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Vince Martin  

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  • Thompson Creek Bull Case Remains, But Investor Confidence Is Gone [View article]
    I'm kind of waiting for Q3 earnings in a couple of weeks to take another look; over half the gold stream is gone and now the moly operations are getting cut back, which is obviously not good news. I keep watching it, thinking "at some point, the worst has got to be over" and then it gets worse. I imagine the numbers still look pretty good at these levels, but on the other hand there's a good deal of evidence that Mt. Milligan is actually a Native American burial site and TC is doomed.
    Oct 19, 2012. 04:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Penn National Gaming (PENN -2%) CEO Peter Carlino weighs in on Las Vegas in the company's earning conference call (transcript), saying the gaming company doesn't see a "robust" recovery for the Strip. "Construction continues to move very slowly there, and general economic conditions for 2013 are going to be very similar to what we saw in 2011 and 2012." Though many sector names are increasingly plays on Macau, it's still a swipe at the industry from an insider. [View news story]
    Well, the slow pace of construction is part of the bull case for some analysts, since total rooms on the Strip are likely to stay flat for the near term. MGM is forecast to have a 94-95% occupancy rate in 2013-2014 by some analysts.
    Oct 19, 2012. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing Companies Is A Complex Affair: Don't Use EBITDA [View article]
    At this year's shareholder meeting when EBITDA was mentioned in a question Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger both laughed; Munger said EBITDA really stood for "Earnings Before Everything."
    Oct 19, 2012. 01:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For-Profit Education Stocks: Bad News, With More To Come [View article]
    I agree. And if you're going to feel bad morally about your investment, at least get a dividend like MO and PM.
    Oct 18, 2012. 07:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Many Questions, One Answer [View article]
    Well, I think management would probably agree with the article, too; if you read the Q3 transcript (available on SA), they're saying they're not sure whether the slowdown is macro, the tablet, or Win 8 either. So I don't think they can communicate a clear plan when it appears their strategy is to figure what exactly is going on and respond to it.

    Several people have made the point that it is simply more difficult to adapt when you're Intel's size -- the difference between turning a johnboat and a cruise ship, and all that. So I don't think mgmt is necessarily to blame (though perhaps not deserving of credit yet either). I will say that they very clearly still believe in ultrabooks and if they're wrong on that score, having shown a clear focus on that market over mobile, then I think it's open season on them.
    Oct 18, 2012. 07:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Many Questions, One Answer [View article]
    I linked to the piece that I think you're talking about in my article -- the AnandTech piece was previewing the Haswell line (and called the platform "awesome"):
    Oct 18, 2012. 06:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Carnage Continues At SemiLEDs [View article]
    Well, to be cynical, I don't think the green movement in the US knows much beyond "drive a Prius, eat organic, and pretend we're better than everybody else." Meanwhile, the GOP turned light bulb efficiency into forced socialism.

    At the end of the day, consumers have to pay a (much) higher sticker price for cost savings that are not quite as easy to detail. It will take time for adaptation. But it's coming -- that's why CREE bought Ruud Lighting, for instance.
    Oct 18, 2012. 06:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Many Questions, One Answer [View article]
    I don't think complacency has set in at all; I think they're racing now because they were late to the game. Look at the "Intel Inside" campaign; that was a key driver for their PC business for 20 years and they're only now acting to move it to mobile. Whether or not it will work is unknown, but it's certainly a sign of how far behind they fell in mobile that Intel is only now moving that campaign to smartphones.
    Oct 18, 2012. 12:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Many Questions, One Answer [View article]
    There was a good piece on here discussing exactly that possibility. Went up a couple of days ago.
    Oct 18, 2012. 12:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Many Questions, One Answer [View article]
    There is a world of difference between HP and Intel: management, execution, balance sheet, market share, etc. etc. But I think in the near term the yield will provide strong support, so if you do turn bearish on the earnings (or management or whatever else) you'll have to time to exit here.
    Oct 18, 2012. 12:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For-Profit Education Stocks: Bad News, With More To Come [View article]
    It was kind of interesting; I was writing this piece late at night with the TV on and the commercials were full of ads for those companies. Definitely has to be a shakeout at some point, right?
    Oct 18, 2012. 12:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • For-Profit Education Stocks: Bad News, With More To Come [View article]
    I have a hard time visualizing any trough here, really. What you saw in '08-'10 was the recession boosting these stocks, as many people who were un- (or under-) employed went back to school. Many older students, in particular, flocked to the FPEs since the schedules were more flexible and their classmates more likely to be in a similar boat.

    That is starting to disappear, and I think the second half of the recession is making people really question the 20-30 year conventional wisdom that a college degree -- any college degree -- was the key to economic security. Nobody talked about a student debt bubble in '09 (granted, we were busy complaining about the housing bubble). If you read all these stories about 23-year-old graduates working part-time at Target, how incentivized are you to drop six figures to get a degree in history at age 35?

    So, if the economy rebounds, they may be hurt if unemployment drops. If it stalls or double-dips, I don't see them returning to '09-'10 levels simply because the perception is changing. Either way, where is the growth going to come from?

    Politically, the question is very simple: who is going to defend these guys? Nobody. The Dems don't like them and the GOP hawks are not real thrilled about the FPEs taking 1/4 of education spending that the Republicans have never been that fond of in the first place.

    So I think you'll see a shakeout, with a few of these companies gone in five years. In the piece back in July I noted that the P/E's in the sector really tracked the level of respect accorded each institution. STRA and LOPE have held up, since they're considered a little more high end. You look at CECO and EDMC, which have had some regulatory issues, and CECO is trading well below cash and EDMC has a forward P/E of 6. I think the bottom-tier players are dead money, but I'm not that sold that the top-tier players are worth the risk either.
    Oct 17, 2012. 07:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble: If Overvalued, When Should You Buy? [View article]
    How dare you contradict my brilliant article with these personal attacks?

    I kid, of course. Interesting piece, and a different take. I agree with you that at $59 and below it's a vastly different risk/reward profile. But that's 14% below its current price, which is a big drop for a stock that acts, as jnpfl noted above, more like a very safe bond. Granted, the stock traded there as recently as June, so such a pullback is far from impossible.

    I think the bull/bear argument comes down to your points at the end; I don't see its earnings growth improving (or, to be more accurate, I think it is unlikely and requires many different moving parts to line up.) Value Line may forecast 53% earnings growth from '15-'17, but that's a 15% or so CAGR. Per its most recent earnings presentation, the company itself is hoping for 10-15% (excluding buyback effects) if everything goes right in the restructuring, let alone commodity and economic effects. And the company is projected to grow earnings by about 15% -- total -- over the five years from '08-'13. That's a big ramp-up for a company this size.

    If it can create that kind of growth, then $69 is probably a decent entry point and $59 is outright theft. I don't think it will, but I have been wrong before.
    Oct 16, 2012. 08:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Is Severely Overvalued [View article]
    I think there's a lot of truth to both of your points, and I certainly wouldn't short PG or any of the stocks jnpfl mentions. It's not savvy fighting the chase for yield in this kind of market amid this kind of monetary policy.

    That said, even within that group -- defensives or high-yielders -- I think there are better options than PG.
    Oct 14, 2012. 04:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Is Severely Overvalued [View article]
    There's definitely room for EBITDA and EPS growth, no doubt. But not substantial enough growth to create substantial price appreciation and/or dividend growth. They have to grow not only enough to justify the current multiple but to pay back some of the dividend growth they've borrowed to create over the last five years.
    Oct 14, 2012. 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment