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Tag: Tech (11-20 of 169)

Facebook lawsuits add to IPO troubles

Facebook’s initial public offering is the subject of two congressional inquiries and mounting lawsuits as the social network enters its fifth day of public trading. The shares regained some ground Wednesday, rising $1, or 3.2 percent, to close at $32. They were up another 50 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $32.50 in early premarket trading Thursday. But they are still more than 14 percent below their $38 per share IPO price last week.

The stock’s rocky inaugural trading day last Friday was followed by a two-day decline. The launch was held up by a half-hour delay, caused by glitches on the Nasdaq Stock Market. It was marred further this week as investors began accusing the banks that arranged the IPO of sharing important information about Facebook’s business prospects with some clients and not others.

Several shareholders who bought stock in the IPO have filed lawsuits against Facebook, its executives and Morgan Stanley, the IPO’s lead underwriter. At question is whether analysts at the big underwriter investment banks cut their second-quarter and full-year forecasts for Facebook just before the IPO, and told only a handful of clients about it.

One lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, claims Facebook’s IPO documents contained untrue statements and omitted important facts, such as a “severe reduction in revenue growth” that Facebook was experiencing at the time of the offering. The suit’s three plaintiffs, who bought Facebook stock on its first day of trading May 18, claim they were damaged in the process.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Facebook said the lawsuit is without merit.

Another lawsuit, filed in San Mateo County Superior Court in California, claims Facebook and underwriters misled investors in Facebook’s IPO documents. Both lawsuits seek class action status on behalf of investors who bought Facebook stock and lost money on Friday. “No one gets it perfect, as far as saying what the financial results are,” said Anthony Michael Sabino, professor at St. John’s University’s Peter J. Tobin College of Business. The bottom line, he added, is whether Facebook or the underwriter had material information about Facebook’s finances that was not disclosed publicly. “At this moment, it’s still too early to say,” Sabino said. “We don’t know enough, but this could turn out to be an issue.”

What is known is that, in March, Facebook began meeting with analysts at the underwriting firms. The gatherings are a customary part of the IPO process and are designed to help analysts understand the company’s business so they can make accurate financial projections. On May 9, the third day of Facebook’s pre-IPO roadshow to meet with prospective investors, the company filed an amended IPO document that said its number of mobile users was growing faster than its revenue. According to a person familiar with the matter, Facebook then had another meeting with analysts and told them that based on the new information in the filings, the analysts’ forecasts should be at the low end of the range that the company gave them in April. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not publicly authorized to discuss the matter.

Adding to Wednesday’s events, Facebook was in talks with the New York Stock Exchange to move its stock from the Nasdaq Stock Market after the botched offering, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The news of the talks was first reported by Reuters.

NYSE spokesman Rich Adamonis said: “There have been no discussions with Facebook regarding switching their listing in light of the events of the last week, nor do we think a discussion along those lines would be appropriate at this time.”

A Nasdaq spokesman declined to comment.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said late Wednesday that his panel wants to learn more about the social network’s initial offering. The committee seeks briefings with Facebook representatives, regulatory agencies and others. After the briefings, Johnson said, he will determine whether a hearing should be held.

Also gathering information about Facebook’s IPO is the House Financial Services Committee. An aide to that panel said its staff is getting briefings. The subject is likely to be raised in hearings by the committee in the coming weeks, even though no hearings are planned specifically on the Facebook IPO, the aide said. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the House committee’s planned inquiry hasn’t been publicly announced.

Inventor of TV remote control dead

Couch potatoes everywhere can pause and thank Eugene Polley for hours of feet-up channel surfing. His invention, the first wireless TV remote, began as a luxury, but with the introduction of hundreds of channels and viewing technologies it has become a necessity. Just ask anyone who’s lost a remote.

Polley died of natural causes Sunday at a suburban Chicago hospital, said Zenith Electronics spokesman John Taylor. The former Zenith engineer was 96. READ FULL STORY

Ousted Yahoo CEO has thyroid cancer: Report

Yahoo’s Scott Thompson, who was pressured to give up his CEO post because his official biography included a college degree he never received, reportedly has thyroid cancer.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people it did not identify, says that Thompson told Yahoo’s board and several colleagues of his condition before resigning from his role with the company.

The newspaper says it was told by one source that Thompson’s decision to resign was partly influenced by his cancer diagnosis.

Thompson was hired as Yahoo’s CEO in January to fill a void created by Carol Bartz’s firing.

Yahoo Inc. has named Ross Levinsohn as its interim CEO. Levinsohn had a successful stint running Internet services within Rupert Murdoch’s media empire at News Corp. before Bartz hired him in November 2010

Yahoo’s stock gained 33 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $15.52 in premarket trading Monday.

Report: Facebook IPO set for May 18

The proof is in the pudding and on May 18, the world will learn what social networking is really worth. Facebook, which has a valuation of $100 billion, has set its IPO date for May 18, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company expects to raise over $10 billion.

Early investors like Bono’s Elevation Partners and other bold-faced names will be in the black, and still more in the inner circle will be able to invest outright. But what does Facebook’s going public mean for users? For a basic outline and understanding of just how big Facebook is and what the IPO could mean on a larger scale, check out this video from Kapitall, first picked up by Mashable, below:  READ FULL STORY

'This American Life' retracts Apple factory story

NPR is retracting a story about Apple factories in China that ran on This American Life Jan. 6, reports Poynter. Per a press release, this week’s edition of Life will be dedicated to detailing how monologuist Mike Daisey “partially fabricated” his story — including dramatic incidents involving underage workers and the poisoning of factory workers. READ FULL STORY

Man charged in hacking attack on Gene Simmons site

A man affiliated with a hacking group was arrested Tuesday on federal charges for an attack on a website belonging to Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, authorities said.

Kevin Poe was indicted in Los Angeles on two counts: conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. Poe made his initial appearance in court in Hartford, Connecticut and was released on $10,000 bond.

If convicted of both charges, the Manchester man faces up to 15 years in prison. An email message left for deputy federal public defender Deirdre Murray was not immediately returned.

READ FULL STORY

Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy is dead at 22

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founding members of the social networking site Diaspora, has passed away at the age of 22. According to the International Business Times, the company confirmed that Zhitomirskiy has died, though the cause and date of his passing have not yet been reported. IBC writes that Zhitomirskiy, along with Dan Grippi, Maxwell Zalsberg and Raphael Sofaer, created Diaspora out of growing dissatisfaction with Facebook and wanted to create “a social network that didn’t force people to surrender their privacy.” (Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg helped contribute to Diaspora’s website fundraising, and said of the up-start, “I think it’s a cool idea.”) Zhitomirskiy’s profile on Diaspora reads, “Ilya is a Russian. He is super passionate about building a world of hacker spaces, maker culture, sharing, cycling, and life satisfaction.”

Netflix stock plunges 28 percent on dismal quarterly report

(UPDATE: The L.A. Times reports Netflix’s stock has fallen 35 percent, and Goldman Sachs has cut its shares to sell.) Netflix jolted its shareholders again with a third-quarter financial report that portrayed a company in crisis. The video subscription service’s latest blooper reel, released Monday, included an even larger customer exodus than the company had foreseen after announcing an unpopular price increase in July. What’s worse, the report contained a forecast calling for more defections during the next few months.

The backlash will deprive Netflix Inc. of some of the revenue that management had been counting on to finance the company’s expansion plans while it pays higher fees for Internet video streaming rights. The result: Netflix expects to post losses next year when it starts selling its streaming service in Britain and Ireland. The company didn’t offer further specifics besides saying it won’t go into any other overseas markets until it’s making money again. READ FULL STORY

Google unveils Android's new 'Ice Cream Sandwich' OS

Samsung Electronics unveiled its newest Galaxy Nexus smartphone Wednesday, the first to use the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. The new phone is seen as the Samsung-Google partnership’s answer to Apple’s iPhone 4S, which in less than a week on the market has already sold more than 4 million units.

At a glitzy unveiling in Hong Kong, Google executive Andy Rubin said Android’s latest “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system demonstrates innovation “that works on phones and tablets and everything in between.”

Rubin said features like Android Beam and Face Unlock showcased Ice Cream Sandwich’s capabilities. Android Beam allows transfer of data between two smartphones by holding them together, while Face Unlock uses facial recognition technology to activate smartphones, rather than conventional passwords. However, during a demonstration at the Hong Kong unveiling, the Face Unlock feature failed to activate the Galaxy Nexus. READ FULL STORY

Apple stock holds steady after Steve Jobs' death

When Steve Jobs stepped down from his day-to-day role as Apple’s chief in August, the stock price sank more than 5 percent in after-hours trading… but quickly rebounded once the American markets officially opened the next day. In the weeks that followed, the stock prospered as investors decided that the Apple brand was bigger than any one man — even someone as essential as Jobs had been to that brand.

Following the news of Jobs’ passing yesterday, Apple’s stock seemed to be following a similar trajectory. Early trading sent the stock down six points before buyers pushed the price back up. At 1:28 p.m. the stock was sitting at 376.50, just below its closing price yesterday. Most financial experts don’t expect Jobs’ passing to have a huge impact on the stock, as Jobs’ passing was not entirely unexpected and he had left behind what is perceived to be a capable executive team.

Read more:
Steve Jobs dies at age 56
Steve Jobs’ bio moves up release date, sees pre-orders rise
Steve Jobs: Thank Him For…

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