Tech Equity Roundup: Google Debuts New Features, Pandora ROCKS

Panasonic (NYSE:PC) is working on the details of a move that would dramatically enlarge its position in shares of Olympus (OCPNY.PK), says the Kyodo news agency. A cash injection of ¥50 billion ($635 million) is planned, which would make Panasonic Olympus’ top shareholder.

Pandora’s (NYSE:P) impressive May audience metrics cause its shares to move up. The total of listener hours reached 1.1 billion, which represents a 4 percent rise month-to-month, and 87 percent year-to-year (the same as for April). The U.S. radio listening share was 5.80 percent, which was up over 2011’s 3.08 percent, but down slightly from April’s 5.95 percent. Also, the number of active listeners was 53.3 million at the end of May, which is up 3 percent month-to-month, and also up 52 percent year-to-year. Separately, Pandora has reached a distribution arrangement with Mazda.

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares get a break, perhaps due to JMP’s Mark Harding beginning coverage with Outperform and setting his target price at $37. Pointing out FB’s potential for monetization, Harding is valuing the company at 54 times his 2013 estimate for earnings per share. In addition, he projects that FB’s market share of display ads will rise by 22 percent in 2015 from the 11 percent it garnered last year, and growth for the market itself, as increasing amounts of spending for offline ads moves online.

Could the fabled Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV be announced next week at the developer conference? Maybe, says Jefferies’ Peter Misek, as his checks, including a Chinese report, reveal that Foxconn has begun the production of an iTV, which should be available in the second half. Misek also thinks that the iTV is being evaluated by pay-TV providers, such as AT&T (NYSE:T), Bell (BCE, Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY.PK), France Telecom (NYSE:FTE), Rogers (NYSE:RCI), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announces a substantial refurbishment to Google Maps and Google Earth. Updates features include an intensified 3D imagery, offline caching for mobile versions of Maps, and off-road Street View support. The improvements might have to so with Apple reportedly getting ready to replace Google Maps on iOS with an inside solution that provides 3D imagery and other tech derived from startups. Observers noted that an iPad was used in Google’s demonstration.

Shares of LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) slip a tiny bit on the news that passwords for 6.5 million of its 161 million plus accounts had been stolen. The theft was somewhat confirmed by a United Kingdom company firm, users are recommended to change their passwords, as LinkedIn looks into the matter.

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