Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week in review: Rosetta Stone’s earnings; Microsoft sparks EU antitrust probe of Google

As quarterly earnings season winds down, Rosetta Stone, maker of language-learning software, provided a nice surprise for investors.
The Arlington, Va.-based company posted fourth quarter results that easily beat Wall Street’s estimates. The stock rose 27% on Friday to close at 22.
Another big story this week was the European Union opening a preliminary antitrust investigation into Internet search giant Google’s business practices. Microsoft played a significant role in prodding the EU to act.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Rosetta Stone, maker of language-learning software, trounces Wall Street estimates. Unveils new products. (Feb. 25, 2010)

Blockbuster has one advantage over Netflix and Redbox. (Feb. 25, 2010)

Microsoft plays big role in EU's antitrust investigation of Google. Turnabout is fair play. (Feb. 24, 2010)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week in review: iRobot ramps up military robot production; Tech firms seek Olympic gold

Athletes are pursuing gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this month and sponsors are hoping to boost their brands by affiliation with the games.
Acer, Atos Origin, Panasonic and Samsung are worldwide Olympic sponsors. The four companies are in British Columbia to entertain potential clients and showcase their technology products.
Also this week, iRobot, the company best known for its Roomba vacuum-cleaner robot, outlined its plans to increase production of robots for the U.S. military. It already has delivered 3,000 such robots for use in reconnaissance and bomb detection and disposal missions.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Samsung, Panasonic, Acer and Atos Origin seek Olympic branding gold in Vancouver. (Feb. 19, 2010)

Dell defends its consumer PC business performance. (Feb. 19, 2010)

Logitech, Panasonic, Best Buy and others see big opportunities in the home video surveillance gear market. Best Buy is test marketing home video security gear in its stores. (Feb. 18, 2010)

Dell still unable to resume profit growth. But sales in Q4 rose for the first time in six quarters. (Feb. 18, 2010)

iRobot is ramping up its military robot production. (Feb. 18, 2010)

LogMeIn predicts boost from Apple’s iPad. (Feb. 18, 2010)

Redbox blindsides customers planning to rent “The Blind Side.” (Feb. 17, 2010)

From spy gear for kids to dog collars that post pet activity on Twitter, toy makers are using more tech. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Coinstar's Redbox caves to Warner Bros., agrees to delay DVD rentals. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Mattel’s latest toy discriminates against cats. The fur will fly when cat lovers find out. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Photo: iRobot’s SUGV 320 robot climbing stairs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week in review: Tech nerd Barbie; earnings reports from Activision, EA, Coinstar

The corporate earnings season is in full swing.
Investors this week cheered quarterly reports from Activision Blizzard and Harman International, but booed results from Coinstar, Electronic Arts and Nuance Communications.
On a lighter note, Mattel announced that online voters had chosen a new career for its Barbie doll. Computer engineer Barbie will debut this fall.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Nintendo’s sales show the power of evergreen video games. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Redbox struggles with movie studio restrictions. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Sign of the times: Barbie is a tech geek. Mattel introduces Computer Engineer Barbie. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Coinstar raising fees for its coin-counting machines. (Feb. 11, 2010)

Activision beats forecasts, starts paying dividend. (Feb. 10, 2010)

GameFly files for IPO. GameFly is the Netflix of video games. (Feb. 10, 2010)

Apple, other Silicon Valley tech firms looking to hire. (Feb. 9, 2010)

Electronic Arts takes a beating on diminished outlook (Feb. 9, 2010)

Audio electronics firm Harman tunes operations, boosts profits. (Feb. 8, 2010)

Speech recognition tech company Nuance Communications beats earnings views, but sales lag. (Feb. 8, 2010)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week in review: Dolby, Panasonic, Sony earnings; Super Bowl on radar

We’re in the thick of quarterly earnings reports from public companies now. Dolby Laboratories, Panasonic, Sony and Sonic Solutions were among the firms reporting financial results this week.
Meanwhile, TV vendors and video game publisher Electronic Arts were focused on Sunday’s Super Bowl, but for different reasons.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily on and from Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Microsoft expands Bing search engine reach through deals, such as new Facebook pact. (Feb. 5, 2010)

What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs and President Barack Obama have in common? (Feb. 5, 2010)

Panasonic swings to profit, raises guidance. (Feb. 5, 2010)

Nuance Communications is benefitting from the growth of health care tech spending. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Sonic Solutions narrows third quarter loss. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Sony returns to profitability and sales growth. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Dolby Laboratories sounds off on upbeat first quarter. (Feb. 3, 2010)

Movie Gallery store closings a boon for Netflix and Redbox. (Feb. 3, 2010)

EA sees perfect combo in football fans and violent video games. Dante's Inferno ad to run during Super Bowl. (Feb. 2, 2010)

TV makers, retailers hope for Super Bowl win. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears promoting deals on big screen HDTVs. (Feb. 1, 2010)