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Tag Archives: Companies & Markets

The Startling Thing the CEO of Restoration Hardware Said about Online Ad Spending

“We’ve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words.” By Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge: Category 1 storm clouds are gathering over what has traditionally been one of the most lucrative, and perhaps only profitable, sectors to come out of Silicon Valley in decades: online advertising. Two months ago, it was P&G which fired the first shot across the “adtech” bow when not long after it announced it was slashing its digital ad spending because it thought it was not getting...

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Shares of the Swiss National Bank Soar 64% in Two Months

What the heck is going on?  The central bank of Switzerland has become a huge hedge fund since it decided in January 2015 to print Swiss francs — for which there is huge global demand — and sell these freshly created francs to buy bonds and stocks that are denominated in euros and dollars. US stocks are a particular favorite. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has thereby created a fantastical money-fabrication scheme. This scheme is publicly traded. And the shares have become a doozie....

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Small-Investor Optimism about Stocks Hits Record of Jan 2000 Just Before Dot.com Crash

Contrarian warning, scary thought, or another crazy thing? For years, individual investors in the US have been a dreary bunch, as stocks soared relentlessly since bottoming out in 2009. But 18 months ago, in February 2016, they finally caught the bug, and now optimism has surged at a record pace. Optimism about the stock market in particular has reached the record highs established during the Dot.com bubble, just before it all fell apart. The quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup survey of...

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Logical and Illogical Reasons to Short Tesla

“Knowing that something could be bad for you is not always a barrier when temptation rears its head.” (Wolf here, a the risk of sounding like a broken record: No matter how logical and well-researched the reasons, tread carefully when shorting crazy, irrationally priced stocks; by definition, they can get a lot crazier and a lot more irrational. Enjoy the read…) By Martin Tiller, Oil & Energy Insider: For me, shorting Tesla (TSLA) is like crack or heroin for some people…I know it...

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Brick & Mortar Meltdown: Bon-Ton Department Stores Hires Bankruptcy Advisor

Vitamin World plans to file for bankruptcy, Perfumania Holdings just filed. And Toys R Us… All in just two weeks. Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., which operates about 260 department stores largely in the Northeast and Midwest under the names Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers, has hired PJT Partners, which describes itself as “a leading advisor to companies and creditors in restructurings and bankruptcies around the world.” Faced with falling...

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Global Stock Prices Fueled by Ugly Earnings

Hype works, until it doesn’t. In theory, stock markets surge because earnings are rising or are expected to rise. But the astounding thing in this eight-year bull market is the combination of how far stocks have surged since 2011 and how lousy earnings have been – globally! I’ve been pointing this out for US equities, but this is a global thing, with global implications, and of global magnitude, and on that level, it’s even grander and more astounding. Global stocks, as measured by the...

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Brick & Mortar Meltdown: Toys R Us Hires Bankruptcy Law Firm

Private equity firms did it again. Brick-and-mortar retail meltdown strikes again – this time, Toys R Us. In what is a classic sign, the company has hired mega law firm Kirkland & Ellis, whose bankruptcy-and-restructuring practice is considered a leader in the now booming bankruptcy-and-restructuring industry. Toys R Us, with 1,694 stores globally, has $5.2 billion in long-term debt, according to its latest quarterly report, and sports a negative equity of $1.3 billion. Quarterly...

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Albertsons Gets Clocked by Amazon Whole Foods Entry into Supermarket-Meltdown Price War

IPO hopes re-crushed. Customer traffic, same-store sales spiral down. Something ugly happened to Albertsons Companies, Inc., the owner of Albertson’s, Safeway, and smaller supermarket chains totaling 2,329 stores, 27 distribution centers, and 18 manufacturing facilities: Amazon, on its first day as new owner of Whole Foods, slashed prices on many items by the double digits, some of them by over 30%, and reportedly by up to 43%. Ferocious price competition from Amazon – a stock market...

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Peak US Asset Prices? Japanese Acquisitions Hit Record

Their buying binge in the US goes into the “Contrarian Indicators” category. After eight phenomenal years of surging stock prices in the US, buyers are getting cold feet: Acquisitions targeting US companies dropped 15% so far this year, to $789 billion, according to Dealogic. In Japan, it’s worse: Acquisitions targeting Japanese companies have plunged 41% to $33.6 billion. But despite the M&A downturn in both countries, there is one peculiar element that is booming: Japanese...

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Why Suddenly Two Mega Utility Takeovers?

Do the buyers know something that we don’t? By Leonard Hyman and Bill Tilles, Oilprice.com: Two major electricity industry takeovers were announced within a few days of each other. Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm, announced its planned acquisition of Calpine, the nation’s largest generator of electricity using natural gas as a fuel. The acquisition valued Calpine at $17.3 billion ($5.6 billion for the common stock plus assumption of $11.7 billion of debt). Days later,...

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