Tag Archives: AP
Business and financial news web site TheStreet.com reported fourth-quarter profits that were more than double the same quarter in 2005, according to an AP story about the earnings.
The story stated, “TheStreet.com earned $4 million, or 14 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $1.8 million, or 7 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 44% to $14.4 million in the latest quarter.
“Analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast 13 cents per share profit on $14 million revenue.
“TheStreet.com makes money by booking subscriptions to its investment news Web site and running advertisements. The company said it is looking for more ways to deliver advertising revenue by expanding the site.
“In the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Thomas Clarke Jr. said the company boosted ad revenue via ‘more content initiatives such as TheStreet.com TV and TheStreet.com Ratings on our free site.’
“Advertising revenue in the fourth quarter rose 49% to $4.8 million. Subscription revenue rose 36% to $8.8 million.”
Read more here.
The Columbian, the daily newspaper in Vancouver, Wash., is changing its stock listings later this month, according to Julia Anderson, the paper’s business editor.
Anderson wrote, “Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20, we’re adding a list of bond offerings and rates. We’re adding a rotating package of stock performance graphics profiling widely held companies. You also will find a package of forward-looking business news briefs and an expanded list of Treasury bill interest rates and U.S. prime rate and Fed Funds rates. Our Nasdaq stocks list will grow to 2,080, while our New York Stock Exchange list holds at 2,000.
“Here’s what’s changing. Mutual fund listings will appear Sundays only. That’s because mutual fund share prices don’t change much day to day. So once a week on Sunday seems appropriate. A short list of 200 stocks on the American Stock Exchange is being dropped to make room for more general business news.
“Our foreign currency exchange rate package will double in size. A list of commodities and prices will be expanded.
“All of this will arrive in an easy-to-read format from our friends at the Associated Press.”
Read more here.
Florida Times-Union reader advocate Wayne Ezell compares the paper’s decision to cut its stock listings in favor of sending readers to its web site for stock price information to changes that Paul Julius Reuter made in building his wire service in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Ezell wrote, “The pigeons delivered the goods in two hours, beating the railroad by six hours. Reuter eventually moved to the telegraph and other evolving technologies, and today Reuters gives its clients access to real-time data on 5.5 million financial records from 258 stock exchanges and markets.
“‘Market prices, news and data are updated as much as 8,000 times a second and distributed instantaneously,’ according to Reuters.
“Times do change.
“For the same reasons Reuter eventually moved away from pigeons to deliver his market reports, newspapers are moving away from print to provide essential data about financial markets.
“And just as Reuters expanded its offerings, so also have newspapers – in print and online.
“Most newspaper editors have known for some time that their partial listings of stocks and mutual funds – usually in tiny type – lost their usefulness years ago for the vast majority of investors.
“But even though most investors have migrated to the Internet, many others, especially older ones, continue to rely on newspaper listings. For that reason, newspapers have been amazingly slow to abandon financial tables.
“Even so, a very different ‘Money & Markets’ report will appear daily in the Times-Union beginning Tuesday. Editors have worked with The Associated Press to select a lineup of features that they believe will be more useful for readers, including more detail about stocks of local interest.”
Read more here.
TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs points out that Reuters and the Associated Press are getting it wrong when tying changes in the weather to prices for crude oil in the commodities market.
Fuchs wrote, “Let’s start with a headline from this morning, careful not to ensnare our pant leg on too much nonsense. Reuters, in its infinite lack of market-moving wisdom, yells, “Oil above $59 as cold bites, OPEC cuts supply.” Not to be outdone in overdoing it, Associated Press did the same.
“In the Reuters lead, we are told that oil prices climbed back above $59 a barrel as ‘a blast of cold weather boosts heating oil demand.’ Got that? We’ve had a warm winter, but a few days of freezing our measuring sticks off — at least in the Northeast, where a lot of journalists need to be sent off to their newsrooms by their mothers with their mittens — and oil is zooming. Onward, skyward and — well, you get the picture.
“But by only the fourth sentence, the theory that hit so hard in the attention-grabbing headline and lead, which many investors don’t read past, is already looking like a scared little rabbit. ‘The rally,’ opines Reuters, ‘has coincided with a drop in temperatures in top heating oil market in the U.S. Northeast.’ (Emphasis mine.)
“Uh, which is it? A direct correlation between the ‘cold biting’ and crude soaring? Or a total freakin’ coincidence? We can’t be neutral on this. The causes are contradictory. It’s either/or, neither/nor. And you wonder where good investors’ chronic mistrust of the business media comes from.
“The answer, of course, is neither.”
Read more here.
Hal Morris, who writes on the grumpyeditor.com blog, took a look at this morning’s coverage of Monday’s markets and wonders what’s going on.
Morris wrote, “Pity business writers of stock market action. Looking for reasons behind daily movements require constant development of fresh phrases. Yesterday’s 88.37 drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — biggest in two months — brought these various explanations.
“Wall Street Journal Online: Stocks slid Monday despite a lack of significant negative news, led by continued weakness in the technology sector and exacerbated by a downgrade to Dow component Boeing.
“Reuters: Stocks declined Monday as investors sold off big-name technology stocks amid concerns about the sector’s outlook, while blue chip aircraft maker Boeing Co.. sank on a brokerage downgrade.
“Associated Press: Wall Street stumbled lower Monday as growing concerns over technology companies led jittery investors to pull money out of the market ahead of this week’s earnings reports.”
See more examples of confused coverage here. What does Morris conclude? “Grumpy Editor recalls the days when two words summed up market action when there was no consensus: profit-taking.”
Jim Fitzgerald of the Associated Press writes that the decision by Consumer Reports last week to retract a story about the safety of child car seats is not the first time that the magazine has faced an embarrassing mistake.
Fitzgerald noted that Consumer Reports has faced lawsuits in recent years from Suzuki, Isuzu, Sharper Image, Korbel and others about its articles.
He wrote, “The dog food article apparently did not result in a lawsuit. Consumers Reports reported in 1998 that some dog foods lacked essential nutrients. It backed off soon after, and an official said there was ‘a systemic error in the measurements of various minerals we tested.’
“Last year’s April issue said that while hybrid gas-electric cars and trucks can save fuel, the higher prices and depreciation costs meant none of them were cheaper than their gas-guzzling counterparts over a five-year period. After an arithmetic correction, the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius hybrids came out slightly ahead.”
Read more here.
Michael Liedtke of the Associated Press writes that Internet site Yahoo is expanding its personal finance coverage in a bid to attract more readers.
Liedtke wrote, “The new money management package, scheduled to make its debut Thursday night, is being offered as an extension of Yahoo’s decade-old finance section – one of the Web’s top-ranked destinations for business and investment information.
“Yahoo decided to widen its focus to include more simple money matters because many people are more interested in balancing their checkbooks than juggling their stock portfolios, said Scott Moore, who runs the Sunnyvale-based company’s news and information division.
“The personal finance section will include tips and tools for household budgeting, tax planning, careers, real estate and debt management. Most of the content will be provided by other sources, including The Wall Street Journal, The Motley Fool, Consumer Reports and CNNMoney.com.
“By reaching out to a broader audience, Yahoo hopes to lure more advertisers and accelerate recently lackluster revenue growth that has lagged far behind the pace of Internet search leader Google Inc. That gap is expected to be accentuated again during the next two weeks as Yahoo and Google report their fourth-quarter earnings.”
Read more here.
The Fort Myers News-Press has become the latest paper to cut its stock listings, according to a story in Wednesday’s paper.
The News-Press will now run the new “Markets and Money” page offered by the Associated Press.
Executive editor Kate Marymont wrote, “Listings will be reduced from three pages to one page Tuesday through Saturday. Our Sunday report will not change. We will continue to publish ‘The Weekly Market in Review.’
“With market information available real-time on the Internet, few people any longer rely on a printed newspaper to follow investments. Reductions in stocks have been made at newspapers across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and The Boston Globe.
“The cost of paper is our second-largest annual expense. Think about the math: If we save two pages a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, we save several thousand dollars annually. That is money we can re-invest in products and services for changing readers.
“We are making this change because we know that investors have moved to online and the impact will be limited. Stocks can be tracked live on news-press.com/business.”
Read more here.
Ken Shepherd of the Business & Media Institute points out that NBC’s coverage of a $2.5 million ruling against insurance company State Farm was much different than how it was covered by other media such as the Associated Press and New York Times.
Shepherd wrote that NBC anchor Brian “Williams told viewers of the January 11 program about ‘A big legal victory today for a Biloxi, Miss., couple who sued State Farm Insurance for refusing to pay’ their Hurricane Katrina damage claim. The ruling could prove helpful to ‘hundreds of other victims in that region’ who could ‘benefit as a result,’ the anchor insisted. All told, Norman and Genevieve Broussard walked out of court with nearly $3 million, Williams added.
“But Williams failed to tell viewers that most of that award was $2.5 million in punitive damages, or that the Broussards ‘wanted State Farm to pay for the full insured value of their home plus $5 million in punitive damages,’ as Garry Mitchell of the Associated Press reported on January 11 (a story which appeared in The Washington Post the following day).
“Even pared in half from their initial request, the punitive damages award would be ‘distressing’ for insurers, economist Robert Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute (III) told Mitchell. ‘It adds even more cost and more uncertainty to the other problems that already exist in the Mississippi homeowners insurance market,’ said Hartwig.
“Whatâ€™s more, the ‘jury decision could also lead policyholders to conclude that instead of settling’ out of court that ‘they should hold out in the hope that a jury would award them millions of dollars in punitive damages,’ New York Times reporter Joseph Treaster wrote in the January 12 paper, citing Philadelphia attorney Randy Maniloff.
“Also missing from Williamsâ€™ report was the fact that the vast majority of insurance claims from the devastating hurricane have already been settled.”
Read more here.
Rex Farrance, the senior technical editor for PC World, was found shot dead in his California home, according to an Associated Press story.
The story stated that Farrance, 59, was shot Tuesday night.
The story said, “‘We have substantial reason to believe that the victim and his wife were involved in the possession and, potentially, the distribution of illegal narcotics,’ said Pittsburg police Inspector John Conaty, who declined to specify what type of drugs were involved.
The couple’s son, Sterling Farrance, 19, blasted the police assertion that they were involved with illegal drugs, saying he grew and stored medical marijuana at the home with his parents’ permission.
“‘I have a prescription. I’m a patient. It was medical,’ Sterling Farrance told the San Francisco Chronicle. ‘This one officer I remember at the house, he had this predisposition to think it was all illegal.’
“Colleagues at PC World described Farrance as a fitness buff, rock-music fan and a dedicated husband and father who excelled at his job.
“‘We’re all in shock here,’ said Denny Arar, a PC World senior editor. ‘Rex loved his work. He really cared about covering technology in a way that was useful for readers. He cared a lot about people, period, including his co-workers.’”
Read more here.