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Here's a roundup of these market moves:
Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) said Wednesday it plans to buy OMGPOP, maker of the explosively popular "Draw Something" game.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Zynga is rumored to have paid about $200 million for the start-up.
OMGPOP's Draw Something game tops both the iTunes "top paid" and "top free" lists, and is the top-grossing iTunes app. AllThingsD reports the company has recently been netting around $250,000 a day from the game, even after Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) takes its 30% cut.
ZNGA rose 2.46% Wednesday to close at $13.72.
Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) announced a name-change for its global snacks business to be spunoff this year – drumroll, please – to Mondelez International.
The name was chosen from the 1,700 names suggested by Kraft employees. It's a combination of the word "monde," derived from the Latin for "world," and "delez," an expression for delicious.
While the name has been met with mixed reviews and confusion over its pronunciation and meaning, it won't be plastered on food packages in your local grocery stores. "Mondelez International" will only be printed on the back of products, and as a corporate name, not a brand.
KFT closed down 0.1% Wednesday to $38.31.
Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE: HPQ) announced Wednesday morning yet another business restructuring move, the first by CEO Meg Whitman.
Hewlett-Packard plans to combine its printing and personal computer businesses into one unit. HP hopes the move will streamline business and increase efficiency.
The units accounted for about $65.4 billion in revenue total for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31. That's about 50% of total HP revenue. The combo will create the company's largest operating segment.
Analysts were skeptical the move would be executed well enough to benefit HP.
"While some of these changes will likely help the company in the longer run, they increase uncertainty in the near term and raise execution risk," Abhey Lamba of Mizuho Securities wrote in a note to clients. "We remain on the sidelines until we see signs of better execution at the firm."
Shaw Wu, an analyst with Sterne Agee, added that while the move could cut costs, he's "concerned with lack of strategic synergies between the two businesses."
Hewlett-Packard already has two main obstacles to overcome this year: a slowdown in computer sales and the aftermath of its PC debacle.
According to data from research firm Gartner Inc. (Nasdaq: IT), the PC market actually shrank 1.4% in the December quarter from a year earlier. Add to that the sudden burst in tablet sales, and you can quickly see a combination of weak revenue and lower profit margins ahead for H-P.
H-P also has to fix its self-destructive decision to exit the PC market. The idea to leave the PC market came from previous CEO Leo Apotheker, who led for 11 months.
In October – after ousting Apotheker – the company reversed course and said it would not spin off its PC division.
Now H-P's large enterprise clients – companies with several hundred to several thousand users – need to know H-P is in it for the long haul. Otherwise, they'll just buy cheaper PCs and hire a service company instead of relying on H-P's support.
HPQ fell 2.17% Wednesday to close at $23.46.
Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG) announced this morning it would exit its annuity business and focus on property and casualty insurance, group benefits, and mutual funds.
Hartford said it would stop annuity sales on April 27. The move will hit Hartford with a $15 million – $20 million after-tax charge in the second quarter. Hartford expects annual run-rate expenses next year to decline by about $100 million before taxes.
Hartford said its annuity business earnings fell 10.4% to $86 million in the fourth quarter.
The spin off comes about a month after famed hedge fund manager John Paulson encouraged Hartford to separate its property and casualty business. Paulson's hedge fund has an 8.5% stake in Hartford.
On a Feb. 8 conference call with analysts, Paulson urged Hartford take "drastic" action to split its businesses.
Sterne Agee analysts considered the new business structure a positive turn for the company and issued a "Buy" rating on the stock Wednesday morning. Analysts said cutting those focuses would trim expenses in distribution, underwriting and product development.
Sterne Agee reported that Hartford Financial management thinks ongoing businesses should generate a 12% to 13% ROE in 2012.
HIG shares closed up 1.43% to $22.02.
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Zynga Just Bought OMGPOP for $200 Million