by Patricia Sellers
Here we are in 2011, and how odd is it that only a dozen Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs?
This despite plenty of evidence that placing women in key positions pays off for investors.
Maybe it's coincidental -- at least it's worth noting -- that two of the Dow 30 companies that delivered the best stock-market gains in 2010 are run by women.
One is Dupont (DD), whose CEO, Ellen Kullman, was profiled by my colleague Carol Loomis in last year's Fortune 500 issue. Since taking charge at DuPont in January 2009, Kullman has reversed decades of moribund performance and dismal results.
Indeed, the 48.1% pop in DuPont's shares last year was second-best, behind Caterpillar's (CAT) 64.3%, on the Dow. (Tractors and backhoe loaders, you can't get more macho than that.)
Kullman and the bosses at Caterpillar (CEO Douglas Oberhelman succeeded Jim Owens as CEO last July) have been at their companies for decades. (Hmm, maybe outsider CEOs are overrated.) The Dow's other winning woman, by measure of 2010 stock-market performance, is almost a lifer at Kraft Foods (KFT). But Irene Rosenfeld needed a brief stint at PepsiC0 (PEP), running Frito-Lay, to collect the cred to become Kraft's chief executive in 2006.
Revamping Kraft has been a mighty challenge for Rosenfeld. For one thing, a shareholder named Warren Buffett threw cold water on her $19 billion acquisition of candy maker Cadbury a year ago. But she persisted and prevailed. Kraft shares rose 15.9% last year (vs. the Dow's 11% average gain). Investors who reinvested dividends got a 20.5% return.
Meanwhile, No. 1 on Fortune's Most Powerful Woman list, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, eked out a 6.4% stock-market gain. More work to do in 2011. One tactic up her sleeve: paying big money for Pepsi to sponsor The X Factor, the Simon Cowell-backed talent competition show that will go up against American Idol -- starring Coke (KO) -- this fall.
"If you buy a railroad, you can't move it to China or to India or anyplace else. You are betting on the United States. I can't think of a surer bet."
- Warren Buffett, explaining Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKB) $44 billion buyout of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI).
Click here to see Buffett talking about his biggest deal ever with CNNMoney anchor Poppy Harlow.
While the size was a surprise, the bet on America MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 4, 2009 6:56 PM ET
by Jessica Shambora
Yesterday we told you that Google (GOOG) tops the list of heavyweight stocks in terms of "market capitalization per employee." There's $8.6 million in stock-market value riding on every Googler who works for the company.
It's an odd metric, yes. The post generated some amusing comments. David Emery in Reston, Virginia wrote, "This seems to be a good justification for Google's well-known investment in/pampering of their employees. Happy MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 23, 2009 3:20 PM ET
By Jessica Shambora
When Apple (AAPL) passed the giants--General Electric (GE), Johnson & Johnson (GE), Procter & Gamble (PG), and even Google (GOOG)--in terms of stock-market value this week, we started wondering: What company in the universe has the highest stock-market capitalization per employee?
We ran the number and it turns out to be...Google!
Even as Apple has surged on the heels of Monday's blowout quarterly earnings report--and news of upcoming products like MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 22, 2009 3:54 PM ET
All eyes are on Goldman Sachs (GS), which announces earnings tomorrow. What goosed the stock...and then the banking sector and then the entire market today? Meredith Whitney's upgrade.
It mattered--and helped send Goldman up nearly 5% to $149--because the famously bearish financial-services analyst, who helped bring down Citigroup and the banking sector two years ago, has been negative ever since. She announced her upgrade of Goldman at 2:24 a.m. At least MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 13, 2009 3:57 PM ET
Lots of people are now seeing light at the end of the global recession, but it pays to keep the dark clouds in sight. My Fortune colleague Shawn Tully does that in his just-published story about Ireland. As he notes, Ireland's economy is suffering the deepest plunge of virtually any country outside of Iceland. And it's not over yet.
To get a broader view of global risk, I called Ian Bremmer, MOREPatricia Sellers - May 14, 2009 11:01 AM ET
"If you are in the investment business and you have a high IQ, sell 30 points to the next person. You do not have to be a genius at all. But you do have to have emotional stability, and you have to have some peace about your decisions. I don't know how much is innate and how much can be taught. If you have that quality you will do very MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - May 8, 2009 6:57 PM ET
"Our stock price is not an indication of our financial strength."
-- Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit in a memo to employees sent Monday night. How ironic that Citigroup shares jumped 38% on Tuesday. Citi's stock is so low that it took a gain of just 40 cents to rise so much, percentage-wise, and close at $1.45. Citi's pop was part of a overall surge in the market that had the MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Mar 10, 2009 8:03 PM ET
Bank-industry analyst Meredith Whitney, one of FORTUNE's Most Powerful Women and the subject of our cover story last summer, is all over the place this week. An op-ed, "Credit Cards are the Next Credit Crunch," in today's Wall Street Journal presents a dreadful outlook for consumer spending. She says that she's upped her estimate for how much banks will yank credit lines to consumers--by $2 trillion this year and a MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 10, 2009 3:45 PM ET
Barack Obama's hair is turning gray. The New York Times reported the other day that a President typically ages two years for every year in the job. Thank goodness our new President is only 47 years old. The way things are going right now, I suspect he'll age twice as fast as other Presidents.
We learned this week that things are worse than we thought. General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt, MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 6, 2009 1:02 PM ET
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