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Mike Maher  

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  • Senators have given up on pushing through an online poker bill before the end of the year after Republicans failed to line enough support on their side of the aisle. With most major players in the gaming industry supporting a federal framework under which Internet poker is legalized across state lines, Senator Harry Reid says the bill will get pushed forward sometime in 2013. The poker payday down the road: MGM Resorts (MGM), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) think the power of their brand will help them beat back challenges from Internet upstarts in the space, although Zynga and Facebook could still be a factor. [View news story]
    The US government is 10 years behind the times on this. Online gaming is already here, via dozens of websites. Might as well make it legal everywhere, instead of just in Vegas, AC, on riverboats and Indian Reservations. Can anyone explain to me what changes that I can play poker in Atlantic City but not Brigantine? Or Bethlahem PA but not Easton, PA? How can poker be ok in some cities, and sports betting ok only in Vegas, but not in the rest of the country. It boggles the mind.
    Dec 15, 2012. 02:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's no dividend cut for American Capital Agency (AGNC), which holds its payout at $1.25/share. There's no special dividend either, meaning the company likely was able to buck up the regular payment by using capital gains from the sale of MBS. Shares +1.8% AH. (PR[View news story]
    The dividend is taxed as ordinary income, not capital gains. REITs are not corporations, and the tax treatment is different.
    Dec 15, 2012. 10:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • There's no dividend cut for American Capital Agency (AGNC), which holds its payout at $1.25/share. There's no special dividend either, meaning the company likely was able to buck up the regular payment by using capital gains from the sale of MBS. Shares +1.8% AH. (PR[View news story]
    I'll split one with you, printing money seems a lot easier than working haha.
    Dec 14, 2012. 04:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's no dividend cut for American Capital Agency (AGNC), which holds its payout at $1.25/share. There's no special dividend either, meaning the company likely was able to buck up the regular payment by using capital gains from the sale of MBS. Shares +1.8% AH. (PR[View news story]
    The best name in the space.
    Dec 14, 2012. 04:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mario Draghi takes a victory lap for saving EMU in an FT interview, calling 2013 "the year when the ECB has stepped in to remove tail risks." "You don't lose sovereignty when you share it, but you actually regain it. Countries with high debt and deficits should understand they have lost sovereignty a long time ago over their economic policies in a globalized world." [View news story]
    He's not wrong for Greece, but he may be wrong for Germany.
    Dec 13, 2012. 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Among energy companies tracked by 24/7, the sharpest increases in short interest came in top pipeline MLPs Kinder Morgan (KMP) and Enterprise (EPD). With the pipeline partnerships’ business model a proven winner, the increase in short interest looks like a bet against the pipeline companies based on debt levels and shrinking cash flows as demand slackens. [View news story]
    Shorts arent going to stay short securities with high yields, especially yields that rise each quarter.
    Dec 12, 2012. 10:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bakken And Eagle Ford Stocks Set To Benefit From The January Effect: Part V [View article]
    MHR is in talks to sell its Eagle Ford acreage. Should be a near term catalyst in the next few weeks.
    Dec 12, 2012. 10:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tree-huggers and Texas landowners make an odd but perhaps an effective pair in opposing the proposed Keystone pipeline. A Texas judge temporarily halts construction of Keystone's southern leg after a landowner filed a lawsuit against TransCanada (TRP +0.4%) claiming the company had lied about the nature of the project. [View news story]
    Texas condemnation cases usually go pretty quickly in favor of the pipeline company. I'm surprised this was held up. However, if the tar sands oil doesnt meet the Texas definition of oil, the landowner does seem to have a strong legal standing.
    Dec 11, 2012. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stay Married To Your MLP - Divorce Is Expensive [View article]
    I'd talk to your accountant. No one should be making tax decisions based on these comments. I'd guess that the the size of the gift would play a roll, since gifts under a certain value are tax free. Either way, donating the stock to a charity still leaves you without the money if you sell, so its more of a way to sneak by the IRS than it is to get your money out of the position.
    Dec 11, 2012. 02:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stay Married To Your MLP - Divorce Is Expensive [View article]
    Good article. I wonder if this is part of the reason MLPs tend to be less volatile, considering if you've had a large position for a long time, the cost of getting out it a lot greater than it would be for a typical stock.
    Dec 11, 2012. 01:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Mobil’s (XOM) latest long-term energy outlook predicts U.S. and Canadian oil and gas production has staying power, as North America will become a net energy exporter by 2025. But a few bottlenecks need to be fixed first, as output in West Texas and New Mexico has exceeded pipeline capacity and reduced prices in the region, echoing similar surpluses in North Dakota and Oklahoma. [View news story]
    Sounds like a reason to invest in the pipeline operators to me.
    Dec 11, 2012. 11:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan Partners (KMP) -2.4% premarket after its $380M sale of the Express-Platte pipeline system to Spectra Energy (SE). "There’s a whiff of desperation about this deal," 24/7's Paul Ausick writes. "The sale seems to be an admission that Kinder Morgan needs cash and this is an attractive property that it can easily convert into cash." [View news story]
    $380 million for an asset that produces $15 mil a year in cash flow doesnt seem desperate to me, that seems like a very strong price.
    Dec 11, 2012. 09:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Spectra Energy (SEP) plans to buy the Express-Platte System pipeline for $1.49B to give it an edge in transporting crude oil across North America. The transaction should add between three cents and five cents to full-year earnings, according to the company. Kinder Morgan (KMP), one of the current owners of the pipeline, will receive close to $380M in the deal. [View news story]
    Kinder Morgan didnt own the 100% of the pipeline, so maybe they sold because they felt the price was fair, and did not want to be minority owners anymore.
    Dec 11, 2012. 08:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CBOE Holdings (CBOE) declares special dividend of $0.75/share. For shareholders of record Dec. 21. Payable Dec. 28. Ex-div date Dec. 19. (PR[View news story]
    Lower than I would have liked to see. I thought $1 a share was easily doable.
    Dec 11, 2012. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) could reportedly ask the Fed's permission to repurchase shares for the first time in four years. Any request request could come next month as part of the bank's annual stress tests, and would follow CEO James Gorman last month expressing his desire to return capital to "long-suffering shareholders." [View news story]
    What makes you think the regulators would approve a sale of MS to another bank, or that there is even a buyer? MS is the 7th largest bank holding company in the US, so any company with the size needed to acquire it would become a top 5 largest holding company. The regulators want smaller banks these days, not larger ones.

    With shares trading below book, share buybacks are an excellent use of capital. With unemployment high, wages, and bonuses, should be coming down. There's no easy way out with a sale, management needs to raise revenue, and cut costs, if this bank wants to get back to being able to earn a decent ROE.
    Dec 11, 2012. 08:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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