To Buy Bonds or Not to Buy: Fed Hawks, Doves Air Views (WSJ)
The presidents of the Dallas, Richmond and Philadelphia Federal Reserve banks, long skeptics of the wisdom of the bond buying, said this week that they would like to see the purchases scaled back immediately. And San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who has been enthusiastic about the merits of the program, said Thursday that he is still prepared to reduce the size of the purchases “as early as this summer.” The president of the Boston Fed, meanwhile, suggested that there is a case that the Fed should be doing even more to boost the economy.
Dell Profit Missing Estimates Boosts CEO’s Buyout Plan (Bloomberg)
Profit excluding some items fell to 21 cents a share for the period that ended May 3, from 43 cents a year earlier, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said in a statement yesterday. Analysts on average had projected 35 cents, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue (DELL) declined 2.4 percent to $14.1 billion, beating analysts’ average $13.5 billion projection. The plunge in profit lends credence to a plan by Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC to take the company private in a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout. … “The Icahn solution gets less attractive, and the bird in the hand looks better than the one in the bush,” said Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in San Francisco, who has a hold rating for the shares.
How Elliott and Hess Settled a Bitter Proxy Battle (DealBook)
[T]he company began announcing steps intended to raise its stock price, including selling its gas stations, raising its dividend and announcing a stock buyback. It also replaced the slate of directors up for re-election this year — including Mr. Kean and Mr. Nunn — with a group that includes John Krenicki Jr., a former vice chairman of General Electric. Later, the company agreed to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, both currently held by Mr. Hess, the son of the founder. (The board on Thursday named Mark Williams, one of its new directors, as nonexecutive chairman.) And the Hess family agreed to support a proposal in which directors would be re-elected every year, rather than every three years.
Day Traders Steer Tesla Higher (WSJ)
The whipsaw trading can complicate longer-term investors’ efforts to assess companies’ prospects and create volatility that draws the ire of corporate managers. … Such traders in recent years have targeted the shares issued by companies including Netflix, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Priceline.com. In 2010, Chipotle Mexican Grill hit the radar screen of day traders. Its share price quadrupled over the next two years while trading volume nearly doubled. At its peak, the stock was trading at 47 times projected future earnings, according to FactSet, more than double that of McDonald’s Corp. and Taco Bell operator Yum Brands Inc.
Hedge Fund Billionaire William Ackman, Investor Group in Contract to Buy a New York Penthouse for Over $90 Million (WSJ)
Mr. Ackman does not plan to move in, a person familiar with the plans said, and the group views the penthouse as an investment.
For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine (Gawker)
Rob Ford, Toronto’s conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars. One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine. I know this because I watched him do it, on a videotape. He was fucking hiiiiigh. It’s for sale if you’ve got six figures.
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