What's Important (8/23/2012)


Best Buy Resumes Talks with Founder

Even with a new CEO on the way, the Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) board continues to hedge bets about the firm's future. Founder Richard Schulze, who was recently thrown out as chairman, apparently wants to continue his pursuit of a buyout. He already has made an offer to consider a transaction, but wants a look at the company's books. Schulze and the board have been unable to come to an agreement about how that could be done. But, according to Bloomberg:

Best Buy Co. has resumed talks with founder Richard Schulze about an agreement that would allow him to conduct due diligence in his effort to acquire the company, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

A buyout would almost certainly mean new chief executive Hubert Joly will lose his job. But his pay package ensures he would take early retirement with millions of dollars in severance.

Qantas Cancels Boeing Jet Orders

The recovery and consolidation of the airline industry since the recession has helped the sales of both Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Airbus. But the momentum has started to shift the other way as high fuel prices and a slow economy trim carriers' earnings. Qantas cancelled $8.5 billion in Boeing plane orders. The company certainly will have to pay some penalty for that, but it is not the equivalent of what Boeing would have earned if it delivered the planes. Bloomberg reports:

Qantas Airways Ltd. canceled an order for 35 Boeing Co. 787-9s after posting its first annual loss in at least 17 years because of higher fuel costs, labor disputes and rising competition on international routes.

For the time being, the news is only slightly bad for Boeing, which still has tens of billions of dollars in backlog that will not be entirely whittled down for years.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) does not feel it is being dealt fairly with in the matter of losses that arose from the Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) initial public offering. The bank believes that the settlement offer made by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is too low.

Citigroup slammed Nasdaq OMX Group's plan to compensate firms harmed by Facebook's botched market debut to the tune of $62 million, saying in a regulatory filing the exchange should be liable for hundreds of millions more, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Since Citigroup is only one of hundreds of parties that could claim damages because of lost investment dollars, regulators will be asked to make a number of other decisions about Nasdaq's liability.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Market Open Tagged: BA, BBY, C, FB, NDAQ