Apple Shares Clues on the Direction of its Retail Store Strategy
The first Apple retail store opened in Tysonâ¿¿s Center in Virginia on May 19, 2001. Hosting the event was none other than Steve Jobs. Some three hours later, the second Apple store opened at 10:00 am in Southern California. Since then, the interior of Appleâ¿¿s stores have largely remained unchanged, boasting a clean design and zones where customers can intimately engage with products. But, with new eye-catching Sony, Samsung, Google and Microsoft shops opening inside of Best Buy and in malls, Apple and its new head of retail Angela Ahrendts will have to gently refresh the inside of the stores to stay 25 steps ahead of the competition. There appears to be a major change going on inside of the Apple stores. TheStreet's Retail Contributor Brian Sozzi shares what that change is, and what it means.
Facts You Should Know About the $50 Billion Global Battery Market
Batteries and the objects they power have come a long way since Alessandro Volta created the first battery more than 200 years ago. The global battery market generates about $50 billion and 3 billion batteries were sold last year alone. The most popular type is the lead acid used in things like cars, motorcycles, boats, and back-up power devices. Other battery types include alkaline, NiMH (nickel-metal hydride), Li-ion (lithium-ion), and LiPo (lithium-polymer). In 1884, Thomas Parker engineered the first battery-powered electric car; its descendant Tesla Model S is now the fastest electric car, boasting an acceleration rate of 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Kellogg's American Sales Drop as Cereal Falls out of Fashion
Unfortunately for Kellogg's, cereal is not as popular of a breakfast option as it once was. Kellogg's reported second quarter earnings of 82 cents a share, which is down 15% from the same period last year. Sales of $3.7 billion were on target with estimates and only fractionally below last year's sales. Although North American sales did drop in the quarter, European and Latin American were up. Kellogg's lowered its expectations for fiscal 2014 and is now expecting earnings to come in between $3.81 and $3.89 a share. On the cost-cutting front, Kellogg's CEO, John Bryant, said the process would take time but he is confident it will drive future revenue growth. Whalen MacHale reports for TheStreet from New York.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Probes into Verizon Plan to Slow Data
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, said in a letter to Verizon (VZ) on Wednesday he is, "very troubled" by the wireless carrier's plan to slow data speeds for heavy data users on Verizon's unlimited data plans. In his letter addressed to Verizon President and CEO, Daniel Mean, Chairman Wheeler raised concerns over transparency to its customers. The FCC issued an enforcement advisory for the Open Internet Transparency Rule just over a week ago. The rule has been in effect since 2011 and it states that Broadband providers must disclose accurate information to protect consumers. Also in his letter, Chairman Wheeler raised concerns of discrimination against customers. He asked, "What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors?" FCC press secretary Kim Hart said she is not aware of a response from Verizon at this time. She said penalties range from $16,000 to $1.6 million dollars for any single act that violates commission rules or fails to comply with commission rules. TheStreet's Julie Cerullo reports.
Radius CEO: Osteoporosis Drug on Track Despite Skittish Stock
The recent volatility surrounding Radius Health shares should lessen as the market starts focusing on its osteoporosis drug Abaloparatide, said the company's CEO Robert Ward. Radius Health sold 6.5 million shares of stock $8 a share in a June IPO, raising $52 million. Abaloparatide is in Phase III development and has exhibited faster improvement in bone mineral density at all sites in a pair of confirmatory Phase II studies. Ward said he expects the pivotal trial readout in December and hopes to submit and NDA in mid-2015. Ward said the company has not partnered with a larger drug company yet, and has raised more than enough money to get Abaloparatide to market.
Healthequity's Founder & CEO on Future of America's Health Care
HealthEquity (HQY) shares are higher on their first of trading on the Nasdaq. The stock's initial public offering priced at $14 a share, above its $10 to $12 range raising $127 million with 9.1 million shares. The company follows a string of other similar companies that have issued shares on the public markets. HealthEquity provides a technology and platform to assist in the management of Health Savings Accounts. HealthEquity's CEO and President, Jon Kessler and its Founder and Vice Chairman, Stephen Neeleman spoke with TheStreet's Susannah Lee on why they think more Americans will choose Health Savings Accounts over conventional health insurance. Kessler also share his thoughts on the future of health care coverage with Obamacare. JPMorgan Securities and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
Meet New Target CEO Brian Cornell, Who Calls Omnichannel Priority
Target announced it's named PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell its new chief executive officer. Cornell replaces interim chief executive John Mulligan, who stepped in after former CEO Gregg Steinhafel stepped down in May in the aftermath of the retailer's customer data breach. In an interview posted on Target's Bullseye View blog, Cornell says that advancing the store's omnichannel presence is at the top of his list of priorities. He adds that he'll be using his experience with running the Safeway.com business and developing Sam's Club's 'Click and Collect' program to enhance Target's digital transformation.
After Apple Axes Beats Jobs, Rest are Likely Safe Despite Overlap
Apple is said to be axing jobs at Beats as its acquisition of the company nears completion. Mark Gurman, senior editor at 9to5Mac, breaks down the cuts and what's in store going forward. He reveals that most of the cuts are in human resources, public relations and administrative positions and although there will still be some overlap in hardware, creative, marketing and Beats Music development, he says those employees' jobs are probably safe and will be blended into Apple. Gurman also predicts how Apple will integrate Beats into its product development and in what areas we can expect the most improvements.
DIRECTV Grows Subscriber Numbers After Kick From World Cup Views
DIRECTV posted strong second quarter earnings this morning after some help from the FIFA World Cup that kept fans glued to their television screens. Earnings of $1.59 a share beat estimates by $0.07 and showed a 35% increase from last year's second quarter earnings. Revenues of $8.1 billion were above expectations by $100 million. The growth was attributed to strong subscriber additions in both the US and Latin America along with the 4.6% ARPU growth in the US to a total of $103.26. Mike White, president and CEO of DIRECTV, was optimistic on the new opportunities their merger with ATT would provide to consumers and shareholders. DIRECTV is up 25% for the year. Whalen MacHale reports for TheStreet from New York.
Markets Lower at Midday, Avon Climbs, L-3 Plunges, Beats Cuts Jobs
U.S. markets are in the red at midday on Thursday on investor worries about what robust economic growth could mean for Fed policy. Avon (AVP) shares are higher, despite earnings and sales that missed expectations. But, investors appear to be optimistic about some headcout reductions at the company. Shares of Lam Research are higher after the semiconductor-equipment company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. Yum! Brands shares are lower Thursday after the fast-food chain operator said illegal activities involving a Chinese supplier have substantially hurt sales over the past couple weeks. L-3 Communications (LLL) shares are trading lower after the defense contractor disclosed accounting irregularities linked to an aerospace logistics support contract and also cut its full-year outlook. And, Apple is cutting 200 jobs at Beats Electronics. The cuts are reportedly equal to about 40% of the company's workforce. TheStreet's Ruben Ramirez reports from New York.