Friday Snippets

An interesting side note to the whole "who’s going to own Saab in 5 years from now" thing.  Saab’s former owner, Investor AB, had a great year.

Investor, Northern Europe’s biggest industrial holding company, on Thursday announced a strong rise in earnings for 2005 as its core shareholdings staged a spectacular rally.

Net profit for the Swedish investment firm was 43.9 billion kronor, up from 8.7 billion in 2004, which translated into earnings per share of 57.15 kronor compared with 11.39 the previous year.

Investor owns shares in more than 130 companies worldwide, but its core Swedish holdings made up the bulk of the profit rise, with AstraZeneca, Atlas Copco and ABB alone between them accounting for nearly 24 billion kronor of profit.

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At risk of this becoming a business blog (more car stuff soon, I pomise), some interesting thoughts here from TS regular, Greg Abbott.  Not only is Harley Davidson now bigger than GM, but so is Apple Computer.  You might be thinking "Yeah, I can almost see that".  There are a lot of iPods out there, right?

From Greg’s blog:

As of this writing, Apple’s stock price is $79.69, which gives it a market cap of $67.16 billion.
And GM’s stock price, as of the moment, is $20.22, giving it a market cap of $11.43 billion…..

So Apple’s worth 6 times as much as GM?  Well, no.  As Greg points out, GM’s share price is reflective of the risk that people take in holding the shares in the current climate (i.e. are they going to go bankrupt, or what?).  GM’s assets, including it’s brands, are likely worth a bunch more but the problem is with profitability and this low share price leaves them vulnerable.  Imagine a Kirk Kerkorian type shareholder that doesn’t have at least some positivity towards GM’s future.

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As I mentioned, more car stuff coming soon.  Hot in Melbourne today.

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