Apple Shares Jump on Buyback Rumors: Winners & Losers

Fourth generation Apple iPads are seen on display at an Apple store on February 5, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
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Fourth generation Apple iPads are seen on display at an Apple store on February 5, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

Apple shares reversed earlier losses, gaining 1.2 percent to $463.20, on speculation the company is accelerating its stock-buyback program.

Twitter was aflurry with the rumor making rounds that Apple, which announced a buyback program in early 2012, would be speeding it up. In March 2012, Apple said it would spend $10 billion on a share-repurchase program and initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it expects to spend $45 billion over the next three years.

Apple couldn't immediately be reached for comment for this story.

Zynga shares moved higher, tacking on 8.9 percent to $2.98, after the social-gaming company reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates.

Excluding items, the San Francisco-based company earned 1 cent a share on $311.1 million in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for a loss of 3 cents a share on $212.1 million in sales.

For the first quarter of 2013, Zynga said it expects to generate sales between $255 million and $265 million, losing between 4 cents and 2 cents a share.

3D Systems shares rose 4.8 percent to $65.56 after the 3D-printing company said it would split its stock 3-for-2.

On Feb. 22, shareholders as of Feb. 15 will receive one additional share for every two they own. It will be paid in the form of a 50 percent dividend, and shareholders will receive cash in lieu of fractional shares. The stock will start trading on a split-adjusted basis Feb. 25.

"The stock split will increase the market liquidity and broaden our investor base. We are pleased by the confidence that our Board of Directors and shareholders have placed in our ability to provide superior returns and long-term value," CEO Avi Reichental said in a press release.

BlackBerry shares fell 1.1 percent to $15.85 on reports that initial sales of the BlackBerry Z10 aren't all they've been cracked up to be.

BlackBerry has touted that the Z10 is seeing switches from other devices, but some analysts on Wall Street note stores are only being stocked with a handful of devices, as opposed to hundreds or thousands.

Canaccord Genuity's Mike Walkley noted that most stores in the U.K., where the device was first launched, received less than 15 units, and were sold over a few days. "Our surveys revealed that while most sales representatives acknowledged the Z10 was a marked improvement versus older BB 7 devices, initial sales were driven by pent-up demand from loyal BlackBerry users," Walkley wrote in his note.

By's Chris Ciaccia

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