Opening Bell: 04.19.12

Morgan Stanley Beats Estimates as Trading Gain Tops Peers (Bloomberg)
The net loss of $94 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with profit of $968 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Excluding accounting charges tied to the firm’s own credit spreads, profit was 71 cents a share, topping the 44-cent average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Fixed-income trading revenue surged 34 percent, surpassing the 19 percent gain at Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s drop of more than 15 percent, excluding accounting adjustments. Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, 53, has set a goal of 15 percent return on equity after lingering pressures from the financial crisis held that measure below 10 percent for five straight years. First-quarter return on equity was 9.2 percent.

BofA Profit Falls But Beats Estimates (WSJ)
The bank reported a profit of $653 million, compared with a year-earlier profit of $2.05 billion. Per-share earnings, which reflect the payment of preferred dividends, fell to three cents from 17 cents a year ago. The latest quarter included, among other items, a $4.8 billion pretax hit tied to changes in the value of the bank’s debt. Excluding accounting changes related to the bank’s debt, BofA reported profits of 31 cents per share, compared with the 12 cents estimated by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Blackstone First-Quarter Profit Falls on Performance Fees (Bloomberg)
Economic net income, a measure of earnings excluding some costs tied to the firm’s 2007 initial public offering, dropped to $432.3 million, or 39 cents a share, from $571 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier, New York-based Blackstone said today in a statement. Analysts had expected earnings of 40 cents a share, according to the average of nine estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Fitch Analyst Reportedly Warns on Dutch Rating (Reuters)
“The Dutch are on the edge of a negative rating action,” the Telegraph quoted Fitch analyst Chris Pryce, the rating agency’s expert on the Netherlands, as saying.

Ackman Plans 2013 listing for $4bn fund (FT)
Pershing Square is planning a $4bn public flotation for a new fund in January 2013. Bill Ackman intends to float the vehicle, which has already been set up in Guernsey and is known as Pershing Square Holdings, on a “major exchange.” PSH will be a shell company and invest all its assets in Pershing Square’s offshore hedge funds. As such, after flotation, it would offer Mr Ackman a source of permanent capital.

Man accuses Blackhawks, Cubs of ‘stealing his ideas’ (Chicago Tribune)
Emanuel Kuvakos, 56, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with three counts of misdemeanor harassment by electronic means, police said. Kuvakos sent “a number’’ of emails to Blackhawks CEO John McDonough and to Jim Hendry, the former general manager of the Chicago Cubs, that accused them of “stealing his ideas to win championships,’’ according to a police report. On Saturday, he sent them another email stating that he would keep the Blackhawks from winning the Stanley Cup, police said. While being interviewed by authorities, he claimed he also sent a message to Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks owner, saying that if he ever saw Wirtz, he would beat him, according to the police report. Kuvakos, whose nickname is “Mike,” said during a telephone interview with the Chicago Tribune that he has been a freelance sportswriter for 30 years, and claimed he is a sports psychologist and “savant” who works for the Blackhawks, White Sox and the Cubs.

Talks With Instagram Suggest a $104 Billion Valuation for Facebook (Dealbook)
Facebook bought the photo-sharing service for $1 billion in early April, agreeing to pay roughly 30 percent in cash and 70 percent in stock, according to people briefed on the negotiations who did not want to be identified because the discussions were private. At that level, Facebook is pegging its own stock price at roughly $30 a share. Based on those numbers, the giant social network is valued at north of $75 billion. But Facebook could actually be worth more. During the negotiations with Instagram, the parties framed the deal around a logical assumption: Facebook could soon trade publicly at a much higher market value. As part of the talks, the companies discussed a potential value of about $104 billion for Facebook, these people said. One of Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom, first broached the number, one of the people said. At $104 billion, the value is roughly in line with where Facebook has at times traded on the secondary market: shares of the privately held company have been selling for as high as $40.

More Americans Than Forecast Filed Weekly Jobless Claims (Bloomberg)
Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 386,000 in the week ended April 14 from a revised 388,000 the prior period that was higher than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a drop to 370,000.

KKR’s Real-Estate Arm Makes Its First Investment (WSJ)
The Yorktown Center mall has 1.5 million square feet of retail space and more than 150 stores including a J.C. Penney and a Victoria’s Secret. KKR’s co-investor in the deal is YTC Pacific, which will manage the property, these people said. As is typical in a private-equity real-estate investment, KKR plans to improve the look of the mall and increase the occupancy rate with an eye toward reselling the property.

Facebook Photo Sinks Man Who Stole Police Gas (TSG)
A Kentucky man is facing a misdemeanor rap after he siphoned gasoline from a police car, a theft that came to the attention of cops after the perp posted a Facebook photo memorializing the crime. As Michael Baker, 20, was swiping the gas last month from a Jenkins Police Department squad car, he made sure to flip the bird as his girlfriend snapped a picture. While the siphoning photo has been removed from his Facebook page, Baker yesterday updated his 380 friends on his legal problems. “just got out of jail,” he wrote in one post, adding later that “yea lol i went too jail over facebook.” Responding to a friend who had not seen the image before it was yanked, Baker assured, “yea lol u would just have to seen it it was funny as hell tho.”

48 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (48)

  1. Posted by Top Spin | April 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    'Emanuel Kuvakos, whose nickname is Mike,'


  2. Posted by Effing Work | April 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    So Morgan Stanley is taking a stab at extreme returns?

    -Guy Who Knows He's Late with the Topicality and Timeliness of That Joke But Has Had to Work A Lot Lately

  3. Posted by UBs | April 19, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    …and Phil Falcone stole my investment strategy!!!

    – Emanuel Kuvakos, UBS MD

  4. Posted by pazzo83 | April 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    “yea lol i went too jail over facebook.”

    I weep for the future…

  5. Posted by Mike Mushanelli | April 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    BofA lost but covered the spread, Blackstone lost OUTRIGHT.

  6. Posted by OBX Brah! | April 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Lester: You don't know what a Dutch Rating – alright, you grab your dick, and then you have somebody else work your arm. Here, lemme show you. Grab my arm, I'm grabbing my dick, you're grabbing my arm… now work it. Work it. Work my arm. See that shit? Now work it up and down. See that? It's like somebody else is jerking you off.

  7. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Mike Kuvakos hurts.
    Take an asprin.

  8. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    And Herman Cain stole my election strategy.

    – Mike "8-8-8 Plan" Kuvakos

  9. Posted by Facebook engineer | April 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    that should be added on the staus drop box : " just got out of jail "

  10. Posted by Dr. Cocktosin | April 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Stop rubbing it so much!

  11. Posted by Bandersnatch | April 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    The guy's from Kentucky so I wouldn't read too much into it (no offense intended to the great state of Kentucky)

  12. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Kuvakos, the Fresh Maker!

  13. Posted by Pee Wee | April 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Yes, hello, I'm looking for a Mr. Michael Hunt.

  14. Posted by International Man | April 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    If you tell your date you want to go "dutch" on a Friday night it becomes doubtful you'll get to go greek or even do some frenching even if you polish your approach with Wild Turkey. And be sure to check for Baltics while European in a stall.

  15. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    That Kuvakos, he ain't gonna write no more…

    -Billy Sianis

  16. Posted by guest | April 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Examine your motives – what does this meme mean?

    Long time reader, first time commenter

  17. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    It means stare at your penis without your coworkers noticing.

  18. Posted by Wire | April 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    There's nothing wrong with intending offense to Kentucky.

  19. Posted by comment arbiter | April 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    that was an horrific first effort.. repetitive, plagaristic, somewhat moralistic faux profundity

    examine your education and inate abilities

    just… go ahead en…come back another time.

  20. Posted by HungryIntern | April 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    I know exactly what you are saying Mike.

    ~Little Caesars

  21. Posted by BuySide | April 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Honestly, 950am jokes are not going to work here. Go away.

  22. Posted by Men at Work | April 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Worst comment in the history of Disqus.

  23. Posted by one | April 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Especially seeing what the bad, no good man Jim Beam did to me last night.

    – Guy who doesn't know how he will go back out drinking tonight, but will somehow muster the courage.

  24. Posted by Gold Pass Admin | April 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    You can get the definitions to all recurring Dealbreaker subjects and punchlines if you have a "Dealbreaker Gold Pass". Sign up for yours today!

  25. Posted by waaaahhh ? | April 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    lol, thought that was real for a sec

  26. Posted by FKApmco | April 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    At your service guest:
    It means the comment would appear to be "ist" (e.g., racist, sexist) or prejudiced or idiotic in some way. For example, if you said "all the senior women on Wall Street I know got the job because of diversity" that would illicit an "examine your motives" response but if you said "PMCO got where she is today because she sucks dick really well" no examination is required.

  27. Posted by Texashedge | April 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    "Kuvakos sent 'a number’ of emails to to Jim Hendry, the former general manager of the Chicago Cubs, that accused them of “stealing his ideas to win championships"

    He sent these to the Cubs? Lock him up!

  28. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Also applicable to Match dating status dropdowns.

  29. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    It wasn't good by any means, but apparently you don't spend too much time here.

  30. Posted by puzzling | April 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    that's elicit, FKA, other than that liking the comm…* thinks*

    -guy who always wondered what the hell the deal was but did not understand you were female until two weeks ago because i never looked at the pic-

  31. Posted by HeavyIntoJeff | April 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    If FKA sucks a D really well, does it really matter what the pic looks like or if she's female?

    furiously examining motives….

  32. Posted by puzzling | April 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Emphatic yes on the latter, not doing a power rating here…

  33. Posted by Pee Wee | April 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I am sofa king we teded

  34. Posted by PSA | April 19, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I see your example, but am still a bit confused here. Would "I don't understand how PMCO got to where she is, becuase her blowjobs are terrible" require a motive examination prior to saying?

  35. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    NationsBank > Bank of America

  36. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    FKA if that picture is you, congrats!

  37. Posted by FKApmco | April 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Thanks Puzzler. I hate it when I dont spell proper. I would edit but ID wont let me.

  38. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM


  39. Posted by FKApmco | April 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    That's just crazy talk PSA. PMCO and terrible do not appear in a sentence ever. Bad, sure; terrible, nuhuh.

  40. Posted by FKApmco | April 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    It's Elle Macpherson but feel free to assume I look just like her.

  41. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I can't even run game on you FKA, I just wanna take you to Barcelona….

  42. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    NCNB Corp. > NationsBank

  43. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Perma FTW

  44. Posted by AIG Geography Quant | April 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    If you took her to Maine would you go to Bangor?

  45. Posted by Bank Historian | April 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    NCNB….."No Capital? No Banking…"

  46. Posted by BuySide | April 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Barnett Bank > NCNB

  47. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Whatever I wish you plenty of congenstion on 76 westbound this evening.

  48. Posted by reviews | September 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Hello there, thanks a lot for a awfully enlightening
    blog, I really don’t on the whole attach remarks but really liked your blog therefore , thought I’d say thank you – – Nina