Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gets to have all the fun. Not only does he own a Hungarian sheepdog, but his net worth has hit $32 billion as Facebook shares hit new highs with the company firing on all cylinders.

The stock rallied 7% this morning, hitting a new all-time high of $76 per share. [Disclosure: the author was smart enough to buy Facebook shares at $18 but then dumb enough to sell them last year in the $30s. Oops.] 

Facebook reported a record second quarter with revenue of $2.91 billion, an increase of 61% over the same quarter of last year. The company booked $791 million in net profit and is now at a annual run rate of $3 billion in net profits. The social networking company's fortunes were boosted by gains in mobile advertising, much of it attributed to growth in Instagram. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 62% of advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2014, up from approximately 41% of ad revenue in the second quarter of 2013.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 17:25 pm and is filed under Mobile, Digital Media, Investing.
Keywords: Facebook, Instagram, Earnings, Advertising, Marketing

Apple shares enjoyed modest gains this morning after a solid earnings report yielding $10.3 billion in cash flow for the quarter. The stock rose $1.50 (1.5%) to $96.22 in early morning trading. 

For the fiscal third quarter ending June 28, 2014, Apple posted revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share. That compared to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. More importantly, the company's margins are back on the rise: Gross margins climbed to 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone and Mac sales fueled the growth and resulted in the strongest profit growth in seven quarters. The company returned $8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the June quarter.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 14:05 pm and is filed under Mobile, Investing.
Keywords: Apple, Tim Cook, iPhone, Earnings, Carl Icahn

Verizon's solid earnings results and robust capital spending (capex) bode well for continued spending among wireless technology providers, although some analysts expect spending to remain flatten out in the second half of the year. 

The service provider on Tuesday reported better-than-expected revenue on Tuesday with a jump in wireless customers and a surge in tablet sales. The company reported growth of 53 percent in net wireless customers, to 1.4 million, for the second quarter, and a record 1.15 million in tablet sales. 

Verizon's capex for the second quarter totaled $4.3 billion, above consensus analyst forecasts of $4.1 billion. That's an increase of 5% from the prior quarter and 8% year-over-year. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 13:41 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Verizon, Earnings, Capex

Communications equipment suppliers are ready to report on the second quarter. Earnings in the next few quarters will be interesting to watch with major shifts occurring in telecom spending, including fear over AT&T's recent spending slowdown and questions about the impact of Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Despite optimism among some analysts, there are a number of negative trends in networking and telecom gear. in addition to the concern about a slowdown in spending at AT&T, the merger trend among large service providers means the overall pool of customers is shrinking. In addition, the impact of SDN, in which a new crop of software-only technology companies provides networking gear that can run on cheaper, standard server platforms, could put margin pressure on traditional networking companes. 

MKM Partners Managing Director and communications analyst Michael Genovese issued a note this morning saying he believes data networking fundamentals are still sound. He expects strong earnings from a number of companies including Juniper (JNPR), Infinera (INFN), and JDSU (JDSU), on a back of a continued optical and core network buildout. MKM also expects good results from Ciena (CIEN), Finisar (FNSR), and Cisco (CSCO).

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 14:21 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Earnings, Networking, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Infinera, F5 Networks

Ciena (CIEN) shares vaulted nearly 20 percent in trading Thursday after the company released earnings that surprised analyst expectations and the company raised its earnings guidance for the year. This came after investors had sold off Ciena shares over the previous week on concerns about infrastructure spending at AT&T

Ciena reported a loss of $10.2 million, or 10 cents a share, during the second quarter of 2014. But that's a sharp reduction from the from $27.1 million, or 27 cents a share, it lost in the year-ago period. Excluding special charges, Ciena earned 17 cents a share. Consensus estimates were for earnings of 13 cents per share after special charges were substracted.  

 

This morning Ciena shares were relatively flat, trading at $22. The stock has had a volatile week, trading in a range of $18-$23. Earlier in the week, industry chatter had increased about a freeze in capital spending (capex) at AT&T (T), which would affect most of the large networking equipment suppliers to AT&T, including Ciena. Analysts said Ciena's volatile swing was a combination of irrational investor fears of AT&T followed by a surprising earnings release.  

This entry was posted on Friday, June 06, 2014 at 14:04 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Optica, Ciena, Earnings, Web 2.0, Data Center, Packet Optical

The media and investors prematurely panicked last night when Hewlett-Packard's (HP) results included an operational gaffe (releasing the results while the market was still open), and the news that it would be laying off an additional 11,000-16,000 on top of the 34,000 it has already announced.

Shares initially tanked on the release of the results late yesterday afternoon, but they roared back this morning, up 5% in early trading. 

CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan will result in total reduction of about 10% of the company -- it had 317,500 people at the end of 2013. Revenue came in flattish, at about $27.3B, slightly below expectations of $27.4B for the second quarter. Quarterly non-GAAP earnings were $0.88 per share, up 1% from the prior-year period, versus the previously provided outlook of $0.85 to $0.89.

So what happened? It seems the initial reaction, especially from the media, was a bit hysterical. I'm on the record as being bullish on the the HP turnaround, and long the stock. These earnings did not worry me one bit. 

This entry was posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 14:36 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: HP, Earnings, Cloud Computing, PCs, Mobile

Relatively easy year-on-year comparison numbers and expanding gross margins helped Cisco deliver a respectable earnings quarter, suprising analysts and lifting the stock 8% in morning trading.

Cisco shares rose $1.83 to 24.64 (up 8.02%), after the company reported third fiscal quarter sales of $11.55 million, slightly estimates of around $11.4M, and delivered earnings per share (EPS) of $0.51. The analysts consensus estimates were for .48 EPS. 

But Cisco is not out of the woods yet -- it's still not growing, and it faces a host of threats from new Software Defined Networking (SDN) players. Management expects EPS for the next quarter in the range of of $0.51-0.53. Consensus estimates are for $0.51. 

The biggest surprise came in gross margins, which came in a percentage point and a half above estimates at 62.7%.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 14:56 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Cisco, SDN, Earnings, Nexus 9000, Data Centers

Is Cisco Systems (CSCO) management following the Carl Icahn plan? It may be looking at what the famous hedge-fund raider has been up to at Apple (AAPL), as he has called for more share buybacks and dividends. Cisco announced last night that it will increase its dividend by 12%, or two cents per share, now paying out a yield of 3.3.%. It also continue to scarf up it's own stock, having repurchased $4 billion worth of stock -- or 185 million shares -- in the quarter.

The dividend boost and large buyback came as a surprise. But it all makes sense, as what else is Cisco to do? Growth has dried up. With cash piling up on the balance sheet and it's growth prospects cloudy for the next year, Cisco is trying to keep shareholders happy by directing its cash toward a dividend and buybacks. Perhaps Cisco CEO John Chambers feels Captain Carl may prey on him next

Cisco reported second quarter of fiscal year 2014 sales of $11.16 billion, close to consensus estimates. It reported earnings per share of $0.47, exceeding $0.46 consenus estimate by a penny, aided by lower expenses and a lower share count, helped by the buyback.

Yet despite these okay numbers, Cisco shares are trading down about 4% today, last trading hands around $22. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 17:04 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Cisco Systems, Earnings, SDN, Enterprise Technology, Newtorking

Shares of optical networking equipment maker Infinera (INFN) have enjoyed a wild ride of late, first collapsing on the speculation that it had lost big 100G optical contract with Verizon to a competitor -- but then bouncing back with a fury today, rising 30 percent after reporting earnings.

Infinera confirmed on yesterday's conference call that it lost the Verizon deal, but it turned out not to matter much anyway. Given the recent downer news on Verizon, investors had been running scared and they were caught off-guard by a suprisingly upbeat report that reversed nearly all of the loss since the Verizon news, broken by anlyst Jefferies analyst George Notter, circulated over the last few weeks. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 21:01 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Infinera, Optical Networking, Verizon, Earnings, Alcatel-Lucent

Something on Cisco's earnings call last night went terribly wrong. In a rational business sense, Cisco made plenty of money, even though they missed analyst estimates: $1.9B in profit and $40 billion in revenue for the first time in the company's history really isn't that shabby.

But something else was going on. The conference call was awful. It did not inspire confidence. Cisco executives bungled words, proceeded with a new "four-part" format as if they were trying to choreograph an opera at the Met, and struggled to explain the business climate. Even John Chambers himself, master of the bullish technology catchphrase, seemed to have trouble elucidating exactly what the problem was.

"We think the words unusual uncertainty are ... a description of what's happening."

Whaaa? Had we been suddenly been dropped into some metaphysical California Yoga retreat? Unusual uncertainty? What is that? That's not the Chambers I know. That's downright whimpy.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 00:36 am and is filed under .
Keywords: Cisco, John Chambers, Earnings