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  • Understanding American Capital's 2014 Annual Results
     • Tue, Mar. 3 ACAS 18 Comments

    Summary

    • Transition toward BDC spinoff in progress; asset transitions incomplete; new senior floating loan portfolio still not fully levered.
    • Fee-generating assets under management up $1.8 billion (19%) from Dec. 31, 2013, with 5 new funds launched.
    • Undiluted NAV up $1.53/sh to $20.50/sh (+8%) from Dec. 31, 2013 – while price is down.
    • Decoupling balance sheet of funds-management business from the balance sheets of the companies that pay it fees, will allow ACAS to reveal funds-management performance.
  • Berkshire Hathaway: High-Growth Stock?
    Wed, Feb. 25 BRK.B 29 Comments

    Summary

    • BRK.B is up 37% over the last 12 months.
    • Berkshire's growth isn't limited to a single geography, but is expanding internationally.
    • Berkshire uses "free" cash from sources like insurance float and not-yet-due income tax liabilities to leverage investments in high quality businesses.
  • After Earnings, Apple Is Aces
    Editors' Pick • Mon, Feb. 2 AAPL 126 Comments

    Summary

    • Last quarter Apple earned record profit.
    • The March-ending quarter's guidance represents 20% growth over the year-ago quarter.
    • Despite foreign currency headwinds, gross margins projections remain 38%-plus.
  • Disney's Alchemists Turn Lead Into Gold On Command
    Tue, Jan. 13 DIS 28 Comments

    Summary

    • Disney's evolution into a media company has increased its addressable market.
    • Disney is making significant money-makers from properties previously perceived to be practically worthless.
    • Disney dominates merchandising revenues, and will continue to dominate merchandising revenues as it expands its catalog of developed properties with current content.
    • As a media company, Disney enjoys margins growth that would have been difficult while focused on filling hotel rooms.
  • American Capital Ltd.: What A Share Is Worth
    Editors' Pick • Nov. 7, 2014 ACAS 34 Comments

    Summary

    • Accounting for dilution at options exercise, assets are worth $18.22 per share pre-split.
    • Impending separation into three entities will reduce confusion about value and improve pricing for the post-split asset manager.
    • Changes in regulatory treatment as a non-BDC will allow more aggressive compensation terms in management agreements, improving earnings growth.
  • Apple's Innovation: Proof It's Over, Or Reason To Buy?
    Oct. 21, 2014 AAPL 42 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple's post-news sell-off isn't unusual - but is it an opportunity?
    • Far from having lost some old lead gained from early innovation, Apple continues to develop differentiated products customers love.
    • Apple's competitive position in China has changed for the better.
    • Apple's Q4'2014 will be driven not only by holiday demand but huge order backlogs from Q3'2014.
  • American Capital Ltd.: Loving The Hate
    Oct. 13, 2014 ACAS 27 Comments

    Summary

    • News frequently characterizes ACAS' business-as-usual news as negative.
    • Complexity in ACAS' operations and reorganization plans precludes sound-bite synopses and headlines.
    • Until ACAS reorganizes to separate funds management from managed funds, marketplace confusion should persist regarding the company's outlook and valuation.
  • Apple's iPhone Launch: Predicting A Strong 2014 Holiday Quarter?
    Oct. 9, 2014 AAPL 21 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple's record-setting iPhone launch didn't include China.
    • Chinese demand for Apple's phones is high.
    • Chinese launch sales atop the holiday season sales suggest a new record quarter.
    • Apple Pay promises improved margins across Apple's entire product lineup from internal transaction processing.
  • Berkshire: Still Beating The S&P
    Sep. 9, 2014 BRK.B, BRK.A 48 Comments

    Summary

    • Berkshire's scale and diversity prevent it from acting like a nimble market participant.
    • Berkshire keeps tens of billions uninvested to support its liquidity policy.
    • Berkshire's productive businesses still beat the S&P.
  • Scale Is Opportunity At Apple
    Sep. 8, 2014 AAPL 33 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple's Fall shipping reservations echoes its holiday shipping for the first iMac, which displaced competitors seeking to make holiday sales.
    • Apple's volumes make possible capital investments that competitors can't easily match.
    • Apple's vertical integration prevents competitors from interfering with Apple's operations.
  • Apple's Quality Is A Competitive Advantage
    Sep. 5, 2014 AAPL 62 Comments

    Summary

    • Quality products support Apple's margins and its profit.
    • Apple's consistent top marks in satisfaction surveys mean customer retention, word of mouth, trust.
    • Apple's quality reputation makes iOS the priority platform even for cross-platform developers.
    • Apple's reputation for quality aids entry into new market segments.
  • Apple's Position Supports Payment Processing Enterprise
    Sep. 2, 2014 AAPL 29 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple's Passbook system grows its position as a payment intermediary, as suggested in 2011.
    • Apple's top-tier customers make its payment network as attractive to sellers as to existing payments firms.
    • Apple has deals underway with American Express, Visa and MasterCard.
  • American Capital: 2014 Mid-Year Update
    Aug. 26, 2014 ACAS 26 Comments

    Summary

    • Persistent NAV discount and continued NAV growth.
    • Reorganization plans clearer.
    • Update to prior ACAS coverage.
  • Some Math On ACAS' Capital Returns
       • Jan. 21, 2014 ACAS 19 Comments
  • Understanding American Capital After 2Q2013
       • Aug. 1, 2013 ACAS 22 Comments
  • Understanding American Capital's 4Q2012 Earnings Announcement
    Editors' Pick • Feb. 20, 2013 ACAS 21 Comments
  • Apple Scores By Skating Where The Puck Is Going Internationally
    Feb. 12, 2013 AAPL 28 Comments
  • Understanding Apple's Anemic Quarter
    Editors' Pick • Feb. 6, 2013 AAPL 50 Comments
  • Is Apple's Threat Real In The Living Room?
    Feb. 5, 2013 AAPL 118 Comments
  • Apple: Cheaper Phone Means Cheaper Stock?
    Jan. 16, 2013 AAPL 61 Comments
  • American Capital: Back In The Business-Building Business
    Editors' Pick • Jan. 11, 2013 ACAS 31 Comments
  • Mobile Manufacturers Part III: Apple Makes More Money
    Jan. 9, 2013 AAPL 59 Comments
  • Mobile Manufacturers Part II: Samsung Sells More Stuff
    Jan. 9, 2013 SSNLF 3 Comments
  • Mobile Manufacturers Part I: Killer Competition
    Jan. 9, 2013 MSFT 8 Comments
  • Understanding Google's Position In The Platform War (Part 2)
    Editors' Pick • Dec. 4, 2012 GOOG 31 Comments
  • Understanding Google's Position In The Platform War (Part 1)
    Editors' Pick • Dec. 4, 2012 GOOG 30 Comments
  • Apple After The Riot, Shortage, Strike, Etc.: Still A Buy?
    Editors' Pick • Oct. 9, 2012 AAPL 208 Comments
  • Research In Motion - Up, But Better?
    Editors' Pick • Oct. 5, 2012 BBRY 89 Comments
  • Normalcy Returning To American Capital
    Editors' Pick • Sep. 10, 2012 ACAS 25 Comments
  • Apple: Pricing Policy, Pricing Power, And Profit
    Editors' Pick • Sep. 3, 2012 AAPL 39 Comments
  • Has Apple Peaked?
    Aug. 29, 2012 AAPL 77 Comments
  • More Growth At American Capital Ltd.
    Editors' Pick • Aug. 10, 2012 ACAS 14 Comments