Samsung Electronics on Friday reported unaudited earnings results for the first calendar quarter of 2012. Following a record holiday quarter that saw the company pull in a profit of 5.3 trillion Korean won on sales of 47 trillion won, Samsung expects to report an operating profit of 5.8 trillion won — nearly twice its profit the first quarter last year — and revenue of approximately 45 trillion won. Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphones are still among carriers’ best-selling smartphones in the United States, and the South Korea-based consumer electronics giant recently announced that sales of its massive Galaxy Note “phablet” topped 5 million units.
HTC on Friday reported unaudited earnings for the first quarter, revealing an extremely rocky start to the new year. The company warned that its first quarter results would see decline as the Taiwan-based vendor prepared to launch its new flagship smartphones, and preliminary numbers are in line with HTC’s earlier forecast. Revenue of NT$67.8 billion in the first quarter is down 35% from the same period last year, and HTC posted an after-tax profit of just NT$4.7 billion, down 70% year-on-year. HTC hopes business will pick up significantly as its new flagship smartphones, the One X and One S, begin to launch in various regions abroad. In the United States, the One X will launch on AT&T this month and before the end of June on Sprint as the HTC EVO 4G LTE. The HTC One S will be released in April on T-Mobile.
The world’s most valuable company is showing no signs of slowing down, and numerous industry watchers believe Apple will continue to grow despite increased competition from rivals like Samsung. Topeka Capital Markets, new home to analyst Brian White, on Monday initiated coverage of Apple with a Buy rating and a sky-high $1,001 price target. “Driven by an ever expanding portfolio of innovative products, a growing integrated digital grid, unmatched aesthetics and a brand that is able to touch the soul of consumers of all backgrounds, Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend,” White wrote in a note to investors on Monday. Read on for more. More →
The International Data Corporation on Wednesday announced that shipments of smart connected devices —including PCs, tablets and smartphones — reached 916 million units and surpassed $489 billion in revenue in 2011. “Whether it’s consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust ‘app’ ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school’s computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual’s life,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC. The firm estimates that worldwide shipments of smart connected devices will top 1.1 billion in 2012 and double to 1.84 billion by 2016. IDC’s numbers represent a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% over the next five years. The firm also predicts that the number of Android-powered devices running on ARM CPUs will grow from 29.4% in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. Apple’s iOS-based devices, on the other hand, are estimated to grow from 14.6% share in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016. IDC’s press release can be found after the break. More →
With expectations at an all-time low and analysts lowering estimates left and right, Research In Motion on Thursday reported its results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. RIM posted a surprising beat in the third fiscal quarter when it managed earnings of $1.27 per share on $5.2 billion in sales. At the same time, however, the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker issued worse than expected fourth-quarter EPS guidance of between $0.80 and $0.95, and it said revenue would likely fall between $4.6 billion and $4.98 billion. RIM has now confirmed adjusted net income of $0.80 per share, on revenue of $4.2 billion, down sequentially from $5.2 billion despite the launch of multiple new BlackBerry 7 smartphone models. Read on for more. More →
Best Buy on Thursday reported results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. The nationwide retail giant had missed Wall Street’s estimates in both the second and third fiscal quarters, and it posted mixed results in the fourth quarter. Revenue came in at $16.6 billion compared to analysts’ consensus of $17.15 billion, and non-GAAP earnings of $2.47 per share, up 25% from the same quarter in fiscal 2011, beating the Street’s $2.15 EPS consensus. “In order to help make technology work for every one of our customers and transform our business as the consumer electronics industry continues to evolve, we are taking major actions to improve our operating performance,” said Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn. “As part of our multi-channel strategy, we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability.” After jumping more than 3% in pre-market trading, shares of Best Buy stock were down 7% shortly after the market opened on Thursday. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Research In Motion has made drastic cuts to BlackBerry smartphone prices in India just one day before the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor is scheduled to report its results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Several analysts expect RIM to miss Wall Street’s consensus when it announces its earnings results on Thursday, despite having issued lower than expected fourth-quarter guidance. The struggling smartphone vendor dropped prices on multiple models in India by up to 26%, BGR sister site BGR.in reported on Wednesday. Devices that have received price cuts include the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the Curve 9380, the Torch 9860 and the Curve 8520, RIM’s best-selling smartphone in India. RIM beat expectations in the third fiscal quarter when it reported revenue of $5.2 billion and earnings of $1.27 per share, but analysts are bracing themselves for a disappointing fourth quarter. More →
