The Bull’s Sheet

Okay, let’s review the Bull’s Sheet (say that 3 times
fast):

At 11,000, we were told to “Just Buy Something.”

Then Dupont and Alcoa missed, as they were unable to pass
along price increases – but we were told it was specific to just them

Then Yahoo, Intel, Apple and eBay made bad noises. But don’t
y’all worry, its due to reg FD –- management cannot give excessively bullish
guidance (they way they used to lie to us). Not to worry, the “Pain of Lowering
Bar in Tech Will Pay Off.”

Then GE and Citibank missed.

Puh-leeze.

How many companies have to miss earnings, revenues or lower
guidance before any acknowledges this for what it is?

Incidentally, I expect that the market has one last rally
left in it. Some apologist will rationalize the end of this cyclical Bull
market by declaring the Fed is now done, or perhaps a truce in the Middle East
between Iran and Israel will be
he excuse. Maybe Oil comes in.

Regardless, you know my views – the cycle is over, the
economy is slowing, the consumer is all but spent, Real Estate is last years
news.

It’s still too early to cue the fat lady, but I can see her
backstage, sipping on a nice cup of tea with lemon and honey.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE: January 21, 2006 6:00am

How funny is this sketch from Bend the Rail ?

Fatladyoperasingsketch

Category: Investing, Markets

Video: Cyclical Risks to Markets

Category: Media

Inversion Redux

Category: Economy, Fixed Income/Interest Rates

3.4% Inflation is Worst in 5 years

Category: Inflation

The Big Mac Index

Category: Currency, Retail

Picture This: Steve Jobs Running Disney

Category: Media

Media Appearance: CNBC’s Morning Call (1/19/06)

Category: Media

Will Disney Buy Pixar? Will Jobs Become Heir Apparent?

Incredibles

Today’s WSJ has a major, front page scoop: Disney is in advanced talks to buy Pixar:

"Walt Disney Co. is in serious discussions to buy Pixar Animation
Studios
after months in which the two animation giants have been
exploring ways to continue their lucrative partnership, according to
people familiar with the matter.

In the deal under discussion, Disney would pay a nominal premium to
Pixar’s current market value of $6.7 billion in a stock transaction
that would make Pixar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs
the largest individual shareholder in Disney, according to people
familiar with the situation. That would vault Mr. Jobs into an even
more influential place in the media world, where he already holds
tremendous sway as head of Apple Computer Inc. Yesterday, Apple
reported that net income nearly doubled in the latest quarter on huge
demand for its iPod music players. (See related article.)

People familiar with the situation caution that the talks are at a
sensitive stage and that the outcome isn’t certain, noting that other
options are possible."

Disney needs some sort of deal to guarantee its future stream of animated films. Whether the best structure is a takeover or some other relationship is subject to debate.      

What is especially curious about a Disney takeover of Pixar will be the potential role of Jobs in Disney. Disney CEO Robert Iger is 55, Jobs is 4 years his junior — might there be succession issues?

Recall that when Apple bought NeXT, they got Steve Jobs as a consultant. From that role, he eventually engineered his return as CEO. Will a Disney/Pixar deal give Jobs a springboard to eventually takeover running Disney?

I wonder if we will see history repeat itself . . .

>

click for larger graphic

Pixdis0601_wsj_2

Chart courtesy of WSJ 

UPDATE:  January 20, 2006 5:56am

The NYT weighs in:

"And the merger could give Mr. Jobs a pivotal role, if he wants one, in helping shape the convergence of new media and old at Disney. "He’s one of the handful of people who has shown the ability to guide both technology and entertainment companies and that might be quite useful to Disney," said Bran Ferren, a former Disney Studios Designer and technologist, who is now co-chairman of Applied Minds, a technology consulting firm based in Glendale, Calif. "What he has that is rare is taste, and that’s a very valuable commodity if you can focus it and harness it."

Deal Could Offer New Disney Role for Apple Chief
By LAURA M. HOLSON and JOHN MARKOFF
Published: January 20, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/20/business/media/20pixar.html

 

>

UPDATE: January 26, 2006 3:31pm

Slate joins team "Jobs as heir apparent at Disney"

Robert Iger vs. Steve Jobs
Only one man can control Disney. I know who I’m betting on.
Daniel Gross
Slate, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, at 6:13 PM ET
http://www.slate.com/id/2134852

>

Sources:
Walt Disney Is In Serious Talks To Acquire Pixar
Stock Deal for Animator Would Make Jobs Top Holder Of Entertainment Giant
MERISSA MARR and NICK WINGFIELD
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 19, 2006; Page A1
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113764205313450605.html

Is Disney/Pixar the sequel to Apple/NeXT ?                         
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2004/01/pixar_to_disney.html

Jobs to become Heir Apparent at Disney?                        
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2003/12/jobs_to_become_.html

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