Scientists are studying the pictures sent by NASDA rover Curiosity and striking similarity has been observed between the ancient sedimentary rocks on Mars and the structures created by microbes on Earth.The latest findings hints but do not confirm that life may have existed on the red planet.
The pictures in the study were taken by Mars rover Curiosity when it traveled through the Gillespie Lake outcrop in Yellowknife Bay. It was a dry lakebed which had periodic flooding billions of years ago. Both Mars and Earth share a common history and the Red planet was wetter and warmer then.
On Earth, Microbes trap and rearrange sediments in lakes and coasts, forming characteristic features which then get fossilized with the passage of time. Such structures are known as microbially-induced sedimentary structures (or MISS).
Nora Noffke, a geobiologist, in the journal Astrobiology stated that the rocky bed of the Gillespie Lake outcrop on Mars looks like ancient microbial sedimentary structures.
The CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, a consumer bank of Malaysia posted RM890.27mil earnings for the quarter ending September 30, a 16.1% drop from its previous year’s RM1.061bil earnings as a result of its CIMB Niaga higher loan damages.
This morning, the banking firm, announced its revenue, which jumped 1.2% to RM3.528bil. Company earnings for every share were at 10.72 sen, lower than the previous 13.91 sen.
CIMB’s operating income for its third quarter improved by 1.3% to RM3.529 billion due to the net interest income increase of 4.8%, which was partially compensated by the non-interest revenue decline of 6.4% as a result of lower free-based revenue and softer markets and treasury from Niaga.
Similar quarter’s net profits were 16.2% lesser at RM890mil, primarily due to CIMB Niaga’s higher loan deficiencies. During the past 9 months ending September 30, company revenue dropped 17% to RM2.906bil. The latest result was attributed to the company’s first 9-month net profit last year, amounting to RM3.502bil that included the CIMB Aviva sale of RM365mil gain and the restructuring charges.
Without exceptional gains, CIMB’s BAU (Business as Usual) 9MFY14 net profit dropped 7.4% year-per-year. The firm’s annual 9MFY14 clear return on average equity or ROE was at 11.6 percent along with a superior equity base after the January new share placement.
Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Aziz, acting CEO, said the current has really been challenging as the company’s BAU profitability was relatively affected by the Indonesian unstable operating conditions due to weakened Rupiah, bringing 36.4 percent on-year decrease in Niaga’s PBT (Profit Before Tax) contributions.
J.C. Penney (JCP) has reported last Wednesday that their overall sales significantly decreased during the year’s third quarter. This is mainly due to the current shopping momentum that also significantly dwindled down right after the recent back to school overall sales.
J.C. Penney (JCP) reported an overall loss of about 62 cents for every share, amounting to 188 million U.S. dollars, compared to last year’s quarter that recorded a loss amounting to 1.94 U.S. dollars for every share, which is equivalent to 489 million U.S. dollars, during the previous year’s quarter. Zacks latest Investment Research stated that the reported performance levels were able to beat previous estimates of analyst that forecasted a total loss amounting to 83 cents for every share.
Overall net sales declined to 2.76 billion U.S. dollars from the previous year’s 2.78 billion U.S. dollar third quarter. Overall sales at company stores that open for at least 1 year recorded flat performances.
J.C. Penney (JCP) overall stock increased by almost 8% last Wednesday, but overall post-market earnings levels that were reported shares dropped down to 6% during after trading hours. J.C. Penney (JCP) overall shares have decreased by a total of 15% that started early 2014.
Maglan Capital hedge fund’s president, David Tawil, stated that looking at the current report of J.C. Penney (JCP), especially if one views it in a somewhat survival perspective, one can say that the overall results can be considered ok. He added, though, that if one considers to look at it as a turnaround perspective, it is not that good.
On Thursday, the Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd cut its entire-year estimate, saying its key drug inventory piled up, which discouraged the Allergan Inc. to acquire the drug maker, according to some experts.
