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To: Win-Lose-Draw who wrote (96)2/17/2012 7:12:15 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 1772
 
Still open. From the S-1:

Paul D. Ceglia filed suit against us and Mark Zuckerberg on or about June 30, 2010, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of Allegheny claiming substantial ownership of our company based on a purported contract between Mr. Ceglia and Mr. Zuckerberg allegedly entered into in April 2003. We removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, where the case is now pending. In his first amended complaint, filed on April 11, 2011, Mr. Ceglia revised his claims to include an alleged partnership with Mr. Zuckerberg, he revised his claims for relief to seek a substantial share of Mr. Zuckerberg’s ownership in us, and he included quotations from supposed emails that he claims to have exchanged with Mr. Zuckerberg in 2003 and 2004. On June 2, 2011, we filed a motion for expedited discovery based on evidence we submitted to the court showing that the alleged contract and emails upon which Mr. Ceglia bases his complaint are fraudulent. On July 1, 2011, the court granted our motion and ordered Mr. Ceglia to produce, among other things, all hard copy and electronic versions of the purported contract and emails. On January 10, 2012, the court granted our request for sanctions against Mr. Ceglia for his delay in compliance with that order. We continue to believe that Mr. Ceglia is attempting to perpetrate a fraud on the court and we intend to continue to defend the case vigorously.


Also:

en.wikipedia.org

Facebook wants Paul Ceglia to pay more than $84,000 in attorney fees

Jessica Guynn
L.A. Times
January 20, 2012 | 5:36 pm

Facebook's lawyers are asking a judge to order Paul Ceglia to foot the bill for more than $84,000 in fees.

Ceglia, the New York man who claims he's entitled to half of Mark Zuckerberg's multibillion-dollar stake in Facebook, was fined for refusing to turn over email account information and ordered to pay reasonable attorneys' fees.

Facebook's lawyers are also asking Leslie G. Foschio, the federal magistrate in Buffalo, N.Y., to order Ceglia not to file any additional "non-responsive papers or pleadings in the case" until he pays up.

Ceglia's lawyer, Dean Boland, said he has not had a chance to review the court filing in detail, but said he and his client would prepare a response over the coming week.

"If we feel it ought to be modified, we will respond accordingly," Boland said.

Boland, who's from Cleveland, took a shot at Facebook's lawyers for charging Manhattan hourly rates in a case unfolding in Buffalo.

"Cleveland and Buffalo are pretty identical demographically, and I can tell you that no lawyer would survive in the city of Cleveland charging that much an hour because no one would be able to hire him," Boland said.

Orin Snyder, the most senior Gibson Dunn partner, charged $716.25 an hour. His most junior associate charged $337.50 an hour, according to the filing.

Facebook, which is on the verge of an initial public offering that could value the world's most popular social networking company at $100 billion, can clearly afford it.

latimesblogs.latimes.com

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From: Win-Lose-Draw2/17/2012 7:53:30 PM
   of 1772
 
Thanks, Glen. Curious to see how that plays out.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (94)2/17/2012 8:11:21 PM
From: Kirk ©
1 Recommendation   of 1772
 
Thanks!

$700K for 2.5% today after dilution is probably $2.5B for a 3,571x return!

So MANY of us tried to get social networking sites to be what facebook is today.... I started with suite101 back in 1997. Most of them went after revenue or niche markets or were just too early... and failed while facebook seems to have focused on user experience and then figures they can get revenue.... so many tried... so the one that got it right gets the big bucks.

It is great for the area as our property is already soaring and people are holding off new listings until the lockup period ends from linkedIn... .... then the rich folks will decide they don't want to work for Zuckerberg so they'll strike out on their own and start a bunch of new companies... it should be good couple of years here.

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To: Kirk © who wrote (99)2/17/2012 9:05:03 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 1772
 
I was both a user and shareholder of suite101. I loved the site and managed to exit the stock with a nice profit.

Subject 25282

In 1996, I negotiated the acquisition of Cybertown, a science fiction themed virtual community. At the time it had almost as many users as Gerocities. Unfortunately, the investment banker pulled the plug at the last moment. I still have a vivid memory of listening to the voice mail message. The site eventually became a ghost town and went offline last month.

I was doing due diligence in the Cybertown offices when Flight 800 went down off of Long Island on July 17, 1996 and I watched the site light up with commentary. It was a real WTF moment for me. I really wanted to do that deal.

