Tag Archive | "thursday"

Reply.com acquires MerchantCircle for $60 million

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Reply.com on Thursday announced it had acquired fellow Bay Area firm MerchantCircle for $60 million cash and stock. The deal is expected to go through in Q3 of this year.

The deal makes good sense, as MerchantCircle acts as a business directory for more than a million small businesses and Reply.com is an ad firm that targets advertising for local businesses. MercantCircle’s incredible network will give Reply a huge roster of businesses to which they can potentially sell ads.

MercantCircle was founded in 2005 and has raised $14 million in funding to date. The company claims to have businesses listed in 95% of U.S. cities with a population over 200.

Reply says the combined company expects more than $100 million in revenue in 2012.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

BlackRock: Clean Up Your Filthy Workstations So We’re Not Embarrassed On Live TV

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Think you’re above this edict? Okay, big shot, leave the mess. Larry Fink will personally lean your desk into a bin labeled “[your name]‘s crap” and file his nails while you beg for it back.

From: [redacated at BlackRock]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2011 03:12 PM
To: NYC – PMG Bonds







Larry will join Maria from 3:05 to 3:10 p.m., and again at 4:15 p.m. with Rob. Rick, Dennis and Eric will have other segments and the show concludes at 5 p.m.

CNBC crew and BlackRock Corporate Communications staff will do their best to minimize what is a normal workday for you on the 24th. We ask that you do your part before you depart on Wednesday evening, the 23rd, by removing papers and cleaning up your workspace. On Thursday, please wear normal business attire.

Set-up will begin Thursday at 7:30 a.m. sharp with some activity all through the morning, including wiring, the moving of monitors, adding signage and other details. Arrangements will certainly ramp up in the afternoon and Maria’s pre-show arrival will be no later than 2:30 p.m. During the live broadcast, beginning at 3 p.m.

Just relax: it’s business as usual. But we also encourage some conversations and action. After all, it’s TV!


Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

RIM: Time To Tabulate PlayBook Estimates (Update)

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First response from the Street is trickling out regarding Research in Motion’s (RIMM) announcement this morning that its “PlayBook” tablet computer will go on sale on April 19th.

Abhey Lamba with ISI Group writes that he expects RIM to ship 150,000 PlayBook units through the end of May, for $71 million in revenue in the fiscal Q1 ending that month.

The PlayBook’s price, starting at $499, is likely to result in a hit to RIM’s gross profit margin, he estimates, with the device likely having gross profit of just 10% of sales.

But any hit to RIM’s overall profitability is minor, as the number of units is low. For every 100,000 units shipped, Lamba estimates at fifth of a percentage point (20 basis points) reduction in gross profit for the company overall.

Things may turn out better, he believes, if RIM is able to increase the mix of units sold toward the higher-end $699 model. (There will also be additional, cellular models of PlayBook, assumedly at higher prices, coming later this summer, I would add.) And Lamba expects RIM’s own cost to manufacture will become more favorable over time.

Lamba writes that RIM’s fiscal Q4 report this Thursday may disappoint: He’s modeling for $5.5 billion in revenue and $1.80 in EPS, below the average $5.6 billion and $1.75, as he thinks the company’s unit sales of BlackBerries may have been toward the low end of the company’s forecast for 14.5 million to 15 million units. That’s in contrast to several reports out in the last week that seem to be raising expectations for the quarter, including some bears on the stock.

Lamba reiterated a Hold rating and a $65 price target.

Meantime, Caris & Co.’s Robert Cihra this morning reiterated a Buy rating on RIM shares and a $75 price target, offering up a totally different set of profit metrics: he sees the PlayBook turning in 20% to 25% gross margin, and cutting overall corporate gross margin by half a percentage point.

Moreover, while the PlayBook will be dilutive to margin, it will “certainly add to EPS,” he believes, and he models $7.01 per share this fiscal year in EPS, above the average $6.79 estimate.

