LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman sides with eBay in Icahn battle

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman says the battle between eBay and activist investor Carl Icahn exemplifies the fundamental difference between the culture of Wall Street and that of Silicon Valley.

He penned a blog post on Wednesday that balked at Icahn's idea of spinning out PayPal from eBay. He said that it appears Icahn doesn't understand Silicon Valley's culture of focusing on long-term growth and instead is just looking for quick returns on Wall Street.

"While PayPal is no longer a startup, it still has massive growth prospects. But to someone who isn't investing in the … Read more

Proxy adviser backs Apple in stock buyback fight with Icahn

A prominent proxy advisory service has sided with Apple, recommending to its clients that they vote against a proposal by activist investor Carl Icahn that calls on the company to initiate a $50 billion stock buyback.

In a report to clients Sunday, Institutional Shareholder Services said the share repurchase proposal was unnecessary after recent stock buybacks and dividend payouts.

"In light of these good-faith efforts and its past stewardship, the board's latitude should not be constricted by a shareholder resolution that would micromanage the company's capital allocation process," according to the report, which was obtained by … Read more

Apple's stock buyback not a lasting tonic, says analyst

Apple may have pleased investors with its recent stock buyback, but analyst Mark Moskowitz doesn't see the news as a big cause for celebration.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company had taken advantage of the recent price drop to repurchase $14 billion of its own shares. Activist investor Carl Icahn and others have been pressing Apple to move more aggressively to buy back stock. However, the buyback doesn't do much to address other problems facing the company, according to JP Morgan's Moskowitz

The analyst said he would … Read more

Apple goes big with a $14 billion stock buyback

Apple took advantage of investor disappointment with the company's first-quarter financial results to accelerate its stock buyback plans.

The company repurchased $14 billion of its own shares in two weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Journal Thursday that he intends for the move to be both "aggressive" and "opportunistic."

"It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do," Cook told the Journal. "We're not just saying that. … Read more

Twitter shares plummet on hits to user growth, usage

Twitter shares have slid more than 22 percent in early trading Thursday as shareholders take a step back on word of a disappointing fourth quarter.

The dip -- to just over $50, well down from the Wednesday closing price of $65.97 -- comes after Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that while its total monthly active user tally is up to 241 million, a 30 percent increase year over year, its service's design poses too much of a challenge for users to actually use the service, hence the slowdown in the growth of new users. Twitter also expressed concern that existing … Read more

Lenovo shares continue to sink after news of Motorola deal

Lenovo's stock keeps being battered over concerns about the company's purchase of Motorola, The Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, Lenovo revealed that it would buy Motorola from Google for $2.9 billion, a deal that will include the device maker's lineup of mobile phones and more than 2,000 patents. Last Thursday, Lenovo shares slipped by 8.2 percent in advance of the Chinese New Year holidays. The stock then fell another 14 percent on Tuesday morning, the first trading day after the holidays.

It's certainly not unusual for an acquiring company's … Read more

Zynga announces NaturalMotion acquisition alongside layoffs

Looking to bring its wayward financials back on track, Zynga revealed a handful of surprises during its 2013 fourth quarter earnings report on Thursday. While Zynga CEO Don Mattrick announced the acquisition of British gaming company NaturalMotion, he also said the company had to tighten its belt with company-wide layoffs. This comes with news of a 43.3 percent decrease in Zynga's revenue from a year ago.

The acquisition of NaturalMotion shows that Zynga is keen on cornering the mobile gaming market. NaturalMotion is known for popular game apps like "CSR Racing" and "Clumsy Ninja." … Read more

Icahn disses Apple board for not boosting stock buyback

Activist investor Carl Icahn is on the Apple warpath again.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, Icahn said that "Apple's board is doing great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback." He also promised an in-depth follow-up letter that no doubt will detail his ongoing grievances.

Icahn has been battling to convince Apple to direct more of its $150 billion toward stock repurchases. Initially calling for a buyback of $150 billion worth of shares, Icahn scaled back the amount in December, instead asking Apple to commit to at least $50 billion of share repurchases in 2014.… Read more

BlackBerry stock soars on word of Pentagon order

Like a cat, BlackBerry appears to have nine lives. Just as investors seemed to be writing off the struggling smartphone maker, it was reported by some media outlets that the company landed a massive US government contract and its share prices skyrocketed.

The US Department of Defense announced last week that over the coming year it would be bringing "new mobile capabilities to as many as 100,000 DOD users." The agency said that it "currently supports 1,800 unclassified mobile devices," including items like iPads, iPhones, Samsung 10.1 tablets, and Motorola Razr, and "… Read more

Slow Wii U sales send Nintendo shares into a downward spiral

Nintendo's forecast doesn't appear to be looking up since the company's announcement of its sluggish Wii U sales on Friday. Shares in the gaming company have plummeted 10 percent in Japan over the last two days.

Trading on Monday in Japan quoted Nintendo's stock at 13,145 yen ($126) down from 14,645 yen ($140) on Friday, according to Reuters. This is far below the company's record high stocks in 2007 that saw share prices at 73,200 yen ($704).

Nintendo announced on Friday that it has revised its Wii U sales expectations from an … Read more