It’s Group-Off for Investors

Feb 8, 2012, 6:24 pm EST
It’s Group-Off for Investors

Facebook’s IPO filing last week juiced a score of social stocks last week, including Groupon, (NASDAQ:GRPN), which saw its shares soar 22%. On Wednesday, reality bit back hard. GRPN shares plunged more than 10% in after-hours trading after Groupon flubbed its first-ever earnings report as a publicly traded company.

Revenues actually were strong, up a staggering 194% to $506.5 million, and the company reported 33 million active users.

But the growth was not cheap — Groupon sustained a loss of $42.7 million. The company continues to invest heavily in global markets and also has moved into lower-margin categories, like travel services. Read 

5 Hot Predictions for Facebook

Feb 8, 2012, 11:52 am EST
5 Hot Predictions for Facebook

Scott Sellers is the CEO of Azul Systems, which develops systems to speed up the Java programming language. The company has raised over $100 million and competes against biggies like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).

And before joining Azul, Sellers started 3dfx Interactive during the 1990s — with the focus on developing 3D technology for PC games.  Within a few years, the company went public.

This industry vet has some interesting predictions on the Facebook IPO, and in light of his extensive experience, they’re worth considering. Here are some quotes from Sellers: Read 

Caesars IPO: Worth About 15% of Zynga

Feb 8, 2012, 11:25 am EST

When Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) came public in December, it raised about $1 billion. Since then, the shares have had a nice ride — giving the company a market cap of $9.3 billion. A big reason for the move has been the buzz that various states will make online gambling legal. If so, Zynga could reap a nice payday from its casino games. Its Poker title already pulls in about 7 million users per day.

The difficulty for Zynga will be meeting strict regulations. So, why not buy a real casino — such as Caesars (NASDAQ:CZR), which just went public again today? It raised a measly $16.3 million in its IPO, and now has a market cap of only $1.5 billion. The underwriters included Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C).

Why did Caesars do such a minuscule deal? The main reason is that various investors — like Paulson & Co., Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) — want a way to cash out of their holdings. So, the float is likely to expand significantly over the next six months or so. Read 

Shorts Pile Into Groupon and LinkedIn Ahead of Earnings

Feb 8, 2012, 9:50 am EST
Shorts Pile Into Groupon and LinkedIn Ahead of Earnings

After the market closes today, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) will announce its first earnings as a public company. Then tomorrow, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) will disclose its latest earnings.

We could see lots of fireworks, especially from Groupon. Various reports have pushed the notion that the company may be slowing down.

So what does Wall Street think? According to a piece in The Wall Street Journal, it looks like short sellers are loading up on both companies. These are investors who bet the stock price is going to fall, and make money if it does. Read 

How an IPO Works

Feb 8, 2012, 6:45 am EST
How an IPO Works

When companies like Facebook go public, it’s big news. Just like the IPOs of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) garnered attention, so has Facebook — in fact, much more so.

But it’s easy to get lost in the swarm of headlines. Since the dot-com boom, the IPO market has been relatively quiet, and many investors no longer understand the key aspects of IPOs. And IPOs also are surrounded by a complex set of regulations, many of which go all the way back to the Great Depression.

So before jumping into the world of IPOs, investors should brush up on the basics of public offerings. Doing so can provide a lot more insight for when a company’s stock finally hits the exchanges. Read 

Groupon Makes a ‘Personal’ Acquisition

Feb 7, 2012, 11:33 am EST
Groupon Makes a ‘Personal’ Acquisition

This week, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) agreed to buy Adku, which is based in Silicon Valley. The price tag was not disclosed, but reports put the cost at around $10 million.

Adku has been in “stealth mode,” which means little information has been released on it. But at least a few interesting details are available. First, Adku’s team includes former employees at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). What’s more, the investors are top players like Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures and True Ventures.

In terms of technology, Adku has been focused on “Big Data.” This is an emerging area in which companies try to find patterns in Internet traffic. Read 

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