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Karl Pratt

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  • Nokia - Will The Tables Ever Turn? [View article]
    Sorry, just have to quibble with this one statement:

    "dividends are for lazy investors . . ."

    Not only is that a broadbrush oversimplification, it is an insult to investors who consider dividends an important component of their overall portfolio and who often spend great amounts of time researching and constructing a quality portfolio of such equities. Every day, in my daily summary from Seeking Alpha, I read quality articles written by such investors.
    Mar 26 03:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rich And Retired? Please Buy Dividend Stocks [View article]
    Adam,

    Quoting just one small snippet of your article, you said:

    "Do I have better confidence in the fact that Coke will continue to pay and raise its dividend on an annual basis than I do in the fact that its stock price will rise on an annual basis? Thus, do I want to take what I know the company will give me now and probably in the future, rather than live on a hope and a prayer that Coke's or any other stock's price will rise?"

    In his latest annual letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett advised:

    "Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering. If you don’t feel comfortable making a rough estimate of the asset’s future earnings, just forget it and move on. No one has the ability to evaluate every investment possibility. But omniscience isn’t necessary; you only need to understand the actions you undertake. If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating . . ."

    Of course, he went on to give specific examples of investment decisions he has made based on that principle.

    Sounds like you and he are somewhat on the same page. Not bad company to be in, I would say.
    Mar 14 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple The Next Microsoft? [View article]
    Just a small comment. Although I am an AAPL shareholder because, along with Icahn, I happen to believe that the company offers 'no-brainer' value at this price, I have been concerned about, and critical of, the 'lack of innovation' since Jobs premature passing.

    However, I have modified my view a little since recently upgrading my wife to the new iPad Air and a beautiful gold iPhone 5S (I have a 3rd-generation iPad and an iPhone 4 - the first one, without Siri).

    At one level, it is true that the iPad Air is merely an evolutionary upgrade to the iPad. However, the differences are meaningful. The lighter weight and slimmer form factor make for a real usage difference, each and every day.

    Now I will talk about the iPhone 5S. For a long time, I have admired Apple's creation of what I call 'museum pieces' from a design perspective. The iMac, along with its gorgeous external keyboard and mouse. The MacBook Pro (think back to when it was first released in its current configuration). And, yes, I count my iPhone 4 as one of those. I liked the iPhone 3. But, to me, the iPhone 4 was when the design reached 'museum quality', albeit with a little bit of a usage issue due to antenna positioning. The glass back. The brushed aluminum sides. Wow. But you know what? I recently spent a little time examining my wife's iPhone 5S from every angle. And it continues the tradition. The design of the back and edges. The new connector, far more elegant than the previous versions. And, again, I have to credit Apple for being willing to change this even though they had to have known they would get some flack for doing so. And, in all the above comments, I haven't even touched on the A7 chip or the fingerprint sensor.

    I think people need to, as I needed to, be careful not to get stuck in preconceived notions and really try to keep an open mind when evaluating AAPL.
    Feb 21 02:21 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PIMCO Total Return ETF Outperformed Its Sister Mutual Fund By 77 Basis Points [View article]
    Junius,

    Thanks for the article! I agree with your comments re: BSV. I believe it forms a nice "core" bond holding at the present time.

    In my portfolio, as the week opened I held BSV and BND with approximately a 55% / 45% weighting, respectively. I actually opened a small position in BOND this past Tuesday. I have a great deal of respect for the PIMCO crew, and decided to start a small position with them. If interest rates do indeed rise, I would think my BND and BOND will perform a little worse than BSV. If that proves to be the case, I might adjust my weightings at that time to skew back more towards the long-term.
    Jan 17 12:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Nokia Shorts Were Right All Along, And Fatally Wrong At The Same Time [View article]
    Seppo,

    Congratulations on a wonderful article, and a well-reasoned and nicely-explained viewpoint. Also, for a little humility, which appears to be a more and more elusive quality these days. I do feel compelled, however, to make a couple of logical points.

    1. I agree with "fightingleos." The shorts were wrong, period. As he points out, when you invest, you either make or lose money. You are either right or wrong. Period. And, when you are wrong, it is inevitably because you missed SOMETHING. It doesn't matter whether the "something" was a miscalculation of hard numbers, or a misread of some bigger picture. A "long" may have ultimately been wrong if it weren't for MSFT's close involvement. But I'm sure that most longs, like me, were long precisely BECAUSE we felt MSFT's involvement precluded all the "world is ending" scenarios we read about ENDLESSLY (i.e. bankruptcy). By the way, I might note that most of the writing featuring such scenarios was likely written by, oh yeah, shorts.

    2. I'm not sure I buy the "we were doomed" story 100% either. It's all a much too convenient explanation of, as one article I read put it, "collapsing into Microsoft's arms."

    Me personally? I have sold exactly half my shares, and will hold the remaining half, at least for now, to see how the story plays out. If I was really gutsy, I would hold them all. But then there's that old adage "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." At my age and point in my working career, I have to sometimes err in favor of prudency.
    Sep 8 02:46 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia: Come On Mr. Icahn, Come To Our Rescue! [View article]
    I sold 1/3 of my position earlier today to lock in some gains (Old adage: "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered"). However, I am holding on to the rest for now for this exact reason. I don't know that I am convinced we've heard the last of the story and, if those who believe Microsoft stole this thing are right, there could be yet further upside.
    Sep 3 04:02 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Take On Microsoft's Nokia Acquisition [View article]
    I'm taking a slightly different approach. I just unloaded 1/3 of my total position at prices just a little north of $5.00. Since the majority of these shares were purchased between $1.70 and $2.50 (roughly), that locks in a nice little profit. However, I think I will hold the rest for now and see how this plays out. I don't feel like there is a lot of downside, and there could potentially still be some upside.
    Sep 3 12:39 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Cash Position Explained [View article]
    Hmm . . . now it is clear that there was one whale of a calculation that went on. This is a reminder that one has to ensure one thinks of potential upside as well as downside as events occur.
    Sep 3 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Cash Position Explained [View article]
    I just have one question with respect to all the trashing Nokia is taking.

    I've listened to probably the last 3-4 quarterly calls. One of Timo Ihamuotila's incessant drumbeats has been the mantra that they are watching and managing their cash position very carefully. I don't get the sense that he has his head buried in the sand as to the reality of their position.

    Taking total control of NSN was a choice. At some level, I have a fundamental belief that Timo's team calculated all of this, with the benefit of all the knowledge at their disposal, and decided it was a good move. I know that being skeptical is a necessary trait. But, as has been pointed out here, some of the "bear cases" appear to go beyond prudent skepticism.
    Aug 30 02:27 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Adds Another Small Acquisition - A Strategy That Could Pay Off Down The Road [View article]
    A competitor that often gets lost in the "Apple vs. Samsung" wars is Nokia. What I find interesting is that this acquisition by Apple appears to target areas in which Nokia has already innovated, and which I have written about here on Seeking Alpha.

    First, an article on Nokia's Asha 501, which is relevant due to the issue of data compression:

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    Secondly, an article on Nokia's Lumia 1020, which has broken revolutionary ground with respect to the quality of photography--both still and video/audio--on a smartphone device.

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    This is not to say that Nokia is without its challenges, such as the slow adoption of Windows Phone 8, particularly in the USA. At the same time, I view these acquisitions by Apple as tacit acknowledgment that Nokia is indeed innovating at a high level.
    Aug 28 03:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Revolutionary Lumia 1020 Showcases Its Prowess In Manufacturing And R&D [View article]
    If you go to YouTube and search using the string "Lumia 1020 audio video" or similar, you will find several examples of user-generated content (not official Nokia ads) showing samples of what the device can produce.

    If you include the word "summer" in the search, you will come across a video called "A Summer Day" which is quite stunning visually. Based on your "audio" search, you should come across a couple of videos with sound from a recent Bruno Mars show at Staples Center. Also, you will likely come across a clip of a rock band being taped in a room where the producer is showing how the bass sound is reproduced with the "low pass filter" set at 200Hz, at 100Hz, and turned off (you'll have to listen to this one on decent speakers, not your laptop or iPad speaker, to notice the differences).

    My point? People are already starting to discover, and share, the results of some of the amazing things you can do with device, in many different contexts, not simply still photos. Over time, this device could begin to attract an almost cult-like following. For example, if you are in a band, this appears to be a great tool for recording your practices, without the need for any other equipment (i.e. a separate sound recorder so your sound is decent).
    Aug 26 01:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Delta Deal Is Delicious, And Missed By The Market Thus Far [View article]
    Genesis,

    Thanks for featuring this. As a fellow Seeking Alpha contributor, I have written several articles featuring Nokia. I feel exactly as you appear to; that any and every story that appears to have negative implications for Nokia (i.e. the Chennai factory tax case) is immediately featured with an added comment to the effect that "certainly THIS will seal Nokia's doom", while stories such as this one are either ignored or pooh-poohed (Delta? Only 19,000 phones? What good will that do?)

    You correctly feature a huge opportunity for the MSFT/NOK team. BlackBerry is struggling, and the corporate market has to be thinking seriously about how best to integrate mobile technology in this environment. This deal makes clear that MSFT/NOK are both well aware of the opportunity and working it. Anytime a corporation of significant size makes a "standardization" decision like this, it is worth noting.

    As I have said many times before . . . there are many people in this world who aspire to use their mobile device for much more than playing "Angry Birds."
    Aug 26 12:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia's Delta Deal Is Delicious, And Missed By The Market Thus Far [View article]
    Genesis,

    Thanks for featuring this. As a fellow Seeking Alpha contributor, I have written several articles featuring Nokia. I feel exactly as you appear to; that any and every story that appears to have negative implications for Nokia (i.e. the Chennai factory tax case) is immediately featured with an added comment to the effect that "certainly THIS will seal Nokia's doom", while stories such as this one are either ignored or pooh-poohed (Delta? Only 19,000 phones? What good will that do?)

    You correctly feature a huge opportunity for the MSFT/NOK team. BlackBerry is struggling, and the corporate market has to be thinking seriously about how best to integrate mobile technology in this environment. This deal makes clear that MSFT/NOK are both well aware of the opportunity and working it. Anytime a corporation of significant size makes a "standardization" decision like this, it is worth noting.

    As I have said a million times . . . there are many people in this world who aspire to use their mobile device for much more than playing "Angry Birds."
    Aug 26 12:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jamba Dives 13.3% After Q2 Earnings: Time For A Second Look? [View article]
    nss31,

    Thanks for your comment. I also made yours an 'Author's Pick' because of its clarity of thought and clear presentation of a competing viewpoint.

    I will simply comment that I am aware of and agree with the concept you presented, I simply think a 13-15% drop was a little overdone. If one believes in the company long term, my goal was to highlight a potentially decent entry point.
    Aug 15 12:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jamba Dives 13.3% After Q2 Earnings: Time For A Second Look? [View article]
    Adam,

    Glad to hear the positive comments. Here is my only negative comment on service. Likely because of their pay scale and benefits, Jamba seems to have a lot of turnover compared to, for example, Starbucks, In N' Out, and Chipotle. This being the case, I notice a much higher rate of encountering an employee who is in training. I have had many occasions where, for example, an employee had no idea how to ring up a coupon or special offer and had to ask for help, thus holding not only myself but everyone else in the line. Also, I have experienced things like heated items not being heated properly, runny smoothies, and the like.

    Please understand. I am a devoted Jamba "long" and have been for several years now. I love so much about the company. On the other hand, I also am very aware of the competitive environment and threats, and I don't take them lightly. If Starbucks gets serious about developing their "Evolution Fresh" stores, I do not dismiss the threat lightly as I have a great deal of respect for how Starbucks runs their business.
    Aug 14 11:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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