Friday, May 29, 2015

Enhance Your Investing Reality With GoPro’s Virtual Reality

Catering to the thrill-seeking sports enthusiasts, the GoPro drone has unlimited potential

Undisputed king of the personal video camera market, GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) CEO Nick Woodman announced at this week’s Code Conference that GPRO will be expanding with two exciting new projects: drone cameras and virtual reality.

Woodman remained tight-lipped about the GoPro drone specifics, except to say that the quadcopter is expected to be available in the first half of next year and is being designed for consumers, not businesses.

Additionally, GPRO is apparently working with existing quadcopter manufacturers to develop a type of universal rig that could accommodate existing GoPro cameras, which could then be mounted on any number of drones.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Office for Android Won’t Save MSFT

Office for Android won't convince users to pay for Office 365 subscriptions

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was, at one time, the most dominant technology company on the planet. With the release of Windows 1.0 in 1985, which was the first time users were able to interact with their computers using a mouse and visual representations of files and folders, MSFT exploded as its new “Windows” operating system took the world by storm.

The rest is history. In just a few short years, the vast majority of the world’s desktop computers were running Windows, and competing operating systems were so far behind that they weren’t even visible on the radar.

The first version of Microsoft Office — namely Word, Excel and PowerPoint bundled together — debuted at the end of 1990, and it, too, quickly became the de facto standard.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Apple Watch Estimates Differ Wildly, But AAPL Doesn’t Care

The iPhone remains the dominant profit-maker for AAPL stock

On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analyst Katy Huberty bumped up her estimates for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) sales of the iPhone and Apple Watch. Huberty’s new estimate for iPhone sales is 50 million units in AAPL’s fiscal third quarter, up from 46 million; her estimate for Apple Watch sales is 36 million units for the year, up from 30 million.

Interestingly, Huberty described her increased estimates as conservative. She referenced data from Morgan Stanley’s smartphone tracker, which apparently indicates consumer demand for iPhones in excess of 53 million units.

Similarly, she referenced a series of Apple Watch surveys conducted in December, March and May, which seem to suggest demand for the Apple Watch is up more than 60%.

Huberty also explained that she believes her 36-million-unit Apple Watch estimate is less than consumer demand, which she pegs at 50 million units; supply and production limitations will be the only reason AAPL doesn’t hit the 50-million-unit mark.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BABA and WMT – A Perfect Marriage In the Making?

A partnership between BABA and WMT could change the world's retail landscape, both online and off

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) has struggled for traction on the New York Stock Exchange as BABA stock is down more than 5% since Alibaba’s historic initial public offering last September.

On opening day, BABA jumped 38% to close at $93.89 and continued rocketing upward for almost a full two months. BABA stock reached a high of almost $120 per share in November 2014 but has since plummeted more than 22% to about $88 per share.

On May 7, shortly after BABA stock dipped below $80 for the first time, management announced plans to replace Alibaba’s CEO, Jonathan Lu. Alibaba’s COO, Daniel Zhang, took the reigns on May 10, along with “a further management shuffle that brings in a wave of younger leaders.”

Zhang laid out his plans for the future of BABA, describing the need to globalize by investing in overseas operations and expanding Alibaba’s workforce to include talent from all over the world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why Does Warren Buffett Like IBM So Much?

Warren Buffett is looking longer term than most investors

Late last week, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) — the infamous multinational holding company led by iconic CEO Warren Buffett — released the updated list of its equity holdings as reported on SEC form 13F, a quarterly filing requirement for institutional investment managers with more than $100 million in assets.

Considering Warren Buffett’s five-plus decades of successful investing and the fact that Berkshire Hathaway stock has grown to become the most expensive of any company traded on a U.S. exchange (shares of BRK.A currently trade above $219,000 apiece), it’s no surprise when Wall Street analysts pore over every minute detail of the report looking for an inkling of insight.

The news that’s had the Street buzzing was Warren Buffett’s increased positions in Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), which currently occupy the No. 1 and No. 3 most valuable spots in Berkshire Hathaway’s $100-plus billion portfolio (the second-place spot, held by The Cola-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), remained static).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

FB to Challenge EBAY With Auction Feature

A FB auction platform could destroy EBAY

Earlier this week, reports emerged about an apparent auction-style sales feature that’s slated to be added to the quiver of social networking tools for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

Details were limited, but according to NDTV Gadgets, worldwide rollout of integrated search capabilities for sale items should arrive within the next several weeks.

While Facebook’s “Sell Something” feature was implemented in December, users were only permitted to create sales-related posts within properly-designated groups, and only members of those groups could see the posts.

Further, only the limited number of groups that had received approval from FB would display the “Sell Something” option to members creating new posts.

Apparently, the feature was well-received by the FB community, enough that management chose to expand the capabilities and offer accessibility to everyone. There has been no official word from FB regarding the issue, but The Next Web claims that this feature is already being tested.

Saturated Chinese Smartphone Market Could Hurt AAPL Stock

Everyone who wanted an iPhone already has one

In a report released earlier this week, IDC noted that — for the first time in six years — the size of the Chinese smartphone market has contracted.

The total number of units shipped during the first quarter of 2015 came in at 98.8 million, which is a 4.3% year-over-year decrease and an 8% quarter-over-quarter decrease.

For years, the world’s top smartphone vendors fought to gain entry into the Chinese market, as the nation’s billion-plus consumers represented the ideal untapped population. However, with so many vendors having focused their advertising efforts on China, the vast majority of consumers in the market for a smartphone have already purchased one.

So, in a way, you could say that the smartphone vendors’ efforts were already successful.

China is no longer an “emerging” smartphone market, but rather a mature market similar to that of the U.S., Europe, and Japan. This status change will require an overhaul of marketing efforts if smartphone vendors are to remain profitable in the region. Hopes — and projections — can no longer rest on assumptions or estimations of first-time smartphone sales.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Why You Should Still Be Bullish on LNKD Stock

LNKD stock will recover and thrive long-term; buy it while it's cheap

Last week, LinkedIn (LNKD) reported its first-quarter earnings, which resulted in a slew of analyst downgrades and price target decreases.

For its first quarter, LNKD generated revenue of $638 million and adjusted earnings of 57 cents per share. Revenue was slightly ahead of the consensus of $636.6 million, and EPS was exactly in-line.

However, management’s guidance was well below current estimates, which caused the rather sudden drop in LNKD stock price.

Analysts had pegged second-quarter revenue at $717.5 million and EPS at 74 cents; management guided for revenue between $670 million-$675 million and EPS at only 28 cents. Similarly, analysts had been expecting full-year earnings of $2.98 billion and earnings per share of $3.03, but the company announced guidance for revenue of $2.9 billion and earnings of $1.90 per share.

In light of the lowered expectations for LNKD stock, several firms reduced their price targets, including Credit Suisse, which lowered its target from $331 to $307, and Needham & Company, which lowered its target from $300 to $250. Analysts’ ratings for LNKD stock were also lowered, including a decrease from “hold” to “sell” by Vetr.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

3 Cutting-Edge Tech Stocks to Buy

You've probably never heard of these tech stocks -- but they've got amazing potential for your portfolio

Source: ssoosay via Flickr
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already familiar with some big-name tech stocks. Actually, even if you’re not a techie, you’ve definitely heard of the big players in the industry and may already have some of them in your portfolio.

So, rather than go on about the merits of tech stocks everybody already knows, such as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), or Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), I’d like to introduce you to some alternative technology stocks to buy.

The technology industry is massive and includes a plethora of publicly traded companies that offer outstanding potential for portfolios of all shapes and sizes. But, many impressive stocks remain unnoticed simply because the media passes them by in favor of more “exciting” companies with in-your-face products that generate a viral buzz across the Internet.

So even if you’ve never heard of these, here are three cutting-edge tech stocks to buy:

Monday, May 04, 2015

New Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins Is Exactly What CSCO Needs

New Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins can keep CSCO at the forefront of tech innovation

On Monday morning, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) announced in a press release that 20-year veteran CEO John Chambers will be stepping down on July 26, to be replaced by the company’s current Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations, Chuck Robbins.

The news doesn’t exactly come as a shock, considering that Robbins had been on management’s short list of possible candidates since 2012.

No specific reasons were given for Chambers’ decision to step down. But one thing is certain: It isn’t because Cisco stock is performing poorly — as was the case with Zynga Inc’s (NASDAQ:ZNGA) CEO debacle last month — or because Chambers made a blunder that offended an important customer — as was the case when Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) abruptly fired its CEO late last year.

In fact, since his rise to CEO on Jan. 6, 1995, Chambers has helped Cisco stock climb from $1.89 to almost $30, an increase of nearly 1,400%. Under his leadership, CSCO revenue has grown from approximately $1.2 billion annually to $48 billion, and earnings per share have risen 3,000%.

Typically, the announcement of a CEO’s retirement is followed by some volatility in a stock’s share price as investors worry about the company’s future under new leadership.

That hasn’t been the case for Cisco stock.