What are Non-GAAP Financial Measures?

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Amgen is a biotechnology firm that develops and manufactures human therapeutics that fight cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses. As part of its 2008 financial report, the Company issued non-GAAP financial measures to facilitate additional analysis by investors. QUESTIONS: In one paragraph, briefly describe non-GAAP financial measures and how they differ from… Read more »

Boosting Liquidity

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On Tuesday, November 24, 2009, U.S. Airways announced several ways that it will boost its current and future liquidity. Since beginning its innovative slot transaction with Delta Air Lines, the company has been trying to realign a number of financial areas to focus on their most profitable flying operations. QUESTIONS: What is liquidity and explain… Read more »

Raising funds with Stock Warrants

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The biotechnology firm, Dendreon Corporation, is a company which is developing the prostate cancer drug Provenge. On Friday, November 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its application to market the vaccine to treat men with advanced prostrate cancer. If the FDA approves it, the drug would be the first in a new… Read more »

Instant-Coffee Wars

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Starbucks has been working on a closely guarded secret for 20 years – Via Ready Brew instant coffee. A month after its launch, Nestle, the maker of Taster’s Choice, has begun an aggressive campaign against the new interloper. This campaign includes free samples of Nescafe’s “sticks,” direct mailings, and Web commercials. QUESTIONS: How should Nestle… Read more »

Are Things Improving for Sears Holding Corporation?

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In the third quarter of 2009, Sears Holding Corporation narrowed its losses from $146 million in the previous quarter to $127 million. Despite this, shares of Sears’ stock have almost doubled during 2009. QUESTIONS: The article mentioned that because of inventory management, the company’s gross margin widened by 0.4 percentage points to 27.2%. What are… Read more »

New Rules for Gift Cards

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New rules were announced on November 16, 2009, regarding stricter rules to govern fees and expiration dates for gift cards, gift certificates, and general use pre-paid cards. While the rules have not be enacted and are open for comment for the next month, proposals include the prohibition of dormancy fees for a year and the… Read more »

Searching for Free Cash Flow

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The South Africa-based company, Harmony Gold, is having problems securing ongoing funding after using up more than $1 billion U.S. Its latest quarterly report shows that the company is grappling to produce free cash flow. QUESTIONS: What is free cash flow and why is this a worry for the company? With respect to free cash… Read more »

Timeshare Worries in a Recession

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Marriott International, the well-known hotelier, saw operating losses in its third quarter of 2009, as a result of its venture to move into financing time-shares during a slowing real estate market. In addition, the sluggish economy has not helped its primary business segment that caters to cash-based lodging for business and leisure travelers. As a… Read more »

Debt Exchange

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In an 11th-hour effort to avoid filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, commercial lender CIT Group Inc. offered its bondholders a debt exchange. The exchange offer expired on October 29, 2009. According to this exchange plan, CIT bondholders of older notes would receive between $700 and $900 in new debt plus between 0.41 and 3.26 of… Read more »