This IPO Has a Sweet Sound

Jan 19, 2012, 10:40 am EST
This IPO Has a Sweet Sound

While smartphones have seen tremendous innovation over the years, one area has lagged: voice quality. Some of the problems include handling the complexities of sound (such as background noise) and legacy network technologies.

But for Audience, founded a decade ago, this has been a nice opportunity. The company has turned into a leading player in mobile voice technologies. And now it plans to go public.

The underwriters include JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) and Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB). The proposed ticker symbol is ADNC. Read 

Splunk: A Google-Like Way to Analyze Data

Jan 18, 2012, 2:12 pm EST
Splunk: A Google-Like Way to Analyze Data

Last year, I met up with the co-founder of Splunk, Erik Swan, as well as the company’s CEO, Godfrey Sullivan. While at the headquarters, I saw a group of auditors working diligently. Splunk already was acting like a public company.

Well, last week Splunk filed the necessary papers with the SEC for an initial public offering. The underwriters include Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). The proposed ticker symbol is “SPLK.”

Splunk develops software tools that make it easy for companies to analyze their data. In a way, it’s like using Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search engine. With Splunk, you can find the source of a problem — say a security breach — or monitor customer actions. And this is all done in real-time. Read 

Recent IPO Filings Show the Power of Mobile

Jan 18, 2012, 1:55 pm EST
Recent IPO Filings Show the Power of Mobile

With mobile growing at a torrid rate, it’s certainly been a boon for shareholders of companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). But what about IPOs? Might we see more of these deals in 2012?

It looks like a good bet. In fact, the past few weeks have seen some interesting filings. One is Audience, which develops technologies to improve the sound quality of mobile devices. And then there is the No. 2 mobile ad network, Millennial Media.

If you go through the prospectuses, you can get a good perspective on the major trends of the mobile market. So here are some that caught my eye: Read 

Why We Need ‘Angel’ Investors

Jan 17, 2012, 12:59 pm EST

As the Republicans fight for the presidency, there’s been a big brouhaha over capitalism. Of course, the candidates are trying to stop Mitt Romney’s momentum by saying he is a “vulture investor.” Funny enough, this seems like the type of criticism that would come from the Democrats — not Republicans!

And it’s true that some investors are not necessarily nice or altruistic. But they do something that does take some guts: writing checks for risky ventures.

If anything, it’s this kind of activity that has led to the emergence of companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA). Most of the founders of these companies were 20-somethings that had little money, but of course, they had tons of ideas, creativity and passion. Read 

Groupon CEO Survives ’60 Minutes’

Jan 17, 2012, 12:24 pm EST
Groupon CEO Survives ’60 Minutes’

On Sunday, Lesley Stahl had an excellent piece about Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) for CBS‘ (NYSE:CBS) 60 Minutes. She did not hold back, and even got CEO Andrew Mason to admit to a “bush-league” mistake concerning its accounting practices.

Yet Andrew kept his cool, smiled a lot and even had some good answers. For example, when discussing the aforementioned funky accounting, Andrew reasoned that Groupon is inventing a new industry. And even his well-paid auditors had trouble figuring things out. Keep in mind that accounting also has been a problem for other offerings, such as Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA).

For the most part, Andrew comes across as a truly interesting, thoughtful person. No doubt, he had some couching, but his answers felt authentic. He also used some colorful metaphors. The most notable was comparing the IPO process to a wolverine’s skin being melted away. I’m sure it’s a feeling other CEOs can empathize with. Read 

Facebook CEO Interview Should Make Investors Cautious of IPO

Jan 17, 2012, 10:32 am EST
Facebook CEO Interview Should Make Investors Cautious of IPO

When Facebook pulls off its IPO this year — which likely will be in late May — it’s expected to be one of the largest in history. However, recent comments by its CEO should have investors reining in their full-blown optimism.

The company has 800 million active users, and half of them come to the site every day! The site also is attracting huge interest from brands like PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX).

For 2011, it looks like Facebook took in about $3.8 billion in revenues, with about $1 billion in profits. For the current year, revenues are forecast to reach $6 billion. Read 

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