Eric Volkman

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  • Hewlett-Packard Needs Help

    By Eric Volkman - February 23, 2012 | Tickers: DELL, HPQ | Editor's Choice

    What big IT component maker is going to be the next to stumble? At the moment the company in the shame chair is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), hot on the heels of Dell’s (NASDAQ: DELL) announcement of a slew of unhappy quarterly numbers. Of the two companies, HP wins the Most Disappointing award; its 2Q revenue slumped 7% year-on-year, while net profit tripped by an embarrassing 44%.

    In fact, any more »

  • Dell Peaks and Drops

    By Eric Volkman - February 22, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, DELL, GOOG, HPQ, IBM

    There isn't much of a future in computer hardware. Just ask Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), which posted full-year results that seemed impressive… but only before you looked under the hood. Despite a nice hop in net income, which landed higher at 33% year on year (to total $3.5 billion, meaning a record EPS of $1.88), revenue was stagnant. Also, the tough conditions of the markets Dell operates in more »

  • Hollywood Scales the Great Wall

    By Eric Volkman - February 20, 2012 | Tickers: DWA, IMAX, TWX, DIS | Editor's Choice

    The Chinese are going to have access to more movies … well, legitimate ones, at any rate. This is because last week their government and America's agreed on a deal in which more Hollywood films will be allowed to screen in the big Asian country’s theaters. Previously, China had a strict quota of 20 American films per year.

    The deal allows for only 14 more movies, which isn’t more »

  • Here Comes Yelp

    By Eric Volkman - February 18, 2012 | Tickers: GRPN, LNKD, P, YELP, ZNGA | Editor's Choice

    Another day, another Internet IPO. Have we time-traveled back to 1999? It's starting to look that way, as more and more known companies with a .com after their name and puddles of red ink arrive on the market. Next in line is Yelp (NYSE: YELP), the popular online business review site, which will become a traded stock early next month.

    The company has never made money and doesn't more »

  • Tech Steals a Trick from TV

    By Eric Volkman - February 17, 2012 | Tickers: AOL, GOOG, MSFT, NWSA, YHOO | Editor's Choice

    As if any more evidence were needed that the web and traditional forms of entertainment were coming together, some of the biggest players in the online world are planning their own take on TV's "upfronts." Their version of the annual entertainment industry bonanza will be held this spring, in an attempt to bring in more ad dollars and close the revenue gap between internet media and the more traditional more »

  • Discovery Discovers Flat Growth

    By Eric Volkman - February 17, 2012 | Tickers: CMCSA, DISCA, SNI, TWX

    It happens to every decent company sooner or later; a period of healthy growth slows to a time of flat results. Such is the case with cable TV concern Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA). It’s just announced 4Q and full-year 2011 results and they’re splendid, with lots of double-digit pluses (or near enough) in the year-on-year growth column. Net profit was way up (almost 70% to $1.1 billion more »

  • Barry Diller, Broadcast TV Killer?

    By Eric Volkman - February 15, 2012 | Tickers: CMCSA, IACI, NFLX, NWSA | Editor's Choice

    It's funny to think that Barry Diller, one of the chief architects of the current network TV structure, might turn out to be a key figure tearing it down. Diller's InterActiveCorp. (NASDAQ: IACI) was the lead company in a $20.5 million round of financing for a startup called Aereo, a company that will soon offer a way for its subscribers to get broadcast TV on the cheap more »

  • Yahoo! Feels the Heat

    By Eric Volkman - February 15, 2012 | Tickers: GOOG, KKR, MSFT, BX, YHOO | Editor's Choice

    Is Nero reaching for a violin while his city goes up in flame? For the umpteenth time, Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ: YHOO) attempts to sell a pair of hugely valuable assets -- big stakes in hit Chinese online B2B marketplace Alibaba and YHOO's brother firm in the Land of the Rising Sun, Yahoo! Japan -- have hit a wall. Meanwhile, activist investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point hedge fund has started marshaling more »

  • Verizon and AT&T Want a Present From Apple

    By Eric Volkman - February 14, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, T, VZ

    A hot rumor in the tech world, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, is that Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming iteration of the iPad will be sold by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) and connect via their much-hyped 4G networks. What's more, rumor has it that the two carriers might be permitted to subsidize the new device as they now do with their range of more »

  • Clearing a Path for Google

    By Eric Volkman - February 13, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, HPQ, MSFT, MMI | Editor's Choice

    The Justice Department's anti-trust authority and its counterpart in the European Union have just made Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) life easier. The two bodies helped the company immensely by approving its ambitious buy of telecoms equipment maker Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI). Now nothing stands in the way of GOOG completing the purchase of its shiny new toy.

    Google considers this a crucial acquisition since it has shifted its strategy more »

  • Alcatel Us Something Positive

    By Eric Volkman - February 11, 2012 | Tickers: ALU, BRCM, CSCO, NOK

    It took a while, but telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is finally in the black. More than half a decade after it was born from the merger of a French (Alcatel) and an American (Lucent) company, the unified entity posted its first annual net profit, and on paper it looks pretty good. Net came in at around $1.4 billion, which is an encouraging improvement over 2010's loss more »

  • Lions Gate Stays Hungry

    By Eric Volkman - February 11, 2012 | Tickers: LGF, TWX, NWSA, VIAB, DIS

    On the surface of it, the earnings report was very unimpressive. Third-quarter revenue dropped a queasy 24% while net loss was a penny per share. That wouldn't be so disappointing, except that analysts were expecting profit to hit 9 cents and revenue to increase more than 10% instead of evaporating by nearly one-fourth. On the back of such an earnings flop, any stock would trade down in a disappointed more »

  • Barclays Humbled by Results

    By Eric Volkman - February 10, 2012 | Tickers: BCS, DB, RBS, UBS

    We should be glad that most of us are not European bankers. It's a bad line of work to be in the moment. Just ask Robert Diamond, CEO of British financial conglomerate Barclays (NYSE: BCS). He must have been feeling some humility when the bank announced its 2011 results, which included a double-digit fall in net profit and a return on equity figure that was less than half of more »

  • Welcome to Results Season, Groupon

    By Eric Volkman - February 9, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, GOOG, GRPN, TZOO | Editor's Choice

    In some ways, recent months have felt like the late 1990s. The latest crop of high-profile tech IPOs is reminiscent of an earlier era when anything with a ".com" after its name was thrown onto the stock market in the hopes of a quick cash-out. These days aren't quite like those nutty times; there are fewer IPOs and, by and large, the companies issuing stock actually produce revenue and more »

  • The Box Office Bounces Back

    By Eric Volkman - February 8, 2012 | Tickers: LGF, SNE, TWX, VIAB, DIS | Editor's Choice

    Along with the cautiously advancing economy, the movie business seems to be doing better of late. Figures have come in for the first month of 2012 (well, Jan. 1 to Feb. 5, to be exact), and they're encouraging -- domestic movie ticket sales amounted to $964.4 million for the period, an 11% improvement over the same period last year.

    Although the economy could get the credit for putting more more »

  • Disney - Mixed Results Mean Time to Buy

    By Eric Volkman - February 8, 2012 | Tickers: CCW, DIS

    Welcome to earnings season, where it's another day, another big name reporting results. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) topped estimates in terms of profit, with its first-quarter result of 80 cents per share trumping the consensus view of 71 cents. That net translates into a total of $1.5 billion for the quarter. That was the good news. The bad was that the company's revenue for the more »

  • Coke is Still It

    By Eric Volkman - February 7, 2012 | Tickers: KO, DPS, MNST, PEP | Editor's Choice

    In our still shaky economy, there are very few near-certain bets. One of that tiny number is Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), a company that despite a longtime market-dominating, number one position in its industry still manages to grow and produce cash to grow its operations and reward its shareholders.

    The company just announced that its fourth quarter revenue grew 5% to a little over $11 billion. Meanwhile net profit excluding restructuring more »

  • UBS is a Mess

    By Eric Volkman - February 7, 2012 | Tickers: SAN, DB, NBG, UBS

    Swiss financial giant UBS (NYSE: UBS) has posted awful results "thanks" to a terrible double whammy that sideswiped its financials. Operating in the midst of Europe's continent-wide financial crisis dragged heavily on its revenue and profitability, but a "rogue" trader scandal also hit the bank hard.

    Last year Kweku Adoboli, a trader on UBS' equity derivatives desk, made one or a series - the details are still fuzzy - of disastrous more »

  • Bad Times for Media Players

    By Eric Volkman - February 6, 2012 | Tickers: GCI, MNI, NYT, NWSA

    It was undoubtedly a painful news item to report on; last week The New York Times ran an article detailing the lackluster results of its parent organization, The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT). Operating profit for full-year 2011 cratered by almost 76% to $56.7 million, while net sank into the red by nearly $40 million in bleak contrast to 2010's profit of $107.7 million.

    The shocking more »

  • Underperforming in German

    By Eric Volkman - February 3, 2012 | Tickers: DB

    Shares of big companies usually get whacked when they significantly miss estimates. That didn't happen in the case of German financial giant Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) after it reported much weaker than anticipated net profit for its most recent quarter and fiscal year. After the bank announced that its bottom line for the quarter totaled EUR 186 million (around $244 million), nowhere near even half of the EUR 492 more »