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Facebook IPO Filing on Friday?

Jan 25, 2012, 1:13 pm EDT

The buzz on Facebook’s IPO was that the company would file in early January. So much for the credibility of the rumor mill.

The latest chatter points to this Friday. Why? The talk is based on a report from, which says that trading in Facebook shares in the secondary market has been suspended. The halt is supposed to last go from Wednesday to Friday.

Now, there can be many reasons for Facebook to do this. There may be a big announcement in the works, for example, and Facebook’s attorneys may want to avoid any legal complications. Read 

Apple’s Eyes Fixed on the Cloud

Jan 25, 2012, 12:40 pm EDT

For a company of the scale of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), it seems unbelievable that it still can grow its revenues 78%. Instead, most mega-companies would be thrilled to increase the top-line at, say, 10% to 11% per year.

But Apple understands how to make products that consumers are crazy about — as well as to target massive market opportunities. The past saw the iPod enthrall music lovers and the iPhone take over telecom, and the company is aggressively taking on the television market.

But Apple also is making a less-ballyhooed attack — on the cloud. Read 

Groupon’s Edge: It’s a ‘Cyborg’

Jan 25, 2012, 10:46 am EDT
Groupon’s Edge: It’s a ‘Cyborg’

A key to Groupon’s (NASDAQ:GRPN) success has been the media savvy of its CEO and founder, Andrew Mason. He certainly knows how to spin a quote.

But with last year’s IPO, he had to abide by the “quiet period.”  According to this arcane rule, he couldn’t make any response to his critics regarding the offering (and there were many!).

So with the quiet period over, he has wasted little time in getting high-profile interviews. One was actually with 60 Minutes. In it, he compared the IPO process to a wolverine’s skin being melted away. Read 

Guidewire’s IPO Soars Into the Cloud

Jan 25, 2012, 12:00 am EDT
Guidewire’s IPO Soars Into the Cloud

Last year, cloud computing was definitely  rewarding to shareholders. A key driver was the M&A interest. Companies such as Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and SAP (NYSE:SAP) struck multibillion-dollar deals in the space, driving up valuations.

So as the IPO market gets started in 2012, it should be no surprise that investors are enthusiastic about cloud deals. Just look at today’s offering of Guidewire Software (NYSE:GWRE). The company issued 8.85 million shares at $13 each, which was above the $10-to-$12 range. By the end of the trading day, the stock was up 33%.

Guidewire builds software to help insurance companies manage their operations, including claims, underwriting and billing. The industry is in the midst of a major replacement cycle of legacy technologies, which has turned into a huge opportunity for Guidewire. Read 

Social Stock Tracker: Up 4.1% for the Week

Jan 24, 2012, 12:45 pm EDT

Daniel Hom, a data analyst with Tableau Software, has put together the Social Stock Tracker. It looks at the weekly performance of the top social stocks — tracking the price performances, market caps and price-to-sales ratios.

For the past week, Pandora (NYSE:P) was the big winner, up 14.4%. The online music operator has been getting traction lately through distribution deals with automakers like Ford (NYSE:F), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Honda‘s (NYSE:HMC) Acura brand and Kia.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) also had a good performance, with its stock up nearly 7%. The company’s CEO, Andrew Mason, has been doing a bang-up job, meriting high-profile interviews, such as his most recent one on CBS‘ (NYSE:CBS) 60 Minutes. Also, the company recently has been making some smart acquisitions. Read 

Groupon Ramps Up the Dealmaking

Jan 24, 2012, 12:41 pm EDT
Groupon Ramps Up the Dealmaking

Last year’s IPO of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) included a lot of drama, but it certainly was worth it. Besides raising more than $700 million, the company — with a whopping $13 billion market cap — also can use its stock as currency for acquisitions.

Groupon has wasted little time in revving up its dealmaking. The latest transaction came last week when the company agreed to acquire (the price tag was not disclosed). The startup is one of the pioneers in social shopping — that is, leveraging Facebook to promote e-commerce.

While Groupon has done a fine job leveraging these channels, it still can benefit from new approaches. Mertado has been quite effective using online video, and the company also focuses on high-end products. Read 

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