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  • 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
  • Whole Foods, Sprouts, The Fresh Market, Kroger, And The Retail Roller Coaster [View article]
    Nice job on this "down-to-earth" analysis. Most of us, I think, don't have the time to delve into all the niche market players in this manner so kudos to you. The WFM journey is both interesting and becoming riskier. As a holder in a managed account, one wonders if the respective stock position has become more of a client passion and loyalty than a sound investment. That said, as you point out, the company takes care of its employees and that speaks huge for the business going forward. SBUX, also a holding in this account, could learn a valuable lesson if they haven't already.

    Beyond this aspect, all the recent negative publicity about vitamins and unsafe food supply sourcing should continue to favor WFM as even itself gets a little dirty in this space. It simply a question of longer term reputation and WFM's modus operandi should serve them well. Again, the benefit of employee stock ownership/profit sharing cannot be overstated.
    Jul 27 08:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • This High Dividend Stock Just Declared 5th Straight Hike, Yields Almost 8%; Goes Ex-Dividend This Week [View article]
    The Turbo Tax on-line program also makes mistakes which may be undetectable or, in my recent case, require a lengthy hit-or-miss phone conversation. That said, still a whole lot easier than plowing through paperwork forms without them. Its just the price to pay w/MLPs
    Jul 27 08:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Analyzing AT&T's 2nd Quarter Results [View article]
    The revenue pie chart should be of prime interest. Only 16% is attributed to wireline/voice which is clearly the most vulnerable area toward declining revenue and profit. What does a similar chart for VZ indicate, anyone?
    Jul 24 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Utilities Aren't Always Safe Income Vehicles [View article]
    Not sure it's a "perception" conclusion. The plot is available on Yahoo Finance.

    Many non-institutional investors are surprised utilities have gained in stock price while spinning off above average dividends. They will also be subject to a corresponding slide as interest rates and inflation inevitably rise.

    But, as I have preached from this podium and others, not all utilities are the same. There are many to choose from so a combination of yield, growth, and safety can be readily ascertained. Then, of course, one must consider the respective regulatory climate, economic health of the region served, among other metrics. Utilities are a world of its own. Participation may require more than simply reading Value Line and the other important and useful investment tools.
    Jul 24 11:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Biogen Idec Beats And Raises: Reassessing Its Prospects [View article]
    Great article. Thanks for your work here. I do not follow the med space but as former Bostonian, very aware of the Biogen base and Idec's Rituxan. From that perspective, it appears the Idec side of the house has made but one intro in the NHL world since this now 10+ year merger. Rituxan was introduced in the late 1990's. Biogen's growth is in a narrow, albeit important, MIS category. Any thoughts about the 2003 merger success? How much synergy, if any, was anticipated? Thanks again for the great article.
    Jul 24 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should EMC Corp. Break Itself Apart?: FAST FUNdamental Analysis [View article]
    Glad I'm not the only one a bit puzzled by this article. The real news doesn't seem to have been included rather an ambitious rehash of public data. Goodness . . . charts, graphs . . . a grad student project perhaps.

    Thanks commentators for the salient insight. I neither own nor follow EMC but know those who do and also work there. Looks like the stock has moved up nicely the last 1-3 mos. Anyone a buyer here?
    Jul 23 08:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • I Should Be Savoring Chipotle's Amazing Earnings; Instead, They Almost Made Me Lose My Lunch [View article]
    5000 shares at $510. Folks are going to start thinking you might have posted in the wrong blog, fella.
    Jul 22 04:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment