Lexmark withdraws from inkjets

The company is quitting the inkjet printer market and will focus on laser technology and its software and services.

Read time 5min 20sec

The international ICT market was dominated last week by Lexmark's inkjet announcement, and the $1 billion+ acquisition by IBM.

At home, the Comztek sell-off news from Mustek and the news that Telkom is to appeal its recent Competition Tribunal fine stole much of the local ICT headline space.

Key local news

* Good year-end numbers from Metrofile, with revenue up 13.7% and profit up 23.3%.
* Mixed year-end figures from Mustek, with revenue up 21% from continued operations, but profit down 19%.
* Positive trading updates from EOH and Jasco.
* A negative trading update from Silverbridge Holdings.
* The merger of Cortell Corporate Performance Management and the Smart Information Management division of the Pro Solutions Group.
* Mustek will sell Rectron Australia and Comztek within the next 12 months. Mustek has a 42% stake in the latter.

Key African news

* Complete Enterprise Solutions Mauritius acquired UK's AIM-listed Cambria Africa's Zimbabwean unit.

Key international news

* Accenture bought Singapore-based NewsPage, a provider of integrated distributor management and mobility software for the consumer goods industry.
* Altruist Technologies, an Indian value-added services provider, purchased Sweden's Teligent Telecom, a supplier of infrastructure solutions and value-added services to telecommunications carriers.
* Arrow Electronics acquired Redemtech, a subsidiary of Micro Electronics, a provider of electronics asset disposition.
* Brightstar, the world's largest wireless distributor, bought LetsTalk, a mobile device activation and e-commerce solutions provider.
* IBM purchased Kenexa, a human resource software provider, for $1.3 billion.
* Rackspace acquired Mailgun, a provider of Web services for integrating e-mail inboxes into applications.
* Red Hat bought the BPM technology developed by Spain-based Polymita Technologies.
* Rogers Communications purchased Score Media, a sports TV network.
* Xilinx acquired PetaLogix, an embedded Linux solutions provider.
* Ricoh invested in PTI Marketing Technologies, a provider of Web-to-print and marketing personalisation solutions.
* Samsung made a $974 million (3%) investment in ASML, joining Intel and TSMC as having a stake in the company.
* Lexmark revealed it is quitting the inkjet printer market, leaving it to focus on laser technology and its software and services. Don't be surprised if this now turns Lexmark into an acquisition target for one of the other printer players such as Canon or HP.
* The SAIC is to split into two independently-traded companies: one focusing on government technical services and enterprise IT business; and the other on science and technology services for national security, engineering and health markets.
* Samsung has triumphed over Apple in a Japanese patent case.
* Good quarterly numbers from Quanta Computer.
* Good half-year numbers from Gemalto.
* Satisfactory half-year results from Hon Hai Precision Industry.
* Mixed quarterly figures from SAIC, with revenue up but profit down.
* Very poor quarterly figures from OmniVision Technologies.
* Quarterly losses from Ciena, Mitel Networks, MTS (Russia) and Splunk (although revenue up significantly).
* A half-year loss from Foxconn International.
* The retirement of Michael Birck, chairman of Tellabs (as from Spring 2013).
* A planned IPO filing, probably in 2013, from AppSense, a maker of remote-access software for large corporations.
* An IPO filing by Workday, a SaaS provider for HR, payroll and financial management. The company was co-founded by Dave Duffield, founder of PeopleSoft, and venture capitalist Aneel Bhusri.

Look out for

Look out for the buyer, if any, for Namibia's Leo, which is being sold for N$2!

Paul Booth, MD, Global Research Partners

* International:
* The $1.27 billion investment (>50%) by KKR, a private equity firm, into Renesas, a Japanese chipmaker.
* The sell-off by Nokia Siemens Network of its Business Support Systems unit, with Amdocs, Ericsson and private equity groups seen as the lead bidders.
* The disposal by BT Group of part of its stake in Tech Mahindra.
* The outcome, if any, of the talks between Apple and Google regarding patents.

* Africa:
* The buyer, if any, for Namibia's Leo, which is being sold for N$2!

* South Africa:
* The buyer for Business Connexion. Is it Orange (France Telecom)? The company has already done a due diligence, and if so, will the retail unit (ex-UCS) undergo a management buyout?

Research results and predictions

* The worldwide server market revenue declined 2.9% in Q2, despite a 1.4% growth in shipments, with HP retaining the top slot and IBM staying at number two, according to Gartner.
* China will overtake the US in smartphone shipments by the end of 2012, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 1.1%
* Nasdaq: Down 0.1%
* Top SA share movements: Altech (-9.6%), Ansys (+11.5%), Huge Group (+20%), MICROmega Holdings (-10.9%), Poynting (+7.6%), Silverbridge (-40%), Telemasters (-7.8%) and Zaptronix (+50%)

Final word

Last week, Gartner held its annual symposium with the theme: 'Focus, Connect, Lead'. The programme was oriented around the Nexus of converging forces, ie, mobile, social, cloud and information, which is building on and transforming user behaviour while creating new business opportunities.

Some of the predictions coming from the event included the following:
* By 2017, the CMO's IT budget may be bigger than that of the CIO.
* By 2014, CIOs will have lost effective control of 25% of their organisation's IT spending.
* Ninety percent of businesses will bypass broad deployment of Windows 8.
* By 2015, big data demand will reach 1 million jobs in the Global 1 000, but only one-third will be filled.
* By 2017, 20% of mobile devices will be worn and not carried.
* By 2018, 70% of mobile professionals will conduct all of their work on personal smart devices.

Other research highlighted included:
* Twenty-four percent of CIOs never had a job in IT before they became CIO.
* Over 50% of CIOs have responsibilities beyond IT.
* Seventy-five percent of CEOs prioritise growth over cost cutting.
* Seventy-five percent of CEOs are interested in exploiting emerging market opportunities.

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