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Ron Myers

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  • CalPERS has a near negative 10% return on its $900M in clean technology investments, according to CIO Joseph Dear. "This has been a noble way to lose money," he says. The state's public employee retirees (and those expecting someday to retire) must be thrilled. [View news story]
    This is California - the fact that 90% is still left is bullish!
    Mar 21 01:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lululemon (LULU) -5.6% AH after announcing a shortage in its supply of luon pants after large shipments were deemed too see-through for its standards. LULU cuts its outlook, expecting Q1 comp-store sales to increase 5%-8%, resulting in Q1 revenues of $333M-$343M vs. prior guidance of $350M-$355M and analyst consensus of $354M. [View news story]
    Here we have a 3420398230 PE stock that sells what are basically slightly better sweat pants, for $100 a pair. And they still f*** them up. What a buster.
    Mar 18 06:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rubicon (RBCN +4.9%) closes with a decent gain on a day when it released its 2012 10-K. The hard-luck LED sapphire wafer maker, which has hammered last month after providing light guidance to go with a small Q4 miss, had 26.2% of its float shorted as of Feb. 15. [View news story]
    "light guidance"

    I see what you did there.
    Mar 14 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Xinyuan Real Estate's Fair Value Is Probably Over $15 Per Share [View article]
    Got my first dividend check limiting my max loss to only 98.5% or thereabouts. So at worst I'm already outperforming many of the worst chinese RTOs!

    Anyway this is one of those stocks where any day now I feel like I could check my portfolio and it's down 80% or something and I wouldn't be surprised. But other than Gurnee everything checks out for me. Unlike a lot of similar companies you can see the complexes they have built on known Chinese RE sites, the prices charged are completely reasonable when compared to revenues, there is the US property...of course there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to fraud but there is at least some kind of real business here.
    Mar 12 06:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The U.S. economy is ready to take off, says BlackRock's Larry Fink, and a push by U.S. banks to make new loans should help lead the way. "Aggressively” stepping up lending, he said, would spur hiring by businesses which would bolster economic growth. Capitalization is not the issue here. "Our banks are the best capitalized institutions in the world," Fink says. "The problem for banks going forward is making sure they originate enough loans." Which, in turn, is also the solution for sparking economic growth. (Video). [View news story]
    Pricing on most lending is more competitive than ever. Banks are lining up at the door to lend. What is missing are worthy borrowers with actual cash flows to service their debt.
    Mar 8 10:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't let Leonard Riggio steal Barnes & Noble's (BKS) retail business, writes Andrew Bary, arguing the operations are worth $19/share. Microsoft's and Pearson's investments suggest BKS' Nook stake is also worth $19/share - surely a fanciful figure, but Nook is clearly worth more than zero, he says. The board has alternatives: a large dividend, a spinoff of Nook, or sale of the entire company. [View news story]
    Can SA please stop linking to paywalled articles or mark that the article is paywalled in the post? I really hate wasting my time clicking on this crap.
    Mar 3 09:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sony's Common Stock Could Double [View article]
    Mobile and Home have negative value and no prospects imo...seriously if SNE paid to dump them to another company the stock would soar. Devices I don't know enough about but seems fairly weak, I would put that business at around 0 value.

    Images and Game are not great but still have value especially with JPY selling off against the EUR, PS4 on the way that looks fairly solid...with decent management and cost cuts these could be worth owning going forward although very tough. Music, Pictures, FS are solid businesses and should trade at a decent multiple. To me these "good" businesses probably earn around $2 B post-tax maybe $2.5 B accounting for yen depreciation, potential cost cuts. Unfortunately the balance sheet is very hard to read because of the pensions but I would put it at maybe $5B in net debt right now. You take a 10x multiple of the $2.5 B subtract the debt and you are looking at a $20B EV with the stock valued at $15B right now. Seems about right considering the overhang of the underperforming businesses.
    Mar 1 09:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking to boost returns by cutting out the middleman, Calpers will lower the allocation to funds-of-funds in its hedge fund portfolio to 5% from 14%. Getting a boost will be event-driven and global macro managers. The hedge fund portfolio is known as the Absolute Return Strategies Program and it returned 4.2% last year, 100 bps below the 5.2% benchmark. [View news story]
    Pay a bunch of people to allocate money by asset class. Then you pay a person to allocate money to managers within that asset class. Then you pay those managers 2 and 20. And this is before you have paid any fees or commissions on the actual trades.

    But they'll just raise taxes to make up for the shortfall so everything will be okay.
    Feb 26 12:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amid worries that rising gasoline prices are on the verge of pushing the U.S. into a recession, an MIT study makes the case for even higher taxes at the pump. If the goal is to get Americans to drive less and use more fuel-efficient vehicles, and to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, the study says higher gas taxes are at least six times as effective as stricter fuel-economy standards. [View news story]
    This is what is so scary - I know MIT only accepts the most elite minds in the world. And so many are in top positions in central banking. To think that the top 1% of top 1% minds could be so focused on screwing the poor. The rest of us simply have no chance.
    Feb 24 02:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2012 Review: Why Stocks Rose, Where I Was Wrong And What I Would Do Different [View article]
    I pretty much agree with everything here except for the idea that being in stocks was wrong. I'm as surprised as you on this, but a ton was priced in at the beginning of last year and strong returns were likely.

    With bonds and cash yielding what they do, sometimes you just have to buy stocks, hold your nose and hope the central bankers can keep this ponzi going for another year.
    Jan 31 08:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What did they know and when did they know it? Even before battery failures led to the grounding of all Boeing (BA) 787 jets, there were problems that raised questions about their reliability, according to a NYT report. If true, BA could be open to fraud lawsuits and attempts by carriers to get back some of what they paid for the new airline. Fixing the battery issue is its "first order of business in 2013," BA says. [View news story]
    Second order of business is to better cover up the rest of the stuff wrong with these planes that hasn't leaked yet.
    Jan 30 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The money management business inspires a lively exchange at the Barron's Roundtable, with Brian Rogers' liking of Legg Mason (LM) as either a value or takeover play getting the thumbs up from Mario Gabelli, but a razzing from Bill Gross who says the stock-picking industry is in secular decline thanks to ETFs. Gabelli to Gross: "If you want to preach in favor of mindless investing, we don't have to stand by." [View news story]
    By definition the more popular these index funds and ETFs become the more likely active management is to outperform. Since most "actively managed" funds are basically index funds as well we are probably already in a realm where decent active management should beat the benchmarks.
    Jan 27 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2012 In Review: How Good Was S&P 500 Performance? Who Got It Right? [View article]
    You are right that there were no upside surprises in the global macro US/Europe picture. But there was no terrible meltdown event either which was at least partially priced in at the start of the year. More important than the actual data, the perception of these has changed; no longer is a Eurozone collapse on anyone's mind, and I don't know a single person who isn't bullish on this amazing US housing "recovery". Some even seem to think US jobs are coming back as well on the basis of some energy cost based manufacturing boom.

    As for earnings it is really the same story; not great but they didn't totally collapse. And a lot of investors seemed to accept that they were depressed because of Europe and China (which everyone thinks will turn around) so they didn't need to be great.

    The central bank actions were pretty much in line with expectation or slightly better. I don't know if the money really flows into stocks or not but don't know if that really matters.

    In other words if you drew a bell curve of what all investors thought we would get in this data at the beginning of the year, this news this year came probably came in at 30-50 percentile of that. But since a 0-20 outcome (Eurozone breakup, US double-dip, earnings collapse) would have led to S&P 1000, a lot of "smart" investors were positioned for that, particularly with the last crisis fresh in everyone's minds. So even this mediocre data, if you had told someone it was coming on 1/1/2012, was going to lead to a positive year. Throw in the kicker of China being a little better than expected and some signs of life from Japan and you get the decent year we had.

    As for the coming year I suspect sentiment is moderately higher than it was last year while US stocks are slightly more expensive. For longer term investors like myself I still like the risk/reward of stocks vs. most other asset classes but obviously there is more downside here.
    Jan 27 03:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Burger King (BKW) says it has already stopped buying meat from a supplier in Ireland linked to trace amounts of horsemeat in beef products. The issue is a significant scandal in Ireland and the U.K. where 10M burger patties have been pulled off of grocery store shelves due to the contamination. [View news story]
    Maybe horsemeat added flavor...why would they do this?! I don't think it's cheaper.
    Jan 24 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • RIM (RIMM) could sell its hardware production and license its software once it has launched BlackBerry 10 devices, CEO Thorsten Heins tells German newspaper Die Welt. RIM will also explore strategic partnerships with other tech companies. (Google translation[View news story]
    Up a solid 15% today on the TSE!
    Jan 21 02:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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