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Michael R. Brown  

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  • Darling A Buy Before Earnings Reveal The Full Year Impact Of Griffin Acquisition [View article]
    DAR should also benefit from lower nat gas prices, which is one of their largest expenses
    Feb 1, 2012. 11:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Primo Water Sell-Off Is Seriously Overdone: Original Story Remains Intact [View article]
    I am just a little confused about the logistics of how this thing adds up;

    Before doing to much analytical research I called a few different stores in different areas of the country that carry primo (using the store locater on primowater.com) and they basically all said the same thing. Customers bring in their empty jugs, receive a coupon for the return, and then are left to get either a 3 or 5 gallon jug (at 8 pounds a gallon) and lug it off by themselves.

    That model just doesn't make sense to me. Who are they targeting? I mean, we know anybody elderly or sensitive to heavy lifting is out due to the physical aspect of it; even if a sales associate helps a person right to their car they are on their own from that point.

    Second, the average prices I was getting was $6.99 for a 5 gallon or $4.99 for a 3 gallon. Gallon per gallon these are not substantial savings when priced against regular individual plastic gallon jugs (which are around a dollar give or take depending on quality). Now I am a 21 year old college student and although I am not claiming to be representative of an entire market segment, at those prices I would opt for the individual plastic gallons every time. My age group is price sensitive, and the plastic bottles do not require the $100-$200 investment in a water cooler. (at a rate of savings per 5 gallon jug - call it 50 cents - the machine will be in a junkyard before i am actually in the green on that investment)

    So if these are not meant for the price sensitive who are they meant for? Wealthier individuals and larger businesses tend to go with delivery (ex: Poland Springs).

    Of course this is an entirely opinion based comment and is ripe for disagreement, but with all the numbers aside I just don't love this business idea, and at the end of the day that can make all the difference.
    Oct 24, 2011. 10:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AstraZeneca May Be at a Turning Point [View article]
    Correct, and I think management would hesitate to cut the dividend to drastically as going against investor expectations would initiate a sell off among those who find the dividend to be the most attractive aspect of the stock.
    Jun 24, 2011. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing the Week Ahead: Fears Worse Than Fundamental Conditions [View article]
    "The stock and bond market action contrasts sharply with the mainstream economic forecasts."

    My observation is that the rise in equity prices despite the weak "recovery" is not so much a bubble as it is the result of a relatively new, fundamental decoupling of the fate of the American workforce population from the American corporation.

    A pandemic of lost manufacturing opportunities along with credit crunch continue to beat down the American work force (and housing market), while large, highly flexible and adaptive corporations are able to hire abroad, conduct business and increase revenue abroad, and secure credit abroad.

    American firms made over a trillion dollars in profit in Q4 of 2010...Washington MUST realize and act on the truth that if we do not change the domestic business climate, an increasing amount of this profit will continue to come from abroad each Q. A third round of quantitative easing - or a third or fourth or fifth - will not bring manufacturing back. Only changing the fundamentals of our political economy will.
    Jun 13, 2011. 12:36 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris International Dividend Stock Analysis [View article]
    The chinese market is monopolized by a state run firm..there are certain avenues through which that market can be partially infiltrated but protectionist measures will ensure that an outside firm like PM can't really capitalize to well there. I am long on PM but look to the middle east, other parts of southeast asia, eastern europe, and parts of africa when i think of solid, organic expansion into developing markets.
    Jun 5, 2011. 11:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Philip Morris Will Continue to Satisfy the Bulls [View article]
    I too would happily buy on a pullback but the charts make the prospect of a major opportunity to buy on sale look a bit dim. PM has been outpacing its 30 day simple moving average consistently since March 18th and closed above its upper Bollinger band of two deviations for the third time today since that date. Any short term negative news will always create a buying opportunity but based just on measurements of trader sentiment (using the aforementioned facts and a few candle charts), I wouldn't be surprised to see someplace between 68.30 and 69.00 be the new bottom of PM's natural trading band.
    May 19, 2011. 09:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Low demand gives insurers better margins [View article]
    Skipping routine checkups defeats the purpose of risk management all together. Small tests are relatively inexpensive when compared to the tends of thousands of dollars that a developed disease can cost to treat. Especially when one thinks of how advanced and integrated our medical technology has become in recent years...insurers have recently begun to cover eye exam costs because results can identify problems in the kidney, the immune system, and multiple other organ systems.

    It is illogical to believe that we will not see a substantial percentage increase in the number of patients diagnosed with mature diseases in the future. If the never ending debate over healthcare has taught us anything it is that in this industry, there really is no free lunch.

    This is comparable to not paying the ten bucks to have your mechanic poke around under your hood at each oil change only to then have your transmission drop down the road and find yourself with a multi-thousand dollar repair bill.
    May 16, 2011. 12:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Panera Bread, A Better Value Than Chipotle [View article]
    CMG has a gross profit margin of about 40%. PNRA's is half of that. Chipotle really is a fast food chain that has carved out a market niche as being "high end". On the other hand, PNRA is a decent sandwich establishment that is trying to compete at fast foot prices; this is the reason for the disparity in investor sentiment between the two picks.
    May 10, 2011. 06:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Euro Needs a Rate Hike [View article]
    The "strong U.S. employment data" looks more to me like a facade of good news rather than an indication of a real recovery taking place. The Obama administration is boasting about increased employment, but unemployment is only seemingly low because of the extraordinarily low working-age workforce participation rate...something like 64%, (usually hovers around 66).

    Just look at the number of "jobs created" compared to the number of people that are entering the workforce age bracket and its clear that that unemployment is simply down because people are no longer looking for work

    ...Meanwhile the number of U.S. households being subsidized with food stamps continues to grow week after week, month after month...Nothing for the markets to be exited about.
    Apr 5, 2011. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Euro Implosion? [View article]
    Part of the problem with the Eurozone is that labour is incapable of dispersing itself as it does in the U.S... Detroit's population is down over 25% in the last few years, while Spain's population has remained steady despite one in five unemployment. Culture is a strong factor here and the fact is that if the Spanish and Greek unemployed haven't packed up yet to find work where it is more abundant in neighboring countries, there is little reason to believe it will happen anytime soon. These types of traps are the "fatal flaw" of the European Monetary Union.
    Apr 4, 2011. 07:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Dollar No Longer a Safe Haven - Will 30 Year Bonds Be Next? [View article]
    Although a cheaper yen will make exports more competitive, it is not necessarily a good thing for Japanese equities. A depreciation of the yen can be dangerous to Japanese companies that have large amounts of debt denominated in dollars, as the "real value" of these debts will increase.
    Mar 29, 2011. 06:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons to Choose the Chile ETF Before Getting Another U.S. ETF [View article]
    Chile is sitting on top of roughly 75% of the worlds Lithium reserves.

    This chemical is important not only in the medical world but in electronic devices included but not limited to batteries, cell phones, and electric cars.

    With world markets expanding so rapidly for these once "luxurious" items, exports should continue to increase, contributing a large deal to Chile's expected 5% growth next year.
    Jul 12, 2010. 12:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Will BP Be a Buy? [View article]
    My thoughts on BP are thus:

    The spill in the gulf is far worse then the Exxon incident and it has already been labeled as the worse envioronmental catastrophy in US history…and it may be far from over! I don’t think the recovery of Exxon or any other company that has been involved in serious environmental damage can be deemed relevant in helping to make predictions on this matter. The effects of this spill on the ocean will not be known for some time.

    Also there is no cap on how much BP will have to pay in damages and claims over the next few years. The 20 bill pledged already may only be the start, and it is a very real possibility that BP will file chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    There is a chance that the company will make a miraculous comeback…but with the current information – or lack of – I think it is as speculative as a coin toss.
    Jun 27, 2010. 03:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Aeropostale Expected to Outperform Peers [View article]
    Aeropostale has done so well in the recent economy because their competitive pricing has made them appealable to bargain hunters, so they have been able to "steal" much of the business lost by A&F and American Eagle. I believe that if and when the economy recovers and consumer spending increases, Aeropostale will again be thought of as as inferior good and their sales will shrink back to their pre-recession industry percentage.
    Jun 16, 2010. 02:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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