Tech Business Roundup: FACEBOOK Goes Nowhere, Yahoo Poppin’

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares are moving up, following Kara Swisher’s report that it’s divesting one half of its Alibaba (ALBCF.PK) investment back to that company, in a complex transaction that involves a multibillion-dollar share repurchase to YHOO shareholders and eventually an Alibaba initial public offering. The deal could reach the amount of approximately $7 billion, and might be announced as early as Monday. In the meantime, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn has issed a memo that says that Scott Thompson hire Sam Shrauger, who headed the firm’s global media & commerce division, has been replaced by Americas media chief Mickie Rosen. Others involved in the shakeup include CMO Penny Baldwin, who will be replaced by e-commerce executive Mollie Spillman.

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Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) excessive cash expenditures are raising more eyebrows, as its revenues plummet and share losses add up. Over the past 5 quarters, NOK has burned through $2.7 billion, and if that spending rate were to continue, the $4.9 billion in its remaining reserves would be gone in less than 2 years. To add to the worries, Nokia currently has €1.25 billion ($1.59 billion) in 5.5 percent bonds that come due in 2014. Uncertainty over the company’s liquidity has led to its credit rating being downgraded to junk status, and its 5-year CDS gap widening to 749 basis points.

Friday is Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) soon-to-be-legendary initial public offering day, and the action so far should not disappoint. The day began in Germany, where bids of €58.20 ($74) were placed, according to Bloomberg. Had that figure held up as trading crossed the Atlantic, it would have translated into a market cap of more than $200 billion. In New York, trading began at midday with shares opening at $42, and they have bounced between about $42.50 and $38, on very heavy volume. At times disappointment set in, as the shares were not trading much higher (!), and NASDAQ itself had moments of selloff because of it, but underwriter buying stabilized the situation, as Zero Hedge noted that over 30 million shares traded at $38, remarking, “That’s some serious underwriter buying”. Late in the trading day, volume is nearing 500 million, and – shocker! – reports come in of trade confirmation problems.

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