5 Companies That Had A Rough Week11:30 AM EST Fri. Jun. 28, 2013
The forecasts for sales of traditional PC sales have become more dire with every quarter. That's why manufacturers of desktop and notebook PCs top this week's look at companies that that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.
Other headlines making this week's list include one company's reduced IPO expectations, a security flaw in a vendor's data storage system, the FTC's letter warning search engine vendors that don't make a big enough distinction between paid ads and search results, and a judge's denial of Apple's bid to expand a patent lawsuit.
More bad news for PC makers. Tablet computer shipments continue to surge and will nearly equal PC shipments next year, according to a Gartner report issued this week.
Tablet shipments worldwide will grow 67.9 percent this year to 202 million units, Gartner said. Shipments of desktop and notebook PCs, meanwhile, are expected to drop 10.6 percent this year to 305 million units.
Desktop and notebook PC sales will continue to decline in 2014, slumping to 289 million units, according to Gartner. Tablet sales growth, meanwhile, will continue and reach 276 million units -- not far behind PCs.
Solution provider and reseller CDW had to back off its planned initial public offering price on the Nasdaq exchange.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, CDW said it plans to sell 23,250,000 shares of common stock at an estimated price of between $17 and $18 per share. Assuming a price of $17.50, that would raise $379.2 million after expenses.
The company's June 14 prospectus said the company expected an IPO share price of between $20 and $23. The 23.3 million shares also represented a 16 percent cut from the number of shares the company initially planned to sell. A Reuters story reported that concerns about market volatility were behind the lowered IPO expectations.
Hewlett-Packard scrambled this week to alert customers about a potential security issue in the software of its enterprise-class StoreOnce deduplication appliances.
HP said the security risk does not impact its latest HP StoreOnce deduplication appliances, and that a patch will be made available shortly for older models affected by the problem. A blogger who goes by the name "Technion" took credit for discovering the problem.
HP issued a statement saying the problem "does not affect StoreOnce systems with the current version 3.0 software including the HP StoreOnce B6200 and HP StoreOnce VSA product offerings. HP takes security issues very seriously and is working actively on a fix."
The FTC warned Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, ASK.com and other online search engine companies this week that they aren't doing a good enough job in distinguishing their paid advertisements from their search results, a failure that could constitute a deceptive practice.
In a letter to the companies the FTC said it was updating guidance it established in 2002 on the issue. "The letters note that in recent years, paid search results have become less distinguishable as advertising, and the FTC is urging the search industry to make sure the distinction is clear," the FTC said in a statement.
Apple's attempt to expand one of the two patent lawsuits it's pursuing against Samsung failed this week when U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal denied Apple's request to add Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone to the list of products that allegedly infringe on Apple patents.
Expanding the suit would put a "tax on the court's resources," Grewal said in his ruling. The decision raises the possibility that Apple will file a new lawsuit specifically covering the Galaxy S4.
Apple and Samsung are pursuing multiple patent infringement suits against each other around the world. Last year a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages in one of the lawsuits, but that was later reduced to $640 million in U.S. District Court.