Cihra sees the company selling 1.7 million units this calendar year, focusing the sale of PlayBook on its “tight security, initial handset tethering and multiple [BlackBerry Enterprise Server] hooks.” Even if the company sells no units outside its base of 60 million BlackBerry accounts, “we nevertheless see that base affording RIMM a unique pool to target for incremental revs/profits, something most Android wannabes can’t say.”

Ah, but Brian Blair with Wedge Partners is the spoiler this morning, writing, “We continue to expect tepid sales for the 7 inch tablet and believe the company will sell less than 2 million units this calendar year vs. our expectations for Apple’s iPad at 40+ million units.”

Blair thinks Wall Street is overestimating the device’s potential, modeling between 5 million and 6 million units this year.

Blair lists as his reason for his regard a general skepticism about the seven-inch form factor; skepticism about developer support for the PlayBook’s “QNX” operating system; the lack of appeal for the “tethered” approach to the PlayBook’s calendar and email support; and the belief that the “overall value proposition” is low versus Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and the fact that there will be “a sea of competitors over the next few months.”

RIM shares today are up 25 cents, or 0.4%, at $62.42.

Update:  Credit Suisse’s Kulbinder Garcha today writes that he has not yet included PlayBook estimates in his numbers for RIM. However, he believes every 1 million units of the PlayBook could increase EPS by 1% to 2%. As for the Thursday’s report, Garcha is modeling units slightly below consensus, at 14.6 million, and argues RIM is making gains in most international markets, largely at Nokia’s (NOK) expense. Garcha rates RIM shares Outperform, with an $85 price target.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Cowen Ups FYQ4 View; Still Wary Of Profit Erosion

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Cowen & Co. analyst Matthew Hoffman this morning reiterates an Underperform rating on shares of Research in Motion (RIMM), while also lifting his expectations for unit sales of BlackBerry in the fiscal Q4 ended in February, which RIM is expected to announce this Thursday, after market close.

Hoffman now expects RIM sold about 15 million BlackBerries in the quarter, up from a prior estimate of 13.9 million, with “strong operator pull-through, especially in Latin America and the U.K.”

On the downside, Hoffman expects the introduction of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone at Verizon Communications (VZ) in February likely “impacted” sales at Verizon, raising churn and lowering subscriber growth for RIM. That may be evident, he thinks, in Thursday’s report, or it may show up in the current fiscal Q1.

Hoffman is modeling $5.6 billion in revenue, up from a prior $5.4 billion, and $1.62 in EPS for Q4, up from a prior $1.50. That profit estimate falls short, however, of the average Street estimate of $1.76.

He sees $5.7 billion and $1.46 for fiscal Q1, unchanged from before, which, again, is a bit light on the profit line compared to the average $1.65.

As Hoffman admits, his entire year estimate for fiscal 2012, $5.10 per share in earnings, is well below the consensus $6.79. Hoffman thinks that the company’s forthcoming “PlayBook” tablet computer “is unlikely to be much cheaper than market leaders” and “is unlikely to drive new sub growth and is likely to be dilutive to first-half fiscal 2012 gross margins.”

Hoffman put out his note before this morning’s announcement by RIM that the PlayBook goes on Sale April 19th, and that it will be available at Best Buy starting at $499, which is, in fact, the same price at which Apple’s (AAPL) iPad starts.

Previously: RIM: Bernstein Sees Overseas Gains Slowing, March 21st, 2011.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 03.04.11

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Insider Trading Probe Sends Clients Fleeing Without Arrests (Bloomberg)
“The practical reality is that if everyone else is going to pull out, then you have to pull out,” said Craig Slaughter, executive director of the West Virginia Investment Management Board, which had $50 million of its $12.5 billion in assets invested with Level Global. “When the feds knock on your door, it’s game over,” said Brad Alford, head of Alpha Capital Management LLC in Atlanta, which invests in hedge and mutual funds on behalf of wealthy clients. “Integrity is all you have in this business.”

Roubini: ECB April Rate Hike Would Be A ‘Mistake’ (CNBC)
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said Thursday a rate hike in April was possible but not certain and revived the bank’s old coded warning of monetary tightening by using the phrase “strong vigilance,” often heard during the tightening cycle between 2005 and 2007. “In my view that’s a mistake … I think that the ECB is rushing too fast into hiking rates,” Roubini said in an interview.

Madoff Trustee, ‘Net’ Winners Face Off (WSJ)
Former investors of Bernard Madoff and a trustee recovering money after his giant Ponzi scheme argued before an appellate panel Thursday over who constitutes a victim entitled to claim losses in the fraud. The judges grilled attorneys for the investors on whether to uphold a decision by the trustee, Irving Picard, to approve claims based on how much of an investor’s principal deposits with Mr. Madoff were lost, or whether Mr. Picard should instead use the much higher final account statements fabricated by Mr. Madoff.

Fired workers burn Indian executive to death (AP)
Indian police detained two people after an angry mob of fired workers burned to death a senior executive of a steel factory, an official said Friday. After learning they were laid off, about a dozen workers attacked a vehicle carrying Radhey Shyam Roy as he was leaving the factory in eastern Orissa state on Thursday, dousing the Jeep with gasoline and setting it on fire, said police Superintendent Ajay Kumar Sarangi.

Banks Face More Loan Writedowns (WSJ)
Most loan modifications have focused primarily on reducing monthly payments by lowering the borrower’s interest rate and extending the loan term. The code of conduct would require banks to first consider reducing loan balances in certain instances before modifications or foreclosure. Those new terms are a “big deal,” one person who saw the document said.

Merkel Risks Clash Over Irish Bailout in Euro Rescue Push (Bloomberg)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is resisting calls to ease Ireland’s bailout terms, underscoring the gulf on crisis-fighting steps that persists even among political allies.

Chase Take On Madoff: $907 Million (NYP)
JPMorgan Chase made $907 million in pretax profit from deposits held at the bank by imprisoned Ponzi scheme operator Bernard L. Madoff, a study said. The Madoff firm’s balances in its JPMorgan account generated the profit from 1986 to 2008, according to Linus Wilson, an assistant finance professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. A JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

CRM: Morgan Joseph Says Buy On Sub Growth, Chatter

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Morgan Joseph analyst Illya Grozovsky today reiterated a Buy rating on shares of hosted software maker Salesforce.com (CRM) in advance of its fiscal Q4 report next Thursday, although he expects the company will turn in revenue just below Street estimates, at $448 million versus the consensus $453 million estimate, while [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Clearwire: Citigroup Looking For Strategic Talk Tomorrow

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Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins this morning reiterated a Hold rating on shares of wireless broadband operator Clearwire (CLWR), and a $9 price target, ahead of Q4 results Thursday afternoon, writing that  that the more important issue is not the results but what the company says about its ongoing business model [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Apple: Canaccord Ups Target To $460, Ups iPhone, iPad Estimates

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Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley this morning joins the Street in sifting through the implications of last Thursday’s stock-out of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone when it went on pre-sale at Verizon Communications (VZ). He reiterated a Buy rating this morning on Apple and raised his price target to $460 from [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

VZ Sells Out: iPhone Debut Adds To Apple Luster

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Verizon Communications (VZ) this morning announced the company had its most successful sales day ever yesterday, after starting pre-orders for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone. The company said it sold more phones between 3 am and 5 am on Thursday than “any first day launch in our history.” The company ceased taking [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Savvis: CEO Takes Acquisition Questions On CNBC

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Shares of data center hosting firm Savvis (SVVS) are up 72 cents, or 2.4%, at $30.98 after the company’s chairman and CEO, James Ousley, appeared on CNBC earlier today, answering questions about possible acquisition.
Savvis shares jumped on Friday after Verizon Communications (VZ) said Thursday evening it would purchase competitor Terremark [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily