5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Feb. 17

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Lenovo, which continues to see its data center and mobile product businesses decline.

Also making the list this week were Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for finding that they are plagued by the same faulty clock component as Cisco; Yahoo, for more security breach woes; Ciber, for its continued struggles to right its financial ship; and Samsung, for losing the top smartphone spot to Apple.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Lenovo Data Center Business Continues To Struggle

Chinese computer maker Lenovo this week reported that its data center business, including servers, storage, software and services, declined 20 percent year-over-year to $1.1 billion in its recently completed third quarter.

Lenovo has struggled to implement an effective data center strategy since it acquired IBM's x86 server business in 2015 for $2.3 billion. The company, which has already been hard hit by the industry-wide slump in PC sales, also reported that its smartphone business declined 23 percent in the quarter to $2.2 billion.

During the earnings call, Lenovo executives expressed confidence that a stronger sales team, investments in the channel and a revamped product line would turn around its fortunes.

Juniper Networks, HPE Have Products Impacted By Faulty Clock Component

The same faulty clock signal component that's causing headaches for Cisco customers may be in a limited number of Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise products, CRN reported this week.

Earlier this month, Cisco customers were rocked by the news that some Cisco products may fail after just 18 months in use and not be recoverable because of a faulty third-party clock signal component.

This week Juniper Networks confirmed "a limited set" of its product line also contain a faulty clock signal component. A spokesperson said the company is working directly with impacted customers "on a swift solution." The company did not say which specific products are affected or if a product replacement plan is in place.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, meanwhile, said the faulty component is included in a limited number of HPE products as well. HPE did not identify the affected products or say how it plans to mitigate the issue.

Yahoo Warns Of More Malicious Activity, Faces Lower Acquisition Price

It was a rough week for Yahoo on two fronts.

Yahoo, already under fire for significant security breaches in 2013 and 2014 that compromised 1 billion and 500 million user accounts, respectively, this week warned users of potential malicious activity in their accounts between 2015 and 2016, according to published stories by The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets.

Yahoo confirmed Wednesday that it was notifying users that their accounts had potentially been compromised in 2015 and 2016, but declined to say how many people were affected. The company indicated that the latest attacks may have been carried out by the same unidentified state-sponsored hacker that carried out the 2013 attack.

Word of the latest hacks come as Verizon, which struck a deal last year to acquire Yahoo for $4.83 billion, is reportedly pressuring Yahoo to cut $250 million off that price tag because the 2013 and 2014 security breaches impacted Yahoo's value.

Ciber Sells Spanish Business For $7M In Effort to Reduce Debt

The business sell-offs at financially struggling Ciber continue with this week's news that the company struck a deal to sell its Spanish business to human resources consulting firm Manpower for $7 million. The move comes as the solution provider works to repay a $39.7 million loan from Wells Fargo.

Ciber, No. 43 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, will use $3.2 million of the sale proceeds to help pay off the outstanding Wells Fargo loan.

Ciber has already sold off some of its European businesses to generate cash, including its Netherlands operations to Manpower last June, and its German and Danish businesses to German IT company Allgeier earlier this month.

Samsung Loses Top Smartphone Spot To Apple In Q4

This week market research firm Gartner said Apple sold about 77 million iPhones globally in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 71.5 million one year before, giving it 17.9 percent of the worldwide market.

Shipments of Samsung smartphones, meanwhile, fell from 83.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 76.7 million in the last quarter of 2016, pushing its market share down to 17.8 percent.

That means Apple – narrowly – leads the global smartphone market for the first time since the end of 2014, according to Gartner.