Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let's take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.
1. Sears for fears
There's a new digital-streaming juggernaut in town, and it's a maven of blue light specials.
Kmart? Really? Sears Holdings'
Haven't consumers already decided that they prefer unlimited digital libraries to sift through? If they're going to set up Wi-Fi connectivity in their homes and invest in the appliances to make streaming in a home theater setting possible, why go with the same pricing and selection that they could get from their local cable provider's on-demand without taxing their home network?
This isn't going to work. The small subset of Kmart shoppers who likely have tethered living rooms are probably already smart enough to know better.
2. Facebook the music
The ever-escalating price tag of Facebook continues. The latest transactions on SharesPost -- a marketplace where insiders and ex-employees can unload stakes in privately held companies -- value the leading social network at a whopping $42.37 billion.
It's not a perfect science. Lacking audited financials, it's hard to fathom Facebook generating the kind of cash flow and growth that would justify that stiff price tag. However, one can't discuss Facebook's valuation without bringing up Yahoo!'s
It's hard to imagine what price would have swayed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to cash out at the time, but he wouldn't have entered negotiations if it wasn't realistic for Yahoo! to walk away with the company.
So how would a $42 billion Facebook look on Yahoo!'s arm had the deal gone through? Well, Yahoo! commands a market cap of just $22 billion -- and far less once you back out the company's cash and overseas investments.
3. Batteries not included
It's a shame that Research In Motion's
If Wu's assessment is spot-on, this is a lose-lose situation for RIM. It can rush out the PlayBook, only to watch it fizzle as consumers realize it lacks the juice time provided by existing tablets. If RIM decides to do the right thing -- delaying the PlayBook until it can crank out a competitive battery life between charges -- the months squandered will merely pad the market share of the tablets already on the market. Apple
Poor RIM. It was unfashionably early to the smartphone space, and now it may be unfashionably late to the tablet party.
4. Eyes over ayes
The Food and Drug Administration is the Simon Cowell of clinical trials. It's blunt, even if it means that it is crushing dreams and careers.
The agency nixed Alimera Sciences'
The silver lining here is that the FDA's concerns aren't insurmountable. The agency wants to see another year's worth of trial data, but if that data continues to be promising, then that's not a big deal. Also, worries over the manufacturing process should be an easier fix than it would be if Alimera had to start from scratch.
5. Act as if you belong up there
The move will raise $18 million -- which any hungry biotech needs -- but it also sends the wrong message. The secondary sale was at a price well below Monday's close, and that's before baking in the value of the warrants.
It wasn't a surprise to see BioSante give up most of Monday's huge gains on Tuesday.
Which of these five moves do you think is the dumbest? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.