Tata Technologies to acquire US-based firm Cambric for $32.5 million.

Tata Technologies, a global leader in engineering services and manufacturing enterprise IT, today said it has signed definitive agreements to acquire US-based engineering services companyCambric Corporation for $32.5 million. 

The $32.5 million deal will provide access to high-end, systems engineering, engine design and powertrain engineering capability, Tata Technologies said. 

“This partnership will strengthen Tata Technologies’ global footprint and domain capabilities to provide high-end engineering services to a diverse set of existing and new clients, especially in Europe. It will also provide Cambric access to the Asia Pacific region,” the company said. 

Cambric is a US-headquartered company with a significant footprint in Eastern Europe and has three development centres in Romania catering to some of the world’s marquee heavy machinery, agricultural, off-highway and automotive companies. 

Cambric provides system level engineering and design capabilities in engine, powertrain, chassis/structures, body, electrical and hydraulic systems to its global customers 

Tata Tech said Cambric “is a privately held company with private equity investors holding majority stake in the company” and had revenues of $ 25 million as of 31st December 2012. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Patrick McGoldrick, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Technologies, said: “Cambric gives our customers in the Construction and Heavy Equipment as well as in the Automotive sector access to specialists in this field as well as an access to Cambric’s powertrain expertise.” 

Additionally, Cambric’s customers will have access to Tata Technologies’ footprint in Asia Pacific and complementary capabilities including embedded systems, enterprise IT and extensive automotive domain experience, he added. 

Cambric CEO Tim Hayes said: “We are excited to become a part of Tata Technologies ambitious growth strategy and look forward to providing our customers the added breadth, depth and global footprint that the combined entity will provide.” 

He added, “We will now have similar engineering capability in the Asia Pacific region to supplement our significant Romanian and US presence.” 

Cambric was advised by Rothschild and Holland &Hart, the company said, adding the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. 

Tata Technologies, part of Tata group, serves clients in 25 countries.

Source: The Economic Times.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 launched at Rs 41,500 in India; to take on Apple’s iPhone.

 Samsung expects sales from its latest flagship smartphone Galaxy S4, that was launched on Friday and boasts of several never-seen-before features, to be around three times higher than its predecessor Galaxy S3, said a senior executive of the company.

“The (sales of) S2 trebled the sales of Galaxy S, the S3 trebled sales of S2 and I see no reason why we will not have enormous growth on S4 over any of its predecessors. The sheer anticipation in the market has been unprecedented,” said Samsung Mobile vice presidentAsim Warsi.

The lightweight Android handset, which comes in 16/32/64 GB variants, has a 5-inch Super Amoled screen and costs Rs 41,500 for a 16-GB internal memory version.

The market operating price of the device is expected to be lower than the retail price. The S4 is available for sale online and will be up for sale in Samsung’s premium brand stores in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai on Saturday for four hours.

Pan-India retail sales will begin over the next week. In India, the Samsung S4 will compete with the likes of Apple iPhone5, HTC One, BlackBerry Z 10 and Nokia Lumia 920, in the price range of Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000.

Customers planning to buy the S4 will be able to avail an equal monthly installment (EMI) scheme which will drop the price barrier for consumers looking to upgrade.

The ongoing EMI scheme valid on Galaxy S3, Galaxy Grand and Note 2 offers 15% cash-back on existing smartphones, zero per cent interest and no down payment.

Source:The Economic Times.

Wipro’s sales may shrink further in Q1 on slowing discretionary spends.

 Wipro sprang a nasty surprise with tepid sales growth in the final quarter of 2012-13, and said sales may shrink marginally in the April-June quarter as it struggles for momentum like its cross-town rival Infosys.

India’s third-largest software exporter, founded by Azim Premji, blamed lacklustre discretionary spending on information technology for its troubles, but said demand is expected to pick up in the coming quarters. Under CEO TK Kurien,WiproBSE -1.68 % has been steadily adding clients, but by guiding for revenues of $1,575-1,610 million, the company has triggered doubts about how effectively it is implementing its strategy.

