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Jim Kingsdale  

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  • SQM Reports Revenue Growth for Eighth Consecutive Year [View article]
    With EPS of $1.91 and a stock price of just under $27, that looks like a P/E of about 14, not 25? What am I missing?
    Mar 23, 2009. 10:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China May Have the Lead in Developing the Next Generation of Cars [View article]
    Also, re: bankruptcy of G.M.and Chyrsler, going through bankruptcy seems to be the only way the existing capital structure will become rationally re-alligned. So far negotiations with bond holders seem to have failed.
    Mar 11, 2009. 12:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China May Have the Lead in Developing the Next Generation of Cars [View article]
    Hmmm. A good bit of steamed up commentary here. Please keep in mind that I concluded my observations by saying that the EV race is in the first inning. I didn't predict a winner, which nobody can know at this point. The article simply observes that the Chinese are taking the EV very seriously and seem to be making more progress than the much more experienced American companies have made.

    Anyone who wants the U.S. governement to invest more money behind the management of G.M. and Chyrsler, sans bankruptcy, does not seem to appreciate that historical failure by a management team is a pretty goodpredictor of future results (it's one basis on which successful investors make decisions) and also fails to appreciate that only a bankruptcy can re-align the disfunctional legal constraints on G.M. and Chrysler in both manufacturing and distribution.

    It does seems strange that the C-M study concluded that a 40 mile all electric range is not cost effective and yet the BYD PHEV is said to have a much greater range. I can't explain that unless the BYD battery's weight/performance characteristics are much different from the C-M assumptions or unless the final BYD export vehicle will be different from the one described.

    I completely agree with comments pointing out the history changing consumer perceptions of quality of other countries' exports, especially cars. Anyone who thinks the Chinese could not become known in the U.S. for producing high-quality, high-value cars is an idiot.
    Mar 11, 2009. 12:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Battery Wars [View article]
    Thanks for all the good comments, all valid. I tried to indicate that the field of battle is continually changing and the ultimate outcome is totally uncertain at this point. So it's not clear that investors should be betting money on one technology or another right now. On the other hand, demand for Rare Earth Metals is growing independent of NiMH batteries. If Lynas clears up its financing, its stock could prove very rewarding. But in this market that is a big if.
    Feb 12, 2009. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Wealth Equal Money? [View article]
    In para. 5 I said car and commercial loans will increase. I meant to say defaults in car and commercial loans will increase. Sorry.
    Jan 21, 2009. 01:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Deflation Be Avoided? [View article]
    Two brief comments: I caught the mis-spelling of Roubini but not quickly enough - Seeking Alpha picked up the piece before I changed it. But the criticism is justified. I should have been more careful before posting, not afterwards.

    Someone misunderstood my point about stocks and deflation. I did not mean that risings stock prices would cause the economy not to go into deflation (although rising stock prices would help improve consumer spending). What I meant is that rising stock prices would be a predictor that the economy is not falling into deflation.

    A problem with my suggestion that we might use stock prices to predict deflation (or anything else) is what period to look at. For example, stock prices could well rise for a few months then fall back again so that the temporary rise would be only a correction in a bear market. Do you look at the rising period or the longer term trend?

    It might take so much time for a true bullish trend in stock prices to emerge (a series of higher highs and higher lows that conclusively breaks the downtrend line) that by then it might also be clear from the rear view mirror that deflation was not prevailing.

    Jan 3, 2009. 08:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Deflation Be Avoided? [View article]
    Thanks all for the spirited discussion. First, an apology for the Rubini link. It actually does work if you click on it and then click on the "open message" link. But I've amended my original post on my site to include Rubini's full comments at the end of my post. Go to: www.energyinvestmentst.../

    On the actual matter, I think John Lounsbury's point clarifies my own view of inflation and deflation and I should have been more clear and specific. Leading up to late 2007 we experienced conflicting trends of inflation and price declines. There was an asset inflation of enormous proportions in houses and stocks that lasted for many years. There was also some inflation in commodity prices based on real demand from the growth of the world economy. At the same time we experienced price reductions effectively in imports and real wages in the U.S. based on globalization. So any discussion of past or future "inflation" or "deflation" needs careful definitions which I did not provide because different parts of the economy can experience rising and falling prices simultaneously.

    When I used the word "deflation" I was thinking about the term as defined by economist to refer to CPI, which, as has been pointed out, is still in positive territory. I'm not an expert on the CPI, but I'll accept it at face value for now. It seems to me as a general rule that if CPI turns negative for long enough the economy can be said to be in a period of deflation. I think that's what Rubini means and his caution about liquidity traps, etc. refers to that.

    Clearly we can avoid such deflation while still experiencing the unwinding of the asset bubbles that created enormous increases in the prices of homes, stocks, and (though caused not by a bubble) commodities. The dangerous risk is not the fall in asset prices but a much more general fall in CPI that produces a self-reinforcing feedback loop that it is very hard for government to reverse and which basically emasculates the Federal Reserve because of the "pushing on a string" problem.

    Jan 1, 2009. 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing in Deflationary Times [View article]
    A few comments:
    1. Seeking Alpha left out the first sentence of my essay. For the original, see my website: energyinvestmentstrate....

    2. For those who said that I didn't offer an investment conclusion: did I not specifically say that in a deflationary environment the two investments that make sense to me are bonds and cash? What could be more plain? That means "no stocks".

    3. It's interesting to read what specific investments make sense to others. On Ford, I agree they look like the most likely survivor among the Detroit 3 at this point and they seem to have better management than GM or Chrysler (which does not say much). But please note that Ford is in debt up to and perhaps beyond its capacity to handle the debt. That capacity will tend to decrease in a deflationary environment when dollars buy increasingly more and are thus harder to come by. I don't think my first choice among equity investments would be a highly leveraged company. In a deflation you do not want to be indebted. It is only during inflationary times when debt is a good thing to have because it leverages the rising asset values that it finances. In deflation the asset values tend to fall - that's one thing that makes it a deflation - so debt just leverages the decline in value. You don't want to finance falling asset values with fixed amounts of debt. In fact, you don't even want to own assets. That's why cash is the preferred investment during deflation.
    Dec 24, 2008. 01:57 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rough Economic Seas Toss Many Boats, Including Oil Price [View article]
    All: I mixed up the names of the current CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, with the recently retired and agregiously over-compensated past Chairman, Lee Raymond. My apology to readers and to Mr. Tillerson. JK
    Dec 20, 2008. 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM: Natural Death or Suicide? [View article]
    hoffman, my point is not to predict the future of GM so much as to suggest that if I am right about GM going into a slow liquidation of a great deal of its business (Saab, Saturn, Pontiac for starters, probably more to follow) the impact on the general economy will be significant and has probably not been discounted by stocks. Maybe I was not clear enough, but this piece and the better written piece by Bloomberg argue, in my view, for staying invested mostly in cash.

    That was the main point. The other point was to bring the Bloomberg history of GM to people's attention just because it may be of interest and is very well done, I think.
    Dec 14, 2008. 04:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Lower Oil Prices Equivalent to $300B Tax Cut [View article]
    Yes I think $600 of stimulus spending and tax cuts is a big deal. If you don't, how do you explain that the numbers Congress has been tossing out are so much smaller?

    An oil price increase is not like a tax increase in that it's continuation is not assured, that is true. But it is worse than a tax increase in its immediate macro economic impact in a Keynesian sense because not only is the money taken away from consumers but instead of it going to their government and thus providing some benefits as is the case with a tax increase, with an oil price increase 2/3rds of it goes out of the country and has zero economic benefit to the U.S.

    You might want to stick to factual analysis - ad hominem accusations don't help anyone.
    Nov 23, 2008. 11:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Anomalies Explained [View article]
    Reagan campaigned on a combination of lower taxes, higher military spending and lower deficits -using the laughable Laffer Curve to justify what George I correctly called "vudoo economics." But the Reagan insiders at the time were specifically trying to achieve huge budget deficits on the theory that a big enough deficit would be the only thing that could "stop the Democrats from spending money."

    That theory didn't work either because it turns out that the American public actually likes the programs that the government spends money on. Each and every program has its powerful and/or broad based constituency - even those awful earmarks.

    Anyway, I believe that Reagan knew very well that the Laffer Curve was a joke and did not mind at all inflating the budget deficit. Reagan is a false god of the GOP, in my view. He was a great orator but actually a very ineffectual president with one important exception: he shifted the country away from a union stranglehold on the corporate cost structure.

    That shift has continued ever since Reagan and has now unfortunately gone too far. This election will reverse the shift of wealth away from working people that Reagan began, assuming Obama is elected.

    Incidentally, for those who thing Reagan brought down the Soviet Union through militiary spending, that is wrong. What brought it down, aside from its own corrupt and inefficient system, was low oil prices. It is true that Reagan's CIA helped engineer those low oil prices.
    Nov 1, 2008. 11:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Long Case for Canada's Petrobank [View article]
    Thanks for the excellent explication. PBEGF is one of my favorite investments for exactly the reasons given here.
    Sep 29, 2008. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hurricane Damage Impacts Oil Price [View article]
    Yank - you make a valid point if oil stays around the current price. But if oil goes back to making new highs as I expect it will within a year to 18 months then people will look for that 100+ mpg car, not the 28 mpg improvement, imho. Jim
    Sep 29, 2008. 10:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nordic American Tanker: Dividend Stock Analysis [View article]
    With Mexico declining and Venezuela deciding to sell to China (a long way away) thus requiring more U.S. imports from Africa and the M.E., it looks like the demand for crude shipping will be strong. But what's missing is an analysis of new ships coming into the fleet vs. scrappage.
    Sep 25, 2008. 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment