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  • Parker Drilling Is A Survivor And Too Cheap To Ignore At $3 [View article]
    < Parker Drilling has an international fleet that includes 25 land rigs and two barge rigs and a U.S. fleet of 13 barge rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.>

    Compared to so many others, this equipment inventory does is not appear very impressive, in my view. What's there to like here?
    Feb 10, 2015. 10:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • There's A Reason Utilities Are On The Monopoly Board, I Just Bought One [View article]
    Perhaps I missed it but concerns must be surfaced as to (1) who owns the water supply(s) and (2) what is the age of the respective distribution mains?
    Feb 9, 2015. 05:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ModernGraham Quarterly Valuation Of Whole Foods Market Inc. [View article]
    Only if you agree and understand the ModernGraham valuations model which I do not profess such competence. That said, based upon more fundamental criteria SBUX continues to look good going forward in my view.
    Feb 5, 2015. 08:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Verizon Fools Frontier Again [View article]
    Appreciate the article. Tend to agree with your take on the cited Brian Nichols article on the same subject. This aspect aside, what's your take overall on the T vs VZ debate and the smaller competitors in this space. Thanks.
    Feb 5, 2015. 07:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Verizon's $10 Billion Asset Sale Should Concern Shareholders [View article]
    It certainly would help to know how much free cash flow was generated by the assets being sold. Selling towers frees $ to be invested elsewhere. The question remains, what's the trade off? Now they will pay rent to the new owners. From an operations view, what's the cost and where will the $ come from since all the sale proceeds will go towards new spectrum.

    Beyond this, would any of the commentators, incl. the author, accept the job running VZ, or T for that matter, if the position was offered. I suspect the answer is a resounding NO. Then what qualifies any of us to second guess this issue. Just sayin . . .

    In full disclosure, own 1000 T and 600 VZ and, given the current income stream, plan to hold for the moment.
    Feb 4, 2015. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing Duke Energy And Xcel For A Dividend Growth Portfolio [View article]
    Good article. Brief and to the point. I agree on XEL. Have owned it a few months short of ten years. Owned most of the others mentioned in other comments but sold with profits in face of inevitiable upcoming interest rate rise. XEL best mgmt, geographical diversity, and history.
    Jan 31, 2015. 02:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: AT&T's Move To Acquire NII Holdings Could Backfire [View article]
    Thanks for the article. Hard not to have at least some misgivings. Any opinion how this will tie into the DirectTV acquisition which significantly opens up South and possibly Central America account bundling, etc.?
    Jan 26, 2015. 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cheap Oil Prices Do Not Benefit The Economy [View article]
    Sorry, but the numbers don't lie. Forget the financial media. They're strictly in business to report news. Analysis is beyond them. But please do look at the numbers. Having more $ in the consumers pocket (remember, the U.S. economy is 75% consumer driven) may not significantly increase jobs but clearly help maintain those already employed. More factory orders means overtime and fewer less than 40 hr work week.

    Of prime importance. look at the total impact. The author claims there are 9 million jobs in the big oil patch implying they'll all be out of work. Nonsense. How about 2 million? Then you're at 2 million X 100K avg yrly pay for a total of 200 billion ($200B). The daily gasoline production (EIA figures) is 135 Billion gallons PER DAY or 6,850 Billion/year. Yes, do the math. At $1/gallon price drop there's 6.850 Trillion $ savings. At that rate we could pay the entire wage lost to those impacted and have oodles left over. Do the math. Stop reading the financial media. You're right. They're just plain dumb.
    Jan 20, 2015. 10:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cheap Oil Prices Do Not Benefit The Economy [View article]
    To your question: < simply tell me please where SLB and US Steel puts the money it just didn't spend on those people it just laid off. Just tell me where that money went instead. Did those dollars get spent? >

    The money not spent partially curtails the loss experienced in declining sales. Simple business economics 101. As sales drop, there's less money in the cash register and not paying payroll does not off set the loss.
    Jan 20, 2015. 08:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will ConocoPhillips Cut Its Dividend? [View article]
    COP is paying the ultimate price for this divestiture. Integrated companies are doing much better. With falling crude, best place to be is in retail sales. While pump prices have fallen, raw material costs have dropped further thus widening the gross profit margins.

    Worse for COP is the turn on of their highly touted Tar Sands production project. Despite its cost efficiency, not a good time to ramp up production. Best guess there will be a dividend reduction, which given the crude situation will be a recognized as an appropriate business judgement and have little affect on the already beaten down stock price. Wishful thinking? Maybe.
    Jan 20, 2015. 08:15 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Panera See An Activist Campaign Before McDonald's Does? [View article]
    I've yet to see Panara 2.0 in operation. Our local restaurants have conspicuous shelving units at the entrances for several weeks (perhaps months, come to think of it) suggesting a place to pick up one's order but no evidence of life. We've noticed a reduced staff resulting in longer slow moving lines and sloppy, rapid food prep.
    Jan 19, 2015. 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Dunkin' Donuts Grows Units Faster Than Sales [View article]
    I agree with the last two comments regards geography DNA and the "spray and pray" approach. Beyond that, too many DNKN cafe's are dated making it hard to implement needed efficiency improvements.

    As a very long time DNKN junkie, frequent visits also bring out problems with staff disinterest, stale products, and otherwise poor local management. Corporate oversight of local franchises appear too distant. Either its token or inept if applied at all. It's frustrating to this loyal customer.
    Jan 19, 2015. 11:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: The $10 Billion Non-Cash Charge Is Not As Bad As It Seems [View article]
    It is particularly serious given T's union contract obligations which take on the financial load appearance reminiscent of past United Auto Workers agreements with that industry. Union cow-towing by both past and current management has placed a premium labor burden on a now very competitive industry. Aside from the expected discount affects correctly cited in the article, womb-to-tomb benefits for retirees have been increasingly costly and will continue to add to the already very burdensome pension and medical benefit costs for both retired and current employees. Not sure the business can easily grow out of it.
    Jan 19, 2015. 11:41 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mesabi Trust declares $0.64/unit distribution [View news story]
    The headline <Mesabi Trust (NYSE:MSB) declares $0.64/unit quarterly distribution, 27.25% decrease from prior distribution of $0.88.> implies MSB's latest earning was a disappointment; missed analysts forecast, etc. Misleading headline, in my view.

    Historically, MSB's 1st qtr cal yr distribution is smaller than the prior qtr due to weather constraints shipping out of a frozen Lake Superior. For comparison to prior distributions, 1/28/14 - $0.57; 1/28/13 - $0.49. NBD to seasoned holders.
    Jan 18, 2015. 08:19 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T to record $10B in charges for Q4 [View news story]
    This "write off" needs some clarification. T previously floated billions in relatively high interest rate Preferred Stock to bring the pension program in compliance with funding level requirements. The "income" was to be directed into the underfunded programs balance sheet.

    Not sure how this announcement relates to that move and/or other issues. Has anyone seen the details, have a handle on this transaction?
    Jan 18, 2015. 08:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment