3 Big News: Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN), Merge Healthcare.(NASDAQ:MRGE ), H&R Block (HRB)

 The long wait for Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN)’s recent offering is finally over – the online retailer has unveiled their product, which is the highly anticipated Kindle e-reader. Known as the Paperwhite Kindle, its USP is the state-of-the-art Lightguide front lit display, which makes use of fiber optic technology to light the reader.

According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, this feature will work wonders because users will get better ambient light from front lighting as opposed to the typical backlit screen. The fiber optic technology is sufficient to keep the reader running for 8 weeks after a single charge even if the light is kept on!

The design of the Kindle e-reader has been fabricated after keeping the comfort and user-friendliness in mind. The device just weight 7.5 ounces and is only 9.1 mm thick! The easy of usage, its light weight, and fiber technology will contribute enormously to sales shooting up when the product is available in the market. Amazon’s Kindle has always commanded a loyal audience from among those who buy reasonably priced products instead of costly and luxurious ones.

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Merge Healthcare Inc.(NASDAQ:MRGE ) said on Thursday it had hired Allen & company LLC to help it in evaluating a number of strategies that the company is pursuing, including an outright sale.

Announcing the hiring of the investment bank as its advisor, Merge Healthcare said that there was no timeline specified for the strategic review and there was no guarantee that there would be any definite outcome of this exercise.

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"The Company does not intend to comment further regarding the evaluation of strategic alternatives, unless a definitive agreement for a specific transaction is entered into, the process is concluded, or it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required," it said in a statement.

Shares in Merge Healthcare soared 10.25 percent and were trading at $3.55 each.

Meanwhile H&R Block, Inc.(NYSE:HRB), which reported its first quarter results on Thursday, narrowed its losses compared to the year-ago period on better cost efficiencies. The U.S.-based company, which is a tax preparer, has been restructuring itself since April this year by cutting jobs and shutting down stores while it had also revamped its management.

The company now plans to focus on digital tax preparation segment which is now dominated by automated tax filing systems that can be done by taxpayers on their own. The cost cutting measures set in motion by the company has now started to yield results and is getting reflected in its results.

"The company will reduce the number of Sears Holdings Corp locations it operates in to 112 this year from about 500 last year. This will add marginally to full-year earnings," Chief Executive Bill Cobb said on a post-earnings conference call.

For the first-quarter H&R's net loss narrowed to $107.4 million, or 39 cents per share, from $175 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier. The company took a charge of about $62 million in the first quarter last year on the sale of its consulting business. Revenue at its core tax services segment fell 1 percent to $90 million.
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