Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Tech Stocks Hover Near 2013 Highs, Paving Way for 2014 IPOs Like Alibaba, Box and Dropbox



Today, the tech sector got a pretty nice post-Christmas present, as stocks of many companies in the sector continued to remain near their highs for the year.

And with 2013 seeing the most U.S. tech IPOs since 2000 — according to a recent report, there were 45 in the year — 2014 is looking to be another strong year for public offerings. Those include, though will not be limited to: Alibaba Group, which could exceed Facebook’s $16 billion outing; Box, the file-sharing site; Dropbox, the online storage upstart; Candy Crush maker King.com; Coupons.com, the digital couponing site; Lending Club, the peer-to-peer lending service; clean-tech firm Opower; payments phenom Square; and Internet dating company Zoosk.

The impact of the upcoming IPOs has already been felt on existing issues, most especially Yahoo.

Though some of the excitement around the stock has been due to the shimmery image of CEO Marissa Mayer, its continued core business declines have been largely ignored by investors in favor of its 24 percent stake in Alibaba. In contrast to Yahoo’s lagging results, the Chinese Internet giant’s performance has been spectacular, and it has had more than a halo effect on shares of the Silicon Valley company. Yahoo’s stock is close to its 52-week high — reached on Tuesday at $41.05 — and is up 104.6 percent in the year to date.

Search giant Google is getting its bump from its own strong performance, up 57.6 percent for the year and hovering close to its $1,118 per share high. The same goes for Microsoft — despite all the uncertainty around the identity of its new CEO, the pending departure of Steve Ballmer has its shares up 40 percent for the year and also close to its nearly $39 high.

Retail giant Amazon is up more than 60 percent, close to its $405 high. LinkedIn shares have gained 92.4 percent, although it is now off its $257.56 high by about $30. And, despite some troubles, AOL is up 53 percent, near its $46.98 high.

The stocks of both social Internet leaders — Facebook and Twitter — are also performing well. Facebook is up 117 percent for the year, after a lackluster 2012 following its IPO — zeroing in on its $58.58 high. Twitter, which only recently went public, is seeing a much better result after its IPO, up 57.6 percent and near its $73.60 high.

Even companies left for dead by investors at the start of 2013 are doing well. Daily deals site Groupon is up more than 150 percent for the year and near its $12.76 high; meanwhile, gaming company Zynga is up 74 percent, close to its $4.55 high.

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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo