The feature set on the iPad 3 is still largely unknown, though many expect Long Term Evolution (LTE), Retina Display, a longer battery life, a new processor, as well as several other features. Consumers are clamoring for the new iPad, whatever the feature set may be. More than 65% of TheStreet readers said they would buy the new iPad "no matter what." Another 30% of those who voted said they might buy the tablet, but would have to see what features Apple adds before they make their decision. The release of the new iPad should help Mac sales, say analysts, as the "halo-effect" surrounding Apple products continues. Apple sold 5.2 million Macs in its most recent quarter, up from 4.3 million a year ago.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak made waves during the week, saying he thinks Apple's stock has considerable upside from here. In an interview with CNBC, the legendary tech guru and co-founder of Apple thinks the stock could hit $1,000, as demand for its products has never been higher, and its products work so well together. "You know, people talk about $1,000 stock price ... you know, at first you want to doubt it but I actually believe that and I don't really follow stock markets," Wozniak said during the interview. "Apple is on such a winning course because it's encapsulated all of its different big products that I mentioned, they all work together so well that you are in a course that if you buy a product from another company it doesn't really do as much as one from Apple does. So Apple has a large room for growth," he went on to say. Apple's stock closed out the week gaining 4.36% or $22.77 to close $545.18.
Sirius XM ( SIRI) received heavy attention during the week, as one analyst said he believes it is a matter of time before the company is acquired. Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet says Liberty Media ( LMCA ) may potentially double its Sirius stake to 80%. Bazinet believes this could create an additional $930 million in value by tapping into Sirius' significant tax assets. Bazinet has a buy rating on Sirius with a $2.50 price target and a neutral rating on Liberty Media with a $94 target. Bazinet said that Liberty Media has access to $6.5 billion in liquidity from three sources: "1) $3.85 billion from Liberty Media cash on hand, existing Sirius debt, existing lines of credit and FCF in 2012; 2) $1.4 billion from Sirius cash on hand and FCF in 2012; and 3) $1.25 billion in cash from Liberty Ventures." Purchasing an 80% stake of Sirius at $2.50 per share would cost $6.36 billion, so Liberty Media has the means to do it. Sirius shares closed the week up 5%, or 11 cents, at $2.31, while shares of Liberty Media gained 1.56%, or $1.38, to close at $89.66.
Earnings from Priceline.com ( PCLN) and Finisar ( FNSR) caught investors attention, showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of the global economy. After the close of trading on Monday, Priceline.com reported earnings that handily beat Wall Street forecasts. The online travel company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $5.37 per share on $990.77 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected priceline.com to earn $5.05 per share in the fourth-quarter on $967.9 million in revenue. Priceline.com also gave strong first-quarter guidance, saying it expects non-GAAP earnings to increase $37 million in the first quarter of 2012. Shares of priceline.com ended the week up 9.39%, or $55.45, to close at $645.86.
Finisar shares fell during the week after the optical networking company reported a below-consensus quarterly profit and providing a weaker-than-expected outlook. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Finisar reported third-quarter non-GAAP earnings of 23 cents per share on $243 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 22 cents a share on revenue of $245 million. The company also forecast earnings of 18 to 22 cents a share for its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue ranging from $235 million to $250 million. The average analyst estimate is for a profit of 25 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $253.5 million. The stock closed the week down 13.5% or $3.07, at $19.69.
The Mobile World Congress was held this week, with some of the hottest offerings from companies like Nokia ( NOK), Samsung, HTC, Asus, and Huawei. One key trend this year was companies trying to pack more features into their offerings without significantly raising prices amid a weak global economy. There was, however, innovation on show at the event, as evidenced by Nokia's attempt to revolutionize smartphone camera technology and Samsung's buzzed-about "projector phone."
Yelp ( YELP) went public on Friday, pricing its offering of 7.15 million shares above range at $15 each, raising $107 million. Yelp, which compiles reviews for local businesses, has seen its revenue grow sharply, from $25.8 million in 2009 to $83.3 million in 2011, an increase of nearly 300%. Losses, however, have continued to grow as well. Yelp's losses widened to $16.9 million in 2011 from $2.3 million in 2009. Yelp is highly dependent on Google ( GOOG) as a "significant source of traffic" but that could end if Google decides to promote its own properties. "Our success depends on our ability to maintain a prominent presence in search results for queries regarding local businesses on Google," Yelp said in its S-1 filing. Yelp shares finished up 63.87% or $9.58 above their IPO price, to close the day at $24.58. Interested in more on Yelp? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/commodity_bull. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org