Raising the Bar: Nintendo Earnings Top Forecasts Again

nintendo earnsWhen you’ve got the two best selling products in an industry that just set new records for sales and revenues it’s pretty much a sure thing that your own numbers are going to be good.  On Thursday, Nintendo confirmed their numbers weren’t just good, they were great.

Net profits for the period from April to December nearly doubled, rising 96% year over year.  Income was 258.9b yen (approximately $2.4billion depending on the conversation rate), up from 131.9b yen ($1.23b) for the same period last year.  Sales were up 85% to 1.32 trillion yen from 712.59 billion yen last year.

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Skype on PSP Delayed in Japan

skype pspDuring Apple’s earnings call earlier this week, CFO Peter Oppeheimer said they believe “one of the iPod’s future directions is to become the first mainstream WiFi mobile platform.”  Sony has a similar ambition for their PSP-2000 portable gaming platform.  Unfortunately, they’ve hit a small snag.

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan was scheduled to begin offering eBay’s Skype VoIP phone services on the platform Thursday in Japan.   Instead, delivery of that functionality has reportedly been delayed because microphones failed to meet Skype’s specification requirements.

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Netflix Q4 Earnings Recap

netflix calcVideo rental company, Netflix, released 4th quarter earnings Wednesday. Amidst a turbulent economy and increasing competition from both traditional and non traditional rivals. Netflix largely met or exceeded expectations.

The company earned $15.8m (24cents a share) for the quarter ended December 31st. Excluding stock based compensation, earnings were $17.8m (27cents/share) on revenue of $301.7m. Revenue was up 9% over the same period last year.

Wall Streets consensus expectation was 14cents a share on revenue of $301.7m.

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$29.5m for Wordpress.com and Automattic

automattic financingTwo million bloggers reaching more than 114million unique visitors and now, $29.5m in cash.  That’s the amount of money software company Automattic, the developer behind the popular open source blogging platform and the wordpress.com hosted community has raised in a Series B financing.

The round was led by existing investors Polaris Venture Partners, True Ventures and Radar Partners.  The New York Times, which runs a number of blogs on the software, also invested.

Automattic is best known for developing the Wordpress publishing platform Click to Read More

Wall Street Panics, Apple Pays: Measuring Q1 Earnings

measure appleWith markets in panic mode, the “R” word being used at the water coolers and the Fed pulling the ripcord on an emergency parachute, it was a bad day for any company to release earnings.  It was an especially bad day to share any comments that were cautionary, ambiguous, or anything but outrageously optimistic.  Apple shareholders paid the short term price.

Not five minutes into Apple’s earnings conference call After Hours traders, seizing on cautious, conservative lowered guidance, drove the stock down another ten percent.  The unfortunate thing is, the response is extreme, more a consequence of the economic climate than the actual news.

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Selling Images: Getty Images on the Auction Block

getty saleWith acquisitions and a good sense of timing Getty Images grew from a small photo licensing business in 1995 to the world’s largest supplier of stock photos and videos.  Monday, the company confirmed it is now for sale in an auction to close at the end of the month.  Fueled initially by the digital world’s growing appetite for images, Getty Images has become a casualty of the same technological advancements and efficiencies that fueled its growth.

When Getty started out, it was the early days of the Internet boom. Click to Read More

EA’s Online Experiment: Battlefield Heroes 2008

battlefield heroesThere’s been a new sheriff in town at Electronic Arts since John Riccitiello rode back in to EA about  a year ago. His campaign promise was change. Slowly, he’s making good on that pledge.  In June, he reorganized management into a more accountable hierarchy and he recruited Activision’s former publishing president Kathy Vrabeck.   In July, EA signed a high profile in-game ad deal and Microsoft’s Xbox VP Peter Moore joined the team. In August, they signed a deal with Hasbro.   In October, more than $600m was dished out to acquire Bioware and Pandemic.  It’s now a New Year and time for more new beginnings. 

On Monday, EA announced the latest installment of popular PC game Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Heroes, will bypass retail.  Instead, the new installment of the franchise (which has sold more than 10m units) will be re-invented later this year as a free online multiplayer game.   In its new incarnation, the game will be supported by an experimental combination of advertising and micro-transactions.  It’s a first for EA in western markets.

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