MarketLine Blog

Posts written in March 2014

Candy Crush IPO not so sweet

MarketLine

King Digital entertainment Plc, the London-based developer behind the mobile gaming phenomenon “Candy Crush Saga”, was perhaps left with a bitter taste in the mouth after the underwhelming first day of its highly anticipated IPO. The company, along with private investors, sold 22.2 million shares in the IPO at an initial offering price of $22.50, valuing the company at approximately $7bn. The IPO was originally priced with a range of $21-24, with the final price perhaps betraying the doubts of some investors over the company’s long term prospects. There have… Read more

Why are CEOs paid so much?

MarketLine

CEO remuneration packages are undoubtedly attractive and commensurate with the great symbolic importance attached to the role. They have, however, increasingly drawn the ire of many in recent years as they have continued to rise, sometimes with little in the way of justification from financial results. These packages have evolved over time and, contrary to popular belief, have not continued to rise unabated, although at several of the world’s largest companies the disparity between CEO pay and that of the average worker now exceeds a ratio of 1000:1. As the… Read more

The Royal Mail Privatization: Predictably the first wave of job cuts is announced

MarketLine

Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world and has been a nationalized industry for most of its history, funded and scrutinized by the UK government. However in recent years the organization has been targeted by successive governments as one that could potentially be pushed down the path towards privatization and certain decisions within the organization have been implemented to help towards that end game. In the fourth quarter of 2013 the government decided to float the company on the stock market, with the help of… Read more

Sony’s Project Morpheus reveal bodes well for the Oculus Rift

MarketLine

With the reveal of Sony’s virtual reality hardware at GDC last week, VR technology took another small step toward the mainstream of consumer tech, and a potential competitor to Oculus’ Rift emerged on the horizon – but Oculus is not worried. In hardware terms, Sony’s prototype VR tech – codenamed Project Morpheus – stacks up fairly well against the current Rift development kit. Both devices run at 1080p (or 960×1080 per eye), although the field of view offered by Sony’s device is 10 degrees narrower than Oculus’ latest design at… Read more

Alibaba to float in the US, with the potential to become the largest IPO ever

MarketLine

The Chinese internet retailer Alibaba plans to float in the US in the biggest initial public offering since Facebook’s IPO in 2012. Although little known outside China, the group dominates e-commerce in its home country, with the Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) metric putting Alibaba at $171.2bn for 2012; compared to Amazon’s $87.8bn and eBay’s $67.8bn. The company’s announcement on Sunday did not give details of the timing or size of the flotation or which exchange it would use, with initial estimates valuing the offering at between $60-120bn. When Facebook floated… Read more

Can Toyota retain dominance in US hybrid and electric car market?

MarketLine

Although the US hybrid and electric car market has grown strongly in recent years leading player Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is facing pressure the dominance of under the challenge of other manufacturers, such as Ford Motor Company (Ford). Sales volumes of electric and hybrid cars have been fluctuating in the US over the past few years, with the market being hit hard by the economic downturn from 2008 onwards. However, sales picked up in 2012, as the country’s economy stabilized and governmental legislation shifted in further favor of high-efficiency vehicles…. Read more

Four major mobile networks in the UK put to the test

MarketLine

RootMetrics, a mobile coverage mapping analytics company has released its report on the UK’s mobile network performance. All four major networks in the UK, Vodafone, O2, Three, and EE were all included in the report. EE was the clear winner overall, performing better than all other networks in each category measured, whilst Vodafone ended in last place overall and also in each individual category apart from one. The company tests three main factors: mobile internet testing, call testing, and text testing. The mobile internet testing was based on performance, where… Read more

Germany: Unified country, divided economy?

MarketLine

The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), commonly known as West Germany, and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), also called East Germany, unified to form present-day Germany on October 3rd 1990. Since then, there have been voices claiming that it was less of a re-unification and more of a ‘feindliche Übernahme’ (hostile takeover) that would sow the seeds for an economic disharmony lasting decades. Almost 25 years on, there remains a great deal of debate about how successful re-unification has been from an economic standpoint, but does the much talked about… Read more

TESLA: A unique company being punished by US legislators

MarketLine

Tesla Motors is a producer of automobiles with unique qualities and it is a company with a vision to change the automotive industry completely. Its vehicles are entirely battery powered, producing no emissions. This in itself is not new, but what is a radical change is that Tesla has been able to produce a battery which can completely outperform traditional batteries, producing vehicles with much higher ranges and performance data, even in advance of its petroleum powered counter parts. This technology has seen Tesla leapfrog the traditional giants in the… Read more

Will Europe price itself out of the chemicals industry?

MarketLine

Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of Ineos, is a worried man. In an open letter to the President of the EU Commission José Barroso, published on 7 March 2014, he expressed his concerns for the future of the very industry in which Ineos is a major player: chemicals. Central to Mr Ratcliffe’s argument is the high prices of energy and feedstocks in Europe, which decrease competitiveness. Statistics from the Energy Information Agency and Eurostat bear out his premises. In the first semester 2013, for example, natural gas prices paid by industrial users… Read more

World Book Day: Are we witnessing the death of the traditional book?

MarketLine

Thursday 6th March 2014 is World Book Day; a day when the joy of reading is celebrated and promoted. Numerous events will be held in schools, nurseries, libraries, and book shops across the UK and Ireland. Many children will dress up as their favorite storybook characters and numerous World Book Day tokens will be exchanged for one of eight World Book Day new book releases. A smartphone app will also be launched aimed at young adults, featuring stories from leading teen authors. This delivering of content digitally highlights the era… Read more

Facebook is latest tech Titan to buy into robotics

MarketLine

Facebook’s rumoured acquisition of UAV manufacturer Titan Aerospace is the latest in a series of deals which have seen companies such as Amazon and Google make moves into the robotics and AI sector. Facebook’s $60m purchase comes after Amazon bought Kiva Systems for almost $800m in 2012 and announced plans to develop ‘Prime Air’ a drone-delivery service. Meanwhile, Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics was just one of the eight robotics companies the technology giant bought in 2013. Facebook will reportedly use Titan’s solar powered UAVs as atmospheric satellites to provide… Read more