Microsoft Reveals CEO Shortlist and Twitter Announces IPO Price

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) closed at yet another record high today, gaining 129 points, or 0.8%, to reach 15,746 as economic data out of Europe continued to show the continent moving out of its recession. German industrial orders, a key component of the European economy, rose by 3.3% in September, much higher than the 0.4% increase analysts expected. The Dow also got a boost from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) as a leak revealed who was on the software giant's shortlist to replace outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. Among the names on the list were Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who will be returning to Microsoft once it completes its acquisition of Nokia's handset division. Mulally is seen as an investor favorite as he kept Ford afloat without government money during the financial crisis and is seen as a turnaround expert.

Elsewhere, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR  ) announced its IPO price a day before its expected debut. Shares will go on sale for $26, well above its initial range of $18-$20, valuing the company at about $18 billion. Notably, shares of tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Linkedin, and Facebook all fell today as investors are perhaps pulling out money to put into Twitter. Considering the potential of Twitter to upend Facebook and its much smaller initial valuation, I'd expect shares to pop tomorrow.

Another of the year's hottest IPO's, Noodles & Co.  (NASDAQ: NDLS  ) , was down 10% after missing revenues estimates in its earnings report. The upstart fast-casual chain matched earnings estimates with a per-share profit of $0.11 a share, while revenues rose 15.4% to $88.9 million, below expectations of $91 million. Perhaps worse, the company's full-year guidance of $348 million-$352 million also missed the consensus at $354.5 million. Systemwide same-store sales increased just 2.1% in the quarter, though management expects that to improve to 4% in the fourth quarter. Noodles & Co. debuted at $18 a share, but immediately doubled and still trades north of $40. Shares are dearly priced with a 2013 P/E of more than 100. Misses like these have a way of cooling off growth stocks so shares could fall even more tomorrow.

Also getting rocked after hours was Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST  ) , which fell 13% after its own dismal earnings report. The language software maker's revenue fell 5% to $60.9 million while adjusted net loss dipped from $0.06 to $0.12, missing estimates on both accounts as revenue was badly off the consensus at $70.6 million.

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  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 2:29 AM, RyanPeckyno wrote:

    I am interested to see if MSFT goes internal or external with the CEO. Alan Mulally would have a steep learning curve.

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