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Delay of Game For the Zynga IPO

Aug 30, 2011, 10:33 am EDT

It has been about 10 years since the U.S. has had a robust IPO market. And yes, it seemed like there finally would be a boom in 2011. But unfortunately, the markets have suddenly gone into a tailspin.

Because of this, it might mean only top-notch IPOs, such as Zynga and Facebook, will get a good reception. After all, investors always will want to get exposure to hot growth plays, right?

Well, according to both The New York Post and CNBC, the upcoming Zynga deal might actually be pushed back as far as November — the expectation was for the deal to hit the markets in September. Read 

Has Facebook Lost Its Touch?

Aug 29, 2011, 11:16 am EDT

Remember MySpace? Not long ago, it was the inevitable winner in the social networking sweepstakes. It was raking in billions from advertising and would be the destination for entertainment. Right?

Well now, of course, MySpace is virtually dead. Just a few months ago, News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) sold the company for scrap.

Interestingly enough, we might be seeing the same story play out with the current dominant player in the space, Facebook. Lately, it seems the company can’t shoot straight. Read 

Angie’s List IPO Won’t Come Highly Recommended

Aug 26, 2011, 10:38 am EDT

In the mid-1990s, Angie Hicks’ co-founder had lots of trouble finding good contractors in Columbus, Ohio. So why not create a website that allows for trusted reviews? Of course, the result was Angie’s List.

It definitely was a good move. Now the company has filed to go public.

Angie’s List covers more than 550 categories, such as plumbing, roof repair, remodeling and auto repair. As for the ratings, they are based only on member feedback and comments. There are no anonymous reviews. And the audience is highly engaged. It generates roughly 40,000 reviews per month (the total is 2.2 million). Read 

Toys ‘R’ Us: Could Its Buildup Blow Up?

Aug 24, 2011, 3:38 pm EDT

Since its start in 1948, Toys “R” Us has always found ways to evolve and grow. But its luck might be running out as the retail landscape is undergoing cosmic shifts. In other words, can an operator like Toys “R” Us survive the onslaught from rivals like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)? And will the stagnant U.S. economy make things even worse?

OK, it’s unlikely that Toys “R” Us will become obsolete. This seems a bit extreme. But it’s likely the problems will grow and grow.

But Toys “R” Us doesn’t look worried. For example, the company has announced plans to launch 21 stores this year, which will include 11 “R” superstores. They will be roughly 60,000 square feet and will meld the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us formats. Read 

Groupon: An IPO Markdown?

Aug 10, 2011, 10:00 am EDT
Groupon: An IPO Markdown?

Back when Groupon filed its IPO on June 2, the environment looked pretty good. The economy was expected to have a strong back half, and investors were desperate to get hot dot-coms, as seen with the stellar offerings from companies like Yandex (NYSE:YNDX) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).

But in light of the recent market plunge, the prospects for IPOs are looking grim. Actually, it’s a good bet that companies already are taking swift actions to “go back to basics.”

Just look at the latest S-1 filing from Groupon, which is the largest daily deal site. The company has deleted its use of its creative accounting approach known as “adjusted consolidated segment operating income” (ACSOI), which stripped out marketing. All in all, the metric spooked investors, especially in light of the accounting issues with Chinese IPOs. Read 

IPO Window May Have Slammed Shut

Aug 8, 2011, 11:36 am EDT

The IPO market goes through time windows where investors are willing to take risks. These can be fairly short – say, a few months. Or they can last several years, which is what happened during the late 1990s.

In light of the recent market plunge, it looks like the IPO window has closed – at least in the near term. The global financial meltdown has created substantial uncertainty, with S&P’s downgrade of U.S. debt yet another shock to the system. At the same time, it looks like the global economy is slowing down.

These are tremendous headwinds for the 10 companies that are expected to launch an IPO this week. It’s a good bet that none of them will actually price. Read