Nokia Sale To Microsoft

Image representing Nokia as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

NOK : NYSE : US$3.90 HOLD 
Target: US$5.50 

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Nokia Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells a full range of mobile devices as well as network infrastructure along with services and software on a global basis. The company offers mobile phones and devices based on common mobile phone standards and offers devices that range from entry level to high-end, multifunction smartphones.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted

Technology — Communications Technology — Wireless Equipment
NOKIA SELLS DEVICES & SERVICES BUSINESS TO MICROSOFT FOR ALL-CASH €5.4B TRANSACTION
Investment recommendation: With our global surveys indicating gradually improving Windows Phone 8 smartphone sales due to strong sales of the Lumia 520 and other mid/low-tier Lumia smartphones, we believe the timing makes sense for Microsoft to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business in order to fund stronger long-term growth trends. We maintain our HOLD rating but increase our price target to $5.50 ahead of Nokia’s 8 AM EDT conference call.
Investment highlights
 Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business and €1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents for a total transaction price of €5.44 billion in cash. We believe the transaction should close in the first quarter of 2014.
 Our recent survey work indicated steadily improving sales of the Lumia 520 and other low/mid-tier Lumia smartphones. In fact, our surveys indicated solid Lumia 520 sales not only in emerging markets such as Russia and key APAC region countries, but also in developed markets such as the U.K. and the U.S.
 We believe Microsoft with its strong balance sheet and increased focus on hardware devices can help accelerate the growing WP8 smartphone momentum. We estimate Lumia sales now constitute over 85% of WP8 smartphone sales. We believe Microsoft has recently worked more in concert with Nokia to drive sales, as evidenced by Microsoft’s advertising campaign featuring Lumia features and by Nokia 1020’s ranking as a top 3 selling smartphone at AT&T.
Stephen Elop is stepping down as CEO, as Nokia focuses on its three businesses of NSN, HERE, and Advanced Technologies.
 Due to improving Lumia sales trends and prior to the acquisition closing , we slightly raise our 2H/C2013 and C2014 D&S handset sales estimates, resulting in our 2013 non-IFRS EPS estimate increasing from $0.04 to $0.06 and our 2014 estimate increasing from $0.07 to
$0.10.
Valuation: Our $5.50 price target (was $33.30) is based on our sum-of-parts analysis.

 

Advanced Micro Devices AMP Raising Target Price

AMD

AMD (Photo credit: Majiscup – The Papercup & Sleeve)

AMD : NYSE : US$4.64
BUY 
Target: US$6.00

NOTE: This Company was an ” avoid” in the Apprentice Millionaire Portfolio ( available at Amazon.com ) just six months ago .

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Advanced Micro Devices designs and produces microprocessors, graphics and media solutions for the computing, communications and consumer electronics markets. AMD is the world’s second-largest producer of microprocessors.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Investment recommendation
We are increasing our estimates and raising our price target to $6 following meaningfully higher Q3 revenue guidance versus consensus
expectations and our above consensus estimate. While upside to Q3 is largely console derived, AMD management is confident they are gaining
share in GPU in the 2H13 following small gains in Q2, and going forward growth will increasingly involve gross margin accretive areas
including embedded (STB, medical devices, digital signage), professional GPU and dense servers. Our rating remains BUY as we believe this
turnaround story appears to have legs.
Investment highlights
 AMD reported Q2/13A (Jun) after the close. Revenues and EPS were $1.161B/($0.09), better than our estimates of $1.110B/($0.12) and
consensus expectation of $1.108B/($0.13). The 7% sequential increase in revenues came in above their guided range (-1% to +5%) driven by a 12% Q/Q growth in Computing partially offset by a 5% Q/Q decline in Graphics and Visual solutions.
 AMD guided revenue in Q3 to increase 22% Q/Q, plus or minus 3% mainly driven by the ramp of the semi-custom game console chip sales. At the mid-point, revenue guidance of $1.42B was above our prior estimate of $1.29B and consensus estimate of $1.22B. Operating expenses for Q3 are expected to be $450 million and gross margins are expected to decline to 36%.
Valuation
AMD’s price target of $6 is 0.7x our C2014 sales estimate of $5.835B.

Oracle BUY

Image representing Oracle Corporation as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

ORCL : NASDAQ : US$33.77
BUY 
Target: US$42.00

Company description

Oracle develops, licenses and services database and middleware software, applications software, and hardware systems worldwide. The firm is the world’s second largest application software firm, and a top five systems vendor. Oracle was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Redwood City, CA.

Investment thesis


Our research indicates that aggregate software demand improved sequentially from spring. However, there are treacherous pockets of weakness. We expect Oracle to navigate those challenges and post at least a consensus quarter.
However, it won’t surprise us if management takes the environment into consideration and guides conservatively for August. If our scenario plays out, the right strategy would be to wait to build a full ORCL position after its prints the quarter on Thursday night. Intermediate term, we expect a choppy summer for the world economy and stock market, and this typically means safe-port-inthe- storm stocks like ORCL outperform.
 Estimates moved to in line with consensus for May quarter and below consensus for August. The May estimate change is primarily the impact of the sharp yen decline during the quarter, and the unguided August change  reflects our view that management does not want to miss again after doing so twice in five previous quarters.
 Intangible upside – what could unexpectedly pop ORCL shares. Several of Oracle’s large cap tech peers have materially increased their dividends or announced substantial repurchases (MSFT, CSCO, INTC and IBM). We believe Oracle should do the same, but we have heard nothing that indicates that such a move is imminent. However, Oracle could surprise everyone with a balance sheet/capital allocation move, in which case our suggestion to wait until ORCL prints its quarter would be late as the stock would likely pop.

21Vianet Group

VNET : NASDAQ : US$9.46
BUY 
Target: US$15.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
The largest carrier-neutral Internet data center service provider in China, 21Vianet hosts customers’ servers and networking equipment and provide interconnectivity services. The company also provides managed network services through its data transmission network

Investment recommendation


We maintain our BUY rating and $15.00 price target following 21Vianet’s Q1/13 report that demonstrates its ability to sustain its growth
momentum and overcome some of the temporary disruptions from capacity upgrades. We believe that the incremental investments in new
data centers, network capacity and cloud computing, while temporarily dampening margins, will result in higher growth and profitability in 2H13
and beyond. Priced at 5.7x 2014E adj. EBITDA, the shares of VNET offers compelling risk/reward for investors, in our view.
Investment highlights
 Solid revenue, slightly soft margin on investments – Q1/13 revenue came in stronger than expected (RMB 435.7M vs. 433.3M CGe) with
slightly lighter-than-expected EBITDA (RMB 80.1M vs. 82M). We note that higher-than-expected operating costs were attributed to higher
bandwidth costs with greater network capacity and continued investments ahead of revenue contribution from cloud computing.
 Signs of hope from Q2/13 outlook – Although Q2/13 guidance is not as strong as we had hoped, it nonetheless confirms our view that the
disruption from recent capacity upgrade is now behind and that the company’s growth momentum is picking up again. Following two quarters of decelerating growth, we believe the change in trajectory  marks an important inflection point for investors.
 shift to higher MRR cabinets in large cities and revenue contribution from Microsoft cloud will likely improve both revenue and margins

Blame It On Bill Gates ! PC Sales Slide

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft (MSFT : NASDAQ : US$28.79)
Dell (DELL : NASDAQ : US$14.10)
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ : NYSE : US$20.90)
According to IDC, personal computer sales fell 14% this quarter, on a year-over-year-basis, the largest decline
since IDC started tracking sales in 1994.

The research firm had forecast a 7.7% drop in the quarter. “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays in IDC’s press release.

He added, “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market. Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is developing a smaller, 7-inch version of its Surface tablet, according to sources close to the matter.

One person familiar with Microsoft’s product plans said the 7-inch tablets weren’t part of the company’s strategy last year, but Microsoft executives realized they needed a response to the rapidly growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google’s (GOOG) 7-inch Nexus, which was announced last summer, and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini introduced by Apple (AAPL) last October.

Windows 8 Is A Flop : New York Times

Microsoft’s attempt to regain relevance and defend its core franchise with Windows 8 is off to a “shaky,” “tepid” start, says the New York Times.

 

Emmanuel Fromont, president of the America’s division of Acer, the number four PC maker, tells Nick Wingfield at the Times sales of Windows 8 PCs are coming in worse than expected. “It’s a slow start, there’s no question,” says Fromont.

Fromont isn’t the only person telling this story. At the end of November, Asus CFO David Chang said, “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”

And in the Times’ story, NPD analyst Stephen Baker is quoted as saying, “I think everybody would have hoped for a better start.” (NPD previously issued a negative report on the state of Windows 8.)

There are two reasons Windows 8 sales are slower than expected.

  • Windows 8 is a new experience with a steep learning curve that is intimidating some consumers.
  • Consumers are buying iPads, and delaying upgrades of their Windows-based PCs.

We didn’t reach out to Microsoft for comment on this story, but we know what it would say.

Microsoft would say it’s still too early to judge. It would say NPD’s data set is incomplete. It would say that it announced 40 million Windows 8 upgrades, which is better than it did with Windows 7 over a comparable period of time.

All of those are legitimated rebuttals. This is an ongoing story for Microsoft. But at first glance, it’s just not looking great for Microsoft.

Nederlands: Logo van Microsoft Windows 1.0, 2....

Nederlands: Logo van Microsoft Windows 1.0, 2.xx,3.xx, 95, 98, Me en 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple and Google Team Up On Kodak

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple (AAPL : NASDAQ : US$529.82)
Google (GOOG : NASDAQ : US$685.42
Apple and Google are teaming up to offer more than $500 million to
purchase Kodak‟s patents out of bankruptcy, according to sources close to the matter.

The rivals have partnered after leading two separate groups this summer to buy some of Kodak‟s 1,100 imaging patents. The Apple-led group included  Microsoft (MSFT) and Intellectual Ventures Management LLC while Google‟s team included RPX Corp. and Asian makers of its Android phones. The two offers were both below $500 million. The deal is important for Kodak, who obtained commitments for $830 million in exit financing last month, contingent on the sale of its digital-imaging patents for at least $500 million.
Apple, Google and Kodak all declined to comment on the potential purchase. In the past, Kodak has said tha the patents could

be worth as much as $2.57 billion and that they have generated more than $3 billion in licensing revenue. That said, one industry expert said that “the portfolio is actually worth much less because it has been widely licensed.”

Apple Innovating Away From iPhones

Apple Inc. new headquarters

Apple Inc. new headquarters (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

the way back in February of this year, Apple’s iPhone business alone surpassed the size of Microsoft’s entire business, reaching nearly $25-billion in annual revenue versus Microsoft’s ~$20-billion.

Since February, Apple’s iPhone business has only grown, widening this gap.

Here’s what’s more remarkable yet: At this very moment, Apple is working on technology that, if successfully developed, will cannibalize and ultimately destroy that iPhone business.

We have two pieces of evidence.

The first is that Apple has established a pattern.

Unlike most companies, Apple has a remarkable ability to predict the kinds of gadgets that will undercut the gadgets it sells, and then build these new gadgets better than anyone else could.

The best example of this is the iPad, which is actively disrupting Apple’s own Mac business.

During Business Insider’s Ignition Conference last week, top Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray talked about Apple’s tendency to cannibalize its own businesses and predicted that it would continue to do so.

He speculated that Apple is working on consumer robotics, wearable computers, 3D printing, consumable computers, and automated technology.

He showed everyone this chart, which visualizes Apple’s pattern:

Munster on Apple

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Here’s the other reason it’s safe to assume Apple is quietly working on the destruction of its most massive business, the iPhone.

Just like Google and Microsoft, Apple is working on computerized glasses.

Computerized glasses, are, at the moment, the technology that is most likely to bring the smartphone era to an end.

They fit into an obvious pattern, where computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning.

First they were in big rooms, then they sat on desktops, then they sat on our laps, and now they’re in our palms. Next they’ll be on our faces.

We have the rough schematics of Apple’s project.

They’ve been  publicly available on the US Patent Office’s Web site since this summer, when they were noticed by several Apple-watching websites.

In the patent filing, Apple calls the gadget  a “head-mounted display” or “HMD.”

The filing is authored by Tony Fadell, designer of the iPod, and John Tang. Fadell is no longer at Apple, but Tang is.

Some highlights from the description:

  • An HMD is “a display device that a person wears on the head in order to have video information directly displayed in front of the eyes.”
  • “The optics are typically embedded in a helmet, glasses, or a visor, which a user can wear.”
  • “HMDs can be used to view a see-through image imposed upon a real world view, thereby creating what is typically referred to as an augmented reality.”
Apple says HMDs can be used…
  • To “display relevant tactical information, such as maps or thermal imaging data.”
  • To “provide stereoscopic views of CAD schematics, simulations or remote sensing applications.”
  • For “gaming and entertainment applications.”
A gadget that features applications for maps, games, and a million other uses? Sounds familiar.

Here’s an illustration from the patent filing:

Apple Patent

Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year

Big Data

Big Data (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013

401

2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

Steve Kovach, Business Insider

When it come to mobile, 2013 will bring us these three things:

  • Mini tablets with screens less than 8 inches in size will be the rage, accounting for 60% of tablets sold.
  • The market for smartphones and tablets combined will grow by 20%.
  • 2013 will be a make-or-break year for mobile platforms. Those that don’t attract interest from at least 50% of app developers won’t survive. Google and Apple are past that threshold. Microsoft now sits at 33%. RIM is at 9%.

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

The software-as-a-service phenomenon really grew up in the past 12 months, with big vendors like Oracle and SAP spending billions to buy their way into the market.

IDC thinks we haven’t seen anything yet.

“There will be over $25 billion in SaaS acquisitions over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months,” it says.

Some companies are too highly valued to make for easy acquisitions, like the publicly traded Salesforce.com, worth $22 billion, or the fast-growing, still-private Box at $1.2 billion. But a bunch of others could be ripe for deals: Okta, Zenoss, and ServiceMax come to mind

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

In 2012, a lot of new cloud tech came out that made it easier and more affordable for anyone to build a cloud.

That means that in 2013, a whole bunch of new clouds will crop up. These will serve specific industries, for instance hospitals, construction companies, banks.

Big data will get bigger

Just like 2012 was the year that mobile devices and cloud computing became the must-have things for every company, big data will be the thing everyone will use in 2013.

IDC says the big-data market will grow at an annual rate of 40%. It will hit about $5 billion in 2012, $10 billion by 2013, and $53 billion by 2017.

The data center as we know it is over

The data center as we know it is over

Meet Yellowstone, the super hero supercomputing fighting climate change

NCAR

New data-center technologies that took root in 2012 will become the big thing in 2013.

These include “converged systems,” where companies buy machines that have computation, storage, networking, and software bundled together.

Another is software-defined networks, which is a new way to build networks.

These represent a tremendous opportunity for the established players like Cisco, Dell, HP, and Oracle. But they are also a big risk if they get it wrong. A whole class of startups are rising up to disrupt these guys.

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head

AP

The bring-your-own-device trend, also known as BYOD, will morph into BYID—bring-your-own-ID.

That is, your work computer will be available to you anywhere, on any device. All you have to do is properly log in.

This is the ultimate result of investments in new cloud, mobile, and data-center technologies

The Windows 8 Sales Data Is In, And It’s Horrible

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Nov. 30

Steve Ballmer facepalm

AP

MSFTNov 30 12:31PM
26.62

-0.34

% Change

-1.24%

NPD research published some horrible news for Microsoft yesterday.

 

  • Despite releasing an entirely new operating system on October 22 of this year, Windows PC sales shrank 21 percent between 10/21 and 11/17 versus the same period last year.
  • Windows 8 tablet sales during that period were “almost nonexistent” – just 1 percent of all Windows 8 sales.

“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD, told The New York Times. “It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.”

No kidding.

Yesterday, we reported other bad news:

  • Asus CFO David Chang’s comment that “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”
  • Microsoft cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million.

This is a very scary time for Microsoft.

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