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Jul 27, 2012

Apple buys mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million

By Poornima Gupta and Sinead Carew

(Reuters) – Apple Inc will buy fingerprint sensor technology developer AuthenTec Inc for about $356 million (226 million pounds), striking a deal that could put its iPhone at the centre of the emerging mobile payments market.

Shares of AuthenTec, whose sensor chips can be used in personal computers and mobile devices, closed above the $8 per share that Apple agreed to pay for the company, suggesting some investors expect a rival bid.

Jul 27, 2012

Apple to buy fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec

By Sinead Carew and Himank Sharma

(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will buy fingerprint sensor technology developer AuthenTec Inc (AUTH.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for about $356 million, in a deal that could put its iPhone at the center of the emerging mobile payments market.

Apple is paying $8 per share, a 58 percent premium, for Melbourne, Florida-based AuthenTec, which counts Korean mobile device maker Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) among its big customers.

Jul 26, 2012

Clearwire loses customers but raises financial targets

NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) – Wireless service provider
Clearwire Corp said it lost customers in the second
quarter, but hopes to lose less money than it had expected in
2012 as it strives to conserve cash.

Risk-wary investors have pushed down Clearwire shares in
recent months in the absence of any news about the additional
funding it would need to expand its high-speed wireless network
and keep the business afloat long term.

Jul 26, 2012

Sprint raises earnings forecast; shares rise

July 26 (Reuters) – Sprint Nextel Corp raised its
earnings forecast for the year and reported higher-than-expected
quarterly revenue as its wireless customers increased spending,
and its shares rose more than 13 percent.
Investors saw the results as the best sign so far that Chief
Executive Dan Hesse might turn around the No. 3 U.S. mobile
service even though Sprint reported steeper than expected
customer losses and a wider quarterly loss from charges related
to the planned shutdown of its old Nextel network.
Sprint, which has been bleeding customers for years, is in
the middle of a costly network modernization project which
involves upgrading its Sprint network at the same time as it
decommissions the Nextel iDen network it bought in 2005.
The company had warned it would suffer steep customer losses
this year from its iDen network, once famous for its
walkie-talkie style feature. It said on Thursday that more of
these customers than expected were moving to the Sprint network.

“The subscriber loss was greater than expected but it was
because they were more aggressive in getting those iDen
customers off the network and I don’t think its a bad thing …
because it will help them shut down even more cell sites,” said
BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.
Smaller rival MetroPCS Communications also posted
stronger than expected results Thursday, sending its shares up
31 percent to $8.23 on New York Stock Exchange.
Sprint reported a net loss of 246,000 subscribers in the
quarter, compared with the average expectation of about 203,000
from five analysts contacted by Reuters.
The customer numbers included losses of 688,000 subscribers
on the Nextel network. However, 60 percent of the customers
leaving Nextel moved to the Sprint network.
However weak customer numbers actually helped Sprint’s costs
because it pays subsidies to handset makers such as Apple Inc
for each new phone. Like its rivals it discounts the phones for
customers who commit to a two-year contract.
On top of this Sprint said its average revenue per user for
the Sprint brand was its best ever at $63.38 and compared with
$59.07 in the year ago quarter.
As a result Sprint was able to increase its target for 2012
operating income, excluding special items, depreciation and
amortization, to a range of $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion from
its previous forecast of $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion.
Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said the
second-quarter results “more than any in recent history –
illustrate that the fruits of Sprint’s labor are finally being
seen.”
R. W. Baird analyst William Power said Sprint’s second
quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization of $1.45 billion exceeded his estimate of $1.03
billion. Several other analysts also had estimates closer to $1
billion.
In contrast, larger rivals Verizon Wireless
and AT&T Inc both added customers in the quarter.
Sprint, which committed to spend $15.5 billion on Apple Inc
iPhones over the next few years, said that iPhone sales
were slightly lower in the second quarter than in the first
quarter.
Sprint executives said on a conference call with analysts
that they had included an assumption of a new iPhone model this
year in its earnings target even though it was quick to point
out that it did not know when the next iPhone would launch.
In contrast to its bigger rivals, Sprint is sticking to
offering unlimited mobile internet usage for a flat monthly fee,
helping it boast an advantage over AT&T and Verizon Wireless,
which meter customer data usage.
However the unlimited data offering limits Sprint’s ability
to offer new shared data plans that its bigger rivals are
providing so customers can have one subscription for several
devices including smartphones and tablets like Apple’s iPad.
Sprint CEO Hesse told analysts to “stay tuned” on how Sprint
expects to improve usage of devices like iPad on its network.
The company’s quarterly loss widened to $1.37 billion, or 46
cents per share, from $847 million, or 28 cents per share, a
year earlier. The results included a $782 million depreciation
charge for the network decommissioning and an impairment charge
related to its Clearwire Corp venture.
Net operating revenue rose to $8.84 billion from $8.31
billion. Analysts expected $8.73 billion, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sprint shares were up 13.35 percent at $3.82 in late morning
trading on the New York Stock Exchange after rising as high as
$3.95 earlier in the session. By 11 AM investors had already
exchanged 130 million shares making it the stock’s busiest day
since October 10 2011.

Jul 25, 2012
Jul 25, 2012

New data pricing from Verizon, AT&T may complicate family life

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Arguments around U.S. family dinner tables may soon go from who talked too much on the phone this month to who used up the family’s Internet service.

Thanks to new metered pricing plans for Internet access unveiled by top U.S. cellular providers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc families will be able to share a single data allowance for multiple devices. A drawback is the higher price of data in these plans.

Jul 24, 2012

AT&T posts higher-than-expected 2nd-quarter earnings

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) – AT&T Inc reported quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates as the No. 2 U.S. wireless phone provider managed to cut more costs than expected in its wireless business.

Shares in AT&T rose slightly on Tuesday after it posted a wireless service margin of 45 percent, based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. This was well ahead of the average expectation of 42.58 percent from four analysts.

Jul 23, 2012

TI sees third-quarter revenue hurt by weak orders

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Texas Instruments Inc’s second-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations but the company warned that its third-quarter revenue would be weaker than usual for this time of year as customers are cautious due to global economic uncertainties.

Shares of TI, which makes chips for a wide range of products such as cellphones and industrial equipment, fell 1 percent in extended trade after the news.

Jul 20, 2012

Verizon wireline disappoints, shares off 2.9 pct

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) – Weakness in Verizon Communications Inc’s (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) enterprise business offset a better-than-expected wireless quarter, sending the telephone company’s shares down 2.9 percent.

After pushing Verizon’s shares up 14 percent so far this year, investors focused in on the wireline miss on Thursday even as Verizon handily beat Wall Street estimates for wireless subscriber growth and profitability.

Jul 19, 2012

Verizon wireline revenue disappoints, shares fall

By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc’s (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) quarterly revenue from its wireline business was less than expected due to weakness in its enterprise business, sending its shares down almost 2 percent.

After pushing Verizon’s shares up 14 percent so far this year, investors zoned in on the wireline miss on Thursday even as Verizon handily beat Wall Street estimates for wireless subscriber growth and profitability.

    • About Sinead

      "Sinead is a telecommunications industry correspondent. Her coverage area spans U.S. service providers, cellphone makers and chip makers. Before joining Reuters in 2002, she covered technology and telecoms for various trade publications."
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