Eon warns on profits and energy security || Industrial production drops in eurozone || big write offs at GS4 as it trys to repair relationship with UK government || Monte dei Paschi posts 7th quarterly loss || Cathy Pacific profits soar || Poundand jumps while Pets languishes || Stocks down Read more
Rainbows are always just over the horizon, the recovery is around the corner, and interest rate hikes are always two years away.
That timescale tends toward the far enough that we won’t start to discount it just yet, but close enough that we can claim to be anticipating it. (Who cares what happens in three years time, anyway?) Read more
Sports Direct shareholders are a happy bunch. From less than a pound five years ago, the UK retailer is now worth more than eight, and the shares trade at almost three times their 2007 listing price. So time, perhaps, to thank the chief executive.
From Tuesday’s notice of the annual meeting. Read more
Co-op “ungovernable” says CEO || Vivendi asks for final SFR bids || FCA tackles insurance “add-ons” || Foxton’s special dividend || Sports Direct Owner pays himself £65m || Bob Crow dies || Markets Read more
Double double, toil and trouble…
Morgan Stanley’s US quant team has an eye on the market cauldron, and the simmering has a late nineties feel to it: Read more
The latest dossier from Pershing Square has landed, and this time the Herbalife short campaign would like to draw your attention to a Dallas-based marketer of the nutritional-shake business opportunity.
Dan Waldron is a 30 year Herbalife veteran. He is affiliated with several businesses that have ties to Herbalife and has the broad smile of a self-made man when he poses for photographs with Michael Johnson and Des Walsh, chief executive and president of the multi-level marketing group.
More on Mr Waldron in a moment, but we thought it might be useful to explain where Pershing are going with all this. In addition to the lobbying battle, Bill Ackman and co are attempting to show a pattern of bad behaviour by senior members of the Herbalife hierarchy that might interest the US authorities. Read more
Fyffes and Chiquita are to merge || Japan heading for first annual current account deficit since 1980 || Russian forces advance in Ukraine || Illiad customer nos up 54 per cent || UK tax man in housing clamp down || Unilever to build Eithiopia factory || Markets: Emerging markets weak, industrial metals prices slide Read more
Citi would like to draw your attention to what it calls “an inconvenient truth” about Invesco. Since the group said in October that it would part ways with its best known fund manager, Neil Woodford, the worst performing asset management stock has been one of the best performing asset managers.
In fact, Bill Katz thinks Invesco is “coiled like a spring to the upside”: Read more
February was a good month for the hedge funds, erasing January losses and then some, according to HFR.
The average hedge fund was up 2.1 per cent in February, to leave it up 1.5 per cent for 2014 so far. Read more
Telecom Italia scraps dividend || Sony sells former headquarters || Bharti in talks with Carrefour and Aeon || Brussels to give sharholders say on pay || Two Hong Kong IPOs scrapped || Alliance Trust preparing for Scottish independence || European Stocks lower ahead of US payrolls Read more
First there were the tweets (since deleted) that appeared to get China’s interest in Treasuries the wrong way round. Now Bill Gross has started to see the hand of his former co-chief investment officer everywhere he turns.
Reuters reports that Pimco’s main man told them he had “evidence” that Mohamed El-Erian was behind the WSJ’s brutal account of the rift at the top of the bond house, but when they asked to se it? Well: Read more
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has published its long awaited rules for crowdfunders and peer-to-peer lenders. You can read the full policy statement here, but lets cut straight to some frothy outrage from Barry James, founder of the Crowdfunding Center.
On a day like today one has to wonder whether our FCA is the worst regulator in the western world. The words that spring first to mind are inflexible, stubborn and unimaginative. Maybe it’s time for a change. Read more
We have always had a soft spot for Michael Hartnett’s winning line in word play. And the latest from the BoA ML strategist? Well …
Crimea River … flowing with liquidity
Which is one way of understanding a world in which Ukraine tensions were cause of stock market concern for about five minutes only, and suggests some non-geopolitical risks may lurk. Read more
A weather update. February was a good month for US wind, but less so for hail, according to KBW.
Given that a certain Secretariat of the world’s biggest bond fund has attracted some attention of late, lets give the newest investment outlook from Pimco’s Bill Gross the once over.
Putin ends exercise, but keeps hold of Crimea || Renault plays down effect of tensions || Glencore Xstrata poised to take stake in Russneft || Japanese are buying Spain and Italy bonds again || Serco profits slump as it is stuck in reputation repair mode || RWE posts first ever loss on writedowns || European stocks rally Read more
How to tell that serious investors are yet to take the Morgan Stanley robot car wonderland seriously? Insurance companies still have value.
The point is this: where we’re going we’ll still need roads, but there won’t be (much) call for car insurance.
Moreover, insurers are going to be the agents of their own demise. They have no choice, the logic of robots is just too compelling, and the process has already begun. Read more
Bank Rossii raises Russian rates || Russia has massed armored vehicles at border, says Ukraine || Gas Explosion at Sinopec site || Eurozone manufacturing activity up || UK mortgage approvals at 6 year high || Thorntons profits up || Stocks down, haven assets up Read more
On Sunday Pimco issued an intriguing tweet from Bill Gross, the undisputed King of the bond mountain.
The annual letter from Warren Buffett is out. We’ve picked out some excerpts below, or click to read the annual report in full, the chairman’s message starts on page 3.
One thing jumps out straight away though, the mea culpa for underperforming over five years was last year’s news. Five years, yes, but six… Read more
After a day of digestion, the new RBS strategic plan still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Indeed, the most pressing one we have heard from investors is whether the bank is an outright short or simply one to avoid, given the limited free float.
A lot of focus, also on whether the management of the bank — which soon won’t include departing chief financial officer Nathan Bostock — will be able to see through the strategic plan they have sketched out on the back of an envelope in the few months since Ross McEwan took over.
But another leaps to mind. The plan is to shrink the international, cross border, bit of the business to end up as a sort of UK-focused Lloyds Plus. But once you start letting the air out, how do you stop the balloon becoming a whoopee cushion? Read more
The transition to a new normal monetary policy, by David Miles, Monetary Policy Committee member, click to read in full
Crimea parliament stormed || RBS lost £8.2bn last year || Alliance results hit by Pimco outflows || RSA Rights issue || Lego ahead of peers as toy market shrinks || Blackstone takes Versace stake || Markets: Europe soft Read more
Bears, look to your Capes! GMO’s James Montier is staging a fightback.
In the debate around using the popular long term measure of earnings to value the stock market, one fact was taken for granted: that for all its intellectual rationale, the Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings ratio was useless when it comes to predicting movements in the market on any sort of useful basis. Read more
The UK online white goods retail sensation, ao.com, is the latest hot stock market floatation. Early trading puts its valuation in the region of £1.6bn, so we thought we better try and work out what exactly it does. After all, no one would pay six times sales for a washing machine shop, would they?
From the about us section:
We operate a sleek and well-refined process via our three strands. With over 4.5 million customers, we live and breathe excellence from the very first phone call, to the moment we power up a customer’s brand new appliance in their own home.
Not delivering your brand new appliance to someone else’s home is a start, we guess. But about those strands, the notice of intention to float provides a bit more clarity:
In 2012, AO had a 24 per cent share of the online market for major domestic appliances in the United Kingdom, of which 19 per cent represented AO website sales, and 5 per cent represented third-party branded website sales according to the OC&C Report.
Quite the week for Tesla Motors, which jumped 14 per cent on Tuesday after Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas penned a financial love letter that dreamt of a robot car utopia powered by Tesla battery packs.
The analyst’s target price went to $320, from $153. It comes after Elon Musk told Bloomberg TV that he had conversations with Apple, but another boost to the valuation ahead of any stock based capital raising to fund the battery “Gigafactory” can’t hurt.
Incidentally, who was it who asked about a possible capital raise on Tesla’s conference call last week? Read more
When it comes to hedge fund performance there are a lot of excuses deployed to justify the billions of dollars charged in fees every year for sub-par returns.
One is that the benchmark for comparison (we like a simple 60:40 mix of US stocks and bonds) is unfair, that “risk adjusted returns” would demonstrate hedge fund superiority. Another is that hedge funds aren’t supposed to outperform a bull market in stocks, but they proved their worth in the 2008 crisis.
Neither is true. Read more
Only 12 years to go till the “utopian society” drives up.
América Móvil in Telekom Austria talks || Russia warns of Ukraine import ban || Blackberry to launch cheap smartphone || Ladbrokes profit collapse || Rolls Royce sea drone pitch || South China Sea tensions continue || European stocks pause for breath Read more