BTW, your occasional loyalty to GGR has been noted on the Picks thread.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (95)2/18/2012 12:10:13 AM
From: Wayners
   of 1772
 
All excellent points. After FB goes public watch for all kinds of intrusive ads and popups to be added...people will be like seeya later, don't need the agravation from all the ads...FB flash in the pan like pets.com. It should be obvious that people who go out and buy hamburger at the grocery store aren't going to rush home and recommend thier hamburger brand to all their friends and relatives...DUH! but that is what every retailer and etailer has some crazy expectation for. The only stuff that will get recommended will be truely interesting things and there aren't many of those these days...FB is done.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/19/2012 6:06:24 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1772
 
Facebook, It's Time To Face Facts: You Need Apple More Than It Needs You (AAPL)

Jay Yarow
provided by Business Insider
February 19, 2012 04:00 AM

It's time for Facebook to go hat in hand to Apple and make a deal to get integrated in iOS and OS X.

The two companies have been in a stand off for a long time.

In 2010, Steve Jobs said Facebook's "onerous terms" prevented it from being integrated into iTunes social network Ping. We're not sure if that was Steve Jobs bending the truth to his liking, or if Facebook was really asking for something outrageous.

Assuming there's some shade of truth to what Jobs said and Facebook was asking for something Apple wouldn't give, Facebook needs to drop it and accept Apple's demands.

Why? Because Apple is doing really well without Facebook. It's the most valuable company in the world. It's producing historically great earnings. People are buying iPads and iPhones in droves.

What about Facebook? It's doing really well, too! Hundreds of millions of people are using Facebook. It has insane profit margins, and it's legitimate, big business.

So, we have two companies that doing just fine operating relatively independent of each other.

Why are we suggesting Facebook blink first, then?

Because Facebook's core mission, according to Mark Zuckerberg's letter to investors, is "to make the world more open and connected." He also said, "At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships."

Apple's core mission is to make insanely great products.

Apple doesn't need Facebook to achieve its mission. Facebook, on the other hand, needs Apple to achieve its core mission.

As Apple's integration of Twitter shows, it can be super easy to share things through iOS and OS X. If Facebook wants people sharing more, then it needs to be a part of Apple's world.

So, Facebook, it's time to go back to Apple. It's time to say, "We're ready to work with you, on your terms."

Unless, Apple has truly outrageous terms. In which case, screw those guys. You're doing pretty well as it is.

If anyone knows what's going on between these companies, let us know at jyarow@businessinsider.com.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/02/19/businessinsiderfacebook-apple-2012-.DTL

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From: Glenn Petersen2/23/2012 11:30:42 PM
   of 1772
 
FB will be reporting their first quarter results before the IPO:

Facebook behind budget on Q1 ad revenue, sources say

Jennifer Van Grove
VentureBeat
February 23, 2012 3:52 PM

Facebook’s newest advertising product, expected to be unveiled on Feb. 29, leaked to the web yesterday. The ads themselves would appear to be a natural evolution of the company’s primary money-making business, but perhaps there’s more to these new sponsored stories than meets the eye.

The introduction of upgraded ad formats, according to one prominent financial analyst, is a last-ditch effort on Facebook’s part to meet advertising revenue budget goals for the first quarter of the year.

“We’ve confirmed with sources close to the company that Facebook is indeed behind its projections for ad revenue for the first quarter,” financial data company PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh told VentureBeat. “It certainly doesn’t look good for Facebook frankly.”

VentureBeat cannot independently confirm Hamadeh’s statements on the sluggish performance of Facebook’s ad business.

Documents leaked Wednesday (included below) reveal that Facebook plans to introduce an “ Upgraded Premium Ads” product that will replace its existing “Classic Premium Ads.” Facebook marketing materials suggest that the new ad formats — there are six in total — will increase an advertiser’s engagement rates by as much as 40 percent.

“These documents, coupled with other rapidly rolled out changes that boosted the pervasiveness and intrusiveness of Facebook ads…are evidence that the company is struggling to meet its financial projections as its IPO looms imminently,” a PrivCo blog post dissecting the new ad formats concluded today. “Facebook is clearly choosing to increase its ad intrusiveness and frequency to pad its numbers short-term in preparation for its IPO and first quarter results post-IPO trading, at the cost of user experience and long-term growth.”

“These are the types of actions ad-supported companies save for a Rainy Day,” Hamadeh added. “It should be a red flag for investors that Facebook apparently considers that Rainy Day to be now.”

Facebook’s advertising business is a risky one. VentureBeat previously spoke with Peter Adriaens, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, who argued that the social network should have identified low click-through rates on ads as a risk in its S-1 filing with the SEC.

A report published Thursday by market research firm eMarketer projected that the social network would bring in $5.06 billion in ad revenue in 2012. The figure represents a 60 percent jump from the $3.1 billion it made from ads in 2011, but, according to eMarketer, also suggests a significant drop-off in ad revenue growth rates.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

venturebeat.com

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From: Glenn Petersen2/23/2012 11:45:30 PM
   of 1772
 
Ad revenue growth is slowing:

Facebook’s ad revenue will hit $5B in 2012, but growth rates have peaked

Jennifer Van Grove
VentureBeat
February 23, 2012 10:46 AM

Facebook is set for a record-shattering initial public offering and, according to a new report, it will bring in more than $5 billion in advertising revenue this year. But Facebook’s financial future may not be as bright as the eye-popping figure would at first suggest.

2011 was a banner year for Facebook in terms of advertising revenue. The social network saw 68.2 percent growth and took home $3.1 billion in ad revenue for year. In 2012, market research firm eMarketer predicts that Facebook’s ad revenue will balloon to $5.06 billion, but the figure represents just 60 percent growth over 2011 and points to a downward spiral in growth rates.

Ad revenue growth will be nearly sliced in half by 2013 and inching closer to zero by 2014, eMarketer estimates. Facebook will make $6.72 billion from ad revenue in 2013 (32.8 percent growth over 2012) and $7.64 billion in 2014 (13.7 percent growth over 2013), the firm predicts.



The dramatic decline in growth rates means that Facebook will need to radically grow its payments business to please future shareholders and continue to post strong annual revenue gains.

In 2011, just $557 million of Facebook’s revenue came from payments, and eMarketer pegged the company’s ad business as generating 85 percent of total revenue. The payments figure is, however, up fivefold over the previous year and suggests that the alternative money-maker could eventually grow to be a big and important business for Facebook.

And while Facebook’s ad revenue growth seems to have peaked, one other thing to consider is that the company is taking an even larger chunk of the overall online ad revenue market with each passing year. Facebook will account for 6.5 percent of online ad revenue in the U.S. in 2012, according to eMarketer, and will increase its share to 7.1 percent by 2013.

venturebeat.com

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From: Glenn Petersen2/24/2012 9:50:05 PM
   of 1772
 
The "Facebook effect":

Facebook IPO Effect Helps Boost Social Media Stocks

By Matt Krantz
HispanicBusiness.com
February 15, 2012

Facebook's hotly anticipated IPO is months away, but investors apparently can't wait that long to jump on the social-media stock bandwagon. Companies in the business of connecting people online, mainly for marketing purposes, have seen their shares rocket 35% or more this year as investors scramble for a piece of the Facebook effect.

The big gains come as many social-media companies report financial results for the first time since going public. Zynga, the leading social-gaming company, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $435 million after the markets' close Tuesday.

"Facebook is shining a light on both the initial public offering market and on Facebook wannabes," says Francis Gaskins of IPOdesktop.com.

The social-media stock frenzy is apparent in the:

Big 2012 gains by U.S. social-media leaders. LinkedIn, a site that allows professionals to link with each other, and Zynga, an online gaming firm, are the key public U.S. social-networking stocks. LinkedIn and Zynga are up 35% and 53% in 2012, respectively.

Solid rises by global social-media stocks. Renren and Quepasa, generally regarded as the Facebooks of China and Latin America, have rebounded along with a rally of stocks in emerging markets. Shares of Renren and Quepasa are up 53% and 37%, respectively, undoing some of their poor performances last year.

Tailwind from related Internet stocks. Pandora, while not exactly a social-media stock, is enjoying the interest in Internet stocks, gaining 33%. The USA TODAY Internet 50 index, a collection of 50 big Internet stocks, is up 15%.

Facebook's IPO filing showed how profitable it is and silenced critics of the social-media business, says Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. The filing revealed how critical Zynga is to Facebook's success and how the two are quickly dominating the industry, says Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird. Investors are wondering if this is a new area that's so big they have to be part of it, says Mike Olson, analyst at Piper Jaffray.

Even so, some worry investors are overdoing it. Groupon, an online coupon site that was last year's darling, is down 6.2% this year. Meanwhile, Zynga sports a price-earnings ratio of 62 based on expected earnings, says S&P Capital IQ. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, meanwhile, trades for 13 times its expected 2012 earnings. "Everyone has great projections" for most social-media stocks, including Zynga, Gaskins says. "Good for them, but some people believe in aliens, too."

http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2012/2/15/facebook_ipo_effect_helps_boost_social.htm

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From: Glenn Petersen2/24/2012 11:35:01 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1772
 
In the days preceding the filing of Facebook’s initial registration statement, most of the social networking stocks, including LinkedIn, Zynga, Renren and Quepasa, experienced nice gains (see preceding post). As the date of Facebook’s actual IPO approaches in May, I expect these stocks to have another run, whether or not their fundamentals justify that run.

One of the more interesting (if speculative) plays is Quepasa Corporation (stock symbol: QPSA), which owns two social networking properties (Quepasa.com and myYearbook) that are probably best described as second or third tier websites. The company also operates a casual gaming platform.

Quepasa.com, a survivor of the Internet Bubble (which raised over $200 million in total funding), is a money-losing bilingual social networking website that services the Hispanic community in North America and South America. The site claims to have over 35 million members. At one point in 2000 the website was ranked as the most popular destination for U.S. Hispanics.

The real sizzle of Quepasa is the myYearbook website. Whereas myYearbook is generating an actual operating profit, Quepasa has been losing money. See recap below.

On November 11, 2011, Quepasa completed the acquisition of myYearbook in a transaction that was valued at $90.1 million, including $18 million in cash and 17 million shares of QPSA.

myYearbook was launched in 2005 by two high school students who outsourced the actual development of the website to contractors in India. The website, which has over 20 million users, “provides the opportunity to interact and meet new people (and) retains the natural fun feel of dating and provides good reasons to interact through leveraging demographics and interest data.” The website, which generates revenue from the sale of advertising and virtual currency, is targeted to a young demographic. According to QPSA’s SEC filings, myYearbook is “the number one site for “Teens” in terms of minutes, visits and page views in the comScore Teens category and is consistently ranked in the top 40 of all U.S. web domains in a number of leading statistics including minutes per user per month, page views and visits per visitor according to comScore. . . In September 2011, myYearbook’s mobile applications accounted for over 46% of its total daily active users, up from only 2% in January 2010.”

As of December 5, 2011, QPSA had 35,947,133 shares outstanding, not including warrants and options to purchase approximately 14 million additional shares. QPSA closed at $4.18 on Friday, giving the company a market cap(once again, not including the warrants and options) of approximately $150.3 million. According to Yahoo, over the last 52 weeks the shares have traded as high as $10.70 and as low as $2.74.

To finance the acquisition of myYearbook, QPSA raised approximately $12.5 million through the sale of common stock and convertible securities.

Recent financial results

Quepasa Corporation – Nine months ending September 30, 2011
Sales: $5,554,311
Operating income (loss): ($6,906,739)
Net earnings (loss): ($7,349,251)

Quepasa Corporation – Nine months ending September 30, 2010
Sales: $4,199,846
Operating income (loss): ($4,416,158)
Net earnings (loss): ($4,948,962)

Quepasa Corporation – Year ending December 31, 2010
Sales: $6,054,141
Operating income (loss): ($6,055,395)
Net earnings (loss): ($6,762,150)

myYearbook – Nine months ending September 30, 2011
Sales: $21,388,599
Operating income (loss): $372,254
Net earnings (loss): ($119,803)

myYearbook – Nine months ending September 30, 2010
Sales: $16,133,793
Operating income (loss): $504,217
Net earnings (loss): $137,342

myYearbook – Year ending December 31, 2010
Sales: $23,644,405
Operating income (loss): $1,765,465
Net earnings (loss): $3,071,298

Tangible book value as of September 30, 2011 (adjusted for the merger): Approximately $8.2 million

Major Holders: According to Yahoo, 44% of the shares are held by insiders and 5% holders and 7% of the shares are held by institutions.

Reporting date for year end results: QPSA is scheduled to report their 2011 results on March 1, 2012.

Warning: I want to emphasize that QPSA is a very speculative play. Quespasa is not Facebook, but it may be undervalued relative to Facebook simply because it is a second tier property. Also, it is important to note that QPSA has a checkered history and the ownership of the common shares is not highly concentrated. The stock is subject to wide price swings and there is probably not a lot of loyalty amongst the shareholder base. You can probably expect some heavy selling if the stock makes a significant upward move. Do some due diligence.

Quepasa’s SEC filings can be found here: http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?company=quepasa&match=&CIK=&filenum=&State=&Country=&SIC=&owner=exclude&Find=Find+Companies&action=getcompany

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