In today’s Bulldog news wrapup:
- Raleigh-based CanvasonDemand is hiring
- Apple’s Tim Cook touts Apple Pay
- RTP-based Implus makes another acquisition
- Twitter shares take a hit
- Square 1 Bank shares rise
- CanvasonDemand Looking for Workers
CanvasonDemand, a Raleigh-launched ecommerce firm now owned by CafePress, is looking to hire as many as 80 people for the holiday season.
“We help people transform their favorite photos into works of art,” says Gavin Jocius of CafePress. “Personalized products such as photo-on-canvas make very thoughtful and unique gifts. It’s no surprise that we get really busy during the holidays.”
To apply for open positions, call or visit:
Onin Staffing 919-238-4848 www.oninstaffing.com
Prologistix 919-783-7575 www.applyplx.com
- Tim Cook Touts Apple Pay
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple’s new mobile payment system had over 1 million activations in the first three days after it became available, and is now more widely used than any competing payment system.
“We’re already No. 1. We’re more than the total of the other guys,” Cook boasted Monday during a tech industry conference, “and we’ve only been at it a week.” He said Visa and MasterCard officials have told Apple that the Apple Pay system is already seeing more use than similar “contactless” methods of paying for purchases.
While Apple has partnered with major banks and large retail chains including Macy’s Inc., Walgreen Co. and McDonald’s Corp., critics have noted that it’s not accepted by a number of other large chains. Among them are the drugstore chains CVS Caremark Corp. and Rite Aid Corp., which belong to a retail coalition working on a rival system.
Cook also said he plans to talk with Jack Ma, executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, later this week about a possible partnership, although he offered no details. Ma told the same audience earlier Monday that he would be “very interested” in teaming with Apple to bring Apple Pay to China.
Ma and Cook spoke during separate appearances on an outdoor stage on the opening night of a three-day tech conference organized by The Wall Street Journal.
Responding to questions, Cook also said he expects Apple’s iPhone will continue to be the company’s biggest-selling product, contributing the majority of Apple’s revenue and profit, for the next few years. But he boasted that sales of Apple’s Mac computers are growing faster than the overall personal computer industry, which has struggled in recent years.
- Twitter Stock Falters
Twitter’s third-quarter revenue outpaced expectations, but investors concerned about user growth and holiday-quarter revenue clipped the company’s stock price late Monday.
The San Francisco-based company has been trying to increase its user base amid concerns that it doesn’t hold mass appeal in the way that the much-larger Facebook does. Its user base grew 23 percent to 284 million monthly active users in the three months that ended in September, which Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott said was “better than nothing.”
“It’s hard to be ecstatic about those numbers when it’s still a user base under 300 million people,” Elliott said. “It’s a social property less than a quarter (of the) size of Facebook.”
To appeal to more people, Twitter has tried to make it easier to sign up for and use its service, and it got a boost this summer from promoting itself as a place to follow the World Cup. In July, its stock spiked 30 percent on the day it reported better-than-expected results and a 24 percent increase in its monthly user base.
This time, though, the growth apparently wasn’t enough. Coupled with lackluster revenue guidance for the current period, shares fell 8 percent in extended trading.
- Another Acquisition for Implus
Triangle-based Implus, which concentrates on sports fitness and related technology and products, has acquired TriggerPoint Performance, an Austin, texas-based firm focused on muscular performance and personal empowerment.
It’s the third acquisition Implus has made in recent months.
“The addition of the TriggerPoint brand to the Implus family bridges current markets of run specialty and fitness, as well as opening new possibilities to build incremental business in new channels,” said Todd Vore, president of Implus. “In addition, their products and creative content will help our other brands within the same channels to thrive and increase consumer awareness and conversion.”
- Square 1 Bank Shares Rise
Shares in Durham-based Square 1 Bank rose 13 cents Monday to $19.10 after a better-than-expected earnings report last week.
The bank went public earlier this year.
Quarterly highlights, according to the venture capital industry-focused bank:
- Increase in net income available to common shareholders of $1.8 million, or 26.7%, compared to the third quarter of 2013, and $0.7 million, or 8.7%, compared to the second quarter of 2014.
- Return on average common equity of 12.01% and return on average assets of 1.22%.
- Tangible book value per share of $10.23 as of September 30, 2014.
- Average on-balance sheet deposits grew $633.2 million, or 33.3%, compared to the third quarter of 2013, and increased $174.7 million, or 7.4%, compared to the second quarter of 2014. Average client investment funds grew $488.2 million, or 110.0%, compared to the third quarter of 2013, and grew $181.8 million, or 24.2%, compared to the second quarter of 2014.
- Average loan balances grew $280.2 million, or 29.7%, to $1.2 billion, and period-end loans increased $252.6 million, or 24.8%, compared to the third quarter of 2013. Average loans grew $104.0 million, or 9.3%, while period-end loans increased $119.8 million, or 10.4%, compared to the second quarter of 2014.
- Net loan charge-offs were $1.2 million, or 0.40%, of average loans (annualized) for the third quarter of 2014 and were $4.2 million, or 0.49%, for the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Provision for loan losses expense decreased $0.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2014.
- Net interest margin decreased to 4.00% from 4.03% for the second quarter of 2014.