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Manchester United IPO
Manchester United IPO

Manchester United's (MANU) IPO shares opened at $14.05 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, less than 1% above their initial-public-offering price of $14 and failed to get the first-day pop many look for. Manchester United is a 134-year-old club that carries a market capitalization of nearly $2.3 billion at its IPO price and is the largest sports IPO globally on record. This is the second IPO for the soccer club with the first listing in June 1991 on the London Stock Exchange where it was delisted in 2005 following a $1.47 billion buyout by the Glazer family, headed by American businessman Malcolm Glazer. The Glazers will continue to control the company through a class of super voting stock. The new listing follows unsuccessful attempts to launch an IPO on exchanges in Asia. As of March 31, Manchester had total debt of 423.3 million British pounds ($663.5 million) and plans to use IPO proceeds to help reduce that level. Half of the total IPO shares sold went to the Glazer family and half to the company. "We had a fantastic response from the investor base in the U.S.," said Manchester United Vice Chairman Ed Woodward. "We found that a number of people came in with a strong level of interest, which was tweaked higher when they heard our story. It's very easy for people in the U.S. to grasp the huge opportunities around merchandising and digital media." "There's a large number of future deals we expect to do with U.S. corporations, " Mr. Woodward said. Manchester future earnings growth is likely to stem from sponsorships and merchandise sales, which currently make up nearly a third of the firm's revenue. On July 26, Manchester signed a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with General Motors to have the Chevrolet brand adorn its jerseys starting in 2014. Preliminary estimates for the fiscal year that ended June 30 indicate Manchester's total revenue decreased between 3% to 5% compared with the previous fiscal year. The decline occurred primarily since the team failed to qualify for the later stages of the UEFA Champions League, reducing broadcasting revenue plus, stadium revenue fell as they played four fewer home games than 2011. In the nine months that ended March 31, Manchester United reported its revenue rose 6% to GBP246 million and its profit from continuing operations nearly tripled to GBP38 million, compared with the same period a year earlier. Manchester United is the first major sports team to launch an IPO in the U.S. since Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians did in 1998 - the Indians were taken private again in 1999. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League have been a publicly owned since 1923 and the team sells shares from time to time, primarily to fans. The stock is not listed on an exchange, its redemption price is minimal and share price does not appreciate in value, according to the Packers' website.

Shares of Research In Motion (RIMM) were hosting gains by 6% into late morning trading during Friday after a report that IBM Corp. (IBM) may be considering buying the company's enterprise services business. Reportedly, IBM has informally made inquiries about acquiring the division which supports RIM's BlackBerry handheld devices.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Friday that prices paid for U.S. imports fell 0.6% in July compared to a revised 2.4% drop in June - the decline in June was originally reported as 2.7%, mainly because of falling oil prices. Excluding fuel, import prices moved lower by 0.4% during July while the price of U.S. made goods exported to other nations, higher by 0.5% in July after a 1.7% decline in June.

The U.S. Treasury Department reported Friday that the U.S. government ran a budget deficit of $70 billion in July, bringing the total shortfall close to the $1 trillion mark for the first 10 months of fiscal 2012. Helped by both a drop in spending and higher receipts, July’s figure was $60 billion less than the shortfall posted in the same month of 2011. For the fiscal year through July 2012, the deficit is lower than the same period of 2011: $974 billion versus $1.1 trillion. The Treasury continues to forecast a shortfall of more than $1 trillion for the entire 2012 fiscal year as the deficit continues to shrink. In July, the government spent $254 billion while taking in only $185 billion. U.S. spending through July totals nearly $3 trillion, down modestly from the first 10 months of fiscal 2011 while receipts are up 6% - fiscal year to date, totaling just above $2 trillion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday slashed its forecast for corn production for 2012 year by nearly 17% as drought conditions in key growing regions worsened. The USDA said in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report that farmers are expected to produce just 10.779 billion bushels of corn this year - a substantial drop from the 12.97 billion bushels the agency predicted in July. A report from the USDA says the new forecast puts U.S. corn production at its lowest since 2006. Under the worst drought in decades that covers more than 60% of the United States including nearly all major farming regions - corn yields have suffered dramatically. The revised estimated corn yield in the U.S. is now just 123.4 bushels per acre, lowest level seen in 17 years. In July, the USDA was predicting the average corn yield at 146 bushels per acre. Damage to the corn crop is generally seen as irreversible because the crop has already gone through its delicate pollination stage. "Ending stocks for 2012-13 are projected at 650 million bushels and the smallest carryout since 1995-96," the USDA said in the supply and demand report.

On Friday, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams - a voting member of the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee this year- said he now supports another round of asset purchases. "It seems like if we have the tools to move us faster toward our goals, we should use them," Williams said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Both Williams said he is in favor an 'open-ended' program of monthly purchases.


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Aug 10, 2012


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