Tag Archives: stocks

HP to Split into Separate Business and Consumer Companies, Laying Off 55,000 Employees

HP logoIn a filing with the SEC, HP today confirmed their intentions to divide their company. They’ll retain the traditional HP name for consumer electronics like Laptops and Printers. A new organization named “Hewlett-Packard Enterprise” will retain their corporate solutions.

It would seem HP has had difficulties in selling off under-performing divisions, and now the company is revisiting the strategy laid out by Leo Apotheker back in 2011 before he was ousted as CEO.

This move also comes with the news that layoffs will increase from the expected 45,000 to 55,000 employees now expected to get cut during this transition.

Current CEO Meg Whitman will make the move to the new Hewlett-Packard  Enterprise, while EVP of Personal  Systems and Printing Dion Weisler will take over as the new head of HP.

 

UPDATED: Twitter sets IPO stock price at $26

BYbRFlJCEAATMmI

The speculation can end.

In true social media fashion, Twitter announced their stock price in a tweet. Of course there was a lot more info to announce than could be contained 140 characters or less, so they cheated by posting a picture… full of text…

At $26 a share, Twitter could drop more than $1.8 Billion into its coffers, and you too could own your very own piece of “TWTR” when it goes on sale this Thursday.

All that’s left is to see how the market responds…

***UPDATE***

In morning trading the stock opened at $45.10, and has held to around $46 so far. It’s estimated that Twitter will receive over $2 Billion, and there’s been far less drama today than during Facebook’s shaky public offering.

The Post Where We Say Goodbye to Blackberry?

blackberry stock slideI’ve been staving off writing this for some time now. Even among all the reports of potential buyouts, I kept hoping the company would start to turn itself around, find some momentum. It looks like that wont be happening.

Blackberry is warning investors ahead of their official call on September 27th that revenue will be more than a billion dollars below expectations. Yup. Expectations were hovering around $3 Billion, and BB will be reporting $1.6 Billion. Ouch.

Of course these are analyst predictions, and analysts are notoriously bad at predicting the future, but this will obviously hurt BB’s image (under-producing) more than it’ll hit any market watching “guru”.

Reactions to the news has caused a stock slide of almost 20 percent. Another blow to the company, and now CEO Thorsten Heins is announcing the first measure to be taken will be a round of layoffs to the tune of 4,500 axed jobs. They’ll also be streamlining future handset launches. Instead of the six phones they were planning on introducing over the next year, they’ll be dropping down to four, two high-end and two entry-level.

blackberry os 10 handsets z10 q10 smartphonesIt’s this combination of expectations and time which is going to put a hurt on upstarts and smaller companies moving forward. Yes, BB once ruled the smartphone landscape, but they didn’t properly focus on the consumer experience. Sure they have great mind-share and brand recognition, but they are also creating a new product line from scratch. New OS. New devices. Customers are wary of “new” right now.

Apple found success in smartphones based on years of consumer trust built on iPods. Android needed about three major revisions before it started gaining traction outside low cost, entry-level gear. HP bailed on Palm before it had a shot when it wasn’t immediately successful out of the gate (they’re currently floundering with half-way attempts at Android, with rumors pointing to a possible Windows Phone in the works). Microsoft is just now starting to be taken seriously in mobile, now that we’re looking at a third generation of Windows Phone hardware about to hit the market.

BB is on that “new” list. The bummer is, BB OS10 is pretty great. It’s a refreshing spin on a mobile UI. Gestures are clean. It looks good. It’s a nice experience. This means almost nothing right now. Customers don’t want “new”, they want an established ecosystem. They want to trust that their devices will get updates and that they’ll see new devices in the future. They want apps, and they want to see cases they’ll never buy at Mall kiosks. Those things only come with time and sales. Those early sales are going to be harder and harder to come by as every player that fails in this market will only reinforce why consumers should only buy something established. Why they shouldn’t take a risk.

Years. Blackberry needs years.

Appropriately, Twitter announces IPO with a Tweet

twitter logo

What else would you have expected?

The long rumored Twitter IPO looks like it might be happening. Now the dance of managing expectations begins. They need to drum up excitement about their public offerings, but they can’t go overboard like Facebook. It’s an extremely delicate balance. How do you get investors to open their wallets without getting them overly hyped up. We’ll see if Twitter can figure out the formula where other services have faltered.

Fittingly, they announced this long anticipated industry news with a tweet:

HTC profits down 45% from a year ago. What does recovery look like?

Man. HTC just can’t catch a break here.

Last week, shares fell almost 5% on the news that HTC only pulled in $443 million this August, which is down 45% from a year ago. It seems that the critically acclaimed One and One Mini handsets aren’t quite motivating consumers to part with their cash. Investor confidence is also a little shaken by news of high level executives leaving the company. Some of those execs under investigation for allegedly leaking company secrets. In all, not a great position for the phone maker to be in given how competitive the phone landscape is.

The one resource HTC most likely needs to turn around its market image is likely the one most difficult to come by: Time. HTC’s recent moves have largely been celebrated by tech pundits. The HTC One marks the first handset by the company which isn’t hamstrung by carrier branding. Even the older One X was billed as the “Evo 4G LTE” on Sprint, diluting HTC’s presence. Future HTC phones will likely not be plagued by this consumer confusion.

HTC heres to changeAlso, we recently saw the first fruits from HTC’s $1 billion ad campaign featuring Robert Downey Jr. and “Hipster Troll Carwashes”. This is a long term brand identity move, which should net positive results, but HTC is also in need of some short term sales to help boost confidence internally and with potential customers. They need evangelists and fans who will tout the company line, and be a grassroots first line of attack when new handsets are released.

Recent moves have been smart, HTC is trying to build a presence on sites like Reddit, and they’ve been more active on social media sites. It’s a tough road to build that kind of loyalty however. Their 716,000 Twitter followers are nothing to sneeze at, but pale in comparison to Samsung’s 4.4 million, and comparing recent tweets, actual engagement with likes and retweet action mirrors those follower numbers.

So while their long term strategies look sound, this isn’t a market known for patience, and that magical recipe for pairing good products and actual sales has been eluding numerous companies of late.

See my hands on reviews for the HTC One and the HTC One Mini.

(via WSJ)

Updated: Nokia selling Devices & Services to Microsoft for 5.4 Billion Euro

And so it begins!

nokia selling to microsoft somegadgetguy devices services smartphonesRumors have been flying since the initial WP7 Lumia 900 was released, that at some point Microsoft would swallow up Nokia. These rumors have intensified in light of Redmond producing their own line of Surface tablets. Driving the Windows 8 bus like Google did with the Nexus line of phones and tablets.

Announced this evening Nokia is selling off their Devices and Services business to Microsoft for 5.44 billion Euro, with Nokia expected to gain 3.2 billion on the sale if it’s approved in 2014 by Nokia shareholders. Nokia will focus on networking infrastructure, developing their HERE platform of navigation solutions, and “Advanced Technologies”. Plus they’ll have a war chest of patents to profit off of.

Microsoft gains an incredible hardware development platform out of this transfer, responsible for the most compelling Windows Phone 8 hardware in the ecosystem. Plus they’ll receive a ten year grace on Nokia’s patent collection while becoming a “strategic licensee” of HERE solutions.

This is a very interesting development. Nokia has been struggling to gain traction with high end premier smartphones, but was finding some success in mid-range and low end hardware. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will be as interested in that segment of the market, and if they’ll continue pushing forward into developing markets with Asha devices and other low end solutions.

More commentary and analysis as this develops!

UPDATES:

Microsoft is already speaking out, making it clear they will be absorbing 32,000 Nokia employees. They will also be continuing support and development of the Asha platform. They’ll be setting up a new data center in Finland to facilitate the transfer, and that at the end of the sale Nokia executives will also transfer over to Microsoft including Mr. Stephen Elop.

Nokia will hold a press conference September 3rd at 11 a.m. EEST – http://press.nokia.com/

The Next Chapter: An Open Letter From Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop

Ralph de la Vega, president & CEO, AT&T Mobility weighed in on the sale:

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business will help strengthen the Windows Phone ecosystem.  It underscores how the future of mobile computing will be software-driven and cloud-based, further taking advantage of high-speed mobile networks to transform how we live and work.”

Hit the jump for Microsoft’s official press release:

Continue reading Updated: Nokia selling Devices & Services to Microsoft for 5.4 Billion Euro