The last week saw Chinese internet giant Tencent, buy a stake in sogou, the search engine owned by Sohu Inc (NASDAQ:SOHU). The stake sale also saw the merger of Tencent’s SoSo search engine resources with those of sogou.com. Tencent invested $448 million for a 36.5% stake in sogou but the controlling stake will still be with Sohu.com. The combined internet search engine will be the second largest service in the Chinese market, just behind the industry leader Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU). Sohu's stock has gained 11.3% in the last week of trading following the announcement of the deal.
An exciting subject of late has been the upcoming multi-billion Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) IPO. The last week saw twitter tweeting it’s filing of the S-1 form, a mandatory filing for the registration of shares on a stock exchange. The tweet had the entire market guessing as to when the IPO will happen and what is the value of Twitter. The current estimates of Twitter’s value are in excess of $10 billion and close to $15 billion. The 140-character service currently has over 500 million registered users and according to reports has a sound advertising strategy in place, which is a must for its high valuation by investors. The IPO is expected to happen somewhere later this year or early in 2014 with the expected valuation to be close to $15 billion, if not greater than that.
The week also saw tech giants in the news. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the largest software company announced a new $40 billion share repurchase program, closely following its current repurchase program which is scheduled to expire at the end of this month. The firm was under tremendous pressure to return money to the shareholders due to lack of innovation in terms of new products following its Windows and MS Office success. There has been Ballmer’s claim that Nokia will be the company’s turnaround, which may or may not come true in the time to come. While the world does give a chance to hope, for now the hope of Ballmer hasn't been shared by the investors with the stock seeing a fall of 2.26% since the acquisition of Nokia’s phone division.
The week also saw Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announce the launch of Calico, an attempt to extend human Life through research on ageing and diseases which shorten Human Life. This is Google’s first launch outside of the technology space. While the exact amount of investment isn't within the public domain, there can no overstatement of Google’s seriousness of the new venture considering that Calico is headed by Arthur Levinson, a man of great reputation within the biotechnology space. Google stock has remained flat in the three days of trading following the announcement of the new venture, closing the last trading session at $903.11 registering a weekly gain of close to 2%.
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