Joel Cohen Montreal

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Finding the right investment today is not a simple task. Many times, inexperienced investors will follow the hype or buzz around a company or industry expecting high returns only to be disappointed. I recently had a chat with corporate finance consultant Joel Cohen from Montreal who said “It is important to differentiate between a good company and a good stock. The recent Facebook IPO is a good example of that. Although I would love for someone to hand me the keys to the company, I was less enthusiastic about investing at the prevailing IPO valuation.” Joel Cohen also said that once the fundamental due diligence is complete on a prospective company and an investor is happy with the results, it is equally important to make sure that the company is properly priced or you can spend years trying to recoup your initial investment let alone any type of return on your investment.

Having started his career as an investment banker at Canaccord Capital in Montreal, now called Canaccord Genuity (CF:TSX), Joel Cohen worked on numerous IPOs, private and public financings for various companies with a value in excess of one hundred million dollars. Mr. Cohen later started his own consulting firm in Montreal focusing mostly on technology companies where he consults in areas such as corporate structuring mostly with respect to going public transactions, strategic growth and corporate finance. Joel Cohen holds a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation and has a bachelor of finance from Concordia University in Montreal and has lectured in business valuation in the McGill University MBA program in Montreal.

Recently one of Mr. Cohen’s clients ranked as a top IPO perfomer on the TSX venture.

Additional Resources:

Joel Cohen Montreal :: Listed on IncListing.com

Joel Cohen Montreal :: Article on INC 1000.com

Joel Cohen Montreal :: Information on Professional Database Inc.com


IBM Buys Sterling Commerce, Engages in Aggressive Takeover Strategy

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International Business Machines, or IMB as it is known colloquially, has announced the purchase of Sterling Commerce. IBM, a computer services provider, will pay out $1.4 billion in cash for Sterling Commerce, from which it will gain e-commerce software.

IBM will buy Dublin, Ohio-based Sterling from AT&T Inc., the biggest U.S. phone carrier, according to a statement from the companies today. Its software helps businesses share information and transfer files to other companies.

IBM Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano plans to spend $20 billion on takeovers in the next five years as he bolsters the software business, IBM’s most profitable. Sterling’s programs allow companies to manage and create their networks on external servers, a business known as cloud computing — which IBM expects to reach $3 billion by 2015.

“Plugging this gap was crucial for IBM,” said Ken Vollmer, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Syracuse, New York. “IBM will be able to take the technology and meld it together with theirs.”

The transaction will likely close in the second half of 2010, the companies said. AT&T probably will record a pretax gain of $750 million on the deal once it’s completed. About 2,500 Sterling employees will join IBM’s software division.

IBM has engaged in a rapid and aggressive takeover strategy ever since CEO Palmisano came on board. It appears to be working for them, $20 billion and 100 purchases later.


Oil Prices Rise to $82

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Everyone’s favorite commodity has risen in price–Oil rose to $82 a barrel today. It appears that the signals of recovery being sent by the economy have caused consumer confidence to increase, which naturally causes the black gold to rise in price. Optimism about the economy naturally means there will be more consumption of oil in the U.S., the largest consumer of energy.

“The EIA data tends to suggest that oil demand in the U.S. is recovering, particularly gasoline, but it’s still at low levels,” said David Moore, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. in Sydney. Crude oil “went below the $80 level and it attracted a bit of buying at that lower level.”

So, just in case you were prepared for economic recovery–be ye forewarned, oil prices just rose! Rest assured, the effects of these slow rises in oil prices won’t be felt for a while.


Virtual Black Friday

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Black Friday is a term we use to refer to the day after Thanksgiving, which has, in recent years, been a bargain bonanza, a coupon carnival, a sale celebration. On this day, hoards of soccer moms crowd around WalMarts, BestBuys, World Markets, and Office Depots in order to get the best deals on the gifts they are buying for Christmas. Literally thousands of women will line up in the wee hours of the morning in order to wait for the stores to open up, so they can have the first chance at various gifts they intend to by. As anyone who has been to a Rod Stewart concert knows, a crowd of soccer moms is cause for concern–people can easily be trampled in their stampedes.

If you think I’m exaggerating–please consult last year’s Black Friday. A Walmart employee was, quite literally, trampled to death. That is why many people will be taking their Black Friday shopping spree to their computers this Friday. As a result, many Internet merchants are stepping up their advertising and their bargains in order to attract a larger share of the shopping crowd.