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Quote of the Day

 

“In these days there is a tendency to specialize so closely, it is well for us to be reminded that the possibilities of being at once broad and deep did not pass with Leonardo da Vinci or even Benjamin Franklin. Men of our profession – we teachers – are bound to be impressed with the tendency of youths of strikingly capable minds to become interested in one small corner of science and uninterested in the rest of the world…it is unfortunate when a brilliant and creative mind insists upon living in a modern monastic cell.”

 

-Vannevar Bush, in a speech to MIT graduates.

 

January 26th – This Day in Stock Market History

 

January 26th, 1989 – AT&T reports its first loss in 103 years after the company writes down the value on its obsolete equipment. 

NYT_ATT_first_loss
New York Times Coverage of AT&T reporting first corporate loss in history.

The company reported a 4th quarter loss of $3.34 billion, due to a one time $6.7 billion charge. Although technically the company’s first loss, the continuing operations of the business were very strong. AT&T would do more than $35 billion in revenue in 1988, and without the bookkeeping charge, would have reported a profit of 2.27 billion, or $2.11 per share. At the time AT&T’s shares were trading at 30 7/8 (stocks were still reported in fractions at that time), giving AT&T a P/E ratio of only 14.6.

Since this day in 1989, one share of AT&T (That cost just under $31), has paid $147.11 in dividends and is up about 1266% factoring in splits and reinvested dividends. Though if you never reinvested the dividend, your AT&T investment would be up only a little less than 300%.



Best January 26th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1910 – Up 2.24%, 1.49 points.

 

Worst January 26th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1938 – Down 3.97%, 5.10 points.

 

 

Read of the Day

The New York Times has a great article with a timeline of many of AT&T’s historical events. In its hayday, AT&T was the leading research company in the world. The company was given a monopoly in its telephone operations by the U.S. government in exchange for the research it did. For decades, Bell Labs employed the best scientists in the world. Bells Labs would create technology that would make coast to coast phone calls possible, invent the first transistor, introduce the world to car phones, video calling, and so much more.

New York Times: AT&T – The History of Inventions and Breakups

 

 

For those interested in the history of Bell Labs, one of my favorite books is The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

 

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