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Poking fun at Facebook

Facebook shares have hit their lowest levels since hitting the market, losing 47 percent of their value, on the heels of the company's first earnings report.

The report showed costs are up, revenue growth has slowed and user activity is down.

Facebook's entry into the market has been entertaining to watch. Seems plenty of cartoonists think so, too.

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---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Facebook saga continues.

Zyglis


Facebook's stock has declined again, losing about $10 billion of its market value.

Zuck

So what's the problem? Everyone seems to have a theory.

It's just "reality taking hold," according to Roger Cheng at CNET.com.

"So how did the most heavily hyped stock completely fall on its face? There are a lot of reasons: glitches with the Nasdaq system that slowed early orders, an IPO price that got a last-minute bump, and indications of lackluster demand from institutional investors. But the most important is the underlying concern and growing realization that Facebook just isn't worth $100 billion," he writes.

Forbes weighed in, with an important caveat:

"The Facebook IPO is only disappointing from a deal perspective – it is too early to pass judgment on whether it is a disappointment as an investment. Many great investments don’t have the most auspicious beginnings, while others might jump 50% on the first day of trading, only to flame out later," writes contributor David Maris. "In other words, don’t judge the stock on one day of trading."

Bloomberg took a look at the "blame game" being played: "Facebook’s 11 percent drop yesterday prompted investors to fault everything from Morgan Stanley’s role as lead underwriter, to the company’s greed and the Nasdaq Stock Market."'

So what's next for Facebook? Forbes' Tomio Geron hazards an educated guess.

 

 

 

 

Concerned bank investors speak out.

From Business Today:

Koelmel

First Niagara Financial Group CEO John R. Koelmel spent much of the company's annual meeting defending himself and the company's business strategies Wednesday. He spoke before about 75 investors, many of them disgruntled about First Niagara stock's decline and dividend cut in 2011. Koelmel attributed the bank's slipping performance to several factors outside the company's control and said it had nothing to do with its $1 billion purchase of 195 HSBC Bank USA branches.

CEONasca

Profits were up at Evans Bancorp during the first quarter. Profits rose at the 26.9 percent from a year ago.  It reported net income of $2.4 million, or 58 cents per share, up from $1.9 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The increase was attributed to growing loan revenues, rising deposits and strenghtened credit. Evans Bancorp is the Hamburg-based parent of Evans Bank.

Pinnacle

Pinnacle Airlines will be under the microscope of federal aviation safety inspectors since filing for bankruptcy, to be sure the company's financial problems will not encourage it to take shortcuts that might put passengers at risk. Enhanced oversight is the standard policy for the Federal Aviation Administration when any passenger airline files for bankruptcy.

Calspan

The New York State Power Authority's Recharge New York program will give 64 Western New York Companies low-cost electricity. The biggest local recipient, Calspan Corp., will receive 5,500 kilowatts. Others to receive the low-cost power include Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo General Hospital, and Yahoo Inc.

 

FiveStarBank

Profits were up at Financial Institutions during the first quarter. Profits rose six percent, while the company reported net income of $6.2 million, or 42 cents per common share, up from $5.8 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. The bump is attributed to an increase in loans and lending income. Financial Institutions is the Warsaw-based parent company of Five Star Bank.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

The Reverend Horton Heat will be at the Tralf tonight:

 

New venture funding for local firm

From Business Today:

CommunityBank

Profits were up at Community Bank System during the first quarter. The DeWitt-based bank is in the process of buying 19 bank branches from HSBC Bank USA and First Niagara Financial Group. Profits rose 16.5 percent, while the company reported net income of $18.8 million, or 48 cents per share, up from $16.2 million, or 48 cents per share. The increase was attributed to higher revenues from an earlier acquisition last April, as well as growth in deposits.

Liazon

Liazon Corp. has received $18.2 million in venture funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and Fidelity Biosciences, along with follow-up capital from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Buffalo-based Rand Capital SBIC. The Buffalo-based company operates a private health insurance exchange system for small businesses.

Icearena

Profits at Northwest Bancshares were down during the first quarter. The Pennsylvania-based company is the parent of Northwest Savings Bank, which operates as Jamestown Savings Bank in Chautauqua County. It had net income of $15.2 million, or 16 cents per share, down from $17.3 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago. The loss was attributed to lower revenues and higher expenses despite loan growth and an improvement in credit quality.

Freetaxhelp

Accounting students from the University at Buffalo’s School of Management donated nearly 2,200 hours of tax service during the 2012 season, preparing more than 900 tax returns for low-income taxpayers. That resulted in a total of $1.35 million being refunded to individuals and families.

 

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Speaking of taxes:

 

Embrace our Canadian visitors.

From Business Today:

CanadianShoppers

 Retailers in Western New York know what a boon Canadian shoppers are to their bottom line, but businesses in other industries apparently don't, according to new market research. Visiting Canadians spent $933 million here last year, but just 13 percent of it was spent on sightseeing and recreation. That's an untapped audience with huge potential and spending clout. Executives from Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. shared ideas for how local businesses could better take advantage of the opportunity at two seminars Monday.

AllisonDuwe

A public authority oversight agency has determined that, according to current laws, a company that eliminated workers here committed no job piracy. After taking 15 years of tax breaks from the ECIDA, VWR Education eliminated 41 jobs at its warehouse in the Town of Tonawanda. At the same time, it added seven jobs at its facility near Rochester, and received tax breaks from the Monroe County IDA for doing so. Politicians and activists filed a complaint, saying the company was shifting jobs around New York State at taxpayer expense, but the New York State Authorities Budget Office disagreed, according to a report resulting from its investigation.

CEOBoldt

Profits were up during the first quarter at a Buffalo-based information technology staffing and services company. Computer Task Group saw an 18.8 percent increase in profits. It reported net income of $3.36 million, or 20 cents per share, up from 42.83 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to the same period a year ago. The increase is attributed to higher revenues, especially from electronic medical records and other health care technology solutions.

Cuomo

After being ordered by state regulators to check their insurance records against federal death data, life insurance companies found that hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance policy claims have gone unpaid. More than 30,000 policies and $262.2 million in benefits went unpaid because insurers failed to check whether their policyholders had died. In New York State, 7,525 policyholders have received $95.9 million in unpaid benefits. The results came after an investigation was launched by the state Department of Financial Services. To search for a lost policy, click here.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Looks like another lovely spring day:

 

Deputies called in.

From Business Today:

ECIDA

Seven sheriff's deputies stood sentinel at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency's board meeting Monday. The board had requested security to discourage outbursts from members of the Occupy Buffalo movement, who have attended and disrupted two previous meetings. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said the show of force was "overkill." But the sheriff's office said it received an anonymous call saying Occupy Buffalo had planned to create a disturbance, so it sent more deputies in response to the call.

Graystone

Developer Carl P. Paladino will receive tax breaks on a $5.3 million project to convert the Graystone Building into 42 apartments. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency agreed Monday to approve nearly $213,000 in sales and mortgage tax breaks for the project. Paladino has received a host of financial incentives to restore the vacant building, including including $1.2 million in historic tax credits from the state.

Wilmers

Compared to a year ago, profits were flat for the first quarter at M & T Bank Corp, the Buffalo-based parent of M&T Bank. Per-share earnings fell. Despite higher loan and fee revenues and lower credit costs, the purchase of Wilmington Trust Corp. resulted in higher operating expenses. The company had net income of $206 million. Per-share profits fell by 5.7 percent, to $1.50, from $1.59 a year ago.

Hochul

 Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst is proposing the Workforce-Ready Educate America Act, which would give employers a $1,000 tax credit for each student placed in qualified training program. The legislation is intended to bridge the gap between unemployed graduates and companies with unfilled positions.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

 Esperanza Spalding will perform at UB tomorrow night:

 

 

Benefitting a little from loss elsewhere.

From Business Today:

Yahoo

Despite bad news for many Yahoo employees, there is good news for the company's East Coast data center here. Yahoo is laying off 14 percent of its workforce, amounting to about 2,000 workers who will be out of jobs. It's the sixth mass layoff in the past four years. But company officials said they will actually be adding workers to its Lockport location, according to State Sen. George D. Maziarz, who said he spoke with the company. Yahoo has not yet disclosed how many jobs might be added.

CEOFonstein

Shares at Cleveland BioLabs sank dramatically Wednesday after news hit that the company's anti-radiation sickness drug wouldn't be getting funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Share value dropped by 23.85 percent, or 57 cents, to $1.82 per share. The company said it will continue to develop its Protectan 502 drug, will look for new sources of funding and will resubmit an application to the Department of Health and Human Services agency.

Greenfields

GreenFields Continuing Care Community in Lancaster is proceeding with plans to add a new wing for patients with dementia and other memory problems. If the Lancaster Town Board approves site plans at its April 16 meeting, construction at the facility could begin as early as next month. In its first phase of construction, Niagara Lutheran Health System will build four, L-shaped buildings, around a central courtyard, which would hold private apartments for 12 to 15 residents, along with common kitchen areas and living rooms.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Wouldn't it be great if the Beatles had written a jingle for Greenfields? It might sound something like this:

 

The seaway is open!

From Business Today:

TopHat

The St. Lawrence Seaway kicked off its 54th navigation season Thursday. The Welland Canal bypasses Niagara Falls to connect Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and is an important part of the Seaway. An opening ceremony celebration was held at the canal, during which the captain of the first vessel to enter the waterway was honored with a beaver pelt top hat. The captain and his chief engineer signed the hat, which will be kept in a nearby museum, per tradition. The Seaway is expecting a 3 percent increase in the cargo that passes through this year. You can follow the ships in the seaway at this site.

PinkSlime

In response to consumer concerns, several national grocers have taken ground beef with the so-called "pink slime" filler off store shelves. So who in Western New York is still using it, who is not and who never has? Pink slime refers to "lean finely textured beef," beef tissue that is treated with ammonia as part of the harvesting process and added to ground beef to get a leaner product at a lower cost.

E&E

Profits were down 70 percent at Ecology & Environment during the second quarter. The drop is attributed to higher administrative costs, higher indirect staffing costs and a loss on foreign exchange rates. Profits were $504,000, or 12 cents per share, from $1.8 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier. The company's revenues were down just 4 percent. Ecology & Environment is an environmental consulting firm in Lancaster.

Verizon

The Communications Workers of America union is pressuring Verizon to extend its FiOS fiber-optic service to the City of Buffalo. Verizon has proposed a deal to purchase wireless spectrum from cable companies for $3.6 billion and cut deals with some cable companies, which has raised anti-trust concerns. The CWA wants the Senate antitrust subcommittee that is looking into the situation to put conditions on the deal that would make bringing FiOS to Buffalo possible.

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Happy Friday: