The iPhone maker racked up another quarter of so-so growth – and astonishing cash flow. CEO Tim Cook has paid out more than $40 bln over 12 months but added nearly $20 bln to the kitty. The lower share count may fuel a stock run-up if Apple soon unveils another must-have device.
Foreigners may get direct access to the kingdom’s $530 bln stock market from next year. That offers investors a good reason to pay attention to the Middle East beyond oil and war. For an emerging market, Saudi Arabia is well regulated, growing fast, and more stable than most.
The president-elect’s wide victory margin, and lack of ties to the old regime, give him credibility. If he reins in nationalism and makes Indonesia a better place to do business, the country can make better use of its natural advantages: resource riches and a young workforce.
The hedgie’s latest Herbalife broadside was lengthy but lacked a smoking gun. The stock recovered more than it lost in anticipation of the revelations. Short-sellers can be proved right in the end, but the Pershing Square boss’s loud, $50 mln campaign isn’t winning followers.
Andrea Bonomi’s Investindustrial is offering 790 mln euros for the all-inclusive holiday group. This may not be a five-star price but it blows a rival Franco-Chinese bid out of the water. And investors have spent years in the wilderness. This is an offer the board can recommend.
The 48 percent growth in China iPhone sales in the last quarter-year is strong. But seen from the Middle Kingdom, Apple vies with large rivals U.S. consumers have barely heard of, like Xiaomi and Coolpad. As they gain share too, Apple will struggle to be more than an also-ran.
Lending at the likes of PNC and U.S. Bancorp is up, and less cash is needed against bad loans. But low interest rates are keeping returns tepid. That raises the risk some may cut corners. It also means there may be no big earnings boom before the economy slows again.
Motown’s retirees have accepted the city’s $18 bln bankruptcy plan. But backers of $1.5 bln of pension debt remain important holdouts – and they have a point. The amount earmarked for rebuilding is also $1.5 bln. A lengthy appeal or a big settlement could put that pot at risk.
Merrill Lynch’s last boss has been doing penance running lending minnow CIT for four years. Now he’s spending $3.4 bln to buy OneWest, the remains of a bust bank revived by fellow Goldman alums. It’s a smart deal that restores Thain’s membership in the SIFI club, if only just.