The General Gets Hostile; Alibaba’s IP-Whoa!; No Sugar High for Krispy Kreme

Oh no you didn’t…

Image courtesy of lam nee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of lam nee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the dollar store wars, things just got uglier as Dollar General went hostile on potential acquisition target, Family Dollar. If you recall, the powers that be over at Family Dollar dissed the two offers that Dollar General made – offers that were higher than Dollar Tree’s, Family Dollar’s other admirer. Dollar General is eager to bring Family Dollar into its fold, especially because Wal-Mart is getting a bit too cozy in the deep discount dollar store arena. Dollar General graciously offered to yank 1,500 of its stores to avoid antitrust issues. It even offered to pay a $500 million break-up fee if indeed antitrust issues killed the deal. Now Dollar General is going right to the shareholders to entice them with its very generous offer  CEO Howard Levine, who happens to be the largest Family Dollar shareholder, would probably be out of a job, if the deal goes through. However, he still stands to pocket as much as $750 million – which should tide him over for a little while.

Can I get in on that?

Image courtesy of cute image/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cute image/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wall Street is gearing up to welcome the newest addition to one of its indexes. Alibaba, whose IPO is expected to leave Facebook’s 2012 $16 billion record-breaking IPO in the dust, is looking to offer those shares for between $60-$66 per share. About 320 million of those shares will be eagerly offered up to retail and institutional investors. It’s likely the mega e-commerce site is going to raise around $20 billion. Alibaba, is a lot like Amazon. Except that it’s China-based. And ridiculously larger on so many levels. Good thing Yahoo owns a sizable chunk of it. The company’s value is expected to reach somewhere in the stratosphere of $160 billion, give or take a few billion.

Kreme’d…

Image courtesy of holohololand/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of holohololand/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Krispy Kreme released its earnings with mixed signals.  You see, the makers of arguably the most delectable donut on the planet experienced a 22% rise in profit, as it should. A proper reward for making such a delicious pastry. But alas, the company missed expectations, causing shares of Krispy Kreme to go down 6%. I know, it just isn’t right. Or fair. Net income was $5.75 million from $4.7 million a year ago gaining around $0.07 per share.  Revenue was up around 7%. The North Carolina-based company is currently in the process of bringing its delicacies abroad to bestow its sugary happiness on other parts of the world. This is expected to not only cause great joy and sugar highs, but a nice fiscal boost, as well.

 

How Do You Spell Economic Growth?; The Buck Still Hasn’t Stopped; Germany Puts the Brakes on Uber

Just keeps growing and growing…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New numbers are out today that wont leave you feeling numb courtesy of the Institute for Supply Management. And guess what, oh patient consumers of the US economy? Things are looking up. Really up. Like expanding, upwards – not that that makes any sense. According to this super-duper important index, manufacturing in the US grew and grew leaving the estimates of super-intelligent economists in the wind. From a 57.1, this index grew to 59. This is major. Majorly good, as anything above a 50 means growth is happening. Not only is growth actually happening but it’s happening at its fastest pace since March 2011. Cha-ching, baby. So what does this mean for all of us? It means that almost all manufacturing sectors are growing and giving fuel to our ever-stubborn and sometimes fickle economy. Which is way more exciting than the season premiere of Scandal. Ok, well maybe not that exciting.

Buck wild…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Dollar store war saga is back on again with Dollar General Corp upping its ante for Family Dollar Stores Inc with an offer that is worth $9.1 billion. After doing some ridiculously long division, that comes out to $80 per share. A whole $1.50 more than the previous offer Family Dollar Store rejected. Apparently Family Dollar was “concerned” about antitrust issues. That and also Family Dollar Store CEO Howard Levine’s job. A successful deal between Dollar General and Family Dollar would probably require Levine to become thoroughly acquainted with LinkedIn. So Family Dollar was instead seriously entertaining a smaller offer from Dollar Tree. But Dollar General is so convinved that there will be no antitrust issues that it graciously offered to sell 1500 stores and pony up $500 million in the event that there are indeed antitrust concerns (which I guess means there are no antitrust issues?). Dollar General even generously offered a $305 million break-up fee to Dollar Tree. If that’s not devotion, then I don’t know what is. As for Levine, well, he might want to polish up his resume…

U-burn…

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Uber hit the skids in Frankfurt, Germany after the courts there issued an injunction against the ridesharing app. The suit, not surprisingly, was brought by Taxi Deuschland who was losing lots and lots of business to the San Francisco-based company and watching the five year old company grow five-fold in Germany. Uber,  currently valued at over $18 billion, was “found” by the courts not to be operating with the proper and necessary commercial permits, licenses and insurance. Whatever. Naturally, Uber is appealing.

 

UPS Gets Hacked; Dollar Store Battles: Short on Glamour, Long on Drama; Housing Hits It

Do I need to sign for that?

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

UPS now joins that distnguished, tadly crowded field of hacking victims. Between January 20 and August 11, over 100,000 transcations may have been affected by a data breach. But lucky for UPS that it is nothing like the Target behemoth, whose own data breach affected some 70 million customers. That’s because UPS stores are not interconnected, but rather individually owned. Hence, of the over 4,500 UPS locations, only a little over 50 stores in 24 states were affected. How convenient. Sort of. Anyways, UPS, which now became the 58th largest company, taking out a not-so-smug-anymore Eli-Lilly & Co., will offer customers affected by the breach free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for a whole year. How convenient. Sort of. Anyways, after that you’re on your own.

The buck stops here…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the drama-packed world of dollar stores, the latest episode has Family Dollar rejecting a $9 billion buyout offer from Dollar General. Instead, the dollar chain store is thought to be seriously considering another offer from contender Dollar Tree not so much because it’s offering more money – because it is not. Dollar Tree offered only $8.5 billion. Rather, because the deal from Dollar Tree would likely allow Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine to keep his day job. The deal from Dollar General would probably have Levine taking LinkedIn resume workshops by now. Apparently there are also some anti-trust issues associated with a deal from Dollar General. Allegedly. Back in June, activist investor Carl Icahn had a hefty 9.4% stake in Family Dollar. These days his stake is around 3.6%. What that tells us could be a lot. Or nothing at all. But probably a lot. And while all this talk about dollar stores might seem funny to you, just know that there is nothing funny about the tens of BILLIONS in cash that these discount stores rake in.

Home sweet affordable home…

Image courtesy of hywards/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hywards/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s been an exciting July. Maybe not for you. But for the housing market it sure has been. And yes, the words housing market and excitement can go hand in hand, especially since July marks the fourth straight month that existing home sales increased – a sure sign that the housing market is headed in the right – up – direction. Unfortunately, as I have written several times, the housing recovery just hasn’t been happening quick enough. Sure, sales were up 2.4%, but that percentage is still way down from where it should be in a truly healthy market. Right now, it’s like the housing recovery is at the end stages of a cold, still some coughing and a slightly runny nose.  However, home construction surged a very impressive  15.7%. That and the fact that interest rates are low and there’s more inventory coming up should make for an equally riveting August. We hope.