Jim Beam bourbon maker Fortune Brands said Wednesday that it will focus on its liquor business, spinning off or selling other parts of the company, including home furnishings and Titleist golf products.
Really bad stock markets knock down shares of all kinds. That's essentially what has been happening since the start of 2008, as subprime fallout led to recession anxiety. But not every market sector faces the same problems and uncertainties.
Fortune Brands Inc. posted better-than-expected earnings Friday as strength in the spirits and golf business largely offset the impact of the housing market downturn on the company's home products business.
Few experiences rival the euphoria of unwrapping a shiny new golf club. (It's way better than a shiny new pair of socks.) We want to make sure your next new club is the absolute right one for you. So we commissioned 40 ClubTesters to poke and prod the latest sticks under all playing conditions--on the golf course, at the driving range, in good weather and bad (including wind and rain)--at the Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Westchester Country Club would seem to be an ideal breeding ground for tour pros. It has two 18-hole courses, a nine-hole par-3 layout, a sprawling practice tee, two huge practice greens and a short-game practice area. There are droves of kids in the junior program, and virtually all of them have well-heeled parents who furnish them with the latest equipment, lessons with the club's seven instructors and funds to compete around the country. A PGA Tour event has been held on the grounds every year since 1967.
My Friday 7:10 a.m. tee time -- first group, first round -- was fast approaching, and there was no daylight in the sky, and now in the clubhouse dining room Fuzzy Zoeller was asking if he could join me for breakfast. Zoeller, winner of the 1979 Masters and the '84 U.S. Open, a man who makes everything look easy, asking me, your garden-variety duffer with a golfing nervous disorder, if he could sit down with me.
Investor sentiment just keeps getting worse. There are legitimate reasons to be worried these days. But stock prices - particularly for shares of big, high-quality growth companies - look overly depressed.
Wall Street lore holds that the stock market's action during the first few days of January foreshadows share price behavior for the rest of the year. And it's a truism that contains a little real truth.