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Amp’d Mobile Files for Bankruptcy

Filed under: — 11:53 pm

On June 1 Amp’d Mobile filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Nearly half of their customers don’t pay, and that became a problem.

Source: BusinessWeek

Avaya Agrees to Buyout

Filed under: — 11:48 pm

Avaya agrees to be acquired by Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital for about $8.2 billion, or $17.50 per share cash. Avaya provides communications systems equipment to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.

Source: Forbes


Bush Names Paulson as Treasury Secretary

Filed under: — 10:51 am

“The dollar pared early losses Tuesday on news that Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Henry Paulson will be named to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow.”

“The dollar was sharply lower earlier after the New York Times said that Don Evans, a former U.S. commerce secretary, may fit the profile of past Treasury secretaries who have favored a weaker dollar, given his political background.”

“However, the greenback’s losses were pared after a Wall Street Journal report said Bush was leaning toward naming Paulson to succeed Snow.”

Source: CNNMoney


Trade Deficit Narrowed in March

Filed under: — 3:50 pm

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply by surprise during March, but analysts predict mounting oil prices will widen the gap going forward.

The U.S. deficit in international trade of goods and services shrank by 5.6% to $62 billion from $65.64 billion in February, the Commerce Department said Friday. Exports rose, but the value of imports fell as oil prices dipped, Commerce data showed.

The $62 billion gap was the smallest since $58.46 billion in August 2005. A separate report Friday, though, showed petroleum import prices surged last month. That could cause the trade deficit to resume rising.

Friday’s trade report showed U.S. exports increased by 1.9% to a record $114.66 billion in March from $112.52 billion in February.

Exports increased by $510 million for capital goods, including industrial machines and computer accessories. Exports rose by $181 million for consumer goods, like diamonds and toys. Sales of industrial materials like fuel oil were up $1.25 billion. Exports of foods and beverages increased by $213 million. Foreign sales of autos and parts fell $377 million.

Imports fell by 0.8% to $176.66 billion.

Source: WSJ

Stocks Slide amid Inflation Concerns

Filed under: — 3:04 pm

Stocks moved down Friday afternoon, as a surprising jump in import prices drove up Treasury yields and kept inflation fears in focus. Sustained dollar weakness contributed to these worries.

Source: BusinessWeek


Stocks Slip

Filed under: — 11:30 am

April retail sales rose less than expected, sparking hopes the Fed may pause its tightening cycle. Crude futures surged near $74

Stocks were trading modestly lower early Thursday, as investors weighed a tame retail sales report and surging oil prices. A lower-than-expected increase in April retail sales is being taken as a sign of less pressure for the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates, but concern is growing that the stock market is due for a correction.

Source: BusinessWeek


Fed Raises Rates

Filed under: — 2:23 pm

The Fed has raised rates 1/4 pt. to 5.00%. They also said that some further policy firming may yet be needed. Timing of future firming depends on data.

Wachovia to Merge with Golden West

Filed under: — 9:30 am

On Sunday, Wachovia announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Golden West, one of the last major savings and loans in California, for about $25.5 billion in stock and cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006, pending approvals.

Analysts seemed optimistic about Wachovia’s intended acquisition of Golden West Financials, though they admitted the deal would be expensive and risky. Analyst Mark Hebeka believes the deal would give Wachovia a national presence with significant branch additions in the key markets of California, Florida and Texas, and would also add higher returning assets to Wachovia’s balance sheet with minimal risk exposure.

Source: Forbes

News is also being reported that two top Wachovia Corp. executives sold shares of the bank valued at $5.8 million around the same time that it began talks to buy Golden West Financial Corp. Wachovia said the executives, Benjamin Jenkins III, Wachovia’s vice chairman and head of consumer banking, and investor-relations chief Alice Lehman, weren’t aware of the discussions when they sold the shares on April 27 and 28.

Does that mean they don’t have much faith in a combined company? Wachovia said the stock sales were consistent with its internal policies and procedures for executives who buy or sell company stock. But it still seems fishy.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Gold Hits 26 Year High

Filed under: — 5:00 pm

Gold prices surged to a new quarter-century high of $700 an ounce Tuesday as funds bought into the market, driven by tension between the United States and Iran and expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes.

June gold futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to $700 an ounce in late-morning trading, a level not seen since late 1980. That’s up more than $20 from Monday’s closing price of $679.90.

Source: Forbes


Business Ideas Wanted: $500 To The Winner

Filed under: — 12:50 am

I was reading some feeds this evening (haven’t done that in a while) and stumbled across a contest. Noah at is planning to give $500 to the person with the best business idea submitted to him. The money is intended to be used to get the idea (company) started. Personally, I think this is a great idea. Too often people feel their creative ideas are limited by finances; that’s no longer the case.

Source: noah’s stupid $500 sponsorship challenge via Business Opportunities Weblog


Google Reports Earnings: Six Fold Increase

Filed under: — 9:29 pm

Google reported third-quarter net income rose to $381.2 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, more than six times higher than the year-ago quarter’s $52.0 million, or 19 cents a share. InsideGoogle has the details but, to no one’s surprise, Google has done pretty well this quarter.

Source: InsideGoogle


Privitization of Public Universities?

Filed under: — 11:41 am

“Taxpayer support for public universities, measured per student, has plunged more precipitously since 2001 than at any time in two decades, and several university presidents are calling the decline a de facto privatization of the institutions that played a crucial role in the creation of the American middle class.”

With more and more private donors some universities may see adgendas that may or may not align with the public’s. Some people fear privitization, others are trying to dispell those beliefs. “Let’s just say that these cycles happen, and get back to work to restore the funding” says Paul E. Lingenfelter, president of State Higher Education Executive Officers. Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education also says that “The air is filled with this rhetoric about privatization, but the evidence doesn’t support it”. There other issues, though:

Across the nation, educators said, public anger is rising not only about tuition but about the increasing numbers of faculty members who focus on research rather than on teaching undergraduates, and about the time that university presidents spend hobnobbing with billionaires. University administrators say all three phenomena are related to the transformation of revenues.

With pressure from the east it seems like the perfect time to do something crazy like improve our education system. But, as always, it’s all about money:

“The higher education budget serves as the default place to make the cut,” says Stanley O. Ikenberry, a president emeritus of the University of Illinois.

Source: NY Times

Social Security Increase For Next Year

Filed under: — 9:44 am

The Social Security Administration announced Friday that their cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for more than 50 million beneficiaries would increase 4.1% in January. The average Social Security check will increase from $963 to $1,002. Of course, this is driven by the CPI increase (aka inflation); more specifically: energy prices. The average recipient will see a $39 increase in their monthly check.

Source: USAToday


Google to Report Pro Forma Earnings

Filed under: — 1:46 pm

“Google Inc. on Thursday said it plans to meet Wall Street halfway on how it reports quarterly results … Mark Fuchs, chief accountant of the Mountain View, California-based company, detailed the plan in a statement released on Google’s company blog.” Basically, analysts have looked at two different versions of Google’s EPS (Net Income/Shares Outstanding). Google wants to eliminate confusion presented by these two different numbers. Google’s version of its EPS (non-GAAP) just adds back (tax-adjusted) stock-based compensation charges to their net income (making the numerator slightly larger, thus increasing the EPS). This practice isn’t too uncommon, they’re basically doing it to distinguish between operating and nonoperating items. More detail and an example can be found on Google’s Blog.

As a side note, I’m impressed with Google’s effective use of the company’s blog. It shows a level of transparency (despite the lack of “conversation”). In any case, it’s neat to see news sources refer to a “blog”…

pro forma: Latin term, refers to a presentation of data where certain amounts are hypothetical to provide investors with relevant comparisons.

Sources: Official Google Blog, Yahoo


Apple’s Media Center Killer

Filed under: — 3:26 pm

Dear Microsoft, You will loose the entertainment battle. In fact, it seems you already have. Sure, your stuff is pretty neat but Apple just seems to have it figured out. Case in point: Front Row and Apple Remote is much cooler than Media Center Edition. I can say this because I use MCE every day. I own two iPods. I’m buying my brother a nano. I was thinking a tablet would be my next computer purchase but maybe Apple will get (more of) my money. Besides, Vista is a long way off. I’ve been testing it and at first glance it looks like a visual carbon-copy of Apple’s style. I’m a little disappointed, Microsoft. I don’t think you have a chance…

Source: Endgadget

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