WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Sept.21

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic and business indicators based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

Facebook, started in February 2004 by a Harvard University student, quickly spread to other universities. By early 2005, the site had 1.6 million monthly U.S. visitors, and soared to nearly 9 million in August 2006, according to NetRatings. 

Facebook signed a deal with Microsoft in August, with potential ads valued at a minimum of $200 million over three years. Now Facebook seems to be in discussions to sell itself to Yahoo for an amount close to $1 billion. (Facebook, Riding a Web Trend, Flirts With a Big-Money Deal - WSJ)

The US Federal Reserve left its short-term interest rate target at 5.25% for a second consecutive meeting. The Fed had increased that rate at 17 consecutive meetings since 2004, before pausing last month. (Fed Cites Energy, Housing Declines In Holding Rates - WSJ) 5.25%

The generic-drug market is a $27-billion-a-year business. Generics made up about 56% of all prescriptions filled last year, but only 13% of drug spending. Over the next two years, analysts estimate patents on about 75 brand-name drugs, including blockbusters like antidepressant drug Zoloft and Norvasc blood-pressure medication, will lose protection. Wal-Mart's pharmaceutical revenue dropped to $19.94 billion in its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, compared with $20.61 billion a year earlier. (Wal-Mart to Unveil Drug Strategy - WSJ)

Just in: Wal-Mart Tests in Florida Its $4 Generic-Drug Plan - WSJ
Toyota is targeting group global sales of 9.8 million vehicles in 2008, up almost 11% from 8.85 million this year. GM sold 9.2 million vehicles in 2005. Toyota  forecasts its parent-level net income for the half-year to Sept. 30 would jump 32% to $4.25 billion. (Toyota Raises Half-Year Forecast, Plans 10% Global Sales Increase - WSJ) 9.8Mil
The soaring flat-TV consumer demand in the U.S. and Canada is expected to reach $20.2 billion this year, up 79% from last year. Researchers estimate some 90 flat-panel brands sold in North America now, up from 63 last year. Consumer electronics retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City get up to 25% of their sales and a larger percentage of their profits from TVs. (As Flat-Panel TV Sales Soar, Unlikely Retailers Step In - WSJ) $20.2B
The highly profitable segment of the TV, first-run syndication (talk, game and court shows syndication) is a $1.2 billion annual business. Ratings for such stalwarts as "Jeopardy" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with average daily audience of 9.4 million and 8.4 million respectively (according to NSS Galaxy) were down as much as 13% over the past year. (TV Syndication's Ray of Hope? - WSJ) $1.2B
Worldwide men's fragrance is a $5.51 billion market with about 250 fragrances are sold in major department stores in the U.S., up from about 160 in 1997, according NPD Group. Worldwide sales are expected to increase only 2% this year, after rising 7% last year, according to Euromonitor International. Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani has been the No. 1 men's fragrance since 2000, according to NPD. (Men's Fragrance Ads Restore Classic Ingredient - WSJ) $5.5B
The number of financial restatements by U.S. companies has soared to 1,195 in 2005 compared with 270 just five years earlier. (No More 'Stealth Restating' - WSJ) 1195
Microsoft boosted its sales 38% a year from 1991 to 1996, and 23% a year from 1996 to 2001. In Microsoft's year ended June 30, its sales increased just 11%. (Sales Growth - WSJ) 38%

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