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  • Comcast: A Wide-Moat Dividend Candidate Worth Considering [View article]
    Thanks for your comment Horowitzcpa. Comcast is a very underrated company in my opinion. It's not easy for anyone to replicate the cable network infrastructure they have without significant incremental cost. Google fibre isn't really a significant threat in my opinion. Comcast has a long future, and strong pricing power. Nice dividend stream you have there from Comcast! I only see it getting stronger
    Oct 3, 2014. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook On Track To Becoming A Major Player In Payments [View article]
    pdinfull, i don't disagree that it will be a challenge for Facebook to get payment credentials out of a section of the population, of a certain older demographic. But it ultimately depends on the value exchange. If Facebook is able to offer certain exclusive offers and deals, which I'm sure they'll be at pains to do at least in the early stages of Facebook Buy, you'll start seeing that people will be willing to part with their payment credentials to transact.

    I don't imagine that it will be a problem for Facebook to get millennials to keep their credit card credentials with Facebook, particularly if there are compelling attractive offers available.
    Oct 2, 2014. 01:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Nike [View article]
    Slowly Learning, I actually made the decision to accumulate Nike, and started my investment before the 15% ish spike as a result of blow out earnings. While Nike may look pricey now, one blowout quarter and periodic elevation in price doesn't really affect my decision given conviction in the business model and confidence in Nike's ability to be a proxy for emerging markets growth.
    Sep 30, 2014. 02:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Nike [View article]
    andredemers, I'm planning steady long term accumulation, every month, with an investment horizon of about 10 years. I don't disagree that Nike is trading at a premium valuation, in the context of the market and in the context of its own trading history. I expect my accumulation strategy will lead to good points of entry over time, with the end result that I'll come out well ahead at the end of the accumulation time frame.
    Sep 30, 2014. 12:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble: An Attractive Candidate For Any Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    Todd, thats a fair comment. I think PG actually does represent reasonably good value even here. I guess I'd love to acquire it at a great price, which $75 would represent for me. Of course the risk is that it never gets there and you lose the opportunity to steadily accumulate a great business.
    Sep 25, 2014. 05:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Pepsi [View article]
    SLC, thanks for the comments. Pepsi has articulated a very interesting strategy which is something like" fun for you, better for you and good for you"
    As part of this strategy, Pepsi is pushing out a bunch of healthy products, yoghurts, juices etc. They are also focussed on improving the health content of some of their snacks as well, through decreasing salt and fat content. Overall a good strategy to ensure they aren't left out of the movement for people to go healthy.
    Sep 19, 2014. 10:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Pepsi [View article]
    20/20, thanks for the feedback. I'm not worried about a few % here and there in my accumulation. I'm hoping to accumulate Pepsi for the next 15 years or so.
    Sep 19, 2014. 08:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Pepsi [View article]
    snacks have been Pepsi's saving grace with carbonated beverage declines. its a great portfolio of well established brands. I'm happy to steadily accumulate over time.
    Sep 19, 2014. 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Pepsi [View article]
    BuffaloBell, Coke and Pepsi have strong distribution and logistics assets that mean they have a competitive advantage in getting any sort of beverage through this channel to almost any store anywhere on the planet. That's very hard to replicate. Its carbonated beverages today, could be anything tomorrow. In my view, short sighted to write them off because of declines in carbonated volumes.
    Sep 19, 2014. 08:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • MasterCard: One Of My Favorite Growth Stocks [View article]
    smallpie, its very hard to separate them. I think MasterCard may have more exposure to international volume than Visa, with Visa having larger US share, if I'm not mistaken. Both are strong players in a duopoly. I own a lot of both.
    Sep 19, 2014. 08:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MasterCard: One Of My Favorite Growth Stocks [View article]
    I was impressed with Apple's approach to the payment ecosystem. The worked out who the key players are to get something done and then orchestrate how best to get their cooperating. I recall reading that they basically got a bunch of the merchants and key networks on board and then held a gun to the issuers head to say you're either with us, or we'll go it alone without you.

    Apple read ecosystems and competitive dynamics very well.
    Sep 18, 2014. 08:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MasterCard: One Of My Favorite Growth Stocks [View article]
    I would have thought Apple buying Discover was a more likely scenario... Amex is a big beast, in a variety of different business lines, and at a far more expensive price. I would see Apple going the Discover route if it decided it was more seriously interested in playing in the payments space.
    Sep 18, 2014. 08:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MasterCard: One Of My Favorite Growth Stocks [View article]
    I think MA getting into tokenization services will be a big future driver of revenue growth for the stock. The future will be transactions where the physical credit card number is not provided to the merchant as part of the transaction completion. MA will receive approximately $0.025 per tokenized transaction that runs over the MA rails.

    ApplePay isn't likely to be a short term or near term competitor in my view. I am a little cautious of what the long term may bring however and how they have managed to pull it together, and I am sure MA and V are watching developments closely. The move is characteristic of how Apple works. Apple would have observed that mobile payments haven't gone anywhere. The lure of a major platform like Apple to galvanize mobile payments and bring a bunch of merchants together would have been too difficult for MasterCard and Visa to resist, and given mobile payments has been thus far not fruitful, would have felt it worth the effort to throw their cards in with Apple.

    The real long term risk however is can Apple create enough momentum and bring on board enough merchants that it can eventually just have an Apple closed loop payment card in the wallet and process payments. Merchants would love it as zero interchange. Craft some sort of loyalty program around it and consumers may go for it as well, and transact their payments with an Apple card linked to, say ACH.

    On the flip side, I think some of these scenarios are unlikely to play out. There is no real alternate real time settlement payment rail for Apple to leverage at this time. Alternatives like ACH would expose a company like Apple to 2-3 days of settlement risk. Apple would certainly have to partner with a bank if it wanted to manage these credit exposures that result, which is a very different business for the company to be in.

    Also Apple is only a subset of the total device ecosystem, and its getting progressively smaller and smaller as cheap Android devices flood the market. Thus merchants will need to continue to accept payment alternatives that work across device, which will mean Visa and MasterCard will no go away anywhere anytime soon. The key is if Apple do decide to enter this market, how much share will they get. My view is not more than 5-10% volume. And this isn't happening anytime soon. A minimum of 5+ years will be required for mobile payments to really scale up and for Apple to be in a position to extract maximum leverage after having all ecosystem participants on board and seeing significant advantage accrue to them.

    My long winded answer for saying that MA and V aren't in any danger of being destabilized in the short to medium term, with minimal impacts for the long term.
    Sep 17, 2014. 10:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Adding Pepsi [View article]
    Conservativeoutperformer, thanks for the kind words. I remember when I first added KO I spent quite a bit of time going back and forth between KO and PEP, ultimately settling for KO. Pepsi is certainly much better insulated from carbonated beverage declines than Coke. The snack business is a solid moat in and of itself, and rapidly growing from the looks of it. At the end of the day, I'm still comfortable hanging in with Coke. It needs to be looked at as a distribution system to push through any and all manner of beverages. For the moment, volume is carbonated beverages, but there is no reason why that couldn't be anything else. Coke is actively pushing through waters and juices and energy drinks which will soon become a larger portion of its business.

    Thanks for the tips around RAVN and RLI. I will do some additional diligence on them.
    Sep 17, 2014. 08:21 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MasterCard: One Of My Favorite Growth Stocks [View article]
    True..pretty good was a massive understatement!
    Sep 17, 2014. 07:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment