Monthly Archives: May 2014

Samsung’s Music Hub-USA to be Discontinued

Samsung announced that it will be closing its Spotify competitor, US-based subscription streaming music platform Music Hub. Lucky for people in Australia Samsung gave assurances that its ‘down-under’ version will remain in business.

Samsung closing down Music Hub USA

Samsung closing down Music Hub USA

“Samsung Music Hub in Australia has been developed for this country and for Australian customers. It is a separate platform from other music channels offered in other overseas markets,” the company said.

Music Hub-USA was launched in 2012 as a kind of mix between Spotify and iTunes. It came out as a companion to Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S III. Individual music tracks and albums were available for purchase as well as unlimited streaming for $10 per month.

According to Samsung’s Music Hub web-site it will still be possible to download the Music Hub app until July 1 and use it to purchase music.

This past year Samsung release Milk Music. This platform offers free streaming radio similar to Pandora. Milk allows users to describe the types of music you like to listen to and then creates a customized radio station playing your favorite songs. Rumors have been circulating that Milk is destined to lose its free status in the near future.

Recent Presidential Stock Sales

stock-marketCompany presidents may choose to sell their shares for a whole slew of reasons. Sometimes it is to raise funds to pay a tax bill, or just to diversify. According to a recent article by Susan Pulliam and Rob Barry, it is believed that “insiders have a particularly good feel for how companies are faring.” But, it should be noted that these sales must be reported within 48 hours, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission rule.

Herewith are some recent examples of this kind of transaction. At the end of last month, David Welch, President of Infinera Corp. sold 10,000 shares (at an average of $9 a piece) of company stock on the open market. The transaction totaled $90,000.00. This resulted in ownership of 14,132 shares of the company’s stock, at a value of around $127,188.

A few days ago, Primerica President Glenn Williams sold 2,000 of his shares for an average $43.45, totaling $86,900. This gives him ownership of 79,961 shares of Primerica’s stock, at around $4,474,305.

EnerNOC President David Brewster also recently sold 10,000 shares of company stock for an average $19.36 a piece, totaling $193,600.00. He now owns 1,122,368 company shares, valued at around $21,729,044.

Meridian Sells Off US Business Two Years After Announcement

Calrenew-1

Calrenew-1

After five years in the US energy market and two years after announcing its plans to sell off its US solar-power business, Meridian Energy finalized its sale of its huge, 20-hectare solar plant.

California-based SunEdison purchased Calrenew-1 for an undisclosed amount. Guy Waipara, Meridian general manager of external relations said that the figures will appear in this year’s annual report. SunEdison manufactures and sells photovoltaic energy products.

Waipara said that despite expenses, including a $24 million price-tag on the solar plant, Meridian still came out “comfortably ahead-but we have not made a lot of money. We have done all right.”

Expenses were recouped, and then some, through government subsidies, revenues and the sale price to SunEdison.

Meridian has a total of 278,000 power customers, with a growing market in New Zealand. Last year the number of residential solar panel customers rose from 1000 to 1700 in New Zealand.

Clothing Retailers Posting Higher Profits

According to financial information company Sageworks, US clothing retailers have been more profitable in recent years, despite slowing sales growth.

Privately held apparel shops have posted a net profit margin of almost 7 percent, on average, in 2013. That figure is about twice what it was during the preceding two years. Sales however showed slower growth in 2013; at about 5 percent, while in 2011 and 2012 growth was 7 and 9 percent, respectively.

According to Sageworks publicly traded clothing retailers have had net profits holding steady at about 5 percent. But profitably between public and private companies is not easy to compare. Sageworks adjusts the net profit margin for private companies by exclusion of taxes and inclusion of owner compensation beyond their market-rate salaries. Adjustments like these are typically made to private company financial statements so a more accurate view of the company’s operational performance is obtained.
Clothing-stores-financial-statement-analysis

Hollowell Appointed President of ATG USA

It is expected that Ben Hollowell’s legal training will help him greatly as he begins to take his place as the new president of ATG (formerly Applied Technology Group.)

Ben Hollowell

Ben Hollowell

Hollowell, graduate of Wynne High School in Arkansas, was promoted to president of ATG USA after working there as the chief financial officer since April 2007. During that time Hollowell helped to grow ATG from nine employees to 35 in 13 states with triple digit revenue growth.

“ATG is very excited to move Ben into this position,” CEO Scott Landers said in a press release. “His current knowledge of the company and the clients we serve will be a benefit to us all.”