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Vercin Getarix

Vercin Getarix
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  • Update: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Acquisition [View article]
    bsorge--- do you mean by "disparity" that the difference in quality between NCL and Oceania and Regent would not lead NCL passenger to move up? If so, I agree. Big difference in price on NCL of about $100 a day to $200 to $300 a day on the up scale two lines. CCL is able to move CCL psgrs up to Princess for maybe only a 20% premium. But a CCL psger doesn't jump up to premium Cunard very often.
    As for Del Rio, I never liked him. He did a poor job of running Rennaisance before it went broke. However, he seems good at finding the money men and putting a cruise line together. And, I consider Apollo a hedge fund that is unqualified to add much to the running of a cruise line however good they are at making money for themselves.
    On a different note, It is hard for me to believe that 30 years ago NCL owned the Caribbean and let CCL and RCL dominate it.
    Sep 14 11:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sirius XM Radio: Bullish Or Bearish? [View article]
    I listened to the this twenty something kid ramble on with only the slightess knowledge of SIRI, Another kid that wants free music pounding in his ears all day. I would guess all his peers do the same thing. He seems to be aware there is other content on SIRI but none of it interests him. Then he calls Howard Sten a disc jockey! Am I supposed to take financial advice from him?
    Jun 6 02:08 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Has The Best Fleet In The Industry [View article]
    I can remember the days when NCL owned the Caribbean with their Starward, Southward, etc, and RCL was the upstart who claimed to have the best ships and service (but the smallest cabins). What I believed happened is that like the commercial maritime history their owners had, the profits made where put into the owners pockets. Gradually, both of these lines fell behind on equipment, food and service. Then upstart Ted Arison started Carnival and all his profits went back into the company. Yes, CCL was the Walmart of those days. They called their ships the "Fun ships' and they did give the passenegers more fun than the staid NCL or RCL. I can remember a CCL cruise in1979 with my family and my saying, "I am not going to any stupid pillow fight." And yet, there I was laughing my butt off watching it.
    Gradually the laminate was replaced by real wood. RCL was famous for having fake materials - but not now.
    Travel agents where wooed by CCL and the agents responded by filling the fun ships. NCL did not iimprove and in fact degeneraterd and profits declined to the point they almost went bankrupt - I think I remember their stock sliding down to $1. Service, upkeep, food and attidude declined. I remember seeing rugs on the SS Norway that should have been throw away as being worn out. I remember hearing a woman warn her kids not to touch the banisters since they were dirty. I knew many of the middle management and they were not very happy. Carnival tried to buy the line but it ended up being sold to a Malaysian gambling corporation. Things then started to iimprove since Genting put some money into the line and started to build new ships. I am not saying the cruise line stunk but it was a distant thrid behind RCL and CCL.
    So, what about now? Most things have improved under new upper management and with more money put into the line. Morale has improved. Everything has improved. But, IMO, it still is not as tightly run as it should be. Now it is a close third behind RCL and CCL. I would buy CCL or RCL before NCLH.
    May 10 05:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Sirius XM A Buy Right Now With Or Without The Issuance Of A Dividend? [View article]
    Let's get this straight, they never said they will pay dividends to the stockholders; only to the holding company. The holding company can and will buy back stock.
    May 8 12:19 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sirius XM Set To Resume Share Buybacks [View article]
    Crunching, your comment, " “Luck is the residue of design.” So, to paraphrase, for corporate executives, the "share price will be the residue of execution - at least over the long haul." is the very wise. We don't get much wisom here.
    Apr 17 11:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sirius XM: Vote 'NO' On Liberty's $3.68 Offer [View article]
    Ralph Nader is still alive! Schwab alert said this this mornng;
    "but shareholder Ralph Nader called the proposal "ludicrous," adding that "I am sure that I along with other shareholders in Sirius XM will be interested in a legal challenge to John Malone's company for lowballing Sirius XM's shareholder value."
    Jan 6 02:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sirius XM CEO Sees A Real Opportunity Internationally [View article]
    Question to users; have any of you guys driven down into Mexico while listening to Sirius/XM? and if so, how far down did you get reception? Does it reach Monterey? or even Mexico City? TIA
    Sep 29 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Carnival: Latest Sell-Off Might Create A Long-Term Opportunity [View article]
    OK, first of all let me tell you a little about myself so you can see where my perspective comes from. I have been cruising since 1960. I have been selling cruises since 1960. Many of the ships I have sailed on have now been turned in scrap steel or razor blades. I have been on most lines for cruises or inspections, including the original Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, the SS France, etc. I was on Carnival's first ship when it was being converted from the Empress of Canada. I have been a stockholder in CCL on and off and have made a lot of money over the years. I have also owned RCL and a couple of other lines that are now defunct. I have had the opportunity to talk with high officers of several cruises lines.
    And I have seen a lot of changes.
    Now, in my opinion, those that claim the Carnival cruise division has gone downhill don't realized that it has been a "Joe six-pack" line from the beginning.
    A central organizing principle of CCL is that for those who want better should book a more upscale cruise line; e.g., Princess, Holland American, Cunard or Seabourn. CCL hints at that in their ads but never, in my experience, has come out and said it.
    Too many people think, "A cruise is a cruise is a cruise." And, that is not true.
    CCL looked to Las Vegas as a role model when Bob Dickenson was one of their leaders. Now he is retired and line has lost its pizzazz. If you go to Las Vegas are you going to stay in some cheap motel or one of the leading hotels?
    The same is true for Royal Caribbean. Years ago it was more of an upscale line. Now it is on par with Carnival. They also learned from CCL and bought or set up more upscale divisions. RCL, to generalize, has always been lagging CCL in innovations. I was talking with the CEO of RCL many years ago and he said that he now realizes that they should have been more like CCL and bought more ships.
    But as for the future, I am encouraged. If they return to TV ads that, IMO, could make a big different. Some of the old timers here might remember CCL's TV ad featuring Kathy Lee Gifford singing "Aren't We Having Fun.". They were powerful and produced sales.
    IMO, there are too many bean counters in high positions in both CCL and RCL. They don't have or can't generate any pizzazz. Disney knows how to do it. I went into mourning when RCL hired an airline executive to be CEO. What the heck do the airlines know about building a business? No house wife after seeing a TV ad for an airline said to her husband, "Hey, we got to take an airplane ride." But she might say " Lets take a Caribbean Cruise" after seeing a good cruise ad. I notice that Viking River cruises has some good TV ads.
    One of the above commentators mentioned how he has out grown Carnival. For only a few dollars more he could have sailed to Alaska on Holland America or Princess and been satisfied.
    There were only hints in the conference call that CCL has woken up. Things could turn a round fast. However, I am a buyer of CCL right now as an investor and not as a trader.
    And lastly, people will forget the Concordia incident.
    Sep 27 11:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SIRIUS' CEO Presents at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference (Transcript) [View article]
    If he said "okay" one more time I would have screamed. This transcript is the worst I have ever read. Mel could talk better than JIm. However, I did learn somethings. Some things to ponder.
    Sep 26 12:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The New Carnival: A Treat Instead Of A Treatment [View article]
    You are right, now that I checked, it was another author with a sharp tongue who made a remark about my name.
    Jun 20 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The New Carnival: A Treat Instead Of A Treatment [View article]
    I am a little surprised to see you writing on CCL since I see you at the SIRI site often. I am also a little surprised that you didn't use more metrics in this article. However, I believe your analysis is correct.

    I have been in and out of CCL since shortly after its IPO. One thing that is hard to analyze is the quality of management. I have been close to the cruise industry since 1960 and personally knew the top management of CCL, RCL and NCL. through conversations at stock holders meeting, seeing them in their offices and running into them on their ships and socially around town. Most of the founders of these 3 lines had a history in merchant shipping; especially the Scandinavians. Cruise ships became a side show for them. Their attitude was if they made money stick in you pocket and get richer. Ted Arison came along, also experienced in merchant shipping but he didn't put the profits in his pocket he bought more ships and then more ships and then other cruise lines. Arison surrounded himself with top notch people with experience in the cruise or travel industry. A guy by the name of Bob Dickenson was a key element in the beginning since he knew travel sales and marketing and that the travel agents were important source of business. . He was/is famous in the travel agent community. He often was on the ships talking to crew and passengers. The team was a sharp integrated whole. RCL on the other hand, hires a guy from American Airlines who never took a cruise and knew nothing about ships, nothing about cruise passenger satisfaction but knew the metrics to feed into the computer. When I talked with him he used airlines terminology. RCL president actually said at a stockholders meeting that he was surprised that CCL had gotten so many ships ahead of RCL and they had to start to try to catch up.

    Dickenson ended up as president of the Carnival Cruise division of CCL and finally retired a couple of years ago. Now CCL is bringing him back as a consultant. He, in my opinion, might be behind the changes in the CEOs of the other divisions. I anticipate progress and profits for CCL.

    By the way, since you ridiculed my name last time I wrote, how would you like me to change it to Spartacus? or Patrick Henry?
    Jun 18 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Say Goodbye To Norwegian Cruise Lines - Overvalued With High Debt [View article]
    In my opinion, you figured it out correctly, And that 212,500 per berth on Breakaway sounds suspiciously low to me.
    May 28 01:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors Keeps Rolling Along [View article]
    I liked your article. I especially liked "... militant unions are one of the great destroyers of shareholder value historically..."
    I watched Eastern Airlines go down in part to union activities. For years I have watched the US auto industry go down and I personally have bought nothing but foreign cars for the last 50 years, (yes, I am that old). I actually felt sorry for people who bought American. The metric of cash flow is important, in my opinion, and usually ignored by professional analysts.
    May 2 11:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Macro Market Effects Of The Fracking Breakthrough: U.S. Exporting LNG [View article]
    Everytime I read the financial news I see some country ready to start fracking, country already starting it, country that is negative on it. Earthquakes and pollution are on concern.
    China is supposed to have more potential than we do.
    This going to be an interesting sector to wartch.
    And, how about the railroads hauling oil from the Bakken? Money being made there. More pipelines being built.
    I would expect that in 10 or more years the global price will come down and be pretty much equal world wide.
    In the meantime, make hay while the sun is shining.
    Apr 8 03:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investigating Carnival's Dual Share Classes [View article]
    I just remembered another reason the UK stockholders of Princess resisted. Many of them were some sort of mutal funds that were not allowed to own foreign stocks. So, setting up the dual stock and then trading the UK registered stock CUK for the Prtincess stock satisfied them.
    Apr 2 09:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment