One of the big stories in the business world today was that Nikon’s stock took a historic fall of nearly 19%. The company is weighted so heavily in the Nikkei Stock Average that the news had a rippling effect across the market, causing most Asian shares to drop.
Businessmen around the world are watching Facebook’s plummeting stock closely, but perhaps none more so than the folks over at Instagram. The world was shocked back in April when Facebook agreed to purchase the tiny startup for $1 billion, but one key fact is that the price was to be paid in a mixture of cash and stock. Due to the decline of FB stock, hundreds of millions of dollars have been wiped from the purchase price, which is currently valued at somewhere between $700 and $800 million.
More news from the ongoing Olympus scandal: despite an official explanation issued by Olympus last week, the company’s stock has continued to plummet. It closed today at ¥1,099, down from around ¥2,500 before the crisis began. Investors are apparently spooked after a major Japanese newspaper suggested that the payments at the center of the controversy could have links to the criminal underworld (something the company has denied). The New York Times is reporting that the FBI is now involved in the investigation.
Bloomberg writes that Olympus’ stock price makes it an attractive option for a potential acquisition: the current price pegs Olympus’ market value at $3.85 billion, even though its medical-equipment business alone is worth $7.8 billion.
Image credit: Olympus E-510 test by idua_japan
Olympus fired CEO and President Michael Woodford today, causing the company’s stock price to take a 17% dive. The 51-year-old Briton was accused by the board of ignoring the management culture that the firm has had in place for 92 years. Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa (who replaces Woodford) says,
We hoped that he could do things that would be difficult for a Japanese executive to do, but he was not able to understand that we needed to reflect the management style we have built up since the company was established 92 years ago, as well as Japanese culture.
The “difficult things” included ambitious cost-cutting plans, which proved to be successful in the company’s European division. Woodford had a habit of ignoring the management structure of the company by giving direct orders to employees rather than the leadership of the different units. While Olympus is known in the consumer electronics industry for its digital cameras, it’s medical equipment that keeps the company afloat — the Olympus camera division lost 15 billion yen (~$195 million) in the year to March 2011.
Olympus fires British CEO, a self-confessed loud-mouth [Reuters]
Yesterday Kodak’s stock fell 64 cents, or 26.9%, to close at $1.74 — the lowest the stock price has been in 38 years. Investors were reacting to news that the company (which hasn’t netted a profit since 2007) had taken out a new $160 million loan. The plummeting value of the company is bad news for the photography pioneer but good news for companies that might be interested in buying it — a list that is rumored to include Google and Microsoft.
Kodak shares hit 38-year low on borrowing concerns [Reuters]
Update: Reader Christian Rudman points out that the reason for the loan wasn’t because Kodak’s cash reserves had run out. They last reported having nearly $1 billion on hand on June 30th.