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Updated: 4 years 6 months ago

Flush With Cash, Vodafone Eyes Investment

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 10:21am
(LONDON) — With a cash infusion coming soon from the sale of its U.S. business, British cellphone company Vodafone on Tuesday shot down speculation it might go “shopping” for new acquisitions, saying it would focus on investing in its networks in European and emerging markets. Vodafone agreed this year to sell its 45 percent stake in U.S. mobile operator Verizon Communications Inc. to Verizon for $130 billion in a landmark cash and stock purchase— one of the biggest corporate deals in history. But Vodafone argued that, while it was always looking for good opportunities, it had no interest in a spending spree, having already wrapped up a takeover of Germany’s biggest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland, for 7.7 billion euros. The group intends to return about $84 billion to shareholders when the deal is completed, likely in the first quarter of 2014. The company said Tuesday its current plans are to increase investment in existing operations. It will spend 7 billion pounds ($11.2 billion) over two years — about 1 billion pounds more than previously announced. “The pending $130 billion U.S. transaction will reward our shareholders for their long-term support of our strategy and will provide us with a strong balance sheet, improved dividend cover and the financial and strategic flexibility to make further investments in the business or returns to shareholders in the future,” Chief executive Vittorio Colao said in a statement. The investment plan came as the company reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of 17.95 billion pounds in the half year to end-September, in contrast to a loss of 1.98 billion pounds during the same period last year. Colao faced reporters with a cheery confidence, arguing that while trading conditions in Europe remain tough, the economic outlook is encouraging. He noted potential for growth in South Africa, India, Egypt and Turkey. But he dismissed at the notion that Vodafone was “shopping” with the proceeds of the big U.S. deal. “I don’t like the term,” he said. He also declined to talk about reports that American phone giant AT&T might
Categories: Financial News

One Place Where Brooklyn Is Not Cool

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 8:06am
Around the world, “Brooklyn” has become a global hipster brand, seen on craft brews, clothing, restaurants, and more. But in Philadelphia, the presence of “Brooklyn” in the name of a local flea market just comes across as obnoxious. Earlier this year, the New York Times T magazine noted how cities around the world have been “Brooklynizing,” with upcoming hipster neighborhoods popping up in places such as Nashville, Paris, and Berlin. The word “Brooklyn” appears in the name of a diner in Dubai and a restaurant in Malaysia. As far back as 2010, the New York Post counted more than 75 local companies or products with “Brooklyn” in their names. Notably, there’s the Brooklyn Brewery, whose craft beers are sold in 20 countries and are of particular fascination to people from Sweden, of all places. Bloomberg News recently reported that Swedes are regular visitors to the brewery’s weekend tours, and that the company will open its first overseas plant in Stockholm in early 2014. The word “Brooklyn” has come to be shorthand for something that’s cool, urban, authentic, and local, often laced with some underdog, anti-corporate flavor. The problem for companies hawking “Brooklyn” is that some of these attributes just don’t apply as “Brooklyn” spreads, and as businesses with “Brooklyn” in the name hit the big time. (MORE: After PBR: Will the Next Great Hipster Beer Please Stand Up?) One place that has roundly rejected “Brooklyn” is also a city that’s been described as rapidly undergoing Brooklynization over the years: Philadelphia. In June, the Brooklyn Flea, which operates flea markets in several Brooklyn locations every weekend, launched the Brooklyn Flea Philly in the city’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, an area known for attracting “skinny jeans-wearing, PBR-swilling, facial hair-and-tattoo-loving segment of the population,” as one local TV station put it. Despite the hipster crowds, the Brooklyn Flea Philly was an utter failure, and organizers pulled the plug on the flea market recently. Some blamed high rents for vendors, and a hard-to-find location as reasons why the flea market wasn’t embraced by shoppers. Many
Categories: Financial News

Two Surest Ways to Boost Millennials’ Retirement Savings

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 8:05am
As children, we boomers were warned about cigarettes. Never mind that our parents smoked; they got hooked before anyone new the harm. We would not have that excuse. By and large we got the message and didn’t take up the habit. The retirement saving narrative for Millennials is strikingly similar. Never mind that we boomer parents failed to save; older boomers, especially, never really understood the collapse of the pension system and social safety net, and the dire need for personal savings. But Millennials have been duly warned; they will not have that excuse, and by and large they are taking action. Not enough action, for sure. This is a tall mountain to climb and relatively few folks of any generation save as much as they should. But evidence suggests that Millennials are measuring up better than most, and when corporate and government policy finally catch up to the way this generation thinks, works and saves these young people will end up doing a better job preparing for retirement than most might believe. (MORE: The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired) Two in three young employees are committed to or have the ambition to save for retirement, according to new report from Aegon and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. One in four are habitual savers who ‘always make sure’ they are putting something away. Two in five intend to begin saving soon and three in five understand that retirement saving is important—they just don’t have the means yet. These are impressive numbers. Saving for retirement generally was not on the radar of twentysomethings in any previous generation. Yet to capture the full benefit of their understanding two big changes must occur: Portable pension plans Millennials are a mobile lot. According to the survey, 39% expect to look for a new job within a year and 31% are thinking about quitting their job right now. This is part of their unique career reality. They are being held back while under-saved boomers hang on to their jobs. So Millennials
Categories: Financial News

Walmart’s ‘Black Friday’ Sales Will Begin Earlier Thursday

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 7:50am
You may still have time to shop before Thanksgiving dinner. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Tuesday that it will move some of its holiday deals back to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, from 8 p.m. last year, joining a growing list of retailers trying to capture the deal-hunting “Black Friday” shoppers a whole day earlier. The stores will offer separate discounts at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, though it’s holding back some exclusive sales for the traditional Black Friday morning shopping period, USA Today reports. Other stores, including Target, Best Buy and Macy’s, have said they will open earlier or for the first time Thursday. Kart will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and stay open for 41 straight hours. [USA Today]
Categories: Financial News

Dow Jones Closes at Record High — Again

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 4:06pm
Though trading volume was lower than usual on Monday because of the holiday, stocks inched up and The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high for the third time in a week. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 15,783.10 on Monday. The Dow Jones climbed 21.32 points on Monday, after closing at 15,61.78 on Friday and raising 128 points to close at 15,746 last Wednesday. Friday’s positive jobs report, which showed modest gains, is largely responsible for last week’s peak. More broadly, “Corporate earnings have been strong, and the view is that the Fed is on hold for the foreseeable future, so the focus turns to the holiday season, and the strength of the U.S. consumer,”  Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management, told CNBC. The S&P 500 gained 1.27 points and ended at 1771.88, a close only slightly under its Oct. 29 record of 1,771.95. [CNBC]
Categories: Financial News

New BlackBerry Leader’s Pay Package Released

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 2:56pm
(TORONTO) — New BlackBerry chairman and interim chief executive John Chen has a large pay package. In addition to a $1 million base salary and $2 million performance bonus, the Waterloo, Ontario, company will give him 13 million BlackBerry restricted share units, worth $85 million based on the current stock price, that will vest over five years. The former Sybase CEO signed on last week, when the smartphone maker abandoned plans to sell itself. The details were disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on the strategy shift. If Chen fails to turn around BlackBerry, he could net far less. If fired he will receive his salary for the rest of that year, and an additional payout $6 million — two times his salary and base bonus — plus benefits for 18 months.
Categories: Financial News

Target to Extend Store Hours on Thanksgiving

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 11:44am
The race to Black Friday is on, as Target is the latest retailer to announce its earlier operating hours on Thanksgiving Day. Target will open its doors to hungry shoppers an hour earlier than last year, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, and remain open until Friday, Nov. 29 at 11 p.m., the Associated Press reports. The move underscores the pressure retailers face in attracting holiday shoppers. Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and others also plan to offer Thanksgiving hours. [AP]
Categories: Financial News

Target To Open Earlier on Thanksgiving

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 9:21am
(NEW YORK) — Target Corp. is becoming the latest retailer to open earlier on Thanksgiving this year. The Minneapolis-based discounter said it will open at 8 p.m. on the holiday, which falls on Nov. 28. That’s an hour earlier than last year. Target stores will remain open throughout the night and close at 11 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising at Target, told The Associated Press that she felt the 8 p.m. time was just right, based on the competitive landscape, and the sentiment among shoppers and its own store staff. Target will also be offering hundreds of deals online on Thanksgiving morning that will include almost all deals that will be available in the store. In addition, the discounter said it will be feature 15 online-only daily discounts for two weeks beginning Sunday, Nov. 24. The goal is to allow customers to shop “however, whenever they want to shop,” Tesija said. Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has been the kickoff to the holiday season, with stores opening at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. But over the past several years, retailers have pushed opening times earlier and earlier, and now on Thanksgiving itself. This year, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and several others have announced plans to open Thanksgiving evening for the first time. Others, like Toys R Us and Best Buy, are opening earlier on Thanksgiving than last year. Toys R Us is set to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than last year. Best Buy plans to open at 6 p.m., six hours earlier than last year’s midnight opening. The retailers say it’s what customers want, but they are also trying to be the first to grab shoppers’ dollars at a time when budgets are constrained. The stakes are high, since the holiday season accounts for anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of annual revenue. There’s also more pressure on retailers this year, because the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is six
Categories: Financial News

Apple Is Showing the World Two Different Faces—And That’s a Problem

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 7:19am
In the wake of Twitter’s IPO, the word frothy is getting tossed around a lot. It’s what you say when you don’t want to be alarmist about another dot-com bubble, but you still see a classic sign of a market gone loopy: a disconnect between what a company is actually doing and what investors, in valuing the company in the open market, think the company is doing. Put simply, the efficient market hypothesis says that markets fairly value stocks based on all available information. That idea has taken a beating in the past 10 or 15 years, but it endures. And yet we keep entering periods when emotion breaks away from the rational study of information on a stock. So much so that how we see a stock and how we see a company often become two separate things. This is evident among many growing startups. Twitter’s $25 billion valuation is based less on the company today than on a company investors expect to exist in three or four years. The high valuations of Pinterest, Uber and others rely on the same hope. What’s less acknowledged these days is that such a disconnect between reason and rationality – between the stock and the company – is happening with old, big tech giants too. And nowhere more so than with Apple. (MORE: After Twitter: 5 Potentially Blockbuster IPOs Coming Next) Apple the company is doing about as well as ever has. CEO Tim Cook recently told employees that the firm “has never been stronger.” It’s one of those things CEOs are supposed to say to the rank and file, but it’s not far from the actual truth. Heading into the holiday season, Apple is releasing the high-end iPhone 5S, the lower-cost but brighter 5C, the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display. All are devices at the forefront of their markets. Apple the stock isn’t doing quite as well. Over the past year, it’s fallen 11%, even while the Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 29%. And it’s down 26% from its
Categories: Financial News

USPS to Make Sunday Deliveries for Amazon

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 6:43am
Amazon has struck a deal with the U.S. Postal Service to get packages delivered on Sundays, just in time for the holiday season. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. Amazon will be able to reach their customers seven days a week, while the Postal Service, which lost $16 billion last year, will be able to steal some business away from their competitors, UPS and FedEx, which don’t deliver on Sundays. Sunday deliveries will be limited to the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas this holiday season, but will expand to other cities by 2014, the New York Times reports.  The deal is seen as a light on the horizon for the embattled Postal Service, which has been drowning in financial problems and recently failed to win Congress’s blessing to stop delivering mail on Saturdays to save $2 billion per year. The partnership with Amazon may be a sign of a new business model focused more on e-commerce package delivery and less on regular mail. [The New York Times]
Categories: Financial News

After Twitter: 5 Potentially Blockbuster IPOs Coming Next

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 4:45am
Twitter’s IPO has come and gone, bringing immediate riches to some of the company’s employees and anyone lucky enough to get in on the $26 IPO price (the stock jumped 73 percent on its first day). But Wall Street’s IPO mania is hardly over. About 230 companies will go public in 2013, raising a total of $50 billion between them, according to Renaissance Capital, an investment firm that manages IPO funds. Those are the largest figures since 2000, when the dot-com bubble burst after more than 400 companies raised $100 billion in IPOs, according to Renaissance. Twitter’s successful offering will likely convince more companies to go public sooner rather than later. Here are five private tech firms that could start trading on Wall Street soon: Chegg – November 2013 Launched in 2005, Chegg rents print and digital textbooks to college students, while also offering study guides and other academic services. The company claims to reach 30 percent of all college students and sold or rented 5.5 million textbooks between September 2012 and September 2013. Like Twitter, though, Chegg is unprofitable. The company posted a net loss of $50 million in the first nine months of this year, on revenue of $178 million. However, it’s headed by former Yahoo! Chief Operating Officer Dan Rosensweig, giving the company some clout in the tech world. Chegg expects to price its stock this week between $9.50 and $11.50 per share, valuing the company at as much as $993 million. Zulily – November 2013 Wall Street is becoming increasingly crowded with e-commerce companies, and online retailer Zulily intends to join the fold this week. The shopping site, which specializes in products for mothers and their children, more than doubled its sales in the first nine months of the year to $439 million and posted a small profit of $155,000 in that time frame. Zulily relies on daily discounts known as flash sales to earn most of its business. The company’s stock will price between $16 and $18, giving it a valuation of as much as $2.2
Categories: Financial News

5 Things You Should Absolutely Never Put on a Resume

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 4:45am
Corporate recruiters spend four to five minutes carefully scrutinizing every resume that hits their desk — at least, that’s what they say. But when jobs site TheLadders set up eye-tracking software to record recruiters’ behavior, they found that headhunters spend a stunning six seconds on their initial evaluation of a resume. Here are mistakes to avoid in order to make those seconds count.  Your whole life story. “All they’re looking at in the beginning is a couple of primary things,” says John Challenger, CEO of executive search firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. A hiring manager wants to know what your last couple of jobs were, when you worked there and if the skills you acquired fit with the position they’re trying to fill, so that’s what you need your resume to communicate — not your life story. Challenger also suggests having a second, more detailed resumé you can hand a hiring manager that gets more into the nitty-gritty once you land the interview.  (MORE: Three Little Words to Never Say in an Interview) A data dump. Dense blocks of text are the kiss of death. “The layout of the content is just as important as the actual content,” says TheLadders’ job search expert Amanda Augustine. “White space does rule.” In the eye-tracking experiment, TheLadders found that recruiters look more intently at uncluttered, well-organized resumes and online profiles. Use a bold font to delineate different parts of your resume, and use bullet points sparingly. ”It’s not a laundry list — it’s a a piece of marketing material,” she says. Pictures. If your resume or profile on a site like LinkedIn has your photo, a recruiter isn’t going to spend any longer looking at it. Instead, they’ll just spend valuable seconds — 19% of those six seconds, TheLadders found — looking at the picture instead of reading what they need to find out about you. “And no crazy fonts, colors, anything that’s going to distract them from the content,” Augustine says. (MORE: 5 Reasons Your Job Is Making You Miserable) Disorganized information. TheLadders found that when recruiters look
Categories: Financial News

How $1.99 All-You-Can-Eat Buffets Went Extinct

Sun, 11/10/2013 - 8:52am
Traditionally, cheap buffets in Las Vegas have served as loss leaders: Their purpose wasn’t to be profitable but instead to draw in diners—who hopefully would stick around to gamble. Lately, the idea of a $1.99 all-you-can-eat meal makes less sense than ever, which is why Sin City’s cheap buffets have all but disappeared. In late summer, the Riviera’s R Buffet closed down. “We don’t know the official answer as to why (although we can, as we’re sure you can as well, guess),” a Vegas Chatter post noted. The buffet was considered low quality — so low, in fact, that it struggled to attract crowds despite cheap prices under $15 a head. At the time, the R was the cheapest buffet on the Strip. A recent Vegas Inc story portrays its closure as the end of an era. For several years now, the overwhelming trend is that “the price tag for food and quality of buffets on the Strip has skyrocketed,” the story explains. In the mid-00s, according to one travel guide, top resorts like the Rio boasted buffets starting under $10. Today, the Rio’s buffet prices start at over $20. While there are still a few sub-$10 buffets in downtown Las Vegas, the pattern of higher prices and higher quality fare is one that’s largely repeated throughout Sin City. This is especially the case, in and around the Strip, where $20 to $25 is fairly standard for breakfast and dinner buffets featuring crab legs, prime rib, and such run $40 and up. (MORE: New York’s Gambling Win Is Its Neighbors’ Loss) Part of the reason why the old cheap buffet formula no longer works is that the foodie trend has gone mass market. Just as diners have increasingly been choosing fast casual (think: Chipotle) over fast food, the theory is that Vegas tourists want food that’s good, not merely cheap, and they’re willing to pay for better quality. Perhaps more importantly from the business side of things, Las Vegas has been suffering what’s been dubbed the “low roller” invasion. Tourists
Categories: Financial News

The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired

Sun, 11/10/2013 - 8:46am
It’s because college kids today can’t do math, one line of reasoning goes. Or they don’t know science. Or they’re clueless about technology, aside from their myriad social media profiles. These are all good theories, but the problem with the unemployability of these young adults goes way beyond a lack of STEM skills. As it turns out, they can’t even show up on time in a button-down shirt and organize a team project.  The technical term for navigating a workplace effectively might be “soft skills,” but employers are facing some hard facts: The entry-level candidates who are on tap to join the ranks of full-time work are clueless about the fundamentals of office life. A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack “communication and interpersonal skills” — a jump of about 10 percentage points in just two years. A wide margin of managers also say today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well. Another employer survey, this one by staffing company Adecco, turns up similar results. The company says in a statement, “44% of respondents cited soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, as the area with the biggest gap.” Only half as many say a lack of technical skills is the pain point. As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top 10 priorities in new hires. Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem-solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list. Jobs are going unfilled as a result, which hurts companies and employees. The annual global Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup finds that nearly one in five employers worldwide can’t fill positions because they can’t find people with soft skills. Specifically, companies say candidates are lacking in motivation, interpersonal skills, appearance,
Categories: Financial News

Federal Prosecutors Hit Bank of America with $864 Million Fine

Sat, 11/09/2013 - 4:10pm
The U.S. government is requesting that Bank of America Corp. to pay nearly $864 million in damages after the company was found liable for mortgage fraud. U.S. attorney Preet Bharara filed a request Friday that said the fine estimated the total losses the government incurred from the thousands of defective loans it bought from Countrywide Financial during the housing market boom. The request also asked that Rebecca Mairone, a former executive for the Countrywide unit of Bank of America, be hit with a penalty, the Associated Press reports. Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide in 2008, and Mairone were found liable of mortgage fraud for selling bad loans to government-controlled companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2007 and 2008. The government said the penalties were necessary ”to send a clear and unambiguous message that mortgage fraud for profit will not be tolerated.” Bank of America spokesperson Lawrence Grayson said on Saturday that the company intends to respond to the request. “We believe the filing overstates the volume of loans and the appropriate measure of damages arising from one narrow Countrywide program that lasted several months and ended before Bank of America acquired the company,” he said. Mairone’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said he plans to file papers arguing that his client should not be penalized. [AP]
Categories: Financial News

The End of an Era: Blockbuster Ceases Rentals in Advance of Closing

Sat, 11/09/2013 - 12:56pm
Following the announcement that Blockbuster is planning to shutter the 300 remaining brick-and-mortar video stores by January, the chain will cease movie rentals as of Saturday. The Texas-based video rental chain began tweeting about its last day of operation on Friday, adding that it will reopen Nov. 14 to liquidate its remaining inventory. Saturday is the last day to rent, but stores will re-open Thurs (Nov 14) for a HUGE LIQUIDATION SALE! Find a store:— Blockbuster (@blockbuster) November 08, 2013 Founded in 1985, Blockbuster had 9,000 stores at its height of operation. Parent company Dish Network, which bought the company in 2011, attributed its decline to increased digital streaming, and plans to shutter the remaining stores by New Year’s Day. [Variety]
Categories: Financial News

The Sky-High Price of Airline Mergers

Sat, 11/09/2013 - 9:18am
If you want to understand why the U.S. Department of Justice is playing hardball over the pending American Airlines/US Airways Group merger, consider Detroit. The Motor City once harbored hub dreams and built a new Detroit Metro airport to fulfill that desire. Then, you know, the U.S. auto industry wrecked along with the rest of the economy. And airlines went bust before autos, sending Northwest, Detroit’s home team, into the arms of Delta, another bankrupt. Detroit Metro got downgraded to a spoke rather than a hub and lost a ton of flights, which has made it, paradoxically, a very pleasant place to travel to and from. Today the city of Detroit may be broke but with the auto industry cranking again Metro is a lot busier—and dominated by dominant, post-consolidation legacy airlines. One result: when I needed to book a trip to Motown with a week’s notice the round trip fares ranged from $1,374 to $2,000 on the legacy carriers. Guess who had the highest price? American. That is, until Delta upped the ante to $2,010, which American promptly matched. The only other nonstop option was plucky Spirit Air, priced at $335, but I couldn’t make either of its two daily flights. The next best option was a one-stop through Washington on American’s betrothed, USAirways, at $329. That is the kind of oligopolistic pricing that has DOJ’s knickers in a twist: a city pair dominated by the big three collecting economic rent and the best second option is the airline that’s going to disappear in the merger. Why does Detroit have such high prices? Some of it can be explained by the fact that, (no offense Motowners), few people fly to Detroit for a vacation. It’s a business market. Most of the passengers aren’t paying for their own tickets so they are not price sensitive. This price inelasticity translates to more pricing power for the airlines. The Dallas-Detroit market appears to have similar characteristics. (MORE: Home Depot Apologizes for Racist Tweet) Still, it’s a little amazing that American would let itself
Categories: Financial News

The Hottest Holiday Toy Is Not What You Think

Sat, 11/09/2013 - 8:54am
Last year, there was no standout must-have holiday toy—no equivalent to the Tickle Me Elmo or the Cabbage Patch doll. For 2013, it doesn’t look like there will be a mad rush to buy any particular toy either. Are the days of the annual hot holiday toy craze gone forever? Remember Zhu Zhu Pets? The last time you saw one, it was probably at your neighbor’s yard sale, with a $1 sticker attached. But in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2009, it was the peak period of Zhu Zhu mania, when the robotic hamsters were in extraordinarily high demand and online sellers were asking as much as $7,000 for Zhu Zhu collections. The hot holiday toy—accompanied inevitably by loads of opportunistic entrepreneurs who snatch them up and sell them to the desperate for hefty profits—has a long history. In 1996, for instance, Tickle Me Elmo scalpers asked (and sometimes received) thousands of dollars for a doll that retailed for under $30. There will never be a shortage of such people looking to make a quick buck. But they may have a harder time doing so by flipping traditional kids’ toys this year, and perhaps for the foreseeable future. (MORE: From Tickle Me Elmo to Squinkies: Top 10 Toy Crazes) Every year, retailers release a “hot toy” list, to clue in parents and grandparents (and maybe even kids) as to what should be under the tree come December 25. Last year, Toys R Us even went so far as to start offering a “hot toy reservation” system, in which customers could put money down on a toy as early as September in order to guarantee they’d have the item in the event it wound up being sold out on shelves. For the most part, however, it wasn’t too difficult to find every toy on your tot’s wish list last year. So the idea of reserving a toy—that your child may or may not want—out of fear it won’t be available come November or December seems pretty unnecessary in retrospect. Erik
Categories: Financial News

Twitter Stock Slides on 2nd Trading Day

Fri, 11/08/2013 - 6:28pm
(NEW YORK) — Twitter’s stock slid more than 7 percent on its second trading day Friday, after the popular short messaging service saw a huge first-day pop in what turned out to be a smooth public debut. Such volatile trading is common for freshly public stocks as investors make decisions with limited insight into how well companies will do in the long run. Although there are a few outliers, most analysts believe the appropriate price range for Twitter’s stock is in the $30s and low $40s. The mean target price analysts have set for the stock, according to FactSet, is $40, with targets ranging from $29 to $54. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter arrived at his $37 price target by assuming Twitter will double its 230 million monthly users to 460 million over the next five years while increasing the number of times users look atTwitter every day. Pachter estimates Twitter will deliver $3.5 billion in EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — by 2018. “Twitter is likely in the early innings of its growth,” Pachter wrote in a note to investors. “We believe that the majority of the world’s 2.4 billion Internet users have great potential to find something or someone on Twitterthat they are interested in.” San Francisco-based Twitter’s stock fell $3.25, or 7 percent, to $41.65 in trading on Friday despite an uptick in the broader market. The shares are still up 60 percent from the $26 IPO price Twitter and the IPO’s underwriting bankers set Wednesday night. Twitter made $1.8 billion in the offering. On Thursday, the company’s stock jumped 73 percent in its first day of trading, creating hordes of new millionaires —and even a few billionaires. For some perspective, here’s a look at how other prominent technology stocks did in the week following their IPO — and how they’re faring now: — Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, first day of trading on May 18, 2012 Pricing: $38 per share First-day close: $38.23, up less than 1 percent from IPO price A week after the IPO: $31.91, down 16 percent from IPO price Current 52-week range: $18.87 to
Categories: Financial News

No Kidding: The Onion Goes All Digital

Fri, 11/08/2013 - 5:32pm
The satirical news source The Onion is ending print publication in its last three remaining markets, the Crain’s Chicago Business reports. The Dec. 12 print issue will be the 25-year-old business’s last in Chicago, Milwaukee and Providence, R.I. before going all digital. The company has been winding down its print presence over several years as it shifts to the web, where it continues to grow. The Onion’s unique page views in September were up 6 percent from a year earlier to 4 million, according to Comscore, Crain’s reports. Chicago-based Onion Inc. doesn’t disclose revenue figures, but a spokesperson told Crain’s that the company has seen rising profits for the past four years. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
Categories: Financial News