Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Investing Insights:Twitter,Google and Sony

Twitter as a business is absolutely sensational,said Larry Haverty,portfolio manager at GAMCO Investors.The growth of the global ad revenues are divided by the big three:Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn.At close to a 40 billion valuation,I can't make Twitter grow fast enough to justify the price.You've created an artificial shortage.This is a hoarding apple,not an investing apple.
There's speculation going on.People are just buying it.It's going to make a lot of money,but with a 40 multiple on it,five years from now I get a stock valuation where it is right now.God forbid something happens to the business like to an AOL and previous speculative companies.Once I see how the numbers look,seeing how the people behave at the conference call,I'll be able to judge it better.I just can't do that right now.*
I would still be a buyer of Google.Right now it's a technological conglomerate.Basically it eats on ad dollars.It's returning 5%.I think Google glass will be a phenomenal success.*
Macau in the next five years is gonna double.*
With Sony,one thing I like is,they're finally figuring out how to make money in the music business.Profits are gonna start going up as these services allow them to start monetising.
The real call option on Sony is the electronics business.Ultra HD TV is gonna be all over the Consumer Electronics Show.Sony is gonna have a seat at the table.Three to five,you have the entertainment business and a turn in the electronics business with PlayStation 4,somebody's gonna make a fair amount of money with Sony.*
In the next few weeks,Liberty Media will buy Time Warner Cable.*
Sony Group(SNY),Twitter(TWTR),Google(GOOG),Time Warner Cable(TWC),Liberty Media Corporation(LMCA)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Antarctic Rescue On Hold;Light Bulb Ban;Prince Harry Returns

So far,all attempts to rescue the 57 people aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy stranded in Commonwealth Bay,Antarctica have failed.Two ice hardened ships from China and Australia have had to turn back to open water,unable to penetrate the very thick ice;nor can aircraft reach them in the blizzard conditions.*
Many of the passengers are citizens who paid to participate in the research on climate and marine life.They were warned of the unpredicitibility of Antarctica when they signed on.The ship has two weeks of fresh food,then several more weeks of dehydrated food.There are 50 days of fuel left.
A lot of the passengers are Australian.*
Morale on the ship is said to be pretty high.It's hard to imagine that people are not having at least private anxiety about their plight,however.If nothing else,obligations back home must be weighing on them at some level.This blog would certainly be concerned.*
On January 1,Americans must switch from their popular and cheap 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs as production and importation of these old style bulbs become prohibited by law.The 100 and 75 watt bulbs were already phased out.Stores will still be able to sell remaining stocks of the old bulbs.A survey by light bulb maker Osram Sylvania shows that 60% of Americans are unaware the ban takes effect in 2014.
Many Americans do not like the substitute compact fluorescent,or CFL bulbs,saying they give off harsh light.Other substitutes are costly light emitting diodes,or LEDs,and halogen incandescents.Americans will have no choice now but to pay a lot more up front for light bulbs.The new bulbs last much longer and are a lot more efficient,however,and long term will save up to 13 billion a year in electricity costs.
The restrictions were signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act,or EISA.*
A bearded Prince Harry of Great Britain and his team of 12 wounded war veterans achieved the goal of their expedition and reached the South Pole on 13 December.They spent a few days there before flying out of Novo Air Base,Antarctica in order to recover in Capetown,South Africa before returning to Britain by Christmas.The team of warriors,including Prince Harry himself who pulled several tours in the Afghan War,raised 160,000 dollars for the charity Walking With The Wounded,which aids wounded veterans and their families.
Prince Harry and his team encountered blizzard conditions in Antarctica and did not stay at the South Pole as long as originally planned in order to avoid even more harsh weather that would have stranded them.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Diddy - Dirty Money - Coming Home ft. Skylar Grey

The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb (1966)

Antarctic Expeditions Face Perils;Prince Harry Nears Goal

Two prominent Antarctic expeditions have had to face unexpectedly harsh conditions in the southernmost continent lately.A Russian research vessel carrying 22 crew and 35 passengers has been stuck in sea ice of Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay since Christmas Eve.Strong winds packed ice around the ship,preventing it from making away,said co-leader Professor Chris Turney of the expedition Spirit of Mawson.Some of the passengers are citizens who paid to take part of the expedition,which is marking the centenary of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's famous expedition in 1913.All aboard are said to be in good condition.They had earlier viewed Mawson's well-preserved hut and artifacts on the land.
The centenary expedition has been studying climate,birds,oceans,geology and marine life.For most of December,good conditions facilitated quality research on Commonwealth Bay and its islands.The research ship,the Akademik Shokalskiy of Vladivostok,Russia,is in regular contact with some ice-hardened vessels coming to the rescue.At least one or two of them should reach the stranded explorers today,Friday.
Meanwhile,Prince Harry of Great Britain is nearing the end of his own 200 mile trek across the frigid continent Antarctica.The expedition,now 37 miles from its goal,is sponsored by veterans charity Walking With The Wounded and Virgin Money.It is intended to raise money for wounded war veterans and their families.Prince Harry is himself a combat veteran of the Afghan War.
Prince Harry,accompanied by actors Alexander Skarsgard and Dominic West,had trained in an ice chamber for the expedition,learning how to prevent frostbite and other medical problems.They have encountered unprecedented terrain on the plateau and temperatures of 31 below zero Fahrenheit.The hazardous conditions forced them to abandon the three team race format and form a joint expedition instead.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

American Companies To Watch

For Boeing,it's been straight line ever since the Ethiopian Airlines fire,when it went from 105 to 101.That had nothing to do with the Dreamliner-a remarkable performer,said CNBC analyst Jim Cramer.*
The Greek car sales and registration came out the other night.They were very strong.Keep track of the Mexican market.That's where all the autos will go.Keep an eye on Mexico.*
I'm all in Exxon.I just like that they're bullish about themselves.They're bullish about themselves-that's all I'm saying.*
I would still buy American Airlines agressively here.I just think this group has more legs,and I think American Airlines is terrific.*
Look at these American companies.Look at Boeing.People have to recognise,when Home Depot CEO Frank Blake comes on and says that business is good,you should buy the stock.Look at Carnival Cruise.That stock's taking on the world.People love Twitter.We can denigrate that,we can say people are foolish,but people are making money.How foolish can those people be?asked the popular CNBC host Jim Cramer,who was so poor at one time that he slept in his car.*
American Airlines(AAL),Boeing(BA),Exxon Mobil(XOM),Home Depot(HD),Twitter(TWTR),Carnival Cruise Lines(CCL)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Australian Bank Shares Strong,Hyundai Slims Down

The major Australian banks Commonwealth Bank of Australia,National Australia Bank and Westpac rose 0.8% in Monday trading,shrugging off news that the four biggest banks will be required to set aside a further 1% of equity capital.The ASX 200 index climbed 0.51%.*
Other Asian markets also rose Monday,cheered by the US beating its GDP forecast last week,and the IMF announcing Sunday it would be raising its outlook for US growth on these strong results and the budget deal recently signed in Washington.The Shanghai Composite was up 0.24%,while the Hang Seng climbed 0.44%.Japanese markets were closed for the Emperor's Birthday holiday.*
South Korea's Hyundai Group is selling its three financial units to raise cash to reduce debt,as well as concentrate on its shipping,logistics and elevator machinery businesses.The sale is expected to bring in 3.1 billion dollars.*
Apple Computer has reached a deal with China Mobile allowing it to sell the iPhone in China as of next month.The move is expected to present Samsung with major competition in the vast Chinese market.*
In golf,Europe came swiftly from behind to win The Royal Trophy match play tournament at the Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou,China by one point.It was Europe's fifth win out of seven.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Flu Season 2013-14 Update

During week 49,December 1-7,2013,influenza activity continued to increase in the United States,the CDC reported.Of 6219 specimens tested,13.3% were influenza positive.The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was below the epidemic threshold.*
A cumulative rate of 2.0 lab-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalisations per 100,000 people was reported.The proportion of outpatient visits was 2.1%,above the national baseline of 2.0.Influenza A accounted for 94.0% of cases;Influenza B for 6.0%.*
The gulf states of Alabama,Mississippi and Texas had a high level of influenza activity;Lousiana was moderate.The rest of the country had minimal to low activity.*
As flu season peaks in the winter months,it is still advisable to be vaccinated.It takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.It is on average 56% effective at totally preventing flu,but is also believed to lessen the severity of cases that are contracted.
Last year,164 children died of influenza in the US.About 24,000 adults are estimated to die of the disease each year,90% of them age 65 or older.
The vaccine is available everywhere from pharmacies to walk-in clinics and doctor's offices.The young,the old,and those with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to influenza.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MasterCard's Move;Cisco's Issue;Home Depot

MasterCard has announced a ten for one stock split;an 83% dividend increase;and a 3.5 billion dollar stock buyback.Retail investors don't want to buy just one share of MasterCard for 200.00,CNBC analyst Jim Cramer pointed out.It's well-run.These guys are not lightweights.*
Citigroup has issued a buy recommendation on Alcatel-Lucent,and a sell on Cisco Systems.I think people are starting to recognise there is a management problem at Cisco.The analysts are giving up.It was the biggest darling;now it's a hated stock.CEO John Chambers isn't going anywhere,however.He and Cisco are revered in the Silicon Valley.*
Home Depot is a great company and CEO Frank Blake is a fabulous operator.I love the stores.Frank Blake is the great hard goods merchant of our day.You bet against Home Depot,I think you're making a big mistake.That stock should not be down,said CNBC's popular author and host Jim Cramer,who has a law degree and roots for the Philadelphia Eagles.*
Alcatel-Lucent(ALU),Cisco Systems(CSCO),MasterCard(MC),Home Depot(HD)

Monday, December 16, 2013

China Manufacturing Slows;Fatal Clash in Xinjiang Province

Preliminary results of a new survey of Chinese factories show a slowdown is occurring.The HSBC/Markit Economics China Flash PMI for November came in at 50.5,a three month low,missing the Bloomberg estimate of 50.9 and declining from November's final number of 50.8.Over 50.0 signifies growth in the manufacturing sector.The report revealed weakness in output gains and employment,although new orders were up.
Asian shares were down almost across the board on the news,along with fears of a Federal Reserve cutback in asset purchases,with the Nikkei dropping 1.62% in Monday trading and the Shanghai Composite off 1.60%.*
A late Sunday clash in a village near Kashgar in Northwest China's Xinjiang Province left 16 dead,according to official news agency Tianshan. Muslim Uighur militants reportedly attacked police with explosive devices and knives,killing 14 officers.Two police also died.The area has a history of unrest aimed at Han Chinese immigration into the ethnic Turkic region.*
Sergio Garcia took his fourth Asian Tour career victory Sunday at the Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok.It was the Spaniard's first and only win of the now-concluded 2013 season.He hadn't won since last December at the Johor Open in Malaysia.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden was second on the leader board,and Frenchman Alexander Levy finished third.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hedge Fund Takes GM Stake

Hegde fund Hayman Capital Management has taken a stake in General Motors.You're starting to see them take market share back,said Hayman founder and managing partner Kyle Bass.With their new 2014-15 product line,they're gonna increase dividends and buy back stock.Given how cheap the stock is,we think it should be trading in line with Ford.When you look at the enterprise value,it's about 47 billion dolars.
A 100 basis point move takes eight points away from their pension liability.We think that could actually go down to 17 billion dollars.We just think from a catalyst-driven timing perspective,now is the time to invest in GM.
The new GM products will take North American sales back.You have them really working on all cylinders.Motor Trend gives it the New Product of the Year last year.We think it's incredibly cheap and it's gonna move much higher next year,Mr.Bass noted.*
The federal government has announced it has exited its stake in GM,as Mr.Bass predicted it would by the end of the year.The taxpayer lost 10 billion dollars on the bailout of the automaker.*
GM shares closed at 40.90 in Monday trading,up 1.82%.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Japan's Recovery Slows;Congress Party Setback

We have enacted industrial competitiveness,said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.We have decided to reduce the corporate tax by 2.4%.There is no end to Abenomics.*
At the same time,in April 2014 Japan's consumer tax will rise from 5% to 8%.*
Japan's GDP growth was just 1.1% annualised in Q3,revised down from 1.9%.The two main factors were flat business spending and a smaller contribution from inventories,according to the Cabinet Office.*
The wealth effect that Japan expected is not coming through in either Main Street or real property prices,said Andrew Economos,strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.You need productivity gains and sales.The sales tax basically squelches consumption.They are basically on the right track,but they need to stop making wrong decisions,Mr.Economos observed.*
India's Nifty Fifty index was up in early Monday trading on the opposition BJP's winning elections in four states,as well as becoming the single largest party in Delhi and humiliating the ruling Congress Party.Congress' Vice President Rahul Gandhi,heir of the Gandhi political dynasty,is seen by some as an example of failed leadership and low confidence even as the BJP's leader,Chief Minister of Gujarat state Narendra Modi scored a big win in the elections.National elections will occur within five months.
We will introspect seriously and take all necessary actions to rectify our mistakes and the way we function,said Congress' President Sonia Gandhi,who is Rahul's mother.*
Through these elections,the people have delivered a message,Rahul Gandhi said.That message has been taken by me and our party,not just with our minds,but in our hearts.The Congress party has the ability to transform itself,to stand up to the expectations of this country,and the Congress Party is going to do that,the presumptive prime ministerial candidate promised.*
The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 0.71% Monday morning on a strong US jobs report and Chinese data.*
In golf,Thailand's Pornanung Phatlum won the Ladies European Tour's Omega Dubai Ladies Masters on Sunday in the UAE.It was her second career victory on the LET.American Stacy Lewis was second,and Spain's Carlota Ciganda third.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Paul Simon: Call me Al, concert zimbabwe / South Africa

Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug

Commentary:Amazon Drones No Time Soon

Those who think they will see urban delivery drones within a few years will have to think again.The drones are being tested,said Craig Berman,Vice President of Global Communications at Amazon.They're still years away.They can carry objects up to five pounds and deliver them in thirty minutes,but there's a lot of work that needs to be done.
It's not science fiction.We see it as something that's viable,but years down the road.With a ten mile radius,they can travel from a fulfillment center to a customer and back.They are robotic aircraft.We would just input GPS coordinates into autonomous vehicles.
We're excited about it.Over 80% of our items weigh less than five pounds.There's gonna be a lot of experimentation.I don't want to get too far ahead.It's really early in the process.*
For instance,they don't have a see and avoidance system yet.It's not possible in five years.We're interested in this from a known location to a known location,delivering vaccines on a lifesaving basis,said Johnathan Downey,CEO of Airware.We're focused on commercial applications such as agriculture and land management.
They are better suited to remote parts of Africa than dense,built-up environments such as US cities.Whether it's books and whether it's Amazon I'm sceptical-certainly about its being in the next three or four years,the Airware chief confided.
There's no platform to build on top of.Sensors and low level electronics are being invented for a common platform for the various applications.There are no regulations yet,either.*
Commercial drones are currently illegal.The FAA says it will carefully develop regulations for remotely piloted drones within several years,not even mentioning autonomous ones.*
It's a powerful concept,but is at the intersection of the two hardest challenges in the drone world today:reliable sense and avoid technology and regulatory approval for autnomous flights over built-up areas,observed Chris Anderson,3D Robotics CEO.*
In sum,Amazon's announcement was a bit premature from both a legal and technical point of view.A ten year time frame for an urban drone seems more reasonable than five years,given that the concept is still in its infancy and the government isn't in a hurry.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wal-Mart Stores:Focus and Future

Wal-Mart Stores has named Doug McMillon the next CEO of the world's largest retailer,replacing the retiring Mike Duke in January.Arkansas native McMillon,47,had worked his way up from unloading trucks at a warehouse to being head of Wal-Mart's international division as President and CEO of Wal-Mart International.
Mr.McMillon's position is a CEO training program,said analyst David Schisk of Stifel Nicolaus.He's had a taste of different opportunities and challenges.This appointment is very much expected.The CEO of Wal-Mart is essentially a major political job,on top of everything else.*
Wal-Mart needs to have a focus on being the best to their core customer.They don't have to take over the planet for growth's sake.It's a massive company.What we're seeing Wal-Mart and the entire industry focusing on is omnichannel,which is using your mobile phone to help you shop more efficiently.*
I think Wal-Mart is doing a better job of cooperating internationally,rather than competing,adds David Kelly of JP Morgan Asset Management.The working age population is declining in most of the developed world.You've got to be in the emerging markets,and in emerging markets beyond China-in Vietnam and Indonesia.*
Wal-Mart has done just that by acquiring a controlling stake in South African retailer Massmart.Massmart is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.It has about 290 stores in 14 countries,most of them in South Africa.It also manages 8 wholesale and retail chains,including Game;Dion;Makro;Shield;and CCW.
Founded in 1990,Massmart is Africa's third-largest distributor of consumer goods;the leading retailer of general merchandise,liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies;and the leading wholesaler of basic foods.
South Africa is a fast-growing market,but troubled by a high crime rate and unemployment.*
Wal-Mart Stores Inc(WMT),Massmart Holdings Ltd(MSM:SJ)

Monday, December 2, 2013

China Manufacturing Grows;McIlroy Thwarts Scott

Both government and private purchasing manager surveys show Chinese manufacturers did somewhat better than expected in November.The official PMI reached 51.4,versus a median estimate of 51.1.A number above 50 signifies growth in the sector.
The private HSBC/Markit Economics PMI came in at 50.8,which is more than all thirteen analysts surveyed predicted.
This positive result was tempered by the fact that large companies drove the uptick;small ones didn't do so well.The HSBC survey also revealed a contraction in employment and slower restocking.A Bloomberg News survey of economists in November showed that most of them felt China's growth would slow to 7.5% in 2014,which meets the governments's goal,but would be down from 7.6% this year.*
China announced that it would allow the restart of initial public offerings.This drove the Shanghai Composite Index down,for fear the that the IPOs would siphon funds from the rest of the market.Asian stocks were mixed overall in early Monday trading,with the Nikkei down 0.4%,while the Hang Seng rose 0.44%.*
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy prevented Australian Adam Scott from sweeping all three Australian majors on Sunday as he took the Emirates Australian Open with his eighteen under par 66.It was the former World Number One's only win of the 2013 season;he was ranked sixth this year behind leader Tiger Woods.Scott had won the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Masters the past few weeks;but a lackluster fourth round opened the door to McIlroy,whose game has been sharpening recently,after a mediocre season in which he had scored six top ten finishes,but no victories.*
I wanted to get a win by the end of the season,McIlroy said,but more satisfying was to take one the best golfers in the world down the stretch and come out on top.I've been building confidence for a few weeks now.I worked hard.I put the hours of practice in,and I feel that I've really found something.*
Scott had become the first Australian to ever win the victor's green jacket at the US Masters in April,making him a national hero.*