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  • Ron Johnson's Plan Puts J.C. Penney At Risk [View article]
    Perhaps they were fired because they were watching Netflix and Youtube all day long.

    "Ackman points out that 20% of the company's internet bandwidth was taken up by Netflix during working hours. Plus, the average employee clicked on YouTube 1,000 times per month."
    Jun 7, 2012. 03:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ron Johnson's Plan Puts J.C. Penney At Risk [View article]
    You do know that Johnson invested $50 million of his own money into the company, right?
    Jun 7, 2012. 03:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Ackman's Presentation On J.C. Penney: A Lottery Ticket Without The Risk [View article]
    Yes, I would say we do.
    May 31, 2012. 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill Ackman's Presentation On J.C. Penney: A Lottery Ticket Without The Risk [View article]
    I don't know about "heavy" promotions, but I don't think anyone ever expected them to not run Black Friday specials. The new pricing structure was not intended to get customers in the door immediately. It was intended to attract new brands, which it has done.

    You have to trust that Johnson and his team know what they are doing. I'm sure there will be a variety of tweaks along the way. The bigger point is that cost-cutting, along with the value of their real estate and leases protect the downside. On the upside, there is tremendous potential even if J.C. Penney's performs on a subpar level. It's much more likely they'll significantly outperform, though.
    May 31, 2012. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • At the bottom of J.C. Penney's (JCP) Q1 blowup could be something as simple as the concept that U.S. consumers like their deals, according to Stacey Widlitz. The Ron Johnson-led strategy of reclaiming pricing by cutting out promotions backfired as traffic at stores fell off dramatically. While new brands and a transformation "ahead of schedule" could still click, the burning question is do investors have the patience to wait for it? JCP -15.2% premarket. [View news story]
    It didn't backfire at all. The new pricing strategy is allowing them to get new brands that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to get.
    May 16, 2012. 11:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 11 Takeaways From JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's Annual Letter [View article]
    Well, my view is that if you're relying on growth, then JPM at these levels isn't bad. If you're relying on valuations, Dimon is saying the valuation level is too high for JPM to buy back shares. Considering there are other (admittedly less well-run) competitors trading at very significant discounts, those competitors have better downside protection.

    For FMD, I did pick up more shares at this level. I don't know if there are other things going on that we don't know about it. Seems likely that the market is at least somewhat reacting to upcoming hearings and proposed government policies on student lending that won't be implemented. Probably also in response to JPM getting out of the business, though it was a very small part of JPM's business. Could be more to it, but I haven't seen anything else, so I'm inclined to think it may just be more market fluctuations.
    Apr 14, 2012. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 11 Takeaways From JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's Annual Letter [View article]
    Oh yes, JPM's stock is extremely cheap below tangible book. Dimon is one of the few CEOs who very clearly understand that they should only be buying back shares when shares are extremely cheap.
    Apr 9, 2012. 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Groupon (GRPN) is "not a coupon company," writes Rocky Agrawal following the firm's Q4 restatement, it's "essentially a sub-prime lender that does zero risk assessment." Agrawal slates Groupon for a variety of sins and estimates it has $500-$750M in off-balance sheet liabilities. He also reckons the stock could head to zero within 36 months.  [View news story]
    You may want to read Rocky's just recent announcement that he's joining Groupon: April Fools joke or no?
    Apr 1, 2012. 05:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking Past Investment Day Euphoria: The Long Case For J.C. Penney [View article]
    Won't happen. You've got Ackman and Roth controlling 37% of the company and a host of other large hedge funds that currently have small positions in the stock. Those funds would buy on any major dip. Everyone loves Johnson and the new team and know it will take some time to deliver, but they're confident he will deliver and that will support the stock price.
    Mar 20, 2012. 10:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Guide To Managing Risk [View article]
    Yes, should have been a "not" in there.
    Mar 6, 2012. 09:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tompkins Financial Is Not A Good Dividend Play [View article]
    Hey Ivan- thanks for the article. I agree in theory, but sophisticated arb shops aren't going to be messing with an $80 million company (VIST).
    Feb 20, 2012. 12:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Is Jeremy Lin Worth To MSG? [View article]
    I think it's more like Kurt Warner than Tim Tebow and wrote about it last Saturday:
    Feb 15, 2012. 11:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford's Valuation, Earnings Make It A Perfect Buy [View article]
    Alan Mulally deserved every penny of it. If not for him, there would be no Ford.
    Nov 14, 2011. 08:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 6 Month Insider Buy Follow-Up: How The 13 Stocks Did [View article]
    Just to be clear, I don't recommend going out to buy any of the insider stocks highlighted in this or any other article. I'm just identifying the large buys and providing superficial comments. I don't filter them other than for level of buys. It's up to the reader to make their own judgments.
    Sep 8, 2011. 02:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Recent CFO Buys of Small-Cap Stocks [View article]
    Take a look at his total transactions here:

    He had four sales in December of last year between $65 and $73. It seems that those sales were for end of the year tax planning purposes. His sales in late 2010 were at all-time highs for the stock at the time. His new purchase was nine months later after a big price run-up and then market-related drop. It seems obvious with his latest purchase that he believes shares are undervalued. It also appears that you can draw little comparison to his earlier sales due to the significantly different factors at that time.
    Sep 3, 2011. 03:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment