Unstructured Finance

Bankruptcy better than merger?

May 30, 2008

northwest.jpgBankruptcy is better than a merger. Or that’s what U.S. airlines seem to think.

Loading up on dry powder

May 30, 2008

cash.jpgThe days of the eye-popping LBO may be over, but buyout shops are still raising eye-popping amounts of cash.

Room for home improvement retail

May 30, 2008

acesmall.gifHome improvement consumers have spoken, and their choice of top retailer might surprise you.

Thank you… come again

May 30, 2008

tiffany1.jpgNo, really. That is what Tiffany executives must think, looking at the sea of tourists at its fabled flagship store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Check Out Line: Tiffany still sparkles overseas

May 30, 2008

tiffany.jpgCheck out how Tiffany sparkles overseas.
 
Forget the United States (where Tiffany does not expect sales to improve until later this year). They are still buying baubles in Europe.
 
Sales in Europe rose 30 percent in the first quarter. And that was on a CONSTANT CURRENCY basis. No help from the weak dollar in that number. The company added four more stores, which helped, as did the 12 percent increase in same store sales.
 
Asia also saw a 10 percent increase in sales on a constant currency basis.
 
The U.S. consumer may be under pressure. But apparently there are still sales and profits to be mined overseas.
 
Also in the basket:
 
April personal spending up, flat after inflation 
 
J Crew cuts year earnings outlook, shares drop 15 pct

Waiver waivered

May 30, 2008

kerkorian.jpgFord got a boost from billionaire investor Kerk Kerkorian’s Tracinda, which waived a condition requiring it to bail on its tender offer for Ford shares at $8.50 if the stock fell by 10 percent or more from the close of trade on May 8th, when the stock was at $8.20 per share. It closed at $6.71 on Thursday, but was up about 2 and a half percent before the market opened Friday. Tracinda said it “continues to believe in Ford’s management and turnaround efforts and remains committed to its offer,” which expires at on June 9. Tracinda already has 100 million shares of Ford, and if it shied away from the tender offer, the value of its existing investment would suffer. That’s not to say it doesn’t believe in management, but the ring of the endorsement is perhaps a little less pure.

Lenny Dykstra likes his options

May 29, 2008

baseballbat.jpgLenny Dykstra, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies legend who got 1,298 base hits during his career, loves options.

The history of the NYSE, in dance

May 29, 2008

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, to what can we compare the difficult task of dancing about a stock exchange?

Analyst puzzles over Sears’ higher EBITDA plans

May 29, 2008

sears.jpgSears Holdings Corp reported a quarterly loss this morning. But the thing that left analysts like Credit Suisse’s Gary Balter scratching their heads was the company’s expectations for higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the full year.

Product cost inflation is real, it’s very real

May 29, 2008

cashregister.jpgDuring Big Lots’ conference call, the closeout retailer was asked what it is seeing in terms of product cost inflation, especially when it comes to merchandise that is sourced in Asia.