The Journal’s Heard on the Street says Morgan Stanley was “tripped up by bad trades, poor management and investments, as well as less-than-stellar risk management.” It says the company’s shares aren’t cheap and the writing in the column (the Journal recently swiped the FT’s Lex column writers) appears to be getting tarted up:
Morgan Stanley can’t fumble this way and hope to be spoken of in the same breath with Goldman.
Absolutely, positively bad news
In a bad sign for the economy, FedEx reported its first loss in eleven years on a one-time accounting charge and weak results, and said its outlook is slow and that it is cutting back on investment and operations, the Journal says on B3 and the FT says on its Companies & Markets front. The economic bellwether’s package volume was up 1 percent in the last quarter and its fuel costs soared. The WSJ:
Results from other big transportation companies in the coming weeks are likely to reflect similar pressures on profits, as low retail spending continues to restrain U.S. demand for shipments of manufactured goods and threatens to delay the start of the peak shipping season in late summer.
The Los Angeles Times says overnight shipping is suddenly not as crucial as it was not so long ago, in part because of hefty fuel surcharges.
Pfizer sticks it to consumers on Lipitor
The NYT and the Journal both go C1 with news that Pfizer has reached a deal with an Indian generic drug maker that will give its blockbuster Lipitor cholesterol drug another twenty months of zero competition—until late 2011. That’s a lot of money it’s making there—Lipitor is the biggest selling drug in the world with 2007 sales of $13 billion.
Apparently Pfizer doesn’t consider the deal a payoff, even though it granted the Indian company licenses to sell the drug early in seven countries and ended a dispute about another drug in its favor. The Federal Trade Commission rightfully frowns on such deals, and the Times quotes a commissioner saying it will take a “very close look” at it.
One thing’s for sure: consumers are hurt by this. The Times says Lipitor costs about $3 a day, while a generic might cost “well below $1.”