Ten Compelling Facts from Big Brands

by Todd Shriber

From banking to baseball, some of the most recognizable names in their respective industries have delivered plenty of compelling factoids, numerical and otherwise, during the last week that are worth taking a look at. Here’s Trader Daily‚Äôs top 10:

1) What Does That Say?

Bank of America (BAC), the largest U.S. bank by assets, announced that it will pay $8.5 billion to settle claims regarding bunk mortgage-backed securities it sold to investors. The stock reacted positively, indicating investors like the news. But on a dour note, that $8.5 billion exceeds the total profits posted by the bank since 2008, according to The Wall Street Journal.

2) Next?

Although Facebook is a private company, founder Mark Zuckerberg is still a very rich man. How rich? Well, as Forbes reports, Zuckerberg is now worth more than Google (GOOG) co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The only computer-tech royalty who can say they are richer than Zuckerberg are Bill Gates of Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) boss Larry Ellison.

3) The Survey Says…

Granted this probably isn’t the most scientific of polls, but a survey on The Los Angeles Times website shows that nearly 89% of respondents believe Major League Baseball should seize the now bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers.

4) Speaking of…

If one wants to figure out why the Dodgers are bankrupt, part of the reason lies in poor contract decisions with players, namely retired slugger Manny Ramirez. As the Boston Herald reports, Ramirez is owed $21 million from the Dodgers even though he hasn’t played an inning for the team since 2010.

5) A Free iPhone?

Well, maybe. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky said Apple (AAPL) could offer the iPhone 3Gs free of charge with a carrier contract when the fifth generation of the popular smartphone debuts later this year, Barron’s reports.

6) Bushels of Apple

The consensus estimate for third-quarter iPad sales is 10 million to 12 million. Research firm CLSA begged to differ last week, saying LCD shipment data indicates Apple could sell 14.4 million units of the hot tablet device in the third quarter, according to website BGR.

7) Don’t Make These Guys Angry

Research firm Muddy Waters has made quite a name for itself exposing varying degrees of chicanery at Chinese companies, causing nearly $5 billion in share losses for North America-listed Chinese companies, according to Bloomberg. Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD) is currently doing battle with Muddy Waters, and that may be one reason why its chart looks like this.

8) Free Money… Sort Of

The state of California is sitting on a windfall of $6.1 billion in unclaimed money from forgotten savings accounts, store credits and royalty payments, Bloomberg reports. Even Warren Buffett is owed $20. Good news for a state with a $10 billion budget shortfall, as Bloomberg notes.

9) Ugly

CNN Money posted a list of the 10 worst-performing stocks of 2011 and the worst offender on the list isn’t too surprising. Employment website Monster Worldwide (MWW) is down 43% year-to-date. With employers barely hiring, Monster is scary right now.

10) Pretty

National Semiconductor (NSM) is the top performer, surging 79% year-to-date, according to CNN Money. Nearly all of that gain is attributable to the $6.5 billion takeover by former rival Texas Instruments (TXN) in April.

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