Eric Volkman

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  • So How Are Those Offline IPOs Doing? Part 2

    By Eric Volkman - March 20, 2012 | Tickers: LNKD, P, RPXC, SAVE, TRNX

    Following up on our previous post, we continue to take a look at recent IPOs in the offline space. After all, much of the investing world is familiar with recent market arrivals such as business networking site LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) and online radio purveyor Pandora (NYSE: P) both of which are essentially internet companies. But familiarity breeds, if not contempt, fewer opportunities to find an under-appreciated stock that could grow more »

  • Amazon's Building a Robot Army

    By Eric Volkman - March 20, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, BKS, WMT

    What’s a global retailer to do if it has a big stash of cash, no debt, and little desire to give its money away to shareholders à la Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently announced intentions? Well, if that retailer is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), the answer is… buy a lot of robots!

    The company just announced that it’s to purchase Kiva Systems, a specialist manufacturer of “material handling more »

  • Goldman's Other Issues

    By Eric Volkman - March 18, 2012 | Tickers: SCHW, GS, JPM, NES.DL | Editor's Choice

    At first glance, it seems that the spin cycle is cranking on high. Following the infamous New York Times op-ed piece by disgruntled ex- Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) employee Greg Smith, the High and Mighty are stepping up to defend the firm. No less a personage than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed support for the investment bank, making a personal visit to its Manhattan headquarters the day the more »

  • So How are those Offline IPOs Doing? Part 1

    By Eric Volkman - March 17, 2012 | Tickers: CZR, GRPN, PRLB, YELP, ZIP.DL2

    IPOs are always exciting. Who doesn’t like it when a new company arrives on the stock market? It’s fun to watch a new stock’s price jump and pop in its first few days after going public. There has been a host of new stocks to watch over the past year, as companies lose their inhibitions about floating shares and a few middle-sized and big names come to more »

  • Online Brokers Beat the Winter Blahs

    By Eric Volkman - March 15, 2012 | Tickers: SCHW, ETFC, GS, NES.DL, AMTD | Editor's Choice

    February was an ugly month for most of America. The country spent much of its free time digging its way out of piles of snow and hoping the numerous blizzards would pass, leaving the way for a green spring. But the fertile season came early for wirehouses and investment banks, as they recorded some of their best monthly metrics in quite some time.

    The Big Daddy of volume brokerages, Charles more »

  • Coming Soon to a TV Near You… it's Intel!

    By Eric Volkman - March 13, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, INTC, NFLX, NWSA | Editor's Choice

    Guess who’s getting into the internet TV business? That’s right, it’s that old chipmaking stalwart Intel (NASDAQ: INTC). For the last several months, the company has been in discussions with various media entities on its ambitions to launch a “virtual cable operator.” Although Intel’s fairly mum on the plan, which seems at an early stage anyway, the terminology strongly suggests a wide range of streaming options more »

  • John Carter’s Not Such a Flop for Disney

    By Eric Volkman - March 12, 2012 | Tickers: DWA, LGF, TWX, NWSA, DIS | Editor's Choice

    If there’s anything the competitive world of Hollywood likes more than a disaster movie, it’s a movie that’s a disaster. So the Schadenfreude is flowing in Los Angeles after this past weekend’s debut of Walt Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) mega-budget John Carter. The movie, which cost around a quarter of a billion dollars to make and heaven knows how many millions to promote, only took in more »

  • Coke Cancels (Conceivably) Carcinogenic Coloring

    By Eric Volkman - March 10, 2012 | Tickers: KO, DPS, PEP | Editor's Choice

    As most successful CEOs will tell you (not to mention that wise old Chinese general Sun Tzu in The Art of War), anticipation and preparation are two big keys to victory. A smart leader sees trouble coming and reacts accordingly, hopefully swerving away from disaster while thumping down the road to success.

    This is what happened this month with twin beverage titans Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Pepsico (NYSE: PEP). Recently more »

  • A Guitar Monster Invades the Market

    By Eric Volkman - March 9, 2012 | Tickers: GRPN, YELP

    Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and many of rock’s finest musicians are coming to the stock exchange! Well, by proxy anyway. Fender Musical Instruments, maker of some of rock and roll’s loudest and best-selling guitars, basses and amplifiers, has filed the paperwork to float an IPO that will probably be listed on Nasdaq. If all goes according to plan, the company will rake in up to $200 more »

  • Is Google Becoming Microsoft?

    By Eric Volkman - March 8, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT | Editor's Choice

    On a day when much of planet Earth, it seems, had its eyes on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and its unveiling of the latest iPad, the tech world could be forgiven for missing the latest product announcement from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Of course, the latter company hasn’t quite mastered the art of building anticipation and hype at the level of its archrival in Cupertino, but that’s only part of more »

  • It’s Good to be on Nike’s Team

    By Eric Volkman - March 7, 2012 | Tickers: ADDYY, FL, NKE | Editor's Choice

    Last week shares of Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Foot Locker (NYSE: FL), the top players in sports apparel manufacturing and retailing, respectively, both leaped to one-year highs. This was no coincidence -- the two companies are tied strongly together and, especially in recent times, what’s good for one has also been a boon for the other.

    Nike has been winning a lot lately. It successfully managed to pass increased input more »

  • Yahoo!'s Getting Meaner and Leaner

    By Eric Volkman - March 6, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, YHOO | Editor's Choice

    Credible reports are creeping in that newish Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) CEO Scott Thompson is drawing up plans for a massive restructuring of the firm, which will include thousands of layoffs. The stock didn’t move much on the news, but then again it never seems to go anywhere significant no matter what befalls the company.

    At least Thompson has some goals and an idea how to move towards them. He more »

  • Citigroup Gets Over it and Moves On

    By Eric Volkman - March 4, 2012 | Tickers: C, GS, JPM, NES.DL | Editor's Choice

    Times change, and so do corporate boards. One notable departure from Citigroup’s (NYSE: C) boardroom in recent days is that of Richard Parsons, a longtime director who in recent times has served as chairman. He won’t stand for re-election when his term comes up for renewal at Citi’s upcoming annual shareholder meeting this April.

    His departure marks the end of an era. Parsons was a veteran financier more »

  • Help! Yelp has Arrived

    By Eric Volkman - March 3, 2012 | Tickers: GOOG, GRPN, P, YHOO, YELP | Editor's Choice

    Never underestimate first day excitement. Buoyed by an ocean of hype and a rock star-level brand name, Yelp (NYSE: YELP) surged ahead in its debut as a publicly traded company. The company’s shares popped more than 60% higher on an otherwise unremarkable trading day. The lucky investors who managed to nab some of that paper can spend the weekend showing off before they take profits early next week.

    They more »

  • Is Zynga Playing a Shell Game?

    By Eric Volkman - March 2, 2012 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, ZNGA

    Online games concern Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA), whose share price stands only a few dollars higher than its IPO offering, saw a much-needed pop in said price. This was due to the company’s announcement that it would launch a proprietary gaming platform on its web site, decreasing its nearly total reliance on Facebook as a virtual game room.

    This was a relief to the firm’s investors, who have been more »

  • Dreamworks Results Not Dreamy

    By Eric Volkman - February 29, 2012 | Tickers: DWA, LGF, VIA, DIS

    On Tuesday the Dow closed at its highest level in nearly four years, but it seems that someone forgot to tell DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA). Shares in the niche movie studio fell almost 10% in after-hours trading after the company announced its 4Q and full-year 2011 results. For the latter, revenues totaled $706 million while net came in at $87 million. Those numbers were down 10% and nearly 50%, respectively more »

  • And the Oscars Go To...

    By Eric Volkman - February 28, 2012 | Tickers: SNE, TWX, VIA, DIS

    As often happens, the Academy Awards saw one film, The Artist, take home the majority of the big prizes. Typically when that occurs, one of the major studios also reaps the benefits behind the scenes either as a producer, a distributor, or both in the case of the companies that hit the jackpot. Most of the major winning films draw second-life revenue in a post-Oscars theatrical release, then more lucratively more »

  • Dell Goes Soft, and That Might be a Good Thing

    By Eric Volkman - February 27, 2012 | Tickers: CA, DELL, HPQ | Editor's Choice

    Talk about putting words into action. Not one week after Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) said it would adjust its focus from low-margin, low-growth hardware to software, it announced its first new acquisition in the segment. The company bought AppAssure, a Virginia-based provider of data backup solutions, for an undisclosed amount. Oftentimes, companies that don’t want to immediately disclose buyout amounts have paid generously for a new asset.

    This was probably more »

  • Live Nation Results Not So Lively

    By Eric Volkman - February 27, 2012 | Tickers: EBAY, LYV, DIS | Editor's Choice

    Every business wants to get in the position Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) occupies. The company is the world’s largest concert ticket slinger, far outpacing its rivals. It’s vertically integrated too, owning or operating many of the venues it hosts concerts in and boasting complementary units like an in-house artist management company.

    So it really should be more successful than it is. The company just reported 4Q and more »

  • Procter & Gamble Pulls the Plug on Jobs

    By Eric Volkman - February 25, 2012 | Tickers: CL, JNJ, PG | Editor's Choice

    The timing, frankly, could have been better. In the thick of a still delicate economic recovery during which a key concern is finding and keeping jobs, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) announced it’ll chop its workforce. Around 5,600 unfortunates will be let go over this and the next fiscal year, and although this is a small number considering the army P&G currently fields (approximately 127 more »

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