Seeking Alpha
  • Whole Food Markets: Going Organic
    WFM Today, 3:53 AM Palathingal Frank Comment!

    Summary

    • WFM is at valuations that reflect a growing company with some near term challenges.
    • Debt levels in WFM are astonishingly low.
    • Growth opportunities for WFM are plentiful, given the brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • Starbucks: A Star Buy
    SBUX Today, 3:30 AM Vladislav Deshkovich 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Starbucks is opening stores at a rapid pace in the United States and abroad.
    • Coffee demand is increasing.
    • Starbucks has strong fundamentals and excellent public relations strategies.
  • Family Dollar Earnings Preview
    FDO Today, 2:54 AM Bidness Etc Comment!
  • Costco Is Another Great Addition To Your Portfolio
    COST Today, 2:43 AM Balanced Investing Comment!

    Summary

    • Costco managed to deliver a rising EPS figure during its last quarter despite certain rising costs. The top line remained a major contributor to the EPS.
    • Growing member base and renewal rates mean that the top line should continue growing. The store expansion plan complements these growing measures.
    • If costs remain controlled, these factors should help Costco deliver returns to its shareholders.
  • Is Tiffany & Co A Buy At $100?
    TIF Today, 2:33 AM Lavish Investor 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Tiffany & Co's reputation and prestige help it as a company.
    • Luxury goods likely to continue growth in the economic recovery.
    • Growth potential in Tiffany, but other areas may be better.
  • Wal-Mart: Bringing Growth To The Business
    WMT Today, 2:14 AM Alpha Strategist Comment!

    Summary

    • It’s high time for Wal-Mart to increase its penetration in e-commerce in the emerging economies of the Asia Pacific region.
    • Wal-Mart’s investment in the B2B e-commerce marketplace is a good step forward that is expected to further help its penetration.
    • China is another exploding market where Wal-Mart is increasing its presence through strategies such as acquisitions.
  • Taking The Starbucks Experience One Step Further
    SBUX Today, 1:58 AM Alpha Strategist Comment!

    Summary

    • Starbucks has always proven itself to be a proactive early tech adopter that keeps coming up with services that not only provide convenience but also gets its visitors interested.
    • Starbucks has come up with a wireless charging facility at its outlets offering technology that is yet to be adopted by masses.
    • Starbucks’ strategy of staying ahead of the adoption curve is paying off and the company is expected to deliver good financial results.
  • Macy's: A Value Stock
    M Today, 1:47 AM Balanced Investing Comment!

    Summary

    • Despite tough economic conditions, Macy's continues to register positive growth in comparable sales.
    • It continues to extend its retail network by opening new stores. The completion of store fulfillment is expected in 2014 where approximately 650 full-line Macy’s stores will hold shipping capability.
    • Debt refinancing is estimated to elevate the company’s bottom line by $7.92 million on an annual basis.
    • The share repurchase program has been topped up to $2.5 billion.
    • In the light of core business strategies and cost cutting techniques implemented by Macy’s, it has a healthy future outlook.
  • J.C. Penney Leads Corporate Credit Default Swap Trading Volume, 2010-2014
    JCP Today, 12:47 AM Donald van Deventer Comment!

    Summary

    • We review trading volume on 1,011 corporate bond issuers for 207 weeks ending June 27, 2014.
    • High volume doesn't mean "risky" per se, but it does mean there's a difference of opinion on the credit that leads to trades.
    • J.C. Penney, Caesars Arcelormittal, GECC, and Telecom Italia lead the volume list.
  • Liquidate Lumber Liquidators Before It Liquidates Your Portfolio
    LL Yesterday, 10:50 PM Michael Blair 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Major earnings miss.
    • Same store sales declining sharply.
    • No floor on the stock.
  • Should You Add Wal-Mart Or Target To Your Portfolio For Dividend Growth?
    WMT, TGT Yesterday, 5:37 PM Sure Dividend 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Wal-Mart and Target have both paid increasing dividends for 40-plus consecutive years.
    • Both businesses have experienced weakness in the first quarter of 2014.
    • Target's CEO recently stepped down.
    • Wal-Mart posted favorable international results for the first quarter of 2014.
  • Why Sinclair Broadcasting Group Is Still Undervalued
    SBGI Yesterday, 4:28 PM Gary Bourgeault 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Sinclair's acquisitions and growth not being rewarded by the market.
    • Concerns over digital distribution disruptions are over-stated in the short term, as it will be several years before that takes effect, if it ever does.
    • The heavy debt load and debt-to-equity continues to drag on the company, even though its free cash flow easily handles it.
  • WindStream Technologies - Crashed But Still Overvalued?
    WSTI Yesterday, 3:53 PM Auspex Research Comment!

    Summary

    • Rehashing Windstream History.
    • Missing Certifications?
    • A "Feel Good" Technology.
  • Amazon's Dispute With Hachette Group Will Have Negligible Impact On Its Business
    AMZN Yesterday, 3:49 PM Trefis 8 Comments

    Summary

    • Amazon recently made a clever move to garner authors' sympathy in order to protect its control over the e-books business. It proposed to Hachette Book Group that the book authors can keep 100% of the revenues generated from e-book sales while the two companies reach a common ground as they re-negotiate their expired e-book contract.
    • Hachette Book Group has rejected the proposal.
    • In case of any fall out, Amazon will come out with an upper hand as Hachette’s e-books constitute a very small portion of its overall business.
  • Windstream Rebuttal To GeoInvesting Report Unimpressive
    WSTI Yesterday, 2:03 PM The GeoTeam 7 Comments

    Summary

    • WSTI CEO,CFO and COO filed a form D indicating they intend to sell shares and that they have already sold shares.
    • More clarity provided on the fact that Vanguard Financial Trust shares are not disclosed in WSTI’s 2013 10K.
    • Per 2013 10K, WSTI had a large outstanding liability with its product manufacturer that was inhibiting it from receiving additional units.
    • WSTI restructured terms of $1.4M note that went into default in 2012. No note payments made as of Q1 2014.
    • Why is WSTI's largest investor an alleged penny stock promoter?
  • Kroger's Stock Is Out-Performing Many Top Technology Companies
    KR Yesterday, 1:17 PM David Hernandez 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Kroger out-performing S&P 500 and many top technology stocks.
    • Kroger's growing above industry growth rate and maintaining above average profit margins.
    • Vitacost acquisition demonstrates management's willingness to adapt business model.
    • Great history of stock buybacks and dividend growth make Kroger a great long-term buy.
  • Why Family Dollar Cannot Compete Against Walgreen, Let Alone Wal-Mart
    FDO Yesterday, 11:42 AM Daniel Jennings 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Drugstores like Walgreen - not big discounters such as Wal-Mart - are dollar stores' main competition.
    • Dollar stores' low revenue leaves them in a poor position to compete with drugstores and Wal-Mart.
    • Walmart Express is designed to compete with drugstores like CVS Caremark, not dollar stores.
    • Dollar store operators like Family Dollar will have to end expansion and start closing stores just to survive.
  • RadioShack Really Is That Bad
    RSH Yesterday, 10:30 AM Bargain Bin 22 Comments

    Summary

    • With RadioShack trading at a tiny fraction of sales and near book value, investors may be tempted to bet on a turnaround.
    • Cost cutting is limited by a credit agreement that prevents RadioShack from closing more than 200 stores. Operating costs are now nearly half of the company's revenue.
    • Sales are collapsing, and costs cannot be cut fast enough for RadioShack to avoid bankruptcy.
    • Book value is plummeting, and the liquidation value is likely already negative due to large amounts of inventory. Equity investors will be wiped out in the event of bankruptcy.
  • Document Security Systems - Update On Current Patent And Licensing Issues
    DSS Yesterday, 10:04 AM Micro-Cap Gem Finder 14 Comments

    Summary

    • The next phase of oral arguments in the breach-of-contract lawsuit against Coupons.com will begin July 10, 2014.
    • Following the June 19, 2014 Supreme Court's decision, I expect the patent infringement cases against Facebook and LinkedIn to march on.
    • DSS has built a strong patent portfolio of over 150 patents and 50 foreign counterparts and expects the growth in this area to continue to capitalize on fast-growing IP-licensing industry.
  • Virtus Oil And Gas - A Follow-Up
    VOIL Yesterday, 9:45 AM Stone Fox Capital 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Stock promotions are a red flag, but it doesn't mean the company is involved or a scam.
    • The promotion on Virtus had no credibility and shouldn't be relied upon.
    • For what it's worth, the company denies any involvement.
  • Late Night Snacks Equal Profits At Convenience Store Operator Couche-Tard
    ANCTF Yesterday, 9:30 AM Alpha Now at Thomson Reuters Comment!

    Summary

    • Not all 24-hour convenience stores have been shut down by the Walmarts and Costcos. The Montreal-based chain Alimentation Couche-Tard, which literally means "food for night owls" in French, has thrived.
    • Founder and ex-CEO Alain Bouchard recently handed the reins to Brian Hannasch, but the transition is expected to be smooth, as Bouchard continues as the chairman of the board.
    • We pull into Couche-Tard for a frosty and a look at its prospects.
  • Don't Believe The Hype About Cord Cutting
    DISH, TWC, CMCSA Yesterday, 8:45 AM Michael Nielsen 3 Comments

    Summary

    • The cord cutting revolution still hasn't hurt traditional cable companies.
    • Certain cable companies are well positioned to handle the cord cutting trend in the future.
    • Satellite companies, like Dish Network, are susceptible to the negative effects of cord cutting.
  • Year Over Year, Negative Growth For Dollar Stores
    FDO Yesterday, 7:44 AM Stock Traders Daily 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Don't be distracted by Carl Icahn.
    • FDO has recently experienced negative growth.
    • But it still trades at almost 19x earnings.
  • Delphi Energy: More Growth And Stock Upside To Come
    DPGYF Yesterday, 7:15 AM Street Smart Investor Comment!

    Summary

    • Delphi Energy stock has surged by 188% in one year, but the good times are far from over.
    • Delphi Energy plans a high impact capital expenditure of $770 million over next five years with cash flow funding potential.
    • The company’s production is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28% over the next five years, triggering significant revenue upside.
    • Potential asset divestment in 2014 will add to the robust financial flexibility the company already has.
  • Algorithmic Forecast Is Bullish On Las Vegas Sands
    LVS Yesterday, 7:14 AM I Know First Research 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Las Vegas Sands has been experiencing steady growth in Macao and consistently returning capital back to its shareholders.
    • Japan is likely to pass new legislation legalizing casinos, creating one of the largest gaming markets in the world.
    • Minor concerns regarding slowdown in Macao and disappointing Las Vegas financials.
    • Self-learning algorithm has a strong bullish signal for LVS in the 3-month and 1-year time horizon.
  • Noise Hides True Threat To Whole Foods
    WFM Yesterday, 5:33 AM Michael Schulte 27 Comments

    Summary

    • Whole Foods is an outstanding company, but not an appealing buy yet. Past highs are having an anchoring effect on current valuation.
    • Wal-Mart's move to "organic" is hiding the true threat to Whole Foods.
    • Comparable store growth is slowing. Increased competition, long-term over short-term mind-set, or both?
  • Target Canada: It's Worse Than We Thought
    TGT Yesterday, 12:15 AM Daniel Jennings 28 Comments

    Summary

    • Target's losses north of the border are greater than we thought.
    • Target has no plans to start online sales in Canada anytime soon.
    • Target is pursuing an outdated business strategy that could doom it to irrelevance.
  • Amazon.com Deal With Green PolkaDot Box Sets The Stage For Eventual Buyout
    GPDB Tue, Jul. 8, 7:41 PM JoeNatural 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Green PolkaDot Box will become the exclusive provider of Living Produce on Amazon.com.
    • Frozen/refrigerated line of organic and non-GMO foods gives Amazon.com a major sales and distribution advantage with little competition.
    • Amazon.com made the early move in contacting Green PolkaDot Box.
  • After The Whole Foods Love Affair: Kroger Shines
    WFM, KR Tue, Jul. 8, 4:49 PM YCharts 19 Comments

    Summary

    • Kroger and other traditional grocery chain operators have raised their games, adding higher-end perishable items and organic produce and amping up the service.
    • Kroger, based on forward P/E ratio, is a lot cheaper than Whole Foods and significantly cheaper than Wal-Mart.
    • Overall market share was up 50 basis points last year at Kroger. And in the 13 market areas in which Wal-Mart supercenters are one of Kroger’s top two competitors, Kroger gained share in 12 and lost slightly in one.
  • Paramount Wins Slow 4th Of July Weekend; Warner Brothers' Box Office Hopes Take Another Hit
    TWX, VIA Tue, Jul. 8, 4:03 PM The Entertainment Oracle Comment!

    Summary

    • "Transformers: Age of Extinction" lifts Paramount to big 4th of July box office win.
    • "Tammy" latest falter for Warner Brothers, following "Blended", "Edge of Tomorrow" and "Jersey Boys".
    • Box office down over 40% year-to-year overall this holiday weekend.
  • Zacks' Bear Of The Day: Francesca's
    FRAN Tue, Jul. 8, 3:34 PM Zacks Investment Research Comment!
  • Will FedEx Deliver Returns For Shareholders? LR Interactive Model Included
    FDX Tue, Jul. 8, 3:22 PM Musings of a Banker Comment!

