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Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is buying “Internet bookclub” Goodreads, the company announced Thursday. In so doing, Amazon brings into its corporate fold a community of 16 million Goodreads members, who use the service to review and discuss books they’ve read, gather suggestions on which books they should read next — and now, presumably, on which books they should buy from Amazon next. In addition, the company may have solved the problems it’s been having with suspect book reviews appearing on its own site, by teaming up with a book reviewer whose reputation is, as yet, untarnished. In a statement, Goodreads CEO and co-founder Otis Chandler said that joining forces with Amazon — and in particular, with Amazon’s Kindle e-book division — will help Goodreads to “move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world.” Amazon did not disclose the purchase price it will be paying. The … Continue reading
Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX ) has declared a raise in its latest quarterly dividend. The chipmaker will dispense $0.25 per share of its common stock on June 5 to shareholders of record as of May 15. That tops the previous payout by 14%. The company had handed out $0.22 per share in each of its past four quarters. Before that, it paid $0.19. This is the eighth time Xilinx has lifted its distribution since it initiated dividend payments in 2004. The new dividend annualizes to $1.00 per share. That yields 2.7% at the current stock price of $37.19.
BlackRock Inc.’s Robert Kapito, president of the world’s largest asset manager, said the firm sees an opportunity to grow by selling more funds to individuals. “Retail is an enormous growth opportunity,” Kapito said today at the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum. New York- based BlackRock is still “underpenetrated” in the U.S. retail market, excluding exchange-traded funds, with less than a 2 percent market share for assets under management in open-end mutual funds, he said. BlackRock, which manages $3.79 trillion, has been urging investors to get back into higher-yielding assets such as stocks as it seeks to expand its retail business. Kapito, along with Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock’s chief executive officer, have said that clients need to diversify and can be harmed by staying in cash-like products. Kapito said individuals represents abou t 12 percent of BlackRock’s assets under management, while accounting for 34 percent of base fees. BlackRock has less … Continue reading
Sanofi (NYSE: SNY ) announced today that the Food and Drug Administration accepted its supplemental Biologics License Application requesting permission to market Lemtrada for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis. The active ingredient in Lemtrada was originally approved as Campath to treat leukemia, but Sanofi pulled Campath off the market, with some speculating that this was because the difference between the leukemia dose and the multiple sclerosis dose would have made the drug extremely cheap for the multiple sclerosis patients. The marketing application is based on two phase 3 studies comparing Lemtrada to Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) and Merck KGaA’s Rebif. One study compared the drugs in patients new to treatment while the other tested patients who had relapsed while on a prior therapy. Sanofi expects a decision from the FDA in the second half of the year. A decision from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human U se in the … Continue reading
Turmoil in Libya and other places in the Middle East have caused capital to flow out of equity markets and into traditional safe havens such as gold and silver. Surprisingly, one of the equity sectors that was least affected by the shift was emerging markets, which experienced a 50% rise in net capital flows last year and is expected to see an even greater increase this year, with net annual investment projected to swell to $1 trillion by 2012, according to the Institute of International Finance. Economists credit the global financial crisis with dramatically altering the perception of emerging markets, which were once considered too risky by most investors. This has changed because investors see most of the world's economic growth coming from emerging markets, where yields are higher. In fact, some global investors now regard emerging markets as a safer place to invest than advanced economies, which are still … Continue reading