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  • Recent Performance Review Of 7 Canadian Oil & Gas Equities Traded In The U.S. [View article]
    I have now tried half a dozen times to discontinue email alerts from this site and I have gotten no response. Is the webmaster dishonest or just incompetent. REMOVE ME FROM EMAIL ALERTS OR ILL MAKE SURE EVERY BLOGGER WHO GETS ON SEEKING ALPHA KNOWS WHAT INCONSIDERATE SHEISTERS THIS CONCERN HAS.
    Feb 25 06:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Stocks To Own Before A Potential Oil Shock [View article]
    This article is just the same old same old. Using prophetic oil catastrophe to hawk the same old names that have no particular edge in a high market, and probably have had little in a stagnant one.

    Consider some of the implicit assumptions behind buying these companies:

    *The companies, rather than the oil and gas field owners themselves and their associated governments will proportionately benefit from oil price hikes.
    *The service contractors and specialists stand to gain relatively more than their customers.
    *There will be more drilling and production slack taken to expand the companies
    *This will justify more productive investment and better financial management
    *Non and reluctant producers such as our own government will accomodate (EG offshore drilling)
    *Costly oil is here to stay and there are no better investments to challenge the assumption
    *There are no out of favor companies that can do better -- big boys and exclusive clubs rule!

    Has the author made any serious inquiry to address these assumptions? Since an oil crisis means inflation, i'd be better of buying a tax shelter like an MLP, or even real property, as in the 70's.
    Feb 19 04:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • FRAK Analysis: Why Investors Should Focus On Hydraulic Fracturing And Oil Sands [View article]
    This is too complex. By the time you've weighted all these companies, you're not dealing with an ETF that follows the market, but a mutual fund that you hope beats the market and hedges against the risk of one holding. The ultimate source of volatility is the hydrocarbon, and there are many types of those, and weighing those as if they could comprise an ETF is hard. Has anyone considered gas liquids? (LPG, naptha, associated gas) This could be a source of niche growth in a particular geography, such as for heating oil replacement, or automotive. Liquified gas I think has possibilities that vary by market. The great hope here I think almost entirely relies on Asian markets, which have few other resources, and great experience using it for cooking and micro heating (think Japan). Ever consider cleaning coal fines to harvest liquids? This is a lost art that makes sense in the current price environment. And don't write off coal-to-liquids.

    For the intellectual effort, I would rather invest in innovation that responds to one fuel stock at a time. But my guess is that a big investor will buy this ETF at a huge discount, then factor in any single stock trades to compensate for what it lacks
    Feb 19 03:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford Motor Company: Worth The Risk? [View article]
    The article mentions Ford's merits as a dividend stock, but it might be better classed as a market equity than an income equity. That would explain its popularity despite it's price premium, and better position its "absurd" low PE ratio(both mentioned above in comments) for growth. But think of Ford as a horizontal expander, not a top to bottom expander like tech or biotech. Benjamin Graham himself mentioned that there is a wide difference between capital intensiveness among good value stocks. This leaves Ford the wherewithal to displace competitors in the market, based on the inertia and fundamental good management of capital.

    There may not be much more productivity to squeeze out of manufcturing capital. But just as a mind exercise, suppose Ford takes over some of GM's idle capital with the blessings of a new administration in Washington -- like the Numi plant. Talk about market share! Not impossible. And more or less how Fiat bought into Chrysler.

    Feb 13 03:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Profit From A Stock Market Crash, Part I: Protect Investment Capital [View article]
    Very sensible advice, since most investors are probably unaware of it. With a rudimentary knowledge of technical analysis, it should be possible to track 30 day and 6 week moving averages to get a hunch when to buy low and sell high. It should be possible to determine a price band in which the stock will stay, based on shareholder meeting news, quarterly reports, and overall knowledge of the sector. When your stock seriously deviates from the pack (and I could just as well be referring to the market, not your own portfolio), that is not the time to dwell on statistical flukes. Regardless of the increased volatility of trading caused by computers, there is no serious reason to doubt the charts. But from experience, I find the finer points of technical analysis, like trying to predict an Elliot Wave or a head and shoulders to be difficult and counterproductive. Nothing says you can't change your stop loss every 30 days, based on your own sense of the market and the ripeness of your holding. Buying and selling over the phone like a day trader is not an art I fancy. Stop losses are just as effective and less philosophical. And who needs puts, which are another layer of aggravation, since I would inevitably try to buy one at the cheapest price, on top of trying to figure out the strike price?
    Feb 13 02:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Can Investors Learn From The Tesla Trade? [View article]
    Quite right. The standard for Europe and other countries is DC. For decades it was believed that AC was the best system for long distance transmission. The US was particularly interested because Niagara Falls was an example of cheap limitless power without the hardship of transporting coal. But newer technology allows DC to compete, and better harmonize line fluctuations. An important point to remember, as photovoltaics and wind are produced in DC, and require power from hundreds of sources to merge on a single trunk line. Also superconducters are growing in use for grid junctions and transformers. This cannot tolerate AC. As we speak, parts of the national grid are being replaced with DC.
    Jan 29 11:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rite Aid's Troubles Make It A Bankruptcy Candidate [View article]
    What I'd like to know is whether a junk bond deal is possible. Wouldn't existing shareholders welcome it by way of a merger or expansion, since 1)Convertibility to stock could be worth a lot in the future, once the market recovers, 2) No immediate threat of dilution, and facilitating parties could be held at arm's length from core management, 3) A total restructuring of debt is still pending, with a greater tie in to liquidity and capital improvements possible, 4) We haven't seen these much excitement since Navistar and Michael Milken. Bring on the corporate excitement!
    Jan 29 10:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rite Aid's Troubles Make It A Bankruptcy Candidate [View article]
    And besides, Walgreens looks slummier every time I walk in. They are beginning to look like my favorite wretch-o-rama, The Christmas Tree Store (In Chinese, 'Christmas Tree' must translate as 'Five and Dime merchandise thrown out of season in the aisles'.
    Jan 29 09:53 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rite Aid's Troubles Make It A Bankruptcy Candidate [View article]
    Those accumulated losses are a valuable consideration -- for a bankruptcy repositioning. A corporate shell with the name "RiteAid" could make someone a lot of money. Outstanding leases are also of interest. They could be sent to a 1031 exchange by way of repositioning sites by way of a merger. Even auctioning off those leases could be a way to pressure landlords with the blessings of a trustee. In order for all retail to survive, there must be cuts in rental! Malls are no more valuable now than warehouses in many instances.

    Where I live I met an Eckhardt owner who was pleased how she was bought out by RiteAid. Within three years she quietly reopened in the little building she owned. That must count for something, settling competitive issues and marketing between two rivals. In my experience, customers want geographic proximity and site choice when filling prescriptions. There is room for both companies, which leaves RiteAid's traits as a medium box retailer to consider. And they aren't bad.

    But I still can't see how anyone other than an arbitrageur would hold the equity.
    Jan 29 09:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Book Review: Portfolio Design [View article]
    And I was all hepped up about "The Optimizer" from a recent article here. But wouldn't the Optimizer work if you focused on diversity within a narrow sector, like pharma? You would buy in because of a common characteristic and growth prospect you like, but ensure that a few laggards or market reversals do not ruin your long term liquidity, or wherewithal to tough out the market.
    Jan 29 09:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long/Short Hedge Fund Alpha Won't Actually Disappear By 2019 [View article]
    Or, if you take the 2d diagram and make the S&P line horizontal, as a constant index, you will find that L/S hedge funds are wrong about the S&P most of the time. Same is true for most mutual funds, and most stock trades, even (or especially) those handled by brokers. The question here, is the data on these funds amenable to technical analysis? Aren't we hitting a "low" signal that I should buy in on? And pick only the best managed funds to make my play? Why should I base my decision on what is the "compensation class" v. the "asset class?" Aren't all securities markets affected by the same issues? The money still comes back. I coulda sworn we had it with CDS's and ETF's three years ago, but they keep draggin' us back!
    Jan 29 08:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Panel Makers See Demand Moving East [View article]
    Solar is still too dodgy to even write about in terms of pure portfolio investment. It is still 5 to 10X more expensive than market rate power, especially given efficiency improvements. Availability of sun limits it in terms of competing for seasonal and peak power demands, especially given the inroads of natural gas generators, which come in a wide variety of sizes and adapt to cogen (think your propane heater generating your electricity.)

    Grid parity is sadly a figment of the imagination. Cost is determined in Europe after VAT and subsidies, including the "feedbate". Cost analysis shows that with government sponsorship, solar is no more competitive than a municipal bond, without the tradability. To the homeowner it is no more than a fixture improvement, adding little to the resale value of a home and posing great financial risk to the owner. Far more internal return can be gotten from efficiency improvements, including bus line capacitors, which purport to cut gross electric energy consumption by 25%!

    Like anything else dominated by the Chinese, I take this with a grain of salt and soy sauce.
    Jan 28 08:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corning Can Leverage Itself Into A Modern Industrial Growth Story [View article]
    This is an on point analysis about what I believe should be Corning's chief concern -- US based manufacturing. I was disturbed at a NYT article describing how Apple moved so many manufacturing and assembly jobs overseas. It seems that the Mr Jobs had a kniption that iPhones lacked a scratch-proof glass screen, and mobilized his engineers to take 24-7 days to solve the problem. Corning was consulted, but brought on board too late. Along the way, China was up and running with a government subsidized facility to complement the screen and other aspects of manufacture. It occured to Jobs that Americans were unwilling to work on FoxComm type terms and work schedules, so manufacturing and product engineering slipped out of country. All that California has left is call center positions.

    Without an inside track on the horizontal and vertical aspects of product development, Corning will suffer the fate of GM in the 70's. It will not use geography to find, protect, and develop technological niches and defend against competitors who get government help -- which happens to be outside the US. I.e. it's Ok to a point to set up subsidiaries abroad, but with the specific intent of furthering the domestic and core objectives. And without a manufacturing ethos, Corning and other US counterparts will be unable to anticipate special needs of other manufacturers. The decline of Rochester NY actually documents this neglect. Don't think our Asian competitors will ever uncouple home basing and geography from the balance sheet.

    Looks like Cornign is another sclerotic play like US Steel and Alcoa. I'm depressed just thinking about it.
    Jan 28 07:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Does Prem Watsa See In RIM? [View article]
    I'm not an expert in mobile communication and apps, but I'd like some feedback. I've felt that Blackberry is a business tool. I've noticed loyalty to it among businesspeople who are less concerned I think about tweeting and more about organization and management. There is still a very rich market in business apps which could theoretically been taken over by Microsoft and has not been. And frankly Apple's failure to keep or capitalize on it's PC's, graphics, network protocols (could you imagine a Mac collaboration with Corel or NetWare, which were high quality products in their day?) were not the result of bad management or product limitation, but arbitrary omissions.

    Can it be that a recovering business sector will give RIMM it's biggest boost, and biggest test of brand loyalty? Won't putting together a one-stop package of services and reliability shock the unbelievers?
    Jan 28 06:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Major With Unrivaled Growth: Petrobras To Be World's Biggest Listed Company By 2020 [View article]
    Your remind me of the saying that Brazil has been the land of the future for 200 years. Consider that Brazil is shocked -- shocked! -- that Katrina like hurricanes could afflict the Tupi and Libra oilfields, . Imagine that coupled with Saudi production capacity. Some geologists believe the Chevron leak and the Macondo well blowout were caused by the intrinsicgeological instability of the presalt and other deepwater formations. As for the rest, Brazil is importing bioethanol from the US because of severe drought: Apparently expansion of canelands further north is out of the question without massive machinery investment and water management. At any rate, attempts as late as the 80's to systematize lumber failed, likewise with rubber. Without extensive liming, fertilization, grass management, and microbiology, agricultural prospects are limited. The same tricks by the way, are being employed by other countries with potentially greater benefits.

    Interesting to note PBR is moving massively into Mexican and Cuban Gulf reserves. You don't need a state owned Brazilian company to do this. The US eastern Continental Shelf has the same or better prospects as Brazilian oil. At a distance of 400 miles from the shore, an amenable Washington could really drill baby drill with little obstructionism from the states. In other words, blowout issues can be resolved at arms length between the producers and various interest groups. We have no choice, but don't have to buy into PBX.
    Jan 28 06:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment