Displaying items by tag: shares

Apple exceeds expectations with record quarterly revenue

Written on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 10:42

Apple has delivered record results for the final three months of last year, delivering gains in sales of iPhones even as the company transitions to digital services and wearables.

Net profit hit an all-time high of $22 billion on record quarterly revenue of $91.8 billion, the California tech giant said of the results which were far stronger than most analyst estimates.

Previously, Apple told investors that it expected revenue of “between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion” in the quarter, along with “gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38.5 percent.”

"We are thrilled to report Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for services and wearables," said Apple chief executive Tim Cook.

The results come with Apple seeking to shift its revenue mix amid a slumping smartphone market and growing competition in the segment, and relying more on services such as music, streaming television and other digital content.

Shares in Apple jumped two percent in after-market trades that followed release of the fiscal first-quarter earnings, extending a remarkable streak for the company. Shares have doubled from a year ago – lifting its valuation to more than $1.3 trillion.

The company has expanded its services with a streaming television offering, digital payments and wearable tech such as its AirPods and updated Apple Watch.

Analyst Yoram Wurmser of the research firm eMarketer welcomed "a strong quarter for Apple, primarily driven by strong sales of the iPhone 11 lineup."

Apple bought back $20 billion in shares during the quarter and paid some $3.5 billion in dividends as part of a stated mission to be "net cash neutral" some time in the future, Maestri said.

Apple has stopped reporting unit sales for the iPhone, which has been the main cash-generator for the company in recent years, but sales revenue for its smartphone sales was up nearly eight percent in the quarter at $55.9 billion.

Services revenue rose 17 percent from a year ago to $12.7 billion, driven by the launch of its Apple TV+ service and its new credit card.

The Apple TV+ on-demand streaming service launched in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month, at a price lower than those offered by rivals such as Netflix.

For the category of wearables and home accessories -- including its HomePod speaker, Apple Watch and other gadgets -- revenue increased some 37 percent to $10 billion.

Apple forecast revenue between $63.0 billion and $67.0 billion in the current quarter.

Published in Finance

Intel reports fourth quarter and 2019 financial results

Written on Monday, 27 January 2020 10:30

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results. Intel exceeded expectations with a record revenue of $20.2 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year (YoY). Full-year revenue set an all-time record of $72.0 billion, up 2 percent YoY on data-centric growth.

Intel also delivered outstanding fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $1.58.A record $33.1 billion cash was generated from operations and $16.9 billion of free cash flow, and returned approximately $19.2 billion to shareholders.

The company’s board of directors approved a five percent cash dividend increase to $1.32 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share on the company’s common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

“In 2019, we gained share in an expanded addressable market that demands more performance to process, move and store data,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO.

“One year into our long-term financial plan, we have outperformed our revenue and EPS expectations. Looking ahead, we are investing to win the technology inflections of the future, play a bigger role in the success of our customers and increase shareholder returns."

Revenues of the largest division of Intel, the Client Computing Group, producing chips for PCs, laptops and tablets, grew by 2% (compared with the fourth quarter of 2018) to $ 10.01 billion, exceeding analytical forecasts of $ 9.74 billion.

Most notably, revenue from the Data Center Group segment, which manufactures chips for computer servers grew 19% to $ 7.21 billion, which also exceeded analysts’ expectations of $ 6.40 billion. The non-volatile memory division selling storage and memory products, received income of $ 1.22 billion, which is lower than the forecast of $ 1.28 billion.

The company expects a strong first quarter this year. Intel’s forecast for the whole of 2020 is also higher than analysts’ expectations, with 2020 revenue of approximately $73.5 billion and first-quarter revenue of approximately $19.0 billion.

Published in Finance

Global ride-hailing firm Uber has projected a more measured valuation ahead of its IPO debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this week.

Published in Finance

US chipmaker Qualcomm has seen its shares prices soar on the New York Stock Exchange following the end to a long-running dispute between them and iPhone manufacturer Apple over patent license agreements.

The pair where set for another protracted legal battle in San Diego but managed to broker an agreement that satisfied both parties over royalty payments.

It has been reported that resolution deal between Apple and Qualcomm includes a six-year license agreement with the option to extend for two years, and a payment to Qualcomm from the US tech behemoth.

Qualcomm shares rocketed by 15.2% as news of the deal broke on Wall Street. Apple saw its share price rise by 0.7% although it was significantly less than that of Qualcomm. Dow member IBM saw its shares plummet by 4.6% after Q1 sales fell short of analyst projections.

The US economy has been under the microscope in recent weeks after some fiscal analysts had claimed it was slowing down. However, Wall Street stocks were mostly higher following better-than-expected Chinese economic data.  China's first-quarter growth came in at above expectations at 6.4 percent following government stimulus measures, a report that eases concerns about slowing global growth.

