third quarter results today, which appeared positive at face value. 

Revenue was up from $958 million last year to $1.02 billion. Net earnings for the third quarter were $72 million, up a massive 622 percent compared to the same period last year. Net cash from operations in the third quarter were $130 million, with a year-to-date figure of $367 million, all of which is good news for the company.

However, that was still lower than market experts expected. Analysts for Thomson Reuters forecasted revenue of $1.04 billion, $20 million more than Lexmark reported, and a share value of between $0.98 and $1.09, compared to the $0.90 supplied by its third quarter figures.

The slightly lower revenue is not a huge drop, and the sheer increase in net earnings for the third quarter shows that Lexmark is doing well in general, but the lower-than-expect figures, coupled with the retirement of Curlander, was enough to send the company’s shares spiralling downwards to $38.54 per share at the time of writing, a massive drop of $9.18 or 19.24 percent, which simply cannot help its fourth quarter earnings.

Curlander, 57, is to retire in the Spring of 2011 after 12 years as CEO of the company. Paul Rooke, the current Executive Vice President, set to take his place, as both CEO and Director. Curlander will continue on as chairman of the Board of Directors and will help facilitate the transition of power to Rooke until early next year.

HP still printer sales top dog in EMEA, sales on the up

The EMEA market for the humble printer is on the up, but reflecting trends in similar markets, it is experiencing slow growth. It’s bad news for environ-mentalists who are looking forward to a print free society, the kind of thing that in reality won’t happen for some time. Context’s report says overall printer sales are up 8.8 percent in EMEA and all-in-ones are dominating the market.

Growth in Western Europe has as usual been dire reaching only six percent year on year. Central and Eastern Europe managed 11.9 percent, then Africa at 12.5 percent. The middle east achieved 13.7 percent growth while Central Asia raked up sales growth of a staggering 85.5 percent year on year. 

Of the economies in the West of Europe the UK performed surprisingly well, proving that while we may not splash out for consumer electronics in a downturn we’re more than ready to buck up and pay for updates on boring necessities. It managed 12.1 percent in Q2 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. 

Strong sales in the Central and Eastern Europe segments boosted monochrome printer sales which enjoyed 9.9 percent growth in the quarter, year on year. All-in-One printer sales have jumped to 46.3 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2010 showing that the average punter wants more bang for his or her buck. 

There are no surprises in the printing vendor Top of the Pops. Hewlett-Packard took the lion’s share with 39.4 percent of all units sold in the region. It beat the number two contender, Canon, by about double which managed to take 18.4 percent of the share. Epson, Brother, Samsung and Lexmark followed with 14.6 percent, 8.0 percent, 6.9 percent and 5.4 percent respectively.