IBuMmer; Icahn/Andreesen Billionaire Smackdown; Valeant/Allergan Smackdown

 Big Blue-boo…

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Perhaps you recall IBM?  Perhaps you don’t. The once powerful company that sat at the forefront of technology is now at the forefront of…nothing as the company just released its very disappointing earnings. The once mighty maker of chips – and I don’t mean potato (though we might be seeing better earnings if the chips were indeed of the potato variety), has sold that portion of its business. Revenue was down 4% to $22.4 billion which might seem like a nice beefy number except that analysts were expecting $1 billion more than that. And the company’s revenue has been going down for a few years now.  Analysts expected  the company to at least pull in $4.32 per share. It didn’t. Instead, profits for IBM took a 10% dive earning $3.68 per share.  Oh well. There’s always next quarter.

Love doesn’t live here anymore…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s official. Marc Andreesen and Carl Icahn are not friends. And I don’t think they ever can be. At least not anymore after Mr. Icahn said in an interview that Andreessen is “what’s wrong with corporate America” and Andreesen telling CNBC that Carl Icahn lies and “makes stuff up.” Where is the love gentlemen? In any case, the latest episode in the Icahn/Andreessen saga is that Marc Andreesen has bid a not-so-fond farewell to the board over at EBay. It seems the extremely prescient Silicon Valley billionaire, Andreesen, and activist investor, Icahn,  got themselves tangled in yet another kerfuffle which has probably something to do with the kerfuffle they had earlier where Mr. Icahn accused Mr. Andreesen and fellow board member, Scott Cook, of having conflicts of interests where PayPal and EBay are concerned. I shall spare you the lurid details. Mr. Andreesen and Mr. Cook vehemently disagreed with Mr. Icahn’s accusation. But alas, it matters not as PayPal is no longer one with EBay. As for hopes of Mr. Andreesen and Mr. Icahn burying the corporate hatchet (or whatever it is that insanely wealthy executives do), don’t hold your breath.

A wrinkle in plans…

Image courtesy of patpitchaya/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of patpitchaya/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Perhaps you may recall pharmaceutical giant Valeant? Perhaps you recall how this pharmaceutical giant wanted to take over another pharmaceutical giant by the name of Allergan, notable for perennial fan fave Botox? And perhaps you recall that Allergan would prefer if Valeant would just go away? Well, it looks like that’s not going to happen anytime soon as Valeant just released some very impressive earnings, easily trumping analysts’ expectations. Except that Valeant also had good earnings. But no matter because Valeant really wants very badly to scoop up Allergan even though Allergan very badly does not want that to happen. Activist investor Bill Ackman, and his Pershing Square Capital Management LP, who is gunning for an Allergan takeover, just might make that even likelier and hostile-r because of Valeant’s newly announced, financially robust numbers, since numbers like those will allow him, together with Valeant, to up the ante to buy out the fabulous Botox maker.

 

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Not @GSElevator, A Big Bite of Bitcoin and Your Innermost Thoughts

In a strange twist of corporate Goldman Sachs drama…

Image courtesy of sattva/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sattva/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The identity of twitter account @GSelevator has finally been identified.  The tweeter had over 600,000 followers, as he/she tweeted about Wall Street’s corporate culture. The author of the account, John Lefevre, isn’t and was never even an employee there.  If he were, however, he’d have had one hell of a commute since he’s a resident of the great state of Texas.  Apparently it’s not necessary to have ever been employed at a particular firm in order to tweet about it.  Simon & Schuster agree as Mr. Lefevre has a six-figure advance from them for his book.  To be fair, though, he interviewed there seven years ago so it’s safe to say he had a glimpse of a genuine Goldman Sachs elevator.  Must have been some elevator.

There seems to be a Bitcoin of a problem…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ever heard of Mt. Gox?  Well that’s probably just as well since the Tokyo based Bitcoin exchange mysteriously misplaced about  744,000 Bitcoins.  And just how much is that worth, you might be wondering.  Hundreds of millions of dollars, that is,  if you don’t take into account the currency’s volatility.  What that means for the future of virtual currency depends on whom you ask.  Venture Capitalist Marc Andreesen compared it to MF Global, the brokerage that filed for bankruptcy in 2011.  Thinking he was reassuring Bitcoin investors and enthusiasts with that comparison, Andreesen said, “Bitcoin protocol is unchanged and other Bitcoin exchanges and companies are doing fine.”  Feel better about that now?

How thoughtful of you…

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you consider yourself a consumer, say like…um…everybody,then I know what you’ve been thinking about these days. No, really.  I do.  Your thoughts were thoughtfully expressed on the consumer confidence index.  You see, a bunch of people were surveyed on their consumer thoughts – as they consider themselves to be consumers just as you do – are those thoughts are meant to represent yours as well.  How ’bout that.  First of all, you think that the economy has improved.  You also think that jobs are plentiful.  But then again you also weren’t feeling totally optimistic about the economy either.  And you were definitely concerned with “the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs and earnings.” Did you know that’s what you were thinking?  Well, I hope you thought this through carefully.