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  • Apple: Last Year I Said Sell -- Buy Now? [View article]
    There's a weird psychology surrounding AAPL, and that is: if it's not as good as it used to be, then sell it and ignore the fact that at this price, it's a better value than any investment at a similar price to future prospects ratio. It's PEG is below 0.60. GOOG's PEG is >1.0 and AMZN is >4.00.

    Shareholders should be delighted that Steve Jobs is gone. It was Jobs who thought of sharehholders as freeloaders catching a ride on others' hard work and innovation. He refused to buy back stock. He refused to pay dividends. He's the one who was happy to let the giant cash pile grow without any plan to use it. Let Jobs RIP.

    AAPL sharehholders should also be happy that there's competition. Bad things happen inside a monopoly. Competition is getting the folks at Apple up early and keeping them focused..

    AAPL sharehholders should also be happy that AAPL is not rushing new products. There are plenty of examples of one-hit companies languishing below $10/share or worse. Apple can afford to take its time and build something really good and interesting.

    AAPL shareholders should not obsess over receding margins. GOOG's margins have been receding since 2010 and it seems to be a going concern. AMZN has no margins at all and has a PE over 500.
    Mar 13, 2013. 11:23 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency Has The Favor Of Fund Flows [View article]
    Interesting how all analysts, for five years, have been afraid of AGNC as a long term commitment, and all the while AGNC has steadily paid outstanding dividends and risen in price.
    Mar 12, 2013. 04:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Worries Over Apple's Q2 Will Pressure Shares [View article]
    Per Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet: "In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine." Those who think Apple is a great value should be prepared to hold for a long time. The voters are now in charge.
    Mar 1, 2013. 12:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Xerox: An Undervalued And Underappreciated Capital Deployment Opportunity [View article]
    Print by machine on paper is over 500 years old, and so ingrained in daily life that it won't die overnight, but it is dying, and it is dying at the big end first. Which is why Xerox won't ever experience a big surge in capital equipment printer sales. Huge print operations are serious management headaches and heavy cost centers in financial and government institutions. The first step in getting rid of them was to outsource them to companies like Xerox, which became its "services" income. The next step is erosion of need to print large quantities of documents. For example, brokerages print trade confirmations and statements only for those stubbornly refusing electronic ones. Boilerplate on insurance policies is print optional. Credit card billing is print optional. Even the daily newspaper is print optional. I agree that reading a book on paper is a unique and beautiful experience, but I take more and more books on my Kindle. Xerox can continue at its present level for a long time, but there will never be any great revenue surge from large printer or services sales..
    Mar 1, 2013. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Xerox: An Undervalued And Underappreciated Capital Deployment Opportunity [View article]
    Thanks for the link. So, ConnectKey is Xerox's "new technology" product for the future? I suppose there are a lot of offices still depending on print documents. However, many of the features I saw on ConnectKey were on printers when I was working--seven years ago.
    Feb 28, 2013. 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Xerox: An Undervalued And Underappreciated Capital Deployment Opportunity [View article]
    I cry every time Xerox comes to mind. I joined the company in 1969. Joseph C. Wilson was chairman and he had the computer business in his sights. There was no reason to doubt his prospects given that he took the raw technology of xerography and made it a working, profitable global product. Then he died, and what happened next is nothing short of a tragedy continuing to this day. It's an eerie foreshadowing (not a prediction) of Apple.

    Xerox was taken over by bean counters. The creative product inventors and marketing people were de-prioritized. The rest is history.

    If you bought XRX a year ago, you would be losing money. If you bought it in November 2012 when it touched 6, you would be ahead. 8 seems to be the permanent top. 6 seems to be a buy point to trade it, assuming the current crop of bean counters can bail fast enough to keep it afloat.
    Feb 27, 2013. 11:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Worries Over Apple's Q2 Will Pressure Shares [View article]
    AAPL's share price decline is itself doing harm to the company because of its effect on consumer perceptions of the company's products. Apple is indeed becoming more uncool by the day. Negativity, whether justified or not, toward Apple leadership and its ability to innovate and market new products has flooded in from many different quarters.

    Apple management needs to take action to reverse these perceptions. For example, holding onto a huge cash balance without any plans to invest it or return it to shareholders is becoming sheer obstinacy, not good management practice. Also, R&D spending hasn't grown along with cash flow. All together, R&D CAPEX and dividend spending are less than 10% of cash balances and just 2% above the growth of cash flow.

    APPL needs to start corrective action by aiming to reverse the decline of its stock price, or risk that contributing to the decline of perceptions of management, product quality, innovative ability, and coolness.
    Feb 26, 2013. 12:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Apple Exist 3 Years From Now? How Much Will It Be Worth? [View article]
    Every company faces risks to its future, but not every company's risks have been so thoroughly examined and speculated about as have Apple's in the last few months. Where are the detailed assessments of the risks of stratospherically valued Amazon and, for example? No one seems to question their trajectories.
    Feb 23, 2013. 11:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Generator For Portfolio Growth And Dividends Is Generac Holdings [View article]
    Thanks, Outcast. Great info. Hope you never have to use it in a serious way.
    Feb 22, 2013. 10:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Your Generator For Portfolio Growth And Dividends Is Generac Holdings [View article]
    Interesting comment, Outcast. What fuel do you use and how do you expect to remain in operation during an emergency. Gasoline can be scarce during emergencies, but also expensive and dangerous to store. Natural gas supplies might be unavailable during an emergency. Seems like a propane tank might be the solution.
    Feb 20, 2013. 09:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cash Hoards On The Sidelines And The Great Rotation: Old Myths Meet A New Reality [View article]
    I accept the author's premise that the quantity of money available for stocks does not change. It's clear to me that the quantity of that available money allocated to stocks does change.
    Would the author oppose my declaring that if the general level of stock prices (e.g., the averages) rises, it is because more money is being allocated to stocks from other places, and that when people speak of "sidelines", they are talking about those other places?
    During the rally from 9,000 DOW to 14000 DOW, the volume of shares traded has remained low as price levels rise. Doesn't this mean that more money has been allocated to stocks?
    When I see the 10 yr T-bond rate rise along with stock prices, I can't help thinking T-bond investors are re-allocating some of the proceeds from T-bond sales to stock purchases.
    Feb 17, 2013. 08:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Aflac And Japan [View article]
    Two questions:
    1. A quarter or two ago, the CEO talked about new efforts to diversify away from Japan. Have those had impact so far, and what is likely to be the future impact?
    2. They hired a new CFO. Is his job to re-direct the investment portfolio? Any word on his effectiveness so far?
    Feb 14, 2013. 05:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency Shifts Gears To Profit From Fed MBS Purchases [View article]
    Question: will the profitability of the dollar roll trade diminish when more players latch on to the strategy? If so, how much longer can AGNC exploit it? I agree that the increase in spread is the best news in the AGNC report. How long can the wizards at AGNC keep the $1.25 div in the air?
    Feb 10, 2013. 05:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend Investors Should Get Ready To Load Up [View article]
    If you are looking for yield, don't see why you would want GSK beyond the current quarter. They can't cover the current divvy with cash flow, which has been declining for years along with their sales growth, which is now negative. And, not mentioning their growing debt/equity ratio.
    Dec 31, 2012. 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Aflac Profits From Slow-Motion Japanese Divorce [View article]
    The growing free cash flow, rising margins and revenue growth make AFL a winner. I calculate the TTM free cash flow per share as a percent of the stock price. AFL has the highest factor for any of the several hundred issues I track.
    Nov 12, 2012. 05:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment