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Alexander J. Poulos

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  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    The key is innovation. Look at CL, there are well established and in virtually every market yet they continue to grow due to innovation. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 27 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    The refranchising efforts will allow KO to free up capital, margins are far higher selling concentrate than actually bottling the end product. During their more profitable times, both KO and PEP divested their bottling operations.

    KO will never morph into a high growth play, those days have long since passed. Instead we have a low beta stock with a wonderful history of ever increasing dividends. In today's low interest rate environment, the current dividend far exceed what can be gained from a 10 year US treasury. If you factor in the annual hikes which have far outpaced the annual rate of inflation you have an ideal company for those seeking income. That being said, the company has failed its investors with its egregious pay package as highlighted by David Winters. The dilution to shareholders via option grants has offset quite a bit of KO annual share reduction plan. If the company gets serious about its option grant and aggressively reduces its share count here while the shares are dead money, overall returns will be nicely enhanced. Its a fluid situation, lets see what the company reveals when it sends out its annual proxy forms this year. And yes, there is far more to my investment thesis than as you state "flashing tables".
    Oct 27 02:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cognizant Technologies Offers Investors An Opportunity To Double Your Money With Below-Average Risk [View article]

    I reviewed both, as i am impressed with their balance sheets. I tilted in CTSH favor due to their expansion in the health field. I have nothing against INFY, I just thought CTSH offered a bit higher upside. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 27 02:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    I wouldn't be so quick to accuse me of not reading the quarterly report. Notice how KO has taken a stake an equity stake in MNST this quarter while transferring the rights to KO energy portfolio to them to better manage while KO handles the distribution of all of MNST products. If the category show consistent sustained growth, I fully expect KO to incorporate them under their brand umbrella and acquire all of MNST. Secondly, to speak to Glenn's point above, KO took an equity stake in Green Mountain to tap the home soda creation market.

    As for the cost cutting, until the European economy shows sustained growth (hint not this nor next year) top line KO growth will be challenged. The best way to address this is through cost cutting as stated above. The macro issues in Europe will continue to weigh on KO, yet with that being said the key for them is how do they position the company for when growth resumes. Refranchising the bottlers, and cutting corporate costs to run a leaner more efficient enterprise is the correct answer.
    Oct 27 12:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Take Profits In Yahoo [View article]

    Best of luck to you, I will roll with the Hedgies in HTZ. You feel YHOO has more upside than HTZ, we shall see over the course of the next 6 months. I suspect Icahn/Jana partners will run a much better show than Mayer/Goldman. Hence, upside in HTZ after the big sell-off is much higher than YHOO.
    Oct 27 12:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    KO offers a reliable 3% dividend with above inflation yearly hikes which is very appealing. KO operates in the consumer goods field which tends to be defensive and doesn't dip when the market swoons. Notice how KO hit new highs 2 weeks ago when the market was selling off. KO is a very nice way of balancing out some of the higher beta name sin one's portfolio. That being said, no growth until 2016 is very troubling. I need to see some sparks of true growth before committing capital. For now, i will continue to profit off of my holding in CCE, KO very well run European bottle. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 27 12:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    The power of the brand is alive and well. Notice bottled water sales, something you can get from your local utility yet why are customers ponying up over $1 per 20oz serving size. Convenience is usually the first reason, this will never change. 2- The unhealthy angle is very much overplayed here. in essence what we are banking on is for the country to suddenly become very health conscious with sugar as enemy number 1. Let me assure you this will never be the case. Instead what has happened here is KO has been caught flat footed by a consumer taste preference change into energy drinks which are even unhealthier. This can be corrected and steps ahev begun with an equity stake in MNST. Don't misunderstand, I am not a fan of management and quite frankly think they need to be replaced. The power of the brand and the distribution network is what appeals to me here. I need to see more changes before entering into a position. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    See link for listing of ingredients in Monster

    and for Coke
    Oct 27 11:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]

    I appreciate KO distribution network as I view the network as their unassailable moat. The question is how to they segue from carbonated beverages with flat to declining volume to the more robust areas such as energy drinks. I suspect they will acquire all of MNST at some point and fold them into their large tent of billion dollar brands. The business can continue to thrive as people will always have thirst and it will be quenched at some point. The trick here is when will the business start to show yoy revenue growth. I suspect it will be a 2016 event. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 27 11:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Carl Icahn Into Hertz Global [View article]
    Icahn reported his 13-D outlining his stake in early September. It is my belief we began acquiring hi stake in the July/august time frame. Jana partners just issued a 13D this past Monday outlining their 7% stake. their average cost is roughly $26 per share. The following excerpt from this weeks Barron's is particularly timely.

    The Activist Spotlight
    Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ)
    Business: Car rental and equipment rental
    Investor’s Avg Cost: $25.24/share
    Stock-Market Value: $9.5 billion ($21.22/share)
    What’s Happening: Jana Partners has had discussions with management regarding succession and board composition and may also talk about capital allocation and strategy.

    Key Numbers:
    7%: percentage of common shares owned by Jana
    32.76%: The decline in HTZ stock price since Aug. 19, the day prior to Carl Icahn’s 13D filing.

    Behind the Scenes: Jana is the second major activist to file a 13D in Hertz. After Icahn made his filing in August, the company announced the resignation of its CEO, Mark Frissora, and settled with Icahn by granting him three board seats. [At this point, a new CEO has not yet been named.]

    Recent consolidation in the rental-car industry should have led to better pricing for the rental-car companies. Instead, it is one of the few sectors in the travel and leisure industry that hasn’t seen price inflation. Under Frissora, Hertz was one of the main reasons for this, since Hertz didn’t raise prices when it had the opportunity. A new CEO could rationalize pricing. Moreover, Frissora didn’t have the best relationship with the OEMs from which Hertz bought its fleet, and a new CEO can remedy that problem.

    Jana is an investor with deep industry contacts, and is probably very familiar with the short list of potential CEOs for Hertz. When the equipment-rental part of the business is spun off, as planned, the rental-car business will be delevered, and Hertz expects to take on 2.5 to 3.5 times Ebitda in debt. Much of that could be used to return capital to shareholders.

    --Kenneth Squire

    A very interesting play here. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 26 08:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Carl Icahn Into Hertz Global [View article]

    From my understanding the scandal revolves around the residual value of the automobiles held in inventory. Management offers a guess during the budgeting process that may be wildly inaccurate. We won't know the full extent of the issue until the accounting review is completed. My suspicion is Icahn and Jana have done their own due diligence and believe the issue to be relatively minor and easily handled. The combined stake of these two entities is 15% of the common shares which provides me comfort that they will look to properly steer the company over the course of the next 6-8 quarters. If things go well here we could see a double, with that being said for me to enter into a position below where Icahn amassed his stake is a gift. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 26 08:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Carl Icahn Into Hertz Global [View article]
    all on board,

    Exactly, don't discount the impact Jana partners will have as well. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 25 07:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Following Carl Icahn Into Hertz Global [View article]

    The job of the incoming management team will be to pare costs. With Jana partners owning 7% and Carl Icahn at over 8% you have some of the best minds in the business converging on how to improve this company. I highly suspect they wouldn't be involved if they didn't see a path for at least a 1005 return of not more. Lets see the catalysts begin to play out and evaluate where the stock is trading then. It should be a very interesting story. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Oct 25 07:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Take Profits In Yahoo [View article]

    Feel free to review my HTZ article.
    Oct 25 12:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Take Profits In Yahoo [View article]

    HTZ article can be seen here.
    Oct 25 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Las Vegas Sands A Bargain Near Its 52-Week Low? [View article]

    In a word, yes it is undervalued. Thanks for the article.
    Oct 25 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment