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News Analysis for the Investor on October 25, 2013

Twitter valued at 11 billion dollars.  Factory orders up but skewed.  The Pope suspends the Bishop of Bling while the billion dollar renovation to Madison Square Garden is completed.

| BY Catherine McBreen

Twitter value is $11.1 billion

Twitter Inc. will price its shares at $17 to $20 in its initial public offering, valuing the company at $11.1 billion.  According to the Wall Street Journal,  the proposed market value would make Twitter worth nearly twice as much as Groupon but less than one-tenth of social-networking rival Facebook.  The IPO could raise as much as $1.6 billion for the company whose service has grown to nearly 230 million monthly.  If the IPO does well, it could signal that investors are willing to wager on social media companies even in the absence of profits.  The deal comes during the best year for US listed IPOs since 2007.


US factory goods orders rise 3.7 percent but skew due to aircraft orders

The Associated Press is reporting that a jump in the demand for commercial airplanes boosted orders for long-lasting factory goods in September.  Orders for most other goods fell due to concern over the partial government shutdown.  Durable goods orders rose 3.7 percent in September, above the 0.2 percent gain in August.  A 57.5 percent increase in aircraft orders accounted for most of the gain.  Orders for core capital goods actually fell 1.1 percent.  The figures reflect other economic data that suggest companies have been reluctant to expand.


Federal officials failed to properly test healthcare website

Federal officials did not fully test the online health insurance marketplace until two weeks before it opened to the public on October 1st. The New York Times reports that while individual components of the system were tested earlier, the government did not conduct end-to-end testing until late September.  The hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday uncovered a lack of coordination among various contractors, due to lack of leadership by the government to ensure the work was properly organized.  Apparently the White House made a significant change two weeks prior to the rollout to hide the high price of the insurance from the public.


P&G posts uneven growth

Procter & Gamble posted a 2 percent increase in total net sales at the end of September, according to the Financial Times.  Net sales in the beauty, shaving and healthcare divisions all fell.  They were offset by sales growth in the baby and feminine care divisions.  Net income rose 7 percent to $3.1 billion and earnings per share of $1.04 met the Wall Street forecasts.  While overall sales rose $21.2 billion, foreign exchange rates had a negative impact.


Madison Square Garden re-opens after $1 billion makeover

CNBC is reporting that three years, 2.6 million man-hours and $1 billion later, Madison Square Garden is re-opening for business tonight.  The arena, which opened 45 years ago and remained open during its renovation, will host a pre-season NBA game between the Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets tonight.  The facility hosts 400 events per year with over 4 million fans attending.  The renovation was privately funded.  Improved Wi-fi, dozens of LED HD TV screens, and first class food offerings have all been installed to lure fans.  Two Chase Bridges, inspired by New York’s many bridges, are suspended from the ceiling and allow for additional seating for 430 people.


Pope suspends “Bishop of Bling”

Pope Francis suspended the free spending German Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, known as the Bishop of Bling, and ordered him to vacate the Diocese of Limburg, at least temporarily.  According to ABC News, the Pope, who refuses to live in the Vatican’s opulent papal residence, has been urging priests to adopt a humbler lifestyle.  The Bishop of Bling had been renovating the Limburg residence.  Last week, the Pope was told that the final costs of the Limburg renovation may reach $55 million, $13 million over the already substantial price.  The bishop’s bathtub and a heated roof for his private chapel were valued at $20,000 while the walk-in closets cost $475,000.  The Bishop's future is unclear.



About the Author

Catherine McBreen

Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner.  McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner.  Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors.  She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.

McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law.  She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.  She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth.  Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.

McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)

Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.