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.
Saudi Arabia and Gulf region allies – Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE –launchedmilitaryoperations including air strikes in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthis. “The operation is to defend the legitimate government (of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi),” Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi envoy to the US, told reporters. Oil prices increased quickly.
China unveiled ambitious plans to upgrademanufacturingpower. The implementation of the “Made-in-China 2025” strategy will be accelerated, Premier Li Keqiang announced. This will be key to helping China maintain economic growth at a medium-to-high level and to move up the global value chain, a communiqué said.
“I think reconciliationbetween what markets think and what the committee thinks will have to happen at some point, (…) that’s a potentially violent (encounter) … and I am concerned about that,” Fed policymaker James Bullardtold reporters at London’s City Week financial conference.
“Inflation hit zero for the first time, pushing Britain closer to deflation (…) the falling cost of bread, a beer or petrol does impact the housing market (…) if deflation goes on for a fraction too long it can flip a switch in (UK’s) housing market,” Anna White, The Telegraph’s property correspondent wrote.
“We will not accept a bad deal. Our diplomatic engagement with Iran has already delivered concrete results. (…) We know Iran is living up to its commitments so far because (…) we have gained unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said after reports accusedIsrael of spying on US diplomatic activities as regards Iran.
“Labour will make us as bad asFrance,” conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron said. As the national election campaign is approaching its full swing, Cameron said the Labour leader Ed Miliband wanted “to follow the same path as the French government,” namely “catastrophic job losses, a drop in the quality of life, debt to make us weep, and a massive fallin all hope for the future.”
A rate hike “likely will be warranted before the end of the year,” US Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischersaid. Moreover, “a smooth path upward in the federal funds rate will almost certainly not be realized,” Fischer added.
No oil production cut in ahead. “We repeat that, as for prices, the market determines it, (…) we did not succeed (in finding consensus) because countries (outside OPEC) were insisting that OPEC carry the burden (of cuts) and we refuse that OPEC bears the responsibility,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimisaid.
Amazon is one step closer to launching its drone delivery service, CBS Baltimoresaid after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the company to fly drones on a trial basis. Amazon has been lobbying the US Congress since it envisaged drone delivery service in 2013.