Google Beats the Street in the Fourth Quarter

With Microsoft bumping its earnings news to an earlier time slot, after the close of markets Thursday all eyes were on Google.  Would worsening ad trends show heavily in the Q4 and full year results? Or like Apple the day before, would Google outperform the economy and best expectations?  The numbers tell the tale:

Analysts were expecting EPS of $4.95 a share, excluding onetime elements (non-GAAP).  Net revenue was forecast at 4.12b.  Paid click growth was estimated to be 17%.

Click to Read More

Earnings Watch: Microsoft Disappoints, Sony Cuts Forecast

earnings wrap up. metue"Nobody loves you when you’re down and out….Everybody’s hustlin’ for a buck and a dime” sang John LennonSony and Microsoft may know exactly what he meant (at least with regard to how shareholders treat their stocks).  The two companies were the first to make big earnings announcements today.  The news from both was poor.  The lead storylines were cost savings and disappointments.   Breaking out the two announcements side by side:

Click to Read More

Apple Reports Positive Q1 2009 Earnings

apple earnsMany retailers fell apart this holiday season, their registers ringing up far less of the holiday cheer than they’d have liked.  Companies were cutting staff. Cash was being conserved.  Spending, especially on premium products was way down.  Apple, despite the so called “Apple Tax,” the name sometimes spitefully applied to the higher pricing on Apple’s products, bucked the trend.   Earnings for the period ended December 27th, while shadowed with some elements of mixed quality, handily beat expectations. 

For the first quarter of Fiscal 2009, Apple reported its best revenue result of all time.  Total sales for the quarter crossed past $10 billion to $10.17b.  Year over year, the gain was 5.8% compared to last year’s sales of $9.6b.

Click to Read More

Billionaire Bailout: Inside the Times Co.’s New $250m Loan

times carlos slim loanThe Tribune Co. got into trouble, ultimately seeking protection through bankruptcy, because it wasn’t able to sell off assets fast enough, or at high enough prices, to service debt. The New York Times, though carrying a far more management debt load, wasn’t going to risk making similar mistakes.

The venerable media company, which has struggled along with its industry,  agreed this week to borrow $250m from Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helú (bio).

Upwards of 90 percent of the Times Co.’s revenue comes from its news media businesses. The relative lack of diversification, and simultaneous dependence on advertising in the currently weak market, has squeezed operating profits heavily. Click to Read More

Midway Debt Decision Pushed Until February

debt clamp midwayMuch is relative.  Last week was bad for Circuit City;  on a comparative scale, not so much for gamer, Midway Games. Despite the crippling pressure of massive lingering debt potentially due ahead of its time, the company managed to do what the big retailer that’s sold their games couldn’t: buy more time.

Triggered by “change of control provisions” put into play when majority shareholder Sumner Redstone liquidated his position, Midway’s been facing down the prospect of Noteholder repurchase rights that, if exercised, could easily bankrupt the company.

At the end of December, Midway managed to reach a short term extension agreement with the holders of 7.125% convertible notes due in 2026.  Holders of Midway’s other class of notes (6% Notes due a year earlier) were holding out.

Thursday, January 15th, the 6% Noteholders also agreed to terms.  Click to Read More

Circuit City to Liquidate

circuit city times up metueIt’s hasta la vista for beleaguered electronics giant Circuit City.  The 60 year old company, which declared bankruptcy in November, was unable to agree to terms with a buyer in time to meet a Friday deadline.  Rather than seeking an extension, that likely would have only briefly prolonged life, the company will liquidate.  765 retail stores in Canada may still be sold, and are looking at January 23rd offer deadline,  but 567 U.S. stores are gone, effective March 31st.  Thousands of jobs will go with them. The merchandise sales will begin tomorrow.

Click to Read More

The Cost of Leadership? Details on Bartz’ New Yahoo Pay Package

yahoo exec compensation metueYahoo’s hiring of Carol Bartz on the 13th officially filled the company’s leadership vacancy.  An SEC filing Thursday filled in the gaps on some of the details in the deal she struck.  The 8K filing includes the offer and complete terms.  What’s it cost to recruit a high profile CEO? Hint, it’s not cheap (though many elements are tied closely to performance). All said and done, bonuses and buyouts included and vesting periods set aside, there are seven zeros in the total number.  In bullet-point form:

Click to Read More

Page 2 of 41234