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Michael L. Boyer

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  • Reviews You Can Use: Third-Party Product Reviews And Stock Price [View article]
    JD Power report on 2012 auto problems:

    Expectations? Jaguar had a nice upside surprise; MINI had the largest downside change in the review; Ford (and Lexis) had the most segment leading models and BMW got in the top ten.
    Jun 20 03:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reviews You Can Use: Third-Party Product Reviews And Stock Price [View article]
    Interesting USA Today piece on Chrysler looking to get off bottom of quality ratings (even a small surprise--not being dead last-- could help)
    Jun 15 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Approaching Dollar Menu Prices [View article]
    Great comment, David. Been enjoying this ride since 2002, and with a long term perspective, any weaknesses just means more buying power with the DRIP. The dividend is also a very strong one.

    This is an ideal habit forming company, too, and I had recent piece on habits and investments, and it fits right into that theme.

    Hope the new CEO can keep the momentum.
    Jun 9 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]

    May Auto Sales Strong in China:

    GM up 21%; and up 36% in joint SAIC partnership (selling minivans).
    Jun 9 01:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kraft's Split Story Continues In 2012 [View article]
    Both new firms will trade on the Nasdaq:

    KRFT: North American Grocery

    MDLZ: Global Snack
    Jun 9 12:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Best Dividends On May 24, 2012 [View article]
    Like the dividend yield but not the current P/E ratio on SIX. Hayman Capital (Kyle Bass) seems to be a holder. Maybe worth a look if the P/E comes down to earth.
    Jun 4 04:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will BofA Succeed? Depends On Its Litigation Strategy [View article]
    Great piece on the BofA/Merrill Lynch deal in the NY Times (Mon/June 4th); details of omissions by Lewis related to Merrill's losses:

    Still more major rounds of litigation to weigh down the stock.
    Jun 4 01:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite Berkshire Boost, General Motors Still A Risky Stock At $22 [View article]
    Follow the 3rd party auto reviews, where GM has some major room for improvement (especially in reliability).

    Really tough to take on TM, HMC, and also Subaru (Consumer Reports top brand); and even Mazda.
    Jun 1 02:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]

    Big 3 US Sales Roar:

    Chrysler up 30%

    F up 13%

    GM up 11%
    Jun 1 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Denny's Poised To Overcome Demographic Headwinds [View article]
    Still a rock-bottom P/E and a major current holder is Avenir Corporation/DC, an investment firm very heavy on Buffett value principles, according to their letters.
    Jun 1 12:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]
    Yes, much more open to technology today. Could be an interesting part of the trend with the new personnel investing.

    Generally, media/TV broadly speaking is pretty well established (Cap Cities ABC).

    Check the General Dynamics. The Warren Buffet Way (by Hagstrom) describes that pick (191-198) in the early 1990's for investment purposes.
    May 31 04:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]
    My disclosure: I went through a similar process; after looking at them all, we went with the CRV--substantially less than other similar vehicles and had the best 3rd party reviews (especially on cost of ownership, safety, etc.).

    But it is a very competitive marketplace.

    Good points on BRK's other car related companies--also probably shipping the raw materials via rail, often giving them a good look at demand.
    May 31 04:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford: Berkshire Hathaway Likes 'Government Motors,' We Like Ford Instead [View article]
    Like the Ford stock ownership data, margins info; good GM versus F comparison for those looking to buy a US automaker.

    But not sure if the 1980's GM info or the naming rights info is as relevant unless you can really link it up to current outlook.

    More analysis on the caving to China assertion might be interesting. And the terms used for the government ownership and GM leadership could be more neutral.

    Also, check how the ownership/voting of the classes of Ford stock could work against your overall thesis.
    May 31 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]
    Good news!

    And let us know what you find at the car lot tshoe58--some of the best ground level research for this type of company.

    See if you find GM competitive on price and quality to the other US, Asian, and Japanese makers. That may be telling.

    I had not car shopped in about a decade and was surprised by the sticker prices of GM SUVs and Trucks. I did not remember the Tahoe as a $55,000 vehicle like one at the dealer or that a full size truck could run 40-50K plus. Even the attractive Traverse was in the 40K range. So maybe there is some pricing power in those segments.

    At this very small dealer, these GM vehicles were not moving in the volume of the Tacoma/Tundra,Pilots, RAV4's, Highlanders, and CRV.
    May 31 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Berkshire Hathaway's General Motors Test Drive [View article]
    Great comments.

    The first two typify the variant views on GM. But not sure any auto (even Ford) fits the profile of typical Buffett stocks--just so capital intensive, cyclical and (especially with some automakers) subject to union issues.

    The second two comments bring up an issue I thought about a good deal in trying to understand GM's place in the Berkshire holdings--partisanship in investments.

    There has been some interaction with politics in his career trajectory: congressman's son; extensive network of powerful people; the Salomon Bros hearings and the "opportunity to provide a great service to taxpayers" (395 of the Lowenstein bio); certainly there are some personal moves in the bios related to political issues (against the exclusion of Jewish members in local country club; ample planned parenthood support; population control support); and lately, Buffett has sounded off repeatedly on the millionaire (and high net worth/estate) tax issues, even allowing the secretary to be used in the President's speech. As noted by comments, those would place him more squarely with one candidate than another.

    I just could not find anything linking the GM purchase directly to partisanship, no smoking gun to warrant it going into the article (so I looked at everything else). A piece 12/16/2010 " Why Warren Buffett is Everywhere" with Buffett and the President pictured together asks some pointed questions about his politics and his nomination for a Presidential Medal of Freedom (PMOF) but also concludes he has gone high profile all around--both in politics and business promotion (appearing in the companies advertisements, sometimes in funny situations).

    But to be fair in the run up to an election, the fact one candidate was pro bail out and the other against the bail about does lead to reasonable questions (a growing issue in the election), especially when the incumbent shares tax views and is well disclosed friendly terms with Buffett.

    Using Berkshire resources for partisanship would be a troubling event (on par with Lubrizol issues) for shareholders and could mar the Buffett mystique.

    So GM will have to perform better than the market to alleviate those questions. Time will tell.
    May 30 07:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment