Zynga Co-Founder Mark Pincus Has Stepped Down and Apple Authorizes a 7-for-1 Stock Split

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) received a tweet of approval from activist investor Carl Icahn after the company decided to approve another $30 billion in share buy backs until the end of 2015. Apple has also approved about an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share. One of the biggest decisions by the company recently was to authorize a seven-for-one stock split which could broaden the stock's appeal to investors.

Apple Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiaries design, manufacture, and market mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players worldwide. It also sells software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications related to its products. The company offers iPhone, a line of smartphones that comprise a phone, music player, and Internet device; iPad, a line of multi-purpose tablets based on Apple's iOS Multi-Touch operating system; Mac, a line of desktop and portable personal computers; and iPod, a line of portable digital music and media players, such as iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and iPod classic. It also provides Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and various accessories, service and support offerings; and manufactures the Apple LED Cinema Display and Thunderbolt Display.

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Zynga, Inc. (ZNGA) reported first-quarter financial results on April 23rd, revealing a first-quarter net loss of $61.2 million, or 7 cents a share. The net loss includes a $30 million restructuring charge during the period. This was in comparison to a year-ago profit of $4.1 million, which broke even on a per-share basis. Non-GAAP net loss was $6 million, compared to net income of $9 million in the first quarter of 2013.  Revenue declined 36% year over year to $168 million.

The company also has announced that co-founder Mark Pincus has stepped down from operational duties and is now taking on an advisory role. Pincus will remain as Chairman and at most will only visit Zynga once a week. Pincus is considering launching an incubator for new startups. “I am going to invest in ideas that I think can be breakthrough products, and I don’t feel any burning need to go out and start a company,” Pincus told Recode. “I want to do things that are more organic, because that’s where Zynga started.”

Zynga Inc. develops, markets, and operates online social games as live services played on the Internet, social networking sites, and mobile platforms in the United States and internationally. The company offers online social games primarily under the FarmVille, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker franchises. Its games are accessible on Facebook and Zynga.com. Zynga is trading as a penny stock and is one to keep an eye on. Many big stocks start as penny stocks.

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