All posts by anggao2018

Blockchain is creating prosperity, experts say

By Ang Gao
Medill Reports

New York–The digital ledger platform blockchain is enabling a shift towards a safer, easier and more prosperous ecosystem by decentralizing assets and making peer-to-peer networks to govern all transactions, said blockchain experts, all Chinese, in a recent forum at Fordham University.

In a general sense, according to an article by Joss Everton on the Nasdaq website, decentralization means that no single entity has exclusive control over data or processes. Blockchain provides a basic level of decentralization because transactions are recorded by all users on the blockchain network, he stated. Continue reading

Twitter earns first profit, stock soars

By Ang Gao
Medill Reports

Twitter Inc. earned a profit for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2017. The stock soared.

The San Francisco-based company reported net income of $91.1 million, or diluted earnings per share of 12 cents, up from a net loss of $167.1 million or diluted earnings per share of 23 cents in the same quarter of 2016. The quarterly results well exceeded the Wall Street estimate compiled by Bloomberg of $14.6 million net income and 2 cents diluted earnings per share.

Twitter earned a profit for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Twitter’s revenues grew to $731.6 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 2 percent, beating the estimate of $686.4 million compiled by Bloomberg.

Twitter’s sales and profitability in the fourth quarter of 2017 were “a pleasant surprise,” said Michael Pachter, a research analyst at Wedbush Securities, in an email.

The company’s owned-and-operated advertising revenue was $593 million in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 7 percent. This accounted for 92 percent of total advertising revenue of $644 million.

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Cognizant earnings beat expectations, revenues in line

By Ang Gao
Medill Reports

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., based in New Jersey, is a leading provider of information technology, consulting and business process services.  Cognizant reported a loss of $18 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with net income of $416 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. But adjusted earnings topped Wall Street’s estimate and the stock rose around 4 percent.

The net loss in 2017 included a one-time incremental tax expense of $617 million related to the U.S Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, according to the company’s press release. Without the tax charge, earnings per share were $1.03 in the fourth quarter, up from 87 cents per share in the same quarter of 2016, which beat the estimate of 97 cents per share compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenues rose to $3.83 billion in the quarter, up 10.6 percent from $3.46 billion in the quarter a year ago, which was in line with the estimate of $3.83 billion reported by Bloomberg.

“Consistent and solid execution throughout 2017, along with continued investments to further accelerate the shift to digital during the year, gives us confidence that we can deliver a strong 2018,” said Francisco D’Souza, the CEO of Cognizant, in a press release. “As companies that are already leaders in their industries integrate their domain knowledge with today’s tremendously powerful technologies like artificial intelligence, analytics and cloud, we see a new generation of digital heavyweights emerging.”

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Motorola Solutions tops estimates, stock rises

By Ang Gao
Medill Reports

Motorola Solutions Inc., based in Chicago, reported a loss of $575 million, or $3.56 per diluted share, down from a profit of $243 million, or $1.43 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. But adjusted earnings beat expectations and the stock rose 4 percent.

The loss reflected a one-time charge of $874 million related to recent U.S. tax reform, said Gino A. Bonanotte, Motorola’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, in an earnings conference call. Without the tax charge, earnings per share rose to $2.10 from $2.03 a year ago. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was $2.03 earnings per share.

Quarterly revenues increased to $1.96 billion, up 4 percent from $1.88 billion a year ago, which exceeded the estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks of $1.95 billion.

“We finished the year with a very strong fourth quarter, capping a record year for revenue, operating earnings, cash flow and backlog driven by continued organic growth on strength in LMR solutions,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions Inc., in a press release. “We are poised for continued growth in LMR and software and services.” LMR is a land mobile radio system, intended for use in vehicles or on foot.

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U.S. Home Prices Increased 6.2% in November

By Ang Gao

Medill Reports

The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 6.2 percent in November, up slightly from 6.1 percent in the previous month. The number is unadjusted without considering inflation.

A low inventory of houses in the market, especially a shortage of low-end houses, is putting pressure on home prices, said Bryce Gill, an economic analyst at First Trust Advisors.

Unsold inventory of existing homes for sale is at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 3.6 months a year ago and is the lowest on record since 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors website.

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