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  • Sears Holdings: Outlook Declines for Operations, Improves for Shareholders [View article]
    "GGP (post bankruptcy) is such a wanted company"

    Which analysts have "buys" on GGP?

    There are two dynamics at work. First, there are fewer retailers. Because of department store consolidation there are many malls with more than one Macy's door.

    Second, on-line shopping is growing and will continue to grow. Mall rents generally have a percentage of sales factor. That income is shrinking for operators such as GGP and Simon.
    Jan 22 04:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Schlumberger's 4Q Profit Soars [View article]
    And I agree too. I am long SLB.
    Jan 22 03:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Schlumberger's 4Q Profit Soars [View article]
    On any one stock, neutral would be OK with me too. However, I do not recall seeing a "buy" or a "sell" from them in any report.
    Jan 22 11:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Reasons to Stop Fearing China [View article]
    I agree with much of winnersdon'tquit's post, but I'll add another dimension. Since WW2, many Americans considered "middle class" status to be their birth right. All one had to do was to go down to the plant, or the mill, or the yard, where one's father and uncles worked. He could pick up his union card and be paid at a level where he could have the American dream of a house, two cars, and a boat. Now that western Europe and North American have to compete with China and India, the paradigm has changed. China and India each have middle classes the size of the American middle class, but they will never have the proportion of their populations defined as "middle class" as the western nations.

    Why? In China and in India, a university degree is the ticket to the middle class. Factory assembly line workers are not "middle class" in those countries. This distinction is why the work forces in those countries are more productive than our work force. It is why those nations have the resources to buy western debt. They don't pay assembly line workers according to UAW scale. In this country, when the UAW proved incapable of producing viable products, the government nationalized GM and Chrysler to avoid abrogating union contracts. But how did the government do it? With $65 Billion borrowed from China. How did the government provide aid to states to avoid lay off's of state and municipal civil servants who are better compensated than the tax payers they serve. With money borrowed from China.

    The USA economy, as it is structured from a political standpoint, cannot compete with China's economy. That has moved capital formation, which knows no political boundaries, to the Pacific Rim. That is why the quality of employment, which determines living standards, will decline here while it grows in China and India. That is why I shudder at the thought of the diminished society my granddaughter will inherit.
    Jan 22 11:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Schlumberger's 4Q Profit Soars [View article]
    Has anyone ever noticed that Zack's consistently performs in depth analyses containing numerous facts and figures and then cops out with a neutral recommendation?
    Jan 22 10:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Con Edison Falls Behind Consensus [View article]
    I hold ED for its nearly 5% yield. I believe most of its stockholders do so for the same reason.
    Jan 22 10:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Top Ranked Dividend Champions Yielding at Least 3% [View article]
    I believe PBI's high yield is a product of the market discounting its price as its business is tied to snail mail and other aspects of the last century. At an 86% pay out, the dividend is probably not sustainable.
    Jan 22 06:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beyond BRICs: The New ABCs of Global Investing [View article]
    What happened in Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Greece? Didn't the UK government have to bail out the Royal Bank of Scotland?
    Jan 21 11:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sweet Dividend Yields Found in the Beverage Industry [View article]
    Are you sure these are the rates for withholding on "foreign" dividend payments that are governed by tax treaties? I checked my brokerage account. Withholding on Novartis dividend was 15%.
    Jan 21 11:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears Holdings: Outlook Declines for Operations, Improves for Shareholders [View article]
    "If you think Glacier Bay and Behr are the same as Kenmore, DieHard, Lands End, or Craftsman then what more can I say about your lack of understanding regarding brand value?"

    By way of background, I spent practically my entire career with manufacturers selling to retailers. You are flaunting your vision of retail branding, but your vision in mired in the last century. Even with the 1990's, retailers, thru consolidation, reached a critical mass to where they could become vertically integrated. The objective of today's mega retailers is to develop their own brands. In soft goods, Macy's threw LIZ's brand out of their stores. In hard goods, HD and LOW reduced MAS to the status of a feudal serf living on subsistence despite some formidable brands. How? They did so by using the threat of their own sourcing in addition to the sourcing that they were already doing to force the brands to sell at drastically reduced margins.

    Glacier Bay and Kenmore are not the same. Glacier Bay is on the rise while the sun sets on Kenmore. Do you think "Kenmore" means anything to consumers under the age of fifty? To whom would the vaunted Sears brands have any value? Why do you think Sears brought in branded appliances despite their having been strictly private label for generations? The fact that these brands are associated with Sears probably diminishes them.

    In the 21st century retail paradigm, the consumer goes to the store knowing that the store will back whatever product they sell regardless of the name on it.

    In conclusion, I love visiting Sears stores, going to the Lands End area, and buying the products at 50% to 80% off what was a fair retail to begin with. Most Lands End customers would not enter a Sears store. Sears apparel customers are people who buy clothing only to cover their bodies, having no appreciation for the quality and classic styling of Lands End.
    Jan 21 04:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Beyond BRICs: The New ABCs of Global Investing [View article]

    I agree. Our system will always have flaws and corruption in its execution. However, in much of the developing world, much of what we consider "corruption" is simply the way things get done.

    For this reason, I prefer to invest in "developed world" companies that do business with the "developing world." The managements of those established companies have far greater resources to perform due diligence before investing than investors and analysts here.
    Jan 21 12:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Cramer's Mad Money - The Next Marathon (1/19/11) [View article]
    meshell, on any day any team can beat any other team. So you made money on one investment.

    BTW, I bought my first Japanese name plate vehicle in 1989 and haven't looked back. If it weren't for what you call "japcrap" we would be paying $50,000 for UAW vehicles that would self-destruct after two years, so that people whose only skill is to tighten lug nuts could make over $80,000 per year.
    Jan 21 08:35 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears Holdings: Outlook Declines for Operations, Improves for Shareholders [View article]
    Glacier Bay is a brand that HD has developed for itself. Behr paint is a "brand" made by Masco, but HD owns it in an economic sense.

    To the same point, it has been a good many years since Sears recognized that its private labels could not carry the day and began carrying branded white goods (appliances), electronics, and apparel.

    So far, you have made a case for what Sears and KMart will not be. What is the plan for what they will be?
    Jan 21 08:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sweet Dividend Yields Found in the Beverage Industry [View article]
    chowder, please understand that for the last 20 years my knowledge of taxes has been restricted to my own return and TurboTax. Having said that, I am not aware of any general limitation of 15%. The only exception is that if the foreign government withheld more than the percentage prescribed under tax treaty, the American tax payer would have to file with the foreign government for the excess. I have never held Nestle, but Swiss withholding has never been a problem with dividends received from Novartis.

    The following is from the IRS web site:
    Jan 21 07:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sweet Dividend Yields Found in the Beverage Industry [View article]
    chowder, don't we (USA taxpayers) get a dollar-for-dollar credit for foreign taxes withheld? Pay now or pay April 15.
    Jan 20 07:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment