The notorious “hactivist” group “Anonymous Operations” has the National Security Agency on edge, with the Agency’s director warning of the group’s dangerous growth. General Keith Alexander has warned that within a year or two, the group could have the ability to create a “limited power outage” through a cyberattack, reports the Wall Street Journal. General Alexander provided his assessment during a private meetings at the White House and has previously warned about the emerging ability of cyberattackers to disable or even damage computer networks. The warning highlights a growing federal concern over Anonymous’s activities, however cybersecurity experts have a different opinion on the potential threat posed by the group. Read on for more.
Shares of Netflix stock plummeted more than 27% in after-hours trading as the company revealed it lost more than 800,000 customers in the third quarter. Netflix now serves 23.8 million total customers and it reported third-quarter revenue of $822 million, beating estimates of $812 million. Earnings worked out to $1.16 per share, which also beat Wall Street’s consensus of $0.96. “While we dramatically improved our $7.99 unlimited streaming service by embracing new platforms, simplifying user-interface, and more than doubling domestic spending on streaming content over 2010, we greatly upset many domestic Netflix members with our significant DVD-related pricing changes, and to a lesser degree, with the proposed-and-now-cancelled rebranding of our DVD service,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders Monday. Netflix expects DVD shipments to decline sharply during the fourth quarter, a continuation of the company’s earlier changes, but it expects growth in weekly gross additions compared to the December quarter last year. The company said it expects global consolidated income to jump $19 million to $37 million during the fourth quarter and EPS should increase from $0.36 to $0.70.
Apple on Tuesday reported its earnings for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011. Wall Street was expecting revenue of $29.5 billion and earnings of $7.29 per share. The company delivered revenue of $28.27 billion and earnings of $7.05 per share. Apple sold 17.1 million iPhones, 11.1 million iPads, and 4.89 million Macs. While this was Apple’s biggest September quarter ever, the company still missed on most Wall Street estimates. During the third fiscal quarter this year, Apple recorded revenue of $28.57 billion on sales of 20.34 million iPhones, 9.25 million iPads, and 3.95 million Macs into channels. Apple’s full press release is after the break.
Apple took the wraps off of the iPhone 4S today but its stock price dipped by as much as 5% as investors looked to the Cupertino-based company to release a more impressive next-generation smartphone. Fifteen months after last updating its iPhone, investors wanted to see an all new design but instead were met with an incremental update in a case identical to the iPhone 4. It offers a dual-core Apple A5 processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video and Apple’s new voice-based Siri technology, but the iPhone 4S does not offer a completely revamped industrial design, as many had suspected. The iPhone 4S will launch on October 14th and Sprint will join AT&T and Verizon Wireless in offering the phone. Apple’s stock closed down 0.56% on Tuesday.
Ahead of Apple’s third-quarter earnings report on July 19th, Fortune has tapped 39 analysts and has created a roundup of their iPad sales estimates. We already know that the iPad 2 has been flying off of store shelves since Apple announced the tablet on March 2nd. However, demand was so great that it’s unclear just how many Apple was able to manufacture and sell during the third quarter. Brian Marshall from Gleacher, Daniel Ernst from Hudson Square, and Mark McKechnie from Think Equity all estimate that Apple sold 6 million iPads during the quarter. That’s at the low-end of the analyst’s predictions. Amateur analyst Navin Nagrani suggested that the Cupertino-based firm sold 9.5 million iPads, but that’s still short of the 14 million iPad units sold that CLSA predicted last month. The average estimate of 7.92 million iPads sold is on a par with the Wall Street prediction of 7.72 million units, a 142% jump from the third quarter of 2010. Who’s right and who’s wrong? We’ll find out next Tuesday.
Shares of RIM stock have taken a beating since the company announced devastating first-quarter earnings last Thursday. The Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker missed Wall Street’s first-quarter consensus, it lowered its full-year guidance, it announced workforce reductions, it confirmed product delays and investors went running for the door as did a top executive. Since the earnings release last week, RIM’s stock has fallen more than 25%. This is bad news for every RIM investor, but two in particular must be especially upset. RIM Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie collectively own more than 10% of the company, a stake that helped each man achieve billionaire status. Last year, Lazaridis was ranked the world’s 651st richest man by Forbes with a net worth of $1.9 billion, and Balsillie was No. 692 on the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Fast forward to today, and neither man can call himself a billionaire any longer. The cheifs’ stake in the company is still worth more than $1 billion combined, but separately, their net worths are now just roughly $800 million a piece. We doubt the employees set to be laid off in the coming weeks and months will shed any tears for the Co-CEOs’ loss, but it’s just another piece of a puzzle that continues to fall apart. Some analysts believe RIM is hardly out for the count, however, and we agree that the company has a bit of fight left in it. If Balsillie and Lazaridis hope to rejoin the billionaire club, it’s time to put those gloves on and start swinging.
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