Here's a tip for all you job hunters: If you're going to rob the same business where you're applying for a job, try to avoid the surveillance camera.
Police say Anthony Kaleb Phillips arrived for an interview at a Stillwater, Okla., construction company and, seeing no one around, stole over $1,000 worth of tools and other items.
Reuters says when he came back the next day for a second shot at the interview, employees recognized him from the security video and called police.
We wonder if one of the skills listed on his resume was "picks up things easily."
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- JetBlue Changes Planes
- Quote of Note
- Judge Hangs Up on SBC
- Save for the Unexpected
- E*Trade's Portable Mortgages
- Discussion Board of the Day: Netflix
- Quick Takes: ImClone, Nokia, Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, more
- And Finally...
JetBlue Changes Planes
Shares of JetBlue Airways
JetBlue's current fleet consists solely of 162-seat Airbus A320s. The Embraer 190 jets it will begin to receive in 2005 have 100 seats and will primarily be used for shorter, regional flights with less daily traffic -- another departure from the airline's longer-distance, major-city strategy. Investors, fasten your seatbelts: There's risk in any venture that departs from normal operations.
Management says not to worry. It believes it can enter small markets and compete cost-effectively against the commuter carriers that represent costly operations for the major airlines. It said the "math" on these routes didn't make sense until the introduction of the new Embraer 190. With the new planes, costs per seat should be close to those associated with its current fleet of A320s.
JetBlue isn't throttling down its Airbus A320 flights, either. It placed an order for as many as 115 in April. The company operates from New York and Washington, D.C., but has service to both coasts and points in between, as well as frog-filled Puerto Rico. Sales in 2002 doubled to $635 million, and net income rose 41% to $55 million. The $33 stock is at 30 times 2003 earnings-per-share estimates, with 30% growth in earnings expected.
Quote of Note
"They survived so much, they didn't need me to inflict pain at this point in their lives." -- Samuel Waksal, former CEO of ImClone Systems, addressing his Holocaust-survivor parents upon receiving an 87-month prison sentence for insider trading
Judge Hangs Up on SBC
The drama began last month when the Illinois legislature passed a bill allowing SBC to increase the usage rates it charges to companies like AT&T
Because of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, SBC, as a local provider, must provide "open access" to its phone lines for competing firms. Such forced access to infrastructure has been contentious from the start, with the local phone companies arguing that they're subsidizing their competition by charging lower-than-market rates. Of course, the other side holds that the local companies are simply trying to preserve monopolistic power and limit consumer choice.
SBC thought it had found a work-around, at least in Illinois, by going through the state legislature. Following the bill's passage, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) granted SBC's request to raise fees. The increase wasn't as hefty as SBC wanted, but was still a jump from roughly $13 a line to $19.
However, U.S. District Chief Judge Charles Kocoras saw it differently. He put a stop to the whole matter by granting a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the higher charges. His argument was one mainly of jurisdiction. Put briefly, the Illinois state legislature doesn't have any when it comes to the 1996 Act and the ICC does, since the Act insisted that agencies and commissions were the proper authorities to determine "fair" rates. Kocoras, a former ICC chairman, also called the legislation "anti-competitive."
SBC is licking its wounds and weighing its options now, but is prepared to fight on. With revenues and earnings down over the last two years, SBC's feeling that it should be paid more for the access it provides isn't going away anytime soon.
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It's one of the most innovative features to hit the U.S. lending market in years, and it's coming from Internet success story E*Trade Group
Instead of paying off an old loan when selling and then getting a new one at possibly higher rates, "Mortgage on the Move" will allow sellers to transfer the terms of the loan to their new residence. If they move to a more expensive home, they'll have to take out a mortgage at prevailing rates to cover the difference. If stepping down to a less costly dwelling, payments will be recalculated to match the balance.
E*Trade's portable mortgages are not available to those who are refinancing. As The Wall Street Journal reports today, lenders -- fearful of a big drop-off in refinancing activity once rates begin to climb back up -- are doing all they can to strengthen relationships with realtors and builders who can give them new buyer referrals. Lenders such as J.P. Morgan Chase
As the Mortgage Bankers Association's Doug Duncan told the paper, "There's an increased unease among lenders that the bigger this refinance boom gets, the bigger the drop-off will be at the end of it." E*Trade is doing its part to prepare for any turbulence. Though the portable mortgage idea didn't originate with them, give them credit for being the first to implement it nationwide.
Discussion Board of the Day: Netflix
Netflix continues to bury its skeptics. Is the online DVD rental specialist a passing craze, or is it for real? Can it compete with Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, and the next generation of Pay Per View? Is its distribution center expansion really that important? All this and more -- in the Netflix discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Samuel Waksal, the founder and former CEO of ImClone Systems
Citing "people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg says Nestle has reached an agreement with antitrust officials at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that clears the way for its purchase of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream
Today on Fool.com:
- For updated stories throughout the day, bookmark our ever-changing News section.
- A Stock for Dad -- Sabre Group: Dad loves to travel. Why not buy him a travel agent?
- Dividends Plus Growth: Tom Jacobs shares the dividend-paying part of his port. What's yours?
- Stockaholics Anonymous: Addicted to the market? Here are 12 steps to get you on the road to investing recovery.
- In Fool's School, retirement resources.
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Mathew Emmert, Jeff Fischer, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Matt Richey, Reggie Santiago, Kate Southerland, Dayana Yochim