Archive for July, 2010

RIM seen unveiling "iPhone killer" next week (Reuters)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Finance News

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) – Shares of BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO) (RIMM.O) jumped early on Wednesday on speculation it is set to unveil a long-awaited touchscreen handset designed to battle Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) popular iPhone.

RIM is expected to announce the launch of the slider 9800 handset at a joint BlackBerry-AT&T Inc (T.N) event in New York next Tuesday morning.

"The timing makes sense (for this to be the 9800 launch)," said Avian Securities analyst Matt Thornton.

"The earlier they are going to say it is going to be available on the shelves the better. They don't want to miss one of the key seasons," he added, referring to the lucrative back-to-school period for retailers.

Shares of Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM rose 2.4 percent, or $1.31, to $54.49 in New York soon after trade opened on Wednesday. In Toronto, the stock was up C$1.22, or 2.1 percent, at C$56.37.

RIM's share of the North American market has been eroded by the easier-to-use touchscreen iPhone and a slew of smartphones that use Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android operating system.

Carrier AT&T, initially, is expected to get exclusive U.S. rights to sell the new BlackBerry handset, analysts said.

"We expect the new RIM slider to receive 'hero' treatment from AT&T, and for the carrier to promote the product aggressively," Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum said in a note to clients.

The handset is likely to be launched in Canada and Western Europe later in the year, in time for the holiday season, Thornton said.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway)

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Las Vegas Sands narrows 2Q loss (AP)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Finance News

LAS VEGAS – Casino developer and operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. narrowed its second-quarter loss, reporting Wednesday that revenue soared as its business grew in the popular Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

For the three-month period that ended June, 30, the company reported a loss to common shareholders of $4.7 million, or a penny per share. That's far better than last year's loss of $222.2 million, or 34 cents per share.

Revenue soared nearly 51 percent to $1.59 billion, up from $1.06 billion last year.

Excluding one-time items, the casino company's adjusted profit was $129.3 million or 17 cents per share.

Wall Street analysts expected the company to post an adjusted profit of 9 cents per share on revenue of $1.59 billion.

Las Vegas Sands is controlled by billionaire CEO Sheldon Adelson. It operates the popular Venetian and Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas as well as casinos in Macau.

The company's shares climbed 42 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $25.70 in pre-market trading Wednesday. They closed Tuesday at $25.28.

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Spanish bank BBVA reports drop in quarterly profit (AFP)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 | Finance News

MADRID (AFP) – BBVA, Spain's second-biggest bank, reported on Wednesday a 17.6-percent drop in net profits during the second quarter over the equivalent figure last year owing to higher provisions for bad loans.

Net profits in the April-June period reached 1.29 billion euros (1.67 billion dollars) compared to 1.56 billion euros in the year-ago period, it said in a regulatory filing.

A survey of 12 analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an average second-quarter net profit of 1.2 billion euros.

BBVA, which last week passed a stress test of European banks, booked provisions during the period of 250 million euros.

Operating income rose to 3.32 billion euros from 3.47 billion euros in the year-ago period.

During the first half of the year BBVA posted a net profit of 2.53 billion euros, a 9.7 percent drop over the same time last year.

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