18 Jul 13. Microsoft Corp reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as slow personal computer sales ate into its Windows business and the company took an unexpected $900m charge for its inventory of
unsold Surface tablets. The stock fell 5 percent after hours from 5-year highs. The massive charge underlines the struggles of the world’s largest software company, which last week announced a deep reorganization to transform itself into a “devices and services” leader, but is struggling to make mobile computing as attractive as Apple Inc or Google Inc. “That’s the biggest miss we’ve ever seen from Microsoft, the biggest that I could remember,” said Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. “It looks like everything was weak.” Before the sell-off late Thursday, Microsoft shares had risen 32 percent this year, beating a 19 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Microsoft said the $900m charge was related to its Surface RT tablet, the version of its tablet running on ARM Holdings-designed chips. The Surface was meant to challenge Apple’s iPad when it was launched alongside Windows 8 in October, but has not sold well. Earlier this week, Microsoft said it was drastically cutting prices and expanding distribution of the model to entice buyers, reducing the value of Surface devices in its inventory.
“We do know we have to do better, particular in mobile devices,” Amy Hood, Microsoft’s new chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a big reason we made the strategic organizational changes last week. “Microsoft’s biggest shake-up in five years, unveiled by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer last week, creates a single devices unit for the first time at the company, suggesting that it will double down on its so-far unsuccessful move into hardware. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of 59 cents per share, compared with a 6 cents per share loss in the year-ago quarter when it wrote off the cost of a failed acquisition.Wall Street had estimated earnings of 75 cents per share, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Excluding the Surface charge, Microsoft reported 66 cents per share profit, a less drastic miss. Revenue rose 10 percent to $19.9bn, helped by sales of Microsoft’s Office suite of applications, but fell short of analysts’ average estimate of $20.7bn.Sales of Windows rose slightly, but only because of the inclusion of some deferred revenue, weighed down by an estimated 11 percent dip in PC sales in the quarter. (Source: Reuters)
19 Jul 13. Saab (STO:SAAB B). Saab’s results January-June 2013. Defence and security company Saab presents the results for January-June 2013. Statement by the President and CEO, Håkan Buskhe: For the first time since 1998*, the total global defence spending declined in 2012. The challenging market conditions continued during the first half of 2013, particularly in Europe and the U.S. The sequestration in the U.S. hit hard against both the defence sector and other government-funded programmes. As a consequence, our training and air traffic management operations were affected negatively. In light of this, it is especially pleasing to see an increase in order bookings in four of our six business areas during the period. Among other things, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) ordered development of the next generation of the Gripen fighter system, the Gripen E, and Brazil ordered upgrades of the airborne radar system Erieye. Sales in the first half-year amounted to MSEK 11,748, an organic decline of 1 percent. As a result of the tough market situation, the activity level was lower, mainly in the business areas Electronic Defence Systems and Dynamics. Excluding material non-recurring items, operating income amounted to MSEK 776 (926) and the operating margin was 6.6 percent (7.8) in the period. In the second quarter the operating income excluding non-recurring items amounted to MSEK 380 (523) and