Suing the Donald
Barbara Corcoran's life has taken another turn since January 2003 when we wrote about her journey from waiting tables in New Jersey to building a $70 million real estate brokerage in New York City. Last summer, she stepped down as chairman of the Corcoran Group (which she sold in 2001) to start another company, Barbara Corcoran Inc. Her new venture creates video segments--many of them starring Corcoran--on topics such as real estate, politics, and workplace issues for media outlets including Fox News and Good Morning America. But there's still one loose end to tie up at her old company. In December, Corcoran and two of her former brokers filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for nearly $1.3 million in commissions for finding him real estate investors in 1994. Corcoran claims she allowed Trump to postpone part of the payment because he was in financial trouble, and that when he recently sold a substantial interest in the development, it triggered his obligation to pay up. (Trump's lawyers dispute that the rest of the commission is now due.) "Now that he's got change in his pockets again, we're going to shake that out--jingle, jingle," says Corcoran.
Going Public, No Sweat
Under Armour recently had the biggest initial public offering by an American company in five years. In December 2003, founder Kevin Plank told Inc. readers how, with credit cards and about $20,000 in the bank, he built a fast-growing apparel company whose synthetic, moisture-wicking clothing had been quickly adopted by pro athletes. Last November, Plank took the Baltimore-based company public, wowing Wall Street when its shares--priced at $13 each by the underwriters--opened at $31. (After a day of heavy trading, they closed at $25.) Plank, 33, saw his personal net worth grow to some $789 million (on paper anyway). "We don't see many stocks with a 95% pop on their opening day," says Melanie Hase, an analyst with Renaissance Capital in Greenwich, Conn. At the end of December, the stock was trading at about $38 a share, and the company had a market capitalization of $1.78 billion.