OpenTable (OPEN) is a leading provider of free and real-time online restaurant reservations, helping users looking to book reservations online and providing a reservation and guest management solution for restaurants. It also sells third-party restaurants coupons through its website. Its competitors include Urbanspoon, owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), and UK-based companies liveRES Ltd and Livebookings Ltd.
We have a price estimate for OpenTable of $94.90, which is roughly in line with market price.
Continue reading OpenTable's International Growth Driven by Toptable
- FedEx (FDX) and Concur Tech (CNQR) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Hershey (HSY) to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Open Text (OTEX) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- Bemis (BMS) and Hudson Pacific (HPP) upgraded to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
- InterActiveCorp (IACI) to buy from neutral at BofA/Merrill.
- KB Home (KBH) to neutral from sell at Goldman.
- News Corp. (NWSA) to neutral from underperform at Cowen.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: FDX, HSY, IACI, FSLR, AON ...
- Yingli Green (YGE) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- National Semiconductor (NSM) to outperform from market perform at FBR Capital.
- DuPont (DD) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Blackboard (BBBB) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Kindred Healthcare (KND) to buy from hold at Jefferies.
- Peabody Energy (BTU) to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
- Savvis (SVVS) to buy from neutral and InterActiveCorp (IACI) to neutral from underperform at BofA/Merrill.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: BRCM, BTU, DD, EBAY, KR, MRVL, NSM, PCX, SVVS, TWX ...
Unless you already have a major foothold in the search engine market – or an amazing, disruptive technology that can make the world take notice – there isn't much point in staying. Competing with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is hard enough, even when you're Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) or Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) ... and, apparently, when you're IAC/InterActive Corp (NASDAQ: IACI). Barry Diller is ready to give up Jeeves, but only if asked nicely.
Diller's presence in the search space is Ask.com, ranked #4 behind Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing. With a substantial gap between first and second, fourth barely registers at all. Ask.com has only a 2% U.S. market share, according to Hitwise, more than 60 percentage points behind the industry leader.
Continue reading Would anybody buy Jeeves? Ask might go on block
With all the gloom in the global economy, I got to wondering whether there is anything else going on in the world of business. I'm looking for growth because I think that's what will ultimately bring the economy out of the doldrums. Not surprisingly, that growth is coming from technology companies. In Growth Matters, I look at consumer technology companies that point the way to growth trends -- and in the process introduce services and products you may want to explore.
If you're thinking of having a party, it might not be a bad idea to use Evite to send out the invitations and plan the event. As Evite's Vice-President of Marketing and Public Relations Lariayn Payne told me, "Evite is the leading online service on the Web for invitations and party planning. Evite is free and easy-to-use and offers hundreds of stylish invitation designs for almost any occasion. Evite also offers fun and creative party ideas, planning checklists, and other tools, which save party hosts both time and money."
Continue reading Growth Matters: Evite's an invitation to print money
Those who were hoping for an Obama victory lap on the floor of the NYSE only got their toes bitten by bears. Weakening economic data and the market preparing for very weak retail sales numbers took away any shot of major gains today, and you can always blame major profit taking after a multi-day rally phase we saw.
Top Analyst UpgradesTop Analyst DowngradesArcelor Mittal
) was slapped after the global steel giant gave guidance for EBITDA in Q4 at $2.5 to $3.0 billion. This is being taken as an earnings warning with 2008 expectations being implied at roughly $24.2 billion as being more than 10% under consensus expectations. Shares were down 20% at $25.30 on above average volume shortly before the close.Greenhill & Co., Inc.
) was down after it filed to sell
up to 3.5 million shares of common stock in a secondary offering. Shares were down over 11% at $61.61 shortly before the close.
Continue reading Closing Bell: Dow closes down 5%; MT, GHL, HUN, IACI, S
) search engine and information portal Ask.com continues to try and re-invent itself to compete more heavily with search leader Google, Inc.
). With Yahoo! Inc.
) being such a large distraction over this past summer
, the time seemed appropriate for Ask.com to try -- again -- to take some steam from Google. From anyone, for that matter.
It still won't happen. Here's why: Google's search product still is compelling to all that use it, even with marginally better search products. Google also has its hand in news, email, documents, spreadsheet, blogs, etc., and continues to recruit the customer that uses Google for everything possible on the web.
Its main product is search and that also provides almost all its revenue. But how can Ask.com compete with something like this? A better product, faster search results, or a more intuitive experience
won't cut it any longer. What Ask.com would need is a disruptive product to even think about competing with Google. It's been over a few years
since I've written on Ask.com's foray into competing with Google. In many ways, it's superior. That's, unfortunately, no longer enough.
Is Ask.com trying to win a losing battle? Perhaps. When Ask.com CEO Jim Safka says that Ask.com can recruit web searchers from Google with a 30% speed increase in search results
, he's deluding himself. I'm not sure where that research came from, but Ask.com may be on its last stand. The search engine is pulling in ad revenue from the use of its products, and it may be content to grow steadily in that arena for the time being. But if it really wants to attack Google's ad revenue cash cow, something completely innovative and fresh needs to be forthcoming.
- Keefe Bruyette upgraded shares of ING Group (NYSE: ING) to Outperform from Market Perform after upgrading the European insurance sector to Overweight from Neutral due to improved risk management.
- Keefe Bruyette also upgraded Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to Market Perform from Underperform to reflect the company's national footprint if the Wachovia (NYSE: WB) deal goes through.
- JP Morgan upgraded Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) to Overweight from Neutral citing top line performance, growth profile and valuation, among other reasons.
- Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
- Amylin Pharma (NASDAQ: AMLN) was raised to Hold from Sell at Citigroup.
- Louisiana Pacific (NYSE: LPX) was upgraded at RBC Capital to Sector Perform from Underperform.
- Jefferies downgraded shares of Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) to Hold from Buy and lowered its target to $50 from $55 to reflect risks to the company's earnings outlook from the weakening economy.
- Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) was cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank as they believe the economic slowdown will bring slower volumes. Coca-Cola's target was lowered to $56 from $64.
Continue reading Analyst calls: ING, WFC, DLTR, JBL, AMLN, ECL, KO, IACI, FFIV ...
It seemed that our streak of gains wasn't even going to make it two days, but this afternoon buyers were able to come to the rescue. A more than $5 rise in oil was much better tolerated than in weeks past as geopolitical concerns are rising because of US-Russia tensions.
Here are today's unofficial closing bell levels:
DJIA 11,428.50 (+11.07)
S&P500 1,277.53 (+2.99)
NASDAQ 2,380.38 (-8.70)
10YR T-Note 3.838% (+0.039%)52-week lowsTop Analyst UpgradesTop Analyst downgrades
Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive
) finally completed its spin-offs into five operating units and completed its effective reverse splits. According to the data, the shares were up 8% at $16.60 in today's final minutes. Here is a full breakdown
of the new companies with tickers and operations.
Continue reading Closing Bell: Dow stages comeback as bulls battle bears
U.S. stock futures were lower this morning, pointing to a weaker start Thursday following a reprieve Wednesday. Concerns over financials toll center stage again as oil continued to swing higher. Some economic data released later today may affect trading as well: Philadelphia-area poll of activity for August, leading indicators for July and weekly jobless claims.
Investors continued to fear nationalization of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM
) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE
), each of which declined 27% and 22% Wednesday respectively. FNM and FRE are declining about 4.5% and 9% respectively in premarket trading. Jim Cramer thinks trading in the shares should be stopped
for fear of manipulation as the short-selling rules ended.
Staying with financials, Citi lowered its third-quarter earnings estimates
for Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS
), Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH
) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS
) as it fears further writedowns, and a weaker business flow in addition to the seasonal slowdown. It cut its price target on Lehman to $35 from $50, but kept as Buy. Citi forecasts write-downs of $2.9 billion for Lehman, $1.8 billion for Goldman and $1.7 billion for Morgan Stanley.
As if that wasn't enough to raise concerns, the Wall Street Journal
reports that the Federal Reserve called Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) last month to check a rumor
that the bank was preparing to pull a line of credit for Lehman Brothers, which CS told the FED wasn't true. At least this shows the Fed is serious about taking and implementing the moral authority it should be.
Continue reading Before the bell: Stocks to decline; FNM, LEH, IACI, LTD, CRM, AAPL, MSFT ...
Here are some highlights from this past week's earnings coverage from BloggingStocks:
For more highlights from this week, see: General Motors, Motorola, Disney, Sony, Visa, CBS and others
Upcoming quarterly reports include Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Jack-in-the-Box (NYSE: JBX), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFMI), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE), and Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI).
Visit AOL Money & Finance for more earnings coverage.
U.S. stock futures are higher Wednesday morning, a day after markets rallied around 2.4% due to declining oil prices. But today, ADP monthly employment data will be released, as well as weekly oil inventories data. Investors will digest the numbers and the slew of earnings due for release.
Already reported this morning (to name a few):
- Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) said its second-quarter profit rose 8% as cable TV rates rose and consumers ordered more digital and premium services. While the results fell short of Wall Street's forecast, CMCSA shares are trading mildly higher.
- Arcelor Mittal (NYSE: MT) said its second-quarter profit more than doubled due to increased production and higher steel prices. It also gave an upbeat outlook for third quarter. The company outperformed consensus by about 20% at the revenue. MT shares, which have already close 7% higher Tuesday, are trading up another 6% in premarket action.
- Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) shares are crashing, trading 11% lower in premarket action after the company reported quarterly profit that was above market estimates, but revenue missed expectations and 2008 outlook was cut due to macroeconomic conditions and high fuel prices that have already impacted growth.
- Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) shares are over 1.7% lower in premarket trading after reporting a second-quarter loss as declining spending by smaller businesses and retail customers hurt sales.
- Siemens (NYSE: SI) reported that "third quarter net profit fell 31% due to a one-time gain a year earlier, but order intake and revenue rose, beating expectations and showing the industrial conglomerate's resilience so far to the economic downturn." SI shares are 3.9% higher in premarket trading.
- Corning (NYSE: GLW) shares are down over 2% in premarket trading after reporting inline earnings per share, but revenue slightly below estimates.
- IAC/InterActive (NASDAQ: IACI) said it swung to a second-quarter loss, hurt by a $300 million charge in its Cornerstone Brands business. Adjusted earnings were 35 cents per share as revenue rose 7% to $1.6 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected profit of 31 cents per share on $1.6 billion in sales.
Continue reading Before the bell: MT, GRMN, SI, ODP, IACI, VIA, ERTS, F, GM, DELL ...
When Ask.com's mapping service was just getting up to speed as a very workable product, the company decided to jettison its in-house mapping service and instead install Microsoft Corp.'s
) own mapping service. Ask.com company parent InterActive Corp.
) apparently decided to cut some costs in the day and age of hyper-competition with Google, Inc.
) and Microsoft and just outsource a great product that was taking up too many resources with too little to show for it.
Microsoft's Virtual Earth technology is now powering Ask.com mapping service. It should not be seen as defeat for Ask.com, as Microsoft's offering is superior in almost every way from my experience (and most likely, cheaper to license instead of maintaining an in-house product). This brings up an important question: is Ask.com in cost-cutting mode temporarily or permanently? The search engine and portal has seen its global market share sit pretty idle for the last year, as has Microsoft. Google, meanwhile, has slightly increased its search marketshare, Let's face it -- Ask.com, like those others, makes it's money in search (with smaller peripheral income sources of course).
Where is Ask.com's future revenue going to come from? Search advertising? Shopping commissions? All of the above? If Yahoo, Inc.
) is possibly going to outsource its search to Google
, what is stopping Ask.com from using Google's technology as well? That would literally pit Microsoft and Google as bulls racing towards each other. But if Ask.com is fretting over the continuance of its mapping product, search can't be that far behind. Then, the Ask.com brand will be the only thing left.
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