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Online Retailer News: Netflix Inc (NFLX), Inc (AMZN), Inc (PCLN)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX),, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Fossil Inc (NASDAQ:FOSL)

Analysts Optimism About Netflix, Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) Performance Ups Shares (USAStockReport)
BTIG Research had initiated a coverage of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) (Closed: $176.50, Up by 1.91%) and said that in the forthcoming years its subscriber base is going to see a rise and its profitability will exceed expectations. They also set a buy rating for Netflix shares with a target price of $250. The Los Gatos, California-based Netflix gained close to 5.3 percent and right through April 12 the shares had gained 87 percent. The company is upgrading its bandwidth. This upgrade will help in the streaming of television shows and movie streaming as well. It will improve content leverage said a prominent analyst.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) switches to HTML5 from Silverlight (USMarketBuzz)
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), one of the biggest users of Microsoft’s Silverlight, is switching over to HTML5 video. Well, considering that Microsoft had announced that Silverlight would be coming to an end in 2021, this should not surprise anyone, though probably nobody expected it to happen so fast. Microsoft has given companies that use the video technology, just less than a decade to shift over to a new technology. For Netflix the migration is necessary as it needs a good streaming video experience. The company, which provides streaming video services, spoke about the reality of video plugins, making specific mentions of browsers that don’t support them, as well as the security risk using plugins can pose.

Netflix CEO and the New Disclosure (WSJ)
Is this the new face of disclosure? Squeezed between a “fav quote” from the Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) -3.69% original television series “House of Cards” and a link to an article about another Netflix series called “Hemlock Grove,” Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings Thursday wrote on his public Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) -1.10% page: “Over the last three months, you all watched over 4 billion hours on Netflix.” No boilerplate, no legalese and an audience of more than 260,000 who have signed up for Hastings’s Facebook page. The informality of the post itself, the link to an outside article about a new series along with a disclosure of a measure of the company’s recent performance (quarterly hours watched) is very much in line with the tenor and style of social media communications.

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Option Buyers Think This Rally Has Legs (SchaeffersResearch)
The shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) are flying in the face of broad-market headwinds, up 2.8% at $178.05, and option traders see more upside ahead. Around midday, the streaming video concern has seen roughly 42,000 calls cross the tape, representing a 62% mark-up to its average intraday call volume. Most popular have been front-month strikes, meaning speculators are gambling on a notable rally by the end of the week, before April-dated options expire. More specifically, traders are picking up the April 180- and 185-strike calls, which have seen around 6,300 and 5,900 contracts change hands, respectively. Volume has surpassed open interest at both strikes, and the majority of the calls traded on the ask side, pointing to newly bought bullish bets.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will use Twitter and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to announce material data (CrazyJoys)
The chief executive officer of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), the world’s biggest online subscription video service provider, posted quarterly viewer data on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). A day before Reed Hastings disclosed that he would take advantage of new laws that allow material information to be declared over Facebook. Yesterday the shares in Netflix Inc surged nearly 4.2 percent. Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) raised their estimates for profitability, revenue and subscribers. New regulation issued last week by United States Securities and Exchange Commission allowed firms to use social media, like Twitter and Facebook, for material announcements. The new regulation ended a probe into some older Facebook posts by Hastings on viewer usage.

Amazon accelerates, Apple slows down in music downloads (IBNLive), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has grabbed more than a fifth of the market for digital music downloads, helped by the launch of its own tablet computers and aggressive pricing, according to an industry study released on Tuesday. AmazonMP3, the online retailer’s digital music business, had 22 per cent of the market for music downloads in the United States in last year’s fourth quarter, research firm the NPD Group said in its Annual Music Study. That compares with 15 per cent in 2011, 13 per cent in 2010, 10 per cent in 2009 and 7 per cent in 2008, NPD data showed. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s iTunes store, which turns 10 years old on April 28, was still dominant with 63 per cent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2012. But that was down from 68 per cent in 2011 and 69 per cent in 2009, according to NPD. “Amazon’s entry into tablets probably helped,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president, industry analysis, at NPD Group.

Amazon nears debut of original TV shows (VisaliaTimesDelta), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is letting viewers help choose its new lineup of TV shows, scuttling a secretive, wasteful process once reserved for Hollywood taste-makers. The online retailing giant will let visitors from the U.S, U.K. and Germany watch, rate and critique 14 pilot episodes the company has bankrolled. Viewer comments will help the company decide which shows — if any — get the green light. “Why follow the guru method when you don’t have to anymore?” says Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “The audience is out there and the audience is interested. We might as well make them a partner in the process.”

Amazon Expands Global App Distribution to Nearly 200 Countries (WSJ), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) continued the global expansion of its Appstore today by announcing that developers can now submit their apps for distribution in nearly 200 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, and even Papua New Guinea and Vatican City. These apps will be made available in the coming months when the Amazon Appstore for Android launches internationally for consumers. Registered developers who want international distribution will have their apps automatically made available for download, unless they designate otherwise. This international expansion is the latest in a series of Amazon Appstore for Android launches, which have included the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. Signing up is easy and developers can get started today by visiting the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.

Microsoft targets Amazon with price cuts on ‘cloud’ services (Reuters)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is cutting prices for hosting and processing customers’ online data in an aggressive challenge to, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s lead in the growing business of ‘cloud’ computing. The world’s biggest software company said on Tuesday it will match Amazon’s prices for some of the more common online data services it provides, which would mean cutting prices by 21 to 33 percent. It is the most aggressive move in the arena yet by Microsoft, which is hoping its Windows Azure business can win customers from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which pioneered the renting out of technology resources such as computing power and storage, known as cloud computing.

More competition could squeeze Priceline’s margins (Reuters)
Heightening competition for travelers’ dollars could squeeze profit margins for online travel agencies, including Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), the best performing stock in the S&P 500 over the past five years, Barron’s said in its April 15 edition. Priceline’s annual profit increase could fall to the mid-teens from the more than 20 percent the company and its investors currently enjoy, Barron’s said. While expansion into Asia and Latin America could be the next big opportunities for these companies, business there could be riskier and less profitable than the United States or Europe, according to Barron’s.

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