By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, far outpacing the roughly 38 million that Wall Street had predicted. But whether Apple can again produce a revolutionary new product remains the central question in investors' and Silicon Valley executives' minds.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. "They've got the right products for what advertisers are looking for and that's manifesting itself in the results you're seeing," said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey.
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc on Wednesday posted its smallest quarterly revenue increase since 2010 as it wrestles with a smartphone market that is losing steam and shifting to China, sending its shares lower. With expansion in the smartphone industry moving away from wealthy markets such as the United States and toward China and other developing countries, where consumers favor less expensive devices, Qualcomm's once-impressive revenue growth is tapering off and it is focusing on costs to preserve its profitability. It was far lower than the quarterly growth rates of over 20 percent that Qualcomm investors until recently have been accustomed to. Less growth than expected in recent months in China, where China Mobile is preparing to launch a new, faster network with 4G, or LTE, technology, hurt Qualcomm's results in the quarter, Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf told Reuters.
By Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The next hacker playground: the open seas - and the oil tankers and container vessels that ship 90 percent of the goods moved around the planet. Somali pirates help choose their targets by viewing navigational data online, prompting ships to either turn off their navigational devices, or fake the data so it looks like they're somewhere else; While data on the extent of the maritime industry's exposure to cyber crime is hard to come by, a study of the related energy sector by insurance brokers Willis this month found that the industry "may be sitting on an uninsured time bomb". Globally, it estimated that cyber attacks against oil and gas infrastructure will cost energy companies close to $1.9 billion by 2018.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc co-founder Mark Pincus will relinquish the last of his operational duties at the social gaming company starting Wednesday, taking on an advisory role as chief executive Don Mattrick pushes through a restructuring plan. Pincus, who remains chairman of the board, has decided to move on from his operational role as chief product officer, Zynga said in a statement. He has been stepping back from a company that once dominated gaming on Facebook with "Farmville" but is now losing users to mobile game developers. ...
Pincus, who founded the social gaming company in 2007, will no longer have employees under his purview.
David Ebersman -- the CFO who took Facebook public and attracted scrutiny for its rocky initial ride -- is departing the company later this year.