Tag: profit

Samsung expects big profit jump

SamsungSamsung hinted that it is expecting a surprise 10 percent jump in quarterly profit, thanks to early sales for its new Galaxy S7 smartphones.

The South Korean tech giant’s estimate for first quarter operating profit handily beat market forecasts and has boosted hopes that its struggling mobile business will post its first annual profit gain in three years, also benefiting from an improved performance for mid-to-low tier devices and cost cutting efforts.

Samsung said January-March operating profit was likely to be $5.7 billion, well above profit expected by the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street.

The firm will release more details in late April, and gave no comment on the performance of its business divisions.

Analysts had lifted forecasts for Samsung earnings since late March encouraged by reports of better-than-expected sales of its Galaxy S7 models, which boast an improved camera, waterproofing and microSD storage support. Samsung’s mobile business was probably the top earner for the first time in seven quarters, analysts say.

The Tame Apple Press meanwhile is claiming that Samsung will not do very well because soon Apple is going to release its new products. As it is, they are hard pressed to explain the lift in Samsung’s fortunes and blamed its success on the value of the South Korean won rather than technical superiority over Apple.

They seriously claimed that Apple’s iPhone SE was a rival to the S7 which clearly indicated that they have no concept of what they were talking about.  The iPhone SE is a two year old design which has been pimped up with a better chip but is hardly new. The S7 is also a little more pricey.

Samsung sings the blues

robert-johnsonSamsung has consulted its tarot cards and thinks it is headed for a weaker-than-expected second quarter earnings.

This was caused by a supply shortage which gutted the sales of its latest smartphone. There was also weak demand from key markets.

This suggests that Samsung will struggle to replicate the growth it recorded at the turn of the decade as smartphone competition intensifies and demand softens in China and Europe.

Operating profit for the second quarter is predicted to fall four percent from a year earlier to $6.13 billion, Samsung said in a filing, its best profit in four quarters but also the seventh straight period of annual decline.

Revenue for the quarter is expected to fall 8.3 percent from a year earlier to $48 million, well below the $53.4 million average analyst forecast and the fifth consecutive quarter of annual decline.

Samsung’s annual profit is expected to rebound this year from a three-year low in 2014, but its shares have languished in recent months amid doubts about sales of its new Galaxy S6 smartphones.

A failure to make enough curved-screen S6 edge models to meet demand likely hurt mobile-related earnings, analysts believe.

Hackers took more from Adobe than claimed

In a move which will be a blow for Adobe’s subscription software system, a computer security firm has uncovered data it says belongs to some 152 million Adobe Systems user accounts.

According to the Verge this means that a breach reported a month ago is far bigger than Adobe has so far revealed and is one of the largest on record.  All this is happening while Adobe is hoping to make a killing selling its software on the cloud, something which depends on a reputation for some brilliant security.

LastPass, a password security firm, said that it has found email addresses, encrypted passwords and password hints stored in clear text from Adobe user accounts on a dodgy hacker site.

Adobe last week admitted attackers had stolen data on more than 38 million customer accounts, on top of the theft of information on nearly three million accounts that it disclosed nearly a month earlier.

All this is well short of the 152 million figure, which would seem to indicate the bad guys have most of Adobe’s client list and passwords.

Now Adobe has confirmed that LastPass had found records stolen from its datacentre but downplayed the significance of the security firm’s findings.

Adobe said that it was inaccurate to say 152 million customer accounts had been compromised because the database attacked was a backup system about to be decommissioned.

Records include some 25 million records containing invalid email addresses, 18 million with invalid passwords.   The spokesman said that a huge percentage of the accounts were fictitious, having been set up for one-time use so that their creators could get free software.

Adobe said that it had told some 38 million active Adobe ID users and is now contacting holders of inactive accounts.

However LastPass Chief Executive Joe Siegrist was more scathing.  He said that Adobe failed to use best practices for securing the stolen passwords.

The passwords in the database were not protected with a technique known as “salting,” which means adding a secret code to every password after it is scrambled and before it is stored. This stops encrypted versions of the same password looking identical.

Siegrist could spot the most frequently used password in the group, which was used 1.9 million times. The database has 108 million email addresses with passwords shared in multiple accounts.

If the 152 million figure is correct, then it breaks all records.  The The largest cyber breach previously reported was a 2009 attack on Heartland Payment Systems in which more than 130 million credit card numbers were stolen.

Adobe saved by subscriptions

Adobe has reported a higher-than-expected profit for its Creative Cloud, which is a subscription based software model.

Adobe has been shifting to its web-based subscription service Creative Cloud from a licensing model since last year and there appears to be a lot of take up.

The company said it added 221,000 paid Creative Cloud subscribers in the latest quarter, taking the total to 700,000.

Adobe expects to add even more Creative Cloud paid subscribers in the current quarter than in the second quarter.

Adobe took a big risk when it said that upgrades for Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash, would be available only through online subscriptions and abandon licences completely.

While this means lower revenue in the short term as fees are collected monthly, it does mean a better long term outlook.

Adobe has predicted revenue of $975 million to $1.03 billion while Wall Street had thought the company would be lucky to make $1.01 billion.

It was not all good news for Adobe. Net income fell to $76.5 million from $223.9 million a year earlier.  If Adobe has not moved to the subscription model things would have been very bleak indeed.  

Dell profit slumps

Dell has revealed to shareholders why its moves to go private at a slightly reduced share price might have been a good plan for them.

Dell reported a 31 percent drop in profit, which has been caused by a shrinking consumer business. The news could not have come at a better time for Michael Dell who is trying to convince shareholders to accept $13.65 a share to buy out the company.

Some shareholders think that price is too low, although after the announcement of falling profits, Dell’s share price is sitting at $13.80.

Analysts have also warned that things will get much worse for Dell before they get better. Most are saying that Dell’s rapidly shrinking business and dismal prospects in a declining PC market may make the buyout more attractive.

Sales across every business line, except servers and networking, declined in the fiscal fourth quarter. Revenue from servers and networking climbed 18 percent, driven by its datacenter business and revenue from recently acquired companies such as Quest Software and Sonic Wall. But generally revenue slid 11 percent.

According to the Times of India, Dell posted net income of $530 million in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $14.3 billion. That came in slightly higher than analysts expected.

Dell refused to give a financial forecast for fiscal 2014 or the fiscal first quarter, citing the proposed buyout.

So far, shareholders representing almost 14 percent of Dell shares not held by Michael Dell have now said they will vote against the deal. Others have said that if Dell offered them $15 per share they would agree. 

Yahoo CEO brings in Castro for revolution

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has turned to her old chum Castro to help sort out her search engine revolution. Henrique de Castro worked with Mayer at Google and is to become the search engine’s chief operating officer.

He will look after Yahoo’s global sales, operations, media and business development.

He is not just doing it for cigars either. De Castro will be eligible for a $58 million total compensation package.

According to a Yahoo statement, Castro will receive $600,000 in annual base salary, as well as a $36 million in restricted stock units and stock options as a one-time retention award, among other parts of his compensation package. Castro will start work at Yahoo by 22 January, the company said.

De Castro is currently vice president of Google’s worldwide partners business solutions group, overseeing advertising services for the company’s publisher and commerce partners. He was born in Portugal and is currently applying for a work visa before he can start. In the meantime he will be working in London for a Yahoo subsidiary.

Mayer said that de Castro’s was jolly good at internet advertising as well as work in “structuring and scaling global organisations”.

Mayer has not told the world her cunning plan for Yahoo yet. She has made a few key hires, including new finance chief Ken Goldman and marketing head Kathy Savitt, a former Amazon.com executive. 

Former Yahoo CEO has left the building

Yahoo former CEO Ross Levinsohn, the man who lost the top job to Google executive Marissa Mayer has quit.

According to a Yahoo filing, Levinsohn has cleaned out his desk and his last day was yesterday.

But it will not necessarily be a sad day for Levinsohn. He will go with the severance payments outlined in his 2010 offer letter and 2011 severance agreement, plus 67,000 restricted stock units and 250,000 stock options. This lot has a  value of about $5 million.

His earlier agreements call for $1.4 million in salary and target bonus, plus 175,000 restricted stock units or RSUs, and an option to buy 400,000 shares.

Before joining Yahoo as executive vice president, Americas, in 2010, Levinsohn had been a managing director of investment firm Fuse Capital.

All Things Digital  said that Levinsohn, who took over as interim CEO in the wake of the ouster of Scott Thompson earlier this year, that put him in charge of key Yahoo businesses, including its media and advertising sales divisions. and running the Americas unit of the Silicon Valley Internet giant. When he applied for the top job he was unsuccessful and lost it to Mayer.

While Mayer might have benefited from his approach, she wants to save Yahoo by coming up with new technology. Levinsohn was more in favour of the business person approach which set the two at odds.

So far there is no news what Levinsohn will do next. My guess is that after cashing his severance cheque he will be headed somewhere hot. Apparently he is well liked in the content industry and so should score a job quite quickly. 

Mayer gets $70 million to sort out Yahoo

Yahoo’s new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s employment package to sort out the troubled search engine is more than $70 million.

The cash is made up of salary, bonuses, restricted stock and stock options over five years.

According to a regulatory filing made by the company, to make all that cash she will have to stay in her desk for five years, something that the previous occupiers have not managed.

According to Reuters, the pay package is divided up into $1 million in annual salary, as much as $2 million in an annual bonus, and $42 million in stock options and other awards, as well as $14 million in “make whole restricted options.” The last bit is to make up for the fact that she lost a lot of share options when she left Google.

Yahoo said that by including some stock grants, Mayer could earn up to a total of $20 million a year, or up to $100 million over five years.

It is not as if Mayer is short of a bob or two. As one of Google’s earliest employees she managed to get a lot of dosh when the company floated. Conservative estimates of her wealth are $300 million.

Yahoo’s previous CEO, Scott Thompson received a package of $27 million. 

Yahoo's new CEO ducks earnings call

Yahoo’s new chief executive, Marissa Mayer, has a great deal of common sense when it comes to the search engine’s past. She wants to have nothing to do with it.

When Yahoo announced its second quarter earnings and Mayer was not around.

Yahoo Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse, who took the conference call, told Reuters that since it was Mayer’s first day on the job she will not be joining in on the call.

It was probably better that she didn’t. The last thing you want on your first day is a reporting of flat net revenue and a slight decline in profit during the second quarter. Shares of Yahoo were down three cents at $15.57.

Morse promised Mayer would be outlining her cunning plans to investors and analysts soon.

Mayer is expected to signal that Yahoo will start to focus on web technology and products rather than online content.

Google’s first female engineer, Mayer, was the brains behind Google Search and oversaw some of its key products, including Google News and Gmail.

Apparently her former colleagues said that she has an “intense” personality which can make her “rough around the edges” and difficult to deal with. But she was good at mentoring co-workers. 

Panasonic to whip out more pink slips

The rumour mill is churning with whisperings that Panasonic could be the latest company to begin whipping out those pink slips.

According to sources, the company could be gearing up to slash more jobs on top of the 17,000 recent axes it’s already made as it looks to move towards a profit rebound.

However, unlike the previous lot of job losses, which were focused in-house, the source has told Reuters that this time the company will take a blunter axe and shift workers to other units, subsidiaries or affiliates, rather than cut them out of the business completely. He warned the company would aim to halve its 7,000 head office workers.

Panasonic, like many other companies, this year reported a loss within its business. In March the company said it had made a $9.7 billion (772 billion yen) net loss for the year ended March 31.

And it seems redundancies are becoming a way to fix these. Last month Sony announced it would be wiping 10,000 people from its payroll books, while Dell and HP have also been waving the axe.

The company may also consider spinning off R&D and production technology functions in a bid to get back on track.