Friday, March 20, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - March 20

Citi Moves Lift Futures - Citigroup announced that current chief financial officer Gary Crittenden would become chairman of Citi Holdings (the new non-banking portion arm of Citi). With that move, the current head of global banking, Edward Kelly, was named the new CFO. The stock and market reacted positively to the news.

Upgrades & Downgrades - UBS came out this morning and upgraded Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to "buy" from "neutral". They also started coverage of Ford (F) at a "buy" rating and General Motors (GM) at a "sell" rating. The coverage of the automakers is significant. The sell rating of GM is based on the predictions of a highly diluted common shareholder from present due to restructuring and other concessions.

Gold, Oil Pull Back - Gold fell about 1% on Friday morning due to profit taking. Gold exploded up almost 8% on Thursday following the Fed's announcement to buy Treasurys on Wednesday. Even with the pull back, gold was up 2% for the week. Oil followed the same trend as gold after jumping 7.2% on Thursday. This would make the fifth straight week of higher crude oil prices.

FDIC Sells IndyMac - The FDIC said that it has completed the sale of IndyMac Federal Bank. In the statement, the FDIC reported a $10.7 billion loss on the deal. OneWest Bank, a new California-based bank organized by IMB HoldCo LLC, will assume IndyMac's deposits. "As of January 31, 2009, IndyMac Federal had total assets of $23.5 billion and total deposits of $6.4 billion. OneWest has agreed to purchase all deposits and approximately $20.7 billion in assets at a discount of $4.7 billion. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition," the FDIC said in a press release.

Fiat Will Not Assume Chrysler's Debt - Following rumors that Fiat would assume Chrysler's debt, the company released this statement, "Fiat Group intends to make it absolutely clear that the proposed alliance will not entail the assumption of any current or future indebtedness of Chrysler."

Nike Reorganizes By Geography - On Friday, Nike announced that it would restructure its management based on geography. The move is seen as a streamlining and cost-cutting move and to make changes easier via the regional level. The new divisions will be North America, Western Europe, Eastern/Central Europe, Greater China, Japan and emerging markets. The company hopes that through the move they can cut approximately 4% (1,400 employees) of the 35,000 employee force.

Source: Citi, Fiat, Marketwatch, CNBC

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