Tag Archive | "morning"

Nokia Refutes Talk Of Microsoft Sale; Ticonderoga Likes It

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Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) have been under pressure this morning, and one thing appearing to contribute to downturn are rumors the company would step in to purchase Nokia (NOK) for $19 billion, according to remarks by Eldar Murtazin, a blogger widely credited with scooping Microsoft’s deal with Nokia earlier this year.

Murtazin’s blog appears not to have that claim today, but he is cited as stating such by Todd Haselton in a piece this morning on BoyGeniusReport.

A Nokia spokesperson, however, tells The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Lawton a short while ago that, “These rumors are completely baseless.”

Murtazin has speculated as recently as May 16th that the two companies were talking about a deal.

Microsoft shares are down 54 cents, or 2%, at $24.47.  Nokia shares are down 34 cents, or almost 5%, at $6.68.

Well, at least one believer this morning is Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities, who follows Apple (AAPL) and has a Buy rating and a $612 price target on that stock.

“We believe reports from Boy Genius highlighting the potential for a Microsoft purchase of Nokia for $19 billion should provide Apple investors with even greater confidence that the company can continue to gain market share at the expense of legacy vendors in the mobile phone market,” writes White.

“In our view, Apple investors could not ask for a better deal, and we believe a transaction would only further Apple’s market share gains in the coming quarters.”

Sounds like White is choosing his words carefully, but it also sounds like he believes the rumor.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Apple: iCloud To Increase iTunes Value, Says Sterne Agee

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Following word from Apple (AAPL) yesterday morning that the company will discuss its “iCloud” initiative next week at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Sterne Agee’s Shaw Wu this morning writes that the service is “a very big deal,” with the potential to further enhance the utility of the company’s iTunes program.

“We believe reaching cloud music deals would be a great start and further distance AAPL from GOOG, AMZN, MSFT, and others, which in the last 10 years or so have failed to put even a minor dent to iTunes.”

Wu maintains a Buy rating on Apple shares and a $460 price target.

Apple stock this morning is up $3.39, or 1%, at $351.22.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

RIM: Engadget Sees 4G PlayBook On Track

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Engadget’s Terrence O’Brien this morning speculates that a new version of Research in Motion’s (RIMM) “PlayBook” tablet computer with 4G wireless links could be on the way for the summer, as expected, based on Google search results for the phrase “Sprint PlayBook.”

Such as search comes up with links with provocative titles such as “Sprint | Introducing the BlackBerry 4G Playbook Tablet,” although said links actually lead to nondescript pages.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

FIRE: Citi Starts At Buy; Cisco, Juniper Distracted

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Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard this morning initiated coverage with a Buy rating on shares of SourceFire (FIRE), the maker of computer network intrusion prevention software and hardware, writing that the explosion of mobile devices is increasing the need for “countermeasures” in cyber-security.

The competition, Cisco Systems (CSCO), Juniper Networks (JNPR), and McAfee, which Intel (INTC) just bought, is distracted, he writes: “Leader Cisco continues to have challenges and Juniper appears incrementally more network-focused. McAfee was an aggressive competitor in end-point and network security, but we already see early signs of execution woes. We expect these trends will benefit smaller, more focused players such as FIRE.”

SourceFire has upside as a take-out target, he writes, and he set a $32 price target. Pritchard started coverage of competitors Websense (WBSN) and Fortinet (FTNT) with a Hold rating, and price targets of $25 and $52, respectively.

Websense is having trouble executing lately, which means there may be little upside to Street numbers, he thinks. And Fortinet’s stock is rich, and expectations for the company are already high.

This morning, SourceFire shares are up $1.34, or 5%, at $26.42, Websense is up 23 cents, or 1%, at $24.49, and Fortinet is up 49 cents, or 1%, at $48.35.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Apple Up 3% On Jobs WWDC Visit, ‘iCloud’

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Apple made a pretty steep climb at the open following word CEO Jobs will head the company’s June 6th developer conference.

Apple (AAPL) shares are getting a substantial lift here this morning from the announcement a little while ago that CEO Steve Jobs will help unveil “next generation software” during the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 6th in San Francisco, starting at 10 am, Pacific.

The stock is up $5.94, or 1.8%, at $343.35.

The event will feature discussion of “Lion,” the next version of OS X, which was previewed already; iOS 5, the next version of the iPhone and iPad and iPod Touch operating system; and also “iCloud,” Apple’s “upcoming cloud services offering,” a rather direct and frank admission by the company of what has been speculated upon for some time, namely, that Apple will host more capabilities in data centers rather than having them be simply a desktop affair.

Clearly, though, the notice of Jobs’s in-person appearance is doing the heavy lifting on the shares this morning. It can’t hurt that smartphone competitor Nokia (NOK) is down almost 15% this morning after cutting its Q2 and year view on smartphone weakness.

Update: Apple shares continued to build on the momentum throughout the session, ending the day up $9.93, or 3%, at $347.34.

Helps to see this morning’s rise in the context of the last two weeks:

Apple’s open defies the trend of the last two weeks’ trading.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

NOK Drops 15%: ‘Burning Platform’ Sinking

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Straight shot down for Nokia this morning; where’s the bottom?

Shares of Nokia (NOK) are down 90 cents, or 11%, at $7.30 $1, or 12.2%, at $7.20 $1.28, or almost 16%, at $6.91 this morning after the company this morning warned the current quarter is tracking much worse than it had expected, andsaid it could no longer off a full-year forecast, citing “multiple factors” that are “negatively impacting” its business.

The “burning platform” to which CEO Stephen Elop famously referred several months ago, is in effect sinking, at least for the moment.

Nokia sees adverse “competitive dynamics and markets trends across multiple price categories, particularly in China and Europe,” the company said. Then, too, it is selling more devices at lower prices and at lower gross profit margin. The company said it is also being subjected to “pricing tactics by Nokia and certain competitors.”

Subjected to its own pricing tactics? Hoisted on its own petard, I guess.

Nokia said it expects Q2 “devices & services” revenue will be “substantially below” the prior range of €6.1 billion to €6.6 billion. Operating margin will also miss the 6% to 9% Nokia had offered. In fact, the operating margin “could be around break-even.”

Nokia removed a target for Q3 devices and services sales to be even with Q2, and to rise in Q4, saying those targets were “no longer valid.”

Nokia said it would accelerate its attempt to trim €1 billion in annual operating expenses, and said that its development of its first phone using Microsoft’s (MSFT) operating system is going well, and that the device should ship in Q4 of this year. That may be somewhat earlier than some had expected.

Update: MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen this morning send a missive to re-emphasize what he’d said a little over a week ago, which is that Nokia is seeing less and less support from some carriers, and that this is leading to “rock-bottom pricing.”

N8 sales are eroding rapidly and that some of the steeply discounted deals offered by leading carriers imply that this flagship model, launched last October, is now being phased out.”

Basically, it’s the Android invasion:

European rollouts of the Samsung Galaxy S2, Sony Ericsson Arc and HTC Desire HD seem to be proceeding notably strongly over the past two weeks. In our view, even second-tier Android launches like Sony Ericsson Play and Samsung Galaxy Fit are having better launch traction than carriers had anticipated. The Samsung Galaxy S2 seems to be matching iPhone sales at Orange and Vodafone.

Update 2: Jennifer Fritszche with Wells Fargo reports from the conference call with management this morning. She finds it interesting that the real problem Nokia is up against is Android, not Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.

“Impact seen in both feature and smartphones – but given the fact it called out specific regions of Europe and China, NOK’s CFO indicated that more of smartphone contribution from these 2 regions,” writes Fritszche.

CEO Stephen Elop indicated that Android players, particularly in CDMA, have been disruptive and are taking market share. While NOK did not mention any specific manufacturers, we note [Motorola Mobility (MMI)] has historically been quite strong in CDMA and has been building its presence in China.”

Update 3: Analysts are starting to adjust numbers — see the note today from Gleacher & Co. Some are warning that things will have to get worse, and that estimates are bound to go lower, before Windows-based devices help improve the outlook.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Intel: Piper Sees Broad Bid For Foundry Work

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Piper Jaffray semiconductor analyst Gus Richard returns this morning with a contention he’s made over the last several weeks, namely that Intel (INTC) is scouting for foundry business to fill its fabs.

Over the last few months we have been hearing comments from industry contacts that Intel is talking to OEMs about a foundry relationship. We have heard Intel is looking for ASIC designers and other support staff for this effort. More recently, we understand Intel has approached Motorola. Currently, we believe Motorola has been working with Toshiba as an ASIC/foundry vendor for cell phone components. We believe the direct-to-OEM foundry model makes sense. Likely target customers would include EMC (EMC), Cisco [Systems (CSCO)], Juniper [Networks (JNPR)], Sony (SNE), Motorola [Mobility (MMI)], Apple (AAPL), Nokia (NOK), and other large customers of leading edge logic. Intel has clearly articulated they are interested in working with companies that want to use x86 architecture. The company is not interested in enabling its fabless competitors or ARM [Holdings (ARMH)].

Interestingly, there’s something of a standoff forming: Intel doesn’t have a history designing ultra-low-power chips, which is what’s needed for mobile. Its design methodology for system-on-a-chip (SOC) is “archaic,” Richard observes.

But Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), and other foundries, don’t have the expertise of Intel in getting to the next level in process technology. Richard asks, “will Intel learn how to design its way out of a PC or will the foundries overcome the process complexity?”

Intel shares this morning are up 29 cent, or 1.3%, at $22.50.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Microsoft Shows Win Phone ‘Mango,’ Coming To Nokia

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Microsoft (MSFT) this morning offered up the latest iteration of its “Windows Phone 7″ operating system for smartphones, dubbed “Mango,” which the company promises will make smartphones “smarter and easier,” while adding 500 new features.

The software is expected to be available this fall, Microsoft said.

Engadget’s Tim Stevens, among others, is dutifully chronicling the debut event this morning.

Some of the initial points Microsoft is hammering on: It’s about people you connect with, not about “apps.” The “live tiles” — little squares that appear on the home page of the screen — have updates of developments surfacing on Twitter, LinkedIn (LNKD), and other information sources. Things like seeing people’s “profile pictures” as soon as they’re updated. A “groups” features automatically pulls together photos and other info for individuals you choose to associate together.

Microsoft is also demonstrating a smarter keyboard, with phrase completion. Different threads of conversation, such as Facebook and text messages, can be grouped together, the company said.

Microsoft said the software will be the first code it puts on the first phone developed in partnership with Nokia (NOK).

Microsoft shares are up 6 cents at $24.23.

Update: Business Insider’s Ellis Hamburger offers a video from the event that shows how Mango will perform multi-tasking functions. It is curiously similar to the “card view” used by Palm OS to jump between applications.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Apple: Remember They’re Nimble, Says Brigantine

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The Street continues to mull the consequences of an explosion Friday at Foxconn, a manufacturing partner to Apple (AAPL), among others.

A report late yesterday by market research firm iSuppli’s Dale Ford suggests the incident may result in 500,000 lost iPad 2 units per month, based on the firm’s analysis of the production capacity of that facility.

As I wrote yesterday, most analysts have pointed out the vast majority of iPad 2 units are produced for Apple at Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility, not the Chengdu plant where the incident took place. Chengdu accounts for about 20% of iPad 2 production, he estimates.

Some estimates for a 2.8 million-unit hit to production are “too pessimistic,” writes Ford: “The impact of this disaster will only last for the short term, given that there are more than 10 factories in the Foxconn Chengdu plant, and because the explosion occurred on the third floor of one of the buildings.”

Kevin Dede with Brigantine Advisors this morning reiterated a Buy recommendation on Apple, writing that while “investors are right to be concerned,” the stock already prices in near-term risks. The fact that Apple was able to bounce back from the March disaster in Japan shows how “fixable and nimble” the company can be in the face of supply-chain issues.

Surprising to us was Apple’s source supply management capability and its finding alternative sources for roughly 100 components to meet requirements for the production of 18.6M iPhones. On the heels of that veritable miracle, we are hesitant to second guess the company’s June outlook that might otherwise appear bullish in the face of the current sourcing and manufacturing predicament.

Apple shares this morning are down $2.25, or 0.8%, at $332.15.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Apple: Remember They’re Nimble, Says Brigantine

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The Street continues to mull the consequences of an explosion Friday at Foxconn, a manufacturing partner to Apple (AAPL), among others.

A report late yesterday by market research firm iSuppli’s Dale Ford suggests the incident may result in 500,000 lost iPad 2 units per month, based on the firm’s analysis of the production capacity of that facility.

As I wrote yesterday, most analysts have pointed out the vast majority of iPad 2 units are produced for Apple at Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility, not the Chengdu plant where the incident took place. Chengdu accounts for about 20% of iPad 2 production, he estimates.

Some estimates for a 2.8 million-unit hit to production are “too pessimistic,” writes Ford: “The impact of this disaster will only last for the short term, given that there are more than 10 factories in the Foxconn Chengdu plant, and because the explosion occurred on the third floor of one of the buildings.”

Kevin Dede with Brigantine Advisors this morning reiterated a Buy recommendation on Apple, writing that while “investors are right to be concerned,” the stock already prices in near-term risks. The fact that Apple was able to bounce back from the March disaster in Japan shows how “fixable and nimble” the company can be in the face of supply-chain issues.

Surprising to us was Apple’s source supply management capability and its finding alternative sources for roughly 100 components to meet requirements for the production of 18.6M iPhones. On the heels of that veritable miracle, we are hesitant to second guess the company’s June outlook that might otherwise appear bullish in the face of the current sourcing and manufacturing predicament.

Apple shares this morning are down $2.25, or 0.8%, at $332.15.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily