Archive for the ‘quarterly earnings’ tag
Electric car manufacturer Tesla’s stock jumped in after-hours trading today after the company announced the first quarterly profit in its ten-year history, and record sales of over half a billion dollars in the first quarter of 2013.
CEO Elon Musk said in a letter to shareholders that sales were up 83 percent from last quarter to $562 million as Tesla delivered 4,900 electric vehicles. In addition, gross margin doubled from 2012 to 17 percent, thanks to better use of raw materials, smarter inventory management, and a reduction in the hours required to build each car by 40 percent over the quarter.
The result was a first-ever profit of $15 million. And the future looks bright as well.
“We are pleased with the strong global demand for Model S and are currently receiving orders at a rate greater than 20,000 per year worldwide,” Musk wrote in the letter. “We are seeing orders in a particular region increase proportionate to the number of deliveries, which means that customers are selling other customers on the car.”
U.S. demand alone will be greater than 15,000 cars/year, Tesla estimates, with global demand double that, including 10,000 in Europe and at least 5,000 in Asia.
Investors received the news well, as the stock jumped almost 20 percent in after-hours trading, going from an in-day low of $55 to an after-hours high of $72.30.
The goal, Tesla says, is to bring electric vehicles to the mass market by making them affordable to all, or at least a wider swath of the car-buying public. Musk and company promised cheaper electric vehicles in the very next model:
“The Model S is priced substantially lower than the Roadster and our third generation vehicle will again be priced much lower than the Model S.”
Tesla currently has 34 stores and “galleries,” where the car can be viewed, around the world, with a plan to open 15 more in 2013. In addition, it has 41 service locations, to which the company plans to add another 30 in 2013. Of course, for electric vehicles, charging technology is critical, and the company is building out new charging stations currently, with “a major announcement” expected in the next few months.
In other good news, Tesla ended the quarter with more cash on hand, $231 million, than it started — despite the fact that it made a second Department of Energy loan repayment of $13 million.
I’m guessing the DoE is much happier with Tesla than it is with Fisker, which recently became the worst VC-backed debacle in U.S. history, in addition to burning through hundreds of millions of dollars of government money.
TripAdvisor is planning a television advertising campaign to introduce its hotel booking and community review site to a mainstream audience. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Stephen Kaufer, mentioned the plan in last night’s quarterly earnings call.
“We are scheduled to begin testing our first TV ad later this quarter, and you should expect us — expect to see us on air in a meaningful way starting in Q3 in the U.S.,” Kaufer said to call participants. “As always, we will test and learn.”
Last quarter, TripAdvisor saw an average of 200 million monthly unique visitors on its branded sites and now publishes more than 100 million reviews and opinions, the company said.
Another travel site that advertises on television is the deal aggregator Kayak, which is a competitor to TripAdvisor now that the review site has added meta search and display results to help travelers compare prices and availability before they book a hotel.
After rolling out the meta feature to smartphone users in the fourth quarter of 2012, Kaufer said it now reaches more than half of TripAdvisor’s worldwide traffic with the addition of desktop and tablet users in the first quarter of 2013.
He said later in the call that the offline branding campaign will begin when the meta feature reaches 100 percent of TripAdvisor’s users, which should happen later this quarter.
Image by Frontpage.
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Careers-focused social network LinkedIn shook investors’ confidence today when it issued a weak guidance.
As we reported, LinkedIn‘s Q1 2013 performance was decent but trailed analysts’ expectations. Members of the press responded to the lower-than-expected revenues by questioning the company’s capability to sell advertising on mobile.
And with LinkedIn failing to meet inflated revenue expectations, recent buyers hit the “sell” button in after-hours trading, sending shares down more than $20 at one point from a record close of $201.67 a share earlier today.
In the wake of the press hit, CEO Jeff Weiner pointed to numerous areas of opportunity in future quarters on a conference call. He stressed that full year revenues will climb 47 percent to 50 percent. As Forbes contributor George Anders put it, “Most companies can only dream of such growth rates.”
“The stock is somewhat a victim of its own success,” Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice told Reuters. ”They had a really big acceleration in Q4,” said Rice. “So I think the market kind of expected similar results in Q1 and throughout 2013.”
In other words, it will be near impossible for LinkedIn to consistently meet — or outperform — the expectations of the Street, especially as it invests in R&D and more long-term growth opportunities.
According to LinkedIn CFO Steve Sordello, who also spoke on the call, the company expects to see a solid and sustainable business model as it transitions to offering sponsored posts in the LinkedIn feed. As a complement to the content business, the social network recently began offering video.
A testament to the emphasis on content and publishing, page views grew 63 percent year to year, fueled largely by increased mobile use.
The biggest revenue-driver, the Talent Solutions division, which provides tools for recruiters to passively engage with candidates, grew 80 percent versus the prior year. LinkedIn continues to see growth in international markets as it expands; 88 percent in EMEA in the first quarter.
However, the company will be unlikely to sustain its accelerated rate of growth. Weiner and Sordello also provided some color on the areas of the business where growth will be gradual, rather than booming.
Weiner said the team is “looking for a more sustainable business model” for its marketing solutions business. Hiring was slow this quarter, and Weiner stressed that the recruiting team is on the lookout for strong candidates in engineering, product development, and strategic development.
In addition, LinkedIn will embark on a multiyear project: a self-managed data center that it expects will cost about $5 million a quarter. Weiner also referenced the $90 million acquisition of social news reader Pulse. “There are some incremental investments coming into play,” he said.
Filed under: Business
Amazon has just dropped the price for a Kindle to $269 in a fire-sale “deal of the day.’ Some folks, including us, are taking this as a sign that a new Kindle is on the way.
The usual list price for the Kindle DX, Amazon’s big ol’ 9.7-inch e-ink reader, is $379. Unfortunately, in a world replete with seven-inch e-readers and 10-inch tablets, the Kindle DX was a bit too large to fit in with its own kind and a bit too bare-bones in its feature set and applications to fit in with devices of the same size.
We have also been hearing rumors that Amazon is getting ready to roll out a 10-inch Kindle Fire. Fire is the company’s entry into the world of high-powered, full-featured Android tablets, and it’s been selling like crazy since its launch. With other 10-inch competitors on the market from companies like Samsung, Asus, Sony, and (of course) Apple, it makes total sense for Amazon to kick the Fire’s screen size up a notch.
In fact, the wee, seven-inch model has already played a big role in taking a bite out of Apple’s share of the tablet market. Overall, Android tablets gained 10 percent market share from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011 and now represent 39 percent of the overall tablet market; and Fire, which was first announced just last September already represents 35.7 percent of total Android tablet application sessions.
As revealed in one of Amazon’s recent quarterly earnings calls, the Fire tablet is still Amazon’s best-selling, most gifted, and most wished for product, as it’s been since the day it launched.
Filed under: mobile
Competition Weighs On T-Mobile USA: Q2 Sales Down To $4.9B, Customer Figures ‘Continue To Present Challenge’
With parent company Deutsche Telekom posting its quarterly earnings today, T-Mobile USA has reported its Q2 operating results. Despite moves it is making to ramp up its network and handset lineup to compete with the bigger boys, T-Mobile — the only big U.S. carrier yet to offer the iPhone — saw revenues decline by 3.3% to $4.883 billion, down from $5.034 billion a year ago, and down from $5.050 in Q1. Meanwhile, T-Mobile USA branded customers now stand at 26.595 million, compared to 27.808 in the same quarter a year ago, a decline of 4% (including MVNO and M2M, the numbers still went down to 33.168 million from 33.585 million). Net income was also down, to $207 million from $212 million the year before.
And despite the fact that the AT&T deal to buy T-Mobile got ditched in December 2011, the operator is still recording items on its balance sheet related to it.
From the earnings, here are the lines that relate to AT&T charges:
- T-Mobile notes that adjusted OIBDA in the second quarter of 2012 “excludes special charges of $67 million, primarily consisting of employee severance costs associated with restructuring initiatives announced in the first and second quarter of 2012.” It notes that this includes a “special charge” of $30 million “primarily consisting of employee retention benefit expenses related to the terminated AT&T transaction.” The charge T-Mobile took for the same reason in Q2 2011 was $13 million.
- T-Mobile USA says it recorded a $1.2 billion increase in spectrum licenses as a result of the AWS spectrum received as part of the terminated AT&T transaction.
- It also notes accrued liabilities relating to restructuring and AT&T transaction-related costs of $9 million, significantly lower than the $109 million in the quarter a year ago.
Without a merger option on the table, T-Mobile continues to try to build itself up into a stronger fighting form on its own. That has involved a $900 million cost savings plan, network expansion, and a focus on building its brand and handset lineup. But the crucial fact remains that it continues to see a net loss in customers. These were 205,000 in Q2 of 2012, compared to 50,000 in Q2 2011. “Customer figures in the United States continue to present a major challenge,” parent company Deutsche Telekom noted in its earnings statement. Meanwhile the new CEO of the USA operation had this to say:
“In the second quarter, T-Mobile USA continued to show considerable progress in a number of key areas delivering solid adjusted OIBDA growth. While we reported encouraging branded contract and branded prepaid churn improvements in the quarter, we remain focused on customer loyalty as we continue to execute against our strategy,” said Jim Alling, Interim CEO and President of T-Mobile USA, in a statement. “Looking ahead, T-Mobile USA will continue to invest in a number of key areas including the modernization of our network as we pave the way for LTE service in 2013, retail expansion, as well as an increased investment in promoting our brand.”
T-Mobile is currently working its way through a $4 billion 4G network upgrade that will see the carrier start to offer LTE services in 2013. Part of that process has involved a lot of spectrum pick-ups: the carrier has purchased network spectrum from Verizon Wireless to improve coverage in 15 of the top 25 markets in the country. Similarly, AT&T’s spectrum transfer, as a result of the merger plan break-up, will improve coverage in 12 of the top 20 U.S. markets. A deal with Leap Wireless will add better coverage in four states. It’s currently working with Nokia Siemens Networks to install LTE kit in 37,000 cell sites.
Among the handsets the carrier has rolled out over the quarter have been the HTC One S and the Samsung Galaxy S III, both built on Android. While HTC has actually seen its performance in the U.S. improve lately, and the S3 has been largely a success worldwide, Android has actually started to see some pressure in the U.S. according to some analysts.
Parent Deutsche Telekom, meanwhile, reported earnings largely in line with expectations, although earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization were a flat $5.8 billion in comparison to last year.
News Corporation has just reported its quarterly earnings. For Q4 it had revenues of $8.4 billion with earnings per share of $0.32, both down compared to the year before (Q4 2011 the company reported revenues of $9 billion with EPS of $0.35). The earnings per share met analysts expectations, but revenues fell short, with analysts expecting $8.722 billion. Those estimate numbers were down by 11% and 3% respectively on the same quarter a year ago, on the back of pressures in advertising in its publishing sector and a less blockbusters in the entertainment division of the business. The company noted that gains in its cable network business mostly offset declines in all other divisions. Full-year revenue was $33.7 billion, 1% up on the year before.
The company also reported a net loss of $1.6 billion for the quarter, compared to a net income of $683 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company said the figure included a $2.8 billion restructuring charge for its publishing division, which News Corp. is planning to separate from its entertainment division.
And there was other bad news: the company has taken a charge of $224 million for the year on related to “litigation settlement charges,” presumably in connection with the phone-hacking scandal in the UK. The charge for litigation in 2011 was $125 million. The charge for Q4 alone for litigation was $57 million.
In terms of operating segments, all but cable network programming saw declines for the quarter. Here’s how it broke down:
Despite revenues being down on a year ago, News Corp. is also making some significant moves that have pleased the street. In addition to splitting its entertainment and publishing businesses, it has initiated a $10 billion stock buyback plan.
In its last quarter, which ended March 31, 2012, the company had cash reserves of $61 billion and reported annual revenues of $34 billion.
More to come. Refresh for updates.
Yelp announced its latest quarterly earnings today, but rather than the financials, these are the numbers that caught my eye:
- Cumulative reviews grew 54% year over year to more than 30 million
- Average monthly unique visitors grew 52% year over year to more than 78 million
Both of those numbers are about double what they were 18 months ago, at the end of 2010. At that time, Yelp announced that it had about 15 million reviews and monthly traffic of about 41 million uniques.
Wowza. Closed out 2010 with +41M unique visitors & +15M reviews in Dec! Feeling good things for 2011! http://yfrog.com/hsjn3xj
— Yelp (@Yelp) January 5, 2011
I still generally believe that overall review counts are meaningless, but I do think this bears watching in light of Google’s risky switch to the Zagat ratings/reviews system. I’m curious to see how that will play out, and if the switch will hurt Google in the long run, while helping competitors like Yelp that are sticking with the familiar 5-star system.
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Yelp’s Traffic & Review Count Have Doubled in the Past 18 Months
Facebook on Thursday announced its first-ever quarterly earnings as a publicly traded company, meeting Wall Street expectations with a profit of 12 cents per share on revenue of $1.18 billion.
Facebook has been steadily marching toward the one-billion-user mark. Today the company announced that it is very nearly there, with 955 million active monthly users.
Today’s figure represents a 55 million-user increase since April, when the social network had just surpassed 900 million MAUs (monthly active users).
The MAU figure is Facebook’s preferred metric for describing its growth. We also got an update on daily active users (552 million, up from 526 million in April) and mobile users (543 million, an increase from 488 MAUs on mobile devices in April). MAUs and DAUs were both up around 30 percent year over year, and mobile monthly users saw a 67 percent year-over-year increase.
The reason for today’s announcements is, of course, Facebook’s quarterly earnings, and all these eyeballs add up to a lot of cash for the social network — the majority of its $1.18 billion in revenues for the second quarter, in fact.
Online marketing analysis firm eMarketer noted that Facebook is dominating the U.S. display ad market, taking the lead from Google with a 14 percent share of the total market in 2011, up from 11.5 percent in 2010.
And mobile users also represent a huge opportunity for Facebook. Mobile advertising spending in the United States climbed to a stunning $1.45 billion in 2011. Mobile advertising wasn’t a huge priority for Facebook, which rolled out its very first mobile ads earlier this year. Currently, Google claims 51.7 percent of the mobile advertising market, around $750 million, according to eMarketer.
We’ll have more coming up soon on Facebook’s earnings, growth, and stock price fluctuations, so stay tuned. For now, here’s a handy little chart showing stock prices for Facebook and a few related companies over the past month. As you can see, investors aren’t too impressed — yet. (In fact, Facebook stock hit a new low of $24 in after-hours trading today.)
Here are some more fascinating stats from today’s string of announcements:
- Revenues came to $1.18 billion, made up mostly of advertising revenues, which totaled $992 million.
- Overall, revenues were up 32 percent year over year.
- For Facebook ad campaigns, 70 percent had an ROI of 3x or better, and 49 percent showed an ROI of 5x or better.
- Facebook’s warchest of cash and marketable securities grew to $10.2 billion, including the $6.8 billion it made during its IPO.
Filed under: social
Western Digital’s Q4 2012 Earnings Beat Forecast: $4.8B in Revenue, Earnings of $2.87 Per Share, 71M Drives Shipped
Western Digital just reported its earnings for its fourth financial quarter of 2012. The company reported revenue of 4.8$ billions and earnings per share of $2.87. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $872 million, or $3.35 per share. That’s far better than what most analysts expected and also better than the company’s own guidance of $4.2 billion to $4.4 billion in revenue. The consensus was that Western Digital would report revenue around $4.25 billion and earnings of $2.47 per share. In the year-ago-quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.67 per share.
For the full fiscal year, Western Digital reported revenue of $12.5 billion and net income of $1.6 billion, or $6.58 per share for fiscal year 2012, compared to fiscal 2011 revenue of $9.5 billion and net income of $726 million, or $3.09 per share.
The company’s fortunes over the last few quarter were, of course, closely linked to the flooding in Thailand last year. In April, when the company announced its last quarterly earnings, the company’s CEO John Coyne announced that Western Digital had mostly recovered from the Thailand floods. The company restarted production at its first factory in Thailand last December, but the effects of the disaster on the industry continue to linger. Besides the flooding, the overall weakness in the PC market that a number of other companies cited in their earnings releases this month also directly affected hard drive sales, but the company still shipped 71 million hard drives in the last quarter (54 million of those were for laptops and 8 million went to enterprise customers).
“Fiscal 2012 was one of the most challenging and exciting years in our 42-year history,” said John Coyne, chief executive officer. “While responding to two major natural disasters and completing the largest acquisition in the history of the industry, we achieved year-over-year revenue growth of 31 percent and more than doubled earnings per share.”