Even companies not announcing new gadgets were affected by Apple this week. Apple approved Google's (GOOG) new YouTube app for the App Store this week. This follows an announcement from Apple earlier this year it would no longer make the app standard on its operating system.
Apple said last month that the license deal between the two companies had expired, but many believed it was more than that given the history between the two tech titans.
Prior to his death, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs vowed to show Google's Android operating system as a copycat of iOS and use all of the company's cash to defeat it. "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, before he died.
The new app allows users to find videos and channels easier using voice search and query auto-complete. Viewers can also watch all of YouTube's video catalog, including official music videos, something they were not able to do before. Sharing is also easier with the new app, allowing users to post videos to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.Google shares gained 0.5% this week to $709.68.
Google was not the only company to be affected by Apple this week. Perhaps as a result of Apple's dominance, HP (HPQ) announced it would be adding an additional 2,000 job cuts to its previously announced 27,000, bringing the total amount of its workforce reduction to 29,000. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company plans to make the cuts through fiscal 2014, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. HP expects to record restructuring charges of around $3.7 billion through the end of the company's 2014 fiscal year. Of that amount, around $3.3 billion relates to the job cuts and a voluntary enhanced early retirement program for U.S. employees. Around $400 million is related to items such as data center and real estate consolidation. In addition to the cuts, HP CEO Meg Whitman said the company at some point has to offer a smartphone. "We have to ultimately offer a smartphone because in many countries of the world that would be your first computing device," Whitman told Fox Business Network in an interview. "We are a computing company." Shares of HP rose more than 4.3% to close the week at $18.17.
Even though the week largely revolved around Apple and the iPhone, Facebook's (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines speaking at a media conference and offering hints at Facebook's future. Zuckerberg addressed a slew of issues at Tech Crunch Disrupt, including the free fall in the social networking giant's share price, the company's opportunity in mobile and search, Zynga's (ZNGA) woes, and whether the company plans to build its own smartphone. The most interesting topic Zuckerberg addressed was the company moving into search and competing with Google, as Google moves into social networking. Zuckerberg said that search was a "big opportunity" and said Facebook could help people "locate good sushi restaurants, or locate people who have worked for a specific company." Wall Street reacted favorably to the news, sending shares higher the following day, as analysts opined on the prospect of Facebook entering search. "The biggest takeaway from today's event was Zuckerberg's confirmation that Facebook would eventually enter the search business," wrote Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz in a research note. He has a buy rating on the stock with a $30 price target. "Search is interesting. We do on order of a billion inquiries a day, and we're not trying," Zuckerberg said. "I think that there's a big opportunity for us [in search], we just have to find it." Facebook shares soared 16% this week, closing at $22.00.
The earnings front has been fairly quiet recently, but newly public Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported fourth-quarter earnings that failed to meet the most bullish forecasts even though they beat Wall Street expectations, did not meet the most bullish of forecasts. The network security specialist earned 3 cents a share on $75.6 million in sales, ahead of the consensus view. Quarterly evenue grew 88% year over year, while fiscal 2012 revenue jumped 115% to $255.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting break-even earnings and $71.33 million in revenue for the quarter. First-quarter guidance was also better than expected. The company forecast non-GAAP earnings of 3 cents a share with sales between $80 million and $84 million. The average analysts' view is for earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $80.8 million. Shares of Palo Alto Networks fell 5.3% this week to finish at $66.99. Interested in more on Facebook? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Commodity_Bull
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