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Facebook(FB - Free Report) and Yahoo stole the show last week, while Intel (INTC - Free Report) , Cisco (CSCO - Free Report) and Google declined.

Yahoo Sees Alibaba Magic

With talks about an Alibaba IPO heating up, Yahoo share prices soared last week. Alibaba originally applied for an IPO in the Hong Kong stock exchange, but talks fell through because the right to nominate directors was being retained by only a few. The Hong Kong stock exchange has a one-share-one-vote policy, which would spread control to more shareholders. As a result, Alibaba is now looking to get listed in the U.S. instead.

Alibaba has been responsible for most of the optimism surrounding Yahoo shares (as well as its earnings beat). It accounts for 80% of China’s online ecommerce, with a gross merchandise volume increase of 58% in 2012 according Reuters. The IPO is now estimated to be worth $15 billion and will allow Yahoo shareholders to cash in (if Yahoo distributes the cash).

China Welcoming Facebook

The Chinese government is planning a free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai, where companies like Facebook and Twitter will be allowed to operate. The FTZ will be used to test the government’s currency, interest rate, FDI and taxation policies.

Ostensibly, Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times are intended to create an atmosphere that a foreigner may find more conducive. However, Facebook stated that its COO Sheryl Sandberg has been in talks with Chinese officials regarding the relevance of Facebook with respect to the growth of Chinese companies abroad.

Facebook, Twitter and NYT were earlier banned to the world’s largest Internet population following riots in Western China and reports that the Chinese premier had amassed great wealth.

Intel Not Raising Dividend

Intel announced a fresh dividend that disappointed shareholders. The company usually pays a steady dividend that increases once a year. Since dividends have not been revised for four quarters, a raise was due.

However, while the recession of 2008-2009 is over, spending remains conservative. Moreover, Intel has a lot on its plate right now, getting itself a share of the mobile pie while its desktop business continues to decline. Competition is also getting stiffer on the server side of things, although Intel has more or less held turf thus far. Its cash flows have also been impacted by the pressure on its core desktop business, so it makes sense for Intel to wait.

Intel has rewarded patience in the past, raising the dividend twice in 2011. So this could happen again, once its mobile strategy takes off.



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