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  • The Fallout At GTAT - Lessons Learned (And The Impact For Apple) [View instapost]
    Some interesting background on Gorilla Glass (Corning, GLW) vs Sapphire (GT Advanced, formerly GTAT) in this longer article:

    "At Corning's Gorilla Glass testing labs, the glassmaker that fronts Apple's iPhone tried to show that rival sapphire crystal isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    by Ben Fox Rubin @benfoxrubin October 29, 2014"
    Oct 30, 2014. 09:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And The Risks Of The China Expansion [View article]
    "Electrics are the future"

    Maybe in 10-15 or so years EVs will indeed become more mainstream at the current pace.

    It's simply not possible before then because there aren't enough battery factories and building just one huge factory will take about 3 years (see the timeplan for the Gigafactory as a proof). This TSLA factory can only supply about 500k cars while around 100 million passengers are soon sold each year, that's easy to calculate: 0.5% of supply is secured, where would the batteries for the other 99.5 million cars come from? Maybe the Asian battery makers can supply another 1-2 million short-range BEVs until 2020, but that's it.

    And what kind of batteries will dominate by 2025-2030 (lots of research is ongoing for solid-state and similar new batteries)? Which car companies will dominate? What about new entrants from Asia?

    Nobody knows. If you blindly put all your chips on TSLA today, you face huge risks as in any nascent sector (most solar and computer companies who were there at the beginning as pioneers are gone, merged or bankrupt today, the same process will happen in EVs).

    Also, are you willing to hold on to your TSLA shares for so long? TSLA stock prices already factor in sales and incredibly high operating for Model X and Model 3 until 2020-2025 as of today...
    Oct 30, 2014. 07:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And The Risks Of The China Expansion [View article]
    The only "news" is that the license plate numbers for these NEV cars seem to be unlimited now (back in spring I think there was a limit for 3000 plates for these NEV cars in Shanghai). Here's the original Chinese source back from April, 24 2014:

    Auto-translate into English tells me the same thing.

    PS: Tesla seems to have sold only around 1900 cars in China in the past Q3 period. Not a huge success given all the hoopla. Europe also looked weak in Q3 (these are both confirmed numbers from the authorities).
    Oct 30, 2014. 07:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And The Risks Of The China Expansion [View article]
    "You are 100% wrong there actually.Shanghai has agreed to waive the registration fee for Tesla cars worth US$10,000 to bring it in line with locally produced electric vehicles and other provinces in China are expected to follow suit."

    That is old news from April 2014 (when Musk visited China). Tesla and other foreign EV makers such as BMW still don't get the full sales tax benefits and subsidies.

    Only Chinese companies and JVs producing cars in China get these incentives.
    Oct 30, 2014. 06:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buying Sony At The Price Of Nintendo: A Comparison With A Focus On Video Games [View article]
    The Nintendo health-related hardware device(s) initiative I mentioned in the last lines of my article is slowly taking shape:

    "Nintendo's first 'non-wearable' is a sleep-tracking device
    Mysterious "quality of life" initiative takes shape"

    I continue to see at least three issues:

    - Nintendo is very slow to bring this to market (2016 !?), according to the link above: "Nintendo says that its game machines and smart devices will also be able to interface with the QOL cloud platform. The QOL initiative is set to launch in 2016."
    As I mentioned in my article, SNE is trying to perform its turn-around by 2015 and is making some progress in 2014 (except for a setback in smartphones). I still don't see this sense of urgency at Nintendo while its casual gaming market share (wih its dedicated gaming devices) is getting eroded by smartphones and tablets at an alarming pace.

    - Even if the device is 'non-wearable', it will be in competition with various wearable devices performing the same functionality (tracking health, fitness companion etc.)

    - The space is gettting very crowded well before 2016. Besides existing specialized devices (Fitbit etc.), Android and iOS are getting into this space with Android Wear and tehe Apple Watch in 2015 - and Microsoft is a new contender. MSFT just announced their MSFT Band device to be launched in late 2014 for $199:

    "The Microsoft Band is designed to last 48 hours on a single charge and can be worn all day and all night, as it tracks both physical activity and sleep. It includes 10 sensors that track standard health statistics like heart rate as well as unique points of data that other fitness bands do not track, like a UV sensor to measure sun exposure and galvanic skin response, which can identify stress. Like smart watches, the Band can also receive notifications from a user's smartphone. "
    Oct 30, 2014. 05:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So, Is QE Really Over? Or Did The FED Bluff Once Again?  [View instapost]
    A good graph on the FED balance sheet as of 2014:

    Oct 29, 2014. 05:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And The Risks Of The China Expansion [View article]
    zcsrdi wrote: " All China wants is just to steal the technology for their use. Tesla only needs to sell the parts to them to make profits. Tesla should protect its core technology. "

    Then it will have to pay high import taxes because foreign companies must enter a JV to localize production.

    All other foreign car makers did so for local EV production (JVs like Denza, Zinoro, Venucia etc.)

    As for stealing, what do you refer to since TSLA supposedly opened up all of its patents anyway?
    Oct 29, 2014. 12:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug Power And Investor Relations [View article]
    "Now, I know it will be difficult for the short-sellers to endure"

    I don't know who you refer to here. I'm long out of my short using put options when it spiked above $10. You can read my old comment here from March 2014 if you don't believe me:

    That was the only time I was short PLUG for some weeks.

    Just because I'm (still) criticizing the company doesn't mean I'm short the stock. Shorting the stock above $10 wasn't possible back in early March 2014 because there were no shares to borrow at reasonable rates.
    Oct 29, 2014. 12:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Actual Tesla Sales Data Shows Ward's Auto Estimates Unreliable [View article]
    I don't have access to his orginal report so I don't want to draw detailed conclusions based on a short TV answer.

    As I already wrote above, it's quite obvious in my opinion that TSLA sales are higher worldwide than the 8% delta to 2013 he estimated (especially because TSLA entered a number of large car markets in 2014 in Europe and Asia).

    Tesla only sold 22,450 cars back in 2013, so beating that number by more than 8% should be doable because of additional territories (there may be some late 2014 cancellations however by people looking to buy the new SD version instead of the normal Model S).

    So somewhere betwen the 8% and the 55% (the latter is Tesla's 2014 goal). I don't want to speciulate further because the Q3 numbers will be announced shortly.

    TSLA is so overvalued in my opinion that a few thousand cars don't matter anyway. The stock price is all about Model X and huge Model 3 sales at projected high margins.

    You didn't answer the second part of my comment above:

    What do you think about Elon Musk not actually answering the questions in his tweeted answer and providing other numbers, VH?
    Oct 29, 2014. 10:48 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So, Is QE Really Over? Or Did The FED Bluff Once Again?  [View instapost]
    A BB discussion on the end of QE3:

    Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee releases its policy statement today and expectations are for the Fed to announce an end to quantitative easing. Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferro and David Powell examine what the move may mean to markets and global economies, the data points that led the Fed to this point, and when we may see a hike in interest rates. They speak on “The Pulse.”
    Oct 29, 2014. 10:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug Power And Investor Relations [View article]
    "litigate anyone that has infringed against their current patents."

    Toyota had their own fuel-cell forklifts for years (2005: "Toyota Industries first prototyped a fuel cell forklift in 2005"). I guess you didn't read my link.

    Do you really think Toyota has any problems in this space patent-wise given that they also are the main proponents of FC vehicles for passengers? They have more than enough patents on their own.
    Oct 29, 2014. 10:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And The Risks Of The China Expansion [View article]
    Yes, it's naive to think TSLA will get any special favors in China as long as it doesn't add any local value with localized production and a joint-venture.

    Musk said he wants to open a factory and localized production within "3-4 years" based on recent interviews on Chinese TV (and we will see what happens to these plans when 2018 is over, TSLA is not a stranger to all sorts of delays).

    Musk is indeed performing his media interviews like a rock star. He promises different things in different countries (always saying the current audience is the best and most receptive for EVs...).

    There are obvioulsy many open questions how a real factory (not just an assembly) in Europe and Asia will be financed in this timeframe - even if it does happen in the first place.
    Oct 29, 2014. 10:05 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Fiat Q2 '14 Earnings Disappoint [View article]
    I'm a bit late, but if anyone is still reading comments: I would be interested to hear your input on today's news (Ferrari spin-off):

    "The separation will be complete next year, the company formed from the merger of Italy’s Fiat and U.S. automaker Chrysler said today in a statement. Ferrari shares will be listed in the U.S. and possibly also in Europe, the company said.

    Ferrari and FCA need to “pursue separate paths” as FCA tries to increase its net income fivefold to about 5 billion euros in a five-year expansion plan targeted for completion in 2018, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in the statement."

    Back in 2011, Marchionne estimated Ferrari's value at above $7 billion:

    Now we will soon know if the market agrees to the valuation :)

    What surprised me is that they didn't spin-off Maserati together with Ferrari. Maserati volume and "lower" (relative to Ferrari) pricing could complement the spin-off in my opinion.

    As we all know, Ferrari annual volume is very low (the estimated total of Ferrari built cars is less than 150k in their total history if I'm not mistaken), I think this could present a problem for a public company in case of a severe downturn like in 2008-2009.

    And a related question: How will Ferrari finance (and justify) its huge F1 operations as a stand-alone public company?

    PS: I understand the spin-off from the parent's (FCAU) perspective. They can reduce leverage and get cash influx...the market seems to agree. FCAU is up 15% today in pre-market trading.
    Oct 29, 2014. 09:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug Power And Investor Relations [View article]
    "Plug has no cash flow problem now"

    Which will likely result in them burning more money. Where did all the cash flow come from? Certainly not from operations, but from financing activities:

    Massive issuance of PLUG stock. Again and again.

    Operating income is still negative (and has practically been for 15 years. I must say it's a miracle the company is still around).

    Even if they finally eek out a small profit in 2015, why should PLUG be worth close to $1 billion given additional dilution?

    If hydrogen material handling takes off, TM and other big players will also enter the segment. Simple. It's not like they can't make them:

    "Toyota Industries Reveals New Fuel Cell Forklift"

    Guess what happens to PLUG *if* FC forklifts take off in the future and TM and other big players decide to enter the space?
    Oct 29, 2014. 09:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing 101: Asset Class Returns Since 2000 (And A Refresher On Active Vs. Passive Investing) [View article]
    Another short but good article on the subject:

    "Do Financial Experts Make Better Decisions Than the Rest of Us?
    No, says a new study of mutual-fund managers."
    Oct 29, 2014. 08:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment