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Description: BlackBerry maker Research in Motion reported a 37% jump in revenue after the bell Thursday, but its gloomy forecast punished the stock Friday.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 9/25/2009

Keys: Investing, stock market

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/25/technology/research_in_motion_stock_falls/index.htm?postversion=2009092517

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think the drop in market price is justified or is this an opportunity to buy on the pullback? Explain your thinking.
  • What metrics would you use to assess the current and future values of RIM and Apple shares? Explain your thinking.

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Description: Sara Lee Corp (SLE.N)will sell its personal care brands like Sanex and Brylcreem for $1.87 billion (1.275 billion euros) to consumer goods giant Unilever and set a $1 billion share buyback plan, sending its stock up 6 percent. Sara Lee also said on Friday it has seen significant interest in its household products business, which includes Ambi Pur air freshener and Kiwi shoe polish. The divestitures allow it to focus on its food and beverage businesses like Sara Lee baked goods and Hillshire Farm meats.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 9/25/2009

Keys: Mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, stock market

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSLP41983520090925

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the arguments favouring this decision?
  • How might this decision impact future cash flow for each firm? Explain your thinking.
  • Do you think this decision will work out better for one firm? Explain why you think so.

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Description: Dell Inc.’s proposed $3.9 billion buyout of Perot Systems Corp. reflects the second-largest personal-computer maker’s ambitions in the market for health- care information technology.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 9/22/2009

Keys: Mergers and acquisitions, marketing

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aQoF5RIBfpSY

Questions for discussion:

  • Explain why this deal makes sense for Dell.
  • How might it affect its financial metrics – particularlythose found in cash flows reports?
  • Do you agree with the price offered? Explain your answer.

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Description: You wouldn’t know it by his pay stubs, but Jiang Jianqing heads the world’s largest bank. Jiang, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, made just $234,700 in 2008. That’s less than 2 percent of the $19.6 million awarded to Jamie Dimon, chief executive of the world’s fourth-largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: 9/23/2009

Keys: Management, HR, ethics

Link:  http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE58M2QU20090923

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you think U.S. bank CEOs are fairly compensated? Explain your thinking.
  • How else could compensation for these sorts of important managerial positions be decided? Explain your answer.
  • How might compensation affect share value and other financial metrics?

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Description:  CEO Carol Bartz explains why her company formed a partnership with Microsoft one year after their initial offer.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 9/16/2009

Keys:  Mergers & acquisitions, strategic planning

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/09/16/f_mpw_bartz_microsoft.fortune/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of the partnership for both firms from a strategic planning point of view? Explain your answer.
  • Do you believe that this deal benefits one firm more than the other? Explain your thinking.

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Description: The momentum that boosted the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq to nearly one-year highs looks to reassert itself in the week ahead. Fed meeting, housing reports, G-20 summit on tap.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 9/20/2009

Keys: Investing, stock market

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/18/markets/sunday_lookahead/index.htm?postversion=2009092008

Questions for discussion:

  • Based on the report, do you believe the stock markets will continue to rise this week? Explain your answer.
  • Are you concerned that markets might be over-valued and experience a significant pull back from current levels? Explain your thinking.

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Description: There are lots of ways to measure profitability. Many investors fixate on a company’s earnings growth, especially for one-year or five-year periods. I have nothing against that measure — well, wait a moment, I do. It is too sensitive to the starting point, making companies look unduly strong when they are coming off a bad year, or unfairly weak when the base year is an especially prosperous one.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 9/14/2009

Keys: Financial analysis, metrics, investing, stock market

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=asXTJ.6TI4o0

Questions for discussion:

  • What do you think of these metrics as a means for evaluating stock values? Explain your answer.
  • Which one do you believe is the best indicator of corporate success? Explain your thinking.

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Description: To save Chrysler Group LLC, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has to create a mid-size sedan that can compete with the world’s best. It’s a three- to five-year job, and he may have two years to do it.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: 9/14/2009

Keys: Management, investing, marketing

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=awHymjXNOYdI

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the strategies that are supposed to fix Chrysler?
  •  Do you think they will be successful? Explain your answer.
  • Do you think the cash plans are sufficient or will Fiat eventually invest cash into Chrysler?

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Description:  Gold is over $1,000. Our editor at large debates with readers of ‘The Buzz’ whether it’s still a good investment.

Source: CNNMoney – video report
 
Date: 9/08/2009

Keys: Economy, stock market, investing

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2009/09/08/n_buzz_gold_1000_investment.cnnmoney/

Questions for discussion: 

  • Summarize the reasons offered for gold price changes?
  • What do you think will happen to the price of gold over the next few years? Explain your thinking.
  • Would a purchase of gold mining shares be wiser than gold bullion? Explain your answer.

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Description: Automaker restores white-collar staff’s paychecks after temporary reductions made four months ago.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 9/11/2009

Keys: Cash flow, budgeting

Link:  http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/11/news/companies/gm_ends_pay_cuts.reut/index.htm?postversion=2009091111

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is this news significant for GM? Explain your answer.
  • What does this suggest about operations and cash flow? Explain your answer.