Posts by Aaron Pressman

  • FCC adopts Net neutrality rules to ban Internet discrimination

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Federal regulators moved forward on Thursday with a Net neutrality plan to protect openness on the Internet by treating the online world more like heavily regulated telecommunications markets.

    New rules from the Federal Communications Commission adopted on a 3-2 vote will prohibit Internet service providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon Communications (VZ) from discriminating against any web site or online service. That means sites like Netflix (NFLX) or Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube won’t have to pay extra fees or face sluggish connections with their users. And new sites and services will be able to reach everyone on the Internet on the same terms as the big players.

    The agency heard from Chad Dickerson, CEO of the crafts sales web site Etsy, before the vote.

     

  • Hewlett Packard disappoints as old guard of tech shows more weakness

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) missed analysts sales forecasts for the second quarter in a row on Tuesday, making it the latest of the old guard tech stalwarts to disappoint Wall Street in 2015.

    HP shares dropped 9% in early trading on Wednesday.

    HP posted revenue of $26.8 billion for its fiscal first quarter of 2015, the three months ending January 31. That was 2% less than Wall Street expected, according to FactSet. Adjusted earnings per share of 92 cents just beat analysts’ forecasts of 91 cents. But the  company also trimmed its full year adjusted earnings guidance by 30 cents a share to a range of $3.53 to $3.73. Analysts were forecasting $3.96 before the change.

    CEO Meg Whitman told analysts the company simply can’t compensate for the dollar’s recent gains given that 65% of its sales come from overseas.

    “The water is now going to stop draining out of the bathtub as fast as it has, so the water we pour in ought to lead to a rising level in the tub,” she told analysts.

    So far, at least, investors remain focused on the drain.

  • Solar stocks could see a boost as more companies follow Apple

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Apple’s (AAPL) agreement this month to buy $850 million worth of solar-generated electricity over the next 25 years marks the start of a sea change in the way big corporations are going green. Already the news has been followed by similar deals from Google (GOOGL) and healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, with many more expected. Corporate America has been dabbling in solar for years, but most of the action has been in much smaller installations of solar panels on the roofs of Walmarts (WMT) and Costcos (COST). So-called power purchase agreements like Apple’s could be much more significant as they allow developers like First Solar (FSLR) to raise funds to build more massive installations. First Solar’s stock price, which has jumped 7% since the Apple deal, took another leap on Tuesday, up 14%, after the company announced plans to shift some of its solar power plants into a joint venture with SunPower (SPWR). The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN), which includes both stocks, was up 4% on Tuesday after gaining 2% since the Apple deal.

  • How to get rid of insecure apps from Lenovo and lots of others

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Lenovo (0092.HK) poisoned some of its customers’ computers with an app that opened a huge vulnerability in secure web transactions, but it’s not alone. Researchers found another dozen apps over the weekend that also compromise secure web communications in the same way. So there’s no better time than now to check your computer and remove any useless software your PC manufacturer put there. The core problem is that PC makers like Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and others make such slender profit margins selling computers that they’re all too eager to take payments from software companies to pre-install extra apps, services, toolbars and so on, sometimes referred to as “bloatware” or, more colorfully, “crapware. Some of the additions may be useful and other bits harmless, but very little is necessary. And the impact on a computer’s speed and security is generally not good. I bought an expensive Lenovo Thinkpad laptop two years ago that had, among many other add-in programs, an app called Nitro Pro PDF. I didn’t need it, or even use it. It may not have mattered but a few weeks after I bought the machine, it stopped receiving Windows 8 updates, even critical security updates. Eventually, it turned out that the culprit was an incompatibility in the Nitro Pro app.  Fully removing the unwanted app fixed the problem – which had plagued me and many other Lenovo customers for weeks – instantly.

  • A leading cable analyst says it's time for investors to move on

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    Stocks of cable television operators have been among the top performers in the market over the past three years, but now may be the time for investors to cut back, according to one prominent analyst.

    Craig Moffett, regularly the top-ranked cable analyst by large investors for the past decade, stripped his “buy” rating from Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Charter Communications (CHTR) this week, saying it was time to “take some chips off the table." In an 18-page report, Moffett outlined increasing risks to the sector from the likely regulation of broadband Internet service, as well as declining viewership and advertising trends.

    “With the stocks having largely achieved our target prices, with cord cutting risks mounting, and with regulation clouding the path forward in broadband, it seems to us to be time to reduce exposure,” Moffett wrote.

    “The obvious risk is that carriers’ ability to monetize traffic (through either of the above mechanisms) will never be permitted,” he writes.

  • Gold Apple watch could propel sales to new heights

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    Wall Street has relatively modest expectations for the upcoming Apple (AAPL) watch, but the company may be aiming for a much greater immediate impact.

    I’ve been tracking Wall Street analyst forecasts for the watch, which will go on sale in April. Apple has said only that it will offer models at three main price points, but of the prices, it has disclosed just that the low-end watch will self for $350. Analysts have had to make numerous assumptions to fill in the blanks and forecast how much impact watch sales will have on Apple’s finances. On average, analysts expect Apple will sell 22 million watches this year and 33 million next year, according to the 17 reports I have cataloged. With an expected average selling price of $450, most analysts are predicting that sales of the low-end model will dominate. (The average price is a weighted average based on proportion of sales.)

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

     

  • Kim Kardashian and new Candy Crush apps please investors

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    Candy Crush Saga and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood were big hits with gamers last year, but the question remained whether they’d be winners for investors in the companies that made the apps, King Digital Entertainment (KING) and Glu Mobile (GLUU). After both companies just reported fourth-quarter results, it looks like investors will join the party. Shares of King were up 13% at midday on Friday at $16.65, and reached $18 briefly for the first time since August, after it reported big gains on Thursday. Shares of Glu, at $5.13, are up 33% since the company reported its results and a new game deal with pop star Katy Perry, on Feb. 5.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    King uses analytics and experiments to create games, and features within games, to attract more players and get those players to spend more money. New games get promoted to the network of players attracted from previous hits, as well as via healthy doses of online and television advertising.

    Two very different approaches, both paying off.

  • Apple may not dominate market share, but rules other critical metrics

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    In the smartphone battle raging between Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and a host of other players, who's winning depends on how you measure. While some analysts warn Apple’s relatively low overall share of the market leaves the company vulnerable, by other metrics Apple is stronger than ever.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    Unlike most market share reports, which measure sales of new phones, Comscore looks at which phones are actually in use over time. And over the final three months of 2014, when the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale, the percentage of people actually using an iPhone fell just a smidge to 41.6% from 41.7%, while Android usership rose to 53.1% from 52.1%. The latest iOS share is also slightly down from the 41.8% usage share measured in December 2013.

    That suggests competitors will have a hard time cracking the company’s dominance, at least as measured in profits, app sales or usage.

    More From Yahoo Finance

     

  • Verizon's finally offering more deals to its own customers

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    A lot more Verizon Wireless (VZ) customers finally have a chance to benefit from the ongoing mobile price wars and reduce their bills, but they may need to pick up the phone or hit the company’s web site to grab the best deals.

    Rampant price cutting in the mobile market has been a huge boon to consumers. T-Mobile (TMUS) got things started almost two years ago with lower monthly rates and, slowly, the competition has followed. Until now, especially at Verizon and AT&T (T), much of the benefit has gone to those willing to switch providers, as many deals were offered only to new customers.

    Verizon says the cuts aren't automatic because it wants to offer customers a choice of taking more data at the same price instead of sticking with the same amount at a lower price. “We won’t automatically migrate customers to promos because they may decide to do something different,” says spokesman David Samberg.

  • Twitter shares take off after company explains away low user growth

    Aaron Pressman at Yahoo Finance 23 days ago

    Twitter (TWTR) delivered what investors wanted to see in its fourth-quarter results, at least after a confused knee-jerk reaction. Once the company clarified its new user figures, the shares shot up as much as 12% in after-hours trading.

    The popular social network said its revenue totaled $479 million in the fourth quarter, just about double sales from a year earlier and 6% more than the $454 million million Wall Street expected, according to FactSet. Adjusted earnings per share of 6 cents were double what Wall Street expected as well.

    But initially, Twitter shares lost ground in after-hours trading. Investors focused on the 288 million average monthly active users at the end of 2014 — up only 4 million, or 1%, from the end of the previous quarter. That further fueled the doubts about user growth that have plagued Twitter, and its stock price, for much of the past year.