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  • Vale SA: Interesting With P/B Of 1.11 [View article]
    Most investors that are looking for sustainable dividends don't look for them in industries tied to economic activity dependent on commodity prices. When earnings go down company management need to take steps to reduce expenses and change operation activities to keep investors engaged. What has Vale done in that regard? What have they done to become less dependent on China?

    I agree Vale trading at near book value is a contrarian pick with a good chance of a double from here with an upturn of economic activity. On the other hand bad management and bad government could take the stock lower. The latter is called geopolitical risk the former is called poor investing. It may be time to look harder at the management strategies before talk of a dividend cut. How is management handling the preferred stock? What is the strategy there?
    Sep 24, 2014. 08:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Vale SA: Interesting With P/B Of 1.11 [View article]
    If Vale cuts their dividend your prediction of a farther market price reduction will come to pass. However, why would any investor stay in Vale when they are not paid to wait for a rebound is commodity and stock prices. I don't agree with your thoughts on putting money back into the company if that happens. Dividend yield is all the company has to offer investors to stay and bear the pain. There are better places to put money to work.
    Sep 23, 2014. 07:20 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CEMIG: 50% Increase In Net Income Q1 2014 Over 2013 [View article]
    Steven, belated thanks for posting this article and keeping us apprised of the CIG geopolitical story and associated risk analysis. I own CIG mostly for dividend income since much of my stock investment positions are geared toward capital growth and some dividend yield is prudent. I came here first to see what has happened to the CIG share price retesting its lows. It has been declining of late and I am curious why. My basis of CIG is low and the position is still positive without including the dividend yield. My position is large so I thought it prudent to check what is going on in Brazil of late. One thing is still a given... 150 million people still need a lot of electricity to keep the lights on and even though the government would like to make electric power free to the consumers it can't if it wants to keep attracting foreign investment to keep the economy growing.
    Sep 19, 2014. 04:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Should Buy MasterCard [View article]
    @joeyleeka... News flash.... Google is in the transaction processing business just not the financial transaction processing business. I believe Google should outright buy Ebay or Ebay's PAYPAL if they could negotiate a separate partnership deal. There are other actions they could take within their corporate charter that could enable them to enter the business without major capex. Android smartphones must enter this space or the USA credit card processing banking systems will never catch up or lead the industry they created in the early 60s to automate consumer lending under the simple interest business model.

    Long Google and Apple. Would love to participate in a future PAYPAL ipo.
    Sep 17, 2014. 09:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Question over iPhone 6 China availability sends China Mobile, Apple lower [View news story]
    What's the big deal on the $500 price? Verizon here is selling the iphone 6+ for a subsidizing price of $400 with a 2 year contact. Those in China that want cache can pay up one or two month income. Right?
    Sep 16, 2014. 09:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Will Collect Fees On Apple Payments, Back Of The Napkin: Could Add Billions To Bottom Line [View article]
    It is interesting to me reading these comments how little investors and Apple users know about where the fee income is in the credit card industry and how Apple pay will benefits or contribute to it in the whole scheme of things.

    Do not misunderstand this comment here. What Apple is trying to do here is primarily to "sell" phones and grow its shareholder value. I an long Apple and am happy for the move. However, the addition of a new fee income source is directly related to how Apple Pay will move the bar in reducing fraud to all parties in the process and improving customer convenience in the payment settlement process. How much Apple generates in fee income will be determined by the Banking system which is the source and owner of payment processing in the world.

    The players that bear the costs and receive the income are "Banks" that lend the money. The "Customers" the spend it even if they don't have any. The "Merchants" that sell stuff to customers the what want it and those that run the infrastructure that make it work (eg. Visa, Mastercard associations, and the major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Even the government has a say on how this all works (ie. the government does have legislation, the Fair Credit Reporting Act).

    How much of these fees that will go to Apple Pay is directly related to what the banking system and the players named above are willing to pay for improvements to the their system in reduced cost and increased earnings to the bottom their lines. Google wallet may have failed to add significant value to the players named. Apple Pay will also fail if it is does not understand this.

    I personally think it is time for the banking system to improve its infrastructure and payment processing to keep pace with the growth of electronic payment systems and take it to a higher level. NFC is just one more standard that can help the cause. Smarter smartphones and the customers willingness do abandon credit card plastic for these costly devices will determine where it goes from here. It will NOT be the exclusive domain of Apple and they will contribute but not own or dictate the final outcome going forward.
    Sep 13, 2014. 08:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Geron: The Best Buy In The Market [View article]
    WOW! It is hard to keep up with this thread. This is too much information to process although I believe 90% of the comments add value to the Biotech basic science story and is fun to read and very informative. What brings us to this thread is the knowledge that we here know that we are due for a major break through in the next few years in many different areas of Biotech since completion of the mapping of the human genome in 2004. We are trying hard to keep up with its progress and are eager to find a place for a percentage of our speculation portfolio to take part in the game (ie. at least for some of us that have been here before). It is like the 80s all over again. It is not as easy as putting all your money on red or black, but information is power. It helps to improve the odds hopefully to 70/30 which helps those of us willing to do the work to move the personal wealth bar. There are no absolutes in life but for me it is more fun and profitable than playing the slot machines or buying lottery tickets which are for losers. Real estate can be fun but is not as satisfying.

