Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The WSJ reports that Tivo (TIVO) and Amazon (AMZN) are joining to help bring movies and television shows from the Internet to TV sets, in the latest move to bring online video into consumers' living rooms. In a deal to be announced today, TiVo and Amazon plan to announce a new way for consumers to watch movies and TV shows downloaded from Amazon's Unbox service on their TV sets via their TiVo digital-video recorders. Under the program, TiVo subscribers can rent and purchase TV shows and movies from networks and studios such as CBS and Viacom's Paramount Pictures, among others.

“Heard on the Street” column discusses European telecom mkt, saying that co’s have been competing against emerging-mkt rivals in places such as Southeast Asia and Africa. Now they are facing off against them in a new territory: their home turf. Financiers from India and Russia to the Middle East are sniffing around European assets. India's Hinduja Group and Russia's Sistema recently expressed interest in Telecom Italia (TI). Pirelli has said it wants to sell some of its 18% stake in Telecom Italia, which it controls. Pirelli recently said several interested parties had been in contact but no agreement had been reached. For investors in Europe's telecom co’s, such interest can provide a boost to the stock prices of potential tgts. Neil Galloway, of ABN Amro, considers as possible tgts: midsize firms such as Belgacom, KPN, Telekom Austria (TKA) and Hellenic Telecom (OTE).

“Inside Track” section highlights Phoenix Technologies (PTEC), whose CEO Woodson Hobbs made his first purchase of Phoenix stock last week even though a proxy fight with the co's largest shareholder is pending. He said he isn't very concerned about the outcome. Mr. Hobbs bought $456K of his co's shares even as the co prepares for a contested board election. Ramius Capital, which owns about 13.7% of the co's stock, is seeking to place 2 representatives on the co's board. Mr. Hobbs described the current proxy fight as "not that big of a deal," but said he would prefer for the co's nominees to be re-elected. He noted, however, that if Ramius is successful it will gain only 2 seats on Phoenix's 6-member board.

Barron’s Online highlights Citrix Systems (CTXS), as a bet on Microsoft’s Vista. Citrix's software programs let a computer user run Windows without actually owning Windows. Shares of Citrix could jump from their current $31 to $40 or more as the co becomes increasingly central in Microsoft's product plans later this year. Microsoft has yet another OS due this fall, named Longhorn. It could let a co run all its computers from a central copy of Windows running on the server without loading software on each PC, a feat known in software circles as "virtualization." But to do so, buyers of Longhorn are going to need Citrix's software, which has been developed in conjunction with Microsoft and which unlocks some of Longhorn's features. "Virtualization is a change that's going to be important to individual users of the software and to businesses large and small," says Martin Reynolds, of Gartner. "It's really going to change Vista from what we know it as today."

“Inside Scoop” section reports that a Norwegian venture capitalist is hooked on Trico Marine (TRMA). Kistefos AS spent $4.6M on 149K shares. The buys were made by Christen Sveaas, who is the sole owner of Kistefos. The purchase by Kistefos is the first time a co insider has bought shares of Trico Marine since Mar’06.

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