Toshiba Is ‘Burning Cash At An Alarming Rate’

bsharma quotes a report from Reuters: Faced with the prospect of a multibillion-dollar write-down that could wipe out its shareholders’ equity, Japan’s Toshiba is running out of fixes: It is burning cash, cannot issue shares, and has few easy assets left to sell. The Tokyo-based conglomerate, which is still recovering from a $ 1.3 billion accounting scandal in 2015, dismayed investors and lenders again this week by announcing that cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business bought only last year meant it could now face a crippling charge against profit. Toshiba says it will be weeks before it can give a final number, but a write-down of the scale expected — as much as 500 billion yen ($ 4.3 billion), according to one source close to Toshiba — would leave the group scrambling to plug the financial hole and keep up hefty investments in the competitive memory chip industry, which generates the bulk of its operating profit. “Toshiba’s immediate problem is that it is burning cash at an alarming rate, and this will be more than challenging,” said Ken Courtis, chairman of Starfort Investment Holdings. “I see little option but to sell a slew of non-core assets.”One source in the semiconductor industry said Toshiba could revive plans to list a slice of the memory chip business, which though highly profitable burns through cash for reinvestment. “Toshiba will probably need to sell 30-40 percent of the NAND business in an IPO to secure enough cash,” the source said, adding China’s aggressive drive into NAND flash memory chips could make the timing reasonable. The group has already said it could reconsider the “positioning” of its nuclear business, deemed core last year, and has signaled it could trim an 87 percent stake.

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Microsoft Could Be First Tech Company To Reach Trillion-Dollar Market Value: Analyst

Microsoft’s $ 26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn could help the Redmond company become the first technology giant to reach a market value of $ 1 trillion, or so thinks a notable analyst. Analyst Michael Markowski believes that Microsoft will be able to leverage LinkedIn to become a leader in social media space and the emerging crowdfunding platform. So much so that it will beat Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in becoming the first company to hit $ 1 trillion market value. From a report on GeekWire: Here are the market caps of these big tech companies as of Monday morning: Apple: $ 622.6B, Alphabet: $ 549.7B, Microsoft: $ 489.3B, Amazon: $ 358.7B, and Facebook: $ 337.6B. “The public has an insatiable appetite for making small bets and purchasing lottery tickets, etc., that provide the chance to make a big profit,” Markowski wrote. “The millennials will be a good example. Many will want to routinely invest $ 100 or even less into high-risk ventures that could produce returns of 10X to 100X.” Microsoft, through LinkedIn, will be able to take advantage of this trend because it has a monopoly on the business social media sphere. Markowski predicts that all the big tech companies will eventually build services to facilitate crowdfunding investments.

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IBM On Track To Get More Than 7,000 US Patents In 2016

IBM wants to put the patent war in perspective. Big Blue said that it is poised to get the most U.S. patents of any tech company for the 24th year in a row. From a report on VentureBeat: In 2015, IBM received more than 7,355 patents, down slightly from 7,534 in 2014. A spokesperson for IBM said the company is on track to receive well over 7,000 patents in 2016. In 2016, IBM is also hitting another interesting milestone, with more than 1,000 patents for artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. IBM has been at it for more than a century, and it is seeking patents in key strategic areas — such as AI and cognitive computing. In fact, one-third of IBM’s researchers are dedicated to cognitive computing. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said during the World of Watson conference in October that the company expects to reach more than 1 billion consumers via Watson by the end of 2017. (Watson is the supercomputer that beat the world’s best Jeopardy player in 2011.)

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