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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For MSFT;SNE;NTDOY From The Last 14 Days
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December 18, 2014
11:49 EDTMSFTOracle soars to 52-week high after Q2 results beat estimates
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11:34 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to sell MixRadio service to LINE, terms not disclosed
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10:19 EDTSNESony hack fallout highlights value of IT security spending, analyst says
The hacking of Sony's (SNE) Sony Pictures unit shows that spending more on IT security is worthwhile for companies, Wells Fargo analyst Gray Powell wrote in a note to investors today. WHAT'S NEW: Sony has decided not release the film "The Interview" as planned on December 25, due several theater chains' plans to not show the movie amid threats, CNBC reported. The New York Times said American intelligence officials have determined that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures. Sony's experience shows that being hacked is much more costly than spending on IT security, Powell stated. After being hacked, Sony has had to cancel the release of its film "The Interview," which it spent $ 42M to make, and it will have to spend more money on fixing the security breach and defending itself against lawsuits triggered by the incident, the analyst stated. Additionally, the company's brand has been damaged, Powell believes. By contrast, Sony spends just $20M per year on IT security, the analyst roughly estimated. Incidents like the hacking of Sony will cause companies to spend a higher percentage of their budgets on IT security next year, according to Powell. He kept Outperform ratings on IT security companies Check Point (CHKP), FireEye (FEYE), Fortinet (FTNT), Palo Alto (PANW), and Proofpoint (PFPT). WHAT'S NOTABLE: Analysts at B. Riley said IMAX (IMAX) and RealD (RLD) could benefit from Sony's cancellation of "The Interview" due to the demand shift towards their respective film slates. The analyst believes both IMAX and RealD could generate an incremental 1c in EPS during the period. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, FireEye jumped 5% to $30, Palo Alto advanced 3.2% to $123.87, Proofpoint gained 2% to $47.87 and Check Point climbed 1.4% to $78.16.
07:23 EDTSNEIMAX and RealD could benefit from The Interview cancellation, says B. Riley
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06:50 EDTMSFTGoogle to seek dismissal of Android antitrust lawsuit, Reuters reports
Google (GOOG) will try to convince a federal judge today to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its practices related to its Android operating system violate antitrust laws, according to Reuters. The plaintiffs allege that Google forces handset makers to restrict competing apps such as Microsoft's (MSFT) search engine, Bing, the news service stated. Reference Link
06:36 EDTMSFTMicrosoft may be planning head-worn gaming device for 2015, DigiTimes reports
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December 17, 2014
18:26 EDTSNEU.S. connects North Korea to Sony cyber attack, NY Times says
American intelligence officials have determined that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures, NY Times reports. Reference Link
18:08 EDTSNEInvestigators confirm North Korea behind Sony cyber attack, CNN reports
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17:37 EDTSNECarmike Cinemas delays exhibition of "The Interview" due to Sony cyber-attack
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17:19 EDTSNESony cancels release of 'The Interview' CNBC reports
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17:00 EDTSNESony cancels release of 'The Interview' CNBC reports
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10:42 EDTMSFTDigital River spikes after renewing agreement with Microsoft
Digital River (DRIV) shares are sharply higher this morning after the company agreed to extend the terms of its distribution agreement with Microsoft (MSFT). WHAT'S NEW: Digital River this morning disclosed in a filing that it has agreed to extend the term of its Operations Digital Distribution Agreement with Microsoft to March 31, 2017. Additionally, Microsoft can extend the expiration date for up to four separate six month renewal terms, according to Digital River. Earlier this month, Digital River shares declined up to 24% after disclosing that the company granted Microsoft an extension to December 19 from December 1 as the deadline by which Microsoft was required to provide notice to the company of its decision as to whether it would choose to extend the expiration date of the agreement. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Digital River also announced this morning that the Federal Trade Commission informed the company on December 5 that it granted early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act waiting period for the company's acquisition by an investor group led by Siris Capital for $26 per share in cash, or about $840M. The "go-shop" period expired on December 7, and Digital River did not receive a competing proposal. Digital River says the merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. PRICE ACTION: Digital River shares are up $7.58, or 45%, to $24.44 in morning trading.
10:14 EDTMSFTHP best way to play coming PC sales outperformance, Citi says
Sales of PCs will be at least flat next year, before growing slightly in 2016 and 2017, Citigroup wrote in a note to investors today. The firm identified HP (HPQ) as the best way to play better than expected PC sales. WHAT'S NEW: Although many believe that PCs will become extinct, there are several reasons why sales of personal computers will begin growing again, Citi analyst Jim Suva contended. Sales of commercial PCs in emerging markets should increase over the long-term, as those PCs are aging, according to Suva. He estimated that commercial PCs in emerging markets account for 27% of the total PC market. Meanwhile, tablets were supposed to replace PCs, but tablet sales growth slowed to just 8% this year, indicating that tablets are becoming less of a threat to PCs, he wrote. Additionally, some believe that PC demand was inflated by a rush to replace computers running Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows XP operating system this year after the company stopped supporting XP, but Suva believe that PC demand growth in 2014 was more driven by a need to buy new computers following a lull in growth in 2012-2013 than by the XP situation. As a result, the analyst estimates that the XP phenomenon will only reduce next year's PC growth by 1%, versus the 3%+ reduction that investors fear. HP is the best way to play the PC rebound, wrote Suva, who raised his price target on the company's shares to $46 from $40 and kept a Buy rating on the stock. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Suva raised his price target on hard disk drive maker Western Digital (WDX) to $125 from $110 and on its competitor, Seagate (STX), to $74 from $70, as he noted that the companies obtain about 50% of their revenue from PCs. He kept Buy ratings on both names. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Hewlett-Packard gained 2.7% to $38.32, Western Digital rose 1.7% to $106.30, and Seagate climbed 1% to $63.89.
09:18 EDTMSFTTyler Tech signs contract with Buffalo and Ford Erie Public Bridge Authority
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09:16 EDTMSFTDigital River renews pact with Microsoft
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06:52 EDTSNELions Gate wanted to talk to Sony about M&A, Reuters says
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06:47 EDTSNETheater cancels Sony movie debut after threat, NY Times says
A New York movie theater canceled the New York premier of Sony's film, "The Interview," after a terrorist threat was made against theaters that show the film, according to The New York Times. North Korea has harshly criticized the movie. Reference Link
06:44 EDTSNE, MSFTGoogle opponents lobbying state attorneys general, NY Times says
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06:40 EDTSNEAU Optronics should see increased orders for Ultra HD TV panels, DigiTimes says
AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux should see increased orders for Ultra HD LCD TV panels as a result of active promotions for the TVs by Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PCRFY), industry sources tell DigiTimes. Reference Link
06:07 EDTSNECarmike Cinemas pulls screenings of Sony's "The Interview," AP reports
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December 16, 2014
17:53 EDTSNESony hackers threaten 'The Interview' attendees, WSJ says
People claiming to be the Sony hackers said that there would be attacks like those of Sept. 11, 2001 at theaters showing the studio’s movie “The Interview,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
13:17 EDTSNETencent, Sony make music rights deal, Re/code says
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12:51 EDTSNESony sued by former employees over data protection, Reuters says
Two former Sony employees are suing the company for failing to adequately protect their data, according to Reuters. Sony's Sony Pictures unit suffered a massive hacking attack last month. Reference Link
09:59 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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07:37 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded at BofA/Merrill
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06:14 EDTSNESony says film studio's business remains strong, WSJ reports
Sony Pictures executives apologized in a staff meeting Monday for leaked emails and sensitive documents, The Wall Street Journal reports. Despite damage from the November hacking attack, executives said the film studio’s business remains strong. Reference Link
06:05 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
05:44 EDTSNESony Pictures confirms extent of cyber attack
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December 15, 2014
11:09 EDTMSFTSkype app to enable real-time voice translation, The Verge says
A new app from Microsoft's Skype enables voice calls in English or Spanish to be translated to the other language in real time, according to The Verge. The app will be available as a preview starting today, The Verge added. Reference Link
06:45 EDTSNESony tells media outlets to stop reporting leaked information, Reuters says
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06:06 EDTMSFTFacebook stops including results from Bing on site, Reuters reports
A Facebook (FB) spokesperson has confirmed that the company has stopped including results from Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing search engine on its site as it has revamped its own search offerings, Reuters reported on Friday. Facebook recently introduced a tool that allows users to quickly find past comments and other information posted by their friends on the social networking site. The spokesperson comments that "We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft in lots of different areas." Reference Link
06:03 EDTSNEAlleged Sony hackers offer to selectively withhold stolen data, Re/code reports
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06:00 EDTSNESony Pictures not shutting down film production because of hack, Deadline says
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December 12, 2014
10:01 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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08:24 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $57 from $53 at FBR Capital
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06:37 EDTMSFTMicrosoft initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray started shares of Microsoft with an Overweight rating saying the tech giant should benefit from stabilization in the PC market and "healthy" enterprise spending. The firm set a $54 price target for shares. The stock closed yesterday up 27c to $47.17.
06:16 EDTSNEGlobal demand for e-paper on the decline, DigiTimes reports
Global demand for e-paper from e-book vendors is decreasing due to competition from tablets, reports DigiTimes, according to sources with Taiwan's supply chain. Due to the decline, Toshiba (TOSBF), Sony (SNE), and Panasonic (PCRFY) have withdrawn from the e-book reader market. According to the sources, Amazon is still look at growth in the China market, but the e-book reader market is not showing any signs of a rebound. Reference Link
06:12 EDTSNESony considered selling stake in Crackle, Bloomberg reports
Sony Pictures Television had weighed the sale of a majority stake in Crackle, reports Bloomberg. Citing e-mails made public by hackers, executives at Sony discussed a deal with Evolution Media Capital. An outside investment in Crackle would free up cash the website could spend on original series and marketing, Berger wrote in an e-mail to Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television. Reference Link
December 11, 2014
19:34 EDTSNE, MSFTMicrosoft Xbox One outsells Sony PS4, Engadget reports
Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One was the best selling console for November, beating Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4, according to Microsoft, citing data from NPD Group. Prior to November, the PlayStation 4 had been the best selling console for almost a year. According to the NPD data, console sales are up in general, with hardware unit-sales increasing by 3% over last November. Reference Link
16:20 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to now accept bitcoin
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13:26 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to reveal Windows 10 features at January 21 event, Re/code reports
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13:19 EDTMSFTMicrosoft dropped by Ford for in-car sync system, Re/code reports
Ford's (F) Sync 3 in-car entertainment and mapping system will use a version of BlackBerry's (BBRY) QNX operating system, replacing Microsoft (MSFT) technology that had been used in the prior two versions, Re/code reports. The QNX-powered system adds more features, including a capacitive touch screen and the ability to get software updates over Wi-Fi. Ford said in a statement that its "hardware and software decisions were based on identifying the technology that would best meet the expectations for performance by our customers." Reference Link
10:20 EDTMSFTMicrosoft acquires HockeyApp, terms not disclosed
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10:17 EDTMSFTCiti upbeat on Google in face of pending Apple decision on Safari
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08:53 EDTMSFTBritain lays out details for proposed 25% 'Google Tax,' WSJ reports
U.S. technology giants such as Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have come under fire in Britain for the relatively small corporate taxes they pay there and the U.K. government detailed plans for a new 25% tax on profits of multinational technology and other companies, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
08:09 EDTMSFTGoogle shares pricing in loss of Apple search deal, says Citigroup
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December 10, 2014
09:22 EDTMSFTMicrosoft management to meet with Pacific Crest
Meeting to be held on the West Coast on December 12 hosted by Pacific Crest.
09:20 EDTMSFTTyler Technologies signs agreement with Albermarle County Service Authority
Tyler Technologies (TYL) has signed an agreement with the Albemarle County Service Authority to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX, an enterprise resource planning solution with public sector functionality that Tyler Technologies jointly developed with Microsoft (MSFT). The contract includes implementation and related professional services, support, and training.
December 9, 2014
06:27 EDTMSFTSamsung, white-box makers to benefit from Microsoft Mobile exit, DigiTimes says
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December 8, 2014
18:19 EDTSNESony hacker releases additional private data, issues threat, Re/code says
Guardians of Peace, the hacker group claiming responsibility for the attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, released an additional trove of private data and issued threats against the studio, according to Re/code. Reference Link
13:21 EDTMSFTMicrosoft files appeal in case on customer data in Ireland
Microsoft said on its blog that it has filed an appeal in its ongoing case challenging a U.S. government search warrant for customer data stored in Ireland. Microsoft said it filed the appeal after a U.S. district court judge rejected the company’s argument that the warrant is illegal because it calls for the seizure of emails stored outside the United States. Reference Link
12:40 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:44 EDTMSFTDigital River grants Microsoft extestion to decide on renewing pact
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10:04 EDTMSFTAccenture and Microsoft launch hybrid cloud platform
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09:21 EDTSNESony Pictures called the cyberattack 'unprecedented in nature', Re/code reports
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06:24 EDTSNENorth Korea denies role in recent Sony hacking, WSJ reports
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06:17 EDTSNESony PlayStation store may have suffered possible cyberattack, AP reports
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December 5, 2014
16:52 EDTMSFTDow just below 18K as market finishes week with gains
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10:00 EDTNTDOYOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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07:46 EDTMSFTCIO survey results favorable for Microsoft, says Pacific Crest
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07:42 EDTNTDOYNintendo downgraded to Underperform on 'structural' declines at Jefferies
Jefferies downgraded Nintendo to Underperform citing an unfavorable risk/reward amid "structural and cyclical declines" in revenue and profits. The firm lowered its price target for shares to $12.70 from $15.30.
06:44 EDTSNESony likely to reduce employee pay in 2015, Reuters reports
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06:19 EDTSNESony security breach exposed personal data of Hollywood employees, WSJ reports
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05:58 EDTSNESymantec: Malware in Sony attack linked to South Korean incidents
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05:41 EDTNTDOYNintendo downgraded to Underperform from Hold at Jefferies
December 4, 2014
16:27 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:34 EDTMSFTMicrosoft advances after analyst hikes target on upbeat earnings forecast
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12:22 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session slightly lower despite relatively in-line jobless claims data, as European markets moved down following a rate decision and accompanying commentary from ECB President Mario Draghi. Adding to the modest pressure seen in morning trading may be the fact that oil prices continue to move lower. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 17K to 297K in the week ended November 29, which was nearly in-line with the expectation for 295K first-time claims. Challenger reported announced layoffs fell 15.2K in November to 35.9K. In Europe, the European Central Bank kept its key rates unchanged, as expected. ECB President Mario Draghi said in his accompanying press conference that the latest euro area macroeconomic projections indicate lower inflation, accompanied by weaker real GDP growth and subdued monetary dynamics. Additionally, he stated that early next year the Governing Council will reassess the monetary stimulus achieved, the expansion of the balance sheet and the outlook for price developments. "Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council remains unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate. This would imply altering early next year the size, pace and composition of our measures," Draghi said. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Barnes and Noble (BKS) slid about 10% after the company reported lower than expected second quarter earnings and said it continues to expect both Retail comparable bookstore sales and Retail Core comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low-single digits this fiscal year. Additionally, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft (MSFT) agreed to terminate their commercial agreement and B&N agreed to acquire Microsoft's entire preferred interest in NOOK Media in exchange for $62.4M cash and 2.74M shares of its stock. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Hawaiian Electric (HE), which jumped 16% after its board approved a plan to spin off ASB Hawaii, the parent company for American Savings Bank, and establish it as an independent publicly traded company and NextEra Energy (NEE) agreed to acquire the company, excluding the banking subsidiary. Array BioPharma (ARRY) rose 15% after announcing it has reached a definitive agreement with Novartis (NVS) to regain full worldwide rights to binimetinib, a MEK inhibitor in three Phase 3 trials, which Piper Jaffray called a "big win" for the company. Among the noteworthy losers was UTi Worldwide (UTIW), which fell 11.5% after confirming that exploratory conversations have taken place with DSV, but adding those discussions never progressed beyond a preliminary stage and that no talks are currently taking place. Also lower were shares of Express (EXPR), which declined over 9% after the apparel retailer reported lower than expected Q3 revenue and gave EPS guidance that fell short of estimates. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 53.56, or 0.3%, to 17,859.06, the Nasdaq was down 2.80, or 0.06%, to 4,771.67, and the S&P 500 was down 5.49, or 0.26%, to 2,068.84.
10:08 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble says Pearson continues to have 5% interest in Nook Media LLC
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08:46 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble to pay $62.4M, 2.74M shares for Microsoft Nook stake
08:44 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble to acquire preferred interest in NOOK Media from Microsoft
Barnes & Noble (BKS) filed a Form 8-K with the SEC stating that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft (MSFT) have agreed to terminate their commercial agreement including any associated obligations for international content acquisition and sale. Such termination will allow the company to continue its rationalization of the NOOK Digital business and enhances Barnes & Noble’s operational and strategic flexibility. The termination also relieves Microsoft of any obligation to continue to fund support and other payments set forth in the commercial agreement between the partners. Additionally, the company stated that it had entered into an agreement with Microsoft to acquire its entire preferred interest in NOOK Media, LLC. As a result of today’s announcement, Barnes & Noble expects that the completion of the potential separation of the company's businesses could occur by the end of August 2015, although there can be no assurances regarding the timing of such potential separation or that such separation will be completed.
08:22 EDTSNESony prepares to launch PS4 in China, WSJ reports
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07:25 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $56 from $50 at Nomura
Nomura raised Microsoft's price target to $56 to reflect the new Board's potential return of cash to shareholders. The analyst believes the Board is looking at several scenarios that include a leveraged recapitalization to buy back half its stock over a multi-year period, to a more likely, 5%-10% repurchase of shares. The firm rates shares a Buy.
06:48 EDTSNESony denies North Korea identified as source of hack, NY Times says
Sony's (SNE) Sony Pictures unit said Re/code's report which stated that North Korea had been identified as the source of the cyber attack on the unit was not accurate, according to The New York Times. Sony Pictures and the FBI are continuing to identify the incident, the newspaper added. Publicly traded cybersecurity companies include Barracuda Networks (CUDA), Check Point (CHKP), F5 Networks (FFIV), FireEye (FEYE), Fortinet (FTNT), Imperva (IMPV), Palo Alto (PANW), Proofpoint (PFPT), Qualys (QLYS) and Symantec (SYMC).Reference Link
06:18 EDTSNESony denies it will name North Korea as culprit of security breach, AP reports
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06:15 EDTSNESony: Sales of smart bracelets in Taiwan to fall short in 2014, DigiTimes says
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