Most of us either watched or are at least aware of Donald Trump's now famous TV show "The Apprentice." Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the now infamous phrase, "You're fired," uttered by Trump every week. The show was a huge success, generating a generous paycheck for Trump cementing his position as one of the world's most well-known businessman in the world. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the illusion is much better than the reality. It seems as if Kwame might have actually been the lucky one. After all, he didn't do that badly and ultimately received many job offers after the show was over. Who would have thought hearing the phrase "You're fired" could actually be good for your career, perhaps even better then hearing the words "You're hired?" No, I am not a crazy person who thinks it is better to sit home and watch TIVO than work in a high-paying position. I just know what most of America should know when feeling such envy for the new executive and taking business tips from Mr. Trump every week. What do I know that most don't? Get this?Bill (the winner) could actually be out of a job very soon and the Donald himself could be hearing the words "You're fired."
How could this be? How could Donald Trump, one of the most well-known and successful businessmen, be fired? Well it seems that while Mr. Trump has been living a rich lifestyle (and receiving compensation of $1.2 million a year), we all got a peak on his TV show that he has been doing it at the expense of shareholders. These are the same shareholders who have seen his stock report negative EPS almost every year. You see while Mr. Trump has been living it up, making sure to become even more well-known than he already is, and giving us all tips on how to become successful ourselves, the company he is supposed to be running has a shaky cash position. In fact, his business isn't even turning a profit. Not quite the performance that one should really want to follow.
Think it can't be? Well here are the details from the New York Times on May 7th. Trump's company (Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts) has a debt payment that is due at the end of the month; the payment is a whopping 73.1 million dollars. Unfortunately, while the casinos have enough cash to cover the expense, it can't use it. This is because regulations require the company to have a certain amount of cash on hand in order to cover gambling winnings, tax payments and payroll that a casino has to make. Without that cash the company must dip into it's free cash flow that averages 12 million a month, down from 18 million due to more competition in Atlantic City. This cash flow and cash on hand would leave the company with between 65 to 77 million to pay the debt. If they were to meet the payment somehow it would also mean that the company would have almost no cash flow to use to compete with other casinos in the area, not to mention that the company still has to make a debt payment in the fall. Without any ability to make new investments necessary to compete, and with analysts calling for the company to restructure, it sure does seem like a bad situation for the Donald.For his part, according to the Times, Trump has agreed to give up the executive position and control of the company in exchange for someone, most likely an investment bank, to bail the company out. Essentially that means Trump could be hearing the very words that were so feared by his apprentices. Now that is a scene worthy of my primetime viewing hours.
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