Krispy Kreme's Loss Widens (WSJ)
Krispy Kreme donuts are awesome, no doubt about it, but apparently the business model for selling them is broken. You can't make a buck selling 'em. Although the company is trying to turn things around, it still looks mired in a deep slump. It doesn't help that people aren't manic about them the way they used to be. There was a time when a Krispy Kreme donut was a regular staple on the news ("local couple makes wedding cake out of Krispy Kreme", "Krispy Kreme fans stand in line for hours at opening of new store"). But those days are a thing of the past. Besides, all that sugar? Is it really worth it? How about a nice Fuji apple instead?
Ryanair Profit to Grow at Slowest Rate in Four Years (Bloomberg)
It's so hard to right anything about an airline facing difficult times without resorting to words like "bumpy", "rough patch" or "turbulence". It's not just that they're rather easy puns, but they're actually fitting words. They're words we'd use when talking about non-airlines. Like, it wouldn't be ridiculous to say that Ford was facing turbulence, but to say that about RyanAir would be a groan inducing. So, we'll just call it like it is and say that for the first time in several years, RyanAir isn't doing particularly well as demand for its ultracheap tickets (and experience) is on the wane. The combative CEO Ryan O'Leary is naturally blaming government taxes (they hate the government at RyanAir) for the problems.
Chinese Stocks Rebound After Drop (NYT)
Ok, the Chinese market is nuts no matter how you slice it. After yesterday's 8% drop, the market slid another 7% at the outset today, before rebounding and ending the day at a gain. As we mentioned yesterday, it would seem that investors there are so conditioned to profits, that at this point, any downtick just looks like a buying opportunity and nothing else. Panic is for suckers.
I.C.E., Waiting on CBOT, Buys Commodity Trader (Dealbook)
The IntercontinentalExchange, a commodity exchange based in Atlanta (?), has bought out the commodity trading business of ChemConnect, a Houston-based exchange that deals with a number of energy-related products. ICE already has an unsolicited bid for the COT on the table, though it's not going to sit idly by waiting for an answer.
Goal: a "zero-emissions" jet (Seattle Times)
An airline industry trade group is calling for a zero-emission jet to be built in the next 50 years. 50 years is a long time though; it really doesn't sound all that ambitious. Somehow jets have become a real lightning rod. In Europe, going on holiday overseas constitutes an illiberal political act of the highest order. These days, when a celebrity takes a private jet to an event, they have to perform 50 Hail Marys or plant 100 trees, whichever is less convenient. For its part, Boeing thinks the goal is a little lame and vague.
Ex-Cisco Official Volpi Becomes Joost CEO (WSJ)
Michelangelo Volpi, a former Cisco exec that was thought to have a shot at the CEO slot before quitting the company, will take over the reigns of upstart online video firm Joost. Joost, of course, is the distributed video service being developed by the Skype guys (who also did Kazaa), which means they have a pretty good track record of successfully disrupting established industries. Although the odds for any particular startup for succeeding are long, the speed at which a company can explode these days must be appealing to a lot of executives looking for a big score. Everyone wants to be the next Eric Schmidt, or at least helm the new YouTube.
Xstrata Ready to Spend Billions on Acquisitions (Bloomberg)
One of the big deals from last year's crazy summer was Xstrata's purchase of Falconbridge for $17 billion. Now it looks like Xstrata is back on the path, as it's indicated that will spend billions more on fresh deals. It's already been an exciting summer on this front, and it's not even summer yet, which must be really exciting for Canadian bankers, who seem to specialize in this stuff.
Rising Bond Yields (or, The Magazine Cover Indicator Lives!) (The Big Picture)
Barry Ritholtz is a big believe in the cover jinx, an idea originally associated with Sports Illustrated, and the atheletes that would go on slumps soon after being featured on its cover. His latest evidence in support of a business version of the cover jinx comes from rising bond rates, which have been nothing but up ever since a BusinessWeek cover story came out in March about how it's a low-rate world. In the post, Ritholtz makes the case for increasingly higher rates going forward. Hey, if it helps us avoid USD/Canadian Dollar parity, then we're all for it.
GigaOM Interview: AT&T’s new CEO Randall Stephenson (GigaOM)
Check it out, AT&T's new CEO Randall Stephenson did an interview with GigaOM, the popular tech blog. One of the big topics, natch, is the forthcoming iPhone, over which AT&T has exclusive domain for some time. Lately, the iPhone guessing game has been at a favor pitch, with many wondering whether sales will be as well. Yesterday we caught an iPhone commercial for the first time, and let's just say there was gasps in the room. Whatever, Apple's tired.
Murdoch Calls Dow Jones Meeting 'Constructive' (WSJ)
Ok, so yesterday's talks. At this point, it's hard to know what's left to say. After all, we pretty much know where everyone stands. Murdoch wants the paper with few strings attached. The union representing the employees is getting ready to freak out (and walk out!) if a deal goes through. The Bancrofts don't want any changes made. Shareholders just want to get paid. There's a few more wrinkles in there, like the details of why the bancrofts and the union are so hesitant to deal with Murdoch (though you pretty much already know why), but for the most part, the story is pretty easy to follow at this point.