Week Ending December 22nd: BLP’s Rearview Mirror

BLP Rearview Mirror

Week Ending December 22nd

snowTreesThis was the week of snow, Christmas parties and traffic delays.  Santa has been good so far this year:  The DJIA is up 23 percent this year and the S&P 500 is up 27 percent.

This week’s news was all about the Fed’s deceleration in their bond buying program and new indicators that show that our economy is improving.  New jobless claims, or rather the lack thereof, were a highlight!

We will not be publishing the week of December 23rd through the week of December 30th.   We, like the schools, are skewing our delivery schedule towards the Christmas and New Year’s calendar.

Earnings

Nike (NKE:  NYSE)  Nike announced second quarter sales up eight percent to $6.4 billion, and earnings increased three percent to $537m or $0.59.  Sales were strong in Western Europe, the United States and China.  The Company has come a long way from when Phil Knight spoke to Harvard Business School’s Runner Club over thirty years ago.  At the event, Knight expressed a reluctance to extend from the shoe business into the clothing business.  Look at them now!

IPOs[1]

One adventurous company decided to go public this week:

AMC Entertainment (AMC:  NYSE) sold 18.4 million shares at $18 per share, raising $332 million at a valuation of $1.71 billion.  The stock closed the week at $19.68 per share.  According to the red herring, AMC is “one of the largest theatrical exhibition companies” otherwise known as movie theaters.  What has happened to simple language?

Mergers & Acquisitions[2]

Technology

Boston Dynamics, a truly remarkable robotics company, was acquired by Google.  The Company specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation.  You’ve got to check out their website.  Of course, Boston Dynamics is an MIT spinoff.

Systems Software

Performance Technologies, which specializes in systems that facilitate mobile computing on smartphones and tablets, was acquired by Sonus Networks, a manufacturer of IP networking  hardware and software, for $30m.

StackMob, a development platform for mobile and network-connected devices, was acquired by PayPal

Seattle-based Wetpaint, a service that attracts people to news articles about entertainment properties via Facebook, was acquired by Viggle, a social TV startup, for $30m.

Apps

Quickcue, a CRM system for restaurants, was acquired by OpenTable for $12m.

GoPago, a POS startup with a mobile app, was acquired by Amazon

Moped, a less than successful messaging platform, was acquired by Berlin-based 6Wunderkinder, a developer of productivity apps.

Other

PeerCDN, a content delivery platform, was acquired by Yahoo!

SportStream focused on the social sports experience, was acquired by Facebook.

Private Placements[3]

Technology

Stealth startup, with a vacant website, LuxVue Technology, a manufacturer of next-generation, low-power, micro-LED-based displays for consumer electronics applications, raised a $25m Series C round.

Social

Check-in app, Foursquare, raised a $35m Series D round.

Crowdtilt, a way to pool money with your group, raised a $23m Series B round.  Take a look at their video—it is compelling.

Data

Planet Labs, which generates imagery, data and analytics about our changing planet, raised a $52m Series B round

Sailthru, a marketing platform, which uses “SmartData” to understand customer engagement, drive retention and maximize revenue, raised a $20m Series C round.

Datameer, a Big Data Analytics solution for Hadoop, raised a $19m Series D round.

Sojern, the “world’s leading data-driven traveler engagement platform” raised a $10m Series C round.

Education

Warby Parker, an online purveyor of vintage-inspired prescription eyeglasses, raised a $60m Series C round.

WyzAnt.com, a service that connects tutors and potential clients raised a $22m Series A round.

DreamBox Learning, which focuses on “intelligent, adaptive learning, raised a $14m Series A round.

TubeMogul, a video advertising firm focused on branding, raised a $20m Series C round.

CyanogenMod, a free community-built distribution of Android, raised a $23m Series B round.

Consumer

JustFab, a membership-based fashionista site, raised a $15m Series C round.

Blacklane, a chauffeur service portal, raised $14m.

Plumbee, a social casino games startup based in London, raised a $13m round.

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  Enjoy trimming the tree, preparing the holiday dinners, and getting together with family and old friend.  And we’re scheduled for rain rather than snow, for which we’re grateful.

All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder & Chairman

Content researched, edited and reviewed on a best efforts basis.

We make no claim to being comprehensive in our review, as the contents are companies and topics we, ourselves, find of interest. 

This newsletter is currently being proofed by Dave Henshaw, which is much appreciated. Dave is my USMS swimming lane mate, and Granite State Penguin team-mate.  He is retired from MIT, where he used to produce and proof their annual financial report.  Exactly what we need. 


[1] Certain information provided by Renaissance Capital, in addition to the SEC and numerous business publications

[2] Certain information from TechCrunch, SEC documents, company websites and other news sources.

[3] Certain information from TechCrunch, SEC documents, company websites and other news sources.