Morning Beat: Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (TM), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)
Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) toppled Volkswagen for the top spot in auto sales last year, as the German automaker, saw its sales come under pressure on the eruption of the emission scandal. The Japanese automaker sold a total of 10.15 million cars worldwide as the German behemoth came in a close second on shipping 9.93 million cars.
Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) shipments represented a 2% decline from the previous year levels. The automaker’s sales came under pressure on the last three months of the year having occupied the top spot for three months in the second half of the year. The company was forced to halt the sale of diesel models in some markets considerably affecting total sales for the year.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) has started rolling out Hangouts version 7.0 that features a couple of new features that users have been calling for. The upgraded version now allows users to implement quick replies on receiving an instant message notification. By simply hitting the reply button, a floating screen should pop up for typing.
Hangouts 7.0 also allows users to create conversation shortcuts on the home screen by simply hitting the 3-dot menu button at the top right corner in the app. Tapping ‘save to Home screen ‘will result in an icon with one’s profile picture appearing on the home Screen.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is closing in on former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) high-profile communications executive, Natalie Kerris, with a view of hiring her to run its communications unit. Well known for her public relations and communication credentials Kerri also worked on the launch of iconic products such as iPod,iPhone, and iPad.
Re/Code reports that Kerris has been talking to top Twitter execs ahead of her confirmation. If appointed, she would replace Gabriel Stricker, who stepped down last year and is currently working on Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) fiber project. The communications division is tasked with the responsibility of addressing media and investor concerns.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is no longer confident of its ability to register sales growth as it used to, as the smartphone market clocks saturation levels. Saturation concerns compounded by concerns over growth prospects in China are forcing the company to forecast a sales decline for the first time in more than ten years.
The iPhone maker expects revenues of between $50 billion and $53 billion for the first three months of the year against analyst estimates of $55.5 billion. The cautious outlook follows a holiday quarter where iPhone sales remained flat compared to last year’s levels. Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) is bracing itself for a tough run as it emerges iPhone growth might have reached its limits with China is not expected to offset weakness in other parts.
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