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  • All-day breakfast to be tested at McDonald's [View news story]
    IMO the egg McMuffin is the best tasting item on the menu. Finally a smart move.
    Mar 30, 2015. 11:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Remicade biosimilars launched in Europe [View news story]
    My philosophy is to own the biggest and long term best companies in a variety of industries. JNJ fits that criterion for the pharma business in my opinion. Its market cap is about 30% larger than Pfizer, the second largest. Its trailing PE is a reasonable 17.6. Its beta is a comfortable .94. Dividend is amply covered and has been rising steadily of years. Products cover a wide range - not limited to the vagaries of the more narrowly drug focused companies.
    To me it is a ideal core holding for a conservative divided portfolio.
    Feb 25, 2015. 11:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Makers of pricey drugs working on new payment model [View news story]
    According to Dartmouth Medical School there are approximately 170 to 200 million individuals infected with Hepatitis C in the world (about 3.3% of the world's population).
    There are 3 to 5 million individuals in the United States alone. Yet Gilead Sciences is charging $84,000 for a course of treatment to patients in the United States. Many insurance carriers are balking at this price--especially since Gilead is charging far less in Europe and even less in India ($300 in India). Their argument is that it saves expensive liver transplants.
    This is a specious argument, because there are only about 6,000 liver transplants performed annually in the U.S. and there about 17,000 on the waiting list (According to Columbia University's Department of Surgery). Most patients will die before receiving a liver transplant simply because there aren't enough donors. 3 to 5 million individuals in the United States and 170 million or more world wide seems to me to be a pretty substantial market.
    Why would a company condemn all these people to death by holding out for a massive short term profit margin? The incremental cost of producing a drug once the R & D is done is pretty small. The potential profit to be made by curing the millions of sufferers of the disease are huge. By the way Gilead didn't do the R & D on this drug. They bought a smaller company which had done the original research. Gilead’s experimental drug was bought through its $11 billion acquisition of Pharmasset.
    Feb 19, 2015. 03:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Makers of pricey drugs working on new payment model [View news story]
    When Apple develops a new product it costs big money. Apple does't expect to get it back by selling limited number of iPads at extremely high prices. They recover their costs + a good profit by selling millions of iPads at more modest prices. This system has worked wonderfully for them.
    I can't understand why a drug company wants to limit their cure to a small group of people who can pay extremely high prices. Why not offer the cure to the thousands who need it at a reasonable price?
    It seems to me that is a more rational way (and humane) to operate and should be more profitable for the company in the end.
    Feb 19, 2015. 11:14 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fast-food chains could feel aftershock from Wal-Mart announcement [View news story]
    Stagnant or declining real income for the bottom half of all workers in recent years has meant less money for them to spend on food and everything else. I take this move as a positive for MCD and the overall economy. Henry Ford knew that workers needed good wages if they were going to be automobile customers. The same is true for any other product.
    Feb 19, 2015. 10:05 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pennsylvania governor proposes new tax on nat gas extraction [View news story]
    Extraction industries do their work, remove whatever it is they are mining or drilling for, pay as little tax as possible, do as as much environmental damage as they can get away with and leave. They leave their messes behind. I have lived in Pennsylvania all of my 84 years and have seen it all with the coal companies and now the gas companies. In the end the citizens pay the bill for the clean up. The companies are long gone. Look at a cancer map of the United States and you will see where the coal and gas industries have had their greatest operations.
    Feb 12, 2015. 08:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pennsylvania governor proposes new tax on nat gas extraction [View news story]
    This tax will bring Pennsylvania closely in line with West Virginia. In fact the proposal is modeled on West Virginia's existing extraction tax laws.
    Feb 12, 2015. 11:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Buy Into A Changing Of The Guard At McDonald's [View article]
    MCD total revenue 2014 - $27.49 billion.
    Sonic total revenue (Aug. 2014 statement) - $552.35 million.
    So Sonic has total revenue of about 2% of MCD's.
    Yes, Sonic is growing faster than MCD. So what? The comparison is not really meaningful.
    In my immediate vicinity, there are four busy McDonalds. There is one Sonic location. I never see more than one or two cars at Sonic. I can't believe that it will manage to stay in business very much longer. It has been open for about a year and a half so far. I'm very glad I am not an investor in it..
    Feb 11, 2015. 11:55 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Europe's 3-Way Poker Hand, Greek Weakness Is Actually Strength [View article]
    Thanks Pastadoc.
    The ordinary Greek citizen has no vested interest in saving the necks of the EU bankers. They have endured years of austerity and where has it gotten them? More austerity.
    Similarly in the good old U.S. of A., ordinary citizens have paid the price to bail out our large banks while earnings of the middle and lower classes have stagnated or worse. At the same time our upper tier of wealthy citizens have found ways to conceal income and evade taxes much as have the upper class Greeks.
    Feb 10, 2015. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Is Still A Cash Machine With An Attractive 3.7% Dividend - Resist The Urge To Sell [View article]
    MCD is about 10% of my portfolio. I have owned it several times over a period of years. Every time I have sold it I have regretted it later. At present I plan to stick with it. The dividend looks rock solid. Selling would create a taxable event - and then what would I reinvest in?
    Most of the solid dividend payers I own are paying less. MCD is certainly aware of their problems and they can work through them from a position of great financial strength.
    Jan 30, 2015. 02:39 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency declares $0.22 dividend [View news story]

    I'm afraid that you have it backwards. Additional bidding to purchase US Treasury paper will push rates down. Not up. (Remember QE?).
    At present there are almost no inflationary forces in the US or Europe. The only countries with major inflation are basket cases like Venezuela, Greece, Russia and a few others where the locals who can do so are converting their money into dollars as fast as possible.
    Jan 21, 2015. 02:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Royal Bank Of Canada's Oil Problems [View article]
    In the past few weeks I have sold all my TD, RY and BMO. It isn't that I think that they won't survive and continue to pay dividends. I agree with the positive comments about Canada's more conservative banking regulations and bankers.
    However, the risk in all of these stocks has surely increased. At best they look like dead money for a good while.
    Since the world economy seems to be in a slow or no-growth mode and energy prices in a severe slump, I believe that investments in US Dollar denominated stocks are a safer bet for now and probably the next year or two. A hefty reserve of US dollars is also nice to have when other currencies are so weak.
    Jan 21, 2015. 09:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Electric: There Is No Safer Place Than In The Eye Of The Storm [View article]
    GE's shares and those of every other company are affected more by the overall market than by what Jeffery Immelt or any other CEO does. Richjoy correctly noted that GE declined farther than the market in the last bust. However, the average stock took a 56% hit. That includes companies run by geniuses and those run by dolts. I think it is more productive to either move into more cash or at least into broad market index ETFs or funds when the storm clouds are gathering.
    Pinning you hope on the actions of individual executives is futile IMO.
    I don't own GE and not planning to any time soon.
    Jan 15, 2015. 09:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Genuine Parts Co. For The Dividend If You Dare [View article]
    Long time long on GPC. One of my most consistent holdings. I agree that it has gotten pretty expensive, but lighten up? No way. It is a taxable account and why pay cap gains on it. It is a wonderful company which has paid dividends without a cut since sometime back in the 1930s.
    Jan 9, 2015. 10:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Market Valuation: Are U.S. Equities Overvalued? [View article]
    I wonder why you consider interest rates artificial?
    Regardless of what central bankers may, do interest rates are finally determined by the market. When economies are sluggish, businesses don't want to borrow, consumers don't use their credit cards and bankers see no need to bid for deposits. Banks have plenty of cash-to the extent that they are offering next to nothing to acquire more. In fact some banks are charging customers to hold their money.
    There doesn't seem to be any reason for rates to rise until the world economy pulls out of its slump. That may take a pretty long time.
    Jan 1, 2015. 05:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment