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Doug Meeks  

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  • A Day In The Life [View article]
    Peace,

    Well done indeed. A full life, fearlessly met and enjoyed. Well done.

    Doug
    Mar 31, 2015. 11:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    Mike,

    I was in Milwaukee last summer, I gotta tell ya..... pretty cool town, and I get around. Still some good beer there, even without Schlitz/Stroh's. Maybe I got lucky, but it was nice.

    D
    Mar 27, 2015. 12:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Mr. Fish, can not be thanked enough for his work. I need to get a picture with the guy and put it up on my website! He's like a celeb to me.

    Regards,

    Doug
    Mar 26, 2015. 05:57 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    Adam,

    If you come down for an interview, I would consider it, but then you have to consider working for me.

    D
    Mar 26, 2015. 09:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    RAS,

    MCD does indeed know how to make money, they have showed the world how to do fast food. I would take an exception to your idea of "pricing power". SBUX and CMG have had increasing sales and growth in comp stores while increasing prices. I would note the Apple has pricing power as does Whole Foods (Whole Foods has something like triple its industry average margin). When your entire business model is not price oriented your clients end up being less price sensitive as well. Smaller market, more money, more profit per enterprise dollar.

    Have you considered a payout ratio at MCD that you would consider selling?

    Just a thought, God knows you guys have given me much to think about and be smarter.

    Doug
    Mar 26, 2015. 09:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Big Thunder, very informed comment. I get the bowl as well, and split it with my wife, ha! It's important to mention another reason why we are there, that stuff taste good. Real good. Personal preference is not really something that should lead investment decisions, but dang that stuff is good.

    Doug
    Mar 26, 2015. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Chowder, KRFT is a good deal, no doubt. What I worry about is the draw of the affluent client to "healthier" choices. Nothing wrong with that, except for embedded price sensitive merchants, like MCD, might have a hard time changing. I'm going to look at that CNBC list, if other burger places are growing, I suspect they are not cheap, low price (perhaps low quality) burger joints like MCD. Here we have burger joints everywhere, the new spots are FiveGuys, Smash Burger, Liberty Burger and some others. A Five Guys burger is showing an average of $6.19, BigMac and 1/4 pounders are under $4. Source (FastFoodMenuPrices.com).

    If those spots are growing are the ones selling better food, it's the same trend. Does not mean the end of the other guys at all, just a migration of the non-price sensitive crowd (hence higher profit). That migration has my interest.

    Note the changes to GIS product mix, gluten free, high protein, organic (Annies), even HagenDaaz (high end ice cream). It's not just the fast food, there is higher concentration in profits in high quality food, as the choice get's more clear, I'm afraid the profits are going to get more clear as well.

    Apple controls about 80% of the profits in the mobile phone market, this was done by having something like 30% of the users. How? they have the affluent segment. I see the food industry heading the same way, not to a single provider but into the type of groups via the flexibility to choose.

    Doug
    Mar 26, 2015. 08:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    Cape, Bob's is getting it done, indeed. We could drag him to Houston's for lunch, the thai mango steak salad is a real treat.

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 11:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    You can do it! I'll bring a Chipotle Burrito and watch your best effort. Do you think they will let me in with a Chipotle?
    Mar 25, 2015. 08:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Mike, et all...

    Healthy eating is not a joke. The fact that the market place has given these choices to people ..... to eat "healthy" or not.... has created a bifurcation in clients. Healthier foods can charge a premium while the choices that are not seen as healthy are a race to the bottom. It's not about what will people do, it's about who can make the money. The option to eat 'healthy' draws the more affluent client. That's how it is, please look at the margins at Whole Foods, wow. Margins at MCD have fallen since the Great Recession while CMG has been able to increase net margins. It's not a trend, it's a choice, I think it's bad news for some companies.

    regards,

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 07:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    RAS,

    I'm not a fan of what MCD has done over the last few years, can't tell yet if that is just a cycle but the comp sales have been in the crapper quarter after quarter. What concerns me more than falling comp sales at MCD is the utter lack of any pricing power. When CMG or SBUX wants to raise prices, it just raises the bottom line. MCD can't not raise prices, people are only there for price, and they just go to Burger King. I think Brophy is spot on about MCD, they have to change we are all changing around them. Now I might be insulated here in an affluent burb of Dallas, but CMG is where people are eating here. Economic recovery will favor the "healthy" choices, and economic decline MIGHT favor MCD. I sold out all MCD long ago.

    It's like Samsung and Apple.....who cares about the long lines, show me profits and growth.... where is the growth? Pay out ratio has been climbing for years at MCD, unhealthy food, low prices.... it's tough to see the road ahead for MCD.
    Mar 25, 2015. 07:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    Adam, Come on down, you must have the Ponchos buff. I want to see if you can smile through that, if you can.... then you can tell us how long you were able to keep smiling after Cape sends you home.

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 07:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    rose,

    MAT has been on the wrong side of all the major toy trends in the last several years. If MAT gets closer to DIS they could get a bump. If that happens I would sell that bump. HAS is the problem. HAS is getting it right every time and they overlap too much. However, if MAT and DIS don't get closer.....MAT might be able to make some kind of transformative deal. Remember Star Wars is coming and MAT has no real part of that (except hot wheels), DIS and HAS are married there (old deal between HAS and Lucasfilm) and that could squeeze every toy maker in the market except HAS for a few years, several films are being planned even some spin-offs. HAS has the Marvel Comics deal (Avengers et al, GoG, Xmen, FF) what is MAT going to do? Barbie does not translate overseas that well, and did you see that Barbie that listens to your kids and puts the digital information on the web?..... not a good idea. Anyway, I'm rambling, but I'm looking for up-side from MAT, hard to find.

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Dividend Contenders The Real Champions? [View article]
    Mike,

    Uncertainty + Profits often equals an exit for me. I try to balance that with less generalized information like market sector condition, macro economic stuff, Buffetology and other stuff. Tough call, I would love to know your ongoing thoughts here, no pressure! I do think you have a solid decision making process, and I'm interested.

    Regards,

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Growth Strategy: Benchmark Your Way To Success [View article]
    Adam,

    You are turning out some good stuff these days. Investors should always think about what they are doing. Evaluation should be a rigorous effort and rather ruthless. No reason to self justify with investments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I think that if an investor does not look at total return then he would have a hard time understanding the quality of the income stream. That is true over a multi-year time frame. Consider the rise in YOC of MAT, that is a yield growth un-related to growth or health of the underlying business, it just dividend growth in the absence of fundamental growth. Total return would tell you that something is wrong with MAT and you should look closer. One example like MAT is not a good way to capture the fact that investors need to always try to find ways to keep looking deeper. Another one that comes to mind is the payout ratio expansion at General Mills, they are in the area that historically has signaled low/no dividend growth. It could be all kinds of things that would get some attention, not just total return. This why I feel maxed out at about 35 equities, it's not always the same 35 equities. I have added ADM now, and started moving out of Whole Foods after a strong run with them, just need to keep my universe small enough to manage well. These thoughtful articles are helpful.

    Great read! Essential SA reading here.

    Doug
    Mar 25, 2015. 09:54 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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