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CFOZone Experts

Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Mar 23
2011

Costly malicious data breaches on the rise

Posted by annearf in Riskencryptiondata breachescost per compromised record

annearf

Malicious or criminal attacks on data are on the rise--and so are their costs.

Those are some of the findings of the 2010 US Cost of a Data Breach study from the Ponemon Institute. The benchmark study looked at the experiences of 51 US companies in 15 industry sectors; it's the sixth annual such survey done by Ponemon.

Mar 21
2011

Moody’s encourages Limited to borrow

Posted by Stephen Taub in Moody's Investors Servicedefault ratedefaultdebt-rating agenciesDealscredit-rating agenciesCredit RatingsCash

Stephen Taub

Limited Brands said it will sell $750 million in 10-year notes. The company said it intends to use the proceeds to repurchase $500 million of stock under a new share repurchase program and for general corporate purposes.

The move seemed to surprise some commentators. But investors applauded the move, bidding up the stock by more than 1 percent when it began trading Tuesday morning.

Mar 21
2011

Corporate bond market heating up again

Posted by Stephen Taub in TARPdebt, corporate bonds, Cash

Stephen Taub
Equity investors are not the only ones who have become more comfortable with taking on risk in the aftermath of the earth-quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan and anti-government demonstrations in the Middle East.

A number of corporations are once again ramping up debt offerings after many companies abruptly postponed sales last week.

On Monday morning alone, for example, SunTrust Banks said it would sell $1 billion in new senior unsecured debt. It plans to use the proceeds, along with a $1 billion common stock offering, to repurchase its $3.50 billion of fixed rate cumulative preferred stock, Series C and $1.35 billion of fixed rate cumulative preferred stock, Series D issued under TARP, according to Dow Jones.

Mar 18
2011

Do "entrepreneurial" public companies create more jobs?

Posted by annearf in Riskentrepreneurial companiesemployment growthApple

annearf

We've heard a lot about how high-growth startups generate more jobs than other small businesses. Now there's evidence so-called entrepreneurial public companies create more employment than other firms of the same size.

The findings are from research by Joel Shulman, an associate professor at Babson College who also runs a newly created mutual fund called EntrepreneurShares Mutual Fund . It invests in 400 companies defined as entrepreneurial according to 15 core factors, including such characteristics as organic growth, an above average ownership stake among key stakeholders, an above average return on investment capital and a long duration of key managers. Companies, which also have a market cap of $200 million and more, range from Apple to Credit Acceptance Corp.

Mar 18
2011

Manufacturing CFOs report skill shortage

Posted by Stephen Taub in research and developmentmanufacturinghealth insuranceCFOsCareers/Managementcapital expenditurescapex

Stephen Taub
U.S. manufacturers are planning to boost hiring and capital expenditures this year. However, they warned they may not bring on as many people as they would like to. Why?

They are having trouble finding qualified candidates. They say there is a shortage of skilled machine operators and welders.

Manufacturers are also concerned about the increase in health insurance costs.

Mar 17
2011

PCAOB chairman warns of auditor disciplinary actions

Posted by Stephen Taub in Sarbanes-OxleyPCAOBcomplianceauditors

Stephen Taub
The chairman of the PCAOB said auditors of financial companies that contributed to the financial crisis several years ago are now the subject of pending PCAOB investigations and may lead to disciplinary actions against firms or individuals.

"The PCAOB inspected the audits of many of the issuers that later failed or received federal bail-out funds," said PCAOB chairman James Doty at a PCAOB Investor Advisory Group Meeting on Wednesday. "In several cases - including audits involving substantial financial institutions - PCAOB inspection teams identified what they determined to be audit failures of such significance that, in the inspectors' view, the firm had failed to support its opinion."

Doty stressed that under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the accounting watchdog group's disciplinary actions must remain confidential until both its proceeding and any SEC appeal are finished, adding that this will take a long time.

Mar 16
2011

Class action settlements at decade low

Posted by Stephen Taub in Stanford Law SchoolsettlementSecurities Class Action ClearinghousePrivate Securities Litigation Reform Actecurities class action settlementsCornerstone Researchcompliance

Stephen Taub

It looks like investors have become a lot less litigious.

According to Cornerstone Research, the number of securities class action settlements approved in 2010 was the lowest in more than 10 years.

Mar 16
2011

Japan's nuclear disaster puts new spotlight on clean tech

Posted by annearf in Risknuclear powerclean technologyclean tech

annearf

The devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear-power disaster in Japan are forcing a new look at the efficacy and safety of nuclear energy. Not so long ago, the Obama administration committed to boosting nuclear power. Now countries like Germany are saying they're reassessing their policies.

The gravity of these issues lends a particular urgency to new findings about venture capital investment in clean technology, as well as the state of the clean energy industry.

Mar 15
2011

Audit execs embrace Sarbanes-Oxley

Posted by Stephen Taub in Grant ThorntoncomplianceCloud Computingchief audit executivesauditorsaudit

Stephen Taub

Since the day it became law in the summer of 2002, Sarbanes-Oxley has always had a chorus of critics and should even be dismantled.

It's too expensive, too over-reaching, not well thought out, encourages companies to list overseas, doesn't really reign in fraud. Pick your reason for disdaining to governance rules.

Mar 14
2011

Companies will foot the bill for personal income tax reform

Posted by dbedell in Taxcompliance

dbedell

Companies can expect few incentives to come out of tax reform efforts this year, according to corporate tax specialists, as the Obama administration and legislators focus on how to pay for personal income tax reforms and benefits.

Those companies that held any hopes that the coming year would bring some tax relief will be disappointed, according to corporate tax advisers.



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