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  • Memorial Production Partners: 9.9% Yield, Good But Expensive [View article]
    Depends on what you consider "long term". As a 35-year employee of the oil patch and a somewhat knowledgeable investor, I spotted MEMP a mile away when NGP announced its plans. I have always had tremendous respect for the management of both companies, and so I jumped on MEMP when it opened almost two years ago. I don't reinvest dividends because I hate the randomness, but I do buy on dips and have built MEMP up to almost 10% of my portfolio. So, for almost two years now I've been raking in the +/- 10% distribution and am up over 20% on stock appreciation. That feels like long-term to me.

    I don't keep a lot of stocks for two years but this one's been special. To be able to make money on gassy assets in this market takes that "laser focus" and they've proved themselves again and again. On top of their ability to make money in this $3.70/MCF world, just imagine the potential if gas ever gets back to the $5-6 that many feel is inevitable.

    There's a lot to like here.
    Sep 21 05:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Stocks Set To Profit From Tougher Fracking Laws [View article]
    There's actually another factor that can and should impact the waste-water recycling business even more than state regulations: drought. Especially in Oklahoma (Mississippi Lime) and South Texas (Eagle Ford), there's barely enough water to do all the fracking that's lined up and waiting on the equipment. This situation continues to deteriorate as the drought reaches well into its third year, and there are signs that this water shortage is here to stay. Recycling frac water is certainly environmentally responsible, and that's great, but it just may be the only source of frac water at all. Talk about a business being in the right place at the right time!
    Note: I've been long GRH for a long time. It has been painful but I firmly believe in the basics behind the business plan.
    Jul 29 03:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Promising Times for Green Hunter Energy [View article]
    Anyone have anything new to add on GRH? Making a big move today and not sure the catalyst. I hope it's not a delayed reaction to replacing their CFO, announced a week ago. I've never thought that replacing a CFO was a good sign for a public company.
    Jul 19 01:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Southern Copper (SCCO) is considering closing its foundry and refinery in southern Peru because it doesn't think it can comply with limits on sulfur dioxide emissions that will take effect next year, an internal document says. It's unclear how such a closure would affect SCCO's annual copper output, estimated at 650K metric tons this year. [View news story]
    I take this as nothing more then SCCO letting the Peruvian government know that harsher regulations will hurt business. It's clear from the press release that they've been arguing this with the regulators for some time now and this is the next logical step in the negotiations. Releasing the information via a memo to the staff is a time-honored way to let the world know what could happen if the regulations aren't loosened or delayed.
    Jul 5 06:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: It's Panic Time [View article]
    On a micro level, where some of the best data is found: my 21 year-old daughter, a former sorority president and center of her social circle, just traded in her Android for an iPhone last week. It was her birthday and we told her she could get any phone she wanted and all she could talk about was finally getting an iPhone: "It's so much cooler than my HTC - it fits in my hand, the apps are ridiculous, and all my friends have them - now I can be in their message group!". She went to Best Buy to get it and they furiously attempted to convince her to buy the new Samsung, "Look at this screen", "Can you believe how big this screen is?", "Have you seen this screen?". My daughter said that it was as if the whole mobile phone section at BB worked for Samsung. She stuck to her guns, got her iPhone, and before the end of the day got a group message for a party that night and had downloaded an Apple app she'd always wanted, plus was able to sync it with her Mac.

    Oh yeah, you know she's a Mac user - like every kid at her college, by the time she was a sophomore she was left out of all the new software, apps and other cool stuff because she was one of the few kids who didn't have a Mac notebook. Needless to say dumped her Dell for a Mac, emptying her bank account for it, and has never looked back. Her 25 year-old brother did the same thing when he was in school - used his own money to trade in the Sony we gave him for graduation and upgraded to the Mac. I don't know about the rest of the world, but on most college campuses and for anyone under 35, you either go Apple or go home.
    Part 2 of my micro-level story: I got one of the first Samsung S3s and it was the worst phone I've ever had. It had lots of bells and whistles and I sure loved that big screen, but I've never had a worse phone for getting and keeping a signal. Standing side-by-side with any other phone user using the same cell service, they'd have four bars and I'd have 2, or they'd have 2 and I'd have no signal. Everyone I called complained I sounded like I was in a tunnel or underwater. After three trips to Best Buy and one complete replacement to no benefit, their "no lemons" warranty policy kicked in and I picked out a new HTC, which I have loved ever since.
    I'm long Apple, having dived in around $560. Hurts right now but I believe in this company and its almost creepy way of insinuating itself into the lives of its users. It's like tech crack, once you're into Apple you'll never get out, and it's viral - from the iPhone to the Mac to iTunes to the iPad.
    The virus may be sleeping for now, but like all real viruses it only takes a fresh outbreak to infect another large portion of the population. In the meantime, it's still in people's blood, and they're still adding to their Apple collection of devices. This is just a brief period of dormancy. As noted in comments above, this has happed 3-4 times in the past whenever Apple was in a brief inter-release lull, and each time it led to much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. It may not be Apple TV this time but it'll be something. Few saw the iPad coming either.
    Jul 1 01:15 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Evaluating Southern Copper's Intrinsic Value [View article]
    Excellent analysis - I'm a Follower from now on.

    Can anyone explain the highly erratic dividends on SCCO? I haven't been following it long enough to figure this out, but the $2.75 paid in November really distorts my calculations.

    Anybody know what's going on there?
    May 20 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Going All-In On SandRidge Energy [View article]
    I've weighed in on SD before. I know the company, the assets, the history and the man. I never touched this stock and I never will.
    Jan 8 06:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Believe Swisher Hygiene Will Decline Dramatically [View article]
    Excellent article. As one who has taken a "high risk, high reward, what the hell" approach to SWSH, I truly appreciate the first comprehensive summary and analysis I've seen on this stock in the months that I've owned it.

    My knee-jerk reaction is to say, "Whoa, he's absolutely right, I'll sell tomorrow". Then I remember the rules of investing, and that I must always at least consider arguing that we're not really dealing with an investment here, simply a trading vehicle. As such, a rational analysis of the true value is less relevant financially than a qualitative analysis of the markets, the sector and the stock.

    So, if the markets are off to a bang for 2013, as they are, and the stock is up 25+% since the beginning of Q4 2012, which it is ... naah. Makes me feel dirty just thinking about it (aggravated by the nature of the business itself).

    By comparison I'll mention CHK, which had infinitely more supporters and believers than SWSH. When the weaknesses in its business plan and the questionable activities of its chairman were revealed in early 2012 the stock took a dive. There was considerable discourse over whether shady dealings meant that one should exit the stock, or whether it was a great opportunity to buy at distressed prices.

    I sold my CHK stock then and never looked back, and will do the same with SWSH. I like to make money, but I like to sleep well at night and feel good about myself, too.
    Jan 4 06:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • USA Graphite Inc: Set Up For Insider Enrichment? [View article]
    This is simply financial Darwinism. Anyone that falls for spam emails touting penny stocks loading up their inbox is going to lose their money anyways, or already has. I only wish that these pump-and-dump scum weren't making any money from the poor idiots that fall for it.

    I do wonder where the SEC is. I submitted my complaint to them a few days after getting the first email. True, a government organization will never move quickly, especially over the holidays, but shouldn't they have the capacity to freeze trading pending an investigation? No one could have any doubt that this is a pump-and-dump, yet the stock continues to trade every day.

    And what about the stock exchanges where it's available? Are they blind to the situation or do they have such strict laissez-faire policies that they don't mess with things like this?

    Clearly I don't understand how a system as regulated and policed as the public markets can let something like this go on. I do know that anything we can do to expose the people involved is a good thing, whether it's the attorneys, the spammers or especially the USGT principals. It's far more than anyone else is doing.
    Dec 27 04:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Closed-End Muni Investors See Dividend Cuts Or Raises In 2013? [View article]
    NQM is my single largest holdings and we've lost 7% since December 7th. I believe that's the largest/fastest decline in this stock ever, so I'm alarmed. Can anyone give me a quick summary of the factors that might have led to this unprecedented decline?
    Dec 17 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QR Energy: Risky But Worth It [View article]
    Actually, G&A means quite a bit more than miscellaneous. From Investopedia: "General and administrative expenses encompass a variety of expenses associated with performing the daily operations in a company. In the company's income statement, these expenses with generally appear under operating expenses. Legal expenses, other professional expenses and executive salaries may also be included."

    And Dr. Jan, with all due respect, G&A is so common in financial circles that it rarely needs explaining. In those cases where I stumble across an acronym that I don't know, I just look it up.
    Dec 13 03:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • QR Energy: Risky But Worth It [View article]
    QRE is one of my largest holdings, in a taxable account, initiated at a variety of prices around $20/share. I'm getting killed. And now this, the change in rules that will allow significantly higher G&A: that's a 500% increase, which is pretty huge. Does anyone know why they've done this, what the money is to be used for? Were we all victims of a bait and switch from their original promise to hold G&A to 3.5% of EBITDA?
    Dec 11 07:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Panic-selling in income producers (I, II) infected the BDC's as well, notably Main Street (MAIN) and Triangle (TCAP), both down more than 10%. Fed meddling seemingly can't hurt their returns, but most names in the popular sector trade well above their net asset values (MAIN is 57% above Sept. 30 NAV after today's decline, TCAP 47%), making them vulnerable to a change in sentiment even if business is doing fine. [View news story]
    Nothing but doom and gloom, but not just because Obama won. We all knew that that was reasonably likely, or at least anyone who could read the news with an impartial eye could. All of the last week's value destruction can't be just the result of us finding out that the polls were right, so what is it?

    Consensus is building that it's a combination of three significant factors: 1) Germany's weakening economy threatens all of Europe's solvency, 2) the election confirms that we'll spend the next four years minmizing our chances of economic recovery from this most-anti business administration, and 3) less than thrilling earnings reports. Germany and the earnings take out tech, earnings and the negative tax implications disrupt MLPs and REITs.

    There will be pops when there is consensus on how to raise taxes ("if" was decided November 6th), and particularly if there's any agreement on managing entitlements. Increasing the federal debt limit and pushing back the fiscal cliff will help stabilize people's attitudes, but will it be enough? None of that will make Germany any stronger or improve next quarter's earnings reports, but at least settling one of the three factors should give us a fighting chance.

    Until those things come to pass and the impact on the markets is clear, I agree with tampat - stay away for now, let this baby settle. It could be another 2-3 months of steady declines.
    Nov 14 06:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: What Next To Buy, And Why? - October, 2012 Mid-Month Update [View article]
    PS: StreetSmart shows NGG's dividend yield as 5.5% based on an annual dividend of $3.11. Interestingly, they also show a quarterly dividend of $2.01, which of course makes no sense except as a reminder to take any data one finds with a grain of salt.
    Oct 17 05:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Mad Method: What Next To Buy, And Why? - October, 2012 Mid-Month Update [View article]

    This is the second article of yours I've read thoroughly, and I like your style of analysis - plenty I can use, and I've become a follower.

    One question re PSEC: I use Schwab's and they compile analyst's ratings, as do others. The six analysts covering PSEC are distributed as 1 buy, 3 holds, 1 underperform and 1 sell. This is about as negative as I've seen since I started checking this page on StreetSmart a few months ago. Any idea why there should be such mixed opinions on one of your favorite stocks?
    Oct 17 05:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment