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Best of the Blogs: iPhone Activation Rates Plummet at AT&T and Verizon


Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Use our comments section to post your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.
Business Insider: Silicon Alley Insider
"When Verizon reported earnings last week Apple investors zeroed in on one thing: iPhone activations fell by 24% on a quarter over quarter basis. We have another data point from a U.S. carrier, and it's only going to make investors even more worried. AT&T activated 4.3 million iPhones, which is a 43% sequential decline. That means between AT&T and Verizon, iPhone activations fell 37% on a quarter over quarter basis." (Also Read Verizon-AT&T Duopoly the Worst Thing for Mobile Customers.)
Felix Salmon
"Perhaps the most surprising thing about the NYT's Walmart exposé this weekend is that it was such a surprise to the market. Note this, for instance: 'In December, after learning of The Times's reporting in Mexico, Wal-Mart informed the Justice Department that it had begun an internal investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law that makes it a crime for American corporations and their subsidiaries to bribe foreign officials. Wal-Mart said the company had learned of possible problems with how it obtained permits, but stressed that the issues were limited to 'discrete' cases. 'We do not believe that these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business,' the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.The filing in question was Walmart's quarterly report, which was filed with the SEC on December 8. These things take a significant amount of time to put together; it's reasonable to assume that Walmart has known about this NYT investigation, then, for a full five months at this point... And yet the market was taken by surprise, with $12 billion of market capitalization evaporating from Walmart and Walmex in one day."
Financial Times: Beyond Brics
"Third time's meant to be lucky. But not for Indonesia. Standard & Poor's is the only one of the three major rating agencies that has not yet upgraded the country to investment grade. In a review this week of why it has decided to keep its junk rating, S&P listed some notable reasons for its now-contrarian view on Indonesia's prospects. Fitch upgraded Indonesia late last year. In January, Moody's followed suit, bringing it above so-called junk or speculative grade for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. But Standard & Poor's has decided to leave Indonesia unchanged at BB+, one notch below investment grade."
New York Times: Deal Book
"How did Google do? That might be a good question for investors interested in buying Facebook shares to ask ahead of the company's initial public offering, which is expected in mid-May. And it's worth posing that question after Facebook released earnings on Monday for the first quarter of 2012. In that quarter, Facebook's expenses nearly doubled from the previous year. That hit profit, which fell to $205 million in the quarter, from $233 million in the year-earlier period. It's easy to explain away the drop in profit; of course, costs are going to soar in fast-growing company like Facebook. But Google did a lot better in the second quarter of 2004, the quarter before it went public." (Also Read Facebook Is Just an Overpriced Combination of Google and Zynga.)
The Economist: Free Exchange
"As we write this week, the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook suggests that the world economy has had a bumpy ride of late but looks stronger than it did when the year began. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, of course, but the main threat continues to be Europe. The good news there is that a euro zone which continues to merely bungle along on its present course shouldn't be too dangerous for the world outside of the euro area's immediate backyard. A fairly deep euro-zone recession would be less pleasant to handle-it would take most of the steam out of America's recovery, for instance-but it wouldn't represent a disaster. A euro-zone disaster would, however." (For related content, see Metaphorically, the Euro is Laughing in the Face of Death.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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