Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Possibly the Funniest (profitable) Thing We Saw In 2015: FT Alphaville's Founder/Editor Channels Mr. Subliminal

For our younger readers, here's Mr. Subliminal on Donald Trump cheating on his wife Ivana in 1990:

                                                                                  Comedian

And here's FT Alphaville's editor, Paul Murphy,

 
Hard-bitten journalist

on former FT Alphaville owner Pearson and its stock, Dec. 1, the day the Financial Times was handed over to Nikkei, while appearing to be having a normal conversation with Alphavillein Bryce Elder:

...PM
(So here’s our advice on the stock at 832p….)
PM
Run )
BE
...Today, though, the message is dovish. So we’re all choosing to forget about 2016.
PM
Scarper )
PM
Get out )
PM
Bin it )
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PM
( You don’t think another profit warning is coming? Oh course another profit warning is coming! )
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PM
( And I can tell you it’s a screaming sell. )
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PM
( I can tell you what happens next…)
PM
( Having focused the business down and down and down so that it’s pure corporatised education…)
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PM
( And with corporatised education, er, falling slightly out of fashion…)
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PM
( The next effort will be to slash costs — slashing with a blunt knife. A panic. )
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PM
( My guess is 15 per cent of the workforce will go. )
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PM
( Across the board. )
PM
(except not in the boardroom, of course )
PM
(It’s a lucky escape for us, cos the 15 per cent cut would have hit us as well. 100 journo jobs would have gone. )
BE
Is that enough on banks? Actually, Goldman too. Just because.
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PM
(If you look back to the late 90s, the FT had all the bits to construct Bloomgerg. )
PM
( Had a world class consumer offering in the form of the paper )
PM
(But it also had a newswire, and an online markets business — Market Watch.)
BE
Should we move on to other matters?
11:22AM
PM
(It had data, in the form of IDC)
PM
(Had Extel. Had what became factiva.)
PM
(Had a huge EM news business.)
BE
Okay …………. I think I have to do a quick bit of de-RAW here.
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BE
Coincidentally, we were chasing the same story from a slightly different angle.
BE
The rumour that reached us was that National Grid was working on a bid of around $45 a share for ITC …
PM
(People here complained of a lack of investment from Pearson. Investment??? They were sucking the life-blood out of the thing. )
BE
… However, that would all appear to be very, very premature..
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BE
… However, that would all appear to be very, very premature..
BE
What we can say with some confidence is that National Grid’s in the ITC auction process, which kicked off a week ago …
BE
But NG only appointed a new CEO at the start of the month, and is in transition between the old guy and the new guy for the rest of the year.
BE
And NG’s balance sheet doesn’t make ~$7bn-ish deals look very easy.
BE
So. If National Grid’s involved …
BE
… It’s much more likely to be in there to look at the numbers of a rival, rather than to launch an offer.
PM
(Sure, there was one short period, during the dot comedy, that the FT was allowed to expand. It was a disaster, timing wise. But Pearson made up all the associated losses with one disposal — Market Watch. That covered everything.)
BE
Also, note, there’s no shortage of potential bidders. It’s a crowded process.
PM
(Anyway, ive said enough. We’re under new ownership now. )
PM
Sell Pearson )
BE
Also likely to be in there are Berkshire Energy, Iberdrola’s Avangrid, Hydro One, NextEra Energy, American Electric Power ….

...MUCH MORE

The stock is currently trading at 739p, down 11.17% so far this month, after trading under 700 a couple weeks ago.