Analysts Like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Decision Of Replacing Messenger With Skype

Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) has declared earlier this week that it is getting rid of its Messenger. It is replacing it with Skype that it had bought last year. Microsoft has mentioned in a blog post that Skype and Messenger are coming together. It also said that by updating to Skype, users of Messenger can enjoy all kinds of chat features.

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The transition was perceived as a positive move by market watchers. Analysts of both Gartner and IDC have indicated that the strategy made sense. Gartner’s research VP for consumer technologies and markets, Carolina Milanesi has said that Skype has a much stronger brand in the consumer space. It is much trendier with the kind of audience they are targeting, particularly in the smartphone industry.

IDC believes that Microsoft is adapting its plan to deliver a reliable product that would meet enterprise demands as well as consumer demands. Manager for enterprise software programs of IDC, Cesar Alberto Longa has commented that Skype is a flexible solution since it can be used by consumers for placing phone calls and participating in video conferencing.  

The combination is natural and is used widely by vendors while purchasing a company to make more synergy between products and brands. When it was announced that Microsoft is going to buy Skype, principal analyst of Mobile Trax, Gerry Purdy had commented that even though Microsoft has its own messaging software, the perks of using Skype seize the expenses of having two messaging services. Having Skype, Microsoft adds the most successful international messaging and VoIP calling product and brand to its assortment.

IDC is of the opinion that this is a strategic step towards the enterprise market. Longa has commented on the release of Windows Phone that Microsoft has shown the industry that it is dedicated to mobility. 
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Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): Windows Phones Come at Extremely Low Costs – Will Users Make the Transition to these Phones?

How will Windows Phone gain potential customers in a smartphone market brimming with competition? The answer is simple – via their prices. Windows Phone 8 handsets, the top-tier ones will start from $100 along with a contract. On Tuesday, AT&T Inc.(NYSE:T) stated that Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 will be available for $100 with a 2-year contract, the Lumia 820 for $50 and the HTC 8X starting at $100.

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The Nokia Lumia 920 will be especially available through AT&T at their unveiling. The 32GB phone can be pre-ordered from November 7 and will hit the shelves a couple of days later. As mentioned above, users need to pay only $100 for a 2-year contract. When compared to Apple’s iPhone 5 and other high-end Android devices, the cost of Lumia 920 is definitely more reasonable and can tip the scales in its favor. The model comes in five colors - black, yellow, cyan, red and white and AT&T is also offering a wireless charging plate free of cost, till stocks last.

AT&T will also have the mid-tier Lumia 820 from November 9 priced at $50 for a 2-year contract. Verizon is exclusively selling the Lumia 822, with more or less the same features, for $100 with a $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract. The HTC Windows Phone 8X will cost $100 for the 8GB model (colors blue and yellow) and $200 for the 16GB (only blue) that will be available on AT&T with a 2-year contract.

The HTC 8X and Lumia 920 have been favorably reviewed by the technology press and can give reasonable competition to iPhone and Android-powered devices as well when it comes to specifications. But the market share commanded by Windows Phone is still low, which is why the prices are being subsidized in order to attract users.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stores have not kept pace with it’s overall business: Needham

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) is busy adding new products to its portfolio, but number of retail stores opened by the company has not kept pace with the rise in its product line-up, according to a report by Needham & Company.

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The number of Apple stores is few and far between, when one compares the number of products and the frequency with which the company launches new products. This is one major reason why Apple stores always see long queues which new products such as an iPad or an iPhone are up for sale.

However that does not mean that the company’s points of sales are few. Both the number of Apple Stores and the number of other outlets where buyers can get Apple products is increasing rapidly, Wolf notes, meaning that Apple retail stores can't keep pace with the growth of Apple's revenue overall.

Needham analyst, Charlie Wolf, who has pointed out the scarcity of Apple stores, said that the company is continuing to expand its range of points-of-sale rather than its own stores.

"With ever more places to buy Apple products, the need to specifically visit an Apple Store for purchases has been diminished. Nonetheless, the retail stores continue to show strong growth even in a dour economy."

According to the analysis by Needham, Apple stores have seen sales growth at an annual rate of 18 percent over the last ten years, while sales of non-Mac products have risen 25.5 percent.

Sales of Macs themselves have seen a growth of 12 percent, quite a creditable performance considering that PC sales are seeing depressed demand.

According to Wolf, same store sales rose 5.4 percent in the company's fiscal fourth quarter, up from 3.2 percent growth seen in the June quarter.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): iPad Mini with LTE to be Shipped Next Week

It has finally been confirmed that Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) will start dispatching cellular versions of its latest offering – the iPad Mini. Apple had stated earlier that the Wi-Fi version of iPad Mini would be in stores ahead of the LTE model. It was said that shipping of the latter will begin two weeks after the Wi-Fi model hits the shelves. On Friday, the company quoted estimates regarding the shipping of the LTE version of the tablet.

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The first weekend of sales showed that 3 million models of the iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad had been sold. Although Apple did not give precise numbers for both models, analysts have predicted that a major chunk of those sales have come from the sale of the iPad Mini.

Apple has not mentioned a particular date when the shipment of the LTE iPads will begin or when they will be available in stores. The iPad Mini is priced at $329 for the basic model and has a 7.9-inch screen. Carriers like Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T are offering the LTE version at $459 along with a service contract.

According to the AppleInsider, the iPhone 5 has also started bridging the gap between supply and demand and might be available in the coming weeks. Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster had examined the supply rooms at 100 Apple stores selling the iPhone models with contracts from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint networks. Sprint had the highest stock, followed by AT&T and Verizon. Munsterfeels that the Apple iPhone 5 might be available in stores in just 2-3 weeks.
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Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 Priced Insistently In The US

Many people thought after the announcement of Lumia 920 that the phone could be given a try provided the price is right. Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) has a tendency to distribute its phones to the local sellers and let them decide the price tag of the phone. That is why Nokia phones generally carry large price variations between nations.

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It seems that AT&T that has exclusivity of Nokia Lumia 920 in the US has decided to price its phone very antagonistically. The price tag of $450 without contract and $100 with contract is much lower than the competition. The starting price of Apple’s iPhone 5 is $649 without a contract. Samsung’s Galaxy S III starts from $549.

This may seem to hurt profit margins of the company. However, it will help Nokia to sell more phones, helping it to be more prominent. Having a better prominence can aid Nokia greatly when it comes to advertising the phone. If a high quality phone is used widely, it will lure more users with time. In addition to pricing the phone very hurriedly, AT&T also has throw in a free wireless charger with the phone.

It also seems as if the Lumia 920 will be available in a number of countries at the same time. The latest country to have Lumia 920 this November is said to be in India. While India is the main market for Nokia and the company still boasts its status as the largest mobile phone company in terms of volume, Nokia’s management took some time to introduce the Lumia 900 in the country.

In case the phone finds success in the US, it can surely make an impression all over the globe. The US is very much like a showcase of the world. That is the reason Samsung is densely invested in this nation. 
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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Check out Airwaves in UK for Launching Super Wi-Fi

Rivals Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) who are competing in territories like search and tablets, might be eyeing a portion of airwaves in the UK. Apparently, there is unused radio spectrum available and sources have stated that the two giants are particularly interested to buy the spectrum known as “white space”, with the objective of introducing Wi-Fi networks nationally.

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So what is white space? The set of localized frequencies in the range of 450MHz and 850MHz, left clear in order not to interfere with television broadcasts in neighboring cities is called white space. This is done to ensure that the possibility of frequencies overlapping is eliminated, which means that loads of unused spectrum sits idle.

Since televisions, radios etc. are now better equipped to keep to their assigned bandwidth; low-power devices should not cause interference in the white space area. These frequencies are the perfect base for a wireless broadband network, which is why the name Super Wi-Fi is sometimes assigned to them. They are not obstructed by walls, cover long distances, and maintain decent speed too.

Although Google and Microsoft are yet to reveal any plans, analysts are coming up with all kinds of theories regarding the launch of the free/low-cost Super Wi-Fi services in the country. Google Fiber service was introduced in many cities in the U.S. and white space is being utilized as well.

The UK has slightly fallen behind when it comes to low-costing white space networks; a spectrum auction has to be set up by the communications regulator. The 4G LTE auction took a long time to be organized, which might mean similar delays in this case. There is the requirement of a database too, so that a frequency can be established without causing interference with other signals.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Granted Patent For Rounded Corners On Electronic Gadgets

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has been granted a patent on rounded corners for rectangular-shaped devices. It is tempting to think that patents are becoming more incongruous, but that really would not be a mistake. The US and other patent officials have always approved overly broad patents. It is the courts that have changed over the recent years. They have begun awarding damages based on them.

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Here is a list of legendary patents that have been infringed upon a millions of times, but have not yet earned their creators anything.

Donald Trump’s Double Comb Over – Donald Trump is a real estate paper tiger. He is popular for enlisting his name on catastrophic real estate agreements, raging against the president on Twitter. He also attempted to cover up his male blueprint baldness. It was known from a forensic analysis that it is an innovative double comb-over that involves plastering of hair coming from different sides of scalp into a place. Incredible enough, this was issued in 1977 to two inventors based in Florida. It is called the Method of concealing partial baldness.

The Wheel – it was in the year 2001 when john Keong from Australia was patented a Circular Transportation Facilitation Device. Keogh is a freelance patent attorney who had appealed for his patent on the 5,000 year old machine so as to reveal loopholes in Australia’s innovation patent system for fast-tracking legal protection of fresh ideas.

Patent Trolling – the method of creating a company for the very purpose of suing other companies for infringing patents is called patent trolling. Believe it or not, this practice itself has been patented. The patent has been named Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a First Part Against a Second Party. Owner of the patent, Halliburton Energy Services can threaten anyone, who may sue them for infringement of IP with a counter-suit.
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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) TV to be available in countries outside U.S. on Nov 13

Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) Play, the Internet search giant's entertainment hub, will soon be bringing movies, music, games and television shows via Google TV in various countries outside the United States on November 13.

Users in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and Canada can purchase and download movies once the service is launched.

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According to a report in Slash Gear - "Originally, only users in the US could download movies and music, something Google TV users abroad were less than thrilled about. This constitutes a major update on Google’s part, and is perhaps an effort in pulling the lagging service out of its tailspin. Google TV has not been without its share of criticism, and Google has fallen short of its proclaimed goals."

Google's library of movies, music and television shows s not clearly spelt out and it is estimated that the company has `thousands' of titles, including millions of songs.

The company has been known to be acquiring content from large movie studios including Twentieth century Fox, from which it had purchased more than 600 titles back in September for Google Play.

With Google+, its social media network initiative, having really failed to catch on vis a vis Facebook, Google is trying all ploys to get viewers to remain on its network.

Google Play Store is where users can download all kinds of applications and this current initiative attempts to marry that with entertainment content available on Google TV.

Some critics have stated that Google lacks focus with Google TV and needs to determine exactly what kind of service it is in order to properly pander it to the masses. Still, this is a big step in opening up the service to a larger array of users, and is a step in the right direction.
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Earnings Losers: The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), Nordstrom, Inc.(NYSE:JWN)

The Walt Disney Company(NYSE:DIS) has announced results for the September quarter, in line with analysts’ expectations.  The performance of individual revenue streams were however a mixed bag.

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Net income of the company rose 14 percent to $1.24 billion or 68 cents a share from $1.09 billion or 58 cents last year.  The adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share met expectations on the Street.

Revenue jumped to $10.78 billion, but fell short of analysts’ estimates of $10.93 billion.

Ad sales at ESPN were flat, but the company managed to earn higher fees from distributors. 

A week ago, Disney had said that it is buying LucasFilm for $4.05 billion and that it would revive the Star Wars franchise in 2015.

Disney’s new cruise ship helped the parks and resorts division to perform better.  Revenue from its movie studio however fell on the lackluster performance of “Brave”.  Losses at Hulu, its online video service were higher.
The stock fell 5.32 percent to $7.38 in afternoon session.

Meanwhile, Nordstrom, Inc.(NYSE:JWN) has posted strong results for the third quarter on the back of strong demand for its products like men’s shoes and clothing and children’s fashions. It has also revised its guidance for the next quarter.

The net income for the quarter ended October 27 is $146 million or 71 cents a share, much higher than last year’s $127 million.  Revenue rose 14 percent to $2.81 billion.  The Street had expected the retailer to earn 72 cents on $2.75 million.

The Seattle based company has modified its outlook for the current quarter, Superstorm Sandy being one of the reasons.  However, its impact on future business and consumer spending is still not clear.  The company now expects EPS between $3.45 and $3.50 a share and a rise in revenue between 6.5 percent and 7 percent.

The results were declared after market close on Thursday.  The stock fell 1 percent to $54.85.
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Earnings Recap: Zipcar Inc, Spreadtrum Communications – ZIP, SPRD

On Thursday Zipcar Inc(NASDAQ:ZIP), which runs a car-sharing network, on Thursday said that it was on track to report its maiden annual profit in 2012, after reporting strong third quarter figures.

In the third quarter Zipcar said its revenue rose 15 percent, to $78.2 million, and its membership grew 18 percent to about 767,500. Analysts expected revenue of $75.6 million. Zipcar said it expects net income of as much as $3 million in 2012. Wall Street is forecasting net income of $900,000, or 2 cents per share.

Its net income grew to $4.3 million, or 10 cents per share, in the third quarter, which included a benefit of $1.7 million from zero-emission vehicle tax credits. In the third quarter of 2011 Zipcar posted net income of $651,000, or 2 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts were expecting a smaller profit of a penny per share and $75.6 million in revenue.

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Zipcar forecast $67 million to $71 million in revenue in the fourth quarter and raised its full-year estimate slightly, to a range of $275 million to $279 million. Analysts expect $274.6 million.

Shares of ZIP soared 22%.

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc (ADR)(NASDAQ:SPRD), which makes chips for smartphones, on Thursday, said it made a net income of $23.2 million, or 44 cents per American depositary share, for the three months ended Sept. 30.

That compares with net income of $39.3 million, or 75 cents per ADS, in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose about 2 percent to $187.9 million from $184.8 million a year earlier.
Analysts' consensus forecast called for higher earnings of 46 cents per ADS on $184.5 million in revenue.

Shares of the company are down 11% to $19.
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Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) Off 20% From Session High On New Update

Shares of Molycorp Inc(NYSE:MCP) tumbled all of a sudden and erasing its early gain after a brief halt, as an SEC filing discloses an SEC investigation regarding the accuracy of disclosures of certain sales of stock by officers, directors and private equity firms, as well as certain corporate acquisitions during 2011.

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Late Thursday, the company reported a loss for the third quarter as higher costs associated with production couple with lower prices for rare earth metals cut into its profit margins. Molycorp reported a net loss of $15.5 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept 30. That compared with earnings of $45.1 million, or 49 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

The adjusted loss was 5 cents a share. Analysts, on average, had expected a loss of 7 cents a share. Revenue rose 49 percent to $205.6 million on sales of 4,391 tonnes of total rare earth and rare metal products.

The stock is now down 9% to $7.92 after hitting a new low of $7.57. However, the stock gapped up this morning and rose about 8% earlier in the session.
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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) willing to pay $1.2 million to Motorola for FRAND

The world's largest software company, Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) is willing to pay Motorola Mobility $1.2 million for patents related to FRAND.

Both the companies have filed trial briefs with regard to what they believe as fair and reasonable values for their FRAND negotiations.

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According to Motorola, the software firm should pay it 2.25 percent share per device, what it sees as a logical starting point for all future negotiations between the two companies.

However Microsoft feels that "the FRAND rate in 1012 for Motorola’s H.264 standards-essential patents is $474,000 and the 02.11-related patents for 2012 should be set to $736,231. Throw those numbers together and Motorola by Microsoft’s math is owed $1.2 million," Inquisitr said in a report.

Microsoft's contention is that Google, which owns Motorola Mobility, had agreed to license the patents under FRAND accepted prices based on the MPEG LA AVC patent pool.

Microsoft says it wants a court enforceable decision so it can end litigation with Motorola Mobility and Google.

Google and Motorola Mobility are already under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission for violations in regards to standards-essential patent licensing.
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Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) Hits New Low – ZIP, INTC

Groupon Inc(NASDAQ:GRPN)’s shares are having one of the worst trading sessions after its IPO as the stock tumbled 29% to $2.80 after hitting another low of $2.77 as the company’s revenue in the third quarter shy of analysts’ estimate by about 4%. The company, which had been struggling since early January, said that it’s net loss narrowed to of $3 million and broke even a share on revenue of $568.6 million, compared to a year ago loss of $54.2 million and 18 cents a share. On an adjusted basis, it earned 3 cents, matching analysts’ target and missing revenue estimate of 590 million.

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The key concern during quarter was the street had already been expecting the worst case scenario amid the company’s stock tumbled 80% from its IPO price of $20.

Zipcar has reported strong results for the third quarter and said that it will make its first annual profits this year.  This announcement sent the stock flying up 28 percent in extended trading.

The company earned a net income of $4.3 million or 10 cents a share which includes $1.7 million of zero emission vehicle tax credits.  Last year in the same period, the earnings were $651,000 or 2 cents a share.  Analysts were modeling net income of a cent per share.

The revenue for the quarter rose 15 percent to $78.2 million, higher than Street expectations of $75.6 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company has projected revenue between $67 million and $71 million.  For the full year, it has raised the revenue outlook to the range of $275 million and $279 million.  It sees net income at $3 million, higher than analysts’ estimates of $900,000.

The results, which were declared after market close, sent the stock up $1.71 to $7.75.

Intel’s new Itanium processor 9500 series is twice as powerful as the previous generation. The additional power enables these processors to handle heavy workloads and enterprise applications like business analytics, large scale database management and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The Itanium 9500 processors are the most sophisticated general purpose processors to date with 3.1 billion transistors.

The new processors support up to twice as many cores as the previous generation. With up to 54 MB of on-die memory, it enables up to 2 TB of low voltage DIMMs in a four-socket configuration.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Got Another Lawsuit From VirnetX (VHC)

Just days after VirnetX Holding Corporation( AMEX:VHC) wona lawsuit against Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) for patent violations and was awarded damages of $368 million, it has filed another patent violations case against the iPhone maker.

VirnetX had filed the previous suit for violation of patents relating to a technology used in virtual private networks.

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The company has included more products such as the iPhone 5, the new iPad Touch, the new iPad, iPad Mini and the latest Mac computers, which had not been included in the previous suit since they were released later.

The new complaint includes allegations of wilful patent infringement regarding four patents owned by VirnetX, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,502,135, 7,418,504, 7,921,211 and 7,490,151.

In its complaint, VirnetX said it sought both damages and injunctive relief.

On Nov. 6, a U.S. district judge had awarded VirnetX millions of dollars in damages for violation of four patents by Apple, which used the technology in its Facetime feature, which facilitates video calling.

VirnetX's software and technology services, including its secure domain name registry and GABRIEL Connection Technology, are designed to facilitate secure communications for real-time communication applications such as instant messaging, VoIP, smart phones, eReaders and video conferencing.

The company's patent portfolio includes 20 U.S. and 26 international patents and over 100 pending applications.
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VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ARNA) Rebound After Earlier Losses

Drug-maker VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS), on Thursday reported higher than expected losses leading to one-fifth depreciation in its stock price.

The company, which makes the anti-obesity drug Qsymia, said that net loss for the quarter widened to $40.4 million, or 40 cents a share, from $8.6 million, or 10 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a loss of 32 cents.

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Revenue was $41,000, the amount received from pharmacies that had delivered the drug to patients, Vivus said.

Qsymia was approved y the US Food and Drug Administration in July this year, one of the two obesity drugs to be approved in the country in more than a decade.

However, according to Vivus, patients are abandoning prescriptions at the pharmacy on discovering they must pay a large portion of the cost out-of-pocket.

Vivus has taken the unusual strategy of getting the drug prescribed by speciality doctors rather than primary-care general physicians.

Shares of VVUS were down about 7% in yesterday’s session and now up 3.50%.

Meanwhile Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ:ARNA), which has launched rival anti-obesity drug Belviq, reported lower-than-estimated losses for the third quarter benefiting from lower research and development costs.

Arena reported losses of $15.5 million, or 7 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. In the third quarter of 2011 Arena lost $22.7 million, or 16 cents per share.

Its revenue declined to $1.5 million from $3.5 million, but most costs declined and the company booked a gain on revaluing derivatives and recorded interest income.

Analysts were forecasting a larger loss of 9 cents per share and $2.4 million in revenue.

Shares of the company are up 6% in today’s session, paring all its losses earlier this week.

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) Icahn says considering hostile takeover

Earlier this shares in video streaming services provider Netflix rose on hopes that the company would be a target for acquisition. Names like that of Amazon and Microsoft have cropped up as prospective buyers.

Investor Carl Icahn, who recently picked up a 10 percent stake in the company, added fuel to the fire saying that he was considering a hostile takeover of the company.

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He however added the rider that h was uncertain if he stood any chance of acquiring it.

In an interview to television network CNBC, Icahn said, (in response to a question about a hostile purchase of Netflix), "The thought had certainly entered my mind. I have to admit I think about it, but we haven't made that decision."

Icahn was quick to add that his valuation of Netflix for an acquisition would be much lower than a buyer who would be looking to buy the company to add synergies and acquiring its vast library of content.

Last month, in a regulatory filing activist investor Icahn had revealed that he had acquired 9.8 percent stake in Netflix.

Most of his purchases were in the form of call options that expire in September 2014. The billionaire, who is known for shaking up corporate management, has said Netflix was undervalued and an attractive acquisition target for a number of companies, a Reuters report said.

Netflix, as a defensive measure, has adopted a poison pill strategy to prevent a hostile takeover by an outsider who lacks board approval.

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Earnings Report Card: NVDA, SD, TZYM

NVIDIA Corporation(NASDAQ:NVDA), which makes chips for computer graphics, on Thursday, reported a net income of $209 million in the third quarter or 33 cents a share up from $178 million or 29 cents a share a year ago.

The chipmaker reported third-quarter revenue of $1.204 billion, up from $1.066 billion in the year-ago quarter.

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It said revenue in the current quarter would be between $1.025 billion and $1.175 billion.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.193 billion for the quarter ended in October and $1.206 billion for the quarter ending in January.

The company said that its lower outlook was due to the weak demand in the traditional PC market. The company is now pushing in the tablet PC market where the action is shifting.

The company also announced dividend at 7.5 cents a share.

Shares of Nvidia rose 0.50% in the opening session.

Tranzyme Inc(NASDAQ:TZYM), which is involved in developing GI treatments, reported $1.8 million in revenue for its third quarter - down from $2.6 million in the same period last year.

It reported a net loss of $4 million for the quarter, sending its shares down 3.6 percent in after-market trade to $4.

Oil exploration and production company, SandRidge Energy Inc.(NYSE:SD)on Thursday reported net income of $29.6 million of 5 cents a share in the third quarter compared to $5.1 million or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to break even and the better-than-expected results drive the shares of the company slumped 7.50%..

If derivatives losses are factored in the company made a net loss of $184 million or 39 cents a share. This is much better than the loss of $561 million or $1.16 per share that the company reported in the year-ago quarter.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Filed a Patent Application for Headphones that Double as Speakers

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has come up with a radical invention – a dual-mode headphone, which can act as an ordinary set of earbuds and also transform into a large-scale speaker system. Apple had filed a patent application for this headphone in 2011, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Back then, Apple had stated that the proposed invention would combine the typical in-ear headphone system with specialized position-sensing circuitry and a power amplifier, which will allow users to rapidly switch from personal listening mode to speaker mode and vice-versa.

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 The idea behind the device was basically this – users are in the habit of listening on their portable devices via headphones. There is also an option where speakers can be connected to the portable devices so that more than one user can listen in at the same time. There is a slight catch here – the user has to carry both the headphone or speakers with them or else make use of the in-built speakers of the device, which are usually don’t generate sound quality of external speakers.

Thanks to Apple’s invention, the headphone will locate its position and output sound when it is in headphone mode, where the amplifier will not be used, or speaker mode, which passes the audio signals through the amplifier. Precautions have been taken to prevent damage to the ear drum, which may cause hearing defects, in case they accidentally activate speaker mode while they have earbuds plugged in. A sensor has been incorporated, which can detect if the unit is near the user’s ears. A wide variety of sensors can be used in the device such as IR sensors, ambient light sensors, Hall effect sensors, and others.

Although the positioning can be detected automatically, there is an option where users can use physical buttons to switch to speaker mode manually. An articulating arm or other design component can be utilized to prop headphones up in speaker mode. Patent applications take a long time to process, so it is not yet known when this product will be available, but Apple is still experimenting with innovative design techniques for audio devices, such as the brand new EarPods.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) releases update for new range of Macs

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has released bug fixes and an update to the new Mac range of notebooks that the company released in June.

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According to CNet, the update, which is around 127 MB in size, has bug fixes and enhancements for graphics.

Some owners of the new MacBooks were experiencing what they termed as flashing displays when waking the system from hibernation, while others noticed washed-out or high contrast colours when using external displays and odd graphical artefacts when using some features.

If you are experiencing these or other problems on your MacBook system, then try seeing if this latest update helps, says CNet.

"The update should be available through Apple's Software Update service in the Apple Menu (this will launch the Mac App Store to get the updates), or can be downloaded as a standalone installer from Apple's Support Downloads page."

Apple had released a new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in June.

It would, of course, pay to back up your system before applying any update.

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s `Friendship’ feature now in Timeline format

Timeline was made compulsory for everyone on Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) this year and not everyone has taken to them kindly, and many are still barely tolerating the feature, since they have no other choice.

Now Facebook is trying to make it more palatable for everyone by making changes to the Friendship feature. Friendship has been there since 2010 and it displays interactions between a user and a friend blow by blow.

Now the social network is turning this into a Timeline profile as well to make it more interesting, especially for those who are in a relationship.

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According to Mashable - "To see the friendship page you share with anyone else, go to their profile page. Then click the gear button on the right, next to “Message,” to reveal a menu with a list of options; Friendship page is the one you want."

It is being rolled out over the next few days.

Interactions between the user and that particular friend will be available in a Timeline format along with photos. Users can remove or untag themselves from photos which they do not feel are flattering to them - though, as always, there photos are never removed but just hidden from the Timeline.

Mashable's Chris Taylor writes- "Like much else about the social network, it’s a revealing and slightly disturbing look at just how much information has been gathered on you. I tested it with a few friendships where I was sure that friend and I hadn’t been tagged in pictures together — but sure enough, there we were, often on opposite ends of the table at large dinner parties, in the Timeline-style cover photo."

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Tech News: Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), Kayak Software (NASDAQ:KYAK), Inc (PCLN)

Online deals company Groupon Inc(NASDAQ:GRPN) has announced its results for the quarter.  While its net income was in line with analysts’ expectations, revenue fell short of Street estimates.

The company made a net loss of $3 million which works out to break-even on a per share basis.  In the same period last year, the company had incurred a loss of $54.2 million or 18 cents a share. Groupon was a private company then.

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The loss in the latest quarter includes stock related compensation payment and also acquisition expenses totaling $25.1 million.  Without these items, the earnings per share is 3 cents, matching analysts’ calculations.
Revenue rose 32 percent to $568.6 million from $432 million in the year ago.  Analysts had expected revenue of $590 million.

For the current quarter, Groupon expects revenues between $625 million and $675 million, while analysts are modeling $634 million.

On reporting of the results, the stock tanked more than 21 percent in pre-market trading.

Meanwhile, there is some acquisition news in the online travel space. Inc(NASDAQ:PCLN) has announced its plans to acquire the online travel research company Kayak Software Corp(NASDAQ:KYAK) Software Corp for $1.8 billion as part of its expansion plans.  Also, the latter has reported its results for the latest quarter.

Priceline will pay $500 million in cash and $1.3 billion in stock and assumed options.  Kayak has been valued at $40 a share, 29 percent higher than the stock’s closing price on Thursday.

The deal now needs to be approved by Kayak shareholders.  The company will continue to operate independently.

Kayak also announced its results for the last quarter yesterday. It earned a net income of $7.2 million or 19 cents a share, higher than last year’s $4 million or 18 cents a share. Revenue rose 29 percent from $77.4 million in the prior year period to $78.6 million.

Kayak shares rose 26.2 percent to $39.18, and the Priceline stock dropped 2.1 percent to $615 in the pre-open session.
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News Recap: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Concur Technologies (NASDAQ:CNQR)

Shares of Concur Technologies, Inc.(NASDAQ:CNQR) fell by $2.98 or 4.60% to $61.98 in yesterday’s session as the company reported mixed results for its fiscal fourth quarter.
The provider of online expense management software posted revenue of $117.9 million up 4% sequentially and 24% year over year but falling short of Street expectation of $118.6 million.
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Whereas, the Non-GAAP profits of 40 cents per share beats Street consensus of 25 cents per share.
“Driven by the investments we made over the past few years, we continue to meet or exceed our targets on key financial metrics such as revenue, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP earnings and cash flow,” CEO Steve Singh said in a statement. “Just as importantly, those investments are meaningfully expanding the addressable market we can serve and driving the innovation curve in our industry. As a result, we expect revenue in fiscal 2013 to grow by 25% fueled by strong customer growth across all geographies, notably the SMB and global account market segments.”
For the first quarter of fiscal 2013 the company expects revenue up by 21% year over year and non GAAP profits of 30 cents per share. Street analyst expects profit of 25 cents per share.
For the full year the company sees revenue up 25% year over year and profits of$1.40. Street analyst expects profit of $1.13. 
JPMorgan Chase & Co.(NYSE:JPM) once among the best performing bank stocks said of receiving an approval from the Federal Reserve to start buying its own share, the plan of which was suspended back in May as the company faced a trading loss of more than $6 billion.
According to a regulatory filing the bank received the approval from FED earlier this week. The bank plans to buy back $3 billion of its stock in the first three months of next year.
Buybacks are popular as it increase the company's earnings per share for the stock still held by the public and it is also used to compensate for shares of stock that they award to employees.
Stocks of JP Morgan Chase and Co rose by 8 cents or 0.20% to $40.40.
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Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) Set To Open At New Low On Earnings Shock

Groupon Inc(NASDAQ:GRPN)’s third quarter earnings were in line with what the Street had expected but revenues lagged estimates, sending its shares down more than 16 percent in after-market trades.

The company reported a net loss of $3 million and broke even on a per-share basis, compared to a net loss of $54.2 million and a loss of 18 cents per share in the year-earlier period.

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This loss included stock-based compensation and acquisition-related expenses of $25.1 million.

Excluding these charges, Groupon said its earnings were 3 cents a share. Revenue rose 32 percent to $568.6 million from $430.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts had forecast earnings at 3 cents a share and revenues at $590 million.

Groupon, which offers daily discounted deals online on spas and restaurant services, has estimated current quarter's revenues at $625 million to $675 million.

The company, which went public last year at $20 a share, has lost favour with investors who are concerned that its business model my not be sustainable in the long term.

Its shares have depreciated about 80 percent since its IPO and the results of the third quarter will not be infusing any enthusiasm into the Street.

On Thursday, Groupon also announced that it was laying off about 80 members from its sales team.

Groupon has been seeing slowing sales in the Eurozone which is currently in the grip of a debt crisis and the company has been trying out other methods to shore revenues such as the launch of Groupon Goods and Groupon Payments.

Shares in Groupon slumped 18% in the pre-open session and trading below its all time low of $3.77.
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Vringo, Inc. (AMEX:VRNG) V Google Inc (GOOG): What We Have Got So Far?

Shares of Vringo, Inc.(NYSEAMEX:VRNG), the patent holding company fell about 10% (after yesterday’s rebound of 8%) after its victory against AOL, Inc.(NYSE:AOL) and Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) in a jury lawsuit in Virginia. The victory is supposed to bring $30 million to the company in up-front damages and royalties that could amount to millions over a number of years.

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Vringo had filed a case against Google and some other big companies saying that their web search efforts violated basic technologies that are owned by Vringo since many years. The amounts that were proposed by the jury seem to be way lower than some people were expecting out the victory.

Vringo has issued a statement saying that the company has received many inquiries regarding the jury’s computation of damages incurred in the past. Vringo’s legal term is reconsidering the verdict and plans to tackle all post-trial matters with the court.

The stock has got at least one thumps up from the Street. John Tinker from Maxim Group has reiterated a Buy rating on Vringo stock and a price target of $10. He has written that the judge can tackle the misunderstandings that have taken place in the post-trial briefings.

Tinker has explained how the jury went about its verdict on royalties and damages where the discrepancy seems to lie. He believes that Vringo had initially claimed for $493 million in damages, taking six years into considerations. Of the total damages calculated, $451 million applied to only Google. The jury granted damages against Google amounting to $15.8 million. The jury granted damages against AOL amounting to $7.9 million. Whatever the math be, the jury seems to have discarded the expert witness argument of Google that royalties should not be paid, only a lump sum of $3-$5 million will suffice.

Tinker expects Google to appeal, but it may take up to 12-15 months. He thinks the search engine giant may play games the way DISH did in litigations that were brought against it by TiVo.
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Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK)’s Lumias to sell in the U.S. , All The Best

Alright, the suspense is over now for the release date of the new Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK)’s Lumias.

According to network carrier AT&T (NYSE:T), with whom Nokia has tied up for the launch, it will be selling the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 from November 9 onwards, while pre-orders for the phones started on November 7.

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In the United States, where Nokia is determined to make its mark, the company has tied up with other network carriers as well such as Verizon and T-Mobile.

Each of the network carriers will be selling custom-made versions of the phone will which were unveiled publicly on September 5.

Breaking into the U.S. market is critical for any handset maker and all the more so for Nokia, which has been struggling with dwindling sales. The U.S. is the largest market in the world for mobiles and success there would translate into positive consumer sentiment in other markets as well.

The release of the smartphones by Nokia have been delayed as its software partner Microsoft was not ready with the operating system Windows Phone 8, that was released only late last month.

In partnership with Microsoft, Nokia is making an all-out effort to regain some of the ground and the market share that it has lost to companies such as Apple and Samsung, which have powered ahead in the mobile market, especially in the smartphone segment.

Those who have compared Nokia's Lumia 920 with Apple's iPhone 5 feel that the Nokia phone is definitely a superior product.

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Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY ): Schulze to make bid for in December

Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc.(NYSE:BBY) may eventually get a buyer in its founder Richard Schulze, but the bid price is expected to come in below his initial proposal of $8 billion, Reuters reported on Friday.

The bid is also not expected to be made before December, the report said citing sources.

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"Schulze has done most of his due diligence on Best Buy and has formed a business plan to turn around the world's largest consumer electronics chain, with his efforts now focused on securing financing commitments," the sources told Reuters.

Schulze will not be making his bid alone but is expected to be joined by private equity firms - Apollo Global Management LLC, TPG Capital LP and Leonard Green & Partners LP, though it is not clear how much each of the entities are bringing.

The entire deal value has been estimated at between $8.16 billion and $8.84 billion translating into $24 to $26 a share.

If debt is also included in the deal then the value of the deal could go up to $10.9 billion, the report said.

Best Buy has been struggling for some years now especially with customers using its stores as a kind of showroom for products which they eventually buy at online stores such as Amazon and other retailers.

Schulze, who founded the company in 1966, was ousted from the board after his protégé Brian Dunne was forced out as the CEO earlier this year on allegations of having inappropriate relations with a female employee.

"While a final decision on the offer price has not been made, the drop in shares has raised the likelihood that Schulze's bid could be below $24 per share, Reuters said, adding that the share prices of the company have dropped nearly a fourth this year.

Schulze is expected to take a 30-day extension to mid-December for submitting a final proposal to Best Buy's board, the sources told Reuters.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Wins iPad Design Patent, Loses Patent Dispute Against Virtnetx (VHC)

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has been granted another patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the iPad’s ornamental design, as reported by ArsTechnica. The patent in question, D607,286 happens to focus on the rounded, rectangular frame of the iPad, using a diagram in which the subject design is projected with a continuous line.

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The examiner cites quite a few previous devices in her research, like early HP tablets and photo frames. He also has drawn comparison against features that are not directly relevant to the patent like the placement of cameras and home buttons on the iPad, in contrast with Samsung Galaxy tablets.

It was earlier this year when Apple had tried to manipulate a similar patent, D504,889, as one of its primary weapon in a litigation against Samsung. Apple eventually won the case, acquiring a verdict of $1.05 billion as damages. However, the presiding Judge, Lucy Koh had withdrawing a preliminary sanction she had issued against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. This is because the jury had decided that the tablet did not infringe the ‘889 patent. We are yet to see if the ‘286 petition could be implemented against Samsung or any other tablet manufacturer.

In other news, Apple reportedly has suffered a loss of $348 million after losing a legal patent dispute with VirnetX Holding Corporation(NYSEAMEX:VHC) in a Texas court. The case had started back in April of last year when VirtnetX had blamed Apple of violating the US patent 8,05,181. VirtnetX has also filed a similar grievance with the ITC stating the Apple’s Mac, iPad and iPhone also infringe its patents.

VirtnetX has already been declared victorious in a similar case against Microsoft and it was able to successfully reach a settlement amounting to $200 million with a software and hardware giant based in Redmond. VirtnetX has also targeted companies like Avaya, Siemes and Cisco.
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to start off holiday season on Thanksgiving day

The holiday season has begun and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE:WMT) is ready to kick off the season on Thanksgiving Day at 8 p.m. guaranteeing a trio of gadgets of those who queue up early.

The economic recession and high unemployment figures have taken a toll on customer confidence and the immediate casualty of it has been revealed in a dip in retail sales.

However as companies like Apple have seen, there is a rush for quality products, high prices and recession notwithstanding.

For retailers such as WalMart the holiday shopping season is crucial since this is the time that they make the highest sales - more than a quarter of its total annual sales comes during this season.

"We bought deep, very deep, and we bought deep on items that matter to our customers," said Walmart U.S. Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Duncan Mac Naughton.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday spending is seen rising only 4.1 percent this year compared to 5.6 percent last year.

Retailers are trying to come up with innovative ways to lure spending customers to their shops.

This time WalMart started off its pre-holiday preparations earlier in the middle of September compared to other years. Even the holiday season sale, which usually starts a day after Thanksgiving, is being held earlier.

"'We got customer feedback that says 'I like to shop earlier so I can go to bed earlier,'" Mac Naughton said.
Thanksgiving will be observed on November 22 this year.

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