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  • Unilever's Slower Dividend Growth Could Mean It's Time To Sell [View article]
    Since the Euro is depreciating vis-a-vis the dollar, and most ROW currencies that Unilever sells its wares in the tailwinds for this year are very good in contrast to PG, CL and KMB. Their overall debt is also better than all of the aforementioned competitors.

    The author did not suggest where to reinvest the monies from selling Unilever stock. As a consumer staple that has exposure to emerging and developed markets, I don't know any stock that is not experiencing headwinds from historic dividend increases, growth in revenue and net income.

    Margin improvement should improve in 2015 for all staple producers since they are inextricably linked to oil. I would also anticipate that with the price of oil and related fossil fuels falling so dramatically for the consumer world wide that some of the enhanced disposable income will go to Unilever.

    Since the ADR shares are paid in dollars but transferred in Euros that is a financial impediment for 2015.

    I remain long.
    Jan 29, 2015. 08:41 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft -3%; Windows revenue under pressure [View news story]
    It is apparent that Nadella is aggressively transitioning MSFT to the Cloud, online, apps, Nokia, search as well as anchoring the Windows 10 iteration to these systems for the most part.

    IMO if you trust Nadella and his team to deliver you bet on MSFT. If you think it is too late for MSFT to transition from mostly a software company you sell or don't buy.

    Since the after hours selling appears to be overdone IMO, I'll buy pending the conference call.
    Jan 26, 2015. 07:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • And Then There Was More Debt, Weaponized Oil And War Expansion [View article]
    I almost always enjoy your articles and the possible scenarios that you foretell.

    I may've missed some articles but I don't recall any articles on a prescription for a debt fix except for the inevitable economic crash. Do you have one? I'd be interested in reading it if you do.
    Jan 26, 2015. 04:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Earnings Season---So Here Come The Crooks, Led By Alcoa [View article]
    Mr. Stockman resigned due to his conflict with the Reagan Administration over the lack of cutbacks in government programs and spending with the associated tax cuts thus creating a widening deficit. I don't recall Reagan ever asking for his resignation.
    Jan 25, 2015. 06:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Unilever Reports Strong 2014 Results - Expect More This Year [View article]
    I am still long UL and UN but the currency headwinds for a staples company that pays its dividend in Euros as a US investor will require extreme patience over the next couple of years since QE will be the norm in W. Europe.
    Jan 22, 2015. 03:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Costco Earns Bullish Thesis [View article]
    Killranf, You are correct re: COGS.
    Jan 22, 2015. 12:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kinder Morgan DCF continues to climb, but $3B purchase sends shares lower [View news story]
    I don't perceive Hiland as an oil services provider akin to SLB, HAL or BHI. Hiland is a midstream MLP per their website and the link from Reuters announcing the purchase.
    Jan 21, 2015. 08:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Google to sell phone plans via Sprint, T-Mobile [View news story]
    Can someone answer why would Google partner with two failed networks? Or does anyone see this as upside for Google regarding wireless sales? If so, why.

    I am mystified at this announcement.
    Jan 21, 2015. 04:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Schlumberger Stock Is A Good Investment Opportunity [View article]
    I began investing in SLB most recently scaling in on two different occasions. Today, SLB buys a 45% or so interest in a Russian driller after projecting to layoff 9,000 personnel. What are they thinking? I can understand the employment restructure. Cap Ex by E&P companies will be cut back this year as well as rigs, maintenance and supplies so why the Eurasia investment? Does anyone think that E&P companies in Russia will increase their oil service provider contracts this year?

    This investment by SLB will not payoff IMO. SLB will be limited in what it can do there due to US sanctions. The Treasury and State Departments will be closely monitoring compliance, therefore exposing themselves as a minority partner to fines, etc. Moreover, SLB already had approximately 5% exposure before this investment in Russia and now they add more!

    Russia is one of most corrupt states in the world. In addition to SLB having to watch their back regarding the US government they will have to watch their majority partner so they do not violate US laws.

    With this in mind, I sold all my stake today.
    Jan 20, 2015. 03:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Google nearing investment in Elon Musk's SpaceX [View news story]

    DirecTV and Dish offers Internet services in rural areas for those that don't have cable or telecom hook up in the US. There is also streaming to watch TV on your mobile device or smart TV for satellite that satellite companies provide as well.
    Jan 20, 2015. 12:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Google nearing investment in Elon Musk's SpaceX [View news story]
    The costs for satellite integration for web access will be expensive short term. If it was competitive today, DirecTV and Dish would be viable competitors with the cable and telcos. I don't see an ROI for this in the next 2 - 3 years because this will require several launches over several continents. And if the rumor is accurate, $3 billion is a lot of money to invest in a project that at best is iffy since your target market is in rural and sparsely populated areas therefore have limited eye balls to view the Internet.

    I would be interestws in reading a comment from any SA readers, commenters, etc., that know about this technology and what they think the payback time frame is.

    Long GOOGL and not liking it today.
    Jan 19, 2015. 07:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • PPG Industries' Record Q4 Earnings Results Has Sent Its Shares Higher - Should You Buy Now? [View article]
    Thank you for the article. Why more contributors do not follow this company or comment about it is a mystery to me. It is one of the best industrial companies and has one of the best turnaround, growth orientated CEOs in the US.
    Jan 19, 2015. 12:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • $3 milk next? [View news story]
    I agree with your bread scenario as long as wages remain constant or there is commensurate productivity increases causing the deflation. It is not a slight deflation and over a short period of time that is worrisome . It is when it is accelerating that causes problems or when it is persistent. The two most extreme examples are the Great Depression and Japan since the late 80s.

    What I find troubling is that overall wages in 2014 and in a strengthening economy, per most economists, have not kept up with overall inflation when factoring in what the average working family or employee has to buy on a regular or semi-regular basis namely healthcare , food, shelter and transportation services.

    To compound matters more and per the latest PPI report almost all categories experienced deflation over the past 6 months particularly in the final stage category. The most recent CPI report, however, was not as deflationary as the PPI so producers IMO are not passing on their savings to the consumer.

    In as much as wages remain relatively stagnant and the goods and services that many middle and working income groups purchase have increased faster than income and household debt levels are only slightly improved, the recovery that some are touting has not reached the median income consumer.

    The significant reduction in oil is a welcome respite for them but I don't foresee it as a an overall stimulus to the economy stretching into 2015. The most recent FED report on Real Retail and Restaurant Sales from 10/1 through 12/1 only showed 2.83% gain from the same period last year and the year prior reflected a 2.56% gain so where is the gas stimulus that everyone is crowing about?

    The disposable income market for those in median income bucket stretching into the 75K category is broken and is need of repair.
    Jan 17, 2015. 03:42 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Costco Earns Bullish Thesis [View article]
    I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote COGS sentence. It should be ignored. COGS is a balance sheet related category and not an income statement category.

    I should've simply stated that COST sales strategy for staple products is very low margins and they attempt to make up for that by volume purchases and shoppers buying other items that have higher margins such as electronics, jewelry, etc. They also use their annual membership enrollment fee as means for improving margins.
    Jan 17, 2015. 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel's Report Leaves A Slightly Sour Taste [View article]
    Bill, The "other revenue" figure of $206 million is relatively large. When you write your next article could you further expound on what that constitutes?

    If not, I'll review the 10K when it is published.
    Jan 16, 2015. 07:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment