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Facebook Profits Carried By Mobile Ad Surge

Facebook had another blockbuster quarter: its first-quarter earnings tripled and revenue skyrocketed blowing Wall Street’s predictions out of the water.

The social media company’s sales jumped 72 percent to $2.5 billion and earnings came in at 34 cents per share not counting stock-based compensation and other expenditures. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion.

Facebook’s massive earnings haul was chiefly due to mobile, which accounted for 59 percent of its advertising revenue for the quarter. Facebook earned $2.27 billion from ads, $1.34 billion of which came from mobile.

“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the report . “We’ve made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress toward our mission.”

Facebook said, as of the end of the quarter, it had 1.28 billion monthly active users a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. The company’s daily active user base grew 21 percent to 802 million people. Mobile monthly active users tallied 1.01 billion, a 34 percent increase.

Facebook also announced chief financial officer David Ebersman will step down after nearly five years in the role. He will be succeeded by Facebook’s corporate finance and business planning vice-president David Wehner on June 1. Ebersman will remain at Facebook through September “to ensure a seamless transition of his responsibilities” before taking a job in the health-care sector again.

“David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done to help make the world more open and connected,” said Zuckerberg. “David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role.”

Ebersman said his decision to leave Facebook has been a “tough because Facebook is such a great company and has such a bright future ahead, but I’ve decided to move back into health-care where I spent my career before Facebook.”

“It’s been a privilege working at Facebook and being part of such a great team,” he added. “We have an incredibly talented finance organization, and I have complete confidence in Dave Wehner and his ability to lead the team going forward.”

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Facebook Profits Carried By Mobile Ad Surge


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Strong 2Q Has Apple Investors Smiling – iPhone Maker Announces Strong iPhone Sales

Apple stock skyrocketed in after hours trading Wednesday evening following the iPhone maker’s surprisingly stellar second-quarter revenue of $45.6 billion.

Apple’s revenue and its quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion — $11.62 per diluted share — far surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts had predicted no more than $10.69 per share with some even forecasting as low as $9.65.

ios7 iPhone 5s

Apple image — The iPhone 5S.

“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”

iPhones sales tallied 43.7 million in its latest quarter, which ended at the end of March, once again leaving analysts’ estimates of roughly 38 million sales in the dust.

iPad sales did disappoint however, dropping more than 16 percent from since the same quarter last year. iPad sales came in at 16.35 million units missing analysts’ projections of 19.7 million units.

Making up for the dip in iPad sales was Apple’s TV boxes.

Apple image

Apple image

Cook, during an earnings call with investors, revealed the company has sold 20 million Apple TV boxes — 10 million in 2013 and an additional 10 million this year, making it a definite challenger to market leaders Amazon and Roku.

“I’m feeling good about this business and where it could go,” Cook said, adding that Apple’s product compares favorably to other streaming devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV.

Cook also told investors the company has quietly acquired 24 companies in the past 18 months.

“That shows that we’re on the prowl, I suppose you could say,” Cook said.

“We look for companies that have great people and great technology and that fit culturally and we don’t have a rule that says we can’t spend a lot or whatever.”

“We’re in a race to make the world’s best products, that really enrich people’s lives,” he added. “And so to the tune that acquisitions can help us do that and they’ve done that and continue to do that, then we will acquire. And so you can bet that you will continue to see acquisitions and some of which we’ll try to keep quiet and some of which seems to be impossible to keep quiet.”

Although Cook did not divulge any details, he hinted that some new products are on the way.

Apple also announced it will buy back $30 billion worth of shares through the end of 2015 and has also authorized a seven-for-one stock split, which will better line the pockets of its investors from its substantial cash stockpile.

The firm also gave the OK to an eight percent increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share.

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Strong 2Q Has Apple Investors Smiling


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Health-Care Sector Open for Cyber-Attacks: FBI – Warned Records Can Easily be Obtained Due to Lack of Security

Health-care providers are being warned by the FBI that they’re opening themselves up to cyber-attacks.

In a story exclusive to Reuters, providers have been told their cyber-security systems aren’t quite up to par. This means, unlike other sectors, they could be easy targets for hackers looking for personal information.

The type of data such providers retain — medical and insurance records — are valuable to hackers and, therefore, should be protected.

In a private notice obtained by Reuters, the FBI has told health-care providers it is time to consider its vulnerability.

“The health-care industry is not as resilient to cyber-intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore, the possibility of increased cyber-intrusions is likely,” the April 8 statement reads.

The notice urged recipients to report suspicious or criminal activity to FBI bureaus or the agency’s 24/7 Cyber Watch.

While the health-care sector is lax in its security measures, retailers and financial institutions have taken further steps to tighten their own security in light of the massive attack on Target and other companies. Those recent hacker attacks resulted in millions of bank card numbers and other data being stolen.

While that information is highly sought after, it’s not nearly as hot a commodity as medical information.

In the wrong hands, medical records are easy doorways to bank accounts and prescriptions for controlled substances.

As well, victims of such a theft are likely to take longer to realize the records have been compromised.

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Health-Care Sector Open for Cyber-Attacks: FBI


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IBM Rolls Out Power System Servers – Years Of Investment, Research Part Of Project

The culmination of billions in investment, years of work and hundreds of patents was unveiled Wednesday.

IBM announced its Power Systems servers — technology that allows a staggering amount of data to be managed with speed not seen in other centres. The announcement was unlike similar news from other companies because IBM provided technical specifications and invited collaborators — as well as competitors — to innovate on the POWER8 processor and server platform.

“This is the first truly disruptive advancement in high-end server technology in decades, with radical technology changes and the full support of an open server ecosystem that will seamlessly lead our clients into this world of massive data volumes and complexity,” IBM Systems and Technology Group’s senior vice-president Tom Rosamilia said in a press release,

“There no longer is a one-size-fits-all approach to scale out a data center. With our membership in the OpenPOWER Foundation, IBM’s POWER8 processor will become a catalyst for emerging applications and an open innovation platform.”

The IBM Power Systems follows a $2.4-billion investment, more than three years of development and the use of hundreds of IBM patents. The systems, the company’s release stated, will be “built from the ground up” to harness Big Data through the new IBM POWER8 processor.

That processor is described as a sliver of silicon, just one square inch, embedded with more than four billion microscopic transistors and more than 11 miles of copper wiring.

IBM test results have shown the IBM Power Systems are capable of analyzing data 50 times faster than the latest x86-based systems. Some companies have reported analytics queries running more than 1,000 times faster, reducing run times from several hours to just seconds.

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IBM Rolls Out Power System Servers


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