Monday, December 9, 2013
6:57 PMMicrosoft reportedly looking to bring back Windows Start menu
- Paul Thurrott reports Microsoft (MSFT) is looking to bring back Windows' traditional Start menu with its 2015 Threshold OS updates (previous). The company is also said to be interested in allowing users to run (touch-friendly) Metro-style apps in desktop mode.
- Microsoft brought back the Start button with Windows 8.1, but not the full-blown Start menu; a power menu can be accessed by right-clicking the button.
- Meanwhile, Mary Jo Foley reports Threshold could feature the release of three Windows variants (SKUs): A "modern" consumer SKU focused on Windows RT apps and touch devices; a "traditional" consumer SKU meant to placate keyboard/mouse users; and an enterprise SKU featuring "all the usual business bells and whistles."
- The reports come at a time when Windows 8/8.1's adoption rate continues to significantly trail that delivered by Windows 7 following its launch, thanks to minimal enterprise uptake and ongoing complaints about its dual UIs and lack of a traditional Start menu.
6:23 PMSenior Salesforce exec leaves for startup
- Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, Salesforce's (CRM) president of global sales, is leaving to become the sales chief of performance monitoring software startup New Relic.
- Koplow-McAdams was in charge of Salesforce's international sales teams. AllThingsD reported two months ago she was looking to leave the company, rather than work for new sales chief/vice chairman Keith Block.
6:11 PMDeutsche starts coverage on 3D Systems and Stratasys, shares up AH
- 3D Systems (DDD) +0.8% AH and Stratasys (SSYS) +0.9% after Deutsche starts coverage with Buy ratings. Fellow 3D printer maker ExOne has been started at Hold.
- The day has already seen Pac Crest start coverage on 3D Systems with an Outperform and Stratasys/ExOne with Sector Performs, and Nomura argue current industry hype is excessive. Also: Piper's Troy Jensen has issued another bullish industry report after returning from last week's EuroMold trade show.
- Jensen states 3D Systems, which introduced new high-end printers, materials, and software, was by far "the most active at EuroMold with respect to new product introductions." He's especially a fan of a new metal printer from 3D's recently-acquired Phenix Systems unit.
- Jensen also liked Stratasys' launch of a nylon printing material (resellers are upbeat), and says a visit to the HQ of Swedish printer maker Arcam (AMAVF) indicates the company is focused on rapidly expanding (it currently has only 65 employees).
5:36 PMNXP's P-E backers commence 25M-share offering; shares -1.7% AH
- NXP (NXPI) shareholders, including the P-E firms that took the chipmaker public - KKR, AlpInvest, Apax Partners, Bain Capital, and Silver Lake - are selling another 25M shares (9.7% of outstanding shares) through a secondary offering. (PR) (prospectus)
- The P-E firms previously announced 25M-share offerings in September and March, and a 30M-share offering in February. After the latest sale, the firms and affiliates will collectively be left with a 14.8% stake in NXP.
5:27 PMAehr Test Systems receives $1M FOX-15 and WaferPak follow-on order| Comment!
5:26 PMFinisar selling $200M worth of convertible debt, shares -1.8% AH
- Finisar (FNSR) is selling $200M worth of convertible senior notes due 2033. Underwriters will have a $30M overallotment option. (PR)
- Finisar says it expects to use the proceeds for "general corporate purposes," but adds it may also use some of the funds to "acquire complementary businesses, products or technologies." The optical component industry has seen a decent amount of M&A in recent years.
- It's worth noting Finisar doesn't have any pressing need for cash: As of Oct. 27, the company had $316.5M in cash/equivalents on its balance sheet, and only $4.7M in debt.
5:18 PMAccelrys acquires Irish cloud compliance software maker QUMAS for $50M| Comment!
5:12 PMDiodes +4.7% AH after FQ4 gross margin guidance is hiked by 60 bps| Comment!
5:08 PMValueClick selling website unit to IAC
- ValueClick (VCLK) is selling its Owned & Operated Websites business, which includes properties such as Investopedia and U.K. price-comparison site PriceRunner, to InterActiveCorp (IACI) for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close in January. (PR)
- ValueClick announced last month (in tandem with disappointing Q3 results) it plans to sell its O&O unit, and focus on its online ad network/tech ops. O&O had Q3 revenue of $28.9M, and operating income of $4.5M.
- IAC plans to add the business to its Search & Applications unit, which includes Ask.com, About.com, and Dictionary.com. The acquisition stands to provide Barry Diller's Web empire with a little more advertising scale.
- With its numbers boosted by the About.com purchase, Search & Applications had Q3 revenue of $407.3M (54% of IAC's total revenue), and op. income of $87.8M (72% of the company total).
4:57 PMIron Mountain +2.7% AH, approves REIT Protection Rights Agreement
- Iron Mountain (IRM) shares jump 2.7% AH after the company discloses its board has approved a REIT Status Protection Rights Agreement providing for a dividend of one preferred stock purchase right for each share of common stock (Dec. 20 record date). Each right entitles the holder to purchase one-thousandth of a Series A Junior Preferred share for $114. (8-K)
- The company intends to convert to the REIT structure no earlier than the taxable year beginning Jan. but "has not yet received from the [IRS] the private letter rulings it believes it requires ... Nevertheless, the Company ... will begin to operate its business in a manner consistent with being a REIT effective January 1."
- The company entered the rights agreement to protect its potential conversion to a REIT by preventing "concentrated ownership" of common equity. IRM will seek shareholder approval to impose ownership limitations into its charter upon successful conversion to a REIT.
4:47 PMComtech +5.7% AH on FQ1 beat, FY2014 guidance, dividend hike, buyback
- Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL) shares jump 5.7% AH after the company beat expectations in FQ1, updated guidance, and announced a dividend hike and share repurchase expansion.
- EBITDA dropped 22.7% Y/Y to $14.3M. Total bookings grew 8.7% Y/Y to $76.5M, but backlog fell 2.7% Q/Q to $182.8M.
- The board raises the target annual dividend to $1.20 from $1.10 (with a quarterly dividend of $0.30/share declared implying a forward yield of 3.6%) and authorizes an increase to the share repurchase program to $100M from $50M. (PR)
- Management updates FY2014 guidance, seeing revenue of $325M-$345M (vs. analyst consensus of $328M), EPS of $1.12-$1.25 (vs. $1.14), and EBITDA of $55M-$59M.
- Conference call at 8:30am ET tomorrow, PR
4:47 PMTexas Instruments narrows Q4 guidance, shares -0.2% AH
- Texas Instruments (TXN) uses its mid-quarter update to narrow its Q4 guidance ranges. The chipmaker now expects Q4 revenue of $2.92B-$3.04B vs. prior guidance of $2.86B-$3.1B (consensus is at $2.99B), and EPS of $0.44-$0.48 vs. prior guidance of $0.42-$0.50 (consensus is at $0.46). (PR)
- TI did something similar in its Q2 and Q3 mid-quarter updates.
- CC at 5PM ET.
4:34 PMMarvell names new interim CFO
- Marvell (MRVL) has named Michael Rashkin, the president of the chipmaker's charitable fund (according to his LinkedIn profile), its new interim CFO. Rashkin, a 14-year company vet, has also worked as Marvell's VP of tax, and as interim CFO in the 2007-2008 timeframe. (PR)
- The appointment comes a week after Brad Feller, Marvell's interim CFO for 14 months, resigned to "pursue other opportunities."
4:20 PMTwitter closes sharply higher in absence of major news
- Though no major news or sell-side calls arrived today to give shares a boost, Twitter (TWTR +9.5%) managed to soar nearly to its post-IPO high of $50.09 (achieved on its first day of trading). 16.7M shares changed hands.
- Twitter did announce a deal with Swiss software firm Myriad that will allow its services to reach mobile users lacking Internet connections, courtesy of a text transmission technology known as USSD. Users won't need to log into Twitter, or even have an account.
- With Myriad having partnerships with ~45 carriers worldwide (the company is looking to add 40 more), the deal could strengthen Twitter's international reach. CEO Dick Costolo recently stated he wants Twitter, which ended Q3 with 231.7M MAUs and is dealing with concerns its service is too specialized to have a Facebook-sized base, to eventually have 1B MAUs, and to become easier for new users to figure out.
- Also: Social media analytics firm Gigya estimates Twitter had a 30% share of social media referral traffic in Q3, up from 24% in Q2. Facebook still leads with a 41% share.
2:50 PMSolar stocks lower again; investors worried about Chinese draft proposal
- The Chinese government, which has a 12GW 2014 solar installation target, wants to see 8GW of installations involve distributed solar systems (such as those installed on residential and commercial buildings), and just 4GW of higher-margin utility-scale deployments.
- Credit Suisse notes investors are concerned the 12GW target won't be attainable if utility-scale installations are capped at 4GW. It thinks Yingli (YGE -5.9%), Trina (TSL -7%), and JinkoSolar (JKS -5.3%) have the most to lose if such a cap is implemented.
- Nomura is less concerned, noting most companies it has talked to believe 4GW "will be more of a guideline rather than a firm cap." The firm adds China's solar policy discussion is "fluid," and that the government remains committed to supporting solar adoption.
- Notable solar decliners (in addition to the aforementioned companies): HSOL -12.1%. SPWR -5.6%. CSUN -5.5%. JASO -3.4%. DQ -2%.
- Last Friday: Solar stocks fall in spite of market rally
2:44 PMJPMorgan starts coverage on healthcare information services names
- JPMorgan initiates athenahealth (ATHN +0.1%), Allscripts (MDRX), and MedAssets (MDAS -1.7%) at Overweight, Overweight, and Neutral, respectively.
- On ATHN: The company "offers highly rated products differentiated from competitors' because of SaaS-based functionality and supportive back-office operations." Price target is $155.
- On MDRX: "We believe the growing share of recurring revenues, in part due to the company's large installed physician base, combined with recent bookings trends, sets the company up well for improving trends in 2014." Price target is $18.
- On MDAS: "While we like the company's positioning in both the revenue cycle and group purchasing markets, we are concerned about the impact from utilization trends on the SCM business and the volatility experienced in the RCM business." Price target is $23.
2:23 PMAmazon estimated to have 16.7M Prime subs; Janney a fan of Kiva's robots
- Research firm CIRP estimates Amazon (AMZN -0.8%) now has 16.7M Prime subs, up 72% from a year-ago level of 9.7M. The firm also reports 93% of Prime subs responding to a survey said they're happy with the service, and plan to renew.
- The estimate meshes with a recent report from Dan Rayburn, who was told by an Amazon insider the e-commerce giant ended Q3 with 15M+ Prime subs.
- Amazon's October decision to hike its minimum free shipping order size to $35 from $25 could be fueling a pickup in Prime subscriptions (free two-day shipping for $79/year, no order minimum). More recently, Amazon struck a deal with the USPS to enable Sunday delivery for Prime subs in major metro areas.
- If CIRP's estimate is reasonably accurate, it means close to 17M Amazon accounts now have access to Prime Instant Video (whether they're using it is a whole other question). Rival Netflix (NFLX -0.2%) ended Q3 with 31.1M U.S. streaming subs.
- Separately, Janney estimates Kiva Systems' robots could lower Amazon's per-order fulfillment costs by 20%-40% from a current $3.50-$3.75. That, in turn, spells estimated cost savings of $458M-$916M/year.
- Amazon mentioned in its Q3 report it deployed 1,382 Kiva robots during the quarter in three fulfillment centers.
1:44 PMCanadian Solar obtains $40M loan for Japanese projects
- Canadian Solar (CSIQ -0.4%) has obtained a $40M loan from Harvest North Star Capital (provides structured financing for Chinese companies) to develop Japanese solar projects featuring 145.1MW worth of capacity. Construction on projects set to provide 40MW-50MW of capacity is expected to start in 1H14. (PR)
- Canadian and many other Chinese solar firms have moved aggressively to tap the fast-growing Japanese market. A trade group just estimated Japanese solar cell/module imports rose 30% Q/Q and 540% Y/Y in Q3 to 1.2GW.
- Also: Canadian announces it's supplying 8.7MW of modules for a Mexican solar project. The installation is said to represent the first phase of a "mega-project" from Mexican solar firm EOSOL that's expected to produce over 200MW of capacity over the next two years.
1:26 PMAkamai CEO buys more shares; sell-side debates Verizon/EdgeCast
- Akamai (AKAM -2%) CEO Tom Leighton discloses he bought 25K shares on Friday at a price of $45.28. The purchase comes on top of ones made in February and March.
- Altogether, Leighton has bought 105K shares since becoming CEO at the beginning of 2013.
- Shares continue to trade lower in response to the Verizon/EdgeCast deal. Raymond James (Market Perform) thinks the deal will "exacerbate pricing concerns" for Akamai's lower-margin media delivery sales (48% of revenue, but gradually declining).
- Akamai mentioned on its Q3 CC (transcript) it's in the midst of price negotiations with a major media client. RJ thinks the client is Apple.
- Wells Fargo (Outperform) is less worried about Verizon's move. The firm notes telco acquisitions of Web hosting/cloud infrastructure companies (including Verizon's acquisition of Terremark) failed to hurt independent players.
12:50 PMYahoo reportedly eying image-hosting platform Imgur
- BI reports Yahoo (YHOO -0.3%) "began serious talks" to acquire popular image-hosting/sharing platform Imgur this fall. Given current startup valuations and reports of strong VC/acquisition interest in Imgur, a deal likely wouldn't come cheap, though its price tag would probably be less than the $1.1B Yahoo paid for Tumblr.
- Imgur had 100M+ unique users as of September, up from just 30M at the beginning of 2012. Unlike Yahoo's Flickr (or for that matter, Facebook/Instagram), a large portion of its content doesn't consist of photos taken by users, but 3rd-party images (often animated and/or featuring text) created with public sharing in mind.
- Initially created as a image-hosting solution for article-sharing site Reddit, Imgur's reach now exceeds Reddit. Facebook and Twitter account for much of its referral traffic.
- Much like Tumblr, it's quite popular with the younger users Yahoo wants to reach out to. Also like Tumblr, some of its edgy and offbeat material may rub advertisers the wrong way.
12:40 PMAdvanced Semiconductor Engineering revenue grew 12.4% Y/Y in Nov.| Comment!
12:22 PMMicron rallies amid positive DRAM pricing, sales reports; SanDisk also up
- Digitimes reports DRAM spot prices continue to jump, with recent quotes "soaring more than 5% on a single day." Tight supplies (caused in part by the SK Hynix fire), PC OEM inventory replenishment, and order pull-in from Chinese tablet vendors are said to be contributing factors.
- Naturally, spot price strength is expected to bolster contract pricing, whose growth has been tempered somewhat by attempts from SK Hynix and peers to adjust capacity in the wake of the fire.
- The report backs up recent comments Morgan Stanley's Joseph Moore, who has reported seeing a pickup in orders from the PC supply chain.
- Also: Both Taiwanese DRAM vendor Nanya and Micron/Nanya's Inotera JV have reported strong November sales. Nanya's sales rose 34% Y/Y to NT$3.85B ($130M), and Inotera's sales rose 117% to NT$6.46B ($218M).
- Aided by a favorable supply/demand balance and healthy mobile DRAM growth, the DRAM industry is expected to perform well again in 2014, though growth is expected to slow from 2013's levels. DRAMeXchange forecasts sales will rise 14% to $40B, after growing 32% in 2013.
- Micron (MU +3.9%) is making new 52-week highs, and SanDisk (SNDK +1.6%) is also up. Though not a DRAM vendor itself, SanDisk benefits from DRAM strength to the extent NAND capacity gets reallocated for DRAM production. Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) rose 1.8% overnight in Seoul, and SK Hynix (HXSCL) rose 2.4%.
12:02 PMOSI Systems plunges 34%, TSA wants to debar Rapiscan from contracts
- OSI Systems' (OSIS -33.6%) shares plummet after news breaks that the company may face a ban on contracts with the DHS after its Rapiscan Systems subsidiary lost a contract from the TSA for carry-on baggage screeners.
- The fiasco began on Friday, with OSI using a Chinese part without receiving consent from the TSA, which led to the department pulling the rug out from a $60M contract OSI won weeks ago.
- The company is no stranger to government contract trouble, with Rapiscan averting debarment by the DHS last year over accusations that it had misled the TSA about testing of its body-scanning machines.
- There is market chatter that Benchmark is out defending the company, calling the meltdown an overreaction.
11:40 AMOmnicell acquires SurgiChem from Bupa Care Homes for £12M
- Omnicell (OMCL -1.4%) acquires U.K. medication adherence packaging systems provider SurgiChem from Bupa Care Homes for £12M.
- SurgiChem grew revenue at a 13.9% clip in 2012 to £6.6M, generating £695K in profit.
- Omnicell intends to combine SurgiChem's ops with its MTS Medication Technologies subsidiary in the U.K.
11:31 AMSprint issuing more debt, possibly to finance 4G buildout
- Sprint (S +1.3%) plans to sell debt due in 2024 through a private offering. No offering size has yet been given. The #3 U.S. carrier says it will use the proceeds for "general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, retirement or service requirements of outstanding debt and network expansion and modernization." (PR)
- Sprint already had $33.6B in debt at the end of Q3, to go with $10.7B in cash/investments. In July, 78% owner SoftBank promised Sprint would spend $16B in capex over the next two years, as it races to neutralize Verizon/AT&T's 4G coverage edge.
11:19 AMTelecom New Zealand divests AAPT for AU$450M to TPG
- Telecom New Zealand (NZTCY +1.3%) will sell business telecommunications and cloud services provider AAPT for AU$450M ($409M) to TPG. Closing is expected in Feb., with Australian regulators having cleared the deal.
- After having sold the consumer division of AAPT in 2010 for AU$60M, the price the telco is getting is a far cry from the AU$2.2B it paid for AAPT at the peak of the dot com bubble in 1999.
- The ops' revenue has consistently declined, as has operational performance, with AAPT generating EBITDA of $57M this year, down $10M from the previous year.
- To TPG, the 11K km of fibre the unit owns across six states and territories "will provide ... a much larger backhaul network across Australia, as the company begins to embark on a fibre-to-the-basement rollout for 500,000 CBD businesses and apartments covered by TPG's existing network," ZDNet writes.
11:18 AMIndian government holding off on Vodafone decision
- Citing a lack of interior ministry security approvals, India's foreign investment regulator says it's deferring a ruling on Vodafone's (VOD +1.2%) request to assume full ownership of its local subsidiary.
- Vodafone directly or indirectly owns 84.5% of its Indian unit, which is the country's #2 mobile carrier. It's offering $1.6B to buy out minority holders, and has promised to invest $2B in the business.
10:55 AMQLogic hires EMC engineering SVP exec to be its CEO
- QLogic (QLGC +0.2%) has hired Prasad Rampalli, until now EMC's cross-business-unit engineering chief, to be its new CEO, effective Feb. 3. (PR)
- Rampalli has been with EMC for three years. Before that, he spent 27 years at Intel in various positions.
