Facebook Valuation Now Higher Than eBay’s

Facebook has technically overtaken eBay to become the third largest technology company in the United States. The company’s shares are now trading at $16 on SecondMarket – an exchange for shares of privately held companies. At this price, the valuation of the company stands at $41 billion that is a tad more than the $39.3 billion valuation that eBay holds at the NASDAQ stock market. Only Amazon – at $74.4 billion valuation and Google – with $192.9 billion value are above Facebook.

The revelation comes on the heels of speculation that Facebook is announcing a new email product to take on the likes of Gmail and Hotmail. An announcement in this regard is expected later today. The news is also likely to give a major impetus to anticipation about the social network’s IPO plans. Will Facebook open to the stock markets next year?

Microsoft XBox 360 Sale Numbers For September Announced

Microsoft appears to be doing really well in the gaming console segment. The company has reported that over 484,000 units of their XBox console was sold during the month of September 2010. That makes Microsoft the number 1 player in the segment for the fourth month in a row. The sale numbers are also up 37% compared to XBox 360 sales in September last year. The company has also announced that the sale of games have seen a terrific rise thanks to the launch of the new Halo : Reach. Microsoft apparently sold 3.3 million units of the game during the month of September.

The numbers are interesting on two counts. Firstly, Microsoft will be entering the holiday shopping season on the back of this impressive sale numbers over the past four months. Gaming consoles are one of the very hot selling commodities during this season and Microsoft should expect to do well. Secondly, the impressive sale numbers should also help the company in the sale of Windows Phone 7 handsets considering that the mobile platform is tightly integrated to XBox Live. Existing users should surely contemplate buying a Windows Phone 7 device.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares rose 1.23% in the market yesterday and are currently trading at $25.57 in the after-hours.

AOL – Yahoo Acquisition : Could This Be A Hostile Takeover?

A report on the Wall Street Journal has claimed that AOL has been working with several investor companies including Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group to discuss a possible acquisition of Yahoo; one of the leading online media portals on the web. According to these reports, the discussions are in early stages with no involvement of Yahoo up to this point.

However, it looks like Yahoo may already be aware of AOL’s advances. Bloomberg has reported that the company has been working with the Goldman Sachs Group to thwart any attempt from AOL for a hostile takeover. The company’s General Counsel, Michael Callahan is said to be heading the takeover-defense efforts.

Late yesterday evening, Yahoo stocks at the NASDAQ stock exchange (NASDAQ:YHOO) soar 5.68% in anticipation of the acquisition. However, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the latest news that the Yahoo management may not be willing to budge from their position and are most likely to thwart AOL’s efforts.

Official Intel Revenue Estimates For Fourth Quarter Announced

The growing demand for computing equipments in the emerging economies appears to have had a positive fallout on Intel as the company posted pretty impressive revenue forecasts for the ongoing fourth quarter. According to a statement from the company that was made public yesterday, Intel shall be seeing a revenue of $11.4 billion during this quarterly period that is notably higher than the numbers predicted by analysts. Gross margin during this quarter is likely to be around 67%.

The company has conceded that sale growth from within the home territory of United States has remained thin and that there has been a significant contribution to growth from the sale of computers to corporates and households in less developed economies.

The announcement has helped the company’s performance at the stock market. The company stock (NASDAQ:INTC) has risen 1.06% to $19.88 in the pre-market period. Stocks are also learned to have risen by 1.7% in the German stock market.

Amazon Movie Rental Business May Get Boost With LoveFilm Acquisition

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), the largest online retailer is learned to be negotiating with UK based DVD rental company, LoveFilm for a possible acquisition. According to reports on the Sunday Times, Amazon has made an offer that values the British company at close to 200 million Pounds ($313 million).

As of now, this is still a speculation since neither of the parties have confirmed the rumors. However, the possibility is not too far-fetched either. Amazon already holds close to 42% of the stakes in LoveFilm after the company’s European rental operations were merged with LoveFilm back in 2008.

London-based LoveFilm was established in 2002 and today operates in several European countries. The company is privately held and posted revenues of close to $150 million in 2009. The company handles close to 65,000 unique DVD titles in UK alone and has over one million registered members in UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany.

RIM Q2 Results Beat Analyst Expectations

Research In Motion (NASDAQ : RIMM) has had a fantastic second quarter that beats Wall Street expectations. The company has reported earnings growth of 68% for the quarter ending August 28. The net income generated in the period was $796.7 million that is significantly above the $475.6 million made during the same period last year. In terms of revenue, the company made $4.62 billion that is a 31% jump over Q2 2009.

In comparison, analysts expected revenues to stay close to $4.49 billion which equates to earnings of $1.36 per share. The current earnings per share is $1.46 per share.

Apparently, the strong performance has come despite the moderate reception to RIM’s latest Blackberry Torch smartphone. The touchscreen phone was launched in early August and has only been available on the AT&T network and so has not had great bearing on the results. Consequently, the performance of RIM underlines the overall growth of the company and not something that has been influenced by the fluke success of any particular model.

RIM – DataViz Acquisition Rumors Only Partially True

A couple of weeks back, I had written about rumors about Waterloo-based Blackberry manufacturer, RIM having acquired DataViz; the app developer behind the popular Documents 2 Go apps for platforms including WebOS. Now, we are hearing that this rumor may only be partially true. This is because, while DataViz insiders have agreed to the fact that RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) in fact made an offering and have purchased several assets that belonged to DataViz, the company itself has not been acquired so far and the developers continue to work on other platforms including iPhone and Android.

Wesley Hamnett, the marketing and channel coordinator at DataViz has noted,

“That being said, while we did sell some of our assets to RIM, DataViz itself has not been acquired and is still very much in business.

We remain committed to many of the platforms that we supported previously including both iPhone and Android. In fact, we will be releasing several new versions of Documents To Go in the coming weeks and you can expect to see other offerings from us in the future as well.”

So there you go. That’s pretty much loose strategy on part of RIM, if you ask.

Microsoft To Buy Symantec? Acquisition Rumors May Be False

There is a recent rumor doing the rounds that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)may be looking at Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) as a possible acquisition target. It is being speculated that Symantec, with its portfolio of security products, could be a great target for Microsoft whose Windows operating system has been a hacker’s favorite for quite sometime now. Following the rumors, the stock price of Symantec has seen a surge by 6% and is currently trading at $14.81.

However, you may have to take this latest bit with a grain of salt. As BNET points out, Microsoft has its own portfolio of security products including security essentials and firewall. So the company does not have a need to spend its cash on a company like Symantec to grow its base in the security segment. Also, Symantec softwares are not exactly known for their computer-friendliness with their ability to guzzle memory space. So, Symantec may not be the ideal high-value-low-price target that companies like Microsoft may look out for.

To be clear though, this is not a definitive argument and there are still a hundred reasons why the deal could actually go through. For the moment though, the rumors appear to be a media-frenzy that could only help pump up the market value of these stocks.

What do you think?

Has RIM Acquired Enterprise App Developer DataViz?

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), the Waterloo based manufacturers of Blackberry may have purchased DataViz , a popular app developer who is behind the popular Documents 2 Go application for mobile platforms like the Palm WebOS. According to reports, RIM may have paid close to $50 million for the acquisition of the app development company.

Strategically, the acquisition makes great sense. Blackberry is still the smartphone of choice in the enterprise segment and with popular enterprise applications, DataViz could truly complement RIM’s offerings. The acquisition will also help RIM make up for the lack of support from the development community who have not taken up to the Blackberry platform as enthusiastically as they have done with the iOS or Android platform.

However, neither companies have made an official announcement regarding the acquisition so far and so we will have to wait and see. But if the updates on the LinkedIn profile of several DataViz employees is anything to go by, then this rumor is potentially true.

Apple Acquisition Rumor – Buying Audio Chip Maker Cirrus Logic

Apple may be talking to audio chip maker Cirrus Logic regarding its plans to acquire the company – Barrons reports. The acquisition could take Apple one step closer to natively building integrated chips, codecs and audio equipment that are today used on their devices including the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple has been focusing its attention on proliferating its growth in the media and entertainment division and this acquisition could bring a great value add.

However, it needs to be noted that this news is primarily a rumor at this stage and does not have too many backers though Apple is a huge customer of Cirrus. Nevertheless, the speculations have helped pump the share prices of Cirrus Logic that have risen 2.92% during trading on Friday. The stock is currently trading at $17.38