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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Pantera Global Technology Inks Partner Agreement With Project Insight

Category : World News

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwired – May 9, 2013) – Pantera Global Technology announced today the signing of an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Metafuse Inc. for the rights to its project management software, Project Insight, for the construction market.

Originally posted here: Pantera Global Technology Inks Partner Agreement With Project Insight

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Hewlett-Packard faces $1bn lawsuit from shareholders over Autonomy deal

Category : Business

HP accused of ignoring evidence on ‘vastly overvalued’ acquisition while Autonomy founder denies financial impropriety

Hewlett-Packard tried to pull out of its $11bn (£7bn) takeover of British software firm Autonomy before the deal closed, according to claims in a $1bn shareholder lawsuit brought against the US computer maker.

HP’s chief executive Meg Whitman, her predecessor Léo Apotheker, the company’s former chairman Ray Lane and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch are among eight defendants named in the class action suit, filed at California’s San Francisco district court, which accuses those who oversaw the botched deal of conducting “cursory due diligence on a polluted and vastly overvalued asset”.

Whitman and Lane – who resigned as chairman in April after a shareholder revolt – are accused of ignoring damaging evidence from whistleblowers and hiding their full concerns about the Autonomy deal. They allegedly employed “devices, schemes and artifices to defraud” shareholders into buying the stock, before eventually admitting HP had overpaid in November 2012.

The revelation of an $8.8bn writedown of HP’s book value, related to the Autonomy purchase, which came over a year after the acquisition was completed, wiped more than $3bn from the US company’s market value in a single day. In a devastating overview, 101 pages of court documents seen by the Guardian tell the story of an HP board of directors too tired from infighting to effectively oversee the acquisition of Autonomy.

The claim is that Apotheker was egged on by “self-interested auditors, Wall Street bankers and other investment advisers who facilitated HP’s severely reckless pursuit of Autonomy in exchange for nearly $100m in fees”. The lawsuit claims that Lynch, having exaggerated his company’s performance to investors, was “hoping to cash out of Autonomy before it collapsed under the weight of its own fraud”.

Lynch strongly rejects any financial impropriety, and says Autonomy received unqualified audit reports during his leadership.

“Unbeknownst to investors,” court filings claim, “HP was actively seeking to withdraw its offer to purchase Autonomy” before the 3 October 2011 deadline. By this time Whitman, who had been a member of the board that approved the purchase, had replaced Apotheker as chief executive. The suit claims she was aware of Autonomy’s supposedly questionable practices from analyst and press reports.

Lane is alleged to have asked HP’s financial advisers, Barclays and Perella Weinberg, to check whether his company could back out of the deal. Because the board had been aware of accusations that Autonomy’s management were exaggerating their company’s performance before the offer was made, the UK Takeover Panel would reject any plea by HP to walk away, Lane was reportedly told. This part of the suit is based on a report in the Wall Street Journal.

“Rather than engage in embarrassing failed foreign litigation with Autonomy,” the filings say, Lane, Whitman and HP’s finance director “resolved to try to quietly clean up the HP/Autonomy debacle internally.”

They were only forced into a full disclosure in May 2012, when a senior Autonomy executive blew the whistle on serious accounting improprieties with HP’s top lawyer John Schultz, the claim alleges. Whitman responded by asking accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate, but these developments were “concealed” from investors until November.

The claimants identify four whistleblowers, three of whom came forward before the deal was completed. They are UK financial analyst Paul Morland, who wrote to HP’s investor relations department in September 2011 to “tell them they were making a big mistake”; a former Autonomy finance executive who told the British company’s auditor Deloitte of “improper accounting”; and the author of a widely circulated email which questioned Autonomy’s claims about the popularity of its flagship software.

Despite these red flags, HP’s due diligence checks on Autonomy lasted just three weeks. The British company “refused” to hand over copies of financial documents supporting its audits, limiting HP’s review to only publicly reported financial statements and about 25 sales contracts, the filings claim.

The case is brought on behalf of all investors who bought HP shares between 19 August 2011 – the day after the takeover was announced – and 20 November 2012, when HP came clean about the full extent of its concerns.

The suit, filed on Friday, is led by the Dutch pension fund PGGM Vermogensbeheer, which last year was part of a group of investors that sued Bank of America for $2.4bn over its purchase of Merrill Lynch, and believes it lost $35m on its HP investments. A hearing may follow later this year and depending on how many other shareholders join the action, it is understood damages could exceed $1bn.

“As we have continually said, HP relied on the audited financial statements and the representations of Autonomy’s management and its auditors regarding Autonomy’s business and revenue,” HP said in a statement.

“Those facts and figures appear to have been willfully manipulated by certain Autonomy employees prior to the company’s acquisition, to mislead investors and potential buyers.”

Metaswitch Networks Announces Project Clearwater

Category : Stocks, World News

Software Innovator Contributes Cloud-Based IMS Core Platform to an Open Source Project Intended to Accelerate Telco Innovation

Go here to read the rest: Metaswitch Networks Announces Project Clearwater

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iTunes is 10 years old today. Was it the best idea Apple ever had?

Category : Business

While the shares fall and the smartphone wars rage, Apple’s music store keeps growing – and tying users into its platform

Steve Jobs put a new slide up on the huge screen. “We started about a year and a half ago to create a music store,” the Apple chief executive told the audience. “That meant we have to go and negotiate with the big five music companies. Now, before we did this I was reminded of a quote from Hunter S Thompson about the music industry.”

He looked up at the screen. In giant letters it read: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like

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Software AG (STWRY: OTCQX International Premier) | Software AG achieves double-digit growth in largest Business Line

Category : Stocks

Software AG Achieves Double-Digit Growth in Largest Business Line

  • BPE license revenue up 19 percent
  • Strategic growth initiatives show positive effects
  • LongJump acquisition bolsters cloud offering
  • Full-year forecast confirmed

Darmstadt, Germany,

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Hedge fund takes $2 billion stake in Microsoft

Category : Business, Stocks

Activist hedge fund ValueAct took a big stake in Microsoft, saying the company’s future lies in enterprise software and the cloud.

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Check Point Software Technologies Reports 2013 First Quarter Financial Results

Category : World News

SAN CARLOS, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 22, 2013) – Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), the worldwide leader in securing the Internet, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2013.

The rest is here: Check Point Software Technologies Reports 2013 First Quarter Financial Results

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Google and Microsoft profits rise

Category : World News

US technology giants Google and Microsoft, which compete in software and search engines, both report rising profits.

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Infosys shares fall on weak forecast

Category : World News

Shares of Infosys, India’s second-largest software firm, drop nearly 20% after its revenue growth forecast falls short of market expectations.

Original post: Infosys shares fall on weak forecast

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PC business slumps for fourth quarter in a row

Category : Business

Analyst says Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch has ‘slowed the market’, as slide in shipments points to dramatic shift

The PC market has hit a wall – and now is sliding down it. Shipments shrank for the fourth successive quarter between January and March, dropping by at least 11% according to the research companies Gartner and IDC, which released figures late on Wednesday.

The fall is also the largest-ever contraction since IDC began to keep records in 1994, the company said. Gartner said it points to a dramatic shift in the computing market that will see the number of consumer PCs in use dwindle over time.

The drop will put extra pressure on Microsoft’s chief Steve Ballmer, whose new Windows 8 software released in October is blamed by IDC for the slump in sales: “the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC program vice-president, clients and displays.

Shipments were 79.2m by Gartner’s figures, down 11% year on year, and just 76.3m according to IDC, down 13.9%. The companies use slightly different measurement methods to count shipments. That compares with a high of about 96m in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 – since when sales have begun to slump.

At IDC, research director David Daoud said: “the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome. The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer.”

The death of the netbook at the end of 2012 has cut out a substantial chunk of low-end PC sales, said IDC, leaving a price gap that tablets and smartphones have absorbed.

HP and Dell, two of the world’s five biggest PC vendors, will also come under pressure as neither has a clear strategy in the tablet or smartphone market, to which consumers are shifting their business. Dell’s founder Michael Dell is seeking to take the business private in order to retool it to cope with precisely this challenge.

Microsoft has been struggling to adapt to the new computing landscape since Apple upended the low-end market with the release of its iPad tablet in April 2010. Windows 8, with its touch-friendly “tiles”, is intended to be well positioned for touchscreen devices – but consumers have apparently found the combination of that interface and the normal Windows 7-style “desktop” confusing.

Nor are people willing to buy more expensive touchscreen laptops or tablets with detachable keyboards in large numbers. “The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly,” IDC said.

The figures from the two companies do not appear to include Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, launched last year, though they will include its Intel-based Surface Pro, which runs a full version of Windows.

According to IDC, the PC market previously shrank in five successive quarters between the second quarter of 2001 and 2002 – but the falls then were never above 10%, and in four quarters were less than 5%.

In contrast, the latest dip has seen three quarters where the shrinkage is 8% or more year on year, and it seems to be accelerating.

The cause of the slump is that consumers – who historically make up roughly half of all PC purchases – are shifting their spending away to other devices such as tablets and smartphones, said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, who offered the warning that “even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors”.

However, Apple, whose main buyers are consumers, appears to have grown faster than the Windows PC market, according to IDC, Gartner and US data from NPD. Although IDC reckoned that its US sales shrank by 7% due to competition from iPads, that would still be growth compared with the overall market there, which it said shrank by 12.7%. Gartner, by contrast, said Apple’s sales grew by 7% in a US market that shrank 9.6%. NPD, which monitors retail sales, says Apple’s sales grew by 14% year on year.

Businesses, meanwhile, seem to be buying at the same rate as before, and even expanding purchases, said Kitagawa: “the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow.”