Gotta comment on this, Whigglee, as the answer to your question is important for sizing up the current situation.
By cancelling the shareholder's meeting and raising it's bid, Sprint (via their allied in the clearwire executive suite) essentially exposed Masayoshi's "I'm happy with 68% of clearwire" comment for what it actually was...
Their actions following the $2.97 bid, and Son's comment, are essential in understanding what it means when mr. Son calls the $3.40 bid "his final and best offer"..... a load of horsescheitt.
That much is common in negotiations like this, and shouldn't be part of what I'm talking about when I characterize the Hesse/Son style as poor negotiation skills. Same with basketball and football coaches who maintain right up until their day of departure that they aren't talking to other teams.
A second reason for cancelling the shareholder's meeting(s) is Sprint's "payoff scheme" that rewards clearwire brass for their efforts in making only Sprint a successful bidder. If dish's offer gets the nod, Clearwire's brass misses out on a very big windfall of cash from sprint. They are essentially bought and paid for.
Finally, I should note that if there IS a remaining 32% minority interest after all this is done, the last person Mr. Son want's to have on the minority side of clearwire is Charlie Ergen, who will do what only Ergen can do to keep that minority interest viable and well represented in the executive suite... to Softbank's detriment.
Trump is living proof that sometimes, success goes to your head and your ego gets the better of your rational behaviour. In Dan Hesse's case, his clout over Clearwire managment appears to have emboldened him into thinking he can flog minority shareholders in much the same way.
Trump "wasn't" a loser... he "became" one.
He built his empire with a lot of skill. Much of it was organic, in that the deals were small and cumulative.
Trump "leveled off" (declined in "real" terms) once he pulled a Dan Hesse and set about screwing trump entertainment investors while enriching his own real-estate operations. Since then, all the ballyhoo about Trump being some kind of a big-time dealmaker has been pretty much just rhetoric without substance.
Much of the art of doing a deal comes down to P.R. as much as it comes down to hard figures.
I know you are all numbers and specifications, TR... that's your MO. My impression is that you think a lot of CEOs do things the way Dan Hesse does them, whereas there really aren't that many, or those who are like him fit the mold much better...
... like Carl Icahn... but even Icahn shoots himself in the foot with his Dan Hesse-like style. Just look at the way he flamed out with Transocean a couple of weeks ago. Masayoshi Son is enough like Hesse that he brings little to Sprint's PR table, so shareholder meeting after shareholder meeting gets cancelled until we all wonder why the he|l we even bother going to them.
Charlie Ergen is a man after my own style (He was a professional poker player and I'm one of the country's top blackjack statiticians/players). He not only knows how to bluff and cajole his way into other people's weaknesses, but he does it in a way that makes you feel good about what he's proposing... even though he's truly doing a solid deal for his company in the process.
Trust me... Hesse may have made a bold statement of fact today, but he damaged his case for sprint's clearwire bid... he did NOT augment it. I admire some of what he's done at sprint, but his abilities at the bargaining table are pure, "bottom quartile".
So now Dish's vastly superior offer has Sprint flexing the muscles of it's "governance" rights.
Some of us have been around long enough to know that for years, sprint has been continuously beating up on clearwire from an "operational" perspective (as it's largest customer) then salting those rights into contracts over the years as a result of putting clearwire in a precarious operating position in the FIRST place when they approach them at the bargaining table.
So now we have Sprint "pulling rank" on the very minority shareholders that it's trying to win over to voting for their ridiculous $3.40 offer for their stock...
... I don't think Dan Hesse can take himself out of "Bully" mode long enough to even REALIZE that you don't win shareholder votes by walking around p|sslng off the very people who's votes you're trying to secure.
Dan Hesse's bullying may have worked well at the negotiating table with clearwire when threats of bankrupting their red-headed, step-subsidiary won them all those great contracts and governance power, but it DOESN'T work with the minority shareholders that are voting against sprint even more than ever as a result of such heavy-handed rhetoric.
Masayoshi Son is well advised to FIRE Dan Hesse and start acting like us shareholders actually KNOW the value of clearwire. A "reasonable" bid on his part would still be a very good deal for sprint/softbank, if only he could find it in himself to stop screwing people and do a deal.
Booking at Sand's Cotai Arena are increasingly attractive to shows that want to be sure that a lack of nearby hotel rooms won't impede ticket sales. David Fisk made that point rather well in a quote last winter, and IR made it to me the last time I spoke with them.
Table minimums rose a lot last year as well... among all the concessionaires.
With gaming revenues and tourist spending increasing at 3 to 4 times the YOY rate of speed as new gaming tables are being licensed, I would look for the rise in table minimums to continue increasing. This "suppliers markets" is being driven by growth restrictions being imposed by the SAR, even as visitation restrictions are pretty much absent.
We'll know that the mass market has truly arrived once non-gaming, tourist spending begins to rise at a faster, YOY rate of speed than gaming revenues do.
It's getting closer and closer... as are ALOS rates... but these things don't happen overnight.
Currently, Clearwire's brass still recommends Sprint's $3.40 bid for clearwire and has a shareholders meeting scheduled for june 13th, despite the existence of Dish's $4.40, cash offer for outstanding clearwire shares.
The first step in making this a "competitive" bidding process is to cancel the upcoming shareholder's meeting while evaluating dish's superior offer.
The reason for continuing to schedule shareholder meetings to vote on Sprint offers is because of the "payoff scheme" that sprint devised to reward clearwire brass for favoring sprint's offers. The "cashable stock-options" will not be granted to clearwire's executives and BOD members unless it's sprint that ends up with 100% of clearwire's shares.
Of course, what sprint is doing is compelling a complete disregard for fiduciary duties on the part of clearwire's brass, and a lawsuit on that matter is pending. The problem is, proving it would not result in incarceration, so Clearwire's brass is unwilling to set aside their "corporate greed" for the good of all of their shareholders.
It's too bad they can't get Sprint's payoff scheme set aside by a court prior to the end game of this bidding war so that it would be more fair for minority shareholders, but justice moves slow in America.
T.R., about the only thing I've "made up" over the past two and a half years was the notion that you were short Clearwire. I made that up, because you've never stated your equity position here, and because your normal M.O. is to dwell on Clearwire's negatives... many of which are perfectly valid... but clearly biased.
I am also biased as a long. In the past, I was more "balanced" in my discourse, but as sprint became increasively "manipulative" over time as it sought to do what it ended up doing... which was to bid for clearwire at the cheap price it had driven it down to... I've taken a hostile stance against sprint in precise proportion to the magnitude by which sprint has taken a hostile stance toward me, Crest, Kellett, et-al.
Regrettably, my initial dabbling in clearwire was north of $7 a share, but my eventual 13 traunches of Clearwire purchases puts my average cost at $2.988 per share, a scoche above Sprint's original, and most ridicuously low, bid for clearwire. Clearly, I hadn't been involved with the company for more than two and a half years for them to get away with THAT kind of murder, thus, your impression of my counter-balance to sprint's hostile history toward clearwire.
Hope this helps you out, TR. It's been nice knocking heads with you out here... one of the best I've known with someone I don't agree with all that much. You take a lot of heat out here that you don't deserve.
Knowing that you'll never admit your equity stake, I will say that I hope that recent events find you "long", my friend.
This makes a lot of sense, indano, but what you've posted appears polished in such a way that I presume it has a "source". Could you please identify the source?
I also believe that there is a ton of "latent" demand for wireless, broadband bandwidth by the biggest content providers who DON'T want to be shackled to the major carriers and cable companies. As a content provider in his own right, with a need to augment satellite delivery, Ergen is in a PRIME position to partner with others, like Google, to mount such a "delivery behemoth".
The more I learn about the "latent" demand for what clearwire has (at least, they're trying to keep it appearing to minority shareholders as though it's latent), the more I'm even thinking about owning shares in whoever ends UP with clearwire's capacity when augmented by lower frequencies and/or satellite coverage to achieve a mix of power, capacity, and reach.
Thx, gcmorgan. Good points.
I would also add that I'm certain that the fed will back off of QE3 (eg: mortgage purchases) before they will back off of the 0% fed funds rate. I don't see a surge in GDP this summer, but home sales and housing values are strong.
Ultimately, the steeper yield curve will make a sub-$14 annaly stock look awfully cheap... especially once folks realize that their book value will fare better than most on the WAY to that steeper yield curve.
Strong buy on NLY right now... and I am a significant buyer today.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Annaly paid a hefty price last year for not holding a lot of mortgages that were priced well above par. That price was having to sustain more Re-financing Redemptions than their rival, American Capital Agency.
Now, that's working to their advantage. Rising mortgage rates are hurting book values... but they hurt less when your investments are already priced closer to par, as Annaly's are. Annaly also carries less leverage than AGNC, so they've got a bit more "dry powder" to eventually pounce on the new, higher yielding agency paper that's resulting from the rising rates. Throw in their "diversification" into commercial mortgages, and you've got a REALLY CHEAP STOCK right now with Annaly.
Annaly was better prepared than AGNC for rising rates... and they paid for that readiness last year with all those redemptions. I think Q2 will thus look similar to NLY's solid Q1 in that regard, and people are going to wonder how this stock ever got below 14 bucks a share.
I saw a new OsamaHusseinObamaFarrakanMarx alias yesterday, I think. I had him iggy'd in 1.3 seconds flat.
My topics board is completely cleared of his trashy, garbage posts.
Does he still make fun of the 9-11 victims? I havn't read one of his posts since ski season, so I'm wondering if his electro-shock treatments are having any impact.
If he's still spending his days staring at the the bordergate web-cam and mumbling the word "suen-suen-suen"... then I would postulate that there's no improvement on his EKG reading as of yet.
I challenge anyone to show me an example where spectrum acquisition was NOT front and center in a transaction in the wireless industry.
AT&T's bid for T-Mob.
Dish's interest in Lightsquared's satellite spectrum.
Sprint and Dish fighting over Clearwire's minority stake.
T-Mob's purchase of PCS
Verizon's $billion-plus offer for 1/10 of CLWR spectrum that they KNEW sprint wouldn't agree to.
Verizon's buy of the cable company's spectrum.
AT&T's assemblege of 700 mhz bits and pieces.
Spectrum has been front and center in EVERY transaction and there have been NO transactions that HAVN'T involved spectrum. Everybody's looking at the massive, broadband demand that they see coming by 2016 and frantically trying to secure what they'll need... just like "peak oil"... only real.
The focus in the industry is entirely on spectrum now.
Anybody who "feigns" otherwise is quickly called out for their true motive and that's what's happening now with the leapfrogging clearwire bids.
Think about it... the Verizon offer to buy 1/10 of clearwire's spectrum that they KNEW, darned good and well that sprint wouldn't let them have...
... Dish's other bid for spectrum that came out a week ago...
... T-Mob/metropcs... same thing.
Everybody knows that if they don't sew up what they need now, that they're in trouble a few years down the road.
I think the odds favor Masayoshi Son upping the bid.
Clearwire is his primary objective, and his bid for sprint is endangered by dish's bid for clearwire. He knows that clearwire at $5 is still an excellent value.
I half believed Son when he said he would be OK with 67% of clearwire (before he increased his bid to $3.30, I might add... so much for the credibility of THAT spin-statement)... but I don't think he'd be happy at ALL with Dish owning the other 33% and constantly nagging clearwire about their "fiduciary duty" to his shares... to Softbank's detriment.
A deal between dish/sprint/softbank would still have to deal with the fact that Crest, Kellett and company have effectively orchestrated a rejection of sprint's $3.40 offer and would likely do the same for anything ELSE under $4.40.
Yeah... congrats kinda. I remember that you, blitz, and I believe goose all got into clearwire. In a way, it was always an undervalued asset play that shared some of those characteristics with where LVS was in 2009.
You better be careful, kinda, or all those Occupy Wall Street types are going to start thinking you're a rich, risk-taking capitalist who make the wheels of capitalism run smoothly and America more competitive. They hated Bain Capital and it's star, Mitt Romney, and they may wind up hating you for the exact same reason ;-)
I think you're talking apples to oranges here, carroll. Before you say "wrong", you might take note of the fact that you're loosely agreeing with what I said. S
Dish bid for clearwire first. Seeing that the way to get clearwire had to be through sprint, Dish then made it's superior bid for sprint. To bolster their case that their offer for sprint is the better offer, they increased their bid for clearwire...
... but the main objective is still to get clearwire.
If sprint didn't own 51% of clearwire, Dish would have focused his entire bidding process on clearwire alone.
Dish want's to transmit high-definition video... that's what they do. CLearwire's massive holdings of 2.5 ghz spectrum and TD-LTE protocol have become the world standard for doing just that.
People who say that clearwire doesn't have the network infrastructure that dish needs have forgotten that clearwire currently reaches 133 million POPs in exactly the metropolitan areas where dish's satellite transmission capacities are most stretched. Sure, sprint has value to dish, but not the level of value that clearwire provides them.
Clearwire is, and always was the "principle" objective of both softbank and dish... Ergen said so yesterday, and Masayoshi Son is already launching wireless internet in Japan on exactly Clearwire's frequency and TD-LTE protocol.