Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View cstauffer's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Retail Sales Results Hint at Economic Strength [View article]
    James, from the Spring of 2007 right through the Summer of 2008 I was painting a very cautious picture for my clients. In fact, in June of 2008 my end of quarter commentary was so critical of market cheerleaders and pollyanna government policy makers that my compliance department almost did not allow it to be distributed to clients.
    Mar 12 11:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Retail Sales Results Hint at Economic Strength [View article]
    Marc, it is really quite pointless to objectively talk about facts when debating those who only want to see a certain politically tainted version of the world. In reality you are of course right in your discussion of the numbers and trends. I recently wrote a commentary for my clients titled "Could it Be?" in which I simply talked about virtually every metric from economic growth, corporate earnings, TARP repayments, effectiveness of the stimulus plan, and the progress of bailed out GM, with all of these issues realizing better than expected results over the last 6-9 months. These are facts, but they are very conveniently ignored. I really don't know what will happen when employment growth comes back in the next couple of months as was expected? Because right now the critics always will fall back to job creation. When that issue is off the table and most banks have paid back TARP, GM has paid back most of its government bailout from its IPO, AIG has made significant progress paying back what it owes, the economy is growing better than most people expected, and consumer spending is more normalized, what will they complain about then?
    Mar 12 09:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More Good News for the U.S. Economy [View article]
    oilfinder, you are right I have had the same experience. The scary thing is that their disease seems to be the true pandemic, leaving H1N1 a very distant second.
    Mar 8 11:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bunge: Risks Outweigh Potential Benefits [View article]
    Matt, NI+DEP&AMORT+R&... Rentals+/-Monetary Gains/Losses +/-After Tax Spec. Items +/- Misc. Adj. including FIFO.
    Feb 12 09:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bunge: Risks Outweigh Potential Benefits [View article]
    I beleive that your cash flow numbers are incorrect. As I look at the adjusted cash flow figures for BG from 2003 to 2010, they are as follows: Cash Flow Adj (000,000's) $827, $1,032, $960, $1,180, $1,695, $1,991, $1,556, $2,058. The latest Adj. Cash Flow figure would translate to a multiple on Adj. Cash Flow of just under 4X. In many of those years Cash Flow was significantly higher than Net Profit.
    Feb 11 01:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Krugman Replace Bernanke? [View article]
    Krugman, Bernanke, it really does not matter that much. Both individuals and virtually any other qualified candidate would continue the policies of running a Fed which follows a Keynesian approach to monetary policy, which is to provide easy money during recessionary and crisis time periods and tighten money supply as the economy improves and we move towards full employment. This is by almost anyone's standards to prudent way to manage monetary policy, however monetary policy and fiscal policy should not be run inconsistently. The problems that have come to a head recently regarding deficits and debt levels cannot be laid at the feet of Keynesian monetary policies, but instead the blame falls squarely on lack of Keynesian fiscal policies in so much as fiscal policies have only been half Keynesian. Politicians get it right when they cut taxes and increase spending in the down times, but they have failed miserably because they have not had the political courage to increase taxes and reduce spending during the good time. If both monetary policies and fiscal policies had been managed in a consistent Keynesian manner over the last 30 years, we would not be in the situation that we find ourselves in today.
    Jan 25 09:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Emerson Electric CEO: Washington Is Destroying U.S. Manufacturing [View article]
    Mr. Farr's comments are a smoke screen to deflect the realities inherent in their industry segment. The fact is that many manufacturing businesses are finding that it makes sense to move the labor component of their costs to lower skilled and lower cost locations outside of the U.S. The reality is that your product must be condusive to being made by less educated and lower skilled workers. That is what happened to the textile industry in this country 40-50 years ago, the toy making industry and virtually every other low value added industry. As long as our country continues to become more highly educated and more prosperous this trend will continue. It has been occuring in less complex electrical components and it should not be surprising that this trend is making its way into Emerson Electric.

    It is shameless for a CEO to blame the government for a normal capitalistic trend which has been occurring for almost 100 years in one fashion or another.
    Nov 12 08:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fuel Systems Rockets Higher: Wish We Had More Exposure [View article]
    We exited our FSYS on today's spike, after trimming our positions in the mid-thirties a while back. In the low 20's this company was an unappreciated and under owned. It has now been discovered, but is richly priced.

    Has anyone gotten interested in Westport Innovations (WPRT)? This company is not yet profitable like FSYS, but Westport's technology and joint venture with Cummins may make Westport much more scalable.
    Nov 5 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Treasury Slashes Q4 Borrowing Plans [View article]
    Wow! That might have the makings of a movie. Throw in a couple of conspiracies and a Jack Bauer character or two and you have a blockbuster. :)

    On Nov 03 11:29 AM Mad Hedge Fund Trader wrote:

    > ljs I know what keeps Obama awake at night. Let’s say we spend our
    > $2 trillion in stimulus and get a couple of quarters of weak growth.
    > Then once the effects of the stimulus wear off, we slip back into
    > a deep recession, setting up a classic “W.” Unemployment never does
    > stop climbing. This happened to Roosevelt in the thirties. So congress
    > passes another $2 trillion reflationary budget. Everybody gets wonderful
    > new mass transit upgrades, alternative energy infrastructure, and
    > bridges to nowhere. But with $4 trillion in spending packed into
    > two years, inflation really takes off. The bond market collapses,
    > the dollar tanks big time, gold goes ballistic to $5,000, and silver
    > explodes to $50. Ben Bernanke has no choice but to engineer an interest
    > rate spike, taking the Fed funds rate up to a Volkeresque 18%. Housing,
    > having never recovered, drops by half again. This all happens in
    > the 2012 election year. Obama is burned in effigy, a Mormon is elected
    > president, and the Republicans, reinvigorated by new leadership,
    > retake both houses of congress. We invade Iran. Crude hits $500.
    > This is not exactly a low probability scenario. Remember Jimmy Carter?
    > This is why junk bond yields are still stubbornly high at 12.5%,
    > and credit default swaps live at lofty levels. Are the equity markets
    > pricing in this possibility? No chance. The risk of Armageddon is
    > still out there. Personally, I give it a one in three chance. Pass
    > the Xanax.
    Nov 4 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 'Dollar Up Stocks Down' Will Likely Change Soon [View article]
    As an "investor" it truly amazing me how much focus people put on trying to determine whether the "market" is overvalued or undervalued at any given time. It is hard enough to get a handle on the true earnings or earnings quality of one company. One can reasonably ascertain a current valuation and compare it to an assumed intrinsic value for an individual company, however to try and do that with the broad market of 500 or 3000 stocks is really a fool's game.

    I agree with Roger, it really does not matter much to an investor who is inherently focused on individual securities whether or not the broad market is under-valued or over-valued. What matters is whether you are purchasing those individual securties at suffiently attractive valuation in order to give yourself the opportunity to generate exceptional returns over the next 3-5 years. I often hear people talking about the "lost decade" for stocks based upon the returns of the indices. However, it is not very difficult at all to find companies whose stocks are up 400, 500 and even 1000 percent over the last 10 years. Gaming the market is for traders in my opinion. Investors need something to value and that is much easier to do with individual companies as opposed to the broad market.
    Nov 2 08:25 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Down Fridays [View article]
    I think that you will find that many hedge funds do indeed have an October 31 fiscal year end. There is absolutely no data related reason that caused the sell off over the last I was mistaken on the $30 billion figure, it was reported to have been $3.7 billion which was liquidated in its entirety during the days that the market first began to sell off.

    I agree that the fact the mutual funds have an October 31 fiscal year end would have very little to do with the abrupt sell off.

    On Oct 31 04:31 PM logicalthought wrote:

    > First of all, hedge funds end their years on 12/31; it's the mutual
    > funds that use 10/31, and if anything, the mutual funds would be
    > more likely to "window dress" and spend money to mark up their year-end
    > holdings, rather than let them get crushed.
    > Second, Galleon had $3 billion in positions, not $30 billion, and
    > had supposedly unwound almost all of them earlier in the week.<br/>
    > I think there's now a different, more negative tone to this market,
    > and you can see it in the broken charts of the financials, the transports,
    > the Nasdaq and, perhaps, in the S&amp;P 500. I have no idea what
    > happens Monday, but I think the S&amp;P will see the low 900s (if
    > not lower) by year-end.
    Oct 31 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Down Fridays [View article]
    Hedge fund fiscal year end with large unrealized gains over the preceding 6 months means that they most likely felt compelled to lock in those gains ahead of the GDP report in case it came in short. Let's not also forget that the Galleon hedge fund, which I believe was $30 billon was unwound over the last seven trading days or so. On balance, earnings and the economic numbers over the last two weeks did not change the outlook of the economic recovery for better or for worse.
    Oct 31 04:10 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market: Spooked Today, But Panic Attack Is Likely Temporary [View article]
    Oh, by the way on the banks going under, big surprise! Earlier this year we heard that over a 1000 banks were going to be seized, I think we just went over 100 a couple of weeks ago. This was a brutal recession, unemployment will stay stubornly high, banks will continue to fail and consumer spending will be lackluster for the foreseeable future. Most of us who are reasonably constructive on the market are not basing that premise on everything being back to normal next year, that's not going to happen. However, many stocks are still quite cheap and are profitable and growing. Many stocks are cheap because traders were focused on the quick hit with junk like many financials and consumer stocks, while good solid industrial, staple and energy stocks have been neglected. This is not a market where you can buy the S&P 500 and do well; one must pick his or her spots and not wait till the stock is overvalued to sell.

    On Oct 30 10:37 PM Archman Investor wrote:

    > Not even worth a real comment here. Just more of the same from the
    > author who rationalizes every piece of news as good for his asset
    > gathering buddies.
    > BTW another half dozen banks just went under tonight.
    > Yeah, everything is good.
    Oct 30 11:48 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market: Spooked Today, But Panic Attack Is Likely Temporary [View article]
    I am frankly very glad that the sentiment on these boards and many others is so negative. This snap back bull market that we have had since March will not end with so many people scared or willing to be scared whenever the market goes through a profit taking period such as we are experiencing recently. I am really not sure what it is that people want at this point in the recovery coming off such a significant downturn. I certainly do not expect robust top line growth and I certainly would expect a significant portion of positive economic activity to have been "stimulated" by the stimulus.
    Oct 30 09:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is the Current Economic Growth Sustainable? [View article]
    Not rose colored at all! In fact, I was beside myself in criticizing Bernanke, Paulson, and virtually all market strategists and economists between Spring of 2007 and the end of 2008. However, we now have come through the crisis and we are emerging from the recession. Those who allow themselves to get mired in the should of, could of, would of types of debates have missed and are missing terrific investment opportunities. The economy will recover with much help from stimulus, the markets will again go back to focusing on fundamentals, however in the meantime investors who can block out the noise and look forward will most likely find the best investment opportunities of their entire lives. I know I found such opportunities 9 months ago in both equities, corporate and municipal bonds.

    Back on subject, we will come out of this recession and history will write that the stimulus and quantitative easing averted a depression and protracted deflationary spiral.

    On Oct 30 12:51 PM tunaman4u2 wrote:

    > I need some of what you're smoking... must be great stuff... does
    > it also come with rose colored glasses?
    Oct 30 04:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment