These are stories Report on Business is following Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.
RIM climbs again
Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. climbed again today, after a stunning 15-per-cent rally yesterday.
After an equally stunning decline last week after RIM’s launch of its new BlackBerry 10 device, the shares have climbed back, though they still sit below the almost $18.50 level reached before the new smartphones were unveiled.
They began to plunge after RIM, which plans to change its name to BlackBerry, said the devices wouldn’t go on sale in the United States until late March.
The stock closed yesterday in Toronto at $14.99.
Yesterday’s rally followed its advertising debut at the Super Bowl on Sunday, and amid an upgrade from Sanford C. Bernstein analysts, who hiked their price target on the stock to $22 (U.S.) from $12, and their rating to “outperform.”
The new touchscreen BB10, which has won positive reviews and will be followed by a keyboard model, went on sale in Britain last week.
Sales begin in Canada today, and The Globe and Mail’s Iain Marlow and Rita Trichur report record preorders among Canadian carriers.
- New BlackBerry arrives in Canada, carriers see strong demand
- RIM enjoys post-Super Bowl rally amid analyst upgrade
- How to assess RIM’s turnaround
Dell deal struck
Michael Dell is taking the company he founded private, in a $24.4-billion (U.S.) deal, with help from a private equity firm, Microsoft Corp. and bankers.
Mr. Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake struck a deal to acquire Dell for $13.65 a share, in cash.
“I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members. We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise,” Mr. Dell said in a statement.
Microsoft is kicking in $2-billion via a loan, and debt financing has been arranged by several banks, including RBC.
Mr. Dell, who holds about 14 per cent of the stock, will remain chief executive officer.
Primaris bidders team up
Two bidders that had been competing for Canada's Primaris Retail Real Estate Investment Trust are now teaming up, The Globe and Mail's Tara Perkins reports.
The new offer will see H&R Real Estate Investment Trust buy Primaris’s operating platform as well as 25 of its shopping centres, while the consortium led by KingSett Capital will pick up 18 properties.
It is valued at $27.98 per Primaris unit, and increases the amount of cash that investors can elect to receive.
“The result of the two bidders for Primaris joining in this amended transaction has created an opportunity that provides a higher price than what was previously agreed upon,” Primaris chief executive officer John Morrison said in a statement.
What's moving the yen
Plots and subplots are driving down the value of the yen, in turn boosting the fortunes of Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp.
Amid the developments in Japan, the auto maker today posted a gain of more than 23 per cent in quarterly profit but, perhaps more importantly, boosted its outlook for the year, based on better sales but also a weaker currency.
Toyota’s senior managing officer, Takahiko Ijichi, went so far as to cite the impact of the recently elected government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wants a lower yen and stronger action from the Bank of Japan.
“Ever since the new government took control, it feels as though Japan is filled with the spirit for economic revival,” the Toyota executive told reporters in Tokyo, according to Bloomberg News.
“Some say that they can’t feel any real substance in the whole ‘Abenomics’ phenomenon, but as a result, it’s weakened the yen and boosted stock prices.”
Coupled with that was the decision today by Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa to leave his post a few weeks early, on March 19. The coincides with the departure of two deputies in a period of intense pressure on the central bank by the new government.
That, said senior currency strategist Camilla Sutton of Bank of Nova Scotia, was the main reason for the yen’s continued decline today. Or, as she phrased it, the “plot.” Then there are the “subplots,” which include everything from Abenomics to the islands dispute between Japan and China.
The governor’s decision today underscores that “there is going to be a sea change at the Bank of Japan,” she said.
Amazon shuts Canadian newsstand
Amazon.com Inc. is dismantling its Canadian newsstand, leaving readers without access to hundreds of digitized magazines and newspapers that had been available at its online store, The Globe and Mail's Steve Ladurantaye reports today.
The company introduced a “Canadian storefront” for its users late last month.
“Current subscriptions will be cancelled and refunded,” a spokesman at the company’s Canadian public relations agency Sonic Boom Creative Media said, adding he couldn’t answer any questions about why the decision was made or whether the newsstand could be revived at some point.
Streetwise (for subscribers)
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ROB Insight (for subscribers)
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