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  • JPMorgan calls out a bottom on Macau casino stocks [View news story]
    in the same vain Confucius might have said " He who tries to catch a heavy sharp falling knife will get cut and bleed "
    Sep 20 07:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Why Amazon's 'Cash Flow' Is A Trap [View article]
    Often times weak financial performance leads to accounting fraud in order to mask it, see WCOM bankruptcy case.
    I believe AMZN has been on the path of weak financial performance for the past few quarters, the need for debt to finance operations, stock buy backs and expansion will hasten the demise eventually.
    A few more quarters of weak performance (like the eroding FCF, large losses like the one expected in the coming QTR. etc.) and the balance sheet would be scrutinized in a much deeper way by people who now choose to ignore these issues concentrating yet again on future promises.
    WCOM used to be a great fast growing company too until competition shrunk their profits and financial performance deteriorated, the fraud was very quick to come after that happened.
    Sep 20 07:37 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fundamentals Of Stock Ownership: Amazon And Alibaba [View article]
    Every company carries risks, granted.
    The Chinese VIE structure just carries additional risks not found in most other companies.
    BABA's VIE may work great for years to come (maybe decades) but imagine the potential carnage to it and all other similar VIE issues if one of the smaller Chinese companies listed here with a VIE structure goes rogue and fails..
    As for your assertion regarding these , and I quote you: "..highly educated institutional money managers are pumping billions of dollars they cannot afford to lose." - I find it a bit naive and simplistic.
    These same highly educated institutional money managers were right in the thick of things when the internet bubble blew up back in 2000/2001 and again in the financial crisis of 2007/2008 - most are mandated to be fully invested and the fact their livelihood many times is dependent on performance vs. indices makes them "chase" returns which very quickly leads to lack of discipline and taking more risks than warranted.
    I am not saying BABA isn't an intriguing offer , it is 1000 times better than AMZN at current respective valuations, all risks considered, IMHO.
    However, ignoring the huge potential (VIE) risks just because other alternatives are far worse is not advisable.
    There is no one solution of course as each of us carries a different measure of risk aversion, but for your self, try and ask yourself whether you are prepared to weather a plunge of 40-50% in BABA stock just because a Chinese small cap stock with VIE structure suddenly goes rogue and walks away with investors money, wiping out its entire market cap here in the US.
    Sep 20 07:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Why Amazon's 'Cash Flow' Is A Trap [View article]
    What is the rationale behind this purchase (after the major liquidation over the summer?
    Also, what does the demographics of your area have to do with the decision to buy AMZN?
    I think you threw good free money after a really bad stock
    Good luck and I do hope you placed a stop around 320
    Sep 19 11:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The $1 Billion CFO Quiz And Other Developments [View article]
    It is RBC not RBS.
    I read the full report and it feels like someone throwing the dart first and then circles the bullseye around where the dart landed :)
    Very much like 1999/2000.
    He pushes valuation basis now based on 2016 projections (and even they are expensive)
    This will not be meaningful in a week's time, a couple of days and it dies down.
    Sep 19 05:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fundamentals Of Stock Ownership: Amazon And Alibaba [View article]
    Brilliant article that simplifies and puts into a very clear picture the risks associated with both companies.
    Compared with AMZN , BABA is a deep value issue, but then again, that value could evaporate if China decides to close the loophole (not likely to happen anytime soon so perhaps the next few weeks are safe...;) )
    If I had to choose between the two evils I would buy BABA 100 times before I would even consider (and then refuse) to buy AMZN.

    But then, I am glad I don't need to make that choice :)
    Thanks again.
    Sep 19 01:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Fire Phone: A Confirmed Bust [View article]
    Check out who were the largest shareholders in ENRON, WORLDCOM, LUCENT, NORTHERN TELECOM, even CSCO and YHOO before they all imploded in 2001..
    These largest shareholders don't necessarily represent smart money..with large caps they buy because they HAVE to buy and stay in the game, they can't afford to miss out on a market rally even when the red flags are waving strongly in the hurricane wind.
    I forgot, you don't care because you bought AMZN at $5 years ago.
    Watch it give up 250-300 over the next couple of years..just like the names above some 13-14 years ago.
    Sep 18 09:20 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon: An Excellent Short Candidate (Fundamentally, That Is) [View article]
    Shorting the market is easy, making profits shorting the market in the current environment, not so easy :)
    BUT..we are talking about AMZN now not the market..Making a profit shorting AMZN (again and again on spikes) has been one of the easiest lay ups this year both as a market hedge and a speculative play.
    I suspect it will be the same easy lay up for the next year or two regardless of what the market would do.
    As an aside, check out this interview with Bill Fleckenstein..granted this bull market has been awesome but I agree with his assessment and would be very careful here :
    Seth Klarman isn't too trusting either :
    Sep 18 09:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MBIA: A Rare Opportunity In The Municipal Bonds Market [View article]
    From Moody's opinion 7/2/14 :
    According to Moody's, the change in National's (IFS rating A3/negative) outlook status to negative, reflects the
    sensitivity of its overall credit profile to potential losses that could emerge, due largely to its elevated exposure to
    stressed Puerto Rico issuers as a percentage of its capital resources. As of 1Q2014, National had approximately
    $4.8 billion of total gross par exposure to Puerto Rico issuers, which represented approximately 145% of its
    qualified statutory capital (QSC), including approximately $2.5 billion of gross par exposure to Puerto Rico's public
    corporations (75% of QSC).
    National's A3 rating reflects the insurer's substantial stand-alone capital resources, the meaningful delinking from,
    and improving conditions of its weaker affiliates, steady amortization of the legacy book and gradual reduction in
    risk concentrations, and its ongoing efforts to re-start insuring US municipal debt in the primary and secondary
    markets. However, National, like its peers, faces significant headwinds from declining fundamentals in the sector,including still depressed levels of insurance usage, moderate prospective profitability and meaningful legacy risk.
    The change in MBIA Inc.'s (senior unsecured Ba1/negative) outlook status to negative, reflects the heightened risk
    of losses on National's Puerto Rico exposures, and the adverse effect it could have on future levels of tax escrow
    funds to be released, and on dividends from National. In addition, the firm's high debt burden and meaningful asset
    risks, a large share of which remain at its wind-down operations, remain a distinct weakness. Moody's notching
    between MBIA Inc.'s senior debt rating and the IFS rating of its lead insurance subsidiary, National, is four
    notches. This is wider than the typical three notches, reflecting the group's high leverage, and significantly weaker
    credit profile of MBIA Corp., its other substantial subsidiary.
    Sep 18 05:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Short Stocks? [View article]
    Land of Milk and Honey
    Sometimes it is just not worth it :)
    Although I do firmly believe in standing up to bullies and disrespectful people (even when they are right, which is not the case here...)
    You make excellent points and it seemingly falls on deaf ears.
    Regards from NY
    Sep 17 11:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Reasons Amazon Should Buy RadioShack [View article]
    Relax, this is who he is.
    Anything that does not conform with his view is meaningless or LOL at the very least.
    he never actually contributes anything to the discussion apart from citing some claimed purchases many years ago at historic lows as evidence for the future promise of AMZN and refuses to face reality when faced with hard facts.
    The reality is AMZn's financial picture has been deteriorating and its operational execution has caused it to lose the FCF which helped it finance the growth in sales.
    That growth has slowed down to the point that even WMT has managed to grow more in % terms over the past 9-12 month in online sales.
    Give AMZn a few more disastrous quarters like the one coming up in a few weeks and maybe even he will see it...until then indulge and smile :)
    Sep 17 11:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Short Stocks? [View article]
    Your arrogance does not and will not make you right.
    Your math is confused and wrong.
    A little hubris, open mindedness and respect to people who might offer differing opinions may just be able to help you get on in the world where I have seen ones like you come and go more times than you have years.
    Good luck
    Sep 17 11:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Short Stocks? [View article]
    William, you are confused so I will try to explain slowly and carefully...
    $1 move in either dirction is equal in percentage terms no matter what time frame you talk about.
    I did not make an assumption (let alone a foolish one).
    I simply quoted your misguided assertion above : "..A $1 increase in price is a greater % change than a $1 decrease in price, .."

    Once again, and try not to get confused with FACTS here:
    Regardless of the way you get to price change and how long it takes, eventually a certain rise or decline from a base price is exactly equal in percentage terms.
    EVEN in your example above you show that in both scenarios the end result is a $1 difference from the initial price of 100.
    The decline and appreciation of 1 from a base of 100 is exactly the same : 1%.
    You are confusing two different principles in math, but this is not a math lesson.
    Compounding effects are well documented but this is not what you wrote about in your comments and time has nothing to do with anything here (in regard to the % value of an equal move up or down from a certain base).
    Sep 17 10:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon nearly giving away Fire phone [View news story]
    Had you known the same thing are you sure you'd have invested in AMZN? Straight face answer please :)

    From where I'm looking AMZN has been a wonderful short for the past 9+ months.
    AMZN DOWN 18.75% vs, SPY UP 9.7% and QQQ UP 14.19%
    AMZN trails the markets by a "tiny" 28.45% and 32.94% YTD !!

    AMZN has been such a wonderful short opportunity over the past 9+ months that its negative return made the past few years performance MISERABLE vs. the diversified less risky market indices, take a look:

    1 YEAR Total return :
    AMZN +3.83 vs. SPY + 18.29% and QQQ +27.42%
    AMZN trails the markets by a "slight" 14.46% and 23.59%

    2 Year Total return:
    AMZN + 25.22% vs. SPY 42.74% vs. QQQ +45.84%
    AMZN trails the markets by a "tiny" 17.52% and 20.62%

    3 Years total return:

    AMZN + 35.39% vs. SPY + 75.86% vs. QQQ +82.27%
    AMZN trails the markets by a "tiny" 40.47% and 46.88%

    The good news?
    The trip lower has only begun in earnest and we probably have close to 250 points to go lower within the next year or two.
    Sep 17 06:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Good News For Amazon [View article]
    The numbers you allude to are the Channel Advisor numbers which have demonstrated little correlation to actual reported sales growth by AMZN on a quarterly basis.
    It would be interesting to see just how much LOWER AMZN growth rate would be vs. these numbers when they release the next quarter results.
    My estimate is AMZN will not surpass 22% growth which will not be enough to prevent them from showing a net LOSS of over $500 Million.
    I also predict they will come out with lowered guidance for the next quarter.
    The end result would be a big plunge in AMZN stock well below 300.
    Sep 17 06:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment