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Richard MacDonald

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  • Netflix: A Disruptive Model With Long Legs [View article]
    Nesta thanks for the thought. The point of my piece is not "newness" but the potential of NFLX to mature ito a central piece of the entertainment puzzle. NFLX has upward pricing flexibility and economic stability of the service unlike any social media business. Again, thanks. Be well
    Aug 3 09:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Selling the U.K. Newspapers Won't End the News Corporation Crisis [View article]
    Thanks for the comment. Yes indeed. There are already articles about Fox News anchors and reporters avoiding the subject. The most egregious mumbling voice is the WSJ, which still has not figured out how to report the crisis. The same of it is that this is all self inflicted damage which the company did to itself. None of the hacking or other activity was necessary in pursuit if its objectives. Even for people who object strongly to Fox News political line, so far it appears as if that success was all out in theopen and the result of finding an audience with similar views. It was never fair and balanced but Fox Newws and other entities were open and honest.
    Jul 19 09:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivendi: Well Defined Strategy, History of Significant Dividends Make for a Bargain at Current Price [View article]
    Viv and its predecessor CGE were/are particularly difficult companies to analyze. So yes the complement was sincere. In 1986, when I first recommended CGE, many of the same questions re ADR's and their tax consequences were also being asked. Clearly, the local versus global issues are still relevant and you have done a good job at tracking them done.

    The involvement of the French state in decades past also clearly dampened the potential valuation of the shares as it turned off many foreign investors. Likewise the Messier disaster, but I also worry that the subsequent litigation, which I guess has exited the criminal phase and is entering the civil phase could continue to be an overhang.

    In addition, not to mention the complexity of the company's holdings, it was/is a challenge to decide by what metric to value the company: for dividend, for sum of the parts value or earnings growth.
    But Vivendi owns premier, trophy assets as you point and has always done so. In water utilities, media and wireless communications, the saying used to be that all roads lead to Vivendi (CGE's) headquarters. These business are well run and generate substantial cash and have always done.

    In the French market, Vivendi shares had been core long term holdings for stability of dividend stream, like an ATT or Verizon or some such company--though as you correctly point out that went out the window in the Messier years. As the management restores traditional practices at the company and as many non consolidated businesses are brought in house, it seems to me that the kind of clarity you expect in the shareholder message will emerge, though maybe not as fast as you might think. This is a very old company, and remains, except for being hijacked briefly by rogue managers, very conservatively run and even less likely now to respond to shareholder demands that value be realized by large and rapid change in strategy or tactics. Again thanks for shedding light on an excellent company.
    Feb 8 05:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vivendi: Well Defined Strategy, History of Significant Dividends Make for a Bargain at Current Price [View article]
    Pretty good analysis.
    Since it has been a pretty long time since I looked at this name three questions: first, what is the conglomerate discount at current prices; second, what is your view of the management who took over after Messier and his henchmen were thrown out; and, finally, why do you think the company has reversed its pre Messier policy of holding a diversified portfolio of businesses in exchange for a wholly owned business with presumably operating responsibility? Is this an indication that the new management, is less "French" and more sensitive to the North American or global investment community in some sense?
    Feb 7 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment