WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Nov.02

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

Amid Videogame Arms Race, Nintendo Slows Things Down: Twenty years after Nintendo commanded the videogame hardware business, the company lags in third place behind more powerful Sony and Microsoft in the $17 billion console videogame industry. Japan generated about $4.3 billion in 2005, but in the last three years, the number of videogame players sold there has declined by more than 8%. In the U.S., the share of households with game consoles hasn't budged past 36% for the past decade. 

With CEO Pay, Size Does Matter: An old rule of thumb holds that for every 10% increase in a company's size, the CEO's pay goes up 3%. And how much did U.S. companies grow in the past 25 years as CEO pay rose sixfold? Measured by stock-market capitalization, the value of all their shares, the companies grew sixfold. sixfold

Auto Sales Rise But More Bumps May Lie Ahead: A 6.1% rise in U.S. auto sales rose 6.1% in October, though the gain was magnified by an unusually weak October in 2005. Last month, sales of cars and light trucks increased to 1,217,412, from 1,147,063 in October 2005. According to Autodata Corp., the sales total translated into an annual selling rate of 16.2 million cars, which is lower than the rate in eight of the past 12 months.

Oct. Auto Sales

China Council Approves Plans To Spin Off Its Postal System: China Post carried 7.35 billion letters and 95.3 million parcels in 2005, earning revenue of 57.72 billion yuan, or $7.3 billion, an 8.1% increase over the previous year. China Post Group will have registered capital of about $10 billion at current exchange rates. The postal-savings bureau's 1.3 trillion yuan in deposits would make it China's fifth-largest bank.

China Post

PCs Get Cheaper, For Now: Current Analysis estimates that, thanks in part to Microsoft's Vista delay, 70% of notebook PCs sold this holiday season will be priced at less than $1,000. That compares with just 38% of notebook PCs at less than $1,000 in 2004. Windows Vista operating system delay until next January struck a blow to HP, Dell, gateway and the rest of the $200 billion U.S. PC industry.

PC Biz

CVS, Caremark Unite to Create Drug-Sale Giant: The combined CVS/Caremark ompany would have $75 billion in annual revenue, far higher than any competitor in drug retailing or the business of administering prescription health-insurance benefits for employers. According to IMS Health, about $36.9 billion of prescription drugs were bought through the mail in 2005, a 7% increase from 2004. For drugstore chains, which had a bigger share of the market at $88.2 billion in sales, the sales increase was 5%.

CVS + Caremark
Smartphones Aim at New Markets: World-wide, smartphone shipments are expected to increase 66% to 81 million units in 2006, according to Gartner. The research firm forecasts that smartphone shipments will account for 12% of total wireless-device shipments in 2007, up from 8% this year. 81M

Why Custody Banks Now Have a Global Glow: The biggest custodial bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, held $12.9 trillion in assets under custody for clients around the world as of Sept. 30, up 15% since the beginning of the year. The world's four biggest asset-servicing banks based on assets under custody -- J.P. Morgan, Bank of New York, State Street and Citigroup -- held a combined $46.1 trillion in world-wide assets under custody as of Sept. 30. The remaining six U.S. and overseas banks in the top 10 hold less than half that amount, according to a ranking of 39 custody banks world-wide by the Web site

Top 4 Custody Banks
Why Custody Banks Now Have a Global Glow: Some 20% of all institutional investments made so far this year have gone into so-called alternative investments like derivatives, private equity and real estate, up from 12% in 2005, according to a recent presentation by J.P. Morgan. TowerGroup estimates the total face value of derivatives globally rose to $270 trillion by the end of last year from $98 trillion in 2000.  $270T
Global Derivatives Biz
Worries Mount Over Excessive CAT Scans: There's been an explosion in CT scanning in recent years. Scans increased by nearly 50% between 2000 and 2003, when they hit 57 million.  57M
CAT Scans

WSJ By The Numbers - Metrics 2.0

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