Weekly Tech Business Recap: New Yahoo CFO, Apple Sorry For Maps Mishap
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the top tech business stories of the week:
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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Chief Executive Marissa Mayer intends to hold two meetings on Tuesday with employees through which to describe her plans for the company, according to All Things D. It’s expected that her points will include much more focusing on metrics, increasing transparency, and refreshing Yahoo’s email and homepage by placing more emphasis on the consumer experience, even if this comes at the expense of the bottom line in the near term.
Don’t Miss: Will Yahoo’s Radical Transparency Pay Off?
Shares of memory IP firm Rambus, Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS) are heading through the ceiling in mid-afternoon trading following the firm’s receiving a mixed verdict in its suit against SK Hynix. The good news (for Rambus) is that a federal district court decided that Hynix is infringing Rambus’ patents, and also that the latter is entitled to royalties on them on FRAND terms. The bad news is that Rambus was found guilty of destroying evidence in advance of the case and also that a prior $397 million award in its favor was overturned.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares fell Monday on the news that sales of the iPhone 5 over the weekend were disappointing, even though the phones sold out in many locations. Many observers are now pointing out that the problem wasn’t lack of demand, but a supply constraint; Gene Munster at Piper remarked that Apple’s retail inventory is currently half what it was at the time of the 4S intro and that his forecast of 8 million units sold was based upon a belief that the company’s figures would include all pre-orders. Helping to confirm the dominant assumption is a Wall Street Journal report that Apple’s retail partners such as Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) were only provided with a limited number of supplies at launch time
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) rally goes on today, as shares again hit new highs following Michael Graham at Canaccord contending that the firm’s ad click prices are beginning to rise again, after having been under pressure recently.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE:TXN) redues its stake in its OMAP mobile application processor line, choosing to concentrate instead on expanding OMAP sales for embedded applications such as industrial gear and automobiles. OMAP chips are the power in Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s tablets, but smartphone rivalry from Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) has been ferocious.
OCZ Technology Group (NASDAQ:OCZ) shares are having two bad days in a row, but there is no major news to speak of. The stock has hit new multi-year lows, and is down by some 48 percent since September 4th. Since that date, the revenue-burning solid-state drive maker has issued a warning and has seen its Chief Executive Ryan Peterson step down.
Because of demand that is stronger than was anticipated, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (NYSE:TSM) is receiving follow-up orders from iPhone 5 (NASDAQ:AAPL) suppliers, according to a Digitimes report. Several of the suppliers, which include Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM), Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), and Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS), depend on TSM, especially with expectations for iPhone 5 sales reaching at least 50 million units by the end of 2012; monthly chip shipments are currently expected to amount to between 10 and 15 million from September through November.
It’s off to Russia for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg as he will visit the country during the first week of October to assist development of a technology center outside of Moscow. In addition, he will meet with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev along with other top officials and industrialists.
The Chinese solar panel maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE:YGE) has denied allegations made by a group of 25 European solar panel firms that it and other Chinese companies of the sector benefit from illegal subsidies. Yingli said that, “We receive financing at the usual market rates and act according to international accounting standards and norms.”
Shares of Fortinet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FTNT) slumped on the announcement that Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman is departing for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) to hold the same position in that company. Goldman’s reputation in Silicon Valley is said to be ‘sterling’, as he was CFO of several other prominent tech firms before joining Fortinet in 2007. Nomura maintain its Buy, contending that the firm will keep up its top position in the growing UTM security hardware market, due to its appealing products, execution of sales, and coming refreshes.
Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares are having an excellent day, as investors appreciate that the BlackBerry subscriber data that wasn’t that bad, although some observers are noting that subscriber growth is being supported by inexpensive BlackBerry Curve sales in emerging markets. However, a relatively positive Goldman note is helping shares as the analyst restates its Neutral. Additionally, Goldman also likes the BlackBerry subscriber growth and is raising its estimates in kind.
Dish Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) will launch a United States satellite broadband service Monday that carries relatively aggressive pricing as it will cost TV subscribers between $40 and $70 per month and deliver speeds of 5 to 10 Mbps but will have data caps. The new service will be available across the country, but will be targeted at rural areas which have poor broadband availability. At the present time, Dish offers more expensive services in its partnership with ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAT). Competitor DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) intends to offer nationwide broadband in the first quarter.
Sharp Corp. Ltd. (SHCAY.PK) might yet survive as two principal lenders, Mizuho and Mitsubishi, have approved a ¥210 billion, or $2.7 billion, rescue for the struggling company, according to Reuters. For its part, Sharp will offload overseas TV factories and shut solar-panel operations in the United States and in Europe.
Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Brazil operations chief has been retained there because the firm did not obey a court order to remove YouTube videos that were said to criticize a local candidate for election. In addition, Google faces penalties if it doesn’t take the “Innocence of the Muslims” video off of YouTube in that country.
Don’t Miss: Google Hates Patent Wars. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Eric Schmidt provided a more vociferous defense of his company’s legal fight against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), following a meeting with executives from Samsung (SSNLF.PK) than was presented after Apple’s famous California victory, commenting that “Patent wars prevent choice, prevent innovation… With respect to Apple patents, the best thing we can tell there are plenty of prior arts.” However, perhaps to keep Google’s iOS search agreement from disappearing, Schultz conceded after all that Apple is “a very good partner.”
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden says that businesses probably will not adopt Windows 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT) in big numbers before next summer while they wait for the bugs to be ironed out. Firms typically adopt cautious approaches to a new operating system, but Gladden’s remarks might be especially noted considering Intel’s Chief Executive Paul Otellini’s rumored comments on Windows 8 (not ready for prime time) along with ongoing worries concerning its weak enterprise adoption.
Don’t Miss: Google’s Car of the Future is Coming!
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will shortly face European Commission charges that it did not obey a 2009 decision that it supply consumers with a range of Web browsers. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia remarked, “It should not be a long investigation because the company itself explicitly recognized its breach of the agreement.” The firm could be liable for penalties as much as 10 percent of its global revenues if found guilty.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has been granted a large request by the FCC which will permits the carrier to employ 20 megahertz of nationwide spectrum in the 2.3 gigahertz (WCS) band with which to deploy 4 gigabyte services. The company prepared for the FCC’s ruling by meeting concerns from Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), which owns spectrum in an adjacent band, over potential interference.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) says that its Lumia 920 and 820 Windows Phones will be available in Europe in November and it’s widely anticipated that a United States intro should occur at about that time. The company needs to regain smartphone share, but the 920 will be more expensive than Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) flagship Galaxy S III. More specifically, the 920 will cost €599 or $770 in Italy, well above the S III’s €530 or $681.
Don’t Miss: Here’s the Mobile Payment Landscape.
Adtran (NASDAQ:ADTN) is “under competitive attack” from Calix (NYSE:CALX) at rural telcos, says Michael Genovese at MKM, to which he ascribes some of the troubles that were behind the former’s third quarter warning. In addition, he noted that Adtran’s sales to AT&T and Verizon are under pressure in part because of slumping sales of legacy hardware. Finally, Genovese allows that the warning will intensify near-term investor worries regarding industry peers such as CIENA Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), and Tellabs (NASDAQ:TLAB).
Sharp Corp (SHCAY.PK) has secured ¥360 billion, or $4.6 billion, of syndicated funding that supplants an existing ¥150 billion arrangement. Specifically, the new funding consists on two parts: a ¥180 billion loan and a ¥180 billion credit facility. The move will allow the crucial supplier for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to meet a deadline at the end of September to redeem the remainder of ¥360 billion in commercial paper.
Dish Network Corporation (NASDAQ:DISH) is in talks with Viacom (NYSE:VIAB), Univision, and Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE:SNI) in regards to offering their channels over the Internet. If successful, this would represent the largest attempt thus far to form a legal Internet service with live cable channels, according to Bloomberg. Through the proposed arrangement, the companies would charge a lower price for a smaller bundle of channels which would exclude sports, the inclusion of which is why typical cable bills are so high. What took this idea so long?
Don’t Miss: Access Granted: Apple TV Plans Progress.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Chief Executive Tim Cook has commented on his company’s iOS 6 Maps application: “We strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment.” Cook reiterated Apple’s commitment to the application and suggested that unhappy users try the App Store along with Web alternatives. However, a Google Maps (NASDAQ:GOOG) application for the App Store seems to remain months in the future.
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) move up substantially on Friday after Gifts was introduced which arguably represents the firm’s first serious attempt to directly benefit from e-commerce. Further, Topeka says that its checks suggest that Facebook’s mobile Sponsored Stories ads are doing well; they were recently the subject of a positive JPMorgan note as well.
Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) slashes the price of its Lumia 800 by 15 percent on the Continent for the second time in September so as to reduce the inventory prior to the November intro of the Lumia 820, which will run Windows Phone 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT). The more expensive Lumia 900 has received a 10 percent price cut while Nokia announces ‘premium pricing’ for its successor.