The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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Berkshire Hathaway lacks a valuable revenue source now that Goldman Sachs has bought back $5.5 billion in preferred shares.
Warren Buffett made the news during this shortened week after it was announced that Goldman Sachs (GS) had bought back the $5.5 billion in preferred shares it sold to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) during the dire depths of the financial crisis.
In the midst of the credit mess, as Lehman Bros. was collapsing and Merrill Lynch was going through an emergency takeover, Goldman Sachs sought help from Buffett. Given his positive outlook for the U.S., the Oracle of Omaha was willing to step in and provide Goldman with a $5 billion fund to save the company from ruin.
The deal came with conditions. In return for the funding, Buffett received preferred shares that promised a 10% annual dividend and warrants to purchase $5 billion in Goldman common stock at $115 per share.
Why settle for streaming only 1 movie when you can watch multiple shows at once on your phone, TV and video game console?
By Anthony John Agnello, Consumer and Technology Writer
As Netflix (NFLX) has grown dramatically over the past two years, analysts and industry pundits have wondered repeatedly when the streaming video company would hit a glass ceiling: No way could Netflix shares pass $200. No way could the company's subscriber base reach 20 million. No way could it continue to sign new content partners.
Well, Netflix has met and surpassed all of those hurdles, but even now it is facing new challenges. How will it fend off new competitors and keep growing its membership at a breakneck pace?
The answer may have arrived. Netflix offered a preview of its future strategy earlier this week, announcing it will begin offering "family plan" subscription packages later this year.
Gold is not an investment, and gold is not contrarian. And its value is not bulletproof.
Gold prices topped $1,500 per ounce this week, days after Standard & Poor's roiled the equity and bond markets by lowering its outlook on the AAA credit rating of the U.S. government.
After a decade in which stocks went nowhere and the U.S. dollar lost value to every world currency except the Zimbabwean dollar, many Americans are ready to give up on the entire system. Quite a few already have.
But frankly, gold today is as risky as tech stocks in 1999 and Miami condos in 2005, and the arguments supporting its rise are every bit as flimsy. Here are the three biggest myths about gold that will pop the current bubble:
Peabody's share price could pull back as concerns rise about slowing growth in China.
The company performs well in the first quarter despite challenges from rising commodity costs and foreign-exchange rates.
The U.S. Treasury owns 500 million shares of General Motors, and is tired of waiting for the share price to rise.
The U.S. Treasury still owns about 500 million shares after the $50 billion rescue of the company in 2009. It would need to sell those shares at $53 apiece just to break even on its investment.
But GM's share price is nowhere near that amount. The stock hit a new low this week and is at about $30 today, down 19% year-to-date. The way fuel prices are moving, the chance of that stock hitting the $53 mark anytime soon are nil.
The government is likely just going to sell the stock at a loss to taxpayers, The Wall Street Journal reports. At GM's current price, taxpayers would lose at least $11 billion if the government sold its entire stake. But hey, what's another $11 billion to a government bleeding so much red it could pass for an extra on "Saw 3D"?
The company changes its business model to let fan response determine ticket prices. Will it work? With video interview.
Now Ticketmaster says it will adjust the price of sports and concert tickets according to demand. If shrieking girls can't get enough of a certain floppy-haired teen idol, for example, ticket prices will go up. But if, say, Rebecca Black launches a nationwide tour to slow demand, her ticket prices will drop.
It's a fundamental change to the traditional model for Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV). In the past, Ticketmaster worked with artists to set tickets at specific prices, and those prices didn't really change.
Post continues after this interview with Ticketmaster about the new pricing:
The all-electric competitor to the Toyota Prius and GM Volt hybrids will be made in Tennessee.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Carlos Tavares, the chairman of Nissan Americas, said the primary cause of the move is the strong yen, which has inspired a desire to ensure that a product "sold in the regions (is) 85% made in the region."
"That's the driver," Tavares said. He added that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan underscored the need for higher U.S. production, although all Nissan's Japan plants are now operating.
Slow iPhone sales, a surge in low-margin iPads, and parts shortages in Japan may crimp the company's forecast.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
If Apple delivers on plan, it will be less like the streak of earnings disappointments from Google's (GOOG) profit-robbing spending splurge and Texas Instruments' (TXN) big miss Monday that somehow came in below the target it lowered last month.
But Apple's guidance is a whole other game, and there's reason to think the outlook in Cupertino, Calif., may not be a winner.
Investors looking for exposure to non-dollar-denominated assets may choose from two liquid currency ETFs set to benefit from growth of the Chinese currency.
New funds allow investors to gain exposure to small companies in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The field of BRIC-related ETFs expanded last week with the launch of Van Eck's Market Vectors Russia Small Cap ETF (RSXJ). The first fund of its kind, RSXJ provides investors with exposure to a diverse collection of small companies based in Russia.
So far, the fund has seen limited interest and is still vulnerable to liquidity issues. I urge investors to hold off on RSXJ until it gathers steam.
This pharmacy-benefits manager has a much brighter future than its current stock price implies.
By Bryan White
About $14 billion in annual sales of brand name drugs have come off patent annually since 2008, but that was just the beginning. Starting in December of this year through the end of 2012, approximately $35 billion worth of sales more will lose patent exclusivity, including Lipitor, Plavix, and Singulair. One industry positioned to profit from the wave of new generic launches is the pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs.
Born in the 1980s, PBMs work for health-care payors such as insurance companies, employers, and government agencies which outsource prescription drug plan management and claims processing. PBMs are responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, and negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers on behalf of their clients, the health-care payors.
Your decision depends on your appetite for risk. At any rate, GM should be on investors' watch lists. With video on GM's prospects.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The new General Motors (GM)went public in November, collecting proceeds of $23 billion, which ranked as the second-largest offering in US history. The automaker was assisted by lead book-runners JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
Although GM's stock -- initially valued at 7.8 times forward earnings, a sizable peer and market discount -- appeared cheap, it has tumbled from $33 to just over $29, as of Tuesday's close. The stock has tumbled 24% from a recent high around $39 to a fresh post-IPO low. What happened?
Momentum-driven stocks that are plagued by skepticism have a tendency to rise into a positive earnings report.
By Ali Meshkati, TheStreet
A few months ago, I wrote an article that said Netflix (NFLX) would outperform Apple (AAPL) during any market correction. What I should have written, at that time, was that Netflix would outperform Apple, period.
The point of the article was missed by most. I take full responsibility as I probably mixed in too many distracting points and topics. It's not about an Apple vs. Netflix war of technology, executives or each company's place within this technology-driven world.
The point of the article was that market psychology drives stock price, irrespective of fundamentals. When a momentum-driven trend begins in a company that is under a tremendous amount of scrutiny and doubt, it creates a support dynamic for the stock. It allows the stock to continue to a share price and market cap that not even the founders of the company could have imagined would be possible.
Though housing prices have dropped to new lows, folks aren't sure a home is a solid investment anymore.
But people aren't buying. The economy and the tightened lending market have all but removed the possibility of homeownership for some. But there's another interesting sentiment developing: More and more people just don't want to buy anymore.
The percentage of people who think of a home as a safe investment has dropped to just 64%, Bloomberg reports. That's the lowest ever reported in the national housing survey from Fannie Mae, and down from 83% in 2003.
So many people have turned away from homebuying, in fact, that we may be seeing a culture shift. Maybe the house with a white picket fence is no longer part of the American dream.
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The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
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