Qualcomm Jumps on Buyback, NetApp Tanks on Downgrade -- Tech Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Qualcomm (QCOM) jumped after the chip maker announced plans for an accelerated stock buyback program. NetApp (NTAP) plunged by double digits after missing its earnings expectations and receiving a downgrade. Google  (GOOG) edged up on a its mobile and YouTube advertising arrangements. 

Qualcomm climbed 1.2% to close at $70.09.

The chip maker rose after announcing it was accelerating its stock buyback program. Qualcomm, using the proceeds from its recent $10 billion debt offering, plans to repurchase $5 billion shares as part of its overall goal of buying back $10 billion shares by March 2016. 

This buyback will be in addition to Qualcomm's plans to return a minimum of 75% of free cash flow to stockholders through dividends and repurchases.

Although Qualcomm plans to repurchase $10 billion shares by the first quarter of 2016, its overall plans are to ultimately repurchase a total of $15 billion. William Blair analyst Anil Doradla stated in an Investor's Business Daily report, "we continue to believe Qualcomm is one of the last large-cap semiconductor companies yet to benefit from investor-friendly capital-return initiatives."


NetApp tanked 10.1% to end the session at $31.77.

The storage and data management company took a hit after it missed its fourth-quarter earnings expectations and received an analyst downgrade.

NetApp reported adjusted net profits of 65 cents a share on revenue of $1.54 billion. That fell short of Wall Street's expectations of adjusted net income of 72 cents a share on revenue of $1.59 billion, according to a Reuters report. The company also missed its expectations for its first quarter forecast, as well.

NetApp says it expects a net profit of between 20 cents to 25 cents a share on revenue of $1.28 billion to $1.38 billion, according to Reuters. Analysts, however, were expecting the company to post a profit of 59 cents a share on revenue of $1.46 billion.

J.P. Morgan downgraded NetApp to underweight from neutral, citing the company's assessment that its poor fourth quarter results were due to a difficult product transition for its customers. NetApp's CEO Tom Georgens said, "We underestimated the disruption that the transition to clustered ONTAP has had on our direct and indirect pipeline. The disruption has been most acutely felt in our Americas commercial geography, due to the heavy concentration of large enterprise customers in the U.S."


Google rose 0.6% to close at $542.51.

The Internet behemoth rose higher after it noted how its technology is connecting the dots between the search advertisements that users click on from their smartphones and purchases made, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Google is also able to gauge how search ad clicks lead to customers coming into the store, the report noted.

Google also introduced an advertising feature on its YouTube-owned video site that enables users to to click on an advertisement and choose from a selection of products they could buy, according to a report in VentureBeat. The new service is called TrueView

While advertising revenue is Google's bread and butter, it also has other partnerships in the works. Its Android TV platform, for example, now has an arrangement with privately held Sling TV, in which users can subscribe to television programming using any device, such as the Google Nexus Player console.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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