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Wednesday April 23rd 2014: Latest financial news from the worldApple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs seven-for-one stock split
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. On Wednesday, Apple reported a 4.6 percent rise in March-quarter revenue to $45.6 billion, beating Wall Street's projections after selling a sharply higher than expected 43.72 million iPhones. (Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Bernard Orr)
U.S. new home sales hint at prolonged housing weakness
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dashing hopes for a quick turnaround for a sector that fell into a soft patch last summer.
Facebook first-quarter revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business continued to accelerate in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's revenue target. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Facebook also announced that Finance Chief David Ebersman is resigning.
Wall Street slips to snap six-day rally; biotechs weak
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday to snap a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to $34.92 a day after the Dow component reported earnings that beat expectations, offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1 percent to $47.43 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.2 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector. Biotech shares pulled the Nasdaq lower.
Buffett says abstained from voting on Coca-Cola's compensation plan: CNBC
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett, chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway , said on Wednesday he thinks Coca-Cola's controversial equity compensation plan was excessive, but that Berkshire Hathaway abstained in the shareholders vote. Earlier on Wednesday, Coca-Cola said 83 percent of shareholders approved the plan. Critics, most notably activist investor David Winters, said the plan would dilute the holdings of current shareholders too much. As of December 31, Berkshire owned 400 million shares of the company, just over 9 percent of the shares outstanding.
U.S. regulators to propose new net neutrality rules in May
By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are expected to vote on May 15 on a new set of so-called "net neutrality" rules aimed at making certain that broadband providers do not slow down or block consumers' access to legal Internet content. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Wednesday said he plans to circulate his proposed rules among other commissioners on Thursday, teeing them up for a vote at the FCC's May 15 meeting. The rules are expected to ensure that network operators disclose exactly how they manage Internet traffic and do not restrict consumers as they surf the Web. Wheeler has also said he planned to take a case-by-case approach to reviewing the practices adopted by Internet providers.
Qualcomm's second-quarter revenue misses estimates
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc posted fiscal second-quarter revenue on Wednesday that missed expectations as it wrestles with a smartphone market that is losing steam and shifting to China, sending its shares lower. The chipmaker reported second-quarter revenue of $6.37 billion, up 4 percent from the year-ago period. Analysts on average had expected second-quarter revenue of $6.479 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Qualcomm had second-quarter net income of $1.96 billion, up 5 percent. GAAP diluted earnings per share were $1.14. ...
Zynga's Pincus withdraws further from operations
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc co-founder Mark Pincus will relinquish the last of his operational duties at the social gaming company starting Wednesday, taking on an advisory role as chief executive Don Mattrick pushes through a restructuring plan. Pincus, who remains chairman of the board, has decided to move on from his operational role as chief product officer, Zynga said in a statement. He has been stepping back from a company that once dominated gaming on Facebook with "Farmville" but is now losing users to mobile game developers. ...
U..S consumer bureau to test electronic mortgage closings
Borrowers seeking to buy a new home say they often do not have time to read final mortgage documents and sometimes find mistakes in their paperwork, the U.S. consumer watchdog said in a report on Wednesday. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it plans to help alleviate this confusion by testing electronic mortgage closing techniques that would give consumers more time to look over documents and make it easier to spot errors. "We strongly believe that electronic closing solutions ... can lead to more knowledgeable consumers and a much better process for everyone involved," Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, said in prepared remarks for an event in Washington. The pilot would launch later this year with the goal of finding ways to make mortgage closings more efficient and minimizing surprises for borrowers, the bureau said.
Strong U.S. defense firm profits defy regular gloomy warnings
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. arms makers complain regularly that lower Pentagon spending on ships, jets and other hardware will hit their earnings, but a string of better-than-expected results this week show that layoffs and cost-cutting have kept profits flowing, and growing. Defense majors Lockheed Martin Corp , General Dynamics Corp , and Northrop Grumman Corp have all reported higher profits this week and raised their full-year forecasts.
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down
Russian social media CEO quits, flees country
MOSCOW (AP) — The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership.
US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise
Wellness programs grow more popular with employers
That little voice nagging you to put down the cake and lace up the running shoes is increasingly coming from your employer and is likely to grow louder with a looming change under the federal health care overhaul.
Q&A: A French economist's grim view of wealth gap
NEW YORK (AP) — In a new book, Thomas Piketty, the French economist who helped popularize the notion of a privileged 1 percent, sounds a grim warning: The U.S. economy has begun to decay into the pattern of aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. Hard work will matter less, inherited wealth more. The fortunes of the few will unsettle the foundations of democracy.
Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO
NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of classic HBO shows like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" will soon have access to those series and more through Amazon Prime in the first online streaming deal signed by the cable network.
Buffett disapproves of Coca-Cola's pay plan
NEW YORK (AP) — Warren Buffett says he disapproves of Coca-Cola's highly contested pay plan for its executives.
Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March
Faster production brings Boeing $965M 1Q profit
8 Simple Steps to Acquiring a Small Business
Design: Matching Innovation Types to Organizational Capabilities
Corporations and governments proclaim that design and innovation, are the twin engines for future progress, especially within the Creative Economy. Nothing new here, - since innovation has fueled the explosive development of the last two hundred years. However, most are still unclear on exactly what innovation entails. ...
Macy's, the Gap, Walmart: Does Customer Service Really Matter?
Does customer service really matter? It seems like an obvious question to answer, but, given the results of a consumer survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), "conventional wisdom" may be wrong on this one. From a consumer PR perspective, and by examining consumer buying habits, a large majority of people, based on their practices care more about other aspects of their shopping experience than customer service. Here are five companies which the survey said had bad customer service -- and why they still manage to clean up at the cash register: 1. ...
Why Marketing and Sales Are Inseparable?
Your content marketing will attract customers seeking to solve the problems you are best at solving. When that happens, your sales efforts will be about determining if you can help, not convincing them of your talents.
The Bond Market Disagrees With The Fed: So What's New About That?
Judith Rodin: Director of the Day
Judith Rodin is president of The Rockefeller Foundation, which held $3.7 billion in assets as of its 2012 annual report. That year, the foundation distributed $130 million in grants and charitable activities while taking in a net investment income of $283 million.
Women in Business: Q&A with Mandy Edwards, Owner, ME Marketing Services
Mandy Edwards is the owner of ME Marketing Services, a social media marketing company that provides consulting, management and coaching to businesses in the United States and Canada. A graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, Mandy has 12+ years of sales & marketing experience. Mandy is a founding board member of the online social media organization, the Social Solutions Collective.
9 Tools for Engineering Growth
As technology continues to evolve, so does the way users interact with it, making new and innovative user acquisition strategies necessary as well. Growth engineering requires equal parts marketing, technology and creativity, which is why the best toolboxes are as diverse as they are ever-changing.
Demystifying Credit Scores
One of the few positive outcomes of the 2008 financial crisis was that it helped shine a light on the importance of understanding and staying on top of your credit profile. Along with that heightened visibility, however, has come a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding -- particularly around the all-important credit score. "The consequences of not maintaining a sound credit score can be very costly," says Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer credit specialist at FICO.
Putin Is Losing Eastern European Energy Gamble
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he doesn't think the European community can do without the natural gas it gets from energy monopoly Gazprom. With a Russian economy starting to decline, however, it may be Gazprom that's too strongly interconnected to the European market to break free.
What's Wrong With Silicon Valley's No-Poach Rule?
What's revealed in these arrangements is striking: a belief that, once you've hired someone, you have bought the power to control their future when they work for you -- even after they've quit. In other words, you own them.
The One Chart That Explains Our Grim Economic Future
If you're looking for somebody to blame for rising inequality, blame babies. A drop-off in population growth is a big reason why global economic growth is going to slow down in the decades ahead, French economist Thomas Piketty points out in his new book, Capital in the 21st Century. The top-selling book on Amazon.com is getting a lot of attention for its predictions of soaring wealth concentration and inequality and its call for a massive global tax on the wealthy.
Growing Discount Airlines Learn The Hard Way You Can't Leave Workers Behind
JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are starting to look less like innovative upstarts -- complete with low fares and unusual perks -- and more like their stodgy competitors. As they age, they may have less room to treat workers well, and employees are starting to respond. JetBlue’s pilots voted to unionize Tuesday, ending the airline’s status as the biggest U.S. carrier without organized labor groups. ...
Corporate Acquisitions of Startups: Why Do They Fail?
For decades large companies have gone shopping in Silicon Valley for startups. Lately the pressure of continuous disruption has forced them to step up the pace. More often than not the results of these acquisitions are disappointing. What can companies learn from others' failed efforts to integrate startups into large companies? The answer - there are two types of integration strategies, and they depend on where the startup is in its lifecycle. ...
Beyond Jeremy Rifkin: How Will the Phase Transition to a Commons Economy Actually Occur?
10 Sensors of Galaxy S5: Heart Rate, Finger Scanner and more
Back in 2010, when the first generation of Samsung’s flagship smartphone, Galaxy S, was introduced, it had five sensors. Four years later, Samsung Galaxy S5 doubled that number to ten: the ‘Temperature/Humidity sensor’ has been …
Gambling With Our Future - by Jerry Jasinowski "The gambling known as business," said the 19th century wit Ambrose Bierce, "looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling." You can count me among the business spokesmen who look with disfavor on gambling, and especially upon the pell-mell rush of state governments to embrace gambling as a source of state revenue. At least 39 states today authorize some form of casino gambling, up from only two in 1988, and more casinos are under construction or being planned in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland.
Galaxy S5 Explained: the Display
The Future of the Future: Where Are the Breakthrough Innovations?
With toddlers getting iPads as their first toys, the joy of improvising, making stuff up and imagining things that never were, might become a thing of the past. With too few truly imaginative leaps, much innovative energy gets dissipated in incremental ideas.
Three Ways to Fill High-Skilled Jobs
The high-wage jobs found in industries like aerospace, defense and bioscience require high-skilled employees, and there are simply not enough qualified people who can apply for and fill the positions.
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