07 May 08. Cisco Systems Inc. weathered a worrisome technology-spending environment without much damage in its fiscal third quarter, but issued a revenue forecast for the current quarter that suggests its growth rate will remain subdued. The network-equipment giant said its net income declined 5.4% in the third period ended April 26, primarily as a result of acquisition charges, on a 10% increase in revenue. John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive officer, predicted revenue growth of 9% to 10% for the current quarter, acknowledging that some of the company’s customers in the U.S. and Europe remain cautious. Cisco’s revenue had been growing in the range of 16% to 17% before a slowdown that began last fall. But Mr. Chambers, on a conference call with analysts, said markets outside the U.S. remain healthy, reiterating that he remains confident that Cisco can meet its long-term forecast of 12% to 17% sales growth. “This quarter was solid given the challenges we are witnessing in the market,” Mr. Chambers said. Cisco’s stock traded at $26.33, up five cents, in 4 p.m. composite trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, and rose following the announcements to $26.71 in after-hours trading. (Source: WSJ)
07 May 08. The German rocket motor subsidiary of European missile systems group MBDA, Bayern-Chemie GmbH, completed the sale of its subsidiary Protac SA to Roxel, a jointly owned company of MBDA (50%) and SNPE (50%). The Protac sale follows on from MBDA’s acquisition of Bayern-Chemie in August 2007 and marks a further step towards the rationalisation of the European propulsion industry and provides an opportunity for the development and expansion of both Roxel and Protac by bringing together complementary technical competencies and skills.
Protac, which has an annual turnover of €28 million and 90 employees at its site at La Ferté Saint-Aubin, 100 miles south of Paris, develops and produces rocket motors and solid propellant rockets. In particular, the company specialises in complex metallic structures, thermal insulations, laser welding and pyrotechnics for civil applications and conducts research for customers such as MBDA, Thales, Airbus, Snecma and the French Ministry of Defence. The company’s new owner, Roxel, is the largest supplier of propulsion systems for tactical weapons in Europe and the third largest in the world. Roxel is jointly owned and controlled by its two parent companies, MBDA and SNPE, France’s leading supplier of energetic materials, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
07 May 08. Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service, and Eden Ventures, the early stage venture capital firm specializing in software and technology, today announced the £1 Million Force.com Investment Challenge – a venture challenge for entrepreneurs and early stage companies building on the Force.com Platform. Force.com delivers Platform-as-a-Service, enabling companies to develop and deliver any application on demand. The £1 Million Force.com Investment Challenge, the first of its kind in the UK, is designed to inspire a new generation of independent software vendors (ISVs) to develop and deliver SaaS applications on the Force.com Platform. The winner will have the opportunity to negotiate with Eden Ventures for a potential investment of up to £1 million. Eden Ventures will announce the winner in November at Dreamforce 2008, salesforce.com’s user and developer conference. “New investment models are required to match the new technology and business models made possible with Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “Eden Ventures has a track record of success in identifying entrepreneurs and startups that have the vision and leadership necessary for long term business success. That’s why they are investing in companies based on the Force.com Platform.”
03 May 08. French aerospace group Safran jumped t