FILE PHOTO: An attendee plays a video game next to the Nintendo booth at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake
April 25, 2019
By Sam Nussey
OSAKA (Reuters) – Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd cautioned it will take time for the launch of its Switch console in China and dampened speculation about introducing a low-cost version of the device.
Nintendo’s partner Tencent Holdings won approval last week to sell the hybrid home-portable device in China. But though Nintendo Chief Executive Shuntaro Furukawa praised Tencent and the partnership on Thursday, he said Switch sales in China wouldn’t begin soon.
The news of the partnership and hopes that it will extend to mobile gaming helped lift Nintendo’s stock price to six-month highs last week. Mobile and PC gaming in China, the world’s largest video games market, dwarfs the market for consoles, whose growth has been pegged back by local regulations.
Nintendo’s push into mobile is yet to deliver a major hit, although analysts point to Mario Kart Tour, developed with DeNA and due for release this summer, as a possible contender.
The Kyoto-based gaming company, which has a reputation for making conservative forecasts, said it would sell 18 million Switch console units globally this financial year, up 6.2 percent from last year.
It expects operating profit to rise 4.1 percent to 260 billion yen ($2.3 billion) this year, well below an average analyst estimate of 342 billion yen, according to Refinitiv data.
Media reports that Nintendo is preparing a low-cost version of the Switch have helped push its shares higher in recent weeks.
Furukawa said at a news conference that while the company is always developing new hardware internally it has nothing to announce and had no plans to reveal new hardware at the E3 trade show in June.
Nintendo sold 16.95 million Switch hardware units in the year just ended, slightly undershooting its revised forecast of 17 million units. Nintendo had initially forecast sales of 20 million units before Furukawa took up the role in June.
The Switch games pipeline continues to create fan excitement, with two full Pokemon titles due later this year.
Nintendo expects to sell 125 million copies of Switch games in the current fiscal year, versus 118.55 million in the year ended in March.
The industry is facing a shake-up with established console gaming companies like Nintendo and Sony Corp exposed to competition from new entrants like Alphabet Inc’s Google offering browser-based games streaming services.
Furukawa said he welcomed new technology bringing games to users.
Nintendo’s shares closed up 1.3 percent ahead of the earnings announcement. Its share price has risen 32 percent year-to-date, pushing its market capitalization above 5 trillion yen.
(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
With the entrance of former Vice President Joe Biden into the 2020 Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, the field is largely set, with all the big names included.
The sprawling Democratic field features candidates ranging from 37 to 77 years old; liberals and moderates; senators, governors and mayors; and an unprecedented number of women and minorities. Democrats view the upcoming election as a must-win, and they’re looking to nominate someone who is their best hope to beat President Donald Trump.
Here are the 20 candidates:
Best known for: Being former President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017 and U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009.
Biggest strength: He’s well-known nationally and popular in some places Democrats have lost recently, such as working-class swing states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, his birthplace.
Biggest weakness: Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president, with a nearly five-decade record for opponents to comb through, at a time many in his party are clamoring for a new generation to take the reins. The notoriously chatty former senator also tends to commit verbal gaffes and faced recent accusations by some women of uninvited, though nonsexual, touching.
Best known for: Serving as mayor of Newark and, currently, U.S. senator from New Jersey. He made headlines last year during his self-proclaimed “‘I am Spartacus’ moment” as he flouted Senate rules against disclosing confidential documents during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation fight.
Biggest strength: His optimistic, unity-first attitude could resonate at a time of deep political divisions.
Biggest weakness: Trying to convince voters that he’s tough enough to take on Trump.
Best known for: Serving as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and being a former Naval intelligence officer.
Biggest strength: He’s won over voters and many skeptics with his intelligence and an articulate yet plain-spoken speaking style. He’s also shown an ability to inspire voters of different ages with a message of hope and “a new generation of leadership” and has been able to raise millions more than many of his Democratic rivals.
Biggest weakness: His youth and lack of political experience — his only public office has been leading the community of about 100,000 people — will give some voters pause. He also will need to ramp up his campaign operations and do more to appeal to minority voters in order to maintain his early momentum.
Best Known for: Serving as Health and Human Services secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term and as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, for five years.
Biggest strength: His youthfulness and status as the only Latino in the race could help him win the votes of Democrats looking for a new face of their party.
Biggest weakness: His fundraising lags well behind other contenders.
Best known for: Being a former congressman from Maryland.
Biggest strength: He has rolled out a rural-focus policy that includes proposals to strengthen family farmers and rural infrastructure, a plan that could play well in the battleground Rust Belt states won by Trump.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition.
Best known for: Serving as a U.S. representative for Hawaii; the first American Samoan and first Hindu to be elected to Congress.
Biggest strength: Her military service in Iraq and Kuwait with the Hawaii National Guard.
