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  • Tesla Manages To Lose $19,810 Per Car Sold [View article]
    This 'issue' ($ lost per car sold) and whatever usefulness / misrepresentation of data it presents, is actually thanks to Tesla's own logic and 'story'. They are supposedly maxed out on current production scales, and yet are still not turning a profit...

    Okay, so lets talk about the burn rate, then, and what it is going to take to get to break-even, which is absolutely tied to numbers of cars sold / capacity. Which - surprise - is something they don't want to talk about, especially with the rash of competitors on the horizon. Historically, profitability in the auto industry is STRONGLY tied to capacity. 80-85% of capacity is generally the range where manufactures start seeing net profits. Musk has, in the past, talked about 50% growth rates (and 500,000 units - which is just not in the medium-term cards, clearly) but these days is shy on absolute numbers and eventual unit sales, and production targets. A couple of years ago, analysts were talking about 300,000-500,000 units by 2020... If THAT is the actual break-even range, wow. That is a long road.
    Nov 4, 2015. 06:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More pollution problems at VW [View news story]
    We are going to (eventually) find out just how rotten VW's management is... Just me, but I'd wait for more transparency before jumping on the VW train (even though its superficially looking really good at this price point). The former CEO has embarrassed himself over and over with ridiculous statements, and his attempts to characterize this as a few engineers acting outside the jurisdiction of their jobs is an outright lie. He gives every impression of a 1970's-era Detroit buffoon and is simply not a credible person. (Get ready for shareholder-holder lawsuits.) I'm fairly shocked at the level of incompetence and imagine VW won't hold-up well to a thorough regulatory / EPA examination. Just my opinion.
    Nov 4, 2015. 10:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volkswagen: It's Prudent To Scale Into A Long Position [View article]
    Indeed, there is going to be a bloodbath at the upper-management level (as well there should be). I'm not sure this point is being made strongly enough, but diesel is HUGE in Europe... accounting for around 85% of new car sales.

    In my opinion, this will be an ongoing and drawn out scandal. Lower Saxony, owns (I believe) 20% of VW, and with lower (negative?) corporate profits come lower income for the state, pensioners, etc. and all sorts of political pressure that is unknown in the US. There is also the political influence of the Greens, which account for roughly 8% of elected seats in German national parliament, and who have similar influence in much of the Eurozone. They are going to tear into this with a vengeance.
    Sep 23, 2015. 12:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China leads Asian markets lower [View news story]
    From the article - first bullet point: '...panic selling in China continues.' I'm no expert, but I'd say at least a few people are panicking.
    Aug 24, 2015. 09:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends Matter, But Not For The Reason You Think [View article]
    Nice take on an often unsung benefit of dividends. You are completely right about risk management and diversification... And it does seem that the majority of dividend debate gravitates towards personal preferences, which can still be interesting, but yup, not exactly hard-nosed analysis. Over the years I have read a good deal of the research on the topic, but have had a couple of investing experiences that clearly weigh in favor of dividends as risk management tools, which are not touched on in the research I've read:

    The most significant, was when an international company I was an investor in was bought-out. Simply put, the process of the shareholder payouts was fraught with delay, incompetence, SEC involvement, etc. and thus profoundly impacted my rate of return - whereas if the company had a regular dividend much of this 'shareholder value lag' (or whatever you'd care to call it) would have been mitigated.

    This was particularly annoying as I was denied other investing opportunities at the time. It was one of those experiences where you realize just how much trust in the system is misplaced, and how much theoretical research misses the facts on the ground.

    Aug 15, 2014. 10:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Day I Sold Everything [View article]
    If you want some unsettling news compare the PE ratios of US companies with the their EU counterparts... (In general) US large cap companies are topped out using historic valuation models, while equivalent EU large cap companies have roughly 50% upside. Like the author, I'm also down to tacit equity holdings, but definitely interested in good foreign buys.
    Jul 25, 2014. 03:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: Whoa, Just $5 Per Share But I Will Buy More [View article]

    A few years ago I sometimes read the message boards on yahoo financial to see the panic as novice (and other) investors came to the realization that their alleged rock star Biotech company was going under, and nothing was going to save it...

    The most tragic-funny comment was made by someone who wondered "what is going to happen when they run out of money?" Sounds like some schadenfreude on my part, but there are fundamental lessons to be learned in viewing the self-deception of investors, and yup, reminding yourself that stocks go to zero!
    Feb 5, 2014. 10:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: Whoa, Just $5 Per Share But I Will Buy More [View article]
    Six months ago, I might have been tempted by a $5 price... for about 30 seconds. Then I'd start to remember all of the management subterfuge.

    Take two examples out of hundreds: The huge upside of "stores within stores" (Remember that inane hype? They don't even mention that supposed core strategy anymore... hmmm.), and of course the outright lies to investors about JCP not needing to raise more capital (and then doing the exact opposite within days).... Seriously, if there are not a dozen shareholder lawsuits, SEC complaints, restated financials, etc brought to the surface in the next 6 months I'll eat my hat.
    Feb 5, 2014. 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C.Penney: A Case Study In Poor IR, Time For Ullman To Step Down [View article]
    Companies rot from the top down, and its far past the time to examine JCP's Board of Directors...

    For starters, they have an ex-RadioShack CEO(!) and the President of Southern Methodist University... And then of course two JCP insiders... that's 40% of your board already. Seeing a trend starting to develop?
    Feb 3, 2014. 02:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yahoo Beats Expectations But Falls Anyway [View article]
    Maybe investors are reacting to the new yahoo email design? (That's only partly a joke)
    Oct 17, 2013. 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Still Has Further To Fall - $7 Per Share Should Be A Ceiling, Not A Floor [View article]
    Thank you... I get that seekingalpha types (like me) enjoy the horse race elements of JCP, but yes, step back for a moment and take a look at the market's assessment. I can't think of another company in retail that has such low credibility - in all meanings of the term.
    Oct 9, 2013. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Dilutes By 30%, Avoid At All Costs [View article]
    Are you aware that shorting a stock - even if you are 99% sure of its future movement - is still a decision only to made in context with a much larger investment strategy - and there is simply no way an outsider such as yourself could ever be privy to such a strategy unless the investor invited you into their portfolio?

    In other words, comments like yours - 'risk your own money or don't write' - are easy to ignore...
    Sep 27, 2013. 03:12 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Dead Money, Get Out While You Can [View article]
    Thanks for posting that link. I don't know what is more pathetic, the fact that JCP is engaging in this borderline illegal practice, or the company's official response.

    In fact, there is no 'confusion' in price, JCP... the evidence is in, and you have been caught.
    Sep 26, 2013. 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Dead Money, Get Out While You Can [View article]
    For what its worth, I agree... JCP's management is likely to make some sort of 'good news' announcement after this titanic drop (if they don't, the company is even more guileless than I thought possible), which will probably temporarily bolster the price.

    If you didn't see this, some funds are apparently already viewing $10 as a Buy (albeit with some big reservations).
    Sep 26, 2013. 10:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Dead Money, Get Out While You Can [View article]
    I had understood that JCP had already levered their RE via collateral to loans made by Goldman... am I wrong? Ergo, there is no real estate play of any significance to be made.
    Sep 24, 2013. 03:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment