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Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) can’t seem to find a suitor. The online movie provider has reportedly had talks with prominent pay-TV providers, in its quest to add itself to their line-ups, but Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) say they aren’t into it.
A new name, Youku Tudou Inc., will emerge from the merger of Youku.com (NYSE:YOKU) and Tudou Holdings (NASDAQ:TUDO), and it will be a major online provider of videos. The deal will be all in stocks, with Youko holders receiving 71.5 percent and their Toudo counterparts getting the balance.
Barry Randall says that “LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is only a carefully-worded Facebook (FB) press release away from being Monster (NYSE:MWW)”, citing the number of persons who have been hired via Facebook. Or, if buyers want a “high-growth, high volatility, high private equity name”, they might look at Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), which also posesses LinkedIn’s benefits, without its risks.
In an interview, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) design chief Jony Ive says “Most of our competitors are interested in doing something different, or want to appear new — I think those are completely the wrong goals. A product has to be genuinely better. This requires real discipline…” This was said to be aimed at Apple’s rivals who ‘obsess over spec sheets’.
Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT) agrees to a $23 a share buyout price with Venture Partners, but its shares are considerably above that price Monday. JPMorgan speculates that higher offers for Quest could appear (BMC Software, Dell, Oracle, IBM, and EMC), and that its maintenance revenue stream is worth $5 per share more than the agreement price, by itself.
Online music service Turntable.fm strikes a deal with all of the top music labels, and that causes a Pandora (NYSE:P) selloff. Turntable’s new service allows its users to play disk jockey and share their streams with friends; consensus opinion had been that the studios wouldn’t buy into it.
Morgan Stanley’s Scott Devitt proclaims LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is “firing on all cyclinders”, moving shares to a strong finish Tuesday. An 84 percent year-to-year growth is projected from LinkedIn’s Hiring Solutions business, and Devitt contends that the company’s adjusted pretax margin can hit the mid-20 percent range by the end of the current year.
Michael Husbey’s impressive record at Cablevision brings him to Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), as that company reexamines its e-reader Nook business. The former Cablevision executive guided the company through two major spinoffs, and his ability to produce shareholder value has the nod from Janney Capital Market’s David Strasses.
Investing Insights: Intel Seeks to Reinvent How We Watch TV.
Citi’s Mark Mahaney remains bullish on Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), in the face of a decline in its DVD-by-mail business, increasing costs of content for its streaming business, along with greater competition. Citing the fact that shares now cost a price to earnings ratio of less than 20 times its domestic business, Mahaney notes also the free call option on its non-U.S. operations.
Positive comments from BMO Capital on Tuesday, regarding TiVo’s (NASDAQ:TIVO) patent dispute against Verizon (NYSE:VZ) have shares up. Reports are that the claim construction issued by the court is exactly the same as one issued for the DISH (NASDAQ:DISH) trial, which was successful.
China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) reports a 4.6 million jump in net profit, meeting fourth quarter earnings expectations. The government largely subsidizes handsets, but mobile data usage offsets this as it increases. Further, mobile growth could take off later in the year if China Mobile gets an agreement to sell the iPhone.
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Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search formula is getting a major refurbishing in the near term. Its search results will become more specific, with additional data and directs answers to queries. Websites that work through the current page-ranking results could be impacted by the change, and additional ways to present ads could result.
The announcement that Apple certifies the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner 7Ci barcode scanner causes shares of Socket Mobile (NASDAQ:SCKT) to pop on Thursday.
Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) is cited positively by Citigroup, who says that shares could outperform near term. Reasons given include the marked trends towards hard disk drive improvement, and China’s decision to extend third generation life.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) goes proactive as it anticipates Friday’s introduction of the next iPad, by giving its Nook customers a $20 discount if they buy it with a MasterCard. Perhaps it’s too late, as earlier in the week IDC presented a glum forecast for BKS’ market share, given shipments numbers for its tablet and e-reader.
Disney (NYSE:CIS) executives are ecstatic over its attaining the honor of having the 25 billionth download from the iTunes store, and, its Where’s My Water game features the debut of a new Disney character. Add to that the possibility that a small development team could someday produce a game that could make its way to one billion people and virtually no cost, and feature a new iconic character in doing so. All this has Disney excited, but Rovio could get there as well.
eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) shares are still laboring under a downgrade by Credit Suisse, even though PayPal introduces PayPal Here, which is a mobile payment solution that is intended to rival Square. The new product will be aimed at PayPal’s customers, which number exceeds 100 million, and will leverage a triangle-shaped dongle and mobile apps. Additionally, it comes with a debit card that gives merchants 1 percent cash-back, which potentially drops its rate to 1.7 percent.
Anticipation of the launch of Windows 8 helps Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares attain a new four-year high, reaching a 26.5 percent gain year-to-date on Friday. Hopes that Windows 8 will help the company compete with tablets helped drive the momentum, but not all analysts are on the bandwagon. Rick Sherlund of Nomura is concerned with potential difficulties of getting Windows 8 users to get used to its touch-based interface.
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In a likely ramification following the FCC’s announcement that it would not allow LightSquared to operate its planned nationwide fourth generation network, Sprint (NYSE:S) is terminating its 15-year contract with Philip Falcone’s wireless startup LightSquared. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint will also return $65 million in prepayments.
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will release its fiscal fourth quarter report on March 29, and this time there will be no warning alongside. Previous releases repeatedly carried such statements, and many observers had expected a new one. Thusly, shares rise substantially on Friday.
Speculation is that Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus tablet will be launched in May at CTIA 2012. Further, the device will be made by Asus, and is expected by Android and Me to sell in the $149 to $199 range. For economic reasons Nexus won’t include an Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Tegra 3 processor, although Asus’ Transformer Prime does. Google is reportedly maintaining lower cost structure on its new product in order to compete with Kindle Fire pricewise.
The government of the U.K. says that it will make sure that Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) discounts are “honest and transparent”, and that claims about products can be proven. Accordingly, Groupon expects to modify its pricing and advertising practices in that country.
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