Dredged-up comments from the edgy retailer's CEO plunge the company into another round of controversy.
Are more bidding wars coming? It's hard to say for sure, but the main elements all seem to be in place.
First, Michael Dell's proposed $24.4 billion takeover bid for Dell Inc. (DELL) with Silver Lake was trumped by higher offers from Blackstone and activist investor Carl Icahn. Today, Dish Network (DISH), the satellite TV operator controlled by Charlie Ergen, made an unsolicited $25.5 billion offer for Sprint (S), representing a 13% premium over Softbank's planned acquisition of 70% of the wireless operator for $20.1 billion.
Like Dell, Sprint's core business has been eroding for years, and CEO Dan Hesse is feeling Wall Street's pressure to improve the telecom's performance. During the last quarter, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company lost 243,000 monthly contract customers, more than the 206,000 expected by analysts Bloomberg had surveyed.
As the stumbling retailer tries to rebuild ties to shoppers, it has a massive employee morale problem to deal with as well.
Under ousted chief executive Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney (JCP) had a massive housecleaning, sweeping away thousands of jobs as it eliminated popular clothing lines like St. John's Bay.
Now, returning CEO Myron Ullman has a knotty problem on his hands: how to revive those brands with a company suffering from deep morale problems and an employee base that has shrunk by 23%, reports The Wall Street Journal.
When Johnson completed his first full fiscal year on the job, Penney employed only 116,000 people, down from its recent historic level of 150,000, according to the report.
While the ex-CEO argued that the job cuts were needed to boost Penney's financial performance, the opposite resulted: Loyal customers fled, with many angered at his decision to dump St. John's Bay. Sales plunged 25% last year.
Some Silicon Valley businesses are getting IRS scrutiny for supplying workers with no-cost food, which 'can't be just disguised wages.'
Is sitting down with your colleagues for a work-funded meal a chance to brainstorm and collaborate -- or a fringe benefit that should be taxed?
That's an issue The Wall Street Journal recently reported on as the IRS looks at some companies, particularly in high tech, that regularly provide free food to their employees.
As an example, the WSJ points to Google (GOOG). The search engine giant has more than 120 free-for-employee cafes at its facilities around the world serving over 50,000 meals daily. Google's website notes its offices and cafes "are designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams, and to spark conversation about work as well as play."
Uncertainty about the fate of their home translates to continuing mental anguish for many owners.
Very mixed news last week for the financially struggling American homeowner. RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data, said overall U.S. foreclosure filings dropped 1% last month compared to February, but that was down 23% from March of 2012.
According to the report, 34 states showed annual decreases in U.S. bank repossessions in March. At the same time, however, some states saw foreclosure rates swing up sharply last month, including Arkansas (up 121% annually), Maryland (up 114%), Washington (up 88%), Pennsylvania (up 41%) and Ohio (up 39%).
"Although the overall national foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher in some local markets where aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts in previous years are wearing off," Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a press statement.
A generation of college grads, who owe more than $1 trillion, may have to postpone buying a home indefinitely.
The answer in almost every instance is more terrible than you can imagine. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says U.S. students have amassed $1.1 trillion in loan debt -- double what its was in 2007 and greater than any other consumer debt not tied to a mortgage.
Whether graduates have a "useless" degree in liberal arts or a "practical" degree like an MBA, chances are they're being absolutely flattened by school-related debt. Their jobs aren't helping pay down that debt, either, as roughly 284,000 college graduates are making minimum wage and The Center For College Affordability and Productivity reports that nearly half of the college graduates from the class of 2010 are in jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree.
Some economists say Americans making $3 million or more can handle a levy of up to 66% with no harm.
Andrew Fieldhouse at The Fiscal Times put the nation's upper economic echelons on notice last week by letting them know they're not paying anything close to what economists feel is their fair share.
Amid stifled economic output, stagnant job growth, sequestration cuts, the expired payroll tax cuts, the stonewalling of the American Jobs Act and the gradual replacement of stimulus with European-style austerity, Fieldhouse says a dollar of government spending cuts will do four to seven times as much economic damage than an additional dollar of revenue collected from upper-income taxpayers.
US senator calls the race 'inappropriate' in the wake of the tragedy in the Newtown, Conn.
Gun control advocates are urging News Corp. (NWS.A) not to air Saturday's NASCAR race sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA), scheduled for broadcast on the Fox network.
The NRA 500 was denounced by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a letter to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch as "inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre," according to a report in Politico. He was particularly concerned about "the live shooting of guns at the end of the race."
A spokesman for New York-based News Corp. declined to comment on Murphy's letter.
Kraft is looking for a brand update as it pushes a new liquid version of the drink to consumers.
That's about to change. Kraft Foods (KRFT) is unveiling a new Kool-Aid Man Monday. He's now computer-generated, he wears his flavors like clothing, he talks and even has a bit of a sense of humor.
A new commercial shows a crystal-clear Kool-Aid Man stepping out of the shower and picking an outfit from a pantry of different Kool-Aid mixes, the Associated Press reports. "I put my pants on one leg at a time," he says. "Except my pants are 22 different flavors. I've got grape pants, I've got watermelon pants."
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Like rival Wal-Mart, it's pointing the finger elsewhere for its problems while other retailers are coping just fine.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 settled lower by 0.8% after early strength turned into afternoon weakness.
Today's headline event came in the form of Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. During his remarks, Chairman Bernanke said premature tightening of monetary policy could stall the pace of recovery. This followed weeks of conflicting remarks from FOMC members, which sparked speculation regarding possible changes to the Fed's policy course.
However, ... More
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