American Markets- Leading News

Greek Bailout Warning Signs for Europe (and the USA)

I agree with the general thesis that Europes woes are far, far from solved and Greece is the least of the concerns. Banks have had time to prepare, hedge fund speculators were used to take the greek debt bait, that and the English Banks shedding their Greek CDS risk to American banks ahead of last summers severe meltdown in Greece.

Where this article goes astray is that there has been no austerity in Greece in the public sector. As the Greek economy has contracted due the credit crunch, government employees went from 1/10 in the work force to 1/7. The Greek government  preferred to play its ‘Sampson’ game with the EU but that card is over with as banks shed debt and delevered for the Basel 3, 10 pc tier one capital.

Of course by design , Dirty Mervyn king made tier one capital bonds, when in fact it should only be bills (near cash),  2 year bonds, gold  and silver, and only AAA rated bills and if you don’t have aaa bills then you have to hold just cash.

Greece only hope is a big oil strike and to get Cyprus back from the English/Israel and get a large chunk of the Levant basin and open up their other basins and allow German factories in to exploit greeks low cost labor with friendly investment incentives.

What is for sure what is destroying Greece is its byzantine commercial laws and its 1/7 government employees. Greece needs a growth plan and that can only come from private sector investment. The Greek government should be funding business start-ups with its bailout money in part along with repaying debt.

There are so many parallels between Greece and the USA I want to highlight the decadent and corrupt Greek situation to our own in the USA.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/in-latest-greek-bailout-warning-signs-for-europe/

Crooked CME After Abetting MFG Global Customer Ripoffs Moves Into Control English-Zionist Protectorate Dubai’s Gold Markets

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/cme-doubles-stake-in-dubai-exchange/

Canadian Economy Suffers from Dollar Parity

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/canadian-economy-suffering-dollar-parity-s-one-eyed-king-in-land-of-blind.html

British-Israel Cult Firm Walmart Stinks Up Tape

Walmart is a ripoff. Even the Welfare crowd is waking up. That low price does not mean best price. No bigger welfare baby ex the Defense establishment than Walmart. Boycott Walmart. Tell a friend..get angry at the Walmart -breakdown made in China ripoff…grrrr…don’t let your friends experience death-by-Walmart…grrrr!

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, reported fourth-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as an emphasis on low prices hurt margins. The shares tumbled the most in six months.

Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 31 fell 15 percent to $5.16 billion, or $1.50 a share, from $6.06 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was $1.44, trailing the $1.45 average estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke is working to contain Wal-Mart’s costs and last quarter started pulling the company’s greeters from store lobbies to help with customer-service tasks. The retailer is seeking to keep prices low as its low-income shoppers suffer from persistent unemployment.

“It’s not the most inspiring result, but they’re in a better place than they were 12 months ago,” Natalie Berg, global research director for Planet Retail in London, said in an interview. “Going back to basics is a winning strategy, but it will take some time.”

The earnings miss was Wal-Mart’s second in a row. The company’s profit hasn’t trailed analysts’ estimates for two consecutive quarters since at least the first quarter of its fiscal 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg..

Wal-Mart Sales

Sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores open at least a year rose 1.5 percent, the second gain in the past 10 quarters. The average estimate of six analysts was for a 1.8 percent gain.

Total revenue increased 5.9 percent to $123.2 billion. Gross profit as a portion of sales narrowed to 24.3 percent, a 0.4 percentage point decrease from a year earlier.

Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said that there will continue to be pressure on margins as the company works to wring out costs and offer low prices.

“We may see margins come down more than expenses in some quarters and expenses come down more than margins in other quarters,” Holley said on a conference call with journalists. “We’re not going to match expense reduction with margin reduction.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/wal-mart-fourth-quarter-profit-trails-estimates-as-low-prices-hurt-margins.html

Bad Luck (read Sabotaged- Zogged) HL Reports Record Profits and Revenue in 4Q

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 21, 2012– Hecla Mining Company (“Hecla”)(NYSE:HL) today announced record 2011 revenue of $477.6 million and gross profit of $265.0 million with net income applicable to common shareholders of $150.6 million, or $0.54 per basic share, and adjusted net income applicable to common shareholders of $130.9 million1, or $0.47 per basic share, for the year. Full year silver production was 9.5 million ounces at a total cash cost of $1.15 per ounce, net of by-products.2

FULL YEAR 2011 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Achieved 9.5 million ounces of silver production in line with guidance at a total cash cost of $1.15 per ounce, net of by-products
  • Silver reserves and resources increased by 4% and 13%, respectively, to 148 million ounces and 281 million ounces
  • Finalized the long-standing Coeur d’Alene Basin environmental settlement paying $168 million in the fourth quarter
  • Achieved operating cash flow of $69.9 million after the environmental settlement payment of $168 million
  • Cash and cash equivalents of $266.5 million at December 31, 2011, and no debt

FOURTH QUARTER 2011 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Net income applicable to common shareholders of $18.4 million, or $0.07 per basic share, and adjusted net income applicable to common shareholders of $18.8 million, or $0.07 per basic share1
  • Silver production of 2.5 million ounces at a total cash cost of $2.28 per ounce, net of by-products2
  • Acquisition of remaining 30% interest in San Juan Silver property in Creede, Colorado, in exchange for 5.4 million shares of Hecla valued at $33.8 million
  • Declared quarterly common stock dividend of $0.0125 per share of common stock which includes the new quarterly minimum dividend payment of $0.0025 and $0.01 of the dividend payment is based on an average realized silver price of $31.61 per ounce pursuant to Hecla’s silver price-linked dividend policy

“Hecla faced significant challenges in 2011; however, what is different today than at any other time in our history is that our financial position, asset base, and growth opportunities are the strongest they have ever been,” said Hecla’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Phillips S. Baker, Jr. “In 2011, we had many significant accomplishments: we achieved record revenues and profits; settled the long-standing Coeur d’Alene Basin litigation thereby removing a significant and unquantifiable liability; achieved our silver production guidance; executed a $102 million capital expenditure program; expanded growth opportunities with significant advancement in our three pre-development programs; increased silver reserves and resources for the sixth consecutive year in a row; introduced a new common stock dividend; and we acquired the minority interest in the San Juan Silver property. In addition, we finished the year with $266.5 million of cash and no debt. We did all of these things while dealing with a series of unprecedented and unfortunate, yet unrelated, events at our Lucky Friday mine.”

Novagold Spinout

NovaGold Updates Plan to Spin-Out Ambler Project into NovaCopper Shareholder Vote to Take Place March 28, 2012

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – February 21, 2012) – NovaGold Resources Inc. (TSX: NG) (NYSE-Amex: NG) (“NovaGold” or “the Company”) is pleased to provide an update on the previously announced spin-out transaction (the “Spin-Out”) of NovaCopper Inc. (“NovaCopper”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. NovaCopper holds, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NovaCopper US Inc., the Company’s interest in the Ambler project located in Northwestern Alaska.

The Spin-Out will be transacted by way of a statutory plan of arrangement (the “Arrangement”) under the Companies Act (Nova Scotia). Pursuant to the terms of the Arrangement, among other things, 100% of the outstanding common shares of NovaCopper (“NovaCopper Shares”), will be distributed to holders of common shares of NovaGold (the “NovaGold Shareholders”) such that each NovaGold Shareholder of record on the effective date of the Arrangement will receive one NovaCopper Share for every six common shares in the capital of NovaGold held on the effective date. The Company’s options, performance share units, and deferred share units (collectively, the “Compensation Securities”) and warrants (the “Warrants”) will all be adjusted pursuant to the terms of the Arrangement, the details of which will be more particularly described in the Management Information Circular that will be mailed to NovaGold Securityholders (as defined below).

The directors of the Company believe that the creation of two separate public companies, one focused on gold and one focused on the copper-dominant Ambler district, will enhance their respective business operations and provide holders of NovaGold securities with additional investment choices and enhanced flexibility. NovaCopper will be free of any debt to the parent company and will be funded with US$40 million in cash.

Mr. Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, the founder of NovaGold, who recently assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of NovaCopper, said:

“I am very excited to be heading NovaCopper as we execute our business plan to unlock the value of one of the world’s most exciting copper exploration investments. As we did so successfully with Donlin, now one of North America’s premier gold development projects, the strategy here is to create extraordinary returns through the drill bit. We have an excellent team focused on determining the extent of the mineralization at Ambler and, with four rigs on the property; we should be able to complete 15,000 meters of drilling this year.”

Mr. Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse continued, expanding on the investment thesis: “NovaCopper holds highly valuable assets. One of the deposits along the Ambler belt, Arctic, had a net present value of between approximately $500 million and $1,600 million, depending on metal prices, in the Preliminary Economic Assessment filed May 10,20111. Yet, Ambler is more than just Arctic; it is a major world-class poly-metallic district. This notion was demonstrated very clearly by the recent drilling success at our Bornite deposit when DDH RC11-187 encountered mineralization of 4% copper over 178 meters, including a very significant high-grade intersection of 34.7 meters grading 11.4% copper. (See the Company’s press releases dated November 10, 2011 and December 14, 2011) These are results that would rival any copper project in any part of the world. Yet, at a time when resource nationalism and jurisdictional instability are becoming ever greater risks to the copper mining industry, these outstanding results come from a project in the United States. Our ultimate objective is that the twin attributes of high grades from multiple deposits, when combined with jurisdictional safety, will result in NovaCopper being rated as the premier vehicle in its class.”

A special meeting (“Meeting”) of NovaGold Shareholders, holders of Compensation Securities and holders of Warrants (collectively, the “Securityholders”) will be held on March 28, 2012 in the City of Vancouver at which the Securityholders will be asked to vote on a special resolution approving the Arrangement. The record date, being the date for determining Securityholders entitled to receive notice of and vote at the Meeting, is February 24, 2012. The effective date of the Arrangement is expected to be on or about April 30, 2012. A further press release will be issued by the Company when the exact effective date is known. As noted above, the effective date of the Arrangement is the record date for determining NovaGold Shareholders who are entitled to receive NovaCopper Shares.

The Spin-Out is subject to numerous conditions including Securityholder and court approval, approval by, and listing of the NovaCopper Shares on the TSX and NYSE-AMEX and completion of all regulatory filings

About NovaCopper

NovaCopper is focused on the Ambler district which hosts world-class volcanogenic massive sulfide (“VMS”) deposits that contain copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver. It is one of the richest and most-prospective copper districts in one of the safest geopolitical jurisdictions in the world. In 2011, NovaGold focused on two deposits in the Ambler district. The first was the Arctic deposit and the second was the Bornite deposit. A Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”)1, produced in May 2011, determined that the Arctic deposit contains indicated mineral resources of 17 million tonnes grading 4.1% copper and 6.0% zinc plus lead, gold and silver and inferred mineral resources of 12 million tonnes grading 3.5% copper and 4.9% zinc plus lead, gold and silver1. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not yet have demonstrated economic viability. Initial exploration drilling on the Bornite deposit in 2011 was highly successful. DDH RC11-187 drilled a continuous interval of 178 meters grading 3.9% copper including a very significant high-grade intersection of 34.7 meters grading 11.4% copper. Initial results continue to demonstrate the exceptionally high-grade nature of this important and evolving mineral district. The Company is focused on continuing to identify high-grade mineralization with additional exploration drilling this coming year with four drill rigs and a plan to complete 15,000 meters of drilling.

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