Published August 02, 2013
This week saw good news out of the social media sector with multiple social media firms reporting better than expected results and Facebook shares rallying to a symbolic high.
Facebook (FB) got a vote of confidence from the Street on Wednesday, as shares surged above the crucial $38-per-share mark that the stock had not seen since its IPO last May. Shares are up more than 50% in the past month since the company reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations as mobile ad revenue soared.
Yelp (YELP) the social media network that connects local businesses to customers also soared more than 30% after the company beat expectations and issued strong guidance on growth in local ad revenue.
LinkedIn (LNKD) also posted better-than-anticipated second-quarter results and saw 37% year-over-year growth in membership. The stock hit an all-time high after reporting results and boosting its full-year outlook above expectations after the market closed Thursday. LinkedIn was trading more than 10% higher in Friday’s session.
The upward trend in social media stocks failed to buoy Jive (JIVE). Shares of the business social networking software maker plunged 25% this week after the company warned it would report a wider-than-anticipated fiscal net loss and full-year sales would be lower than expected.
The Street saw two exciting product announcements out of the technology sector this week, with both German automaker BMW and search-engine giant Google launching historic new versions of their latest and greatest technologies.
On Monday, German automaker BMW took a page from Tesla’s book, unveiling its first all-electric car, designed to give consumers a luxury all-electric option. The i3, is a compact car made of ultra-light carbon fiber and it boasts two all-electric 175 horsepower engines. BMW says the car can go from zero to 60 mph in just seven seconds. The car will go on sale in the US in the fall and pricing starts at $41,350.
Then Thursday saw another historic launch with Google (GOOG) unveiling the Moto X, the first product to come out of its Motorola Mobility business it acquired last year.
Noteworthy features include a longer battery life and the ability to activate voice commands even when the phone is locked using Google voice control.
Google also announced a partnership with coffee-shop chain Starbucks (SBUX) which dropped AT&T as its wireless internet provider in favor of a collaboration with Google. Beginning next month, Starbucks will work with Google and Level 3 Communications (LVLT) to provide in-store Wi-Fi which promises speeds 10 times faster than its previous speed.
Friday was all about Dell (DELL), as the company’s chief executive officer Michael Dell in collaboration with Silver Lake Partners finally reached an agreement with Dell’s Special Committee of the Board to take his namesake company private. The two parties agreed upon an increased offer of $13.75 a share, but it includes a special 13-cent dividend, which brings the offer price to $13.88 a share. Dell and Silver Lake will also pay the previously scheduled 8-cent third-quarter dividend. In exchange for the sweetened bid, Dell’s special committee has agreed to change the company’s voting policy so that shareholders that abstain from voting on the deal are not automatically tallied as ‘no’ votes.
Billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn, who offered a counter buyout proposal for the equivalent of $14 a share, dismissed the deal as an “insult to shareholders” in a statement released on Friday. He plans to sue Dell and its Board over shareholder voting rights.