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3 Lessons from the Pandora Debacle

Mar 7, 2012, 2:14 pm EDT

Back in June, Internet radio operator Pandora (NYSE:P) came public. While it saw a 9% first-day gain, the stock has turned out to be highly volatile, ranging in price from $9.15 to $26.

And there seems to be no end to the roller coaster. In today’s trading, Pandora’s stock is off by a painful 24% to $10.90.

No surprise there, really, given the company’s quarterly report was a huge disappointment. Revenues came in at $81.3 million, which was well -below the $83 million Wall Street estimate. Read 

Twitter: Plenty of Users, Little Dough

Mar 7, 2012, 6:30 am EDT
Twitter: Plenty of Users, Little Dough

While Twitter is a global phenomenon — with about 100 million monthly users — the social media company has one big problem: It can’t seem to make much money.

Based on analysis from eMarketer, the company posted about $140 million in revenues last year. Meanwhile, Facebook generated a whopping $3.15 billion during the same period.

Now, Twitter certainly is getting aggressive with its monetization efforts. Besides having sponsored tweets, the company has recently introduced “promoted trends” — which allows advertisers to pay $120,000 per day to be on a trending topic. Some of the other initiatives include self-serve ads for small businesses, as well as mobile marketing messages on Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone platform. Read 

Pandora Gives off Bad Vibrations

Mar 6, 2012, 4:47 pm EDT
Pandora Gives off Bad Vibrations

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan’s projections for Internet radio company Pandora (NYSE:P) got bumped around after the bell Tuesday.

After closing Tuesday around $14, Pandora was down around 14% in postmarket trading following the company’s less-than-stellar earnings report. Rohan had upgraded Pandora from hold to buy, with a price target of $18.

On its face, Pandora’s report sounds strong. Fourth-quarter revenues spiked by 71% to $81.3 million, and total listening hours came to 2.7 billion — up 99% from the year-ago period. The number of active users was up to 47 million, a 62% increase. Read 

3 IPOs to Bail on Now

Mar 6, 2012, 12:27 pm EDT
3 IPOs to Bail on Now

Tech stocks have been the darlings of momentum investors this year. And this especially has been the case with some recent social IPOs. For example, Zynga’s (NASDAQ:ZNGA) shares are up about 48% for 2012.

But the momentum trade can easily fizzle. As I recently pointed out, the market could be vulnerable to a pullback. And while the major indices are getting hammered today, there’s still plenty more room to go. If the market does keep retreating, downward pressure on social IPOs could be intense. With that in mind, here are three IPOs to avoid: Zynga

True, the company is a leader in social gaming and is the dominant operator on the Facebook platform. Last year, the company generated a whopping $1.1 billion in revenues. Read 

Zynga, Pandora Boost Social Stock Tracker

Mar 5, 2012, 2:46 pm EDT
Zynga, Pandora Boost Social Stock Tracker

The Social Stock Tracker had a nice performance last week, gaining 2.3%. The total value of the index reached $34.93 billion.

The big winner was social game-maker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which posted an 11% gain as the company launched its online gaming platform. The platform should help improve the user experience as well as allow for more opportunities to monetize things, such as by allowing games from third-party developers. Read 

It’s Game On for Zynga’s New Platform

Mar 2, 2012, 1:09 pm EDT
It’s Game On for Zynga’s New Platform

Social gamemaker Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) — which currently operates its games from other sites like Facebook and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) G+, or mobile platforms like Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and iPhone — teased the market last year by announcing its plans to have its own social gaming network.

Zynga has been working on its own platform called Project Z for two years, and now it’s getting close to launch. This week, Zynga announced that Project Z is now in beta testing.

The plan is to host its current games — like Words with Friends, CastleVille, Zynga Poker, Hidden Chronicles and CityVille — on In fact, the site will even include titles from third-party developers, such as MobScience, Row Sham Bow and Sava. Read 

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