Los Angeles Business Journal

Thursday’s L.A. News Roundup

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, August 2, 2012

LEGALZOOM IPO: Shares of online legal services provider LegalZoom.com Inc. are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning after the Glendale company prices its estimated $120 million initial public offering this evening. LegalZoom said in regulatory filings last month that it expected to price the 8 million shares at between of $10 and $12 a share. About half of the shares sold will raise money for the company, which was founded in 1999. The remaining shares are being sold by longtime venture capital and other backers. The stock’s ticker symbol will be LGZ.

BRIGHTER OUTLOOK: Shares of Staar Surgical Co. jumped 26 percent to close at $6.49 on Thursday after the maker of implantable eye lenses reported a mixed second quarter but provided more optimistic guidance. The Monrovia company reported a smaller net loss than a year earlier, with adjusted net income of 3 cents a share, in line with Wall Street expectations. But revenue fell 2 percent to a less-than-expected $15.9 million. Shares had dropped 20 percent two weeks ago following the company’s profit warning, but executive now say they expect to achieve profitability in the third and fourth quarters, with revenue growth in the high single digits.

CONSERVATIVE FORECAST: Shares of Activision-Blizzard Inc. fell nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported a better-than-expected second quarter but provided guidance for the current quarter that was lower than analysts expected. The Santa Monica video game developer reported net income of $185 million (20 cents a share), 45 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 6 percent to $1.05 billion. Analysts had expected 12 cents a share profit on revenue of $863 million. The company, citing economic uncertainty that may slow sales, expects third quarter profit of 7 cent a shares on revenue of $690 million. That’s below the Wall Street consensus of 12 cents profit on revenue of $730 million.

GAMER BUY: Saban Brands on Thursday said it acquired Playforge, a San Mateo mobile games developer and publisher known for Zombie Farm, the third highest grossing app on the Apple operating system last year. The company, founded by media billionaire Haim Saban, said it plans to extend current and future free-to-play Playforge games into licensing, merchandising and media opportunities. The deal also gives Saban Brands a presence in Silicon Valley, it said.