Fed up with spam? Well, you'll be glad to hear that a lawsuit has been filed by a contingent of heavy hitters against Internet spammers. As our own Alyce Lomax explains, the suit was filed under the CAN-SPAM Act, passed in January.
If you're targeted by the suit and considering paying up with funny money, here are a few tips. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing doesn't print anything bigger than a $100 bill, and a handful of old $10,000 bills are the biggest known to be in circulation. In other words, keep that $1 million bill holstered. There are only a few known to be in existence, and apparently, one of them was used last week at a Wal-Mart in Covington, Ga.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Krispy Kreme Still Cooking
- Shameless Plug: Broker Center
- Procter & Gamble Pleases
- Quote of Note
- The Anti-Spam Squad
- Discussion Board of the Day: Disney
- More on Fool.com Today
By Seth Jayson
I remember my first Krispy Kreme
That little trip down memory lane has a point: It illustrates the grip that Krispy Kreme has on our collective unconscious. A brand that lives inside our memories, like that first furtive teenage smooch, is a brand that can claim some serious goodwill. How many of you remember your first Dunkin' Donut -- owned by Allied Domecq
Today's fourth-quarter and year-end numbers show a company that continues to roll its brand into a food-service juggernaut. Fourth-quarter earnings per share jumped 37% (before an arbitration award) to $0.26 a stub. Revenues for the quarter climbed 36% to $185 million, with systemwide comps up 9%. Things were just as sweet for the full year. Revenues were up 35%, comps up 10%, and earning rose 38% to $0.91 per share (again, before the special credit).
This morning, Wall Street's response was to dump 5% off the stock, with the old excuse, "Good news already priced in, so lack of blowout means sell." Sure, Krispy Kreme's not cheap, but despite a few short drops, Starbucks
Many Fools are sold on this company. Rick Munarriz has a penchant for Krispy Kreme's stock as well as its products, and the firm is one of David Gardner's Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Given Krispy Kreme's strong record of growth, its international opportunities, and the stock's recent haircut, I'm thinking of joining the fan club myself.
Hasher and Fool contributor Seth Jayson is pretty sure he'll have to do a down-down for calling the Elvis Death Hash a "run." He humbly accepts the punishment, and owns no stake in any companies mentioned above.
So you want to hop into the stock market, eh? There is no place over the past 100 years where your long-term savings would have fared better than the stock market -- not in bonds, not in real estate, not in gold, and certainly not in Beanie Babies. Now, you're going to need a broker. Our Broker Center makes it super-easy to pick the right one for you, so check it out!
By Dave Marino-Nachison
Shares of consumer products manufacturer Procter & Gamble
We can deal with the stock split quickly and easily. While some investors may purchase the company's shares as a result, we hope they don't. Stock splitting isn't an event of any long-term meaning, but it's a common move for companies that are seeing their businesses perform well.
More interesting to investors are the reasons behind Procter & Gamble's increased earnings expectations. Sales growth is seen at an impressive 20%, with a good portion attributed to organic and domestic growth. Foreign exchange rate impacts are seen kicking in 3% to 4%, while acquisitions -- mostly the purchase of a controlling stake in German hair-care giant Wella -- are responsible for 7% to 9% of the top-line growth number.
The dividend increase, meanwhile, is a natural byproduct of a company that continues to grow sales and profits -- as well as churn out massive and growing free cash flow well in excess of its capital requirements. It's difficult to ask much more of a big company, which continues to explore new products, product lines, acquisitions, markets, and ways to control costs. For example, SG&A as a percentage of sales, at 30% in 2003, was down significantly from 2002 levels.
All this is especially true given that competitors like Kimberly-Clark
All three companies have stretched to keep pace with the S&P 500 over the last 12 months -- only Kimberly-Clark has beaten it -- but the marketplace seems nevertheless supportive of carefully targeted, high-end consumer products that can really boost profits for companies that execute, as Procter & Gamble has of late.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own any of the companies in this story. He can be reached via email.Qu
ote of Note
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -- Oscar Wilde
By Alyce Lomax (TMF Lomax)
It seems politics and spam make strange bedfellows. Some of the Internet's heavy hitters filed a collective lawsuit today against spammers. In case you've been hanging out under a rock, spammers are those odious individuals who clutter up your email inbox with unwanted, unreadable, and sometimes downright offensive unsolicited junk email. The lawsuit was filed by Time Warner's
Spam -- the electronic junk mail, not the canned meat -- disgusts the vast majority of Americans who spend time online. Spam trumps the old-fashioned, snail variety of junk mail with its vast numbers (some studies say about half of all email shooting across the Internet is spam), not to mention its capacity to perplex, dupe, and sometimes offend. It's not often (if ever) that you open your real-world mailbox only to have porn pop out at you. (Unless you subscribe to such things and that's a whole other issue.) Not to mention, spam's been a medium of choice for scam artists.
The lawsuit is being filed under the tenets of the CAN-SPAM Act, passed in January (that stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, in case you were wondering). The press announcement heralds the lawsuit's pursuit of spammers and their activities, throwing out adjectives like "illegal," "intrusive," and "deceptive." (They forgot "stupid." In my humble opinion, one of the most annoying aspects of spam is how many of them are written by ding-dongs who can't even spell the products they're pushing.)
Among the violations the lawsuit cites include deceptive solicitations; sending spam through third-party computers to cover the tracks of where they're from; falsified "from" email addresses, also known as "spoofing"; swiping email addresses off websites for spamming purposes; and a lack of electronic unsubscribe options.
Whether or not the collective lawsuit against several known spammers will actually put a lid on the stuff, it's still an important move on an emotional level. Microsoft's Bill Gates, for one, has been all about spam in recent talks regarding security and has lots of new ideas. These have included such concepts as "caller ID for email" as well as a recent quote talking up the idea of paid postage stamps for email. (Personally, that latter concept kind of makes me mad, but that's for some other day.)
Many have criticized the federal CAN-SPAM Act, saying it overrides some states' more stringent laws and won't do much to eliminate spam. Indeed, it was enacted Jan.1 and spam is still going strong. However, even if that's the case, a united industry front to punish and make examples of offenders added to the anti-spam crusade certainly can't hurt.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any companies mentioned. Contrary to what she expected, when she tried spam sushi, which is a favorite in Hawaii, she thought it was actually pretty good.
Does the Comcast, Disney pairing make sense? What would you do if you were CEO Michael Eisner? What would you do if you were Roy Disney Jr.? All this and more -- in the Disney discussion board. Only on Fool.com.Mo re on Fool.com Today
Disney's saga is worthy of its own afternoon time slot starring Susan Lucci. So where did Disney CEO Michael Eisner go wrong? We've got the answers in Where Eisner Went Wrong.... Bill Mann is on the scent again, and this time he wants to know why General Electric Issued Equity at the expense of shareholders.... Living way beyond your means and not protecting your paycheck can cost far more than you think. Robert Brokamp has a few spending pitfalls that'll scare those new Armani pants off you.
In other news:
- Ann Taylor Loosens Up
- Suing Research In Motion
- ChevronTexaco's Got Gas
- SEC Rides U-Haul
- The Scent of Money
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