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  • Will ConocoPhillips Cut Its Dividend? [View article]
    I think CapEx should (and will) continue to be cut further instead.
    Jan 19, 2015. 05:21 AM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Dirty Little Rare Earth Secret [View article]
    Excellent article, although as you point out, the risk and topic has been around for a long time. I see the situation as being a bit like the cold war. You say that investors and Apple should support North American REE initiatives, but the reality is that nobody in the rich world is going to take the hit for actual REE production (in cost and/or environmentally) while China is willing to do so. Conversely, China isn't going to create a real shortage until that suits it for the long game.

    Nonetheless, you're right about Apple's balance sheet creating a false sense of security. The tendency to weaken suppliers mitigates cash security. Relying on buying hardware technology from others rather than developing it also creates an eventual tipping point, as I address here:

    That tipping point may be a ways off yet, but my follow up article shows that Apple is continuing rather blindly down that road, as both the company and its investors (judging from many comments) are concerned more with margins than lasting value creation.

    I agree that Apple should be held to a higher standard due to its size and success. Furthermore, that size coupled with institutional ownership of 57% means that AAPL may suffer disproportionately in the event that push does come to shove. That's why I went so far as to make the seemingly bizarre proposal that AAPL could eventually come represent an excellent tech market hedge.
    Feb 18, 2015. 10:42 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama to push more city broadband building [View news story]
    I take it you haven't traveled abroad. The U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed world for broadband services, and below even some nations that are considered emerging or third world. I can get internet service in the states, but it is seldom of the quality or value available elsewhere.

    A push local wires that are managed in the same way as local streets is a good thing. Free enterprise can and should still occur by solicitation of bids for maintaining the infrastructure and by allowing multiple data providers to compete over that infrastructure. Maintenance of infrastructure and services over that infrastructure need to be separated, though. That's what's been holding us back and allowing price-gouging by the monopolies and duopolies.
    Jan 14, 2015. 09:01 AM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips's Oil Sands Mistake [View article]
    I'm not so sure. On the technological side, I see much more opportunity to bring production costs from shale gas down than I do with oil sands. So selling off extra assets, with less upsdide, at a good price seems pretty smart to me.

    Not as smart as selling off their refining operations, though. The shift from oil to gas is only just beginning, and COP positioned themselves brilliantly for that. It showed in the most recent earnings report, and will continue to show for years to come.
    Feb 4, 2014. 09:53 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Numbers Get Serious [View article]
    Good article, Dana. Mine had a similar point with regard to market cap, and even went so far as to suggest that AAPL might even make a good hedge against broader market volatility in light of some of its practices, both on the hardware side:

    and on the software side:

    In my opinion, your call is ahead of the curve, though. Apple is currently reaping the benefits of pent up demand due to its lagging product cycle, which is why the first article also predicted the current new highs, despite its bearish tone. I think that run is still a long way from finished.
    Feb 11, 2015. 09:22 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Universal Display: 2014 Prospects Are Dimming [View article]
    I've covered most of this before in my articles. While it's good to see someone else acknowledge the risk to UDC's host business, this article contains some out of date information and gross mis-statement of fact. To hit the larger points:

    Saying that Samsung's mobile phone business is soft may be correct, but itt is simply incorrect to say UDC is not losing market share at Samsung. Samsung is churning out as many AMOLED displays as ever and last we heard, UDC is providing the tech behind all of them. As I've long commented, it doesn't even matter much if Samsung's phone sales are soft, because they can sell as many AMOLED screens as they can make to other manufacturers.

    Cheil industries doesn't even have anything to do with mobile displays anymore. Cheil is now simply the international name of Samsung's Everland division which handles fashon and theme parks. Samsung SDI handles display materials and at last check it was still sourcing them from UDC. That may change, so will a lot of other moving parts...

    As all 3 of my articles have pointed out for over a year now, the real potential for UDC is in TVs, and the latest article shows that opportunity to be (much?) less than year out, not "years", and conservatively calculates a $41 price target for the stock with that time frame. As a Top Idea, that article is no longer public, but Ron Mertens, who knows this industry (though maybe not the investment world) better than just about any public source, has recently published an article here describing the potential of this market.

    A trailing PE of <18 is not "an extremely high multiple" for a company with almost $7 per share on the balance sheet and such a bright future. The single customer issue is a risk I wrote about over a year ago, but if you've been reading along in the comments of my public article, Valuing Universal Display Corp Earnings, you have evidence that is about to change, as well plenty of commentary on the host issue. It's all going to be a matter of timing.

    I recently took an overly harsh tone in Ron's article, so I'm just going to check out of this one after merely commenting on the facts. I do answer questions and publish updates in my public article, mentioned above, though.
    Jul 14, 2014. 01:47 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Contributors Top List Of Best Performing Financial Bloggers [View article]
    94% accurate? What exactly does that mean?

    TR doesn't even show most of my calls and is wrong on 3 out of 5 the "latest" that it does. See my comment below for an example. The problem is that ongoing nuanced analysis often doesn't easily categorize as buy or sell, and when something changes about a thesis, that news is often going to come in a comment rather than an article.

    And before I get invited to go make corrections, that's simply not something I, or many others whose analysis isn't completely one-side, are going to spend uncompensated time on, especially when the base data seems far off to begin with.
    Jan 5, 2015. 04:08 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White House goes to bat for Qualcomm against China [View news story]
    I'm not sure what anyone thinks will come of this. In 2011 American Superconductor (AMSC) uncovered proof that Sinovel, amongst other Chinese firms, was outright stealing its technology with the help of an AMSC employee. The employee was convicted months later, yet in the intervening 4 YEARS Chinese courts have done little more than decide who will listen to the evidence. In the meantime, AMSC has gone from a $50 stock to less than a dollar and is in danger of de-listing. The idea that press opportunities like this are going to produce any meaningful effects is pretty laughable.
    Dec 16, 2014. 06:33 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Systems soars on IBM buyout rumors, takes peers higher [View news story]
    As is their habit, the editors linked to a tweet which tells you nothing. In this case, the tweet links to this page which also tells you very little.

    This looks a lot like a pump and dump to capitalize on the short interest, which is probably the only thing in this Market Current, besides reporting on the price movements, that will turn out to be for real.
    Nov 5, 2013. 10:54 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bloomberg: Google, Twitter strike deal to add tweets to results [View news story]
    Uggh. I have NEVER seen a tweet that has been more useful than a direct link to the underlying news. Clouding search results in this way only degrades Google.
    Feb 5, 2015. 09:44 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • InvenSense: What Matters, What Doesn't [View article]
    I disagree. There may be more FUD-spreading, but otherwise it's hard to find any negative catalysts on the horizon. I make no claims about timing, but I think the game is essentially up as this was a clearly good report. Any short seller worth his salt would realize that and it's just a matter of whether they choose the long or short way out. Everyone wants a good price but time is always against them.
    Feb 2, 2015. 01:05 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama backs tough net neutrality rules [View news story]
    It's good to see someone meaningfully push the FCC to deviate from its usual M.O. of completely wrecking American telecommunications.
    Nov 10, 2014. 10:59 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Cell Technology Annual Meeting Announcement: A Harbinger Of...? [View article]
    Dilution hasn't happened yet. Management has simply asked for the ability to increase share count sometime after the meeting. For all we know, dilution won't happen unless the shares are issued as part of a JV. However, management making a claim like that would simply open them up to later lawsuits if a deal fell through because the stock price rose too much.

    Similarly, it's barely two weeks since the R/S. An up-list certainly wouldn't happen in that time. Even it took another two months, I'd consider that nearly simultaneous, since the timing is not completely under management's control. Not that I recall them ever promising it would be simultaneous in the first place. Please link to sources!

    Finally, there are no preferred shares. Please read before commenting! This is exactly the sort of information the article refers to. I could have your commented deleted, but I'd rather let it stand so that readers can make their own judgments about the credibility of your comments in general.
    Sep 12, 2014. 08:24 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Pay-TV industry: Something has to give [View news story]
    A large number of networks closing up shop seems just fine and dandy to me. What's truly staggering is the purity of much of the junk that gets broadcast. The real takeaway here is that analysts, and more importantly, networks have very little idea what customers really want to watch. Yet somehow, the powers that be have managed to force a system where people pay for all of it regardless.
    Dec 4, 2013. 05:35 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Elon Musk defends Tesla as feds start probe [View news story]
    As usual, Tesla's management is pretty impressive in their handling of this matter. They've actually requested the NHTSA probe in order to put the matter to rest as quickly as possible. Furthermore, they've expanded the warranty to include fire because they recognize that's the easiest way to quell any fears for what is really a very rare occurrence.
    Nov 19, 2013. 08:45 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment