Steel Numbers, Medicare Lottery? and Has Your Mars Bar Gone to the Dogs

Steel yourself…

Image courtesy of Baitong333/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Baitong333/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was big fun on Wall Street today with a slew of companies announcing their earnings. But the one everyone was waiting to hear from was Alcoa. In keeping with unofficial tradition, the global aluminum company, Alcoa, kicked off the first quarter earnings season by announcing their earnings on Tuesday afternoon. And wouldn’t you know it – they beat the Street’s predictions and were up by $0.09 per share. Wall Street loves Alcoa because when Alcoa goes up, it’s a pretty sure bet that a whole bunch of other companies are going to follow. Of the 21 companies that announced earnings, 11 beat the Street, two were right on target and eight got beat by the Street.

Doctor Moneybags…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Back in 2012, Medicare reimbursed close to 900,000 healthcare professionals to the tune of $77 billion. The average provider received $87,883. But not West Palm Beach opthomalogist Salomon Melgen. He seemed to have won the Medicare lottery, getting reimbursed around $21 million. It must be because he’s a superior doctor, right? But he wasn’t the only one making a some major cash as six more doctors also surpassed the $10 million mark. Minor things like that got the government a tad bit suspicious that maybe people were committing fraud. Yeah, I know. Hard to believe. So after years of secrecy, the beans have finally been spilled and detailed records are being released as to who got reimbursed and for just how much. Oh and btw, Dr. Melgen is involved in a criminal inquiry with a US senator.

Nothing to bark at…

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ū Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the $74.5 billion industry we call pet food, Mars, maker of some of your most beloved candy bars, decided to sell off their dog and cat kibble division. Procter & Gamble picked it up for a hearty $2.9 billion thereby adding brands, including Iams, Eukanuba and Natura brands, to their established canine and feline menus. While I am certain the fine folks at Mars are totally down with our four-legged friends, the fact is their pet food division wasn’t really bringing in enough cash to make it a keeper. By selling off the pet food division they can now free up some of that cash for research and development and also share the new found wealth with some very lucky shareholders, many of whom, I am certain, make wonderful companions to their furry friends.

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