- News of Rampalli's hiring comes seven months after the resignation of Simon Biddiscombe, QLogic's last full-time CEO. CFO Jean Hu has been serving as interim CEO since then.
10:42 AMNokia reportedly makes Indian tax offer; EU issues patent warning
- Reuters reports Nokia (NOK +3%) has offered to pay the Indian government €270M ($369M) to unfreeze assets (including a Chennai plant) caught up in a tax dispute.
- Nokia threatened to pull out of India earlier this year due to frustration over its tax squabble. The government made a settlement offer in July.
- Meanwhile, EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia is warning Nokia not to misuse its giant patent portfolio in the wake of the Microsoft deal. A number of analysts and investors have argued the deal opens the door for Nokia to become more aggressive in monetizing its IP.
- Almunia: "If Nokia were to take illegal advantage of its patents in the future, we will open an antitrust case - but I sincerely hope we will not have to." The EU has already taken a harsh view of the use of standards-essential mobile patents (some, though not all, of Nokia's patents fall under this label) in legal disputes.
10:40 AMPositive Street initiation not enough to prevent Chegg slide
- Ebullient underwriter initiation day coverage is not enough to staunch a slide by Chegg (CHGG -5.5%). Jefferies (PT of $14) and BofAML ($11.50) initiated the learning platform maker at Buy, J.P. Morgan ($13), Piper Jaffray ($11), and Raymond James ($12) at Outperform, and BMO Capital ($11) at Perform.
- Jefferies noted, "With a focus on saving students time money and helping them to get smarter, we believe Chegg is one of the best positioned in the rapidly evolving education products & services space and that there is meaningful upside from current levels."
- BofAML is bullish Chegg's textbook market, cloud-based Student Hub, and "early leadership in digital books." The firm also thinks "the high capital requirements of book distribution serve as significant competitive moats, and we see few retailers that can effectively compete with Chegg."
10:06 AMFortinet announces $200M buyback, shares rally
- Fortinet (FTNT +1.7%) is launching a $200M buyback program. At current levels, the program is good for repurchasing 6.8% of outstanding shares. (PR)
- The buyback could partly be an attempt to reassure investors following the departure of CFO/COO Ahmad Rubaie only eight months after his hiring.
- Previous: BofA/Merrill upgrades Fortinet, says Rubaie's departure not a concern
9:59 AMOSI Systems issues public announcement on TSA order withdrawal
- OSI Systems (OSIS +0.8%) releases a public announcement on the TSA's $60M order cancellation: it believes the termination "results from Rapidscan's use of an upgraded component in the AT-2 detection systems. ... it did not meet the contractual approval requirement of obtaining TSA's approval in advance ... When Rapsican leadership discovered the error, they proactively informed the TSA of the configuration change."
- The X-ray generators are produced by Shanghai Advanced Non-Destructive Testing, which "According to the TSA's own preliminary test results ... shows comparable detection capability and false alarm rates."
- Shares tumbled 9.4% last Friday when the disclosure of the contract cancellation first hit. The TSA intends to issue a revised solicitation for the contract.
9:49 AMA roundup of tech ratings changes
- 3D Systems (DDD +1.8%) has been started at Outperform by Pac Crest.
- Mellanox (MLNX +4.2%) has been upgraded to Buy by Maxim. Jefferies started shares at Hold on Friday.
- Chegg (CHGG -3%) has received five bullish ratings, and one neutral rating, on underwriter coverage day.
- Ceragon (CRNT +8.3%) has been started at Strong Buy by Needham.
9:36 AMChina Mobile indicates iPhone pre-orders to start; 5S supplies improve
- An ad on China Mobile's (CHL +0.5%) site suggests the world' biggest carrier will begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5S (AAPL +0.7%) on Thursday, as well as for 4G phones from Samsung and Sony. A company rep confirms 4G pre-orders will start on Thursday, and that services will launch on Dec. 18 (the day of CHL's 4G partner event).
- CHL had previously said it was still negotiating with Apple regarding iPhone sales. Analysts have estimated a deal could boost Apple's 2014 EPS by $2-$4 (or perhaps ~5-10%), as they balance CHL's enormous customer base and sales reach with its relatively low ARPUs and surging Chinese demand for cheaper/larger smartphones.
- Separately, Gene Munster reports U.S. iPhone 5S supply has finally caught up with demand: Checks at 60 U.S. Apple Stores found all of them were carrying each model of the device. Munster's late November survey had found 90% of SKUs in stock.
9:16 AMVerizon confirms EdgeCast deal, says Vodafone deal to boost EPS
- Verizon (VZ) confirms it's acquiring CDN owner EdgeCast Networks. No price tag is given, but TechCrunch reported over the weekend Verizon is paying $350M+. The companies hope to close the deal in early 2014. (PR)
- Akamai (AKAM) investors aren't responding well to the news; shares -2.5% premarket. The deal could both strengthen an Akamai rival, and end Verizon's partnership with the CDN market leader.
- Verizon notes EdgeCast has 6K+ customers, and says the business complements that of TV Everywhere uploading/encoding service provider upLynk (acquired earlier this year).
- Separately, at a UBS conference talk (webcast), Verizon predicts its $130B purchase of Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake (financed using both debt and equity) will boost EPS by 10%.
8:22 AM3D printing hype overdone, says Nomura's Kim
- "We think recent market optimism about the 'Third Industrial Revolution' potential of 3D printing is overdone, given uncertain growth potential in the consumer market, limited pragmatic applications, and a lack of mass-production ability," says Nomura's James Kim.
- "We do not expect 3D printing to garner a meaningful share of the global manufacturing industry in the near term, with the total market size of 3D printing, as per Wohlers Associates, estimated to grow to $6B by 2017 (from $2B last year), largely falling short of the conventional manufacturing space ($93B)."
- Nevertheless, big players with consumable businesses like Stratasys (SSYS) and 3D Systems (DDD) and pure raw materials supplies could be long-term beneficiaries of 3D printing development, says Kim.
- Also mentioned is ExOne (XONE) for its binder jetting technology currently employed by Ford to create part prototypes, and Organovo (ONVO) for 3D bioprinting technology to create functional human tissue.
- On the 3D printing software side, Dassault (DASTY), Autodesk (ADSK), ANSYS (ANSS), and PTC (PMTC) get a mention, while Proto Labs (PRLB) is noted in services.
7:32 AMNII Holdings announces headcount cuts
- In connection with the recently-announced Project Accelerate initiative, NII Holdings (NIHD) plans reductions of more than 25% of its HQ staff and the elimination of more than 1.4K market operations positions.
- Cash costs related to the severance will be $25M-$35M, but that includes $8.6M in restructuring charges that were already expensed in Q3. Most of the rest of the cost should be taken in Q4. Annualized cost savings are expected to be $50M-$55M.
- Separately, the company expects a higher level of prepaid subscriber deactivations in Mexico after modifying its deactivation policy for inactive prepaid subscribers. THe net subscriber loss in Mexico should run to 400K in Q4.
- Press release
4:56 AMTech giants call on government to limit spying campaign
- Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) are among eight technology giants that have started a campaign to limit government online surveillance. The other companies are Apple (AAPL), Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), AOL (AOL) and LinkedIn (LNKD).
- The move appears to represent an attempt by the companies to prevent a loss of business because of Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's spying campaign. Forrester estimates that the disclosures could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry $180B by 2016.
- While the firms want limits on governmental authority to collect user information, as well as increased oversight, given the tech industry's own data practices, some might say that there's more than a whiff of the pots calling the kettles black.