Thanks to all for reviewing Wall Street's losing ways in The Five Dumbest Things First-Quarter Quiz.
We had four winners: Bob Donnelly, David Henke, Tony Prestridge and Marji Wright. They get copies of Jim Cramer's new book,
Here are the answers. Thanks to all for playing!
1. Match the mortgage company with its first-quarter news highlight.
Agreed to sell its held-for-sale loan portfolio at a $150 million loss.
Said it expects to "recognize little if any taxable income" through 2011.
Consented to a cease-and-desist order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Blamed a steep decline in its share price on an "irrational panic" in mortgage markets.
ended 2006 with investors demanding aggressive action to boost the stock. How did CEO Chuck Prince respond?
He tried to buy a Japanese broker facing possible delisting in Tokyo.
He agreed to sell the rights to the Travelers umbrella.
He bought a British online bank known as Egg.
All of the above.
2. Answer: D.
3. Match the bold
statement with the milestone in its patent dispute with
Federal jury awards Verizon $58 million in damages.
Vonage stock drops 17% in a day after infringement finding.
Court enjoins Vonage from using Verizon patents.
Vonage renews pledge to never surrender.
"Vonage is not going out of business."
"Despite this obvious attempt by Verizon to cripple Vonage, the litigation will not stop Vonage from continuing to provide quality VoIP service to our millions of customers."
"Anyone who's counting Vonage out is making a huge mistake."
"We are delighted that the jury rejected Verizon's meritless claim that we infringed their two billing patents."
agreed in February to merge in a $4.6 billion stock swap. Assuming the deal passes muster with regulators, Sirius chief Mel Karmazin will become CEO of the combined company. What plans do the companies have for XM chief Hugh Panero?
He will "become chairman of the combined companies."
He'll be named "executive vice president for synergies."
He will monitor developments in what everyone likes to call "terrestrial radio."
He will "continue in his current role until the anticipated close of the merger."
4. Answer: D.
5. Despite recent customer-service issues,
says in promotional material that it "is focused on creating a new airline category." Which category is that?
"An airline that offers value, service and style."
"An airline that maximizes customers' time on the runway."
"An airline that apologizes so profusely, it hurts to watch."
"An airline that has issued the most travel vouchers in North America."
5. Answer: A.
6. Which mortgage company has billed itself, despite the recent suspension of its
New York Stock Exchange
listing, as "a new shade of blue chip"?
6. Answer: B.
7. Match the comment with the communications executive trying to save his hide through mass firings.
"We got to get back on the horse in financial execution."
"We ... are focused on building a highly competitive organization that drives innovation and profitable growth."
"We are leveraging the integration of our two companies to create a more competitive enterprise over the long term, and enhance our operating model to enable greater efficiencies in our operations."
"We will continue to adjust our cost structure, which will include a workforce reduction, as we meet the changing demands of the business."
Nortel (NT) CEO Mike Zafirovski
Motorola (MOT) chief Ed Zander
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) leader Pat Russo
Sprint (S) - Get Report head Gary Forsee
and its CEO John Antioco recently settled their differences over the board's decision to invoke "negative discretion" on his 2006 bonus. How was the dispute resolved?
Blockbuster caved in and awarded Antioco the $7.6 million he wanted.
Big shareholder Carl Icahn agreed to stop criticizing Antioco's pay.
Antioco gets a $3 million bonus but must vacate the premises.
Antioco will get a raise and a free trial tof Blockbuster Total Access.
8. Answer: C.
9. Match the company being acquired in a leveraged buyout with a statement from its going-private press release.
"We are a company with a unique heritage and a very bright future, which we believe will be enhanced by the new ownership structure."
"The decision to sell the company that our father founded was reached after an enormous amount of soul searching over time and brings our strategic review to a successful conclusion."
"The business would continue to be run in accordance with ... current practice while maintaining its valuable employee base, which Cerberus and I view as one of its most important assets."
"This transaction serves as a model for long-term environmental stewardship."
recently made a move that it said would ensure that "tax time may never be the same."
What was the move?
It said it would pay customers' tax bills out of its own pocket.
It agreed to sell its tax business to focus on its Option One Mortgage operation.
It decided to write down the value of Option One.
It launched H&R Block Island in the Second Life multiplayer online-world game.
10. Answer: D.
To watch Colin Barr's video take of this column, click here
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