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While the fat lady has yet to belt out her tune, the echoing of pentatonic progressions from the recital chamber has ominous implications for Radioshack, the once ubiquitous brand for hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers that now exists only as an oddity within a world that clearly has skipped multiple generations ahead. Indeed, stepping into one of their stores is like walking into a giant time capsule where big hair, neon colors, and four-by-three aspect ratios once dominated the pop-culture landscape. Most Millennials weren’t even born yet when the specialty electronics retailer first began trading their equity shares on the open market on January 4th, 1982. On that day, the opening price was 34 dollars and 38 cents, which is the equivalent of over 84 dollars worth of purchasing power using current valuations, according to the Bureau of Statistics’ consumer price index inflation calculator. Earlier this week, shares closed at an all-time record low of only 11-cents, an investment loss of 99.86-percent since its IPO.
What was once thought to be the comeback story of Wall Street given the near universally well-received ad campaign that was launched during last year’s Super Bowl has officially ended in marketing disaster. Exactly one year later, the New York Stock Exchange announced that it was taking action to delist the common stock of RadioShack Corporation, which was trading under the ticker symbol RSH. All investor activity for its equity shares on the Big Board was immediately suspended, with any interested parties wishing to add this speculative company to their portfolio able to do so in the pink sheets. Unable to meet the NYSE’s listing standards of either an average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30 trading day period of at least 50 million dollars or a stockholder’s equity of the same amount, RadioShack effectively dropped from being the equivalent of a JP Morgan to a Stratton Oakmont.
Like all great American competitors, its executive management team continues to put up a fight, unwilling to concede what is glaringly and painfully obvious to most casual observers. This resilience has led to deal-making opportunities, perhaps most notably with mobile carrier Sprint, which is allegedly looking to secure more than 2,000 of Radioshack stores, according to an anonymous source cited by Bloomberg. The business media outfit also mentioned the possibility of Amazon bolstering its brick-and-mortar operations by buying store locations as a showcase and distribution center for its army of online customers.
Whatever the case may be, RadioShack is done. The only negotiations that can be made are ones that can soften the blow of bankruptcy, not avoid it altogether. The fluff-pieces and the ad campaigns served to entertain, and for some, to commiserate, but in the end, the fundamentals have finally caught up, and unfortunately, there’s no turning back this clock.
In financial news, the U.S. equities sector moved up a percent on Thursday in response to stabilization in crude oil prices, with the Dow Jones closing at 17,884 while the S&P 500 finished at 2,062. In contrast, the precious metals complex had a slow week, with gold closing down slightly from the prior at 1,265 while silver took a heavier loss, closing a quarter above 17 dollars. Palladium’s performance was mixed, although it did well earlier in the week, pushing the industrial metal to 792 dollars. In digital currency news, bitcoin softened from last month’s short-lived rally, with the price at last count at 220 dollars.
And that will do it for this edition. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next week!