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Tired of the same old ethanol and solar-panel stocks? The word in some quarters, including a recent appraisal from Investors Business Daily, is that an up-and-coming trend is…fluorescent light bulbs. Snicker if you must, but that notion is receiving some validation this week on Wall Street […] Read more »

The good news for Palm is that it met its second-quarter numbers Tuesday afternoon. OK, it met the estimates it made only a couple of weeks ago, which were substantially lower than its earlier guidance. That revision sent Palm’s stock tumbling 19 percent in less than […] Read more »

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China plus biodiesel. Rarely has such delectable chocolate been caught inside such irresistible peanut butter. Or at least such may be the feeling of investors hungry for an IPO. You can forgive them the craving, having savored this summer’s meaty morsels as VMWare — up 212 […] Read more »

For a while, it seemed like this year’s promising sector was solar power. Then it started to look like it wasn’t. Now the solar stocks are being whipsawed around on the kind of mundane news that is the bread and butter of every other industry: contracts, […] Read more »

It was starting to look like the merger that time forgot. For months, there had been chatter about a possible corporate coupling between XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI). The discussion reached a fevered pitch in February, when it became clear that both […] Read more »

Pacific Ethanol’s stock found its footing Tuesday after tumbling on the disclosure that an investment fund controlled by Bill Gates plans to sell off its 20 percent stake in the ethanol maker. Shares in the Sacramento, Calif.,-based alternative fuel company (PEIX) rebounded 6.6 percent Tuesday to […] Read more »

The laws of gravity do seem to apply to solar stocks, after all. After remaining one of the few sectors that was immune from the spreading turmoil and carnage caused by the credit crunch, an overwhelming wave of sell orders seemed to have swept aside the […] Read more »

[qi:114] When does stock research go from being a helpful insight to the irresponsible equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater? People owning shares in E-Trade are probably wondering that today. E-Trade (ETFC) has not exactly been a darling of the stock market lately. Its […] Read more »

UPDATED The rising tide lifting up most solar stocks has so far had little effect on Evergreen Solar’s boat, but now it looks like that may be changing. After rallying as high as $17.48 a year and a half ago, shares of Evergreen (ESLR) have sagged, […] Read more »

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Maybe one of the smarter moves of the Terry Semel era was for Yahoo to give up on its China operations, settling instead for a substantial chunk of a native startup, Alibaba. That decision has powered Yahoo’s stock to a level that was barely imaginable a […] Read more »

[qi:053] This will be good news or bad news depending on how you feel about Microsoft, but the software company seems to be roaring back. And it has nothing to do with its overpriced, over-hyped 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. Instead, it has more to do […] Read more »

[qi:053] Remember when Apple’s (AAPL) stock topped the $100 mark, powered by another stellar earnings report? It was only six months ago. Judging from the rapturous reaction in the aftermarket today to Apple’s most recent earnings report, the stock is close to racing past the $200 […] Read more »

In the 2007 postseason, Alex Rodriguez batted .267, had an on-base percentage of .353 and hit a home run. In the third quarter of 2007, Google’s revenue jumped 57 percent for its first $3 billion quarter, pushed profit 46 percent higher to $3.38 a share and […] Read more »

One of the tricky things about following eBay (EBAY) is fitting all the complex data points into a coherent picture. The company has three distinct units that sort of overlap, and is better than many about offering consistent data about each one. So even analysts and […] Read more »

Like Yahoo (YHOO) yesterday, eBay’s (EBAY) stock is up following its third-quarter earnings report, rising some 3 percent. But while eBay is making progress at getting its business growing again, there are still a couple of issues to consider, namely falling operating margins and the nagging […] Read more »

Yahoo’s (YHOO) third-quarter earnings report offers a mixed picture of the company’s condition: much better than feared, but still not good enough to launch it back into the vanguard of Internet giants. Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 3 percent from the second quarter […] Read more »

[qi:012] eBay (EBAY) is finally jumping with both feet into social networking with its eBay Neighborhoods. It’s clearly arriving at the party at a late hour, but what it’s brought to that party has enough panache that it deserves a good look. eBay will formally lift […] Read more »

2007 is shaping up to be an excellent year for the solar power sector. In the first nine months through last Friday, Sept. 28, six solar stocks on U.S. exchanges have more than doubled their value. The biggest gainer is Littleton, Colo.-based Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI), […] Read more »

When will American’s learn to stop worrying and love robots? That question must be echoing inside consumer robotics company iRobot (IRBT). The Burlington, Mass., company went public nearly two years ago and its share price has spent much of last year below the $24 offering price. […] Read more »

[qi:053] The floodgates are back open for tech IPOs. Since August – a seasonally sluggish month compounded this year with market turmoil – VMWare (VMW), MercadoLibre (MELI) and athenahealth (ATHN) went out with ecstatic receptions. The pipeline could start getting crowded. There have been notable fizzles […] Read more »

It takes guts to file for a secondary offering only days after you lose your largest contract ever. But that’s what JA Solar did, and investors, oddly, seem thrilled. JA Solar (JASO), a maker of photovoltaic cells that went public in a $225 million IPO only […] Read more »

Was it only last year when biofuels held such delirious promise? Ethanol from de-juiced sugarcane offered Brazil the prized goal of energy independence. The U.S. government offered the farming industries billions in subsidies in hopes of achieving the same. Ethanol IPOs like Aventine and Verasun went […] Read more »

[qi:053] In a post-market-bell bomb, E-Trade (ETFC) lowered its 2007 profit guidance by 31%. Even worse was why: It’s backing out of wholesale mortgages. This is, on the face of it, scary stuff. Few predicted E-Trade would be broad sided by the mortgage mess. So, the […] Read more »

[qi:004] Steve Jobs is sorry. He wants to give you $100 back for what you paid when you bought your iPhone too early. Provided, of course, you spend that $100 in one of his stores. I disagree with Om on this. I get this feeling that […] Read more »

Of all the lightning rods that have been sticking out of the uber-phenomenon known as Google (GOOG), CFO George Reyes was one of the most inconspicuous. Now Google says Reyes is out, but he will stick around long enough to find a successor. CFO transitions are […] Read more »

[qi:053] When is a good thing too much of a good thing? It’s surely a question somewhere in the back of the minds of investors in VMWare (VMW). Since the stock went public two weeks ago — at $29 a share, 21% above its initial price […] Read more »

[qi:053] Stocks may be rebounding but the credit crunch isn’t finished. The mortgage market is hungover from a subprime binge. Senseless lending in odd investments like ninja loans have hurt banks. Hedge funds betting on complex, risky derivatives are closing up shop. And it’s only likely […] Read more »

Don’t look now, but there’s one of those brutal price wars happening, this time in video rentals. Unlike the cola wars of legend or the perennial PC-chip wars of the last decade or two, this is a price battle I find fascinating. In the short-term, the […] Read more »

The Internet may be bringing us all closer together, but the companies powering it are as fractured as ever. There are hundreds of utilities in the U.S., both public and privately owned, overseeing an aging power grid. And each is run differently, even in data hungry […] Read more »

Amazon seems to be once again proving the naysayers wrong. Back in the dot-com boom, CEO Jeff Bezos piled on debt to build the biggest online retailer, one designed to keep customers happy. People said it would drive Amazon to an early bankruptcy, but the company […] Read more »

Et tu, Google? Yahoo’s stock sank following its Tuesday earnings report, as did eBay Wednesday despite some signs that revenue and profit growth are looking up. But I can’t think of anyone who was expecting Google to disappoint Wall Street with its second-quarter numbers. And yet […] Read more »

A sidenote to eBay’s earnings call this afternoon was the announcement – well, warning is more like it – that eBay is about to start turning up the volume on its dreadful “windorphins” ad campaign. This was surely the darkest news to emerge from a conference […] Read more »

Good news, investors! eBay’s stock is trading at a value. It’s priced at 25 times the $1.36 a share that is the mid-point of the company’s guidance for net earnings this year. A P-E ratio of 25 is, in general, pretty high. But for a company […] Read more »

This is what it’s like for Yahoo these days: Trying to feel pretty good about meeting already lowered expectations. And then lowering future expectations even further. Yahoo’s earnings per share for the quarter through June came in at 11 cents, in line with the consensus that […] Read more »

Isn’t anyone going to stick up for poor Vic – er, I mean, John Mackey? You know, the volatile CEO of one of the decade’s biggest retail success stories whose renegade, loose-cannon style spurred the growth of Whole Foods before leading to his professional unraveling via […] Read more »

Online classifieds have been at once among the most disruptive of Internet sectors and the hardest to break into. Google and Yahoo set up initiatives there, only to see them grow ever more marginalized. Now eBay’s Kijiji, having polished its act for more than two years […] Read more »

At least Yahoo can’t complain this week about Google grabbing all the headlines. While Google has been dishing out the usual morsels of news – tweaks to Google Video, YouTube and Google Office – everyone else can’t stop talking about Yahoo. First Terry Semel got dissed […] Read more »

Howard Rubenstein’s first rule of crisis management is this: Always tell the truth. That’s exactly why so many people suspect Yahoo is still in trouble, even with its vilified lightning rod – formerly known as CEO Terry Semel – has been shown the door, or showed […] Read more »

Pop quiz: Rank these four companies, listed alphabetically, in order of their stock performance over the past five years. (Okay, it’s sort-of a trick question, because Google went public less than three years ago, but bear with me.) * Apple * * Autodesk * Google […] Read more »

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