Tag Archives: performance

Apple on the Rise — Again

9 Aug

Apple is currently number three on the U.S. Fortune 500 list. It is on the rise again after some mixed results. According to Fortune:

“After more than a decade of solid growth fueled first by the iPod music player and then by the even more popular iPhone, Apple finally appeared to hit a wall, with lackluster sales — relatively speaking — for other products such as the iPad and Apple Watch and a heavy reliance on upgraded phone models. But the most profitable publicly-traded company in the world is investing heavily in software and its efforts in new areas of opportunity, including automobiles, remain in development (and under wraps). Apple was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif.”

 

The following chart from NASDAQ shows the ups and downs of Apple’s stock price over the past five years. Click the image for an INTERACTIVE, REAL-TIME view of Apple’s stock price.

 

The Fortune video below provides a provocative view of Apple’s prospects in the future. What do YOU think?

 

How Effective Are Social Media?

9 Sep

With virtually every large company — and many mid-sized and small firms — now involved with social media in some question, one of the big challenges that remains is: How can we measure the effectiveness of social media? Yes, we can rather easily track the number of likes we get and generate reports on comments at social media sites. But how can we measure return on investment (ROI)?

To help address the effectiveness of social media, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business recently conducted a study of chief marketing officers (CMOs) at a number of companies.

As reported by eMarketer:

“Social media ad spending continues to grow in the U.S., with eMarketer forecasting the format will make up more than 20% of digital ad spending by 2017. Yet even as marketers’ social media budgets increase, many are still struggling to make sense of its overall impact on their business.”
 
“Based on an August survey of U.S.-based CMOs by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, executives from across the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors are still figuring out how to gauge the true effect of social media on their business. The problem is more pronounced for those in the B2B sector, where nearly half of respondents haven’t yet been able to show the impact of social media. Many in the B2C sector have had better luck showing the qualitative impact of social, although 60% or more of CMOs still they did not know the channel’s quantitative impact.
 
Take a look at the two charts on the Duke study from eMarketer. See what CMOs say their companies are doing to assess social media effectiveness.
 

 


 

Hewlett-Packard: Wishing for the Good Old Days

6 Feb

Hewlett-Packard WAS a great company for a long time, with a number of innovations in the calculator, computer, printer, and other categories over the years. As noted by Businessweek (and highlighted by this photo montage): “Stanford University classmates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded Hewlett-Packard in 1939. The company’s first product, built in a Palo Alto (Calif.) garage, was an audio oscillator — an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. Seventyfour years later, their legacy lives on in microchips, cameras, data centers, and, of course, printers.”

But, recent years have not been as kind for HP; and its future is uncertain. As reported by Ashlee Vance and Aaron Ricadela for Businessweek: “Things are challenging at HP — more, perhaps, than at any time in its history. Customers are buying less of two of HP’s most important products — PCs and printers — while the company has amassed debt and laid out billions on acquisitions that haven’t worked out. Wall Street analysts have kicked off the New Year by saying that CEO Meg Whitman ought to break up the company. Since August 2010, the company has lost 70 percent of its share price and close to $68 billion in value. ‘You just wonder how HP can possibly fall so far so fast,’ says William George, a professor at Harvard Business School and board member of ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and the Mayo Clinic. It’s true that HP has a collection of now commoditized businesses such as PCs, servers, and printers, and that its products look dated in some areas. But many of these businesses remain cash machines, with HP generating more than $12 billion in operating income a year. The disarray at the top of the organization chart, though, has just been too much. ‘This is one of the great corporate destructions of all time,’ says George.’“They will continue drifting and disappointing their shareholders unless they’re ready to make some really hard decisions.’”

Click here to read the full Businessweek story.

And click the image to see a video on the challenges facing HP.

Photograph by Kim White/Bloomberg

 

Advertising on Facebook: Revenues Up, Growth Down

31 Aug

New research from eMarketer indicates that Facebook’s worldwide revenues from advertising are rising — and will continue to do so in the future. However, the company’s ad revenue growth has been dropping — and the too will continue in the future.

Click the chart to learn more.
 

 

Groupon’s Growing Pains

9 Feb

   Click on the image to access the article

As Shayndi Rice of the Wall Street Journal reports, “Groupon Inc. went public on the promise of fast growth and future profits. But on Wednesday, some of those promises remained elusive. In its first major test since an initial public offering in November, the Chicago-based daily deals site reported revenue more than doubled to $506.5 million in the fourth quarter, strengthened by new products, holiday sales and a rise in the rate it takes from merchants.” However, “The company has yet to prove to investors that its business of offering coupons to local business is profitable. Groupon reported a loss of $37 million in the quarter, as the company continues to spend extravagantly to support its rapid growth.”

Those Millions on Facebook? Some May Not Actually Visit

7 Feb

   Photo by Kimihiro Hoshino/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Click the image for the full story.

As Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times reports, “Facebook counts as ‘active’ users who go to its Web site or its mobile site. But it also counts an entire other category of people who don’t click on facebook.com as “active users.” According to the company, a user is considered active if he or she ‘took an action to share content or activity with his or her Facebook friends or connections via a third-party Web site that is integrated with Facebook.’ ”

“In other words, every time you press the “Like” button on NFL.com, for example, you’re an “active user” of Facebook. Perhaps you share a Twitter message on your Facebook account? That would make you an active Facebook user, too. Have you ever shared music on Spotify with a friend? You’re an active Facebook user. If you’ve logged into Huffington Post using your Facebook account and left a comment on the site — and your comment was automatically shared on Facebook — you, too, are an ‘active user’ even though you’ve never actually spent any time on facebook.com.”

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