The first full week of November was, at times, cruel to investors: Shares of chip giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) fell after a fairly disappointing earnings report, while the once high-flying FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE) was utterly eviscerated.
Two disappointing reports
Shares of Qualcomm fell more than 8% on Thursday after the company posted a quarter that came in short of analysts' expectations. In the fourth quarter, Qualcomm earned $1.26 per share on revenue of $6.7 billion -- analysts had expected earnings of $1.31 per share on revenue of $7.02 billion. Qualcomm's guidance was likewise disappointing -- for 2015, it expects to earn $5.05-$5.35 per share on revenue of $26.8 billion to $28.8 billion. Both figures are less than what was the consensus estimate of $5.58 per share on revenue of around $29 billion.
Qualcomm's issues appear to be stemming from China, where, according to the company, some of its partners are not paying it the full royalties it's owed.
FireEye's earnings were even more disappointing, with shares of the security company falling more than 13% in one day. Year-to-date, FireEye shares are now down more than 31%, but are down more than 60% from its early March high.
FireEye is unprofitable, but less so than believed. In the third quarter, FireEye lost an adjusted $0.51 per share -- less than the $0.56 analysts had been expecting. Instead, FireEye's problem was its revenue: In the third quarter, FireEye generated $114.2 million in revenue, less than the $116.3 million estimate. Given that FireEye remains a speculative investment, any sign that its growth is slowing could scare away investors.
New products from Google and Amazon
Google's Nexus 9 went on sale Monday. The 8.9-inch Android-powered tablet sports a 64-bit processor that's every bit as powerful as the one in the iPad Air 2. However, reviews have been rather lackluster overall, with most arguing that the Nexus 9 doesn't live up to its $399 price tag.
Google's Nexus Player, its Android-powered set-top box, also made its sales debut this week. At $99, it's priced competitively with Amazon's FireTV, but reviewers have been quite disappointed. As a new platform, its lack of apps is understandable, but several tech publications complained that the device suffers from numerous bugs.
On Thursday, Amazon unveiled Echo -- an Internet-connected, bluetooth speaker. Amazon hasn't said much about the device, but has revealed that its many onboard microphones allow it to be controlled with voice commands. Echo will also be able to conduct search queries and play music. It hasn't officially gone on sale yet, but will available to Prime subscribers for just $99.
They aren't new, but also on Thursday, Microsoft announced that the iOS and Android versions of Office would be free. Previously, users would need to be subscribers to Microsoft's Office 365 service in order to get the full functionality out of these apps.
In giving them away, Microsoft may lose some revenue, but as mobile apps, they were never true replacements for the fully featured, fully priced desktop-version of Office. In fact, giving the mobile version of Office away may indirectly benefit Microsoft, as it could strengthen the larger Office ecosystem and ensure that desktop users remain loyal to Microsoft's productivity software.
Also of note to tech investors, Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is attempting to raise funds in a deal that would value the company at $40 billion to $50 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Xiaomi has emerged as one of the world's largest smartphone vendors, rapidly taking over its home market of China while spending virtually nothing on advertising. Xiaomi's are particularly appealing to consumers on a budget, as they offer iPhone-like hardware, but cost a fraction of the price.