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  • 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
  • Plains All American - An Undervalued MLP Opportunity [View article]
    Thanks for the reply. Two points if I may. First, there were two recent oil leaks in Canada raising the proverbial question of environmental safety at a pivotal time in this industry. Beyond that, Keystone will essentially blend Tar Sands and U.S. multi-sourced crude by the time any of it hits the Gulf Coast thus defacto violating the current 1974 ban on oil exports. Lifting the ban will most assuredly cause domestic gasoline back to $3 a gallon. Our good U.S. citizens rarely hit the streets protesting anything. Keystone approval on this non-environmental basis alone will surely set a new precedence in this regard. The streets will be clogged.
    Jan 16, 2015. 08:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Closer Look At Plains All American Pipeline's Q3'14 Distributable Cash Flow [View article]
    grantr01 - Your comment <The IEA has stated that the proven reserves from fracking equal about one and a half years of supply for the US. My concern is what happens when those reserves are exhausted.> just caught my attention.

    The IEA data appears correct but one must remember its based upon the life of the reserve IF it's the sole supply. In other words, turn off ALL other sources and drain the fracted oil entirely. This, of course, would never happen. So, assuming, for example, the new oil represents 10% of the total reserve, it would last 16 yrs. If 20%, it would be exhausted in 8 yrs.

    The same measure has been misinterpreted numerous time in the past especially when noting, for example, the reserve possibilities in Alaska's ANWAR.
    Jan 12, 2015. 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plains All American - An Undervalued MLP Opportunity [View article]
    Ernie Mac writes: <Does anyone know how much of PAA's revenues is related to the flow of Alberta oil into the US? >

    Great question. It would also be interesting to obtain an assessment on the impact of Keystone approval, or not, upon PAA.
    Jan 10, 2015. 08:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips Valuation For Different Oil Prices [View article]
    But how about Albert Alfonso's comment relative to COP's significant Natural Gas component?
    Jan 8, 2015. 03:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • WSJ: Dividends threatened at global oil majors [View news story]
    Get real guys (oops, sorry gals). Crude was $50 just 5-6 yrs ago and everything was just peachy. The only companies to fret about are the die hard BP holders, several small caps, drillers, and eng. cos doing related infrastructure.

    Beyond that, as a COP holder, I worry the big and expensive Tar Sands project about to be turned on will look like quite an anchor.
    Jan 8, 2015. 03:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia: Who Is Going To Win In The Oil Price Stand-Off? [View article]
    Orangemike - As an anti-science Republican, what's your take on the Keystone Pipeline project?
    Jan 7, 2015. 01:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Crash In Oil Prices Raises Questions And Opportunities For A Lifetime [View article]
    The explanation is simple, they're selling more of their own oil and handling less, if any, imports from elsewhere. It's a volume thing. Less margin but huge increases in volume at otherwise fixed overhead.
    Jan 7, 2015. 01:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment