Biz Break: Square, Twitter put up airballs for Jack Dorsey

Top Of The Order: 

And Dorsey Goes 0-For-2: Okay, even Stephen Curry can have a bad game once in a while. Based on how Curry as played this season, his 12 points in Wednesday night’s Warriors 115-94 win over Utah made it look like there was something wrong with the World’s Greatest Basketball Player.

But, even on a rough night, Curry still did this. On Thursday, Jack Dorsey would have been happy with just getting to hold the ball during some fourth-quarter garbage time.

That’s because Thursday was not a good day for either of the companies where Dorsey is the boss, Square and Twitter.

Let’s start with Square. The maker of digital cash-register technology reported its first quarterly results as a public company on Wednesday. Among the highlights were Square reporting revenue of $374 million for the quarter, which was up by 49 percent from a year ago. However, its losses grew to $48 million from last year’s loss of $37 million. The company also forecast revenue for the year of between $600 million and $620 million.

But adding new merchants is the single most important way for Square to grow, and there was some concern on Wall Street about the growth of Square’s merchant base, and whether it really is reaching 100,000 new customers every quarter. As a result, Square shares pared back by 6 percent to close Thursday at $11.30.

As if Square’s decline wasn’t enough of a blow for Dorsey to take, Twitter, the other company where he is CEO, saw its shares fall almost 6 percent Thursday to end the day at $16.61. That decline was seen as largely due to a Wall Street Journal report that Twitter is handing out stock and cash in a hand-over-fist manner in a seemingly desperate attempt to keep employees from fleeing the microblogging company. Earlier this year, several top executives left Twitter, which began raising some concerns about Dorsey’s leadership as he recently returned as CEO to the company he co-founded.

On the plus side…Just like Curry will have a chance on Friday to come back from his 12-point game, Dorsey’s companies will have the opportunity to convince investors of their worthiness the next time the market opens.

Middle Innings:

Mark March 21, At Last: Well, following a few weeks of speculation, Apple made it official. The company will be holding a “special event” at its Cupertino campus on March 21. The event is reportedly going to include a new, smaller version of the iPhone and an update to the iPad.

As invites to Apple’s event went out Thursday, the company also heard from the FBI, which on Thursday called its demand to have Apple unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters a “modest” request. The next hearing in the case is set for March 22, just one day after we find out what new gadgets Apple has up its sleeves.

Yahoo, Strap On The Skates: Last fall, Yahoo got on the football field by running the first livestream of an NFL game, as it showed the Buffalo Bills-Jaguars game in realtime on the company’s website. Now, Yahoo is taking to the ice.

Yahoo said Thursday that it has reached a deal with the National Hockey League to steam as many as four games a week, starting on Friday. No special cable or pay-TV subscriptions will be required to watch the games.

Getting involved with the NHL might make sense for Yahoo. After all, the company is skating around right now in preparation for a potential proxy fight that could determine the company’s future.

For The Shut-In With Fifty Bucks To Burn: Homer Simpson once said, “Why go out? You’re just going to end up back at home?” Maybe Sean Parker has Homer’s philosophy in mind with The Screening Room?

Parker, who was in on the ground floor of Napster and Facebook, is now one of the backers of something called The Screening Room, a company that is promoting a way for movie studios to charge people $50 to stay at home and watch a movie. The concept is that you would pay $150 for a set-top box that would receive movies the day they are released in theaters, and then pay $50 to rent a film for 48 hours.

The concept isn’t without some economical benefits. For example, over Christmas, I took my family to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in IMAX 3D and it cost the five of us more than $90 just for the tickets. Then, there was the $21.12 for the popcorn and drinks we shared. With The Screening Room set up at home, we could watch that movie for roughly half of what we paid in the theater.

Then again, at home, by the time I finished with all the interruptions for juice, snacks, sibling brawls and tattling, I probably would have used up the entire 48-hour viewing window and still not seen the whole movie. Maybe stick with the theater…

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley tech stocks did Thursday…

Movin’ On Up: Oclaro rose 5.3 percent, and gains also came from NeoPhotonics, Depomed, Nektar Therapeutics and Impax Laboratories.

In The Red: RingCentral, Pandora Media, Silicon Graphics, A10 Networks and Nimble Storage each fell at least 4.7 percent on the day.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies shed 0.2 percent to close at 1,545.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent to 4,662.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just under its breakeven line of 16,995.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose less than 1 point to 1,989.

Quote Of The Day: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”  — Clemenza in “The Godfather.”

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Photo: Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (AFP/Getty Images)

 

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  • wakeupz

    And what is it that you do Rex? Write articles for a living at a lame website….Your stock and life are worthless.

 
 
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