Sol Trujillo is right, says the Financial Review‘s John Durie (not online) – Telstra’s “financial
trends are not good.” But right now, no one really knows whether or not his
medicine is right for the company.

Overall, though, Tesltra’s December-half result was pretty well
in line with expectations, with the
exception of one disturbing note, and one quite pleasant surprise, says Stephen
Bartholomeusz
in The Smage.

Might Telstra investors finally be able to contemplate the
unthinkable? asks Colin Kruger in The Sydney Morning Herald: that Telstra’s share price has finally bottomed. Maybe, says Elizabeth
Knight

in the same paper. But Trujillo has
monumental task ahead of him to restore profit growth – and achieving it is a
leap of faith for investors, says Knight.

Meanwhile, what some believe could become Australia’s
biggest corporate legal battle begins today, says Malcolm Maiden in The Age,
with a directions hearing for the ACCC’s price and market-fixing case against
Richard Pratt, Visy group and senior Visy executives.

AWB was a disaster waiting to happen, says Leon Gettler in The Age. Corporate Governance
International said damning evidence from the oil-for-food inquiry reflected the
lack of accountability from a company in which grain growers had all the power
and the owners – whose investment was at stake if things went wrong – had no
control.

So it’s perfectly understandable that Andrew Lindberg
decided to jump ship yesterday, but the AWB boss’s decision to quit before the
full impact of the Iraq
scandal is known did the company no good, says Durie in the Fin. And it hangs Lindberg before Cole
has made a single recommendation.

His name has barely been stencilled on the office door and new
Nine Network boss Eddie McGuire has been given orders, reportsThe Australian: develop a new operating
model that puts profit generation above the ratings-at-any-cost approach.

Also in The Oz,
Bryan Frith wants some answers vis-a-vis the possible bid by the South African
based Barloworld for paint maker Wattyl? Wattyl board? Anyone? And, in case you didn’t know, Patrick Corp’s Chris Corrigan has
a plan B, says Matthew Stevens. And it means Paul Little and Toll Holdings are in big trouble.

In the SMH, Lisa
Murray
finds Eddie McGuire’s new career move bold and hard-to-believe. Really? You must be from Sydney.

In international news, American International Group has
agreed to pay more than $US1.6 billion to settle US government and New York
State charges that the insurance giant engaged in fraud, bid-rigging and
improper accounting – $US800 million will go to investors. Now, what to do about Maurice “Hank” Greenberg – IAG’s former chief…

On Wall Street, US
stocks
ended mixed overnight as a round of upbeat profit forecasts was tempered
Fed remarks hinting at higher interest rates. The Dow Jones rose 24.73 points
to 10,883.

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW