Alistair's Feed
May 17, 2012

Facebook to price IPO, demand seen strong

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc is expected to price its initial public offering on Thursday to raise more than $16 billion, as strong demand, particularly from retail investors, fuels anticipation of a big pop in the stock when it begins trading Friday on the Nasdaq.

Predictions on how much the stock will rise on the first day of trading vary greatly, with some experts saying anything short of a 50 percent jump would be disappointing given the hype over what would be the third-largest initial share sale in U.S. history, after ones by Visa Inc and General Motors Co. Other IPO watchers say the large size of the float, coupled with a raised price range, could reduce first-day gains to as little as 10 percent.

May 16, 2012

Facebook IPO triggers retail investor craze

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – If “Facebook For Dummies” helped you find friends and post pictures on the world’s No. 1 online social network, then consider “Facebook IPO Confidential” which purports to teach you “How To Get Rich With The IPO Of The Century.”

The e-book is one of about eight self-help manuals that appear to have sprung up overnight to try to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding Silicon Valley’s biggest initial public offering.

May 14, 2012

Groupon reports first profit, shares surge

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Groupon Inc posted its first quarterly profit as the world’s largest daily deal company reined in marketing spending while signing up more customers and merchants, sending its stock 11 percent higher.

The daily deals company started by music graduate Andrew Mason said it now had 36.9 million active customers, and surpassed 100,000 merchants served in the first quarter.

May 11, 2012

Facebook’s Zuckerberg says mobile first priority

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) – Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday laid out his 2012 goals to investors on the Silicon Valley leg of his IPO roadshow, saying his first priority was improving the social network’s mobile application.

About 200 investors showed up to an IPO presentation in Palo Alto, California, where they were given the opportunity to quiz Zuckerberg and his lieutenants. Wall Street had been concerned about the company’s ability to wring revenue from mobile users, considered crucial for long-term growth.

May 10, 2012

Amazon says Harry Potter e-books can be borrowed

SAN FRANCISCO, May 10 (Reuters) – Owners of Amazon.com Inc’s
Kindle e-readers and tablets will be able to borrow
Harry Potter e-books in a move designed to encourage more people
to use the devices and sign up for the company’s Prime service.

Amazon, the world’s largest Internet retailer, said on
Thursday it bought an exclusive license from author J.K.
Rowling’s Pottermore e-book business to make all seven Harry
Potter e-books available to borrow through the Kindle platform.

May 10, 2012

Amazon says Kindle owners can lend Harry Potter e-books

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday owners of its Kindle e-readers and tablets will be able to lend Harry Potter e-books to each other in a move aimed at encouraging more people to use the devices and sign up for its Prime service.

Amazon, the world’s largest Internet retailer, bought an exclusive license from author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore e-book business to make all seven Harry Potter e-book available to lend through the Kindle platform.

May 8, 2012

Groupon’s merchant payments eyed ahead of results

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Groupon Inc’s (GRPN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) accounting has been scrutinized since the daily deal company went public in November, but the percentage it pays merchants is under the spotlight ahead of first-quarter results from the company next week.

Accrued merchant payables – what Groupon owes merchants that run its daily deals – have been growing faster than revenue, suggesting future pressure on profit margins, some analysts say.

May 7, 2012

Groupon touts local commerce platform in letter

By Alistair Barr

(Reuters) – Groupon Inc Chief Executive Andrew Mason explained the daily deal company’s plans to build a broad local-commerce platform, sending the company’s shares up as much as 8 percent on Monday.

Mason said in a letter to shareholders that the company is trying to make its emails and deals more relevant to consumers, while offering new tools to help merchants organize their offers better and track results.

May 4, 2012

EBay, Wal-Mart search for revved-up search engines

SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 (Reuters) – EBay Inc and
Wal-Mart Stores Inc are developing new Web search
engines to better compete against Amazon.com Inc in the
fast-growing e-commerce market.

As more people shop online, they often end up at the top of
a website typing in a product name. If they cannot find what
they want quickly, they will likely go to a rival website or
venture into a physical store.

May 4, 2012

Facebook plans to raise $10.6 bln in mega IPO

SAN FRANCISCO, May 3 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc aims to raise
about $10.6 billion in Silicon Valley’s largest IPO, dwarfing
the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc
and granting the world’s largest social network a
market value close to Amazon.com’s.

The eight-year-old social network that began as Mark
Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room project indicated an initial
public offering price range of between $28 and $35 a share on
Thursday, which would value the company at $77 billion to $96
billion.