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Tuesday Papers: Apple bruised as iPhone sales disappoint

Tuesday Papers: Apple bruised as iPhone sales disappoint

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Disappointing iPhone sales triggered a sell-off in Apple stock in after-hours trading on Monday, despite beating earnings and revenue estimates in its December quarter; however, revenues of $57.6 billion came in just ahead of Wall Street’s expectations while earnings of $14.50 were ahead by 40 cents, thanks to a better than expected gross margin of 37.9%.
  • Financial Times: John Malone’s Liberty Global has finally clinched a €10 billion deal to buy the Dutch cable operator Ziggo, continuing the US billionaire’s efforts to create a European telecoms empire.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland is facing fresh concerns about its capital position after it was forced to set aside an extra £3 billion to cover the cost of litigation and compensation; the move is expected to drag RBS to a pre-tax loss of £7 billion to £8 billion for the full year.
  • Financial Times: Charlie Shrem, the Bitcoin entrepreneur backed by the Winklevoss twins, has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and helping funnel cash to an illegal online black market for drugs.
  • Daily Mail: The Co-op Bank’s hopes for a stock market float are likely to be delayed until the end of this year or early next as the lender battles to pull itself out of the quicksand.
  • The Independent: Anton Casey, a British businessman who mocked the poor, has fled Singapore after receiving death threats and losing his job as a wealth fund manager.
  • Financial Times: Comcast has hired Paul Taubman, the veteran dealmaker, to help negotiate its role in Charter Communications’ $61 billion bid to take control of Time Warner Cable, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The Guardian: Premier Foods, based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is selling a 51% stake in Hovis to the US investment firm The Gores Group, in a deal valuing the bread business at £87.5 million.
  • Financial Times: Investors in Vodafone waiting for a bumper payout from a £70 billion takeover by AT&T suffered a setback on Monday after the US group ruled out any imminent bid for its UK rival.
  • The Guardian: A report setting out damaging allegations about the way Royal Bank of Scotland treats its small business customers by an adviser to business secretary Vince Cable underwent a number of revisions in the month before it was published.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Emerging markets remained volatile on Monday with stocks heading for their worst day in almost six months and currencies weakening further until the Turkish central bank said it would hold an emergency meeting to address the lira’s slide.
  • Financial Times: Britain is pushing for Mario Draghi to be stripped of his automatic right to head Europe’s top financial risk watchdog as it seeks to curtail the influence the European Central Bank will have following the creation of a eurozone banking union.
  • The Guardian: The business secretary, Vince Cable, on Monday evening infuriated his Conservative coalition colleagues when he chose the eve of the publication of the latest GDP figures to warn that Britain was experiencing the wrong sort of economic recovery and said his party was not wedded to the pace and scale of deficit cuts after 2015 set out by George Osborne.
  • Financial Times: The EU is seeking to include financial regulation in a sweeping trade pact with the US, arguing that leaving it out of any deal would represent a threat to global financial stability.
  • The Guardian: BG Group shares tumbled on Monday after the it warned that problems in Egypt would result in gas production well below expectations for this year and next.
  • The Daily Telegraph: In a case of old oil meets new, the Gulf sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi has emerged as the latest investor interested in North America's shale oil and gas revolution.
  • Financial Times: Analysts are, on average, forecasting Facebook’s revenue to rise almost 50% year on year to $7.6 billion, and non-GAAP earnings to soar 58.5% to 84 cents for the full year 2013.
  • Financial Times: Banco Santander has appointed Sheila Bair, a former regulator and an outspoken critic of big banks, as an independent director in a move that adds an international presence to the Spanish lender’s board but also raises eyebrows
  • The Independent: The saga at pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond continues unabated as the company said it is no longer up for sale because bosses could not find any buyers for the struggling business.
  • The Guardian: The BBC and BT top a league table of Britain's most "responsible" workplace pension schemes when it comes to keeping members informed about the companies and practices their money is financing; by contrast, the Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline occupational schemes were among those described as "laggards".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Punch Taverns lenders reject £2.3 billion debt restructuring, although major creditors in Punch call for fresh negotiations over pub group's debt plan.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has sealed two long-term patent licensing agreements with Google and Ericsson, it said on Monday, even as it gears up for the next instalment in its long-running legal battle with Apple.
  • Financial Times: Moody’s Investors Service has cut the credit rating of Sony to junk status saying that the Japanese group’s profitability is likely to remain “weak and volatile” until the turnround of its television and personal computer businesses translates into better earnings.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Microsoft has announced it will be renaming its SkyDrive facility as OneDrive, which will become available in the near future.
  • Financial Times: The world’s largest buyer of aluminium, Novelis, has hit out at rising prices for the metal, saying that record premiums payable are “indefensible” and give “the appearance of an engineered squeeze” in the North American market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bangkok police say early investigations show no sign of foul play in death of 51-year-old Tata executive Karl Slym.
  • Financial Times: US big box retailers are joining forces to strengthen their defences against cyber criminals following data breaches that have compromised tens of millions of shoppers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Influx of wealthy French tax exiles to the UK has created a demand for French-speaking plumbers.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Google has made its largest European acquisition yet with the purchase of DeepMind, an artificial intelligence start-up based in London, for an estimated £400 million.
  • The Guardian: Convenience store giant McColl's has pressed the button on a stock market flotation which promises to reap a £180 million cash and shares fortune for top management.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Perhaps the Target data breach involving 100 million credit and debit cards will finally wake up the US on its outdated technology.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Running Royal Bank of Scotland in the post Fred Goodwin era was never going to be easy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Caterpillar: A deep slump in mining hit the group in 2013, but its raised dividend obscured the pain.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Merck: Zachert’s departure may stall the bigger shake-up investors expected.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Liberty / Ziggo: Investors on both sides can be satisfied with latest round of cable consolidation.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BG Group: After two profit warnings, what the UK explorer says must be treated cautiously.

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