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  • Verizon: Does The Price Growth Compensate For The 4.89% Yield?  [View article]
    I prefer T to VZ as well for its better yield and lower debt. I also like that T is the sole owner of its wireless assets. For additional exposure to wireless, I hold VOD as a wireless pure play (VZ wireless w/o legacy land lines) and BCE for international exposure.
    May 20, 2012. 10:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Favorite Personal Products Companies  [View article]
    All of the companies mentioned here are winners. Each has durable competitive advantages that have been proven with time. Several compete with one another: JNJ vs. PG in mouthwash; PG vs. KMB in tissues; PG vs. CL in toothpaste.

    Most important to me is that each owns its "franchise". Their brands draw customers into stores (including Wal-Mart). They cannot be bullied by Wal-Mart or any other retailer because, absent their brands consumers will shop elsewhere. I own them all.

    Long: CL, JNJ, KMB, PG
    May 20, 2012. 09:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Man's Search For A Safe And Growing Stream Of Income - Part 3  [View article]
    stoxfox, you raise valid points. However, you have also raised some questions.

    Where are the fixed income investments paying 5 to 7% that will allow a retiree to sleep nights?

    What is the yield to worst on AAA municipals? Would investing in municipals with "good" yields allow you to sleep nights?

    Can you really sleep nights holding CEF's of CMO's considering interest rate risks coupled with default risks?
    May 17, 2012. 02:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio For DIYs: A First Quarter Update And A Look At The Future  [View article]
    Chowder, as I've stated, notwithstanding MCD, Morningstar seems to point to "cheap" not "value". As I write this, MCD is trading below 90. I have not pulled the trigger as I an afraid the market still has further to fall. I'm not selling, but I'm not about to buy either.
    May 17, 2012. 02:14 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio For DIYs: A First Quarter Update And A Look At The Future  [View article]
    Dave, I agree with you. I will not claim to understand Morningstar's methodology totally. However, it seems to point to "cheap" rather than "value" (not withstanding MCD), IMHO. However, I get it free with the one account my wife still has with Merrill Lynch.

    Sheldon
    May 17, 2012. 02:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • One Man's Search For A Safe And Growing Stream Of Income - Part 3  [View article]
    I hold several of the picks: BCE, HON, NVS, RDS.B. I also am in MLP's (other than SXL) and utilities (other than SO) to boost average yield. For "ethical" reasons, I will not own a tobacco company.

    I take issue with CLX. Their balance sheet is a house of cards. One hiccup, and it comes crashing down. KO had their issue with the "New Coke" that tasted like a cheap imitation of Pepsi. JNJ has had their issues. PG had their too absorbent Rely (toxic shock syndrome) tampon. The management of CLX is not in a league above those consumer staples guys to think they can finance a business with only debt, leaving zero margin of error.
    May 17, 2012. 01:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio For DIYs: A First Quarter Update And A Look At The Future  [View article]
    Everything Morningstar says about MCD is positive. Four stars; fair value of 100; low uncertainty; wide economic moat. However, Morningstar gives MCD a "consider buy" at 80. Morningstar gives PBI the same four star rating with, according to them, high uncertainty and NO economic moat. They give PBI a "consider buy" at about a 10% decline in market price which is the same as their discount for MCD. I'm not sure I follow Morningstar's logic.
    May 16, 2012. 04:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio For DIYs: A First Quarter Update And A Look At The Future  [View article]
    Dave, you're right in using a recent starting point. That I acquired MCD in 2009 at 54 to 55 is probably not relevant to what I can or cannot do today. The pullback from 102.22 and the analysts who put targets in the 107 to 110 range are more relevant today. Still, I'd like some margin of safety. Given recent volatility, I'm waiting for under 90. Then I'll pull the trigger.

    Sheldon
    May 16, 2012. 02:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Portfolio For DIYs: A First Quarter Update And A Look At The Future  [View article]
    Dave, my thanks as well for an excellent article that puts things into context. I'm also looking at pull backs, especially in MCD. I'd like to add to my position below 90. The issue, for me, is that my existing positions were accumulated at prices from 54 to 74, with an average less than 59. On the other hand, several analysts have put price targets as high as 109 on it. This is one of those decisions to be made when confronted by it.

    Sheldon
    May 16, 2012. 09:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Total Make For A Good Long-Term Investment?  [View article]
    You can obtain a dollar-for-dollar credit for foreign withholding. Just don't buy stocks with foreign withholding for tax advantaged accounts.
    May 11, 2012. 08:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jim Cramer's 6 Favorite Dividend Picks With Excellent Gross Margins  [View article]
    Gross Profits on service companies (WM and EPB) are meaningless. Of course they have high gross profits. Neither they nor their competitors have any costs of sales.
    May 10, 2012. 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald's Has Powerful Hidden Free Cash Flow  [View article]
    Dumb Money, you're not dumb at all. MCD and GOOG both trade at the perceived discounted value of their earnings streams. Book values have nothing to do with those valuations. Adding MCD's real estate would be double counting. Real estate has a value only in the case of a failing retail concept that may have good locations. MCD is anything but a failing concept.
    May 8, 2012. 09:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eli Lilly's Valuation May Prove To Be A Good Investment Opportunity  [View article]
    I wouldn't compare Zyprexa's sales off patent to those during patent exclusivity. While patent protected, sales were to patients at high markups. Off patent, the drug's principal customers are PBM's. The margin percentage on selling to PBM's may be half that of selling to patients. Therefore, sales volume may have gone down 60%, but gross profits on the drug may have gone down 80%.
    May 7, 2012. 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Dividend Stocks With Excellent Gross Margins  [View article]
    Drug and technology companies such as those listed here are dependent upon successful R&D. R&D is not a component of gross margin, but R&D requires gross margins to fund it. Therefore, without looking at R&D in such companies, both from its cost and its likelihood of success, gross margin is important but incomplete. Quoting Katie Couric (albeit in a different context), its like send a woman for a mammogram and x-raying only one breast.
    May 7, 2012. 08:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eli Lilly's Valuation May Prove To Be A Good Investment Opportunity  [View article]
    LLY may be a good speculation if what the author states as things to come, come to fruition. However, an investor should realize that it is principally on the come.
    May 7, 2012. 08:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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