RadioShack SmackdownForgive us mall rats, but it's time we took a whack at RadioShack ( RSH) and the buyout rumors surrounding it. Shares of RadioShack got smacked Tuesday, losing more than 7% after reports surfaced that at least two highfalutin' private-equity shops are no longer interested in purchasing the low-end consumer electronics seller. Takeover rumors have been circling around RadioShack for months, sending the stock seesawing and creating false hopes for long-suffering investors. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Blackstone Group ( BX) and TPG Capital are unlikely to pursue a potential bid for the retailer, citing sources familiar with the matter. Previously, Reuters said that Bain Capital also pulled out of the auction.
McDonald's Smoothie MisfireFor a company that prides itself on serving billions and billions of burgers, McDonald's sure looks silly canceling this week's fruit smoothie promotion due to unprecedented demand. What's the matter, guys? McChicken? The frightened fast-food franchiser rolled out the beverages on July 13 and had initially planned a nationwide giveaway to promote the item. Nevertheless, after launching the product, Mickey D's discovered that its restaurant owners would likely run out of smoothie ingredients if the marketing event went as planned.
Icahn's IreBless you and your moxie, Carl Icahn. We can always count on you to spice up a slow Dumbest week. Activist investor Carl Icahn on Tuesday renewed his hostile takeover bid for Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF), terminating a 10-day truce in his continuing war for the Hollywood studio. The cagey billionaire, who raised his stake to 37.9% of the company, is raising the fight to the next level by lowering his offer to $6.50 a share, down from his previous tender offer of $7. Shares of the studio behind Mad Men and Saw popped more than 8% on the news. Sure, Icahn is lowering his cost basis on the stock with his lower offer, but what he really wants -- well, aside from sticking it to Lions Gate's current management -- is to launch a proxy battle for control of Lions Gate's board. Icahn has mercilessly and publicly derided Lions Gate's brass for its poor cost-control and its attempt to merge with MGM's film studio.
Jobs vs. JamesJust as Lebron James is considered the king of the NBA, Apple ( AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs is the reigning monarch of the technology world. Unlike the basketball superstar, however, Jobs prefers to strangle his competitors as opposed to joining them in a group hug. In a much anticipated media event, Jobs held court July 16 to finally offer answers and his version of an apology for the new iPhone 4's antenna problems. After admitting that even Apple is "not perfect," Jobs veered from humble to hubristic when he singled out his rivals' smartphones as having the same signal-reception issues as his latest, greatest toy. In response to Jobs' pot shots at their products, his counterparts have been striking back at Steve and his iPhone. HTC said on Monday that its phone model blasted by Jobs received 35 times fewer complaints than the iPhone 4. Samsung emailed a statement to Bloomberg saying its mobile phones "employ an internal antenna design technology that optimizes reception quality for any type of hand-grip use." Even Motorola ( MOT) Co-CEO Sanjay Jha got into the act -- and his company's devices were not on Steve's hit list! "It is disingenuous to suggest that all phones perform equally," Jha told Bloomberg. "In our own testing we have found that Droid X performs much better than iPhone 4 when held by consumers." Look, we know Apple is the team to beat in the technology space. Our jaws dropped at Tuesday's phenomenal quarterly profit, up 77%, and they dropped even further when we learned the company sold 3.47 million Macs in the quarter, 8.4 million iPhones and 9.41 million iPods. Still, like James' theatrics during his jump to Miami, Jobs came off looking small by engaging in a series of fights he didn't need to pick. And Jobs should know better than anybody that a single slam-dunk product is all it takes to jump from worst to first. Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- Steve's rant, like Lebron's "decision," was an airball.