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  • Believe In The Permian [View article]
    Sure, you bet, all our problems are solved! Gas for $1.80 is here to stay, long term. Yeah, if you believe that, then you will believe that I saw Elvis at a gas station in Tucson last night, filling the tank of his RV. Again, may I remind you all "be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful".
    Don't look forward, tomorrow, to warming Chicago with solar energy. All the best.
    Jan 23, 2015. 11:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy stocks brace for several ugly quarters to come [View news story]
    One thing nobody seems interested in discussing with respect to this "crisis" in oil is that there exists elasticity in demand as well as supply. Takes some time, but demand will respond to cheaper supply. Longer term, they aren't making any more oil as far as I know. As for "environment", nobody appreciates that more than people who have to find oil for a living. The best strategy perhaps: use less oil by creating more efficient gas or propane cars etc. Electrical cars, of course, simply shift carbon dioxide creation away from the point of use (the car). Electrical methods lose a lot of energy in the transformation into electricity from hydrocarbons, then in transmission to the charge point. Owning a Tesla or Volt might make one feel good, but does nothing for global CO2 unless the source of energy is non CO2 creating like wind or solar - but that's hard to pull off. Using electric cars nowadays does help with local pollution however, by moving pollution to unimportant places like northern Arizona.
    Jan 14, 2015. 11:24 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Crash In Oil Prices Offers The Opportunity Of A Lifetime - I Beg To Differ [View article]
    No one can predict the bottom of oil price, or stock price of oil companies. If the price of the company looks attractive now, buy some now. Then, if it looks better in a few weeks, buy a bit more. Trying to find the bottom is a fruitless exercise. I can assure readers, however, that the demise of the oil business is NOT at hand. Been in the oil biz a long time. cheers
    Jan 13, 2015. 05:05 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks named a top pick at Piper Jaffray [View news story]
    The biggest innovation lately, other than the single-source bland food, has been the drive through service (first introduced, about 1994 and escalated in 2012 ), now widely available at freestanding stores. I believe that about 60% of new locations will have this service).
    In our town, and around the area of Northern Colorado and SE Wyoming, these drive through lanes are often very busy. This has to be a factor in improving cash flow and margins in the US by leveraging the physical plant very effectively. About the food - not a big fan of stuff flown in from California to Wyoming. Aside from what must be an awful hydrocarbon footprint, it's not exciting stuff. But, it's consistent. Kinda like the food version of Stalin's rooms. The teas are a hit, however, based on our own in-store "shareholder visits". By the way, as Starbucks old-timers, we never use the drive in. But, times change. cheers
    Dec 28, 2014. 09:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Value In Organic Sprouts [View article]
    re: "name brand organic items". If sprouts is undercutting WFM on 148 items, can you let us know how many "name brand" organic items are for sale in the two stores, typically? Thanks.
    Dec 24, 2014. 10:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Apple Pay [View article]
    Glen, Fair comment, which I accept. I am not a fan of banks myself. I a glad your experience worked well with Apple. Still, I'll sit this one out for awhile, but I do take your point, and enjoy and respect your optimism based on experience. Apple has changed so many things for the better for everyone - hard to even finish the list. Also, I take your point about phone centers. Everyone hates being shunted overseas for service calls, or for service for that matter. We finally dropped our accountant about the time we realized they were processing our income tax in India. cheers.
    Nov 18, 2014. 09:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Rerating Whole Foods - The Stock Is Now Fairly Valued [View article]
    Ha Ha, Gary J. Aren't analysts helpful? Two days after the numbers appear, this analyst revisits expectations. Stupid people are such fun to make money from. Only on wall street does driving while looking in the rear view mirror appear to make money for somebody - at least for the people who can't think about companies any other way. Cha-ching! Gotta run to the bank now, then to Whole Foods to buy some fresh bread and untainted sea food.
    Nov 8, 2014. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]
    Glenn, I like your comment very much. Analysts can alert you to subtle problems in financials, but "boots on the ground" is still a very powerful tool. A single data point (store, for example) can tell you a lot about how things are working, and often far in advance of official numbers. That being noted, perhaps I could add to your observation the thought that quality of senior management is also very a important investment parameter. A greedy, or obtuse management can run down even a great company like Coke. The judgment call the investor must make is, can incompetent management be fixed/replaced within a reasonable time frame. In the case of KO, the question might be as follows: can Warren Buffett fix coke, since it's clear that management is basically a greedy version of the three stooges. Despite the long and glorious history of KO, I'm a hold now, and maybe a person who is going to exit KO and acquire shares in an outfit such as UNFI that not only participates fully in secular trends you have described, but also has enlightened management that considers the interests of all stakeholder.
    Nov 8, 2014. 10:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Future Of Apple Pay [View article]
    This all sounds hyped. I'm not willing to be one of millions of a lab-rats for Apple Inc. Who do I call when there's a problem? We'll see what happens when somebody cracks open the I-universe of spendable digits. I like the European system of a chip in the card (pin and chip in Holland). That's basically a debit card, but has a lot of simplicity. Oh, well, you go, lab rats. Munch munch.
    Nov 7, 2014. 06:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whole Foods - Don't Ignore This Metric [View article]
    I note in this thread, that followers of WFM are catching on to the issue of store size. A merger/acquisition simply HAS to be on the radar at WFM. cheers
    Nov 5, 2014. 10:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whole Foods - Don't Ignore This Metric [View article]
    Maybe there are always barbarians at the gate when one sells overall the highest quality products on the market, or are best in class in terms of stakeholder performance. Long term-WFM is pointing the way to the future of food choice by educated consumers. Food trend factoid: in Holland, McDonald's serves organic milk.
    One aspect of WFM that could use a fix is store size. The OBVIOUS fix is simply to buy Sprouts lock stock and barrel. Would you perhaps agree that If WFM decodes the move of it's ethic to small stores, growth is going will be impressive? All the best
    Nov 5, 2014. 10:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Buy Whole Foods Before Its Q4 Earnings Release? [View article]
    It's only a yesterday growth story to some folks. To other people who watch trends in nutrition, WFM is an icon of the broader future of food, as is UNFI. In general, lots of folks may buy cheap socks or underwear (actually, not sure about that - under armour?), but with food? There may be some elasticity of choice there, that is, willingness to pay more for certifiable quality this is the bird-in-hand as opposed to far-away "global warming" sacrifices. In any event, for long term owners, that 24x earnings can be nibbled down rather rapidly by earnings growth at debt-free Whole Foods. Whole Foods looks a lot better than most dot-coms to me. But, admittedly, in the case of Whole Foods one must pay for quality. Not all growing companies are cigar butts. And, for the pure dividend investor living on those dividends, WFM is probably not the ticket. cheers
    Nov 5, 2014. 10:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coca-Cola Has Become Interesting Again [View article]
    If you feel comfortable with smaller cap outfits, Timmies, you might consider UNFI, which delivers organic and natural foods. They are like the healthy version of Sysco, one supposes. I dislike the stupid management of Coke so much, that I'm waiting to sell. Hey, the great thing about being your own "CEO" or "wealth advisor" is you can fire management at the click of a mouse. It's the only way to live, baby.
    Nov 2, 2014. 07:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Apple And Google Crushed Windows Phone [View article]
    MSFT can raise prices, someday, by sorting out the bugs in WP 8.1, and of course, finding (someone!?) to write key apps, and also developing a true service culture. Service is the key. The dumb-heads in Seattle just can seem to see this, I guess. Penny-wise, pound foolish. Wierd. At least on the website at they do have an online chat. That's a start. However, I'm not a buyer of MSFT until I see that they get what consumers need. Stupid company. Drives me crazy. What might have been. So sad.
    Nov 2, 2014. 07:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Starbucks' Earnings Guidance Weak, But Be Skeptical [View article]
    In Oman, somehow, Starbucks always had the best people behind the counter. The barista knew our names and knew our drinks; and in Oman anyway, served fresh- squeezed orange juice. Here in the USA, I guess lawyers have made most fresh juice go away? Anyway, SBUX has always had the ability to attract and hold great people, regardless of race or color or creed. Seen it all over the world.
    Nov 2, 2014. 07:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment