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  • A Clue That Apple Is 'Cooking' Something Up [View article]
    I was actually in an apple store yesterday and three employees tried to sell me the Apple TV in 8 minutes gushing about how it has a new 25$ iTunes credit attached. They all said they owned one and how they had never seen a promotion like this for the product.

    My interpretation apple is trying to increase sales through a combination of employee and consumer promotions or they are trying to clear inventory for something new. Seeing your article made me take the new product aspect a little more seriously. Pie-in-the-sky would be a tv/game system as the sales people also were pushing the video screen mimic and using their phones as game controllers for the tv.
    Mar 2, 2014. 09:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Profitable $35,000 Tesla Model E Is A Pipe Dream [View article]
    Interesting take. Weak counter-questions follow:

    1 doesn't moving away from the lotus body save them royalty cost?

    2 I imagine a much smaller car. Bmw3 size. In addition to getting the cheaper price for volume purchasing they should save on amount used.

    3 the big r&d is now done. They can essentially do a shrink of the S and use much smaller components because the battery pack should be significantly smaller and lighter.

    4 any further big r&d costs are shared across all model lines given the only changes are cosmetic between models.

    5 Does it really cost that much more to make an Audi than a vw? Obviously not looking at the profit margins of the 2 divisions at that company. Getting the e model to volume increases profit margin on the other 2 vehicles which is likely a primary goal. Doesn't answer your challenge but if they get to break even on the E then they rake it in on the other models.

    6 referencing the above question I think the unspoken question here is why the hell does it cost 50k to build an S without the battery? Again the car itself shouldn't be that expensive unless they're losing money due to the lack of volume.

    Time to look at raw materials costs I guess...
    Feb 23, 2014. 02:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China'a Recent Rebound In Detail [View article]
    I had read in previous years when things were slowing down and it wasn't reflected in the reported numbers that a more realistic picture of Chinese demand and production could be determined by the amount of coal sitting outside their power plants. I tried to find the article again to link it but was unable.

    1 Have you heard or reported anything similar?

    2 If so, does the pattern hold true?

    I tried research chinese coal index prices and volumes as a surrogate but it's not easy to find data that looks at the past 4-5 years.
    Sep 18, 2013. 12:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Conservative Economic Thought: 0 for 3 The Last 5 Years [View article]
    Actual size of stimulus REQUIRED to reverse recession was projected to be 1.7 trillion.

    "Stimulus" was < 800 billion
    "Stimulus" included > 260 billion of tax cuts.

    Actual stimulus delivered to economy was about 1/3 of what was required. Thus, recession was slowed but not reversed. This is what was predicted by economists arguing for stimulus when the actual amount of stimulus was revealed. Predictions were dead on.

    What the politicians said is another matter.
    Sep 17, 2013. 10:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New MacBook Ether - No. 2: The Design Case [View article]
    1 Spot on recognizing the author is talking about an ipad with a keyboard which already exists.

    2 Creating a laptop type computer now creates expectations of peripherals that have to work with it, i.e. you expect to download your camera photos to it, etc. Creates hardware work and OS work, and who gets blamed when 3rd party peripherals don't work? The OS not the 3rd party.

    3 Creating something more than an "ipad with a keyboard" laptop (with USB, SD, DVD, CD inputs) allows users out of the itunes universe and takes away from the companys' cash flow and profit margins.

    4 A series chips are already maxed out on the ipad and iOS. Giving them a laptop sized battery does nothing. How fun is it surfing multiple tabs or running multiple apps on an ipad?

    5 Apple doesn't "produce" any chip as opposed to refine the ARM supplied design. Apple relying on 3rd parties to deliver cutting edge tech for their in-house modified chips to keep with up intel isn't going to work. TSMC has never been in the same class and AMD got crushed. One of the major benefits Apple received by buying Ifineon was taking away Samsung and other ARM-based competitors access to Ifineons' knowledge and expertise. Yes, the next A chip will be better but it still won't compete with a similarly powered intel chip.

    6 AMD graphics expertise probably doesn't help much in the next gen (or next gens) of smartphone or tablet. They already have plenty of horsepower for graphics in the current role (and not enough CPU). Getting the guys who just designed the Xbox, Wii, and Playstation chips in house would make a lot more sense if you were going to design a game-system. This system could run itunes, iOS apps, and create yet another locked universe of media. Makes apple TV work in the way that MS hopes Xbox1 goes. I haven't looked but if they've grabbed gaming system talent, Steam talent, or been in talks with the big gaming software companies this is where they are probably headed. Additionally, the talk of the Google making an android gaming system comes into better context as well as they know their competition lies with apple and MS.
    Jul 3, 2013. 08:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CVR Refining Prices Public Offering at $30.75 per Common Unit [View article]
    I understand that overall float doesn't change but why take this money out? It's not like they need to make payments on their house...

    So, is the opportunity elsewhere that much greater and thus they need to free the money up to use it or do they foresee this as a good time to get out after they paid a high dividend got everyone's attention?

    I guess going from 80 > 70 isn't that significant a drop overall.
    May 19, 2013. 08:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paulson's Big Bets Have Been The Ultimate Contrarian Indicators For 2 Years Now [View article]
    1 Excuse my naïvete i'm new to many of these items discussed in these types of companies
    2 I really enjoy reading your articles and the objective numbers I can use to compare and contrast with other companies.

    Based on this post I went back and looked at the NSU post and started to look for more information. One of the items I came across is how the Bisha mine has about 12 years of expected reserves. If the company was to double it's dividend to .28 cents annually it would just pay back the stock price purchase right now over the next 12 years.

    So again from the naïve perspective, is the prospective return from Bisha that much larger in the future as the ore types change or is the Hambok potential mine that significant a revenue source vs cost to justify stock price growth? Or are they a takeover target because they're relatively cheap?
    May 18, 2013. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CVR Refining Prices Public Offering at $30.75 per Common Unit [View article]
    I've got the same questions. I read this as the holding company which Mr. Icahn predominantly owns is having its' shares purchased. So he loses units(shares) in an MLP that pays a 18-20% dividend based on one payment.

    1 Is there some significant financial advantage (tax, early return on money, better returns elsewhere) he can get by taking his money back this way at this time?

    2 Is he just getting out when the getting's good? Dividend or stock price will fall in future or he doesn't want to hold that risk for > 18-20% yield? I assume his yield is better since he put his money up front at an earlier time.
    May 15, 2013. 02:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment