Obama Bashes Xbox, Microsoft Sees PR Opportunity


When you’re the largest electronics corporation in the world, you can apparently take a shot from the President of the United States and still live to fire back. At a speech in New York for the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP, Barack Obama stated:

For our kids to excel, we must accept our own responsibilities. That means putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences, reading to our kids, and helping them with their homework…

Microsoft didn’t take that shot lying down, and responded with:

We agree with President Obama that it’s a time for families to work together so that kids use media in ways that are safe, healthy and balanced. Xbox 360 is the only console gaming system that has a timer feature allowing parents to set time limits for their kids, as well as parent controls to enable parents to set limits on what their kids are playing and watching.

Wow. Microsoft agrees people should put down their console? Seems detrimental to their business plan, no? But seriously, kudos to Microsoft for handling the situation logically and appropriately.

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Takeover Doubts Hurt BP Amoco, Arco Stock Values.(Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News)

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News February 15, 2000 | Spiess, Ben Feb. 10–Investors are valuing BP Amoco and Atlantic Richfield Co. stock below their levels of last spring, even though oil prices have doubled since then.

The stock price of both oil companies have been slipping all year and especially since the Federal Trade Commission in late January signaled it would oppose the $24 billion takeover.

But for the first time Arco stock closed below its pre-takeover-announcement price, dropping $2.44 a share to $63.88 Wednesday. go to web site bp stock price

BP stock has been selling for less than its pre-announcement value since last Friday. BP stock fell $2.25 a share to close at $45.88 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The takeover is hung up in the courts and facing stiff opposition from federal regulators, Alaska legislators and officials in California, Oregon and Washington. Analysts and company officials say uncertainty is depressing both Arco and BP on Wall Street. Combined, the two companies have lost $50.3 billion in market value since the New Year.

“The consequent uncertainty surrounding Arco is one of a number of factors which have led to a reduction in our share price over the last few weeks,” chief executive John Browne wrote in a letter to employees this week.

“The markets are saying the BP-Arco deal is shot,” said David Gottstein of Dynamic Capital Management, an Anchorage money-management firm. Gottstein has been a vocal critic of the deal.

When BP officials announced the deal April 1, both companies’ stock rose. Investor optimism about the combination buoyed BP. Arco’s profits jumped to near the takeover premium that BP agreed to pay to buy Arco. BP will pay 1.64 shares for every Arco share — a 26 percent increase at the time the deal was announced. Oil prices, which have doubled to $27.25 a barrel since the takeover announcement, helped boost both companies’ stock. Arco’s profits approached record levels the past three quarters.

But BP and Arco stock have taken a beating over doubts whether the deal will close, analysts and company officials say. As investor confidence about the deal has unraveled, Arco stock has retreated from the promised premium from BP. here bp stock price

“Investors don’t like uncertainty, and we don’t know how long it will be until the deal is resolved,” Gottstein said. Gottstein said that he rates Arco as good value at these prices.

BP’s share price dropped 23 percent since the New Year; Arco lost 26 percent. In the same period the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 7 percent.

Despite the sustained high prices through the winter, other oil stocks, including Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell, have also performed poorly. Royal Dutch Shell shares are off 14 percent since the New Year. Exxon-Mobil has fallen 4 percent.

Stock price has no affect on the day-to-day operations of business, but publicly traded companies are run for the benefit of shareholders. Sagging stock prices put pressure on management.

Spiess, Ben