“Wipro hasn’t been able to deliver despite having strength in the infrastructure services side. The company hasn’t been able to really capitalise on their infrastructure business,” said Hitesh Shah, director at IDFC Securities. “Management commentary was optimistic but cautious. The success in growing the top 10 clients needs to be replicated for the next 40-50 clients.”

Indian financial markets were closed on Friday, but at opening on the New York Stock Exchange, Wipro’s shares fell 2% to $8.32.

For about two years, Infosys and Wipro have been the laggards among India’s biggest IT companies, with Tata Consultancy ServicesBSE -0.58 % and HCL TechnologiesBSE -2.03 % emerging as the growth leaders after the global economic slowdown. Software industry grouping Nasscom has said exports will rise 12-14% in 2013-14, and TCS has said it will do even better.

Like in previous quarters, the final three months to March failed to provide proof that growth is taking root at the company – sales expanded 5% during the fiscal as against the industry growth of about 10%.

“In the first month of the quarter, we expected discretionary spend to start coming in, but that did not happen till the end,” said Kurien. “That resulted in a large part of our miss in the banking and financial services vertical.”

He held out hope of better growth in the latter half of the year.

The company is seeing more positive customer commentary, he said. “We see demand picking up in the next couple of quarters.”

Clients in the telecommunications sector, especially in Europe, clamping down on their technology spending also negatively impacted Wipro’s performance during the quarter besides the nature of its exposure in the banking and financial services sector, which has been helping rivals like TCS and Cognizant grow fast. Financial services, which contribute about 26% to the company’s full-year revenues of $6.2 billion, shrank 1.5% during the March quarter. Greater exposure to investment banking clients, where growth has been muted, has been a sore point for Wipro.

Wipro, which has been revamping and investing significantly in sales and marketing efforts, added 52 clients during the quarter. Infrastructure management services, one of the fastest-growing service areas for the industry, grew at about 4%.

“The management has made several changes to the structure to align it more with the demand generation process and increasing efficiency,” said Dipen Shah of Kotak Securities.

“These initiatives have not yet started showing the expected results.”

In what may be a positive sign for the medium term, Wipro’s consulting revenues jumped 5%, which may signal early-stage projects where revenues could start kicking in within one or two quarters.

Source: The Economic Times

Yahoo profit rises 36 per cent, exceeding expectations – Source The Economic Times

Yahoo is still doing better as an investment house than as an Internet company. Its first-quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations, but much of the gain came from its investments abroad.

Since Marissa Mayer left Google to lead Yahoo nine months ago, the company’s stock is up more than 50 percent, buoyed less by optimism in Yahoo than Wall Street’s giddiness over Alibaba, the Chinese Internet company in which Yahoo retains a 20 percent stake. 

Alibaba has signaled that it is preparing for an initial public offering that analysts predict could value it at $55 billion to more than $120 billion, double to five times more than Yahoo’s $26.2 billion market capitalization. 

“If you own Yahoo for Alibaba, you’re doing just great,” said Colin Gillis, an Internet analyst at BGC Partners. “But if you own it for the core business, you’ve got some speed bumps.” 

On Tuesday the company reported net income in the first quarter had risen 36 percent to $390 million, or 35 cents a share, from the year-ago quarter. Wall Street analysts had expected net income of 24 cents a share. 

Much of that was because of Alibaba. The income contribution from Yahoo’s equity interests in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan was $217.6 million, well above its own first-quarter operating income of $186 million. 

Meanwhile, Yahoo’s revenue was down. The company said revenue was $1.14 billion, down 7 percent from the year-ago quarter. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, revenue was flat at $1.07 billion. That news sent Yahoo’s stock down about 4 percent in after-hours trading, after closing at $23.79 Tuesday. 

Yahoo reported its first-quarter earnings at a critical juncture for Mayer. Investors are eager to see whether she can increase revenues, which have languished in an increasingly competitive landscape. 

Once the biggest seller of display ads, Yahoo lost that position to Facebook and Google in 2011. In the first quarter, Yahoo’s display ad business fell 11 percent, to $455 million, compared with a year ago, even as total display advertising spending increased 18.1 percent to $17.7 billion in the United States, according to eMarketer. 

Mayer told analysts Tuesday that she planned to lure back advertisers by starting a “chain reaction” that begins with hiring engineers to improve Yahoo’s core products, which include email, sports and finance offerings, and optimizing them for Yahoo’s mobile and tablet users. 

Without its own mobile hardware, browser or social platform, Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has a long way to go in mobile. Mayer has said she planned to quickly develop a mobile presence through “smaller-scale acquisitions” of mobile app companies. She has acquired six startups since joining Yahoo last July, as much as for the engineering talent as the products. 

Mayer has put those engineers to work making Yahoo’s Web products more applicable to mobile users. Those efforts seem to have paid off. Yahoo now has more than 300 million monthly mobile users, up from 200 million monthly three months ago.

New iPhone coming soon! Foxconn boosts China workforce for Apple’s product – Source The Economic Times

Taiwan's Foxconn boosts China workforce for new iPhone

Taiwan technology giant Foxconnhas been increasing its assembly-line workforce in central China in preparation for the manufacture of a new iPhone, thecompany and media said Tuesday.

Foxconn has been hiring workers in itsZhengzhou plant and will continue to do so to “meet operational demands”,spokesman Simon Hsing said, without elaborating.

The Taiwanese company said Monday that it has added about 10,000 assembly-line workers a week in Zhengzhou, its major production facility for iPhones, since the last week of March.

A spokesman for Foxconn declined to elaborate about production plans, saying only that the company would continue to expand its workforce in Zhengzhou, where it currently employs some 300,000 people, to meet seasonal demand from clients.

The Wall Street Journal said the resumption of hiring in Zhengzhou, the company’s major production facility for iPhones, indicated that Apple is gearing up for production of a new device.

The newspaper quoted unnamed Foxconn executives as saying the company had increased workforce numbers at the plant to cater for a new iPhone launch.

Foxconn, the trade name for Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia, among others, in huge plants in China where it employs more than one million workers.

In February, Foxconn said it had decided to temporarily slow down the recruitment process due to an unprecedented rate of returning employees following the Chinese New Year holiday compared to previous years.

The Financial Times newspaper reported at the time that Foxconn had frozen hiring in China due to reduced orders for Apple’s iPhone 5, although the company denied such decisions were made based on any one customer.

China’s migrant workers go home for the annual Lunar New Year holiday and immediately after the long break companies typically report labour shortages as employees delay their return or fail to go back to their previous jobs.

Hewlett-Packard aims to revolutionise computers with motion-control technology – Source The Economic Times

Computers controlled by a swipe of the hand – a staple of science fiction flicks like “Minority Report” – could soon hit the mass market as the result of a new deal between Hewlett-Packard Co and a San Francisco startup called Leap Motion.

As the world’s largest PC maker, HP’s move to embrace motion-sensing technology could potentially change how people interface with computers in the same way that Apple Inc made touch-screen technology mainstream with the 2007 launch of the iPhone – or when Apple first introduced the mouse to consumers in 1983.

Leap Motion, a three-year-old firm with less than 100 employees in San Francisco, manufactures sensor units about the size of a pack of gum, which it claims can track the individual movements of 10 fingers with 1/100th of a millimeter precision.

The units can plug into any computer and allow the use of apps or software designed for motion-control sensors.

Under the new deal, HP will initially ship Leap Motion’s sensors with its products before eventually embedding the technology directly into HP computers, the companies said.

The sensors are on sale at major retailers for $80 but will not ship until May 13. The companies did not say when the HP devices with built-in sensors would be sold.

“Consumers want to go to the next level when creating and interacting with digital content,” Ron Coughlin, an HP senior vice president in charge of consumer PCs, said in a statement Tuesday. “Leap Motion’s groundbreaking 3-D motion control combined with HP technology and amazing developer apps will create incredible user experiences.”

The agreement comes at a time when tech manufacturers like Microsoft CorpGoogleand Apple have all expressed interest in motion-sensing technology. In 2010, Microsoft brought the technology to millions of living rooms with its popular Kinect box made to be used with the XBox game console. Last year, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled a television set that could be controlled from across the room with hand gestures.

Andy Miller, Leap Motion’s chief operating officer and a former Apple executive, said the motion technology could both enhance recreational uses such as gaming and be a practical tool for business professionals.

In order to show off its wide appeal, Leap Motion has invited third-party developers to make apps in a model similar to Apple’s App Store. So far, 50,000 developers have submitted niche apps that use gestures to create 3-D models, simulate musical instruments or even manipulate surgical robots.

But Miller hoped that the HP deal could pave the way for gesture-based control in daily, mainstream computing. The next step was to embed the technology into tablets and mobile devices, he said.

“This is great validation for motion-control technology,” Miller said. “Going forward you’re going to see this embedded in a whole range of devices.”

Even if it is introduced only in a limited number of models, the new technology could infuse some much-needed cool into HP, which is in the midst of the multi-year restructuring and has been struggling to stem the decline in personal computers as smartphones and tablets surge in popularity.

The company’s consumer PC sales, particularly, have been hurt severely.

HP saw a 24 percent decline in PC sales in the first three months of the year but just managed to hold on to its title of No. 1 global PC supplier, with 15.7 percent market share, according to research firm International Data Corp.

Overall, PC sales slipped 14 percent during the period, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, IDC said.

Oracle fixes 42 holes in Java to revive security confidence – Source The Economic Times

OracleBSE 1.52 % Corp released a major security update on Tuesday for the version of Java programming language that runs inside Web browsers to make it a less popular target for hackers. 

The patch fixes 42 vulnerabilities within Java, including “the vast majority” of those that have been rated as the most critical, said Oracle Executive Vice PresidentHasan Rizvi

A series of big security flaws in the Java plug-in for browsers have been uncovered in the past year by researchers and hackers, and some have been used by criminal groups before previous patches were issued. 

One widespread hacking campaign disclosed this year infected computers using Microsoft Corp’s Windows and Apple software inside hundreds of companies, including Facebook, Apple Inc and Twitter

The situation grew so bad earlier this year that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommended that computer users disable Java in the browser. But many large companies use internal software that relies on Java and have been pressing Oracle to make the language safer. 

Perhaps the most significant change will be that, in the default setting, sites will not be able to force the small programs known as Java applets to run in the browser unless they have been digitally signed. Users can override that only if they click to acknowledge the risk, Rizvi said. 

Not all known problems are being fixed with the current patch, but there are no unpatched problems that are being actively exploited, Rizvi said. 

Primarily a database software and applications company, Oracle inherited Java when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. It is the company’s greatest exposure to the mass market, as versions of Java run on desktops, in telephones and other devices and on servers. 

The browser version, however, has been especially prone to security problems. 

Last year, Java surpassed Adobe Systems Inc’s Reader software as the most frequently attacked piece of software, according to security software maker Kaspersky Lab

Java was the vehicle for 50 percent of all cyber attacks last year in which hackers broke into computers by exploiting software bugs, according to Kaspersky. That was followed by Adobe Reader, which was involved in 28 percent of all incidents. Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer were involved in about 3 percent of incidents, according to the survey. 

Although no high-profile Oracle customers have publicly threatened to desert the company over security issues, Rizvi acknowledge widespread concern. 

“It was pretty embarrassing what happened with the Facebook attacks,” said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. 

“It’s a fight for the Java plug-in’s life. Either a lot of companies are going to turn these off, or they are going to have their confidence restored.”