PC maker Lenovo turned in a strong financial performance for its fourth fiscal quarter, with revenue, profits, and PC shipments all seeing notable jumps.
For the quarter that ended March 31, Lenovo said that profits attributable to shareholders grew 133 percent to $140 million from the same period a year ago. That figure includes $36 million in net profit from the sale of discontinued operations (its mobile handset business). Earnings per diluted share hit $1.44, a rise of 112 percent.
Revenue for the three-month period rose 13 percent to $3.7 billion.
China-based Lenovo said that worldwide PC shipments … Read more
New York's expansive new online sales-tax requirements are drawing mixed responses from major e-tailers that haven't previously collected such fees in the Empire State.
Despite a pending lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality, Amazon.com has said on its Web site that it still plans to abide by the law and add sales tax to orders shipped to New York when the mandate kicks in June 1.
A few weeks … Read more
When it comes to Internet retailers, getting found in search results is often just as important as the right location is to brick-and-mortar retailers. When a big part of online success comes down to words, why settle for selling what everyone else is?
All retailers, no matter what their channel of choice, often sell the same products as at least some of their competitors. If you are a big enough fish, you can command enough power to at least obfuscate that fact . . . different product names, model numbers, etc. -- of course the underlying product is often still the same, anyway. Ever wonder how some retailers offer those huge pricing guarantees if you find the same product elsewhere at a lower price -- much easier to do when you have your own guarantee with the manufacturer that no one else can carry that same model.
But online retail is a bit more challenging, because aside from brand loyalty or being at a convenient location, the difference is often about search results . . . obtaining those highly coveted top rankings for the right searches. I began our duplicate content discussion by focusing on the duplicate content filter or penalty topic and the challenges of external content duplication. What better way to bridge the gap from external to internal, or on-site content duplication, than by talking about sales copy.… Read more
Reportedly inspired by an ongoing legal skirmish in New York, tax officials in Texas are investigating whether Amazon.com should be collecting sales taxes from the Lone Star State's residents.
According to recent reports in the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Comptroller's office is currently looking into whether the Seattle-based e-tailer can be held responsible for paying as many as four years' worth--potentially millions of dollars--of back taxes. Some Texas officials said they weren't aware that Amazon had been operating a distribution center in Irving, Texas, since 2006, until receiving a call from a Morning News reporter … Read more
First-week sales of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV made a killing, knocking off records and blowing away analyst expectations.
Take-Two Interactive Software, the game's publisher, sold 6 million copies and raked in $500 million in its first seven days on the streets, the company announced Wednesday. The game sold 3.6 million copies its first day on the market.
Analysts had expected GTA IV, which has been criticized as excessively violent, to sell 5 million copies during its first two weeks and 9 million copies … Read more
As expected, Amazon.com is hitting back at New York over a new law requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes from customers residing in that state.
In a complaint filed on April 25, Amazon asked the New York State Supreme Court to declare the recently passed law "invalid, illegal, and unconstitutional." (Wired.com, which reported the lawsuit earlier this week, has posted a PDF of the document.)
New York has long required vendors to collect taxes from customers in its state if they "solicit business" there, according to Amazon's complaint. But a few weeks … Read more
If tax-hungry politicians get their way, the days of ordering items over the Internet and not paying sales tax may become just a fond memory.
Right now, if a California resident orders something from Seattle-based Amazon.com, for instance, he or she won't be charged sales tax at the time of purchase. That's because Amazon doesn't have offices in the state of California.
Pro-tax politicians want to change this by allowing California to force Amazon to collect and submit sales taxes--and they may have found an ally in a U.S. Congress that's controlled by Democrats. (… Read more
The music industry seems to be taking one step forward, and then promptly taking one thousand steps backward. In Universal Music Group v. Augusto, Universal Music Group (UMG) is suing someone for putting its promotional CDs for sale on eBay, seriously altering the standard view of what First Sale doctrine means.
At issue here is who owns the promo CDs. Universal argues strenuously that it never transferred ownership when it sent them out and that the discs are merely "licensed" to those who receive them. Each disc includes text that makes clear that "this CD is the property of the record company and is licensed to the intended recipient for personal use only." According to Universal...… Read more
Google plans to launch a service called App Engine Monday evening that the company hopes will attract programmers and eventually companies needing an expandable foundation for online applications.
App Engine, free to the first 10,000 people who sign up, offers a combination of several online Google services for those who want a place to host software, said Pete Koomen, a product manager on the Google developer team. Those include the BigTable service for data storage and processing--as expected--along with authentication to let people sign on to services and e-mail to let the system handle communications, he said.
At … Read more