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Dana Blankenhorn  

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  • Dollar Strength Is A Unique Opportunity
    Wed, Mar. 11 UUP, SPY, DIA 16 Comments

    Summary

    • The market's fall on the rising dollar was a mistake.
    • Our market is now more of a safe haven than ever.
    • Foreign goods and companies are now bargains.
  • Solar Climbs The Wall Of Worry
    Tue, Mar. 10 FSLR, KWT, SCTY 4 Comments

    Summary

    • Solar projects added 6.3 GWatts of energy to the U.S. grid last year, and will add 8.5 GWatts more in 2015.
    • Four companies have emerged as leaders, with solid capital bases and interesting business models.
    • Right now, utility-scale solar works best.
  • Whiting May Be First Big Victim Of Deregulation
    Tue, Mar. 10 WLL 27 Comments

    Summary

    • The King of the Bakken has put itself up for sale.
    • The company lost nearly as much as it took in during the fourth quarter.
    • This won't be the only producer looking to get out. Sell while you can.
  • While Apple Swings For Fences, Microsoft Hits For Average
    Tue, Mar. 10 MSFT 41 Comments

    Summary

    • Microsoft has nothing to compare with Apple Watch or iOS.
    • What it has are a large number of smaller businesses, each of which is making progress.
    • The key to its success is incremental progress across a wide front, not home runs.
  • Apple Watch Won't Impact The Stock Right Away
    Mon, Mar. 9 AAPL 233 Comments

    Summary

    • The money on this won't flow until 2016.
    • This is an attractive personal fitness monitor, with a huge app ecosystem behind it.
    • This doesn't just aim to take money from watches, but from a whole host of health categories.
  • Good News Is Bad News Is Good News
    Mon, Mar. 9 AAPL, CELG, COST 13 Comments

    Summary

    • The winners are the best users of technology, not those who produce resources.
    • A strong dollar will keep interest rates from rising very quickly.
    • Don't over-think daily headlines. Sometimes good news is good news.
  • NCL Gets Bid On Weaker Euro
    Sat, Mar. 7 NCLH 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Norwegian bought two luxury lines and put the target company's CEO in charge of the company.
    • The weaker Euro should spur more Americans to cruise in Europe this summer.
    • Norwegian's high-end lines should make it a big beneficiary.
  • Kroger: A Retail Play That Is Better Than Costco
    Sat, Mar. 7 KR 25 Comments

    Summary

    • Kroger is growing sales faster than Costco, yet it isn't valued as highly.
    • Kroger has a wide variety of store formats, and is widening its merchandising base.
    • Kroger stock has outperformed that of Costco on a one-year, five-year and 10-year basis.
  • Is This The End Of Nuclear?
    Fri, Mar. 6 SO 40 Comments

    Summary

    • Cost overruns are causing problems for utilities committed to nuclear power.
    • Solar costs are falling and should go below those of nuclear by 2025.
    • Long-term uncertainty is already causing pain among suppliers to the nuclear sector.
  • Amazon Or Costco?
    Fri, Mar. 6 COST, AMZN 45 Comments

    Summary

    • Amazon and Costco, located 22 miles apart, are two of the hottest retail stocks of the year so far.
    • Amazon offers growth and cash flow, Costco offers profit and dividends.
    • The question is which faces greater risk going forward.
  • Can Dollar General Really Fulfill Its Promise?
    Thu, Mar. 5 DG 10 Comments

    Summary

    • Dollar General has a monopoly position in its poor and rural markets, now adding tobacco and liquor to its line-up.
    • WalMart and Target are both eyeing the niche and preparing to move in.
    • It is unlikely that Dollar General can change enough, fast enough, to compete with this onslaught.
  • Banks Trip Up Apple Pay Launch
    Thu, Mar. 5 AAPL 89 Comments

    Summary

    • Crooks are getting phony cards into the Apple Pay system with a phone call.
    • The problem is with the banks' call centers but Apple is still being criticized.
    • Expect some short-term pressure on Apple shares.
  • Tech Rise Is Not A Bubble, But A Change In Leadership
    Thu, Mar. 5 AAPL, AMZN, DDD 33 Comments

    Summary

    • Resources are giving way to human capital as a gating factor in growth.
    • Money is flooding into computing because it lacks other places to go.
    • The search for those other places will create booms and busts. Look beyond them.
  • Winner In Costco-Amex Divorce Seems Pretty Obvious: Costco
    Wed, Mar. 4 COST 18 Comments

    Summary

    • Costco is going to gain in margins as a result of moving from American Express to Visa and Citicorp.
    • Yet the stock has not gained over the last week.
    • Sometimes the answer is obvious. Buy Costco. Don't over-think it.
  • Time To Reevaluate Wal-Mart
    Tue, Mar. 3 WMT 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Wal-Mart is now the cheapest of the big retailers on a Price/Earnings basis.
    • Wal-Mart's competitors are now under pressure to raise wages.
    • Wal-Mart is a good defensive play, and will gain in the next stock market run-up.
  • VMware Should Not Be Cheaper Than Red Hat
    Tue, Mar. 3 VMW 2 Comments

    Summary

    • VMware is growing faster than Red Hat yet is worth barely half as much on a P/E basis.
    • VMware does have a more complex ownership structure, but activists are working to change that.
    • Right now VMware is a comparative bargain among cloud stocks.
  • Google And Facebook Declare Internet Independence From Carriers
    Editors' Pick • Tue, Mar. 3 FB, GOOG, GOOGL 138 Comments

    Summary

    • Carriers no longer drive the Internet resource discussion. Big Internet companies do.
    • Google and Facebook each delivered this message to carriers, in their own ways, this week.
    • For investors, the value, and momentum, are with the industry, not the carriers.
  • Suncor: A Leveraged Bet On Rising Oil
    Sat, Feb. 28 SU 54 Comments

    Summary

    • Falling oil prices have hurt the Canadian dollar.
    • Canadian oil stocks like Suncor have taken a double hit.
    • If oil prices recover, you get leveraged upside by buying Canadian oil stocks.
  • J.C. Penney Has Less Volatility Ahead
    Sat, Feb. 28 JCP 11 Comments

    Summary

    • Mike Ullman has JCP off the operating table and in recovery.
    • The resulting company does not sport robust growth, or profits.
    • The stock is going to become boring under incoming CEO Marvin Ellison. Yay, boring.
  • Should You Worry About Your CenturyLink Dividend?
    Fri, Feb. 27 CTL 10 Comments

    Summary

    • CenturyLink does not now have the earnings to sustain its dividend.
    • FCC action on net neutrality will give it the pricing flexibility to bridge that gap.
    • The dividend is more secure than it appears.
  • AMD's Su Stakes Future On Low Power Carrizo
    Fri, Feb. 27 AMD 54 Comments

    Summary

    • New CEO Lisa Su has taken job cuts and an inventory writedown.
    • Despite a $365 million loss the latest earnings report gave the stock a bump.
    • Much depends now on a new low-power chip, Carrizo, and Su's ability to sell it.
  • Net Neutrality Battle Pitted Industry Vs. Industry
    Fri, Feb. 27 AAPL, ALU, CMCSA 12 Comments

    Summary

    • This was not people power. It was industry power, the Internet industry beating transport.
    • There are lots of loopholes in the final decision. Paid prioritization will still be possible.
    • Shares in companies like AT&T and Comcast are rising as a result.
  • Google Becomes The Internet Grown-Up
    Thu, Feb. 26 GOOG, GOOGL 32 Comments

    Summary

    • Google is using its power against porn and malware.
    • Google seems poised to finally monetize YouTube and Google Wallet.
    • Despite a disappointing 2014, I wouldn't sell.
  • Home Depot, Lowe's: Is Management Getting Credit For Better Business Conditions?
    Thu, Feb. 26 HD, LOW 3 Comments

    Summary

    • Both home improvement retailers announced solid earnings beats for the quarter.
    • Lowe's credited its own efforts for the gain, patting management on the back.
    • Home Depot shared the gain with shareholders.
  • The Amazon Conspiracy Isn't
    Tue, Feb. 24 AMZN 104 Comments

    Summary

    • Amazon's rise after earnings was not an aberration, but a sign that the market now values growth.
    • It may fall again, but the company remains a great growth engine.
    • Its rise is not a conspiracy, its success is not a fluke.
  • Net Neutrality Is, Like Keystone, A Show About Nothing
    Tue, Feb. 24 CMCSA, CMCSK, T 5 Comments

    Summary

    • Net neutrality is not a business issue. It's purely political. It's about power.
    • Carriers want the Internet to run like cable TV, where they control what viewers can reach.
    • The FCC is offering to deregulate rates, eliminate tariffs and prevent wholesaling.
    • However this ends up, carriers win.
  • How HP Suddenly Became A Buy Again
    Tue, Feb. 24 HPQ 21 Comments

    Summary

    • The Superfish scandal could be crippling to Lenovo, at least for a time.
    • HP's move into white box networking, meanwhile, is less than meets the eye.
    • If the split-up HP is worth just its sales, your gain could be 40%.
  • Why Google Is Winning The Wallet Wars
    Tue, Feb. 24 GOOG, GOOGL 102 Comments

    Summary

    • Google has acquired technology that powers Softcard, a carrier-based NFC payment system.
    • Apple Pay is also an NFC payment system.
    • Google can, over time, acquire more wireless payment market share than Apple.
  • Charlie Ergen's Last Stand At DISH
    Mon, Feb. 23 DISH 7 Comments

    Summary

    • DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen is returning to the CEO slot.
    • The stock has zoomed on speculation concerning what he will do with the company.
    • Given the success it had in the recent spectrum auctions, Ergen needs to reveal his plans.
    • The reveal may be less valuable than the tease.
  • Does American Express Trouble Mean Buy Discover?
    Sat, Feb. 21 AXP, DFS 33 Comments

    Summary

    • AXP has fallen 10% as it absorbs the loss of Costco.
    • A bigger problem is a legal decision opening it up to price competition.
    • Some are speculating this opens the door for Discover to grow. They must prove it before I buy.
  • Wal-Mart Biting The Bullet Does Not Make It A Buy
    Sat, Feb. 21 WMT 10 Comments

    Summary

    • Wal-Mart's pay raise is aimed at reducing horrific employee turnover.
    • Wal-Mart has a three-year plan to resume growth, which has a good chance at working.
    • For now, this is strictly a dividend stock.
  • Enterprise Software Giants Live In An Open Source World
    Fri, Feb. 20 VMW 9 Comments

    Summary

    • Enterprise software clearly living in an open source world, as recent announcements from Pivotal prove.
    • Red Hat got there first and is fully-valued, but VMware may now be a buy.
    • Lower margins on the product mean more emphasis on building services.