Tech Today: Kodak Cools, Defending Micron, Amazon's Echo Commerce

Here are some things going on today in your world of tech :

Shares of Eastman Kodak (KODK) are finally cooling after their blockchain-inspired run since Tuesday, falling $1.40, or 13%, at $9.30. The stock more than doubled on Tuesday when the company announced it would introduce a new crypto-currency, " Kodak Coins," to support a platform for photo rights management using blockchain technology.

The shares had soared another 57% yesterday, despite Kodak CEOJeff Clarketelling me in an interview that the price increase was not justified by the new initiative.

Meantime, shares of Appian (APPN) may be feeling a bit of a bitcoin effect of its own. One reader has pointed out to me that some may have confused Appian, a maker of cloud application software technology, with, which is involved in blockchain and crypto efforts as a kind of "App Store" for Ethereum. Appian shares had surged in the past several weeks.

However, the stock is up again today by $2.82, or 8%, at $37.39, despite the fact it has received several downgrades this week, the latest being one this morning from Equal Weight to Underweight by Morgan Stanley's Sanjit Singh, based on the run-up in valuation.

The Street continues to digest the announcement Monday by Micron Technology (MU) and Intel (INTC) that they will part ways in the development of new NAND flash chips after the next version. Rajvindra Gill with Needham & Co. thinks that people are misunderstanding things, after he spoke with Micron CFO Ernie Maddock.

Gill's main point is that the "opportunity cost" of sticking with Intel would have been bigger for Micron than the cost of taking on extra R&D expense without Intel. Micron needs a different approach for what the market may require in 2020, 2021, writes Gill, and that means ditching Intel.

Micron shares today are down 46 cents, or 1%, a $42.85.

Footnote to yesterday's conversation with Steve Rizzone, CEO of wireless power tech company Energous (WATT). The company today issued an 8-K stating its chief technologist, Michael Leabman, will love the company January 11th, and will leave the board of directors.

Not necessarily a great thing for Energous. I have reached out to the company for comment.

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) are up $6.29, or half a percent, at $1,260.62, after Stifel Nicolaus's Scott Devitt this morning reiterated a Buy rating on the shares, and raised his price target to $1,425 from $1,313, after concluding Q4 results should be strong, and that the company is "well positioned for 2018/2019 given the company's strength in e-commerce, cloud, emerging technologies (smart speaker / voice), international markets, and new product categories such as grocery."

Separately, Devitt issued a research publication in which he estimates Amazon has 70% of the " smart speaker " market with its "Echo" product line, and may garner $15 billion to $17 billion in revenue from the devices by 2020, part from sales of the devices themselves and part from purchases that come from the devices.

Speaking of Intel, further addressing the brouhaha last week about Intel chips, chief executive Brian Krzanichthis morning issued a statement labeled the "security-first pledge," in which Krzanich said the company would "provide frequent progress reports of patch progress," and "add incremental funding for academic and independent research into potential security threats."

Intel shares today are up 58 cents, or 1.4%, at $43.08.

Shares of programming tools maker Progress Software (PRGS) are up $7.64, or almost 18%, at $51.31, after the company yesterday afternoon reported fiscal Q4 revenue and profit that topped analysts' expectations, at $116.3 million and 67 cents per share, versus consensus of $114.3 million and 60 cents. The forecast for this quarter's revenue was roughly in line, with the profit forecast was well above consensus.

Shares of Netflix (NFLX) are up $4.98, or 2%, at $217.50, after Barclays's Kannan Vankateshwar this morning started coverage of the stock with an Overweight rating, and a $245 price target, predicting it could become "one of the most successful media companies," according to a summary of the report written by TheFlyontheWall.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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