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  • Target to pay $10M data breach settlement [View news story]
    Lol. The average payout is $.09/victim. Nice job Target lawyers!
    Mar 19, 2015. 07:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Financial Analysis Template: AXP [View article]
    Your argument regarding customer behavior appears to be pure speculation. AXP card members like their cards. Even if their cards are phone images and not actual plastic. Its not clear the DOJ will prevail, but if they do, its not clear merchants will want to piss this important group off by treating them like they don't want their business.

    Regarding Costco, I've had it with those guys. I need to buy a special card to get in, I need a different special card to pay and I need to get searched on the way out? Those guys make the TSA look customer-friendly. I'm back to TGT with my AXP...I don't need 48 toilet paper rolls at a time anyway.
    Mar 16, 2015. 11:02 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Low Prices Will Continue To Impact Deere Through The Year [View article]
    Crop prices will eventually rise like oil prices will eventually rise, but eventually might be a long time. Why roll the dice now? Large current divergence between corn prices and DE stock indicates investors have not baked in current crop pricing. Better opportunities elsewhere.
    Mar 16, 2015. 04:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • M&A chatter lifts Keurig and SodaStream [View news story]
    SODA takeover rumors again? Funny!
    Mar 11, 2015. 10:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Consider Buying Deere Again? [View article]
    Despite your commentary, your chart of DE stock price and corn prices appears to show a significant correlation up to two years ago and more recently the largest divergence in the last 15 years. Maybe the divergence can be explained by the Fed-induced DWRV (dividends without regard to value) trend. Tempting short at $90.
    Mar 11, 2015. 10:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Reasons American Express Is An Attractive Stock For 2015 [View article]
    JPV's tired narrative above has been mindlessly repeated by bears for the last 30 years. "Today an AXP holder needs another card..." Does that mean yesterday they didn't or their coverage is worse now? AXP is not losing share so where is the evidence that "the company faces stronger and stronger competition"

    In reality, AXP's value proposition to card members is strong as ever. Merchants wish they didn't have to pay AXP fees, but they keep taking the card because its in their interest. They also wish they didn't have to pay taxes. Regarding Costco, the jury is still out on their control freak approach, but my guess is they would optimize by simply taking all the cards and concentrating on selling their big box junk.

    The big threat to AXP is the DOJ lawsuit that would allow merchants to redirect customers to V/MA at point of purchase. Why the DOJ would want to create a monster V/MA monopoly escapes me. We'll see what the Supremes say.
    Mar 10, 2015. 01:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Lululemon Still Has Considerable Upside [View article]
    Of LULU, NKE and UA, I would say that LULU has both the highest customer loyalty and the highest possibility of takeover.
    Mar 10, 2015. 01:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5% swing in Lululemon as rumors swirl and die [View news story]
    Now that Chip is gone the door is open.
    Mar 5, 2015. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE CFO Jeff Bornstein: How We Have Reimagined Our Financial Reporting [View article]
    This is a good first step. Digging through all the crap in existing Kafkaesque SEC reporting is a pain in the butt. I hope this is the start of a trend. Thanks for trying GE!
    Mar 3, 2015. 10:43 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Safety And Capital Allocation Of John Deere [View article]
    Your key assumption that FS does not pose a threat to the company does not appear to have been stress-tested in a forward-looking further weakening agricultural environment scenario.
    Mar 3, 2015. 07:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett Increases Berkshire Hathaway's Investment In Deere By 125%: Let's Analyze It [View article]
    Good article. I think DE is overvalued and am not sure where WB is coming from. Seems like the narrative is, they've made it through cycles before and they will again, so relax and enjoy the dividend. But I don't find this ag outlook relaxing going forward.

    Anyway, could you provide a perspective on their financing operation, both how it affects the inputs flowing through your model and what risks it generates? DE has around $30B receivables and leases on the balance sheet and their 10q says "the total assets of unconsolidated VIEs related to securitizations are approximately $53B".

    It seems like the significant on-bs financing they do would cause your FCF metrics to understate. But on the other hand, it creates a credit loss risk should things get worse. They lay off that risk when they securitize, but if things got worse securitization could get more expensive or dry up, then DE would feel more balance sheet pressure as they finance in house.

    My feeling is they are ok now, but investors aren't considering that if things get worse these balance sheet issues could come home to roost.
    Feb 26, 2015. 04:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deere's Low-Quality Earnings Spell Trouble For The Dividend [View article]
    High ROE is not necessarily an indicator of capital efficiency...can be achieved by financial leverage...DE debt/eq is 4x vs 2.3x for CAT. Further, more farmers are turning to leasing which if retained strains DE balance sheet and exposes it to new risk asset: leased equipment residual. And if laid off reduces margin. DE dividend ok now, but DE doesn't know where the bottom is. Capacity to increase is questionable. Good forward looking article. Looking back ten years and saying "DE has done fine up to now so its safe" is dicey logic.
    Feb 25, 2015. 10:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Deere Has Been Stuck In Neutral, But The Seeds For Future Returns Have Been Sown [View article]
    I wouldn't call DE ROE of 31% "very impressive" necessarily. ROE is a function of capital efficiency and simple financial leverage. DE's debt/equity ratio at 4x is significantly higher than CAT's 2.3x. Not a big deal when times are good, but could make them hesitant to increase dividends if growth moderates. Further, more farmers are turning to leasing....if DE carries it increases capital intensity and puts residual value risk on the balance sheet. Given the place in the cycle I would rather see DE with a more conservative balance sheet and lower ROE right now.
    Feb 24, 2015. 01:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deere - Excellent Cost Control Alleviates Concerns [View article]
    Titanic...Excellent Safety Equipment Alleviates Concerns
    Feb 23, 2015. 06:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deere & Co. Still A Disaster; Look Out Below [View article]
    10 year div/NI around 25% and 2015 is 44% so I don't know how anybody can say "dividend is projected to grow nicely" when management doesn't even know where the bottom is. If your investment thesis is "they've always come back before", well, good luck with that, but realize that at this point no one knows what they need to come back from. Warren doesn't care cause he's got a 50 year time frame but I don't, particularly since other less uncertain opportunities are available that aren't on a slippery downward slope.
    Feb 23, 2015. 05:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment