On this day in economic and business history ...
On July 21, 2002, WorldCom declared what was at the time the largest bankruptcy in American history, with $107 billion in recorded assets. The story of one of the largest telecom companies in the United States thus drew to a disgraceful close. That story, as is often the case with monstrous bankruptcies, is riddled with scandal, fraud, and executives desperately trying to maintain their weakening grasp on great wealth and power. Let's get started with the early years, as the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative explores WorldCom's rise:
The story of WorldCom began in 1983 when businessmen Murray Waldron and William Rector sketched out a plan to create a long-distance telephone service provider on a napkin in a coffee shop in Hattiesburg, Miss. Their new company, Long Distance Discount Service (LDDS), began operating as a long distance reseller in 1984. Early investor Bernard Ebbers was named CEO the following year. Through acquisitions and mergers, LDDS grew quickly over the next 15 years. The company changed its name to WorldCom, achieved a worldwide presence, acquired telecommunications giant MCI, and eventually expanded beyond long distance service to offer the whole range of telecommunications services. WorldCom became the second-largest long-distance telephone company in America, and the firm seemed poised to become one of the largest telecommunications corporations in the world.
Top Energy Companies To Invest In 2015: QUALCOMM Incorporated(QCOM)
QUALCOMM Incorporated engages in the development, design, manufacture, and marketing of digital wireless telecommunications products and services. The company operates in four segments: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL), Qualcomm Wireless and Internet (QWI), and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives (QSI). The QCT segment develops and supplies code division multiple access (CDMA)-based integrated circuits and system software for wireless voice and data communications, multimedia functions and global positioning system products. The QTL segment grants licenses to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio comprising patent rights useful in the manufacture and sale of wireless products, such as products implementing cdmaOne, CDMA2000, WCDMA, CDMA TDD, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and/or OFDMA standards and their derivatives The QWI segment consists of Qualcomm Internet Services that provides content enablement services for the wireless industry and pu sh-to-talk and other products and services for wireless network operators; Qualcomm Government Technologies, which offers development, hardware, and analytical services to the United States government agencies involving wireless communications technologies; Qualcomm Enterprise Services that provides satellite and terrestrial-based two-way data messaging, position reporting, wireless application services, and managed data services to transportation and logistics companies and other enterprise companies; and Firethorn, which builds and manages software applications that enable mobile commerce services. The QSI segment makes strategic investments to support the worldwide adoption of CDMA- and OFDMA-based technologies and services. QUALCOMM Incorporated primarily operates in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. The company was founded in 1985 and is based in San Diego, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Paul Ausick]
Stocks on the Move: Amarin Corp. plc (NASDAQ: AMRN) is down 61.1% at $2.01 after failing to gain FDA approval for its Vascepa drug. ParkerVision Inc. (NASDAQ: PRKR) is up 61.2% at $5.43 after a Florida jury ruled in the company�� favor in a patent suit against Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM).
- [By Paul Ausick]
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) opened higher this morning but the shares changed direction quickly and remained down for the rest of the day. Perhaps the company�� reported overtures to a Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) executive as Microsoft�� new CEO contributed to the slide after Qualcomm named the exec its own next CEO. Share volume was substantially below the daily average of 44 million. The stock closed down 1.42% at $36.69 in a 52-week range of $26.28 to $38.98.
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: QSC AG (QSC)QSC AG is a Germany-based telecommunications provider that offers enterprise customers and resellers a range of broadband communication services, from site networking to voice and data services. The Company operates in three business segments: Direct Sales; Indirect Sales, and Resellers. The Direct Sales segment (former Managed Services) focuses on larger and mid-size enterprises, and includes the business of subsidiaries INFO AG and IP Partner. The Indirect Sales segment focuses on regional partners that offer a portfolio of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products, solutions and services, including Internet Service Providers (ISP), as well as voice and data services. The Resellers segment focuses on ISPs and telecommunication carriers that do not have an infrastructure of their own and primarily address residential customers. The Resellers segment also includes conventional voice business. In August 2013, it merged with INFO AG. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jonathan Morgan]
QSC AG (QSC), a provider of telephony and data services to small and medium-sized businesses, jumped 9.5 percent after posting an increase in quarterly net income. Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) retreated 2.7 percent after Equinet Bank AG downgraded the shares to sell.
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: KongZhong Corp (HOA)
KongZhong Corporation, incorporated on May 6, 2002, is a provider of digital entertainment services for consumers in the People�� Republic of China. The Company operates in three main business units: Wireless Value-Added Services (WVAS), mobile games and Internet games. In addition to developing and operating its self-developed Internet games, such as Loong, Demon Code and Kung Fu Hero, it is an operator of the World of Tanks game for the People�� Republic of China Internet games market. In addition, it is also the licensee in the People�� Republic of China for the Guild Wars 2 game developed by ArenaNet, Offensive Combat game developed by U4iA Games and Hawken game developed by Meteor Entertainment.
The Company conducts substantially all of its business in the People�� Republic of China through its wholly owned subsidiaries KongZhong Beijing, KongZhong China and Simlife Beijing. It operates WVAS, mobile games and Internet games through Beijing AirInbox, Beijing WINT, Beijing Chengxitong, BJXR, Mailifang, Xinreli and Dacheng, all of which are based in the People�� Republic of China.
Wireless Value-Added Services (WVAS) Business
The Company provides interactive entertainment, media and other interactive services to mobile phone users in China through various second generation (2G) standard, technology platforms, including short message services (SMS), Interactive Voice Response services (IVR) and color ring back tone (CRBT), and through various second and a half generation standard (2.5G), technology and operating platforms, including wireless application protocol (WAP) and multimedia messaging services (MMS), which offer graphics, richer content and more interactivity than 2G wireless services. Its WVAS are tailored to the technical or other requirements of its telecommunications operator partners, through whom it deliver most of its WVAS, and to various billing systems for WVAS. Its WVAS are also delivered and marketed through various media partners, i! ncluding handset manufacturers, television stations, radio stations, print media and Internet sites. Its WVAS revenues accounted for 41.7% of its total revenues during the year ended December 31, 2012.
The Company offers a variety of WVAS, such as mobile games, pictures, karaoke, electronic books, mobile phone personalization features, entertainment news, chat and message boards. It provides its services mainly pursuant to its cooperation arrangements with the telecommunications operators and their provincial subsidiaries, the terms of which are generally for one year or less.
Mobile Games Business
The Company is a developer and publisher of mobile games for mobile phone users in the People�� Republic of China (PRC). The mobile games it develops include action, role-playing and leisure games. During 2012, it acquired Noumena, a developer of cross-platform smartphone mobile game engines.
Internet Games Business
The Company develops Internet games internally based mainly on its technologies, which include its game engine (Dazzler three dimension (3D)), game development platforms and online game billing system, all developed by its internal team. In particular, its Dazzler 3D game engine enables the Company to create 3D graphics and visual effects, and provides the technical foundation for creating features in its games. Its game development platforms give the Company the capacity to develop Internet games within approximately six to 24 months and to update Its Internet games frequently in response to players��preferences.
The Company uses an item-based revenue model for its games, whether internally developed or licensed, under which players can play its games on the Internet free of charge, but have to pay for purchases of in-game virtual items, such as in-game currencies, performance-enhancing clothing, weapons, accessories and pets. It distributes its electronic prepaid game cards and game points, which can be used to pur! chase in-! game virtual items, to players through multiple payment channels.
The Company competes with Sina Corporation, Sohu.com Inc., TOM Online Inc., Phoenix New Media Limited, Wireless Arts, Perfect World Co. Ltd, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, Netease.com, Inc., Changyou.com Limited, Giant Interactive Group Inc. and Tencent Holdings Limited.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Konrad Kuhn]
The company also has a minority interest in the privately-held Hooters of America (HOA), the operator and franchisor of over 430 Hooters restaurants; HOTR's CEO Mike Pruitt is a member of the HOA Board of Directors.
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: Corning Incorporated(GLW)
Corning Incorporated manufactures and processes specialty glass and ceramics products worldwide. It operates in five segments: Display Technologies, Telecommunications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials, and Life Sciences. The Display Technologies segment manufactures liquid crystal display (LCD) glass for flat panel displays used primarily in notebook computers, flat panel desktop monitors, and LCD televisions. The Telecommunications segment produces optical fiber and cable, and hardware and equipment products, such as cable assemblies, fiber optic hardware, fiber optic connectors, optical components and couplers, closures and pedestals, splice and test equipment, and other accessories for optical connectivity to the telecommunications industry. This segment also offers optical fiber technology products for various applications, such as premises, fiber-to-the-home access, metropolitan, long-haul, and submarine networks. The Environmental Technologies segment manufactures ceramic substrates and filter products for emissions control in mobile and stationary applications. The Specialty Materials segment manufactures products that provide approximately 150 material formulations for glass, glass ceramics, and fluoride crystals used in commercial and industrial markets. The Life Sciences segment provides scientific laboratory products, such as general labware and equipment, as well as tools for cell culture and bioprocess, genomics and proteomics, and high-throughput screening. This segment also develops and produces various technologies, such as the Corning HYPERFlask Cell Culture Vessel for increased cell yields; and other novel surfaces, which include the Corning CellBIND Surface and the Corning Osteo-Assay surface. The company was formerly known as Corning Glass Works and changed its name to Corning Incorporated in April 1989. Corning Incorporated was founded in 1851 and is based in Corning, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Chris Neiger]
Corning (NYSE: GLW ) recently released its first-quarter results and although earnings were higher than expected, revenues fell short. The company is in a solid position in the display technology field and enjoys some hefty margins in the sector, but the glaring problem for Corning is its lack of materialized potential and its overdependence on display technologies.
- [By Brian O'Connell]
You can�� swing a dead iPhone 4 without hitting a trader or analyst who has a differing outlook on Corning (NYSE: GLW).
Corning manufactures and sells specialty glasses, ceramics, and related materials worldwide. The company operates through five segments: display technologies, optical communications, environmental technologies, specialty materials, and life sciences.
But it�� Corning�� tight relationship with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) that�� causing a stir among investors this week.
Some say that Apple�� recent embrace of Sapphire, which could replace Corning�� Gorilla Glass as the cover glass for Apple�� next generation of iPhone, is a threat to revenues. That would be a sell trigger for GLW shareholders, they say, as Corning Glass would have trouble replacing the revenue lost from the iPhone deal. (For the record, Apple has made no announcement on Sapphire replacing Gorilla Glass on its iPhones.)
But there is no shortage of Wall Street watchers who say that Corning is a winner, and can withstand any attack on its Gorilla Glass product line.
The analytical firm Argus recently hiked its share price outlook on GLW from $20 to $24, citing an accelerated share repurchase agreement with Citibank. The firm also calls for ��ouble-digit earnings per share growth in 2014 and 2015.
So which is it? Strong share growth based on healthy revenues, or a dip if and when Apple decides to replace Gorilla Glass with Sapphire.?
Let�� take a look, and see why the naysayers could be wrong about GLW:
A stronger balance sheet ��Corning�� call last week for an accelerated share repurchasing program should be a good sign for the firm�� share price.
The rollout, which is ongoing now and will end in the second quarter of 2014, will see Corning buy back outstanding shares worth $1.25 billion.
According to company financial statements, the buy back program is part of Corning�� $2 billion share repurchas
- [By Steve Symington]
In addition, the stock had already jumped 10% just two days earlier after an MIT Technology Review�article�pitched its sapphire tech as a promising potential alternative to Corning's (NYSE: GLW ) Gorilla Glass product. Of course, overcoming Corning is easier said than done, considering just last week the company�informed elated investors that its�Specialty Materials segment sales should improve sequentially in the 15% to 20% range next quarter. Of course, that was all thanks to -- you guessed it -- strong demand for Gorilla Glass.�
- [By Vanin Aegea]
The electronic components industry is one of the many industries hit by the economic recession. Growth for the short- and mid-term is very well limited by smaller disposable incomes. With a recovering economy, and the introduction of new technologies during the last decade, prospects for Emerson Electric (EMR) and Corning (GLW) defy a weak environment. Whether profits are on the way is the subject at hand. Let�� take a closer look.
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ)
Verizon Communications Inc. provides communication services. The company operates through two segments, Domestic Wireless and Wireline. The Domestic Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data services; and sells equipment in the United States. The Wireline segment provides voice, Internet access, broadband video and data, Internet protocol network, network access, long distance, and other services in the United States and internationally. The company serves consumer, business, and government customers, as well as carriers. As of December 31, 2010, its network covered a population of approximately 292 million and provided service to a customer base of approximately 94.1 million. The company was formerly known as Bell Atlantic Corporation and changed its name to Verizon Communications Inc. in June 2000. Verizon Communications Inc. was founded in 1983 and is based in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) led all Dow stocks today, gaining 3.5%, despite word from The Guardian that the National Security Agency had ordered the company to turn over private information about calls in the latest Washington scandal du jour. Still, Verizon had no choice in the matter, regardless of what critics of the program may say. It seems unlikely that that would have led to the stock's gain, but shares were down more than 10% in the last three weeks, so the telecom may just be getting a strong bump on a bullish day.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The Russell 1000 growth index is chock full of big tech companies like Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Verizon Communications (VZ) and Google (GOOG).The big difference now is that these types of stocks actually make oodles of money and trade at (more) reasonable valuations.
- [By Austin Smith]
As I look at Redbox, for example, we're obviously beginning to roll out Redbox Instant in a broader fashion, along with Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) . We're testing tickets out, and we're putting in some very good CRM and loyalty programs that will roll out in the third and fourth quarters that will continue to extend out that Redbox brand and value; simplicity, convenience, and entertainment.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Although 28 of the Dow's 30 stocks rose, both of its telecom components missed out on the gains. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) dropped about 0.4%, while AT&T (NYSE: T ) posted just a minimal $0.01 decline in its stock price. For years, investors have hoped that the two Dow telecoms would eventually become a functional duopoly, dividing the vast bulk of the U.S. market between them and giving each other substantial latitude to set prices and reap profits. That outcome seemed much more likely when AT&T's proposal to buy T-Mobile and Sprint (NYSE: S ) seemed to be fading into the sunset. But the recent bidding war for Sprint between DISH Network and Japan's Softbank has made it clear that it's not going away anytime soon, while a merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS should reinvigorate the No. 4 carrier as well. Combined with regulatory efforts to give Sprint and T-Mobile advantages over AT&T and Verizon in an upcoming spectrum auction, the dominant telecoms are seeing pressure they'd hoped to avoid.
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: KDDI Corp (KDDIF)KDDI CORPORATION is a telecommunications company. The Mobile Telecommunication segment is engaged in the provision of mobile communications services, including voice and data services, and mobile WIMAX services, as well as the sale of mobile communication terminals and the provision of contents. The Fixed-line Telecommunication segment provides broadband services, including fiber to the home (FTTH) and cable television (TV) services, as well as domestic and overseas communication services, data center services and information and communication technology (ICT) solution services. The Others segment is involved in the operation of call centers and the development of research and advanced technology. On December 2, 2013, it transferred all shares of a wholly owned subsidiary, JAPAN CABLE NET LIMITED to another subsidiary. In December 2013, the Company acquired the entire share capital in Yugen Kaisha Cosmos. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- With the yen holding on to its gains and investors cautious as earnings season kicks off, Japanese stocks slid lower Friday after closing the previous day with some late-session gains. The Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) fell 0.9% to 14,358.28, with the Topix down 0.8%, as the dollar bought 97.36 yen, little changed from 24 hours earlier. The relatively strong yen weighed on some names with high global exposure, as Sharp Corp. (JP:6753) (SHCAF) lost 1%, Pioneer Corp. (JP:6773) (PNCOF) dropped 1.6%, and Bridgestone Corp. (JP:5108) (BRDCF) fell 1.2%. An outlook cut from Canon Inc. (JP:7751) (CAJ) helped send its shares down 1%, while rival Nikon Corp. (JP:7731) (NINOF) lost 1.8%, though Olympus Corp. (JP:7733) (OCPNF) gained 1%. Telecoms were weak, with Softbank Corp. (JP:9984) (SFTBF) falling 2.5%, KDDI Corp. (JP:9433) (KDDIF) down 1.7%, and NTT DoCoMo Inc. (JP:9437) (NTDMF)
Top 10 Telecom Stocks To Watch For 2014: China Teletech Holding Inc (CNCT)
China Teletech Holding, Inc., formerly Guangzhou Global Telecom, Inc., incorporated on March 29, 1999, is a distributor of pre-paid calling card and integrated mobile phone handsets and a provider of mobile handset value-added services. The Company serves as one of principal distributors of China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile products in Guangzhou City. The Company is also developing an on-line refill platform with China Mobile to develop its on-line business in the Guangdong Province. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired China Teletech Limited.
The Company operates its business through its subsidiaries in China: Guangzhou Renwoxing Telecom Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Global Telecommunication Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Rongxin Technology Co., Ltd., and Shenzhen Rongxin Investment Co., Ltd. The Company also engages in the business of wholesale and distribution of mineral water, as well as trading of wine in China. The Company has cooperative distribution relationships with Panasonic, Motorola, LG, GE, Bird, Samsung corporations for their mobile handsets.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MARKETWATCH]
HONG KONG (MarketWatch)-- Hong Kong stocks rose early Thursday, as China Mobile Ltd. shined on news of iPhone pre-orders hitting 1 million units. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) added 0.6% to 23,032.09. Market heavyweight China Mobile (HK:941) (CHL) rallied 0.9%, as the world's largest mobile carrier said it has received more than 1 million pre-orders for the iPhone before it goes on sale in the carrier's stores on Friday, at a time when Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Tim Cook visited Beijing for future cooperation between the two giants. Telecom equipment shares also advanced, with ZTE Corp. (HK:763) (ZTCOF) rising 1.2%. Meanwhile, China Mobile's smaller rivals slipped, as China Unicom (HK:762) (CHU) dropped 0.7%, and China Telecom (HK:738) (CNCT) fell 0.5%. China South City Holdings (HK:1668) , a developer of logistics and trade centers, surged 56%, after the company announced that Internet giant Tencent Holdings (HK:700) (TCTZF) would invest about 1.5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($195 million) for an almost 10% stake in the developer in order to expand their business online, including e-commerce and online payment services. Tencent Holdings (HK:700)