    I believe that regenerative medicine is definitely the place that is a paradigm changer in science and technology in this decade. This is only the beginning and I want to play in this game. Why?... because I must. Just like the sperm seeking his sole purpose in life. I can think of only one thing that ranks up there with this game.
    Sep 13, 2014. 06:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Should Buy MasterCard [View article]
    @DWBowers This is good news for PAYPAL. Currently I use PAYPAL for all online purchases from any vendor that accepts payment settlement through PAYPAL. Apple Pay is just another way to pay for purchases at point of sale in lieu of cash or plastic. I still stand with the opinion that Google should buy Ebay and upgrade the Android OS for near field communications support and use PAYPAL customers as an installed base to enter the point of sale payment business not just to eliminate plastic and cash but offer true end to end payment settlement . That way Google will have it all. Online and point of sale payment processing.

    If Tim Cook truly has vision maybe he should buy Ebay and spin off PAYPAL. Maybe he could interest Jeff Bezy in buying the Ebay remains to help offset the acquisition cost.
    Sep 11, 2014. 05:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Should Buy MasterCard [View article]
    Ivan... I disagree. Banks and Credit Cards Banks and all the major Credit Card serivices (eg. Visa, Mastercard, Amexpress, etc.) will pay fees to any member that can reduce fraud, reduce costs or make processing easier, and at the same time increase transaction volume of its membership.

    As a smartphone user I would not like to pay a direct transaction fee but would use the service if it directly made my life better and secured my personal financial information.
    Sep 10, 2014. 10:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google Should Buy MasterCard [View article]
    @Wes... Unless the banking industries has changed since I left the banking industry MasterCard was formed as the Interbank association of banks organized to issue credit cards in the late 60s early 70s in opposition to the BankAmericard association which was an entity strictly controlled by B of A. By the end of the 70s BofA lightened up and most banks joined both associations. The fact that both companies are now listed on major exchanges does not mean Google can just pay up and buy either one anymore then Apple.

    Google would be better off trying to buy Ebay and spinoff PAYPAL as a wholly owned Google PAYPAL wallet service offering a challenge to Apple. That would really be a game changer.

    I am long both Apple and Google and think it would move smartphone electronic transaction processing to a new level worldwide.
    Sep 10, 2014. 10:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Will Collect Fees On Apple Payments, Back Of The Napkin: Could Add Billions To Bottom Line [View article]
    Retail credit (credit card services) for banks has always been a low margin, high cost, high volume low profit service. Despite common beliefs most money center banking would rather make commercial loans and not do credit card services at all if they could. Fraud prevention, security, issuing and managing credit card plastic is very expensive. Delinquencies usually run from 1.5% to 3% of outstanding loans. Collections is a labor intensive high cost operation. This is only a fraction of what banks do to service credit card services.

    Any new technology that can reduce the risk or save servicing costs is worth the investment for the banking industry. For example years ago all banks sold their own customers loan credit history data to the three primary credit bureaus and paid them to make their own data available to themselves for a fee. Their savings was the elimination of the departments that serviced the records internally and gained the added data shared with other banks.

    Credit card Banks will pay up if Apple Pay can increase the banks loans outstanding or transaction volume while reducing fraud, loan delinquency and also eliminating credit card plastic servicing. They will have no problem paying a fee for the service.

    Transaction processing fees for banks is every bits as big or bigger than Internet fees for click traffic. How Apple implements this new technology could add significant fee income to Apple if done well and left unchallenged by other Android based smartphones apps. For now it has a short window to build market share while the competition develops a response. I will let others do the analysis and the napkin math. I will just stay long Apple and watch with great interest how Google responds in the future.
    Sep 10, 2014. 09:09 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geron: The Best Buy In The Market [View article]
    Azure... I understand and to some extent appreciate your bearish tone in your comments here, however from purely a financial prospective I like the move of Geron for spinning off significant amounts of its IP to ASTY through BTX. Geron did not have the capital to peruse all the different sciences behind its IP and retained the some promising ones and the closest to market for itself. This most likely will increase shareholder value for Geron sooner than if they tried to go it alone with all its IP. The cost and potential for dilution was just too high and was hurting its ability deliver anything short of selling itself off to large investors for pennies on the dollar.

    It seems that you of all people should understand that Biotech basic science is very expensive and time consuming that includes many failures.

    Just curious what is it that you are saying. Don't investment in ASTY or BTX because their science is not ready or doesn't work? That is not exactly how Biotech investing works. I am sure you will agree that when it is ready and works it is too late to invest.
    Sep 6, 2014. 09:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Geron: The Best Buy In The Market [View article]
    Excellent... Thanks for sharing.
    Sep 6, 2014. 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google, AbbVie to invest up to $1.5B in anti-aging R&D [View news story]
    Getting old is not just graying hair and wrinkled skin. What exactly is Googles concentration and focus related to the aging process? Age related dementia is an area with little progress in decades. Telomeres and Telomerase is another important area that could use some attention. How about hair loss or a fat pill? Throwing a billion dollars of R&D at the problems of aging is a drop in the buck without a narrower focus. Larry Page is getting older by the day. Google needs to get started.

    What would satisfy me as a Google Long is a focus on one or two things that could develop some important IP that could boost shareholder value before Larry Page or I die.
    Sep 4, 2014. 08:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Barrick Gold Announces Disbanding Of Corporate Development Team [View article]
    Reading this news I can't help thinking how much of a difference this move could make to the balance sheet or the average production cost per ounce. I suppose every little bit helps. All companies need to use a red pencil to reduce expenses in slow economic times. It is hard to recover $8 billion in wasted capex because of bad past management decisions. However, this news is doing nothing for the most important stat for me... the trading price of the stock.

    Time will tell.
    Sep 2, 2014. 11:32 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment