Dan McCrumRead Biography
Intertain, the Canadian gaming group which had hoped to move its listing from Toronto to London as Jackpotjoy in October, provided an update on the slow progress with quarterly results last night. Do admire the adjustments which transform a loss into profit, as well.
In the absence of concrete policy plans from the incoming Republican administration, and a sense of how those might play with the respective caucuses (caucusi?) in the House and Senate, the easy assumption is the Federal government will spend more on bridges and roads and/or cut taxes. But history suggests Trump can act in unpredictable ways.
Herbalife, the nutritional shake multi-level marketing enterprise involved in a three-year battle over the legitimacy of its business model, has agreed to change the way it does business as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission announced Friday. The Los Angeles-based group also agreed to pay $200m compensation to customers to settle a complaint that it, among other things, caused substantial injury to customers through an unfair compensation scheme in which the only true way to profit was through recruitment. There was no mention of the term pyramid scheme, but keep in mind that a multi-level marketing enterprise is at heart nothing more then a product and a compensation scheme. Messy legalities about what makes one operation legitimate and the other illegitimate have shifted for the benefit of those exploited.
Wirecard has issued it’s Q1 results. Turnover at the German payments group jumped from €160m in the first quarter last year to €210m in the first three months of 2016. The results follow a well attended investor day this month, more on which below. While down 2 per cent on Thursday morning, the share price is back above the €40 level it traded at before Zatarra Research & Investigations began publishing on the subject of the company in February. Note too the proportion of shares sold short remains close to a quarter of the market capitalisation, with 12 declared short positions of more than 0.5 per cent even after the annual cost of borrowing stock has touched 20 per cent in recent weeks. The sceptics appear committed to their positions.
Valeant, the somewhat troubled pharmaceutical company which has faced questions about the quality of its public relations, among over things: We appreciate the efforts of the Ad Hoc Committee and its independent advisors over the past five months. After conducting more than 70 interviews and reviewing over one million documents, the Ad Hoc Committee has not identified any additional items requiring restatements beyond those matters previously disclosed. A million documents in five months works out at about one every 13 seconds.
‘A company resides … where its real business is carried on … and the real business is carried on where the central management and control actually abides’. So said Lord Loreburn in the House of Lords in 1906, on what would become a key case for British law concerning where corporate taxes are due. At a moment when attention is focused on money passing through Panama on its way to other sunny locations, a quick reminder that common law jurisdictions tend to focus on where decisions about the money are taken when it comes to tax obligations, rather than the location of the cash itself.
Herbalife, the Los Angeles based purveyor of nutritional shakes through a multi-level network of sales people, has announced a snafu in relation to just how rapidly people were signing up to become Herbalifers. A statement from the company revises some non-financial metrics, mentioned on certain of the 2015 earnings calls, downwards, dramatically in some cases. “Database scripting errors” to blame it says. See the full filing for the details, some highlights below. It comes as we approach the two-year anniversary of the unveiling of a Federal Trade Commission inquiry into the company’s practices, which Herbalife has long said will exonerate it.
One of Europe’s fastest-growing fintech companies plunged by more than a fifth on Wednesday following publication of a highly critical report of its controls by a research group. The crash in the shares of Wirecard, a German-listed payment provider, in a day of heavy trading, highlights a polarised investor debate between investors who have backed a stock market darling and a growing band of hedge funds critical of the company’s accounting practices.
Overnight in Australia Slater & Gordon asked for trading in its shares to be halted while it works with auditors and advisors to finalise earnings, due Monday. The problem appears to be the remains of Quindell, the jumble of UK insurance, legal, solar, car repair and other businesses collected into a basket and sold to the Aussie legal group last year. Turns out there was a big hole in the bottom of the basket through which cash tumbles — something investors may feel talking to anyone in the industry basic due-diligence should have revealed. S&G shares have lost nine-tenths of their value since their peak in April last year. See below for the reasons behind the suspension.