Google Update

Shares in Google have dropped 5% despite the technology giant reporting a first-quarter profit rise of 3%.

Profits were $3.45bn (£2.05bn), but investors are preoccupied by Google’s inability to maintain advertising prices.

A widely watched measure, the average “cost per click”, was down 9% from a year earlier.

Another weak spot highlighted in the report was the firm’s discounted sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo.

Google sold the smartphone maker to Lenovo in January for close to $3bn, after paying $12.5bn for the firm less than two years ago.

Despite investors’ reaction, Google’s chief executive, Larry Page, was upbeat: “We completed another great quarter,” he said in a statement.

“We got lots of product improvements done, especially on mobile. I’m also excited with progress on our emerging businesses.”

However, Google continues to struggle with its ability to charge advertisers higher prices for mobile ads, which are increasingly important with more and more consumers accessing Google’s browser through their smartphones.

Advertisers have proven reluctant to pay as much for ads on mobile screens compared to Google’s bread-and-butter desktop ads, which have been the main revenue generator at the firm.

Rates for mobile ads can be half as much as on personal computers, according to Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice.

However, Google expects mobile ad prices to catch up with PCs eventually as it becomes easier for consumers to buy products using mobile devices, Google chief business officer Nikesh Arora said.

‘A little bit dodgy’

Google has greatly diversified its portfolio of products in recent years, speculatively branching out into phonesdronesGoogle Glass, and even thermostats and fire alarms, CNet technology analyst Larry Magid said.

“Some of these crazy ideas need to become less crazy and more profitable,” he told the BBC. “Their core business, what really brings in the money, that’s beginning to get a little bit dodgy for them.”

Google’s results were not the only ones to disappoint investors on Wednesday.

Technology giant IBM reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years.

IBM attributed the drop in revenue, which went down 4% to $22.5bn, to weak hardware sales.

Enterprise technology spending has shifted away from traditional computing giants as governments and corporations move towards online services, large-scale data analysis and IT security, FBR analyst Dan Ives said.

Facebook Target Price $ 60


FB : NASDAQ : US$48.45
Target: US$60.00


Investment recommendation
We initiate coverage of Facebook with a BUY recommendation and $60 price target. Despite the stock price’s recent doubling, we believe the company is very early in generating revenue from its enormous user base.
While the path higher may not be linear, we expect Facebook’s reach, robust network effects, vast self-disclosed user data, and product innovation will increasingly make it a high-priority target destination for many marketers.
Investment highlights
 While the US is close to saturation, Facebook’s global penetration currently stands at only ~20% and we believe there is still room for user growth. Facebook already has nearly 1.2 billion monthly users, but we believe the user base can grow by roughly one-third by 2015.
 In light of the continuous user shift to mobile consumption, Facebook mobile monetization has become vital. We believe that Q2/13 was a turning point in the company’s mobile monetization. While some categories of mobile ad spend may be volatile (app downloads), we believe Facebook’s sponsored stories product is at last compelling brand advertisers to commit more spend to mobile.
 We believe Facebook is early in innovating both for ad and user products. We expect the long-anticipated video ad product and forthcoming Instagram monetization could lend upside to our outlook. In addition, new features such as real-time social metering and more ties to consumer media and entertainment could put the user base on a steeper engagement curve.
Our $60 price target is based on 45x our 2015 EPS estimate of $1.33.
Competitive platforms might impact usage. Individuals may opt out of “sharing overload” over time. Higher ad loads could impact user satisfaction. Dual share class structure with the CEO controlling 53% of voting rights.

LinkedIn BUY Target $ 200

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

LNKD : NASDAQ : US$176.95
Target: US$200.00


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 200 million members in over 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn generates revenue through selling Hiring Solutions to corporations, Marketing Solutions to Advertisers, and Premium Subscription to members and recruiters.

Investment recommendation

We areincreasingly confident in the company’s strategy, opportunity, competitive position and long-term outlook. We note greater interest in
the transition occurring within Marketing Solutions and the timing of when growth might reaccelerate, and we will be watching the company’s progress with feed-based Sponsored Updates advertising for signs of inflection later this year.
Investment highlights
 We continue to expect Marketing Solutions (MS) revenue growth to be relatively flat sequentially for Q2 and Q3, as ~$8-10 million per quarter in “legacy” ad revenue rolls out of the model; we believe Sponsored Updates can return MS to growth by Q4.
 Member engagement continues to climb, and our new engagement index shows a doubling of per-member activity over the past five quarters.
 The transition to in-house hosting could contribute to as much as 500 bps of gross margin expansion over the next four years, although we are only modeling 300 bps.
Our $200 price target is unchanged and is based on 60x our 2016 EPS estimate of $4.96 discounted to present at 11%.

Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year

Big Data

Big Data (Photo credit: Kevin Krejci)

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013

The world will spend a whopping $2.1 trillion on tech in 2013


2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

2013 will be a make-it-or-break-it year in mobile for some vendors

Steve Kovach, Business Insider

When it come to mobile, 2013 will bring us these three things:

  • Mini tablets with screens less than 8 inches in size will be the rage, accounting for 60% of tablets sold.
  • The market for smartphones and tablets combined will grow by 20%.
  • 2013 will be a make-or-break year for mobile platforms. Those that don’t attract interest from at least 50% of app developers won’t survive. Google and Apple are past that threshold. Microsoft now sits at 33%. RIM is at 9%.

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

Big IT companies will feast on smaller cloud players

The software-as-a-service phenomenon really grew up in the past 12 months, with big vendors like Oracle and SAP spending billions to buy their way into the market.

IDC thinks we haven’t seen anything yet.

“There will be over $25 billion in SaaS acquisitions over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months,” it says.

Some companies are too highly valued to make for easy acquisitions, like the publicly traded, worth $22 billion, or the fast-growing, still-private Box at $1.2 billion. But a bunch of others could be ripe for deals: Okta, Zenoss, and ServiceMax come to mind

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

A lot of smaller, specialized clouds will sprout up

In 2012, a lot of new cloud tech came out that made it easier and more affordable for anyone to build a cloud.

That means that in 2013, a whole bunch of new clouds will crop up. These will serve specific industries, for instance hospitals, construction companies, banks.

Big data will get bigger

Just like 2012 was the year that mobile devices and cloud computing became the must-have things for every company, big data will be the thing everyone will use in 2013.

IDC says the big-data market will grow at an annual rate of 40%. It will hit about $5 billion in 2012, $10 billion by 2013, and $53 billion by 2017.

The data center as we know it is over

The data center as we know it is over

Meet Yellowstone, the super hero supercomputing fighting climate change


New data-center technologies that took root in 2012 will become the big thing in 2013.

These include “converged systems,” where companies buy machines that have computation, storage, networking, and software bundled together.

Another is software-defined networks, which is a new way to build networks.

These represent a tremendous opportunity for the established players like Cisco, Dell, HP, and Oracle. But they are also a big risk if they get it wrong. A whole class of startups are rising up to disrupt these guys.

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head

Your work computer will be an ID you keep in your head


The bring-your-own-device trend, also known as BYOD, will morph into BYID—bring-your-own-ID.

That is, your work computer will be available to you anywhere, on any device. All you have to do is properly log in.

This is the ultimate result of investments in new cloud, mobile, and data-center technologies

iPhone 5 New York Times Review

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Apple Inc.. The design of the logo started in 1977 designed by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1999 when Apple stopped using the rainbow color theme and used a few different color themes for the same design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced a new iPhone on Wednesday with a larger screen, faster wireless Internet speeds and a more powerful chip, as the company again seeks to demonstrate the staying power of one of the technology industry’s great franchises.

The new iPhone 5, which will go on sale Sept. 21, will start at $199 with a two-year wireless contract, as have previous versions of the device. Apple said the new device would be 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the previous version of its smartphone.

“IPhone 5 is the best phone we’ve ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing, at an event in San Francisco where the device was introduced.

In what could be one of Apple’s more vexing moves with a new product, though, the company got rid of the traditional 30-pin dock connector for connecting the iPhone to power cables, stereo docking stations and other peripherals, replacing it with a smaller connector it calls Lightning. The change means that owners of existing iPhone accessories will have to purchase an adapter from Apple so they can plug the new phone into the those devices. The company did not say how much that adapter would cost.

Apple said it was making the change because the new connector is more durable and frees up space for other technologies inside the iPhone. The company said many of the functions of traditional iPhone cables, other than charging, were now handled by wireless connections like Bluetooth.

The bigger screen in the iPhone 5 marks the first time Apple has altered the dimensions of the iPhone’s display, which has measured 3.5 inches diagonally since the original iPhone Apple released in 2007. While the display at that time seemed gigantic compared with the tiny screens on most cellphones, Apple’s competitors have been far more aggressive in pushing more capacious displays on their smartphones, with some screens approaching nearly 5 inches.

Apple said the new display offered a bigger canvas for activities like reading a book, browsing Web sites and watching movies. It also shows how the dividing line between phones and tablet computers is becoming fuzzier.

Apple is developing a new model of the iPad with a 7.85-inch display that it could announce before the start of the holiday shopping season, according to people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The size of the display on the current iPad is 9.7-inches.

Apple’s closest rival in the smartphone market, Samsung, has experimented ceaselessly with different screen sizes. Its Galaxy S III smartphone has a 4.8-inch display, while its Galaxy Note tablet has a 5.3-inch screen.

The iPhone 5 is a more significant overhaul of the design of Apple’s smartphone than the iPhone 4S, a product criticized by some for featuring mostly incremental improvements inside a device that looked nearly identical to the iPhone that came before it. Apple seemed to denote that product’s more modest changes by reserving the iPhone 5 name for the product it introduced on Wednesday.

Even so, the iPhone 4S went on to be a big seller.

Apple will continue to sell its iPhone 4S, dropping the starting price of the device to $99 with a two-year wireless contract. The iPhone 4 will be free with a contract.

The new, faster Apple-designed chip inside the iPhone will let users open e-mails, load music and interact with other applications more quickly. The game developer Electronic Arts showed a photo-realistic car-racing game running on the new device with graphics that closely resemble those of high-end console systems.

The device will also work on the latest variety of high-speed data networks with wireless carriers, known as LTE.

  The iPhone 5 has a new feature that will allow users to easily stitch together multiple images into a panorama, a feature that has been available in some apps and stand-alone digital cameras for some time.  

Apple also announced a revamping of some parts of its product line that have received less attention in recent years — its iPod media players and iTunes software. It redesigned the iPod Nano with a bigger screen that supports multitouch gestures. And a new version of the company’s most popular iPod, the iPod Touch, will come with the same 4-inch high resolution display as the new iPhone will have. The new iPod Touch will also support Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant, and will come in a variety of colors.

Anticipation for the new iPhone ran high ahead of the event, as it always does leading to the late summer and early fall period when Apple typically introduces new electronics products. The usual swirl of rumors around the latest Apple phone were so intense this year that Apple said they were hurting sales of current iPhones, leading to a rare earnings disappointment from Apple.

The iPhone has become a gold mine for Apple, accounting for $16.2 billion in sales, or 46 percent of Apple’s total revenue, during the quarter that ended June 30.

But the company has also faced growing competitive pressure, most notably from Samsung, which extended its lead over Apple during the second quarter of the year. Samsung accounted for 32.6 percent of global smartphone shipments during that period, compared with 16.9 percent for Apple, according to IDC.

Most of Samsung’s share of the smartphone comes from products that run Google’s Android operating system, which powered 68.1 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter, IDC estimated.

Apple’s share of the phone market, though, often gets a big boost over the holiday season and in the quarter immediately after the company introduces a new iPhone model. Wall Street analysts expect that pattern to continue with the new iPhone.

Apple is also fighting Samsung in courtrooms, where it has said that the company has violated Apple patents. Last month, Apple won a huge victory in the most significant of the legal fights against its South Korean rival, after a jury in a federal court in San Jose, Calif., awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages. Samsung has said it would appeal the decision.

YELP – Post IPO Lockup

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

August 30


YELP : NYSE : US$22.22

Over 50 million shares of Yelp became available for trading after their post-IPO lockup on Wednesday, and after falling by more than 30% in the past three weeks, shares rallied as bearish investors looked close their short positions. With many of 2012’s tech IPOs getting smacked down on their first free trading days ( Facebook (FB ) down 6.9% on August 16 and Groupon (GRPN)  down 8.9% on June 1), investors were unloading and shorting shares of Yelp in advance of the lockup expiration.

As of Tuesday, 29% of Yelp shares were shorted according to Markit. The end result? A short squeeze as short sellers were forced to buy back shares, pushing the price higher. As the stock climbed, more short sellers were required to buy back their positions at even higher prices helping push Yelp deep into the green and above its IPO price.



Apple TV ?

Inside an Apple TV.

Inside an Apple TV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple (AAPL : NASDAQ : US$636.34)

august 17
 Apple is reported to be in talks with large U.S. cable operators about letting consumers using an Apple device as a set-top box for live TV and other content.

The company does not appear to have a deal in place with any operators, and some may be reluctant to let Apple into their customers’ living room. Apple would also need to persuade consumers to shell out a few hundred dollars for a set top box as opposed to renting one from their cable provider for $10-15 per month.

Talking with cable providers would be a significant shift in strategy for Apple, looking to partner as opposed to licensing
their own content and competing directly. Currently, Apple sells a $99 Apple TV box that lets users access internet video on
their TVs, but does not provide live channels. Sources close to the matter said that Apple looked into creating a set top box a
few years ago before launching the latest version of Apple TV, but Steve Jobs dismissed the idea as he believed working with
cable operators would be problematic because they did not have national reach. Cable operators have also been somewhat cold
to an Apple set top box as slow sales of Apple TV have led them to focus more on developing apps for iPhones and iPads.

Millennial Media – Mobile Advertising Pure Play Target $ 18

Image representing Millennial Media as depicte...

Image via CrunchBase

Millennial Media 
MM : NYSE : US$10.19 | US$836.0M | Buy , Target US$18.00

August 9
• Solid Q2 results show steady progress; maintaining BUY and $18 target
Investment recommendation
After a volatile few weeks for MM stock, Millennial reported solid Q2 results characterized by steady progress and no major surprises. We continue to believe Millennial will benefit as a mobile advertising pure-play, and our key thesis points remain intact. We are raising our estimates slightly for the rest of the year, reflecting stronger business and guidance.
Investment highlights
• All key metrics are headed in the right direction. Importantly, gross margin (take rate) continued its upward march, helped by a seasonal mix shift towards brand advertising in the quarter. While this may moderate in Q3, we believe the company is on track to achieve 42% gross margin in 2014, if not sooner.
Revenue from existing advertising customers grew 118% and accounted for 71% of revenue. We believe this reflects well on the prospects for mobile ad growth and note management’s upbeat comments regarding prospects for large brand advertisers to significantly increase spending in the near future.
• We are raising our estimates for Q3 and 2012. For Q3, our revenue estimate goes from $44.4 million to $45.2 million, and for 2012 from $175.6 million to $178.9 million. EBITDA remains at a (smaller) loss for the year.
Our $18 price target is unchanged and is based on 25x our unchanged 2016 EPS estimate of $1.20, discounted to present at a rate of 12.1%.

Apple After Pinterest Rival Fancy


Fancy (Photo credit: woordenaar)

August 6

Fancy That !

Apple is in talks to acquire The Fancy, a fast-growing social commerce site backed by cofounders of Twitter and Facebook, Business Insiderhas learned.The objective: to secure a role for Apple in the growing e-commerce market, putting the 400 million-plus users with credit cards on file with Apple’s iTunesStore to work shopping—with Apple getting a cut of the action.While The Fancy is far smaller than archrival Pinterest, which similarly lets users make lists of things they find interesting, the 20-person New York startup, led by cofounder and CEO Joe Einhorn, is much farther along in linking its users to transactions. The Fancy takes a 10 percent cut of purchases. Last we checked in, sales were exploding.

There is no signed deal and no guarantee one will happen. We do not know the price Apple has proposed to pay for The Fancy or how recently talks took place.

However, given what we’ve learned, it was apparently no coincidence that Einhorn and Apple CEO Tim Cook met at Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley conference earlier this year. The notoriously private Cook, who does not visibly participate in any well-known social media sites, started using The Fancy shortly afterwards.

The Fancy raised a $10 million round at a reported valuation of $100 million last fall, led by PPR, the French luxury conglomerate behind Gucci. It previously raised $6 million in 2010; $2.7 million of that round went to Einhorn and his cofounder, his brother Jack Einhorn, according to an SEC filing. Investment bank Allen & Co. was an early investor.

It would be reasonable to think its investors would expect a healthy return—call it 3 to 5 times what they paid. (Consider that nothing more than informed speculation, based on similar deals.)

Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes are on the board, along with LeRoy Kim of Allen & Co. and James Pallotta, the owner of the Boston Celtics. Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the co-founders of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, are also investors.

Apple is not known for making big, splashy acquisitions. But a source familiar with Apple’s acquisition strategy noted to us that The Fancy is at a stage where Apple typically buys companies.

For example, in recent years, it has bought several companies to bolster its online offerings, like Chomp, an app search engine;, an online music service; and Placebase, a digital mapping company. It is in the process of trying to buy AuthenTec, a mobile security company.

Still, how can a two-year-old company with 20 employees possibly be worth that much to Apple?

Apple’s history in e-commerce stretches back almost 15 years to November 10, 1997, when it opened its first online store. On April 28, 2003, it got into digital commerce with the iTunes Music Store. Those foundations in e-commerce let it roll out the iPhone‘s App Store. As Apple’s sales of mobile devices exploded, so did its rolls of online customers registered with a credit card.

But as its tentative moves into general e-commerce have shown, sending those customers on a shopping spree isn’t a simple matter. PassBook, a new online wallet introduced in the latest version of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, lets users store discounts, gift cards, and airline tickets—but it doesn’t let people spend money with stored credit cards.

The Fancy could change all that by giving Apple a clear route to converting people’s interest in an object into a sale.

Apple could well build an e-commerce layer into its operating system and let application developers hook into it, giving them a way to make money besides advertising.

The Fancy has recently rolled out a system that gives users a cut of the sales their lists of objects generate.

Einhorn’s company began life as a project called Thing Daemon, or ThingD, which aimed to be a universal database of things. In February, it adopted a model focused around e-commerce—and its business has taken off since.

The Fancy’s offices are situated above an Apple Store in New York City. We don’t think that has anything to do with anything, but it’s funny, given the circumstances.

Einhorn declined to comment. Apple, Dorsey, Hughes, and PPR did not respond to requests for comment

The 7 Ugly Truths About Facebook and Insider Selling

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

from Yahoo Finance August 6

But since going public on May 17, the ever popular social network has started to show a few kinks in its digital armor. First the stock price tanked. Then its domestic user growth slowed. And of course privacy concerns and data security remain ongoing issues for the company as it expands globally.

But for all the hype surrounding Facebook, the fact remains that it is an imperfect company with its fair share of internal and external struggles, like any firm. Consider these seven little-known facts about the world’s largest social network.

1. It has a problem with fake accounts

According to a regulatory filing released earlier this week, Facebook itself estimates that as many as 8.7 percent of its 955 million worldwide active accounts are in fact duplicates or fakes, accounting for some 83 million “users.” Of these, about 46 million are duplicate accounts (which anyone who has a “work” and a “personal” Facebook account can understand), 23 million are user-misclassified accounts (such as profiles assigned to pets or businesses) and about 14 million are pages set up for spamming or other untoward uses.

“These estimates are based on an internal review of a limited sample of accounts,” the company said in its SEC filing, “and we apply significant judgment in making this determination, such as identifying names that appear to be fake or other behavior that appears inauthentic to the reviewers.”

2. Bots may be gaming its advertising

A startup called Limited Run has stopped advertising on Facebook and recently went public about its experiences with the company, saying that as many as 80 percent of the clicks it received on its Facebook ads appeared to be from “bots” (web robots) and not real people. The allegation implies that Facebook is juicing its click rate to overcharge its advertising clients and give the appearance of increased traffic.

In response, Facebook told CNBC it is “currently investigating their claims.”

3. Its revenues aren’t that great

Despite all outward appearances (the 955 million users, the splashy IPO, the globetrotting CEO), Facebook isn’t exactly raking in the cash when compared to other Internet firms. In fact, PaidContent recently released a list of 10 Web companies that are doing better than Facebook in the revenue department.

That’s right — Facebook dominates the business pages almost every day but is only the eleventh richest digital content site on the Web.

Obviously Google leads the pack, but there are some surprising names on the PaidContent list, including Microsoft, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and, yes, even Yahoo!.

4. Its stock price won’t stop falling

Facebook’s IPO was priced at $38 a share on May 17 and has pretty much sunk like a stone ever since, recently slipping under $20 a share for the first time, a 45 percent drop. What happened? Everyone has a theory — maybe the IPO was mishandled, maybe there was too much hype, maybe Facebook was just overvalued from the start — but the fact remains that the social network has lost about $43 billion in market cap in the past two months (half of its original valuation) and is already one of the worst performing social media IPOs to date.

Unfortunately for Facebook, the worst may be yet to come. Starting next month, nearly 1.7 billion more shares could start hitting the market as employees become freed up to start selling their holdings, which could more than quadruple the number of Facebook shares now trading.

5. Executives are leaving

As happens just about any time a startup goes public — early employees stick around through the IPO, cash out and then move on to new things. At Facebook, however, several high-profile recent defections have raised questions about the company’s leadership and its prospects going forward.

This week, both Katie Mitic, Facebook’s former director of platform marketing, and Ethan Beard, the company’s former director of platform partnerships, announced plans to leave the company, bringing the total number of executive departures since Facebook’s IPO to three. Bret Taylor, the company’s former CTO, left in June.

6. Its reputation is suffering

It seems like a lifetime ago that Facebook was the hot, new startup that engineers were begging to work at (even competing in coding competitions to earn coveted internship spots, if 2010 film “The Social Network” is to be believed). But that glitter has faded post-IPO and, although Facebook remains a force in Silicon Valley hiring, it is starting to run into opposition for the first time in its brief history.

Case in point: founder Dalton Caldwell stirred up controversy earlier this week after he effectively turned down an “acqui-hire” offer from Facebook, in which his startup would be purchased by the social network and then shut down as a way to bring his staff on board.

Caldwell’s very public “thanks, but no thanks” response set off a firestorm of discussion in Silicon Valley, where acqui-hiring is a common and generally accepted part of doing business. But, like his stance or not, the fact remains that there are now developers in California who do not want to work at Facebook, and that’s a new reality for the company.

7. Insiders are selling their stock

More than a few Facebook insiders dumped their stock on the IPO, making millions in the process. That fact alone was not surprising; many of these folks had been waiting for years to cash in on their investments.

But when an IPO goes as badly as Facebook’s did, having a group of investors and senior executives sell their stock at or near the peak price does tend to discourage other buyers. Overall, Facebook’s insiders sold $9.8 billion worth of stock at the IPO, accounting for some 241 million shares, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg taking home a cool $1.14 billion and early Facebook investors Accel Partners selling 57.7 million shares for $2.1 billion.

Had these insiders waited until today to sell, their shares would now be worth less than half what they got, or about $4.8 billion in total. Zuckerberg himself lost $423 million on paper after yesterday’s drop, knocking him out of the top 10 of the richest technology titans.

Facebook Insiders Who Dumped Stock Just Before It Crashed

Timing isn’t everything in life, but it helps.

And now that Facebook’s (FB) stock has been cut in half since its May IPO, which priced at $38 per share, it’s time to compliment the clever folks who sold when everyone else was convinced that playing the Facebook IPO was pretty much a sure thing. Ahead of the IPO I placed fair value for the social media giant somewhere between $16 to $24. Aaron Task and I discuss Facebook’s valuation in the attached clip. (Editor’s note: video was taped August 2.)

At the time of the IPO, of course, these sellers appeared almost selfless: demand for Facebook’s stock was so intense that it seemed the inside sellers would soon look like schmoes for selling too cheap.

Alas, if there’s one lesson that gets repeated endlessly on Wall Street it’s that anything that seems like a free lunch almost certainly isn’t.

And now, the Facebook insiders who sold on the IPO look, well, savvy.

So, who were these folks? How much did they make?

Here are some highlights:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, sold 30.2 million shares for $1.14 billion
  • Accel Partners, an early Facebook investor, sold 57.7 million shares for $2.1 billion
  • Peter Thiel, a very early Facebook investor, sold 16.8 million shares for $638 million
  • DST Global, a Russian investment fund, sold 45.7 million shares for $1.7 billion
  • Goldman Sachs, a Facebook investor, sold 24.3 million shares for $923 million
  • Elevation Partners, a Facebook investor, sold 4.6 million shares for $175 million
  • Greylock Partners, a Facebook investor, sold 7.6 million shares for $289 million
  • Group, a Russian Internet company, sold 19.6 million shares for $745 million
  • Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, sold 1 million shares for $38 million. Mr. Pincus also dumped stock in Zynga in April, right before that stock crashed.
  • Meritech Capital sold 7 million shares for $266 million
  • Microsoft, a Facebook partner and investor, sold 6.6 million shares for $250 million
  • Tiger Global, a hedge fund, sold 19 million shares for $722 million
  • Reid Hoffman, a Silicon Valley investor, sold 943,000 shares for $36 million

In aggregate, Facebook insiders dumped 241 million shares for $9.8 billion.

Those shares are now worth $4.8 billion.

Yes, all of these Facebook insiders still own a lot of Facebook stock, so they’re all getting gobsmacked by the collapse.

But still…

Nice timing!


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