In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:
- Apple reports a blowout quarter
- ChannelAdvisor adds new service
- AT&T grows revenue but books $4B loss
- BDSI to relaunch pain treatment
- Sanpchat to show media news
- Record iPhone sales drive blowout quarter for Apple
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) had another blowout quarter thanks to its new plus-sized iPhones, which helped the company smash sales records for the holiday season.
Apple said Tuesday that it sold 74.5 million iPhones during the three months that ended Dec. 31, beating analysts’ expectations for the latest models of Apple’s most popular gadget, introduced in September.
The surge in iPhone sales drove the company’s total revenue to $74.6 billion, up 30 percent from a year earlier. CEO Tim Cook said on a call with analysts that demand for the phones was “staggering,” and noted that results would have been even higher if not for the impact of the strong dollar on overseas sales. Net income rose 38 percent to $18 billion, as Apple reported earnings of $3.06 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting earnings of $2.60 a share on revenue of $67.39 billion.
Apple also forecast revenue for the current quarter between $52 billion and $55 billion. The midpoint of that range is just below the average analyst estimate of $53.6 billion for the period ending in March, when sales typically fall from their holiday season peak. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in an interview that revenue for the current period will increase between 14 and 20 percent from a year ago, despite the strong dollar, which has forced other companies such as Microsoft to lower their forecasts.
“We feel very good about the March quarter,” Maestri said, while calling the December results “pretty amazing.”
- ChannelAdvisor adds Jet for online sales
Ecommerce services provider ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM) is adding Jet.com to its lineup in a move designed to help retailers as well as manufacturers get goods online for sale quickly.
Jet is a retailer-friendly, membership-based e-commerce marketplace that offers value across a broad array of product categories such as electronics, home goods, consumables, appliances, sporting goods and much more,” says ChannelAdvisor. “Jet’s platform includes an innovative real-time dynamic pricing engine that can help retailers to sell effectively and improve both sales and profitability.”
Adds ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo:
“Jet is positioned to become a disruptive player in the e-commerce industry,” said ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo. “Jet has innovated both the merchant-facing side of the equation and the consumer-facing side. We are excited to be a launch partner with Jet so that our customers can leverage our integration to be ready to start selling on day one.”
- Big costs drag AT&T to 4Q loss, but revenue up 4 percent
AT&T (NYSE: T) booked a nearly $4 billion loss for the fourth quarter because of a slew of one-time expenses that included a loss on benefit plans, but its revenue grew 4 percent to top expectations.
The nation’s second-largest wireless carrier added 1.9 million wireless subscribers — twice as many as in the year-ago quarter. Postpaid “churn,” or subscriber turnover rate, rose only slightly to 1.22 percent from 1.11 percent in the year-ago period, which was the best ever for a fourth quarter, the company said. Postpaid customers are generally those with better credit who stay with carriers longer, sometimes with contracts.
In its landline business, AT&T added 405,000 U-verse high speed Internet subscribers to bring the total to 12 million. It also added 73,000 U-verse TV subscribers.
Overall, revenue grew to $34.44 billion from $33.16 billion, helped by an 8 percent jump in wireless revenue. The company posted a loss of $3.98 billion, or 77 cents per share, for the final three months of 2014. Excluding multiple one-time items, it earned 55 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 55 cents per share and revenue of $34.26 billion.
- BDSI to relaunch pain treatment
Raleigh-based BioDelivery Sciences International (Nasdaq: BDSI) has struck a licensing deal with Meda for the marketing rights to Onsolis, a means of treating breakthrough cancer pain. BDSI says it plans to bring Onsolis back to the U.S. marketplace. It had been launched in 2009 after winning FDA approval.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
BDSI said it will seek new partners, noting Meda had changed its focus to respiratory products.
- Snapchat to show content from big media brands
Popular disappearing-message app Snapchat is introducing content from media companies such as Vice, CNN and People to its service as it works to broaden its audience.
Snapchat said in a blog post Tuesday that the “Discover” feature is a new way for users to explore content from different media outlets. When users visit the Discover section, they can watch videos, read stories or see photos from the media companies, which also include the Food Network and Comedy Central. The content includes advertisements.
Clicking on them lets users swipe through short descriptions of the content. To see the full version, swipe the screen from the bottom up.
Snapchat and the media companies share ad revenue.