Published in Finance

ZTE’s share price nosedives as it resumes trading

Written on Thursday, 14 June 2018 08:26

Chinese telecommunications behemoth ZTE has seen its share price plummet by a whopping 39% following the resumption of its trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The Chinese vendor was able to resume trading after it reached a resolution agreement with the United States.

ZTE looked set to go out of business following the decision by the US Commerce Department to prohibit American companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for a period of seven years.

US officials implemented the ban after it claimed ZTE had failed to make the changes to its Board of Directors after being found guilty of trade violations with Iran and North Korea in 2016. However, following protracted negotiations between Beijing and Washington a settlement deal was finally reached which allowed ZTE to resume business in the United States.

The telecommunications colossus may have been saved but that didn’t stop its share price from nosediving by 39.22 to HK$15.56 during Hong Kong morning trade - while it also plunged by its 10 percent daily limit to 28.18 yuan in Shenzhen.

Fiscal analysts have predicted that whilst the nightmare for ZTE may be over with the US, the company will have to deal with the consequences of that saga for a significant period of time.

Analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau said, “While the nightmare is now over, ZTE will likely have to deal with many changes. We expect significant near-term selling pressure and a volatile stock price."

The ZTE crisis was a major issue during trade talks between the US and China, and the Trump administration were able to use that as leverage in the discussions. The ZTE settlement came just days after Beijing offered to increase purchases of US goods by $70bn in an effort to cut the yawning trade imbalance with the US.

It has been reported that Trump has demanded a $200 billion reduction in its trade deficit with China over two years.

“The US agreement with ZTE with fine and change of management, in other words, is a political deal," said analyst Dickie Wong at Kingston Securities. "If the US didn't 'free' ZTE in this way, US companies would find it very difficult in any moves in China, including decisions on mergers and acquisitions," Wong added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Chinese telecommunications conglomerate ZTE has increased its market share in the US smartphone industry. Analysts have suggested that its success is down to a combination of aggressive marketing and its manufacturing of cheap and affordable devices.

Research from Counterpoint Technology has indicated that the Chinese firm has enjoyed a rise of 36% in the shipment of its smartphones to the US. ZTE sold 4.8 million units in the second quarter of this year. However, the launch of another big-screen, budget-friendly smartphone in the US is estimated to bring more success for the Chinese vendor.

ZTE is already the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the US, and is increasing the pressure on its rivals which include LG, Samsung and Apple. ZTE has formally announced that it will launch the Blade Z Max after it agreed to enter a partnership with Metro-PCS. It has been disclosed that the new device will retail at $129, which is the same price point as the ZTE Max XL.

ZTE strategy is quite clear, and it is also evident that it is proving to be a very successful one. CEO of ZTE’s mobile devices, Lixin Cheng said the firm’s latest device focuses on high-end specifications at an affordable price in order to make it available for the masses.

ZTE’s new device does boast a number of premium features, which include a six-inch full HD IPS LCD display with a scratch resistant screen. When compared with its much more expensive counterparts such as the iPhone 7 and the OnePlus 5, it has many of the same features and capabilities as those devices. The Blaze Z Max has dual rear cameras at 16 megapixels.

It has been announced that Metro-PCS will begin taking pre-orders for the Blade Z Max online, whilst it will also be available in some selected Metro-PCS stores from August 28th. In addition to being the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the US, ZTE has also established itself as the second-largest vendor in the no-contract market sector.

The encouraging latest figures released show that ZTE’s US strategy is having the desired effect, and with this latest device launch, which is expected to be a massive success, the future looks bright for the Chinese conglomerate as its aims to accelerate its growth in the US market in 2018.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Telstra shares plunge after announcing dividend reduction

Written on Sunday, 27 August 2017 07:14

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, saw its shares dive to a five-year low on August 17 after announcing it will reduce its dividend this financial year. The operator reported a 1 percent lift in its full year profits amidst tough competition, but attention quickly centered on the announced cut to its dividend from next year.

The company says the cut to its dividend will help it create a battle fund so it can better fight new competitors in the market. Telstra paid 31 cents a share for the year just ended, but now plans to pay a total dividend of 22 cents a share for the financial year to end next June, after reassessing its dividend policy.

The move saw Telstra’s shares drop in morning trade on August 17. Shares were down 8.3 percent, or 36 cents at $3.95, Herald Sun reported, which is the lowest it’s been since September 2012. Lack of confidence in the firm resulted in $4.4 billion being wiped from its market value.

Telstra now expects to pay around 70 to 90 percent of its earnings in dividends, a historical shift away from its usual practice of paying out almost all of its profits. The new ratio, it says, is “more in line with global peers and local large companies.”

The move was “about setting the business up for success” said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

Published in Finance

Social networking colossus Facebook has seen its shares soar to a record high after it disclosed the financial results of its second quarter, which revealed that its mobile advertising business has grown by a staggering 50%. The results reaffirm the view that Facebook is now the venue of choice for an ever-increasing amount of online advertisers.

