AOL To Cut Staff By A Third

AOL disclosed in an SEC filing this morning that it plans to reduce its staff by about a third, via voluntary and and involuntary job reductions. The move is part of a cost-reduction program as the company prepares to return to the public markets via a spin-off from Time Warner (TWX). The goal of the cuts are to cut annual operating costs by about $300 million. As previously disclosed, the company expects to incur up to $200 million in restructuring charges for the program, all to be take from the date of the spin through the first half of 2010. The cuts amount to about 2,500 people.

The Wall Street Journal notes that CEO Tim Armstrong will “surrender” his 2009 bonus, which was supposed to be $1.5 million to $4 million.

The AOL spin is scheduled for April 9.

Early MBS Color

**Mortgages not particpating much in rally and are wider by ~1
to 1.5bps across the stack.  Higher dollars bring origination
and MBS have had trouble finding clearing levels with 4.5’s
north of 102.  Better selling yesterday also has an overhang in
the market and we expect mortgages to lag given the amount of
orignation and paper floating around over the last couple
session.  15yrs have cheapned and provide a better alternative
for those lookign to stay invovled in MBS.

Crisis Porn: SocGen Says ‘prepare for ‘global collapse’

As long as I am here in Europe, I might as well give you some flavor of what has become known as Recession Porn: The most dire forecasts expecting the most egregious outcomes.

Today’s “Crisis Porn” comes to us via Société Générale by way of the UK’s Telegraph, and its Pretty grim:

“In a report entitled “Worst-case debt scenario”, the bank’s asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems.

Overall debt is still far too high in almost all rich economies as a share of GDP (350pc in the US), whether public or private. It must be reduced by the hard slog of “deleveraging”, for years.

“As yet, nobody can say with any certainty whether we have in fact escaped the prospect of a global economic collapse,” said the 68-page report, headed by asset chief Daniel Fermon. It is an exploration of the dangers, not a forecast.

Under the French bank’s “Bear Case” scenario, the dollar would slide further and global equities would retest the March lows. Property prices would tumble again. Oil would fall back to $50 in 2010.

Governments have already shot their fiscal bolts. Even without fresh spending, public debt would explode within two years to 105pc of GDP in the UK, 125pc in the US and the eurozone, and 270pc in Japan. Worldwide state debt would reach $45 trillion, up two-and-a-half times in a decade.

Note that the report is a “worst case scenario.” That’s your recession porn for the day . . .


Société Générale tells clients how to prepare for ‘global collapse’
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Telegraph, 6:12PM GMT 18 Nov 2009

Options Update: Hecla Mining trending higher with rising precious metal prices

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Hecla Mining (HL) closed at $6.28. Gold is recently down 0.66% to 1133.70 according to Bloomberg. Hecla Mining December and January option implied volatility of 80 is near its 26-week average of 82 according to Track Data, suggesting non-directional price movement.

Monster Worldwide (MWW) closed at $16.29. MWW December option implied volatility is at 60, January is at 57; versus its 26-week average of 57. Options were active on November 18 on volume of 56,606 contracts according to Track Data. Average daily volume is 12,750 contracts according to IVolatility.

Option Update is provided by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of

Options Update: Hecla Mining trending higher with rising precious metal prices originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 19 Nov 2009 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Manthan Systems Raises $15 Million

Manthan Systems, an India-based provider of business intelligence and analytics for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries, has raised up to $15 million in Series B funding. Fidelity International led the round, and was joined by return backers IDG Ventures India and ePlanet Ventures.


Manthan Systems, a leading provider of Business Intelligence and Analytical solutions for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries today announced that it has secured Series B funding. The investment, with a funding of upto $15 million, was led by Fidelity International. Participation by existing investors IDG Ventures India and DFJ ePlanet Ventures in this recent round is an endorsement of Manthan’s impressive growth and potential, and the new paradigm Manthan is creating in Retail analytics.

As a result of this funding, Mr. Raj Dugar, Managing Director at FIL Capital Advisors (India), Fidelity International’s private equity advisory company in India, has joined Manthan’s board of directors.

“We believe Manthan is well positioned to make a significant impact on the global retail landscape as the industry steps up value realization through its usage of Business Intelligence and Analytics. Manthan’s best-in-class products address retailers’ increasing need to compete on analytics, currently a top priority for retailers worldwide. Under Atul Jalan’s leadership, Manthan has the potential to be a major software products company and we are excited to participate in its growth,” said Mr. Dugar.

Mr. Atul Jalan, Founder & CEO, Manthan Systems said, “We believe Manthan is uniquely positioned to deliver the analytical maturity and edge that most retailers are aspiring to. Our confidence stems from our products’ capabilities and our unique deployment model that delivers on industry leading ROI, and is reinforced by the market traction we are experiencing today. Our charge for global leadership in the retail business intelligence and analytics sector is best summed up as: ‘8Q21 - Eight Quarters to No. 1.’ We value the added experience and competence that the Fidelity team will bring towards the achievement of this objective.

