Although local retailers often enjoy the holiday season for the traditional rise in sales, the tech industry as a whole got a pleasant surprise as their stock prices remained at yearly highs. In fact, 2013 was largely considered a superb year for the tech sector, as there were reportedly 45 U.S. tech IPOs over the past 12 months -- the most since 2000. Even more exciting is the outlook for 2014, in which several more industry leaders are expected to enter the public space, including: Alibaba Group, popular cloud storage provider Dropbox, Candy Crush developer King, mobile payment company Square, and online dating service Zoosk.
To really see the success of this past year, it helps to take a look at a few of the bigger names. Yahoo, led by CEO Marissa Mayer, saw its stock rise to $41.05 as of Tuesday, very near its 52-week high. Furthermore, Yahoo’s 24 percent stake in Alibaba Group has helped to retain investor interest, shielding them from the continued decline of their search share (down from 12.1% a year earlier to 11.2% as of November) and slight losses in revenue.
Google has recently been heralded the most talked-about company of 2013, and the numbers don’t lie. According to AllThingsD, Google’s shares are nearing their yearly high of $1,118, and are up 58 percent on the year. Although this kind of performance was expected from Google, few would believe that Microsoft would be turning positive numbers too. Despite the uncertainty associated with a new CEO, the Redmond-based firm has seen its shares rise 40 percent this past year.
Social media leaders LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have also witnessed the support of investors. Facebook, who had a disappointing 2012 following its highly-publicised IPO, rebounded nicely in 2013 with its stock up 117 percent on the year. Similarly, LinkedIn is up 92.4 percent, although this figure is still about $30 below its yearly high of $257.56. In contrast to Facebook’s poor IPO, Twitter has far surpassed analyst expectations. Currently hovering at around $70 a share, this number is nearly triple its IPO price from just a couple of months ago.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about 2013 is the response to stocks that were largely considered untouchable. Two notable examples are deal-of-the-day website Groupon and social game developer Zynga; companies which are up 150 percent and 74 percent on the year, respectively.