Allergan and Salix almost sealed a deal, however, Allergan hesitated after issues on inventory levels. Those experts requested anonymity since the negotiations remained confidential. Representatives of both companies refused to comment.
Meanwhile, the latest earnings forecast, including inventory disclosure occurred during the third quarter earnings of Salix, bringing its shares low about 36% after the bell.
Allergan stated it has been meeting up with another party, disclosed as the Actavis Inc that it was approached by Allergan. A deal is brewing that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International would take over Allergan at 54 billion dollars, and arguments indicate that such would diminish Allergan’s growth due to deep cost-cutting.
The bowel drug maker, Salix, indicated adequate stock goo for 5 months, contrary to previous statements that showed stock would only last for weeks. As of September 30, inventory was 155 million dollars, up 50% since the year’s start.
Carolyn Logan, CEO of Salix said accounting of sales and wholesalers have always been appropriate, but the audit committee of the company is reviewing issues associated with its wholesale inventory.
The company expects a 5.20 dollar per share as 2014 profit to 1.4 billion dollar revenue, excluding special products, compared to the previous forecast of 6.16 dollars every share on 1.6 billion dollar revenue.
Analysts expected a 6.17 dollar every share on 1.6 billion dollar revenue.
The McDonald’s Corp’s sales missed the average expectation of analysts in October, McDonald’s said on Monday, and worries remain as it is continually in search of the best recipe so as to compete against famous food chains that sell fresh food.
Sales of newly-opened and at least 13-month operating McDonald’s restaurants dropped 0.5% as the largest fast food chain in the world continues to compete in the extremely tough industry, including the European political and economic turmoil, and the aftermath created by a supplier scandal in Asia.
Analysts expected an average of 2.2% drop based on Consensus Metrix, a research firm. Company sales dropped 1% within the United States, below the analysts estimate of 1.9%. McDonald’s sales have not improved since October last year.
Under CEO Don Thompson’s office since July 2012, the United States have been focused on fresh ingredients as well as customized sandwich toppings as it tried to become more competitive against other food chains like Subway and Chipotle.
Additionally, the company shares remained flat at 95.10 dollars in the early trading. The issue on market share drops in major marketplaces also continued.
Changes occurred as the company also struggled in competing with smaller rivals like Burger King, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy’s.
Sales of the restaurant were off 4.2% in the African regions Middle East, and Asia Pacific, while analysts estimated a 6.1% decline.
Chinese and Japanese diners shunned the restaurant after a news, exposing the workers’ mismanagement of meat in a China-based supplier of the restaurant. Thus, McDonald’s thrived to find new resources to improve its recipes.
Company sales in Europe dropped 0.7% because of closure in Russia, including the weakening of Russian ruble and euro. However, the European market edges out the US as the company’s top revenue marketplace.
On Thursday, First Solar Inc’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said the company will not convert the solar power plants so as to turn it into separate and publicly-traded unit, which was done by some of the company’s competitors.
Solar’s shares slanted over 6% after its CEO Jim Hughes declared the decision to discuss the company’s third quarter income.
Some solar players like the NRG Energy and SunEdison have bundled up their solar assets and converted them into vehicles called as ‘yield cos’.
Such instruments operate and own solar assets, which have long-term agreements with utilities, assuring more stable cash flow as paid out dividends towards investors or will be re-invested in new solar plants by its parent company.
Hughes said they don’t assume they’re missing gross margin or market share, capture opportunities since the company does not have any ‘yield co’ currently.
The company is producing solar panels as well as creating solar power plants, most of which are sold to power suppliers. First Solar will also sustain its proprietorship of some projects, without any yield co according to Hughes.
Meanwhile, the Arizona-based company reported its 88.4 million dollars quarterly profit or 87-cent a share, compared to the previous year’s 195 million dollars or 1.94-cent a share.
The company earned 61-cent per share, setting aside one-time tax benefit. On the other hand, analysts’ forecast the earnings of 64-cent a share, except special items.
The revenue was posted at 889.3 million dollars, missing the forecast of 1.049 billion revenues. Shares traded at 52.77 dollars in extended trading, and closed at 56.41 dollars on the NASDAQ.
The Houston-based oil company, Apache Corp reported a net loss of 1.3 billion dollars on Thursday as the impact of tax, gas, and oil property charges, although the company is in the midst of selling its offshore operations.
Despite the company’s pressure from Jana Partners, an Apache activist stated in July its intentions of exiting two projects in Australia and Canada, those which are liquefied natural gas projects. Apache is also assessing the spin-off or sale of its global operations in order to concentrate on drilling in the North American shale shafts.
The company posted a 1.3 billion loss, equivalent to 3.50 dollars per share, compared to the 300 million profit, or 75-cent per share same quarter last year.
Apache generated a 1.38 dollar per share profit, excluding items that are included in the 1 billion dollar write-down of specific gas and oil assets because of low energy costs. Analysts estimated an average profit of 1.38 dollars per share.
The company’s overall gas and oil output for the quarter be around 637,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day or ‘boepd’, compared to the 784,000 ‘boepd’ last year.
Apache said it is now expecting its North American liquid production for 2014 to meet the estimated growth of between 15% and 18%.
The AOL Inc., a digital media company posted its revenue growth, better than expected as advertisers utilized the company’s automated platforms in buying and selling digital ads.
The company’s overall quarterly revenue jumped 12% to 626.8 million dollars, surpassing the average estimate of analysts of 623.5 million.
Its advertising revenue rose 18% to 473.4 million dollars, driven by a significant uptick in its sales from third-party platforms, wherein the company assists advertisers in placing dollars on further digital properties. However, company shares dropped 6% to 41.36 dollars on Thursday’s morning trade.
The company owns The Huffington Post, a media property, and Adap.TV, an automated advertising platform, being in the middle of a reversal process, moving away from subscription dial-up profits.
AOL is benefiting from the increasing trend of advertisers who are allocating more money on digital video. Other media companies posted weak ad revenue at their cable units this week. Other shifts came from poor ratings, which caused advertisers to find out digital video.
The company CEO Tim Armstrong said consumers are in quick motion towards web video, mobile, and streaming video products. The CEO reiterated that advertisers are allocating more TV money with digital video.
AOL’s net income jumped to 28.5 million dollars or 35-cent per share for the quarter. Excluding items, the company earnings were at 52-cent per share, meeting the analysts’ forecast.
On Tuesday, the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, an electronic-commerce giant reported its 9-billion-dollar Singles’ Day sales in China, indicating the Chinese consumers’ buying power as well as the significance of the said event throughout the merchandising calendar.
The company’s 35 billion yuan sales record of 2013 was surpassed, recording 57.1 billion yuan or 9.3 billion dollars this year. This was achieved the midnight after the Chinese consumers, including foreign shoppers purchased heavily on discounted products online.
The Single’s Day event in China is almost similar to the United States’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, and is considered as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, although in 2009 it was converted into an online shopping event.
Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba, said that Alipay, the company’s financial services unit will likewise go public in China, while feeling a bit anxious about higher expectations and pressures since Alibaba is now a listed company. The company’s executive vice chairman, Joe Tsai, also emphasized the unleashed consumption power of Chinese consumers.
The current sales were helped by what they call the “pre-sales initiative” wherein merchants advertise their prices as soon as October 15, charging deposits for pre-sold items, however, the processing of full payments as well as shipping are done during the event itself.
Some of the 27,000 merchants have had complains about discounts from corporate rivalries, undercutting their benefits such as the Suning Commerce Group, JD.com Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. However, Tsai was optimistic of the company’s current position, saying that no other company can create another Single’s Day event as it has become global and reached overseas shoppers in over 200 countries.