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Netflix Claims Credit-Card Chips Messed Up Its Growth

Not everyone is buying finger-pointing at new fraud-prevention technology

(Newser) - Everyone who is too lazy or forgot to update their credit card numbers online can blame themselves for Netflix's slow US subscriber growth. That's the company's excuse, anyway, revealed in a Wednesday letter to shareholders that says it didn't hit its subscriber growth forecast partly due... More »

At Long Last, Facebook Returns to IPO Price

Report for ad plan sends stock price soaring

(Newser) - If you were one of the investors who bought into the Facebook IPO hype on day one, take heart—you're finally back where you started! The stock crossed the magic $38 mark in premarket trading this morning, Mashable reports, after closing just a hair shy of the mark yesterday.... More »

Facebook Trades Below $20

Stock falls below psychological threshold in wake of earnings

(Newser) - Remember when financial columnist Mark Hulbert suggested that Facebook shares should cost $13.80 ? Well, it's looking more and more likely. Shares dipped below $20 in trading today, at one point hitting $19.90, according to the Wall Street Journal . "There's huge negative sentiment and there... More »

Facebook IPO: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Stock's rough first day has pundits asking if it's DOA

(Newser) - Facebook had a disappointing first day on the market, so much so that Dana Blankenhorn of TheStreet is calling the relatively cheery media coverage surrounding it "one of the great frauds in American history." Blankenhorn's reasoning: "If I can barely sell 15% of something at $38... More »

Facebook Stock Plummets

Second day on the market goes poorly without underwriter support

(Newser) - Facebook's underwriters pulled off the training wheels today, and the infant stock fell—hard. After a lackluster first day on the market, Facebook shares fell some 12% in the first minute of trading this morning, Reuters reports, dropping below the $38 IPO price to $33.67, where it continues... More »

Amazon Profit Plummets 73%

Company cites pricey investments in streaming, Kindle Fire

(Newser) - Amazon.com's lavish spending has cut into profits and left investors rattled, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company announced a dizzying 73% drop in third-quarter profit today and saw its stock fall by 12%, or $28, to $198 in after-hours trading. The reason: Amazon is investing big-time in... More »

BP Can't Explain Diving Stock

Company 'is not aware of any reason' for price drop

(Newser) - It’s probably not terribly surprising that BP’s stock hit a 13-year low this morning—unless, apparently, you’re BP. The company put out a statement last night saying that it was “not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.” Well, the Wall Street ... More »

Hef Sued for Not Selling Playboy

Shareholder claims Hugh Hefner sabotaged two deals

(Newser) - At 81, Hugh Hefner is still attending glamorous parties with decades-younger models on each arm, but his company is languishing—and one shareholder has had enough. A class action lawsuit obtained by TMZ alleges that Hef has sabotaged two deals to sell Playboy. The suit cites an analyst's note that... More »

Companies Hobbled by Fewer Wall St. Analysts

(Newser) - The turmoil on Wall Street has left fewer analysts covering companies of all sizes, the Journal reports, leaving smaller operations struggling to connect with investors. Since September, there have been more than 2,200 instances of analysts formally dropping coverage—nearly a quarter of all research. That plunge has been... More »

Firms Reprice Employees' Worthless Stock Options

Repricing plans toss lifeline to 'underwater' stock option holders

(Newser) - Major firms are trying to boost morale by giving workers another chance to profit on stock options made worthless by the stock market dive, the Washington Post reports. Many employees—especially execs—are currently stuck with "underwater" options with a strike price above the trading price. Close to... More »

Citi Posts $8.3B Loss, Prepares to Split in Two

Still smarting from bad mortgage bets, the company will split to remain solvent

(Newser) - Citigroup lost $8.29 billion in the fourth quarter—twice as much as expected—as the credit crisis continues to batter big banks, Bloomberg reports. The bank suffered a net loss of $1.72 per share, falling far short of analysts’ estimates. Citigroup, which lost 77 percent of its trading... More »

More Health Rumors About Jobs Hit Apple's Stock

(Newser) - More rumors regarding the health of Steve Jobs put a crimp in Apple's stock today, the Street reports. The company's stock had been trading in positive territory until the tech blog Gizmodo quoted an anonymous but "100% reliable" source as saying Jobs' health is "rapidly declining." After... More »

British Airways in Merger Talks with Qantas

Shares soar 12% on news

(Newser) - British Airways is in talks with Australia's Qantas Airways about a potential merger, the firm said today, sending its shares soaring as it fueled expectations of consolidation in the hard-hit aviation industry. Already pursuing a revenue-sharing deal with American Airlines and Spain's Iberia SA, BA said it’s exploring a... More »

Big Oil Takes Big Hit in Stocks' Dive

Demand slows, but company coffers plenty full ... for now

(Newser) - Oil companies’ stocks are plummeting, but the majors are comfortable with long-term plans and bulging coffers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The global economy is pushing crude prices down, and analysts think measures are necessary to keep share prices up. But larger outfits like Exxon made investments based on lower... More »

SEC Halts Short Selling on Financial Stocks

SEC suspends practice blamed for downward market pressure

(Newser) - The SEC temporarily banned short-selling of 799 financial companies today, an “emergency action" aimed at slowing sliding stock prices that have rattled investors’ confidence in recent weeks, CNNMoney reports. The practice, in which in investors borrow stock and sell it, hoping to buy it back cheaper and pocket the... More »

Fannie, Freddie Employees Watch Assets Plunge

(Newser) - As the stock prices of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged 80% this year, employees of the companies helplessly watched their fortunes sink with the ship, the New York Times reports. For instance, Fannie Mae’s workers owned $116 million in company stock at the end of 2006;... More »

Is There a Solar Bubble?

Parallels with now-depressed ethanol stocks sure to scare investors

(Newser) - Stocks in solar-energy outfits are enjoying a sustained rally, but investors should remember the lesson of ethanol, Mark Gongloff writes in the Wall Street Journal. Once-loved ethanol stocks are now widely scorned—mainly because the energy source will never be viable without government subsidies. Still, despite solar’s advantages, shares... More »

Ailing Yahoo! Can't Keep Up With the Times

Outmoded, mismanaged company is poised for implosion

(Newser) - After miraculously withstanding the dot-com crash, Yahoo is again poised to fall face first off a virtual cliff, with its plummeting stock hardly masked by national economic disrepair. But despite hemorrhaging users to Google, the company is still a huge presence on the Web, with 3 billion daily hits. So... More »

Tumbling Yahoo Now a Target?

Rumors of Microsoft takeover still swirling

(Newser) - Yahoo's falling core value threatens the company's future and is ringing alarm bells for investors, the New York Times’ Saul Hansell warned in his "Bits" blog. The central business of Yahoo.com, excluding subsidiary holdings, is worth less than half of its current share price, and a paltry 7%... More »

Merrill Deal Yields $6.2B in Capital

Bank sells discounted stock to investors, sells division to GE

(Newser) - With another quarter of massive writedowns looming, Merrill Lynch today announced a deal to raise up to $6.2 billion by selling discounted stock to two investors. Up to $5 billion will come from Temasek Holdings, Singapore's state-owned investment company. The other $1.2 billion comes from money managers Davis... More »

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