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U.S. stocks are roughly unchanged this morning, with the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) up 0.34% and 0.33%, respectively, at 10:05 a.m. EDT.
A Bitcoin nonsense
At the beginning of April, I warned investors away from Bitcoin on the basis that "it is fundamentally ill-suited as a store of wealth ... this digital currency could do more than a bit of harm to unknowing speculators." Naturally, its price collapsed shortly thereafter -- not as a result of my writing, of course, but one did not need to be prescient to see that the euphoria surrounding Bitcoin was sowing the seeds of a brutal correction.
Now, the Winklevoss twins, the two Harvard rowers who claimed Mark Zuckerberg had stolen the concept for Facebook from them, have filed a registration statement with the SEC for the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded fund based on the alternative currency. Need I mention that, should this harebrained scheme see the light of day (you never know, with the SEC), investors shouldn't touch it with a rowing oar.
He's back... Icahn dredges up some cash for Dell
On June 19, I wrote that Icahn's zombie offer for Dell (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL ) will die, but Mr. Icahn -- true to his reputation -- is proving hard to kill off. Seeking to reanimate his offer for the company, he informed Dell shareholders and its special committee that he has obtained loan commitments totaling $5.2 billion. Despite his tenacity, my assessment stands: The Silver Lake-Michael Dell offer of $13.65 per share to take the company private will be approved by a shareholder vote on July 18.
Constellation Brands earnings
Beer and spirits company Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ ) reported results this morning for the quarter ended May 31. Although the company "missed" with earnings per share of $0.38 (ex-items) against a consensus estimate, investors appear to be shrugging it off. That may have something to do with the fact that the company raised its guidance slightly for 2014 to $2.60-$2.90 from $2.55-$2.85 (although it should be mentioned that this increase has nothing to do with operational improvements or an improved sales forecast, but rather with lower expected interest expense).
With six of the top 20 import beer brands in the U.S., Constellation looks well positioned for future success, but with shares trading at nearly 19 times the estimate for next 12 months' earnings per share, the price appears to discount much (or all) of that upside.