Finally, a message to young people across America: Streaking just doesn't pay. The British streaker who danced an Irish jig on the field during last February's Super Bowl was found guilty of criminal trespassing in Houston, Texas.
The jury of six women apparently was not impressed by his physique or his defense (he said he was just trying to make people laugh). They also may have felt he tainted the ideals of more purist streakers by wearing a thong and painting an online casino ad on his skin. He faces up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- palmOne's Q4 High Five
- Shameless Plug: Home Center
- Dick's Play for Galyan's
- Discussion Board of the Day: Unbiased Wal-Mart Talk
- AIM Follows Suit
- Quote of Note
- More on Fool.com Today
palmOne's Q4 High Five
By Seth Jayson
Up 40%. Anyone who has been in the market awhile knows that's a decent gain over two years. That's the bump up that shareholders in palmOne
The digits that started the stampede include a 23% revenue jump for the fourth quarter and earnings of $0.27 per share, more than double the $0.13 expected by analysts. Inventory turns were improved and operating expenses were slimmed drastically. Impressive, to be sure, but it still left the company with red ink of $0.55 per share for the whole year.
Moreover, palmOne hasn't exactly told the whole story, at least not in the press release. The firm has been through many costume changes in the past year, splitting from monolithic Palm into a pair of related enterprises: handset maker palmOne -- which gobbled up rival Handspring -- and operating system provider PalmSource
The trouble is, palmOne's latest earnings releases don't include Handspring's prior-year results, which exaggerates the combined firm's sales growth. After all, Handspring sold $100 million worth of Treo communicators in its fiscal year 2003. That figure alone would account for most of the full-year revenue gain reported today.
Other interesting tidbits got short shrift as well. For instance, the firm proudly announced selling 4.1 million units in fiscal 2004, but neglected to mention that the total falls short of the 4.2 million it sold last year.
The rosy management guidance for 2005 includes 32% revenue growth and earnings around $1.20 per share. That might explain the firm's new price tag, $30 per share, valuing it about 25 times the projected earnings. But with the Treo phone/PDA expected to provide half of revenues in the future, that pins palmOne's future to a product that sees increased competition from Nokia
For more Foolish coverage of the phone and gadget biz:
Shameless Plug: Home Center
Buying a house is the most important investment most people ever make. And your home may be a much more versatile investment than you think. For the latest on refinancing, home equity, and, of course, all you need to know about buying and selling, check out our Home Center.
Dick's Play for Galyan's
By Brian Gorman
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's plans to shell out almost $305 million in cash and assume $57 million in net debt to seal the deal. With low-cost behemoths such as Wal-Mart
Dick's has hit some bumps, but has generally demonstrated solid operating performance. Although some have remarked that Dick's hasn't been adequately rewarded for its prowess, its stock still carries a respectable 22.5 forward P/E. Given this valuation, equity would seem to be the natural currency for acquisitions. Instead, by using cash, the company will have to borrow $197 million from a new $350-million credit facility, adding to its $176 million in long-term debt.
Galyan's, meanwhile, has been less consistent, at least in the profitability department, even though many shoppers admire its stores. Nevertheless, its shares win the popularity contest. The stock carries a trailing P/E of 55 and a forward multiple of 26. Evidently, though, Dick's thinks the chain is worth every bit of its price and then some.
Dick's expects the deal to work on several levels. First, the purchase has geographic benefits, through the addition of stores in Minneapolis, Dallas, and Denver, as well as an Indianapolis distribution center that will feed Western locations. Dick's also expects it can lower its procurement costs by purchasing in greater volume and, finally, that it can bring its inventory control expertise to Galyan's sites.
The most significant hurdle may be re-branding Galyan's outdoor-equipment-focused stores. Dick's noted that the acquired sites will shift their merchandise mix to reflect Dick's greater emphasis on sporting goods. This change may help in inventory management, but Galyan's shoppers who appreciate variety could be turned off.
Even with all the challenges, Dick's is confident in the transaction's success. The firm is projecting the deal will be slightly accretive in 2004 and that earnings will grow 30% in 2005, excluding integration expenses. One thing is for sure: Dick's has grabbed investors' attention.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Ill. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned here.
Discussion Board of the Day: Unbiased Wal-Mart Talk
A federal judge ruled today that a lawsuit against Wal-Mart now has class-action status. The lawsuit, which accuses the retailer of sexual discrimination, could represent as many as 1.6 million women. Do you believe the case has merit? How do you think the news will affect one of America's biggest employers? Discuss your views on our Unbiased Wal-Mart Talk discussion board.
AIM Follows Suit
By Alyce Lomax (TMF Lomax)
It seems that Yahoo!
It mirrors Yahoo!'s move last week, when it announced a similar withdrawal from the enterprise market. When it comes to software that manages internal business communications via instant messenger, both are deferring to other companies that may have a better handle on the area, for example, IBM
From all appearances, both AOL and Yahoo! are going to rely on the strength and spread of their consumer IM products, which, of course, can funnel into the workplace and become more business friendly through certain value-added functions that users can pay extra for.
We already know that AOL's AIM messaging product has a strong grip on the consumer market. It has drilled its way into the workplace, where employees downloaded the software to keep in touch with personal, business, and coworker contacts while most companies looked the other way. AOL recently said it is enhancing its AIM service with additional business-friendly features, under the AIM Business Services name.
On the other hand, some companies use corporate messaging through providers like IBM that keep messaging communication effectively limited to the workplace and integrated with other work-related functions.
Meanwhile, now that the "gateway" software has been discontinued, messaging companies can rely on partners to supply such software to the IT departments at corporations. There are several companies that provide such services, including IMlogic, Akonix, and FaceTime Communications.
The moves by Yahoo! and AOL play to both companies' strengths. Both have serious credentials with Internet consumers, and that's likely the way they're going to bring in cash through such product offerings for the corporate market. Not by appealing to IT departments with software packages, but rather through the natural channel for these players -- through the people who, in their free time, have made them part of their work lives, too. Watch for new features as these two try to convince users to defect from their rivals.
Do you want to read more about corporate IM? Try the following articles:
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.
Quote of Note
"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." -- Woody Allen
More on Fool.com Today
In Get Paid to Invest - in Junk, Shannon Zimmerman explains how we can invest responsibly in junk bonds.... Dayana Yochim plays the heavy for parents who have an adult child still living at home in Dear Son: Please Move Out.
In other news:
For a list of all our stories from today, see our Today's Headlines page.