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BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
If there was a winner among the piles of gifts given to children this Christmas, Barbie certainly wasn't it. The fashion doll - possibly the best-known player in Mattel Inc.'s stable of products - endured a 13% sales slide during the company's fourth quarter. "We just didn't sell enough Barbie dolls," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said Friday in a conference call with analysts. Several other brands from the El Segundo toy maker also fared poorly. Fisher-Price, whose lineup focuses on infants and young children, also suffered a 13% revenue plunge.
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BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Thanks to a boost in advertising sales, Google's fourth-quarter revenue surpassed Wall Street expectations, but its bottom line fell short. Google reported earnings, excluding certain items, of $12.01 a share on revenue of $16.86 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $12.20 a share on revenue of $16.75 billion. The results came one day after Google said it would sell its Motorola Mobility business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion. And good thing, too. Motorola lost $384 million in the quarter.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - As far as Wall Street is concerned, Google Inc. can build all the robots and self-driving cars that it wants as long as it keeps growing its main business: online advertising. And increasingly, that means selling ads that are shown on mobile devices. Google reported Thursday that fourth-quarter net income and revenue rose 17%, to $3.38 billion and $16.86 billion, respectively. The technology giant, however, continued to struggle with a decline in online ad prices.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo's revenue declined for the fourth straight quarter, walloped by declining online display advertising sales. Shares fell nearly 4% to $36.77 in after-hours trading. Yahoo reported $1.2 billion in net revenue in the fourth quarter, down from $1.22 billion a year ago. The results continued the lackluster record of the troubled Internet company under former Google executive Marissa Mayer, who was supposed to be its salvation. Yet Mayer still has time to turn things around.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
Apple Inc.'s experiment with rolling out two new iPhones at the same time backfired as weak demand for the cheaper version with a plastic case led the company to sell fewer smartphones than expected during the holiday quarter. Although Apple on Monday reported record revenue for its first quarter, which ended in December, the 51 million iPhones it sold fell short of the 55 million units that Wall Street analysts had expected. Those soft sales coupled with a surprisingly weaker outlook for the current quarter sent the company's stock tumbling more than 8% in after-hours trading.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2014 | By Lew Sichelman
It's one thing to manage a rental house when it's nearby. But it's another process entirely when the rental is in a distant vacation retreat. Unfortunately, many second-home buyers find that out the hard way. According to a survey by HomeAway, an online marketplace for vacation rentals, owners spend an average of 8.6 hours a week managing their properties. That's one full workday a week. And even then, it's doubtful that the typical owner can market his vacation pad, maintain it and do all the other things necessary to have a successful rental regime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
Los Angeles County sheriff's officials inappropriately kept more than $1 million belonging to county inmates in a two-year period, an audit released Thursday found. When inmates are booked, the cash they have on them is held until they're released. And while they're inside, their loved ones can deposit money into accounts the prisoners can use to buy goods from jailhouse commissaries. Every year, money is left behind by inmates who are released and don't claim their funds. Sheriff's officials have been using that money to boost their department's revenue when they should have been alerting the county treasurer to put out a public notice about the funds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed rainy-day reserve is better than nothing, but it falls far short of what the state really needs to fix its cockeyed tax system. The governor is attempting to treat the symptoms of revenue instability rather than attacking the root cause of the ailment. At the root are two maladies: First, a politically convenient state income tax that leans too heavily on the rich, whose fortunes fluctuate wildly during times of boom and bust. Second, a very old sales tax too narrowly focused on retail goods rather than services.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2014 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
LAS VEGAS - Joann Killeen had never before purchased a digital video, but she took the plunge this holiday season. She forked over $3.28 each to watch the children's show "Yo Gabba Gabba" on her Apple iPad and dance along with a friend's grandchildren to the thump of another Nick Jr. show, "The Fresh Beat Band. " Killeen, 62, is not alone in busting a move. Digital sales have nearly doubled in the last year, becoming the fastest-growing source of home entertainment revenue for Hollywood studios.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Street's Jim Cramer was asked Monday about Twitter. He called the money-losing social media high flier a “love stock.” If that's the case, the honeymoon may soon be over. Twitter shares fell sharply Monday after a Morgan Stanley analyst cut his investment rating to the equivalent of sell and warned that advertisers are more likely to spend their dollars on Twitter's competitors. Shares closed down 4% to $66.29. But they have nearly tripled since Twitter went public at $26 on Nov. 7. Twitter's stock market value is a heady $37 billion.
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