The past year was a good year for the music industry as sales rose to their best highest point in eight years. According to the IFPI’s annual Recording Industry In Numbers report, revenue from physical media fell by 8.7%, compared with 13.8% in 2010, but were vinyl sales up nearly 29%. Digital revenue continued to grow, increasing 8%, compared to 5.6% in 2010, with digital track sales growing 19% to 3.7 billion songs. Australia leads the way in the digital space with 60% growth, compared with 8% growth in the U.S. and 10% in the U.K. $1.27 billion in digital singles were sold in the U.S., while the U.K. accounted for $176.2 million. Digital sales made up 31% of the total revenue of the music market and reached $5.3 billion in sales. Overall global music revenue fell by just 3% in the last year, however. “2011 marked the least negative result in global recorded music sales since 2004, when revenues were flat,” the report read. The IFPI credits services like Spotify, iTunes, and unlimited-access operators like Rdio, MOG and Rhapsody for bringing new revenue models to customers that have helped the U.S. music market. More →
Research In Motion is set to report its results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full fiscal year on Thursday, and Wall Street is bracing itself for another disappointing quarter. RIM’s fourth-quarter guidance came in worse than expected when the company posted its third-quarter results, and now several analysts are lowering their expectations even further. Pulling no punches, Barclays Capital’s Jeff Kvaal wrote in a note to investors titled “Grim and getting grimmer” that BlackBerry 7 sales have been poor thus far, and he has lowered his projections as a result. Read on for more. More →
After five years at Sprint’s helm, CEO Dan Hesse’s effectiveness is being called into question. While Hesse and his team have managed to stall subscriber defection, revenue continues to decline. With flops in Clearwire, WiMAX, LightSquared and a risky $15.5 billion gamble on Apple’s iPhone, Sprint investors fear the CEO may not have what it takes to lead the company against AT&T and Verizon Wireless in an industry that regulators fear has already grown too concentrated. Big investors have voiced strong concerns that the company’s management, led by Hesse, isn’t up to the job, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Dragos Stefanescu, a director for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, sharply criticized Mr. Hesse at a lunch meeting in Boston last year, voicing his concerns about Sprint’s complicated network plan. The Journal’s sources, however, claim that the board remains confident in Hesse, though their close watch over every move the CEO makes suggests otherwise. “The board has been stunningly engaged,” one person said. “It sort of has to be because the company’s not doing well.” More →
HTC’s revenue during the first two months of 2012 has plummeted 45% compared to the same period last year. The popular vendor on Tuesday published its unaudited results for February 2012, during which it pulled in an estimated NT$20.3 billion, down 37% from the NT$32.1 billion it earned in the same month a year earlier. HTC’s revenue so far this year totals approximately NT$36.9 billion, a 45% drop-off from the NT$67.1 billion it pulled in between January and February in 2011. HTC had previously lowered its guidance for the first quarter of 2012, and business isn’t expected to pick up until the Taiwan-based vendor releases its next-generation flagship Android phones, the One X, One S and One V in April. HTC’s February earnings release follows below. More →
Research In Motion’s increased marketing efforts centered around its “Be Bold” campaign in North America have not paid off according to Canaccord Genuity. Sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones, and specifically the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360, were poor in February, Canaccord analyst Mike Walkley wrote in a research note late Sunday night. “Our February checks indicated weak sell-through trends for BlackBerry 7 smartphones despite increased marketing efforts,” Walkley told investors. “With very strong share gains for the iPhone 4S, increasingly price-competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the likely March 7 launch of the iPad 3, we anticipate increasing competition across all of RIM’s products during 2012.” Read on for more. More →
HTC is confident the company’s new One series smartphones will rescue the company from slowing sales, propelling it to the No.5 smartphone vendor spot and beyond. “We are confident this year will be … a much better year,” HTC’s chief of European operations Florian Seiche said to Reuters. “Even with the Q1 not being the ideal fast start right out of the gate in January, which of course we would have preferred, even with that we are very confident.” During the company’s Mobile World Congress 2012 press event, the Taiwanese smartphone maker announced the HTC One series. The first three HTC One phones focus on three main pillars, amazing design and user experience, an amazing camera, and an amazing multimedia experience. HTC feels these key components will combine to reignite consumer interest in its smartphones, and early response has been very positive. More →