Tech Business Roundup: Yahoo’s CEO, Google and Europe, Facebook’s Risk
Our coverage of Degree-Gate continues with the latest Scott Thompson news. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shareholder and activist Dan Loeb was not at all impressed by the company’s promises to look into the question of why its CEO Thompson failed to disclose that his degree is in accounting, and not in computer science. The claim that Thompson is guilty of resume doctoring has some observers opining that he may well be dismissed, more sooner than later, and now Kara Swisher says that he also failed to disclose his lack of the desired degree in a 2009 interview. Nicholas Carlson pins the blame for this horrifying situation upon Yahoo’s board for not using a proper recruitment firm to vet Thomson adequately. However, Dan Loeb is now demanding that the CEO be fired by noon on Monday, along with providing an explanation as to “the process by which it vetted Mr. Thompson as a potential CEO candidate”.
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European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says that the agency will ‘take its time in building an antitrust case against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’, according to a Reuters report. A total of 16 complaints against the company is currently being evaluated, most of which involve favoritism in search results, with online travel concern being the most recent to complain. In the meantime, the FTC stresses the fact that it is also taking the claims against Google quite seriously.
Apparently, Facebook (FB) is one thing and Mark Zuckerberg quite another, as he is cited as a “risk factor” in an internal JPMorgan sales document concerning FB’s upcoming initial public offering, according to Charles Gasparino. Some surmise that the aspersion springs from frustrations among bankers regarding Zuckerberg’s dealings in the Instagram transaction, while Gasparino believes that ‘security concerns’ may well keep him from participating in the campaign for the IPO. Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the company itself is soaring, as Wedbush says it will begin coverage with a Outperform, and sets its price target at $44, which considerably beats FB’s own range of $28 to $35. The target is based at 22 times Wedbush’s projection for fiscal year 2015, and stems from the idea that FB will take shares from offline and online advertisers alike, and that it will make a 2012 priority of the expanded use of Facebook Credits which are now dependent upon Zynga and a few other game developers.
SanDisk’s (NASDAQ:SNDK) and Micron’s (NASDAQ:MU) margins and shares are apparently hostages to this year’s steep drop in prices for NAND flash memory, which prevailed in late April due to sluggish activity from buyers in China, and weak end-market demand. However, the industry hopes that the slow sales of memory cards and USB drives will be outweighed by stronger demand for solid-state drives and mobile devices.
A $100 million repurchase program, announced by InterDigital (NASDAQ:IDCC), is rebounding shares that were beaten down last week following a disappointing first quarter report. The buyback program is good for 8.1 percent of all shares at their current levels, and, second quarter guidance is for revenues of $71 million vs. a consensus of $67.1 million.
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