United Online is paying $100 million in cash for Classmates, the leading service for re-connecting people to their high school friends (in a way, it's a social networking site--it just doesn't utilize the six degrees of separation theory the way the newer services do).
I blogged an outrageous prediction a few months ago (it ended up being my most popular blog ever) that Google would pass Microsoft in market cap within 10-15 years. Yesterday I saw a CSFB report showing Google's revenue will grow from $2.9 billion in 2004 to $4.3 billion in 2005. Meanwhile, Yahoo Finance shows Microsoft with revenues of $32 billion in 2003 and $36 billion in 2004.
ZDNet broke this story today in the UK and Australia--but I can't find it on the US web site yet. Google registered gbrowser.com in April. They've hired some browser developers and hosted the Mozilla developers meeting last month.
This is amazing. In 2001 Google hired executive search firm Heidrich & Struggles to help recruit a CEO. As their fee, the firm negotiated warrants which allowed them to purchase 1.2 million Series B shares of Google for $0.30 per share. After exercising these warrants, they sold their shares today and netted $128 million. Not bad for finding one Chief Executive Officer.
Yahoo is paying $160 million for San Diego-based Music Match. With it, Yahoo gets 225,000 subscribers who pay $8 per month for the all-you-can-eat subscription service that offers 700,000 songs to computer users. This is similar to RealNetworks Rhapsody service, which has more than 550,000 subscribers.
I'm captivated by Jim Cramer's autobiography, Confessions of a Street Addict. I'm just finishing reading about thestreet.com's IPO in 1999, a real insiders view of the bubble. I watch Kudlow and Cramer as often as I can. Jim Cramer is a real character, and really smart, and really entertaining. His book has really helped me understand more about Wall Street. I admit to being ignorant of many things--my college degree is in Russian, not business.
I listened to the eCollege and Audible conference calls earlier today. Audible had its first operating profit in its six year history. Another dot com survivor! Last summer it was trading at $0.50 per share. I bought a lot of shares at that price and sold them on 12/31 at just under $4.00. Now it is approaching $5.00.
Whenever I read news about companies or take notes during conference calls, I store my notes in my personal knowledge base (now a 125 MB file that is powered by Folio VIEWS).
Today Yahoo is worth $36 billion. In its quarter ending 12/31/03 Yahoo made $75 million in after-tax income on revenue of about $664 million. Very impressive.
Today Google filed for its IPO. In its quarter ending 3/31/04, Google made $64 million in after-tax income on revenue of about $390 million. More impressive.