Cisco Buys Out Leaba For $320 Million

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Cisco Systems completes the acquisition of Leaba Semiconductor followed by an acquisition of CliQr a couple of days ago

Cisco Systems, Inc. made an acquisition of CliQr Technologies a couple of days ago in a deal valued at $260 million. The Wall Street Journal announced a deal today worth $320 million to buy out an Israeli Networking Chipmaker Leaba Semiconductor. It is believed that the networking giant is upping its game on acquisitions and mergers domain. Hence, it made two quick acquisitions in just a matter of couple of days. The deal is made as Cisco wants to boost vertical integration in its business. On top of that, Leaba also manufactures and develops networking chips.

Cisco Systems is very open minded and has always appreciated others when it comes to developing chips. It considers letting external producers work on developing chips as well as its in house technology which has been now working for a long time in this industry. Cisco is one of the biggest name in networking chips, equipment, and security. Recently, it is touching new heights by expanding its business in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector along with developing ‘smart’ things.

This deal suggests that the networking giant will leverage on Leaba’s technology as a part of reducing its dependence and reliance on external producers for developing chips. Moreover, it wants to achieve synergies with regards to its own chip making plant.

The Vice President of Corporate Development at Cisco, Rob Salvagno, said in a blog post, “By combining Leaba’s semiconductor expertise with the Cisco engineering team, we will accelerate our plans for Cisco’s next generation product portfolio and bring new capabilities to the market faster.”

The co founder of the newly acquired chip developer, Eyal Dagan, is also known for founding another fabless chip company which was called Dune. Dune was founded almost a decade ago and had the potential to become a big company. It was later approached and acquired by Broadcom for nearly $178 million in 2009. Dune’s business model was same as Leaba as it used to develop networking chips for not only data centers but for Ethernet switching platforms as well.

Cisco’s other acquisition, CliQr Technologies, deals in developing computer based solutions servers for its clients. Its services allow organizations and enterprises to manage and keep a track on their data internally and externally on CliQr’s cloud servers. And two deals in quick succession shows that it is out on a buying spree but not only just on a spree, it is working to improve its market position with these deals.

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BlackBerry’s PRIV Price Comes Down In Canada

BlackBerry PRIV, Carriers, Payment Plan, Discounts

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.

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.

Ford Motors to Invest $1 Billion In Mexico as It Plans to Establish a New Manufacturing Facility in the Region

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The auto-maker is planning to make a production shift from Michigan to Mexico because of cheap labor.

In order to increase the productivity in Mexico, Ford Motors Company has decided to set up a new manufacturing facility in the country. This move on the auto-maker’s part will improve the efficiency at the new plant and slash costs as well.

This action plan is likely to be implemented later this year; the new plant which will be built in San Luis Potosi, Mexico will cost the corporation as much as $1 billion, as per the reports by The Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, it already has an assembly plant near Mexico which is plans to expand during the year. By the year 2019, Ford is aiming at increasing the production capacity by as much as 500,000 units annually. During the previous year, the total number of vehicles manufactured in the region was 433,000 which amounted to 14% of all the production in North America.

Presently, this new has not been confirmed by the automobile manufacturer as yet; since the spokesman has declined to comment on it at this time. As per the news by The Wall Street Journal, this plant that will be set up in Mexico will be producing the company’s latest hybrid automobile – and this will be the place where the model will be launched from as well. Ford is launching this hybrid model to tackle Toyota’s hybrid car, Prius. Additionally, the news all suggests that sports cars as well as utility trucks will also be built at this facility.

In Mexico, over the past few years, a number of automobile companies have started production of their vehicles. One of which is General Motors as it plans to invest as much as $5 billion to build a manufacturing facility in the region. Furthermore, along with GM, BMW has also announced back in 2014 of building a plant worth $1 billion in the region as well where it would employee as many as 1,500 workers. According to the information provided by BMW, the production in the specific facility is expected to start in the next two years.

Mexico has become the hub of all the auto-making facilities mainly because of the low wage rates, (cheap labor), along with efficient logistics management. Another reason for this production shift is because the United Auto Workers Union has been successful in convincing authorities to increase the minimum wage all across the United States. According to the WJS, the labor cost in Mexico is almost one fifth of what it is in the United States.

Subsequently, in the European market, the automaker plans to eliminate a few of its model as well as cut jobs. It stated that it has suggested voluntary buyouts to as many as 10,000 employees at the corporation. As for the models that it plans to stop making in the region are the ones that don’t make enough profits in Europe and it is planning to shift its focus on sports cars and higher profit cars.

Intel Connects 200 Billion Devices For Internet of Things

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The company is planning to improve growth by conquering IoT business market share.

Since 2016, Intel Corporation stock has plummeted down by 14% mostly because of slow demand for its PC chips. In 2015, its revenue from PC and mobile devices chips went down by 8%. Its revenue from datacenter missed Intel’s target of 15% growth and only had an increase of 11%.

The only consolation for the company was its Internet of Things (IoT) business. The company commenced the segment of the business in 2013. Through the venture, it anticipates the likely evolution of connected devices.

By the year 2020, the $134 billion organization projects the number of connected devices to reach the height of 200 billion from the current standing of 15 billion as of 2015. In coherence with such projection, the U.S. based company has produced Curie and Edison, a button-sized module and SD card-sized module for wearable and smart appliances respectively. The new IoT system on chips (SoCs) has longer batter lives but less horsepower.

However, these microchips cannot be sold at the premium price of $100 of Intel products. In December, in Credit Suisse tech and telecom conference, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich was asked how he would turn the $0.07 microchip into something profitable. Krzanich did not deny the fact that the microchips could not be sold at high prices, he stated that the chips do not necessarily have to be profitable but they can be essential for the datacenter business. He further added, “I look for anything that feeds the data center. And I try to feed that.”

In terms of revenue, the IoT business grew by 7% in 2015 to $2.3 billion. The company did not provide an actual breakdown of the revenue but it reported that it had experienced double-digit growth in retail, transportation, and video segments. Intel’s rival ‘Qualcomm’ has been reported to sell $1 billion IoT chips in the year 2014.

Although the Santa Clara, Calif. firm’s IoT business revenue increased last year, its operating income fell down to $515 million – a 12% decrease. Although Intel did not disclose the real reason behind the swinging profitability of the microchips, the Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek’s latest attempt to develop IoT chips for wearable devices might have tarnished the company’s market share.

Although, the IoT has strong future growth, it cannot generate much revenue for the company, which could overshadow the soft growth in chips for mobile devices and PCs.

At the market close on Friday, Intel stock price stood at $29.04. The 52-week range of the stock is $25 to $35.

Cisco Acquires Jasper For $1.4 Billion While Retaining Entire Workforce

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Cisco Systems plans to take over Jasper entirely for $1.4 billion in cash to step up its game in IoT sector.

Cisco Systems is stepping its game up in Internet of Things (IoT). It has recently made headlines regarding its acquisition of a startup, Jasper Technologies, for almost $1.4 billion in cash. The American IT company is proceeding with the hope of helping its users to connect more efficiently with their devices and normal equipment at home through automation.

Jasper Technologies is not a stranger to the IoT, and is very efficient at it. It creates cloud control software that aids the connection of smart electronics, such as vending machines, pace makers, washing machines, etc. Cisco Systems is enhancing its services of Internet of Things with this takeover, as it already has plans of adding IoT in its devices, giving more control to its users over their equipment than ever before.

The Information Technology organization will be signing the deal very soon. Once it is finalized, it can give a huge success to the business. Jasper has already managed to raise $205 million through investment and now has value of almost $1 billion. It has many customers in almost 100 countries around the world, which is acknowledged by Cisco.

Through this takeover, Cisco will have a platform to store user data through the cloud technology, which will enable the company to provide services to its customer efficiently. The CEO of the IT Company, Mr. Salvagno, believes that these two businesses can easily merge, as they are ‘culturally fit’ for one another. He also informed that the business is planning to retain the current employees of the acquired company, which must be relieving for many employees of Jasper.

The CEO of Cisco is going to keep the current workers of Jasper at their designated posts, which is good news for the workers and an indication that as soon as the deal is completely sealed, work will begin quicker than most mergers. The company will be seen at the top of the game in IoT soon, thanks to this acquisition.

According to BidnessETC, VP of Cisco, Rowan Trollope, said regarding the development during a conference call, “Jasper in the industry is viewed as the leading IoT platform. It solves the problems that come about when you attempt to connect at scale and to do it globally…What that means for our customers is that they can connect a car, a jet engine, a pacemaker or an ankle bracelet easily.” The customers of the American tech organization will receive better and easy technology through this takeover.