Still managing to skirt the ever-present how many Palm Pres has the company sold question, Sprint reported its Q2 2009 results this morning. While the company did post a slightly bigger loss than expected, it wasn’t the bone crushing declines we’ve seen from Old Yeller in recent history. Operating revenue came in at $8.1 billion, down 10 percent YoY and just short of the Street’s $8.12 billion projection, and it posted a net loss of $384 million or $0.13 per share, down 12 percent from $344 million in the same quarter last year. The part that’s really hard to swallow here is that despite the release of the Palm Pre, one of the most highly anticipated handsets of the year, Sprint still managed to shed 257,000 subscribers net in the quarter, up from 187,000 in Q1. Its subscriber count now stands at 48.8 million. The shocking part — Sprint lost 991,000 postpaid subscribers this past quarter, meaning the bleeding has barely slowed in this crucial category. If the Palm Pre, endless time spent improving customer service, vastly improved network quality and some amazingly attractive plans can’t keep subscribers on board, what can?
Verizon, on its investor conference call this morning, reaffirmed its intentions to launch the Palm Pre in early 2010. While news of Palm’s revival handset hitting Verizon in the near future is hardly a surprise, Pre hopefuls loyal to Big Red will certainly find comfort in hearing VZW announce the news publicly once again. The impending arrival of the Pre comes alongside Verizon’s Q2 earnings report, which was otherwise laden with bad news. Revenue came in at $26.9 billion, up 11 percent YoY but profits dove a massive 21 percent to $1.48 billion. Wireless saw a 27.7 percent increase YoY in total revenue with a massive 52.6 percent increase in data revenue. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. The real news from today’s call is that Verizon announced plans to reduce its workforce by around 8,000 between now and the end of 2009. It’s pretty obvious that Big Red needs to take drastic measures in its effort to cut operational expenses, but ouch.
While we wait patiently for the 27th to see how the recession treated Big Red this past quarter, Verizon has issued its first little taste of Q2: 1.1 million net subscriber additions. The number is very respectable of course, though it falls short of the 1.4 million reeled in by AT&T over the same period of time. As of the end of Q2, Verizon Wireless is now home to a total of 87.7 million subscribers — 87.7 meeeeeeeeellion. 85.2 million of Verizon’s total subscriber base signed on directly with VZW as opposed to signing up through a reseller. So what have we learned? Verizon is most definitely still top dog where subscriber count is concerned, but whether or not the carrier managed to dig deep enough into the pockets of said customer base and pull out a solid Q2 will be a mystery for another few days.
AT&T released its results for Q2 2009 this morning and while there’s no question its performance in the quarter was solid, not all is peachy for the nation’s number two wireless carrier. First things first… The iPhone: AT&T activated 2.4 million iPhones in Q2, meaning almost two and a half million iPhones were sold in less than a month here in the US. Pretty nuts. Also, over 33 percent (792,000) of those activations were performed for new customers. Moving beyond the iPhone, AT&T saw net subscriber additions of 1.4 million, 1.2 million of which were post paid, in the quarter to reach a total of 79.6 million subscribers. That figure is up by 6.7 million so far over last year. Total revenue came in at $30.7 billion, down about 1 percent YoY, and net income came in at $3.2 billion, down almost 16 percent from $3.8 billion in the same quarter last year.
Well it looks like LG Electronics came through in a big way this past quarter as the company reports a very, very solid performance. Maybe its bid to take over the world isn’t so crazy after all. Let’s start with a couple of records — sales rang up at $11.229 billion, a remarkable 13.8 percent jump YoY, and operating profit came in at $878 million. The company also reported a 7.8 percent margin, up 1.1 percent YoY, while margin for its mobile business exploded to 11 percent from 6.7 percent in the previous quarter. On that note, let’s look briefly at LG’s two biggest businesses — discounting a typo that suggests its Business Solutions sales came in at $787 billion (!). Mobile Communications recorded $7.981 billion in sales, an insane YoY jump of 25.8 percent, and operating profit came in at $422 million with a margin of 10.6 percent. LG’s number two was Home Appliances, which did $1.812 billion in sales. Also noteworthy is the fact that LCD TV shipments increased 45 percent YoY to 4.28 million units as LG’s Home Entertainment business recorded a profit of $174 million on $3.492 billion in sales. As far as projections, LG’s sales are expected to rise about 10 percent this quarter but profits are expected to remain relatively flat — not the most exciting outlook but it leaves plenty of room for a pleasant surprise when LG reports Q3.
Analysts, investors and just about everyone else even the least bit interested in tech had very high expectations for Apple’s fiscal third quarter 2009, which ended on June 27th. Well folks, the numbers are in and to make a long story short… Apple crushed it. In fact, the company has just reported its best non-holiday quarter in its storied history. Recession? Please. Here are some highlights:
- 5.2 million iPhones sold (626 percent growth YoY)
- 10.2 million iPods sold
- 2.6 million Macs sold
- $1.23 billion in profits, up from $1.19 in Q308
- $8.34 billion in sales, up from $7.46 in Q308
- $1.34 EPS, up from $1.19 in Q308
Yep, crushed. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had this to say: “We’re making our most innovative products ever and our customers are responding. We’re thrilled to have sold over 5.2 million iPhones during the quarter and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from our App Store in its first year.” Fair enough. We’re glad Stevie is back in action but there’s absolutely no question that the rest of crew stayed on course during his absence.