The funding would help fuel important investments in this direction, particularly in augmenting our sales and delivery presence across key markets, scaling our product organization -to match our growth, and also capitalizing on suitable inorganic growth opportunities.”

Manthan develops and markets a suite of software products and synergistic services to global retailers enabling them to take data-driven business decisions. The ARC suite comprises of products like Merchandising Analytics, Finance Analytics, Customer Analytics, Supplier Collaboration & Analytics. The Manthan BI platform delivers enterprise-wide analytics capability with dramatically superior performance when compared with competitive options. With a hybrid portfolio of products and services, Manthan is able to offer end-to-end data warehousing and business intelligence capabilities to its customers. Retailers have traditionally not leveraged their data rich environment to drive decision making. Manthan provides retailers with the tools they need to measure performance, pinpoint the source of exceptions and understand the relationships between customer groups, products, promotions and multiple channels. Businesses that have implemented Manthan’s products have seen improved margins, customer retention, inventory efficiency, promotion effectiveness and wallet share while having reduced markdowns.

Manthan has deployed its out-of-the-box integrated retail intelligence suite for several global retail and consumer packaged goods customers. “Many leading global retail market players across all segments of retail have adopted our solutions, leading to significant improvements in efficiency and profitability, borne out of the intelligent, data driven decision making made possible by our solutions.” Atul concludes.

About Manthan Systems

Manthan Systems produces cutting edge analytic solutions for global Retail and CPG organizations. Manthan’s breakthrough solutions, under the ARC product portfolio, transform the way retailers deploy, adopt and use analytics for strategic advantage. ARC spans the entire spectrum of retail decision making delivering role-based, advanced analytics and performance management, with products for merchandising analytics, financial analytics, customer analytics, supplier collaboration analytics and enterprise retail BI. These award winning products provide a significant edge to a retailer’s analytical capability and maturity. The solution is delivered in a failsafe, time-bound, cost-effective manner, and encourages enterprise-wide adoption of BI and analytics. Manthan has deployed ARC across a wide range of retail segments and formats, having transformed decision making for some of the biggest names in retail across the globe.

About Fidelity International

Fidelity International has offices in over 20 countries across Europe and Asia-Pacific. The venture capital arm of Fidelity International seeks to actively invest predominately its own proprietary capital principally in high-quality, high-growth companies across multiple sectors including infrastructure, healthcare, technology financial services and manufacturing. FIL Capital Advisors (India) Private Limited is Fidelity International’s private equity advisory company in India.

About IDG Ventures India

IDG Ventures India is a US$150 Million early-stage venture capital fund investing in technology-related product and services companies. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $3.7 billion under management, over 220 investee companies and 10 offices across Asia and North America. IDG Ventures makes investments on behalf of its Limited Partners, including its principal investor and sponsor, International Data Group (IDG), the world’s largest IT media company. By combining the IDG platform - an unparalleled combination of global publishing, market research (IDC), and conferences and exhibition resources - with years of hands-on experience in early-stage company building, IDG Ventures helps its investee companies understand their markets better and penetrate them faster than their competition.

About DFJ ePlanet Ventures

DFJ ePlanet Ventures is a leading global venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, London, Bangalore, Beijing, and Seoul. ePlanet Ventures has funded over 90 innovative high-growth companies world-wide, including landmark deals Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), Skype (sold to eBay for approx. US$3B in 2005), and Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN). DFJ ePlanet is one of the leaders in promoting the cross-border migration of technological innovation, business models and entrepreneurship. The Firm has made investments in sectors such as the Internet (consumer Internet, Internet services and applications), wireless communications and applications, VoIP and other broadband services, entertainment, semiconductor design, life sciences and other emerging services sectors. The firm also seeks to make investments in traditional, established industries where business-model improvements have the power to create category-dominant companies in the world’s fastest growing markets.


Initial Claims flat but extended benefits rise

Initial Jobless Claims totaled 505k, in line with estimates and flat with a revised 505k last week. Continuing Claims, which covers the first 26 weeks of benefits, fell by 39k but were slightly above forecasts. Emergency Unemployment Compensation which takes us past 26 weeks rose by 101k which makes clear that the fall in Continuing Claims is more because of the inability to find a job which thus keeps people collecting past 26 weeks. Extended Benefits, which runs past EUC, rose by 17k. With recent legislation, benefits run up to 99 weeks. Ironically, Larry Summers in the mid ’90s wrote a piece saying that unemployment insurance is one of the causes of long term unemployment “by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a minimum wage he/she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance…increase that reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.”

Drumbeat: November 19, 2009

John Michael Greer: How Relocalization Worked

One of the points that I’ve tried to make repeatedly in these essays is the place of history as a guide to what works. It’s a point that deserves repetition. A good many worldsaving plans now in circulation, however new the rhetoric that surrounds them, simply rehash proposals that were tried in the past and failed repeatedly; trying them yet again may thus not be the best use of our limited resources and time.

Of course there’s another side to history that’s more hopeful: something that worked well in the past can be a useful guide to what might work well in the future. I’d like to spend a little time discussing one example of this, partly because it ties into the theme of the current series of posts – the abject failure of current economic notions, and the options for replacing them with ideas that actually make sense – and partly because it addresses one of the more popular topics in the ongoing peak oil discussion, the need for economic relocalization as the age of cheap abundant energy comes to an end.

Review: The Ecotechnic Future by John Michael Greer

Greer's newest book, The Ecotechnic Future, builds on The Long Descent by sketching out some of the likely dimensions of the future that Greer believes lies on the other side of our descent. It doesn't devote much space to explaining why our civilization is headed for collapse, or describing how people can prepare on the individual and community levels, since these were covered in his earlier book. Instead, in a series of chapters with straightforward titles like "Food," "Home," "Community" and "Culture," it takes an in-depth look at the kinds of changes that we can expect in these and other aspects of our lives as industrial civilization winds down.

China's gas shortage to give a small boost to gasoline

BEIJING (Reuters) - A gas shortage that has hit central and eastern Chinese provinces will give a small boost to gasoline sales by China's oil duopoly, as slower gas supplies force taxis to gas stations, industry officials said on Thursday.

But as taxis burning the clean fuel are heavily concentrated in one region -- the southwestern province of Sichuan and Chongqing municipality -- the impact on China's gasoline balance will be marginal. China is Asia's leading gasoline seller.

Saudi Arabia: Feeding off an evergy boost

Can a single natural resource ever have dominated a country’s development to the extent that oil has for Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia: Pointing the way

It’s a strange paradox that Saudi Arabia’s key strength can be viewed as a source of weakness.

Cantarell Suffering

Mexico’s chief producing oil field, Cantarell, is in a declining level of production already representing an "emergency situation", according to the Hydrocarbon Undersecretary of the Energy Secretariat (SENER).

Debating dollar stores and globalization

Perhaps there are families who live quite happily on the “100-kilometre-diet”. I believe I’m still among the majority of Canadian mothers who prefer to feed their children a more varied menu than potatoes, kale and cabbage during the winter months.

Cleantech Investors Tweak Strategies But Still Moving Forward

Although cleantech investing, like everything else in the venture world, has slowed because of the global financial crisis, investors are mainly adjusting their strategies rather than pulling back.

Energy chiefs warn crisis stifling investment

GENEVA — The economic crisis is jeopardising key energy industry investments that are needed to cope with future growth in demand and shifts to cleaner energy, executives and officials warned on Wednesday.

Executives from gas, oil and power generation firms said at a UN conference here that they were delaying and cutting back investments due to the credit crunch, the economic downturn and volatile oil and gas prices.

But, they added, fresh capital is needed to renew and expand infrastructure such as production capacity and gas pipelines, cut carbon emissions from traditional fuels or build up more costly alternative energy sources.

Global energy needs are expected to grow by more than 40 percent by 2030, according to an International Energy Agency report last week, despite a decline this year due to reduced economic activity with the recession.

Crude Oil Declines for First Time in Four Days as Dollar Gains

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell for the first time in four days as the dollar gained against the euro, dulling the appeal of commodities as a currency hedge.

Oil fell from a one-week high reached yesterday after the U.S. Department of Energy said crude stockpiles dropped unexpectedly last week. Stock markets fell across Europe on concern this year’s rally has outpaced the prospects for economic growth.

Air France Pares Hedges as Oil’s Swings Lead to Loss

(Bloomberg) -- Air France-KLM Group, Europe’s biggest airline, is scaling back on jet-fuel hedging after swings in oil prices contributed to a quarterly loss.

Fuel costs now will be hedged over two years instead of four, and the carrier will lock in purchases for only 80 percent of its annual consumption instead of two full years, Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said in an interview in Paris yesterday.

Oil tankers parked off British coast as speculators wait for prices to rise

Ten oil and gas vessels are currently anchored in Lyme Bay in Devon amid claims that speculators are trying to push up the prices paid by motorists.

Local residents say that some of the tankers have been there for months.

Motoring groups last night accused oil traders of refusing to let the ships dock in the hope of squeezing higher profits out of British consumers.

Petrobras Says Tupi Well to Pump 50,000 Barrels a Day

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, estimates that a well will produce 50,000 barrels a day from its offshore Tupi field, the biggest discovery in the Americas in more than three decades.

“Initial production at the well is estimated at 50,000 barrels a day, which confirms the high capacity for light-oil output in the Tupi area,” Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras, as the company is known, said today in a regulatory filing.

Ukraine Seeks Russia Gas Fine Waiver, Warns on Supply

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine is seeking an amendment to its accord with Russia to waive fines for buying less gas than contracted this year, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said in a letter to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

State-run NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy may be unable to prepare for the heating season starting at the end of next year, potentially threatening “the reliability of gas shipments to Ukraine and transit to other European states,” Yushchenko said in the letter posted on his Web site.

E.ON Boosts Gas Trading as Oil Rally Skews Contracts

(Bloomberg) -- E.ON AG, Germany’s biggest utility, is expanding its short-term trading of gas as higher oil prices raise costs for longer-term contracts through 2013.

While longer contracts will remain a “core part” of E.ON’s gas supplies through its Ruhrgas unit, shorter-term buying and selling of the fuel and liquefied natural gas have increased, Tony Cocker, E.ON Energy Trading’s chief executive officer, said today at an interview at the EMART energy conference in Barcelona.

Azeris May Send Gas to Asia as EU’s Caspian Pipe Plans Languish

(Bloomberg) -- Azerbaijan, Europe’s closest energy ally in the Caspian basin, is threatening to sell its gas to Asian markets, pressuring the European Union to complete pipeline accords to boost its own deliveries from the region.

“If Europe takes too long putting together a solution, then all the gas in the Caspian will go to Asia,” said Elshad Nassirov, a vice president at State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, or Socar. “It’s more serious than it seems.”

The case for higher oil prices

In the first two instalments of this three-part series we considered peak oil theory, the importance of the marginal cost of production and the clear trend towards higher-cost oil discoveries. Using US Department of Energy figures, we also revealed that global oil demand exceeds current production rates.

It’s now time to consider what this tells us about future oil prices. In the short term, the answer is not much. Over the long term though, the price of oil should equal the marginal cost of production.

Raymond J. Learsy: The CFTC and Department of Energy Snore Away While the Oil Patch Makes Hay

Late last week the Energy Information Service-advised oil stocks surged by 1.762 million barrels, far more than expected, while the U.S. refinery processing rate sank to 79.7% -- the lowest level in more than two decades. Yet on Monday the price of oil jumped by $2.50 a barrel.

What is going on? We don't really know, but it is clear that the price of oil as currently constituted no longer has anything to do with the market dynamics of supply and demand.

Food-climate theorist Brown to lecture at Colorado State

A pioneering environmentalist who has written or co-authored more than 50 books will speak at CSU tonight on whether food shortages could be caused by global warming.

Lester Brown, who the Washington Post once called “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” will be discuss his latest book “Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization” at 7 p.m. in the main ballroom at Lory Student Center.

Uniting to keep economic collapse at bay

Readers say I’ve ignored peak oil in favor of the economic meltdown. But because of the financial crisis, the world is using one-third less than three years ago. Though no new discoveries have been found, using less oil means the impending crisis is pushed back a few years. Nothing threatens our civilization more than Peak Oil and it may come quicker if developing nations recover and pick up the slack from big users such as America.

Clean Energy Will Lag Behind Global Power Demand

(Bloomberg) -- Wind turbines, solar panels and hydropower stations won’t be built fast enough to keep pace with global electricity demand through 2030, the International Energy Agency forecast.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows a widening gap between power generated with renewable fuels and total consumption. That means coal-fired plants, which are cheaper and more polluting, will increase their share in the energy mix, discharging extra heat- trapping emissions that threaten to raise the planet’s temperature, the IEA said.

Poet reduces cellulosic ethanol production costs

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Poet LLC, the nation's top ethanol producer, says it is has reduced its cellulosic ethanol production cost during the past year from $4.13 per gallon to $2.35 per gallon.

Transformer maker to open first US site in Colo.

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – A company that makes transformers that convert electricity from renewable energy sources to the grid plans to open its first U.S. plant in Wheat Ridge in January.

Smoke rises from Japan nuclear plant

TOKYO (AFP) – Smoke rose on Thursday from the world's largest nuclear power plant in Japan, which was shut down by an earthquake two years ago, but the operator said no-one was injured and there was no radiation leak.

U.S., China May Double Renewable Stimulus Spending

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S., China and other major economies may more than double stimulus spending on clean energy next year after holding back most of the money promised for projects, an analyst said.

Stimulus spending on ventures such as wind parks and solar farms may more than double to $57.8 billion in 2010 from $24.3 billion this year, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of New Energy Finance, a London-based consulting firm. Green projects may secure $55.6 billion in stimulus funds in 2011.

Coal at what price?

Are politicians and business serious about effectively addressing climate change? Australia has significant raw resource availability, it drives the nation’s economy, but who would have imagined, in the face of peak oil and the damaging effects of fossil fuels, the Victorian government would be entering a minerals extraction boom with a major focus on coal.

India PM heads to U.S. in test of ties with Obama

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India's prime minister and U.S. President Barack Obama meet next week to strengthen ties, with the emerging Asian power increasingly playing a bigger role on global issues such as climate change and trade.

India adopts single pollution standard norms

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India on Wednesday tightened air quality rules and said it will enforce a single standard for industrial and residential pollution.

The Revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards rule would lead to the use of "clean fuel" to lower emissions, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

Russia ready for deeper emissions cut: EU

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Russia is ready to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, raising its target from 15 percent just weeks ahead of a UN climate summit, the EU said Wednesday.

Australian Firefighters Urge Passage of Climate Bill

(Bloomberg) -- Australian firefighters, spurred on by what they say are record temperatures contributing to “catastrophic code red” fire-danger warning, urged lawmakers to pass climate change legislation under debate by Senators.

Politicians threatening to block or weaken the proposed carbon reduction scheme are putting lives and properties at risk, Peter Marshall, national secretary of the United Firefighters Union, said in a statement today. The body represents 13,500 professional firefighters.

Storm Over the Chamber

As president of the nation’s largest and oldest business association, Mr. Donohue is no stranger to sharp policy debates. During his 12-year tenure, the chamber has been outspoken on trade, tort reform, union organizing rights, financial regulation and health care. Mr. Donohue has hired an army of lobbyists and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising, advocacy and political campaigns to make sure its voice is heard. The chamber represents its generally conservative membership of 300,000 companies and local business groups on these issues without much public protest.

But climate change poses a different sort of challenge for Mr. Donohue. Many of the chamber’s big-business members are deeply split on the issue, with some standing to profit from an economy moving away from reliance on fossil fuels, while others could see devastating increases in costs.

Arques Industries Sales Down 36%; Solon Net Loss

Arques Industries AG third quarter sales fell 36% to €829.5 million and net loss was €9.5 million or €0.37 a share. Solon SE nine months sales fell 66% to €218.4 million and net loss was €80.4 million or €6.42 a share.

ClearMomentum Raises Series A

ClearMomentum, a Rochester, N.Y.-based provider of, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding led by Trillium Group.

ClearMomentum, the leading provider of fully integrated financial analytics and reporting software-as-a-service (SaaS), today made two groundbreaking announcements. It has closed on a Series A Round funding and Kenneth Kaisen, a former Vice President & General Manager at Xerox and Avaya Inc., has joined the company as President & CEO.

The financing round was completed by Trillium Group, and led by General Partner Kevin Phelps with Trillium Executive Partner, James Stoffel. Phelps and Stoffel, along with Clear Momentum founder John Grabski will be members of the Board of Directors.

ClearMomentum offers a software solution that accelerates the financial performance of organizations by taking disparate financial and non-financial data and turning it into clear and actionable management knowledge. ClearFinancials®, the flagship SaaS product, enables customers to accelerate and enhance operational reporting, better understand the key drivers of a business and improve cash flows. The company has offerings in the Capital Management, Performance Management Advisors, Corporate, and Commercial Lending markets. The Series A funding will help ClearMomentum accelerate its growth trajectory, secure strategic partners, create higher-value services and build on the company’s recent successes.

“After reviewing many opportunities in the Software-as-a-Service market for a Company with great revenue and profit potential, we identified ClearMomentum as a company that meets our rigorous criteria” said Kevin Phelps, “ClearMomentum is an outstanding company with a compelling vision to transform traditional static financial data into dynamic management information to drive better decision making. With new capital and the addition of Ken Kaisen as CEO, Clear Momentum is now poised to take full advantage of this market opportunity.

Industry-veteran Kaisen brings more than twenty-five years of related leadership experience to ClearMomentum. He recently served as VP / GM of Consulting and Integration at Avaya, a global telecommunications and software company, where he was accountable for the development, P&L, and growth of Avaya’s $400 Million worldwide professional services and systems integration business. Prior to Avaya, Kaisen was at the forefront of Xerox’s transition to a services/solutions-led company, with a track record of successful product, services, marketing, and general management positions. Kaisen also has CIO experience at both Xerox and New England Business Services Inc.

For more information on ClearMomentum, please visit

About Trillium Group
Founded in 1997, Trillium Group is a Rochester, N.Y.-based private equity firm managing early stage venture capital and growth equity funds. Trillium partners have extensive venture/private equity investment and management experience, having been chief executive officers, presidents and board members of a wide variety of startup companies, joint ventures, and Fortune 100 multinationals. Trillium is dedicated to achieving venture rates of return on invested capital at acceptable levels of risk. For more information, visit


NetApp reports healthy quarterly earnings on strong equipment sales

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On Wednesday afternoon, NetApp (NTAP) announced that its second-quarter profit came in more than twice that from the same period a year ago. The company raked in 27 cents per share during the quarter, compared to 13 cents per share a year ago. Excluding items, the tech firm would have pulled in 37 cents per share. Expectations called for earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $881.6 million. Actual revenue came in at $910 million, handily topping the consensus estimate.

NTAP's CFO, Steve Gomo, attributed the far better-than-expected earnings to improved sales of the company's main storage-area-networking. This product helps businesses build their data storage operations.

Continue reading NetApp reports healthy quarterly earnings on strong equipment sales

NetApp reports healthy quarterly earnings on strong equipment sales originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 19 Nov 2009 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Adknowledge Buys SocialMedia Networks

Adknowledge, a Kansas City-based provider of behavioral online advertising solutions, has acquired the primary assets of SocialMedia Networks, a San Francisco-based provider of a social media ad platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Adknowledge raised $48 million in funding in 2006 from Technology Crossover Ventures. SocialMedia Networks had raised VC funding from Charles River Ventures, IDG Ventures SF, Marc Andreessen and Jeff Clavier.

Adknowledge, the largest privately-held advertising network, announced today that it has obtained the advertising business of The move strengthens Adknowledge’s position as the leading monetization platform for publishers of social apps and social games.

Adknowledge currently partners with more than 2,000 publishers and developers. In the past two years, the company has made four acquisitions in the social media space. Cubics, an Adknowledge company, delivers more than 700 million banner impressions daily to consumers using Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites. Super Rewards, another Adknowledge company, is the leading virtual currency platform. Together, they deliver over 10% of total daily page impressions on Facebook. By adding the ad network business of, Adknowledge is providing publishers with increased monetization opportunities.

“We are excited to welcome SocialMedia’s publishers to our network. We are committed to providing them with highly competitive payouts and industry-leading, ad content management tools,” commented Dwayne Lafleur, General Manager of Social Advertising at Adknowledge. “As the only major social ad network that does not build applications that compete with developers, we can assure developers that we only have their best interests at heart,” he added.

Effective November 18, publishers will be able to access a new Cubics account from Adknowledge and can elect to replace their existing ad code. Publishers will also be able to source administrative reports and stats. and Adknowledge will continue to work closely together in the future. Adknowledge will continue to provide publishers with industry-leading payouts and will be running branded ads that will be selling.

The transition of’s ad network to Adknowledge will allow SocialMedia to focus solely on its core business of developing the first social advertising platform. is focused on powering the next generation of social ads across the web through this platform. has been a pioneer in social advertising since 2007, building a Facebook ad platform that has allowed app developers to manage, market, and monetize their inventory. Moving forward, the company is going to bring this level of holistic publisher service beyond Facebook app developers, allowing web publishers to socially enable their inventory across the web.

About provides the first platform that enables social advertising across the web, helping brands reach consumers with real messages from real people. The platform allows publishers to create and sell a line of social advertising products and helps advertisers to make any online ad social, anywhere on the web. is based in San Francisco, CA. For more information on’s social advertising products, please visit

About Adknowledge

Adknowledge is a performance-based advertising network that utilizes powerful predictive technology to connect advertisers with consumers across multiple channels, including Email, Social, and Web Content. Adknowledge has grown to be the largest independent cost-per-click network focused on high-quality alternatives to search engine advertising. Adknowledge provides a social advertising platform ( that is used by thousands of applications developers to monetize their user base. In the past two year, the company has acquired Super Rewards, MIVA, Cubics, Lookery, Mediarun, and Adonomics. Headquartered in Kansas City, Adknowledge has domestic offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Florida, and international offices in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. For more information, visit



Here is an interesting piece from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2008 one shot payments to taxpayers as stimulus in 2008 were largely ineffective. Taxpayers used nearly 70 percent of that money to pay down old debt or for savings. Only 30 percent was actually spent.

GettingHired Raises $3 Million

GettingHired LLC, a Bedminster, N.J.-based company that provides career services to people with disabilities, has raised $3 million in new VC funding. Backers include Zenith Insurance Co., Kamine Development Corp and Fisher Capital Corp.

GettingHired, LLC, an organization focusing on careers and community for people with disabilities, announced today that it has secured $3 million of additional investment capital to fund continued growth of the largest disability employment portal in the USA as well as final development and launch of FastTrackRTW, an innovative new return to work initiative supporting the long term disability and workers compensation insurance verticals. The investments were made by Zenith Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zenith National Insurance Corp, Kamine Development Corp and Fisher Capital Corp. LLC.

“We are excited about this innovative approach to managing the return to work challenge, and look forward to using the FastTrackRTW product as a unique resource in helping our injured workers find productive work,” said Stanley Zax, Chairman and President of Zenith.

FastTrackRTW incorporates many of the features of the existing employment and social networking portal and adds a robust injured worker and caseworker platform, as well as a specialized enhancement to GettingHired.coms RightMatch technology.

Jim Fisher, Managing Member of Fisher Capital, added that he believes that the FastTrackRTW program will be able to leverage the success of the platform, which has already seen explosive growth in its first year of connecting people with disabilities to employers committed to hiring people with disabilities, and will be a significant aid in helping more people return to a productive work life after experiencing an injury or illness within the LTD and Workers Compensation arenas.”

GettingHired, LLC CEO Tom Capato said he was excited by the opportunity and felt privileged to be in a position to support continued progress toward the goal of creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

About Zenith Insurance Company — Zenith Insurance Company is a property-casualty insurance organization with headquarters in Woodland Hills, California. Through its subsidiaries, Zenith Insurance provides workers compensation insurance nationally. For more information call 818-713-1000 or visit

About Kamine Development Corporation - KDC was founded by Harold Kamine and was formed initially to own, develop, finance, construct, and manage operations of six cogeneration power plants in New York State. The firms vision has evolved through the years to include technology opportunities, including prior investments in the telecom arena through KMC Telecom. Its current focus includes developing significant renewable energy projects that make use of leading edge technologies in addition to investing in companies that develop technologies that can be used to assist people in need and further enhance their lives. Harold is actively involved in the Somerset Hills Handicapped Riding Center, The Ruth Bass Foundation, and Summit Speech School, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Lafayette College.

About Fisher Capital - James R. Fisher heads Fisher Capital Corp. LLC, a financial services consulting firm formed in 1997 and located in Cranbury, New Jersey. Fisher Capital is an affiliate of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., one of the worlds largest and most successful private equity firms. Mr. Fisher has been a member of the Board of Directors of: Willis Group Holdings Limited, Alea Group Holdings, A.G. (Alea) and Bristol West Holdings, Inc., where he served as Chairman. Mr. Fisher was also Chairman of the Audit Committee of Willis and Alea. Currently, Mr. Fisher serves on the Board of Directors of First Data Holdings, Inc and Coverzones Ltd. He is a Trustee for The National World War II Museum, the American Foundation for the Blind, and is a member of the Standing Committee of Lafayette Colleges Board of Trustees.

About - The mission is to create sustainable employment growth and opportunity for people with disabilities. The internet based portal connects and serves:

* Job Seekers with Disabilities
* Committed Employers
* Advocacy Organizations
* Service Providers
* Veterans Organizations
* Community Colleges, Colleges and Universities

Our portal has incorporated several unique free services designed to help people prepare for the work place and build their careers. Our social networking medium offers individuals a platform to connect with each other and career mentors. Job seekers will find opportunities posted by employers who use our portal through paid annual memberships to connect with qualified candidates for all their open positions. Our portal identifies and highlights individual skills, talents and backgrounds.


Axxana Raises $9 Million

Axxana, an Israeli developer of data disaster recovery solutions, has raised $9 million in Series B funding. Carmel Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Gemini Israel Funds and Moshe Yanai.

Carmel Ventures announced today that it has led a $9 million Series B investment in Axxana. Axxana’s existing investors, Gemini Israel Funds and the serial entrepreneur Moshe Yanai, also participated in the round. The funds will be used to accelerate the adoption of The Phoenix System™ — the first “Black Box” Enterprise Data Recorder (EDR). Ronen Nir, partner of Carmel Ventures, joined Axxana’s Board of Directors.

Axxana was founded by Alex Winokur, Ph.D., Eli Efrat and Dan Hochberg, veterans of the data storage industry, to address the number one challenge in data protection: recovering data with zero data loss over any distance. Axxana’s first EDR (Enterprise Data Recorder) product, the Phoenix System RP, was demonstrated at EMC World in May 2009.

“Axxana’s EDR brings a disruptive solution that is well poised to transform the entire storage replication market and create a whole new category within it,” said Ronen Nir, Partner at Carmel Ventures. “We are impressed with Axxana’s strong founding team and their achievements so far, including impressive endorsement by leading storage vendors worldwide. We look forward to joining their existing investors in supporting Axxana to become a leader in this fast growing market.”

“This round of investment demonstrates continued confidence in the strength of our technology and its enormous market potential,” said Eli Efrat, Axxana’s CEO. “It is a significant validation of our business strategy and product roadmap. The ability to provide organizations with zero data loss over any distance, combined with an affordable price tag, ensures that SMEs and large enterprises no longer have to compromise their disaster recovery solution.”

Axxana’s first product to the market is the Phoenix System RP, which is the only product to enable 100% disaster recovery with zero data loss (RPO=0) over any distance, for significantly less than the cost of traditional data mirroring alternatives. The Phoenix System RP complements the asynchronous replication solution offered by EMC’s RecoverPoint.

About Carmel Ventures

With over $600 million currently under management, several successful exits, and a growing portfolio of promising start-ups, Carmel is among Israel’s top-tier venture capital funds. Carmel’s investments are focused primarily on early stage companies in the fields of Software, Communications, Internet, Digital Media, Semiconductors, and Consumer Electronics. Founded in 2000 by pioneers and leaders of the Israeli high tech industry, Carmel provides significant capital and active, hands-on support through the growth cycle of its portfolio companies and is recognized as a true company building fund in Israel. Carmel, headquartered in Herzliya, Israel enjoys a worldwide network of industry, strategic and investment resources. Carmel is an affiliate of the Viola Partners Group, a leading innovative private equity investment group with close to $2B under management focused on technology-based investment opportunities in Israel. For more information, visit

About Axxana

Axxana was founded by veterans of the data storage industry to address the number one challenge in data protection — recovering data with zero data loss over any distance. Axxana’s disaster recovery solution represents a new domain in data protection: Enterprise Data Recording (EDR). Serving enterprises around the world and working in close conjunction with some of the most prestigious names in the data storage industry, Axxana has introduced a solution that will alter the economics behind data protection and disaster recovery. Axxana is a Delaware Corporation and maintains offices in Newton, MA and Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information visit


Ambac attack!

On Wednesday bond insurer Ambac stunned investors with what looked like good news. Ambac Assurance Corp., the main operating branch of the Ambac Financial Group, had been expected by many to reveal a breach of its minimum capital requirement when the company published its third-quarter 8-K this week....

Zeno Corp Raises $20 Million

Zeno Corp., a Houston, Texas-based developer of a handheld device to treat acne, has raised $20 million in new VC funding, according to a regulatory filing. The round includes $6 million in cash and $14 million for “services to be rendered.” Backers include Austin Ventures, Catterton Partners and Sante Ventures.


PicoChip Raises $20 Million

PicoChip, a Bath, England-based provider of signal processing products for wireless communications, has raised $20 million in Series E funding. Backers include Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Pond Venture Partners, Scottish Equity Partners, Rothschild, AT&T, Intel and Samsung The company previously raised over $64 million.


picoChip today announced that it has completed a $20 million funding round. Already the dominant supplier for femtocell silicon, supporting all the major HSPA carrier deployments, this additional investment will help picoChip extend its leadership and grasp the growing market opportunity in the femtocell sector.

“This investment comes as the market is taking off for picoChip: it is testament to what we have already achieved, and our investors’ belief in our future,” said picoChip’s CEO Nigel Toon. “picoChip was the pioneer in femtocell technology and we are delighted to see our customers and partners deploying in volume in the rapidly developing global femtocell market. Our customers are already benefiting from picoChip’s substantial head-start, field-proven robust products and unparalleled experience in this market. This investment strengthens our balance sheet and fully funds us through to IPO.”

picoChip’s investors include financial investors, Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Pond Venture Partners, Scottish Equity Partners, and Rothschild plus strategic investors AT&T, Intel and Samsung. This fresh injection of capital from top tier VCs and institutional investors comes at a time when technology VC investment has decreased markedly, with backers choosing their investments carefully and only the strongest companies able to secure finance.

Dan Rosen, Principal at Highland Capital Partners, commented, “At Highland, we invest in companies that can establish leadership in explosive, high-growth markets. We are very excited about picoChip’s prospects in the Femtocell market. The company continues to win market share with proven best-in-class technology.”

ABI Research forecasts the total available femtocell market in 2010 will reach 2.3 million units, rising to 40 million units in 2014. In 2009 six major network operators have launched femtocell services that cover the USA, Europe and Asia.

Having been the first to market with a femtocell solution in 2005, picoChip is clearly the leading technology supplier for carrier’s HSPA rollouts, with seventeen customers using the field-proven picoXcell™ product. The company today also announced its strategy for an end-to-end femtocell reference solution that will lower barriers to entry, minimize cost and accelerate time-to-market for femtocells.

picoChip’s strong financial position, fast ramping revenues and proven technology leadership have won it the respect of customers and the financial community. In the last year picoChip was a top ranked company in Deloitte’s prestigious FAST 50, a widely acknowledged bellweather for the industry; and has been named one of the ‘Top Ten Private Companies’ to watch by the Financial Times. The additional endorsement of this investment allows the company to consolidate its leadership in next-generation wireless and assist in the next phase in the company’s growth.

picoChip CEO Nigel Toon will be speaking at the Barclays Capital 2009 Technology Private Company Conference in San Francisco on December 7th.

picoChip is bucking the trend with this latest investment that comes at a time when venture investors are extremely cautious. In its August 2009 State of the Semiconductor Industry report*, the Global Semiconductor Association (GSA) highlighted venture capital funding at a historic low. The report quotes figures from J.P. Morgan, presented to the GSA: ‘In the first half of 2009, funding in the semiconductor industry…totaled $569 million, compared to $1.1 billion for the same period a year before – a 48% decline in investments.’ Similarly, Thomson Reuters reported that the first three quarters of 2009 marked the weakest nine month period for new venture capital investments in 15 years.


Rates on Hold in Japan; Deflation Talks

Bank of Japan keeps rate at 0.1%. Deputy Prime Minister declares Japan has slipped into deflation. Semiconductor related stocks declined after Dell reported third quarter profit decline of 54%.