Facebook owns four of the most popular mobile services in the world, and it has seen it shares rise by more than 4% to $173 following after-trading on the Wall Street Stock Exchange. However, overall Facebook’s stock price has climbed to almost 44% this year.

Facebook has been adding more and more advertising into its Facebook News Feed, but that has become condensed, whilst it has also added adverts to its photo-sharing app Instagram, which has more than 700 million users. Facebook currently has over 2 billion users worldwide.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that he plans to monetize its two messaging services Messenger and WhatsApp, which combined have more than 1 billion users each. Zuckerberg has expressed his desire to see the company move faster on this aim, but claimed he is confident they will get it right in the long-term.

Facebook also continues to accelerate its push into video, the social networking giant has identified this as an opportunity to win advertising spend from the TV industry, as more and more people spend their time consuming news and video content on its platform. Facebook is expected to launch a new video service that will include scripted shows, which is a sharp change of strategy from an organization which is founded on user-generated content.

Zuckerberg has previously stated that he firmly believes that video represents the future of Facebook’s business over the next 2-3 years. Facebook has officially confirmed that its total revenue rose form 44.8% to $9.32 billion in the second quarter of the year, which beat the average forecast of the $9.20 billion predicted by financial analysts. Facebook enjoyed incredible growth in mobile advertising, which has increased to nearly $8 billion.

Facebook Chief Financial Officer, David Wehner, expressed his delight at the financial results, and claimed that he expected to see Facebook continue to grow its mobile advertising capacity. He said: “In mobile we're continuing to see great strengths. We're seeing more and more ad dollars getting allocated to mobile, and we think that trend will continue."

Published in Finance

Blow for Australian telecommunications firm as profits slump

Written on Thursday, 16 February 2017 07:30

Australia’s leading telecommunications company Telstra has reported a slump in first half profit - as the combination of increased competition in the market and a shift towards digital have had a significant impact. Its fixed-line and mobile businesses both took a big hit due to the aforementioned factors above, with net profit after tax for the first-half to December 31st also plummeting a sharp 14.4% to AUS$1.79 billion ($US1.38 billion) from the previous period twelve months ago.

The repercussions of this for Telstra has been felt on the stock exchange with the bleak financial report sending shares prices tumbling down to 4.43% AUS$4.96 in mid-table trade in Sydney. Chris Weston, IG Markets chief strategist attempted to dissect Telstra’s failings and stated it as a ‘weak’ result for the Australian colossus.

Weston said, “It’s a weak result, you’ve got revenue and underlying profit all missing (market expectations) by a decent chunk. The implied volatility in a stock like Telstra is so low that this is as big a miss as you are going to get.”

Revenue for services such as fixed-line and mobile fell 4.7% and 8.7% respectively for this period. Overall sales revenue also decreased by 3.4% to AUS$12.79 billion. Telstra also disclosed an interim dividend of 15.5 AUS cents. Despite the poor nature of the financial results reported by the organization, Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn attempted to portray a positive light on reports – declaring the telco had performed well in a highly competitive market.

Penn said, “Data volumes have increased and intense competition on pricing across fixed, bundles, mobile, data and IP has had an impact. Those are in parallel with the acceleration of the rollout of (the National Broadband Network) which, over the longer term, will have a negative impact on EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of AUS$2-3 billion."

The NBN, or national broadband network, aims to connect most Australian homes to superfast Internet over the next few years, replacing Telstra's existing copper network.

Published in Telecom Operators

British telecom and TV group BT saw its shares drop on Tuesday, 24 January, after accounting regularities were reported in Italy. BT shares sank 20.06 percent to 305.90 pence in late afternoon on London’s rising stock market. The accounting errors were first revealed in October, estimating BT would take a hit of £145 million. That figure was raised to £530 million on Tuesday.

An independent review of BT’s Italian business found accounting irregularities and a “complex set of improper sales, purchase, factoring and leasing transaction,” BT said in a statement. The net result was there has been an overstatement of earnings at BT's Italian business over a number of years, leading to the upwards revision in the value of the write-down.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said, “We are deeply disappointed with the improper practices which we have found. We have undertaken extensive investigations, and are committed to ensuring the highest standards across the whole of BT for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees and all other stakeholders.”

The company is reportedly trying to determine how the £530 million impact should be reflected in its financial statements for current and previous periods. According to reports, BT expects the fiasco to result in a reduction in its third-quarter adjusted revenue and adjusted earnings of around £120 million.

In a statement the company noted, “The improper behavior in our Italian business is an extremely serious matter, and we have taken immediate steps to strengthen the financial processes and controls in that business. We suspended a number of BT Italy’s senior management team who have now left the business.” The statement added, “We have also appointed a new chief executive of BT Italy who will take charge on 1 February 2017.”

BT in Italy is represented by BT Italia, which is the second largest business telecommunication operator in the Italian market, controlling an 11 percent share.

Published in Finance
Page 1 of 2