Tech Biz Weekly Roundup: Verizon’s Blunders, Google Takes Flight
Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) antitrust fight will return to state court after its February 14 federal trial was canceled by a judge last week. The change comes as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked for the case to go back to the state level in light of developments limiting the amount of damages that New York sought in its federal case.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is stirring the pot in the online travel site arena after placing its flight-search service at the top of web search results. Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Orbitz (NYSE:OWW) and Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), which produce 10 percent to 20 percent of their traffic from Google searches, believe the company is violating Department of Justice guidelines for entry into the $11 billion online flight booking business.
For the next few years, telecom capex growth has modest growth estimates while mobile data spending has been forecast as a growth area. According to Cisco System Inc.’s (CSCO) Visual Networking Index, it estimates that mobile data traffic per user will grow by 15 times or more in large markets from 2010 to 2015.
Key providers of mobile data networking gear includes Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), Allot Communications Ltd (NASDAQ:ALLT) and Procera Networks, Inc. (AMEX:PKT).
The USPTO’s recent Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) rejection improves Google’s (GOOG) case in their patent dispute, by throwing out a patent claim argued by Oracle, along with 16 other claims, in its litigation. Oracle is asking for $2 billion in damages from the search engine giant over Android’s usage of Java programming language; it has six months to appeal the decision.
Don’t Miss: Electronic Arts Feels the Force.
Yahoo Inc.’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO marathon search is taking almost as long as its “strategic review.” The current list of candidates in the CEO carousel, according to AllThings D, includes ex-Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CFO Chris Liddell, Publicis (PUBGY) exec Laura Desmond, and Google exec/ex-DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt.
Don’t Miss: Disney Makes Moves in India.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) pushes forward with its patent war, but it may end up hurting shareholders if they don’t make preemptive IP deals with competitors. When Apple wins a court case, competitors often create a plan B. But when Apple loses, it lacks the necessary wiggle room for a workable settlement.
Investing Insights: U.S. Retail Sales Rose 4.5% in Week Before Christmas.
Online shoppers placed Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) at the bottom of the heap for holiday season customer service in a survey conducted by research firm ForSee. Gap (NYSE:GPS) had the second-lowest score, and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) showed the largest year-to-year decline. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) came out on top with a score of 88/100.
Goldman Sachs has high expectations for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), raising estimates and its price target from $660 to $685. This inflated forecast follows research that shows Google again topping query volumes with 125.2B and a 68.6% share. Goldman believes Google’s core search business has the potential to post better-than-expected FQ4 results and ups EPS estimates for the next three years.
Don’t Miss: Looks Like End of 2012 for Apple TV Launch.
Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) shares slip after an SEC filing shows that two directors from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (NYSE:KKR) have resigned from the company’s board. The resignations come two years after the PE firm helped Kodak refinance debt.
After yesterday’s decline of 10.64%, Emcore (NASDAQ:EMKR) takes off today. Though results missed estimates, and the company’s FQ1 revenue guidance of $36M-$38M is well below a $51.2M consensus, investors are optimistic that optical and cable component production capacity lost to Thai flooding will be regained between March and May.
Don’t Miss: Netflix: Investors and Customers Agree.
Opnext (NASDAQ:OPXT) relocated production to manufacturing facilities in Japan and California. One of its main contract manufacturers remains down due to flooding damage in Thailand hence the relocation. The firm warns that the loss of production capacity will have a “significant impact” on its operations and ability to meet customer demand for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil two versions of its next-generation iPads in January reports Digitimes. They will be targeted to the mid-range and high-end segments. Sources indicate the upcoming models will feature a 9.7-inch screen, which is different than the rumored 7.85-inch.
Don’t Miss: Apple iPad Purchasing Explosion on the Horizon.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) proclaims 2011 “the best holiday ever for the Kindle family,” with sales of more than 1 million of the devices per week throughout December. The new “Fire” led the holiday season. The company also notes the success of its Direct Publishing program, with the number 1 and number 4 best sellers on Kindle both published independently by their authors. However, Heather Bellini warns about the quarter four revenue as shares were down premarket.
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) President and former H-P CEO Mark Hurd lost a court appeal in which he sought to keep confidential a letter that contained allegations of sexual harassment. The ruling means at least a partially redacted version of the letter concerning Hurd’s relationship with a onetime H-P marketing contractor ultimately will be made public.
Investing Insights: Nintendo Gets into the App Game.
IBM (NYSE:IBM) lands a patent over a computerized healthy eating system 10 years after first applying with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent covers a system that will detect a food item and then provide a consumer with a related monetary incentive and health history.
Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) online forum is overwhelmed with complaints that customers are unable to activate new phones including the iPhone, which comes just one day after reports of rampant 4G data services outages.
Don’t Miss: Verizon Pushes Customers to Automatic Billing.
AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S),Verizon Communications Corp. (NYSE:VZ) and other telecommunication companies had more than 33 lawsuits, which were consolidated into one, filed against them dropped when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality yesterday of a law giving telecommunication companies legal immunity for helping the government with its email and telephone eavesdropping program.
Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire gave Millenial Media’s mobile ad network a sharp jump in impressions as folks opened presents last weekend. Impressions from the iPad grew as well, but at the more modest pace of 6% compared to 261% on December 24.
Pansoft (NASDAQ:PSOF) developer of Microcap software, traded lower after the company reported fiscal year 2011 revenue of $19.2 million, which was up 59% year-over-year. However, earnings were $0.25, which was down from $0.59 last year due to a decline in operating profit. For fiscal year 2012, the company expects revenues will keep a similar pace of growth as in recent years, representing approximately 40-60% annual growth.
MoSys (NASDAQ:MOSY) is the day’s top Russell 2000 gainer after the patent sale to Tessera (NASDAQ:TSRA). Benchmark reiterates a Speculative Buy rating on MOSY. The money equaling around $1.60/share, exceeded expectations. It is, according to Benchmark, a “much-needed shot in the arm” that can help fund development of a new “bandwidth engine” memory chip.
Investor Insight: Facebook May Be Biggest IPO of 2012.