Posts by Aaron Pressman
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance23 hrs ago
Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook announced he was “proud to be gay” on Thursday, becoming the first leader of a major company to come out publicly.
Cook, in an essay published by Bloomberg Businessweek, said he hoped his disclosure would help other people feel less alone and inspired to insist on their equality. The Apple leader had spoken out in favor of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in a speech at the Alabama state capitol on Monday without revealing his own orientation.
In the essay, Cook said he was setting aside his preference for privacy so he could “know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.”
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance1 day ago
Apple (AAPL) has regularly delighted its customers with cool products on its way to becoming the most valuable company in the United States. But it hasn’t always stood up for its customers’ best economic interests.
Take the case of Apple Pay. Apple partnered with the three major credit card networks, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) and American Express (AXP) and the big bank card issuers such as JP Morgan Chase (JPM). That is likely a smart move from a business perspective, because so many Apple customers are frequent credit card users and prior mobile payment services have had trouble gaining much traction.
But the partnership decision also meant Apple was taking sides in a long running war between the credit card industry on one side and retailers and consumer advocates on the other.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance2 days ago
For investors in big technology companies, it’s been a difficult and painful third-quarter earnings season. IBM (IBM), Google (GOOGL), Samsung (005930.KS), Twitter (TWTR), Amazon (AMZN) – the list of disappointments seems almost endless.
But while big companies struggled to find growth, some smaller tech companies were stealing it away.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance4 days ago
CVS (CVS) and Rite Aid (RAD) over the weekend blocked use of Apple Pay and some other mobile wallet apps, as the long-raging battle between retailers and the credit card industry hit iPhone users for the first time.
Neither pharmacy chain has yet offered an explanation for why they turned off wireless checkout terminals in their stores. But both are members of a retailer group called the Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX, that is trying to woo customers away from using credit cards with a competing mobile wallet app that cuts the cards out but won’t be available until next year.
“Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.” -Steve Martin, The Grandmother Song
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) opened 4% higher on Friday after the software giant posted third-quarter revenue and profits that beat Wall Street's expectations.
Excuse me if I don’t pop the champagne cork just yet. I’m as much a fan of still-new CEO Satya Nadella as anyone, but there’s much less sustainable growth behind this “beat” that’s driving the stock higher. And, in fact, the stock is already selling off that opening euphoric rise.
Microsoft said its revenue for the quarter rose 25% to $23.2 billion, while net income totaled $4.5 billion, or 54 cents a share, down 8%. Absent a previously disclosed $1.1 billion restructuring charge, net income would have been up 10%. Wall Street analysts expected $22 billion of revenue and earnings per share of 49 cents, according to FactSet.
When Amazon (AMZN) introduced its underwhelming Fire phone back in June, the company chose to forgo its usual low pricing strategy and used the same price as other top phones.
After mediocre reviews – even on Amazon.com the Fire gets only 2 out of 5 stars – and rumors of poor sales, Amazon confirmed the problems in its third quarter earnings report on Thursday. The company announced a $170 million expense for “inventory evaluations and supplier commitment costs” related to the Fire phone. At the end of the quarter, the company said it still had $83 million of phone inventory on hand.
The hit caused Amazon to report an overall net income loss of $437 million, or 95 cents a share, for the quarter. Analysts had expected a loss of only 76 cents a share. Without the $170 million loss on the phone inventory, Amazon would have easily beaten expectations with a loss of around 59 cents a share, excluding the tax impact.
Over the past seven years of Amazon selling its own line of gadgets, starting with the Kindle e-reader in 2007, the company has never recorded such a write-down for unsold inventory.
T-Mobile US (TMUS) CEO John Legere, who is waging war on his fellow carriers by cutting prices and dumping onerous terms, often points to Batman as his favorite super hero.
So you might call AT&T’s (T) anti-Legere strategy a Bat Shield. Instead of matching Legere cut for cut, AT&T is basically giving its customers a price break until they buy their next phone. And so far it’s keeping the Batman at bay, at least for AT&T, which reported continued subscriber growth and only modest churn for the third quarter.
The question is whether the strategy will fend off Batman over the next six months, as the arrival of new iPhones from Apple (AAPL) drives a massive upgrade cycle. Now that Batman, err, Legere is offering Apple's latest devices, too, the two carriers are more evenly matched. In previous iPhone cycles, T-Mobile didn't carry Apple's popular models. Investors are clearly worried, as AT&T shares lost 3% on Thursday, even as the overall market gained.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance8 days ago
Three-dimensional printer stocks have long traded in tandem, so it’s no surprise that a third-quarter earnings warning from 3D Systems (DDD) today prompted a sell-off across the nascent industry.
But investors do appear to be acting more intelligently, by focusing on the specific problems at 3D. Shares of 3D were off 15% midday, while leading rival Stratasys (SSYS) saw its stock drop only 3%. Smaller player Voxeljet (VJET) lost 3%, while ExOne (XONE), a possible beneficiary from 3D’s problems, was up 1%.
Sorting through the rubble makes sense, because 3D’s miss was more about bungled execution and delayed products at the company than any kind of industry-wide slowdown. And even for 3D Systems, the damage could be limited to a few months.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance10 days ago
The agreement returns control over ebook pricing to the publisher, just as the publishers achieved back in 2010 when they colluded to raise ebook prices using so-called agency pricing. Amazon, which got back some control in court-ordered settlements of the collusion case, will now be permitted to discount ebook titles only in “some limited exceptions,” according to Simon & Schuster, whose authors include Stephen King and Walter Isaacson.
- Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance10 days ago
“Did it do it?”
“Is that the Apple thing?”
So asked three clerks at the downtown Boston Macy’s after I completed authorizing a $29 clothing purchase today with Apple’s (AAPL) wireless Apple Pay service in about two seconds.
It was fun and quick, but the question that really matters is just how many of the millions of people in the United States who bought a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus will actually use Apple Pay and how often.
Almost all previous mobile payment and mobile wallet offerings have flopped. Just $1.6 billion out of some $4.5 trillion purchases were made via mobile services last year, according to eMarketer, which projects the total mobile purchases to hit a whopping $3.5 billion this year.
One of the only remotely successful mobile payment palns, run by Starbucks (SBUX), has grown to 15% of all transactions thanks to loyal customers who love the brand.