    Summary

    • FedEx’s operating segments sheds light on important growth and profitability drivers.
    • Currently trading at a steep discount to United Parcel Service on an earnings multiple basis.
    • My assumptions in the Levered Returns models yield a fair value per share of $183, well above July 6th price of $153.61.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Down But Not Out
    BBBY Tue, Jul. 8, 1:51 PM David Hernandez 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Slowing growth a temporary issue.
    • Current valuation represents a sizeable discount to competitors.
    • Online competition still a threat, but Bed Bath & Beyond is staying competitive.
    • Online push, store expansion, and low valuation make Bed Bath & Beyond a good buy.
  • WindStream Technologies - A Walk Down Due Diligence Lane
    WSTI Tue, Jul. 8, 12:10 PM Auspex Research 18 Comments

    Summary

    • A view of the WindStream story - pre-inception through today.
    • We'll see "Deferred Success," "Crony Capitalism," and a "game-changing technology."
    • Here's a current look at past projections.
  • Is Walgreen A Long-Term Buy?
    WAG Tue, Jul. 8, 11:57 AM Apex Financial Consultants 3 Comments

    Summary

    • YoY sales growth of 8.9% in June.
    • Excellent net earnings growth in the recently reported quarter.
    • Higher-than-expected synergistic benefits from Alliance Boots in the next quarter.
    • Dividends are growing at a CAGR of 17.5% over the last 13 years, and the company has also started a share buyback program that will run through 2015.
  • Starz Continues To Look Strong Long Term With Original Programming And 'American Gods' Announcement
    STRZA Tue, Jul. 8, 11:32 AM Chris Katje 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Addition of "American Gods" continues CEO's path to 75 to 85 annual hours of original programming.
    • Continued strength in international deals.
    • Shift of focus to also appealing to women providing strong numbers, will help upcoming lineup.
    • Several shows renewed after posting strong ratings.
  • Union Pacific Is A Great Gauge For How The Economy Is Doing
    UNP Tue, Jul. 8, 11:27 AM Abba's Aces 8 Comments

    Summary

    • The stock is fairly valued at these price levels.
    • The financial efficiency ratios have increased from 4Q13 to 1Q14.
    • The company is a great gauge for the micro and macro economies.
  • Genco Bankruptcy Ruling Provides Insight Into Value Of Eagle Bulk Shipping Shares
    EGLE Tue, Jul. 8, 11:09 AM Acacia Capital Management 1 Comment

    Summary

    • Based on a recent ruling in a bankruptcy case for a comparable dry bulk shipping company, Eagle Bulk’s shareholders are at risk of substantial losses.
    • Eagle is in default of its credit facility and will likely file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the next few weeks in order to restructure its balance sheet.
    • The recent ruling in the Genco Shipping bankruptcy provides a framework to analyze the potential recovery for Eagle shareholders.
    • The pending restructuring provides investors with an asymmetric opportunity to profit by shorting the stock or entering into option transactions that benefit from declines in the stock price.
    • Based on the Genco precedent, the shares are likely worthless, but could receive up to $2.00 per share as a gift.
  • Is Oceanica's EIA Deliberately Not Being Filed While Trying To Raise Capital?
    OMEX Tue, Jul. 8, 11:03 AM Meson Capital Partners 21 Comments

    Summary

    • OMEX announced June 4th that the Environmental Report (EIA) for Oceanica was “completed and ready to be filed shortly”: as it is STILL not filed, this is clearly deliberate.
    • We believe OMEX has chosen not to file the EIA because they know it will expose the project as environmentally and economically unviable: most mining projects die in this phase.
    • OMEX appears to be desperately attempting to raise capital to cover a current cash balance under $2mm that is likely to be zero soon, as cash burn remains $3mm/month.
    • An Oceanica capital raise would immediately be funneled to OMEX corporate to pay high compensation and ongoing cash burn, while diluting OMEX shareholders’ upside.
    • Management statements now backtracking JP Morgan involvement: definitively NOT assisting OMEX on a capital raise for Oceanica, only potential “strategic” deals, which we are highly doubtful of.
  • Netflix: The Climax Has Been Written And The Denouement Is Inevitable
    NFLX Tue, Jul. 8, 10:16 AM Jeffrey Himelson 35 Comments

    Summary

    • The domestic streaming market is saturating, with q/q subscriber growth decelerating.
    • Goldman Sachs' expectation of NFLX penetrating 30% of a clearly overstated addressable market is not achievable.
    • Fragmented markets and increased competition will prevent it from meeting growth objectives internationally.
  • Sirius XM Is No Longer A Growth Stock
    SIRI Tue, Jul. 8, 9:39 AM Shock Exchange 99 Comments

    Summary

    • Sirius XM's revenue grew approximately 11% from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014.
    • EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA grew 1% and 5%, respectively, from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014.
    • The company trades at 18.2x adjusted EBITDA. Sirius is a sell.
  • The Amazon.com Web Services Problem
    AMZN Tue, Jul. 8, 8:22 AM Paulo Santos 65 Comments

    Summary

    • Everybody already knows about the price war going on in public cloud services between Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft.
    • However, such war is far from being the only problem for Amazon.com Web Services.
    • A perhaps far greater problem, comes in the form of the capex explosion that's implied going forward to finance the buildout of these services.
    • Such capex explosion might actually drive Amazon.com's free cash flow towards zero. I present an example from Microsoft, showing the expected near-term explosion exceeds Amazon.com's free cash flow.
  • Broadcast TV: Sword Of Damocles
    NFLX Tue, Jul. 8, 6:33 AM Richard Windsor CFA 1 Comment
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Staying Bullish As The Company Buys Back $2 Billion In Stock
    BBBY Tue, Jul. 8, 4:56 AM Heather Ingrassia 5 Comments

    Summary

    • On July 7 Bed Bath & Beyond announced a $2 billion share repurchase plan that is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
    • Since 2004 and through the fiscal first quarter of 2014, the company has actually returned an estimated $6.6 billion to its shareholders through these types of repurchases.
    • If the company can turn things around from its weaker-than-expected FQ1 earnings performance, there's a very good chance its trend behavior will improve during the second half of the year.
  • Netflix: Bullish On The Product, But Valuation Seems Expensive
    NFLX Tue, Jul. 8, 4:14 AM Price Point 27 Comments

    Summary

    • Netflix is expected to grow its subscribers significantly both in the U.S. and internationally.
    • International markets present a significant growth opportunity, which I think the market is under appreciating.
    • Netflix has developed an impressive consumer product over the years and is setting the standards for media delivery.
  • Williams-Sonoma: Little Appeal At Fresh All-Time Highs
    WSM Tue, Jul. 8, 2:02 AM The Value Investor Comment!

    Summary

    • An upgrade from Bank of America send shares to fresh all time highs.
    • The company posts impressive comparable sales growth, driven by very strong e-commerce operations.
    • Shares already reflect the good news, leaving little appeal for prospective investors.
  • PetSmart Could Pursue Dividend Recapitalization
    PETM Tue, Jul. 8, 12:03 AM Sammy Pollack Comment!

    Summary

    • PetSmart management says that it is considering returning cash to shareholders.
    • PetSmart currently has very little cash on its balance sheet so the company would likely need to borrow money to finance a dividend.
    • PetSmart has a strong balance sheet and could easily borrow $1-$2 billion to use for a special dividend.
  • What's Driving Sirius XM's Average Revenue Per User?
    SIRI Mon, Jul. 7, 3:42 PM Trefis 20 Comments

    Summary

    • Sirius XM's (SIRI) average annual revenue per customer for satellite radio subscription is derived from total earned subscriber revenue and net advertising revenue, divided by the daily weighed average number of subscriptions for the period.
    • From $103 in 2007, the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) declined to $83 in 2008 primarily due to the Sirius and XM merger, which resulted in 100% rise in subscriber base, but just 81% growth in revenues.
    • Change in mix of discounted OEM promotional subscriptions, subscription win-back programs, second subscribers and a decline in net advertising revenue per subscriber were also responsible for this decline.
  • American Science & Engineering Has Game Changer With Handheld X-Ray Gun
    ASEI Mon, Jul. 7, 3:30 PM Chris Katje 2 Comments

    Summary

    • World's first handheld x-ray scanner offers huge opportunity for American Science & Engineering.
    • Minimal training needed for device, making sales to international customers easier.
    • Strong 2014 orders and backlog.
    • Shares unchanged in 2014.
  • Eagle Bulk Shipping: The Grim Reaper Says You're Next
    EGLE Mon, Jul. 7, 3:19 PM Verge Of Bankruptcy 11 Comments

    Summary

    • The Genco bankruptcy ruling offer several lessons for Eagle shareholders. Chief among them: don’t hold your breath for any meaningful recovery.
    • Owners of the company’s debt are deep underwater and there’s no amount of stock that can compensate for their losses.
    • The precedent was clearly set with Genco. I’m sure any judge in the Eagle case will 'copy & paste' from the Genco ruling.