Seeking Alpha


Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • General Electric: Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me [View article]

    I agree with your review. Time for Immelt to go and time to choose some new directors on the Board.

    Actually, Immelt should have been pushed out a couple of years ago. GE needs a fresh strategic perspective and that means not promoting someone from within the "culture" of GE.
    Apr 18, 2015. 06:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Netflix Shares Hit All-Time High On Subscriber Growth [View article]
    As to the Cuban 50s cars, BlueOkie, you are right. They are NOT stock and many parts may have been cannibalized from other foreign cars.

    No one has pointed out P&G's CEO's cost-cutting strategy.

    It is NOT a CEO strategy, it is an analyst's function to cut a budget by 10% or 20%. Cost-cutting should NOT be incented by an executive bonus structure. Anyone can cut a budget - no creativity there.
    Apr 16, 2015. 11:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance - All The Good News Has Been Priced In Already [View article]
    There is nothing about the technology Walgreen's uses to support its core business. THAT is the key strategic ingredient that makes Walgreen's attractive AND a long-term hold.

    The base of technology - the Intelligent Infrastructure that supports the Customer subscription data base (they can fill anyone's prescription at any location) is based on having a satellite connection to each store.

    A couple of decades ago, they strategically applied technology to support their core business. As it has been perfected, while others needed days or weeks to open up a new branch store, Walgreens was opening branches one every two days, then one a day, and then one every 12 hours. All the store technology (the cash registers, server, terminals) was standardized and it really became a cookie-cutter approach to open stores.

    Now, with the acquisition, they can change out all the in-store technology to what they already have standardized and get these acquisitions on-line and tied into their well-defined system-wide applications. Economies of scale and cutting costs - YOU BET.

    I wrote a whitepaper years ago on "Aiming For Quality in Technology Investments" and used Walgreens as a good example.

    The bottom line is that they understood how to apply technology strategically to their business and now they (and the stockholders) are reaping the rewards of their computerized operations. Some stodgy executives were against spending money on adding technology - but all claimed to be the one who approved it when it became successful. (Success has many fathers)

    After they set all the prescriptions up on a satellite-based system, they added other applications like inventory control and cash management. At the end of the day they could get the actual cash amounts at each store and that application alone brought $8,000,000 down to the bottom line which they never discussed as a benefit to having satellite-based technology linking the stores to a centralized processing point (data center). It was like finding money.

    So Walgreens is a good buy - based on the technology they have in-place that supports their business operations.
    Apr 15, 2015. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nokia Seals $16.6B Alcatel-Lucent Deal [View article]
    It is very sad to see Lucent - who was already picked off by Alcatel, to now be picked up by Nokia. If anything, Lucent should have been the one buying up Alcatel and Nokia. What happened? Bell Labs and AT&T Network Systems had so many experts and patents. They had so much talent. They didn't have good leadership.

    The demise of America? You can see it right here.

    Lucent should still be filing a new patent a day (if not more) and hiring college grads with Engineering, Software and Computer Science degrees.

    Instead, graduates today can choose from several lame-skilled career paths of Barista at Starbucks (duh,,,I know how to make coffee), retail (Do you want fries with that?), and social media expert (Oh, I know how to Twitter and paste pictures on a Facebook page)

    Bell Labs was a premier R&D company that invested a LOT in its people.

    "Invest in training" meant sending people to 2-4 week classes on various cutting-edge engineering, telephony, or software design topics. It meant tuition reimbursement and encouraging people to go back for a Masters Degree or even a PhD. ALL while you were on full salary & benefits.

    Today, "invest in training" means a company will sign you up for a one-hour "Free seminar" on something. Yeah, that's INDEPTH training today- a one-hour webinar.
    Apr 15, 2015. 08:22 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nokia Seals $16.6B Alcatel-Lucent Deal [View article]
    Just saw the story about the CEO giving every employee $70K a year and taking less than for himself on FOX News.

    We know one thing - that will NEVER be a trend across many companies.

    Too many CEOs and their boards (which are made up of CEOs from other companies) are not focused on employees. If they were, they would have never let the compensation get so out of hand where a CEO makes 1000 times more than some of his or her employees.

    (i.e. $40,000,000 vs. $40,000)
    Apr 15, 2015. 07:57 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lawsuit filed over Walgreen-Boots Alliance merger claims [View news story]
    I agree JD

    I wish I would have bought more on that dip, but NO ONE should be complaining about how the stock has rebounded.

    It would be interesting to hear the details of the case. There are so many other companies that should be sued for poor performance before Walgreen's.
    Apr 14, 2015. 08:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nokia Confirms Advanced Merger Talks With Alcatel-Lucent [View article]
    Bob 123
    The IT people did not need a union - or so they thought. I said way back in 1982 when I was at Illinois Bell that the strongest union would be a computer/IT union because they could be stronger than the Teamster's Union because they could just go and shut off the computers and walk out. Companies figured that as well and made EVERY IT person a "management" person. A great example of "I don't need a union" were all the software and hardware engineers at Bell Labs. My skills are so great - they could never replace me - well, they did with 1000s of H-1Bs.

    The H-1B is NOT the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs as the proponents of opening up the quotas on H-1Bs would like you to believe. 99.9% of the offshore talent being brought in are mediocre at best and marginal at the least, but they are all brought in to bring down salaries and job openings for US citizens.

    AND I disagree with you Bob about the Unions on this issue- they could have opened up their mouths, but they all stood stone silent.

    What was even worse were all the professional associations, guilds and other organizations that all wanted dues from engineers, IT software programmers and IT Managers. They stood silent as well. Where was the IEEE? The AITP? The IEC? And all those other organizations supposedly focused on engineers, IT programmers, and software developers?
    Apr 14, 2015. 04:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nokia Confirms Advanced Merger Talks With Alcatel-Lucent [View article]
    Bob 123
    You make some valid arguments and some I actually agree with-
    HOWEVER - how many times a month do YOU go to Wal-Mart to shop? (I never do).

    Too many people talk about "unions" and all the benefits they have for middle-class and yet those same people have parked their SUVs (and not ALL American-made either) in the Wal-Mart store and buy all their goods there "because they are cheaper".

    I remember the "Buy American" bumper stickers on people's cars and yet you would see all of them pulling into the local Wal-Marts because "their stuff is cheaper".

    So you can't complain about one thing, when you support the foreign-made goods by going to Wal-Mart every week. What I saw in many Union workers is that they want you to support THEIR industry but when it comes to them supporting others, its like - NO WAY am I buying this "over-priced stuff", I'll just go buy it at Wal-Mart.

    I DO think we need to make more things here in the US, but we also DON'T need self-interested Unions where their real primary focus is to sustain their salaries on the backs of the workers and manipulate elections to get politicians who cater to them and their lobbyists.

    So before you start focusing on the poisonous air and rancid critters in the water in other countries, look at the political pollution the unions have made in the national economy by holding up progress on good deals and reforms because they were a detriment to sustaining the power of the unions. That's JUST AS RANCID.

    AND P.S.. - I think some of our trade agreements have shot us in the foot as well.

    Along with the abuse of the H-1B program which has brought in a LOT of cheap, skilled labor that has killed off so many good-paying jobs in IT and Engineering.

    Many people who had good high-paying jobs in IT are now looking for work and settling for jobs paying 50-70% LESS than what they were making at previous jobs. Funny how no unions protested those jobs being cast off to foreign workers both out-of-country as well as in-country. Where were all the Unions then? And these IT and Engineering jobs were the future of this country - not the Industrial age auto-industry jobs that we spent BILLIONS to bail out.
    Apr 14, 2015. 01:08 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Nokia Confirms Advanced Merger Talks With Alcatel-Lucent [View article]
    Too bad Toyota is not spending that $1 Billion in the US to build a car plant.

    That big of an investment would have really helped some region go from stagnant to healthy and create REAL jobs and not the part-time, minimum wage jobs that retail and Starbucks create.
    Apr 14, 2015. 08:06 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Weak China Trade Data Adds To Growth Concerns [View article]
    Studebaker Hawks were a very stylish car for their time. They put a '57 Chevy to shame as far as classic style. (Comparing a '57 Hawk to a "57 Chevy coupe)
    Apr 13, 2015. 03:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Weak China Trade Data Adds To Growth Concerns [View article]
    Seeking Beta
    I don't see Fiorina as a major candidate. Her track record at HP is enough to cross her out early in the game.

    I see Walker as more of a real candidate.

    As for this upcoming election being one to elect on "gender" - how about something more important like real qualifications, experience, and military background? Future Presidents should all have some type of prior military service. That should be a required qualification.
    Apr 13, 2015. 11:22 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Weak China Trade Data Adds To Growth Concerns [View article]
    Blue Okie
    Hell has frozen over. The Cubs will finally win the World Series.
    Apr 13, 2015. 11:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Weak China Trade Data Adds To Growth Concerns [View article]
    They did build wagons -they even built some buggies for the President in the late 1800s.

    A great weekend trip if you can get to IN (not sure how far from NY or PENN,)

    Hudson made a Presidential Phaeton (car - big 4 door convertible) for some trip to Panama for Hoover.
    Apr 13, 2015. 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Weak China Trade Data Adds To Growth Concerns [View article]
    About time GE stock started moving. Shareholders have been waiting a LONG time while paying Emmelt a LOT of money.

    Went to the Studebaker and Hudson Museums in Indiana over the weekend. Saw some great examples of American automobiles. A MUST-SEE if you are around that part of the country. Read the histories of both companies. (Studebaker started out building wagons in the 1800s - long before cars)

    (Drove there on Thursday and we were just ahead of the tornado (F4) that hit in Illinois. Worst driving conditions I was ever in. Hard rain, fog, and high winds. You could not see more than 50 feet in front of you and we still had some idiots driving 65 MPH AND with no headlights on.)
    Apr 13, 2015. 07:18 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: LaFarge, Holcim Name Olsen As CEO [View article]
    John K
    The Samsung-BBRY partnership is a much more KILLER partnership than the highly touted (and hyped) IBM-Apple partnership.

    I think both Samsung and BBRY are VERY aggressive and will come out with some slick features especially in the enterprise security area which is lacking in most companies. They have some great Intellectual Property between them.
    Apr 9, 2015. 09:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment