Facebook (FB) announced it is buying mobile messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock. WhatsApp has 450 million monthly users, which is more than Twitter's 240 million users. Twitter is valued at $30 billion. The app allows users to send text, pictures and video to anyone with the software for free. Some market watchers may see this acquisition as a sign of desperation on Facebook's part to try and regain its popularity with young users which the company admits is a demographic that has been declining.
One stock reaping the benefits from Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp is BlackBerry (BBRY), whose shares were up more than 5% in early trading. The $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp has investors re-evaluating BlackBerry Messaging, also known as BBM, which still remains popular even though BlackBerry's devices have waned in popularity.
Google (GOOG) also has a part in the WhatsApp story. The tech giant reportedly bid for WhatsApp and was said to be rebuffed. Meanwhile, Google is planning to expand its high-speed internet service to 34 more cities across eight states on top of the three cities that currently have it.
Tesla (TSLA) surging in early trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and an upbeat outlook. After the bell yesterday, the company reported adjusted earnings that beat estimates by $0.12. Revenue more than doubled but did miss estimates. Tesla also said it expects a sharp increase in sales of its Model S sedan in 2014. The company expects to deliver 35,000 cars this year which would be a 55% increase from last year and ahead of analysts' estimates. Shares of Tesla are up over 400% since this time last year.
Wal-Mart (WMT) shares were down in early trading. The company beat earnings estimates by a penny this morning, though it was $0.07 below last year's results. Revenue rose 1.5%, but missed estimates. Wal-Mart blamed the lower profits on a comparable store sales decline of 0.4% at U.S. stores, its biggest unit. Wal-Mart also lowered its earnings guidance for the year and for the current quarter, blaming reductions in government benefits, higher taxes and tighter credit.