Top News for the Week of 5/5/2014 – Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Forge Ahead; Setback for Kodak, More
Though this was a bit of a slow week in the industry, two things stood out: both Konica Minolta and Lexmark continue to forge ahead.
Konica Minolta, which was the largest exhibitor at the IPEX production-printing trade show in February, and acquired French production-printing company MGI Digital Graphic Technology in January, continues to bolster its production-printing business. This week it introduced new hardware and solutions for the industry – the Creo IC-309 Server for its bizhub PRO C1060/C1070 – and two new solutions for its commercial-printing systems – one for order automation, another for marketing.
Konica Minolta also announced it’s opened a new sales company for its office-imaging and commercial printing business in high-growth Thailand. According to the World Bank, for the 2009-2103 period, Thailand’s annual Gross Domestic Product growth rate was 6.5 percent – a healthy growth rate compared, for instance, to the United States’ anemic 2.8 percent GDP growth rate for the period.
For its part, Lexmark continues to bolster its Perceptive Software group, this time seeking to buy-out ReadSoft, which markets document-capture and processing software. Perceptive Software, along with Lexmark’s Managed Print Services, also continue to drive Lexmark revenue and earnings. For its latest quarter, the firm reported that combined Perceptive Software and Managed Print Services’ revenue was $244 million, up 18 percent year-over-year, and now making up 28 percent of Lexmark’s total revenues.
Last but not least, Hewlett-Packard made a big move this week, announcing that it’ll be investing $1 billion in cloud infrastructure and development, facing off leading cloud service providers Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.
New Products and Solutions
Print Audit Embedded Provides Rules-Based Printing, Secure Release, More for Kyocera MFPs: Print Audit reports that its Print Audit Embedded has been validated as compatible with Kyocera HyPAS-enabled MFPs. Print Audit Embedded is a print-management solution that provides cost recovery, rules-based-printing, user authentication, secure print-release, and pull-printing. Read more here.
DocuWare’s PaperScan App Now Available for Android Mobile Devices: DocuWare reports that its PaperScan app for scanning from an MFP to a mobile device is now available for Android mobile devices. PaperScan was previously only available for Apple iOS mobile devices; according to DocuWare, the app has been downloaded approximately 15,000 times from the Apple store. Read more here.
Creo Server Now Available for Konica Minolta Pro C1060/1070 Production-Printing Systems: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. and Eastman Kodak have released what they’re calling the latest technology development in the Kodak Creo Server family, the IC-309 Server. Developed specifically for Konica Minolta’s bizhub PRO C1060/C1070 toner-based production-printing systems, the company’s latest technology is designed on a new architecture. Read more here.
Konica Minolta Launches Order Automation and Marketing Solutions for Printers: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. is launching EngageIT Automation and EngageIT XMedia (cross-media) software platforms. The new products are part of the company’s EnvisionIT Production solution offering, which combines bizhub Press technology, production solutions, and professional services into one solution for commercial and in-plant printers. Read more here.
Not a good quarter for Kodak:
Kodak Reports Loss for First Quarter, Sales Down: Eastman Kodak reported a loss of $36 million for its first-quarter 2013 versus $283 in net income for first-quarter 2013. Sales for first-quarter 2014 were $482 million, compared to $594 million in first-quarter 2013, a decline of 19 percent, with Kodak attributing more than half of that to continuing declines in its film and consumer-inkjet products. Non-recurring licensing revenue was $24 million lower than in first-quarter of 2013. Read more here.
Lexmark Seeking to Acquire ReadSoft, Maker of Document-Capture and Processing Solutions: Lexmark International reports that it’s making an offer for all outstanding shares of Sweden-based ReadSoft, offering $6.11 in cash for each share, for a total price of approximately $182 million. ReadSoft’s Board of Directors has unanimously recommended in favor of Lexmark’s offer, and the offer is also supported by ReadSoft’s two largest shareholders. Read more here.
Konica Minolta Sets up New Sales Company in High-Growth Thailand: Konica Minolta of Japan reports that it’s set up a new wholly owned office-equipment sales subsidiary in Thailand, investing 369,000,000 Thai Baht (approximately $11 million U.S.) into the new subsidiary. Read more here.
HP to Invest More than $1 Billion in Cloud-Computing Helion Project: Hewlett-Packard will invest more than $1 billion into cloud computing-software, developers, and tools over the next two years, with offerings marketed under the brand name Helion. Read more here. Ricoh Investigating Products for Heartbleed, Unified Communication Systems Affected: Ricoh Company of Japan says it’s checking all of its products, software, and solutions on the usage of OpenSSL library version that may expose products and software to the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability. Read more here.
Canon, Fuji Xerox, DocuWare Say Products Not Affected by Heartbleed: Canon Inc., and Fuji Xerox, both of Japan, report that they are continuing to evaluate their MFPs and printers to determine if they are vulnerable to the “Heartbleed” OpenSSL security vulnerability. So far neither firm reports that it has been affected. Read more here.
Top Xerox Executives Sell $8.9 Million in Xerox Shares: Barron’s reports that in a three-day period, April 29- May 1, five top Xerox executives, including CEO Ursula M. Burns, sold 745,100 shares for $8,950,919, at an average of $12.01 per share. Read more here.