Introducing: Blood and Sun
by josh keller · Published · Updated
Blood and Sun are a Minneapolis-based group who recently self-released a self-titled tape that highlights the bands haunted pysch-folk music. The band mix Nick Cave-like gravedigger vocals with simple acoustic guitar parts. The squealing string arrangements sound like they could be courtesy of a John Cale guest appearance. With song titles like “Slaughter the Instant,” Blood and Sun don’t bother softening the edges of their sound, which is both abrasive and challenging, dark and distant. The four-song tape is an exercise in gothic songwriting, wrapped in dark shadows and meant to be played as the convicted are shuffled to the hangman’s noose. I have no idea if the band are as brooding in life as they are on record, but you can find out tonight at the Varsity Theater. The band is playing with local up-and-comers The Rope and Safewords.
Biz Break: What does Groupon’s decline mean for IPO market?
Oakland Tribune November 23, 2011 | Jeremy C Owens Today: Groupon falls below its IPO price and Pandora takes a big tumble despite profitability, so should other companies fear a public debut? Also: Wall Street falls as European fears continue to grow, and Microsoft-Yahoo (YHOO) deal returns.
Post-IPO declines could scare banks away After Groupon managed to wrangle $700 million in its initial public offering earlier this month, the floodgates seemed to open: Several companies, such as consumer-reviews website Angie’s List, jumped at the chance for an IPO and others, such as Zynga and Yelp, made steps toward that goal.
However, as journalists and analysts have heralded the return of IPOs (Guilty!), a funny thing started happening: Groupon’s stock was sinking like a stone.
The past two days have been the worst for Groupon, with the stock losing 14.9 percent Tuesday and 15.5 percent Wednesday. Wednesday’s losses sent the stock lower than the IPO price, which was $20; it closed much lower, at $16.96, after starting the day at $20.07.
Other local tech stocks that have gone for the IPO this year have also run into tough times after their public debut. Oakland-based Pandora Media sold its initial shares at $17, but closed at $10.51 Thursday with a 11.3 percent daily decline, despite Wednesday’s quarterly earnings report that showed it has been profitable. And Mountain View professional-networking firm LinkedIn has seen its volatile stock sink recently as it planned for a secondary offering of almost 9 million shares and employees gained the right to sell their stock. grouponatlantanow.com groupon atlanta
LinkedIn, which went public at $45 and closed Wednesday at $66, is far below its high mark of $122.70 a share, but at least its still higher than the original asking price. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that companies that went public this year are down 8 percent from their IPO price as a group, and those numbers were compiled before Groupon’s fall.
So, as fellow “Big Five” social media companies Zynga and Facebook move toward an IPO, should Groupon’s experience scare them away?
Paul Bard, a director of research at IPO advisory firm Renaissance Capital, told the New York Times that the current volatility of the stock market should keep young companies away.
“In the environment we’re in right now, investors are wary of risk and so these less-seasoned companies will naturally face more selling pressure,” he told the newspaper.
However, many analysts believe that Groupon’s problems are exactly that: Groupon’s problems.
“There was a lot of skepticism to begin with about Groupon’s model, its margins, its growth rate, but now you throw on a world economy that’s very unpredictable and shaky, and I think people are doing a flight to safety again,” Stephan Paternot, founder of Actarus Funds, told Bloomberg Television.
After all, Groupon does face competition in a wide-open market that it created, with LivingSocial, Google (GOOG) Deals and Amazon fighting it for daily deals. LivingSocial has especially been problematic, as it stepped up with national deals for Black Friday, which Groupon avoided this year.
“In the last few days, we’ve been hearing about LivingSocial stepping up promotions,” Edward Woo, an analyst at Wedbush, told Reuters earlier this week. “The concern is that there will be much more competition for Groupon going forward.” However, many analysts and investors look at the market too broadly to care about the specifics behind Groupon’s issues, instead simply seeing an IPO market that doesn’t make much sense right now.
“When returns turn negative, that creates a problem for the IPO market,” Bard told the Times. “Because what’s the incentive to buy into the next IPO? Bankers are now probably revisiting how many and which deals they will launch.” Stock indexes tumble as Germany shows economic weakness While Groupon and Pandora were suffering double-digit losses Wednesday, other stocks failed to fare much better: All three major indexes fell by at least 2 percent as fears about Europe’s stability continued to ripple across Wall Street.
Reports out of Europe showed that the cost of insuring debt across the continent is reaching the stratosphere and affecting the continent’s strongest economy, Germany, which failed to sell 35 percent of the bonds they offered in an auction Wednesday.
“They are running out of time in Europe,” David Joy, the chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial, told Bloomberg News.
The American economy, however, is still showing signs of growth, despite Tuesday’s downward adjustment of summer GDP growth. Federal reports showed that Americans’ pay increased the most in seven months, just in time for the crucial holiday shopping season. And while unemployment applications for the week rose slightly, the four- week average — a less volatile measure — is at its lowest point since April.
In Silicon Valley, Netflix (NFLX) continued to fall after Monday’s announcement that it sold bonds and stock in order to gain a $400 million cash infusion; shares fell 2.8 percent Wednesday after plummeting 5.4 percent Tuesday. Electronic Arts (ERTS), Nvidia, AMD and Juniper all fell more than 4 percent.
Microsoft signs nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo After years of rumors and partnership agreements, Microsoft and Yahoo seem to be headed down a familiar road.
According to Wednesday reports, Microsoft signed a nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo to investigate the Sunnyvale company’s finances ahead of a possible takeover bid. That puts Microsoft on the same level as some private-equity firms that signed the same deal, which reportedly prevents the firms from discussing deals for Yahoo with each other. web site groupon atlanta
The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant offered $47.5 billion, $33 a share, for Yahoo in 2008, which company co-founder and then-CEO Jerry Yang turned down. The two then signed an agreement in 2009 that allows Yahoo to sell ads for Microsoft’s Bing search results.
The New York Times reported that Microsoft’s interest in Yahoo now is primarily an attempt to ensure that the advertising deals they have aren’t lost.
Yahoo has been discussing the sale of all or part of its business since firing CEO Carol Bartz in September.
Yahoo stock jumped as much as 1.8 percent in morning trading, but declined later in the session. Yahoo shares closed at $14.94, a loss of $0.03, or 0.2 percent.
Silicon Valley tech stocks Up: Gilead Down: Pandora, Electronic Arts, Nvidia, AMD, Juniper, LinkedIn, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Cisco (CSCO), Netflix, Oracle (ORCL), Apple The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Down 61.20, or 2.43 percent, to 2,460.08 The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 236.17, or 2.05 percent, to 11,257.55 And the widely watched Standard & Poor’s 500 index: Down 26.25, or 2.21 percent, to 1,161.79 Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.
Jeremy C Owens