Rob Close

Long-term horizon, research analyst, portfolio strategy, growth
Rob Close
Long-term horizon, research analyst, portfolio strategy, growth
Contributor since: 2013
Yeah, no big Encapso customers except Eni, and they're nobody...just a $73 billion dollar market cap on their stock.
I was on Food Stamps 4 years ago - when I scored a part-time job, and sent them my paycheck. They added it to my unemployment check, and said it was too much income. Of course, my unemployment was no longer active, so they messed up. I sent them the paperwork again, as requested, and was told that the agent in charge had been on vacation for a month, and my submission had expired - but could I send it again (the exact same info - which was still on his desk). So I sent it all again, and was told they never received it.
So we decided to go to the office in person, and were told by the lady that we didn't qualify. Yet by the chart in her office, and online, we clearly did. But the rude lady agent kept telling us it was pointless. We gave her all the paperwork on the spot, left, and then were told later that she didn't receive my pay-stubs (which I gave her). We then went back again, gave that same agent everything required, were told we were all set - and then were told again, later, that something was missing (not even told what this time). We went back AGAIN, requested a new agent, met with a much nicer man, made sure we had everything all set, and then found out again, weeks later, that something was missing (once again, we were not told what was missing, and we were guaranteed that we had given everything necessary).
What does this tell me? That food stamp agents have a mission to disqualify as many people as they can, through any means possible.
Time to squeeze the massive amount of shorts...
It took only 3 hours for your comment to appear foolish.
I completely disagree.
Biofuels sell for less than any other type of oil they have developed.
If they have extra capacity, it will always be an option. But until then, forget about it.
Yeah, they are dreaming. Consider how much sugar that would require!
Unless Solazyme starts getting their sugar from yeast, who get it from the air...
Then it would just require massive amounts of factories and infrastructure.
I went and changed their Wikipedia page a few weeks ago to fix that misconception. A couple days later, Google picked up on the change - they had been referencing the first few sentences of that Wiki article to anyone who searched for Solazyme.
I think it's a death knell for FB - and entirely true.
According to this blog post, if you spend less than $1.33 per 2 liter soda, you'll never make your money back on a Sodastream.
I don't drink soda, but my wife does - and it costs $0.79 for a 2 liter of diet cola.
In full disclosure, I did the math myself a year ago, and it came out better than that blog post - a little under a buck - but it was still 15-20 cents more expensive per 2 liter, even with the sunk-cost of the machine factored out.
I know many people hear your words and think "pumper, whatever..."
But I completely agree. It was a bargain at $8.20, and a steal at anything under IPO value right now. Very few companies present as much growth potential as Solazyme. Here were my thoughts on SZYM a couple months ago:
Did you read this article?
Did you not understand the value behind the code and the network? That is the substance of Bitcoin. By your logic, every single software company on earth has no substance, simply by not being readily tangible.
There is infrastructure in Bitcoin. I ate lunch on Sunday paying with Bitcoin. I paid for my gift card to Whole Foods & Amazon with Bitcoin, earning extra % cash back for it in the process.
That said, there certainly has been a series of speculative bubbles in its value. Sort of like Amazon & Netflix stock - the cart is racing well before the horse, but was the market wrong?
There are real problems with Bitcoin though - the amount of electricity being pumped into mining is absurdly wasteful - it's unnecessary and against the democratic intentions of mining for coins in the first place. Newer coins have faster transaction times, greater security, easier mining, and other benefits that are too numerous to expand upon here. Check out Quark, for example.
As Bitcoin builds out the infrastructure for other coins to follow, it won't be long before services like Bitpay are letting customers pay with the crypto of their choice. Other coins will find the path much easier to commercial acceptance, and as they improve upon the Bitcoin model, we'll see the progression from Friendster to Myspace to Facebook in this sector. Heck, Bitcoin might even survive, warts and all! Though I do foresee a big drop coming...
So what? The info he's looking for is still relevant.
The first line is the author stating his short position, so yes, that is obvious.
What I don't get are people who only care about the numbers. The story matters just as much when analyzing a company, and the story of HLF is full of holes - or X's, as the author notes. If I were a shareholder, I would be irate at this level of concealment.
Disclaimer: I have never had any stake or position in HLF, and no intention of changing that.
I just read a lot of numbers, but no explanation for them.
Why will revenue keep dropping in 2014?
What does 2015 project?
Numbers seem a bit cherry-picked, and without context.
3 years ago, my friends were paying an average of $90/month for their smartphones and data plans, from AT&T.
Today, my average friend is paying around $45/month. Many of them are still with AT&T, but a few have left, and none have joined.
Sprint & T-Mobile offer far better values. Verizon offers far better coverage. What does AT&T offer to a new customer today?
Facebook NEEDED to buy Instagram. FB has to stay relevant to the youth, and as the parents came on board, kids have been lost. Revenues come later.
And as someone who has run many ad campaigns on FB, I can tell you that the price per impression has skyrocketed over the last couple months. FB is monetizing quite well, and I think they know what they are doing.
That said, the company is WAY overvalued right now, and will probably collapse within 10 years. A terrible investment choice, imho.
I agree; Solazyme is my #1 conviction stock going into 2014. Algae has such a clear role in humanity's future, and this company has lined itself up to utilize this natural resource better than anyone else. While even Exxon is still floundering with algae, Solazyme has a process that perfects the strains and then maximizes the output. If the company can bring factories online at a steady rate over the next decade, it could be a good 40-80 bagger in that time frame.
More of my thoughts on Solazyme can be found here on Seeking Alpha:
I've played a couple of their games on iPhone, and was impressed by the quality - but their market cap is far too large for my liking. zero insider buys all year (with plenty of selling) doesn't help inspire confidence that they have any great new titles in their pipeline.
How do you think the Vodafone deal will alter Verizon's future cash flow? I can't help but see it as a huge negative factor - I think Verizon way overpaid, and it's going to hurt us shareholders for long time. I've been tempted to sell my stake ever since.
You say "Herbalife was honored by The Hispanic Heritage Foundation as part of their 26th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards. The event was held at the Kennedy Center in Washington."
What honor was bestowed upon them? I followed your link, and from what I read, Herbalife was merely a "presenting sponsor" at the event. In other words, Herbalife gave them a lot of money. So the "honor" they got was being allowed to be part of the event - and that "honor" wasn't free. Even with a nice fluff quote, that doesn't mean anything...except... isn't it interesting, the ethnic demographic that Herbalife chose?
Well, Kevin can't cover envy aspect of SZYM in every article he writes! But there is a lot to like about this company, no doubt. Another informative article; great job KQ!
There is only one relevant question here: will people start buying their phones again? My crystal ball says "probably not".
18 months out - and this article was exactly right.
It's another week, and another friend of my has dropped 2 lines of their service - this time, for Virgin Mobile pre-paid (saving $38/line per month). Thank you Sprint!
I sold my AT&T in the $37's last year, and I'm glad it's gone.
Hi Dr. Carl,
I wrote this piece for long-term investors, so if that's not your time frame, then it's probably less relevant for you. However, if you're curious as to my thoughts on Intel, I wrote about them, Cisco & IBM a few weeks ago:
P.S. I expected a steady stream of conspiracy theorists here as well. I appreciate a good grass-roots theory, but when the only scientists supporting an idea are paid shills, its supporters can be pretty funny.
What do you think about the opportunity for arbitrage between the various Bitcoin markets? I hinted at it earlier today in this article:
You ignored my main point entirely. What do you think of the opportunity for arbitrage? Does Bitcoin not make a great trade right now?
What I am suggesting would be very healthy for the digital currency marketplace, I believe. Equalizing the marketplaces would bring stability, which brings trust and then further investments & growth opportunities.
I have not considered Bitcoins as a good investment at any point yet, but I've also had no problem with them as a speculative play either.
iTunes is available on all platforms, because it's the bridge that allows people to buy their first Apple product. But that's the only Apple software I've ever seen installed on a PC.
Still, I think that Apple would release some software for other platforms to work in sync with their television, like a phone app to work as a remote.
Brian Michael Bendis has written some of the best stories in the history of Marvel Comics using these characters, and he'll be on this project to ensure that the stories are quality. I think Netflix did a great job with House of Cards & OitNB, and there is every indication that these new series will be excellent as well. But how much will they really add to Disney's bottom line?
4 other points to consider:
How is the comic industry doing?
How are paper comics doing versus digital?
How profitable have Marvel movies been for Disney?
How does the pipeline of future Marvel movies look?
I think you just clearly elucidated why most investors should stick to buying stocks, and not options.
I believe that the power of charts primarily comes from the belief that they work - which in turn, is enough to make them work. They do have a basis in reality, but they're also another fear working into the equation.
Proof of earnings, food money, etc. - do you see likely reasons to believe that these won't come once they have capacity?
The 5 year chart on the NASDAQ has it up 163% - and INTC only 82%.
82% is a great number in a vacuum - but context matters.
The Vodafone deals just seems terrible for Verizon.
Their entire market cap is 145B - and they're paying 130B just to recoup about half of one of their divisions? They're giving up 60B in stock for this?
What do they gain? What is the practical benefit for Verizon to own the rest of its wireless division? I see this going down as one of the worst decisions in corporate history.