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  • Is Now The Time To Buy Starbucks? [View article]
    <What is impressive to me is that they now charge $1.00 upcharge for the splash of sugar free syrup in your venti skinny latte: I paid $4.25 plus $1.00 plus tax in Denver, CO. for a total of just under $7.00>

    In addition to the zillions of others, you continue to pay the price. From my perspective, that's the real SBUX value. There's little economic elasticity . . . prices rise and sales continue almost unabated. Taste testers ultimate Brand Loyalty.
    Aug 13 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Why AT&T Isn't Destined For Success With DirecTV [View article]
    Me thinks all the comments are worthy of investor consideration. Might I add a plug for S. America. Take a picture of most any other emerging market cities and what do you see? Satellite dishes adorning the balconies of every high rise apartment building. Infrastructure to replicate that distribution in anything other than satellite is beyond the stratosphere, in my opinion.
    Aug 13 08:50 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cliffs Natural Resources: Life After Casablanca's Win [View article]
    With Casablanca Capital now controlling CLF's board, how will this affect the stock in Mesabi Trust [MSB] who own the land Cliffs mines for Taconite ore pellets?
    Aug 11 03:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Real Reason Starbucks Is Growing Much Faster Than Dunkin' Brands [View article]
    In addition, DUKN food offering (and most of the business for that matter) competes with McDonald's. The only thing "fresh" at DUKN are the in-store baked muffins. I enjoy 'em 2-3 times a week. The rest of the "classic" breakfast donuts are made off-site and usually rather stale. The coffee is great but they're (again) competing with McD whose coffee is only a buck.
    Aug 8 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: 12% Income For True Believers [View article]
    Agree. Bailed out of both T & VZ yesterday; about 6% of my portfolio. Looking to come back in lower before next x-div date approx Oct 8. Too much turmoil. Just seems the sidelines in cash the better option at this juncture.
    Aug 8 08:01 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  •'s (WIX) CEO Avishai Abrahami on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    Wow, not one single question or remark by WIX management relative to the Gaza-Israel conflict. The company maintains offices in Ukraine and talks about business opportunities in Brazil and Russia.
    Clearly, this earnings call forum may not be appropriate to engage these issues. For potential investors, however, this "denial" mode is bizarre to say the least. How about arranging a Q%A session on CNBC or Cramer's If I've missed something in this regard, please comment.
    Aug 7 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: All Clear Ahead [View article]

    The yield curve seems a bit less important given the new emphasis on fees. I view it as a competitive size advantage. BAC is everywhere. Even mediocre performance will be significant.
    Aug 7 11:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks - Strong Sales, But Evaporating Liquidity And Cloudy Prospects [View article]
    Thanks for the article. Appreciate the extensive work. Important to garner a wide range of analysis, views, and opinions on this unique investment candidate.

    With such a coffee bean shortage, one should question they've actually experienced a glut bean inventory. Regards the inventory increase, likely the routine inventory value (FIFO) adjustment resulting from rising bean pricing. A cautionary observation regards store openings to increase business. SBUX suffered several years ago with an opening schedule well beyond their ability to manage the business let alone accurately measure customer demand territory.

    Long SBUX; $22 and change cost basis
    Aug 6 08:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Panera Bread Pulls Ahead With Panera 2.0 [View article]
    Gee I sure hope 2.0 is implemented in Florida ASAP. This should solve some of Panera's current problems. However, not sure I agree they have "adapted" to consumer change preferences especially with flatbreads. They were nearly a year too late and deficient with the culinary skills. The menu is stale and the food prep quality has fallen significantly. Pretty apparent since the prep area is quite visible. It's becoming a throw-it-together fast food (McDonalds) enterprise. Soups not stirred before ladling, varying temperatures, and at times too long in a hot pot. The list goes on . . . . .

    How clean was the N.C. restrooms? What's the mixture of franchised to company owner cafes?

    I have routinely pointed out the deficiencies when the now discontinued cash register receipt surveys allowed customer input. I've spent a lot of time in this segment with the early likes of DNKN, Au Bon Pain, etc. and more recently SBUX. In my experience, PNRA's management isn't paying enough attention.
    Aug 6 02:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ONEOK: Staying Bullish In The Wake Of Its Latest Dividend Hike [View article]
    Thought the same thing when I sold a nice position in early 2012 bought in fall 2008 for a 3X investment. Haven't looked at it since this article. Looks like I missed another 50% uptick.

    What other opportunities in this space look better to you at this juncture?
    Aug 6 02:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Apple's iWatch Patent Has Been Approved [View article]
    Agree this does not bode well for any currently available monitoring device . I wear a polar heart monitor tied in with my iphone for display. Polar is a major manufacturer of exercise equipment; treadmills, etc.
    Long AAPL
    Jul 30 11:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Caesarstone: Strong Growth In Any Housing Market And 60%+ Return On Invested Capital [View article]
    Given the ongoing terrorist activity, it's difficult to imagine any serious investor would consider any play in that part of the world.
    Jul 30 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Panera: A Quick Look At Earnings And Why I'm Bullish [View article]
    The main question is whether Panera management will recognize a growing product quality problem along with a stale menu. Darden is a classic example of failing to manage a franchise business They continues to collect a royalty fee but failed to oversee local cafe quality
    Jul 29 11:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Demise Of Whole Foods Is A Fallacy [View article]
    On the whole, cost of food bought at WRM is a small percentage of it's typical customers budget. I know people who were layed-off and out of work for several months continued to visit their WFM store. I suggest that those who think WFM will be hurt by Wal-Mart, also shop at Wal-Mart and don't understand the demographic. WFM's customer bases will increase as (1) more and more emphasis will be placed on the quality of what the public ingests and (2) the improving, albeit excruciatingly slow, economy improves.
    Jul 29 10:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm Lowers Its Licensing Outlook For Fiscal 2014 [View article]
    I agree with your assessment but it clearly highlights a classic investing challenge. Simply, will a less-than-free market dynamics play out as history has predicted for the rest of the (read than non-Chinese) market place?
    Jul 27 09:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment