Bearish comments from Google’s CFO about its advertising
growth outlook – and the resulting 7% share price fall – lead news on the Financial Review‘s front page. Google
can’t win, says CNNMoney‘s Paul La Monica.
“The search engine is often criticised for not giving Wall Street enough
information. But when it does open up, investors often don’t like what they
hear.”

Meanwhile, the paper reports that Federal Treasurer Peter
Costello is making his own bearish comments, conceding that the economy will
not meet the government’s forecast of 3% growth this financial year (not
online).

As far as merchant banking deals go, the one between
Macquarie and Dyno Nobel

must stand as one of the industry’s greatest, says John Durie in the Fin (not online) – netting the bank in
excess of $150 million in profits plus fees.

Dyno Nobel is riding the crest of the commodities boom –
mining companies are large users of explosives – so its $1 billion-odd IPO is
nicely timed, says Bryan Frith in The Australian. The great Australian iron ore story is being repeated around the
resources world, says Matthew Stevens in The
Oz
.
Which means, all puns aside, the explosives game has the potential to be a boom
business for the next 20 years.

Of course, we all should have twigged to what
was going on when Macquarie Bank last year led a consortium of ten investors in
spending $US1.7 billion ($2.33 billion) on Norway’s global explosives conglomerate
Dyno Nobel, says Stevens. The deal highlights Macquarie Bank’s ingenuity and ability
to see fee streams and profits where others see risk… while helping out a
corporate client and raking in layers of fee income in the process,
says Stephen Bartholomeusz
in The Smage.

Dyno Nobel is a strange beast (with big plans),
says Elizabeth Knight in The SMH. It’s an industrial
company with profit drivers that mirror those of a mining company so, in a
sense, it has the best of both worlds.

If it wasn’t already clear from the fierce local
mobile phone price war that has been raging for the past 18 months, the glum
outlook from the world’s biggest mobiles company, Vodafone, is confirmation
that this most golden of telco geese is dying, says Michael Sainsbury in The Oz.

In other news, an ad squeeze at Nine puts the wind up new boss Eddie
McGuire…
Australia’s
manufacturers battle to maintain a foothold in the nation’s increasingly
commodity obsessed economy…

Billabong founder Gordon Merchant, who started the company
in 1973 cutting boardshorts on his kitchen table, sells 5% of his stake for a cool $200 million.

On Wall Street,

US
stocks rallied to a higher close
Wednesday, after investors swooped on attractively-valued shares, notably in the
technology sector. The Dow Jones closed up 60.12 points at 11,053.53.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW