Weekly Tech Biz Recap: Groupon IPO, Sirius XM Radio Earnings, Amazon Projects

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will launch a digital book lending services for its Kindle owners holding an Amazon Prime membership ($79 per year). Called Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, borrowers can choose from over 5,000 titles and borrow only one book at time. The program begins today and will not be available on Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad or iPhone, only on the company’s Kindles.

Investing Insight: Jeff Bezos has Fire to Ignite Amazon’s Stock During the Holidays.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed that the rumors are true about alleged problems with the Phone 4s batteries from the new iOS5 network. In a statement to All Things Digital, Apple said, “We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.”

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced ad placements are now at the bottom of search results, instead of on the left side. The change will allow an improved flow to users as they can now scan pages top to bottom. The company said in tests, this placement has been found to have better click-through rates.

In other Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) news, the company and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) held additional settlement talks to resolve their ongoing Java patent dispute in the Android mobile phone. Oracle is asking for $2 billion in damages from Android’s Java use. Unless a settlement takes place soon, look for a 2012 trial.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported a good fiscal quarter four report thanks to strong chip sales. One Morgan Keegan analyst thinks the company stated a conservative earnings per share guidance but it could bring either better-than-expected chip margins or phone shipments. Qualcomm also noted a four-fold increase in its Snapdragon chips for the fiscal year 11, which could be positive for its chip margins. Dig Deeper: QUALCOMM Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Tops Analysts’ Expectations.

Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) saw its third quarter revenue rise 4 percent year over year to $202.9 million and a $0.15 earnings per share. This beat analysts estimates by $4.6 million and $0.09, respectively. The company still faces a year to date 60 percent market share decline from its competitors, priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE).

The company’s fourth quarter revenue guidance is between $170 million to $174 million on a $178.4 million consensus. The stock is up over 44%.

Investing Insights: Here’s How to Avoid Sony and Find the Next Apple.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to have a big day on Nov. 11. The regional carrier C-Spire Wireless will begin selling the iPhone 4S for $200 (16-gig) and $300 (32-gig) and across the globe, the phone will be available in Asia (Hong Kong, and South Korea) along with 13 other countries. The company remains on track to have iPhone 4S sales in 70 countries by year’s end.

Investing Insights: Jeff Bezos has Fire to Ignite Amazon’s Stock During the Holidays.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) announced that ST-Ericsson will be its supplier for future devices using the Windows Phone mobile platforms.

Gillese Delfassy, ST-Ericsson’s president and CEO said of the decision, ”We are pleased to have been selected by Nokia as a key partner for Windows smartphones, in line with our goal to be present in all segments and major operating systems,” said Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson. “Our NovaThor platforms continue to gain traction as they enable customers to bring great smartphones to the market.”

This may come as a surprise to QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM), afterMicrosoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently implied the company will remain as the exclusive supplier for Windows Phone processor chips.

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JDS Uniphase Corporation’s (NASDAQ:JDSU) fiscal quarter one report’s better than expected revenue guidance is spurring a rally in optical component stocks. The company’s guidance exceeded expectations after concerns about fallout from the Thai floods.

Adding to the rally may be the additional news that JDS has seen ”significant improvements” in customer inventory levels.

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) reported strong quarter earnings and now it seems CEO Tim Armstrong may back off from his previous pitching attempts for a possible Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) merger.  Armstrong said in media interview today, “When I think about our company and where our future is … it’s really as an independent entity.” Dig Deeper: AOL Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Fifth Straight Quarter of Shrinking Margins.

Comcast Corporation’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) CEO Brian Roberts discussed third quarter earnings in a conference call and said the company’s high-speed Internet was the greatest contributor to a strong revenue growth as compared to its high-speed and DSL offerings. The move toward higher-speed Internet service should bode well with Comcast’s 10.6M HD  and DVR customers–they are more likely to pay for premium features.

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Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) third quarter report reflected a 333,000 subscriber increase to 21.3 million and a flat churn rate of 1.9 as compared to the previous quarter.  The company’s average revenue per user increased $0.13 to $11.66 from the previous quarter and its free cash flow of $75 million increased from $65 million in the previous year. On quarter by quarter comparison, it represented a $165 million decline.

Investing Insights: Jeff Bezos has Fire to Ignite Amazon’s Stock During the Holidays.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be overhauling its product lineup. According to AppleInsider, Mac Pro may be on the chopping block thanks to weak sales and cheaper alternatives for high-end needs; however, there’s mixed signals for this story. The MacBook Pro recently underwent a quiet upgrade and a Japanese Web site is reporting the company plans to introduce a new 15-inch MacBook model.

Research and consulting firm Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimated PC graphics chip shipments jumped 18.4 percent in the third quarter as compared to the previous quarter. In a press release, total graphic chips quarterly market share had Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) at the top with 60.4 percent share, followed by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) at 23 percent and Nvidia Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) in third place at 16 percent. Intel also had very strong double-digit growth in the quarter for desktops and notebooks.

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Internet Explorer’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) October PC browser market share declined to 52.6 percent according NetMarketshare data. Google Chrome (NASDAQ:GOOG) took shares away from Internet Explored  while it experiences continuous growth each month. Google’s PC search share also had a good month, rising slight to 82.4 percent market share but its  mobile search share was flat at 91.1 percent. Mobile Safari’s market share continues to grow with an October number of 5.43 percent. To-date, it has experienced 62.2 percent market share growth thanks to iPad users.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) won a contract to become San Diego’s official wireless provider to the city’s 3,000 workers. After nine months of bidding against rivals, Sprint’s deal is two-year agreement (with an option for three additional years) at an estimated $1.3 million annually. The carrier will provide a number of devices including HTC EVO” 4G, HTC EVO” 3D, Motorola Photon” 4G, Blackberry devices and mobile broadband air card. The carrier will continues servicing 2,000 existing public safety modems already in use by the city.

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares some positive news for its subscribers through an extended licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) . The company will continue streaming TV shows on the web and expand content from popular Disney-ABC shows and TV movies including Switched at Birth and Alias.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) had their own dose of Disney (NYSE:DIS) love today when it signed a deal to add 800 titles to its Prime Video. Amazon will have access to numerous popular TV shows from ABC Studios, Disney Channel, ABC Family and Marvel.

The deal comes at a good time as Amazon prepares to launch its Kindle Fire tablet in two weeks, which will feature a free 30-day Prime Video trial.

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Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) reported its third quarter earnings per share missed analysts estimates by $0.01 with a $1.26 number. Revenue jumped 41.9 percent to $233 million from the previous year. This beat estimates by $5 million. Investors are focused on the missed earnings per share number; however, Sohu has a good fourth quarter guidance with expected revenue between $241 million to $246 million (a forecast of $235.8 million). Earnings per share is looking at $1.30 to $1.35 (a forecast of $1.25).

Changyou.com (NASDAQ:CYOU) tanked on news for its in-line fourth quarter guidance. The company projects revenue between $122 million and $125 million ($123 million consensus) with earnings per share from $1.09 to $1.12 ($1.10 consensus). It wasn’t all gloom and doom for the third quarter earnings report with a 39 percent revenue jump from the previous year to $119 million (beating estimates by $1.5 million) and earnings per share of $1.01 (beating estimates by $0.02).

AT&T (NYSE:T) customers will have a chance to enjoy 4G LTE speeds beginning on Sunday, Nov. 6. The company will launch two new 4G phones, available in stores and online. The 4G LTE network will initially hit nine markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio with further expansion to 15 markets and 70 million Americans by the end of the year.

Named HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, the phones will enable the company to catch up to rival Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which started offering LTE phones earlier in the year.

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Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) will introduce its new Nook tablet on Monday. It comes with a $249 price tag, a $50 premium from Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) highly-anticipated Kindle Fire that will hit shelves one week later, on Nov. 15. Both tablets will be pitted against one another with their Google Android OS systems and similar features.

Barnes & Noble will have to hit hard with the more memory and faster processor selling points while Amazon will counter with its cloud services.

Sina Corporation’s (NASDAQ:SINA) real-time Weibo microblogging platform is a thorn in Baidu, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BIDU) side. Baidu has had enough and is testing out its own Chinese microblog search service. However, Sina will spoil the party as the new service doesn’t support it and therefore will affect its usefulness.

EU’s regulators are investigating whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Ltd (SSNLF.PK) have violated antitrust laws. They are reviewing whether the two companies attempted to have each others’ products banned as opposed to getting “standards-essential patents.” This ongoing problem between the two companies includes 20 lawsuits in 10 countries.

Interested in buying Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) today? No so fast. IPO history isn’t on your side.

According to a recent BusinessWeek article, 25 companies called the “hottest offerings” that experienced large post-IPO jumps in 2010 or 2011, 21 of them now trade below opening day prices. This includes LinkedIn.

Here’s four exceptions to the rule: The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM), MakeMy Trip Limited (NASDAQ:MMYT), Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) and Francesca’s Holdings Corp. (FRAN).

Fusion-io Inc. (NYSE:FIO) shares jumped afters its CEO David Flynn appeared on CNBC today and said the “surface hasn’t even been scratched” in the market for the company’s “revolutionizing” data storage. He noted that Facebook and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are part of its broad customer base.

Earlier this week, Fusion-io reported its fiscal quarter one earnings, with a 175 percent revenue rise year over year to $74.4 million and earnings per share of $0.15. This beat analysts’ estimates and the company raised its annual revenue outlook.

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