On the one hand, there is much satisfaction providing evidence a social network website can become profitable. “We got a lot done in 2014. Our community continues to grow and we’re making progress towards connecting the world,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO while introducing the financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014. Facebook’s resultshave beaten profit and revenue forecasts for the seventh quarter in a row; with greater revenue from mobile advertising.
Meanwhile, Apple posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion for its fiscal 2015 first quarter. The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year,” saidTim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
On the other hand, there is Yahoo whose results raised concerns among investors about what they perceived as the fading star of once dominant internet website in the 1990s. “I’m pleased to report that our performance in Q4 and in 2014 continues to show stability in our core business,” saidMarissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo. “Our mobile strategy and focus has transformed Yahoo and yielded significant results (like) $254 million in mobile revenue, up 23% quarter-over-quarter,” Mayer added. Yet it was said that investors forced top management to announce plan for tax-free spin-off of remaining stake in Chinese Alibaba Group, in a transaction designed to maximize value of Yahoo’s Alibaba holdings exclusively for shareholders, said a communiqué.
The sector of the internet has brought globally positive but often diverse results in 2014. The most significant trend has been a sharp increase in mobile revenue, confirming the irresistible emergence of m-commerce (mobile commerce) – in a reference to e-commerce (electronic commerce) – as a long-term and large field of future profits in the next years. Mobile strategy has become essential. More than ever, smartphones appear as the future’s main tool for internet navigation, far ahead of desktop computers and tablets.
“I am also absolutely convinced that the worst-case scenario will be avoided,” Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, said about the possibility of a Grexit.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carsonare the three new GOP candidates to enter 2016 presidential race.
The Bank of Russiadecided to reduce the key rate from 14.00 to 12.50 percent per annum, taking account of lower inflation risks and persistent risks of considerable economy cooling.
Analysts get growingly concerned by weak and divergent manufacturing PMIsbetweenEuropeancountries, particularly between France and Germany.
Moody’sdowngradedGreece’s government bond rating to Caa2 from Caa1. The outlook on the rating is negative. Uncertainty on government’s financial policy is the top reason.
Gains for growth and stability from financial deepening remain large for most emerging markets, but there are limits on size and speed, said an IMF note.
The Middle East and North Africa region is experiencing a modest economic recovery, despite the sharp drop in oil prices and deepening conflicts, the IMFwrote in its latest regional assessment.
Asian stocks could be rising even more as analysts bet on more stimulus from central banks. “Weak data from China makes us think that there’s impending development ahead,” a source said.
Poland has combinedrobust economic growth with reducing some of the pressures on its environment since it joined the EU in 2004, according to a new OECDreport.
Most of the Latin America countries have not yet rebuilt their fiscal space, despite buoyant commodity revenues and relatively strong growth in the aftermath of the crisis, read an IMFreport.
NATO and Ukraineestablished a formal framework for the former’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to act as the Executing Agent for two of the NATO Ukraine Trust Funds.
“While growth in the first quarter of this year was disappointing, (…) the consensus among private forecasters is that our economy will expand at a healthy pace for the rest of the year,” said US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
General Motors (GM) announced it will invest $5.4 billion in US plant improvements during the next three years, including details of $783.5 million for three Michigan facilities.
Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to decline for a fifth consecutive year - dipping below 1 percent in 2015 - although there are clear differences along North-South lines, the IMFsaid.
Finally, officially because of “internal issues”, because of special treatment he allegedly was refused according to media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will not visit Russia.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarifhad what he called a “frank conversation” on Iran talks, region and beyond at the NYU. He also battled with US Senator Tom Cotton on Twitter.