WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Sept.22

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

FedEx, which carried an average of 6.1 million packages and 70,000 trucking shipments a day in the second quarter, and rival UPS are widely regarded as broad economic indicators. FedEx believes that by the end of its fiscal year on May 31, US GDP would post a 3.1% improvement from the year earlier. (FedEx Net Soars; Strong Global Economy Is Forecast - WSJ)

With over $36.6 billion in revenue, UPS handled 3.75 billion packages and documents in 2005. Its daily delivery volume is about  14.8 million packages and documents, serving 7.9 million customers daily (1.8 million pick-up, 6.1 million delivery). UPS.com averages 10 million daily on-line tracking requests.

Two European drug deals, valued at a total of more than €15 billion (or $19 billion), are in the making. German drug maker Merck KGaA agreed to buy Swiss biotechcompany Serono SA for €10.6 billion. Danish drug maker Nycomed to buy Germany's Altana AG for €4.5 billion.  

The top 10 global pharmaceutical companies account for over $300 billion dollars in annual sales and sport a hefty $1.2 trillion market capitalization. Pfizer tops the list with over $50 billions in revenue and little over $200 billion market cap. (Two Deals for Europe's Drug Makers - WSJ)

Related: Total global pharmaceutical sales grew 7% in 2005 to $602 billion, according to IMS.

$300B
Online gambling is a $12 billion-a-year industry globally, and growing, according to Christiansen Capital Advisors. Legal status in the U.S.
is clouding the prospects for the industry world-wide. (Another Gamble for Online Betting - WSJ)
$12B
Wal-Mart promises to cut the price of some of its generic drugs to $4 for a 30-day supply. For now, the price cuts will apply to fewer than 300 formulations of 150 drugs, a fraction of the roughly 2,000 generic drugs sold in most pharmacies.

This will not have a huge impact on overall healthcare costs as pharmaceuticals account for just 15% of   U.S. spending on health care and generics are a fraction of all pharmaceutical revenues. (Wal-Mart Cuts Prices for Many Generic Drugs to $4 - WSJ)

$4
British billionaire Sir Richard Branson announced at the second annual Clinton Global Initiative, that he plans to invest $3 billion in technologies to help combat global warming. His companies have projected annual revenue of $14.6 billion this year. 

The pledge boosted the total value of commitments made at the three-day Clinton Global Initiative event to $5.7 billion -- with a day and a half to go -- up from $2.5 billion at all of last year's gathering. A total of 114 individual commitments were made as of noon yesterday. (Branson's Big Green Investment - WSJ)

$3B
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 6.40% in the week ended 9/21 from 6.43% a week ago. A year ago, the rate stood at 5.80%. (Mortgage Rates Fell During the Past Week - WSJ) 6.4%

The 57% first day gain of Riverbed IPO yesterday was the second-best debut this year, after the 100% jump in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in its January IPO, according to deal tracker Thomson Financial. (IPO of Riverbed Posts 57% Surge For Year's Second-Best Debut - WSJ)

57%

Money-market mutual-fund assets decreased by $5.11 billion to $2.225 trillion in the week ended Wednesday, down from $2.230 trillion, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Assets of the 889 retail-class shares increased by $2.41 billion to $925.23 billion while the assets of the 1,136 institutional-class shares decreased by $7.51 billion to $1.300 trillion. (Money-Fund Assets Fell in Week - WSJ)

$2.23T

WSJ By The Numbers - Metrics 2.0

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