If we run the team for the shareholders," Eisner said in The Wall Street Journal today, "I would never be able to come to Orange County again for the rest of my life. If we run the team for the community... then the shareholders would say to me, 'Why are you so terribly irresponsible?'"
Ahh, the dilemma of being a sports mogul beholden to shareholders. Mr. Eisner, good luck trying to sell the Angels, if the Major League Baseball players' union goes on strike tomorrow.
The Motley Fool 50's fastball has been clocked at 99 miles per hour. The index offers its services as a scab player, if needed. Today, it held steady, gaining only a smidge.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Krispy Kreme's on a Roll
- Discussion Board of the Day: Krispy Kreme
- Top 10 Airline Changes
- Quote of Note
- Content? Carefree? Sick and Tired?
- Shameless Plug: Choosing Stocks Online Seminar
- David Gardner on Fox Today
- Quick Takes: Novartis, General Electric, Reinsurers, more
- And Finally...
Krispy Kreme's on a Roll
These are lean times, and we're getting fatter. Following the crowd into the nearest Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme has proven to be immune to the bear market. The company went public in the spring of 2000, just as the high-flying Nasdaq stocks were peaking. It was a fitting passing of the baton, as tired high-tech stocks handed off market leadership to its low-tech public newcomer. It's been a love fest ever since.
The company has been able to play the analyst community like a pawn. Dangling guidance, only to edge out ahead when reporting time comes along. This morning, the company posted a 50% surge in second-quarter earnings. The $0.15-a-share showing was a penny above consensus estimates. It's no longer an upside surprise. The company has beaten Wall Street's target by a penny in each of the previous four quarters.
With system-wide sales marching 30% higher on impressive double-digit gains in same-store sales, the company is on a roll, figuratively speaking. The company is inching its full fiscal-year targets higher, though (history would argue), a penny shy each quarter of what the company is ultimately capable of achieving.
Trading at 57 times its new earnings guidance for the year -- or 55 times the more likely $0.66-a-share mark -- Krispy Kreme shares are far from cheap. However, consistent outperformance in good times and bad rarely goes unrewarded. The company has earned a premium -- like its doughnuts -- but the upside is limited in the near term to the levels the dough will rise.
Discussion Board of the Day: Krispy Kreme
Do Krispy Kremes clog up your arteries while freeing up your portfolio? Is the stock overvalued? Will it ever trade at a multiple relative to its growth rate? Is a new store opening near you? All this and more -- in the Krispy Kreme discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Top 10 Airline Changes
If you're taking to the air this Labor Day weekend, you may notice a change at your airport security check. For the past 16 years, ticket agents have asked, "Has anyone unknown to you asked you to carry an item on this flight?" and "Have any of the items you are traveling with been out of your immediate control since the time you packed them?"
But now the Transportation Department will stop the questioning, saying it likely never prevented any wrongdoing. Officials are billing this as a "customer-friendly" change that will make the flying experience more enjoyable. That gave us a few ideas:
Top 10 Other Airline Customer-Friendly Changes
10. Will no longer ask passengers, "Did you see our tip jar? Spare change might set the metal detectors off."
9. Will increase size of peanut packets from 12 to 13 grams.
8. Will no longer jiggle your body fat and sing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" during searches.
7. Flight attendants will no longer intentionally block bathrooms with beverage carts.
6. First Class passengers now have the option of choosing which screener will strip-search them.
5. Will take down "Please contribute to our fuel fund" signs.
4. New betting pools for guessing the fastest smoker out of the terminal.
3. Special ventilated section for bean-eating passengers.
2. Annoying spouses now classified as "carry-on" luggage.
1. America West pilots promise two-drink maximum.
Quote of Note
"I'm not money hungry.... People who are rich want to be richer, but what's the difference? You can't take it with you. The toys get different, that's all. The rich guys buy a football team, the poor guys buy a football. It's all relative." -- Martina Navratilova, U.S. tennis player
Content? Carefree? Sick and Tired?
We know you're one of a kind, but that doesn't stop academics from trying to pigeonhole your behavior.
According to the 2002 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), there are five distinct savings personality types. (Fess up -- are you a planner, saver, struggler, impulsive, or denier?) Now a recent study attempts to categorizes the different kinds of retirees.
Based on retirement behavior and financial preparedness, gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, author of "Age Wave, Age Power," says retirees can be classified under four types:
Ageless Explorers (27% of retirees fall into this category) "personify a new ideal retirement. They would rather be too busy than risk being bored." There's no room for penny pinching on these active seniors' calendars. That's because in pre-retirement, the majority planned ahead and contributed to IRAs (73%) and 401(k)s (about 50%).
Comfortable Contents (19%) have more traditional views of retirement. They're happy to relax and pass away their golden years with peaceful calm. Like Ageless Explorers, most had their retirement finances solidly in place to assure their afternoon catnaps wouldn't be interrupted by calls from bill collectors.
Live for Todays (22%), as the name implies, fill their retirement with activities they never tried during pre-retirement years. ("Hal, it's your turn to bungee!") Though this may be the fun crowd to hang out with, they aren't quite as financially prepared for retirement as they'd like to be. Less than half of this group invested in various taxable and tax-advantaged retirement accounts to get ready for their post-9-to-5 life.
Sick and Tireds (32%) got that way because they're likely to be found still toiling in the working world. Those who fall in this group failed to prepare sufficiently for retirement, which greatly tarnishes their golden years. Less than a quarter of these retirees contributed to IRAs and 401(k)s in their early years. And they didn't put much away in taxable accounts, either.
While the size of the cash cushion certainly correlates to retirement happiness, even more important, it turns out, is the amount of time spent amassing a retirement kitty. For those who have set themselves up for their ideal after-work life, we suggest an additional classification: Fools.
Shameless Plug: Choosing Stocks Online Seminar
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David Gardner on Fox Today
Tune in today to Fox News Channel's Your World with Neil Cavuto (at 4:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. ET) as Fool co-founder David Gardner discusses what individual investors should know about initial public offerings.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department's latest revision of Q2 data kept the gross domestic product growth at 1.1%. The department revises each quarter's growth number quarterly for one year after the first release... then it leaves well enough alone. Our friends at Commerce also reported that after-tax corporate profits bumped up 1.7% in Q2, down from Q1's 2% growth. Meanwhile, new jobless claims were up, with last week's figure at 403,000, up 8,000 from the prior week. It hit a high of 492,000 at the end of March. The four-week moving average rose from 389,750 to 392,750.
In a cost-saving move, General Electric
Swiss-based big pharma Novartis
Notice your insurance bills going up? It's all trickle-down economics, because insurers insure their own risks with reinsurers. Today, two large ones, Munich Re and Swiss Re, announced a loss and a 91% decline in profit, respectively. Facing an estimated $1.1 billion in claims because of Europe's Biblical floods, their current predicament is due to 9/11 claims and the stock market decline. All insurers invest premiums -- float -- in an effort to increase earnings and cash beyond that required to pay out claims. It's not a good thing when float is invested and loses money, while claims increase. Swiss Re last year posted its first loss in more than a century, according to Bloomberg.
Today on Fool.com: Stuck between Iraq and a hard place, Americans seek financial security.... Free cash flow gives a truer picture of a company's finances than net income.... Your long-term investing performance is directly tied to your level of understanding.... Is Dell in trouble? Plus, the real estate bubble, selling your home or car, and eat more to lose weight.... Fortify your nest egg.... How kids can invest, in Fool's School.
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Tom Jacobs, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Jackie Ross, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim