The Week In Technology: 6 Stats You Need To Know

by: Michael Comeau

Do you need the most important statistics emenating from the technology world? Then keep on reading, because these six numbers will give you the quick-and-dirty downlow of the biggest stories in tech for the week:

1) 6.3% - The Nasdaq's Gain

The tech-heavy Nasdaq staged an impressive performance, rising every day in its best weekly performance in two years.

Hope that Europe won't just collapse into the Atlantic Ocean outweighed broad-based disappointing economic numbers - retail sales, jobless claims, CPI, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, and Philly Fed Index were all worse-than-expected.

2) 26% - Netflix' (NASDAQ:NFLX) Combined Decline on Thursday And Friday

Netflix was taken out behind the barn and shot last week after management revealed Thursday morning that it would fall short of its third-quarter subscriber guidance. Netflix announced a series of price hikes in July, and it's now obvious that management seriously underestimated the impact.

What's next for Netflix shares?

Well, I'd steer clear. Aside from its pricing challenges, I see's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Instant Video service, which is coming free with the upcoming Kindle Tablet, as an underappreciated threat.

Bullish For:
Bearish For: Netflix

3) 19% - Friday's Drop in Research In Motion's (RIMM) Stock

Yes children, the cheap can get cheaper. RIM fell a whopping 19% on Friday after the Blackberry-maker delivered rather dismal fiscal second-quarter results [see transcript]. Smartphone-industry sales have been going through the roof, but RIM's not keeping up, as the company saw revenues drop 10% year-over-year.

Management is bullish on its upcoming QNX-powered smartphones, but based on recent history, I'd say the odds favor continued dominance for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

Bullish For: Apple, Google
Bearish For: Research In Motion

4) 15% - RBC's Forecast for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Tablet Market Share

RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Breza predicts good tidings for Microsoft's upcoming tablet-friendly Windows 8, which was given a major push at last week's BUILD conference.

As of now, most market-research firms have Apple and Google owning about 90% of the tablet market, but Breza sees Microsoft carving out 15% share by 2014.

In all, Microsoft appears to be off on the right foot with Window 8 - let's just see what actually comes to market.

Bullish For: Microsoft
Bearish For: Apple, Google (hey, competition is BAD)

5) $464 Million - Best Buy's (NYSE:BBY) Loss on Share Repurchases Over the Past Six Quarters

Best Buy hasn't exactly been on a roll over the past couple of years, but that hasn't stopped management from buying back over $2 billion worth of stock over the past six quarters.

The total loss as of Friday's close? $464 million - not exactly chump change.

Unfortunately, management's not done yet. In Tuesday's disastrous earnings report, the company said it plans on dropping another $637 million on buybacks over the next two quarters.

6) 7 - The Number of States Opposing AT&T's (NYSE:T) acquisition of T-Mobile

According to CNET, seven states - California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington - have joined the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit aimed at blocking Ma Bell's buy of T-Mobile.

The consensus seems to be that the merger would create higher prices and lower quality due to reduced competition, a statement with which I completely agree.

Without this merger, mobile-phone price would certainly be going down, with quality going up.


Bullish For Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Sprint (NYSE:S)
Bearish For: AT&T

Disclosure: I am long AAPL.

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