If everything goes as planned, this week will be the busiest for initial public offerings since 2000.
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After some shaky years, the airline appears to be headed in a promising direction.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
So far, 2011 has proved an interesting and controversial year for Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) fractional jet ownership company, and there's a good chance the Oracle of Omaha will use the event to ease tensions and restore customer confidence in the company.
Since Berkshire initially acquired NetJets in 1998, the company has been a tricky investment. As Buffett noted in his 2010 Berkshire letter to shareholders, "Even though NetJets was consistently a runaway winner with customers, our financial results, since its acquisition in 1998, were a failure."
After much hype surrounding some big-name public offerings, Bankrate and others are falling short. Is the 2011 IPO scene flaming out? With video.
Bankrate (RATE) made its big debut on Wall Street on Friday morning, raising about $187.5 million in its IPO. The offering was priced at $15 a share.
But as with other IPOs lately, the initial price didn't hold. In early trading, Bankrate had slumped as low as $14.10 a share.
What makes Bankrate interesting, however, is that unlike other recent offerings, it didn't even get the hoopla of a big bounce right out of the gate. That bodes very ill for upcoming 2011 IPOs that could include Dunkin' Donuts, Groupon and Facebook.
Let's look back at some of the biggest recent offerings to show you what I mean.
No matter the cause of crude's precipitous decline, consumer spending will rebound as the price of gasoline drops.
We're not seeing the stories yet. The stories that say, "Gasoline has come down so much that people are going out more again." We didn't see them in 2008 either.
But it happened. And judging by the violence of the move down coupled with the charts being horrendous for crude and the soon-to-be-toppled Moammar Ghadafi, you are going to be getting that good feeling real soon. I had thought my $90-a-barrel price target was a stretch when we got to $110, but I am now thinking that looks too high!
It took about three months from oil's outrageous peak to its hideous trough in 2008 before we saw a spending rebound -- and remember, that was during a period of heavy layoffs. You still saw spending go up, principally because the oil "tax" on consumers eased.
A profitable combination of diverse businesses puts DuPont on the path to solid revenue growth.
Starting Friday, renters can get video games in addition to Redbox's traditional movie offerings.
Starting Friday, the company will begin renting video games at 21,000 stores across the United States, the Associated Press reports. The games will rent for $1.50 a day. Redbox already charges $1 to $2 to rent DVD movies for a day.
Redbox has been testing video-game rentals since 2009. The move gives the company an advantage over Netflix, which doesn't rent video games. Some of the games available at Redbox will include "Call of Duty: Black Ops" and "LA Noire."
An analysis of flight records shows some company planes are making lots of trips to resort destinations.
But when half of a company jet's hours are devoted to vacations for the top bosses and these guys don't have to pay a dime -- well, that veers quickly into questionable territory.
The Wall Street Journal reviewed the flight records of dozens of corporate jets over a four-year period, and found that sometimes, more than 50% of their trips were to or from resort destinations -- usually locations where executives owned homes.
Companies are supposed to disclose all that travel time to shareholders, but they don't. Take the case of computer-storage company EMC (EMC), which has five company jets.
In what world does it become more relevant in 3 years than it is now?
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
Shares of Best Buy (BBY) rose nearly 5% Tuesday after the consumer electronics retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly results. The company is pretty popular around Fooldom. Several of our newsletter services like it. Fellow Fool Alyce Lomax feels that "value-minded investors should give the electronics retailer props" after the report.
I have to respectfully disagree. Best Buy may not be the second coming -- and going -- of Circuit City, but the chain has nonetheless peaked.
Let's go over the reasons I think buyers are running into a burning building.
On the 100th anniversary of IBM, we look at young names that experts say have the staying power to endure the next century.
By Olivia Oran, TheStreet
With one of the world's best track records when it comes to the ability to remake itself time and time again, IBM (IBM) celebrates its centennial on Thursday, joining a list of iconic American stocks like Colgate (CL), John Deere (DE) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF) that have all out-gunned countless competitors and economic cycles to reach 100 years of age.
Though this type of lasting power inevitably has, at times, colored IBM as stodgy, slow-growing and unexciting -- especially in a sector where many investors crave a continuous stream of new consumer gadgets -- Big Blue has repeatedly reconquered tech with its own world-changing brand of innovation.
So who in tech is in for the next 100 years?
Obvious answers from our sources include Apple (AAPL) -- whose ability to innovate in consumer electronics is viewed as virtually untouchable -- and Google (GOOG), thanks to its significant investment in efficient data centers and sustainability (not, as you might think, its core search business).
Technical indicators show that a major top is not in place, but as fears mount and carnage continues, here are the critical risk factors.
Industry analysts say a production increase could send shares flying as high as $100.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
"Global demand for aircraft remains healthy and resilient given requirements to replace aging fleets, satisfy growth in emerging regions and add more fuel efficient aircraft to existing fleets," wrote Gleacher & Company analyst Peter Arment, in a report issued Thursday.
Supporters say giving companies a break on repatriating foreign profits would help the economy.
Companies have as much as $1 trillion in profits stored abroad. They want to bring that money to the United States but don't want to pay taxes at current corporate rates, which max out at 35%. Some politicians are pushing for a tax holiday similar to one granted in 2004, which allowed corporations to bring back money at a 5.25% rate, The Hill reports.
Even a former union chief supports the move. Check out the following interview with Andy Stern, who formerly led the Service Employees International Union, about why he supports a tax repatriation holiday.
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The online music service already sees flagging interest from investors on its second day of trading.
Well, that didn't take long. Shares of Pandora Media (P) closed today down 23% to $13.39, dashing any hopes that this would be the next soar-out-of-the-gate tech IPO.
Pandora opened Wednesday at $20, and some eager suckers -- oh, I mean investors -- pushed the price up to $26 before everyone sobered up. The online radio service has never made a profit and runs mostly on advertising money. There's plenty to be skeptical about here.
"On the bright side, maybe there's not so much of a tech-stock bubble after all," writes Mark Gongloff at The Wall Street Journal. Pandora was certainly no LinkedIn (LNKD), which doubled to $94 on its first day of trading but Thursday was at about $71.40.
Check out the following interview, which analyzes the state of the IPO market after Pandora.
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Funds tracking producers can offer relief from economic headwinds while outperforming the physical metal during rallies.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Thanks to exchange-traded funds, gaining access to gold has become simpler than ever. With products such as SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), iShares Gold Trust (IAU) and ETFS Physical Gold Shares (SGOL), investors can gain exposure to physical bullion.
However, there are other options gold-hungry investors may want to consider, including gold-miner-backed funds like the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ). Unlike GLD and other physically backed products, GDX and GDXJ do not track a physical stockpile of the metal. Instead, they spread their assets across a wide collection of global gold producers.
Rising material costs, weak existing-home prices and a glut of distressed properties on the market are crushing builder confidence.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Homebuilder sentiment fell to an eight-month low in June as a perfect storm of weak existing-home prices, rising material costs, distressed property sales and sluggish consumer confidence brewed in the housing market.
"Builders are being squeezed by the continuing weakness in existing-home prices -- against which they must compete -- as well as rising material costs," said Bob Nielsen, a homebuilder from Reno, Nev., and the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
"In addition to the ongoing impacts of distressed property sales on home prices, appraisal values and consumer confidence, rising costs for materials such as roofing, copper, wallboard, vinyl siding and other components have made it extremely difficult to construct a new home and sell it at a price that covers the costs."
The economy has hit a soft patch, but corporate America is healthy.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
After a one-day relief rally, stocks resumed their decline Wednesday.
Although Tuesday's consumer spending report beat expectations, it marked the first year-over-year monthly decline since June 2010 as higher gasoline and food prices weighed on Americans. Then, Wednesday, the New York Area General Economic Report dropped to negative 7.8, signaling contraction, as manufacturing slowed. Making matters worse, June's national survey of U.S. homebuilders fell to a nine-month low as demand outlook weakened.
A negative-data deluge is pushing stock prices to discounts. Although the pace of growth has weakened in recent weeks, corporate America remains healthy, and a soft patch may provide an attractive entry point for equity investors. It's difficult to buy when others are fleeing the market, but long-term investors should be on the lookout for bargains in both ETFs and equities.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.1%) remains just below its flat line after surrendering its early gain that was driven by a better than expected GDP report for Q2 (4.0% versus Briefing.com consensus 3.2%) and a set of above-consensus earnings.
To that latter point, American Express (AXP 90.65, -1.06), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD 144.48, -22.78), and WellPoint (WLP 110.11, -2.44) all beat their estimates, yet the trio trades lower across the board. Also of note, ... More
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