NEWS IN BRIEF
Daily Digest 28 January
Nokia sees profits soar on smartphones | Profits up, revenue down at Motorola
Disk-drive giant Seagate Technology has detailed its plans to create 85 new jobs at its Derry facility as a result of a STG60 million investment. A further 10 research posts will be created as part of a collaboration with Queen's University Belfast, and a new research facility will be established at the university's physics department. "We expect to announce more of the detail of this in the coming months but today I can confirm that the capabilities that will be developed through this collaboration will enable our wider industrial base to benefit from Seagate's leading surface science and advanced materials technology," said Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster. "It is anticipated that commercial opportunities will exist across a wide range of industrial sectors and applications, including areas such as advanced composites, medical sensors, security devices and ICT."
Finnish mobile firm Nokia has posted better-than-expected fourth quarter results, with profit coming in at EUR948 million, up 65 percent on the year-ago figure of EUR575 million, and significantly ahead of analysts' expectations of EUR620 million. The firm's profit was driven by an increased demand for high-end smartphones, such as its recently launched N900. Though fourth-quarter revenue fell 5.3 percent to EUR11.99 billion from EUR12.66 billion in the year-ago quarter, it did beat market expectations of EUR11.10 billion. During the quarter Nokia also managed to increase its market share from 37 percent to 39 percent.
Like its Finnish counterpart, US phone maker Motorola also saw increased demand for its smartphone range, particularly the Android-powered Droid, which helped it drive profits USD142 million, or USD0.06 per share, up from a loss of USD3.66 billion, or a USD1.61 per share loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, but missing analysts' predictions of per-share earnings of USD0.08. Revenue dropped by 20 percent year-on-year to USD5.72 billion. CEO Greg Brown expects revenue to bounce back slightly in the current quarter.
In more news of results, infrastructure software firm Citrix has posted fourth quarter revenue of USD451 million, up 9 percent on the year-ago figure of USD416 million. Net income for the quarter was USD88 million, or USD0.47 per diluted share, compared to USD60 million, or USD0.33 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2008. The firm's results were boosted by growing interest in desktop virtualisation and the launch of its XenDesktop, according to Mark Templeton, president and chief executive officer for Citrix.
Google's Social Search experiment has been put into beta, and added new features including a 'My social circle' button that displays a user's online contacts, as well as how they are connected, such as via blogs or personal web pages. The internet giant says that Social Search will provide more relevant and personal results to users. "We think there's tremendous potential for social information to improve search, and we're just beginning to scratch the surface. We're leaving a 'beta' label on social results because we know there's a lot more we can do," wrote Google in a blog post.