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 »

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 »

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 »

Free Shipping!

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As Walmart, Target and Amazon launch a price war for merchandise in the weeks before Thanksgiving, they are now wooing customers with the promise of fast, efficient, no-cost shipping. On Monday, Amazon upped the ante by expanding free shipping to all customers through the holidays, with no minimum purchase required. Questions: 1. What do Prime… Read more »

Verizon breaking up wireless unit in reorganization

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Verizon Communications Inc.’s new chief executive is restructuring the carrier’s business lines, including its massive wireless business, in one of the first major organizational changes under his leadership. Questions: 1. Who are and will be the new leaders of the reorganized company? 2. When will the changes take place? 3. What is the divider in… Read more »

A Sad Day for Dividend Income Stocks

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Last week signaled a sad turn for the “widows and orphans” stocks — classic income providers that were once bread-and-butter favorites of investors. Questions: 1. Why was it a sad time for “widows and orphans” stocks? 2. What did Anheuser-Busch do that also signaled bad times? 3. Why does dividend income matter? 4. How many… Read more »

Food Fight

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To keep Amazon at bay and remain the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart is ramping up its groceries and buying trendy digital brands. The retail giant is also redesigning its stores and building up online assets. Questions: 1. What are signs that the plan is working? 2. What is the proximity of most Americans to a… Read more »

Amazon – Only the Best – Coming in stores near you!

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Amazon’s latest retail concept looks a lot like your online shopping cart brought to life. It’s a physical store that offers only products with high customer ratings, including non-Amazon-branded merchandise. Items must be a top seller, have a four-star rating or above, or be new and trending on Amazon.com. Questions: 1. How many brick-and-mortar bookstores… Read more »