Off the Wires

Facebook Seen Dropping 20% To Gain Parity With Nasdaq Rivals

May 30th, 2012  |  Source: Bloomberg


Facebook would have to drop another 20 percent for its valuation to match other companies that do business over the Internet.

Facebook, with a market capitalization of $79.1 billion, is trading at 29.5 times the company’s projected 2014 profit of $2.69 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The stock would have to dive to $23.07 to match the average price-to-earnings ratio for the Nasdaq Internet Index based on estimated earnings in the next 12 months, according to the data.

Apple’s Cook Skips $75 Million Dividend Distribution — Without Explanation

May 25th, 2012  |  Source:

Tim Cook, Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO, must think the hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation he has earned since taking the chief executive position is enough. He will forgo dividend payments Apple gives to employees with restricted stock that has not vested, under a program recently announced by the world’s most valuable company.

In an 8K, the firm said:

The amendments provide that if the Company pays an ordinary cash dividend on its common stock, each award will be credited with an amount equal to the per-share cash dividend paid by the Company, multiplied by the total number of restricted stock units subject to the award that are outstanding immediately prior to the record date for such dividend.

Cook is not stupid, so he must be generous. Or he wants the company’s employees and investors to think that he, like everyone else in management, is only worth so much.

Read more: Apple’s Cook Skips $75 Million Dividend Distribution — Without Explanation - 24/7 Wall St.

Facebook shares sink below $38 IPO price

May 21st, 2012  |  Source: NY Post

Facebook's stock is tumbling well below its $38 IPO price in the social network's second day of trading as a public company on Monday.

By early afternoon, the stock was at $34.04, down 11 percent from Friday's closing price of $38.23.

Investors and technology industry watchers are closely tracking the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's shares. Facebook's initial public stock offering was one of the most anticipated ever, and now serves as a bellwether for other social media companies.

"There must have been some sober second thoughts about this," said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group who was first to come out with a "Sell" rating on Facebook's stock on Friday.

It's not that he thinks the world's largest online social network is a bad investment. But at $38 per share, it's just too expensive considering the risks associated with Facebook's brief history and unproven advertising model, he says. His fair price, or "target price," is $30.

To be fair, Facebook's market debut Friday suffered some hiccups. Trading on the Nasdaq was delayed for a half hour due to issues with traders' orders. The stock closed Friday just a few cents above where it priced Thursday night. Although many investors had hoped for a big first-day pop, Facebook's stock opened Friday at $42.05 and fluctuated between $45 and $38 throughout the day before closing at $38.23.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who came out with an "Outperform" rating on Facebook before its IPO, said he thinks the investment banks that arranged the offering overestimated demand for the company's stock. Last week, the bankers, led by Morgan Stanley, increased the offering price range. On Wednesday, Facebook's early investors and other stockholders increased the number of shares they planned to sell in the IPO. Both moves appeared to signal strong demand for the shares.

"The late addition of 84 million shares to the offering overwhelmed demand, limiting the first day price," Pachter said in a note to investors.

On Monday, Facebook Inc.'s stock fell $4.19 to $34.04 in early afternoon trading. The stock dropped as low as $33 earlier.

Shares of some related social media companies also declined Monday. Zynga Inc., which makes FarmVille, CityVille and Mafia Wars, and gets the bulk of its revenue from Facebook users, fell 4 percent to $6.87. The stock hit as low as $6.36, its lowest level since the San Francisco company's December IPO. LinkedIn Corp., a network for professionals, dropped 2 percent to $96.97.

U.S. Stocks Trim Gains As Nasdaq Experiences Delay In Facebook

May 18th, 2012  |  Source: Bloomberg


U.S. stocks trimmed gains as Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said it is experiencing a delay in opening shares of Facebook Inc. (FB) following its record initial public offering.

Facebook Nearly Breaks IPO Price, Pulls Back to $38

The Beau Sancy Diamond

May 14th, 2012  |  Source: Bloomberg


Weighing 34.98 carats, the modified pear double rose-cut stone was worn by Marie de Medici in her crown at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henri IV of France in 1610.

It will be offered at auction by Sotheby's Geneva on May 15.

Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg

Edvard Munch's The Scream sold for $120m

May 3rd, 2012  |  Source: BBC

Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch's The Scream has become the most expensive artwork sold at auction, after it fetched $119.9m (£74m).

The 1895 pastel was bought by an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's in New York. Bidding lasted 12 minutes.

The work is one of four in a series by the Norwegian expressionist artist and was the only one still owned privately.

Proceeds of the sale are to go towards founding a new museum, hotel and art centre in Norway.

Seven bidders were competing for the work, which had a starting price of $40m. The crowd broke into applause, following the sale on Wednesday.

Norwegian day traders cleared of wrongdoing

May 2nd, 2012  |  Source:

Two Norwegian day traders who outwitted the automated trading system of a big US broker and became local heroes have been cleared of all wrongdoing by the country’s highest court.

Svend Egil Larsen and Peder Veiby were handed suspended prison sentences for market manipulation in 2010 after they worked out how the computerised system would react to certain trading patterns – allowing them to influence the price of low-volume stocks.

The two men appealed and the case has over the past last two years worked itself up to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday they were found not guilty, by the narrowest margin of three votes to two, in the final chapter of a widely followed case.

“I am pleased that the case is finished,” Mr Larsen told local paper Dagens Næringsliv, adding that this was the most nervous he had been in any part of the appeal process over the years.

Supreme Court justice Bergljot Webster explained the not guilty verdict, saying that while the defendants did use the system to their advantage, they did so with full transparency which “would indicate that the ... actions should not be punished.”


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The Power of Crowd Funding

April 12th, 2012  |  Source: Kick Starter

Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android

With a Goal of raising $100,000  ThIs company has 10,556 Backers  pledging $1,435,208  

with 6 DAYS still to go..


The e-book wars: Who is less evil, Amazon or book publishers?

April 12th, 2012  |  Source:

As expected, the Department of Justice launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and several of the major book publishers on Wednesday, alleging collusion and price-fixing behavior on e-books as a result of the “agency pricing” model. As my colleagues Jeff Roberts and Laura Owen have reported, three of the publishers named in the suit have decided to settle while two have chosen to fight the charges, and the states have jumped into the fray as well.

The argument from publishers is that they need to be able to set prices on e-books, because otherwise Amazon will increase its monopoly and decimate the book industry. So who should we be rooting for, the giant electronic retailer or the giant publishing houses?

As Jeff has explained before, this case revolves around an agreement that Apple struck with five of the “big six” book publishers — namely Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster — when it was planning the launch of the iPad. Since Apple was coming into the e-book market late and was trying to mount an attack on Amazon’s entrenched market share, the deal with publishers to institute what is known as “agency pricing” seemed like a good idea: It gave Apple plenty of content (plus 30 percent of the revenue from each book sold), and the publishers got to control the price of their books, something they weren’t allowed to do with Amazon.

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Online Porn Is Huge. Like Really, Really Huge. Who Knew?

April 6th, 2012  |  Source: Business Week

The good folks at ExtremeTech took it upon themselves this week to get at one of the Internet’s crucial questions—just how big are porn sites these days? The answer? Ron Jeremy big. To study porn sites,ExtremeTech turned to the DoubleClick Ad Planner tool from Google (GOOG). It’s a useful website where you can peek at information gathered by ad-serving cookies about how much traffic a website gets, the age and income of visitors, and the amount of time people spend on a site.

According to this tool, the online porn kingpin Xvideosfeeds up 4.4 billion page views per month. That’s about 10 times as many as the New York Times and three times as many as YouPorn—another site packed full of stimulating content—notches 2.1 billion page views per month. And while people spend a few minutes per day on news sites, they tend to spend 15 minutes or more on porn sites, which would seem to say something rather definitive about, er, male stamina.

“But it’s not just men on the sites,” you shout. True, although the top porn sites count men as about 75 percent of their visitors. Breaking the stats down further, about half of the visitors make between $25,000 and $50,000 per year, while only 2 percent earn more than $150,000 per year. According to Google, the other interests of Xvideos visitors include Latin American music and gangs and organized crime, while YouPorn visitors like networking equipment and family films, so it’s an eclectic bunch.

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