Friday, September 30, 2016

Fitbit Inc (FIT) Charge 2 Demand Is Below Expectations

It's probably too early to tell how good the Charge 2 actually is...

Shares of Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) have been floundering this week, down over 11%. Management had been hoping for a continuation of the surge that’s been pushing Fitbit stock higher over the past three months. Expectations were that the official release of the Charge 2 tracking band would aid the rally.

Unfortunately for Fitbit stock, the release of the Charge 2 did not cause massive stampedes at local electronics retailers, nor generate anything worth reporting on the nightly news.

Instead, since Thursday’s opening bell, shares of FIT have given back a rather sizable portion of the 37% gains that Fitbit stock has earned over the past three months. Some investors are concerned that shares will continue to decline if the Charge 2 doesn’t start selling.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Facebook Inc: Facebook at Work Is Great for FB, Bad for Work

Social media already costs employers billions in lost productivity

According to TechCrunch, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is planning to reveal a modified collaborative network called Facebook at Work, aimed at enhancing communication between employees with a suite of messaging options and real-time video calling. When it debuts, the enterprise platform should add yet another layer to Facebook stock, which is up 23% year-to-date.

The Facebook at Work concept isn’t a new one, as rumors of such a product’s development have been tossed around for years.

However, apparently “a source close to Facebook” has just confirmed that the social media giant’s enterprise platform is finally ready and will be revealed within the next few weeks.

On the surface, using FB for effective communication and collaboration in a work setting may sound like the perfect idea. People are already familiar with the FB interface, so transitioning into the Work Feed shouldn’t be all that difficult.

But, it’s not the functionality I’m worried about, nor the ability of employees to learn to use Facebook features.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Oracle Corporation (ORCL) Co-Founder Bashes Amazon Web Services

AWS is so far ahead, it would take a miracle for ORCL to beat AMZN

Larry Ellison founded Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) in 1977 and served as the company’s CEO until September 2014. He’s currently ORCL’s chief technology officer, and ranks as the seventh wealthiest billionaire in the world, according to Forbes. Clearly, Ellison has immeasurable experience in the IT field, not to mention a boatload of respect and influence. Simply put, when he speaks people listen.

Ellison isn’t shy about touting his company’s advantages, nor does he shy away from competition. Earlier this week, he took to the stage for a second keynote address at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld event and “spent an hour trashing Amazon’s $10 billion cloud.”

For the past decade,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has grown Amazon Web Services into its most profitable division. This past June, AWS CEO Andy Jassy described what’s been drawing customers away from longtime tech big dogs such as Oracle and Cisco Systems, Inc.(NASDAQ:CSCO). According to Business Insider, those three factors are: customer focus, innovation and long-term perspectives.

However, Ellison stood fast and defended ORCL, citing a number of benchmarks and other instances that apparently demonstrate Oracle’s cloud computing superiority over AWS.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Facebook Inc Messenger Rooms Will Be the Next Big Thing (FB)

Facebook Rooms could mark the return of the chat room

Earlier today, TechCrunch reported that a developer discovered a hidden feature buried in the source code of Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) Messenger program. Apparently, the code for Facebook Messenger describes “rooms” that will be used for “public conversations about topics and interests.” FB management, unsurprisingly, declined to comment on the discovery.

Facebook Messenger has received some serious upgrades over the last few years, including the ability to serve as a money transferring service and put you in touch with virtual robots that can make dinner suggestions based on what’s in your pantry.

That being said, the notion of Facebook Rooms — which appear to be nothing more than a modernized version of those old AOL chat rooms we pretend we never used — is surprisingly intriguing.

All things considered, I think the idea has some solid potential. The prevalence of chat rooms has all but disappeared and given way to the forum platform. But, the ability to have a conversation in real-time with a perfect stranger who shares a common interest is definitely something that plenty of Facebook’s user base will surely find attractive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pandora Media Inc (P) Is Rockin’, But Don’t Come A-Knockin’!

Pandora stock is up on more optimism concerning a premium plan, but the proof will be in the pudding

For more than a month now, rumors of a $5 per month premium music service from Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) have been circulating, ever since The Wall Street Journal first broke the news last month. Yesterday, the New York Times speculated that Pandora might unveil this new pricing structure as early as this week.

And today, Pandora stock is up a few percent on news that the streaming music company has signed several licensing agreements with major labels and big-name independents, including Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE).

Pandora has some things going for it. For instance, P pulled in more than $343 million in revenue last quarter — a 20% increase year-over-year.

Interestingly, more than $265 million came from ads served up to Pandora’s 76 million free listeners — a 15% year-over-year increase — and only $55 million was generated from paid subscribers — a 1% year-over-year increase.

That’s why Pandora is gunning after a paid plan. But …

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sony Corp (ADR): Why PS4 Pro Gives SNE Stock a HUGE Advantage

The PS4 Pro will hit shelves a full year earlier than Scorpio

Last week, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) held its PlayStation Meeting and announced that its updated PlayStation 4 gaming console will be officially dubbed the PS4 Pro. Since the console was first reported early this year, gamers and tech enthusiasts alike have referred to it by Sony’s internal codename, Neo.

It has been roughly three years since PlayStation 4 hit the market, and during that time it has gained significant ground over its fiercest rival, Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One. The PS4 Pro isn’t intended to replace the base model PlayStation 4, but rather, it will be presented as an optional, enhanced version for hardcore gamers.