RIM Becomes BlackBerry: Tech Weekly Recap
Keen to draw a line under a frustrating period marred by delayed product launches and share losses, RIM changed its company name to BlackBerry on Wednesday. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company will trade under the ticker symbol "BBRY" from Feb. 4.
The Canadian handset maker unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new smartphones: the Z10 and Q10. The Z10 is a touchscreen device with a 4.2-inch display, while the Q10 comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard.
The Z10 will be available to U.S. consumers in March, with the Q10 expected to arrive in April.Clearly intent on injecting some youthful vitality into the company's image, BlackBerry also appointed Alicia Keys as the company's new global creative director. Investors, however, were unmoved by the flurry of announcements, and the company's shares fell sharply in the hours following Wednesday's news. BlackBerry also offered a brief glimpse of the company's Super Bowl ad on Friday. The company's shares ended the week down nearly 26% at $13.02.
Facebook (FB) reported its fourth-quarter results after market close on Wednesday, beating Wall Street's estimates, although the company's shares fell on concerns about its spending. Facebook's costs and expenses rose sharply during the fourth quarter, jumping 82% year over year to $1.06 billion. However, CFO David Ebersman told TheStreet that he isn't concerned. "Our key issues are investments in our people [Facebook ended the quarter with over 4,600 employees] and infrastructure," he said, during an interview. "We are investing in engagement and monetization, and we're showing the results." Excluding items, Facebook reported earnings of 17 cents a share on a 40% jump in revenue to $1.585 billion. Revenue from advertising was up 41% to $1.33 billion, accounting for 84% of total revenue. Mobile revenue represented 23% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter, up from 14% in the third quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Facebook to earn 15 cents a share on sales of $1.53 billion in the fourth quarter. On Thursday Facebook also ramped up its e-commerce efforts, introducing its own gift cards. Facebook shares slipped 5.7% during the week's trading to close at $29.73 on Friday.
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