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Hi, My name is Rich and have been playing the market for more than 25 years. It is a true passion for me. I have learned enough to be ranked in the top 3% of fund managers at "Marketocracy". The blog has evolved over the last 18 months into a site on educating my readers about the... More
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    A study from the University of Gothenberg found that people with low income and low-educated people spend the most time on Facebook.

    And within this group, those who spent the most time on the site were less happy and less content with their lives.
    Up to 85 percent of Facebook users surveyed said they logged into the social networking site on a daily basis.
    And 26 percent of them felt 'uneasy' if they didn't log in regularly.
    Women spend an average of 81 minutes per day on Facebook.
    Whereas men spend 64 minutes per day on the site.


    Tags: FB
    May 09 1:00 AM | Link | Comment!
    Sleeping with Uni-Pixel

    Williams Financial Group is a small boutique broker-dealer. There business model is similar to a franchise operation. Williams Financial Group's main office is in Dallas, Texas. They have about 250 registered reps operating in one or two person offices. The offices mostly consist of small producers earning commissions at higher pay out rates than the major full-service brokerage firms. This type of business model is lends itself to a huge conflict and potential compromising of the investor.

    If it smells fishy, the fish is probably bad.

    Highlighted below are comments from Cody Acree about Unipixel, an analyst (pumper) from The Williams Financial Group.

    "While some investors undoubtedly got themselves worked up coming into the earnings report, hoping for another major announcement to drive shares higher, we heard pretty much what we expected, particularly following all the recent news surrounding the ecosystem partner, Kodak, and the secondary.

    My question: What kind of analyst includes in his comments, an opinion, on what other investors are thinking?

    Instead, we believe UniPixel delivered a solid update on its dual-site capacity ramp, progress to reaching volume production orders from its PC partner, and its intermediate term goal of having sufficient capacity to supply 10 million units per month by the end of 2014.

    If the firm is able apply any degree of respectable utilization rate to this capacity, we believe UNXL's current share price would look cheap by almost any metric.

    My question: Why would an analyst raise Uni-Pixel's price target when it is unclear of a company's ability to meet both production of their "product" and the effectiveness of the "product"?

    Here is the rest of Acree's comments. Everything in Acree's analysis is based on conjecture rather than substance.

    While the firm's potential is significant, we wouldn't be surprised if, in the near-term, shares remain highly volatile (but with higher-highs and higher-lows) as investors work to digest the full short- and long-term implications of all of the recent announcements. Additionally, the secondary is causing dilution, questions of timing, and the subsequent reduction of ours and Street estimates. Finally, in our opinion, the unusually wide dispersion of current 2014+ estimates among a very small analyst base is creating substantial confusion & uncertainty among investors, causing some to step aside. Ultimately, we believe the volatility will be offset by execution, but in the meantime, with an unusually high short-interest, significant price swings are likely to be the norm.

    Although not for every investor, particularly the faint of heart, we reiterate our Buy rating and our $60 target price, or 14.9x our new FY14 EPS estimate of $4.01.

    The company delivered March quarter revenue of $5.1 million, in-line with its guidance and the Street consensus. Revenue was almost exclusively comprised of the first NRE payment from its PC partner, which triggered when the company reached about 70,000 units per month in capacity.

    We expect the second NRE payment of $5 million should be recognized as second quarter sales. We believe these NRE's are a substantial validation of the progress UNXL is making toward high volume production. The next targets are for 200,000 units of capacity by the end of June, 700,000 by September and 1.3 million by early 2014. Again, the firm's goal is to then ramp to 10 million units of capacity by the end of next year.

    The initial 50, or so, UniBoss alpha testing units are currently being shipped to its PC partner, which will undergo electrical testing before another 50 or so units will be ordered for delivery to an ODM for use in notebook units. These units will be tested for 20-60 days before the first full production units are ordered. The company expects to begin shipments of production units by about July for use in retail products during Q3.

    During the March quarter, we were a bit surprised by the significant increase in operating expenses, which was primarily driven by higher patent and litigation costs as well as salary, benefits, and bonus accruals and a slightly higher headcount. The firm now has 28 employees and is expecting to ramp to about 40 by the end of the year. About $700,000 of the sequential increase from $2.9 million to $4.1 million was attributed to the legal spending increase, of which $250,000 was for patent filings and the remainder for lawsuit responses. For Q2, the company expects operating expenses to fall back to about $1 million per month, although we are modeling a run-rate between $3 & $4 million per quarter.

    UniPixel delivered EPS of $0.07 GAAP or $0.12 adjusted. This compared to the GAAP Street consensus of $0.14 and adjusted EPS of $0.18. The differential was driven by higher than anticipated operating expenses and the recent increase in shares.

    Overall, we continue to be encouraged that UNXL will be able to capitalize on much of its market opportunity. The endorsements of Texas Instruments, its PC partner, the ecosystem partner and now Kodak, gives us increasing comfort that UNXL is progressing nicely through the challenges of high volume manufacturing. With printing yields that have now reached 70% and rising, we believe the firm's cost structure should provide significant earnings leverage once production volumes are achieved. While we caution investors to anticipate share volatility, long-term investors should look to ride through the vagaries, adding opportunistically.

    On the dilution of its recent offering, we are cutting our FY13 EPS estimates from $1.55 to $1.32 on a modest revenue revision from $44.1 million to $44.5 million. Our FY14 EPS estimate is cut from $4.49 to $4.01, while sales are maintained at $156 million.

    This guy Acree is an unabashed cheerleader for UniPix and there is no doubt in my mind that all of Williams' independently run brokerages all across Texas are touting UNXL like its the next coming of Christ. The fish smells rotten. The whole thing has conflict written all over it! This stock could very well become the Titanic of it's time. Ultimately its a terrible thing when the analyst is sleeping with whom they are analyzing. there is something terribly wrong with this whole scenario.


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    May 08 11:45 PM | Link | 6 Comments

    The regulator of U.S. power markets appears likely to pursue manipulation charges against JPMorgan Chase & Co , analysts said, after a New York Times report on the agency's document that seemed to lay out its case.

    The Times said on Friday it reviewed a confidential, 70-page government document that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sent to JPMorgan in March, which alleged the bank manipulated the power market in California and Michigan in 2010 and 2011.
    FERC investigators found JPMorgan devised "manipulative schemes" that transformed "money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers," the Times reported, citing the document. It said the bank has until mid-May to respond.


    It has been clear since last summer that FERC was pursuing a deep enquiry on JPMorgan's trading activities, the latest in a string of FERC investigations that have rattled the U.S. power market and - in the case of rival bank Barclays Plc - concluded with $470 million in proposed penalties.

    FERC has not moved to publicly charge JPMorgan, but experts said that now seemed likely.
    "FERC staff would not have gone to the trouble of putting together a 70-page document without a case. If they have gotten this far they will likely pursue it," said Susan Court, a former senior lawyer at FERC who is principal of SJC Energy Consultants LLC in Arlington, Virginia.

    The document also criticized Blythe Masters, JPMorgan's head of global commodities and former chief financial officer, saying she "falsely" denied under oath that she was aware of schemes carried out by a group of energy traders in Houston, according to the Times.

    "We strongly dispute that Blythe Masters or any employee lied or acted inappropriately in this matter," JPMorgan spokeswoman Jennifer Zuccarelli said. "We intend to vigorously defend the firm and the employees in this matter."

    The document cited by the Times came after a months-long inquiry into the bank's trading in power markets, one of several high-profile investigations since FERC's enforcement powers were expanded in 2005 following the Enron scandal a decade ago.
    "We cannot, and do not, speculate as to any investigations, as they are all non-public. We do not speculate as to whether investigations are taking place, nor do we speculate as to whether or when the Commission will take any action," FERC spokeswoman Mary O'Driscoll said.

    FERC last summer subpoenaed JPMorgan to produce 25 internal emails - some between Blythe Masters and the bank's head of principal commodity investments Francis Dunleavy - as part an ongoing investigation focused on bidding practices that may have raised electricity prices by about $73 million in California and the Midwest power markets.

    FERC normally does not disclose investigations but chose to subpoena JPMorgan after the bank claimed the emails were protected by attorney client privilege. A federal magistrate in November sided with JPMorgan and ruled that FERC could not see the emails. FERC appealed that decision in January.

    In November, FERC imposed a temporary ban on JPMorgan's ability to trade physical power at market-based rates for six months, starting in April, for failing to disclose information to the FERC and the California ISO in a market manipulation investigation.
    In December, JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the trading ban is "not that big a deal" for the bank.

    FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur dissented in that November vote, saying the agency should include penalties for any failure to disclose information as part of the market manipulation case if the agency decided to pursue it.

    In order to pursue a penalty or disgorgement of profits, FERC staff typically issues a public show-cause order, which has not yet occurred in the JPMorgan case.
    "A lot of the letters that FERC sends out are trying to get at facts. And the tone of this (letter) sounds a little different ... a little bit more sharp," said Marc Spitzer, a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, and a former FERC Commissioner.


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    May 04 11:31 PM | Link | Comment!
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