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Mark Bern, CFA  

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  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Can't get hurt much there - just keep collecting those divs!
    Oct 6, 2015. 01:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    And I thought we had a lot of holidays:

    Shanghai Exchange is closed for 17 days each year for holidays!
    Oct 6, 2015. 01:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Maya - Probably a good decision. When things seen to be at their worst (yet to come), it may give us an opportunity to buy PAA real cheap.
    Oct 5, 2015. 02:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Congrats of the weight loss, D!
    Oct 5, 2015. 02:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part VI [View article]
    Value - Thanks for reading! I liked you comment on the KMI article. Insiders should be buying heavily if the stock has truly bottomed.
    Oct 5, 2015. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part VI [View article]
    Michael - Thanks for your patience. I had been distracted by family goings on for nearly a week so this one was a little late. Appreciate your support!
    Oct 4, 2015. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    The point being that Russia intends to use political and military force to raise the price of oil. Makes sense.
    Oct 4, 2015. 01:35 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    shb - It probably is a big problem but the analysis makes it out to be worse than it really is, imho. Earnings Berfore Interest and Taxes (EBIT) are, indeed, operating income. But, to understand how much cash is available to cover the interest and debt service it is more useful to use EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and Amortizations). This number represents more accurately the amount of cash available from operations than EBIT, especially in this case. Normally it would be necessary to assume that Depreciation expenses would be needed to cover additional capital expenditures to sustain the business model. But in these Chinese companies I would expect that there is significant excess capacity and that capital expenses should be much lower than the current depreciation expense. Thus, there should be more cash available to cover the interest. Without knowing what the EBITDA numbers are relative to interest expenses we really don't know how bad the situation really is or has been. It is obviously not good, but it may not be as bad as it is made out to be in the article.

    One thing that it does imply is that additional capital expenditures are highly unlikely in China for many of those companies. That could be a drag on GDP growth as the infrastructure build out was a big factor in the past growth of China. According to the ISM reports coming out of China there have been at least 7 straight months of contraction in the manufacturing sector. This report just confirms to me that the ISM is likely to remain below 50 for the foreseeable future. In addition, imports were down over 13% in the latest report. Exports were also down y/y. 7% GDP growth? LOL!!!!

    I think that the Chinese economy may actually be contracting (in recession) but that the officials are not willing to admit it because it could spark a global crisis and they would lose face. They could also face more social unrest if the truth were known. They control the media and everything that is reported coming out of the gov't. Import, exports and the ISM reports are independent of the gov't so they don't control those. But they do control domestic consumption numbers and those are the only numbers rising! I question that when manufacturing is contracting and imports are down just what are consumers consuming?

    There are big problems in China; bigger than I think the world wants to admit.
    Oct 3, 2015. 03:12 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    "how many Tootsie rolls were sold in Armenia this past week"

    Maya - Do you have that number? :)
    Oct 3, 2015. 12:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Very good insight!
    Oct 2, 2015. 11:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    This is an interesting technical analysis that shouts warning signals! It is from Phil's Stock World and the Index analyzed is the Value Line Geometric Index, an unweighted index of 1700 large cap stocks. I like that it is unweighted because that does not allow for a few mega caps to slant the results like in the other major indexes.
    Oct 2, 2015. 05:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    What a turnaround! DJI is up after starting the day down over 250 pts! Anyone see the impetus? Or is this just a relief rally based on the assumption of continued ZIRP or possibly QE4?
    Oct 2, 2015. 12:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    I just checked the Atlanta Fed's GDP Now site and it is predicting 0.9% growth in Q3 at the moment, down from 1.8% on Sept 28th. The consensus number is about 2.5%. It will be interesting to see which one is closest to the actual number. Of course, we won't know the real number for months after the initial estimate hits the headlines. It seems, somehow, that the actual number after all revisions doesn't make any headlines. Does reality not matter anymore?
    Oct 2, 2015. 12:08 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    I thought that this chart of Chinese auto sales (falling this year) was interesting.
    Oct 1, 2015. 11:58 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Good list. Boeing and Lockheed have teamed up against General Dynamics on a couple of very large Defense bids, one for a bunch of subs and the other for planes. If GD gets either one it will be a huge boon to the company for years. If it loses both it will be in a tough spot for future growth unless something else I am not aware of is cooking. On the flip side Lockheed has a lot to gain, too. Boeing, too, but in my estimation not as much as the others. I could be wrong on that part, though.
    Oct 1, 2015. 10:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment