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  • Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Is A Solid Investment [View article]
    Thanks for the article SP, I like many here also added to a KMP position today.
    Sep 4 05:05 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Read Seeking Alpha, Consider Investing In TheStreet [View article]
    Mike -- took a very brief look at theStreet a while back. The increasingly negative net income over the last 3 years (-5.7mm, -8.5mm and -12.9mm) in '10, '11, '12 doesn't concern you? Revenue growth is great but isn't the lack of bottom line earnings likely a key driver of TST's low multiples and in turn, low price? Do you think the private competitors are losing money "hand over fist' as well? Or are big name, high priced contributors weighing on earnings in addition to what seems to be trouble monetizing their subscription flow on a net basis? The contributor issue being something that many of the private competitors (like SA) don't have to worry about?
    Sep 21 02:09 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lindsay Corp.: Irrigating The Emerging Markets With A Modest Valuation [View article]
    Good timing, just took in position in LNN on Monday. Nice article.
    Oct 23 07:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pied Piper: Piper Jaffray Will Lead The Banking Industry Into The Future [View article]
    Interesting assessment. In skimming through your article I see that you mention four large banks and focus on their retail components. It also seems that your article focuses on the retail lending aspect of these banks as the catalyst for them to continue to perform well. I don’t disagree with you that the interest rate environment has helped commercial bank’s lending businesses. However, if you read my article, you will notice that it is with respect to the investment banking industry, not commercial banking, which are two very different sectors. I can assure you that if you say “the Fed has made it easy for banks to make money”, as you do in your article, to anyone who has any knowledge of the investment banking industry, you’ll be laughed out of the room.
    Thanks for reading.
    Feb 3 01:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Valmont: Economic Growth Concerns Create Substantial Buying Opportunity, 30% Upside [View article]
    The short answer is that that’s a ridiculous question. You seem like the type that prefers more detail so I’ll elaborate. You can be a global player in an industry without having a market cap of $100 billion, or whatever arbitrary personal threshold you’ve set for companies to reach in order to be considered global dominators of their industry. As an example, I would say that a company that owns 30-35% of a $10 billion market is a major player within its industry, but will have a market cap of just a few billion since that is what the industry allows for. These types of companies find a niche and dominate it for years, scaling their business and strengthening their industry leading positions in many cases. They may not be the Intel’s or Exxon’s of the world, leading industries that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are the clear leaders of their own, niche industries.
    Between Valmont (VMI) and Lindsey (LNN), it's estimated that these two companies own about 75% of the US irrigation market. And while that percentage falls considerably when you look globally as a result of the sheer number of other countries involved and potential competitors, the fact that so many local competitors in these countries exists represents opportunity of both companies. Companies like VMI that are able to expand both organically, and often more importantly through acquisitions in highly fragmented, niche markets such as the ones VMI operates in are the ones who ultimately dominate. These companies use their larger balance sheets and expanding footprints to scoop up smaller local operators, adding incremental revenue and more importantly a geographical and cultural connection to new markets.
    I’ve written about several companies that are great examples of this, both domestically and internationally, and I’m sure there are many other examples out there. These are companies that have expanded in a similar fashion, as a result of a fragmented industry and are leaders in their industry despite valuations in the few billion dollar range.
    Look at Universal Corp (UVV), the global leader in tobacco processing. This company provides an incredible amount of the tobacco to cigarette makers around the world, the top supplier to many of the US based companies that you’ve heard of, and many international ones that you probably haven’t come across. I’ll let you read the stats from my article, but one of Universal’s main clients is China Tobacco, a company that represents over 40% of the cigarette market. As you know China presents similar challenges as India with respect for foreign operators, but UVV managed to secure this business by getting their foot in the door. It’s pretty clear that Universal dominates their tobacco processing market, yet they only have a paltry market cap of $1.2 billion, so I guess not a true global player according to the rob ram standards for company performance. United Natural Foods (UNFI) another company I wrote about is another great North American example with a $3.5 billion market cap, dominating a niche industry through acquisitions in a highly fragmented market. I would recommend that article as well.

    I’m not going to respond directly to your other “devil’s advocate” questions but I will add this one last bit since it ties in nicely with the above. You won’t find a lot of financial reporting for VMI at a level as granular as country, as they typically refer to their businesses by region; i.e. Americas, Europe, Asia. However in the 2012 annual report starting on page 27 you can find a list of all of the cities (and countries) where VMI has a presence. You can also do some quick "googling" and find news on VMI’s most recent expansions, many in Asia. Now I understand that a big part of some of this “presence” is simply cheaper manufacturing and not direct sales, so don’t bother trying to explain that to me. However, many of these locations do represent both direct and indirect business opportunities. As highlighted above, sometimes just getting your foot in the door and establishing a local presence is a first step in much bigger things to come. Also as I’m sure you are aware, many of the world’s fastest growing countries in Asia, the Middle East and South America require at least some of your manufacturing to take place in their countries if you want to even consider tapping into their market, which highlights the need and potential value for the “leg up” and “foot in the door” approach of local manufacturing, if nothing else. Positioning for acquisitions and expansion within that highly fragmented local market you speak so highly of.
    Nov 13 10:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A $132 Million Company Worth Less Than $0: Short Inscor [View article]
    Ashraf are you familiar with Infitialis?
    Aug 7 07:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Oversold High Dividend Stock With Major Earnings And Dividend Growth Ahead [View article]
    I have an article pending editorial review that will give a more detailed look into why GLNG is an alpha-rich idea at today's prices in general and compared to competitors like TGP.
    Yes liquefaction capacity vs. shipping capacity has been a concern of LNG shippers and analysts, but GLNG has suffered more than the industry for other reasons, which has ultimately driven its price lower. I highlight these short term revenue inhibitors which have sunk GLNG to industry low (value) levels and explain how they will be eliminated by year end, propelling GLNG's earnings back to previous levels. The article will also delve into the growth of the LNG and LNG shipping markets, and how Golar is better positioned to capture this growth relative to its competitors. FSRU’s and FLNG are just a couple of good examples of this.
    Look for the article in a day or two, I think it will offer some great insight as well as answer some outstanding questions you may have.
    Jun 23 12:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ICA: Mexico's Massive Investment Will Send This Beaten-Down Stock Back To The Stars [View article]
    Robin -- I agree that more analysis could have been done on the B/S and the use of capital (and debt in this case) but I preferred to keep the article as concise as possible, as I could have added additional pages on this topic alone. It's certainly not as simple as just "toll revenue" but I think that could serve as an acceptable two-worded synopsis if asked for one. 80% of ICA's debt is long term and 46% of that LTD is dedicated to their Concessions business, with another 11% to Airports. I certainly don't have a problem with the company levering up in order to invest in businesses that have 35% + operating margins, with long term (20+ years) and predictable, recurring revenue streams – revenue streams that are helping to mitigate the liquidity risk you mention. In my opinion this is exactly what you’d want to see in a company, using debt/leverage to enhance the returns of strong businesses, especially given the predictably of the earnings from these businesses as well as the dedication and as a result, the growth, that we’ve seen in these segments over the past year.
    Jun 19 04:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Railroad: Why Coal Doesn't Matter To This American Legend [View article]
    Good questions Daniel.
    To your first point, there is something called locomotive leasing and sharing, which all of the Class I railroads take part in and is usually advertised by the rails as partnership agreements. As a result of this "gentlemen's agreement" trains are allowed to transport goods on their competitors tracks, for a small fee of course. With the rails of the east (CSX, NSC) bridging the gap between the western rails (UNP, BNSF) and the refineries and ports on the east coast, they are certainly positioned well to profit from the Bakken shale.

    Of course there is also some solid potential regarding the drillling locations that you mentioned. Below is an article which discusses the matter with respect to Norfolk Southern.
    Feb 9 01:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Railroad: Why Coal Doesn't Matter To This American Legend [View article]
    Thanks for all of the conversation so far! I totally agree with the global coal play, there are certainly some good thoughts and ideas here regarding that. You could probably write a short book on the global coal market, rather than just an article. The same goes for the rail industry. Maybe coal subject is a good one for another article..
    Feb 9 07:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Guidance Is Troublesome [View article]
    I have a pretty sizable position in KMP. Didn't buy today but have added to my position during the similar dips that we've seen over the past 6 months. I'm not adding at these levels, only because I think we may end up with slightly better prices in a couple of weeks -- 1) after the jobs report which I believe is Dec 6th (possibly a precursor to QE decision) and 2) after the Fed meeting on Dec 17th/18th -- a slowdown in the Fed's bond buying (and ultimately a rise in rates) will hurt the high-yielders and MLP's, equating to what could be an even better buying opportunity.
    Dec 4 08:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency Investors Could Get Crushed, Again [View article]
    Safe Harbor statements are the generic comments you see at the end of every earnings release that protects management from liability when making best effort projections or forecasts regarding their company.
    Nov 10 08:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Milk This Undervalued Cash Cow Blue Chip Dividend Stock For A High Yield Now [View article]
    RKT options offer deceptively high yields because of the incredible volatility that the stock has experienced over the past few weeks (check the 1 month chart). That volatility is priced into the options and I would be highly weary of a straight covered call strategy on this stock, especially if you are more of an income focused investor. Protective puts are a must here, which for income seekers, virtually eliminate any real upside in terms of income. RKT at the moment is only for those investors seeking growth and those who can survive the roller coaster ride that is this stock in addition to the imminent macro issues that the market is facing. Even for those investors, protective puts are probably not a bad idea. This stock is not for income investors, at least at the moment.
    Sep 29 09:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan KMP/KMR Spread Is Back: How To Profit [View article]
    Also such a huge arbitrage opportunity in such widely traded stocks would be priced out very quickly by big money taking advantage of the situation. The fact that this hasn't happened is likely a result of the legitimate reasons for the discrepancy in prices which were mentioned above. The recent convergence is likely a result of KMP being “punished” by rising rates and QE scares, as well as the recent Hedgeye blast that hurt KMP worse than KMR.
    Sep 13 08:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Set Sail With Ship Finance International [View article]
    Thanks David.
    I am not aware of any SFL plans to purchase LNG tankers at this time. However, as a result of SFL's chartering/buying/selling business model versus many of their competitors who actually operate their vessels, I believe SFL is positioned well and agile enough to take advantage of a LNG boom by purchasing LNG capable vessels. In addition, SFL has proven themselves to be dedicated to running a diverse fleet, which gives me additional confidence that they would be willing to invest in the LNG transportation business. Of course if your sole focus is on the LNG shipping industry, there are already some great companies to choose from who are taking part in that business (read your LNG shipping article btw – it was great). My SFL is a value play from two aspects, one being that their industry has been hit hard in recent years thus valuations are low, and two, the potential (speculation) that they could eventually move into the LNG shipping industry as it expands. Although I agree that the actual LNG shippers are a much cleaner play on the expected rise of that market, I believe a lot of the upside is priced in, although I am sure there is a quite a ways to go. I’m definitely looking at the pure plays myself as well.

    As for the dividend, I believe it is relatively safe at these levels. The stock price has seen around a 60% price appreciation over the past year while the 39 cent per quarter dividend held steady. I don’t see the dividend dropping below 30 cents per quarter, which happens to be the 10 year low that was paid in 2009 while the stock traded between $5 and $13 per share.
    Feb 2 04:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment