Updated from 12:19 p.m. EST to provide updated share prices, additional financial guidance on WebMD, and investigation against Perfect World.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - WebMD (WBMD) shares were down sharply Tuesday, off 27.7% to $26.55 after the company announced the end of its sale process, the resignation of its CEO and expectations for 2012 sales to be lower than 2011.
WebMD had been discussing selling itself to potential suitors, but the company's board decided to stop the process. No reason was given why the sale process was stopped.
In addition, CEO Wayne T. Gattinella stepped down immediately, with CFO and COO Anthony Vuolo taking his place. WebMD also said it expects 2012 sales to be 2% to 8% lower than fiscal year 2011.WebMD said it anticipates 2012 expenses will increase by as much as 5% to 8% over 2011 levels, due in large part to investments in areas such as "personalization, mobile, social, international, new content areas and new advertiser products and services." Perfect World (PWRD) shares were up 16.7% to $10.28 after the Chinese gaming company vehemently denied the recent allegations that CEO Michael Chi purchased a 20% stake in 178.com without disclosing it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. There were also accusations that 178.com purchased ads from Perfect World at above-market rates, and no mention of the ties between the companies was made. Perfect World is one of China's leading social gaming companies, similar to the Zynga (ZNGA) of China. Data center operator Equinix (EQIX) shares were up 2.1% to $110.10 on heavier than normal volume. Research firm Gartner recently forecast worldwide IT spending to be $3.8 trillion in 2012, up 3.8% from 2011. Tech stocks were generally rising in context with the broader Nasdaq, which is up just over 1%. Interested in more on Equinix? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/commodity_bull. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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