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George Fisher

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  • Consider Grabbing These 12 'GARP' Stocks [View article]

    I have been a CBI shareholder since 1997 and have written a few articles here on SA concerning their business. While its share price has had a great run, earnings also continue to grow. Although not particularily value priced, my medium term price target is $52 to $55, and where I plan on reducing my share count. It is a great company that provides an interesting diversification in the energy field with infrastructure construction offsetting the typical E&P and MLP operator. Well worth any energy investor's time to do their DD

    FD: Long CBI
    Apr 14 10:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do You Have An Energy Royalty Trust? [View article]
    DMLP is my "trust" of choice. They are structured as a MLP, according to their bylaws can't have debt, has about a 3% annual reserve decline rate, and has been expanding its acreage. Only about 30% of its land is developed and enjoys some organic reserve replacement. DMLP flys under everyone's radar, and that the way I like it.

    FD: Long DMLP
    Apr 6 09:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat CD Yields And Get Income Monthly [View article]
    EGAS has also delayed its year end filing due to negotiations with Sun Life on breaches of covenances on about $18m in loans to their Ohio subs. 2011 numbers should be filed 4/16, along with a full explaination, hopefully.
    FD: Long EGAS
    Apr 4 09:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Stocks In Oversold Territory [View article]
    DMLP is a nat gas MLP that has no debt, period. Can't have any debt due to restrictions in their bylaws. Distribution is variable based on cash flow, which unfortunately turns off many income investors.

    FD: Long DMLP
    Apr 2 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon - Dividend Total Return Analysis [View article]
    EXC has a div of $2.10 for a 5.4% yld. Both Yahoo and Reuters are reporting a lower dividend, but there is no confirming pr nor is it noted on the most recent broker reports where the divy was cut since its Feb 13 quarterly payment.

    The investment thesis for EXC is an above avg yld with cap gain potential when the natty gas market improves, driving power auction pricing higher. In addition, the recent merger should be accretive over time and adds to its regulated footprint. However, it may not be until late 2013 or 2014 for eps to crack the $3.50 mark again.
    Mar 29 04:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pentair: Merger Creates Long-Term Value [View article]
    As you know, I have owned ADRs for a long time outside an IRA. Not a big deal as it is just one more line item on your annual broker statement. I don't reinvest the divy from the ADRs. The semi-annual /annual divy that many pay is different than what US investors are used to. In addition, some, like Aussie banks, will vary their divy based on earnings and some will have a higher payout ratio.

    That being said, I prefer holding individual securities than an ETF/fund and this gets me int'l exposure. This divy difference comes with the territory.

    Canadian companies do not usually deduct witholding taxes if held in a US IRA - tax treaty.
    Mar 29 02:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pentair: Merger Creates Long-Term Value [View article]

    And the withholding tax is substantial at 35%. While this can be an offset when filing US taxes as "foreign tax paid", the US tax credit gets lost if the security is held in an IRA.

    A list of foreign withholding by country:

    I have followed PNR for many years, but have never owned it.
    Mar 29 11:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 7 Reasons Why Freeport-McMoRan Shares Could Jump 65% [View article]

    Nice article with one minor correction. This quarter, SCCO's divy was changed from all cash to a combination of cash and stock. The most recent qtr divy was $0.188/shr cash plus 0.01 shares. At $32/shr, this would make the combined 1st qtr divy worth $0.51. Annualized, this would be a combined $2.04, or a 6.3% yld.

    Most financial sites only list the cash portion of the divy, but there is a huge difference between reported and what shareholders actually recieved.

    FD: Long SCCO and looking at FCX
    Mar 27 04:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Win An iPad In Seeking Alpha's 1 Million User Haiku Contest [View article]

    Contributor and reader
    Alpha ascending again
    Mar 26 07:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Passes One Million Members -- 5 Things You Need To Know [View article]
    Seeking Alpha provides a unique platform for discussions of ideas and strategies. Glad I can be of service.
    Mar 26 12:34 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yield, Value, Safety: Still Available With Selected Utilities [View article]
    Hey, John, It's me again.

    Concerning mergers in the uts sector, Gabelli has a most interesting take. He seeks out potential mergers in his Utilities Fund GABUX. Here is his take on the consolidation in the sector:

    “Our Approach
    For several decades, utility companies have acquired other utilities and utility assets for the sake of gaining economies of scale and efficiency or divested non-core utility assets to focus on core competencies. Despite over 90 completed utility mergers/acquisitions since 1993, the electric and gas utility sector remains fragmented, with over 60 electric utilities and 30 gas utilities. This is 50 more than we need from the standpoint of economic efficiency.

    The balkanized structure of the industry is inherently inefficient, and competitive forces combined with constant changes in regulatory policy pressure marginal players. The big companies feel the need to be bigger to achieve scale economies or gain a strategic benefit, while the small companies are selling out as the cost of staying in the game rises. It is only because of a complex and lengthy merger review and approval process that the industry remains as fragmented as it currently is. Our investments in regulated companies have primarily, though not exclusively, focused on fundamentally sound, reasonably priced mid cap and small cap utilities that are likely acquisition targets for large utilities seeking increased bulk.

    We also like the beneficiaries of developing trends. This has led to our ongoing focus on nuclear power utilities and utilities with material wind development pipelines as a way to benefit from the need for more power from carbon free generation. We favor utilities with pending transmission line developments and also focus on natural gas pipelines and storage operators as a way to take advantage of the growing demand for natural gas in the U.S.”

    Here is the 3rd qtr investment changes for GABUX:

    Mergers have been and will be a fact of life for the uts sector for some time to come. By the way, due to its very high ROC, GABUX should be looked at as an income fund that invests in the uts sector with a focus on consolidation.

    FD: Long GABUX
    Mar 18 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yield, Value, Safety: Still Available With Selected Utilities [View article]

    One aspect you may want to focus on is the % of revenues from regulated businesses vs merchant power. EXC has a large % from merchant power and is one of the reasons for the merger - to increase exposure to more stable cash flows from regulated businesses. This is a trend that is playing out in electric uts not only in the NE but in the Midwest as well.

    With the low natty gas prices, the auction power market is at 10-yr lows, effecting all NE merchant power producers, and EXC is one of the biggies. As the low cost producer, EXC's fortunes will improve with higher gas prices that drives higher electric prices, and it could be considered a l-t play on an improving natural gas market.

    EXC is a turnaround in 2013 and 2014, and not much sooner. The auction market is usually 3-yr contracts, and some of the contracts will extend today's low prices until 2015. This is why eps estimates are for around $3.00 this year and next. EXC is very active in the hedging market, similiar to oil companies.

    I would be cautious with EXC as it has little eps and dividend growth over the next two years, and I'm not sure a 5.4% yld is sufficent return for no growth. I think there may be better value entry points with a general market sell off, and a 6+% yld would certianly gain my attention. L-T, in a rising demand and rising natty gas market, EXC should do quite well. That day will come, it just won't be tomorrow. Nibbling on dips from here could be prudent.
    Mar 18 12:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chaoda Modern Agriculture: A Green Giant for the Price of a Dwarf? [View article]
    Happy Birthday Clemens. By the end of the weekend, this article will be a year old and seems to have more "legs" than my 1-yr old grandchild. Been an interesting read and story to follow.

    Mar 16 03:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yield, Value, Safety: Still Available With Selected Utilities [View article]
    John, Nice article and great job with the research. Too few review these important criteria for comparison. I especially like the S&P Equity Ranking and have used it for over 15 years. Very under followed ranking that goes to the heart of value investing - 10 year consistency in earnings and dividend growth.

    I prefer to review ROIC (Return on Invested Capital) over ROE as I believe it is better indicator of management effectiveness. ROIC includes debt and provides a clear picture of returns based on total capital employed, not just shareholder equity. I try to find companies with higher than industry average ROIC, which in the utility sector is about 5-7%. Below is the ROIC for your selections, based on the information you offered.

    EXC 9.21
    PEG 7.86
    ETR 6.59
    PPL 5.74
    TE 5.17
    AEP 4.95
    DTE 4.80
    SCG 4.32
    WR 4.24
    ATO 3.94
    DUK 3.92

    FD: Long EXC and AEP
    Mar 16 03:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding An Investment In Timber REITs [View article]

    Nice article that highlights an important point - not all timber companies offer the same exposure to timber and real estate.

    I personally don't care for WY management and PCL seems a bit overpriced for me right now. I believe most timber companies are priced at about mid-cycle valuations and are not particularly "cheap". My choices have been RYN for the performance fiber exposure that supports eps/divy growth and POPE for its MLP structure along with being a "pure play" on timber and a under followed/unknown very small company.

    While not a screaming buy, these will add nice diversification to the portfolio along with some income. The West Coast timber market support is coming from exports to China due to the Russian export tax. There are risks with either a hard landing for China or a reversal of the export tax.

    One other aspect to review with timber companies is their actual vs sustained harvests. With the slow down of the last few years, actual harvests fell below sustained level, meaning future harvest could increase over sustainable levels, adding to sales and profits. These offsets are being utilized currently and many timber companies have harvests over sustainable levels. At some point, harvest volumes will come down, or sustainability will not be maintained.

    FD: Long RYN and POPE, and have been a shareholder since before my hair turned grey.
    Mar 15 12:09 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment