Sunday, November 11, 2007

Miscellaneous News

Three things today:

1) Icahn has reached a confidentiality agreement with BEA Systems Inc. I wrote about BEA and its rebuff of Oracle in the waningdays of October. Management apparently hopes to persuade him that they are in the right in insisting that they won't sell control for anything less than $21 a share, and they'll share confidential material with him in order to pull off this feat of persuasion.

2) AIG reported its third-quarter operating profit Wednesday: and the news was bad. The third-quarter operating profit fell by 13% percent, or 27 cents a share below analysts' estimates.

In a conference call the following day, AIG honchos warned that revenue in some parts of the company probably wouldn't improve in 2008.

It warned in a conference call on Thursday that revenue in some parts of the company, such as the mortgage insurance unit, probably would not improve in 2008.

This has had the predictable effect upon AIG's stock price and may well lead stockholders to look kindly upon whatever Greenberg is cooking up.

3) By the way, I'd like to say a big "hello" to anyone who is reading this from Labaton Sucharow LLP, a prominent securities-litigation law firm. Labaton reprsents the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, which is lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against AIG and Greenberg for their use of sham reinsurance agreements that made the books look unrealistically favorable and allegedly induced pension fund executives to buy and/or hold the stock when they wouldn't have otherwise.

I infer that somebody at Labaton has the job of periodically googling the name "Hank Greenberg" and writing a report on what he finds. In that case, he's reading this, too. Welcome.

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