Tech Biz Review: AOL Earnings Sputter, Barnes & Noble’s E-book War with Amazon

AOL’s (NYSE:AOL) fourth quarter global revenue is up 10% year-over-year to $363.8 million, which was led by a growth of 20% in third party network sales. Subscription revenue went down 18% year-over-year to $194.6 million. The fourth quarter of 2011 saw cash from continuing operations of $97.9 million, while free cash flow was $72.6 million. Unique visitors were down 4% year-over-year to 107 million as well.

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Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) will no longer sell books published by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), saying the company had “undermined the industry” by trying to sign exclusive agreements with publishers, agents and authors. Amazon’s efforts to sign authors, might be hurt, as those authors expect their books to be sold in BKS’s 700-plus stores in the United States.

Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) rises to levels higher than those seen in 2007 after beating the second fiscal quarter estimates and guiding for strong 2012 growth. Stifel upgraded to a Buy, which helps and asserts Seagate is benefiting from “positive structural changes” in the hard drive industry. Consolidation and slowing density growth are some of those positive changes Seagate is benefitting from those positive changes rather than just its relative immunity due to Thailand’s floods. Western Digital Corp. (NYSE:WDC) shares actually rose in response.

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eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) are outperforming the NASDAQ today. The gains could be evidence the Street believes Amazon’s revenue weaknesses and selling off are company-specific and/or have much to do with a mix shift towards third-party retailers.

ARM Holdings Plc. (NASDAQ:ARMH) CEO Warren East says his company is aiming for a 40% share of the notebook CPU market by 2014 or 2015. The Company is hoping the relatively high selling prices attached to notebook CPUs will lift its average royalty/chip. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is hoping its Haswell processors, due in 2013, will deliver the power savings needed to keep ARM-based chips at bay.

Samsung (SSNLF.PK) finally wins a patent battle against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). A Munich court rejects Apple’s bid to win a preliminary ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Galaxy Nexus mobile phone. Reportedly, the court was impressed with the change Samsung made to Galaxy Tab to make it look different from an iPad. Samsung wrapped a metal bezel around the tablet.

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