Category Archives: Rumors
A rumor is floating around that QE off is coming sooner than you think. A fed member is allegedly going to release a paper shortly on the matter…
“Facebook appears to be close to makinganother billion-dollar acquisition to once again ramp up its mobile efforts: according to three reports in the Israeli press at Calcalist and sister publication Ynet andThe Marker (all in Hebrew), Facebook has approached Waze, the social mapping and traffic app maker, and is now in advanced due dilligence on a deal that Calcalist puts at between $800 million and $1 billion. The negotiations between the social network and crowdsourced mapping app apparently began six months ago.
We have been digging too and have picked up confirmation from a source that both sides have privately confirmed that the deal is happening, and that the pricing reported first by the Calcalist is accurate. The main issue right now, the source said, is whether to keep Waze in Israel or take it to the U.S., as Facebook did with two previous Israel acqusitions. Those were of feature phone interface developer Snaptu (bought for up to $70 million in March 2011) and facial recognition specialistFace.com (bought in June 2012 for $50-60 million).
But! Facebook and Waze have already come back to us with flat non-responses. “We do not comment on rumors or speculation about the business,” a spokesperson at Waze told TechCrunch. The company tells me that it currently has over 47 million active users — more than double what it had in July last year when it reported 20 million.
“We won’t comment on speculation,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
However, if the rumors are true, adding Waze to Facebook makes a lot of sense in some respects: Facebook has been putting a lot of effort into its mobile business, which now has 751 million monthly active users as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year. That puts mobile on a faster track at the moment than Facebook’s desktop business, which currently has 1.11 billion MAUs, an increase of 23% year-over-year….”
“The Financial Times reports exclusively the Commodities Futures and Exchange Commission is studying whether Bitcoin would fall under their purview.
CFTC head Bart Chilton told the paper Bitcoin “is for sure something we need to explore,” adding, “It’s not monopoly money.”
Another anonymous source said that the regulator is “seriously” examining the issue….”
“Private-equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus are exploring a sale or a public offering of Neiman Marcus Group, according to a Bloomberg News report late on Sunday.
The private-equity firms, which bought the Dallas-based retailer in 2005 for $5.1 billion, have interviewed banks and are about to hire Credit Suisse Group to run the dual track process, according to the report, which cited two people familiar with the situation.
A Credit Suisse spokesman declined to comment…..”
“Twitter is nearing an agreement with Viacom to host TV clips and sell advertising on the site,reports Bloomberg. It is also reportedly discussing a content partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and one or more of the deals could be reached by mid-May.
According to sources cited in the article, the partnerships would let Twitter stream videos on its site and split the resulting ad revenue with the networks. Twitter already has agreements in place with ESPN, Weather Channel LLC, and Turner Broadcasting System…..”
Yet again, third-party accessory makers have revealed an upcoming iPad design.Alibaba.com is awash in cases for a redesigned iPad. Nearly every case is for a device that has a thinner bezel and slimmer profile. In short, the next iPad will look like the iPad mini — except, you know, just not mini.
This is the standard story line for Apple devices. Months before a major product is released, accessory makers start pumping and dumping cases. Most of the time these cases are rebadged and sold under a brand name. This process takes time, which is why the cases are available prior to the device launching.
This has happened for nearly every iDevice launch since the iPhone 4. Every iPad — full size or mini — was revealed prior to Apple’s announcement through case makers. And a good chunk of case makers display their wares on Alibaba.com…..”
“And it begins.
This two-day decline in gold (which is the biggest since 2011, apparently, and which has sent the metal to below $1400/oz.) is already prompting another round of conspiracy-mongering.
Here, for example, is Max Keiser, host of a popular TV show and website…”
I’m definitely bored when posting this……
“The U.S. Department of Defense will order 650,000 iOS devices to replace older BlackBerry devices that are incompatible with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system after the sequester is over, reports Electronista.
The DOD will order 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, and 210,000 various iPhones models. Electronista has been told that “more than half are headed to the battlefield, afloat, and to associated support commands. Most of the rest will stay [at the Pentagon].”
There are currently 470,000 BlackBerry devices….”
“Apple stock just popped on a rumor that the company will dig into its mountain of unneeded cash and issue a big fat “special dividend” to shareholders.
On the one hand, this is a positive: Apple should do something with the cash.
On the other hand, it’s a negative: Of the three most sensible ways to return cash to shareholders, a “special dividend” is the least flexible and least efficient.
The two other options are:
- Increase in the regular dividend (perhaps at least a doubling)
- A major stock buyback
Of these two options, the stock buyback is the most efficient and flexible option.
Because of dividend taxes.
Apple’s stock is owned by a lot of small, taxpaying shareholders.
These shareholders will get hit with up to a 23.8% tax on any dividends thanks to the recent tax increase…..”
“Carl Icahn appears set to enter the fray over the leveraged buyout of Dell. Trading sources say they are confident that Icahn has amassed a position in Dell that may approach 100 million shares, and would bring him to a roughly 6 percent ownership. Icahn is expected to file a 13D on Dell very soon and has purchased control of his shares over the last two weeks as Dell’s shares have traded near $14.
When reached for comment, Icahn said he wouldn’t discuss Dell or any rationale he had for the investment. However, people familiar with the situation, said Icahn has met with advisors for Dell’s special Committee and urged them to pursue a leveraged recap of the computer maker—rather than the $13.65 a share leveraged buyout by Michael Dell and Silverlake that has been agreed to. Advisors to the special committee asked Icahn to sign a confidentiality agreement and join the go-shop process now being conducted by the special committee, but has yet to do so…..”
“We knew something had to be up with the resignation of Pope Benedict. After all, Popes don’t just resign; in fact, this is the first time a Pope has resigned in 600 years. Therefore, the hoopla surrounding this is more than understandable. However, as per usual with the Catholic Church, there seems to be a catch, and, lo and behold, it likely surrounds the infamous abuse scandals that have plagued the church’s image for so long.
It seems that with his resignation announced, the Pope, whose given name is Joseph Ratzinger, has a meeting with the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano on February 23 to beg for immunity against prosecution for allegations of child sex crimes. Apparently, this hastily arranged meeting, and likely the resignation as well, are the result of a supposed note received by the Vatican from an undisclosed European government that stated that there are plans to issue a warrant for the Pope’s arrest. This letter was allegedly received on February 4, and Ratzinger resigned a week later. Now, there’s no way people can ignore how fishy this is. The first Pope to resign in 600 years does so after panicking about an impending arrest and in the midst of a hastily arranged meeting begging for protection from the Italian government? How they will keep people from connecting the two is beyond me. Chances are, the world will be popping popcorn and steadily watching.
Well, for once, the guy might not get off easy. The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and state calls upon the Italian President to deny help to Ratzinger, and to “not collude in criminality. Let’s just hope that Napolitano does not cave. However, there may be another avenue to make sure the Pope is brought to justice if the Italian President does cave…..”
“…..An analyst named Peter Misek of Jefferies reported that Apple had wanted to release a forthcoming big-screened iPhone this year, but that manufacturing problems have forced the company to push back the launch until 2014.
Specifically, reports BI’s Jay Yarow, Misek says that Apple wanted to launch the larger model in October. But Apple’s screen suppliers were not able to manufacture enough screens in that timeframe:
Apple’s iPhone uses a technology called “in-cell,” which essentially meshes the touch screen with the glass screen into one thin display. Its partners can’t get good enough yields making those displays bigger to launch the iPhone 6 this year.
If Misek’s report is accurate (no guarantees, obviously–and given the steady stream of often-inaccurate reports about Apple’s future products, it’s best to regard it as a rumor), this is a major setback for Apple.
Samsung is currently gearing up for the launch of its next version of the Galaxy phone, which is expected this spring.
The next-generation Galaxy will likely have a screen that is as big or bigger than the current Galaxy S III. Samsung expects the phone to be so popular that it is reportedly gearing up to make 100 million of them this year. And it is planning to launch the phone with a massive marketing blitz.
If Samsung does launch the new Galaxy this spring, and Apple can’t launch its own new phone until next year, Samsung may have as long as 9-12 months to market and sell a new phone that many consumers will consider obviously superior to Apple’s iPhone before Apple is even in the market with a big-screened phone….”
“Signals out of the ultra-secretive executive suite at Apple increasingly point to an announcement soon of a dividend increase, buyback or another form of capital distribution to shareholders. The latest came from an analyst report Sunday.
“While trying to extract information fromAAPL (Apple) management is like squeezing ‘water from a rock,’ we did speak with AAPL CFO (Peter Oppenheimer) this past Friday and found the conversation helpful,” wrote ISI analyst Brian Marshall in a note to clients Sunday. “We touched upon a variety of topics, including capital allocation framework.”
(Read More: Apple and Samsung: Frenemies for Life)
After speaking with Oppenheimer, ISI’s Marshall recommended back to the company in Sunday’s report that it increases its current 3-year allocation plan amount to $60 billion from $45 billion. His plan, which would use 50 percent of the firm’s annual free cash flow, puts two-thirds of the cash toward a dividend and the rest to buy back shares.
Marshall’s conversation followed a rare press release Thursday from Apple, which came in response to a call from activist investor David Einhorn for the world’s largest technology company to issue preferred stock.
“By early last year, Apple’s cash balance had built to a point beyond what we needed to run our business and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities, so we announced a plan to return $45 billion to shareholders over three years,” stated the company in response to Einhorn. “Apple’s management team and Board of Directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders.” …”
Would be a small deal if it occurs, but another addition to AOL’s new push in re-creating itself….
Link for iPhone users: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzT6X3_Bg9o
“New Apple product rumors from reliable sources have been few and far between lately, but this weekend the generally dependable 9t05Mac reported that a new iPad model is in the works. It’s not a brand new device, but rather a new SKU in the fourth generation iPad with Retina Display lineup. 9to5Mac’s source is saying that this will be offered in both black and white, with both Wi-Fi and cellular options, and that it will join the existing models rather than replace them.
While the source didn’t specify storage capacity as the differentiating factor, there is evidence that a 128GB iPad is in the works. References to such a device exist in iOS 6.1, the beta of which is already in developer hands, and in iTunes 11. Another possibility is that this will be a SKU aimed solely at education and government customers, 9t05Mac points out, since their source says it will be available in special 10-packs for educational institutions, but the higher capacity device theory makes sense for a number of reasons beyond just evidence found in software code….”
“Activist money manager Carl Icahn and his deputies have told other investors that he has taken a stake in Herbalife Ltd., HLF -2.45% joining a heavyweight battle that has already drawn prominent hedge-fund managers William Ackman and Daniel Loeb.
One of the investors said Mr. Icahn bought a “small” position in the nutritional-supplements firm after Mr. Ackman unveiled a large bet against Herbalife stock and called it a pyramid scheme during a Dec. 20 presentation.
Mr. Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management has sold more than 20 million shares short at a cost of more than $1 billion, has said regulators would shutter Herbalife.
It was unclear Wednesday where Mr. Icahn, a veteran of numerous skirmishes with corporate executives and other investors, housed his Herbalife shares and how large his stake is, or even if he still owns the stock….”