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If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Take-Two and call me in the morning
Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO ) won't have to worry about Carl Icahn anymore. The video game publisher behind this year's wildly successful Grand Theft Auto V is cashing out the activist billionaire.
Take-Two spent $203.5 million to buy back Icahn's 12.02 million shares. Was it greenmail? Instead of settling for a discount, Icahn got Take-Two to buy back the stock at its then-closing price of $16.93. However, Icahn selling on the open market would've likely sent the shares lower.
Icahn's three board appointees will also be leaving, giving Take-Two more breathing room to carve out its own future. The market wasn't exactly wowed by the move. Some figured that Icahn's meddling could've ended in a buyout. However, it's still a smart buyback for a company that's riding high after Grand Theft Auto V's record sales.
2. Katie homepage
Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO ) has another celebrity in the fold. Katie Couric is joining the dot-com pioneer as its Global Anchor next year. She will be spearheading the coverage on Yahoo News.
She's not leaving TV entirely. She will continue to host her "Katie" syndicated daytime talk show. However, it's still a great catch for Yahoo!, which has struggled to drum up display advertising revenue in recent years. The addition of TV-vetted Couric could lead sponsors to pay more to get noticed on Yahoo!, and that's what is so encouraging about this deal.
3. OLED leads the way
Last week was brutal for Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED ) after it revealed negative news about its patent-protecting initiatives in Europe, but the OLED pioneer bounced back this week after inking a new deal.
Universal Display signed a collaboration and evaluation agreement with Philips, in which Universal Display will supply Philips with its highly efficient phosphorescent OLED materials to be used in solid-state lighting applications.
Universal Display has been susceptible in the past to patent concerns and fluctuations whenever partner Samsung seems to be moving in a new direction, so the new deal with a different company is welcome news all around.
4. Horton hears a Qihoo
The Internet remains a fast-growing platform in China.
Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU ) posted strong quarterly results on Monday. The company behind China's leading Web browser and Internet-security software saw its revenue catapult 124% higher to $187.9 million. Adjusted earning also more than doubled to $0.47 per ADS. Analysts once again underestimated Qihoo's potential, targeting a profit of $0.37 per ADS on $181.7 million in revenue.
Guidance was also encouraging, though at least one analyst chose to downgrade the stock after a massive run over the past year. It's still hard to ignore that kind of octane.
5. Apple's mini mouse
Things may be going better for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) than naysayers think. Reports earlier this week had the consumer tech giant boosting its orders for iPhones and iPads.
On the iPad front, a DigiTimes report claims that supplier channel checks show Apple boosting its orders of the iPad mini with Retina Display to 4 million units. The market may have been hesitant when the refreshed iPad mini came with a slightly higher price, but it seems as if millions of consumers aren't being won over by dirt cheap Android tablets.
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