Following a rough morning for our friends in Finland, things are looking even worse just to the west. Sony Ericsson’s Q2 2009 was, in short, a disaster. To start, it shipped just over half the handsets it did a year ago — 13.8 million compared to 24.4 million in Q2 2008. That figure is also down from 14.5 in Q1 2009. Sales were down to €1.7 billion from €2.8 billion a year ago and where income is concerned, SE lost €213 million in the quarter. Sheesh. The silver lining on this incredibly dark cloud is that Q1 saw the company lose €293 million so at least the bleeding has slowed a bit. Dick Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson, had this to say:
As expected, the second quarter was challenging and we still believe the remainder of the year will be difficult for Sony Ericsson. Our focus remains on bringing the company back to profitability and growth as quickly as possible, and our performance is starting to improve due to our cost reduction activities. The new product portfolio that integrates communications, entertainment and social media applications should contribute to healthier topline development when shipments start later this year. We remain confident that the actions we are taking will further improve our financial situation and strengthen Sony Ericsson’s competitiveness.
A quick break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring our photogs in the audience some steamy gratuitous camera leak action. It looks as though Nikon’s dSLR and lens roadmap for the remainder of 2009 through the end of 2010 may have come to light and to say there are some juicy morsels lined up is a gross understatement. New bodies, 14 new lenses from Q3 2009 through Q3 2010, Full-HD video recording galore, a 30.2 megapixel beast likely in time for the 2010 holiday season… Suffice it to say this rumored roadmap is not lacking in the action category. In short, if this is the real deal — we likey. Hit the jump for the skinny and if anything manages to catch your eye, we highly recommend you start saving today.
According to the NPD Group, Apple’s market share where Mac computers are concerned continued its downward trend in May. Mac sales were down 3 percent YoY in May, while overall PC sales were up a substantial 12 percent. The NPD Group also noted that iPod sales were down a whopping 18 percent YoY last month. As Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty points out however, investors are hardly heading for the hills:
Perhaps most important, Apple’s mix of shipments improved significantly, with commercial shipments +25% MoM versus market growth of +1%. The higher ASP commercial shipments allowed Apple to outperform market revenue growth trends (despite losing unit market share) and could support higher margins in the June quarter.
Translation: Apple is still banking. Beyond Huberty’s assessment, a revised notebook line and lower prices revealed this month will likely help curtail the continued dip to some extent. As far as Apple’s overall performance in the coming months, let’s not forget a little thing called the iPhone 3G S that hits store shelves this Friday. While it might not be the upgrade many were hoping for, preliminary reports suggest that pre-orders are selling like Viagra in Florida — and sales likely won’t slow down any time soon.
Following some comments yesterday from Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, the Internet exploded. The highlight of course was the un-revalation that Verizon would be adding the Palm Pre to it’s portfolio once Sprint’s exclusivity expires. The part that grabbed everyone’s attention was the time frame however: “six months or so.” Could Sprint’s Pre exclusivity really be expiring later this year? According to a Sprint spokesman, no:
We have the Pre through 2009.
Nice — short and to the point. So to clarify McAdam’s comments from yesterday, it looks like Verizon will be offering the Pre once 2010 rolls around in seven months and change. Can you hold out?
Motorola announced its Q1 2009 financial results today and reported total sales of $5.4 billion with a net loss of $231 million. Though wider than the $194 million loss posted in the same quarter last year, things were better than analysts expected this quarter. Motorola’s mobile devices division posted device sales of $1.8 billion and shipped 14.7 million handsets, grabbing an estimated 6 percent share of the global handset market. Handset sales have dropped 45 percent from Q1 2008 and operating loss has widened to $509 million from $418 million from 2008. On the bright side however, Moto posted a $595 million operating loss in Q4 of last year so at least things are moving in the right direction. Motorola notes that it continues to make progress on its upcoming handsets and remains committed to launching several new Android-based handsets by Q4 2009 with multiple carriers and in multiple regions. That little green robot sure has some heavy lifting to do.
Following AT&T’s impressive performance in the first quarter of this year, we’ve been anxiously awaiting Big Red’s numbers to see how the nation’s largest carrier performed in Q1. The numbers are in as of this morning and Verizon’s performance was nothing short of impressive. Revenue in the quarter slid in at $26.6 billion — an 11.6 percent climb from the same quarter last year — and cash flow came in at $6.4 billion, up almost 20 percent YoY. Subscriber numbers were impressive as well: Starting with wireless, Big Red is now home to 86.6 million wireless customers. Verizon netted 1.3 million new subscribers excluding the Alltel acquisition, beating AT&T by about 100,000. Who needs the iPhone? Wireline business growth was solid as well, as the company pulled in 299,000 net new FiOS TV customers and 298,000 net new FiOS Internet customers.
‘Tis the season and with the financial world standing at attention, Apple has just made its Q2 results for the fiscal year 2009 public. Despite a few who speculated that Wall Streets projections could be a bit of a reach in some areas, Apple managed to surpass projections just about everywhere. Starting with revenue, Apple pulled down $8.16 billion representing a solid 6 percent growth year over year. Profits were up YoY as well, from $1.05 billion in Q2 FY08 to $1.21 billion in Q2 FY09. As far as shipments are concerned:
- Mac computers: 2.2 million units, 3 percent decline YoY
- iPods: 11.01 million units, 3 percent growth YoY
- iPhones: 3.79 million units, 123 percent growth YoY
While Mac sales are the obvious low point for Apple, shipments still managed to beat the Street’s consensus by about 100k. The high point of course is the iPhone which, as we all know, is a revenue making machine. iPod sales were also a highlight of course, with Apple beating the Street by a cool million units shipped.