Jan 12, 2015 22:11 UTC

Tech steering carmakers down valuation dead end

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By Antony Currie and Olaf Storbeck

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Carmakers are on something of a roll as they convene in Detroit. In the years to come, however, technology could make the ride rougher.

Jan 12, 2015 16:53 UTC

Cheap oil lubricates Li Ka-shing’s corporate rejig

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By Una Galani

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Cheap oil could be vital to Li Ka-shing keeping control of his empire. Asia’s richest man is selling a 6 percent stake in Husky Energy to his holding company as part of a broader shake-up. The move is vital to maintaining Li’s grip on his telecom, retail and property businesses. The recent fall in the oil price makes it harder for shareholders to object.

Jan 9, 2015 20:51 UTC

Proxy fight as much about Peltz’s Trian as DuPont

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Nelson Peltz’s latest proxy fight will resonate beyond its immediate target, DuPont. The billionaire activist’s Trian Partners is seeking four director seats at the venerable chemicals group, its first public battle since squeezing onto Heinz’s board nine years ago. Flexing muscle sends a message to other stubborn targets, like PepsiCo. It also gives Peltz’s potential successors experience in the trenches.

Jan 8, 2015 19:34 UTC

Santander finally gets the message on capital

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Ana Botin is grabbing the bull by the horns. The new chair of Santander is seeking 7.5 billion euros of fresh equity in a speedy share sale and slashing the dividend. The Spanish bank has long resisted raising capital or touching its outsized payout. The moves may be overdue and including pre-emption rights would have been fairer on shareholders. But Santander is getting capital now without the challenge of a drawn-out rights issue during a critical Greek election.

COMMENT

Isn’t this about big losses Santander has incurred in Latin America? They have billions of reais, pesos etc of losses in these economies and have to urgently strengthen their balance sheet. The Spanish economy is also very weak. They say that they want to use the money to “pursue ambitious growth plans” – where?

They may be using the fact that attention is diverted by Charlie Hebdo attacks to get this away without much comment?

Posted by JCharles | Report as abusive
Jan 8, 2015 15:50 UTC

StanChart equities closure is overdue but welcome

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By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

For most investment banks, underwriting and broking equities is a poor business. Revenue rarely exceeds the costs of providing the service. Yet most institutions insist the business is essential. Standard Chartered just became a rare but welcome exception.

Jan 8, 2015 15:44 UTC

Dick’s buyout has financially sporting chance

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Dick’s Sporting Goods may become the next private equity plaything. The $6 billion basketball-to-fishing vendor is mulling a leveraged buyout, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday. A relatively clean balance sheet means there’s an opportunity to make money. It would, however, require healthy growth assumptions for $6.1 billion Dick’s at a time when stiff online competition is challenging many retailers.

Jan 6, 2015 21:09 UTC

Coach tries LVMH model on for size with shoe buy

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By Stephanie Rogan

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

There can be no clearer admission that Coach has exhausted the growth opportunities of its core brand than the $574 million purchase of luxury shoe-maker Stuart Weitzman. Yet for shareholders, who have lopped off half of the company’s value since 2012, Coach’s acceptance of its limitations offers a sign of hope. Coach is betting it can use its know-how to expand other, smaller brands like LVMH and Kering have.

Jan 5, 2015 17:12 UTC

A double-speak guide to modern markets

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By John Foley and Rob Cox

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own. 

As the market perpetually shifts, so do the rhetorical stylings its players use to talk their way out of problems. The past year saw above-average creativity when it came to saying one thing and meaning another. Here, Breakingviews offers up 10 euphemisms we’d most like to see disappear.

Dec 31, 2014 14:08 UTC

IBM turnaround requires atypical activist fix

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By Robert Cyran

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

IBM requires an atypical activist fix. Big Blue’s strategy of cost cuts and debt-fueled buybacks is no longer working – even though the company keeps trying. A tarnished balance sheet, lean staffing and a history of disposals rule out typical activist wheezes. Encouraging Chair and Chief Executive Ginni Rometty to invest in IBM’s core businesses could pay off.

Dec 30, 2014 19:09 UTC

Shake Shack IPO disappoints in taste test

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Shake Shack is turning the basic burger into complex financial cuisine. The global fast-food chain started by celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer filed to go public on Monday with some of the tortured trappings served up with new technology stocks. Two classes of shares and creative financial metrics are especially unappetizing. There’s at least a sweetish bottom line to wash it all down.