May 18, 2013

Briefcase

GM closes above IPO price for first time in two years

Shares of General Motors reached an important milestone on Friday, closing above their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years.

GM shares reached $33.77 Friday before slipping back to close at $33.42, up 3.2 percent. The auto giant sold shares to the public for $33 in a November 2010 IPO, but they've traded below that price since May 4, 2011.

GM's business is getting stronger. Two weeks ago, GM reported solid first-quarter earnings on robust sales in North America. On Friday, there were signs sales declines may have bottomed in Europe -- where GM has lost money for a dozen years.

Former Groupon CEO records motivational business music

Former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason is diving into several new ventures, including indulging his inner rock star with an album of "motivational business music."

Mason said Thursday on his blog that he recently spent a week in Los Angeles and recorded a collection of seven songs called "Hardly Workin'."

Mason said he wants to present business wisdom to younger people and that the songs will help them understand ideas that are critical to becoming productive and effective employees.

He said many of Groupon's employees are young and many didn't have much familiarity with business, and didn't want to read books on the subject.

Mason plans to start a new company in the fall. He didn't disclose details but said he'll be moving to San Francisco from Chicago.

Yahoo's CEO vows to unveil 'something special' Monday

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is promising to unveil "something special" Monday in New York as she tries to attract more traffic and advertising to the Internet company.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company gave no further details Friday other than that Mayer will be discussing a product.

Reporters are being invited to attend the 5 p.m. event at a lounge in New York's Times Square.

Mayer has been emphasizing the need for better mobile applications and more video since she became Yahoo's CEO 10 months ago after helping to build Google into the Internet's most powerful company during a 13-year career there.

The invitations to Monday's event were sent out amid speculation that Yahoo might form a partnership or buy a stake in Tumblr, a content-sharing service that has become popular for mobile devices.

DirecTV entertains thoughts of acquiring a stake in Hulu

DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV provider, is said to be interested in acquiring at least a stake in online-video site Hulu, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Discussions are at an early stage and it's uncertain if the company would want to buy all of Hulu or just a portion. Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp. each own about one-third of Hulu.

DirecTV considered acquiring Hulu in 2011, but backed off because the online website's content rights were limited, DirecTV CEO Mike White said in an interview last month.

Time Warner Cable Inc., the second-largest U.S. cable operator, also is considering taking an equity stake, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Hulu would give DirecTV an Internet-based video platform to supplement its satellite-TV business.

Pentagon OKs Apple devices for use on military networks

The Pentagon said Friday it has cleared Apple devices for use on its networks, setting the stage for the maker of iPhones and iPads to compete with Samsung Electronics and BlackBerry for military sales.

The Defense Department said in a statement that it has approved the use of government-issued Apple products running a version of the iOS 6 mobile platform.

The decision eventually may spur a three-way fight for a market long dominated by BlackBerry.

- From news services

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