Facebook Surges While Zuckerberg Discusses 2012 IPO and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): Current price $45.01

Shares seem to be on track for new all-time highs Thursday, trading up around 0.80 percent in heavy volume, having touched $45.62. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is commenting that the now-famous Facebook IPO in May last year made the company stronger. He preferred to not take the company public at that time, but now that the shares are steadily rising, he has changed his mind – they are up nearly 70 percent in 2013.

Late Wednesday during an interview at the conference staged by AOL Inc.’s TechCrunch blog, Zuckerberg observed that, “We run our company a lot better now. In retrospect, I was too afraid of going public. I have been very outspoken about staying private as long as possible, but I don’t think it’s that necessary to do that.”

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Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE:WFT): Current price $14.87

Weatherford shares are down around 6.5 percent Thursday after being downgraded by three firms. The stock was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Raymond James, which cited valuation and the unexpected exit of Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President John Briscoe. Wells Fargo also downgraded shares Thursday morning for the same reasons, maintaining a price target range of $16 to $17. Macquarie lowered its rating from Outperform to Neutral as well. Weatherford is a multinational oilfield service and technology company that is based in Switzerland.

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Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P): Current price $23.49

On Wednesday, the Internet radio company reported Brian McAndrews will take over as chief executive, president and chairman, succeeding the long-time chief Joe Kennedy. Analyst Doug Anmuth at J.P. Morgan wrote in a note that, “We think McAndrews is a strong hire for Pandora given his deep experience in the digital media and advertising space across both smaller, high-growth companies and well-established publishers.” Shares are up nearly 10 percent Thursday in heavy volume.

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