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Bill Maurer
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I am a market enthusiast and part-time trader. I started writing for Seeking Alpha in 2011, and it has been a tremendous opportunity and learning experience. I have been interested in the markets since elementary school, and hope to pursue a career in the investment management industry. I have... More
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  • Short Portfolio Update - Covering Some Orbitz For More National Bank Of Greece
    A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned an update to my theoretical short portfolio. Here was that update, in case you missed it.

    Last night, I decided to slightly change the weightings of two of my positions. The seven names stayed the same though.

    Here is what I did:
    • Covered 22,000 of Orbitz (NYSE:OWW).
    • Shorted an additional 45,500 of National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG).
    The remaining five holdings involving Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), Sprint (NYSE:S), and Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) did not change.

    I will probably change a holding or two next week, as I think I should cover a couple of my holdings that have done well.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Tags: OWW, NBG, NFLX, AMZN, GMCR, S, STP, short idea
    Dec 15 2:10 PM | Link | Comment!
  • First Solar Rallies On Topaz Sale To Buffett
    Shares of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) rallied nicely on Wednesday on news that the company has sold its interest in the California based Topaz project to MidAmerican Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), for $2 billion.

    Shares of First Solar rose more than 8% to $50 in late morning trading, but were near $52 shortly after the open. Shares have taken quite a beating lately after the industry has seen demand issues and price cuts, as well as the Solyndra bankruptcy and fraud.

    Now, First Solar has lowered 2011 guidance in each of its last two earnings reports, and that has been a catalyst for the fall in the stock. Estimates for both this year and next continue to come down.

    The trade recently in First Solar has been to short it on any pops, so we'll have to see if the trend continues, or if this is the catalyst to get the stock going. First Solar is a good company in a bad industry right now, and with other solar names continuing to be hit, First Solar could continue to decline, even if the company is doing well.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Dec 07 11:20 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Sprint Redeems Debt, But Move is Questionable
    Sprint (NYSE:S) has announced that it will be retiring $2.25 billion of debt that was scheduled to be due in March of 2012, but the move seems rather questionable.

    Sprint is redeeming this pile of debt, which carried a weighted average interest rate of 7.84%. But it just got $4 billion of new debt at a weighted average interest rate of 9.625%. So they are trading in lower debt for higher debt? That does seem a bit backwards.

    Sprint has said that it needs new financing to upgrade its network and infrastructure, thanks to the addition of Apple's IPhone to its lineup. The new debt is not due for 7-10 years, but it begs the question, if they were getting the new debt to retire the old, why go so far out on the yield curve and pay so much interest. If the IPhone will help them so much, why not get some short term debt (2 to 4 years), and pay less interest?

    Sprint will always be a mystery to me, and that's why I've said I wouldn't buy the company until it hits $1.75 at the earliest.

    Tags: S, AAPL, technology
    Nov 29 8:27 PM | Link | Comment!
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