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  • ConocoPhillips Is Ready To Benefit From Pending Removal Of U.S. Oil Export Ban [View article]
    Sorry Christinebitg, but I'm afraid your incorrect. We're not short of crude supply. In fact, there's a significant surplus which is the prime reason for the falling price of crude and refined gasoline. In addition, where the crude comes from is very important as varying sources of supply provide varying density (measured as API Gravity) and processability due to sulfur content, among other chemicals factors. Contrary to you assertion, therefore, building refining capacity is indeed greatly affected by where the crude comes from

    A typical refinery is not designed to process the fully range of crude properties and generally restricted to a finite narrow range. In addition, while the subsequent cracking process output contains a range of products such as gasoline, kerosene (jet fuels), naphtha and similar minor products, fuel oil, asphalt, etc. the percentage of each is also range restricted somewhat broadened by the use of catalysts. It all boils down to the original refining (cracking) process equipment design. Resulting product mix for the European market yields a higher percentage of diesel/fuel oil than the US, for example, again all based upon the original refinery design.
    Oct 19, 2015. 04:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alliant Energy: Management Strategy Looks Solid [View article]
    Far too much coal exposure for Alliant means too much capital outlay for both environmental compliance on existing plants and new construction. Sounds like too little too late, in my view
    Oct 18, 2015. 08:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Wal-Mart Taking Itself Down? [View article]
    Gag, thought I'd never get to the end of this thread. Thanks Dave for an interesting article and the resulting likewise interesting comments.
    Oct 15, 2015. 01:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Wal-Mart Taking Itself Down? [View article]
    Not sure where the "here" is for you but Aldis are here in Florida and expanding. They're under the Trader Joe's ownership blanket and Joe's are most everywhere. The Aldi thing is cash or debit card, NO credit, unrecognizable "private label" type brands and one rents the shopping cart and brings one's own bags. You'll never see anyone pushing an Aldi cart down the street
    Oct 15, 2015. 01:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Wal-Mart Taking Itself Down? [View article]
    You assertion that <Paying folks more in the hope they will hustle more and take on more "ownership" of their work is probably not going to work.> is more likely true at WMT than other establishments.

    Not sure if it still prevails but Home Depot had a concept of aisle management. The employee (associate, or whatever) stocked, advised customers, ordered inventory, cleaned up, and otherwise "owned" the business within his/her aisle(s) department. The guy in the plumbing aisle was a plumber, paint was a painter, etc. Pride of pseudo ownership and a piece of the action via bonuses based upon aisle sales.

    The key in my experience is an incentive compensation system. There are many ways to implement. In an extensive and product diverse inventory environment, teams of several related functions have worked successively as well as less complex situations one would find at McD's, Starbucks, etc. What you'll discover is that team members won't stand too long for any underachievers; self policing, if you will. It needs close mgmt oversight as distractions such as personalities clashes cannot be tolerated.
    Oct 15, 2015. 01:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Wal-Mart Taking Itself Down? [View article]
    WMT's inventory control isn't about controlling a set amount or mix of most anything. They purchase what's available at the best price and put it on the shelves. They routinely change suppliers, brands, and unit packaging sizes all depending upon acquisition price. They assume you'll buy whatever they stock.
    Oct 15, 2015. 01:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Is Wal-Mart Taking Itself Down? [View article]
    Think you'd find that despite spoilage losses, the produce dept margins are among the highest in the avg grocery store. The problem with WMT stores is they don't look clean, tidy, or well managed let alone welcoming. All this affects sales of fresh produce as opposed to meat, for example, which is displayed wrapped.
    Oct 15, 2015. 12:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips Is Ready To Benefit From Pending Removal Of U.S. Oil Export Ban [View article]
    Claiming it is COP who would benefit the most reversing the oil export ban is an interesting take on reality. Quite the contrary, it's COP who desperately need the ban removed to put the breaks on their slide. CEO Lange's plea almost a year ago raised some flags among the oil patch chest pounders but fell on deaf ears where it counts. With a democrat in the white house and, based in part upon last nights presidential debate, the likelyhood of them retaining the office, looks like the ban is here to stay. This is a clear cut case supporting the notion that politics counts in the investment world and the republican opposition sadly is melting away.
    Oct 14, 2015. 04:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: Well, That Was Fast [View article]
    Thanks for the article. On balance, you've covered the basic metrics. BAC still has a long way to go, in my opinion, but clearly a defined path, skilled management at the very top, and presence where it counts.
    Oct 14, 2015. 04:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AB-SAB Beer Deal - It's What's For Breakfast On M&A Daily [View article]
    There's no way this beer deal passes mustard with regulators. No way Amigo.
    Oct 14, 2015. 12:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top teenager restaurant picks include Starbucks and the Golden Arches [View news story]
    The survey group was too broadly spaced age wise. There's a huge difference between a 13 year old and a 19 year old. As a marketing and business development guy, l'd like to see the results separated by age, 13's, 14's, etc.
    Oct 14, 2015. 11:33 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BofA adds to gains after conference call [View news story]
    Up 40% from what prior amount to what current amount?

    Percentage references are only useful in absolute terms.
    Oct 14, 2015. 10:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks tests office delivery at Empire State Building [View news story]
    Whether you're a pro and con of the company in general or the stock specifically, hard not to admire the initiative.
    Oct 13, 2015. 05:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan Chase misses by $0.05, misses on revenue [View news story]
    JMP's Q3 down? Wow, sell the farm!
    Oct 13, 2015. 05:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • House votes to lift crude exports, but Senate outcome less certain [View news story]
    Because they didn't like the tea?
    Oct 10, 2015. 11:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment