AMD Releases Lacklustre Q1 Results

Nearing the end of the cycle for their current generation products, its not surprising to see poor financial results come out from AMD. Last year was a terrible one and it looks like 2016 won’t be much better, at least for Q1. For the first quarter of 2016, AMD posted a net loss of  $109 million from an operating revenue of $832 million. Unsurprisingly, it is better than 2015 as that year was arguably the worst ever.

AMD blames the revenue drop of 13% sequentially and 19% year-over-year as lower semi-custom sales. This is somewhat expected as we continue the PS4 and Xbox One lifecycle. The bright side is that Sony is set to release the PlayStation 4 Neo and even the Xbox One will see new revisions if not a full upgrade. Combined with the Nintendo NX, those should bounce back the semi-custom segment as consumers buy more consoles again.

Even though margins improved slightly to 32% (Intel posts around 60%), the increase in expenses led to the loss. This is reportedly due to increased R&D for upcoming products, which in my mind are due to Vega/Navi and Zen+ since Zen and Polaris are all set in stone by now. With Polaris 10 and Zen coming this year and even an Apple deal in the works, AMD has a good chance to turn things around as long as they can execute and head back to the black.

Intel Planning Extensive Staff Layoffs

In the search for either greater margins or reducing costs, companies have always turned to layoffs as a way to do so. Usually the domain of ailing firms, it’s rare for a healthy and growing company to cut any of their staff. Even more surprising is that Intel, the giant chipmaker is reportedly planning a massive round of fresh layoffs throughout is operations. Perhaps, the PC downturn is finally hitting them as well.

As of the end of 2015, Intel had 107,000 employees worldwide, with a 5% overall increase despite 1,100 cuts last year. This time around, the cuts are expected to go much deeper, with some divisions losing up to double-digit percentages of their staff. This is surprising as Intel has reported stunning financial results for quite a few quarters in a row and already boasts margins above 60%, nearly unheard of in their competitors.

According to the source, the cuts are expected to be announced after the Q1 financial results next week. These cuts are also due to shuffles in the executive ranks, perhaps with a change in long terms plans. Some of the cuts will be due to cutting redundancies and consolidations due to the Altera purchase last year. We will bring you more information as soon as Intel makes an announcement.

NVIDIA Reports Record Fourth Quarter Revenue Figures

Today, NVIDIA unveiled their latest financial results for the fourth quarter ending January 31st, 2016. The company’s revenue increased by 12% from $1.25 billion last year to $1.40 billion. Additionally, their revenue was also up 7% compared to the previous quarter which showcases the massive growth of late. Revenue for fiscal 2016 was a record $5.01 billion, up 7 percent from $4.68 billion a year earlier. This is absolutely astonishing and NVIDIA’s investments across VR, vehicle technology and graphics is paying dividends.

 

Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA said about the remarkable results:

“We had another record quarter, capping a record year,”

“Our strategy is to create specialized accelerated computing platforms for large growth markets that demand the 10x boost in performance we offer. Each platform leverages our focused investment in building the world’s most advanced GPU technology.”

“NVIDIA is at the center of four exciting growth opportunities — PC gaming, VR, deep learning, and self-driving cars. We are especially excited about deep learning, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence algorithms that takes advantage of our GPU’s ability to process data simultaneously. “Deep learning is a new computing model that teaches computers to find patterns and make predictions, extracting powerful insights from massive quantities of data. We are working with thousands of companies that are applying the power of deep learning in fields ranging from life sciences and financial services to the Internet of Things,”.

Capital Return
During the fourth quarter, NVIDIA paid $62 million in cash dividends and received 4.3 million shares in connection with an accelerated share repurchase agreement that it had entered into in the quarter. During fiscal 2016, the company returned to shareholders $800 million in quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases. For fiscal 2017, NVIDIA intends to return approximately $1.0 billion to shareholders through ongoing quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases. NVIDIA will pay its next quarterly cash dividend of $0.115 per share on March 23, 2016, to all shareholders of record on March 2, 2016.NVIDIA’s outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 is as follows:
  • Revenue is expected to be $1.26 billion, plus or minus two percent.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins are expected to be 57.2 percent and 57.5 percent, respectively, plus or minus 50 basis points.
  • GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $500 million. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $445 million.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP tax rates for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 are both expected to be 19 percent, plus or minus one percent.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $35 million to $45 million.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2016 Highlights
During the fourth quarter, NVIDIA achieved progress in each of its platforms.

Gaming:

  • Announced the GeForce GTX VR Ready program — in conjunction with PC companies, notebook makers and add-in card providers – to help users discover systems that will provide great virtual reality experiences.
  • Released NVIDIA GameWorks VR, a software development kit for developers of VR software and headsets for gaming.

Professional Visualization:

  • Rolled out NVIDIA Iray plugins for Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max, which enable users of these applications to create designs incorporating real-world lights and materials faster and more easily than before.
  • Released NVIDIA DesignWorks VR, a software development kit for developers of VR software and headsets for enterprise.

Datacenter:

  • Introduced an end-to-end hyperscale datacenter deep learning platform — consisting of two accelerators, the NVIDIA Tesla M40 and NVIDIA Tesla M4 — that lets web-services companies accelerate deep learning workloads.

Revealed new breakthroughs from leading web-services groups using NVIDIA GPUs:

  • Facebook is using the NVIDIA Tesla accelerated computing platform to power Big Sur, its next-generation computing system for machine learning applications.
  • Alibaba’s AliCloud cloud computing business is working with NVIDIA to promote China’s first GPU-accelerated, cloud-based, high performance computing platform.
  • IBM is adding support for NVIDIA GPU accelerators to its Watson cognitive computing platform.
  • Google is open-sourcing its TensorFlow deep-learning framework, which can be accelerated on GPUs.
  • Microsoft’s Computational Network Toolkit was integrated with Azure GPU Lab, enabling neural nets for speech recognition that are up to 10x faster than their predecessors.

Auto:

  • Launched NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2, a powerful engine for in-vehicle artificial intelligence.
  • Announced that Volvo will use DRIVE PX 2 to power a fleet of 100 Volvo XC90 SUVs that will appear on the road next year in the car manufacturer’s Drive Me autonomous-car pilot program.

Mad Catz In Trouble After Shares Plummet And CEO Resigns

Mad Catz is best known for creating various peripherals including keyboards, mice, headsets and more while adopting a very distinctive style. This gives their product range a unique aesthetic, and makes anything they produce instantly recognizable. Whether many of these complicated constructions are as comfortable as more simplistic solutions is topic up for discussion. Not only that, creating any mass market product involves a great deal of research and development. Furthermore, competition within the peripherals market is fierce with Corsair, Roccat, Logitech, Mionix, Cooler Master and more all vying for people’s hard earner cash. As a result, the financial situation at the company looks very bleak and their share value has fallen by more than 25% today!

On another note, Mad Catz announced some sweeping changes to the management team. Firstly, the company’s president and CEO, Darren Richardson resigned his position with immediate effect. In a similar fashion, the chair of the board of directors and member of the board’s audit committee, Thomas Brown resigned on Friday. That’s not the end though as Mad Catz’s senior vice president of business affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary, Whitney Peterson also handed in her resignation. The timing for the CEO’s resignation is quite worrying and comes just one day before Mad Catz’s financial reports are published. The company released a statement describing these changes which reads:

“We recognize the tremendous value that Thomas, Darren, and Whitney have brought to Mad Catz during their tenure and thank them for their many contributions throughout the years,”

“Looking ahead, we are confident that we have a talented leadership team in place that will enable us to steer the company on a steady course in its operations and financial performance as we look to grow our business and reward our shareholders.”

Clearly, the company’s financial standing is in disarray and I’m expecting the results to tomorrow to be alarming. Only time will tell if Mad Catz struggles to remain in business, but the picture so far doesn’t look very promising.

Have you had a positive experience with Mad Catz hardware?

Lenovo Reports First Loss in Six Years

Despite being one of the leading PC vendors, Lenovo is experiencing a tough financial period and recorded a $714 million net loss. This is the first loss the company has reported in 6 years and makes for some alarming reading. One root cause is a major restructuring programme resulting in 3,200 job losses. Additionally, the acquisition of Motorola was a costly endeavor, and Lenovo had to accept $300 million worth of unsold handsets.

PC sales also reduced by 17 percent compared to last year, but this is expected given the current market. Furthermore, the 17 percent drop is actually one of the better results when compared to other manufacturers. However, I’m pretty convinced the Superfish malware scandal didn’t do the company any favours and caused a great deal of negative publicity. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if consumers were more hesitant to buy Lenovo products in the future. On the other hand, the amount of people who actually know about this controversy is quite small and the average consumer doesn’t really follow the latest technology news.

Whatever the case, the financial results aren’t as worrying as they first seem due to Lenovo’s current costs. Realistically, there’s no reason why they can’t turn a profit again, but it will be especially difficult in the competitive smartphone sector.

EA Grosses More Than Double From Extra Content Than Full Games

EA, Activision and Ubisoft have implemented a huge array of microtransactions into full priced game releases. Although the anger appears to be targeted towards EA due to the eye-watering price of various digital deluxe pre-order packages. One notable example is Star Wars: Battlefront which retails for £49.99 and already has a season pass to its name. Even more absurd, there is a listing which contains the DLC for an insulting £104.98; for those of you in the USA, this equates to $162.42.

Consumers are sick of major publishers pushing microtransactions and ridiculous pricing. However, the latest financial stats from EA illustrate the financial benefits of “Extra Content”. Rather worryingly, EA grossed more than double from additional content compared to digital games. Clearly, this doesn’t include retail sales but emphasizes how much money people are spending on DLC and microtransactions.

Microtransactions in full priced games have become the norm and the full experience rarely costs £49.99. This is a crying shame, as micro-payments were originally designed to be used on free-to-play titles. Major publishers are a business and they will keep implementing things which increase their profit margins. However, in the long-term, I’m unsure if this anti-consumer policy will come back to haunt them.

Have you ever paid for a microtransaction?

US concerned Over Russian Activity Near Undersea Data Cables

Tensions between nations over Cyber warfare have increased dramatically over the last 5 years, from the US accusing China and Russia of systematically hacking into highly sensitive government systems through industrial means, to groups affiliated with IS and similar terrorist organisations who have cyber attacked various departments. Now, Washington is reportedly becoming concerned that Russia and its fleet of military submarines could in theory cut vital undersea cables that carry almost all global communications.

As yet there is no evidence to suggest Russia or any other country has attempted this, but, according to US intelligence, or lack of sometimes, who are monitoring a significant and increased “Russian activity along the known routes of the cables, which carry the lifeblood of global electronic communications and commerce”.

It was reported last month (Sep 2015) that a Russian spy ship “equipped with two self-propelled deep-sea submersible craft, cruised slowly off the East Coast of the United States on its way to Cuba — where one major cable lands near the American naval station at Guantanamo Bay”. US officials state this spy ship has the ability to launch submersible vehicles that in turn could cut data cables situated miles down in the sea.

The Pentagon is also concerned that Russia is attempting to hunt for cables at much greater depths than originally thought where such data lines are harder to both monitor and repair. The significance of these data cables is vast considering it has been estimated that they carry “global business worth more than $10 trillion dollars a day, including from financial institutions that settle transactions on them every second”

Is this all smoke and mirrors? Possibly, it’s difficult to know how much of this information is genuine and if so how much is actually being planned. If Russia succeeded in cutting vital cables then this would lead to a dramatic set of circumstances. One thing to bare in mind is that Putin quite likes the idea of censorship and could be looking at cutting Russia off from outside influences. What we do know is countries, for example Russia and China, have a vested interest in disrupting countries such as the US, but having said that, the US and others also have well-documented interests in intercepting gigantic amounts of data from other countries. It’s the same practice in a different pair of shoes, from both World Wars, the Cold War to modern-day cyber spying, countries want others data and will plot while both sides remain unsure of the final outcome.

Image source

Intel Posts Impressive Financial Q3 Results

Intel has reported a total revenue of $14.5 billion in Q3 of this year and gross margin reaching 63%. The revenue is up 10% compared the last quarter, and the gross margin increased by 0.5 point. Furthermore,  the company procured $5.7 billion in cash from operations, paid $1.1 billion dividends and offset $1 billion to repurchase 36 million shares of stock. This is impressive given the current economic situation and demonstrates Intel’s strong position in the technology sector.

In the last decade, Intel has dominated the enthusiast CPU market and continues to be the choice for workstations and high-end machines. However, AMD’s upcoming Zen architecture could shake things up and cause a pricing war on powerful chips. Sadly, AMD’s financial position isn’t very strong and key staff members are leaving on a regular basis. Intel’s position is similar to an oligopoly as AMD tries to entice more mainstream consumers to opt for APUs.

Intel has also been working hard to improve their mobile CPUs, and embedded graphics solutions. The company’s current focus is still on engineering more efficient CPUs instead of resorting to large power demands. Whatever the case, Intel is doing quite well from a business standpoint, and looks set to weather any financial storm.

Thank you Legit Reviews for providing us with this information.

Apple Reigns Supreme at US Tax Avoidance

The legality and moral outrage surrounding tax avoidance has been a hotly-discussed topic throughout the world. Many leading corporations from Apple to IBM exploit loopholes in the tax system to reduce their bill and hold assets offshore from their US base. As a result, this net revenue isn’t taxable and allows for increased profits. Sadly, many companies refuse to publicly disclose the nature of moving assets offshore, but new data provides evidence regarding the top 30 US companies who didn’t object to this information going public.

In the US, this data was collated by the Center for Tax Justice’s analysis of SEC filings. As you can see from the graph, Apple came in 1st place moving $181 billion of taxable assets offshore to avoid paying taxation. This is a significant margin ahead of other companies but might simply refer to Apple’s financially strong situation. The chart contains a wealth of technological companies and signifies how tax avoidance is commonplace in the industry. In recent years, governments have promised to clamp down on tax avoidance due to public pressure.

However, very rarely does this result in any meaningful change. Only recently did Amazon start paying corporation tax in the UK after a long period of employing complicated tax schemes. I highly doubt the data will deter people from buying Apple products but it emphaizes how their company and similar technology behemoths are run. From a business standpoint, if a company can maximize their profits, they will within the confines of the law.

How do you feel about technology companies avoiding taxation?

Thank you Quartz for providing us with this information.

AMD Loses Two Major Industry Figures

AMD’s woeful fiscal position and declining GPU market share has caused a great deal of speculation regarding the company’s future, with commentators suggesting a buy-out is imminent. AMD recently reversed the discrete graphics card market trend which marks a promising return to form. However, it seems like all is not well at AMD and two of the company’s major figures have left this week. Fiona Faulkner, International Channel Sales and Marketing leader handed in her resignation.

Similarly, AMD’s Channel Manager, Leon Callon has allegedly left the company and the Twitter user-name, “AMD_Leon” no longer exists. This is a worrying development and suggests AMD’s management is in a complete mess. In theory, this could indicate a takeover or restructuring in difficult times. It’s impossible to know if these two individuals left of their own accord.

It’s sad to see AMD’s decline and the company really is in a delicate position. Hopefully, the upcoming Zen CPU architecture will help financially, but long-term prospects look very bleak. Previously, rumors have suggested a takeover from either Samsung or Microsoft, which could help AMD’s research and development budget.

Clearly, AMD is in a very difficult position and I hope they can recover and keep their talented staff.

Toshiba Reports $318m Net Loss

Toshiba’s fiscal performance from the year start to March has finally been revealed and recorded a net loss of $318 million. The delayed result was caused by the sale of its investment in Finnish firm, Kone to try to recoup financial confidence after senior management figures overstated profits by an estimated $1.22 billion. Despite the rather worrying financials, Toshiba is bullish about the future and released a statement which said:

“While the US economy had lost some momentum in the second half of FY2014, the UK had witnessed a strong performance and the Eurozone had sustained a gradual recovery”.

Despite a slowdown in China, the emerging economies as a whole saw a continued gradual recovery, reflecting solid growth in South-east Asia and India”.

Consumer confidence in Toshiba is quite low after the profits scandal and the company looks to the long-term to restore faith in their management and product line. It’s too early to say what the future holds, but there’s no reason to begin writing Toshiba off just yet. It’s extremely possible that this downturn could be reversed but then again, investors are always concerned about losses or mismanagement. Hopefully, the company can work towards a prosperous future through innovation and products which offer customers real value-for-money.

Do you own a Toshiba product?

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Uber Reportedly Operating At Huge Losses

San Francisco-based transportation Network Company Uber has been a revelation in terms of market adoption and consumer exposure. But, the key is successful financial management which benefits the long-term viability of a company; this has been placed in a questionable stasis by alleged leaked financial Documents which covey’s a somewhat punishing set of results from Uber’s point of view.

Gawker has purportedly leaked Uber’s financial results which show operating losses of more than $100m (£65m) in the second quarter of 2014, albeit coupled with steady growth in revenue. This is an astonishing figure which is compounded by an astronomical valuation which sets the total value of the company at $50bn; this makes Uber one of the most funded start-ups in the world.

Below is the documents which Gawker have published, now, this slightly confused me too, but eTeknix have clarified the figures. Everything is actually x1000, so when the Net Loss for 2013 is $56,530, this means it is in reality $56 million. The second document lays out quarterly profits and losses in 2012 and part of 2013, this shows healthy revenue coupled with steadily deepening losses. In 2012, Uber’s losses totalled $20.4 million; from the first quarter of 2012 until mid-2013, quarterly losses more than doubled from $3.5 million to $8.1 million.

Uber released a statement which did not deny the existence or the validity of these documents but outlines the following,

“Shock, horror, Uber makes a loss. This is hardly news and old news at that, It’s the case of business 101: you raise money, you invest money, you grow, you make a profit and that generates a return for investors.”  

Which is true, any business has to invest capital in order to grow, the only question centres around the point when it becomes unsustainable. For me it’s reckless to value a perceived wealth of a company at such a high figure, it raises expectations to a level to which assets cannot compete. Revenue has to be maximised while minimizing losses, otherwise shareholders will become nervous and sceptical of projected figures which places Uber in a tricky position.

Image courtesy of abc7

AMD Records Loss of $181 million in Q2 2015

 

AMD has published their financial report for the second quarter of 2015 and recorded a loss of $181 million or $0.23 per share. In comparison, AMD’s financial standing at the same point last year yielded a $30 million net loss or $0.05 per share. The GAAP revenue figures illustrate the downturn in AMD’s total revenue from $1.44B in Q2 of 2014 to $942M in Q2 2015. These results are pretty abysmal and a staggering 34% reduction year-over-year. Even more shocking is the fact that AMD  has seen a 54% decrease year-over-year from Q2 2014 in the computing and graphics market. AMD believes the root cause is dwindling PC sales meaning their APUs in OEM machines are deployed in such a short supply.

Additionally, AMD initially planned to launch a number of 20nm APU products but transferred to a FinFET process. This move cost AMD $33 million which explains why AMD’s financials are so poor. However, Q3 2015 figures should lead to improved financials due to AMD’s 300 series and Fiji graphic cards. While the 300 cards are fairly basic rebrands, they do offer a good price to performance ratio compared to NVIDIA’s GTX 960, 970 and 980. However, the Fury X wasn’t the game changer we were all hoping for and struggles to keep up with custom cooled GTX 980 Tis.

So what does the future hold for AMD? That’s a very difficult question to answer given their precarious position. Even though the figures are awful, it doesn’t mean AMD are going to suddenly fold in the coming months. The next quarter is vital and they need strong sales from the new graphical line-up. If NVIDIA continue to dominate this market share and extend their advantage, then AMD will be in a very difficult position without the R&D resources required to compete.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

Ubisoft Financial Reports Shows What Platform Takes Centre Stage When It Comes to Gaming

This year’s Q1 financial report coming from Ubisoft reveals what platform gamers are more interested in. If you thought that the battle was between Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, you are bound to be amazed. The report shows that the company sold twice as many PS4 games compared to Xbox One titles, having Microsoft’s console plunge down even below PC sales figures. In other words, PS4 games account for 27% of software sales, PC for 23% and Xbox One for just 11%.

The results also show how PC gaming has risen 14% compared to last year’s financial report, showing that the PC has been getting a lot more attention and is moving close to surpassing even the PS4 next year. In contrast, the Xbox One sales fell down 14% compared to last year, showing that gamers are more likely to drop Microsoft’s console in favour of Sony or the PC. Even Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U saw an extremely slow sales figure, coming in with only 3%. However, the figure was expected to be low, since Ubisoft did not release any new Wii U title.

But enough about reports and statistics. What do you think? Are you a PS4 gamer or more inclined to switch to Sony’s console, or are you happy with the PC or other platforms? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you arstechnica for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Sys@dmin Tutorials

Titanfall Sequel in the Works, Won’t be Microsoft Exclusive

Respawn Entertainment has just announced that there’s a sequel coming for Titanfall. IGN also reports that the title is dropping Microsoft exclusivity, having it come to PlayStation 4 as well this time.

Studio CEO, Vince Zampella, said that the title will “be multiplatform” and COO Dusty Welch stated that the decision to release the first title only on Microsoft platforms was purely a business decision, having Zampella adding that the game wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Microsoft did a lot of financial lifting for Titanfall, just as it did for the first Mass Effect title.

The upcoming title is said to still not have an official name and is still early in the development stages. This means that there aren’t a lot of details to go by, but Zampella did state truthfully about how the first game’s multiplayer-only campaign turned out and affected the sequel.

“I mean it obviously prohibits a certain group of people playing the game, and as content creators you want to get into as many peoples’s hands as possible. We put some single-player elements in there though, and tried to mix it up. Maybe we could have mixed things up a bit better because some people blew right by it and didn’t even see it because there was so much action happening around it.

It’s tough, because if you hit people over the head with it, it becomes intrusive and there are people who don’t want or care about it. Where does the needle fall? I think it takes a while to figure that out and we haven’t figured it out yet.”

This does not mean that a single-player campaign is being developed, but it is at least being considered. Also, the studio might be making the sequel’s DLC free. Given that all DLC for the first titles are free, that might seem the most likely move.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Apple is Now Twice the Size of the World’s Second Largest Company

Apple’s market cap has just risen to $775 billion – a new record making it twice the size of the world’s second largest company, Exxon Mobil. For the last few years, it’s always been neck and neck between Apple and Exxon, a global oil giant. Many are seeing this as significant, as consumer technology is now a significantly bigger business than oil; a business which for years has been likened to printing money.

Apple is only the second company to achieve such a feat in the last 30 years – IBM was the last company to double second place, that being Exxon as well.  The difference between Apple and IBM today is symbolic, as Apple famously saw itself as the underdog to ‘Big Blue’, likening them to ‘Big Brother’ in its famous ‘1984’ ad. Just late last year, Apple announced that it was joining IBM in a partnership to bring iOS to the enterprise. Many saw this as IBM asking Apple, its former underdog, for help.

What’s next? Well, Apple isn’t far off becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company. It was always a question of whether it could happen, but now it’s more of a question of when will it happen. Something incredible when you consider Apple was a company 90 days from bankruptcy in 1997.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

HP Finish off their Fiscal Year with Interesting Q4 Results

Hewlett-Packard have just their fourth quarter earnings this past Tuesday, posting some interesting results to round out their 2014 fiscal year.

Here’s a quick summary of the report:

  • Net income of $2 billion, rated at 70 cents per share
  • Non-GAAP earnings at $1.06 per share on a revenue of $28.4 billion – dropping 2% year-on-year
  • Wall street was reportedly looking for earnings of $1.06 per share on revenue of $28.76 billion
  • HP shared have fallen by roughly 2.6% in the after-hours trading due to the above fact
  • Fiscal 2014 saw HP bring in earnings of $3.74 per share and a revenue of $111.5 billions, falling 1% compared to 2013’s results

HP’s CEO Meg Whitman commented on these results, stating that her companies “turnaround” is back on track and running as expected:

“In FY14, we stabilized our revenue trajectory, strengthened our operations, showed strong financial discipline, and once again made innovation the cornerstone of our company. Our product roadmaps are the best they’ve been in years and our partners and customers believe in us. There’s still a lot left to do, but our efforts to date, combined with the separation we announced in October, sets the stage for accelerated progress in FY15 and beyond.”

As we said in the beginning, this information provides interesting results. Their non-GAAP earnings are down 2% year-on-year alongside their fiscal 2013 revenue falling 1% year-on-year, but they certainly aren’t generating a loss and seem to be traveling much better than Sony at the moment. who have been reporting major issues amongst the eastern mobile market, alongside their picture studio being taken over by hackers in the past few days.

HP are in the middle of their plan to splinter their PC and printer businesses from their enterprise unit, we’re interested to see what the end result will being after 2015 is through. In the mean time, we’re going to have to see what this whole “five year turnaround” will bring to us, day by day.

Image courtesy of Open IT Strategies

Warface Title Launched Amids Crytek Financial ‘Crysis’

Though Crytek is facing financial problems in the UK headquarters, having paid employees only £700 last month and staff leaving due to this, the company was able to at least release its long-awaited free-to-play title, Warface, the latest free-to-play title to hit Steam.

Crytek is counting on Warface to become a success, having promising daily content updates in order to keep players interested in the title. One way or the other, it may even be the company’s way out of the financial situation it currently faces at the UK headquarters. Steam has stated that the game is currently available in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

“Bringing Warface to Steam paves the way for a new audience to discover the game’s engrossing cooperative and competitive action; completely for free. As well as putting the power of CryEngine to work, Warface draws on Crytek’s FPS expertise to ensure players are immersed in the heat of battle–whether they’re jumping in for a quick game with friends or dedicating more time to the game’s extensive multiplayer modes” Hasit Zala, Warface Franchise Director stated.

In terms of features, Warface is said to offer four player co-op missions and a ‘versus’ mode, having players work together or against each other in order to win. The title is said to have fairly low system requirements in order to attract a variety of gamers with different system specs. The minimum requirements are said to be an Intel or AMD Dual-Core 2 GHz CPU, 2 GB of Ram and NVIDIA 8600 or Radeon 3650.

The recommended system requirements for users who like to experience the true graphics of Warface is stated to be for users having an Intel or AMD Dual-Core 2.6 GHz or higher CPU, same 2 GB of Ram and NVIDIA 9600GT, AMD Radeon 3870 or higher end GPUs. The game can be found and downloaded from Steam.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Steam

No Crysis At Crytek: Developer Denies Imminent Bankruptcy Rumours

A few days ago we covered the news that emerged from the German magazine Gamestar that Crytek was in financial trouble and could be facing bankruptcy. A Crytek spokesperson has issued a public statement to Eurogamer denying those claims.

“Regardless of what some media are reporting, mostly based on a recent article published by GameStar, the information in those reports and in the GameStar article itself are rumors which Crytek deny. We continue to focus on the development and publishing of our upcoming titles Homefront: The Revolution, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Arena of Fate, and Warface, as well as providing ongoing support for our CryEngine and its licensees. We have received a lot of positive feedback during and after E3 from both gaming press and gamers, and would like to thank our loyal employees, fans and business partners for their continuous support.”

Crytek has numerous studios over the world and currently has several games in development including Homefront: The Revolution which is being developed at Crytek UK and Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age which is being developed at Crytek USA. Crytek is also licensing out its “CryEngine” to other developers through its licensing division.

However, despite the statement of denial by Crytek it is hard to ignore the building evidence. Before E3 employees of the Crytek Sofia (Bulgaria) office said they had not been given salaries for the previous two months, Crytek UK employees report that they have not been paid on time and that the management had showed no transparency over the issues. The latest statement could mean that Crytek have recently managed to secure investment for a stable future, or Crytek could just be trying to keep a lid on things to prevent the company from unravelling.

Source: Eurogamer

Image courtesy of mmoculture

Crytek May Go Bankrupt, Ryse Flopped, CryEngine Adoption Low

Crytek are one of the best development studios around, with brands such as Crysis to their name, they’ve long been a corner stone of high-end PC gaming. Unfortunately it looks like the studio is falling on hard times as their recent software release Ryse was about as entertaining as a wet sponge, not to mention their game engine software CryEngine has suffered low adoption rates compared to rivals such as Unreal, Unity and countless others.

According to German magazine Gamestar, the company may have to file for bankruptcy if it cannot find a big pile of money to patch up its problems. Crytek may have some innovative graphics technology at their disposal, but if they’re struggling to turn a profit from it, then they’re in serious trouble. Rumour has it that several major publishers are already preparing to try snag some of the Crytek IP’s at a bargain price should the company go bust or sell of some titles to stem the tide.

With around 800 employees to its name, Crytek going under could create a lot of problems for a lot of hard working people. It’s already being reported that the staff at Crytek received their pay late, and many are already applying for new job; jumping ship before it sinks completely.

It now looks like Cryteks hopes are pinned on Homefront: The Revolution which is due to launch next year.

We are patiently waiting for something official from Crytek, but it certainly doesn’t look like the issues are going to clear up any time soon.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Softpedia.

UK Tech Sector is Booming. Reported to be Growing Faster than Silicon Valley

Said to contribute £12bn to the English economy over the next decade, London alone is becoming a massive player in the worldwide technology industry at a massive growth rate of 5.1 percent per annum as quoted by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

This information was let loose at London Tech Week – showing that there are more contenders than just the famous Silicon Valley and the UK tech industry is booming.

As according to Bloomberg Philantropies, London also employs a greater number of workers in financial technology than any other major city on earth.

Image courtesy of Startup-book

Facebook Rumoured To Be Interested In Acquiring BlackBerry

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is the latest company to be involved in the chase to acquire BlackBerry. As we know BlackBerry have financially struggled in the past few years as sales of their handsets have declined, but could things be so bad that they need to be taken over by a more successful company, like Facebook? Well the WSJ seems to think so and suggests executives of both companies got together last week to discuss a potential buyout offer. Naturally both Facebook and BlackBerry declined to comment on the speculation and we are unlikely to hear anything official until any form of deal is done and agreed.

Facebook aren’t the only company to be involved in a rumoured acquisition of Blackberry as BlackBerry already accepted a potential buyout offer from Canadian consortium Fairfax Financial which will finalise in early November if no other bids are placed for the handset company by then. Several other companies are also rumoured to be interested with Lenovo, led by BlackBerry’s ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis, one of them. Whatever happens there will be a lot of change at BlackBerry as the company is looking to turn its focus towards business customers in the public and private sectors instead of the consumer market where Samsung and Apple are forcing rivals into marginal positions.

Image courtesy of Blogcdn.com

AMD Comes Back To Profitability For Q3 Of 2013

Just 3 months ago AMD reported their Q2 results to the world and it was a disappointing announcement from AMD showing $74 million in losses. After that result AMD announced the sale and proposed leaseback of its Singapore Facility to raise some extra funds. Now AMD are announcing their Q3 results and they have made a tentative step toward profitability. AMD reported a net income of $48 million meaning they’ve swung their balance by $122 million from a previous $74 million loss. AMD cites significant growth in its Graphics and Visual Solutions (GVS) division – that’s the division responsible for making the semi-custom APUs used in the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as AMD’s Radeon and FirePro GPUs.

“We achieved 26 percent sequential revenue growth driven by our semi-custom business and remain committed to generating approximately 50 percent of revenue from high-growth markets over the next two years.” AMD President and CEO Rory Read stated.

Despite the success of its semi-custom APUs, AMD’s GPUs saw a continued decline in average selling prices (ASPs) leading to a decline in profitability for desktop GPUs.

The computing solutions division declined due to the plight of AMD’s notebook and chipset unit shipments. Their desktop unit shipments did apparently partially offset some of these losses of the former but there was a 6% quarter on quarter and 15% year on year decline in AMD’s computing solutions division.

AMD’s forecasts for Q4 didn’t fill the markets with confidence though, as AMD expects revenues of less than the $1.52 billion predicted by analysts. AMD shares fell 8% after trading despite their results for Q3 being positive.

More here.

Image courtesy of AMD

Intel’s Q3 Results Are Higher Than Expected – Doing Well In A Weak Market

Intel recently published its third quarter financial results for 2013 and the results are better than many expected. Intel reported that total revenue is up 5% over the previous quarter but is “flat” year-on year. Intel reported a total revenue of $13.5 billion with an operating income of $3.5 billion and a net income of $3 billion. Intel’s earnings per share figure was $0.58 helped by an improvement in its gross margin from 61% last year to 62.4% this year.

“The third quarter came in as expected, with modest growth in a tough environment,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “We’re executing on our strategy to offer an increasingly broad and diverse product portfolio that spans key growth segments, operating systems and form factors. Since August we have introduced more than 40 new products for market segments from the Internet-of-Things to datacenters, with an increasing focus on ultra-mobile devices and 2 in 1 systems.”

Intel reported revenue for its PC Client Group was up 3.5% from last quarter to $8.4 billion, but that’s down 3.5% compared to the same period last year. Intel’s main gain came with its Data Center group which grew its revenues to $2.9 billion which is up 6.2% from the last quarter and 12.2% year-on-year. Intel also managed to spend $0.1 billion less than predicted within its R&D department. Intel’s “other” category posted revenues of $1.1 billion, up 13.3% sequentially but down 9.3% year-on-year.

What the figures show is that Intel has been able to counteract a weak PC market with growth in the professional and enterprise sector and in the mobile markets. Intel hopes to maintain its strong gross margin and revenues into Q4 of this year.

More details here.

Image courtesy of Intel

BlackBerry Tries To Reassure Customers With Open Letter

In an attempt to reassure worried customers and investors, Blackberry has issued an open letter addressing customers, partners and fans. The open letter is trying to deliver the message that “You can continue to count on BlackBerry” despite the company’s troubled performance this year. The most recent incident that caused people to lose faith in BlackBerry came when they announced a $1 billion inventory write-down on the Z10 handset that failed miserably to meet sales expectations.

The open letter acknowledges that “These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges” but it also states “speaking of those dramatic headlines, it’s important that we set the record straight on a few things”. Blackberry claims that with substantial cash reserves and a debt free balance sheet, combined with a restructuring aimed to cut expenses by 50%, there’s no way Blackberry is going under any time soon. They also claim that their best in class productivity tools, security, enterprise mobility management and mobile social networks will continue to make them a competitive brand in the future.

You can read the open letter for yourself right here. What do you think of BlackBerry’s situation?

Image courtesy of The Verge

ASUSTeK Revenues Reach 13 Month High – Driven By Tablet Sales

In the world of technology ASUS have always had a massive presence – particularly in the enthusiast sector where we conduct most of our work – ASUS make some of the best motherboards, graphics cards, audio equipment, notebooks and so on. Yet the technology market is changing and has been changing for a while, tablets and smartphones now reign supreme. ASUS has been quick to act on that and already has a well established and extensive range of tablets which Digitimes claims has driven ASUSTeK’s best monthly revenues for 13 months. September 2013 represented a 2.97% increase in revenues on the previous month and a 13.05% increase over the previous year – impressive figures from ASUS. The indication is that this growth has mainly been driver by “booming shipments” of the Google ASUS second generation Nexus 7 tablet as well as sales of own brand tablets like the ASUS MemoPad HD 7 pictured above. Digitimes’ sources state that ASUSTeK wil ship 4.3 to 4.5 million notebooks for Q3 of 2013 and 7 to 8 million tablets for H2 of 2013.

Image #1 courtesy of ASUSTeK and image #2 courtesy of Digitimes

NSA “Follow The Money” Program Spies On International Bank Activity

In another shaking report from German publication Der Spiegel we now have reason to believe that the American NSA actually spies on all international transactions processed by companies like VISA. The revelation is hardly surprising but will anger many given the fact the NSA maintained that no commercial or industrial spying has been conducted. Since they made that statement denying commercial spying it has been revealed that they’ve spied on Brazilian industrial oil firm Petrobras and now, many banking firms.

The program conducted by the NSA to spy on banks all over the world is dubbed “follow the money” (FTM). The information collected from the FTM program then flows into the NSA’s mammoth financial databank called “Tracfin” which in 2011 had 180 million records of which around 84% were credit card transaction details. The documents show the NSA was targeting companies like VISA for direct surveillance. The main regions of focus were Europe, the Middle East and Africa a presentation slide suggested the goal was to “collect, parse and ingest transactional data for priority credit card associations, focusing on priority geographic regions.”

The NSA Tracfin data bank also retrieved and stored huge amounts of data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication aka SWIFT. Apparently concern has been raised among inteliigence agency staff, in the USA and UK’s GCHQ, over what can only be described as the handling of highly sensitive information. Spying on financial data is a huge invasion of privacy that is likely to enrage a lot more people than previous allegations that were just limited to telecommunications, especially since the bulk of the financial data is not even about NSA targets but average people.

Image credit unknown