Price target raises for Apple were back in style Thursday, as Credit Suisse raised its target to $750 from $700, citing higher iPhone volumes. "In a multi-device world, Apple is materially advantaged versus peers," said analyst Kulbinder Garcha in his research report. He raised his earnings estimates for 2012 and 2013 by 5% and 10%, respectively, to $50.14 a share and $60.72 a share. Shares of Apple closed lower on the week, losing 4.49% to finish at $605.23.
Despite not being public yet, Facebook made a major splash, as it snapped up (pun intended) Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock on Monday. Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app, reportedly has more than 40 million users, is the No. 1 free app on Apple's App Store, and recently became available on Google's Android market. The app lets users take pictures using their iOS and Android devices and apply filtered effects. These images can then be shared with friends and other Instagram users. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was excited about the deal, as it will allow his company to work closer with Instagram to "offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests." He noted Instagram will remain independent of Facebook. "We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience," Zuckerberg said on his Facebook Timeline. "We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook."
Yahoo! ( YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson laid out his plan to revitalize the company on Tuesday, realigning the firm into three divisions. The Internet firm will now be under three groups: Consumer, (consisting of Media, Connections and Commerce); Regions, which targets emerging markets; and Technology, which focuses on the company's infrastructure. Thompson stressed that the company is going to refocus its efforts on its customers. "For Yahoo! to win in our core business, every one of us must put our customers first," he said in the letter. "Specifically, we must focus all we do on the users who trust us to give them personalized content and communications, and the advertisers who want to connect with our users." Shares of Yahoo! closed the week down 1.3% at $14.87.
AOL ( AOL) disclosed that it was selling a significant portion of its patents to Microsoft ( MSFT) for more than $1 billion on Monday. The 800 patents were originally thought to have a value of approximately $300 million, with the deal highlighting the strong demand for intellectual property. AOL said most of the cash will be returned to shareholders, but it hasn't said how it will do so. Shares of AOL soared during the week, gaining 40.01% to finish at $25.79.
Coinstar ( CSTR) shares soared after the company preannounced strong first-quarter results on Thursday. The DVD-rental company reported preliminary revenue between $567 million and $569.2 million and earnings per share between $1.36 and $1.40. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for revenue of $537.66 million and earnings of 90 cents a share. Coinstar raised its guidance for the full year. It said it expects revenue to be between $2.16 billion and $2.28 billion and EPS between $4.40 and $4.80. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are currently looking for revenue of $2.22 billion and earnings of $4.09 a share. Shares of Coinstar finished the week strongly, gaining 4% to close at $65.78.
Next week is chock-full of tech earnings, with results from such luminaries as IBM ( IBM), Intel ( INTC), F5 Networks ( FFIV), Qualcomm ( QCOM), VMware ( VMW) and Microsoft ( MSFT). Interested in more on Coinstar? 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