Walmart’s share price soars due to strong revenue gains

Aug 17, 2018 0

New York– Walmart’s share price soared on Thursday as investors focused on the retail giant’s strong quarterly revenue gains and shrugged off a net loss linked to the sale of a majority stake in its Brazilian unit.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company posted a net loss of $861 million for the three months ended July 31, 2018, compared with net income of $2.9 billion for the same quarter of 2017, Efe reported.

The net loss was a direct consequence of the company’s sale of its majority stake in Walmart Brasil, a transaction for which the retailer recorded a $4.8 billion pre-tax loss.

But investors focused much more on the company’s total revenues between May and July of $128 billion, which were up from $123.4 billion in the same quarter of 2017 and higher than Wall Street’s expectations.

Walmart has begun reaping the benefits of a renewed focus on grocery sales in recent months and also has seen strong e-commerce sales growth since redesigning its Web site in a bid to compete with Amazon.

“Thanks to the hard work of our associates, we had a great quarter with strong results and momentum across the business. We’re pleased with how customers are responding to the way we’re leveraging stores and e-commerce to make shopping faster and more convenient,” Walmart President & CEO Doug McMillon was quoted as saying in a company press release.

Walmart’s share price was up by more than 10 percent shortly after 12.30 pm at $99.52 a share, making it by far the biggest gainer Thursday among the Dow 30. (IANS)

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Big Data, Business Analytics revenue to hit $260 bn in 2022: IDC

Aug 16, 2018 0

San Francisco– Worldwide revenues for Big Data and Business Analytics (BDA) solutions will reach $260 billion in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9 per cent over the 2017-2022 period, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC).

BDA revenues are expected to total $166 billion this year, an increase of 11.7 per cent over last year, showed the updated “Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide” from IDC on Wednesday.

The industries making the largest investments in Big Data and Business Analytics solutions throughout the forecast period are banking, discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, professional services, and federal/central government, the report said.

Combined, these five industries will account for nearly half ($81 billion) of worldwide BDA revenues this year, it added.

“At a high level, organisations are turning to Big Data and analytics solutions to navigate the convergence of their physical and digital worlds,” Jessica Goepfert, Program Vice President, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC, said in a statement.

More than half of all BDA revenues will go to IT and business services over the course of the forecast, said the report, adding that two of the fastest growing BDA technology categories will be Cognitive/AI Software Platforms and Non-relational Analytic Data Stores.

The US is by far the largest geographic market, delivering nearly $88 billion in BDA revenues this year and more than half of the worldwide total throughout the five-year forecast.

Western Europe is the second largest geographic market with 2018 revenues expected to reach $35 billion, followed by the Asia/Pacific region with $23.9 billion, IDC said. (IANS)

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Tips for restarting your career after a long sabbatical

Aug 15, 2018 0

By Arshan Vakil and Neha Bagaria

Sabbaticals are still viewed with scepticism and fear, though their purpose is to either take some time off to rest and relax or have a chance to step back from work and focus on personal enrichment and professional development. Whether the sabbatical is for a few weeks or a year, employees aim to return to work with more focus and energy.

Here are some effective tips to kick-start your second innings.

* Stay informed: Industry keeps evolving. Taking a sabbatical increases your chances of getting cut off from happenings in the industry. In case you aim to get started from where you left off in your professional journey, ensure your foundation is solid and can withstand unexpected changes. Come back with updated knowledge and skills.

* The value of networking: There is unanimous agreement among researchers that building and nurturing relationships with current and former people in the industry provides a strong medium to building a vibrant career and acts like a cushion for unplanned things.

* Speak up: After a break, some people do experience a natural reticence while speaking in group sessions and team meetings. It’s okay to keep quiet but withholding a helpful comment or pertinent questions won’t do any good.

* Reasons to decide if it is time to hang on or move on: In a study on women returners by PWC, three in five professional women returning to the workforce are likely to experience an immediate earnings reduction of up to a third or likely to move into lower skilled or lower paid roles. Though it might be tempting to quit an unsatisfying job, there are several reasons to pause before submitting a resignation. One of the crucial reasons would be having higher self-confidence or having a better bargaining position as a job seeker if you are presently employed elsewhere.

* Exploring Opportunities: A gap in the resume does not look good, but trying to cover it up makes it worse. Align your social and professional networks with your resume as recruiters often check your digital footprint. Ensure your resume is created as per the trending format and is updated. Face the interview with the right attitude. Have a legit reason explaining your decision to go on a sabbatical and rejoining the work now. (IANS)

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Tesla board of directors evaluate Musk’s privatisation plan

Aug 9, 2018 0

San Francisco– US top electric auto maker Tesla has said some members of its Board of Directors discussed the possibility of making Tesla private with its CEO Elon Musk last week.

In a statement on Wednesday, six Board members said Elon Musk brought up the proposal to them on making Tesla private and how to achieve its long-term interests as a private company, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private. This included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests, and also addressed the funding for this to occur,” said the Board members.

Tesla said the statement was made by members Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch, but Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, who are also on the Board of Directors, were not on the list of the signatory members.

The six members said the Board has “met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this.”

Their statement came less than a day after Tesla CEO Musk announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he wants to take Tesla private.

In an email to all Tesla employees earlier on Tuesday, Musk said he is going to take Tesla private in the future at a price of $420 per share.

“I’m trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible,” he said.

“As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company,” Musk noted.

The Tesla CEO said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that his plan for a privatised Tesla has been supported by investors.

“Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote,” he tweeted.

Tesla, which was founded in 2003, launched its initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ on June 29, 2010, and the IPO raised $226 million for the company.

It currently has a market value of $61 billion, and at a share price of $420, the company would be worth around $71.6 billion. (IANS)

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Why many women avoid the spotlight at work

Jul 30, 2018 0

New York– While women understand the importance of being visible at their workplace for the advancement of their career, many deliberately avoid the spotlight so that they can avoid backlash and balance work with family responsibilities, says a study.

The study by Stanford University researchers found that women adjusting to evolving family needs often determined that embracing a behind-the-scenes approach allowed them to be effective while staying out of the spotlight and avoiding negative backlash.

These women adopted a strategy that the researchers called “intentional invisibility,” a risk-averse, conflict-avoiding approach to navigating unequal workplaces, according to the findings published in the journal Sociological Perspectives.

Many women in the study, the researchers wrote, found that “they can only pursue their ambitions to a point to ensure stability”.

“Women in our study chose this strategy from a limited set of options,” said one of the researchers, Priya Fielding-Singh.

“Because there was no clear path to having it all, many chose to prioritize authenticity and conflict reduction at work and home,” she added.

For the study, the researchers focused on a women’s professional development programme at a large non-profit organisation in the US.

They conducted interviews with 86 programme participants and observed 36 discussion groups and 15 programme-wide meetings where many women shared the barriers and biases they encountered at their organisation as well as the strategies they used to overcome them.

They found that for many of the women they studied, there are competing expectations that get in the way of them following common career tips like “take a seat at the table,” “speak with authority” and “interject at meetings”.

Many of the women participating in the study told the researchers that they felt a double bind — if they worked on the sidelines, they could be overshadowed by their colleagues and overlooked for job promotions.

But having a more assertive presence in the office, many women thought, could also backfire.

In the end, the authors said, it is organisations – not the women embedded within them – that need to adapt to create gender equality. (IANS)

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Cloud-driven Microsoft crosses $100bn revenue for first time

Jul 20, 2018 0

San Francisco– Riding on its growing Intelligent Cloud portfolio and early investments in Intelligent Edge, Microsoft has surpassed $100 billion in revenue for the first time in fiscal year 2018.

For the fourth quarter that ended on June 30, the tech giant reported revenue of $30.1 billion and net income of $8.9 billion.

Revenue has increased 17 per cent year over year, and net income is up 35 per cent, the company said in a statement late on Thursday.

Microsoft stock jumped over 4 per cent in after-hours trading as it beat Wall Street expectations.

“We had an incredible year, surpassing $100 billion in revenue as a result of our teams’ relentless focus on customer success and the trust customers are placing in Microsoft,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

“Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation,” he added.

Microsoft returned $5.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, an increase of 16 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.

“Exceptional sales execution delivered double-digit revenue growth across all segments and strong progress against our strategic priorities, anchored by commercial cloud revenue growing 53 per cent year-over-year to $6.9 billion,” said Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft.

The tech giant this week touched $800 billion valuation for the first time.

Office commercial products and Cloud services revenue increased 10 per cent, driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 38 per cent.

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $9.6 billion and increased 23 per cent.

“Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 8 per cent and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 31.4 million,” Microsoft said, adding that LinkedIn revenue increased 37 per cent.

Server products and cloud services revenue increased 26 per cent driven by Azure revenue growth of 89 per cent.

Revenue in Personal Computing was $10.8 billion and increased 17 per cent. Gaming revenue increased 39 per cent, with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36 per cent.

“Surface notebook revenue increased 25 per cent driven by strong performance of the latest editions of Surface against a low prior year comparable,” the company said. (IANS)

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Oil prices above $70 for 1st time since 2014

May 7, 2018 0

Washington, May 7 (IANS) Rising oil prices just passed another milestone, jumping above $70 per barrel on Monday for the first time since November 2014.

Oil prices have been climbing partly because of expectations that US President Donald Trump will abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which allowed Tehran to export more crude, reports CNN.

Prices have also gotten a lift from strong global demand and supply cuts by OPEC and Russia.

US oil prices have gained more than 16 per cent since the start of the year. (IANS)

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Merck to sell consumer health business to P&G for $4.2 bn

Apr 19, 2018 0

Mumba– German drug manufacturer Merck on Thursday said it will sell its global consumer health business to Procter and Gamble (P&G) for USD 4.2 billion.

The German company said the transaction — which is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018 — “is subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions”.

“Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its global consumer health business to P&G for approximately 3.4 billion pounds in cash, or approximately $4.2 billion at current exchange rates,” the drug-maker said in a regulatory filing to the BSE.

“For the Indian business, it has been agreed that P&G will acquire Merck’s majority shareholding in Merck Ltd (India), a publicly traded company, and subsequently make a mandatory tender offer to minority shareholders,” it said.

The regulatory filing added that as part of the transaction, Merck and P&G have agreed on a number of manufacturing, supply and service agreements.

Merck said it intends to use the net proceeds from the divestiture primarily to accelerate deleveraging.

“At the same time, it will allow Merck to increase flexibility to strengthen all three business sectors,” it said.

According to Merck, between 2015 and 2017, its consumer health’s net sales grew organically by 6 per cent, outpacing the consumer health market’s growth of approximately 4 per cent over the same period. For the full year 2017, net sales of the consumer health business amounted to 911 million pounds.

“The divestment of the consumer health business is an important step in Merck’s strategic focus on innovation-driven businesses within healthcare, life science and performance materials.

“It is a clear demonstration of our continued commitment to actively shape our portfolio as a leading science and technology company,” Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck, said in a statement.

“The attractive price reflects the high asset value and the performance consumer health has delivered,” he said.

The company said the transaction will be executed through the sale of its shares in a number of legal entities as well as various asset sales that comprises the consumer health business across 44 countries, including more than 900 products and two consumer health-managed production sites in Spittal (Austria) and Goa (India).

“As part of the transaction, it is contemplated that approximately 3,300 employees, mainly from consumer health, will transition to P&G upon completion of the transaction, subject to prior works council consultation where required,” the company said.

This includes Merck employees who, through their work, are fully dedicated to consumer health, and employees in share deal entities, it added.

“These leading brands and the great employees of Merck’s consumer health business will complement our personal health care business very well,” said Tom Finn, President, P&G Global Personal Health Care. (IANS)

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Mindtree launches Decision Moments for Marketers

Mar 26, 2018 0

Bengaluru– MindTree, a global digital transformation and technology services company, on Monday launched “Decision Moments” — a data science platform which is built on the Microsoft Azure Platform and now leverages Adobe Experience Cloud to help marketers drive faster conversions.

“Marketers are evaluating ways to deliver connected experiences in the right context across touchpoints to their customers. Taking the data science view will help marketers unearth and apply insights to achieve their marketing goals,” said Sreedhar Bhagavatheeswaran, Senior Vice President and Global Head – Digital Business for Mindtree, in a statement.

“The data-driven experience delivered by Adobe Experience Cloud coupled with consumer insights from ‘Decision Moments’ would effectively influence and engage customers at multiple micro-moments across touchpoints,” Bhagavatheeswaran added.

Mindtree built “Decision Moments” to help marketers to better direct their marketing investments and it is designed to integrate with the digital footprints from Adobe Experience Cloud and enrich it with offline and third-party data.

“Mindtree’s ‘Decision Moments’ platform will use Adobe Experience Cloud to drive higher conversions, increase lifetime value and speed to market,” added Jay Dettling, Vice President, Global Partners, Adobe. (IANS)

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Boeing signs new pact with TAL to manufacture floor beams for Dreamliners

Mar 14, 2018 0

New Delhi– Aerospace major Boeing and Tata Group company TAL Manufacturing Solutions (TAL) on Wednesday announced the signing of a new contract for the manufacture of advanced composite floor beam (ACFB) for Boeing’s 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliner airplanes.

The US aviation major said it had awarded the first contract to TAL for the floor beams in October 2011, and TAL recently delivered the 13,000 floor beam successfully to 787 fuselage suppliers.

TAL has a dedicated manufacturing facility for Boeing in the MIHAN SEZ (multi-model international passenger and cargo hub airport – special economic zone) in Nagpur, India, from where it manufactures and ships the ACFBs.

“Boeing has provided advanced technology to support this partnership, and closely worked with TAL as they trained the frontline factory workers who are now delivering world class quality,” Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar said in a statement.

Boeing and various Tata group companies have established partnerships in India to manufacture aerostructures for Boeing’s commercial and military aircraft.

“The collaboration between Boeing and several Tata group companies on various aerospace and defence programmes in India will drive synergies and create future opportunities for both companies in manufacturing and innovation,” said Banmali Agrawala, President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace, Tata Sons.

Recently, Tata Boeing Aerospace had inaugurated its state-of-the-art Apache fuselage facility in Hyderabad, the statement added. (IANS)

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