Even with Apple set to enter Internet radio fray, Wall Street is beginning to recognize that Pandora enjoys first-mover advantages that make it tough to dislodge.
By and large, most tech and music websites get the Pandora Media (P) story horribly wrong.
But the tide appears to be turning.
Not only is Pandora's stock up but the news flow is relatively positive, as more stories reflect a seemingly new-found comprehension of Pandora's competitive advantages, and of the true meaning of Apple's (AAPL) all-but-certain entry into Internet radio.
Dismal conditions in the PC market are hobbling the world's largest semiconductor maker. But Intel is making the investments it needs to excel in other markets.
By Joseph Hogue
Companies must spend money to make money -- at least, that's what many investors believe.
The market has long followed research and development (R&D) and capital expenditures (or capex, for short) with the idea that companies making investments in these areas will see huge payoffs in revenue somewhere down the line.
When the increase in capex works out, investors are rewarded. The issue is that the market has a problem with timing the jump in future revenue. When the stock price bounces too early and the revenue is not there to support it, then shares retreat downward.
One major tech company is waiting for its recent R&D investments to pay off. I'm talking about Intel (INTC), the world's largest maker of computer chips.
An analyst thinks the company could return an additional $20 billion or more to shareholders as it seeks to bolster its flagging stock price.
Speculation as to what Apple (AAPL) will do with its $137 billion cash hoard mounts ahead of the release of the Cupertino, Calif., company's first-quarter financial results, on April 23. One analyst thinks Apple could allocate as much as an additional $20 billion for shareholder dividends and stock buybacks.
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich believes Apple could boost its cash return to shareholders to $65 billion over the next three years, up from the $45 billion already budgeted for dividends and buybacks.
Raising its dividend and accelerating share buybacks would alleviate some of the pressure Apple is facing from shareholders such as David Einhorn, and would have the added benefit of whetting investor appetite for the stock.
"The market appears to be underestimating the potential dividend increase, and a significant return of cash could boost the stock price by 10%," Milunovich wrote in a note to investors. The analyst rates the stock a "buy" and has a $560 price target.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing to cut the tax break on business and occupation taxes by 25% in order to raise more funding for state education.
Washington is a near-mythical state, where the trees tower higher than most buildings, pot is legal, and beaches or state parks are omnipresent. The state also offers another big reason people choose to live there: taxes, or rather a lack thereof.
In the state of Washington, residents don't pay state income taxes and companies don't pay corporate income taxes. As for companies, they're required to pay a gross receipts tax that's fairly low -- 0.13% to 3.3%. The state also offers a variety of other tax breaks for corporations, making it a popular spot for companies to be headquartered, especially those in technology. Point in fact, Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) both call Washington state home. (Microsoft publishes MSN Money.)
However, that could all be changing.
New data from research firm IDC suggests that as more people buy tablets and smartphones, the need to upgrade their PCs is less pressing.
The American dream used to be owning a home, a white picket fence and having a family computer. Now, it's having a tablet in the house.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
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