Another Walmart PR disaster

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Walmart’s disabled greeters are being replaced by “customer hosts,” with growing responsibilities. Questions: 1. Why has this been such a PR disaster for the company? 2. How many days were the greeters given to find new jobs? 3. What is the new job of “customer hosts” meant to do? 4. What are your thoughts about… Read more »

Blockbuster Drug

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According to Bloomberg, Novartis AG is preparing for significant demand for its new gene therapy, a potential blockbuster targeting a disease that kills infants. Now the company is looking at the potential for installment payment plans for a treatment that could command a multimillion-dollar price. Questions: 1. At what price does Novartis estimate that the… Read more »

Is less better?

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According to Axios, listed companies, who previously provided detailed breakouts of information on earnings reports, are now paring down these disclosures. Questions: 1. What is(are) the reason(s) for this minimalist reporting? 2. What changes did Ford Motors make and what may be a reason for this? 3. Companies say the old metrics are less appropriate… Read more »

Resignation of another CEO

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Herbalife’s chief executive has resigned over unspecified comments he made before taking leadership of the Los Angeles supplement maker. Questions: 1. What did his previous remarks relate to? 2. Who is CEO Goudis’ replacement and what is the replacement’s background? 3. Why has Herbalife been in the news since 2015? Source: Pazzanghera, J. (2019). Herbalife… Read more »

Lying and CEOs – New Analytics

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According to Business Insider, a software company called Amenity Analytics (AA) reviews earnings call transcripts, press releases, company research and more to try and help hedge funds spend less time looking for important nuggets of information and more time trading. Now they have turned their attention toward truth-telling by CEOs. Questions: 1. What type of… Read more »

Changes in some copyrights

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According to the New York Times, this coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status — a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control. Questions: 1. Where can this… Read more »

Sentinel Capital Partners New Acquisition

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Sentinel Capital Partners’ new acquisition is Pet Supplies Plus (PSP), as of December 2018. Questions: 1. What are the benefits for PSP of being acquired? 2. How old are the franchise and company-operated stores and where was the company established? 3. How widespread is the chain, geographically? 4. What are the benefits of the acquisition… Read more »

More Greed and Graft

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According to the Washington Post, what started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs. Questions: 1. What was the “shorthand” between executives used for? Give an example. 2. According to the article, who… Read more »

Red-bottomed shoes

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Christian Louboutin’s trademark red-bottomed shoes have become iconic. Beyoncé wore a custom pair of boots for her Coachella performance and these shoes can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Questions: 1. Where did Christian Louboutin get the idea for the red soles? 2. According to the article, what combination of factors makes the shoes so… Read more »

Unbelievable Differences in Incentives!

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According to the Washington Post, the bundle of financial incentives Wisconsin offered to lure Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn’s first major U.S. plant is larger than what New York, Virginia and Tennessee collectively pledged to Amazon.com, a comparison of the two development projects shows. Questions: 1. Foxconn has said its $10-billion factory in southeastern Wisconsin will… Read more »