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Sunshine in the Clouds

Stocks in this article: MSFT VMW CTXS ORCL IBM

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Parenthetically, this will be my last column until the new year. Given the impending holidays, I thought I might share a few factoids from my good friends at ParenteBeard about the financials of Santa, Inc. Since they are accountants and consultants, they dutifully and diligently footnoted all their estimates with data from credible third parties. But why spoil the fun? Here are a few of the more notable pearls:

Gift Production: $39.5 billion. With approximately 526 million children under the age of 14 who celebrate Christmas, it would cost Santa, Inc. roughly $39.5 billion to make one gift valued at $75 for every child.

Elfin Salaries: $2 billion. ParenteBeard found the average toymaker salary is $35,859. Due to Santa's kindhearted spirit, the firm estimated that he pays elves $40,000 a year. With 50,000 elves, Santa's yearly elf payroll would be roughly $2 billion.

Health Benefits: $773 million. An average health plan for an employer as big as Santa, Inc. is $15,475 per employee, meaning Santa's annual healthcare costs are roughly $773 million.

Reindeer Costs: $54,000

With an average cost of $6,000 a year per reindeer, Santa would pay $54,000 a year to keep his nine reindeer healthy for their yearly December world trip.

Curiously missing in the ParenteBeard cost analysis were legal fees. With all those toys out there, product liability defense must be enormous. The risk management group has suggested enlarging the Island of Misfit Toys to cut down on delivery of toys known, thought or possibly to be construed to be defective.

At the time of publication the author had positions in CTXS and VMW.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Oliver Pursche is President of Gary Goldberg Financial Services, a boutique money management firm located in Suffern, NY. Additionally, Mr. Pursche is the Co-Portfolio Manager for the GMG Defensive Beta Fund, and a Founding Partner of Montebello Partners, llc. In his role as President of GGFS, and as a member of the GGFS Investment Committee, Mr. Pursche helps oversee the investment portfolio of over 2000 clients with over $500 million dollars in assets. Mr. Pursche frequently provides market and economic commentary on CNBC and Fox Business News, as well as often being interviewed by The Financial Times, US News and World Report, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Associated Press regarding his and the firms views on the latest market news and events. Mr. Pursche's views on the market and investment strategies have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Smart Money, USA Today and other national business publications. In addition to writing for TheStreet.com, he is also a weekly contributor on Forbes.com and BankRate.com. His daily market commentary can be read at www.betafundcommentary.com or you can listen to him on www.financialtalkshow.com weekdays at 10:00 AM.
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