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  • Natural Gas And The 2015 Hurricane Season: Banking On Death And Destruction Is A Losing Bet [View article]
    "I have heard that "Global Warming" will cause more temperature extremes, not just hot temperatures."

    That's incorrect and not supported by the science.
    May 21, 2015. 12:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And The 2015 Hurricane Season: Banking On Death And Destruction Is A Losing Bet [View article]
    Ignorant people gulled into believing lies about CO2 is a travesty on many levels. I'm sorry you have gotten yourself so misinformed by alarmists that would contemplate such a drastic and pointless sacrifice.

    There is no need to add the crime of genocide to the crimes of lying commited by the climate alarmists.

    But if you want a real solution to global warming, next generation nuclear power is it.
    May 21, 2015. 12:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Share Price Means That Everyone Else Is The Winner [View article]
    "@PCS What is wrong with providing subsidies for something that benefits us all? (zero emission cars)"

    But it doesnt benefit us much a all. They are not "ZEV" as they mostly replace tailpipe with power plant emissions, and plenty of cars now are ULEV.

    Your link wrt fossil fuel 'subsidies' btw is utter rubbish. The authors assign a $5 trillion value to countries NOT imposing a " “Pigouvian” (or “corrective”) tax that reflects the environmental damage associated with energy consumption and an additional consumption tax that should be applied to all consumption goods for raising revenues". They dishonestly label the lack of huge taxes (that is 4 TIMES the cost of energy itself, so a tax rate akin to cigarette taxes) and call the gap a 'subsidy'. What blatant dishonesty!
    May 21, 2015. 12:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Carl Icahn Gets It Mostly Right [View article]
    I own a bit of Apple stock, but I am quite wary of a company close to a trillion dollars in cap being called 'undervalued'. Here's some devil's advocate thoughts.

    Smartphone margin compression: Looking back over the last 20 years of the PC business, we saw a trend of early great gains due to sales increases, then as the market matured, there was consolidation then margin compression. Now PCs are passe.

    Apple has thus far resisted that fate for smartphones by doing everything right and creating even better products. Makers are saturating the capabilities of what people need. And when that happens, consumers will keep their phones longer; longer refresh cycles will reduce demand; margins will thin.
    The very capabilities of these products are what will start limiting growth:
    "worldwide smartphone shipments will reach a total of nearly 1.3 billion units in 2014, representing an increase of 26.3% over 2013. Looking ahead, IDC expects 1.4 billion smartphones to be shipped worldwide in 2015 for a 12.2% year-over-year growth rate. Slower annual growth continues throughout the forecast with unit shipments approaching 1.9 billion units in 2018, resulting in a 9.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2014–2018 forecast period"

    This is unit levels. A 10% growth in units is respectable. Revenues are ASP x units, and profits are revenues x margins. What could kill Apple is if ASPs fall and with it the fat margins Apple enjoys. Margin compression is what turned Dell and HP from wonder stocks to dead money after 2000.

    This hasnt happened so far because Apple has innovated its way forward. But a company is only as good as its last product. But my latest purchase is the Samsung s6, and its better imho than the much-praised iphone6; it's clear that competitors can build great products too. Not only that but now smartphones sport 4 or 8 ARM cores that arent even used most of the time.Samsung stumbled on s5 but recovered with s6. Nokia and RIMM and Motorola all had a heyday once, but stumbed as products missed markets. This market is unforgiving, and anytime Apple stops being differentiating, there are several Chinese copycat Android handset makers ready to take market share.

    I don't expect Apple to crater like Nokia and RIMM did, but the parallels between PC/windows open ecosystem vs Apple mac and the smartphone era of Android diversity vs Applie iPhone is clear: The open system creates a lot of low-margin low-price suppliers that challenge the margins of all the players, including Apple.
    The long-term secular trend is for moderation in growth as every human on the planet gets a smartphone.

    Since the iPhone makes up the bulk of Apple profits (tablets will play a smaller role and will keep growing, PCs are small relative to Apple's hits and flat, etc), how Apple handles the impending maturation of the smartphone market is the #1 factor to consider when asking where Apple market cap will be 3 or 5 years out. I don't believe will be able to expand sales and margins significantly from here - they've run out of customers globally.

    Apple watch is a niche not a knockout. unlike the iphone, they are not coming with something ground-breakingly different from other things out there (samsung gear, pebble, etc), just perhaps a product better for their ecosystem.

    Apple car? A pipedream in a market saturated with incumbents and smart competition (google, Tesla). If nothing else. consider that Apple's profits exceed the profit of every single carmaker *combined*. Icahn is assuming counterfactually that not only will Apple succeed in 1) developing products and 2) selling them at large volume but 3) they will manage to sell products at a vastly different margin than the incumbent players have been able to.

    Given the 16 PE, large cash horde, record of innovation, and the prospects for some growth, Apple may be fairly valued or even undervalued, despite the downside risks ... but $240 a share? Fugedaboutit.
    May 20, 2015. 10:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And The 2015 Hurricane Season: Banking On Death And Destruction Is A Losing Bet [View article]
    "Many coal plants have switched to NG. Since fracked NG has the same carbon footprint as coal (due to fugitive emissions), there is no greenhouse gas savings from the switch"

    This is not true. US CO2 emissions have gone down in recent years, thanks to fracking natural gas. The data is clear.
    Also its much harder to switch a plant and much more costeffective to build a new one with the latest CC turbine technology, which creates further efficiency gains.
    May 18, 2015. 02:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And The 2015 Hurricane Season: Banking On Death And Destruction Is A Losing Bet [View article]
    "Why is the rapid, (humans are sole cause of) climate change argument and its solution always offered as more government control, even totalitarian strictures like the Chinese Communist Party foments?"

    Good question. People-haters gravitate towards a false narrative that makes man the center of evil, and that narrative is a false one of man spoiling nature. In that mindset, the best to keep the pest of mankind down is subject us all to the rigors of totalitarianism.

    The alarmists who preach doom from global warming are 'watermelons' - green on the outside, red on the inside.
    May 18, 2015. 02:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas And The 2015 Hurricane Season: Banking On Death And Destruction Is A Losing Bet [View article]
    "many scientists expect the warming to accelerate in the years and decades ahead as the human population grows on earth."

    The warming trend is only 0.1C per decade! It's scientifically illiterate to think that translates into anything significant wrt heating or cooling requirements in the next few years.

    "population control is the answer. "
    You first.
    May 18, 2015. 02:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's Slow-Motion Strangulation [View article]
    Apple is quite vulnerable long-term; as smartphones mature they will come down in price and margins will compress. Hence the search for the next trick, which they have done quite well - iPad and now the watch (doubt it will be as big as main drivers, but they are doing the right thing by innovating).

    GOOG's problems are different, but like Microsoft's in a way - they depend on desktop for advantage. Android is good for GOOG but not as good as desktop-based search.

    Dominance is fleeting in tech.
    Apr 15, 2015. 09:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Far Could Stocks Fall Monday? [View article]
    "While the market will decide when that point has been reached, our guess is we are not there yet, meaning if Fed President Dudley wants to talk up the stock market on Monday, he will be successful."

    Mission accomplished.

    I am frankly surprised at the reaction today. Iran deal is not a deal, so oil goes up, so market goes ... up?!?

    Bad news wont be good news because Fed is holding off, but wasnt that overdetermined last week by prior weak reports?!?

    So up on energy and dollar losing steam, even though earnings will come in weaker anyway?!?

    Some days you gotta just let Mr Market do his crazy thing. Going up today only sets us up for more disappointment on economics reports later.
    Apr 6, 2015. 04:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Will Bottom In 3 Weeks: A Comprehensive Analysis Of Domestic Oil Production [View article]
    And if WTI stays at 60 for 2 years? What's it worth then?
    Mar 24, 2015. 10:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Residential PV Solar More Trouble Than It's Worth? [View article]
    Exactly. Many hundreds, even thousands, died in the coastal fishing towns in Japan's coast. Are they saying to stop all fishing because of those deaths?
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Residential PV Solar More Trouble Than It's Worth? [View article]
    "Nuclear Power cannot be ramped up or down more very much. It's basically just good for providing "base" power."

    For light water reactors, this is true.
    But next generation liquid salt reactors can be 'load-following' and Charles Forsberg (MIT) came up with a brilliant combined-cycle idea to combine nuclear and gas turbine for peaker generation in a single plant.
    Future nuclear power CAN be ramped up and down.
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Residential PV Solar More Trouble Than It's Worth? [View article]
    That is indeed the real problem. here we are, arguing over how safe or not 1960s technology.

    Might as well be arguing over whether a '68 Chevy gets good mileage.

    Government is killing nuclear through tight regulations that prevents innovation and improvement. Government is also killing nuclear by starving R&D to the point where we have no built a single research reactor in 30 years! The book "Plentiful Energy" is the story of the Integral fast Reactor, a safe, cheaper, cleaner reactor ... killed in the Clinton administration by adamant anti-nuclear activists.

    As for subsidies, nuclear gets a fraction of what renewables have been getting, especially relative to its output. had we had government invest even a tiny amount in nuclear R&D, we'd have the next generation of nuclear power technology up and running.
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Residential PV Solar More Trouble Than It's Worth? [View article]
    "Nukes and safety. What about Fukushima which was supposed to be safe? "

    It survived a near 9pt Richter scale earthquake, and then a Tsunami came and took out backup generators and main power both via flooding. The nuclear plant was basically out of power for several days, preventing cycling of water to keep reactors cools.

    This disaster killed tens of thousands of Japanese, as terrible earthquakes and tsonamis will do . I don't believe there were many (or even zero?) deaths from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    The industry has learned some from the design weaknesses, but the #1 issue was the plant placement. second, was lack of good backup systems. Now, the nuclear power industry in the US has developed a 'quick response' to provide backup power and other equipment within 24 hours.

    Third, though, is that better nuclear design than this 1960s design is possible. Passive cooling systems are in the latest designs, and more tolerant fuel rods are possible than the zirconium.

    We could learn from this and build even safer nuclear plants, or we can run away and hide from a good technology.
    Mar 23, 2015. 12:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Residential PV Solar More Trouble Than It's Worth? [View article]
    Actually, nuclear is only 0.7% efficient wrt U238, which is 100x more abundant than U235. It's more than 100% efficient wrt U235 because nuclear power 'breeds' enough U238 into Pu239 while fissioning the U235, so it generates more power than from the U235 alone. We could do alot better, as in 60 TIMES better, if we had long-cycle breed-n-burn fuel cycles that used up the latent energy in U238. Right now, with our once-through cycles, we throw away about 97% of the usable energy in the used fuel and call it 'waste'.

    We could fix that with new types of nuclear power plants. But that would require nuclear R&D to take us to next generation nuclear power and the anti-nuclear folks have killed that off, like they killed off ANWR for 30 years. We should revive nuclear R&D.
    Mar 22, 2015. 11:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment