SUPPLY CHAIN

Gap Stocks Rise on Buyout Rumors

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Gap Inc. shares rose today, lifted by an analyst’s report speculating that the specialty retailer may be taken private.

“With Gap having underperformed in a major way over the past 14 months, the risk-reward ratio now strikes us as favorable,” A.G. Edwards & Son wrote in a client note.

Shares of the Gap rose 19 cents to $21.54 on the New York Stock Exchange, after rising as high as high as $22.19 earlier in the session.

Gap’s stock price has fallen 15% since last June, while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index has gained 7% over the same period. A.G. Edwards wrote. But Gap’s stock has gained ground over the past two days, driven by market rumors that the retailer may be the subject of a leveraged or management buy-out.

Other analysts, however, questioned the viability of the speculation. They noted that the size of a potential buyout—the total transaction price was estimated at $28 billion—would be too high for a private equity-sponsored acquisition.

Goldman Sachs issued a note today downplaying the takeover rumors, calling a leveraged or management-led buyout of Gap “unlikely.” Gap’s management has worked hard to attain investment-grade ratings on its debt and is focused on launching its new clothing brand, Forthe & Towne, in two weeks, Goldman noted.

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FINANCE

Self-Checkout Transactions to Surpass $450 Billion by 2008

BY CSA STAFF

Franklin, Tenn., Anew study conducted by IHL Consulting Group found that self-checkout transactions for 2005 will be $161 billion. The study predicts the value of the transactions will be more than $450 billion by 2008. Analysts attribute the increase in transaction sales to the growing numbers of self-checkout systems in supermarkets, supercenters and home improvement centers.

The study found that 94% of respondents already had tried self-checkout. Men are 60% more likely than women to use self-checkout on nearly every trip to the store. According to the study, the biggest complaint from consumers about self-checkout is the need for employee assistance. Respondents said they needed help one out of every three times with self-checkout.

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News

Read All About It: Wireless Security

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Wireless security is an all-or-nothing proposition: If one part of the system is insecure, the whole system is insecure. In the article: “Is Your Data Safe?” Robert Danahy of Zebra Technologies explores some of the keys to network security. To read the article, click on the “Guest Commentaries” tab at the top of the page.

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