Another Call-Back By Ford Motors Company

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The automaker called back a number of its trucks recently because of faulty seat belts.

Ford Motors Company released a press release February 24, 2016 according to which the auto-maker has recalled Ford Transit Wagons and Ford F-150 trucks in North America. As per the press release over 51,500 Transit Wagons model 2015-2016 have been called back; these automobiles were manufactured at the company’s plant in Kansas City.

The auto-maker stated that no injury or incident has occurred or reported so far but they would rather be safe than sorry. The reason for calling backing so many vehicles was that there could be an issue with the seat belt buckle which could be dangerous as if a heavy object is placed on top of it, the seat belts don’t latch out properly which could poses a threat for the person driving or sitting in the trucks.

Over 49,000 Transit Wagons have been called back in the United States while over 1,781 and 699 automobiles have been called back from Canada and Mexico respectively. Additionally, this was not the only recall that the auto-maker issues. In the same press release it also called back over 3,700 of its Ford F-150 trucks of the 2016 model. The reason for calling back this vehicle was the multi-contour seats that were fitted in the trucks.

The problem with these trucks is that in case the truck feature is turned on and there is an adult sitting in the front passenger seat, it the device is going to think it’s a child and will automatically suppress the airbag which could lead to fatal injuries in case of an accident. These trucks were manufactured in 2015 during the months of April and November in the company’s Dearborn Truck Plant. In total over, 2,894 vehicles have been called back from the United States while 286 have been called back from Canada and 503 were recalled from Mexico.

Owners of these vehicles will be contacted by Ford dealers and then they will be either fix the vehicles or replace them free of cost. Ever since 2016 has started in total Ford Motors has recalled over 400,000 of its automobiles mostly because of safety issues. Recently there was another issue regarding the Takata Airbags due to which the company had to call back over 391,000 Ford Rangers pickups.

Additionally, Ford has been degraded by Credit Suisse from an initial rating of neutral to a new rating of underperform – but the financial services company left the target price at $13 per share. Presently, ford motors stock has been traded at a share price of $12.07 which a market capitalization of $49.73 billion. During the trading session, the auto-makers stock price hit a high share price of $12.11 and a low of $11.60 and commenced at $12.11.

Yahoo To Approach Buyers For Its Business

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On Friday, Yahoo Inc. made an official announcement to launch the sale of its core internet business. The CEO of the firm, Marissa Mayer, said in a meeting the company is going to have an auction process and will start looking for bidders as soon as the new week starts. The process to approach the potential corporate or equity buyers as well as bidders has begun. The sources familiar to the matter said that the Web company has shelved its previous plan to spin off its core internet business which is a fairly good option considering the circumstances.

A few tech firms which include AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp., and Verizon Communications Inc. are interest in buying out Yahoo if the deal is right. Apart from that, a few buyout firms such as Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co., and TPG are also looking for a possible deal from the Internet firm. The people asked to not disclose or reveal their personal information as the situation is not public yet. They added that it is not likely that Yahoo receives any potential first round bids for the business until next month.

For the sale process, Yahoo has already hired financial advisers, a bank, and a law firm to help out with it. Furthermore, it also told the independent board members on Friday to seek other strategic options despite the pressure is exerted from its activist investors it is trying to transform itself and is taking various deals into consideration. The search engine giant said in a statement that the financial counsel will be provided by the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., and PJT Partners Inc.

According to Bloomberg, the representatives for AT&T, Comcast, TPG, Verizon, and of course Yahoo declined to comment on this matter. On the other hand, the representatives for Bain and KKR did not respond immediately for comments.

The CEO Marissa Mayer is in charge since 2012 and has been doing a lot to change the fate of the company. She has been focused in improving the mobile platform as well as boosting the advertising revenue. And the board of directors was satisfied with her performance and leadership thus far. But since late last year, the activist hedge fund and investor Starboard Value is pressurizing the firm indirectly to bid farewell to Ms. Mayer.

The shareholders are not content with the performance regardless of the fact that the company officials showed confidence in her. In her tenure, Ms. Mayer did improve the conditions at Yahoo but still failed to boost sales as well as separate the Asian assets, Alibaba stake of $26 billion, from its core business. Starboard warned that if it does not launch an auction process then it will take its first step towards a proxy fight with Yahoo. The people said that in order to avoid proxy fight, Yahoo has taken this decision.

The Yahoo stock has plummeted by 10% this year. This decline is right after the 34% decline observed in the last fiscal year. The stock price of each stock while closing on Friday was reported to be $30.03 which resulted in the accumulative value of the company as $28 billion.

BlackBerry’s PRIV Price Comes Down In Canada

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To get back the major chunck of market share the tech company is offering discounts and payment plans to its customers.

On a number of carriers, the first ever Android based phone of the Canadian firm, BlackBerry PRIV has undergone a price reduction, in Canada. The prestigious and highly-anticipated handset was announced by the Waterloo, Canada organization back in October 2015 and a month later, in November, the device was launched for the eager customers. It is the first handset which doesn’t have the traditional BB OS instead it is Android powered device. The device has few over the top features and a hefty price tag which add more to its prestige.

But, for the Canadian based loyal customers, the exorbitant price need not be a barrier as the $4 billion organization has a discount offering if the handsets are purchased from Canadian carriers; Bell and Sasktel. On a two year contract, the shoppers can snag the handset for a price of $299.99. The Android based smartphone is also available with Bell without a contract at a price of $799.99. The listed price of the premium smartphones maker’s unlocked PRIV is around $899.

Similarly, the customers can also avail the same $299.99 on a two year contract offering at Sasktel. But, for the time being, the official website of Sasktel shows the “out of stock” status for the BlackBerry PRIV. There are still a number of carriers who have not cut down the price of the device. For instance, Toronto based wireless telephone company, Rogers is selling the smartphone for $399.99 on a two year contract. In the similar fashion, Vancouver headquartered TELUS has been proving the BlackBerry for $410 on the contract of two years.

The prestigious PRIV has a AMOLED display on a 5.4-inch screen. The pixel resolution of the device is 1,440 x 2,560 along with 541 ppi. The intricate architected device has a slider keypad annexed to it. Moreover, the device has a RAM of 3GB and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. The built in storage of the esteemed BlackBerry device is 32 GB which can further be expanded up to 200 GB. While, the high-status PRIV is run by a 3,410 mAh battery. The high featured smartphone has a 2-megapixel front camera along with a 18-megapixel rear-facing camera.

The owners of the prestigious handset can enjoy the right to use all the available apps on the Google Play Store. Moreover, the preinstalled version on which the device is running is Android 5.1 Lollipop. Latest version of the operating system, dubbed Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been released by Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The operating system has paved its way to Nexus and other non-Nexus devices. The BlackBerry consumers are also hoping to hear from the company about the release of software update for PRIV.

Earlier, the smartphone maker has lost substantial market share to more innovative rivals including, but not limited to, Apple, Samsung, and LG. With the launch of this new handset, the Canadian firm envisions getting back its market share. The CEO of the smartphone maker, John Chen has been reported to have said that the device has been designed in such a way to give the “end users best in security, privacy, and productivity, with no compromises on applications.” The success of the BlackBerry device can be endorsed by the findings of a report which highlighted that on Amazon the device was “sold out” in a few time after its release.

Tesla Motors Likely To Generate Revenues From SCTY Partnership

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Elon Musk is expected to boost its share from new directions.

Since the beginning of the year, the automobile giant; Tesla stock has been fallen down by 30% from its all-time high in July. Despite strong production guidance of the company for the year 2016, analysts still consider the stock of the company to be very expensive therefore CEO Elon Musk is trying to integrate different businesses and the crucial business which he has found is the SolarCity Corporation.

Tesla stock stands far away from its rivals’ stock. Although earlier analysts supporting the company’s stock used to argue that since the Palo Alto, Calif. firm is the pioneer in the tech embedded electric cars therefore it cannot have plausible relationship with the rivals like Ford. However, this notion cannot apply anymore as now the competitors have taken the charge of developing the electric cars. Moreover, instead of accelerating, Tesla’s growth also went down. Lately, Ford Motors Company had announced that by 2020, 40% of its vehicle line up will be electric cars. These future prospects have raised the skepticism of the investors who have started adopting pessimism for the stock.

But Elon Musk’s company is not famous for giving up. It is an open secret that the $22 billion organization has been building a 5.5 million square foot Gigafactory for which the company will bear an estimated cost of $5 billion. The factory is being set up for the production of solar powered batteries and other forms of electricity. Along with boosting the production for the company the factory blazes the trail for the Californian company to sell to the consumers and utility companies its batteries.

In 2015’s second quarter, the automobile giant uncovered Powerwall and Powerpack. The former stores energy and then powers the house. It has a retail price of few thousand dollars and will be sold to consumers while the more powerful Powerpack is intended for the use of utility companies and businesses. Over the course of a week, after the date of announcement, the automobile titan started receiving orders of around $800 million.

Whether SolarCity was Tesla’s one of first customers who ordered the Powerpack or not is still not known however the Silicon-Valley business had announced recently that Tesla’s Powerpack has big role in SCTY’s project in Hawaii. With the Hawaiian project, SolarCity projects to bring in the U.S. the first ever utility scale system. The project expects to deliver solar power throughout the night.

This will result in non-renewable energy sources’ reduction and much higher consumption of the integration of Californian firm’s Powerpack and technology of SolarCity. Through this proposed integrated technology SCTY will have power generation which would be 20% more per kilowatt hour. Also, the technology will increase the power output and be able to deliver power at night. For the Musk’s company this will mean higher revenues as the Powerpack will be subjected to more per-hour billings.

Since Elon Musk is the chairman of SolarCity Corporation therefore it is quite implied that both the companies will be reaping competitive advantages from the partnership. The alliance will likely generate higher revenues for Tesla. The new stream of revenue would be the supply of rechargeable energy products. Resultantly, the company will lessen the higher reliance of stock on the vehicle lineup and through new revenue sources the stock can be easily boosted.

At the market which closed on Friday, Tesla Motors Inc. stock had a price of $166.58.

Exciting New Features Added to Skype By Microsoft Corporation

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the tech giant has introduced exactly the feature that its users wanted on its video and voice calling platform.

Microsoft Corporation’s most popular platform for video and voice calling is Skype but this platform’s mobile app lacked the option of having a group video call. All of skype’s rival s such as WhatsApp and Hangouts has had these rumors going around according to which these platforms were supposed to this option but no such rumors were heard for Skype in this time span. However, confirmed news has finally surfaced according to which the popular calling service will now have a group video calling option through which numerous new customers will be attracted towards the application.

Despite the fact that this is not a new feature for the Skype platform or for its users for that matter but the service had not been introduced on its mobile app yet – so it is a smart way of increasing user engagement. The latest development will be able to work for both android as well as iOS users and they will be able to enjoy the new experience.

The new feature at this point will just be made available for users in North America and Western Europe but they technology giant has promised to make the service available all across the globe towards the end of March 2016. The news was announced earlier last month regarding the feature but has been confirmed quite recently.

On its desktop version, the video and voice calling platform allows up to 25 users on a group call with 1080p and also allows its users to switch between front and back camera. This feature has been made available due to the increased demand. Initially, this feature of having 25 people on one group call was not a tough job for the company however on smartphone this will be quite difficult task for the company to figure out.

The service works in such a way that during the call, the user’s screen is on the top right corner of the screen and as it adds more participants onto the call, Skype automatically tries to adjust the new entrants onto the screen as much as it can. If there are over seven people on one call, the display is in such a way that all of the participants of the call appear on the bottom of the screen while the person who is using the feature is highlighted by default. Additionally, users have to option to adjust the participants as per their own preference too.

Additionally, the company has added another feature to the update according to which a user is able to add a person who is not a Skype user. This is down via default sharing tools that are on android and iOS which allows people to add whoever they want to a Skype call.

Right after the announcement was made by the tech giant, a number of users signed up for the service beforehand to gain access to it – this act clearly shows that people really wanted this feature to be made available on smartphone. The Vice President of the company, Gurdeep Pall stated that there has been a 600 increase in group call which pretty much happened overnight.

Bernstein Give A Rating Of Buy To The Stock Of Qualcomm Inc.

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The chipmaker’s shares jumped as it received an upgraded rating from Bernstein.

The past few quarters have been rather deleterious for Qualcomm Inc. as usually the chipmaker has been able to post upbeat earnings but poor guidance for the upcoming quarter which has gotten the shareholders rather concerned for the company. The investors and shareholders of the chipmaker have become quite pessimistic towards the stock of the company.

The pessimism has not really worked out for the best as it has still failed to attract its investors. In order to attract and convince investors, the company recently had an analyst day as well; during this day it tried to convince its shareholders, advisors that the company is likely to have a positive future – in the long run.

Numerous analysts from different research and financial services firm including Pacific Crest had a lot of positive things to say at the event; during the course of this analyst day, the company’s management talked about the growth of its QTL Business and also mentioned that in the upcoming years it will be able to generate as much as $10 billion revenue. There had been an investigation going on regarding certain misconceptions on the Korea Fair Trade Commission which it justified and clarified to the investors, shareholders and advisors as well.

After a long period of time analysts at Bernstein has finally decided to upgrade the stock of the company; as per the reported shared the stock of the chipmaker giant has been upgraded to Outperform which had an initial rating of Perform and furthermore increased the target price on the shares of the chip manufacturing company as well to $55 while initially the target price was at $50.

This upgrade in the rating of the stock occurred mainly due to two reason; first being that KFTC has confirmed that the recent case going on has nothing to do with royalties that are being charged and second, that all the technology companies including Qualcomm Inc. will be affected by the saturating market especially that of China.

As per the case going on, the organization they carried out their last amortization worth $400 million till the contract with Nokia ends in 2020. In comparison to the deteriorating market, analysts at this point believe that the chipmaker is doing fairly better than the others. Furthermore, analysts are also pointing out a number of other things that need to be looked at one being the deteriorating market and secondly they believe that the current year could be a transitional year, so such optimism might be a bit too much for the company right now.

Qualcomm stock is being traded at a share price of $49.08 presently indicating an upside of $1.38%.

Could This Be The End Of Yahoo! Inc?

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The CEO of the search engine company has made way too many bad decisions now; we believe its time that she just … lets it go.

Yahoo! Inc. has been on the news on and off throughout the year; let us mention, not for all the right reasons. Marissa Mayor might have hoped for the search engine giant to be making the headlines with some good news – but it is quite evident that the internet service has been on the news throughout because of her as she is the Chief Executive Officer of the company. She has made numerous efforts to rid herself of the bad publicity that has been caused but shareholders are just not happy with her or Yahoo.

Marissa Mayor has not been with the company for that long but in that short span of time, she has managed to make more enemies than friends. Shareholders and analysts initially believed that she had a good hold on the management of the organization and hence will be able to bring good fortune towards it – but instead she acquired Tumblr. In an effort to increase growth, one of the biggest decisions she made in her tenure was the acquisition of Tumblr which was worth $1.1 billion – the purchase was made in 2013. She believed that they will be able to boost growth by making the service available on cell phones which would attract the younger crowd.

This acquisition by Mayor proved to be one of the worst decisions made by a CEO as it failed to meet its revenue target and made the business lose as much as $230 million. At this point, she has been working really hard to get the photo sharing platform on track but all her efforts have gone in vain as they are being criticized by the representatives of the video/photo sharing platform. Additionally, she combined the sales team of Yahoo with that of Tumblr which the representatives believe was a bad decision on the CEO’s part and now these efforts are just to make amends.

The CEO of Yahoo had initially stated that she will refrain from merging the two sales teams but she went forth with the plan despite the fact that it was widely criticized by everyone. Furthermore, because of this one step taken by Mayor, she lost her credibility in the market and in front of the shareholders mainly because she went against her promise. The board believed that she was over paying for the service anyone – so this was just cherry on top.

However this was not the only bad decision made during the tenure, according to recent reports the search engine company has also seeking help from Morgan Stanley to look for potential buyers in the market for its core business. This has been an ongoing debate, as many analysts believe that it’s the right time for the sale of the search website because at this point, it can still put a strong price target on the company.

Additionally, Yahoo stock has also fallen significantly in 2015 by as much as 36% and since the start of 2016 the stock has dropped by 15% – at this point, the shareholders are quite concerned about the future of the company and are evidently losing their patience.