Monday, May 28, 2012

Xerox the Consistently Underrated

Despite the impression its low share price may convey,Xerox is both a services and a technology company.The company has been using data to broaden the solution set that we have,said CEO Ursula Burns.We see uptick in the developing economies;while in America,we started to see growth in large enterprises.Europe is totally uneven.We're still profitable there.Uncertainty is one of the worst things you can have for business,and we certainly have that in Europe right now.The prospects for growth in Europe are high for our services business.They will need to engage.They can't be in austerity forever.Most of our contracts are written;83% of our business is an annuity business,so I think we're gonna be O.K.As those contracts come to fruition,we will be able to progress to a strong margin base.Initial public offerings are as much media events as they are real events.Facebook will settle in and become a normal trading company.They will have to get women and diversity on the board,or it will hurt them,Ms.Burns observed. Xerox is trading at well below book value,and paid a 2.4% dividend as of the close of trade on Friday. Xerox(XRX)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Asia This Day:Diamond Jeweler Expands

China's industrial earnings fell 2.2% year over year in April,a survey across more than 40 industries indicates.The cause is an export slump on account of the Greek crisis and weakened global demand.For 2012,the profit growth is estimated to reach 10-20%,following a 25.4% increse in 2011.China's inflation is at 3.4%,which is below the government target.Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammad said that if just Greece alone leaves the euro currency,it will not affect Asia that much.It will still be possible to confine the effect to Europe,instead of the rest of the world,Dr.Mahatir believes.On Thursday,the World Economic Forum Asia opens in Bangkok,Thailand.Leaders attending will discuss the region's economic health and how to sustain its growth.Graff Diamonds Corporation,Ltd. is having a one billion dollar initial public offering in Hong Kong.In addition,the London-based jeweler plans to open 11 new stores in Asia,with 8 of them being in China.They already have 18 direct-owned stores worldwide,catering to the super rich.Only 20 customers generate nearly half their revenue.Most Asian markets have opened for trading today,Monday,but South Korea's is closed for Buddha's birthday.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.26% in early trading.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Italian Research:Another Benefit of Aspirin

Another benefit of humble aspirin has been suggested by an Italian study at the University of Perugia.Based on its results,the researchers believe aspirin can be considered an alternative to extended treatment with anticoagulant drugs,or blood thinners,such as Warfarin,for secondary prevention of blood clots.Taking aspirin resulted in around 40% less of a chance of developing repeat blood clots in the veins.Warfarin is often prescribed for a period of several months after a blood clot event,but is eventually stopped because of the risk of major bleeding that it poses.In the new study,6.6% per year of the patients on aspirin had a repeat blood clot;while 11.2% per year of those taking a placebo had one.Aspirin reduced clot risk without increasing the risk of major bleeding,the study found.Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs can travel up to the lungs with fatal consequences,a condition known as VTE,or venous thromboembolism.Another,larger study of aspirin prevention of blood clots is already underway.Results of the two studies will be combined to help assess the merits of aspirin as a therapy for VTE.The University of Perugia study was led by Cecilia Becattini,MD,PhD,and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Aspirin is a known preventer of heart attacks and strokes,and possibly colon cancer as well.Aspirin maker Bayer AG provides funding for such research.Bayer AG ADS(BAYRY)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Facebook and Investing in Social Media

Global X Funds will wait a few more days for a price that is much more stable to invest in Facebook shares.Co-founder and CEO Bruno del Ama,CFA,feels the people who are there for the longer term will give the stock a much more sensible price.We love the social media space,he says.What are the big secular trends that are taking hold?Social media is one of them.I think Facebook absolutely will be able to monetize.They really created new forms of advertising.They already have 900 million users and growing.Once they focus on monetizing,they surely will find ways to make money,Mr.del Ama projected.The Global X Social Media Index is a globalized fund that contains the likes of LinkedIn,Tencent and SINA,as well as GREE,Hena and Nexon,besides the future Facebook holding.Global X is considered to be the fastest- growing ETF family.It strives to develop innovative ETFs based on global markets.Mr.del Ama has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Global X Social Media Index Fund(SOCL),Facebook(FB),LinkedIn(LNKD)

Asia This Day:Growth and a Sale

China's 2012 growth is expected to expand at the slowest pace in 13 years,a recent survey predicts.People have got to expect Chinese growth in the low 7s,said currency expert Chris Gothard of Brown Brothers Harriman.Responding to this,China's outgoing President,Wen Jiabao,called for a proactive fiscal and a prudent monetary policy,while giving more priority to maintaining growth.For its part,Thailand is recovering nicely from last year's devastating flooding around the capital,Bangkok.The nation grew 11% on the quarter,with both domestic spending and tourism gaining momentum.On the year,Thai growth was up 0.3%,beating the estimate of a -0.5% loss.Back in China,Internet titan Alibaba is buying back 20% of a stake in it held by Yahoo for 7.1 billion dollars-6.8 billion of that will be in cash.Yahoo will still own more than 50% of Alibaba with Softbank.Yahoo is considering a massive share buyback with the proceeds of the sale.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2% this morning,Monday. Yahoo(YHOO)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Health Uncle:The Red Flag Burgers

The size of unhealthy hamburgers is a red flag in itself.If it's too big to fit comfortably in your mouth,it is probably too fatty and salty to eat.These are burgers built on a dare.They are statements about freedom to some;but is the statement one that is really worth making?Even one unhealthy meal can push an individual over the heart's limit.It's an edge you don't want to fall off of,my reader friend.To stay away from heart procedures,consider having those more modest burgers and other foods. One company that specializes in health information is WebMD.It publishes a magazine for doctors' offices and a large and sophisticated website on consumer health topics. WebMD Health Corporation(WBMD)

11 Worst Burgers in America

11 Worst Burgers in America

Monday, May 14, 2012

Who Sings on the Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial

The song on this beer commercial,which is still being run,is actually a mash-up of three different layers of music.The base of it is The Cult's 1985 hit "She Sells Sanctuary."On top of that is rapper Flo Rida's remix of Avicii's track "Good Feeling."That constitutes the other two layers of music,and is called "Flo Rida-Good Feeling Remix featuring Avicii."All of this music is available separately,as well as in the mash-up form,on YouTube.Surely it is one of the more complex audio productions to ever back a TV commercial.The commercial itself includes historical allusions to the end of Prohibition and the Apollo astronauts on the moon. The mash-up is controversial.Many of The Cult's fans detest it.You don't even hear Ian Astbury's vocals on the mash-up.The only voice you hear is Flo Rida's.Generally,however,the commercial has gotten a positive response for its innovative character and catchy music,bolstering Budweiser's reputation as a good times beverage. Budweiser belongs to the Belgian-Brazilian brewery Inbev.Anheuser Busch Inbev SA(BUD).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Symantec Jobs

Symantec has openings for Software Engineers in their Sterling and Herndon,Virginia offices at various levels and types.They are responsible for analyzing,designing,debugging,and/or modifying software;or evaluating,developing,modifying,and coding software programs to support programming needs.Help individuals and enterprises assure the security,integrity and availability of their information.It's work that matters;it's what their diverse workforce does at Symantec. To apply,please submit resumes to re position and job ID#SWEVA512.To find out more about Symantec and additional positions visit Symantec(SYMC)

Friday, May 11, 2012

After Open Heart Surgery:Some Reflections at the One Year Mark

My seven-inch long scar from open heart surgery has all but disappeared a year after the event.Just a little red streak remains at the bottom two inches of the scar.The crusty effect vanished long ago.Between the scar and my belly button,the two chest drain slits are still visible,not entirely filled in.When I bend over,I can still feel the wire embedded permanently in my chest that held my split sternum together.It stings a bit.I think the way things have settled in is a tribute to the surgeon's skill. The optical migraines that manifested themselves after surgery,which are brief visual disturbances,still occur on a daily basis in the form of fireflies or meteorites.This doesn't hinder me;it's just a little reminder.There are also occasional heart palpitations,but they have been determined to be harmless. At times of exertion,my heart can pound quite hard and fast-not something I really want to happen,as it may stress the heart valve repair.If my heart starts pounding that way,I ease up immediately.One is not scot-free for the rest of one's life by any means.You're not going to just forget about it;indeed,it would be dangerous to do so.Constant informal and formal monitoring are the order of your life's day. In my particular case,there was a small amount of residual valvular leakage.This bears special attention over the years ahead.It can reduce event-free long term survival. All in all,I don't regret having the surgeon repair my heart to the best of his great ability.It surely has given me a second chance for as long as clinically possible with the disease process in question.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Working To Improve:GM Banks On New Intros

All segments of General Motors saw a sales increase in Q1 except GM Europe,where sales fell off a cliff by 19.8% in the midst of a Euro-zone recession.Overall,it was a successful quarter for the fabled carmaker,beating Wall Street expectations on both profit and revenue growth.The company has a 15.1% share of the Chinese market,but has to share that revenue with the local joint venture partners required by the Chinese authorities.The U.S. government still owns about a third of GM,which it acquired during the financial crisis in order to save the corporation and its UAW jobs. Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said we're working every day to improve the profitability.We're having great success with new introductions.We have 20 or more new launches around the world this year,and that's what's gonna drive sales.We're working hard on both the revenue and cost-cutting side of the business.We're working to do everything we can within the constraints of the European situation.We've taken a lot of action on the cost side in Europe in the past few years-not just the past few quarters,Mr.Ammann pointed out. General Motors(GM)

Job Market Clues:Where Executives Are Being Sought

The financial crisis has had a big impact on the job market.Companies are reorganizing,according to Jeanne Branthover of Boyden Global Executive Search.Many of our clients have changed what they want people to do.There are not a lot of these people around to fill the jobs of today,such as software engineers. Asia is hiring and busy,but they want local talent,and there is not a lot of it.Clients say their growth is gonna be in the emerging markets,including South Africa,so our office there is very busy also,as well as in Latin America,where there has been a 300% increase in business.U.S. business has increased by only a little as companies implement plans.In Europe,things are slowing down-particularly in London,which has selective hiring,and they are worried. Ms.Branthover is Managing Director of Boyden's New York office and Head of its Global Financial Services Practice.The company has 70 offices around the globe.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mariano Rivera Likely Devastated By Practice Injury-just who he is and what lies ahead

Mariano Rivera,42,a future baseball Hall of Fame candidate who plays for the New York Yankees,apparently sustained a terrible knee injury before a game with the Kansas City Royals in Kansas on Thursday.Preliminary findings are that Rivera tore his anterior cruciate ligament,or ACL,while practicing catching fly balls,or "shagging flies,"as it is called.The injury is much more common in women than in men,as well as in older athletes who have a lot of wear and tear in that area.In layman's terms,the ACL ties the upper leg bone to the lower.A torn ACL increases the likelihood of further knee injuries,so professional athletes choose surgical treatment unless they want to retire. ACL surgery involves reconstruction using a ligament from another part of the body.This procedure makes the patient more vulnerable to early onset of chronic degenerative joint disease,however. Rivera is a relief pitcher famous for sucessfully closing out the game for the starting pitchers on his team.He has allowed the opposing teams very few runs in the process.Rivera is a veteran of 18 seasons with the Yankees.This year,he had already saved 5 games for the Yankees,with a low earned run average of 2.16 and 8 strikeouts. Recovery from ACL surgery takes 6-9 months,so it would end Rivera's season.Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the injury is as bad as it gets.It changes things a lot for the team,reducing the depth of the bullpen,or relief pitching staff.I've never seen anyone come back from that injury before the end of the season,Girardi noted. Update:The preliminary findings were confirmed.On Friday,Mariano Rivera said I AM COMING BACK.Write it in big letters.I don't want to go out that way,he insisted.He can begin working out in five months.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Inside PepsiCo-should you buy the stock

PepsiCo Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston reflected on his firm's beating the estimates of its Q1 performance.We increased media and launched Pepsi Next,which is off to an incredibly strong start;as well as Quaker Medley oatmeal,which has chunks of fruit and nuts in it.We reaffirmed all our targets,Mr.Johnston pointed out.We're looking to build toward consistent long term high single digit growth.We put 5.5% pricing in for the year.We wanted to put it in immediately so we wouldn't have to raise prices again during the rest of the year,Hugh Johnston explained.PepsiCo analysts give the company 12 buy ratings,along with 8 holds and 1 sell.Their average price target for the food and beverage stock is 68.85.PepsiCo has just been chosen as exclusive beverage supplier to DineEquity restaurants,including all U.S. Applebee's and IHOP stores.Bloomberg's dividend watchers are predicting another increase in the company's payout to shareholders in the near future.It is a holding of mutual fund company Yacktman Asset Management. PepsiCo(PEP),DineEquity Inc.(DIN)