Tech Business Roundup: Netflix Angers Ebert, New Yahoo CEO Plans Massive Layoffs

Neuberger Berman’s Eli Salzmann expects that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares could top $40 in the next year or two, explaining that the firm has a ‚Äúdramatic upside, even for a large-cap”, and remarks that shares could see earnings of more than $3 per share next year. Growing excitement over Microsoft’s new products is pushing its shares up 23.6 percent year-to-date.

Don’t Miss: Activision Blizzard Shakes Things Up With Microsoft Hire.

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) advertising business operations could prove a significant problem for the much larger search ad business of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which is highly dependent on online retailers. Amazon’s version is based upon ads for third-party products placed on product and search pages, and an industry source says that the operations are bringing in $1 billion in annual revenue.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) may lay off thousands of its 14,100 employees due to a planned restructuring, according to multiple sources. The new CEO Scott Thompson is being given the credit (or blame) for the expected move. Yahoo has a large number of software contractors, as well.

Investing Insights: Scott Thompson Making Big Changes at Yahoo.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is having trouble with its position in the tablet market, which is seen as secondary or worse. Kevin C. Tofel is pessimistic on Google’s Nexus doing much to correct the situation, saying that the company badly needs to improve Android’s tablet ecosystem instead, given a glaring lack of app development. He also notes that even though they contain modified versions of Android, the Kindle Fire (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Nook Tablet (NYSE:BKS) only support Android smartphone applications, and that is far from helpful

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) no longer purchases streaming rights to indie films in order to concentrate on the blockbusters, and that has Roger Ebert quite unhappy, and he is saying so on Twitter. So far Netflix denies the accusation, but customers are complaining about the same thing, citing its limited streaming movie library.

Over the next three years, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) expects to repurchase up to $3 billion of its common stock. This takes the place of an existing plan which had less than $1 billion remaining, and the repurchase will increase AMAT’s regular quarterly dividend to $0.09 pershare from $0.08.

Don’t Miss: Apple Gets Pushy in TV Talks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com