Business Insider Research Morning Call 10/28/2011

HP decides to hold on to its hardware business after all. Unlike most observers, we were initially bullish on HP’s non-PC strategy. If software is eating the world, and enterprise software is going through upheaval thanks to trends like “big data” and cloud computing, most of the future value HP can capture is in the software end of the stck, not hardware. Meanwhile, HP now has a CEO who doesn’t have experience in either enterprise software or consumer electronics.

HP will be making Windows 8 tablets. Good for Microsoft, maybe good for HP. That means its Palm acquisition is completely dead in the water. There had been reports that Amazon might buy Palm, and we think that’s a great idea because it would be cheap and Amazon needs its own software platform.

Motorola shipped just 100,000 Xoom tablets last quarter. That is a terrible result. The tablet market is still an iPad market, though it will probably soon be an iPad and Kindle market. And if Google/Motorola launches its own $200 tablet, all bets are off. But right, now, the iPad rules.

Yandex beat analyst estimates and delivered 93% profit growth, and raised guidance for the next quarter. The Russian internet is growing very fast, and this is more evidence of that.

Shutterfly posted a loss yesterday, despite a 56% gain in revenue for the quarter. The company says its operating expenses rose a staggering 80% due in part to development and upgrades in its technology.

Forrester urges IT departments to support the Mac in a new report. This is a big shift for the influential research company, which previously argued that it was too much of a pain in the neck for big company IT departments to support more than Windows. The reason for the shift, according to Forrester, is that people are buying MacBook Pros out of their own pockets anyway. This is clearly a bullish sign for Apple, which is looks poised to soon make big headway into the enterprise.

Windows Phone users use a lot less wireless data than Android or iOS users, which might give carriers an incentive to push the phones. It’s one of the few things Microsoft has going for it in the mobile platform market.

Actually, Yahoo could probably unload its Asian assets tax-free. It would involve either a cash-rich split (spinning off the stake along with some cash) or spinning out the stake in a holding company. We explored another opportunity, a tracking stock, earlier.

Apple will double capital expenditures next year. It’s a good use of its massive cash pile. The money will go to opening 40 more retail stores and other capital expenditures: probably more server farms for iCloud and its other online services, as well as its massive new planned campus.

Sina Weibo, the “Twitter of China”, is worth around $2 billion, iChinaStock estimates. Sina, which is largely a “1.0” portal, has outperformed its Chinese internet peers lately largely thanks to Weibo’s breakneck growth, and there have been rumours of a spinoff.

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