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Bloomberg (February 7)

2019/ 02/ 09 by jd in Global News

Stock buybacks are under attack in Congress, but the market has already “soured on the strategy. Last year’s trillion-dollar splurge didn’t stop the stock market from falling for the year.” Furthermore, the S&P 500 Buyback Index shows that firms conducting buybacks have been outpaced by the market two years in a row. “With stocks expensive, using shareholders’ money to buy at inflated prices is a bad deal. The buyback phenomenon could die a natural death.”

 

The Economist (January 12)

2019/ 01/ 14 by jd in Global News

“Analysts reckon that the number of smartphones sold in 2018 will be slightly lower than in 2017, the industry’s first ever annual decline.” “Peak smartphone” may be “bad news for Apple shareholders,” but the apparent “levelling off at around 1.4bn units a year is good news for humanity.”

 

Institutional Investor (April 19)

2018/ 04/ 21 by jd in Global News

“Targeted by an activist hedge fund? Try calling in the influencers.  A new study of institutional investor relationships found that how shareholders vote—and if they vote—is deeply impacted by who they know. Among major investors, networks move markets.”

 

Wall Street Journal (July 5)

2017/ 07/ 07 by jd in Global News

“The bosses of America’s biggest and best-known companies are learning a common lesson this year: The pay is great, but job security has rarely been shakier.” During the first five months of 2017, CEO turnover at large companies more than doubled. The “churn reflects a broader reality for the country’s business elite: An array of challenges—from increasing impatience on Wall Street and in boardrooms to a corporate landscape rapidly transformed by new technologies and rival upstarts—have made the top job tougher and more precarious than just a few years ago.” Today, “even the biggest companies are vulnerable to shareholder disapproval and competitive forces that their size and stature once helped them fend off.”

 

CNN (December 23)

2016/ 12/ 23 by jd in Global News

“President-elect Donald Trump long ago earned a reputation for being unpredictable in his statements, but he outdid himself on Thursday. In the span of just a few hours, Trump shook international relations by undercutting the Obama administration over a UN resolution on Israeli settlements, indicated he would ramp up nuclear competition with Russia and then jolted a major defense contractor — and its shareholders — by suggesting he would ask Boeing to replace a fighter jet being made by Lockheed Martin.”

 

Financial Times (July 14)

2016/ 07/ 16 by jd in Global News

“Before Nintendo shareholders get too excited, they should examine the reality.” As the Pokémon Go craze grows, “Nintendo’s shares have risen by 50 per cent in a week on hopes Pokémon Go can rescue the company from dependence on lacklustre consoles such as the Wii U, and propel it into a world of growth in casual games on smart devices.” The investors need to “calm down” as there are still challenges ahead for Nintendo.

 

Wall Street Journal (July 11)

2016/ 07/ 13 by jd in Global News

Spurred by Japan’s corporate governance reforms, Nintendo finally relented and committed to broadening its reach to mobile devices. Pokémon Go, one result of this decision, has boosted “the struggling Japanese firm’s market value by $7.5 billion—a turn of corporate fortune with lessons for Japan Inc. …. The fitness-conscious should like a video game that requires players to be active, and Nintendo’s long-suffering shareholders are glad that one of their products is breaking the internet. Here’s hoping other notoriously risk-averse Japanese corporations take the hint.”

 

Bloomberg (June 30)

2016/ 07/ 02 by jd in Global News

“In total, Toyota recalled 3.4 million vehicles worldwide on Wednesday…. Kind of a big deal, but you won’t find a hint of it on the company’s investor relations site, or its global corporate newsroom or SEC filings.” While “Toyota is doing right by its customers” and notifying them of these problems, “it’s letting its shareholders down by making that information so difficult to quantify at a company level.” Toyota isn’t even “the most egregious offender.” That distinction arguably goes to Takata, but Toyota certainly has an opportunity to improve information disclosure.

 

Financial Times (July 27)

2015/ 07/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Ending the tyranny of quarterly earnings is an idea that is on the march. The case for reforming shareholder capitalism is strong.” An “investment drought” is resulting from the focus on short-termism.  “With healthy profits and a near zero cost of capital, now ought to be the time to lay down plans for the future. Today’s investments yield tomorrow’s dividends. But listed companies are almost uniformly opting for dividends today.” In the U.S., leading listed companies are, on average, investing only one dollar for every $8-$9 they return to shareholders.

 

Wall Street Journal (May 28)

2015/ 05/ 29 by jd in Global News

JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon told the “the truth about proxy advisory firms” when he urged investors not to blindly follow their guidance on corporate governance and shareholder votes. Firms like Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis & Co. “have enjoyed far too much influence over companies they don’t own and been subject to far too little scrutiny given their potential conflicts of interest.”

 

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