In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:
- Yahoo adds four board members in investor battle
- Comcast beats Street
- Nintendo losses grow
- TWC’s merger OK’d with conditions
- Yahoo agrees to add 4 Starboard nominees to board
Yahoo says it reached an agreement with activist investor StarboardValue to add four new members to its board, including the CEO of Starboard.
Starboard has been pushing the troubled Internet company to shake up its board.
As part of the agreement, Yahoo has withdrawn its nominees for the board and two current members will not stand for re-election at the company’s annual meeting in June. After the June meeting, the board will have a total of 11 members.
The four new board members are Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith, former CEO of media companies Tribune Co. and DirecTV Eddy Hartenstein, former Deutsche Bank executive Tor Braham and Richard Hill, chairman of technology company Tessera.
Shares of Yahoo Inc. fell about 1 percent to $36.74 in morning trading.
- Comcast beats Street 1Q forecasts, adds subscribers
Comcast Corp. on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings of $2.13 billion, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations with help from an increase in subscriber numbers.
The company added 53,000 video subscribers during the quarter, appeasing fears about “cord-cutters” who get rid of cable subscription in favor of video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. In all, Comcast added 269,000 subscribers during the quarter, up nearly 36 percent from the same period a year earlier.
On a per-share basis, the Philadelphia-based company said it had profit of 87 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 84 cents per share.
The average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 79 cents per share.
The cable provider posted revenue of $18.79 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts. Twenty analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $18.65 billion.
But Comcast’s shares fell 38 cents to $60.67 in morning trading. Comcast shares have climbed 8 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen slightly more than 2 percent. The stock has risen almost 4 percent in the last 12 months
- Nintendo sinks into bigger quarterly loss on weak sales
Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. reported a 24 billion yen ($216 million) loss for January-March Wednesday, bigger than the loss it reported the previous year.
Nintendo also said Wednesday that its new game platform codenamed NX will be launched globally in March next year. Some game fans had expected the machine might be shown at the annual E3 electronics show in Los Angeles in June.
Quarterly sales fell 26 percent on-year to 78.8 billion yen ($708 million) as overseas revenues were hurt by a stronger yen. Nintendo racked up a nearly 18 billion yenquarterly loss the previous year.
The Kyoto-based company behind Pokemon and Super Mario games said Wednesday it expects to recover to a 35 billion yen ($314 million) profit for the fiscal year ending in March 2017.
For the fiscal year just ended, it earned 16.5 billion yen ($148 million), down 61 percent from the previous fiscal year.
Recent sales of Nintendo’s Wii U machine have lagged rivals Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 console and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One, including the key year-end holiday shopping season.
- Time Warner Cable deal gets OK, with online video conditions
Federal regulators will impose several conditions meant to protectonline video services as they back Charter’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable and create the country’s second-largest home Internet provider.
The Justice Department approved the deal Monday, subject to court approval on theconditions, while Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a draft order to OK the combination. That leaves California’s utility regulator, whose approval is expected in May.
Buying Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks will turn Charter Communications, a mid-size cable company, into the country’s No. 2 home Internet provider, after Comcast. The new Charter will be No. 3 in video, trailing Comcast and AT&T, which bought DirecTV last year.
To preserve competition from online video services, the Justice Department is forbidding Charter from restricting what media companies make available online. The government says Time Warner has been aggressive at imposing such restrictions in contracts, and without a ban, a bigger company could make online services less competitive.
Meanwhile, the FCC is expected to prohibit Charter from charging consumers more for using more data, the way wireless and some home services are priced. Video is one of the biggest consumers of data, and caps or usage-based prices could make consumers reluctant to watch online video.
Public-interest groups have protested industry consolidation, saying it has led to high prices and will give big companies the power to undermine online video rivals. But opposition to Charter’s deal was muted compared with the backlash in recent years to Comcast’s failed bid for Time Warner Cable. That’s because a bigger Charter would still be smaller than Comcast. And Charter, learning from Comcast’s failures, has made several promises to address concerns.