Report: Smartphones to triple by 2019
The number of smartphones is forecast to triple to 5.6 billion globally by 2019, accounting for more than 60 percent of cellphones. Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications networks, says in a report it expects smartphone traffic to grow tenfold in the next six years, with service providers increasing high-speed networks to deal with the surge. Total mobile subscriptions are predicted to reach 9.3 billion.
Rolex Daytona sells for $1.1 million
A Rolex Daytona chronograph sold for a record $1.1 million at a Christie’s International auction here Sunday that raised $13.2 million, four times the presale estimate. The 1969 stainless-steel Paul Newman-model wristwatch was sold to a buyer who wants to be anonymous, the auction house said in an e-mailed release Monday. The price was the highest for any Daytona at public auction. Christie’s also sold a Rolex Daytona made for the Sultan of Oman for $864,285.
Disney Interactive shuffles leadership
The Walt Disney Co. is shuffling the executive ranks at its interactive division, which last week posted only its second profitable quarter since results began to be broken out in late 2008. Co-president John Pleasants is stepping down, while co-president Jimmy Pitaro is taking over responsibility for the division. Pleasants was formerly the CEO of Playdom, the social game company Disney acquired in 2010 for $563 million.
Hefty compensation for BlackBerry chief
New BlackBerry chairman and interim chief executive John Chen has a large pay package. In addition to a $1 million base salary and $2 million performance bonus, the Waterloo, Ontario, company will give him 13 million BlackBerry restricted share units, worth $85 million based on the current stock price, that will vest over five years. The former Sybase CEO signed on last week.
Marks & Spenser expands in India
Marks & Spencer, Britain’s largest clothing retailer, plans to double store numbers in India and expand its lingerie offering there, making the Asian nation its largest international market. The retailer plans to have 80 outlets in the country by 2016, compared with 36 now, said Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland, at right. Bolland is counting on international growth to help reverse nine straight quarters of declining same-store sales in clothing and general merchandise.
Drugmaker Shire to buy ViroPharma for $4.2B
The drugmaker Shire PLC plans to strengthen its rare disease treatment portfolio by spending $4.2 billion in cash to buy the biopharmaceutical company ViroPharma Inc. The Dublin-based drugmaker said Monday it will pay $50 for each share of ViroPharma, which is based in Exton, Pa. That represents a 27 percent premium on the U.S. company’s closing price Friday, the last trading day before the deal was announced.
News Corp. misses revenue forecast
News Corp. said Monday that it had an unexpected drop in revenue in the most-recent quarter, as revenue from Australian newspapers plunged. The results were short of analysts’ forecasts. Net income in the fiscal first quarter, which ended in September, was $27 million, or 5 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $92 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.