Posts by Aaron Pressman
- Yahoo Finance6 hrs ago
Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed Thursday that he knows how to get his Gates on — Bill Gates, that is.
Zuck’s Instagram unit unveiled Instagram Direct, a new private photo and video messaging feature, one that’s not unlike rival Snapchat’s raison d’etre. And this just weeks after reports surfaced that Snapchat's 23-year-old CEO had — shockingly to some — rejected a $3 billion buyout offer from Zuckerberg.
Back when he was running Microsoft (MSFT), Gates famously ran over rivals, especially those who turned down offers to be purchased.
- Daily Ticker12 hrs ago
Facebook’s (FB) tremendous stock rally this year will end with a bang, as the company was invited to join the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
The move, which takes effect after the close on Dec. 20, recognizes the social network’s status as one of the biggest Internet companies in the world and lifts any remaining taint from its misbegotten IPO last May.
With a stock market value over $120 billion, Facebook goes in to the index as one of the 30 largest members. It will also be added to the mega-cap S&P 100 Index.
As discussed with Aaron Task on the attached video, aside from a short-term trading bump, the move doesn’t portend much for the long-term performance of Facebook shares. The company will still rise or fall based on its ability to keep its members interested and attract more advertisers.
Facebook shares have jumped 86% so far this year as investors realized that it was one of the few companies able to profit from the growth in mobile Internet usage.
- Daily Ticker13 hrs ago
Members of movie chain AMC Entertainment’s “Stubs” loyalty program are used to getting offers for free popcorn and sodas, but earlier this month they got a very different kind of proposal from AMC.
The company, which is going public next week, sent a letter to Stubs members asking if they wanted to buy shares at the IPO price – a perk usually reserved for Wall Street heavy hitters and hedge funds. Members were directed to Loyal3, a relatively new brokerage firm, where they could place an order to buy up to $2,500 worth of shares with no fees or commissions.
AMC is expected to price 18.4 million new shares at $18 to $20 each on Dec. 17. In most deals this year, buying in at the IPO price has been a winning strategy. The average IPO jumped 17% on its first day of trading and gained 32% overall, according to data from Renaissance Capital. Investors who got in at the IPO price collected the entire gains, while investors who could buy shares only after trading began got less.
- Aaron Pressman at The Exchange1 day ago
It’s been a great year for the stock market and an even greater year for some technology companies. Sure, PC sales had the worst dip on record, but smartphones and tablets running iOS and Android rapidly left the shelves and consumers spent more time – and money – online than ever. Herewith, the 10 companies that produced the greatest gains in shareholder value, and their outlook for 2014.
- The Exchange2 days ago
“The doctor will see you now” may no longer be a phrase you hear only at your physician’s office, as a small but growing number of mobile apps hit the market offering doctor calls via smartphones.
Starting on Tuesday, the app Doctor on Demand will allow people in 15 states to talk live via videoconference to a licensed physician for $40 per call. That follows the app American Well, which debuted in October and offers virtual doctor visits by phone for $49 in 44 states.
The apps can help people get advice, and even a prescription, for run-of-the-mill health problems such as the common cold, a urinary tract infection or skin rash. The price is comparable to an insurance co-payment and less than what people without coverage for such visits pay, not to mention far less than the cost of a trip to the emergency room. Patients can use money from a healthcare savings or flexible spending account.
“This is a way to expand and improve patient access to medical care,” says Dr. Pat Basu, chief medical officer at Doctor on Demand and a former White House Fellow.
- The Exchange3 days ago
Candy Crush Saga is probably the world’s most addictive video game but shares in its publisher, King, don’t seem to hold the same attraction for investors.
After reportedly filing for an initial public offering in the United States valuing the company at $5 billion, King is now said to be delaying the deal amid concerns its big hit will end up being its only hit.
There’s no debating Candy Crush Saga is an insane money machine. The game, played mostly on mobile phones, has been downloaded more than 500 million times, counts 282 million active players per month and takes in an estimated $901,505 per day.
Burned too many times
- Yahoo Finance6 days ago
Apple (AAPL) shareholders are ecstatic over the iPhone maker’s expected deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier. But while Apple may win big, some competitors, especially Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and HTC (2498.TW), stand to lose.
Once a deal with China Mobile is complete, Apple is expected to more than double its sales in China, growing much faster than the overall smartphone market there and taking market share from two of its leading Asian competitors.
Cheap phones made by local producers such as ZTE and Xiaomi Tech dominate much of the Chinese smartphone market, which will have estimated sales of more than $70 billion this year. But with hundreds of millions of subscribers, that still leaves tens of millions who can afford to pay more and often seek out the cachet of foreign brands. China Mobile, with almost 800 million subscribers, is not just the largest carrier but also the most popular with more-affluent customers.
- Yahoo Finance7 days ago
A Lamborghini dealership in Costa Mesa, California, says it just sold a Tesla Motors Model S for bitcoins and will accept the virtual currency for any future car purchases.
“Bitcoin, a fully encrypted and fully digital currency, has been used by a recent client of ours to pay for a Tesla Model S Performance we had in our inventory," the Lamborghini Newport Beach dealershipposted on its website. “That's right, an electronic currency was used to purchased a fully electric vehicle.”
The dealership didn’t identify the buyer or price tag on the electric car, likely left over from a trade in by an earlier Lambo buyer. A new Tesla Model S starts at $62,400. With bitcoins trading at $1,052 on the Mt.Gox Exchange Thursday, it would take about 59 bitcoins to grab a new electronic ride.
- Yahoo Finance8 days ago
Apple’s (AAPL) acquisitions over the past few years have provided a pretty obvious roadmap of where the company was heading. But a couple of recent deals have left pundits scratching their heads.
The company reportedly paid more than $200 million for Topsy, a firm that collects and analyzes every tweet ever posted. And it acquired Primesense, the company that helped develop Microsoft’s (MSFT) Kinect motion sensor, for approximately $350 million.
Neither of these recent deals fits an obvious need. And this lack of clarity may signal Apple is about to head off in an unexpected direction. Consider what happened in 2005, when the then computer and iPod maker acquired FingerWorks, which made multi-touch devices. There was confusion around this deal as well but, less than two years later, Steve Jobs was unveiling the iPhone and its brilliant multi-touch screen.
- Daily Ticker8 days ago
We appear to have entered the era of the smartphone auteur, where every designer with a crazy new idea can bring a product to market.
On Wednesday, a Russian company started selling a new device, the Yotaphone, with mostly pedestrian specs except for one special feature: in addition to the usual color LCD screen, the back of the phone has an e-ink display like a Kindle or Nook e-reader. From the front, the Yotaphone looks like pretty much every other phone running Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system. But the screen on the back draws very little power, extending the phone’s battery life to 50 or more hours for reading an e-book, for example. The Yotaphone isn’t going to be sold in the United States, at least initially, but will likely be available to potential U.S. buyers on websites that specialize in importing foreign phones.