Digital scrapbooking site Pinterest files for IPO

SAN FRANCISCO — Pinterest is pinning its future on Wall Street, with the digital scrapbooking site on Friday filing for an initial public offering of stock.

It follows a similar filing with securities regulators earlier this month by ride-hailing company Lyft in what is shaping up to be a busy season for technology IPOs. Also expected to sell stock to the public in the coming weeks: Lyft rival Uber and messaging app Slack.

Pinterest said in its filing that it intends to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol “PINS.” The company hasn’t yet said how many shares it’s selling in the IPO or how much money it intends to raise.

The San Francisco-based company had revenue of $756 million last year, a 60 percent bump from 2017. It had a loss of $63 million last year, compared to a loss of $130 million in 2017.

Pinterest allows people to search for and “pin” images as inspiration for fashion, interior design, travel and more.

The company said it has more than 250 million users each month, and users have saved more than 175 billion pins since the site was launched.

Pinterest has raised nearly $1.5 billion in the private markets, and was last valued at $12.3 billion in 2017, according to PitchBook Data.

Pinterest has long shunned being labeled a social network. Because of that, it doesn’t push users to add friends or build connections. It also means it’s been able to avoid problems of its larger rivals like Facebook.

But despite the lack of friend networks, many advertisers likely still consider Pinterest to be part of their “social” budgets, said eMarketer analyst Andrew Lipsman, meaning it competes in part with Facebook, Snapchat and others.

Pinterest makes advertising revenue when businesses promote pins in users’ feeds. Pinterest has the potential to be more valuable …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

New lawsuit claims Utah realtors part of ‘conspiracy’ to fleece thousands from clients

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal class-action lawsuit filed in Illinois last week against numerous real estate brokers, including some operating in Utah, as well as the National Association of Realtors, claims the defendants have been “conspiring to require home sellers to pay the broker representing the buyer of their homes, and to pay at an inflated amount, in violation of federal antitrust law.”

The complaint is seeking to both recover damages, potentially in the tens of billions of dollars, as well as change Realtor rules that the suit says “requires all brokers to make a blanket, non-negotiable offer of buyer broker compensation … when listing a property on a Multiple Listing Service.”

One Utah resident who said he and his wife were harassed by real estate agents after listing their home for sale without an offer of a commission for the buyer’s agent said the action is “absolutely understandable” after the experience they went through.

The Salt Lake City Multiple Listing Service is one of 20 MLS’s identified in the lawsuit in which plaintiff attorney’s are signing class participants, which they indicate are any persons who paid a broker commission since March 6, 2015, on the sale of a residential property in the listed MLS areas.

In addition to the Realtors group, other defendants include Realogy Holdings Corp., which includes Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA and Sotheby’s; HomeServices of America Inc., which includes Berkshire Hathaway, RealtySouth, Long & Foster, Edina Realty and others; RE/MAX Holdings Inc.; and Keller Williams Realty.

A web posting by plaintiffs’ law firm Hagens Berman said the brokerage companies “conspired with the National Association of Realtors and others to cheat home sellers out of thousands of dollars by illegally fixing real estate broker commissions.”

“The National Association of Realtors has worked with these franchises to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Job growth expected to continue in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s job growth should continue to fuel the state’s robust economy — at least for the time being, an analyst says.

With jobs in the Beehive State plentiful and economic expansion on a historic roll, the state is poised to maintain its strong pace of growth and development for the foreseeable future, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services. However, the number of jobs being produced is outpacing the number of qualified people available to fill them, explained DWS chief economist Carrie Mayne.

Though it isn’t a major issue right now, there could be a time when the demand for workers will eventually overwhelm the supply of individuals that can fill that need.

“It looks like we’re matching people up with jobs because we continue to keep the unemployment rate low,” she said. “But maybe at some point, our labor force just won’t grow at the rate the employers need it to grow.”

Mayne said current economic conditions remain quite promising, with no obvious indicators of potential drawbacks. She said virtually every resident who wants a job can find one, but some employers are unable to fill open positions due to lack of available talent.

“When you see a long-term (economic) expansion, the question becomes at what point are we going to exhaust our labor force and not be able to keep up with employer demand,” she queried.

She noted that the state’s labor force participation rate — the number of people available for work as a percentage of the total Utah working-age population — currently registers at 67.7, meaning just over two-thirds of adults are actively employed. Nationally, the labor participation rate is 63.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On Friday, DWS reported the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February fell one-tenth of a percentage point to register …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Ex-employee ordered to repay $60K to aerospace company

SALT LAKE CITY — A former engineer at a Utah aerospace manufacturing company has been ordered to repay about $60,000 after pleading guilty to a pattern of unlawful activity during his time there.

Adam Beyer Corliss, 40, admitted to the charge, a second-degree felony, in January as part of an agreement with prosecutors. In exchange, 10 counts of communications fraud, also a second-degree felony, were dismissed.

The company he worked for, Orbital ATK, was acquired by Northrop Grumman last year.

Third District Judge Heather Brereton last month ordered Corliss to 18 months of probation and 100 hours of community service, court records show. The judge also ordered him to pay about $60,000 in restitution.

Investigators said Corliss ran an employee benefits program that provided discount ski passes and other items, but he created false invoices. They alleged he did not ultimately buy the passes even though the company gave him roughly $40,000 to cover the cost.

Corliss has no prior criminal history in Utah, according to a search of court records.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News