Amid a spate of buyout rumors,
appointed board member Michael Ding as chairman yesterday. It was a quick search for the Taiwanese online gaming company, known as a hub for online gambling. On April 30, former chairman Daniel Wu submitted a letter of resignation citing "personal and family obligations" as his reasons for leaving, according to a release.
Reports have swirled for weeks about takeover talks between Gibraltar-based
and its Asian competitor. GigaMedia's market cap stands a little over $330 million. PartyGaming is known for the online parlor PartyPoker.com and, with 4 million users, GigaMedia's FunTown is known as the world's largest online MahJong site.
On May 1, Brean Murray downgraded GigaMedia from buy to hold, citing moderating revenues in online gaming. GigaMedia itself announced a slightly damper first quarter outlook, with revenues expected to fall by 10 percent in its gaming software segment. But it also expects its Asian online gaming business to rise around 30 percent compared to the fourth quarter. On a recent "Mad Money" segment, Jim Cramer gave a bearish take on GigaMedia, saying he's not recommending individual Chinese stocks.
Since the downgrade, GigaMedia has swung from a closing low of $5.79 to a high of $6.70. The stock is flat at midday today, inching up 1 cent at $6.11 since the opening bell this morning.
Other Asian online gaming companies are seeing good movement this afternoon. Shanghai-based
Shanda Interactive Entertainment
is soaring at $52.70, up $3.23 since yesterday's close.
, maker of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, is up 8% to $19.41. Perfect World beat analysts' first quarter estimates yesterday in announcing an earnings per ADS of 58 cents on $62.2 million in revenues.