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Steven Towns

 
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  • Exelon: Selling At 10-Year Lows [View article]
    I don't believe it was mentioned, but a few years ago when I looked at EXC, I recall it having particularly large (and underfunded) pension liabilities. A quick search and here's some background on that from P&I. http://bit.ly/19m9Q1h
    Dec 6 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nintendo Is Set To Collapse With Apple's Help [View article]
    I think the time to setup for a collapse-trade was when its shares had successfully run up 7-fold and the company became one of the most valuable in all of Japan. While I'm less bullish than I had been over the past couple years and no longer own a meaningful position, Nintendo has a fortress of a balance sheet and I believe will be at least moderately profitable, even on a much smaller operating scale.

    Arguments about mgmt strategy (or lack thereof) and whether iPhone or droid or rivals' next-gen systems will kill Nintendo are not going to go away, but these neither flash a green light to short targeting a going-out-of-business [stock has already collapsed from peak; solid mostly cash balance sheet] nor on the flipside, an easy double [forex has improved, but missed opportunities to better market Wii U and intro higher-demand games earlier for Wii U/3DS]. Duly noted you mention looking for 21%-31% in your conclusion. But I don't think the risk/reward is so favorable.

    Also don't think there's takeover risk, but should we see prolonged sub-Y10,000 share price such talk will come about, though MBO more likely. More near-term is a long awaited and anticipated stock split that needs to materialize asap -- recent heavy selling due to not being included in price-weighted N225. Unfortunate for Nintendo, yes, but more practically the US$ equivalent of $10K needed to buy a round lot of ordinaries also hurts demand.
    Sep 11 11:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Japan Beyond The Platitudes [View article]
    NTT owns a majority stake in DCM. Amazing assets on NTT's balance sheet, however, note the GoJ (Min. of Finance that is) owns 30%+ of NTT.
    Feb 21 05:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Japan Beyond The Platitudes [View article]
    IIJ pays a dividend twice a year. It recently increased its forecast fiscal year end (Mar. 31, 2013) dividend by 14% to JPY10/share. When paid out it will be reduced by half for IIJI holders to reflect the listing ratio, and it will be converted into US$, equal to roughly $0.0525 at present. Combined with its interim dividend, IIJ's dividend yield is around 0.80%.

    Nothing to write home about, but this is a stock that has had significant appreciation and is a company increasing its dividend double-digits year-after-year. Gone it seems are the days one could buy IIJ sub-$10 let alone closer to $5. Share price volatility largely attributable to lack of float. U.S. hedge fund Joho Capital has been adding to its >5% position. Opportunistic profit taking by others, primarily traders, following upswings.

    Note a down day in Tokyo combined with a lower yen would result in an even bigger daily loss in IIJI, which in turn could bring greater volatility back to Tokyo (3774).
    Feb 17 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Japan Beyond The Platitudes [View article]
    Clemens, always great to see your comments. Some truly serious moves of late in real estate. As we both know, if this is the beginning, it is very early indeed for these stocks based on past bull markets. Apologies as I don't have the Japanese input setup on the laptop I'm using now -- best to you this year!
    Jan 14 09:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Japan Beyond The Platitudes [View article]
    DXJ much better in very recent history than it historically had been with its liquidity. And certainly fares much better than EWJ when yen weakens. Personally, however, not a fan of the Japan indexes available to U.S. investors. Portfolios are far too diverse. If Nikkei doubles one might see a double, too, but I'm really focused primarily in small and mid caps looking for the best of valuations and solid growth prospects and/or solid recurring revenue models. Aiming for bigger returns. Hopefully less cyclicality. And considerably higher dividends meantime than the indexes.
    Jan 14 09:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In Japan Beyond The Platitudes [View article]
    Thanks for your comment. Shimano is obviously well-respected, and is a well-liked company among some value shops. It doesn't have the rock-bottom valuation associated with Japan but it is no slouch either in terms of ROE and its sound balance sheet. For all those Japan doubters, see link below for a 10-year chart.

    http://bit.ly/X7TgeO;c=
    Jan 14 09:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Numbers And Thoughts Behind A Weak Yen And Japan's Exporters [View article]
    Indeed, "sum-of-the-parts ..." and Sony is coming up more and more over the past year. To its credit Sony did spinoff a good chunk of Sony Financial several years ago.
    Dec 21 09:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Numbers And Thoughts Behind A Weak Yen And Japan's Exporters [View article]
    Thank you, Clemens, great to hear from you. I think we can all agree '13 is going to be very interesting with Abe take-2, BoJ seats in Apr., TSE-OSE ~July, lower-house election also July.
    Dec 21 09:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan: Not Buying The Debt And Depression Story [View article]
    Hi sgxjdi, thanks for tracking down a copy of my book. Hopefully Amazon becomes more accessible in Singapore. Good comments, especially: "If we use only textbook knowledge, the world equity markets should not have come this far on such shaky ground anyway!"

    While I agree the flush global liquidity ought to bode well for equities, I don't think cheap is necessarily just going to remain cheap in Japan sans foreign buying. Essentially lacking an equity culture, I think Japan has no choice but to start to embrace one. The mass under-valuation, deflationary environment, stable/solid cash flows, and rising dividends, all means it's a no-brainer for individuals and institutions alike to need to be investing in stocks much more. The arguments/worries about govt. debt/JGBs invariably follow among the Western crowd, but I continue to be unmoved. Japanese meanwhile are too focused on yield and forego significant upside chasing BRICs and REITs.
    Oct 16 05:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nintendo: Dirt Cheap Ahead of Next Growth Cycle [View article]
    That's right. Some investors may have "missed" the interim dividend last autumn, which is unfortunate because Nintendo decided against paying one in light of its results/forecast. It will be making its fiscal year-end (FYE Mar '12) dividend payment.
    Jun 11 05:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nintendo: Dirt Cheap Ahead of Next Growth Cycle [View article]
    Great to hear from you again and not surprised you're back in NTDOY. Really amazing how low "the market" is taking it. Mgmt clearly remains focused on product launch and business ops as opposed to stock price, which is generating more upset/concerned voices back home. I don't think mgmt listens to any overtures for value enhancement until macro quiets (ie yen eases; EU is key mkt and yen strength v euro renewed of late), and we're obviously not there yet. Meantime, I'm happy to scoop up more shares. Thanks, by the way, for picking up my book and I'm pleased that you're enjoying it -- means a lot!
    Jun 11 05:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan: Not Buying The Debt And Depression Story [View article]
    Great start with due diligence. I'll be in touch later privately. Ping me if you don't hear from me after a few days.
    Jun 8 08:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan: Not Buying The Debt And Depression Story [View article]
    Thanks, we're clearly in the minority, comfortably so in my case. I think you misunderstood me on the yen, however. I actually don't think it's so "dire," instead I'm telling everyone who will listen about the amazing profitability of co's despite its record strength. Truly amazing. Again, I am hardly worried about currency moves; and I agree that any "collapse" in the yen would obviously benefit Japan auto and the exporters assuming the reason for collapse was not say a simultaneous global collapse.

    Regarding excess capital, it of course can signal limited or no prospect for growth, however, I don't think that's the case broadly speaking and instead it's more the culture and practice of mgmt. Ironically any "investments" in recent history of cash in JGBs, largely actually indirect, would have proven profitable ones. Of course I'd rather see more distribution to shareowners and we are seeing continual improvements in TSR. Not too worried about pension liabilities. Cash piles actually are growing or could grow if need be via FCF (for profitable co's).

    Good luck there in Tokyo. Hope that you're enjoying your time and studies.
    Jun 8 08:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Japan: Not Buying The Debt And Depression Story [View article]
    Indeed, thanks for your comment. It's too easy for investors/traders to make largely unfounded comments with such conviction about things that are highly elusive and often misleading. Of course futures and actual stocks will follow the lead and the herd if it's a fait accompli in the crowd's (institutional and individual) wisdom, but while all that's going on, there are great investments being overlooked.
    Jun 8 08:07 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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