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Consumer News: Canaccord Cuts Its Estimate on BlackBerry 10 Sales

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Plus, "House of Cards" has greatly influenced consumer loyalty to Netflix.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer companies from around the Web.

The Record.com
Link: Canaccord Slashes Estimate of BlackBerry Sales
"Analysts are split on the future of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and its prospects for sales success, as Canaccord Genuity pulled back its expectations for the smartphone maker on Tuesday.

"The investment firm said it believes that shipments of the new BlackBerry devices in February will fall short of earlier predictions of just 300,000 units, a far cry from its initial estimate of more than 1.75 million."

Bloomberg
Link: Wal-Mart Sales Slump May Signal US Consumer Spending to Cool
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) internal emails revealing the worst sales start to a month in at least seven years may be the first sign US consumer spending will cool as households try to cope with a payroll-tax increase and delayed refunds.

"The Wal-Mart warning has led some economists to ask whether it was premature to conclude, based on January US retail sales figures and demand for automobiles, that the two percentage- point increase in the payroll tax that took place at the start of the year had less impact on spending than they predicted. Combined with a delay in tax refunds and rising gasoline prices, the cut in take-home pay may mean the world's largest retailer won't be the only one suffering."

Bizjournals
Link: 'House of Cards' Inspires Netflix Loyalty, Cord-Cutting
"Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) may not be releasing viewer numbers on its flagship show House of Cards, but a new survey by investment firm Cowen and Company offers some insight into how many people are watching the Kevin Spacey political drama. A 10th of consumers with access to Netflix have watched 'House of Cards,' reported Deadline. Yet 85 percent of Netflix users said that because of the show they're less likely to cancel their subscriptions."

CNET
Link: iPhone 5 Beats Galaxy S3 as Top Seller, Says Report
"The iPhone 5 (NASDAQ:AAPL) surpassed Samsung's Galaxy S3 (PINK:SSNLF) last quarter as the hottest-selling smartphone worldwide, according to a Strategy Analytics report out today.

"For the final quarter of 2012, Apple shipped 27.4 million iPhone 5 units globally, winning a market share of 12.6 percent. In contrast, Samsung shipped 15.4 million Galaxy S3 phones for a 7.1 percent slice of the market. Samsung actually saw its S3 shipments and market share both drop from the third quarter's numbers."

Forbes
Link: Half of Amazon Book Sales Are Planned Purchases
"The Media Briefing's Digital Media Strategies conference is going on in London this week. Although I couldn't go, I've been able to follow along via Twitter and a couple of tweets have really stood out.

"The speaker was Douglas McCabe, COO of Enders Analysis, who had other interesting points to make yesterday about the use of data, online market demographics and measuring success. But this single statistic, that nearly half of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) book sales come from people who already know what they want and are simply using Amazon as a way to get it, has huge implications."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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