I am asking myself the question, what is so special about Gmarket Inc. (NASDAQ: GMKT)? Jim Cramer made a mention about it on his show yesterday, and was going on about how it is going to take on EBay, and Amazon. I had never heard of Gmarket before, and neither had a lot of people. The site itself is a Korean auction site, with very little that would appeal to the regular North American. The site does NOT have a very aesthetic appearance. Pictures are flipping out from animations, and the site over-uses images with very little text. I have no idea why Jim would think the site looks better than Ebay. From an economical perspective, there is a good chance that this company would do very well in Korea.Â Probably even beat the American competition like Ebay. Although, that is probably going to be the only market for this company. If they tried to enter the North American market, they would lose because we won’t put up with ugly looking webpages.Â When designing retail websites these days, one of the key components is a nice clean design.Â Too bad Gmarket didn’t listen and their site is UGLY. Luckily for Jim, people don’t do a lot of research, and jump at whatever he says. The stock is up 1.64 or 8.01% to 22.12 in early trading today. I expect that the stock will fall back down to its previous trading prices after a week, and then the stock will be a decent deal.
L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: LLL) stock opened and moved to around 78.60 after the news that they have cut their revenue and earnings for 2007. The reason for the cut is due to the loss of a contract to provide Arabic linguistists for the Army. The deal was said to be worth up to $4.65 billion.Â The contract was instead awarded to DynCorp (NYSE: DCP) who is up 17% with the news that it has the contract. Overall, the loss of the contract to L-3 is going to hurt revenue forecasts by about half a billion for 2007. Although the stock opened dramatically lower, it seemed to increase slowly in early trading but then fell back again. This could be a long day for LLL shareholders. Volume on the stock is just exploding, it has already passed the average daily volume and the markets haven’t been open for very long! It has been a while since I have seen so many trades on a stock so quickly. This is all an interesting turn of events; just last week, Jim Cramer had this as one of his daily stock picks.
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens before he converted to Islam, is going to make a very rare performance on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) Wednesday December 20, at 12pm ET.Â He will be in studio to discuss his first studio album in 28 years, and to give an exclusive performance.Â If you are able to check it out, you can find it on The Spectrum, channel 18 only on Sirius.
It has been a while since most of the people in North America have heard Yusuf’s music.Â He left the music world in 1978, having converted to Islam, and has devoted himself to charitable work.Â He continued to make music but it was dramatically different; such as traditional Islamic songs.Â Now he has returned to his roots with a new album, “An Other Cup”, in the folk-pop style that he is most famous for.
Research in Motion Limited (TSE: RIM) stock price has made huge gains today.Â The stock was up over $7.18 per share or 4.88% in afternoon trading.Â I still don’t know for certain what is causing the huge jump.Â Yesterday, RIM filed a lawsuit against Samsung over the name of Samsung’s phone called BlackJack.Â They claim that this device looks and sounds a lot like the BlackBerry.Â I imagine that the reason the stock is up today is still the suit news.Â I am expecting that RIM stock will drop before the day is done or it will drop on Friday as people look to take profits (people always seem to take profits late in the week).Â Whatever the case may be, it is good to see a Canadian company like RIM compete and succeed on the global market.
For the past week I have been getting used to Google Finance’s new front page. They launched the new front page on Monday. The new design is cleaner, and provides more information that is relevant to the user. It remembers the stocks you recently have been looking at and includes them in a list so you can see them all updated on the recent quotes section. As well with the recent quotes, it provides recent news stories on them as well. One addition with the redesign I like is the Sector Summary, and the Top Movers tabs. Both features provide more information which is never a bad thing. Other features include the market summary which has some currency exchanges as well.
One comment that I would like to make about the whole design is that, the user should be allowed to make some customizations to the site. Such as the http://www.google.com/ig/ site, I want to be able to add and remove pieces that I feel are more important to me. As well, with things like the currency exchanges, I would like to be able to choose which currency exchanges are being updated. Overall though, I’m happy with the redesign and I hope that google is able to steal some market-share away from Yahoo! Finance.
The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MO) opened today and shot up strong.Â At one point this morning the stock as up over 1.00 but edged back and was up 0.81 to 23.09 at around 10AM EST.Â The day has barely started and the volume traded today is already at 20% of the average.Â The stock was featured on last Friday’s Mad Money show.Â Cramer was mentioning that the stock was likely to be promised things from presidential hopefuls in the upcoming presidential elections due to Iowa.Â I do not know how American politics works, or the significance of Iowa, but I believe Mosaic can stand on its own as a strong company without the presidential speculation.
When he began to talk about the company, I immediately knew what company he was talking about.Â Living in Saskatchewan, I live near Saskferco, a company which Mosaic has a 50% stake in.Â This potassium mining facility is at Belle Plaine just west of Regina.Â As well, the football stadium in Regina, Taylor Field, was just renamed Mosaic Stadium for the corporate naming rights.Â Both of these things, make the whole Mosaic Company seem closer to home, even if the company’s headquarters is in Plymouth, MN.
Baidu.com Inc (Nasdaq : BIDU) continued on its roll again today. After profit taking yesterday, the stock continued to rise up 4.12 to 122.06 at around midday on Friday. Last night on Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money”, he mentioned how eBay is going to benefit from its partnership from Baidu. I was saying that a month ago when Baidu was trading for 96.10, too bad I didn’t buy any stock then since it has gone up 25.96 in a month!!
Baidu is always an interesting dot com stock that seems to be announcing positive news frequently. Just last week they were announcing that they will be entering the Japanese search market. This should be easier for them as they have experience with the Chinese search market. There are some similarities between the Chinese and Japanese languages which will be easier to understand that it will for companies like Yahoo.
I am not sure how the mindset of the Japanese will react to a move like this. I know that if a Japanese company enters the Chinese market, there will most likely be a negative reaction due to their long history. I don’t have the experience to know if that will work the other direction. I suppose the Japanese could always choose an American search engine…
SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq : SIRI) announced late Monday that they are cutting their subscriber forecast for the end of the forth quarter.Â They now feel that with the slowness of the current holiday sales, they will likely have between 5.9 – 6.1 million subscribers.Â This is slightly down from previous forecasts which saw between 6.1 – 6.3 million
With the news of the lower subscriber forecast, shares fell big in early Tuesday trading.Â Only a couple hours into trading and shares were down 31 cents or 7.43% to 3.86.Â Surprisingly, XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq : XMSR) who had not mentioned a decrease to their subscriber forecast is also down 70 cents or 4.79% to 13.91.
Shareholders must have a sense that the satellite radio market isn’t quite as hot as they were thinking.Â I was predicting that consumer demand wouldn’t be as high this Christmas season since neither Sirius or XM has made any new major programming announcements.Â The battle for SIRIUS and XM isn’t between themselves, it is between them and other modes of entertainment.Â Hopefully someone in their marketing departments will think of something quick because this holiday season is quickly coming to a close.
The largest bank in Canada, announced their largest year-end profit ever today.Â The Royal Bank of Canada (TSE: RY, NYSE: RY) reported a net income of $4.7 billion or $3.59 per share which is an increase of 40% over a year ago.Â So far the only other major Canadian bank to release its financial statement is BMO, which posted a profit of $2.7 billion which is a large ways away from RBC.Â The profits are likely to continue as they are expecting a “robust Canadian economy, with strong consumer spending and solid business investment.Â The strong earnings were attributed to the wealth management and banking divisions.Â With such strong earnings, I wish they would lower there fees that way I might consider doing more banking with them.
Both SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ : SIRI) and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ : XMSR) have released some subscriber information in regards to Canada. Sirius has announced they have surpassed 200,000 subscribers in Canada, while XM Radio Canada has passed 90,000 subscribers. By comparing these two tidbits of information you can begin to see that Sirius is poised to take complete control of the Canadian marketplace. By converting these figures into percentages, Sirius controls approx 70% of the market. Meanwhile in the United States, XM continues to hold on to the market share lead but Sirius has been experiencing larger growth as of late. Sirius is slowly but steadily catching up to XM, and this will continue to happen since Sirius has been putting a lot of effort into increasing the quality of their programming.
I have a feeling that the upcoming NASCAR deal will help to increase the number of American Sirius subscribers but it won’t have much effect on the Canadian numbers. NASCAR just isn’t going to be a major selling point in the Canadian market. For Sirius to continue to keep up their lead, they need to promote the fact that their service has more variety, and higher quality programming. Sirius also needs to keep up their visibility in Canada; their advertising at CFL games was a very good idea! All I want now from Sirius, is a 24 hour-a-day NHL channel to get my hockey news without having to listen to other sports news.