Biggest weakness: She has been criticized for traveling to Syria in 2017 to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes and even genocide. She was also forced to apologize for her past work advocating against gay rights.
Best known for: The senator from New York is one of her chamber’s most vocal members on issues of sexual harassment, military sexual assault, equal pay for women and family leave.
Biggest strength: Not being afraid to defy her own party in the #MeToo era, calling early for Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s resignation over sexual misconduct allegations and saying Bill Clinton should have voluntary left the presidency over an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
Biggest weakness: Sluggish campaign fundraising in the wake of some unpleasant #MeToo headlines of her own, with Gillibrand acknowledging there were “post-investigation human errors” made when her Senate office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against various staffers.
Best known for: The former California attorney general is now the junior U.S. senator from California, known for her rigorous questioning of Trump’s nominees.
Biggest strength: As the one black woman in the race, she’s able to tap into networks like historically black colleges and universities and her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that haven’t been fully realized before.
Biggest weakness: Her prosecutorial record has come under scrutiny amid a push for criminal justice reform.
Best known for: Being a quirky brewpub owner who became a politician late in life, rising to governor of Colorado.
Biggest strength: An unorthodox political persona and successful electoral track record in a swing state. He’s one of the few governors in a race heavy with senators and D.C. stalwarts.
Biggest weakness: He’s previously joked that he was too centrist to win the Democratic nomination. As governor he disappointed some environmentalists by not regulating the energy industry more. He’s another white male baby boomer in a party filled with younger and more diverse candidates that better reflect its base.
Best known for: Being governor of Washington state and a former congressman.
Biggest strength: His campaign emphasis is on combating climate change, which he frames as an economic opportunity in addition to a moral imperative.
Biggest weakness: He risks being labeled a one-issue candidate.
Best known for: The three-term Minnesota senator raised her national profile during a Senate committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when she asked him whether he had ever had so much to drink that he didn’t remember what happened. He replied, “Have you?”
Biggest strength: She’s known as a pragmatic lawmaker willing to work with Republicans to get things done, a quality that’s helped her win across Minnesota, including in rural areas that supported Trump in 2016. She says her Midwestern sensibilities would help Democrats reclaim critical battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Michigan.
Biggest weakness: Her pragmatism may work against her in a primary, as Democratic voters increasingly embrace more liberal policies and positions. There have also been news reports that she has mistreated staff.
Best known for: Serving as the mayor of Miramar, Florida, and playing on the Florida State University Seminoles’ 1993 national championship football team.
Biggest strength: He touts his mayoral experience balancing government regulations needed to protect the environment while allowing room for companies to prosper.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition and funding.
Best known for: The Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran gained national attention for helping lead an effort within the party to reject Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber.
Biggest strength: Military and congressional experience.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on the fundraising necessary to qualify for the summer debate stage.
Best known for: The former congressman narrowly lost the 2018 Senate race to Republican Ted Cruz in Texas, the country’s largest conservative state.
Biggest strength: A do-it-yourself campaign style that packs lots of travel and multiple events into long days and encourages off-the-cuff discussions with voters that still allow O’Rourke to talk up his days as a onetime punk rock guitarist and his love for his home on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Biggest weakness: He’s longer on enthusiasm and vague, bipartisan optimism than actual policy ideas, and the style-over-substance approach could see O’Rourke’s strong early fundraising slip once the curiosity begins to fade.
Best known for: The Ohio congressman made an unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader in 2016.
Biggest strength: Ryan has touted himself as a candidate who can bridge Democrats’ progressive and working-class wings to win the White House.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on grassroots fundraising.
Best known for: A 2016 presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton that laid the groundwork for the leftward lurch that has dominated Democratic politics in the Trump era.
Biggest strength: The Vermont senator, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, generated progressive energy that fueled his insurgent 2016 campaign and the best fundraising numbers of any Democrat so far.
Biggest weakness: Expanding his appeal beyond his largely white base of supporters.
Best known for: The California congressman is a frequent guest on cable news criticizing President Donald Trump.
Biggest strength: Media savvy and youthfulness could appeal to young voters.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on grassroots fundraising.
Best known for: The senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard University law professor whose calls for greater consumer protections led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under then-President Barack Obama.
Biggest strength: Warren has presented a plethora of progressive policy ideas, including eliminating existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, breaking up farming monopolies and mammoth technology firms, implementing a “wealth tax” on households with high net worth and providing universal child care.
Biggest weakness: She is viewed as one of the most liberal candidates in the Democratic field, which could hurt her chances among moderates. Her policy-heavy approach also risks alienating voters at a time when other candidates are appealing to hearts as much as to minds.
Best known for: Best-selling author and spiritual leader.
Biggest strength: Outsider who could draw interest from voters who are fans of her books.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, little political experience.
Best known for: Entrepreneur who has generated buzz with his signature proposal for universal basic income to give every American $1,000 a month, no strings attached.
Biggest strength: Robust policy agenda, tech savvy.
Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, no political experience.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington speaks at the the British Chamber of Commerce annual conference in London, Britain, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
April 25, 2019
GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) – Britain will not consider high risk equipment vendors in security critical parts of its next-generation 5G networks, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said on Thursday.
Sources told Reuters on Wednesday Britain’s National Security Council had decided this week to bar China’s Huawei Technologies from all core parts of the 5G network and restrict its access to non-core parts.
Speaking at a cyber security conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Lidington said Britain had rigorous procedures to manage risk in its telecoms infrastructure and the government’s decision was based on “evidence and expertise not supposition or speculation.”
“We will not countenance high risk vendors in those parts of the UK’s 5G network that perform critical security functions,” he said.
“The government approach is not about one company or even one country, it is about ensuring stronger cyber security across telecoms, greater resilience in telecoms networks and more diversity in the supply chain.”
(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Michael Holden; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
FILE PHOTO: A trader is reflected in a computer screen displaying the Spotify brand before the company begins selling as a direct listing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
April 25, 2019
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Music streaming service Spotify Technology SA said it will remove all songs belonging to one of India’s oldest record labels from its app after they failed to agree on licensing terms, months after the Swedish company’s launch in the country.
According to a court document, Saregama India Ltd filed a petition with the Delhi High Court seeking an injunction against Spotify to stop it from using its songs.
The move comes two months after Spotify launched in India, a price sensitive market already crowded by well-funded local players like JioSaavn and Apple Music.
According to the court document dated April 23, Spotify’s senior counsel said the streaming service would remove all Saregama songs from its app within 10 days.
Spotify said last month it had more than 1 million unique users in India across its free and premium categories within a week of its launch. The company offers a free version supported by ads and a premium ad-free variant that charges users 119 rupees ($1.68) per month.
Spotify declined to comment, while Saregama did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
FILE PHOTO: A woman is seen in front of the logo of Zozo, which operates Japan’s popular fashion shopping site Zozotown and is officially called Start Today Co, at an event launching the debut of its formal apparel items, in Tokyo, Japan, July 3, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
April 25, 2019
By Ritsuko Ando
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc said it expects its profit to recover in the current fiscal year, after booking its first-ever annual drop in earnings on a failed experiment with bespoke tailoring and clashes with fashion brands.
But Zozo’s results also showed its liabilities mounting and cash position dwindling, underscoring worries about the finances of the company that runs the popular Zozotown online mall.
Zozo has captured nearly half of Japan’s online sales of mid- to high-end clothes by setting up a website catering to fashion-forward, higher-income customers.
It sought to transform itself in recent years from an e-commerce site into a tech-retail hybrid by starting a private brand and launching a made-to-measure service using a bodysuit that allowed users to upload measurements online.
The bodysuit, along with billionaire CEO Yusaku Maezawa’s plans for a lunar flyby as the first private passenger on Elon Musk’s SpaceX mission, had helped spread Zozo’s name globally.
But many who ordered the bodysuit did not use it to buy clothes, leaving Zozo saddled with the huge cost of distributing the suits without seeing returns. It also struggled to cope with orders that did come in, forcing some customers to wait several months for delivery.
“We started this with the belief that it’s not good enough to have just three sizes of S, M or L. But as you know, it did not go as we had hoped,” Maezawa told analysts.
Zozo’s operating profit for the year ended March fell 21.5 percent to 25.7 billion yen ($229 million). That was worse than its most recent forecast of 26.5 billion, which had been marked down from an initial projection of 40 billion yen.
Maezawa also announced an end to the company’s controversial “Zozoarigato” membership service, which charged users fixed fees in return for discounts throughout the website.
Fashion brands had complained of what they saw as excessive discounting under the service, driving some including Onward Holdings Co to leave the site. Zozo has been trying to regain momentum by adding more mass-market retailers such as Shimamura, but some analysts say this has hurt its initial, fashion-focused image.
Maezawa said the membership service did not turn out to be as profitable as he had hoped, and that he wanted to mend the site’s relationship with brands.
Shares of Zozo have nearly halved in the past year on fears that its popularity may be waning, and that its cash position looked weak. The company secured a 15 billion yen commitment line from banks in late March.
Thursday’s results show Zozo’s cash and cash equivalents fell to 21.6 billion yen by end-March, versus 24.6 billion a year earlier, while total liabilities jumped to 56.3 billion from 29.9 billion.
But the company said it expects business to pick up as Japanese consumers were just beginning to buy clothes online. It forecast a 24.7 percent rise in operating profit to 32 billion yen for the current financial year.
Maezawa said he was preparing to expand Zozotown in China, citing the surge in disposable income among the younger generation.
He also said the company had not given up on an online made-to-measure service, and was planning to work with other brands to keep the idea alive.
“I’m actually more certain than ever that there’s a need for that,” he said.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)
FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
April 24, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter was ablaze on Wednesday with humorous commentary and speculation over why Tesla Inc’s first-quarter earnings release was so late. As of 5:05 p.m. ET (2105 GMT), one hour after the market close, the results still had not been released.
Here is a sampling of comments on Twitter:
“Tesla forgot to get Deepak’s password when he left and now they can’t release the earnings. 40 minute late and counting…” – @FredericLambert, referring to former Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja
“TSLA has sent one of the new flawless robotaxis to deliver the earnings report, apparently.” – @NickGiva
“Maybe Tesla switched to full self accounting and it works as well as their full self driving.” – @bgrahamdisciple
“TSLA forgot to pay their WebEx Conference call bill.” – @mackandcompany
“I’m imagining Elon in a huge fight with the board right now who’s trying to convince him that he has to release the #s.” – “@EternityStake
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
April 24, 2019
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German digital payments company Wirecard on Wednesday said all its subsidiaries were subject to regular audits, denying a Financial Times report.
The FT cited whistleblowers as saying that the accounts of Wirecard’s largest business, Card Systems Middle East in Dubai, were not audited in 2016 and 2017.
“All subsidiaries of Wirecard, including Card Systems Middle East, are subject to regular audit procedures, including but not limited to quarterly and annual audits,” the company said.
The FT added that almost all of Wirecard’s reported profits had come from three partner companies in recent years and that much of the profits from these entities had been booked through Card Systems, citing documents it obtained.
Wirecard said that the FT story included “many false and misleading statements.” The company’s stock closed 8.5 percent higher, paring earlier gains of as much as 15.5 percent. Japan’s Softbank Group Corp earlier on Wednesday said it would invest around 900 million euros ($1 billion) in Wirecard, giving it the option to acquire a 5.6 percent stake.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)
FILE PHOTO: Uber’s logo is displayed on a mobile phone in London, Britain, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
April 24, 2019
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc said on Wednesday the head of its Asia-Pacific operations will leave the company at the end of next month, and will be replaced by Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty.
Amit Jain had joined the app-based ride-hailing company as its India operations chief in 2015 and had taken over as head of Uber’s Asia-Pacific business last year.
The company, which recently unveiled its IPO plans, said https://ubr.to/2vjtq22 Gore-Coty, who heads its EMEA rides business, will also take charge of the Asia-Pacific business.
He will work to “unlock opportunity markets such as Japan and South Korea, and continue our strong momentum in markets such as India and Australia,” Chief Operating Officer Barney Harford said in a statement.
San Francisco-based Uber counts India as one of its major growth markets and has been locked in a fierce battle with homegrown rival Ola for years.
(Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
April 24, 2019
By Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh
(Reuters) – European shares edged lower on Wednesday as signals that China has put broader stimulus on hold overshadowed strong earnings from the likes of SAP and Credit Suisse.
The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0920 GMT – though the benchmark index has notched gains in the past eight consecutive sessions, and shown a tendency to rebound from a weaker open.
“The market is taking some cue from the slowing of stimulus in China,” said Stefan Koopman, Market Economist, Eurozone, Rabobank.
“For the European markets to get some traction in the upcoming months we really need to depend on what’s happening in China.”
Most major regional bourses were in the red though the slew of upbeat earnings helping German and Swiss indexes advance.
Business software company SAP soared to an all-time high and boosted the DAX after the company set ambitious new mid-term targets and as activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) stake in the company.
Top performer was Wirecard which climbed 8 percent after the payments company confirmed Japan’s Softbank Group Corp will buy a 5.6 percent stake in the firm.
STMicro shrugged off a gloomy prediction by bigger rival Texas Instruments and posted a broadly inline update, which sent its shares up more than 3 percent.
SAP and STMicro drove the tech sector up 2.5 percent to its highest since July 2018.
Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in the region, Swiss lender Credit Suisse rose 2.5 percent after posting a surprise profit and saying it was cautiously optimistic about the second-quarter following a challenging start to the year.
Results from Credit Suisse will be followed by UBS Group AG and Barclays on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.
Healthcare stocks got a boost from Novartis’ gains as the Swiss drugmaker raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat.
Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo rose after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints.
Auto stocks dropped 0.7 percent, led by Renault after its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co slashed its full-year profit forecast to its lowest in nearly a decade due to weakness in the United States.
Also weighing on the benchmark was the oil and gas sector which pulled back after a 2 percent jump in the prior session as crude prices retreated from 2019 highs. [O/R]
Online gaming company Kindred Group plc landed at the bottom of STOXX 600 after profits for the first-quarter were significantly impacted by a new local license in Sweden.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)