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Technology Stock Roundup: Analyst Upgrades Rock Yahoo, Netflix, King Shares

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Analyst upgrades has a huge impact on company shares last week, particularly those of Yahoo , King and Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . Here’s a look at the top stories-

Yahoo Analyst Upgrade

Yahoo shares jumped last week as Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster said that the market was under-estimating the value of Yahoo’s holdings in Alibaba. The analyst expects Yahoo shares to rally 20% as the date for the IPO draws near.

Yahoo’s shares have languished in the recent past as filings with the SEC indicated that the company’s holdings were slightly less than previously estimated. Yahoo will offload 40% of its holdings in the upcoming IPO, which will release cash for investments, acquisitions and/or dividends.  

Google Takes Browser Leadership

Adobe Digital Index recently released a report that says that Google’s (GOOGL - Free Report) browser market share in the U.S. has surpassed that of Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) . As quoted in a recent media report, Google’s Android and Chrome browsers together account for a 67.5% share. Although Google is not the leader on either the desktop or mobile platforms on a standalone basis, it is well ahead of the others (Microsoft 18.6%, Yahoo 10.1%, others the balance) when both platforms are considered.

Apple (AAPL - Free Report) has a 59.1% share of the mobile browser segment, but no presence in desktops. Since mobile devices will continue to outgrow desktop devices in the foreseeable future and Google’s bread and butter is search, Apple’s decision to gradually push it out of its devices is a source of pain. This could be one of the reasons for its Chromebook, which continues to grow strongly off a small base.    


Last Week

Last  6 Months

























GOOG = Class C shares (new, non-voting)

GOOGL = Class A shares (old, 1 vote per share)

Other stories you may have missed-


Yahoo Closes Some Businesses: In line with plans to shed underperforming product lines, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that Shine (a women’s lifestyle site), Xobni (a contact management app) and Yahoo Voices (a people-finding search engine) would be shut down this month. This doesn’t mean that Yahoo is doing away with these business ideas – for instance, it has already launched Yahoo Beauty, which is a digital magazine run by makeup artist Bobbi Brown. But Yahoo is either integrating or creating new products that match Yahoo’s new brand image.

Google to Shutter Orkut: Google’s social networking platform Orkut that picked up strongly in some parts of the world is on its way out. The company plans to close the service by Sep 30, saying that the strong growth rates in YouTube, Blogger and Google+ made this a non-strategic product. It’s not clear if Google+ is headed the same way, but it’s a possibility considering that Vic Gundotra, the VP looking after Google’s social efforts left earlier this year.


Intel to Pay the FCC: The FCC has determined that Intel operated prototype wireless devices in violation of its rules. In 2012, Intel admitted that its actions may have violated the said rules and it has now agreed to pay $144,000 in fines. It has also adopted a 3-year compliance plan.

Facebook’s Emotions-Study Under Scrutiny: A UK regulator is looking into Facebook’s (FB - Free Report) unauthorized manipulation of 700,000 users’ news feeds in an attempt to gauge the emotional impact on their close ones. Despite the public uproar, the FTC has turned a blind eye. Facebook defended itself by saying that it was taking responsibility for its actions and would do better in the future but of course everything was done in the users’ best interests. Facebook says it is authorized by the terms of its data use policy. The experiment took place two years ago but was published recently.

Google Must Face Privacy Music: The trouble with Google’s Street View maps continues. In an attempt to develop the maps, Google dug into personal information of users that angered privacy advocates. The Supreme Court has upheld the ruling of an appeals court that Google violated the provisions of the U.S. Wiretap Act and set aside Google’s argument that its actions were exempted by a clause related to radio signals.

Amazon Takes on the FTC: The FTC has asked Amazon to take better precautions to prevent unauthorized purchases by kids. Amazon doesn’t want to maintain additional records and the company is already in compliance with the guidelines that FTC set for Apple earlier this year. So it is standing by its argument that its system is good, that its notifications adequately displayed and that money is refunded where necessary. If the FTC pursues the matter, it could end up in court.

New Technology/Products

Facebook Messenger for iPad: Facebook has released a clean new Facebook Messenger app for iPad with only the essential features liketext chats, voice calling, image sharing, voice memos and stickers and minus the other paraphernalia like news feed, profiles, games and other Facebook apps. A tablet-optimized version for Android is not available yet.

Apple Adds Partners to CarPlay: Apple’s in-dash vehicle entertainment system CarPlay is gathering steam. The company has announced nine new auto makers (Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Mazda, Ram, Abarth and Alfa Romeo) that will incorporate CarPlay in future vehicles. CarPay will hit the market in Pioneer Systems this summer.

Yahoo’s Fickr Dataset Is Huge: Yahoo has released Yahoo Flickr Creative Commons 100 Million, which is a huge dataset including 99.3 million photos and 700,000 videos including metadata like title, camera type, description, tags and related social data in the form of comments, likes, etc. The data can be used for developing artificial intelligence systems.

Companies Collaborate to Improve Data Center: Microsoft, Google, Broadcom, Mellanox and Arista Networks are collaborating to create a new data center infrastructure based on a new Ethernet specification. The idea is to enable data center operation over a 25 or 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol, according to 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium.


LiveRail To Build Facebook’s Video Ads

Google Capital Invests in MapR: Google Capital led an $80 million equity funding of MapR, along with Qualcomm Ventures and others. MapR provides enterprise tools based on the open-source big data platform Apache Hadoop. Its customers include Samsung, Beats Music, TransUnion, Cisco and HP.

Twitter Buys TapCommerce

Analyst Commentary

King Digital Surges On FCF Commentary

Netflix Up On Subscriber Growth Expectations

Some numbers

Gartner Lowers Estimates for Global IT Spending: Gartner lowered its IT spending estimates for 2014 from 3.2% to 2.1%. The research firm sees pricing pressure in devices and data center systems, which it expects will have a negative impact on overall revenue. Growth in software and IT services is expected to be much stronger at 6.9% and 3.8%, respectively. Gartner estimates that IT spending grew a mere 1% in 2013.

Xiaomi Talks Sales Numbers: Privately-held Xiaomi said it sold 26.11 million smartphones in the first half of 2014, more than the 18.7 million sold in all of 2013. Revenue surged 149% from first-half 2013. Xiaomi is China’s third largest smartphone brand behind Samsung and Lenovo, according to research firm Counterpoint.

Amazon Cuts Prices of EC2 Instances

Oracle Raises $10 billion To Fund MICROS Purchase

Microsoft’s Loss Is Google’s Gain: A report from Kantar Worldpanel reveals Microsoft’s shrinking smartphone market share. The report from the research firm says that Microsoft’s share in the U.S. dropped from 4.7% year over year to 3.8% in May 2014. It is also losing momentum in Germany and Brazil and getting completely pushed out of China. Google is the clear winner with its Android OS share going from 52% to 61.9% in the U.S. Apple’s iOS went from 41.9% to 32.5% and Blackberry remained under 2%.

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