Lockheed Martin Assists IRS and Department of Education in Simplifying Federal Student Loan Process
ROCKVILLE, Md., March 17 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) software developers are helping the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Education make life a whole lot easier for students and their families applying for Federal Student Aid.
Every year millions of prospective college students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in their pursuit of funding assistance. The form requires personal financial data that is only available through the IRS. In the past, an applicant had to apply to the IRS, obtain the information, and then submit it along with the application. This took time and additional effort.
To simplify this process, Lockheed Martin worked with the IRS to create a link on the DoEd FAFSA Web page. The developers used Web services to build, test and deploy a shared data system that makes available the data transfer of 14 key pieces of information needed by Department officials to make a determination. To ensure privacy, the process includes the requirement for complete authentication before the data can be transferred. The new process has reduced application time from days or weeks to minutes.
Rocky Thurston, Director of Financial Solutions for Lockheed Martin, said, "This project is a perfect example of how our partnership with two government agencies is helping them provide complete citizen service. The result of this initiative has been a faster, easier process for the applicant, the transfer of data that has clarity and is completely accurate, and a demonstration of the possibilities that exist through data sharing."
Lockheed Martin completed the project under the IRS Integrated Customer Communications Environment contract, in which the company provides a variety of information technology services.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
ProtoShare 3.8 Improves Website and Web Application Prototyping
Web-based Prototyping tool now includes customizable and dynamic components for richer web application simulations and website prototypes.
PORTLAND, Ore., March 17 -- Site9, Inc., the developer of the industry's fastest growing, cloud-based prototyping tool for website and web apps, today announced the release of ProtoShare 3.8. The new release takes prototyping to the next level with rich dynamic features available for web application and website simulation. Additionally, the ability to export a fully functioning copy of a project in web-compliant HTML format has added new potential for local versioning and usability testing.
Interactive data grids, dynamic tree views, and the exclusive customizable component were highly requested features by ProtoShare users involved with web application prototyping. Data grids and tree structures are important features found in many online applications. The ability to have dynamic, working representations that add fidelity and understanding to a web prototype makes the process even move valuable in reducing rework during the development process.
"We use ProtoShare on almost every project. We figure we've cut our prototyping time in half. In addition to website prototypes, we use ProtoShare to comp and showcase interactive elements like pull-down menus, carousels, and grids so people can actually see them work," states Chris Adams, Art Director at Rolling Orange.
With the ability to export to HTML, users can now run and interact with prototypes on their own computer or servers. The feature has proven very useful for remote usability and customer testing. A local copy of projects can also be created and stored for handy reference when not online. The exported HTML, while not purposed for it, could also be used to begin development of a project.
"With ProtoShare, teams can now evolve their projects as far as needed, from simple, grey-box wireframes to high-fidelity prototypes," said Andrew Mottaz, Founder and CEO. "You can also upload and collaborate on art and design work, review and comment on live websites, and create multiple layouts for pages. In short, ProtoShare is becoming a complete pre-development process tool for the industry."
About Site9, Inc:
Founded in 1999, Site9, Inc. is the developer of ProtoShare, named by O'Reilly Media as a "Top 50 Usable RIA". Fortune 500 companies, leading interactive agencies, and web developers in over 84 countries around the world use the ProtoShare collaborative wireframe software to deliver better products while cutting time and costs.
Source: Site9, Inc.
CONTACT: Blake Johnson of Site9, Inc., +1-503-248-4440 ext. 115,
Cloudvox Boosts Platform with Pay-As-You-Go Pricing, Worldwide Phone Numbers & Conference Call API
Developers & Entrepreneurs Can Launch Elastic, Global, Asterisk-Compatible Phone Services For Three Cents Per Minute
SKOKIE, Ill., March 17 -- Cloudvox, which was recently acquired by Ifbyphone, today announced the first fruits of their combined platform: a flat pay-as-you-go rate of $0.03 per minute, phone numbers from around the world, and a comprehensive conference call API for all Cloudvox users.
"We're all about eliminating barriers to creating new phone applications. Now every user can access all Cloudvox capabilities, whether it's for a simple 2-line script or a sophisticated portable application," said Cloudvox co-founder Troy Davis. "Cloudvox uniquely supports standard Asterisk-compliant apps, allowing customers to change service providers or use their own infrastructure without getting locked in."
Building on the resources of Ifbyphone, developers can now write a single app that can be called by a majority of the world's industrialized population. Cloudvox customers can purchase local phone numbers around the world, dramatically increasing both the number of people who can call and the market for their apps.
Cloudvox is reaching out to entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Brazil, Australia, and more than 25 other countries in Europe, Asia, and South America. Using HTTP and JSON, PHP, Ruby (Adhearsion), Perl, Java (Asterisk-Java), and other open-source languages and frameworks, developers can write and operate open phone services for their local markets and the world.
"Worldwide access is a horizontal feature that overlays on existing apps," said Irv Shapiro, Ifbyphone CEO. "It provides service expansion and geographic benefits to key Cloudvox customers, including European entrepreneurs and US tech companies selling to their European customers."
Regardless of location, phone calls demand interactivity, and now all apps on Cloudvox can initiate and control multi-party conference calls. Developers can use conferences as a building block to create more compelling services. Via an API, apps can route callers into conferences, remove specific participants, and perform sophisticated actions like playing MP3 audio files into conferences and recording the conversations.
"We've seen strong interest from companies in social networking, business process automation, and fleet tracking. When added to Cloudvox's open standard phone call API, this simple pricing, global footprint, and API-based conferencing calling remove major obstacles to building sustainable services," Davis added.
Developers can sign up for a Cloudvox account at http://www.cloudvox.com. Businesses interested in pre-built phone applications, including IVR, Voice Broadcast, Virtual Call Center and Call Tracking Numbers, can learn more at http://www.ifbyphone.com.
Ifbyphone is a leading Cloud Telephony company providing businesses a suite of phone automation services to enhance customer communications, increase sales, and lower costs. With Ifbyphone's easy-to-use hosted services and tools, marketers, developers and business users can quickly create telephony systems to drive customer retention and acquisition. Through its Cloudvox service, developers and entrepreneurs can create their own apps in any programming language or simple HTTP. For more information, visit http://www.ifbyphone.com.
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
ZigBee and Wi-Fi Alliances to Collaborate on Smart Grid Wireless Networking
Joint effort will extend the opportunity for interoperable wireless technology in the smart home
SAN RAMON, Calif. and AUSTIN, Texas, March 17 -- The ZigBee® Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance® announced today an agreement to collaborate on wireless home area networks (HAN) for Smart Grid applications. The initial focus of the collaboration will be ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, which is the next-generation energy management protocol for Smart Grid-enabled homes based on today's successful ZigBee Smart Energy Profile. The ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 is expected to operate over Wi-Fi technology as a result of the collaboration.
The two organizations will identify opportunities to use ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, capitalizing on the unique strengths and capabilities of their respective technologies. This will expand the utility of the HAN in the management of energy consuming or producing devices, a crucial part of Smart Grid efforts now underway. ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 was selected last year by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices.
Joining Wi-Fi's communication technology with ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 means that utilities, vendors and energy consumers will have more choice and versatility in energy management solutions. The agreement between the two organizations will help deliver close integration of the two communication technologies in a smart home environment. This environment will include devices ranging from utility meters, thermostats, and appliances to home entertainment devices, computing systems, and automobiles.
"ZigBee has always interworked with Wi-Fi using ZigBee and Wi-Fi gateways. Now there is an opportunity for the organizations to collaborate more closely for the smart home of the future, leveraging the intelligence of ZigBee Smart Energy," said Bob Heile, ZigBee Alliance chairman. "Wi-Fi is a major global success and an important wireless networking technology for the home environment. Our collaboration will help spur further innovation in solutions for the Smart Grid."
"Working with the ZigBee Alliance members will enable more than the extension of the ZigBee Smart Energy profile to Wi-Fi," said Wi-Fi Alliance chief executive officer Edgar Figueroa. "The collaboration will help bring about the vision of a truly interconnected smart home. As a result of this agreement, representatives from each organization will be able to provide input on one another's Smart Grid activities to speed any proposed solutions."
ZigBee Smart Energy was initially developed to operate over a standard ZigBee wireless network to support the needs of Smart Metering and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 has been designed to support other network technologies within the digital home, including HomePlug and now Wi-Fi. The low-power ZigBee standard is optimized to the needs of Wireless Sensor Networks by offering robust self organizing, self-healing mesh networking, scalability to very large networks, very low cost and complexity, and superlative battery life.
Wi-Fi technology is today found in hundreds of millions of households and businesses worldwide, and consumers have demonstrated strong affinity for the technology in computing devices, home entertainment systems, and handsets. ABI Research reports that 580 million Wi-Fi devices were shipped in 2009 alone.
ZigBee Smart Energy - The Standard for Home Area Networks
ZigBee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utility companies and common household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. It improves energy efficiency by allowing consumers to choose interoperable products from different manufacturers giving them the means to manage their energy consumption more precisely using automation and near real-time information. It also helps utilities and energy providers implement new advanced metering and demand response programs to drive greater energy management and efficiency, while responding to changing government requirements. For more information and a list of ZigBee Certified products, visit: http://www.ZigBee.org/SmartEnergy.
About ZigBee: Control your world
ZigBee is the global wireless language connecting dramatically different devices to work together and enhance everyday life. The ZigBee Alliance is a non-profit association of more than 340 members driving development of ZigBee wireless technology. The Alliance promotes world-wide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer electronic, energy, home, commercial and industrial areas. For more information, visit: http://www.ZigBee.org.
About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide.
The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED(TM) program was launched in March 2000. It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products deliver the best user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 7,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets. Learn more and search for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products at http://www.wi-fi.org.
CONTACT: Kevin Schader of ZigBee Alliance, +1-925-275-6672,
email@example.com; or Karl Stetson of A&R Edelman, +1-206-268-2215,
Karl.firstname.lastname@example.org, for Wi-Fi Alliance; or Earlene Tang of GolinHarris,
+1-714-918-8215, email@example.com, for ZigBee Alliance
TSA Selects ID Experts for Comprehensive Data Breach Response Services
TSA Contractor Used Social Security Numbers of TSA Employees to Create Fraudulent Accounts
BEAVERTON, Ore., March 17 -- ID Experts®, the leader in comprehensive data breach solutions that deliver the most positive outcomes, today announced that the company has been selected by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to provide complete data breach response services for a malicious act that has resulted in dozens of identity theft incidents. A TSA contract worker who acquired sensitive personal information including names, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth of TSA employees perpetrated the data breach. ID Experts is providing a complete set of data breach response services including fully managed identity theft restoration for all impacted TSA employees.
"This recent fraudulent activity has put a significant number of TSA employees at risk for identity theft, requiring comprehensive services including complete identity theft monitoring, protection and resolution," commented Bob Gregg, CEO of ID Experts. "We are working through every issue to provide these victims with a positive outcome so they can get on with their lives."
ID Experts is delivering an extensive package of services including a call center and website for providing useful information on the incident, identity theft protection and monitoring services, as well as fully-managed identity theft restoration, as needed.
The TSA identity theft fraud began in November of 2008 and is alleged to have continued through 2009. The perpetrators were arraigned in December of 2009 on identity theft and larceny charges. To date, more than 16 of the affected individuals have already fallen victim to identity theft and fraud.
About ID Experts
ID Experts is the leader in comprehensive data breach solutions that deliver the most positive outcomes. The company has managed hundreds of data breach incidents, protecting millions of affected individuals, for leading healthcare organizations, corporations, financial institutions, universities and government agencies. In healthcare, the company contributes to relevant legislation and rules including HITECH and is a corporate member of HIMSS. ID Experts is active with organizations that advocate for privacy for Americans including ANSI/Identity Theft Prevention, Identity Management Standards Panel and the International Association of Privacy Professionals. For more information, visit http://www.idexpertscorp.com/.
Source: ID Experts
CONTACT: Kelly Stremel of MacKenzie Marketing Group, +1-503-225-0725,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for ID Experts
Beyond PC Experience! eSobi Now Brings the Latest Headlines to Mobile Devices
eSobi Mobile receives Designed for Windows Mobile(TM) logo certification
TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 17 -- esobi Inc., an innovative Internet & mobile information navigator, recently announced the mobile version of eSobi, an information management tool that has been widely preloaded on Acer PCs. The new mobile application, called eSobi Mobile, inherits the pioneering integrated design of an RSS reader and podcast aggregator while featuring user interface specifically tailored for the mobile environment. When working together, eSobi Mobile and eSobi PC version compliment each other by streamlining information aggregation across devices. Users will be able to view desired web information easily anywhere, at any time with a seamless reading experience.
eSobi PC version is an integrated and timesaving application that helps users aggregate the most up-to-date and targeted Internet information without the hassle of opening multiple windows and websites. Considering more people nowadays are turning to portable devices to access information on the go, eSobi Mobile was developed to further offer the benefits of efficient information management and intuitive reading interface for Windows Mobile devices. When connected to the Internet, eSobi Mobile can work solely as an RSS reader and podcast aggregator for catching up the latest headlines, social updates, weather, entertainment, business news, and even video programs.
Though a key feature of eSobi Mobile is its ability to synchronize with eSobi PC version, giving users greater flexibility in managing news feeds, watched news topics, podcast channels, playlists, and even HTML, Word as well as PDF files on both devices. Users can easily synced news items and podcast episodes aggregated using eSobi PC version to their handsets and enjoy them at a later time when offline. This is especially convenient when wireless connection is an issue. With the combination of eSobi Mobile and eSobi PC version, users own true mobility to access Internet information wherever and whenever needed.
The patented text-only reading capability, a popular feature of eSobi PC version, is also available on eSobi Mobile. With a simple click, news articles are instantly displayed in ad-free plain text. Users are no longer required to launch a web browser and wait for page load, which can be troublesome due to the small mobile screen size and Internet speed.
"eSobi has enabled near 40 million users worldwide to conveniently access and organize the Internet content that is important to them, such as news, blogs, entertainment and more. Entering the mobile arena, we didn't just develop a mobile RSS reader like everyone else. Instead, we strived to make the mobile reading experience as smooth and friendly as it is on the PC version of eSobi," said Wen Lee, chairman of esobi Inc. "The launch of eSobi Mobile for Windows Mobile is our first step of bringing innovation, integration and efficiency from PC to mobile devices, and users should expect more mobile product launches as well as cross-platform services this year from esobi Inc."
Teledata Networks Unveils Compact BroadAccess -300E FTTX System
HERZLIYA, Israel, March 17, 2010-- Teledata Networks, a leading global provider of innovative Multiservice
Access solutions for NGN (Next Generation Networks), announced the release of
the new BroadAccess-300E system, a compact FTTX MSAG designed for the
delivery of Triple Play and Carrier Ethernet services.
Addressing the need for a compact system, the BroadAccess-300E MSAG joins
the BroadAccess family to offer the ideal solution for small to medium
service areas, requiring a capacity of 100-300 service ports. Whilst
maintaining the same leading technology as the rest of the BroadAccess range,
the compact 5U system is optimized for space-confined locations such as
apartment and business buildings. With integrated multiple functionalities of
IP-DSLAM, Ethernet switch, GPON OLT and VoIP Access Gateway in a single
shelf, BroadAccess-300E provides a complete set of voice and broadband
services over copper and fiber, including: ADSL2+,VDSL2, Ethernet, GPON and
POTS. Built in a high speed architecture the system is designed to provide a
dense GigE solution for business customers and high capacity GPON delivery
for more than 3,000 triple play customers.
"BroadAccess-300E represents a major enhancement to the BroadAccess-1000E
product line, which has been deployed with great success worldwide," said
Eran Ziv, CEO Teledata Networks. "The unique capabilities of BroadAccess-300E
combined with the strong need for a compact platform, is reflected in the
recent shipments of hundreds of systems to our customers in Asia."
About Teledata Networks
Teledata Networks is a leading global provider of innovative Multiservice
Access solutions for Next Generation Networks. The company provides unique
solutions for telecom operators and service providers in accordance with
their needs, to enhance their competitive edge.
Teledata Networks has accumulated a wide installed base, spanning
millions of lines in over 55 countries worldwide. Its 27 years of experience
have yielded outstanding technological leadership, a high level of expertise
and a strong foundation of intellectual property.
Teledata Networks is a private company, in which the major shareholders
are the Kardan group (Euronext: KARD), Elron Electronic Industries (NASDAQ:
ELRN) and Infinity Venture Capital Fund. Learn more about Teledata Networks
For further details, please contact:
E mail: email@example.com
Source: Teledata Networks Ltd
For further details, please contact: Valerie Behrman, Tel: +972-9-959-1761, E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
eMOBUS CTO Discusses Migrating from PaaS to IaaS at SaaScon 2010
Presentation Showcases the Evolution of the Company's Mission Critical Systems
SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 17 -- Mathieu Guilmineau, CTO for eMOBUS (http://www.emobus.com/) and a veteran in leading custom web-based development software teams, is responsible for spearheading the development of eMOBUS' Electronic Mobility Management platform and the integration needs of their clients. For over 15 years, Guilmineau has led the deployment of software platforms designed to support configurable business intelligence. Guilmineau has strong domain expertise in integration and process reengineering, as well as strategic planning, tactical problem solving and operations.
What: In his session, "Migrating from PaaS," Mathieu will cover eMOBUS' lessons learned in selecting a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider and the risk-reducing steps their engineering team took when migrating from QuickBase. The presentation will discuss how his team managed the evolution of the company's mission critical systems. Mathieu will also explain the initial benefits of choosing QuickBase, how the application outgrew the platform, and what worked compared to what didn't in transitioning to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider.
When: Tuesday, Apr. 6, 2010, from 4:50pm - 5:30pm
Where: SaaScon 2010 - April 6-7, 2010 - Santa Clara Convention Center - Santa Clara, California 95050
Why: SaaScon is the destination conference in 2010 to learn everything about Software as a Service (SaaS) and related cloud-based services. Mathieu's presentation is designed expressly for those engaged in purchasing, managing or developing cloud-based solutions. Mathieu's case study of eMOBUS' business and technology evolution offers direct insight into measuring benefits versus costs in choosing cloud-based development environments.
Mathieu Guilmineau, CTO for eMOBUS, will be available during SaaScon 2010 for press interviews. To schedule a briefing or a teleconference before or during the event, please call 888-366-2871 or email email@example.com.
eMOBUS reduces direct carrier billing costs by 15%-40% in 60 days. Beyond creating the initial cost savings, eMOBUS web-based ticketing system centralizes and automates the mobility management lifecycle - MACD requests, procurement, provisioning, invoices, inventory, usage and cost allocation - allowing organizations to outsource the administrative maintenance while gaining more control and visibility of their cellular infrastructure.
Creators of the Most Popular Microsoft Outlook Add-in Announce First Mobile Product; Xobni Now Available for BlackBerry Smartphones
SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 -- Xobni, a company known to date as a popular Microsoft Outlook add-in that has been downloaded almost 5 million times to help people manage their email and relationships, today announced Xobni Mobile, available first on BlackBerry® smartphones. Xobni Mobile reinvents the address book; automatically creating rich profiles for every contact you've ever communicated with, regardless of whether they've been manually added to the native address book. Xobni Mobile for BlackBerry® smartphones is now available for download at http://www.xobni.com/mobile and soon on BlackBerry App World(TM). As part of the launch, Xobni is also announcing Xobni One, a service that links information between Microsoft Outlook and mobile versions of Xobni for a more comprehensive and up-to-date address book.
"Xobni Mobile automatically builds and maintains the fastest, most complete and smartest address book you've ever used," said Jeff Bonforte, CEO of Xobni. "The launch of Xobni Mobile on the BlackBerry platform is an important milestone for the company, and we have made this even more compelling by powering it with Xobni One. This new service is the foundation for all our future products, and is the result of a significant investment from our product and engineering teams."
Xobni automatically creates rich profiles for anyone you've communicated with, and offers the most complete and up-to-date contacts ranked in order of relevance versus alphabetically. Xobni Mobile makes these contacts available to you on the BlackBerry smartphone by opening the Xobni Mobile application, or by "flicking up" on the trackball or trackpad while in the compose window of the native BlackBerry Email application. This deep product integration allows BlackBerry smartphone users immediate access to all their contacts when they need them, in ranked order without requiring users to change the way they use email on the BlackBerry.
"BlackBerry smartphone users enjoy an industry leading mobile messaging experience that enables them to seamlessly access relevant and timely information. Xobni Mobile builds on the experience with extended contact management and search functionality and maintains ease-of-use by integrating with the core BlackBerry messaging and address book applications in a rich and highly contextualized manner," said Tyler Lessard, Vice President, Global Alliances and Developer Relations at Research In Motion.
Xobni Mobile is immediately available on BlackBerry smartphones and can be purchased as an on-device product, and can also link with Microsoft Outlook via the Xobni One service.
Xobni Mobile with Xobni One enables consumers to connect Xobni for Outlook with Xobni Mobile on their BlackBerry smartphones, making contact information for every person a user has ever communicated with in Outlook immediately available on the BlackBerry. Other contact management functionality includes:
-- Email addresses for everyone with whom you communicate
-- Automatic phone number extraction
-- Access to contacts using Xobni within the email compose screen or in
-- Prioritized contacts using Xobni Rank, which lists contacts by how
often you communicate with them versus alphabetically
-- Saving of Xobni profiles in the event of hard drive crash or lost
-- Quick access to valuable information, including:
-- One-click access to Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, including
-- Recent SMS, phone calls and emails exchanged, and shared
-- Shared network of people
-- Ability to send your calendar availability to all contacts
Non-Outlook users receiving other email on their BlackBerry smartphone (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Lotus Notes, etc.) can now take advantage of Xobni functionality on their BlackBerry smartphone by simply downloading the app without Xobni One. These users will not get the benefit of the historic contacts locked up in Outlook, but Xobni will index email on their BlackBerry smartphone at time of download and moving forward.
Xobni Mobile is currently compatible with the BlackBerry® Tour(TM) and BlackBerry® Curve(TM) 8900 smartphones, as well as the BlackBerry® Bold(TM) and BlackBerry® Storm(TM) series smartphones.
The Xobni Mobile for BlackBerry smartphone product and Xobni One service is now available. Pricing options below:
-- Xobni Mobile standalone app for BlackBerry: $9.99 one-time fee
-- Xobni Mobile with Xobni One: $6.99 one-time fee + $3.99 recurring
-- One-year of Xobni Mobile on BlackBerry with Xobni One: $39.90/year
In November of last year, the company released Xobni Enterprise, a solution specifically designed to help businesses of all sizes to easily customize and deploy Xobni throughout the organization. Xobni expects the mobile product to be fully integrated with the Enterprise offering later this year.
Xobni ("inbox" spelled backwards) is a San Francisco startup that brings together your individual exchanges with social media content to provide a complete view of all your contacts in one place. Xobni's contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device. The technology emerged from a Master's project at MIT in 2006, and has been downloaded almost 5 million times since it launched publicly in May 2008. Xobni's first mobile product was developed for the BlackBerry and launched in March 2010. Xobni is funded by Khosla Ventures, Cisco Systems, BlackBerry Partners Fund, First Round Capital and others. For more information, go to xobni.com.
Paul Loeffler on Behalf of Xobni
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third party products or services.
CONTACT: Terra Carmichael, Xobni, +1-415-684-7681, firstname.lastname@example.org; Paul
Loeffler, +1-510-593-6765, email@example.com, for Xobni
ViXS(R) Sets a New Industry Standard by Delivering the World's Most Advanced Network Multimedia Processor
XCode(R)4210, the First Fully Integrated Dual HD Transcoder HD DVR SoC for IPTV Set-top Boxes, encodes, decodes and transcodes HD video up to 1080p60/50 simultaneously
TORONTO, March 17 -- ViXS Systems Inc. announced today a new family of advanced networked multimedia SoC solutions. The XCode(R) 4210, the first device of the new family, is a highly integrated processor designed for IPTV set-top boxes. Setting a new benchmark in application and communications processing, the XCode(R)4210 has the highest application CPU performance and boasts the highest sustained networked data throughput in a single chipset. The product, whose highly integrated design eliminates the need for a media co-processor, will be showcased at IPTV World Forum, Meeting Room 18, Olympia National Hall, London, March 23 - 25 2010.
Integrating all of ViXS advanced media-processing technology into a new architecture, the ViXS(R) XCode(R)4210 offers unparalleled performance and feature rich differentiation for best-in-class multimedia user experience. The XCode(R)4210 is the only set-top box SoC able to encode, decode and transcode multiple HD streams up to 1080p60/50 simultaneously, setting a new industry standard.
"ViXS continues to lead the competition by delivering industry-leading products for each of its target markets," said Sally Daub, President & CEO ViXS Systems Inc. "With the introduction of the XCode(R)4210, ViXS has met the challenges of emerging advanced set-top box applications. This product reduces the system cost of high performance set-top boxes by eliminating the need for a media co-processor. The XCode(R)4210 will truly enable what have been niche media applications to become the mainstream capabilities for any class of consumer entertainment device."
The XCode(R)4210 can transcode up to two HD streams, taking advantage of the Smart XCode(TM) technology based on sophisticated algorithms, dynamically switching between a highly efficient smart transcode and a full decode re-encode approach. The XCode(R)4210 incorporates a dual HD 1080p30/25/24 decoder that supports picture in picture and the latest H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) decoding standard for content transition to 1080p60/50 broadcasting and an additional media processing engine for flexible decoding of multiple Internet formats. The XCode(R)4210 has the ability to transcrypt and transcode any multimedia content to any multimedia and container formats allowing seamless streaming, downloading and sideloading to a multitude of connected consumer entertainment devices, such as set-top box, PC/laptop, TV, game console, DLNA client, wireless tablet, consumer electronics, and wired or wireless portable or smart phone.
The XCode(R)4210 delivers user performance in excess of 3,200 DMIPS distributed over a main MIPS 74k applications processor and two ARC 750D offload processors, all simultaneously running their own real time operating systems. This level of performance has set a new benchmark in application and communications processing with the highest sustained networked data throughput over 400 Mbit/s in a single chipset. Moreover, the XCode(R)4210 architecture produces the best-in-class power consumption for network multimedia processor SoC integrating dual HD transcoding.
An internally architected OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics engine provides 1080p graphics rendering on multiple overlays/surfaces as well as on tiled, mosaic and 3D TV content. The 3D graphics performance on the XCode(R)4210 is currently the only solution that passes the Futuremark(TM) benchmark in the set-top box market.
To provide the best image quality to consumers, the XCode(R)4210 supports advanced video processing including high quality de-interlacing and scaling, edge adaptive sharpening, adaptive contrast enhancement, color management, noise reduction and powerful compositing engines all at 1080p60/50 HD resolution over HDMI and component outputs.
Specifically designed for 3D TV applications, the XCode(R)4210 includes full 3D TV display formatting capability, 2D/3D graphics rendering, and the latest H.264 Multi-view Codec (MVC) 3D TV decoding standard.
Square Enix and Wildstorm Studios to Create Three-Part Comic That Will Explore the Mind-Bending Story Behind the Upcoming Action-RPG NIER
Series Reveals Unexplained Back Stories of Nier, Yonah, Kaine and Grimoire Weiss; Details Fall of Humanity to The Black Scrawl
LOS ANGELES, March 17 -- Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of Square Enix® interactive entertainment products in North America, is partnering with DC Comics imprint Wildstorm to create a custom comic series that will explore the rich and mysterious back story of the upcoming Action-RPG NIER(TM). NIER, whose unique content, characters and hidden, twisting storyline has transfixed gamers and media alike for months, will be available for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft at North American retail outlets on April 27, 2010.
"We are extremely excited to partner with the storytellers at DC Comics to further explore the complex tale of NIER; to explore its unusual characters; and, to introduce new fans to a storyline that will challenge what they know from beginning to end," said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix, Inc. "NIER is a game that paints a sophisticated and graphic picture of the despair resulting from an apocalyptic plague and the triumph of a father's will to protect his most prized possession, his daughter. DC Comics' ability to create colorful and engaging comics will help deliver NIER's unusual story to gamers and prepare them for what lies ahead in the game. By exploring the comics, gamers will understand the basis of Nier's world before they even pick up a sword or cast a spell."
The NIER comics will be available on the game's official Web site at http://www.niergame.com/, on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and on PlayStation®Store for PlayStation3 between now and April 27. The comics will reveal tantalizing clues about key characters from the game, including the title-character Nier; his disease-stricken daughter, Yonah; a conflicted and foul-mouthed fighting companion, Kaine; and, the talking book with an attitude, Grimoire Weiss. In addition, the NIER comics will address questions that have yet to be answered, namely, what sequence of events led to the fall of humanity? How was the deadly disease, The Black Scrawl, introduced to the earth? And, where did the terrifying Shades come from and why do they torment the few remaining survivors?
There will be three NIER comics in all, each telling a unique, yet overlapping story. The comics are being created by some of DC Comics' most renowned creators and illustrators, including Emmy-winning creator and executive producer Ricardo Sanchez; Pop Mhan, whose work has appeared on everything from Spider-Man and Ghost Rider at Marvel Comics to Batgirl and The Flash at DC Comics; Eddie Nunez, who works on the soon-to-be released DC Universe MMO; and, Carlos D'Anda, who has worked on notable comic book titles such as Justice League of America, Deathblow, and Lego's Bionice, was the lead Character Designer on the bestselling Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's Arkham Asylum and is the Lead concept Artist on the DC Universe MMO from Sony Online Entertainment.
The latest offering from the RPG-masters at Square Enix, NIER is an "Action-RPG" that blends traditional RPG gameplay mechanics with intense, bloody combat and powerful magic to create an action-packed single-player experience where players explore and discover a future lost to a shadowy past.
Developed by cavia Inc, NIER delivers on Square Enix's renowned pedigree for creating unique and twisting storylines coupled with deep character development - a pedigree that has kept gamers around the world enraptured for decades.
Players will jump into the title role of the unyielding Nier as he begins his desperate quest to discover a cure for his daughter, Yonah, who is stricken with the deadly Black Scrawl disease. Armed with powerful magic as well as mighty swords, Nier will battle alongside formidable allies against waves of dark enemies and giant bosses to discover the truth about the disease, his daughter...and himself.
NIER is rated M (Mature). Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board website at http://www.esrb.org for more information about ratings. NIER will be available at North American retailers for the suggested retail price of $59.99 for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 systems.
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix), with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications in Asia, North America, and Europe. Square Enix brings two of Japan's best-selling franchises -- FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 96 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUEST®, which has sold over 53 million units worldwide -- under one roof. Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, California. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com/.
DRAGON QUEST, FINAL FANTASY, SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. NIER is a trademark of Square Enix Co., Ltd. "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook. Inc.
eCrypt Urges Users to Heed the Warning as LifeLock Settles $12 Million Lawsuit
LifeLock's recent lawsuit settlement illustrates the need for end user control over privacy of information.
BOULDER, Colo., March 17 -- Earlier this month it was announced that LifeLock, an Arizona based identity theft protection company, agreed to settle the charges that it made false claims about its identity theft protection services, for $12 million. (FTC File No.072 306)
"While LifeLock promised consumers complete protection against all types of identity theft, in truth, the protection it actually provided left enough holes that you could drive a truck through it," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a press release. Additionally, LifeLock made claims about data security at its own company that the FTC said were also false. After collecting sensitive data on customers, LifeLock did not encrypt the data and allegedly made the information easily accessible to anyone who wanted access to it. According to the FTC, several hundred LifeLock customers were victims of identity theft, regardless of the guarantees they received.
"This is a perfect example of why people need to take control of their security. It may be convenient to have someone else take care of it, but at what cost?" commented Brad Lever, President and CEO of eCrypt Technologies. "At eCrypt we understand that no one has the same desire to protect your information from unauthorized access as you do. That is why our software puts control in your hands."
eCrypt Technologies (BULLETIN BOARD: ECRY) came to market with "eCrypt", an easy to use, true peer-to-peer email encryption software for BlackBerry smartphones that is accessible and affordable, regardless of your status. "eCrypt" enables users to effectively protect the privacy of their wireless email communications. To see how "eCrypt" works, visit eCrypt's YouTube Channel.
Privacy is your right, protect it with eCrypt.
To try "eCrypt" wireless email encryption software for FREE, go to eCrypt's website and enter PROMO CODE: PR0317.
Schools Across America Cut Cost and Increase Protection with Vexira AntiVirus
With pricing as low as $1.29 per license schools can save thousands of dollars by switching to the Vexira Antivirus Safe@School Educational Discount Program
MEDINA, Ohio, March 17 -- Central Command, Inc., a leading provider of antivirus, antispyware and antithreat solutions for schools, businesses and enterprises, announced today that schools across America are quickly switching to Vexira Antivirus and saving thousands of dollars and increasing Internet protection for students, faculty and staff. Educational institutions can purchase Vexira(R) Antivirus for as low as $1.29 per license. This unique program allows all educational institutions to affordably defend themselves from computer virus, spyware and malware attacks.
With school districts across America facing budget cuts it is important that they stay protected against computer virus, spyware and other Internet-based threats. The manpower and costs associated with a widespread infection clean-up within a school district can quickly exceed $30,000 per incident.
Ogilvie Public School District in Minnesota selected Vexira Antivirus because of its ease-of-use, flexibility, dependable Internet protection and low cost. "We have found that Vexira is very user-friendly software to install and use. Our students and staff are now safer online with Vexira protecting them. With the special educational pricing and improved protection, it's been a win-win since switching to Vexira," said Becky Sanborn, Technology Coordinator, Ogilvie Public School District.
The Vexira Antivirus product range provides a near perfect blend of protection and ease of use for schools. With many unique features specifically tailored for educational-based networks Vexira gives Technology Coordinators and District Administrators powerful tools to combat viruses, spyware and other Internet-based malware.
Vexira Antivirus is a scalable, multi-platform Internet threat protection solution for any size network. Educational institutions use Vexira Antivirus to protect desktops, laptops, netbooks and file servers within computer labs or across entire campuses without hindering the student's for faculty's work.
"Vexira Antivirus is built to protect high threat environments like school districts. We have tailored the protection and defenses for the specific needs of schools based on feedback from our existing educational clients. Vexira has extremely resilient and reliable protection capabilities that can be deployed silently throughout a network. With our dedicated Technical Support Specialists specifically trained in supporting large scale deployments we are uniquely positioned to protect and support schools ahead of other vendors," said Keith Peer, CEO, Central Command, Inc.
For complete details, terms and conditions about the Vexira Safe@School Educational Discount Program visit http://www.centralcommand.com/edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free +1 888-5-VEXIRA (839472)
About Central Command: Central Command, Inc., founded in 1990 is a privately held corporation that serves business, education, and healthcare organizations with Internet threat protection software, services, and information. The company services customers in over 104 countries and is headquartered in Medina, Ohio. Visit Central Command at http://www.centralcommand.com/ or call 1 888-5-VEXIRA (839472) for more information.
Central Command and Vexira are trademarks of Central Command, Inc. All other trademarks, trade names, and products referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Central Command, Inc.
Central Command, Inc.
Source: Central Command, Inc.
CONTACT: Mike Stone, Central Command, Inc., +1-330-723-2062 x802,
email@example.com; or Keith Peer, +1-330-723-2062 x801, Central
Command, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Universal Music Group Launches Six-String(TM) on App Store
Revolutionary New App Enables iPhone and iPod touch Users to Play Along With Their Favorite Songs, Culled From Real Studio Masters
LOS ANGELES, March 17 -- Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, today announced the launch of Six-String(TM) on the App Store. Six-String(TM) is a new iPhone and iPod touch music app that delivers a dynamic guitar experience and includes chart-topping hits culled from real studio masters.
Six-String(TM) authentically recreates the guitar playing experience using tracks gathered from the real studio masters. So for the first time ever, players are provided with a truly engaging musical experience as they are required to pluck, strum and change chords. And since no experience is required, anyone anywhere can now play the guitar like a pro along with their favorite songs instantly!
Six-String(TM) comes with 6 chart-topping tracks, but players can easily add songs from the in-app store as they progress. The tracks included are: Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name;" Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream;" Fall Out Boy's "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs;" Peter Frampton's "Show Me The Way;" and Orianthi's "According To You." It also contains The Scorpions "Raised on Rock," from their new album, Sting in the Tail, being released on March 23rd, which will be the first time a Scorpions' recording has been included in any of the music game franchises.
The Six-String App also features more than 20 additional game tracks available for in-app purchase, including songs from 3 Doors Down, Angels and Airwaves, Beck, Dashboard Confessional, G.B.H., Gary Go, Hinder, Hollywood Undead, Kaiser Chiefs, Maroon 5, No Doubt, Papa Roach, Rise Against, Robert Palmer, Sum 41, Wolfmother and many more to come! In addition, users can purchase the corresponding song, video and ringtone from iTunes through the app where available.
In Six-String(TM), there are 2 different play modes: Practice Mode or Studio Mode. Practice Mode lets the player get familiar with a song and Studio mode allow the player to compete, earn points and work up to Six-String's(TM) high-score rankings. Moreover, there will be a contest running through the first month of the game's release, whereby the person with the highest score on the Six-String(TM) Hall of Fame leaderboard via the Plus+ Network at exactly 6:00 PM PDT on April 6, 2010 will be eligible to win a Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster."
The app allows users to play each track at three different levels of difficulty. The sound can be adjusted to hear only the guitar or the guitar against the full master recording. Additionally, the game offers a free, thriving Six-String(TM) social community (via 'Plus+ Network') which adds more excitement and competition to the game, allowing users to challenge each other's prowess on any song. In addition, players may choose to post score updates via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Universal Music Group is the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group's record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog-Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division; and Helter Skelter, its live music agency.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.
Source: Universal Music Group
CONTACT: Maria Ho-Burge, email@example.com, or Peter LoFrumento,
both of Universal Music Group, +1-212-331-2569
Tiny Embedded 2G and 3G Modules Created for Mobile Internet Devices
New EVDO and HSPA modules to be showcased at the CTIA show in Las Vegas
IRVINE, Calif., March 17 -- AnyDATA Corporation, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices, announces the DTW series of low cost embedded CDMA and GSM/HSPA modules designed for mobile Internet devices. The tiny broadband modules measure only 21mm x 22mm x 4.5mm, which is smaller in size than a quarter and weighs only 4 grams. The wireless modules serve as the communications platform for a wide array of connected devices, including digital photo frames, mobile healthcare devices, smart grid and meter readers, automotive telematics, as well as interactive multimedia terminals.
AnyDATA is producing multiple versions of the broadband embedded wireless modules that are based upon Qualcomm's Wearable Mobile Device module designs. All modules in the AnyDATA DTW series include GPS for real-time tracking and accelerometer for motion sensing applications. Engineering samples of the AnyDATA wireless modules will be available in April for OEM customers.
The DTW series of miniature embedded modules will utilize the same 90-pin connector and USB 2.0 interface. This enables device companies to utilize different versions of the modules to cost effectively operate on various cellular networks. The AnyDATA DTW-200 module operates on CDMA 1X networks while the AnyDATA DTW-500 utilizes 3G EVDO Rev A technology. Both wireless modules support the RUIM interface and operate on CDMA 800 and 1900 MHz frequencies. The embedded modules feature A-GPS location that enables indoor tracking of the device without seeing the GPS satellites.
The AnyDATA DTW-400 module operates on UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks, while the DTW-600 version operates on quad band GSM networks as well as tri-band UMTS networks that support high speed HSPA technology.
"We are pleased to continue AnyDATA's trademark innovation by offering these tiny, embedded 2G and 3G data modules," said Dr. Soon B. Shin, CEO of AnyDATA. "We believe this small form factor will enable a new category of connected consumer devices for better healthcare, personal security, and anywhere Internet connectivity."
"Qualcomm's Wearable Mobile Device module design leverages our chipset technology to provide high performance in a very small form factor," said Jack Steenstra, vice president of engineering. "AnyDATA's new module products will open entirely new opportunities for developers seeking to create wearable wireless products."
AnyDATA will be demonstrating the new DTW series of modules along with its other products including world class smartphones, 3G USB modems, mini-PCIE modules, and personal tracking devices in its booth at the upcoming International CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas. Visit the AnyDATA CTIA booth at location 6329 for product demonstrations.
For questions or schedule a meeting at CTIA, please contact AnyDATA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AnyDATA Corporation is a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices, including real-time tracking devices, modems, and smartphones. AnyDATA products have been certified by more than 56 carriers in 45 countries. The company distributes its products worldwide through wireless carriers and OEMs. AnyDATA was selected by Deloitte in 2008 as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in North America. AnyDATA is also listed on Deloitte's Orange County, California Fast 50, as one of the fastest growing companies in that technology intensive region. AnyDATA was also selected as a 2009 Fierce 15 company by Fierce Wireless for AnyDATA's creativity and innovation in the wireless market. AnyDATA provides wireless solutions for a smarter world.
The University of San Francisco to Showcase Its 100% Online Internet Marketing Certificate Program at the SES NYC 2010 Conference and Expo
Register online or visit USF's SES NYC booth #321 for a chance to win a Master Certificate in Internet Marketing course valued at up to $2,280!
TAMPA, Fla., March 17 -- The University of San Francisco (USF) will be showcasing the industry's first 100% online Master Certificate in Internet Marketing program at the upcoming Search Engine Strategies (SES) 2010 Conference and Expo.
SES New York, the industry's largest Search Engine Marketing (SEM) conference, is being held at the New York Hilton, March 22-26, 2010. This year USF's online program faculty member, Joe Laratro, will present his leading-edge Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tactics, "Bringing SEO In-House," on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.
"The Search Engine Strategies Expo is a great opportunity for marketing professionals to meet the leading SEM experts and learn firsthand about USF's 100% online Internet marketing training courses," said Pete Schatschneider, University Alliance senior brand manager for USF's online certificate programs.
"Attendees to the conference are encouraged to stop by USF's SES NYC Expo booth #321 and register to win an online Internet Marketing course valued at up to $2,280," said Schatschneider. Those who cannot attend the show can still register to win a free course at http://www.usanfranonline.com/SES.*
Solidifying its reputation as the leader in online Internet marketing training, the University of San Francisco is proud to also feature its two new specialized training certificates in Advanced Web Analytics and Advanced Social Media. These eight-week online courses offer a more intensive exploration of key digital marketing disciplines, empowering marketers with enhanced skills and broader knowledge of web analytics and social media. Like all of USF's online offerings, the new web analytics and social media courses are led by practicing, real-world professionals who are among today's foremost interactive marketing experts.
Acclaimed as one of America's best universities by U.S. News & World Report, the University of San Francisco has earned a reputation for academic excellence that dates back to its founding in 1855. It is committed to becoming internationally recognized as a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university with a global perspective. USF's online programs are offered through its School of Business and Professional Studies, which includes the Masagung Graduate School of Management and the McLaren College of Business.
*Subject to verification of eligibility. Restrictions apply. See official rules for entry details and eligibility restrictions at the event or visit http://www.usanfranonline.com/ses. No purchase necessary.
Distributor of green foodservice supplies is the first nationwide, online source for environmentally friendly pizza box
NEW YORK, March 17 -- FoodBizSupply.com (http://www.foodbizsupply.com/) has become the first nationwide, online source for the GreenBox pizza box, environmentally friendly pizza to-go packaging available to pizzerias, restaurants, cafeterias, and foodservice companies. Designed by e.c.o., Inc. (http://www.ecoincorporated.com/), the patented GreenBox has received extensive traditional and social media coverage, including a positive review on Twitter from actor Ashton Kutcher and a YouTube video with over 800,000 viewings (http://greenbox.foodbizsupply.com/).
The GreenBox is made in America from 100% recycled post-consumer content. The box top perforates into four rectangular "plates," eliminating the need for paper plates or the energy/water usage from cleaning regular plates after the meal. The bottom folds into a leftover container that takes up 50% less space, simplifying refrigerator storage and disposal.
FoodBizSupply.com will initially offer the GreenBox in 16-inch size with 10, 12, 14-inch sizes available soon. The eco-forward pizza box comes with the signature GreenBox logo; custom printing and box customization are available. FoodBizSupply.com is making this highly anticipated pizza box available to buyers of all sizes. Customers can order from a bundle pack of 100 boxes to truckload quantities. Volume-based discounts are available.
"The GreenBox is a business builder for anyone who serves pizza," said Rosetta Mitchell, CEO of FoodBizSupply.com. "It's a 100% recycled pizza box that continues to reduce waste after the customer receives it. Its quality and function matches any traditional box. But most importantly, its 'coolness factor' creates viral marketing. Movie stars and everyday pizza lovers are talking about the GreenBox. That's a big plus for any business that sends its pizza home in this remarkable product."
FoodBizSupply.com - the online arm of Green Choice Vendors Distribution - is the largest online supplier of sustainable products and packaging for foodservice at wholesale prices. The company sells over 400 biodegradable and recyclable items such as tableware, bags, to-go containers, paper products, and green cleanup supplies from leading brands such as Solo Bare, BioPlus, Chinet, Ecotainer, EATWare, Tork, NatureFlex, Gojo and Duro. Company founder Rosetta Mitchell is a recognized expert in the manufacture and use of cost-effective, high-quality products that reduce waste, carbon footprint and demand on finite resources. To learn more, visit http://www.foodbizsupply.com/.
Spare Backup Announces New 'App' Store Compatible Across Mobile Platforms
Globally experienced applications consultant joins the team
PALM DESERT, Calif., March 17 -- Spare Backup, Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: SPBU) , a leading provider of automated, online backup, storage applications, and consumer cloud services for home users and small businesses, today announced the launch of a new 'App' store to complement its existing cloud content delivery offering used by major consumer electronics retailers across the globe.
Now available to individual consumers through its retail partnerships, the Spare Backup 'App' store will provide access to the latest games, e-books, content, and applications for users of most popular brands of phones, PCs and mobile devices. The 'App' store can support mobile platforms, such as Java, Windows, Android, PC, and Smartphone. With global sales of mobile apps predicted to reach 21.6 billion sold or $29.5 billion by 2013 (according to Gartner Research), Spare Backup is enabling consumers a user-friendly, "one stop shopping" experience for the purchasing, storage, and backup of their mobile content.
"Right now, the market for accessing content from anywhere is exploding. Through strategic partnerships with retailers and content suppliers, our app store offers consumers a convenient alternative destination that matches today's mobile lifestyle. All-levels of IT users can not only access games, applications, and other content, but securely store and backup this content on any mobile device or PC," said Cery Perle, CEO of Spare Backup, Inc.
To help support the growth of the 'App' store offering, Rob Stevenson will join Spare Backup in a consultative capacity in the role of 'app category captain'. Stevenson will help broker internationally important relationships with key content suppliers during a period of anticipated growth for Spare Backup. A recognized expert in social computing, Stevenson currently serves as the U.K. office director of Digital Chocolate, a leading publisher of original, high-quality social and wireless games headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Stevenson served as head of strategic sales and licensing for Northern Europe at Ubisoft Entertainment.
Rob Stevenson commented, "I am very excited to support the team at Spare Backup. The company's compelling new service-led proposition for an App and lifestyle portal is undeniably the way forward. I welcome the opportunity to help Spare Backup partner with third party companies that are interested in what we have planned and am looking forward to continuing the growth of an already impressive offering."
Perle continued, "The addition of Rob Stevenson comes at a major time of growth for Spare Backup and his international experience and deep gaming industry expertise will be invaluable to our 'App' store success. I welcome him to the team."
Currently, there are more than 50,000 applications available through the Spare Backup 'App' store. The store is part of several consumer cloud content delivery offerings distributed through Spare Backup retail partnerships on a case by case basis, including through a partnership with Carphone Warehouse.
About Spare Backup
Spare Backup, Inc. specializes in helping consumers, small office/home office users and small to mid-sized businesses protect their computer data quickly, automatically and cost-effectively. The company's flagship Spare Backup product is the first totally automated online backup service that intelligently selects, secures and stores files without any user intervention, automatically backing up documents, email, music, photos and other PC files on a continuous basis or according to the schedule of the user's choice.
The company recently has launched a suite of services in consumer cloud computing. Spare backup Inc., is headquartered in Palm Desert, California, USA. For additional information, visit http://www.sparebackup.com/. For investor relations, please contact our investor relations department at 760-779-0251 Ext. 224 or email@example.com.
Safe Harbor Statement:
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking information made on the company's behalf. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, which address the company's expectations of sources of capital or which express the company's expectation for the future with respect to financial performance or operating strategies can be identified as forward-looking statements. Such statements made by the company are based on knowledge of the environment in which it operates, but because of the possibility of unknown factors, as well as other factors beyond the control of the company, actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statement. An investment in our common stock involves a significant degree of risk. You should not invest in our common stock unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. You should consider carefully all risk factors and other information in our annual report and quarterly filings before deciding to invest in our common stock.
If any of the following risks and uncertainties develops into actual events, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected and you could lose your entire investment in our company.
Source: Spare Backup, Inc.
CONTACT: UK, Rob Forbes, +44 (0) 1256 460008, +44 (0) 7525 264252,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or USA, Laura Cleveland, +1-617-230-2077,
email@example.com, both of Generator PR Ltd, for Spare Backup, Inc.
Galaxy Press Announces Free iPod Giveaway Contest with Stories from the Golden Age Audio Books
Book publisher Galaxy Press is announcing a contest for a free iPod filled with Golden Age Stories audiobooks as part of the launch of its new site, Stories from the Golden Age (http://www.goldenagestories.com), which includes pulp fiction short stories and books written by author L. Ron Hubbard in a variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, adventure, romance, mystery and western.
LOS ANGELES, March 17 -- Book publishing company Galaxy Press is announcing a contest to win a free 80GB iPod filled with audiobooks from the Golden Age Stories pulp fiction books written by L. Ron Hubbard as part of the re-launch of the Stories from the Golden Age website (http://www.goldenagestories.com).
"The entry rules are simple," stated John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press. "Go to http://www.goldenagestories.com and on the bottom of the home page click on QUIZZ CORNER and answer the question to enter your name to win a free 80GB iPod loaded with over 150 hours of audiobooks."
The new website for Golden Age Stories (http://www.goldenagestories.com) is being repurposed to provide an overview of the golden age of pulp fiction, not just featuring the stories of L. Ron Hubbard, but also giving a taste of the time with real video footage, photos, and interviews of people who lived during that period enabling visitors to find out why 30,000,000 Americans continued to come back month after month for their next pulp fiction stories.
"The 1930s and 1940s were a vibrant, seminal time for a gigantic audience of eager readers in American history," stated New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson. "Pulp fiction authors were no-holds-barred entertainers -- real storytellers." Hubbard's experiences as an international traveler, having traveled a quarter million miles by the time he was 19, helped provide much of the rich background to his stories that made him one of the most popular writers of the day.
Stories from the Golden Age is a line of 80 books and multi-cast, unabridged audiobooks, featuring 153 stories written by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s in any of the several popular genres of the day -- mystery, thriller, adventure, science fiction, fantasy and western -- using his own and any of the 15 pen names he used.
ATLANTA, March 17 -- Wavee.com (Wavee), a bid-to-buy online auction site that delivers an exciting and rewarding shopping experience, announced today the launch of its new Rewards Store -- a program that allows users to earn "Wavee Dollars" for each dollar spent and apply them as significant price discounts on high-demand, brand new consumer goods. This new program positions Wavee as the ultimate shopping destination where customers see a money multiplier effect. Win and pay less for the item you want AND earn a sizeable discount to apply to other products.
"While we are launching our new Rewards Store on St. Patrick's Day, this new program essentially takes all the 'luck' out of winning on Wavee as members become winners with every bid," said Jacky Lai, founder and CEO of Wavee. "The added value can quickly translate into real savings."
How Wavee Works
On Wavee.com, the starting price for every product up for auction is always $0.00 (USD) and there is no minimum selling price. Each bid placed increases the product price by the pre-set auction increment and the timer is increased to a maximum of 20 seconds. The highest bidder when the timer reaches zero wins the auction item, typically at prices discounted up to 90 percent. Bids are priced at 60 cents each.
With the new Rewards Store program, Wavee members earn one "Wavee Dollar" per every dollar spent to purchase credits. The dollar-for-dollar discounts are redeemable in the Rewards Store for brand new consumer electronic devices and accessories, including laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles and software.
In addition, bidders who do not win an item at an auction's close or decide to end the bidding process early can purchase it at retail value, less the dollar amount of their submitted bids.
"At Wavee, we are constantly looking to develop new ways to reward our members - whether it's by stretching the value of a dollar through incentive programs, enhancing our product offering, or simply providing the most exciting and entertaining way to shop online," said Lai.
Wavee was founded by online entrepreneurs Lai, Terence Poon, Paul Tsyrlin and David Chan who sought to bring the fun and excitement of live auction online shopping mainstream.
Wavee creates a rewarding shopping and auction experience. The site allows consumers to bid on must-have items at steep discounts off retail via an exciting auction with the option to apply the full value of bid credits towards the purchase of the product. Wavee addresses gaps in existing auction sites by awarding bidders with bonus credits through a proprietary bonus program (reducing the implied bid-to-buy price), tools and analytics that give bidders additional insight, a Rewards Store and more ways to win.
Volas Entertainment & Investro Group Sign Agreement to Develop & Promote Mobile Content Portals in Central and South America
Volas & Investro are Scheduled to Launch the First Portal Called Mago Movil in Guatemala, Q2 of 2010
HERZLIAH, Israel, March 17, 2010-- Volas Entertainment Ltd, a leading mobile content service
provider today announces that it has signed a managed services deal with
Investro Group, a leading High-Tech solution provider Group in Latin America.
Under the deal, Volas will develop mobile content portals as well as provide
full content aggregation services to Investro so that they can expand their
current operations within the Telecom sector in the region. Initially, the
target will be to launch into its headquartered territory, Guatemala, which
gives Investro access to more than 10.5 million mobile subscribers.
Investro will be offering the plug and play portal solution
directly to operators while providing all the marketing and content
management services to run, manage and promote the different services.
Investro will continue to stay up to date with the latest trends and
activities in the area while maintaining a steady flow of new and interesting
services to users. Investro has been operating in the region for over 8 years
and is already working hand in hand with all the operators. The first portal,
Mago Movil is scheduled to launch in Q2 2010 with one of Gautemala's leading
Volas will oversee all technical and integration aspects of
the portal and will provide the portal development, CMS, portal management
tools, hosting services, content aggregation, reporting and monitoring for
the service. The portal will be offering a wide range of content and services
to meet the needs of the users. Both Volas and Investro will provide their
extensive mobile catalogs from over 85 content provider partners based around
the globe which includes games, videos, music, themes, images, applications
and infotainment services.
Adi Goren, CEO of Investro Group, said: "We are very thrilled
to establish such cooperation with Volas. I am convinced that with their
state of the art mobile content solutions and successful commercial
deployment in other markets, we could easily and smoothly duplicate the
success in Central and South America reaching high numbers of cellular users
through unique and high quality content and services.
"We are very pleased to partner up with Investro Group. They
have a very strong presence with the leading vendors, many years of
experience and vast knowledge in the region," Commented Doron Cohen, CEO &
Founder at Volas Entertainment. "Adding this to the fact that mobile content
and services are becoming a bigger part of daily life for consumers in
Central & South America, I believe we are in the right place at the right
About Volas Entertainment Ltd:
Volas Entertainment is a wireless application service provider
(WASP) providing an end-to-end solution for On & Off Deck portals including
content aggregation, value-added managed services, mobile billing and
transcoding for content providers, mobile portals and wireless operators.
Founded in 2004, Volas Entertainment is located in Herzliah,
Israel, and has a growing customer base in Asia, Europe, Americas and the
Middle East. The company's proven track record, products and attentive
service have attracted clients such as Vodafone Italy, Telecom Italia Mobile,
Lancio Entertainment, WIND, Orange Romania, Vodafone Romania, Airtel India,
Smart Philippines, AIS Thailand, Cellcom and more.
Investro Group Inc. is a private holding business group
specialized in business development in the high tech field. Investro Group's
main objective is to bridge the cultural and geographical gap between
developed and developing countries by penetrating those markets with
innovative and advanced solutions in numerous working areas.
Investro Group holds leading subsidiary companies in a few growing
business sectors with the aim of focusing on successful independent operation
of each individual organization.
Investro Group is a dynamic entrepreneur in the high tech field based on
a very unique strategy in order to meet its commercial and financial
objectives by providing strong and solid business opportunities to our
clients, partners and investors.
CEO and Founder
CEO and Founder
Investro Group Inc.
Source: Volas Entertainment Ltd
Media Contacts: Doron Cohen, CEO and Founder, Volas Entertainment, firstname.lastname@example.org, +972-732525252; Adi Goren, CEO and Founder, Investro Group Inc., email@example.com
Tencent Announces 2009 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results
HONG KONG, March 17 -- Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent" or the "Company", SEHK 00700), a leading provider of Internet and mobile & telecommunications value-added services in China, today announced the unaudited consolidated results for the fourth quarter of 2009 and audited consolidated results for the year ended December 31, 2009.
Highlights of 2009 full year:
-- Total revenues were RMB12,440.0 million (USD1,821.9 million(1)), an
increase of 73.9% over the year ended December 31, 2008 ("YoY")
-- Revenues from Internet value-added services ("IVAS") were RMB9,530.7
million (USD1,395.8 million), an increase of 93.9% YoY
-- Revenues from mobile & telecommunications value-added services ("MVAS")
were RMB1,905.6 million (USD279.1 million), an increase of 36.2% YoY
-- Revenues from online advertising were RMB962.2 million (USD140.9
million), an increase of 16.5% YoY
-- Gross profit was RMB8,550.5 million (USD1,252.2 million), an increase
of 71.6% YoY. Gross margin decreased to 68.7% from 69.7% last year
-- Operating profit was RMB6,020.5 million (USD881.7 million), an increase
of 85.5% YoY. Operating margin increased to 48.4% from 45.4% last year
-- Profit for the year was RMB5,221.6 million (USD764.7 million), an
increase of 85.4% YoY. Net margin increased to 42.0% from 39.4% last
-- Profit attributable to the equity holders of the Company for the year
was RMB5,155.6 million (USD755.1 million), an increase of 85.2% YoY
-- Basic earnings per share were RMB2.862. Diluted earnings per share were
-- The Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of HKD0.40 per
share for the year ended December 31, 2009, subject to the approval of
the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 12,
2010. The proposed dividend will be payable on May 26, 2010.
Highlights of the fourth quarter of 2009:
-- Total revenues were RMB3,688.3 million (USD540.2 million), an increase
of 9.5% over the third quarter of 2009 ("QoQ") or an increase of 75.9%
over the fourth quarter of 2008 ("YoY")
-- Revenues from IVAS were RMB2,847.1 million (USD417.0 million), an
increase of 8.6% QoQ or an increase of 92.6% YoY
-- Revenues from MVAS were RMB549.9 million (USD80.5 million), an increase
of 23.3% QoQ or an increase of 37.5% YoY
-- Revenues from online advertising were RMB279.0 million (USD40.9
million), a decrease of 5.0% QoQ or an increase of 33.1% YoY
-- Gross profit was RMB2,543.4 million (USD372.5 million), an increase of
8.5% QoQ or an increase of 79.8% YoY. Gross margin decreased to 69.0%
from 69.6% last quarter
-- Operating profit was RMB1,776.7 million (USD260.2 million), an increase
of 5.7% QoQ or an increase of 90.5% YoY. Operating margin decreased to
48.2% from 49.9% last quarter
-- Profit for the period was RMB1,533.1 million (USD224.5 million), an
increase of 7.0% QoQ or an increase of 75.0% YoY. Net margin decreased
to 41.6% from 42.5% last quarter
-- Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the period was
RMB1,507.9 million (USD220.8 million), an increase of 6.2% QoQ or an
increase of 73.5% YoY
-- Key platform statistics:
- Active Instant Messaging ("IM") user accounts increased 7.8% QoQ to
- Peak simultaneous online user accounts for IM services increased
23.2% QoQ to 93.0 million
- Active user accounts of Qzone increased 27.0% QoQ to 387.8 million
- Peak simultaneous online user accounts of QQ Game portal (for mini
casual games only) increased 8.8% QoQ to 6.2 million
- IVAS paying subscriptions increased 7.7% QoQ to 51.6 million
- MVAS paying subscriptions increased 14.7% QoQ to 20.3 million
(1) Figures stated in USD are based on USD1 to RMB6.8282
Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said, "On the backdrop of improved economy and rapid growth of the Internet industry in China, Tencent delivered solid financial and operating performance in the year of 2009, capitalizing on our diversified and platform-based business model. We are excited to report that QQ IM's PCU exceeded 100 million in March 2010, marking a new milestone in the history of China's Internet market. As the Chinese Internet market continues to develop, we have witnessed users' increasing demand for better services, and more intensified competition from experienced and well-funded competitors. In order to maintain our position in this dynamic and highly competitive industry, we will continue to increase our investments in research and development, technical infrastructure, people development and branding in the coming years. These investments are aimed to benefit the Company and our shareholders in the long run."
Financial Review for the Fourth Quarter of 2009
IVAS revenues increased 8.6% QoQ to RMB2,847.1 million and represented 77.2% of our total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009. Revenues from community value-added services, which were less sensitive to seasonal fluctuation, increased 18.1% QoQ to RMB1,292.1 million, which was attributable to the growth in Qzone, QQ Membership and QQ Show partly offset by the decline in QQ Pets. Qzone registered significant growth during the quarter as a result of increased user engagement and monetization driven by the popularity of social networking service ("SNS") applications. Subscriber base of QQ Membership expanded, thanks to our ongoing enrichment of online and offline privileges which enhanced user loyalty and stickiness. Growth in revenues from QQ Show was attributable to the increase in monthly subscription, as well as improvement in customer loyalty driven by the launch of annual subscription package and our continued enhancements in user experience. QQ Pets experienced decline in revenues as the Company reduced monetization to increase usage and to transform it into a multi-player community platform. Revenues from online gaming business increased 1.7% QoQ to RMB1,555.0 million, despite weaker seasonality. This was primarily due to the increase in revenues from Dungeon and Fighter ("DNF") and Cross Fire as a result of the launch of upgrades and promotional activities. Silk Road Hero, a web-based MMOG launched in the previous quarter, started to gain popularity and registered revenue growth as well. On the other hand, revenues from more mature MMOGs declined.
MVAS revenues increased 23.3% QoQ to RMB549.9 million and represented 14.9% of our total revenues. This was primarily driven by the growth in the user base of our bundled SMS packages resulting from the launch of privileges associated with our SNS applications as well as our continued enhancements in service features. The growth in mobile games and the recovery of realisation rates, which were particularly low in the third quarter of 2009, also contributed to the revenue increase. Revenues from WAP business declined mainly due to the suspension of the WAP billing system by China Mobile since November 30, 2009.
Online advertising revenues decreased 5.0% QoQ to RMB279.0 million and represented 7.6% of our total revenues. This was due to the significant reduction in search-based advertising revenues as a result of the amended service contract with our partner and the transition into our self-developed search engine. Albeit with weaker seasonality in the fourth quarter, advertising revenues from our IM client and portal increased by 2.8% QoQ on the back of the general improvement in macro environment and improved customer recognition of the effectiveness of our advertising platforms.
Other Key Financial Information for the Fourth Quarter of 2009
Share-based compensation was RMB100.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 as compared with RMB117.8 million for the previous quarter.
Foreign exchange loss was RMB0.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 as compared with a loss of RMB1.2 million for the previous quarter.
Capital expenditure was RMB369.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 as compared with RMB269.1 million for the previous quarter.
Basic earnings per share for the quarter were RMB0.835, and diluted earnings per share were RMB0.812.
As at December 31, 2009, cash and cash equivalents, term deposits with initial term of over three months and held-to-maturity investments totaled RMB11,695.3 million. The total number of shares of the Company in issue was 1.819 billion.
Business Review and Outlook
The Internet market in China continued to expand rapidly in 2009. Total number of Internet users increased by 28.9% to 384 million at the end of the year, according to China Internet Network Information Center. At the end of 2009, Internet penetration stood at 28.9%, reaching global average, but was still lower than that in developed countries. After years of rapid growth in penetration, the growth rate of new users is poised to slow down over time. On the other hand, the usage of Internet is becoming more entrenched in users' everyday life. This is evidenced by the fact that the average time spent online per user has been growing. In addition, the Internet has increasingly become a major media for people in China to communicate and network, to seek entertainment and information as well as to conduct transactions. We believe the sector is well poised to benefit from the secular growth of the Chinese economy in the long run.
2009 was a year in flux for both the economy and Internet industry in China. The overall economic environment was very challenging at the beginning of the year with the global financial crisis negatively impacting investments and consumption. However, market conditions improved substantially later on, riding on the Chinese government's enormous stimulus package. For the Internet market, the year saw rapid development of the mobile Internet, catalysed by the reduction in traffic costs, increasing penetration of Internet-enabled mobile devices, and the launch of 3G mobile networks. At the end of 2009, total mobile Internet population in China increased significantly by 98.5% to 233 million. Such rapid growth has underpinned the rising adoption of different Internet applications on mobile devices, including WAP portal, IM, SNS and games. Another significant development in the Internet market was the evolution and substantial growth of the SNS sector, mainly driven by the rising popularity of social gaming applications. SNS platforms have increasingly become an indispensable part of everyday life for Internet users. Meanwhile, the online gaming sector continued to expand, riding on the continued growth of MMOGs, advanced casual games and mini casual games, as well as the upsurge in web-based games. During the year, usage of online video also grew significantly, although rampant piracy hampered participation of established Internet companies like ourselves. For online advertising, the industry was impacted by the global financial crisis in the first half of the year as advertisers significantly reduced their spending in response to the economic downturn. This was followed by a gradual recovery in the second half of the year as market conditions improved.
As the Chinese Internet market continues to develop, we have witnessed users' increasing demand for better services, and more intensified competition from experienced and well-funded competitors. In order to maintain our position in this dynamic and highly competitive industry, we will continue to increase our investments in research and development, technical infrastructure, people development and branding in the coming years. In this process, we will incur significant costs and may even have to forgo certain revenues that interfere with user experience. However, we believe we ought to take a long- term perspective in building our business, and these investments will benefit the Company and our shareholders in the long run.
In the year of 2009, Tencent's diversified business portfolio delivered robust growth. Our Internet value-added services ("IVAS") grew significantly during the year, underpinned by the growth of our major online games and community value-added services. Our mobile and telecommunications value-added services ("MVAS") also registered solid increases in revenues on the back of the growth in our bundled SMS packages and mobile games. Despite the impact of the global financial crisis, our online advertising business registered above- industry growth as we continued to improve the key aspects of our business, including brand, content, sales organisation and technology platform. For the fourth quarter of 2009, our IVAS registered increase in revenues as our community value-added services, which were less sensitive to seasonal fluctuation, continued to grow. Despite weaker seasonality, revenues from our online gaming business were broadly stable compared to the previous quarter, primarily driven by the strong performance of DNF and Cross Fire. Our MVAS enjoyed significant growth in revenues on the back of the continued increase in the user base of our bundled SMS packages. Mobile games and the recovery of realisation rates, which were particularly low in the third quarter, also contributed to the growth. Our online advertising business experienced decline in revenues in the fourth quarter. This mainly reflected the contraction of our search-based advertising business as we amended the service contract with our partner and switched to our self-developed search engine. Advertising revenues from our IM client and portal increased with general improvement in macro environment as well as enhanced customer recognition of the effectiveness of our advertising platforms. Looking into the first quarter of 2010, we expect more favourable seasonality for our IVAS, particularly for our online games, as the winter break for students and the Chinese New Year holidays would enhance users' propensity to spend. For MVAS, revenues would be affected by the suspension of billing for WAP services by China Mobile since 30 November 2009 and the continued decline of legacy services, including content download, colour ringback tone and IVR. The regulatory measure implemented in early 2010, which limits one SMS service code to one product only, would also have a negative impact on the business. Our online advertising business would face a weaker season in the first quarter as advertising activities generally slow down around the Chinese New Year holidays.
Our core IM platform enjoyed continued growth during the year, thanks to the increasing popularity of SNS, which enhanced user activity and engagement through cross-platform integration. Usage of our IM service via client software installed on Internet-enabled mobile devices also contributed to the growth. Active user accounts at the end of the year reached 522.9 million, representing a year-on-year growth of 38.8%. Peak concurrent user accounts ("PCU") increased by 87.1% to 93.0 million in the fourth quarter. On 5 March 2010, we made a significant milestone as our PCU exceeded 100 million, marking a new page in the history of China's Internet market.
During the year, we continued to focus on enhancing our IM platform. QQ 2009, a new generation of our IM service, was successfully launched to enhance the overall user experience, and to allow us to better address different needs of our large user base. Its improved architecture also enables broader and deeper integration with other platforms of Tencent, enhancing user value and stickiness. Going forward, we will further enhance our services for different user segments with tailored functionalities based on the new architecture.
QQ.com continued to generate the highest traffic among portals in China. During the year, our brand image and awareness further improved as we stepped up our advertising and promotional activities, which include a major brand TV advertising campaign that ran from December 2009 to early 2010. We also focused on enhancing QQ.com's position as a leading mainstream media by strengthening the reporting of major events, such as the 60th anniversary of National Day, and enhancing the content quality of different channels. In 2010, we will leverage our sponsorship for the 2010 World Exposition in Shanghai as well as the coverage of other major events, such as the World Cup, to further enhance our brand position and media influence. We will also continue to improve our key vertical channels and achieve stronger integration with other platforms of Tencent.
Internet value-added services
For our community value-added services, Qzone registered robust growth during the year and further consolidated its position as the largest SNS platform in China, with active user accounts increasing by 158.4% YoY to 387.8 million at the end of 2009. The key drivers of the strong growth were the popularity of SNS applications, especially social games, as well as the continued improvements in user experience and features. Xiaoyou, a real-name SNS launched in January 2009, gained considerable traction during the year and has become a popular service among university students and young alumni. In 2010, we will focus on offering more SNS applications, including third-party applications, to enhance user value and better address the needs of different user groups in the market. We will also enhance the integration of our SNS with other platforms of Tencent to further extend our leadership. For QQ Membership, 2009 saw significant growth in user base as well as enhanced user loyalty and stickiness, mainly attributable to the bundling of more value- added functions as well as online and offline lifestyle privileges. However, further growth of QQ Membership will become more challenging with its large base and already high penetration among the QQ users. For QQ Show, revenues increased significantly during the year as we focused on promoting its fashionable appeal with the launch of different trendy themes and offline promotions, as well as improving user loyalty and stickiness through our subscription program. Seasonal volatility of the product also decreased as the bulk of the revenue was generated through monthly subscription as opposed to item-sale before. For QQ Pets, revenues declined during the year as we reduced monetisation to increase usage and to transform it into a multi-player community platform. We will re-position the product as a game targeting younger demographics, and expect the product to generate relatively little revenue going forward.
Our online game business posted remarkable growth in 2009. Since the second quarter of 2009, we have become the largest online game operator in China by revenue, demonstrating the strengths of our platforms, our diversified product portfolio as well as our execution capabilities. During the year, our major MMOGs and advanced casual games commanded strong market response and posted significant growth in users and revenues. DNF experienced significant growth during the year. In the fourth quarter of 2009, its PCU reached 2.2 million, making it one of China's top online games. Cross Fire became the first First Person Shooting ("FPS") game in the world achieving the 1 million PCU milestone. Its PCU further increased to 1.8 million in the fourth quarter. QQ Dancer also saw its PCU surpassing 1 million during the year. QQ Game, the largest mini-casual game portal in China, continued to register solid growth with its PCU growing to 6.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.
During 2009, we launched Silk Road Hero, a web-based MMOG, and Hero Island, a niche market MMOG, to address various segments in the online gaming market. At the beginning of 2010, we also introduced A.V.A., an advanced FPS game, to further enrich our game portfolio. As the online game industry begins to mature, we believe gamers will demand for increasingly high quality games, increasing the investment requirements and decreasing the success rates for new games. Amid this more challenging industry environment, we will continue to leverage our platforms and extensive operational experience to launch high quality games in different market segments via self-development, licensing and investments. Our preliminary pipeline for the rest of 2010 includes four MMOGs. We will also continue to develop new content and play modes for our existing games.
Mobile and telecommunications value-added services
Our MVAS business registered solid growth in 2009 with the continued organic growth of our bundled SMS packages and mobile games. During the year, traffic on our WAP portal registered significant growth, further consolidating our position as the leading wireless portal in China. We also continued to develop mobile applications based on our existing Internet platforms to address the different needs of mobile Internet users and capture the opportunities presented by the launch of 3G in China.
Despite the opportunities ahead, outlook of the MVAS sector in China remains uncertain as the industry value chain continues to evolve. The suspension of the billing for WAP services and additional regulatory measures implemented in early 2010 exemplified the challenging regulatory environment. We are also facing shrinking business volume for our legacy services and intensifying competition from new entrants in the market. Although we have been actively adjusting our business operations to mitigate the negative impact of these risk factors, it is important to recognise that our MVAS revenues for 2010 will continue to face low visibility and high volatility.
Our online advertising business faced a tough operating environment in 2009, particularly at the beginning of the year, as the global financial crisis severely affected market sentiment and advertising spending. Despite the challenges, we achieved above-industry revenue growth during the year, on the back of increased customer recognition of the effectiveness of our advertising platforms as well as our enhanced operations. Riding on our success among online gaming, food and beverage and apparel advertisers, we made good progress in other major advertiser sectors including automobile and finance.
During the year, we continued to focus on enhancing the overall competitiveness of our business. Our advertising platform has been significantly improved to offer more effective support to our sales teams in satisfying customer needs. We also stepped up our brand investments, which have enhanced market recognition of the strengths of our Internet platforms among advertisers.
Looking into 2010, we will continue to focus on leveraging our integrated platforms as a key differentiator to broaden our advertiser base. Significant investments in our brand will also be made. In particular, we will ride on major events, including the 2010 World Exposition and World Cup, to enhance our brand image and media influence as well as to generate advertising opportunities. We will also continue to focus on improving the key aspects of our operations, including sales organisation and advertising platform. On the other hand, we expect to see relatively little revenue from our search business during the year as we have just switched to our self-developed search engine, and the near-to-mid-term priority for us will be on improving the user experience as opposed to generating revenue.
Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users in China by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value- added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user's needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet.
Tencent has three main streams of revenues: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising.
Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 00700. The Company became one of the 43 constituents of the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on June 10, 2008. For more information, please visit http://www.tencent.com/ir .
Phone: +86-755-8601-3388 x81374
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the business outlook, forecast business plans and growth strategies of the Company. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Group and are stated herein on the basis of the outlook at the time of this announcement. They are based on certain expectations, assumptions and premises, some of which are subjective or beyond our control. These forward- looking statements may prove to be incorrect and may not be realized in future. Underlying the forward-looking statements is a large number of risks and uncertainties. Further information regarding these risks and uncertainties is included in our other public disclosure documents on our corporate website.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
In RMB '000 (unless otherwise stated)
4Q2009 3Q2009 2009 2008
Revenues 3,688,264 3,368,908 12,439,960 7,154,544
Internet VAS 2,847,055 2,622,625 9,530,711 4,914,974
Telecom VAS 549,899 446,152 1,905,599 1,398,984
Advertising 279,006 293,558 962,171 826,049
Others 12,304 6,573 41,479 14,537
Cost of revenues (1,144,855) (1,024,086) (3,889,468) (2,170,421)
Gross profit 2,543,409 2,344,822 8,550,492 4,984,123
Gross margin 69.0% 69.6% 68.7% 69.7%
Interest income 41,116 33,329 136,014 105,216
gains, net (26,886) 5,685 (58,213) 6,989
S&M expenses (208,105) (160,671) (581,468) (518,147)
G&A expenses (572,882) (542,818) (2,026,347) (1,332,207)
Operating profit 1,776,652 1,680,347 6,020,478 3,245,974
margin 48.2% 49.9% 48.4% 45.4%
Finance costs (369) (1,179) (1,953) (140,732)
Share of profit/
associates 9,542 3,840 22,206 (347)
income tax 1,785,825 1,683,008 6,040,731 3,104,895
Income tax expense (252,772) (249,808) (819,120) (289,245)
income for the
period 1,533,053 1,433,200 5,221,611 2,815,650
Net margin 41.6% 42.5% 42.0% 39.4%
Equity holders of
the Company 1,507,945 1,419,851 5,155,646 2,784,577
Minority interests 25,108 13,349 65,965 31,073
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
In RMB '000 (unless otherwise stated)
As at 31 December
Fixed assets 2,517,202 1,165,048
Construction in progress 105,771 875,897
Investment properties 68,025 64,981
Leasehold land and land use
rights 35,296 36,046
Intangible assets 268,713 370,314
Investment in associates 477,622 302,712
Deferred income tax assets 301,016 334,164
Held-to-maturity investments 341,410 --
assets 153,462 86,180
Prepayments, deposits and
other receivables 80,306 124,354
Inventories -- 5,483
Accounts receivable 1,229,436 983,459
Prepayments, deposits and
other receivables 373,642 378,340
Financial assets held for
trading -- 329,804
Held-to-maturity investments -- 68,346
Term deposits with initial
term of over three months 5,310,168 1,662,501
Restricted cash 200,000 --
Cash and cash equivalents 6,043,696 3,067,928
Total Assets 17,505,765 9,855,557
Equity attributable to the
Company's equity holders
Share capital 197 195
Share premium 1,244,425 1,155,209
Shares held for share award
scheme (123,767) (21,809)
reserve 703,563 381,439
Other reserves (166,364) (433,038)
Retained earnings 10,520,453 5,938,930
Minority interests in equity 120,146 98,406
Total Equity 12,298,653 7,119,332
Deferred income tax
liabilities 369,983 78,368
Long-term payables 274,050 566,260
Accounts payable 696,511 244,647
Other payables and accruals 1,626,051 1,013,542
Short-term bank borrowing 202,322 --
Current income tax
liabilities 85,216 47,307
Other tax liabilities 216,978 103,933
Deferred revenue 1,736,001 682,168
Total Liabilities 5,207,112 2,736,225
Total Equity and Liabilities 17,505,765 9,855,557
Source: Tencent Holdings Limited
CONTACT: Catherine Chan, +86-755-8601-3388 x88369, +852-2179-5122,
cchan#tencent.com, or Jane Yip, +86-755-8601-3388 x81374, +852-2179-5122,
janeyip#tencent.com, both of Tencent Holdings Limited
Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2009 Filed with SEC on March 16, 2010
HONG KONG, March 17 -- Nam Tai Electronics, Inc. ("Nam Tai" or the "Company") (NYSE:NTE) today announced that the Company filed its 2009 Annual Report on Form 20-F with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 16, 2010 Washington D.C. time. Nam Tai's Annual Report on Form 20-F includes its audited financial statements for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2009.
Nam Tai has posted its 2009 Annual Report on Form 20-F on its website and the Report can be accessed electronically at http://www.namtai.com/annual/09form20f.pdf. The Report is also available on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/. The Company will also deliver, within a reasonable time after request, a paper copy of its 2009 Annual Report, including its complete audited financial statements, free of charge, to any shareholder upon request. To request a paper copy, please contact the Company by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by written request to Units 5811-12, 58/F, The Center, 99 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, Attention: Corporate Secretary, Re: 2009 Annual Report on Form 20-F.
ABOUT NAM TAI ELECTRONICS, INC.
We are an electronics manufacturing and design services provider to a select group of the world's leading OEMs of telecommunications and consumer electronic products. Through our electronics manufacturing services operations, we manufacture electronic components and subassemblies, including LCD panels, LCD modules, RF modules, DAB modules, FPC subassemblies and image sensors modules and PCBAs for headsets containing Bluetooth* wireless technology. These components are used in numerous electronic products, including mobile phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, electronic toys, handheld video game devices, and entertainment devices. We also manufacture finished products, including mobile phone accessories, home entertainment products and educational products. We assist our OEM customers in the design and development of their products and furnish full turnkey manufacturing services that utilize advanced manufacturing processes and production technologies.
* The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG and any use of such marks by Nam Tai is under license. Nam Tai subsidiaries are members of the Bluetooth SIG.
Source: Nam Tai Electronics, Inc.
CONTACT: Investors: Mr. Kee Wong, (852)-2341-0273, Fax (852)-2263-1223,
Centrifuge Releases New Data Visualization Software
MCLEAN, Va., March 17 -- Centrifuge Systems, Inc., a leading provider of next generation business intelligence software, today announced the availability of Centrifuge 1.8, the latest version of its groundbreaking data visualization technology (http://www.centrifugesystems.com).
The Centrifuge approach to data visualization brings together three innovations in analysis: Interactive Data Visualization, Unified Data Views and Collaborative Analysis to identify important insights and hidden patterns in your data. Widely used by US Government agencies in some of the most demanding applications in the world including cyber security, financial crimes, homeland defense and counter-terrorism, Interactive Analytics (IA) is gaining recognition in other industries where companies are looking to extract insights from many data sources simultaneously.
The Centrifuge approach to data visualization allows analysts to navigate from one visualization to another. Analysts "shift their lens" and pose questions by interacting directly with the pictures including various forms of charts, relationship graphs, time lines, maps, tables and geospatial visualizations.
Centrifuge 1.8 includes several significant enhancements in the area of interactive data visualization. Within charting, users can create drill charts that include many categories and measures. They can drill down to see deeper segmentation of the data. Bubble charting has also been added. Users can interact with the displays to filter the data, create new data fields and spin-off data as they uncover insights hidden in the data. One of the most powerful functions in this new release is the ability to integrate data on demand. Users can easily connect to any number of new data sources, join these sources together and expand the visualizations. In the past, this level of data integration required complex programming and long cycle times. Centrifuge has now put powerful data integration into the hands of the analyst. New country and world maps have also been added as well as a geospatial time player allowing users to map data elements by time.
"Organizations continue to deal with data explosion today. With this new release, we deliver a groundbreaking approach to data integration. The ability to bring together data from disparate sources such as enterprise databases, web services and excel files has never been easier," explains Guljit Khurana, CEO of Centrifuge. "We have also continued to expand our rich visualizations in the areas of timelines, geospatial and charting all within a 100% browser environment."
Centrifuge Systems is a leading provider of next generation business intelligence software that helps organizations discover insights, patterns and relationships hidden in their data. The unique Centrifuge approach to data visualization is called Interactive Analytics and brings together three innovations in analysis: Interactive Data Visualization, Unified Data Views and Collaborative Analysis. With Centrifuge, users ask open ended questions of their data by interacting with visual representations of the data directly.
Traditional business intelligence solutions require users to define what they want to see in advance and present the results in static dashboards. With Centrifuge, users determine what is of interest "on the fly", then manipulate the displays directly in a highly interactive fashion. The experience is refreshingly easy-to-use and the resulting insights can be extraordinary. Data integration has never been more flexible allowing users to join disparate data sources without any complex programming or wait times.
Centrifuge is used in some of the most demanding applications in the world, including counter-terrorism, homeland defense, cyber security and financial crimes analysis. Commercial applications of this technology include for fraud analysis, cyber security, performance management, customer relationship management, business intelligence, manufacturing analysis, clinical trials analysis and much more.
Qualcomm Applies to Bid In India's BWA Auction for 2.3 GHz Spectrum
-- Plans to Facilitate Deployment of TD-LTE to Enhance 3G WCDMA/HSPA and EV-DO Networks and Address India's Broadband Needs --
MUMBAI, India, March 17 -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies, products and services, announced that it has filed an application with the Indian Government to bid in India's upcoming auction for BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band to facilitate the deployment of TD-LTE. TD-LTE is compatible with 3G WCDMA/HSPA and EV-DO, and will enable a seamless broadband experience for consumers within India and while roaming globally. In India's unpaired 2.3 GHz spectrum band, TD-LTE is the technology best suited to complement current and upcoming 3G deployments and address India's rapidly growing demand for high bandwidth broadband services.
Through the use of integrated multimode devices that support TD-LTE as well as 3G and 2G technologies, TD-LTE will take advantage of the 3G and 2G ecosystems, thereby creating economies of scale to enable a broad choice of wireless broadband devices at affordable price points for Indian consumers. TD-LTE enhances 3G networks and offers an attractive value proposition to end-users as well as the wireless ecosystem.
Qualcomm has a history of participating in spectrum auctions to expedite the commercialization of new wireless technologies. By participating in India's BWA spectrum auction, Qualcomm can foster the accelerated deployment of TD-LTE.
If successful in winning spectrum in the auction, Qualcomm intends to secure Indian partners after completion of the auction and in compliance with the applicable Indian Foreign Direct Investment regulations. Qualcomm and its partners intend to demonstrate TD-LTE technology with the goal of creating a TD-LTE infrastructure and device ecosystem that, in concert with 3G networks and devices, will support India's broadband goals. Qualcomm and its partners will decide the venture's strategy in due course. Qualcomm's goal is to attract an operator partner or partners into the venture at the appropriate time for construction of a TD-LTE network in compliance with the Indian Government's rollout requirement for the BWA spectrum and then to exit the venture.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 100 Index, the S&P 500 Index and is a 2009 FORTUNE 500® company. For more information, please visit http://www.qualcomm.com.
Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Tina Asmar, Corporate Communications
Meena Nichani, Qualcomm India
CONTACT: Tina Asmar, Corporate Communications, +1-858-845-5959,
email@example.com, or Meena Nichani, Qualcomm India, 91-9320-355-275,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Warren Kneeshaw, Investor Relations,
+1-858-658-4813, email@example.com, all of Qualcomm Incorporated
McKool Smith Announces $105.75 Million Verdict for VirnetX in Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Microsoft
TYLER, Texas, March 16 -- The law firm of McKool Smith is announcing a $105.75 million patent infringement verdict handed down today on behalf of Scotts Valley, Calif.-based VirnetX Holding Corporation (AMEX:VHC) against Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT).
The verdict follows a weeklong trial before Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas-Tyler Division.
The McKool Smith trial team representing VirnetX included Dallas principals Douglas Cawley and Rosemary Snider; Dallas associates Brad Caldwell, Steven Callahan, Jason Cassady, Austin Curry and Luke McLeroy; and Austin associate Ramzi Khazen. VirnetX also was represented by Robert Parker of Tyler's Parker, Bunt & Ainsworth.
VirnetX, a supplier of tools for securing real-time communications over the Internet, sued Microsoft in February 2007 based on claims that the software giant had infringed two VirnetX patents, U.S. Patent No. 6,502,135 and No. 7,188,180. The '135 patent covers a method of transparently creating a virtual private network (VPN) between a client computer and a target computer. The '180 patent covers a method for establishing a VPN using a secure domain name service.
In the verdict, jurors awarded $71.75 million against Microsoft for infringing the '135 patent, and $34 million for infringing the '180 patent. Jurors also found that Microsoft's infringement was willful.
"Our clients are very happy with today's verdict," says Mr. Cawley. "We hope this decision sends a clear message to patent infringers everywhere that they will be held responsible for wrongly profiting off the hard work of others."
McKool Smith is recognized as one of the premier trial law firms in the United States based on significant courtroom victories and substantial settlements for domestic and international clients. With more than 120 attorneys in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Marshall, New York, and Washington DC, the firm handles complex commercial litigation, intellectual property claims, bankruptcy matters, and white collar litigation for companies and individuals across the globe. McKool Smith has won more of the Top 100 Verdicts than any other law firm in the nation every year since 2008. Firm clients include major airlines, telecommunications companies, medical device manufacturers, energy producers, and many others.
China Finance Online Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results
-- Registered User Accounts Increased to 14 Million, Q4 Net Operating
Cash-Flow Reached $7.4 million --
BEIJING, March 16 -- China Finance Online Co., Ltd. ("China Finance Online"," the Company") (NASDAQ:JRJC), the technology-driven, user-focused market leader in China in providing vertically integrated financial services and products including news, data, analytics and brokerage through web portals, software systems, and mobile handsets, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009.
2009 Financial and Operating Highlights and 2010 Business Outlook
-- Registered user accounts increased to 14 million as of Q4 2009; the
company expects to increase registered user accounts to 20 million by
year end 2010, up 43% year-over-year;
-- Net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2009 reached $15 million; total
net revenues for 2009 were $53.6 million; the company expects to
generate net revenues ranging from $56 million to $62 million in the
-- Excluding stock-based compensation expenses, non-GAAP net loss was $1.1
million for Q4 2009 and non-GAAP net income was $0.4 million for the
2009 year; non-GAAP net income is anticipated to be between $2 million
to $4 million for the 2010 year;
-- Net loss was $2.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 and $6.2
million for the 2009;
-- As of December 31, 2009, total cash and cash equivalents were $107.4
-- Net cash provided by operating activities was $7.4 million in Q4 2009,
and $16.3 million in fiscal year of 2009; the company intends to
achieve positive free cash flow of over $8 million in 2010, excluding
potential M&A activities.
Fourth Quarter Results
As of December 31, 2009, registered user accounts on the Company's web portals (http://www.jrj.com/ and http://www.stockstar.com/ ) were 14 million, compared to 11.3 million at the 2008 year end, and 13.1 million at the end of September 2009. Active paid subscribers were approximately 117,900 as of December 31, 2009, compared to approximately 116,200 at the 2008 year end and approximately 112,000 at the end of September 2009. As of December 31, 2009, the Company's Hong Kong-based brokerage service, Daily Growth, had approximately 1,650 customer accounts.
Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $15.0 million, compared to $15.3 million for the same period in 2008 and compared with $14.6 million for the third quarter of 2009, down slightly compared with a year ago and up 2.9% quarter-over-quarter.
For the fourth quarter of 2009, gross profit was $12.7 million, up 1.8% from $12.5 million for the same period in 2008 and up 3.7% from $12.3 million for the 2009 third quarter. Gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 84.8% compared to 81.8% for the same period in 2008 and versus 84.2% in the third quarter of 2009. Gross margin for the quarter increased from the same period last year due to a product mix change.
General and administrative expenses for the 2009 fourth quarter were $4.0 million, in line with $3.9 million for the same period of 2008 and down from $5.0 million for the third quarter of 2009. The decline in general and administrative expenses was primarily related to effective cost control measures and the further streamlining of existing operations. Excluding stock-based compensation of $1.5 million, adjusted general and administrative expenses were $2.5 million for the 2009 fourth quarter, compared to $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 and $3.4 million in the third quarter of 2009, reflecting the corresponding stock-based compensation excluded in those quarters.
Sales and marketing expenses for the fourth quarter were $8.5 million compared with $3.8 million in fourth quarter in 2008 and $6.4 million in the 2009 third quarter. The increase in sales and marketing expenses was due to a special year-end bonus paid to the sales and marketing team for their achievements in the challenging environment in 2009 and the expenses related to the expansion of current programs and new initiatives to acquire new registered users and enhance the company's brand equity.
Product development expenses for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $2.9 million compared with $1.9 million in the same quarter in 2008 and $2.9 million in the third quarter of 2009. In the quarter the Company continued its efforts in integrating product teams, and centralizing data management and software development organizations to streamline operations, which will lead to improved efficiency in 2010.
Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $15.4 million compared with $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 and $14.3 million in the third quarter of 2009. The increase is mostly related to higher sales and marketing expenses in the 2009 fourth quarter. Excluding total stock-based compensation of $1.6 million, adjusted operating expenses were $13.8 million in the 2009 fourth quarter compared with adjusted operating expenses of $7.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, and $12.7 million in the third quarter of 2009.
Non-GAAP loss from operations, which excluded stock-based compensation expenses, was $1.0 million for the 2009 fourth quarter, compared to non-GAAP income from operations of $5.4 million for the same quarter of 2008. The GAAP loss from operations for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $2.6 million, compared to income of $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Non-GAAP net loss attributable to China Finance Online, which excluded all the stock-based compensation expenses of $1.6 million, was $1.1 million for the 2009 fourth quarter, compared to non-GAAP net income of $8.3 million for the same quarter of 2008, and non-GAAP net income of $0.6 million for the third quarter of 2009. GAAP net loss attributable to China Finance Online for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $2.7 million compared with a net income of $6.2 million in the 2008 fourth quarter and compared with a net loss of $1.0 million in the third quarter of 2009.
As of December 31, 2009, total cash and cash equivalents were $107.4 million. Shareholders' equity was $97.4 million. Net cash provided by operating activities for the 2009 fourth quarter was $7.4 million.
Deferred revenue at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009, which represents prepaid service fees made by customers for subscription services that have not been rendered as of December 31, 2009, was $45.2 million.
Mr. Zhiwei Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of China Finance Online, commented, "We are pleased to see our fourth quarter top line exceeded the high end of our quarterly guidance of $14 million. During 2009, the unlawful, poor-quality copycats distorted the marketplace, which caused some confusion among our potential customers and negatively affected our expansion in the subscription business. However, we are encouraged to see that, beginning in 2010, the Chinese government has stepped up with more stringent regulations, which can be very constructive for the sustainability and overall health of the sector in the long run."
Mr. Zhao continued, "In the fourth quarter, we not only continued to make progress in integrating and streamlining all our operations to improve efficiency and lower costs, but also undertook substantial efforts in our product development, web portal operations and sales and marketing to focus on new registered user expansion. We are pleased to see that as a result of our above efforts, in the fourth quarter we optimized server utilization and lowered overall headcount as well as improved top line and increased both registered user accounts and paid subscribers."
"On the strategic partnership front, we signed with HKEx Information Service to become the first financial portal from China to provide free real-time quotes of securities traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. We also successfully launched two applications for China's largest online shopping website, Taobao.com, and sealed a partnership with the leading 3G mobile operator, China Unicom, to become the exclusive financial content provider for its iPhone mobile portal. We are confident that all these strategic alignments will expand our registered user base and propel our paid subscription service growth for the future," Mr. Zhao concluded.
Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Results
Total net revenues for the year ended on December 31, 2009, were $53.6 million compared to $56.2 million for 2008.
The gross profit was $45.5 million for 2009 compared to $46.9 million for 2008. For 2009, the gross margin was 84.8% compared with 83.3% in 2008. The gross margin increased due to a product mix change.
GAAP loss from operations in 2009 was $7.8 million compared with operating income of $12.8 million in 2008. Total operating expenses were $53.8 million in 2009 compared with $34.5 million a year ago. The higher operating expenses were primarily related to increased headcount in sales and marketing, product development and web portal operations as well as additional marketing expenses associated with partnership expansion. Non-GAAP loss from operations in 2009 was $1.2 million compared with Non-GAAP income of $20.8 million in 2008.
The GAAP net loss attributable to China Finance Online was $6.2 million for the 2009 year compared to a net profit of $19.0 million for 2008, with fully diluted loss per ADS of $0.30 in 2009 versus fully diluted earnings per ADS of $0.84 in 2008. Non-GAAP annual net income attributable to China Finance Online was $0.4 million in 2009.
Net cash flow from operations in 2009 was 16.3 million, compared to 26.3 million 2008.
In October 2009, China Finance Online announced that it entered into a definitive agreement with HKEx Information Services Limited (HKEx-IS), a business subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited Group whereby, http://www.jrj.com/ , would become the first HKEx-IS designated finance portal in mainland China to provide free real-time basic market quotes to mainland China investors. JRJ.com is authorized to provide free real-time quotes of securities traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In October 2009, the Company established a strategic partnership with Taobao.com ("Taobao"), an Alibaba.com company. As the largest online shopping website in China, Taobao currently has over 145 million registered online users. Alitalk, Taobao's instant messenger platform, features 123 million registered users. Through this partnership, China Finance Online successfully developed a plug-in application for Alitalk and introduced an online trading simulation platform. Both applications are well received by Taobao's users.
In October 2009, China Finance Online formed a strategic partnership with China Unicom to become the exclusive content provider of financial news and market data for its 3G mobile portal (http://iphone.wo.com.cn/ ). China Unicom is the designated mobile carrier to offer the iPhone and its related 3G data services in China. The beta site went live in late October 2009 and Phase II has been up and running since March 12, 2010.
In March 2010, Mr. Alex Xu, the Company's Chief Strategy Officer, resigned to pursue other interests. There is no disagreement between Mr. Xu and the Company. Subsequently, Mr. Jeff Wang, Chief Financial Officer of the Company undertook the responsibilities previously assumed by Alex Xu.
"On behalf of everyone at China Finance Online, I would like to thank Alex for his contributions to the Company. We wish him all the best for his new pursuit," Mr. Zhiwei Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of China Finance Online, commented.
The Company currently expects to increase the registered user accounts to 20 million by year end 2010, up 43% from 14 million at the year end of 2009, and up 82% from 11 million at the year end of 2008, respectively.
The Company also expects to generate net revenues in an amount ranging from $56 million to $62 million for the 2010 year. Non-GAAP net income, which is defined as net income excluding stock-based compensations, for the 2010 year is anticipated to be between $2 million and $4 million. The Company intends to achieve positive free cash flow of over $8 million in 2010, excluding potential M&A activities. Management has decided to discontinue quarterly guidance effective immediately and will periodically update the 2010 annual guidance.
The above forecast reflects the Company's current and preliminary view, which is subject to change. A number of important factors including, but not limited to, fluctuation in the Chinese stock market, could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in the above guidance.
Mr. Zhiwei Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of China Finance Online, stated, "The most difficult two years are now behind us. With the strong advancement of the Chinese economy, the rapid growth of disposable income and individuals' savings, and individual investors' on-going investment interest, we see a promising 2010 ahead of us. With the IPO activities, or massive daily trading volume, or the newly introduced index futures investment products as well as potential shorting and margin mechanisms coming into play, we are very pleased to see Chinese stock exchanges are emerging as a major force in the global financial markets. Being the market leader with superior brand name, sustainable resources and highly-scalable operations, China Finance Online is well positioned to benefit from this favorable macro trend in the long run."
"We also anticipate that 2010 will be a better year, as more government regulation of those unlawful copycats will help improve the overall competitive landscape. To further service 172 million investment trading accounts in China, we continue to build out our brand recognition through our robust online presence, superior product portfolio, and high-quality financial database. We continue to seek high-caliber strategic partnerships to help grow our registered user base, which will serve as the growth engine for our paid subscription business and other value-added services in the future. With our solid cash position and strong capability of cash generation, we have the financial resources to support our plan to expand registered user base and strengthen product and service offerings, which will further extend our market leadership," Mr. Zhao concluded.
Conference Call Information
The Company will host a conference call and a simultaneous webcast, on March 16, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time / March 17, 2010 8:00 a.m. Beijing Time. Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing approximately five to ten minutes before the call start time at U.S. Toll Free Number +1-877-847-0047, Hong Kong Number +852-3006-8101, or China Toll free Number 800 876 5011, and pass code for all regions is 610327.
A replay of the conference call will be available from approximately 10:00PM Eastern Daylight Time on March 16, 2010 (or 10:00AM March 17, 2010 in the Beijing/HK time zone) to 10:00PM Eastern Daylight Time on March 23, 2010 (or 10:00AM March 24, 2010 in the Beijing/HK time zone). The dial-in details for the replay: U.S. Toll Free Number +1-866-572-7808, Hong Kong Dial In Number +852- 3012-8000, and Access code: 610327.
The conference call will also be available on webcast live and replay at: http://tinyurl.com/yfmle4g . The call will be archived for 12 months at this website.
About China Finance Online
China Finance Online Co. Limited is the technology-driven, user-focused market leader in China in providing vertically integrated financial services and products including news, data, analytics and brokerage through web portals, software systems, and mobile handsets. Through its web portals, http://www.jrj.com/ and http://www.stockstar.com/ , the Company provides individual users with subscription-based service packages that integrate financial and listed company data, information and analytics from multiple sources with features and functions such as data and information search, retrieval, delivery, storage and analysis. These features and functions are delivered through proprietary software available by download, through internet or through mobile handsets. Through its subsidiary, Genius, the Company provides financial information database and analytics to institutional customers including domestic securities and investment firms. Through its subsidiary, Daily Growth, the Company provides securities brokerage services for stocks listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, the quotations from management in this press release and the Company's strategic operational plans and business outlook, contain forward-looking statements. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company believes that the Chinese economy continues to expand; however, the expansion may be uneven with certain sectors being affected more than others with resulting volatility in the Chinese equity market which could influence the Company's operating results in the coming quarters. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.
To supplement the unaudited condensed consolidated financial information presented in accordance with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), the Company uses non-GAAP measures of income (loss)from operations, net income (loss), net income (loss) per share and net income (loss) per ADS, which are adjusted from results based on GAAP to exclude the stock-based compensation expenses due to the adoption of authoritative guidance on stock-based compensation, previously issued as SFAB123R, now Codified in Accounting Standards Codification Topic - ASC 718, which became effective on January 1, 2006. Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, other non-operating income (loss), and stock-based compensation expenses. The non-GAAP financial measures are provided to enhance the investors' overall understanding of the Company's current and past financial performance in on-going core operations as well as prospects for the future. These measures should be considered in addition to results prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. Management uses both GAAP and non-GAAP information in evaluating and operating business internally and therefore deems it important to provide all of this information to investors.
For more information, please contact:
China Finance Online Co., Ltd.
In the United States:
China Finance Online Co. Limited
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands of U.S. dollars)
Dec. 31, 2009 Dec. 31, 2008
as adjusted (1)
RMB account 93,754 80,308
Foreign currency account 13,637 17,236
Cash and cash equivalents 107,391 97,544
Trust bank balances held on behalf
of customers 13,310 2,010
Advance to employees -- 161
Accounts receivable, net 5,370 2,876
Short term investment 68 --
Prepaid expenses and other current
assets 4,281 8,582
Deferred tax assets, current 3,237 2,526
Total current assets 133,657 113,699
Cost method investment 1,480 1,480
Property and equipment, net 10,268 8,589
Acquired intangible assets, net 4,779 3,473
Rental deposits 725 592
Goodwill 12,603 12,019
Deferred tax assets, non-current 1,879 1,754
Other deposits 219 218
Total assets 165,610 141,824
Liabilities and shareholders' equity
Deferred revenue, current 30,620 28,202
Accrued expenses and other current
liabilities 8,243 4,897
Amount due to customers for trust
bank balances held on behalf of
customers 13,310 2,010
Accounts payable 102 222
Income taxes payable 124 142
Total current liabilities 52,399 35,473
Deferred tax liability, non-
current 995 623
Deferred revenue, non-current 14,547 8,786
Total liabilities 67,941 44,882
Noncontrolling interests 264 --
Total shareholders' equity 97,405 96,942
Total liabilities and shareholders'
equity 165,610 141,824
(1) Amount in relation to noncontrolling interest, formerly named minority
interest, as of December 31, 2008 is reclassified in accordance with
ASC 810 (formerly FASB Statement No. 160, Noncontrolling Interest),
which was adopted by the Company on January 1, 2009.
China Finance Online Co. Limited
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands of U.S. dollars, except per share data)
Three months ended Year ended Dec. 31
Dec. 31, Dec. 31, Sep. 30,
2009 2008 2009 2009 2008
as adjusted as adjusted
Net revenues 14,995 15,281 14,577 53,606 56,243
Cost of revenues (2,275) (2,781) (2,309) (8,147) (9,367)
Gross profit 12,720 12,500 12,268 45,459 46,876
expenses of $1,556,
$6,436 and $7,768,
respectively) (4,024) (3,911) (5,004) (16,982) (15,371)
of $18, $19,
respectively) (8,493) (3,789) (6,416) (26,095) (13,521)
$10, $12, $13,
$57 and $59,
respectively) (2,902) (1,906) (2,873) (10,754) (5,635)
expenses (15,419) (9,606) (14,293) (53,831) (34,527)
Subsidy income 132 437 219 567 437
Income (loss) from
operations (2,567) 3,331 (1,806) (7,805) 12,786
Interest income 372 404 379 1,352 1,608
(loss) 41 (59) -- 41 (135)
Other loss, net (148) (22) (70) (258) (34)
(loss), net (6) (123) 8 2 1,490
tax benefit (2,308) 3,531 (1,489) (6,668) 15,715
(provision) (357) 2,647 456 446 3,047
earning -- -- -- -- 227
Net income (loss) (2,665) 6,178 (1,033) (6,222) 18,989
Less: Net loss
interest (2) -- -- (2) 31
Limited (2,667) 6,178 (1,033) (6,224) 19,020
Basic (0.03) 0.06 (0.01) (0.06) 0.19
Diluted (0.03) 0.06 (0.01) (0.06) 0.17
Basic (0.13) 0.31 (0.05) (0.30) 0.96
Diluted (0.13) 0.28 (0.05) (0.30) 0.84
Basic 106,359,313 99,287,039 105,621,910 105,203,564 98,957,993
Diluted 106,359,313 109,417,794 105,621,910 105,203,564 112,984,532
Basic 21,271,863 19,857,408 21,124,382 21,040,713 19,791,599
Diluted 21,271,863 21,894,359 21,124,382 21,040,713 22,596,906
China Finance Online Co. Limited
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands of U.S. dollars)
Three months ended
Dec. 31, Dec. 31, Sep. 30,
2009 2008 2009
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net income (loss) (2,665) 6,178 (1,033)
Adjustments to reconcile net income
(loss) to net cash provided by
Stock-based compensation 1,584 2,096 1,633
Depreciation and amortization 889 681 751
Gain from sales of trading securities (41) -- --
Deferred taxes 211 (2,783) (596)
Loss on disposal of property and
equipment 148 5 --
Changes in assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable (1,947) 1,535 (658)
Advance to customers 4,008 -- (1,526)
Prepaid expenses and other current
assets 1,075 2,632 2,314
Advance to employees -- 2,614 --
Trust bank balances held on behalf of
customers (7,832) 214 (2,143)
Rental deposits 34 1 --
Deferred revenue 1,786 1,870 1,572
Accounts payable (95) (13) (152)
Amount due to customers for trust
bank balances held on behalf of
customers 7,832 (214) 2,143
Accrued expenses and other current
liabilities 2,402 (588) 270
Income taxes payable (20) 142 (4)
Net cash provided by operating
activities 7,369 14,370 2,571
Cash flows from investing activities:
Acquisition of businesses (1,083) 1,520 --
Purchase of trading securities (268) -- --
Proceeds from sales of trading
securities 241 -- --
Purchase of property and equipment (512) (633) (1,696)
Proceeds from disposal of fixed
assets 1 -- --
Net cash provided by (used in)
investing activities (1,621) 887 (1,696)
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from stock options exercised
by employees 62 12 40
Proceeds from exercise of options
granted to non-employee -- 8 --
Repayment of bank loan (2,839) -- --
Proceeds from bank loan -- -- 2,839
Net cash provided by (used in)
financing activities (2,777) 20 2,879
Effect of exchange rate changes 11 (128) 27
Net increase in cash and cash
equivalents 2,982 15,149 3,781
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning
of quarter 104,409 82,395 100,628
Cash and cash equivalents, end of
quarter 107,391 97,544 104,409
Three months ended Dec. 31, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
from (2,567) 1,584 (983)
Three months ended Dec. 31, 2008
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
from 3,331 2,096 5,427
Three months ended Sep. 30, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
from (1,806) 1,633 (173)
Three months ended Dec. 31, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
Limited (2,667) 1,584 (1,083)
Three months ended Dec. 31, 2008
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
Limited 6,178 2,096 8,274
Three months ended Sep. 30, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
Limited (1,033) 1,633 600
Year ended Dec. 31, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
operations (7,805) 6,601 (1,204)
Year ended Dec. 31, 2008
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
operations 12,786 8,040 20,826
Year ended Dec. 31, 2009
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
Limited (6,224) 6,601 377
Year ended Dec. 31, 2008
(U.S. Dollars in thousands)
GAAP Result Adjustment Non-GAAP
Limited 19,020 8,040 27,060
(a) The adjustment is for share-based compensation expenses.
Source: China Finance Online Co. Limited
CONTACT: In China: Lily Zhang, Investor Relations, China Finance Online
Co., Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org; Or in the United States: Kevin Theiss of Grayling,
+1-646-284-9409, or email@example.com
Playdom Fuels MetroGames' Plans for Explosive Growth
Leading Social Games Developer Playdom Invests USD$5 million in Promising Social Gaming Company
SAN FRANCISCO, March 16 -- MetroGames, a promising social gaming company headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, announced today that it has closed a USD$5 million investment from Playdom as part of MetroGames' Series A financing. The investment will be used to expand MetroGames' pipeline of games and continued development of its Metrogames.com social gaming platform.
"We are very confident MetroGames will become one of the world leaders in social gaming during this next wave of explosive growth in the industry. We already have more than 30 games online across Facebook and our own social gaming platform (http://www.metrogames.com) and many more to be released during 2010. We are pleased Playdom has recognized our potential and chosen to invest in us," said Damian Harburguer, CEO of MetroGames.
In conjunction with this financing, MetroGames has added John Pleasants, Playdom's CEO, to its Board of Directors. Pleasants joins MetroGames' existing board members CEO & founder Damian Harburguer, and COO & founder Julian Lisenberg.
"We are really excited to partner with such a promising company," said Pleasants. "MetroGames has a proven track record for developing very appealing social games, so we are convinced that with Playdom's help they will become a big player in the social gaming market."
BEIJING, March 16 -- KongZhong Corporation (NASDAQ: KONG), a leading mobile Internet company in China, today announced its unaudited fourth quarter 2009 and full year 2009 financial results.
Fourth Quarter 2009 Financial Highlights:
(Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all financial statement amounts used in this press release are based on United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and denominated in US dollars)
-- Revenues in-line with the guidance - Total revenues for the Fourth
Quarter of 2009 ("4Q09") increased 28% year-over-year to US$ 34.3
million ("mn"), in line with the Company's revised 4Q09 revenue
guidance of US$ 34 mn to US$ 35 mn.
-- Gross margin decreased - Total gross margin was 46% in 4Q09, a decrease
compared with 49% in 3Q09. (Please see note related to change to
presentation of sales tax)
-- Net income increased - Net income in 4Q09 was US$ 2.02 mn, a 286%
increase compared with 4Q08 net income of US$ 0.52 mn. Basic net
income per ADS was US$ 0.06 based on 34.33 mn ADS while diluted net
income per ADS was US$ 0.05 based on 39.27 mn ADS outstanding as of
December 31, 2009.
-- Non-GAAP net income increased - Non-GAAP net income was US$ 5.44 mn, a
416% increase compared to 4Q08 Non-GAAP net income of US$ 1.09 mn,
while Non-GAAP diluted net income per ADS was US$ 0.13 (Non-GAAP
Financial Measures are described and reconciled to the corresponding
GAAP measures in the section titled "Non-GAAP Financial Measures.")
-- Cash and cash equivalents - As of December 31, 2009, the Company had $
139 mn in cash and cash equivalents.
Full Year 2009 Financial Highlights:
-- Total revenues were $131.30 million - Total WVAS revenues were $98.24
million, total mobile games revenues were $27.30 million and total
Wireless Internet revenues were $5.76 million.
-- Gross margin increased - Overall gross margin was 48% for the year 2009,
an increase compared with overall gross margin of 44% in the year 2008.
(Please see note related to change to presentation of sales tax)
-- Net income increased - Net income in 2009 was US$ 12.58 mn, an increase
compared with 2008 net loss of US$ 20.66 mn.
-- Non-GAAP net income increased - Non-GAAP net income was US$20.15 mn in
the year of 2009, a 416% increase compared to the year of 2008 Non-GAAP
net income of US$ 3.91 mn.
Commenting on the results, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Leilei Wang, said, "Although we've entered another period of new policies implemented by our mobile operator partners, KongZhong continued to generate positive cashflow but more importantly, through our acquisition of Dacheng Networks have begun to diversify our business across mobile and PC-based Internet gaming platforms, where we believe we are well-positioned to be one of the leading players in the China market.
"Although our mobile related businesses will continue to experience some short-term fluctuations due to newly introduced mobile operator policies, we continue to believe that there will be an ongoing rationalization of the mobile Internet market, which will benefit large local players, such as ourselves. As an example, traffic on KONG.net in 4Q09 continued to reach record levels of traffic and users, growing roughly 40% from 3Q09, as the number of high quality large-scale mobile Internet sites remains limited, especially those focused on mobile entertainment.
"Loong" (our 3D MMORPG title self-developed by Dacheng) was launched at the end of 2009 and has become of the top domestically developed 3D online games for the mainland China market. We expect to launch a new expansion pack for "Loong" in 2Q10 and through various distribution partners, launch "Loong" commercially in Taiwan and Hong Kong towards the end of 1Q10 and into 2Q10.
"I continue to be optimistic about KongZhong's ability to transition through this period as a more diversified, more product driven and more profitable company."
-- Amendment of acquisition agreement - On January 14th 2010, the Company
announced that it had entered into an amendment to the share purchase
agreement with Shanghai Dacheng Network Technology Co., Ltd (Dacheng)
and its shareholders, which includes the entering into certain business
cooperation agreements among Dacheng, its shareholders and one of the
Company's wholly-owned subsidiaries. Pursuant to these business
cooperation agreements, the Company will obtain control of Dacheng and
expects to be able to consolidate Dacheng's financial results into the
Company's financial statements from January 14th, 2010. The Company
had previously announced that it expected to obtain control no later
than February 10th 2010 pursuant to certain closing conditions, which
were completed sooner than expected.
For the Three For the Three For the Three
Months Ended Months Ended Months Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2008 2009 2009
(US$ thousands) (US$ thousands) (US$ thousands)
Revenues $26,736 $35,091 $34,334
WVAS 23,246 25,387 25,267
Mobile Games 2,698 8,202 7,349
Service 792 1,502 1,718
Sales Tax $796 $800 $641
WVAS 644 528 406
Mobile Games 85 192 148
Service 67 80 87
Cost of Revenue $13,585 $17,167 $18,037
WVAS 12,201 13,074 13,493
Mobile Games 1,053 3,341 3,511
Service 331 752 1,033
Gross profit $12,355 $17,124 $15,656
WVAS 10,401 11,785 11,368
Mobile Games 1,560 4,669 3,690
Service 394 670 598
Gross profit ratio 46% 49% 46%
WVAS 45% 46% 45%
Mobile Games 58% 57% 50%
Service 50% 45% 35%
WVAS revenues in 4Q09 increased 9% from 4Q08 to US$ 25.27 mn but were down slightly compared to 3Q09. Revenues from 2.5G services accounted for approximately 19% of total WVAS revenues compared to 20% in 3Q09, while revenues from 2G services represented the remaining 81% in 4Q09. The small decrease in WVAS revenues in 4Q09 compared to 3Q09 was primarily due to new Chinese mobile operator policies implemented at the end of November 2009 which led to the suspension of certain billing platforms including WAP and the G+ mobile gaming platform. On December 10th 2009, the Company announced the estimated impact of these new policies on total revenues.
Total mobile game revenues in 4Q09 were US$ 7.35 mn, a 172% increase from the same period last year but roughly a 10% decrease from 3Q09. As mentioned above, due to new Chinese mobile operator policies implemented at the end of November 2009, billing was suspended for the G+ mobile game platform, negatively impacting both the Company's downloadable mobile game revenues and online mobile games. In addition, as the industry-wide suspension of WAP billing also negatively impacted various 3rd party mobile game marketing channels, this had a further dampening impact on overall mobile game revenues as our ability to market our mobile games was reduced during the December 2009 period.
Revenues from downloadable mobile games were US$ 6.52 mn representing a 218% increase from the same period last year but a decrease of roughly 8% from 3Q09. Revenues from downloadable mobile games made up 89% of total mobile game revenues compared to 86% in 3Q09 as downloadable mobile game revenues were less impacted in 4Q09 compared to online mobile game revenues.
Revenues from mobile multi-player online games ("MMO" or "online mobile games") were US$0.83 mn, an increase of 27% from the same period last year but a decrease of 26% from 3Q09. In addition to the factors cited above, the poor performance of "Feng Shen", our newer online mobile game, has not compensated for the gradual decline in revenues for "Tian Jie" our older online mobile game. Depending on market conditions, the Company intends to refresh our online mobile game content portfolio in 2010 by launching new online mobile game titles this year while seeking to improve the performance of our existing online mobile games.
Revenues from "Tian Jie" accounted for about 89% of our online mobile game revenues while revenues from "Feng Shen" accounted for the remaining 11%, compared to 3% in 3Q09. In 4Q09, revenues from online mobile games made up roughly 11% of total mobile game revenues compared to 26% in 3Q09.
Wireless Internet service ("WIS") revenues were US$ 1.72 mn in 4Q09, representing an increase of 117% from the same period last year and increase of 14% from 3Q09. In 4Q09, 40% of WIS revenues were from wireless advertising with the remaining 60% of revenues were from premium services on the Kong.net mobile Internet site and revenues coming from our newly acquired Internet literature site, Zhulang.com.
Change to Presentation of Sales tax
Prior to October 1, 2009, the Company recorded sales tax in general and administrative expenses. As of October 1, 2009, the Company has changed the presentation and now discloses sales tax separately as a reduction from revenue. The Company believes that this change provides better comparability to our peers. The Company has applied this change retrospectively to all prior periods presented herein in accordance with ASC 250 "Accounting Changes and Error Corrections." However, this change does not affect prior period results of operations, cash flow or financial positions.
As a result, the gross profit and gross margin discussion below is based on the revised presentation of sales tax as a separate line item vs. as part of general and administrative expenses previously.
Total gross profit was US$ 15.66 mn in 4Q09, a 27% increase compared to the same period last year but a 9% decrease compared to 3Q09. Total gross margin was 46%, stable with the same period last year but a 3% decrease from 3Q09.
WVAS gross profit in 4Q09 was US$ 11.37 mn compared to $11.79 mn in 3Q09, or a 9% increase compared to the same period last year but a 4% decrease from 3Q09. 4Q09 WVAS gross margin was 45% compared to 46% in 3Q09 and 45% in 4Q08. The decline in gross margin levels was due to the new Chinese mobile operator policies implemented in the December period.
Mobile games gross profit for 4Q09 was US$ 3.69 mn compared to US$ 4.67 mn in 3Q09 and US$ 1.56 mn in the same period last year, or an increase of 137% compared to the same period last year but a 21% decrease compared to 3Q09. Mobile games gross margin was 50% compared to 57% in 3Q09 and 58% in 4Q08. The sharper decline in mobile game gross margins compared to WVAS is due to the Company's proactive shift to a new mobile game billing platform (namely China Mobile's monthly mobile game subscription package) in order to offset the impact of the G+ mobile game billing platform which was suspended at the beginning of December. While this new mobile game platform is expected to be a more stable source of recurring revenue, in the short-term, it relies more on our mobile operator partner's resources and includes an additional operator distribution channel fee. However, as the current mobile services policy environment stabilizes, we expect to be able to leverage more of our own distribution resources, bypassing these additional fees.
Wireless Internet service gross profit for 4Q09 was US$0.60 mn compared to $0.67 mn in 3Q09 and $0.39 mn in the same period last year. Wireless Internet gross margins were 35% and decreased from the 45% gross margin level in 3Q09 as the suspension of the WAP billing platform limited our ability to generate revenues in the December period relative to ongoing operational costs required to run our KONG.net and other related mobile Internet and Internet platforms.
For the Three For the Three For the Three
Months Ended Months Ended Months Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2008 2009 2009
Product development $4,165 $4,829 $4,221
Sales and marketing 5,816 4,338 4,953
administrative 2,775 2,630 2,856
Expenses $12,756 $11,797 $12,030
Total operating expenses increased 2% sequentially to US$ 12.03 mn in 4Q09 compared to US$ 11.80 mn in 3Q09.
Product development expenses in 4Q09 were US$ 4.22 mn compared to US$ 4.83 mn in 3Q09 or a 13% decrease. The sequential reduction in product development expenses is related to the rationalization of staff bonuses in lieu of the Chinese mobile operator policies introduced during 4Q09.
Sales and marketing expenses in 4Q09 were US$ 4.95 mn compared to US$ 4.34 mn in 3Q09 and US$ 5.82 mn in the same period last year. The sequential increase in sales and marketing expenses is related to seasonal marketing activities the Company traditionally undertakes at year-end.
General and administrative expenses in 4Q09 were US$ 2.86 mn compared to US$ 2.63 mn in 3Q09, or an increase of roughly 9% quarter-over-quarter. As discussed previously, general and administrative expenses had previously included sales tax, but as of Oct 1st 2009, the Company has changed it's presentation of sales tax as a separate line item and is no longer included in general and administrative expenses. Once again, this change does not affect prior period results of operations, cash flow or financial positions.
The Company's total headcount increased to 1,002 as of December 31, 2009 compared to 922 as of September 30, 2009 with product development team increases continuing to make up the majority of overall headcount growth. This figure however does not include staff as part of our acquisition of Dacheng Network, which will be included in our 2010 financial accounts.
Operating profit for 4Q09 was US$ 3.6 mn compared to US$ 5.3 mn in 3Q09. Operating margins were 10.6% in 4Q09 compared to 15.2% in 3Q09. The decline in operating profits and operating margins were due to the impact of new Chinese mobile operator policies across all of our business lines.
Impairment of Long-term Investment
During 4Q09, the Company deemed its investment in Hui! Media to be impaired and recognized a US$ 1.5 mn investment impairment loss. The Company's investment in Hui! Media was made in January 2008. As of December 31st 2009, the Company no longer had any value related to our investment in Hui! Media as part of long-term investments.
Net income and Non-GAAP net income in 4Q09 were US$ 2.02 mn and US$ 5.44 mn, respectively. Diluted earnings per ADS and diluted Non-GAAP earnings per ADS were US$ 0.05 and US$ 0.13 for 4Q09, respectively.
Total diluted ADS outstanding as of December 31, 2009 was 39.27 mn, compared to 39.24 mn as of September 30, 2009.
Balance as of Balance as of December
30, 2009 2009
Basic ADS 34.08 34.33
Add: Outstanding options
and nonvested shares 3.96 3.68
Warrant to NGP 1.20 1.26
Diluted ADS 39.24 39.27
As of December 31, 2009, the Company had $139 mn in cash and cash equivalents.
Business Outlook (For the 3-month period ending March 31, 2010):
Based on information available on March 17, 2010, the Company expects total revenues to be roughly US$ 37.5 mn with WVAS at US$ 24 mn, mobile games as US$ 8.5 mn, Wireless Internet services at US$ 1.0 mn and our newly formed Internet online game business unit which results from our acquisition of Dacheng Networks with US$ 4.0 mn in revenues.
The Company's management team will conduct a conference call at 8:30 am Beijing time on March 17, 2010 (8:30 pm Eastern time and 5:30 pm Pacific time on March 16, 2010). A webcast of this conference call will be accessible on the Company's web site at http://ir.kongzhong.com/ .
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(US$ thousands, except per share data, and share count)
For the Three For the Three For the Three
Months Ended Months Ended Months Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2008 2009 2009
Revenues $26,736 $35,091 $34,334
Sales Tax 796 800 641
Cost of revenues 13,585 17,167 18,037
Gross profit 12,355 17,124 15,656
Product development 4,165 4,829 4,221
Sales & marketing 5,816 4,338 4,953
administrative 2,775 2,630 2,856
expenses 12,756 11,797 12,030
Operating profit (loss) (401) 5,327 3,626
Interest income 1,103 717 600
Investment income -- 117 88
Loss from impairment of
cost method investment -- -- 1,500
Interest expense on
convertible notes -- 234 234
Income before tax expense 702 5,927 2,580
Income tax expense 180 1,431 563
Net income (loss) $522 $4,496 $2,017
Basic earnings (loss) $0.01 $0.13 $0.06
Diluted earnings $0.01 $0.11 $0.05
(loss) per ADS
Weighted average ADS 35.64 34.08 34.33
Weighted average ADS used
in diluted EPS
calculation (mn) 35.93 39.24 39.27
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(US$ thousands, except per share data, and share count)
For the Twelve For the Twelve
Months Ended Months Ended
December 31, December 31,
Revenues $96,690 $131,298
Sales Tax 2,840 2,885
Cost of revenues 51,612 65,947
Gross profit 42,238 62,466
Product development 15,180 18,272
Sales & marketing 21,339 17,821
General & administrative 8,800 10,187
Loss from impairment of
goodwill 21,624 --
Total operating expenses 66,943 46,280
Operating loss (24,705) 16,186
Interest income 4,897 3,114
Investment income -- 207
Loss from impairment of cost
method investment -- 1,500
Interest expense on convertible notes -- 726
Subtotal 4,897 1,095
Income (loss) before tax expense (19,808) 17,281
Income tax expense 852 4,698
Net income (loss) ($20,660) $12,583
Basic earnings (loss) per ADS ($0.58) $0.40
Diluted earnings (loss) per ADS ($0.58) $0.33
Weighted average ADS outstanding
(million) 35.62 34.63
Weighted average ADS used in
diluted EPS calculation (million) 35.62 38.44
For the Year For the Year
December 31, December 31,
Cash Flows From Operating Activities
Net Income (Loss) $(20,660) $12,583
Adjustments to reconcile net income to
net cash provided by operating activities
Share-based compensation 2,281 4,212
Depreciation and amortization 2,868 2,941
Disposal of property and equipment (20) 72
Provision of bad debt -- 266
Investment impairment loss -- 1,500
Goodwill impairment loss 21,624 --
Amortization of the debt discount -- 300
Investment income -- (207)
Changes in operating assets and
liabilities 6,428 (7,553)
Net Cash Provided by Operating
Activities 12,521 14,114
Cash Flows From Investing Activities
Purchases of subsidiaries -- (6,687)
Purchase of property and equipment (1,879) (1,599)
Purchase of trading securities -- (610)
Proceeds from disposal of property 31 4
Proceeds from disposal of trading
securities -- 718
Purchase of long-term investment (2,964) --
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities (4,812) (8,174)
Cash Flows From Financing Activities
Proceeds from issuance of convertible note -- 6,775
Proceeds from exercise of share options -- 1,535
Stock Repurchase (760) (11,108)
Net Cash Used in Financing Activities (760) (2,798)
Effect of foreign exchange rate changes 6,762 93
Net increase in Cash and Cash
Equivalents 13,711 3,235
Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of
Period $122,343 $136,054
Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of
Period $136,054 $139,289
December 30, September 30, December 31,
2008 2009 2009
Cash and cash equivalents $136,054 $133,980 $139,289
Short-term investments -- 26 101
Accounts receivable (net) 16,196 23,463 25,277
Other current assets 3,389 6,745 4,908
Total current assets 155,639 164,214 169,575
To supplement the unaudited condensed statements of income presented in accordance with US GAAP, the Company uses non-GAAP financial measures (Non- GAAP Financial Measures) of net income and net income per diluted ADS, which are adjusted from results based on GAAP to exclude certain infrequent or unusual or non-cash based expenses, gains and losses. The Non-GAAP Financial Measures are provided as additional information to help both management and investors compare business trends among different reporting periods on a consistent and more meaningful basis and enhance investors' overall understanding of the Company's current financial performance and prospects for the future.
The Non-GAAP Financial Measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for or superior to GAAP results. In addition, our calculation of the Non-GAAP Financial Measures may be different from the calculation used by other companies, and therefore comparability may be limited.
For the periods presented, the Company's non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per diluted ADS exclude, as applicable, the amortization of intangibles, share-based compensation expense and interest expense on convertible notes.
Reconciliation of the Company's Non-GAAP financial measures to the GAAP financial measures is set forth below.
For the Three For the Three For the Three
Months Ended Months Ended Months Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2008 2009 2009
(US$ thousands) (US$ thousands)(US$ thousands)
GAAP Net Income (Loss) $522 $4,496 $2,017
Share-based compensation 418 1,229 1,248
Financial expense on
convertible notes -- 234 234
Amortization of intangibles 152 319 441
Investment impairment loss -- -- 1,500
Non-GAAP Net Income $1,092 $6,278 $5,440
Non-GAAP diluted net income
per ADS (Note 1) $0.03 $0.16 $0.13
Note 1: The non-GAAP adjusted net income per ADS is computed using
non-GAAP net income and number of ADS used in GAAP diluted EPS calculation,
where the number of ADS is adjusted for dilution due to convertible notes
issued to Nokia Growth Partners, or equivalent to 41.17 million ADS.
KongZhong Corporation is a leading mobile Internet company in China. The Company delivers wireless value-added services to consumers in China through multiple technology platforms including WAP, multimedia messaging service (MMS), JAVATM, short messaging service (SMS), interactive voice response (IVR), and color ring-back tone (CRBT). The Company operates three wireless Internet sites, Kong.net, Ko.cn and cn.NBA.com, which enable users to access media, entertainment and community content directly from their mobile phones. The Company also designs and operates mobile games, including mobile online games, JAVA games and WAP games.
Safe Harbor Statement:
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding trends in the wireless value-added services, wireless media and mobile games industries and our future results of operations, financial condition and business prospects. Although such statements are based on our own information and information from other sources we believe to be reliable, you should not place undue reliance on them. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and actual market trends and our results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward looking statements for a variety of reasons. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, continued competitive pressure in China's wireless value-added services, wireless media and mobile games industries and the effect of such pressure on prices; unpredictable changes in technology, consumer demand and usage preferences in the market; the state of and any change in our relationship with China's telecommunications operators; our dependence on the billing systems of telecommunications operators for our performance; the outcome of our investment of operating income generated from the WVAS segment into the development of our wireless Internet segment and mobile games segment; changes in the regulations or policies of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other relevant government authorities; and changes in political, economic, legal and social conditions in China, including the Chinese government's policies with respect to economic growth, foreign exchange, foreign investment and entry by foreign companies into China's telecommunications market. For additional discussion of these risks and uncertainties and other factors, please see the documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this press release.
Dr. Peter Schultz Featured Presenter for Nobel Prize Winner Charles K. Kao Symposium at OFC/ NFOEC 2010
NORCROSS, Ga., March 16 -- Peter C. Schultz, Ph.D., independent inventor and consultant, retired CEO of Heraeus Tenevo, Inc. and member of the Board of Managers of OFS Fitel, LLC (OFS) will be a featured speaker at the Charles Kao symposium, Wednesday, March 24th from 6-8pm in celebration of the recent Nobel Prize awarded to Charles K. Kao. Dr. Charles Kao is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication."
The connection between these two pioneers in optical fiber is not lost. In 1964, a critical specification was identified by Dr. Kao for long-range communications devices, proposing that the loss of signal in fiber optic cables could reach 20 decibels of light loss per kilometer if impurities and flaws in the glass could be eliminated. Dr. Kao illustrated the need for a purer form of glass to help reduce light loss. In 1970, Dr. Schultz and his co-researchers Drs. Maurer and Keck, after four years of experimenting at Corning, invented the world's first practical glass optical fiber based on doped fused silica (US patent 3,659,915) and a vapor deposition process to produce it (US patent 3,711,262), and capable of accurately carrying significantly more information than copper wire to a destination many miles away. Dr. Schultz's co-discovery of optical fiber solved the problem presented by Dr. Kao, meeting all critical specifications, and has become crucial to all aspects of our modern telecommunication infrastructure.
Dr. Schultz holds 26 patents and has written over 20 research papers and is an expert in fused silica glasses.
"Dr. Kao's Nobel prize winning work set the stage for the development of the optical communications network and many other applications of fiber optics that are the source of OFS customers. As an Optical Society of America (OSA) corporate member and our many individual OSA members we join together to honor Dr. Kao for his vision and creativity," said Dr. Timothy F. Murray, Chairman and CEO of OFS. "OFS has been fortunate to have Dr. Schultz as part of our board. His experiences as an inventor entrepreneur and CEO made him especially valuable to a company such as ours. It was founded in the Bell Labs tradition of innovation in optical fiber technologies, yet we faced, from the moment we were created, fast and wrenching changes in the global telecommunications marketplace. We are proud to be associated with him and expect to continue to benefit from the association for years to come as we serve the customers Dr. Kao's vision created."
Please visit us at OFC/ NFOEC in San Diego, California March 23 - 25 at Booth 1023.
OFS is a world-leading designer, manufacturer and provider of optical fiber, optical fiber cable, FTTX, optical connectivity and specialty photonics products. Our manufacturing and research divisions work together to provide innovative products and solutions that traverse many different applications as they link people and machines worldwide. Between continents, between cities, around neighborhoods, and into homes and businesses of digital consumers we provide the right optical fiber, optical cable and components for efficient, cost-effective transmission.
OFS' corporate lineage dates back to 1876 and includes technology powerhouses such as AT&T and Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel-Lucent). Today, OFS is owned by Furukawa Electric, a multi-billion dollar global leader in optical communications.
Headquartered in Norcross (near Atlanta) Georgia, U.S., OFS is a global provider with facilities in Avon, Connecticut; Carrollton, Georgia; Somerset, New Jersey; and Sturbridge, Massachusetts, as well as in Denmark, Germany and Russia.