Angie’s List Swipes Left on IAC; Homerun Earnings for Home Depot; Dick’s Sporting Goods on a Losing Streak

Nobody puts Angie’s List in a corner…

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If boardroom walls could talk, I wonder what they would say about Angie’s List putting the kibosh on Barry Diller’s IAC proposal to buy the home services directory. IAC offered up $8.75 a share, totaling $512 million, to add Angie’s List to its growing portfolio of online companies. IAC argues that its offer – which was unsolicited, btw – is a 50% premium on Angie’s List share price. However, Angie’s List begs to differ and says that the  unsolicited proposal, was a paltry 10% premium on its share price. So what gives? Well, that depends on which day we are discussing, I suppose. One month before IAC’s unsolicited offer, shares of Angie’s List closed at $5.78. In which case the $512 million offer would indeed represent a 50% premium on the share price. However, shares of Angie’s List closed at $7.84 on November 10, which means that a $512 million offer would then represent a paltry 10% premium. In any case, the deal’s not going to happen for several reasons and one of them, as Angie’s List CEO Scott Durchlag explains, is because the benefits are one-sided. And not the side Angie’s List is on. His board of directors unanimously agreed with him. IAC already owns Angie’s List competitor Home Advisor and last week picked up Tinder, together with its parent company, Match Group.

If you build it, they will come…

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According to the National Association of Home Builders, sentiments are not just up, they are at record highs. Those sentiments are all part of the the joy we call a housing recovery which is extremely good news. Especially for Home Depot, who just announced its earnings much to the fiscal glee of investors. The company announced better than expected sales and even expects its full-year earnings to fall at the top end of its forecasts at around $15.36. Which is especially awesome since so many companies lately have been reducing their’s (see below). Not only did shares of the home improvement chain rise today, but its shares are up 15% for the year too. Sales at Home Depot rose 6.4% coming at $21.82 billion, missing predictions by a $10 million smidgeon. But does that really matter when profits rose 12%, hitting $1.73 billion and adding $1.36 per share? Well…it’s not my place to say. But still, analysts only expected $1.32. You see, it all evens out in the end. Sort of. Even online sales are up  25%, though they only account for 5% of all sales. But hey, money is money.  Apparently these great earnings are courtesy of builders and amateurs alike, who are scrambling to Home Depot stores lately given the rise in housing turnover, with prices of homes on the rise. That may not bode well if you’re in the market for a new place to rest your head, but if you’re selling, this could be your lucky quarter.

Striking out…

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You know whose shares aren’t up? Dick’s Sporting Goods. In fact, its shares have hit a four year low and are down about 18% for the year. To make matter worse, the company has had to reduce its full-year earnings forecast. Nothing says fiscal disaster quite like reducing forecasts. Now, instead of hoping to add between  $3.13 – $3.21 per share, the company is hoping (and praying, no doubt) that it pulls down $2.85 – $3.00 per share. Even analysts had initially expected that company to earn $3.18 per share for the year. And what or whom, you might be wondering, is Dick’s Sporting Goods blaming – other than itself –  for their abysmal earnings? If you guessed mother nature and her unusually warm autumn , then you are absolutely correct. Apparently, Dick’s seasonal items didn’t fly of the shelves as hoped, just like at Macy’s and other retailers, since the weather was warmer and consumers didn’t feel compelled to get toasty. Incidentally, Dick’s clothing and shoes fared a bit better with sales creeping up 0.4%. Hey, Dick’s will take what it can get. But the company did admit to having too much inventory – 13% more than last year – and are looking to get rid of it. Good luck with that. Dick’s pulled down $1.64 billion in revenue  when analysts predicted numbers closer to $1.67 billion. The company also scored a profit of $4.72 million, adding 45 cent per share, which was a 4% drop over this time last year. Analysts, by the way, would have preferred to see another penny added to those shares. Oh well.

Love is…An IPO; Volkswagen’s “Goodwill”; Snapchat Vs. Facebook Video Smackdown

For the love of money…

Image courtesy of atibodyphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of atibodyphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While the odds of meeting “the one” via online dating are slim, that hasn’t stopped Match Group Inc from making a regulatory filing for an initial public offering on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol MTCH. The company, which also owns Tinder and OKCupid, is looking to raise close to $404 million in order to pay of some of its debt to billionaire Barry Diller’s IAC InterActiveCorp. The company’s, whose value is estimated to be around $3 billion, is looking to sell some 33.3 million shares for somewhere between $12 – $14 a pop. Indeed, online dating is very big business, despite the odds. In 2014, Match Group pulled down $148 million in profit on $88 million in sales. In the last twelve months, the company saw about $1 billion in revenue with sites getting 59 million monthly active users along with 4.7 million paid members. The sites run on 38 languages in close to 200 countries. A lot of the big bucks are coming from mobile users as evidenced by the fact the 68% of new registrations came from mobile devices in just the first six months of the year. So whether you find love, or not, is besides the point. The money comes from the quest to find it.

A little desperate?

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You know its bad when they start handing out $500 Visa gift cards. And that’s exactly what Volkswagen decided to do in the wake of the company’s emissions software scandal that magically allows some cars to release up to 40 times the legal amount of nitrogen oxide into the air we breathe. The embattled auto company is also giving away $500 in dealership credit. Oh, and three years of free roadside assistance. Did I say free? Well, you basically relinquish your right to sue Volkswagen if you happen to own or lease one of their 11 million affected cars. Don’t worry, though. Only 482,000 of them are currently polluting the United States. So say goodbye to personal lawsuits or class-action participation. Like the one that’s suing Volkswagen to get it to buy back your vehicle for the exact amount you paid. Of course, that’s assuming the lawyers arguing that case actually win. Then there’s the potential $18 billion criminal lawsuit looming against Volkswagen for violating the United States Clean Air Act. Except, you can’t be a part of that one since it would be coming from the government. But you would lose out on any potential future compensation. Once you sign up for one of Volkwagen’s “goodwill package,” you are on your own.  Some Audi drivers will be eligible for the deal, as well. In order to get your $500 Visa gift, dealer credit and free roadside assistance, you have to go to VWDieselInfo.com and sign your life away. Sort of. Then wait four weeks to go shopping. You have until April 30, my emissions spewing friend.

Do I smell an IPO?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Snapchat dissed Facebook once by rejecting the social networks’s $3 billion offer to buy it back in 2013. Now, the messaging app is nipping at Facebook’s heels as it just announced that its daily video views tripled to 6 billion…since May. Facebook’s video views, while doubling to 8 billion, are not considered nearly as impressive, since Facebook’s views are coming from desktop computers and mobile devices, while Snapchat’s views are exclusively done on mobile devices. Those video advertising’s numbers pull in way more cash than your plain old digital ads. One research firm predicts a 42% jump in digital video revenue to $7.5 billion and you can be sure Snapchat and Facebook are going to be fighting it out for as big a share as possible. Especially where apps are concerned, those digits are huge. But there seems to be some dispute as to what counts as a video view and it all depends on where you’re watching it. If you happen to be spending some quality time with your Facebook account, the social media counts a view as three seconds or more. Youtube counts 30 seconds as a bona fide view. But Snapchat charges for views that just less than a second. You be the viewing judge.