Weekly Tech Biz Cheat Sheet: Amazon Falls Short, Nokia Resurrects, Solar Stocks Flare
Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Quidsi subsidiary, which it acquired last year for $500 million, plans to offer over 10,000 grocery items for sale, providing free shipping on orders above $39.
The board of chip and IT hardware manufacturer Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) has authorized a new $150 million share repurchase program. Arrow has already completed a $100 million repurchase program authorized in July.
Solar stocks are climbing higher after Yingli (NYSE:YGE) said German and Italian demand were strong. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Suntech (NYSE:STP), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWRA), and LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) are among those getting a boost by the news.
DisplaySearch is predicting tablet sales will grow to nearly 330 million in 2017 — that’s good news for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), but bad news for Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), as most tablets use ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) processors rather than Intel x86 chips.
Though Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has made its share of missteps lately, it is still expected to see a rise in Q3 earnings, which it reports today after the bell. Netflix also announced today that it plans to expand its streaming service to the U.K. and Ireland in early 2012.
Barron’s has named Fusion-io (NYSE:FIO) as its top tech stock pick for 2012, on account of expected buyout interest.
Samsung surpassed Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the third quarter as the world’s largest smartphone making, shipping over 20 million phones compared to Apple’s 17.1 million. Samsung’s smartphones use Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) increasingly popular Android OS. However, Apple still takes the largest share of industry profits, as the iPhone’s average selling price is a hefty $643.
SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) reported strong third quarter earnings with a 23 percent profit increase to EUR $1.13 billion ($1.57 billion), exceeding analysts’ expectations of EURO $1 billion. Revenue also rose 14 percent to EUR $3.41 billion, with license sales increasing 28 percent to EUR $841 million. The future looks bright for SAP with a fiscal-year forecast seeing 10 to 14 percent growth in software and related services with an operating profit at EUR $4.45-4.65 billion.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will delay its BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 tablet until February 2012. In a company blog post, David J. Smith, SVP, BlackBerry PlayBook, Research In Motion wrote, “We’ve made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users.”
Super Hot Feature: Research in Motion Continues to Self-Destruct in Slow Motion.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) reported additional positives in its third quarter earnings report: an increase of 1.1 million net subscribers from the second quarter, a 7 percent increase in its wireless service revenue as compared to the previous year and a postpaid ARPU rise of $1 quarter over quarter and $3 year over year. The third quarter declines included a $273 million free cash flow drop from the second quarter’s $267 million.
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced it Lumia 800 Windows Phone (NASDAQ:MSFT) today with hopes that will give the company a much-needed new lease on life in the competitive smartphone market. One reviewer noted a resemblance to Nokia’s N9 MeeGo phone; however, one operating difference is the Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) chip in the Lumia 800 vs the N9′s Texas Instrument (NYSE:TXN) chip. But Is This Nokia’s Apple Killer?
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported a disappointing third quarter earnings report and now its having a domino effect on its rivals stocks including eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) and Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK). Adding a little fuel in the fire to Barnes and Noble, who has its Nook tablet, may be Amazon’s recent comments that it’s increased production of the Kindle Fire tablet.
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Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) will buy out partner Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) ‘s 50 percent in Sony Ericsson for EUR $1.05 billion ($1.47 billion). The companies have also signed an agreement that will give Sony a wide ranging cross-licensing agreement and ownership of “five essential patent families.”
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has two consumer lawsuits filed against it from the recent four-day BlackBerry disruption. One suit was filed by U.S. citizens in federal court while the second one comes from disgruntled Canadians who filed suit in Quebec Superior Court. This adds to the company’s bad week: On Wednesday, RIMM announced the delay of its BlackBerry Playbook 2.0 operating system until February 2012.
Sprint’s (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse paid an underhanded compliment to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) by saying that because the iPhone is so data-efficient, it will help Sprint keep its mobile data plans unlimited–a huge selling point for the company. Hesse explained that because iPhones have less data traffic than Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) device, it limits the data usage for background apps. One research firm disagrees and believes it leads to high subsidies for the iPhone.
Akamai Technologies, Inc’s (NASDAQ:AKAM) third quarter earnings report beat estimates and saw its stock price take off. The company’s fourth quarter guidance is in-line and sector rivals Level 3 Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:LVLT) and Limelight (NASDAQ:LLNW) joined in the celebration with increasing stock prices. One analyst remained cautious about the company, pointing out its decelerating revenue growth and increased competition.
Solar stocks (NYSE:KWT) are rising from increased risk trading and the announcement that Germany will cut a record-breaking amount of photovoltaic power next year. Sector winners from the news include: LDK Solar Co. Ltd (NYSE:LDK), Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE:STP), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, Ltd (NYSE:YGE).
Groupon, Inc. (GRPN) began a review process of its nearly 5,000 sales reps to clean out poor performers. The company will cut 10 percent of these workers; however, according to a company spokesperson, Groupon isn’t planning layoffs but a “performance review process for managing out and replacing low performers.” This comes as the company plans to go public on Nov. 4 on the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ).
Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) saw its stock shoot up after a Bloomberg report said the company was very close to an extension with Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) in their 4G network-sharing agreement. Part of the three to five-year extension includes Clearwire’s LTE buildout and an opportunity for Sprint to utilize Clearwire’s network to provide services to its customers after their current deal expires in 2012. Sprint didn’t provide any financing details but its stock rose on the news.
Samsung Electronic (SSNLF.PK) hit its year over year growth out of the ballpark with an approximate 300 percent smartphone sales increase . It provides a nice wake-up call to Google Inc. (GOOG), who needs to get going if it wants to keep Motorola’s Mobility Holdings Inc.’s (NYSE:MMI) phone business, who recently reported a 20 percent rise in phone shipping in the third quarter.
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) shares jumped on a positive third quarter earnings report and fourth quarter guidance. The company says the great performance came from advertising and possibly a recent home-page redesign. Sector stocks rose on the news including Sina Corporation (NASDAQ:SINA), Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) and Renren (NYSE:RENN).
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD) reported a strong third quarter earnings report and received an upgrade to Outperform from a Wells Fargo analyst. The firm attributed the healthy report to a strong fourth quarter guidance, which advocates the company’s previous yield issues are being addressed and its average CPU selling price as compared quarterly toIntel Corporation’s (NASDAQ:INTC) flat one.
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Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced a software update on its Google TV. The product was on its death bed but its platform will now run on the company’s Honeycomb Android OS, and includes access to Android Market. It also has a streamlined appearance with a quick-launch bar at the screen’s bottom for the viewer’s most-used apps including Netflix and YouTube video.
With the week’s earlier news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be on the move with a TV of their own, perhaps it was the kick in the butt that Google needed.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) addressed the recent negative consumer response to price increases and changes in its third quarter earnings report filed in a Securities and Exchange Commission 10-Q document. The company bluntly wrote, ”If we do not reverse the negative consumer sentiment toward our brand and if we continue to experience significant customer cancellations and a decline in subscriber additions, our results of operations including our cash flow will be adversely impacted.”
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