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Spencer Knight

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  • Slovenia's economy shrinks 4.8% in Q1, badly missing economists' estimates of a 2.9% contraction. The figure underscores the sense of urgency recently expressed by the European Commission regarding the sale of state-owned assets and the transfer of bad loans to a so-called "bad bank" (I, II). "The question now is how [the depth of the recession] impacts official growth projections [and] what it means for the cost of cleaning up the banks," one economist tells Bloomberg. [View news story]
    Look for Slovenia to need around 3-5 billion euros in the near future.
    May 31, 2013. 04:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Halliburton (HAL) and Baker Hughes (BHI) are downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley, part of the firm's dim view of the oil services drilling and equipment sector (OIH) due to concerns about revenue growth seen slowing to 5% from 16% for the rest of the decade. HAL -1.6%, BHI -1% premarket. [View news story]
    It makes reasonable sense. If MS thinks oil prices will stabilize (i.e. not continue to perpetually climb higher) then revenues will not grow at the same rates we have seen. Until Nat Gas is used more widely it's simply a drip in the ocean. All this trickles back down to the drillers and equipment suppliers. I for one believe more useful and reasonably priced electric cars will be created over the next decade and hopefully stop the increasing demand for oil. If demand decreases for oil what happens to the price? Think trickle down effect after you answer that...
    May 30, 2013. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: -4K to 323K vs. 335K consensus, 327K prior (revised). Continuing claims -27K to 3.00M. [View news story]
    I like when the initial claims numbers are much worse because all the doomers and gloomers come out of the woodshed to cry the world is ending. They fill my day with laughs.
    May 9, 2013. 02:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Offers Investors An Annualized Gross Return Of Up To 25% Over The Next 5 Years [View article]
    In my mind, Microsoft trades at a correct multiple for a company approaching an inflection point. Microsoft has two options: 1) innovate and succeed, or 2) continue what its doing and stagnate, or slowly move backwards. It's the life cycle of businesses. Microsoft has the resources to innovate, but will they do it correctly? That's the big question in my mind, because it appears MSFT is simply going at it willy nilly in an attempt to make something work by pure chance.

    I also find it hard to even value MSFT because the share buybacks inflate the earnings per share value. EPS is a good metric to use, but you must take into consideration the anti-dilutive effect of the buybacks and how that can make the company appear more profitable than it really is. Margins, on the other hand, as you can see in the chart above, are low; which should be expected for a company approaching an inflection point in its life cycle.
    Apr 10, 2013. 03:54 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Singapore Story: No Longer A Sure Thing For Investors? [View article]
    When thinking of Singapore it may be a great idea to consider that we will likely see a considerable contraction in Q1. And the possibility that the MAS decides to lower the appreciation target of the SGD below it's current 2.5% target to combat the near continuous headline inflation and a weaker economy than what was expected late last year. This probably will not happen as long as the exchange rate stays away from the upper target, but it is something to keep in mind.
    Apr 9, 2013. 11:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Futures give up a few ticks, SPY now flat after the big miss in the ADP jobs report. February's gain, however, was revised higher by 39K to 237K, making the whole thing kind of a wash. At 158K in March, the job gain is the slowest in the last 5 months, but well above most every print of 2012. (full report[View news story]
    QE is ending. Wait for the announcement of a slow decrease in buying in May/Juneish...
    Apr 3, 2013. 12:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM) March U.S. sales: +6.4% to 245,950, short of the mark of analysts but the automaker's best March tally in five years. Sales gains were led by crossover (+31%) and truck (+2%) models while car sales dipped 3% during the month compared to a year ago. Total sales by brand: Cadillac +50%; Buick +37%; GMC +11.6%; Chevrolet +0.5%. The Cadillac ATS put in its best sales month ever with deliveries of 3,587 units. (PR[View news story]
    People must be working if they can buy cars. Expansion continues!
    Apr 2, 2013. 12:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • February Nonfarm Payrolls: +236K vs. consensus +160K, 119K previous (revised from +157K). Unemployment rate 7.7% vs. consensus 7.9%, 7.9% previous. [View news story]
    Those are both overly ambitious numbers (1.2m house starts and 6% UE in about 20 months) but you have the right idea. The economy is improving as a whole. But don't forget there will always be market corrections during expansionary periods...
    Mar 9, 2013. 01:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California gets its first upgrade from S&P since 2006, the agency hiking the rating on the state's general-obligation bonds to A from A-. "The economic expansion is gaining positive momentum," and the approval of higher sales and income tax rates "positions the state to capitalize on burgeoning economic activity." S&P should ask Phil Mickelson about that one. [View news story]
    The better answer is still Phil's living location does not create jobs. He can live in Mexico and Callaway will still sell his drivers. How many drivers say "used by Phil Mickelson only when he is living in CA."
    Jan 31, 2013. 11:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite beating profit expectations on the back of strong results in North America, Ford (F) could see some share price weakness after warning once again on sales in Europe, notes Douglas Kass. In early trading he's looking to be correct, Ford -1.7% premarket. [View news story]
    Ford has been forecasting weak Euro sales for a year now, coupled with strong NA sales. It is a good stock to buy. Europe will eventually strengthen. The difficult part is when will Europe turnaround and will NA still be growing at that time.
    Jan 29, 2013. 03:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Samsung (SSNLF.PK) Q4 net profit +76% to 7.04T won ($6.6B) vs consensus of 6.8T won. Revenue +18.5% to 56.1T won. Figures largely in line with guidance earlier this month. Revenues mostly driven by "solid sales" of flagship Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones. Profit at its mobile devices division more than doubles to 5.44T won, accounting for 62% of overall earnings. Expects the global smartphone market to shrink in Q1 from Q4. (PR[View news story]
    Apple's fast smartphone growth is done. Samsung's turn. Then somebody else. Maybe Microsoft will eventually make a phone people want?
    Jan 25, 2013. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial Jobless Claims: -5K to 330K vs. 360K consensus, 335K prior (revised). Continuing claims -71K to 3.15M. [View news story]
    The market moves based on future expectations. Not what happened last week or last month or last year. If people are expecting the economy to improve in a year or two, then you buy now before prices get pushed up too high.
    Jan 24, 2013. 02:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Siemens Networks reportedly plans to issue €700M worth of high-yield bonds in the Spring to test investor interest in the company and assess the potential of a possible IPO. However, Nokia (NOK) and Siemens (S) have no plans to exit the telecom-equipment company, which has enjoyed a turnaround with three straight quarters of underlying profitability. [View news story]
    The article answers the question of what they need the money for. NSN will "pay down existing bank debt and fund future investment." Seems like a good plan. Have to see how it unfolds. Perhaps a cleaner balance sheet and future growth prospects via expansion will open NSN up for a buyout.
    Jan 21, 2013. 04:33 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Capital One (COF): Q4 EPS of $1.41 misses by $0.16. Revenue of $5.6B (-3% Y/Y) misses by $0.28B. Shares -3.2% AH. (PR[View news story]
    That is a fantastic idea. I will begin doing that as well.
    Jan 17, 2013. 08:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs Is A Phenomenal Investment Opportunity [View article]
    Yes lets all buy GS right before the seasonal market correction coming in a few months. Perhaps earlier if political nonsense gets in the way.
    Jan 17, 2013. 04:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment