Twitter Appoints Former Apple Director As New Diversity Chief

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The social media website has hired a former Apple Director to promote a diversified workforce.

Twitter, Inc. has been widely criticized for not having a diversified workforce but this is about to change as the social media service has officially hired Jeffrey Siminoff. The newly appointed worker has been appointed as the micro-blogging website’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, according to a Twitter post by Ms. Van Huysse, the previous owner of the position.

Mr. Jeffery was previously a Director at Apple, which is also criticized for its lack of diversified culture. He was also the co-founder of a gay, lesbian and transgender organization, called ‘Out Leadership’. Twitter has always promoted an egalitarian culture but has never actually lived up to it, like many other companies in the industry. This is considered as a major step by a technology company to go against the perception.

A civil rights leader has often brought this issue up in meetings in Silicon Valley, in order to encourage hiring of diversified staff and furthermore, asked for such organizations to post reports of their workforce and leadership teams. The Silicon Valley giant, Apple, has even started posting reports of its workforce but it has also stated that even though the business has made progress, it still needs improvement.

At the trading session on December 29, Twitter Stock was traded at a share price of $22.47 indicating a decrease of 0.27%. The trade commenced at share price of $22.63, seen at a high price of $53.49, and a low price of $21.01. Presently, the market capitalization of the social media network is 15.69 billion.

In the coming year, the social media organization is expecting an increase of 61.97% growth in the earnings per share. For the current year, the EPS growth rate was reported to be 71.80%. Investors have been blaming the sluggish user growth for the low share price of the stock in comparison to other social media giants, such as Facebook, Google, etc.

Without a good user base, Twitter will not have a big audience for its platform like Snapchat or Instagram. If the micro-blogging organization works on getting more audience and a sufficient user base, it will be able to attract more businesses towards itself. The strength of the website currently lays in the fact that it lets businesses interact with its customers, which makes it easier for businesses to monitor topics and provide customer support to the users.

Corporate management is concerned about the declining share price and user growth.

 

 

 

McDonald’s Corporation Reaches An All-Time High

McDonald's Corporation Reaches An All-Time High

The fast food chain giant has seen its fair share of rough time but better days lie ahead.

On December 29, 2015 McDonald’s Corporation hit its all-time high during the trading hours at $120 per share. Since mid-October the stock of the multinational corporation has rallied. In a year-to-date estimate, despite of the increased competition in the market, the stock has managed to increase by as much as 28%.

Many give the credit to Steve Easterbrook, the new chief executive officer who was appointed the position back in March, for the positive momentum of the corporation. After he took charge, in order to increase the sales, he introduced the all-day breakfast menu. This strategy turned out to be quite positive as the sales succeeded to increase in many restaurants all across the globe. NPD Checkout Tracking Study indicates that by making this move the orders for breakfast rose to 47% from an initial percentage of 39%, throughout the day.

Another change that occurred after the appointment of the CEO was that, he started to sell off underperforming restaurants of the company to franchisees mainly to increase the sales. This move would earn $300 million for the fast food chain giant through which it would establish better performing business elsewhere. This has proved to be the major reason for the stock to rise. For the upcoming year, it plans to be 95% franchised; with a global franchising target to reach 4000 from 3500 by the year 2018.

According to Zack’s Research, McDonald’s Corporation will be posting its latest earnings on January 25, 2016. As per the estimations of analysts, it will be posting earnings per share of $1.22. Brokerage and research firms anticipate a target price of the stock somewhere between $130 on the high end and $100 on the lower end, along with a standard deviation of $10.079.

Recommendations of the stock experts suggest a ranking of 2.18 for McDonald’s stock, putting it close to a rating of Buy. This recommendation has been given by over 15 analysts. The analysts at bidnessetc.com believe that the stock is likely to perform well in 2016 as well. The shares are up by 26.5% in 2015.

The hamburger chain reported net income of $1.31 billion indicating an increase of 22.5% in comparison to the figures a year prior, which were $1.07 billion. Investors of the giant fast food corporation were informed in a meeting that the business intends to give back $30 billion back in cash to its shareholders via dividends. It is expecting a sales growth of 3 to 5% for the next year.

Google Aims At Competing Facebook With Its Messaging Service

Google Aims At Competing Facebook With Its Messaging Service

The search engine giant is now working on building a mobile messaging app to compete with Facebook messenger and other messaging apps.

To compete with Facebook, Inc., Google is planning on launching its own mobile messaging app. The search engine giant is doing so by tapping into its artificial intelligence know-how and chatbot technology, according to people who are familiar with the matter. At this point, Google’s spokeswoman has declined to comment.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the search engine giant has been working on this mobile messaging service for over a year now but as of now there is no news about when it will be launching. There isn’t much information about this service yet but it is likely to be as powerful as the search engine itself which means a user will be able to ask for answers for normal questions related to details on a restaurant or the weather. The Journal further stated that the search engine company might allow outside developers to build their own bots on the service as well.

At this point, Google does not have a successful messaging service or application. The news sounded like the company was directly competing with Facebook’s “M” project. This project of the social media giant’s is aimed at helping a user do everything and anything online from shopping to booking restaurant reservations. Some tech savvy users call these new messaging app trend ChatOps, since 2015 has been the year of many messaging apps coming into being.

In other news, Ford Motor’s stock has managed to rise as talks of both, the automobile and search engine have been circling around. The stock is at $14.09 as of Tuesday, indicating an increase of 2.62%. According to these talks, google and ford motors might be coming together to work on building self-driving cars. The announcement for this collaboration will be made at the Consumer Electronics Show which is held in Las Vegas annually, if the deal is finalized. The show usually takes at the beginning of the year, according to reports by Automotive News.

At this point, the company has not commented on Automotive’s news but it did state the search engine company has been in talks with a number of automakers. According to The Street’s portfolio manager, Jim Cramer a person doesn’t buy Ford on a new like this but opts for buying Alphabet since it is an engine of ideas.

As for the messaging app, the search engine giant has been working on it since a year and the company’s veteran Nick Fox in October has offered to buy 200 Labs Inc. This is a small startup that works on building chatbots. However this offer was decline by the startup company.

 

2015 Not The Best Year For Caterpillar, Inc.

2015 Not The Best Year For Caterpillar, Inc.

The financial products manufacturer witnessed falling sales and declining stock prices all throughout 2015; hopes for a better year ahead.

This year has not been the best year for Caterpillar, Inc. due to a falling stock, declining sales, a number of job-cuts and delayed plans. The stock of the multinational financial products manufacturer was affected by a verdict that was made against the company of $73.6 million that was announced by the federal jury in Chicago. According to the verdict, it was accused of stealing trade secrets of a British supplier.

In other news, a decline in the market capitalization was witnessed on Thursday, which is currently at $40.40 billion. This decrease in the market cap was due to the decline of 0.73% in the stock price on Thursday. The trade session commenced at a share price of $69.75 while reaching a high level of $69.9 and a low level of $69.06 during the session. The shares being traded during the day were 2,322,144 shares.

In the last five days Caterpillar stock has seen an incline on 6.56% however in a month’s time the decline witnessed was of $2.58%. They have managed to outperform the S&P 500 in a week’s time by as much as 3.69%. It failed to outperform the index in the past four weeks though, as the index showed a decline of 1.21%.

From its 52-week high share price of $94.66 registered on December 26, 2015, the decline has been of approximately 26.37%. The 52-week low has been seen at $62.99 which was reported by the designer on September 28, 2015.

On the other hand, the shares of Caterpillar commenced at a share price of $69.38 on Monday during the trading session. The currently price to earnings ratio is 14.29 while the earnings per share is $0.75 which were reported on October 22, 2015 when the multinational organization last announced its quarterly earnings. However, in comparison to a year prior the EPS was reported to be $1.72. According to the earnings call, the revenue generated during the quarter was reported to be $11 billion which indicated a decline of 19.1% during last year’s revenue. The revenue managed to underperform the analyst’s expectations by $0.16 billion as experts had predicted that the revenue would be at $11.6 billion.

Halverson Bradley, the Chief financial officer and Group President of the financial products corporation unloaded 11,867 shares on July 29, 2015. This transaction was worth $915,064 and the shares were unloaded at an average share price of $77.11 according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of brokerage firms have recommended ratings for the shares. Vetr have suggested a rating a Hold from an initial rating of Buy while Baird has recommended a rating of Neutral while previously it was at Outperform.

Netflix, Inc. Enters Year 2016 With Bigger and Better Plans

Netflix, Inc. Enters Year 2016 With Bigger and Better Plans

The online streaming media has achieved a number of milestones in 2015.

With its expansion spree and original content production, 2015 has proved to be a successful year for Netflix, Inc. The streaming media giant is constant gaining momentum at the expense of traditional cable subscribers as they take away customers from cable television. It has aimed to be in over 200 countries by the end of 2016.

As of now, the streaming media giant has already launched its services in about 50 countries and for the beginning of the 2016; it has planned its debut in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. The novelty does not end here; it has been gain quite popularity with its original production “Narcos”, “Orange is the New Black”, “House of Cards” series. According to the IMDb ratings, Narcos is at nine points along with House of Cards. Currently, the on-demand video subscriber is airing 16 original content shows and by the year 2016 it is aiming at increasing that number to 31.

Furthermore, it is working on the quality of its content as well via which it will be able to save up to 20% of its data, according to Variety. On the other hand, after capturing the original content series market, the online video service provider launched its first original feature film by the name of “Beasts of No Nation” back in October 2015. This original feature film is currently standing at a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, these shows and movies have managed to win a number of Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations.

With all the positivity going on at Netflix, there are a few setbacks that need to be taken into considerations as well one of which is the problem of currency headwinds. On the other hand, there is the problem of getting crowded as well. Apart from the organization, others such as CBS Corporation, Amazon Prime as well as HBO are in way with their own TV streaming media.

Additionally, producing one’s own content is too costly as well; these costs usually go as high as $100 million per show. And that is too high a cost to pay for a show that has equal chances of failing. Finally there is another issue of privacy. At this point, the streaming media organization has not been affected by this issue but in the future there’s a possibility.

Furthermore, the biggest SVOD organization has high hopes for the world’s most populous market, China. If Netflix enters the Chinese market it will have to go through a number of milestones as the Chinese government has strict restrictions on censorship and also the e-commerce giant in the country Alibaba Group Ltd has already launched its video streaming service.

Facebook, Inc. To Launch New Site For Finding Top-Rated Businesses

Facebook, Inc. To Launch New Site For Finding Top-Rated Businesses

The social media website will be taking on Yelp and Angie’s List by launching it’s own searching directory for local and, apparently, international business.

Facebook, Inc., considered as the best performing investment in the market, has redefined itself from a social media company to an Internet services company since it is tapping the e-commerce, crowdfunding, payment process and search engine markets as well. From these additions to platform, it is quite evident that the stock of the social media giant is only going to go higher from here.

At the trade session on Friday, the social media stock was being traded at $104.04 with a decline of $2.05%. This session commenced with a share price of $106.08; it was seen at a higher end of $106.59 and a low end of $103.97. Towards the end of the session the number of Facebook shares being traded was 35,994,199 shares. Current outstanding shares in the social media company are 2,827,994,100 shares.

Next step for one of the four biggest growth plays (rest three being Netflix, Inc. Amazon, and Google) is to launch a service by the name of “Professional Services”. According to ProfileConfidential.com, this new service will allow Facebook users to search and locate local businesses entirely on their ratings and reviews. The social network is very discretely working on this new feature by gathering and compiling a directory of such local businesses and professional service providers which include plumbers, salons, event managers, child care providers etc.

The largest social media network will be competing with the market leaders Angie’s List and Yelp; currently it is learning the strengths and weaknesses from both these professional service providers. Along with these two, Amazon and Google have been working on launching the same service as well. In March, the retail giant will be launching its “Home Services” nationwide while Google will launch an extension for the service. Facebook however is aiming at not just including local businesses but other types of business as well.

Earlier in December, the social media website stated that it has over 50 million active pages on its platform which was at 40 million as of April. To make the experience user friendly, the social media network has been providing its pages owners with new options every now and then, from the Buy Button to the calls for action option. These options don’t only make the experience better for the owner of the pages but also makes the communication between the customers and the owner more convenient.

According to techcrunch.com, it seems that the facebook’s services option is not only for the business in the United States, as upon searching, it was found out that business in Europe, Asia and other countries were available on the website as well. Whatever it is that the social media giant is working on, is going to be big.

Alibaba Warned Again By US Trade Group Over Fakery

Alibaba Warned Again By US Trade Group Over Fakery

The US Trade Group issues another warning to the Chinese tech giant regarding the sales of counterfeited goods

Alibaba Group Holding is once again the center of attention for the US trade officials. On many previous occasions the company has been warned to look after its online marketplaces to ensure that there is no fakery whatsoever. The US trade group urged the United States government to add the Chinese tech giant on the list of notorious markets for fakes but so far it has not been done. Two of the company’s platforms, Alibaba.com and Taobao Marketplace, were previously banned in the region and were removed from the list back in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

However the Wall Street Journal reports that the trade representatives of US have issued another warning to Alibaba Group. The group stated that it has been receiving complains from the brand owners that are not happy with Alibaba’s online sales and its platforms who still have sellers that offer counterfeit goods to the consumers. This is devaluing the products of luxury brand because consumers can order and buy same items and lower prices through Alibaba then.

It is believed that the Trade Representatives want the Chinese company to intensify its efforts and do further thorough checking on sellers available on its platforms. The Group mentioned in a report on piracy in global markets that Alibaba should join hands with other companies to eliminate fakery on its online marketplaces. The report stated, “Brand owners continue to report that Alibaba platforms, particularly Taobao, are used to sell large quantities of counterfeit goods.”

The report added that the brand and luxury brand owners have not stopped complaining even despite the company changed its conditions and enacted new security measures to eliminate fakery at the earliest. According to the report, “Despite these new procedures, USTR is increasingly concerned by rights holders’ reports that Alibaba Group’s enforcement program is too slow, difficult to use, and lacks transparency.”

The Wall Street Journal says that group will not be adding Alibaba and all its marketplaces to its list of notorious markets for fakes however it expects and further encourages the company to take serious action. Moreover, the agency wants the company to address all these complaints from the brand owners in cooperation with all the stakeholders.

Jack Ma previously said that counterfeiting is not only an issue for Alibaba but it is an issue for all the global e-commerce companies in the market. But his company along with others is ready to combat fakery and eliminate it in the coming times. The founder said that counterfeiting will not only damage the reputation of Alibaba but China as well.