Rob Black's Tech Stock Report

by: Rob Black

Expect an in-line Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) quarter in a historically difficult period. Expect to see growth from all product segments across all geographies, with better contribution from Europe than reported in recent periods. Analysts believe Fusion Middleware focus and growth will continue for the foreseeable future, highlighted by strength in Identity Management opportunities. Analysts are increasing our price target for ORCL to $19 from $17 based on our revised DCF, which includes a reduced discount rate (due to reduced risk free rate) and increased confidence in a more promising cash flow growth scenario

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is set to release a cheaper, bare-bones version of the Xbox 360 video game console in Japan to boost flagging sales ahead of the arrival of new machines from rivals later in the year.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced that the microprocessors that will serve as the digital heartbeat of Nintendo's upcoming Wii video game console are being shipped from IBM's fabrication facility.

The scandal over Hewlett-Packard 's (NYSE:HPQ) secret probe to catch directors leaking information to the media deepened, with the California attorney general threatening to bring criminal charges. Investigators hired by Chairwoman Patricia Dunn got board members' phone records using fake identities, and Dunn used the information to weed out the source of leaks under the assumption the methods were legal. The debacle and possible criminal charges may lead to the resignation of Dunn, who is also vice chairwoman of Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco. There was a moral line she crossed when she authorized the investigation. Dunn will step down if asked by the board and has no plans to resign at this time. The paradox here is that things are going so well for H-P right now. "Of all times for this unfold, this is a time the board should be celebrated for the wisdom of bringing in Mark Hurd.'' Shares of Hewlett-Packard are up 28 percent this year and up 79 percent since Carly Fiorna’s resignation in 2005.

Broadcom (BRCM) says option costs are at least $1.5 billion which is double previous estimate as more are discrepancies found. The communications chipmaker also plans to restate its financial results for 1998 and 1999.

In late 2003, thanks to its Treo 600 product, Palm (PALM) staked out for itself the market for handhelds that combined the features of a cellphone, personal organizer and wireless e-mail device. Variety of rivals include Motorola Q, Nokia and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion.