Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Morning Update

"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures, and that is character." - Horace Greeley

Morning News of Note:
  • IPOs: Heard on the Street: Why IPOs Still Use the Old Way When Morningstar Inc.'s executives asked investment bankers from Morgan Stanley last fall about using an unusual electronic "auction" method to sell shares in Morningstar's initial public offering, two top executives of the Chicago investment-research firm recall, the initial response was open-minded. After all, Morgan Stanley had just led a high-profile IPO for Google Inc. using the auction format in August 2004. "Their attitude initially was, 'You're the client. We do what the client wants to do,' " says Joe Mansueto, Morningstar's chief executive. (Full Story) WSJ
  • EK: Kodak Sharpens Digital Focus On Its Best Customers: Women Company Promotes Simplicity And High-Quality Prints; Taking On H-P and Sony When film ruled home photography, women took about two-thirds of all pictures and ordered most of the prints, according to industry statistics. But things changed when digital cameras began horning in on film's turf: Suddenly men got behind the camera -- and many of the shots ended up trapped inside a computer. It was a disaster for Eastman Kodak Co. Sales of film and paper, its biggest sources of profit, tumbled. The 116-year-old company's long-successful strategy of courting women, emphasizing not so much gee-whiz technology as the chance to capture "Kodak moments," was in deep trouble. (Full Story) WSJ
  • AAPL SFA MSFT: Tech Managers Stay Out of the Office DON'T BOTHER COMING in to the office. That's the message managers of technology stock funds are sending. Because when it comes to buying new technology, corporations are sitting on their wallets. "Spending in the U.S. is pretty firm in general, but in IT, we're seeing a continued reluctance on the part of managers to spend," says Bill Dudley, Goldman Sachs' chief U.S. economist. (Full Story) BARRONS
  • JNPR: Juniper-JNPR possibly targeting privately held Although privately held Atrica Inc. says it isn't seeking suitors and is said to be a good candidate for an initial public offering, rumors say that JNPR is interested in buying the company. JNPR has long been shopping for an Ethernet vendor, in the past targeting EXTR.
  • RCOM: Cuban joins proxy fight for (7.83 ): Seeking to wrest control of RCOM, shareholder James Mitarotonda adds Mark Cuban to his team. Cuban owns 13.7% of RCOM now, joins nine candidates proposed by Mitarotonda to run for positions on's board. Mitarotonda, CEO of New York investment firm Barington Cos. Equity Partners LP and RCOM board member, last month was rebuffed in an attempt to buy the company for $172 mln. His slate of candidates was listed in a regulatory filing made July 1.

Market Comments: The market is fairly flat at the open, after a very strong day yesterday. This despite the fact that oil has moved back up to $60. Whether this rally has enough to finally carry the S&P 500 back to its yearly highs remains to be seen. A lot will depend on how 2nd quarter earnings start to come in next week. That's when the real fireworks could begin.

long MSFT


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