3 items tagged "Finance"

  • Amazon overtreft winstverwachingen dankzij cloud

    Amazon overtreft winstverwachingen dankzij cloud

    Amazon heeft dankzij een sterke groei in zijn cloud computing-afdeling betere kwartaalcijfers gepresenteerd dan verwacht. De omzet van het bedrijf steeg met 17% naar 59,7 miljard dollar (53,5 miljard euro). De nettowinst kwam uit op 3,56 miljard dollar, wat ruim twee keer zoveel is als de 1,6 miljard dollar een jaar eerder. De operationele inkomsten werden ook ruim verdubbeld naar 4,4 miljard dollar. 

    Daarmee zijn de verwachtingen van Wall Street ruim overtroffen volgens Silicon Angle. Analisten hadden gerekend op een nettowinst van 2,3 miljard dollar met een omzet van 59,65 miljard dollar.


    De meeste winst kwam opnieuw uit de cloud-afdeling van het bedrijf. De omzet uit de cloudsteeg met 41% tegenover een jaar eerder naar 7,7 miljard dollar. Dat is net iets meer dan analisten verwacht hadden. Het operationele inkomen steeg met 59% naar 2,22 miljard dollar.

    De omzetgroei van de afdeling is iets vertraagd ten opzichte van het vierde kwartaal, toen de groei nog 45% was. Volgens Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Brian Olsavsky is dat deels te wijten aan een erg goed kwartaal voor Amazon Web Services (AWS) vorig jaar. Daardoor zijn de vergelijkingen moeilijker.

    Daarnaast blijven de zaken op dit gebied volgens Olsavsky altijd wat moeilijker te voorspellen, omdat er onzekerheden bestaan over hoe snel bedrijven AWS en de cloud adopteren en operaties migreren vanuit hun eigen datacentra. Het klantgebruik van AWS-diensten blijft echter meer dan de omzetgroei.


    Niet alleen de cloud-afdeling, maar ook de advertentie-afdeling van het bedrijf zag een flinke groei. Het “other”-segment van Amazon, dat vooral uit advertentieverkopen bestaat, zag de omzet met 34% stijgen naar 2,72 miljard dollar. Amazon is daarmee nu de derde grootste verkoper van digitale advertenties, achter Google en Facebook.

    Voor het huidige kwartaal heeft Amazon zijn verwachtingen bijgesteld. Het bedrijf verwacht een omzet tussen de 59,5 miljard en 63,5 miljard dollar, wat overeenkomt met de verwachting van Wall Street van 62,4 miljard dollar. Het verwachtte operationele inkomen tussen de 2,6 miljard en 3,6 miljard dollar is echter lager dan de verwachtingen van Wall Street. Die verwachten een operationeel inkomen van 4,19 miljard dollar.

    Bron: Techzine

  • Learning from the financial reports of your business: 3 important questions to ask

    Learning from the financial reports of your business: 3 important questions to ask

    Your business’s financial reports should help you make important business decisions. While there are many smart decisions you’ll be able to make with efficient reports by your side, these are three of the most important questions to ask:

    1. What should I sell more or less of?

    A key principle to help you, not only to make your business survive but to make it flourish, is to use the market intelligence you have and to provide for your market's current and future needs and wants. By using sales reportst hat show your top selling and least selling products over a certain period, you can easily identify which products you need to:

    • a) Market differently
    • b) Tweak so that they become more customer-friendly
    • c) Cut down on producing or sourcing, or
    • d) Discontinue altogether.

    Sales reports can also reveal top customers. This enables you to spend more time focusing on relation ship management with your essential customers, ensuring that these customers are well taken care of. You can then redirect the cash you generate from these customers into market aspects that need improvement.

    2. Do I need additional funding?

    There are a few internal courses of action you could look at first, like reducing costs or driving more sales to increase revenue for example. But this may not be enough. Many start-up and small businesses are self-funded, which is ideal. However, for many businesses there comes a time when cash flow is not sufficient to maintain operations and additional funding may be necessary. Whether it’s acquired through a business loan or through an external investor, financial reports are required to convince a bank or an investor that you can manage your finances. So you need to ensure that you keep track of your finances regularly and that your financial data are always up to date. Financial reports such as the income statement and can help you gauge whether you need additional funding to curb seasonal fluctuations, or whether you need to purchase additional stock to cater for a growth in demand.

    3. How and when can I expand my business?

    When your business has been profitable for some time, you don’t have to stress about cash flow, and the demand for your product exceeds your expectations, it’s a clear sign that business is going well. This means that it may be time to expand your business. As exciting as expansion is, it needs to be considered very carefully. In this consideration,  insights from financial reports and other business reports will be crucial. There is also a sum of other options you could consider before expanding. Examples are: replacing old equipment, settling debts, giving something back to shareholders, or putting money aside for a darker period. However, if your mind is made up on expansion, a big decision is to decide on what type of expansion to go with. Possible expansion options are:

    • Sell more of the same products.
    • Open a shop in another area.
    • Diversify – offer complimentary products to what you currently offer.
    • Franchise your business.
    • Merge with or acquire another business.

    Not all expansion options are suitable for all types of businesses or industries. It’s important to do thorough research into what will work for you and your business, and what resources you have at your disposal. Use all relevant intelligence that is available! Part of this research will be determining the long-term profitability of your business, considering the expansion opportunity. What does the future look like? Without having access to up-to-date financials that you can easily analyze, you could end up making rash decisions that could have negative consequences or even cost you your business. Being able to make quick decisions, based on accurate data, allows you to kunderstand whether you need to wait for the right moment to expand your business, or if your business is ready to do it immediately. Whatever the case, realizing and understanding the importance of your business’s financial reports goes a long way to growing and maintaining a successful business. We hope you keep these insights in mind and can become the champion of your financials and get them to work for you and your business.

    Author: Milentha Bisetty

    Source: Sage Intelligence

  • The big data race reaches the City

    coloured-high-end-data-cables-large transEduPGWXTgvtbFyMaMlYatm4ovIMMP 5WSTNAIgCzTy4

    Vast amounts of information are being sifted for the good of commercial interests as never before

    IBM’s Watson supercomputer, once known for winning the television quiz show Jeopardy! in 2011, is now sold to wealth management companies as an affordable way to dispense investment advice. Twitter has introduced “cashtags” to its stream of social chatter so that investors can track what is said about stocks. Hedge funds are sending up satellites to monitor crop yields before even the farmers know how they’re doing.

    The world is awash with information as never before. According to IBM, 90pc of all existing data was created in the past two years. Once the preserve of academics and the geekiest hedge fund managers, the ability to harness huge amounts of noise and turn it into trading signals is now reaching the core of the financial industry.

    Last year was one of the toughest since the financial crisis for asset managers, according to BCG partner Ben Sheridan, yet they have continued to spend on data management in the hope of finding an edge in subdued markets.

    “It’s to bring new data assets to bear on some of the questions that asset managers have always asked, like macroeconomic movements,” he said.

    “Historically, these quantitative data aspects have been the domain of a small sector of hedge funds. Now it’s going to a much more mainstream side of asset managers.”

    59823675 The headquarters of HSBC Holdings Plc left No 1 Canada Square or Canary Wharf Tower cen-large transgsaO8O78rhmZrDxTlQBjdEbgHFEZVI1Pljic pW9c90 
    Banks are among the biggest investors in big data

    Even Goldman Sachs has entered the race for data, leading a $15m investment round in Kensho, which stockpiles data around major world events and lets clients apply the lessons it learns to new situations. Say there’s a hurricane striking the Gulf of Mexico: Kensho might have ideas on what this means for US jobs data six months afterwards, and how that affects the S&P stock index.

    Many businesses are using computing firepower to supercharge old techniques. Hedge funds such as Winton Capital already collate obscure data sets such as wheat prices going back nearly 1,000 years, in the hope of finding patterns that will inform the future value of commodities.

    Others are paying companies such as Planet Labs to monitor crops via satellite almost in real time, offering a hint of the yields to come. Spotting traffic jams outside Wal-Marts can help traders looking to bet on the success of Black Friday sales each year – and it’s easier to do this from space than sending analysts to car parks.

    Some funds, including Eagle Alpha, have been feeding transcripts of calls with company executives into a natural language processor – an area of artificial intelligence that the Turing test foresaw – to figure out if they have gained or lost confidence in their business. Trades might have had gut feelings about this before, but now they can get graphs.

    biggest spenders

    There is inevitably a lot of noise among these potential trading signals, which experts are trying to weed out.

    “Most of the breakthroughs in machine-learning aren’t in finance. The signal-to-noise ratio is a problem compared to something like recognising dogs in a photograph,” said Dr Anthony Ledford, chief scientist for the computer-driven hedge fund Man AHL.

    “There is no golden indicator of what’s going to happen tomorrow. What we’re doing is trying to harness a very small edge and doing it over a long period in a large number of markets.”

    The statistics expert said the plunging cost of computer power and data storage, crossed with a “quite extraordinary” proliferation of recorded data, have helped breathe life into concepts like artificial intelligence for big investors.

    “The trading phase at the moment is making better use of the signals we already know about. But the next research stage is, can we use machine learning to identify new features?”

    AHL’s systematic funds comb through 2bn price updates on their busiest days, up from 800m during last year’s peak.

    Developments in disciplines such as engineering and computer science have contributed to the field, according to the former academic based in Oxford, where Man Group this week jointly sponsored a new research professorship in machine learning at the university.

    google-driverless 3147440b 1-large transpJliwavx4coWFCaEkEsb3kvxIt-lGGWCWqwLa RXJU8
    The artificial intelligence used in driverless cars could have applications in finance

    Dr Ledford said the technology has applications in driverless cars, which must learn how to drive in novel conditions, and identifying stars from telescope images. Indeed, he has adapted the methods used in the Zooniverse project, which asked thousands of volunteers to help teach a computer to spot supernovae, to build a new way of spotting useful trends in the City’s daily avalanche of analyst research.

    “The core use is being able to extract patterns from data without specifically telling the algorithms what patterns we are looking for. Previously, you would define the shape of the model and apply it to the data,” he said.

    These technologies are not just been put to work in the financial markets. Several law firms are using natural language processing to carry out some of the drudgery, including poring over repetitive contracts.

    Slaughter & May has recently adopted Luminance, a due diligence programme that is backed by Mike Lynch, former boss of the computing group Autonomy.

    Freshfields has spent a year teaching a customised system known as Kira to understand the nuances of contract terms that often occur in its business.

    Its lawyers have fed the computer documents they are reading, highlighting the parts they think are crucial. Kira can now parse a contract and find the relevant paragraphs between 40pc and 70pc faster than a human lawyer reviewing it by hand.

    “It kicks out strange things sometimes, irrelevancies that lawyers then need to clean up. We’re used to seeing perfect results, so we’ve had to teach people that you can’t just set the machine running and leave it alone,” said Isabel Parker, head of innovations at the firm.

    “I don’t think it will ever be a standalone product. It’s a tool to be used to enhance our productivity, rather than replace individuals.”

    The system is built to learn any Latin script, and Freshfields’ lawyers are now teaching it to work on other languages. “I think our lawyers are becoming more and more used to it as they understand its possibilities,” she added.

    Insurers are also spending heavily on big data fed by new products such as telematics, which track a customer’s driving style in minute detail, to help give a fair price to each customer. “The main driver of this is the customer experience,” said Darren Price, group chief information officer at RSA.

    The insurer is keeping its technology work largely in-house, unlike rival Aviva, which has made much of its partnerships with start-up companies in its “digital garage”. Allianz recently acquired the robo-adviser Moneyfarm, and Axa’s venture fund has invested in a chat-robot named Gasolead.

    EY, the professional services firm, is also investing in analytics tools that can flag red flags for its clients in particular countries or businesses, enabling managers to react before an accounting problem spreads.

    Even the Financial Conduct Authority is getting in on the act. Having given its blessing to the insurance sector’s use of big data, it is also experimenting with a “sandbox”, or a digital safe space where their tech experts and outside start-ups can use real-life data to play with new ideas.

    The advances that catch on throughout the financial world could create a more efficient industry – and with that tends to come job cuts. The Bank of England warned a year ago that as many as 15m UK jobs were at risk from smart machines, with sales staff and accountants especially vulnerable.

    “Financial services are playing catch-up compared to some of the retail-focused businesses. They are having to do so rapidly, partly due to client demand but also because there are new challengers and disruptors in the industry,” said Amanda Foster, head of financial services at the recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates.

    But City firms, for all their cost pressures, are not ready to replace their fund managers with robots, she said. “There’s still the art of making an investment decision, but it’s about using analytics and data to inform those decisions.”

    Source: Telegraph.co.uk, October 8, 2016



EasyTagCloud v2.8