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Pamela de Butler  

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  • Falling Oil Price And Energy Stocks [View article]
    Cracks in the shale revolution are definitely appearing. On Sept. 29th, 2014, Sumitomo reported an impairment on an investment with Devon, DVN, of 170B Yen (= $864.9 B US) at today's exchange. This was on a 30% investment in the Permian Basin which included $340 M in cash and a $1 billion drilling commitment, entered into in 2012. Based on the capital amount Sumitomo had accounted for, this represented a 67% markdown. Devon's last annual SEC filing showed the Permian shale to be a significant asset covering 650,000 net acres, representing 348 of Devon's 1,275 wells, 11% of their production and 9% of proved reserves. In a Bloomberg article on 10/07/2014: "Trading Houses May Sit on $13 Billion Risk, Daiwa Says", Daiwa’s Iokibe has more to add to the potential writedown list, focusing on shale gas and oil. They include U.S. investments by Marubeni and Mitsui into the Eagle Ford shale field. Mitsubishi’s shale gas projects in Canada carry risk as well, Iokibe said. The losses projected focused on shale, with 5 trading companies in Japan expected while only Sumitomo has publicly disclosed.
    Oct 13, 2014. 03:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Renren Will Never Be China's Facebook [View article]
    Had a lot of links. Not sure which you are referring to.
    Jul 1, 2014. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On Micron Earnings To Be Released After The Close [View article]

    Please don't leave! I just found you and think your comments and analysis are spot-on. I have noticed that bulls are particularly bullish with respect to any negative comments on their babies.
    Jun 25, 2014. 01:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qihoo 360's Direction To Keep Its Comfortable Position Currently [View article]
    From your report: "The company originally started as an anti-virus security software producer, but it soon realized that by providing these products for free, it could leverage a large audience for secondary advertising and marketing, producing a far more lucrative revenue stream from other companies wanting to pitch their goods to Chinese audiences. Ergo, the middleman effect became the cash cow for Qihoo very quickly."

    Seriously? Where are your real numbers? The company itself has admitted it has failed to monetize its new entry into search. Yes, it has the eyeballs with its anti-virus, which it gives away for free. It's hitting a wall there and hasn't done much to turn search into a profit. Even if they did make some money, by their own admission, they are fighting against the big guys: "Our primary competitors in the search services market are Baidu Inc. and Inc. According to iResearch, in December 2012, Baidu and Sohu’s Sogou search engine had 81.9% and 4.4%, respectively, of the PRC search traffic in terms of search page views, compared to 9.8% for our search engine." Statements from their 4/2013 SEC 20F, the last audited statement they have provided. "

    Qihu failed in buying Sogou, a percentage of which was sold instead to Tencent,00700:HK, (no surprise there, Tencent dwarfs Qihu with 2012 revenues of 43.9B CNY or currently about 7Billion $us.)

    Applause to Qihu for not diluting its stock? The only money it has gotten since the 2011 IPO has been from a $600 million in convertible notes. At least they don't have to worry about financial covenants. All they have to do is keep pumping the stock. They won't worry about dilution if the value keeps climbing on thanks to its brash comments from Hongyi Zhou, chairman & CEO.

    You are right that they are concerned about their shareholders. Per the last SEC filing, Mr. Hongyi Zhou, the chairman and chief executive Officer owned 38.1% of the outstanding voting A&B shares, in his own name and percentages in wholly-owned trusts. The other majority owner is Xiangdong Qi (Director & President of QIHU), who owned 19.6% of the outstanding shares also individually and in trusts.

    Much has been made about this company's growth, future, etc. Just to put things in perspective. They are fighting against BIDU, Tencent, MSFT, and Alibaba. Forget about market cap, look at assets and revenues. For the year ending 2012, BIDU reported annual revenues of 22.3 Billion CNY (about 3.6 billion $us), QIHU - 329 million $US. Qihu is no Google, no matter what Hongyi Zhou says. MSFT is not an error: IE8 has 38.05% market share, and it is the most used web browser in China. Of course QIHU knows this, just look at their own browser symbol:

    I'm not a short-seller. I am a critical investor who dislikes reports made with cut and paste comments from bullish pundits and corporate releases.
    Mar 26, 2014. 04:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Barron's Is Wrong On Kinder Morgan Energy Partners [View article]
    I agree with both of you. I've been increasingly disappointed with Barrons. As one reader mentioned, they have more pics than pans. Unfortunately the pics, from their own writers, are usually one or two paragraphs with no real data analysis, graphs, market analysis, etc. Basically just saying we don't survive without convincing people to invest. If we pan stocks and the market, we lose our jobs. I only read it for some of their interviews with some investors who have good track records and excellent insight.
    Feb 24, 2014. 02:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Chemical And Mining Co. Of Chile Is A DOG! I Think We'll Adopt It... [View article]
    You definitely have to be a value investor with a strong stomach. SQM – as of today, down about 56% ytd. What about the bottom for Chile? Obviously this stock doesn't exist in a vacuum. Year to date, the Santiago IPSA – down about 13%; ECH – of which SQM is reported to be about 3.3%, is down about 26%. The correlation with the overall Chile market isn't strong, but can't be ignored. Where do you see Chile going over the next 6 months?
    Dec 3, 2013. 10:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Allstate Fumbles For Growth [View article]
    Skimmed over 3Q earnings release, investor supplement and listened to call. Yes, they showed improvement generally in year on year premiums and policies in force. Nothing really significant though. Got lucky with low catastrophes. Earnings call skirted losses in Esurance and Ecompass. Stated that they were not looking for profit in terms of numbers but economic long-term shareholder value, etc. Despite their stated goal of hitting different sectors, don't understand why they have both Encompass and Esurance. They have just now started rolling out homeowners for Esurance. I feel they are unsure of the right direction and have been for awhile.
    Oct 31, 2013. 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy ICICI Bank As Blood Flows On Indian Streets [View article]
    Thanks for the analysis and the extra information which financials and news reports don't provide. I agree that Icici has shown itself to be a solid bank with a good record of controlled growth which is currently under-valued.

    A couple of comments.

    Based on deposit expansion, net interest income increases and increasing atm and retail branches, some growth can be projected assuming this continues. One area which is difficult to predict but is a large part of their revenues and net profit is Treasury Income. In the last four quarters, it has been 30-40% of unconsolidated net income. (in crore)
    6/13 3/13 12/12 6/12
    1,297 40.25% 1092 34.74% 934 30.30% 799 32.17%

    Their footnotes describe this as the entire investment and derivative portfolio of the bank. With little real disclosure here, how do you feel about projecting this important area of income? It does feel like we just have to trust the financial wizards to know what they're doing. In prior periods, this has been a volatile area.

    Secondly - they've been expanding significantly in terms of atms and branches over the last four quarters. Do you see them being able to continue this?
    6/2013 3/2013 12/2012 6/2012
    ATMS 10,902 10,481 10,040 9,366
    Branches 3,350 3,100 2,895 2,755
    Oct 11, 2013. 05:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment