Radar Movers: LinkedIn Hits New All-Time High, Apple and Microsoft Climb Higher
Shares of LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) surged 21 percent on Friday and continue to edge higher in late afternoon hours. The company reported a blow fourth quarter. Net income surged 67 percent to $11.5 million (10 cents per share), compared to $6.9 million (6 cents per share) a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other adjustments, earnings per share came in at 35 cents per share, easily beating analysts’ expectations of 19 cents per share. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares also edged higher.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares gained 1.44 percent and continue to attract attention in late afternoon trading. Shares have increased about 4 percent since the company came up with a “we’re thinking about it” response to calls for an increase in its dividend and stock repurchase funds on Thursday. The prospects of Apple returning some of its $137 billion in cash to shareholders has undoubtedly made the stock — which has been in trouble over the last few months because of growth concerns around the company — an attractive proposition one again.
Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) increased nearly 1 percent on Friday ahead of its new product launch. On Saturday, the company’s second tablet offering will be available in stores, running the most recent version of the operating system with the help of Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) i5 chip and 4 gigabytes of RAM. As the demand for personal computers continues to drop worldwide, Microsoft has made a foray into the hardware business with its Surface Tablet and launched a major redesign of its Windows operating system. The Surface Pro will be released on Saturday, February 9, and analysts are waiting to see whether the device can drum up more sales than its predecessor, the Surface RT, and change Microsoft’s fortunes.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) shares surged more than 11 percent on Friday. The largest video game maker in the United States recently reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.31, with revenue of $1.77 billion. Both were significant improvements over last year. These impressive results were attributed to “Skylanders,” “Call of Duty,” and overall strong holiday sales. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” was the first game ever to generate $1 billion in sales in 15 days. “Skylanders Giants” was the number one children’s title in the fourth quarter in North America and Europe.
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