The PJC spinoff could quite possibly be the most pathetic turd to be spun out of a large corporation. Did you see the press release from 1/21/04 that reinforced the company's commitment to San Francisco? The firm donated $30,000. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the PR department is trying to spin a $30,000 donation into a "commitment", you know the emperor has no clothes.
Let me address the incompetent arguments made by previous message posters about whether or not the "premium" is warranted.
First, we know that there were no buyers that would acquire PJC at a price less than USB paid for it in 1998 (approx. $800M), so why would a takeover premium exist? I'm confused. Maybe I am missing something that you need to explain to me.
Second, to belief that Piper has "efficiencies" because it is a regional firm is laughable. Adam Smith figured that out more than 100 years ago that economies of scale bring out efficiences. Piper has terrible infrastructure; a stodgy broker infrastructure, limited to no clearing business, and an investment banking group just hoping that Alan Greenspan keeps adding cocaine to the system to keep the tech euphoria going so they can profit in the "underserved growth company" business.
The only question that challenges me is whether or not PJC should be classified as junk. I think once the support of Goldman (and whoever else was desperate for a banking fee) dwindles, it will have a very hard fall. This whole spinoff has simply been a big orchestration by USB to get rid of PJC without a writeoff. From the after market support right down to every last press release, they have convinced the new shareholders that got the stock pushed on them that the firm will be around for another 100 years.
Would anyone like to write a put at $50, expiration in december 2004? I'll pay $4 for each underlying share in the contract. maybe 1,000 shares or so.