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Cliff Wachtel  

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  • I Haven't Been Paying Attention. What's Going On In Greece? [View article]
    thank you, thank you, for finally actually writing an article -- something that I can quickly skim for what's relevant -- rather than a those darned podcasts that i must sit thru start to finish, and thus ignore
    Jun 28, 2015. 11:33 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is HCP The REIT Buy Of The Year? [View article]
    meanwhile, whole healthcare REIT sector's charts look still look more like falling knives, maybe tentative bottoming.

    think rate hike concerns overdone, most likely will be small, slow, mostly symbolic, but not going to argue with those charts, which suggest downside momentum very much intact, regardless of fundamental story.

    in sum, technical picture suggests downtrend intact, more downside likely in coming months.
    Jun 26, 2015. 10:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is HCP The REIT Buy Of The Year? [View article]
    per above table, OHI has same yield as HCP, w/out the risks. So why buy HCP? Gamble on eventual greater cap gains, I guess once uncertainty passes & situation stabilizes.
    Jun 26, 2015. 09:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • This Healthcare REIT Creates Value From The Ground Up [View article]
    Healthcare REIT sector has obvious income and long term fundy appeal (aging population etc) but every chart I see still presents risk of catching a falling knife as long as interest rate hike uncertainty hangs around.

    Don't believe Fed plans on more than modest, almost token hikes, just to show they can, and provide a bit of potential to cut rates if need

    However medium-long term the charts show nothing but the same downtrending and perhaps a cautious bottoming that may or may not hold if/when hikes announced, currently believed to come btwn 9.15-3.16.

    Believe in the sector long term, but still showing plenty of potential to drop more than the current 3-4% yields. So I'm ambivalent for the coming months. Good time to build cash position, not losing much divvy.
    Jun 26, 2015. 04:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Uranium: 3 Major Takeaways From The 2015 World Nuclear Fuel Market Conference [View article]
    very useful post
    much thanks for providing 'primary source' info on uranium, which, despite nuclear power's bad image, I can't help but think still (somehow) belongs in the energy mix if can just solve the safety issues in operation and fuel storage.

    I prefer to stick with stocks that produce income. Notice UEC doesn't tho CCJ does have ~2% divvy, not great, but at least get paid something to wait. No position in it but have long thought about establishing a small one once it's longer term chart bottoms, which it seems to be doing.

    Author's thoughts on that?
    Does author have any firm opinions on when UEC likely to become profitable?
    Author makes case for this as a long term hold for those with patience to sit with it while earning nothing and accepting volatility.
    Jun 26, 2015. 03:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber Has Lost The Taxi Battle In NYC [View article]
    I'm curious about why municipalities have allowed rideshare to devalue medallions and hit a source of muni-revenue.

    I'd think they'd at least try to get some kind of surcharge from rideshare companies

    Remember, a key reason for having taxi medallions was to limit traffic and in essence tax a municipal asset in short supply - space on the streets.
    Jun 23, 2015. 11:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber Has Lost The Taxi Battle In NYC [View article]
    Indeed, whole debate over TAXI is not about current performance (it's been as good or better than when shares were ~17) but whether the combo of Uber, expanding medallion supply would at some point in the future bring:

    --balance sheet write downs, limiting lending income
    --dividend cuts

    Not seen that yet, tho leading bear James Hickman has written in prior articles that NYC medallion value fall would take time, his estimates have varied from "imminent" (a number of months ago) to late 2015, I think. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    So far, fundamentals are with TAXI bulls as TAXI financials and divvy look fine.
    But technical picture is bearish, TAXI shares clearly suffering from worried market, still not back from May 26 drop on cnbc report(of old news) that medallion prices were down from peak , so clearly markets still nervous, awaiting some kind of new clarity.
    Jun 23, 2015. 10:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber Has Lost The Taxi Battle In NYC [View article]
    anyone hear anything about results of June 22 court case in Queens, NY. 4 medallion lenders (TAXI not among them)? see:

    They're suing NYC, contend e-hail = street hail, which is exclusive medallion right that NYC must therefore protect.

    NYC has held e-hails not the same. No doubt a ruling against NYC would be appealed, so story not over regardless.
    Jun 23, 2015. 10:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Uber Has Lost The Taxi Battle In NYC [View article]
    useful post
    good to see an article focused on NYC, which is all that is really relevant for the medallion lending part of TAXI's business. It doesn't have much exposure elsewhere.

    Looking past Uber, does anyone know how many more yellow and green medallions NYC plans to auction? Expansion of medallion supply appears to be the most direct threat to medallion values. In particular, by what % is the supply of yellow medallions expanding? Green medallions? (does TAXI lend on greens?)

    Granted, as long as medallions continue to be profitable for owners, even if less profitable, TAXI and other lenders should be ok. Worst case they're making smaller loans due to lower medallion values, with that loss of income offset to some degree by the greater # of medallions and thus medallion loans.
    Jun 23, 2015. 10:25 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fact-Checking The Taxi Medallion Market [View article]
    good post, useful restatement of much of the bull argument from prior posts
    haven't had time to really weigh the arguments laid out in both prior articles and huge volume of comment stream.

    I'm limited by my lack of understanding of the industry and how the thus far limited evidence for TAXI's main medallion lending markets (NYC mostly) of possible trouble really matter while the company continues to perform well.

    so I'd be very grateful if you or Messers Meyers, Hickman and supporting commentators on those prior posts can clarify some questions that I've yet to answer.

    So far actual TAXI performance continues to confirm bull thesis, steady to rising earnings and divvys. The debate remains all about what's could be coming

    questions I've yet to answer:

    quantifying risk of balance sheet write downs of loan portfolio due to:
    --falling medallion values (seems only markets of relevance for TAXI are NYC and Chicago) and whether the limited # of transactions represent a valid picture of what's coming, and what data is and isn't relevant or material.

    --quantifying risk and damage of write downs on Chicago medallions TAXI owns


    seems from prior articles that declines in NYC medallion taxi revenues correlate more with increasing supply of NYC medallions- mostly green ones as of late, rather than Uber.

    how real are the issues raised in this recent article:

    In particular
    -- loan delinquencies rates remain low but are rising. Defaults in TAXI's medallion lending markets not happening as of yet.
    --sustainability of dividend. the above article appeared to claim (as has lead bear James Hickman) that earnings from operations ie net investment income ($0.20/ sh.) not covering the $0.25 divvy. Is this a trend for concern or a normal fluctuation in performance?

    --are these loans in fact mostly just interest loans w/ balloon payments? If so, wouldn't even the fear of falling values limit refi opportunities and threaten wave of defaults? That's been a key bear argument, but unclear if that's a material threat IN TAXI's lending markets - mostly NYC.

    Just trying to get clarity. Have small long position but will go with facts as I see them.

    Despite strong performance and divvy, can ignore the technical performance on the chart - the mere fact that TAXI has sold off so hard on the cnbc report on May 26th of sliding medallion values (hardly news and as you and others have shown, and not enough material transactions to prove anything as market seems frozen due to uncertainty).. still.. can't ignore fact that share prices have been volatile and dropped on so little excuse.

    Shares range trading for 2015 btwn 9-11, up on news of actual performance, down on nagging fears/uncertainty that has yet to hit TAXI performance.

    Clearly driver supply expanding, (both from new medallions and rideshare) the question is does it matter for TAXI's lending markets?

    Even TAXI seems concerned enough to emphasize diversification into consumer and commercial lending (higher risk not a problem by itself as long as returns and conservative lending practices (collateral, LTV, rates, etc) compensate for problem loan risk). Hickman holds medallion exposure AND risk of actual writedowns so large these efforts don't matter. Meanwhile no actual evidence on TAXI balance sheet of such trouble.

    Thanks in advance for any insights/ clarification. Same goes to the rest of the regulars in this ongoing discussion, Messrs Meyers, Hickman, and supporting commentators.
    Jun 11, 2015. 09:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Omega Healthcare Investors Inc: It's All Different From Here [View article]
    confused about dividend yld
    showed declining quarterly yield for jan and March, then an even smaller divvy in April
    company events per yahoo does not show ex div date for may and june, so it doesn't appear that they've gone to monthly divvys. Was that April divvy a 1 timer?
    trying to get handle on true annual yld
    Jun 9, 2015. 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing to shoehorn more seats onto 777 jet by shrinking lavatories [View news story]
    you can recline more on the toilets recline more and no one can put one of those devices on it to stop that.

    suspect people were locking themselves in for the duration of the flight
    Jun 9, 2015. 02:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • TAXI tumbles as CNBC reports on sliding medallion prices [View news story]
    LSF - why so emotional?

    just focusing on TAXI , not the whole medallion industry
    -is the decline in credit quality hitting bottom line? Didn't see that in 10q
    -are these declines sign of long predicted disaster or within normal historical fluctuations?
    bear argument remains mostly speculation - that supply shock implies TAXI doom (in excess of the already nearly 50% price drop ant 10% divvy that seems to price in a fair bit of bad news that has yet to hit)
    -unclear when and how much decline in secondary medallion prices and medallion drivers earnings will hit conservative experienced medallion lenders (Friedman's lender is Citi, I believe, not a specialty lender, nor known for its conservative lending policies in housing bust. anyway....

    Don't have a crystal ball, but medallion value and driver revenue slide is old news, suggesting an emotional rather than rational response and thus possible buying opportunity.

    Bear argument for TAXI may yet work but thus far it is pure speculation that it hits TAXI beyond the damage already priced in.

    What IS of some concern is that Q1 earnings were boosted by one time asset sales - see

    prefer to stick to facts
    trends in medallion prices and driver revenue a concern no doubt, but far from clear that the damage not already priced in for TAXI
    especially considering that medallion loans are far from their primary source of revenue (granted exposure is large, would be a concern IF and when defaults and asset write downs start to hit earnings)

    you've been following the debate here on SA. So far, just focusing on TAXI, far from clear we've a problem that isn't priced in already.
    Jun 7, 2015. 05:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE, Aetna weigh Connecticut pullout [View news story]
    pure bluff
    wait 'till the wives/mistresses of the C-suite guys hear they might have to give up Greenwich/Southport/We... etc for some Greensboro SC or the like.
    Jun 5, 2015. 02:58 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Medallion Financial Corp. Loses Its Largest Institutional Investor [View article]
    additional thought:

    I'm a bit surprised that municipalities haven't been quicker to act to protect their revenue stream from medallion sales and medallion taxi surcharges.

    I'd think rideshare would at least be hit up for some kind of surcharge like the taxis. Easy to track.
    Jun 4, 2015. 01:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment