Vulnerable for a Takeover?

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Broadcom LTD made an unsolicited $103 billion bid for Qualcomm to set the stage for a major takeover of the chipmaker and dominate the market of semiconductors used in mobile phones. Questions: 1. What is Qualcomm’s take on this bid? 2. Would this deal cause a monopoly? 3. What are the terms of the deal?… Read more »

Investing In the Name of Christian Values?

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Two new exchange-traded funds offer a “biblically responsible” investing approach by explicitly saying in their regulatory filing that they will avoid buying shares in companies that have “any degree of participation in activities that do not align with biblical values.” According to the New York Times, this includes what they call the lesbian, gay, bisexual… Read more »

Release Cards: Another High Interest Problem?

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As this article points out, unlike consumer debit cards, prison-issued cards are unregulated and subject to exorbitant fees. Questions: 1. What are the typical charges for these cards? 2. For the person that had $120 and was able to use only $70, calculate the percentage of fees. 3. Who is making the money on these… Read more »

What’s going on with Walmart stock?

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The four members of the Walton family controlling more than half the shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had $11 billion of their combined net worth evaporate Wednesday as shares of the retailer plunged on a lower earnings outlook for the coming fiscal year. Questions: 1. Who are the four Waltons that the article is talking… Read more »

Hard Times in TeslaLand? A New Type of Company, for Sure!

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The Silicon Valley automaker is losing more than $4,000 on every Model S electric sedan it sells, using its reckoning of operating losses, and it burned $359 million in cash last quarter in a bull market for luxury vehicles. The company on Wednesday cut its production targets for this year and next. (As an aside:… Read more »

Is Herbalife a Ponzi Scheme?

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Herbalife is a company that sells weight loss shakes, vitamins and other similar products worth billions of dollars. The company has been around for more than 30 years. It is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. So what could be more legitimate? Bill Ackman, who manages a hedge fund thinks the whole thing is… Read more »

When is a Raise Too Small?

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Deeb Salem, a former Goldman Sachs trader, says that after making the company in excess of $7 billion in 2010, his $8.25 million raise was not enough compensation. Questions: 1. What percentage drop was Salem’s 2010 raise as compared to his 2009 raise? What percentage drop was Salem’s 2011 raise as compared to his 2010… Read more »

Is it fair that some hospitals are charging 400% above their costs to deliver services?

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According to government data, hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure. This raises questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely. Questions: 1. Discuss the data set and what was included. 2. According to the article, who… Read more »

Martha Stewart- Wildcard, Visionary, but Not a CEO

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There are very few corporate leaders whose interests are more closely aligned with their shareholders’ than the homemaking icon, Martha Stewart. She owns 26 million shares and controls nearly 90 percent of the voting rights of her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. While the company lost $50.7 million dollars in the most recent quarter, this… Read more »

It Beats Earning $20 an Hour?

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Flipping houses earned a bad reputation during the housing bubble, when speculators bought and sold millions of homes in search of easy profits. But as the real estate market is showing signs of life, the practice is gaining popularity again. Questions: 1. Which areas of the country have seen the most flipping action and why?… Read more »