Catch up on the weekend’s top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly:
1. A user in a low-level hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook (FB) users for free online, reported Business Insider’s Aaron Holmes. The exposed data includes personal information of over 533M Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32M records on users in the U.S., 11M on users in the U.K., and 6M on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and – in some cases – email addresses, noted the author. Insider said it reviewed a sample of the leaked data and verified several records by matching known Facebook users’ phone numbers with the IDs listed in the data set. The publication also verified records by testing email addresses from the data set in Facebook’s password reset feature, which can be used to partially reveal a user’s phone number. A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019.
2. A Maryland hotel magnate and a Swiss billionaire have made a bid for Tribune (TPCO) that the newspaper chain is expected to favor over a takeover deal it already struck with hedge fund Alden Global Capital, wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Cara Lombardo and Lukas Alpert. A special committee of Tribune’s board has determined that a roughly $680M, $18.50-a-share bid submitted late last week by Choice Hotels International Chairman Stewart Bainum and Hansjorg Wyss is reasonably likely to lead to a proposal that is superior to Alden’s $635M deal, people familiar with the matter said. That is legal deal-speak indicating Alden may need to raise its bid or risk losing the deal, said the authors.
3. Facebook’s stock is trailing Silicon Valley rivals, and it trades essentially in line with the broad market, Max Cherney wrote in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But it won’t remain this cheap for long, especially with investors rotating out of expensive tech stocks with questionable business models, contended the author. While the future may always be uncertain, there is nothing unpredictable about Facebook’s core business. The company is expected to generate $35B in free cash flow next year, up 30% from this year’s forecast, and the stock price should follow, added the publication.
4. Legendary and AT&T (T) subsidiary Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong” grossed an estimated $48.5M in its first five days, including $32.2M for the three-day Easter weekend, making this the biggest showing since the COVID-19 crisis commenced. The movie also finished the weekend with a foreign tally of $236.9M for a global total of $285.4M. “Godzilla vs. Kong” also launched on HBO Max but viewership numbers were not made public.
5. MasTec (MTZ), Aecom (ACM), Jacobs (J), Quanta Services (PWR), Vulcan Materials (VMC), Astec Industries (ASTE), Construction Partners (ROAD), Evoqua Water Technologies (AQUA) and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD), NextEra Energy (NEE), Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (AY), Clearway Energy (CWEN), Barrick Gold (GOLD), and WW (WW) saw positive mentions in this week’s edition of Barron’s.