AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:03 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) 9 things Apple could do with $137BApple Inc. came under attack Thursday from an influential investor for its practice of stockpiling cash. Its hoard totaled $137 billion at the end of last year, and it keeps growing. Corporations normally don't hoard cash the way Apple does. They keep enough around for immediate needs, and either invest the rest in their operations or dole it out to shareholders in the form of dividends or stock buybacks. If they need more cash for, say, an acquisition, they borrow it.
HP sets labor guidelines in for Chinese suppliersSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. is pledging to crack down on its Chinese suppliers in an effort to reduce the use of low-paid student interns and other temporary workers. The guidelines unveiled Friday are the latest attempt by a major U.S. technology company to weed out labor abuses at Chinese factories that manufacture the gadgets of an Internet-connected world.
Colorful investor Einhorn behind Apple attackNEW YORK (AP) _ David Einhorn, the 44-year-old investor who attacked Apple Thursday, has a history of taking on companies and winning. But Apple is his biggest target yet. The Cornell graduate founded New York-based hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc. in 1997 with $1 million under management. The firm has been highly successful, often by "shorting" the stocks of companies that have hidden weaknesses.
LinkedIn's 4Q gets rave reviews from investorsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Online professional-networking service LinkedIn's fourth-quarter performance added another line to its sterling resume as a public company. The results announced Thursday extended LinkedIn Corp.'s uninterrupted streak of exceeding analysts' projections for both earnings and revenue. It marked the seventh consecutive quarter since LinkedIn's May 2011 IPO that the company has pulled that off, to the delight of investors.
Watson's medical expertise offered commerciallyWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ Dr. Watson is accepting new patients. The Watson supercomputer is graduating from its medical residency and is being offered commercially to doctors and health insurance companies, IBM said Friday.
Sprint posts big 4Q loss, revenue risesNEW YORK (AP) _ Sprint Nextel Corp., the country's third largest wireless carrier, on Thursday said it lost $1.3 billion in its fourth quarter, about the same as a year ago, as it revamped its network for a comeback versus bigger competitors. The company's focus, and that of its investors, is on its long-term turnaround efforts rather than on short-term results. Sprint is selling 70 percent of itself to Japanese carrier Softbank Corp. for $20 billion. That deal is expected to close this summer, and provide long-ailing Sprint with a much-needed infusion of capital.
Sony trims quarterly loss to $115 millionTOKYO (AP) _ Sony Corp. is still struggling but managed to reduce its red ink for the latest quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company aims for a comeback from record yearly losses. Sony on Thursday reported a 10.7 billion yen ($115 million) loss for the October-December quarter compared with a 158 billion yen loss a year earlier.
US magazine circulation flat despite digital gainsLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Magazine industry auditors say more U.S. magazines are selling more digital copies, but they still represented just 2.4 percent of circulation in the second half of last year as overall circulation was largely unchanged. The number of magazine titles selling digital copies rose to 289, from 245 a year earlier. They sold 7.9 million digital copies, up from 3.2 million.
Investor sues Apple, wants more cashNEW YORK (AP) _ With its annual meeting looming and its stock on the decline, Apple is facing a rebellion from an influential investor who wants the company to stop stockpiling cash and give it to shareholders instead. Greenlight Capital said Thursday that it is suing Apple in a New York federal court over the company's proposal to make it more difficult for it to issue preferred stock. David Einhorn, who heads the investment fund, said the proposal would close down one avenue for Apple to reward shareholders with more cash.
Alcatel-Lucent boss leaving as losses mountPARIS (AP) _ Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen is leaving the loss-making French-U.S. telecommunications gear maker after a failed four-year bid to turn the business around. Verwaayen said in a statement Thursday that it was "clear to me that now is an appropriate moment" for Alcatel-Lucent to seek new leadership. Investors cheered the news, with shares jumping 7.7 percent in early trading to (EURO)1.40.
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