Today - Friday, March 7, 2014
- The newly created position of Chief Industry Development Officer was created to improve relations with the real estate industry and enhance data quality through more direct MLS partnerships, says analyst Chris Merwin, lauding the hiring of Errol Samuelson, former Chief Strategy Officer of Move, Inc. and President of Realtor.com.
- "Zillow (Z) will eventually be able to further consolidate audience market share - and ultimately real estate agent marketing budgets - as the need for consumers to find the highest quality data on competing MLS sites diminishes in time ... [Samuelson] has an impressive background of industry credentials that should make it far easier to build bridges with the real estate agent community."
- The stock is maintained at Overweight with $115 price target.
- Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) is moving to boost competition in the telecom and broadcasting sectors and it is notifying companies that it considers to be dominant.
- In a statement, IFT didn't mention names but it was most likely referring to America Movil (AMOV) in the telecom market and Televisa (TV) in the broadcasting sector.
- The classification is important, as the IFT has new powers to break up dominant players, although the regulator has said in the past that such a move would be a last resort.
- Instead, the agency is implementing other measures such as holding a tender for two new national broadcasters.
- However, the IFT needs to wait for final legislation to be passed before it can fully move ahead with reform.
- Telecom Italia's (TI) net loss narrowed to €674M ($927.9M) in 2013 from €1.63B a year earlier, due to a smaller impairment on the goodwill of its domestic operations.
- TI would have made a net profit of €1.5B had it not been for a €2.2B goodwill charge taken in H1.
- Consolidated revenue declined an organic 5.2% to €23.4B.
- EBITDA fell €804M to €9.7B.
- Will offer to repurchase €500M in bonds.
- Net debt drops €1.5B to €26.8B.
- TI will pay a dividend of 0.0275 ($0.038) a piece on savings shares but nothing on ordinary shares.
- Shares are -1.2% in Milan. (PR)
Thursday, March 6, 2014
- Coupons.com's (COUP) IPO price is above a prior range of $12-$14, and translates into a $1.2B valuation (7x 2013 sales). The online grocery coupon provider raised $168M by selling 10.5M shares.
- Shares begin trading tomorrow. Given investor enthusiasm for fast-growing Internet names, the debut could be a strong one.
- Prospectus, IPO analysis
- Alaska Communications (ALSK) expects 2014 revenue of $310M, above a $289.4M consensus. But free cash flow is expected to fall to $20M from a 2013 level of $22M. Capex is expected to drop to $40M from $47.7M.
- Adjusted EBITDA, pressured by the loss of $15.7M in revenue tied to the Alaska Wireless Network deal, fell 50% Y/Y to $16.6M. Consumer service revenue +2% to $10.1M, business/wholesale services -1% to $25.6M.
- Consumer access lines fell by 1.4K Q/Q to 49.3K, and business access lines by 200 to 79.8K. Consumer broadband connections rose by 600 to 38.7K, and business broadband connections by less than 100 to 19.3K.
- 3.2K wireless subs were lost in Q4, bringing the total to 108.8K. Wireless service revenue (hurt by Verizon's arrival in Alaska) fell 6% Y/Y to $17.6M. ARPU rose to $53.14 from $52.08 in Q3 and $52.96 a year ago. Churn was 3.4% vs. 3.2% in Q3 and 3.7% a year ago.
- Q4 results, PR
- Cisco (CSCO) is packaging various software/services offerings found in its ONE software-defined networking (SDN) platform (previous) into four suites that can be individually licensed, and which are meant for different use cases.
- "We have a bunch of products. We’ll turn those products into licenses – a data center suite, a WAN suite, an access suite – for the enterprise," says sales chief Rob Lloyd.
- Central to these efforts is Cisco's APIC SDN controller, unveiled last November along with several other products from its Insieme unit, and promising superior app/network visibility relative to alternatives.
- Cisco's likely goals, in addition to simplifying its pricing: 1) To head off a slew of SDN rivals - none larger than VMware/Nicira - hoping to sell enterprises on programmable networks capable of running on commodity (read: non-Cisco) gear. 3) To further drive a mix shift towards software at a time when hardware margins are seeing a bit of pressure.
- Strange timing: With PlayStation 4 sales both handily outpacing Xbox One sales in the U.S. and exceeding Sony's (SNE) global sales targets, the company and U.S. PlayStation division chief Jack Tretton have mutually agreed "not to renew their contractual relationship."
- Shawn Layden, the COO of Sony's international digital entertainment unit, will be taking over Tretton's job. Tretton had been with the U.S. PlayStation division since its 1995 inception.
- Qihoo (QIHU) expects Q1 revenue of $226M-$228M, well above a $203M consensus.
- Online ad revenue soared 113% Y/Y to $142.4M after growing 107% in Q3. Search ads, mobile ads, and better monetization of Qihoo's 360 browser home page were responsible. Citing 3rd-party data, Qihoo says its search share rose to 23% during Q4.
- Internet value-added service revenue rose 124% to $78.9M after growing 163% in Q3. PC and mobile games fueled the increase.
- Total users of Qihoo's products/services rose 10M Q/Q and 19M Y/Y to 475M. Smartphone users of Qihoo's 360 Mobile Safe app rose 14% Q/Q and 126% Y/Y to 467M.
- One possible area of concern: Daily unique browser home page visitors averaged 119M, up 28M Y/Y but down 7M Q/Q. Home page daily clicks averaged 681M, up 231M Y/Y but flat Q/Q.
- Opex soared 60% Y/Y to $109.6M, as Qihoo continues investing heavily in both sales and R&D.
- A lot of good news was priced in.
- Q4 results, PR
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- Skullcandy (SKUL) expects Q1 sales to rise 5%-7% Y/Y, and for EPS to be in a range of -$0.16 to -$0.18. The latter is only in-line with a -$0.17 consensus, but the former is above a consensus for a 4% sales drop.
- Full-year guidance is for a "mid to high single digit percentage" revenue increase, and EPS of $0.10-$0.14. That's largely favorable to a consensus for a 4.4% increase and EPS of $0.10.
- While revenue fell 29% Y/Y in Q4, gross margin only slipped 100 bps to 43.5%. That, along with a 4.8% Y/Y drop in SG&A spend to $26M, helped EPS beat estimates even as revenue came in roughly in-line.
- North American sales for the seasonally huge quarter fell 30% Y/Y to $57.6M, after dropping 39.4% in Q3. International sales fell 19.9% to $14.7M; they were up 11.9% in Q3.
- Q4 results, PR
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