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  • Westpac Is Overvalued By Around 30% Making It A Solid Short Candidate [View article]
    "...housing prices [are] now at 29% above their long-term average, the impact of the end of the resource boom and a slowing China on the Australian economy will be the required catalysts to spark this correction."

    Most of what I read involving betting against China's economic boom involves iron ore companies such as Fortescue; and there are also implications for machinery corporations such as CAT and JOY. It appears that the ghost cities there are eventually going to decrease overall property values and may also involve a slowdown for businesses reliant upon construction. If so, Chinese generational wealth is thought to be at risk. There may also be serious problems for local governments.

    Per an investor presentation(s), Agricultural People's Bank of China (ACGBY.PK) has been reducing its loans for construction on some types of commercial property development.

    You may be on target regarding Westpac. It would seem to me that the dividend may help to prop up the stock price, though? From the information available to me, its most recent Q2 dividend of $4.950 is a substantial increase over last year's $4.129. A Q4 dividend would still be in the future. The stock has already sold off drastically from its 52 week high of $175.59 to around $157 when it went ex-dividend on May 14th, to today's price of $129.83. You think it can still go lower without a cut to the Q4 dividend? Maybe the plan would be to sell shares short in the near future and perhaps cover when and if it next goes ex-dividend?

    Also, my impression is that, aside from the bank's debt, most of the issues described are macroeconomic, and a deflating housing sector in a big, prosperous nation is not obvious at this time. I know of no modern, expansive, Australian ghost cities.
    Jun 11 04:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Statoil: Shares To Remain Weak Short Term, May Interest Long-Term Buyers [View article]
    How about a reason #6: $16B in reserves that would be unusable if climate change policies are implemented to ensure global temperatures "are not to rise by more than 2C?"
    Jun 8 01:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Somehow You Find The Strength [View article]
    I own the stock, having purchased it at $45 approximately one month ago and just after the $15B buyback announcement. Even after reaching $50 recently, I have not sold.

    Plenty of positive commentary about the pipeline preceded the purchase. Then they announced a near-term buyback of $5B worth from Goldman Sachs:

    1) It should save future dividend payment money;
    2) Goldman would not have sold it if in their opinion it is about to bolt higher;
    3) Those shares are being removed from the marketplace.
    4) It leans toward being a gamble on management's judgment of the company's value.

    Merck has since represented me well at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting. Goldman maintains its neutral rating; as would be expected if it has agreed to part ways with $5B worth of stock.

    Robyn Karnauskas of Deutsche Bank has been quoted saying that she looks for undervalued pipelines.

    I think it would take a few weeks with a calculator, one of your organic chemistry books, and various other resources to make such a determination for Merck and its competitors? From the information I have, Deutsche Bank rates it a Buy. Still, it is hard to imagine investors undervaluing Merck's pipeline?
    Jun 7 09:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Somehow You Find The Strength [View article]
    "The best pipeline of all the major pharmaceutical companies?"
    Jun 7 06:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jefferies is out with some price target revisions and color after conducting a "global pharma review." Rundown: Top U.S. pick Abbott Laboratories (ABT +1.9%) reiterated at Buy, PT lowered to $44 from $46; top global pick Novartis (NVS +0.3%) has "positive growth inflection potential" in FY14; AbbVie (ABBV +0.6%), Roche (RHHBY.OB +2.5%), and Sanofi (SNY +0.5%) offer "attractive entry points" but ABBV's PT is lowered to $51 from $54; Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ +0.2%) PT lowered to $91 from $97; Merck (MRK -0.3%) has its price target raised to $56 from $54 and Pfizer (PFE +1.3%) has its target lowered slightly to $32. (Previous: Jefferies SOTP analysis[View news story]
    The Bezinga page hyperlinked to "$54" shows MRK's price target being raised from $54 to $56.
    Jun 7 03:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Data Shows Why Rates Will Continue Higher In 2013 - What To Do Now [View article]
    I am not sure if any of this is thoughtful, but having read most of the author's articles, it may not hurt to comment. The current issue of The Economist has a piece that touches upon many of the same topics in reviewing a new working paper, "The History of Cyclical Macroeconomic Policy In The United States."

    Here are two fund holdings I have been maintaining:

    Dreyfus Wisdom Tree Equity Income Fund DHS

    Matthews Korea Fund (MAKOX): has a lot of Samsung; and Hyundai which might be in for a more difficult time in Europe. South Korea needs exports--and the won is down against the dollar and the Euro...The article does not discuss world trade...

    Merck with its enormous buyback and considerable dividend yield has been rewarding me, and hopefully can continue to "Augment" DHS.
    Jun 4 10:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • At Least One Reason Why People Shouldn't Hate QE [View article]
    I appreciate the public service provided by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke (and also read the Atlanta Fed's articles). He used to be known as a Republican, and now probably needs to avoid partisan identity. Francois Hollande, a French Socialist, is on the cover of today's Wall Street Journal. I like him too. These statements are not based upon a political, conservative v. liberal paradigm.

    My impression is that a key to appreciating important public figures is to recognize implications of their roles and leadership. If high grade bonds have not been making money, the stock market has. Ron Paul and Rick Perry's presidential campaigns offered assessments better than those of a lynch mob, and Romney would have fired some people--but frankly, I consider the USA fortunate to have Ben Bernanke and QE.

    As a different remark, there are less than a few of us who have read Aristophanes, and Dave Altig, Ph.D may be expected to write many articles without ever mentioning The Clouds.
    May 31 09:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Garmin And TomTom Toast? [View article]
    Your enjoyable article coincides with post-tax season insider selling of GRMN.
    May 30 04:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SunOpta: The Missing Ingredient For The Next Organic Blockbuster [View article]
    Thanks for the article. Much of it is helpful regarding stories like the IPO of Noodles:

    Their S-1 is saying the stock is fairly valued at $7.20 and recent earnings per Class A share is $0.13. It may meet all eight of your criteria listed, except perhaps that the fast-casual restaurant industry is not obviously immature.

    STKL has done well since you wrote about it!
    May 25 04:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Omeros: Whittling In Walcott's Shadow [View article]
    Omeros's CEO says they have one of the top PDE groups in the world. Cialis is a PDE5 inhibitor. The biographical statements of managers with titles implying scientific or medical responsibilities specify experience developing Cialis. Their roles in the company may say something favorable about its PDE10 and PDE7 inhibitors under development.

    Kenneth M. Ferguson, Ph.D.
    Vice President, Development and Chief Development Officer
    ...Dr. Ferguson also served as chief operating officer, chief scientific officer and a member of the board of managers of Lilly ICOS LLC, the joint venture of Eli Lilly and ICOS that developed and marketed Cialis®.

    Patrick W. Gray, Ph.D.
    Scientific Fellow
    ...Dr. Gray also participated in the discovery and development of Cialis®.

    J. Steven Whitaker M.D., J.D.
    Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer
    ...At ICOS, he held roles of increasing responsibility in clinical research and medical affairs, most recently as divisional vice president, clinical research as well as medical director of the Cialis global product team.

    Albert S. Yu. M.D.
    Vice President, Clinical Development
    ...Dr. Yu served at ICOS Corporation as head of clinical affairs, where he led the early clinical development of Cialis®.

    Daiichi Sankyo is not giving its compound away...the terms do not strike me as onerous or unreasonable.
    May 22 08:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Target Grow Its Lead Over Wal-Mart, Costco, And The S&P 500? [View article]
    There is a story about Target's new innovation center:

    Rather than there being room for improvement in ecommerce, long term growth may involve bringing about Omni-Channel success.

    WMT's results in Canada sounded disappointing.
    May 19 02:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    It is strange that the IEP ticker symbol is rarely included in news about Carl Icahn. It has gone from $55.14, when I last wrote about it, to $84.07 today. With a 52.47% price increase on depository units in a month and a half, his limited partnership's investors are doing better than the "Solid Q1" described through 13F filings! Not only that, IEP is making a $1 distribution to unit holders, with the 5/9/13 ex-dividend date now passed.
    May 16 11:09 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Omeros: Whittling In Walcott's Shadow [View article]
    It is probably going lower before it goes higher.
    May 9 02:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Omeros: Whittling In Walcott's Shadow [View article]
    There are at least two things that may be attributed to the stock's decline since 2012. The other PharmacoSurgery product that has made it to Phase 3, OMS103, has gotten mixed results twice, meeting its secondary endpoint but not its primary endpoint. Also, they have had a legal settlement with their CFO for a wrongful termination/whistleblower lawsuit (my own opinion on this is that they are okay because SEC filings indicate that governmental action is not likely to be a concern; and also because he can probably be replaced when feasible).

    They have credentialed doctors who endorse the eye surgery candidate, OMS302. Most likely, there have been some meals involved as well as participation in worthwhile medical research for them. Here is one of their press releases from last year.;highlight=

    Here is the biography of Alan S. Crandall, MD, who endorses it:

    I have been paying attention to OMS302, but am not an ophthalmologist (though different doctors opinions probably vary). The patent linked in the article should give you an idea of the innovation involved. While existing methods reportedly work fine, it does appear to offer a potentially effective way of performing needed medical procedures. From what I am learning, eye surgeons operate in exceedingly fine and delicate space and this product should keep the eye in its desired state throughout the procedure while also reducing a patient's pain at the same time.
    May 6 09:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Possible Capital Return To Shareholders Could Send Apple Higher [View article]
    Glad to hear it!
    May 2 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment