Tag Archives: Wall St

The Worst Companies To Work For In The U.S.: 24/7 Wall St.

By The Huffington Post News Editors

From 24/7 Wall St.: For the second year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. has identified America’s worst companies to work for. While company management can improve employee satisfaction, most of the companies on our list continue to make workers miserable.

In order to identify America’s worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. examined employee reviews at jobs and career community site Glassdoor. Based on the reviews, Glassdoor scores companies on a scale of one to five with an average score of 3.2 for the over 250,000 companies measured. 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine publicly traded companies that received scores of 2.5 or lower.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

American cities where wages are soaring

The average wage of a U.S. worker was $1,000 per week in the fourth quarter of 2012, or 4.7% higher from the same time in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In some areas, pay rose than 10%.

In the San Francisco metropolitan area, the average wage grew by nearly 25%, more than any area in the country. Based on the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, these are the cities with the biggest increases in pay.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., BLS Chief Regional Economist, Martin Kohli, noted that some of the metro areas with robust wage growth are relatively small, and the increase in average weekly wage in these places may be the result of “outliers, such as unusually large bonuses at a particular firm.”

In other cities, however, there appears to be a single industry that is behind the significant change in the average wages. For example, in Midland and Odessa, Texas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, wages likely increased because of strong growth in the oil industry. In the two Texas cities, the mining, logging and construction industry, which includes oil-related employment, jobs grew by roughly 15% in each.

Moreover, “wages in natural resources and mining rose at a stronger-than-average rate of 6.1 percent over the year,” Kohli said, further pushing pay higher. This means that not only are jobs being added to the already high-paying industries and sectors, but these industries and sectors also are increasing pay, thereby amplifying the overall effect on wages.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Spitzer: Wall St. 'Desperately' Wants Me to Lose

By Polly Davis Doig

Eliot Spitzer followed in Hugh Grant’s infamous hookin’-boot steps to Jay Leno’s couch last night, continuing his string of mea culpas as he looks to re-enter the public arena via a run for New York City comptroller . Leno was to the point, notes the AP , asking the onetime Client No…. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Newser – Lifestyles

Wall St. Ignores Boeing 787 Fire As Stocks Rally To Record Highs

By Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes Staff

In what has been clearly a crazy and volatile week, U.S. stock markets closed at new record highs on Friday.  The day was kicked off by solid earnings reports from two major financial institutions, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, which pushed equities higher in the aftermath of the Bernanke boost.  A fire at a 787 Dreamliner in London tanked shares in Boeing, threatening to derail a rally that finally turned back into positive territory. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Loews Earnings Stung by Low Energy Prices

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The holding company reported adjusted net income of $334 million, compared with $392 million in the same period a year ago. Revenues for both quarters totaled $3.71 billion. Based on 389.9 million shares outstanding at the end of the first quarter, Loews earnings per share (EPS) totaled about $0.86. The Thomson Reuters consensus EPS estimate was $0.84.

On a GAAP basis, the company posted EPS of $0.62 in the quarter, compared with $0.92 in the same period a year ago. GAAP earnings include a noncash ceiling test impairment charge of $92 million at Loew’s wholly-owned HighMount Exploration & Production. In the year-ago quarter, a similar noncash impairment charge reduced net income by $28 million. The ceiling test assesses the carrying value of the company’s natural gas and oil properties.

Loews was hit hard in the fourth quarter by the effect of Hurricane Sandy on its CNA insurance group. In the first quarter, the firm attributed the drop in net income to “reduced parent company investment income as a result of lower performance for the trading portfolio.” In other words, picking losers. Investment income in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $76 million compared to just $7 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Loews did not offer guidance in its news release, but the consensus analysts’ estimate for the second quarter calls for EPS of $0.82. For the year, the estimates call for EPS of $3.41 on revenues of $13.29 billion.

Shares are inactive in this morning’s premarket trading, and closed down about 1.3% on Friday, at $44.44 in a 52-week range of $38.14 to $45.20. The 52-week high was set last week. The consensus target price for the shares was $46.00 before today’s report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Financial Stocks Tagged: L

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Falling Consumer Confidence Another Blow to European Economic Recovery

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

In another blow to the recovery of the European economy, consumer confidence across the region fell in April. The reading was the lowest since December and is another marker that whatever brief recovery there might have been late last year is over.

Europe‘s number can be added to evidence in the United States that its economic activity has slowed. That leaves the world’s two largest economies tipping more negative. (The European Union is often measured as on nation for GDP measurement purposes). Some data out of China show that its normally white hot economy has flagged also.

Bloomberg said of economic confidence in Europe:

Economic confidence in the euro area decreased more than economists forecast in April as the 17- nation currency bloc struggled to emerge from a recession and the bailout of Cyprus renewed debt-crisis concerns.

An index of executive and consumer sentiment dropped to 88.6 from a revised 90.1 in March, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That’s the lowest since December. Economists had forecast a decline to 89.3, according to the median of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Business confidence and investor sentiment in Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, dropped more than expected in April.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, International Markets

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Avon Chairman Hassan Departs Suddenly

By 24/7 Wall St.

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In another sign that the nonexistent turnaround at Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) may be in even more trouble, its non-executive chairman, in office for only a few months, is leaving — without explanation.

Avon’s fortunes have been awful for two years, mostly because former CEO Andrea Jung ruined the company through wild expansion. Her replacement, Sheri McCoy, has done nothing to reverse the slide.

Avon announced both Chairman Fred Hassan‘s departure (he severed his relationship so sharply that he will not stay on the board) and the name of his replacement:

Fred Hassan has resigned from the Avon Board of Directors in order to focus more time on his other professional commitments. Mr. Hassan serves as a non-executive chairman of Bausch + Lomb and is a Managing Director, Partner at Warburg Pincus LLC. He also serves on the Board of Time Warner, Inc.

Doug Conant, who currently serves on the Board, has been elected to the position of non-executive Chairman. Both are effective immediately.

“Avon is a great company and I am honored to have served on the Board of Directors,” said Mr. Hassan. “However, my other professional commitments have intensified, requiring more focus. So I have decided it is in the best interest of Avon for one of my Board colleagues to take on the Chairmanship.”

If he was so honored to serve, why did he leave so quickly?

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Corporate Governance, Management Change Tagged: AVP

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Disappointing Corporate Revenues: A Sign of Trouble Ahead?

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Earnings may be up as U.S. public companies report their quarterly results. Revenues, however, are not. This may be a sign of trouble ahead, perhaps driven largely by a slowing in exports to Europe.

The USA Today reports on U.S. corporate revenues:

Investors were hoping by this point in the economic cycle, companies would be able to find growth selling new products and services or tapping new customers. But in the first quarter, revenue is coming in 0.6% lower than in the year-ago period, down from the 0.9% growth expected at the beginning of the year, Butters says. Just 44% of companies have beaten revenue estimates, while 56% have missed, making it the third quarter in the past four with more cases of revenue falling short than coming in better than expected.

Much of the revenue weakness is hitting companies that rely most on Europe, says Sam Turner of RiverFront Investment Group. The biggest sources of upside revenue surprises have been sectors such as utilities and telecom, which don’t rely on Europe, while large technology and industrials have been hurt most, Turner says. Of the 23 Dow Jones industrial average components to report so far, 15 have missed expectations, including International Business Machines, Caterpillar and United Technologies, Butters says.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

License Fee Threatens China Car Sales

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Most large global car companies still believe that China will not only remain the world’s largest car market, but also will be one of the fastest growing. But growth there has been unimpressive recently, and taxes imposed by the government on auto licenses may make that problem worse, damaging efforts by manufacturers who have increased investment in the People’s Republic.

March is usually a good month for car sales in China. However, sales rose only 11% to 2.01 million. That is down from a rate of 20% improvement in the first two months, according to The Wall Street Journal. And these low double-digit percentage numbers come after an anemic 2012.

The investments in China made by large car companies must be relying on the 20% number more than on 2012 growth rates, because they are so large in dollar terms. This is particularly true of America manufacturers. A year ago, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) said it would invest $760 million in its operations in the People’s Republic. The money will go into a new plant in Hangzhou, set with its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile. And Bloomberg said of the investment in China by General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM):

GM‘s announcement at the Shanghai auto show this month that it is spending $11 billion by 2016 on new plants, products and people in China demonstrates a change in priorities. GM is investing $1.5 billion in North America this year, where it has a more modest factory footprint.

For the past two years, the primary concern about the growth of car sales in China has been based on whether its economy would slow, and its large middle class would move to its traditional habit of saving instead of consumer spending. As it turns out, that is not the most significant threat. Pollution is. And the People’s Republic has decided to attack the problem in part by high car license fees, most analysts believe. BusinessWeek reports on the cost of license plates in China:

Shanghai is one of four Chinese cities that limit car purchases by imposing quotas on registrations. The prices paid at Shanghai’s license auctions in recent months — 90,000 yuan ($14,530) — have exceeded the cost of many entry-level cars, the stronghold of Chinese brands such as Chery, Geely, and Great Wall. While residents with modest incomes may be able to afford an inexpensive car, the registration cost is often beyond their reach.

It is too early to know exactly what effect these license fees will have on sales, or whether they will be imposed more broadly. No matter what the reason, these new, high fees could scuttle the hopes that car sales in China will make it the Holy Grail for the industry.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, China Tagged: F, featured, GM

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

What Is Important in the Financial World (4/29/2013)

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Consumer Confidence in Europe

In another blow to the recovery of the European economy, consumer confidence across the region fell in April. The reading was the lowest since December and is another marker that whatever brief recovery there might have been late last year is over. Europe‘s number can be added to evidence in the United States that its economic activity has slowed. That leaves the world’s two largest economies tipping more negative. (The EU is often measured as on nation for GDP measurement purposes). Some data out of China show that its normally white hot economy has flagged also. Bloomberg said of economic confidence in Europe:

Economic confidence in the euro area decreased more than economists forecast in April as the 17- nation currency bloc struggled to emerge from a recession and the bailout of Cyprus renewed debt-crisis concerns.

An index of executive and consumer sentiment dropped to 88.6 from a revised 90.1 in March, the European Commission in Brussels said today. That’s the lowest since December. Economists had forecast a decline to 89.3, according to the median of 26 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Business confidence and investor sentiment in Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, dropped more than expected in April.

Avon Chairman Departs

In another sign that the nonexistent turnaround at Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) may be in even more trouble, its non-executive chairman, in office for only a few months, is leaving — without explanation. Avon’s fortunes have been awful for two years, mostly because former CEO Andrea Jung ruined the company through wild expansion. Her replacement, Sheri McCoy, has done nothing to reverse the slide. Avon announced both Chairman Fred Hassan‘s departure (he severed his relationship so sharply that he will not stay on the board) and the name of his replacement:

Fred Hassan has resigned from the Avon Board of Directors in order to focus more time on his other professional commitments. Mr. Hassan serves as a non-executive chairman of Bausch + Lomb and is a Managing Director, Partner at Warburg Pincus LLC. He also serves on the Board of Time Warner, Inc.

Doug Conant, who currently serves on the Board, has been elected to the position of non-executive Chairman. Both are effective immediately.

“Avon is a great company and I am honored to have served on the Board of Directors,” said Mr. Hassan. “However, my other professional commitments have intensified, requiring more focus. So I have decided it is in the best interest of Avon for one of my Board colleagues to take on the Chairmanship.”

If he was so honored to serve, why did he leave so quickly?

Disappointing Corporate Revenues

Earnings may be up as U.S. public companies report their quarterly results. Revenues, however, are not. This may be a sign of trouble ahead, perhaps driven largely by a slowing in exports to Europe. The USA Today reports on U.S. corporate revenues:

Investors were hoping by this point in the economic cycle, companies would be able to find growth selling new products and services or tapping new customers. But

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Media Digest (4/29/2013) Reuters, WSJ, NYT, FT, Bloomberg

By 24/7 Wall St.

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The form of taxation that is applied to a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) buyout of the 45% of Verizon Wireless that Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) owns may decide the deal. (Reuters)

The global economy continues to rely on central bank aide to prop up gross domestic product. (Reuters)

China’s move to 4G will give some equipment suppliers huge contracts. (Reuters)

Tough European sales may start to badly damage U.S. corporate earnings. (WSJ)

The government blocks cash payouts to some General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) executives. (WSJ)

The number of people in the U.S. looking for jobs fell to its lowest level since 1979 because of retiring baby boomers. (WSJ)

Fred Hassan leaves as the chairman of Avon Product Inc.’s (NYSE: AVP) board. (WSJ)

A move to dividend-paying stocks may be causing their prices to move too high. (WSJ)

More Republican members of Congress will support a tax on online sales. (NYT)

Cable firm AXS TV will start to run programming from AOL Inc.’s (NYSE: AOL) HuffPo Live. (NYT)

Passengers may well shy away from flying the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) 787, which recently fixed battery problems. (NYT)

Chat applications will continue to hurt revenue from texts, which have helped telecom earnings. (FT)

More Europeans may modify their positions on the value of austerity. (Bloomberg)

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) ups its commitment to $20 phones as it loses market share to smartphones from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung. (Bloomberg)

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Press Digest Tagged: AAPL, AOL, AVP, BA, GM, NOK, VOD, VZ

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Philadelphia Federal Reserve: Very Slow Growth, Poor Employment

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve, or the Philly Fed, is out with its monthly report on business for the month of April. As the Business Outlook Survey is a somewhat live reading, we pay attention to the report. The index indicator for overall activity remained slightly positive this month at 2.5. Bloomberg was expecting a reading of 3.3, with a range of 0.0 to 6.5 from its pool of economists.

Prices paid fell to 3.1 from 8.5, while prices received fell to -7.5 from -0.8 when compared to March. We saw a large drop in employment, down to -6.8 from a positive 2.7 in March. New orders fell to -1.0 from a positive 0.5 in March.

Two readings are showing conflicting data for the coming month. Shipments rose to 9.1 in April, versus 3.5 in March, but inventories fell to -22.0, versus 0.0 in March. If shipments are up and inventories are down, what does that tell you about overall production?

After parsing through the report, other broad indicators were mixed as the indicators for new orders and employment were weaker for April. The Philly Fed showed that indicators of future activity suggest that firms are continuing to expect growth, but optimism waned compared with last month. Today’s news is on top of a weaker-than-expected report from the Labor Department‘s reading on weekly jobless claims.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Labor

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/philadelphia-federal-reserve-very-slow-growth-poor-employment/

Morgan Stanley Results Not So Hot, but Better Than Last Year

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The bank reported adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50 on revenues of $8.2 billion. In the same period a year ago, Morgan Stanley reported an adjusted EPS loss of $0.05 on revenues of $6.9 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.57 on revenues of $8.35 billion.

Excluding adjustments for debt valuation, the bank’s revenues totaled $8.9 billion and EPS totaled $0.61. The adjustment for debt valuation totaled $317 million in the quarter, compared with a $2 billion adjustment in the first quarter of 2012.

The bank’s CEO said:

Morgan Stanley demonstrated solid momentum across the Firm this quarter, consistent with the strategic objectives we laid out at the beginning of the year. … Looking forward, while the global environment continues to have moments of fragility, we believe the broad economic outlook for the next several years is stronger than in the recent past.

The bank said its Basel I Tier 1 capital ratio is about 13.9% and its Tier 1 common ratio is about 11.5%.

Morgan Stanley had no comments in its release regarding guidance. The consensus estimates for the second quarter calls for EPS of $0.51 on revenues of $8.03 billion. For the full year, EPS is expected to total $2.09 on revenues of $32.32 billion.

Shares are down about 1% in premarket trading this morning, at $21.25 in a 52-week range of $12.26 to $24.47. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $23.90 before today’s results were announced.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Banking & Finance, Earnings, Financial Stocks Tagged: MS

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/morgan-stanley-results-not-so-hot-but-better-than-last-year/

Lower Volume Hurts Philip Morris Results

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) reported first-quarter results before markets opened this morning. The tobacco products firm posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.29 on revenue of $7.6 billion. In the same period a year ago the company reported EPS of $1.25 on $7.45 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters had consensus estimates for EPS of $1.34 and revenue of $7.52 billion.

On a GAAP basis, EPS totaled $1.28. The company also said that currency exchange rates cut earnings by $0.07 a share.

Cigarette shipment volume fell 6.5% year-over-year globally and by 42.5% in the Philippines, where a new excise tax cut shipments by 10 billion units. European volume fell 10.1% and Asian shipments fell 10.4%. Only the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa posted a gain, and that a small one of 1.4%. The company was able to make up some of the decrease by raising prices.

The company lowered its full fiscal year EPS guidance to a range of $5.55 to $5.65, compared with full-year 2012 EPS of $5.22. The forecast includes a $0.19 per share reduction due to currency exchange rates. The consensus estimate had called for full-year EPS of $5.73 on revenues of $32.37 billion.

The company’s CEO noted:

Our first quarter was relatively difficult, with our headline results marred by a number of known factors, including inventory movements, the 2012 leap year effect, currency and a slowly improving – but nevertheless substantial erosion in our – volume in the Philippines. Despite this apparent weakness, our pricing actions and market share momentum provide us with the confidence to reiterate our annual constant-currency adjusted diluted EPS growth rate target of 10-12%.

What makes tobacco companies so attractive to investors is their dividend, and Philip Morris pays a quarterly dividend of $0.85. The company repurchased 16.7 million shares of its own stock in the first quarter at a cost of $1.5 billion. Philip Morris plans to spend $18 billion on share repurchases in a three-year program that began in the third quarter of last year. So far the company has spent $4.35 billion on share buybacks.

The company’s shares closed down about 1% last night, at $94.04 and are inactive so far this morning. The stock‘s 52-week range is $81.10-$96.60. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $97.60 before today’s report.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, International Markets, Tobacco Tagged: PM

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/lower-volume-hurts-philip-morris-results/

German Economic Recovery Expected to Be Modest

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

One German research firm expects the nation’s economy to rebound this year and next. However, the rebound will be very modest. It will not be anywhere near those expected in the United States or China. The European Union’s troubles will be too much of a drag.

Ifo says of the German economy:

An upwards tendency re-emerged in the German economy in spring 2013. The situation in the financial markets has eased thanks to subsiding uncertainty regarding the future of the European Monetary Union. The headwind in the world economy has also tailed off somewhat. The institutes expect gross domestic product in Germany to increase by 0.8% this year (68%-projection interval: 0.1% to 1.5%) and by 1.9% next year. The number of unemployed should continue to fall to an annual average of 2.9 million this year and 2.7 million in 2014.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, International Markets

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/german-economic-recovery-expected-to-be-modest/

Student Loan Burden Could Be a Blow to Economic Recovery

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under: ,

Students with large loan burdens, because of the debt taken on for their educations, likely are not buyers of expensive items such as homes and cars. Perhaps all of their debt makes them less attractive candidates for loans. Or, they may believe their obligation will leave them bankrupt.

The results of a study by the New York Fed show what almost everyone with a high school education knows about student loan debt:

Student loans have soared in popularity over the past decade, with the aggregate student loan balance, as measured in the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, reaching $966 billion at the end of 2012. Student debt now exceeds aggregate auto loan, credit card, and home-equity debt balances – making student loans the second largest debt of U.S. households, following mortgages. Student loans provide critical access to schooling, given the challenge presented by increasing costs of higher education and rising returns to a degree. Nevertheless, some have questioned how taking on extensive debt early in life has affected young workers’ post-schooling economic activity.

The population of these people is large enough that their troubles could be an economic headwind in the next several years, particularly because so many of them also have been unable to find jobs.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Labor

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/student-loan-burden-could-be-a-blow-to-economic-recovery/

Nokia Earnings Disappoint, Windows Phones Fall Short

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) had another rough quarter. The numbers show the company still cannot make progress against powerful competition from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung.

The new Windows phones from Nokia and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) have not sold well, which is a blow to the fortunes of both companies. Microsoft’s success in the PC sector has begun to disappear, leaving mobile as one of the few industries in which it can grow.

According to the Nokia earnings announcement:

Nokia Group non-IFRS EPS in Q1 2013 was EUR -0.02; reported EPS was EUR -0.07.
Nokia Group achieved underlying operating profitability for the third consecutive quarter, with a Q1 non-IFRS operating margin of 3.1%.
– Devices & Services achieved underlying profitability for the second consecutive quarter, with a Q1 non-IFRS operating margin of 0.1%. Devices & Services benefitted from a strong focus on cost as well as the reversal of approximately EUR 50 million of previously recognized inventory related allowances in Q1.
Nokia Siemens Networks achieved underlying profitability for the fourth consecutive quarter, with a Q1 non-IFRS operating margin of 7.0%. Nokia Siemens Networks benefitted from strong gross margin performance in Q1.

Nokia Group net sales in Q1 2013 were EUR 5.9 billion
– Devices & Services Q1 net sales decreased 25% quarter-on-quarter to EUR 2.9 billion.
Lumia Q1 volumes increased 27% quarter-on-quarter to 5.6 million units, reflecting increasing momentum.
Mobile Phones Q1 volumes decreased 30% quarter-on-quarter to 55.8 million units, reflecting competitive industry dynamics and an estimated higher than normal seasonal decline in the market addressable by Mobile Phones.
Nokia Siemens Networks net sales decreased 30% quarter-on-quarter to EUR 2.8 billion, reflecting industry seasonality

Those numbers were below expectations.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, PC Companies, Technology Companies, Wireless Tagged: AAPL, MSFT, NOK

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/nokia-earnings-disappoint-windows-phones-fall-short/

What Is Important in the Financial World (4/18/2013)

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under:

German Economic Recovery

One German research firm expects the nation’s economy to rebound this year and next. However, the rebound will be very modest. It will not be anywhere near those expected in the United States or China. The European Union’s troubles will be too much of a drag. Ifo says of the German economy:

An upwards tendency re-emerged in the German economy in spring 2013. The situation in the financial markets has eased thanks to subsiding uncertainty regarding the future of the European Monetary Union. The headwind in the world economy has also tailed off somewhat. The institutes expect gross domestic product in Germany to increase by 0.8% this year (68%-projection interval: 0.1% to 1.5%) and by 1.9% next year. The number of unemployed should continue to fall to an annual average of 2.9 million this year and 2.7 million in 2014.

Student Loan Burden

Students with large loan burdens, because of the debt taken on for their educations, likely are not buyers of expensive items such as homes and cars. Perhaps all of their debt makes them less attractive candidates for loans. Or, they may believe their obligation will leave them bankrupt. The results of a study by the New York Fed show what almost everyone with a high school education knows about student loan debt:

Student loans have soared in popularity over the past decade, with the aggregate student loan balance, as measured in the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel, reaching $966 billion at the end of 2012. Student debt now exceeds aggregate auto loan, credit card, and home-equity debt balances—making student loans the second largest debt of U.S. households, following mortgages. Student loans provide critical access to schooling, given the challenge presented by increasing costs of higher education and rising returns to a degree. Nevertheless, some have questioned how taking on extensive debt early in life has affected young workers’ post-schooling economic activity.

The population of these people is large enough that their troubles could be an economic headwind in the next several years, particularly because so many of them also have been unable to find jobs.

Disappointing Nokia Earnings

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) had another rough quarter. The numbers show the company still cannot make progress against powerful competition from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung. The new Window’s phones from Nokia and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) have not sold well, which is a blow to the fortunes of both companies. Microsoft’s success in the PC sector has begun to disappear, leaving mobile as one of the few industries in which it can grow. According to the Nokia earnings announcement:

Nokia Group non-IFRS EPS in Q1 2013 was EUR -0.02; reported EPS was EUR -0.07.
Nokia Group achieved underlying operating profitability for the third consecutive quarter, with a Q1 non-IFRS operating margin of 3.1%.
– Devices & Services achieved underlying profitability for the second consecutive quarter, with a Q1 non-IFRS operating margin of 0.1%. Devices & Services benefitted from a strong focus on cost as well as the reversal of

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/what-is-important-in-the-financial-world-4182013/

Amazon Apps Expand to 200 Countries

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), often seen as the most progressive tech company in America, will expand its Appstore so “that developers can now submit their apps for distribution in nearly 200 countries.” Amazon may not have a ready customer base in most of those countries, but the announcement makes its reach seem impressive, even if it is ineffective.

In Amazon’s race to dominate, or at least have a prime position, in the mobile app development business, it finds itself behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). Apple’s massive distribution channel through its iPad and iPhone products, and the many years it has had its own store, give it a built-in advantage. Google has leverage of its own because of the nearly universal adoption of it Android mobile operating system. Its large share of the mobile OS industry cannot be underestimated as an app distribution network, via Google’s own store. Developers with direct relationship with Google can create products for both Amazon’s Kindle and all other Android products

Amazon Appstore for Android was created to help Amazon steal some of Google’s native app developer network. Why developers would not favor Google’s own developer system and store is a mystery. That means most of Amazon’s success with app distribution will be based on its own Kindle Fire tablet, to a substantial extent:

Developers throughout the world are experiencing strong monetization and user engagement through Kindle Fire and the Amazon Appstore.

As far as anyone can tell, the Amazon Appstore is the e-commerce company’s attempt to help sales of its Kindle products, and nothing more. The risk in that is that the Kindle may be overwhelmed by all the other Android-based tablets that have flooded the market. But in the hope of bolstering its position, the company said:

Amazon.com, Inc. continued the global expansion of its Appstore today by announcing that developers can now submit their apps for distribution in nearly 200 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, and even Papua New Guinea and Vatican City.

Vatican City may not be a big enough market to help Amazon reach its Appstore goals.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, Software Tagged: AAPL, AMZN, featured, GOOG

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/amazon-apps-expand-to-200-countries/

Media Digest (4/18/2103) Reuters, WSJ, NYT, FT, Bloomberg

By 24/7 Wall St.

Filed under:

The FAA moves closer to a decision to clear the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner for commercial service. (Reuters)

Worries about Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) profits press its stock value under $400. (Reuters)

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) will test mobile ads in it smartphone app. (Reuters)

Twitter begins to examine tweets to better target ads. (Reuters)

China will allow the yuan to trade in a wider range. (WSJ)

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann tells the Wall Street Journal that Europe‘s financial repair could take a decade. (WSJ)

The International Energy Agency says the progress of green energy has slowed. (WSJ)

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) will spend as much as $700 million to upgrade hospital and safety systems on its ships. (WSJ)

The growth of the PayPal operation of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) slows, according to its earnings report. (WSJ)

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) earnings likely will show the company’s products have not triggered global PC growth. (WSJ)

Large bank profits may push regulators to put more regulations on the banking system. (NYT)

The United States has become Japan‘s top export market, taking the position from China. (FT)

The International Monetary Fund says monetary easing could cause credit bubbles. (FT)

Gold miners lose $169 billion as the price of the metal falls. (Bloomberg)

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Press Digest Tagged: AAPL, BA, CCL, EBAY, LNKD, MSFT

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/18/media-digest-4182103-reuters-wsj-nyt-ft-bloomberg/