Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Visa Inc. To Replace American Express At Costco

Costco changes its choice of credit cards network after 16 long years and replaces American Express with Visa and Citigroup.

For the past 16 years, Costco Wholesale has been in agreement with one of the card company giants, American Express. In the long tenure of this partnership, both parties have proved to be very beneficial for the customers that shop at Costco Wholesale. It can be said that Costco Wholesale and American Express were used to each other. However, after 16 long years, the company has announced to part its way with American Express. According to reports, it is said that the company and American Express could not agree to a mutual deal over renewing a contract of this partnership.
When one thing goes, it’s the time for someone else to fill the vacant hole. Costco Wholesale has chosen Visa Inc. (V) as its new choice of credit cards network. Costco said that Citigroup will partner the company for its co-branded cards and together they will replace American Express cards. The company said in a statement, “Costco Wholesale Corporation today announced it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa. The implementation of these agreements is subject to the purchase of the existing co-brand credit card portfolio by Citi.”
Hence, the company has now entered a new co-branding deal. The agreement signed between both parties tells that the Visa network cards will be effective starting April 2016. The American Express card will no longer be accepted after May 31, 2016 in the retail stores. “Once issued, Costco's co-brand Visa credit card would provide generous rewards to Costco members, serve as the Costco membership card, and would be accepted at Costco locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as all merchants worldwide that accept Visa credit cards,” says the company officials.
Once the time of Visa cards starts, the company will be the only provider of a credit card network for customers of Costco Wholesale in the United States and Puerto Rico stores.
The retail giant said in a press release that the co-branded credit cards would run on Visa’s network. The shares of Visa increased by 2 percent as Costco announced its co-branded partnership with the company and Citigroup to replace American Express whereas there was not much change noticed in the shares of Costco or American Express.
The company has ended its agreement with American Express. According to sources, it is said “the Costco business was worth about $80 billion in billed business annually to American Express.”

Monday, 30 March 2015

Broadcom Seeks To Establish Its New Headquarters

Broadcom is all set to invest $778 for its new headquarters.
For many years to present, Broadcom has dominated the connectivity combo chip market. The company specializes in broadband and wireless communication business known best for making semiconductor processing chips for other tech and major companies. The company has already done a lot in order to show it is a powerhouse in the market. Recently, it announced to manufacture and launch 5G Wi-Fi chips for smartphones in the foreseeable future.
The company said “Broadcom introduced a new double antenna-supporting 5G Wi-Fi chip for mobile devices which the company said delivers unparalleled throughput, Bluetooth co-existence performance, and indoor location accuracy for high-end smartphones and tablets.” With so much on the plate for the company, it is believed that Broadcom (BRCM) is planning to plant new roots for its headquarters.
It is now safe to say that Broadcom in on its way to celebrate its 25 years anniversary at home in Irvine next year. Sources report that “The chipmaker, which leases 4.3 million square feet globally, broke ground Wednesday on its first company-owned campus.” The new 73 acre building will cost the company around $778 million. The massive headquarters will have five buildings which will have the space to accommodate at least 8,000 employees. Moreover, “the five buildings slated for the first of two development phases that will eventually span 2 million square feet,” reports Orange Country Register.
The company has covered a very long road since its establishment back in 1991. The co-founders of the company Henry Samueli and Henry T. Nicholas worked together in a very small office which was not very far away from UCLA. The two founders were accompanied by only two other employees that included an engineer and an office manager.
Broadcom relocated its business to Irvine in 1995 in a 10,000 square feet single story building. The company accommodated its workforce of 50 people in it. In 2007, the company moved fast and shifted its location again at University Research Park near UC Irvine. It aimed to get bigger digs. And it has certainly done so as the company now leases at least 900,000 square feet on local offices space.
OCR reports, “Shifting to the new headquarters, about 10 miles from University Research Park, is expected to cost $650 million, excluding the cost of the land, and be completed by 2018, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
The company is undergoing through this transitional period because it believes that it has room to grow and its new projects have been sized already that can accommodate future growth.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Yahoo Inc. to bring changes to the way user log-in

As passwords remain vulnerable to the hackers, Yahoo has announced inventive ways to sign in--but it had got some mixed reviews.
Majority of the users find it really hard to remember different passwords for each of their account or feels nervous of using single password for all of their accounts. Tech specialists believe that conventional passwords are too outmoded and can be hacked easily.
Earlier this week, Microsoft and Yahoo had offered some alternatives to the problem; Yahoo came up with the plan that it can send a text to the users every time they try to open their accounts. On the other hand, Microsoft is coming up with the facial recognition and bit-metrics technology in upcoming operating system windows 10, which will allow the users to log on to the computer by using face or fingertip recognition. Although the two methods had diverse reviews
Yahoo Inc. is promising security and convenience to its users choosing to get password each time they want to login to the account. Once a user opted for this service, there will no need for them to remember their password for email and other services of Yahoo.
However some of the expert believes that this is not a god move by the company. A Cyber security firm Tripwire risk strategist, Tim Erlin said, "Yahoo just made it easier for attackers to compromise an account,” Temporary passwords can get to anyone if a phone got stolen. While majority of phones have password to unlock the screen but mostly people don’t do that. He also said that phone can get malware virus that captures or replicates text messages.
However Erlin said, it may be more convenient if the company offers a two factor authentication, by using that a user will be required to enter a conventional password as well as the password sent to their phones. This will have a stronger impact on making the security better as the hacker will need both the password to crack the account.
Security chief of Yahoo groups, Alex Stamos supported the 2 factor authentication is better. But some people do not use it. However, users choose to have a short password which is easy to type but it is also vulnerable to hackers.
Stamos said, almost every online accounts offer user to reset their passwords through e-mail or text messages, users are exposed in the case of losing their gadget.
Stamos tweeted, "The truth is that passwords are so incredibly, ridiculously broken that it is almost impossible to keep users safe as long as we have any,” He also said Yahoo has been finding solution to the problems.
Yahoo stock stood at $44.20 on Wednesday after a decline of 0.50%.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Twitter Owns Its Venture Capital Fund

Twitter at this stage on inconsistency is offering funding to promising startups.

Twitter Inc., the social media giant is not doing well in the market where it has been constantly victimized for competing with Facebook who is far ahead of them in the league.  Apart from this, the recent flair in the number of harassment cases reported has also added to their misery. The company at this stage is dealing with several internal and external issues that can result in making survival difficult for them.
It has only been 18 months since TWTR has established its image as public company. At this stage, the company is in a phase of hyper growth and is currently not generating revenues but is more inclined towards losses. However, even then the company is extremely occupied in giving money to other firms through venture capital funding.
The Twitter Ventures arm, the company’s project was one of the few investors in an event that accumulated $80 million so that they can fund Cyanogen- who considers itself to be “a leading mobile operating system pure-play.”
This news was reported by the Wall Street Journal where other investors in the funding included Qualcomm, the popular chipmaker, Rupert Murdoch: the owner of Wall Street Journal and Media Baron
However, Twitter venture arm unit is not much of a surprise for market. Anthony Noto, the former banker at Goldman Sachs helf the position as the chief financial officer in FY14. The person who became the predecessor, Mike Gupta was actually moved to look after the strategic investment sector.
Like Google and Intel, Twitter also wishes to play its part in providing funds to startups that seem to be promising. The company currently plans to invest only small sums on money in such startups.
This encouragement which Twitter has experienced has resulted in strict scrutiny by regulators. The reason behind this is that the company is not so stable itself that it starts to fund other ventures. At one point it is in a loss making stage and the other it is investing in other startups. However, the company has declined to comment over the matter. Thus, nobody really knows what the intentions of the company actually are currently.
The company is taking several steps to make its way to redemption. However, at this stage it is fairly unreasonable to offer funds. Nobody can predict what law enforcement agencies have to say about this matter but one thing remains clear. Twitter’s strategy is not something easy to predict and foretell what they actually want to do in the times to comeTwitter Stock are likely to be affected by this move

Monday, 23 March 2015

WalMart Opens Job Positions For New Market

WalMart is said to be opening 95 job positions for its new neighborhood market store on the Pine Forest road.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is an American multinational retail store organization which is responsible of running and operating the biggest retail store chains in the world. Most commonly branded as WalMart store, the company offers large discounts in its department stores as well as warehouse stores. So far, the company does not match the prices of its tough competitor such as Amazon but it is surely working on to get to that standard.
Recently, the company is working hard to revive it business it previously had. Being one of the giants in the retail sector, the company is keen to expand and improve its business. It announced that the retail store will be expanding on Pine Forest road in the near future. The latest Neighborhood Market of Wal-Mart is currently under construction on Pine Forest road. It is believed that the company has opened job posts and started the process of recruiting people.
According to Pensacola News Journal, Wal-Mart is said to be interviewing people for its new neighborhood market store for more than 95 jobs available. Moreover, it is believed that the company is receiving large number of applications thus 100 applications per vacant position to be precise.
“The store is being built at 9301 Pine Forest Road and is slated to open in summer. A temporary hiring center has been set up at 2115 W. Nine Mile Road, Suite 12,” reports Pensacola News Journal.

WalMart store has started to accept applications for candidates of the vacant job positions Monday to Friday from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening. Applying online shopping through its official career page, careers.walmart.com is also open to apply for the vacant jobs.
Frank Byers who is the store manager is expecting to fill most of the vacant positions by April. The hired candidates will start working for Wal-Mart in May in order to help the company prepare the store for its opening in the foreseeable future. “We're averaging about 100 to 150 applications per position. Now some of that is overlap of people applying for different positions, but I've got a significant number. Can always use more though,” says Frank Byers.
The company is also said to be increasing the hourly wages of its employees to $10 per hour from $9 an hour by February 16. However, it is still unclear whether the new wage policies will be applicable to the new neighborhood online market as the Pine Forest road store will be opening in June once the new wage policy is set to take effect. But, there is no doubting the benefits of 100 new jobs bolstering the local economy regardless of the pay rate.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Salesforce.com Releases Beta App For Microsoft Outlook

Salesforce.com and Microsoft collaborates to unveil the beta version of its app.
Salesforce.com is an extremely popular company when it comes to cloud computing. Their services are extremely sought after across the globe. The company is constantly coming up with services that help them strengthen their position in the market and also make them one of the pioneers when it comes to innovation.
Previously the company signed an agreement with Microsoft after which they bolstered a strategic partnership. Now this collaboration has started to bear fruits for them. Both the companies came up with several projects and ventures that could help them in bringing business to their front and finally they have been successful by launching an App for Salesforce that is currently in it beta stage and will be available on Outlook.
The collaboration between Salesforce and Microsoft is a fairly smart step since both the companies have quite similar business strategies. Both have been doing good in the market but there are certain loopholes which they have been facing resulting in their downfall. Salesforce and Microsoft want to make strong comeback in the market and thus for the same reason need each other’s support.
It is said that both the companies have worked on several projects which are likely to change the game for them. this app is one of the fewer projects the companies have been working on and more such projects will make their way in the times to come.
The app will function in a manner that creates a seamless platform for Salesforce and Microsoft. Both the companies will be able to communicate with each other and on the broader canvas customers with ease and convenience.
Salesforce App will actually allow customers to easily access contacts give leads, manage accounts, and create opportunities through Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook. So as soon as an email is received the sales representative does not need to leave the Outlook platform since all the information can then be accessed directly.

"Horses for courses, I always say," states Denis Pombriant, the managing principal at Beagle 
Research Group. "Some reps just like to stay within Outlook, where they do their email, so bringing Salesforce data to them makes a lot of sense."
Hence, Microsoft and Salesforce collaboration will not only prove fruitful for both the companies but will also allow customers to benefit from the services. The App will prove beneficial in saving time and will also allow the user to readily trace information and services.
This is a massive breakthrough for Salesforce since users and customers both will enjoy this achievement on the whole.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Netflix Inc. Spending on Content surpassed BBC and Discovery

Netflix is spending more on content than ever, and the amount spent by the company is much more than that of Discovery and BBC but less than Sky.
Ben Keen a Chief analyst at IHS Technology said, Netflix Inc. started making orignal content in the year 2012 and up til now has spent more than BBC on orignal programming. He added that these spendings have made Netflix surpass those of Discovery but slightly less than Sky mentioning that rights of sports were obtained on high costs.
In a session named"The story behind the numbers" Keen while speaking made a comment that a major amount on content was also spent by Amazon Inc. the streaming company user's subscription is directly proportional to its spending on the content, as recognized by Keen.it was perceived that increase in any of the them will led to an increase in the other also.
While discussing the viewpoint of the streaming media industry, he stated that world-wide online videos revenue, driven by advertising and user subscriptions are most likely to increase to double digits by the end of 2018. The Europe Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) has over 40 million of Subscription Video on Demand subscriptions with almost 50% of standardized online services. Local production receives a scanty share of 20% of the content produced by Netflix, but it is most likely that the number will increase in coming weeks, as reported in the news of Broadband TV.
During the last ten years, value of over €12 billion has been supplemented to the cable market of Europe that has multiplied at this period of time. The analyst pointed out that the streaming industry on the whole has witnessed a fair growth during the previous years, but because of this growth cable operators are falling short of subscribers.
Netflix is looking forward to invest more in content business. In order to capitalize on that, it plans to issue $1.5 billion in notes. Likewise, during the company's fourth quarter earnings report, Chief Executive Officer, Reed Hastings disclosed its strategy of investing more in original content programming.
Mr. Hastings said, "Over the next few years we expect to continue financing our original content expansion with long-term debt."
As reported by S&P, as of 31st December, 2014, the streaming service company had almost $9.5 billion in commitment of streaming content in contrast with $7.3 in 2013. Due to its content programming, the company got nominated for Emmys and various other awards. It will be stimulating to witness how well the Netflix will manage its investments for its plan of expanding the services in more than 200 countries before 2017.
Netflix stock was trading at $438.40 on Friday market close.

Why BP plc. Have been accused by the United States government?

The US government feels that recovery of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was not as considerable as BP claims, and that the company distorted compensation and spill size data in its favor.
BP plc. was the culprit of the biggest crude oil of the history in Gulf of Mexico in 2010, due to which almost 11 workers lost their lives and it also caused considerable destruction to the nearby environment. Carl Barbier Judge at Federal District considered the UK based company to have reacted with “gross negligence”. Because of that the company spent over $42 billion to gratify claims and cleaning costs.
The oil company previously said that its response was very effective in extenuating the adverse impacts of the shattering oil spill. Although, the United States senses otherwise. According to report by Financial Times that the government of United States alleged BP for misapprehending and mismanaging data, when the company debated that the Gulf had improved a lot faster than expected.
On Monday, the Oil giant company specified that the damages caused by oil spill did not have any long term effects to the bird species and also to the marine. The company also added that majority of the oil has been soaked by microbes or vanished in the water. BP said that no decline has been recorded in the population of birds in the year 2011.
While responding the company’s claim, NRDA criticized the company for jumping to the extensive undeveloped and unsuitable conclusion of the matter and said that BP’s assumptions are imprecise regarding the aftershocks of the disaster.
Financial Times reported: “BP Plc. misinterprets and misapplied data while ignoring published literature that doesn’t support its claims.” The NRDA mentioned that the oil spill’s negative impacts will take a lot of years to diminish. However, BP has paid $1.3 billion to NRDA for the environmental damage and it is still carrying out studies to find out the actual aftermath of the event.
After the research will be completed, an authorized process could start that will force the company to take satisfactory measures caused by the situation. Financial Times quoted the company claim related to the situation that the researches usually shows one side of the matter and overlooked the retrieval that has been done by the company.
The oil Spill took place 5 years ago, however there are still some disputes left the company and Government. Federal court earlier this year projected that almost 3.2 million barrels oil was spill rejecting the US government claim of 4.2 million barrels. The government is looking forward to challenge the decision.
As per the estimation the London oil giant can face a penalty of $13.7 billion depending on the size of the spill calculated by Judge Barbier.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

eBay And Sotheby Collaborates To Launch High End Auction Page

After splitting with PayPal last year, the company has launched its live auction page for Sothebys in order to keep its business running.
EBay is known as the pioneer when it comes to web page auctioning. The company has been doing online auctions on its websites for a very long time now and companies like Amazon are now copying this idea. From apparels to sporting goods and mobile devices etc. all are auctioned and then sold to consumers within or outside United States through EBay.
The company partnered with Sotheby, a multinational corporation engaged as the largest brokers of real estate, jewelry, fine art, decorative art, and collectibles. Both parties have planned together to launch a “live” auction page for Sothebys on its own platform. Hence this means that Sothebys will do business through EBay’s (EBAY) platform and will assist the company in taking the live auction technology for EBay to a whole new level.
As Venture Beat reports: “The auctions themselves happen in the real world, in a Sotheby’s location, but with real-time integration with the eBay-Sotheby’s site.” EBay is one of the giants in the e-commerce market. EBay store is a vast and diversified platform for businessmen (buyers and sellers) who can give a real boost to their businesses with this online auctioning platform.

It is believed that currently the company is accountable for selling more than a million products and items to consumers throughout the world daily and it has no intentions of stopping. EBay wants to do more business hence the collaboration with Sothebys will fulfill its wish. The director of Live Auctions of the company, Megan Ford says: “We’re seeing appetite for high purchase points across the site. We went into the bullion category at this high price point and we went into the vehicles category, and every time we move up market our buyers come with us.”
For a one whole year, the company was working to build its live auction platform and offer a different experience to consumers who already use EBay’s platform on regular basis. Both parties have managed to develop good understanding between them. “We believe that EBay store live auctions is a billion-dollar-plus business at scale, so we’re going to be investing in this business for the long term,” she added.
With Sothebys, the company will be bringing high end sale items on its platform. The pressure was very much on for the company due to its recent separation with PayPal. Analysts believed that it will have to do something unique and different in order to keep the revenues coming. The launch of a live auction page along with Sothebys is one of the terms for a forward looking strategy.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Twitter and Facebook to took advantage from Rising Digital Ad Spend

According to a recent survey advertisers are making strategies to increase their ad spend on social networks websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Spending on social media advertising continues to surge and the big three namely Facebook Inc., YouTube and Twitter Inc. are still dominating. According to a latest assessment done by Ad Age specifies that companies wish to intensify their advertisement spending with all these social network companies.
Now days, advertisement on social media are becoming significant for every business. In a report last week, RBC Capital analysts scrutinized the survey and commented on the results that how important it is for the foremost social media sites.
An important aspect noted by them was the fraction of participants who thought social network made up below 10% of its budget related to marketing has plunged to almost 48%. During the last two surveys, the responses were 50% and 62%.
RBC analysts believes that the spending on advertisement is most likely to increase dramatically, as almost 75% respondents of the survey conducted in February replied that they anticipate their spending to increase on social media network. However, 25% of the participants believe that it will stay as it is while just 1% believes that it will go down.
The study pointed out that Google Inc. is the topmost company in regards to return on investment as this question was split with every advertising online platform. Facebook joined Google at the top, however, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube were at the center and AOL and Yahoo were the lowest in getting return of the investment.

It’s not surprising that mostly advertiser of Facebook that accounts for 62% are willing to surge their spending on social websites. It also mentioned that nearly 54% of Twitters advertisement will increase by the same platform advertisers. However a slight percentage of advertisers responded to minimize their expenditure on social media sites.
The Royal Bank of Canada analysts noticed that survey results were positive for Facebook as majority of its current marketer’s plans to extend their spending on social network and the maximum percentage of advertisers outlaying almost 21% of their total marketing budget on Facebook.
More than 50% participants think that their investment return has increased during the past six months. The study also indicates the traction in video ads.
The major issue for Twitter was the decrease in previous survey results. Also the company had the lowest result in allocation of ad budget and estimating future expenditures. However, the optimistic areas are apparent return on investment and tactics to grow budgets.

Siemens ACquire Dress-Rand Group, Iberdrola Follows Suit

Mr Galan, the Chairman of Iberdrola intends to trim investment in Spain and expand overseas. It may be noted that Siemens AG (ADR(OTCMKTS:SIEGY), the German engineering company, also agreed to acquire Dress-Rand Group Inc, the American turbine maker, for $7.6 billion in 2014.
As per Iberdrola statement, the deal would boost its cash flow and earnings per share (EPS) without having much impact on its debt, as no additional funds will be required to fund the deal. It would also aid the company in implementing its growth plans through 2016 in the US.
The largest wind energy provider, Iberdrola, will also acquire the second-largest wind power producing assets of the US, which come under UIL portfolio. Iberdrola is operating in 60 projects in 24 states.
The Spanish energy giant already has approximately three million customers in Maine, New Hampshire and New York. The acquisition of Connecticut-based UIL will add 3.1 million gas and electric customers for Iberdrola in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Iberdrola plans to spend $6.9 billion in gas and electric infrastructure till 2020.
The largest Spanish electricity company, Iberdrola SA , has announced that it will buy UIL Holdings Corporation, a gas and power distributor company, in a $3 billion cash and stocks deal, as the company intends to offset its declining earnings at home by expanding in the US.    
According to the deal, shareholders of UIL will receive $52.75 per share, which consists of $10.5 ($597 million) in cash and rest in new company’s stock. For every one share of UIL, a shareholder will receive a share of the newly formed company. The total value of the offer is a premium of 24.6% to closing price of UIL on 25th February.
UIL shares soared 8.68% to $51.01 before the market opened on Thursday, while shares of Iberdrola rose 1.17% to $6.12 at Bosla de Madrid (BME) as per 3.51PM CET
“The operation that integrates Iberdrola USA and UIL is consistent with our strategy of growth in this country, a key market in which we are taking a major step forward,” Igancio Galan said in a press release. "It also reflects our preference for effecting corporate operations on a friendly basis,” said Galan.
Iberdrola, along with other European countries, intends to expand outside its home country, where sluggish growth, currency headwinds and economic crisis in the Eurozone have impacted the earnings of the company. Moreover, the Spanish reforms on energy sector are too harsh, as the earnings of companies are dented on renewable cutbacks and heavy new power generation taxes.
Iberdrola also said that the deal, which is expected to be finalized at the end of 2015, will have 81.5% stake of Iberdrola USA, while the shareholders of UIL will have 18.5% stake. CEO UIL, James Torgerson, will be the CEO of the new company.