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  • NextEra Energy Still Not Worth Buying, More Questions Emerge In Hawaii [View article]
    The analysis is reasonable, but may be a bit too pessimistic concerning Hawaiian Electric. The statements from the Governor are obviously political in nature and do not necessarily mean the Governor or legislature are attempting to change the terms of the agreement previously accepted by both NEE and Hawaiian Electric.

    Having held NEE shares (originally Florida Power & Light) for over 30 years, I am aware of the record of consistent earnings realized by the company, including the fact that actual earnings are almost always in line with, or better than guidance. The earnings during the last year from renewable sources were below expectations, mainly because of below average wind velocities. Seems to me that basing uncertainty over the Hawaiian Electric merger, coupled with uncertainty over wind conditions is not enough to derail prior guidance of consistent 6% to 7% annual earnings growth in coming years, coupled with a similar increase in dividends. If NEE stays on schedule for these earnings and dividend increases, then the total expected return on investment at the current price is at least 9%.

    Where else would one turn these days to what is regarded as a low risk investment that delivers this much return?
    Sep 28, 2015. 10:57 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No Rate Hike Translates Into Heightened Wall Of Worry [View article]
    The austerity alternative (raising interest rates, cutting government programs, lowering taxes) has been tried in European countries and has failed miserably, dragging them into a recession at a time when U.S. gross domestic product is growing at better than 3 percent. Yes, the actual GDP growth rate for the most recent quarter was 3.7 percent.

    So it is not accurate to say that the Fed policies haven't worked. They've worked much better than the alternative that some keeping harping on, and on, and on, oblivious of the facts.
    Sep 23, 2015. 12:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No Rate Hike Translates Into Heightened Wall Of Worry [View article]
    The notion that "The Fed's decision to not raise the fed funds rate at this time was ultimately taken by the market as a no-confidence vote on our economic health, which just added to the fear and uncertainty that was already present" is unjustifiable.

    The Fed action to keep rates at present levels reflected the following facts:

    1. Inflation remains low, well below the 2% level that might trigger a rate rise.

    2. Unemployment, though falling, reflects a sluggish economy where most low and middle income workers/families' incomes are not even keeping up with inflation.

    3. Fiscal measures that might add employment, especially on infrastructure projects, have been rejected by a Congress bent on cutting government and taxes, no matter what. This attitude forces the Federal Reserve to take countermeasures to avoid a recession, or worse, a depression.

    4. The only group that was anticipating a rise in interest rates and was very disappointed in the Fed action were the bankers, who thrive on high interest rates, especially the spread between what money costs them and what profit they can make lending it.
    Sep 22, 2015. 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm's Snapdragon Flight Is A Clear Threat To Ambarella [View article]
    ". . . lower quality video capture of Snapdragon . . ." Really? I believe the Snapdragon 800 series allow 4K HD video at 30 fps or full HD video at higher fps. It may be that other components are also required for high quality video, but, as far as I can tell, the Snapdragon in the modified version designed for drones is not an impediment to high quality video.
    Sep 17, 2015. 02:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Begins Selling Its First Food Oils [View article]
    Some of the reasons for a weak Real in Brazil are:

    1. Reduced exports of soybeans and other commodities to China.

    2. Corruption in the oil and gas sector, leading to higher government debt and lower than anticipated revenues.

    3. Huge spending outlays for coming Olympic game facilities, creating more debt and pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

    4. Drought in parts of Brazil where key export commodities are grown (in a region including the Moema plant, which hasn't been able to use as much hydroelectric power as previously anticipated).

    With a rise in interest rates in the U.S. postponed, as of today, it's likely that the real–dollar exchange rate will not worsen.
    Sep 17, 2015. 02:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm Will See Its SoC Market Share Erode In The Next Few Years [View article]
    "When 5G royalty will start to produce revenue, Qualcomm will have to face a very competitive environment which is nothing compared to 3G environment."

    There isn't any 5G standard so far, making whatever ends up as "5G" at least three years from now. Meanwhile, as others also note, 3G and 4G are essential for voice/data subscribers to existing systems worldwide.

    Intel has tried hard to enter the smartphone market, with devices that can run Microsoft applications and offer compatibility with PC files. But Intel has been notably unsuccessful with smartphones because (1) it still doesn't have a system-on-chip that supports all 3G and 4G, and (2) its x86 process architecture is inherently inefficient compared with ARM based processors, leaving Intel little more than a foot in the door for tablets.
    Sep 17, 2015. 02:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Premarket Biotech Digest: Pot Smokers Beware, Celgene Pullback, Baker Bros Back Aquinox [View article]
    A pre-diabetic condition is often associated with a life style that includes a minimum amount of exercise, plus a diet heavy in carbohydrates -- sugar, soda pop, etc. It's possible that pot smokers have eating and exercise habits that have a higher probability of becoming diabetic. This sounds like a truly awful piece of research.
    Sep 16, 2015. 05:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm Will See Its SoC Market Share Erode In The Next Few Years [View article]
    Let's see: Intel has never successfully entered the smartphone market and still has just a minor, very minor market penetration. Intel is years behind Qualcomm in modem chips that are compatible with all 3G and 4G LTE services, and Qualcomm's modem chips outperform competing chips (performance and price). Now what is it about Intel that for sure gives it a competitive edge?

    The notion that Qualcomm has few 4G patents is specious. It takes just one claim on one patent to generate royalties. Qualcomm owns several essential patents here, including the patent on directional antenna that makes 4G more efficient. Any modem chip that Intel, MediaTek, or other Chinese companies make can only be competitive if the chip incorporates at least some QCOM proprietary technology. Yes, Intel has to pay royalties to Qualcomm for any 4G chips it decides to market.

    There are no convincing arguments in this article.
    Sep 16, 2015. 04:57 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm's Snapdragon Flight Is A Clear Threat To Ambarella [View article]
    Qualcomm has a big advantage for applications using drones because it has the most advanced system on chip, combining modem and processor – far more advanced than anything Intel has, at least at the moment. However, the drone market of perhaps 50 to 100 million units over the next few years is a drop in the bucket for a company that regularly ships around 1 billion chips annually for smartphones (modems, modems and processors, power management, decoders, etc.). Qualcomm's interest in drones may be tied somewhat to the PhD dissertation of its Chairman, on robotics.
    Sep 16, 2015. 01:00 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Corning gains on Icahn/activist rumors [View news story]
    Corning is a well managed company that is perfectly able to maximize profits without the "help" of an outsider. When stocks of companies linger on the low side for prolonged periods, rumors begin to circulate about a takeover. But the rumors are just that, and nothing more. I wouldn't place much faith in the rumors, but I would place a lot of faith in the continued, skilled management.

    Other tech stocks are depressed as well – Apple, SanDisk, Qualcomm – to mention just a few examples. Corning understands its markets well and continues to perform well in those markets, in terms of unit sales as well as profits. The company suffered somewhat from the Japanese yen devaluation, but in the long run, the devaluation simply makes its Japanese products more competitive on world markets.

    One other factor that helps increase takeover rumors is the low interest rate on borrowed funds, making it easier for an acquirer to finance an acquisition than if interest rates were higher. With all the rumors (somewhat justified) that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates between now and the end of the year, it is likely that some firms are studying ways they might buy a company like Corning. But I doubt that Corning management, or most of its shareholders would agree to a takeover offer anywhere near the current price.
    Sep 16, 2015. 12:47 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solazyme Begins Selling Its First Food Oils [View article]
    The label on the contents shows that the drink has high fat and sodium content, which is not exactly the healthiest formula for many people, even if the fat part doesn't contain cholesterol. It is, however, somewhat reassuring for investors with a long position in SZYM to know that at least some production is coming from Moema.
    Sep 15, 2015. 11:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Premarket Biotech Digest: More On Cancer Hallmarks, Piper Jaffray Overly Bearish On MannKind, Gilead Prices Debt Offering [View article]
    As usual, these analyses of new developments in the drug sector are very helpful for us investors. Thank you.

    Regarding MNKD, as the brother of a diabetes I patient who injected insulin every day of his life for 70 years, and the uncle of another relative also with diabetes I, and having seen at first hand the difficulty many patients encounter with insulin injections, it is very likely that the demand for Afrezza and its easier method of administering insulin is underestimated. As you have pointed out in an earlier article, Sanofi would not be spending the kind of money it has invested if Afrezza had only limited potential demand. The fact that Pfizer was unable to market successfully a bulkier inhaler has little to do with the potential for Afrezza.

    Regarding the list of drugs for treating cancer, it would help classifying them by the way the drugs act: onco-immunology, antisense, more traditional chemo, combinations of drugs, etc.
    Sep 14, 2015. 10:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Microsoft Will Penetrate The Mobile Market In The Next 2 Years [View article]
    Comparing the new Intel processor, not yet in production, with the Apple A8 chip, already replaced in the new iPhones and iPad Pro with an A9, seems ludicrous. Intel not only must compete with Apple's A9 but with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, which is also suitable for Windows 10. Meanwhile Samsung appears to be coming out with a faster processor than its Exynos.

    Intel may get a small, repeat SMALL part of the mobile business – if they're lucky.
    Sep 10, 2015. 05:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite 50% Drop SanDisk And Micron Are Not Attractive ... Yet [View article]
    A more detailed look at the individual players would show significant differences in their future prospects. Micron, for example, reports far lower profit margins on NAND flash memory than does SanDisk. And the recent patent infringement and related issues settlement between Hynix and SanDisk assures SanDisk a continued supply of low cost DRAM for use in combined DRAM and NAND memory for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and enterprise servers. Furthermore, judging by recent comments by Micron management (Citigroup analyst meeting transcribed by SA), SanDisk is well ahead of Micron in transition to 20 nm, 14 nm, and 3D wafers.

    The fundamentals for each of the players are also relevant, though Samsung does not break down the details sufficiently to compare with either Micron or SanDisk. But if you look at SanDisk, about 75% of its book value is in the form of cash, with hardly any value attached to its proprietary technology or production facilities. Micron has far more debt on a percentage basis. If you don't recognize these and other differences, it is easy to see how you can make a statement such as:

    "Technology, invention, and innovation will bring down the price of NAND flash storage to a point where it eventually supplants traditional magnetic hard drives in most applications."

    Here there is a complete failure to realize that solid state drives will completely replace hard drives in laptops and smaller desktop computers. They already make possible the smartphone and tablet, and the most rapidly growing segment for flash memory is enterprise servers, where the speed and low power requirements for flash memory make it already competitive with slower, higher energy consuming hard drives, notwithstanding the price differences in similar capacity units.

    In short, this article appears to have discounted the present investment value of the group, simply because the author thinks that the type of flash memory they make is still too expensive when compared with traditional hard drives. Not so.
    Sep 9, 2015. 06:32 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ISIS Pharmaceuticals: Another Entry Point [View article]
    Why did ISIS fall so much and recover so little, at least so far? We know that the recent decline affected other development stage pharmaceutical firms as well, but ISIS is different in that it has more drugs under development and a proven technology that can be applied across the board to new drugs.

    One possible reason is competition from new drugs such as Praluent, aimed at some of the high cholesterol patient population as drugs either approved by the FDA for ISIS or currently being tested. Will the APOCIII drug that treats high cholesterol and also treats diabetes patients find a market now that Praluent and other newly approved drugs are aimed at a similar population group? Perhaps the uncertainty created by already approved competing drugs is what has caused the drop in ISIS.
    Sep 8, 2015. 12:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment