February 21, 2013 |
The folks at Apple could learn a lot from Progressive, the auto-insurance company made famous by the ubiquitous Flo, star of its endless flow of ads. Apple doesn't need help from Progressive when it comes to selling products. But Apple could really profit by studying how Progressive deals with the companies' common problem, one that most firms would be thrilled to have: more cash flow than they need. Progressive has an intelligent, rational, and transparent way to deal with the surplus cash that its operations generate.
August 5, 2012 |
Vienna-based Eloqua made its debut on the stock market last week with an initial public offering that raised $92 million. The company provides software that helps businesses determine which visitors to their Web site are most likely to buy products or services . Locally, its customers range from Blackboard and Cvent to the American Bankers Association and Washington Capitals. "The Internet has fundamentally changed how people buy things today. All of us go online and do our research online," chief executive Joe Payne said.
June 13, 2012 |
JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon faced a reckoning in Congress on Wednesday, learning that emotions in Washington are still raw four years after the financial crisis and that politicians are still hotly debating the government's response. In contrite and straightforward testimony, he apologized for the bank's $2 billion or more in trading losses last month, saying they were the result of an errant strategy at a unit that was supposed to reduce risk. He said the bank may take back some of the payments made to employees involved in the strategy.
May 20, 2012 |
The left side of the balance sheet at First Potomac Realty Trust is filled with Washington office buildings and development sites that Douglas J. Donatelli, chief executive of the Bethesda company, has proudly acquired in the past two years. Problems on the right side of the balance sheet, however, might require him to give some of them up — in some cases perhaps less than a year after First Potomac acquired them. First Potomac is investigating a "material weakness" in the way it assessed its balance sheet, a problem with financial controls that the company first revealed last December and Donatelli referred to during a conference call with investors last week as "a needless and embarrassing distraction.
April 28, 2012 |
The big idea: In April 2011, an equity investor can buy stock in America's fastest-growing company, Ivanhoe Mines, or the most rapidly contracting company, Questar. For an investor seeking to maximize returns, which stock makes the better investment? The scenario: In 2010, Ivanhoe Mines expanded its balance sheet from $1.53 billion to $3.22 billion in total assets as it poured money into the construction of a massive mining project called Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia's southern Gobi Desert.
March 11, 2012 |
MCG Capital, an Arlington-based business development company, announced a strategy to reduce its risk profile and return to its roots as a lender to mid-size businesses. A series of large equity investments at the height of the market crippled MCG in the wake of the downturn, a blow from which the company is still trying to recover. Troubles at the firm mounted as a shareholder fought to gain control of the board, employees were laid off and the chief executive resigned . As a part of its turnaround efforts, MCG plans to cut up to 12 of its 37 employees by the close of the year.
September 20, 2011 |
THE U.S. ECONOMY is slowing, Congress and the president seem unlikely to do much about it — and another market shock could be on the way from Europe. So it's no surprise that all eyes are on the Federal Reserve, which wraps up a longer-than- usual two-day policy-setting meeting Wednesday afternoon. Could Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke save us from what seems like inevitable economic pain? The economy needs robust demand for new products and services, but that won't materialize until the housing market recovers and the American middle class pays down its accumulated debts.
September 7, 2011 |
Simply put, to address the weakness of the U.S. economy we need an "Operation Twist" from Congress, not from the Federal Reserve. For the past 25 years, as interest rates declined, our propensity to borrow grew as the cost of borrowing fell. Each time the economy stalled, the Federal Reserve found it easy to restart growth by encouraging us to borrow a bit more through the "credit channel" of monetary policy. But as we work off our national credit binge, this process no longer works the way it used to. When the Fed signaled last year that it would expand its balance sheet by buying more Treasury securities , the hope was that this would encourage investors to drive up the value of stocks and bonds and that the wealth effect would encourage greater household and business confidence, leading to more investment and more jobs.
August 18, 2011 |
Bank of America chief executive Brian T. Moynihan often talks about his push to " build a fortress balance sheet " able to withstand harsh economic cycles. But faced with new lawsuits over bum mortgages and the sudden stalling of the global recovery, he just can't seem to pull up the drawbridge. Despite the bank's stronger balance sheet, Bank of America's stock has continued to drop, falling 28 percent in the past month and 48 percent in the past year as investors worry whether it is strong enough.
August 13, 2011 |
Cargill chief Greg Page, who runs the largest U.S. agricultural company, has a good idea whom to blame for the global surge in food prices at the end of 2010: governments. Page urged 708 delegates and guests at the National Grain and Feed Association convention in San Diego in March to take action. He said government hoarding was the biggest contributor to the rise in prices, which had soared 15 percent from October through January and pushed 44 million people into poverty, according to the World Bank.