brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on April 30, 2013 07:47 PM
To paraphrase the late US Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois: "A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there—pretty soon you're talking about real money."
That's why investors, analysts, journalists and CEOs all tend to listen to activist investor Bill Ackman: He can throw around $1 billion at a time, and it is very real money. Right now, for example, he's got a $1 billion short position on Herbalife, betting that the multi-level-marketing company's shares eventually will be worthless.
But for today, at least, there's reason to doubt the acumen of Ackman on Herbalife, a marketer of weight-loss shakes and skin lotions that he has condemned as a pyramid scheme. The company beat analysts' expectations about its quarterly earnings again this week and raised its full-year outlook, as well as celebrated the growing influence of Carl Icahn, an old-school corporate raider who's increased his stake in the company and publicly defended it against nouveau gadfly Ackman.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2013 01:45 PM
Is JCPenney doing a dead-cat bounce, or is there real life remaining in the venerable retail brand in the post-Ron Johnson era?
George Soros is betting the latter. The famous (or infamous) investor has taken a 7.9 percent stake in JCPenney, a development that immediately sent the stock up by nearly 7 percent late last week. Soros's stake is still less than half that of hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who recruited Johnson as JCPenney CEO, and then helped sack him earlier this month. But at least, arguably, Soros is buying low.
Goldman Sachs has placed a bet as well on the possibility that new JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman (who also was CEO before Johnson's tenure of little more than a year) will be able to restore JCPenney if not to greatness, at least to long-term viability. The financier gave the company a five-year, $1.75 billion loan secured by JCPenney's real estate across middle America.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 09:12 AM
Starbucks raises outlook after strong second quarter.
Boeing gets clearance for re-launching Dreamliner in Japan and United's planes in May.
Altria Group plans to enter e-cigarette market.
3M cuts outlook as demand sputters.
Amazon outstrips growing profits with growing spending.
Best Buy tries to reduce "pain points" for customers, staff.
Cap'n Crunch launches new YouTube channel for adults.
Exxon Mobil oil output falls again.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 6, 2012 02:22 PM
American Apparel is no stranger to controversy over the years, showcasing its "Made in America" (for now?) garments on young models, risqué poses, nudity and other provocative images that have given the brand and its Canadian founder, Dov Charney, a bad reputation — most of all as a businessman, with a lifeline investment by billionaire George Soros making headlines earlier this year.
Whether it's another way to be provocative or at least unexpected, the brand has been expanding its casting calls for models, staging a (disastrous) contest for plus-size models, hiring its first transgender model (in partnership with GLAAD, no less) and now upturning ageism with the new face for its "advanced basic" line: 60-year-old actress Jacky O’Shaughnessy, who was spotted by an AA staffer in New York.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 12, 2012 01:14 PM
Maybe he's a fan of the disco pant. Or maybe he's tired of advancing his "one world" socialist government crusade. Whatever's driving him, it seems George Soros is ready to bail out American Apparel.
According to the American Apparel of the newspaper business, The New York Post, "Crystal Financial, a Boston-based firm that boasts Soros’ hedge fund as its lead investor, will immediately replace and expand a $75 million revolving credit line from Bank of America." Of course, the paper did not pass up a chance to note that Soros, like American Apparel founder Dov Charney, shared a penchant for sexual harassment litigation.
But, like the billionaire's attempts to prop up the Obama regime, is it too little too late?Continue reading...