By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
El Segundo, Calif. — Digital television entertainment provider Hughes Electronics expects to significantly exceed first quarter guidance for net new U.S. subscriber additions for DirecTV. The company revised its first quarter estimate to over 325,000 net new subscribers, compared with earlier guidance of 200,000 to 250,000. First quarter Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) is expected to be within original guidance of $80 million to $100 million.
Denver— CE retailer Ultimate Electronics has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the offer and sale of 2.75 million shares of its common stock. Underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional 412,000 shares to cover over-allotments. If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option, the selling stockholder may sell up to 200,000 shares to the underwriters, and Ultimate will sell the remainder of the shares to cover the over-allotment.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands— Royal Philips Electronics has entered into a five-year global strategic alliance with Dell — an agreement worth up to $5 billion over the five years, said Philips — to supply the computer maker with cathode-ray tubes and flat-panel monitors, storage devices, connectivity solutions and other components. Dell will become a preferred worldwide supplier to Philips of server and data-storage products, workstations and personal computers. Dell will also market and sell a comprehensive range of Philips-brand computer peripherals.
Reston, Va. — Two-way wireless data network operator Motient anticipates that it will complete its pre-negotiated restructuring and exit from Chapter 11 soon after April 25. The plan will complete the pre-negotiated agreement to eliminate $335 million in bondholder debt and an associated $40 million in annual interest payments. Motient said it had made significant progress toward its goal of operating profitability, by reducing its fourth quarter Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) loss from $21.7 million in 2000, to a loss of $10.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Total fourth quarter revenue was $21.8 million, compared with $25.3 million in the year-ago three months. Annual revenue dropped from $99.9 million in 2000, to $93.3 million in 2001.
Santa Clara, Calif. — SONICblue, which operates in the converging Internet, digital media, entertainment and consumer electronics markets under the Rio brand name among others, said it has begun implementing the final stages of its cost-cutting measures, which are expected to reduce the company's current operating expenses by about 15 percent. SONICblue's expense reductions are predominantly non-personnel oriented and are aimed at supporting the company's return to profitability, it said.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.