Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Groupon, Citigroup, Best Buy,
Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo
CHICAGO, March 5, 2013
CHICAGO, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature
highlights Features: Groupon (Nasdaq:GRPN), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Best Buy
(NYSE:BBY), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO).
Ousted CEOs and Stock Performance
Andrew Mason was recently fired as CEO of Groupon (Nasdaq:GRPN). His final act
was to write a goodbye to his former coworkers in which he joked around.
Suggesting that he was headed to a fat farm and compare the job of CEO to a
video game was probably not what investors wanted to hear.
The question in my head was: what should investors do now?
I decided to take a look back a CEO's that were fired or pushed out or quit
and see how the stock acted. Does the change at the top warrant a short term
trading buy or maybe even a long term investment.
First To Mind
The first CEO that came to mind was Vikram Pandit of Citigroup (NYSE:C) who
was pushed out on October 16 when the stock was $39 and change. At the time,
the move was quite shocking, and investors did not rush to buy the stock.
Instead the stock sold off for several weeks and bottomed out at $34.39 in the
first week of December. From that point on, though, the stock has not really
looked back and was as high as $44.50 back on February 19.
Investors decided that the company was in good hands with new CEO. And by good
hands I mean all six of them. Three guys are in to do the work of one, but the
measure that trumps all measures is share performance, and it has been good
since early December.
Has been in the news for all sorts of reasons lately. The founder was looking
to take the whole company private and management recently took big steps to no
longer be a showroom for online retailers.
But if you rewind the story by to April 1, 2012 you get some insight into how
the snowball started rolling. The CEO at the time was Brian Dunn and he quit
amid a personal scandal. The company moved to bring in some fresh blood and
they went all the way to France to pick up Hubert Joly. Since Dunn left, all
the issues have been just too much for investors to stomach and Best Buy
(NYSE:BBY) is down around 20%.
Best Buy and Citigroup are two stocks that are not likely going to tell us too
much about how Groupon might behave following a CEO change. For the next two,
I will focus in on tech stocks. Both have had a relatively poor history of
late when it comes to leadership, and both think they have found the answer
with who is in place now.
Competition and a Scandal
Mark Hurd left the CEO office in August 2010 following a scandal, the board
huddled together to find a replacement that would help address the needs
company. Competition was coming from Dell and Apple and a vision was needed to
guide the company. Leo Apotheker took over but held the position for about a
year before he too was removed and replaced by Meg Whitman.
Meg Whitman joined eBay in March 1998 and helped grow the company to a
multi-billion dollar enterprise. She left the company in November 2007, just
months after a shoving incident with a subordinate. A few years later Meg
reportedly spent $144 million of her own money on a failed run for governor of
California. She quickly rebound and was added to the board of Hewlett-Packard
During her tenure of about a year and a half, the stock started out looking
like it was the right move. After the February 16 2012, high of $29.89, the
stock plunged to a November 21 low of $11.94, a drop of 60%. But that low
point was the time to buy as the stock has since rebounded 68.7% to $20.15.
Fifth CEO in Three Years
Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO) has had a difficult past few years. Co-Founder Jerry Yang
was replaced by Carol Bartz, who was replaced by Tim Morse, who was replaced
by Scott Thompson, who was replaced Ross Levinson. The merry go round came to
a halt on July 16, 2012 when Marissa Mayer was named CEO.
Investors have really given a full vote of confidence. The stock is up roughly
40% since the Wausau, Wisconsin native took charge of the chronically troubled
Mayer has several hurdles in front of her, such as loss of search share and a
poorly performing agreement with Microsoft. One positive she has going for her
is that the road to monetization of the Alibaba asset has been mostly cleared.
As long as the M&A team doesn't work from home, they should be ok.
Groupon lost its only CEO, and is now in a state of flux. Co- Founder and
board chairman Eric Lefkofsky is sharing CEO duties with Ted Leonsis, in a
move that resembles the Citigroup shift. Will these two stay on in this role
or will they look for someone else? No matter what happens next, we will be
watching and in the end, we will root for everyone to succeed. I will
especially root for Mr. Mason in his effort to restore his health and move
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