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  • Chipotle Look Out Below  [View article]
    >>>But, millions of local privately owned restaurants also do not have " centralized product acquisition", so what's the difference?<<<

    Owners who care.
    Dec 29, 2015. 07:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Mills Is Halfway Through The Year... Is It A Buy, Sell Or Avoid?  [View article]
    Vince, you may be right regarding K. If they don't sell cereal, they have only frozen waffles and cereal bars. It may reflect in their lower margins. However, if we look to GIS, their margins are comparable to those of PEP, another cereal manufacturer, with high margins.

    Long: GIS, PEP
    Dec 28, 2015. 07:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • General Mills Is Halfway Through The Year... Is It A Buy, Sell Or Avoid?  [View article]
    vince, it's a sad commentary any time a manufacturer must rely on private label business. It really means that the manufacturer lacks the capacity to develop and market proprietary products. I don't know if Post or what was the private label portion of the former Ralcorp is the bigger manufacturer of private label product. I don't know if Cott or someone else is the biggest supplier of private label soda. They are franchisees of retailers. Those who have brands that bring the consumer into the store are the franchisers and the companies in which I invest.

    BTW, Post was at one time a first line supplier of branded cereal. Now their brands are the ones Publix seems to have on bogo.
    Dec 28, 2015. 07:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chipotle Look Out Below  [View article]
    I think the issue is beyond one or two incidents. I think Chipotle has lost any credibility as a being healthier, or fresher, or better than any other fast food outlet. Their farm-to-store concept is worse than a gimmick. It has shown to be the removal of a quality or a safety step from its process.
    Dec 28, 2015. 01:29 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Costco: Why It Is Overvalued  [View article]
    Goodwill (if it is real) will always show up in financial statements. Goodwill may move from the P&L to the Balance Sheet when a company is bought for more than the value of its individual assets. If a company has pricing power, goodwill will show up in above average margins.

    COST: 4.09%
    WMT: 7.25%

    COST: 2.03%
    WMT: 3.12%

    I don't see goodwill in COST. All it does is to move merchandise, but it is NOT more profitable than its competition.
    Dec 27, 2015. 09:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 40 Best And Worst In 2015  [View article]
    Not to mention the rise of Chipotle with its farm to store freshness. The only problem may be that no one takes the time to properly rinse the organic fertilizer from the product.
    Dec 22, 2015. 09:18 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Mills Is Halfway Through The Year... Is It A Buy, Sell Or Avoid?  [View article]
    I doubt that GIS or K make private label products. In buying the Chex brand, GIS kept away from the private label business. They left that for CAG to buy.

    I would make it a point to keep away from private label manufacturers. The retailers to whom they sell hold all the cards as the shelf space, rather than the brand, is the franchise.

    Long: GIS
    Dec 22, 2015. 08:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • High-Quality Dividend Growth With United Technologies  [View article]
    I just increased my stake in BA. I thought the pullback was a buying opportunity and BA is a sustainable winner as well.
    Dec 21, 2015. 09:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • PepsiCo: Hello Goodness And Goodbye Muller Yogurt  [View article]
    I see three posts that rank with the first grade class taking a vote on whether their pet turtle is a boy or a girl.

    Indra Nooyi has repeatedly stated the PEP will remain intact.

    Long: PEP
    Dec 21, 2015. 09:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Vs. Unilever: Which Consumer Staple Giant Should You Buy Right Now?  [View article]
    In other words, Robert, it is marketing.

    Dec 21, 2015. 05:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 11 Stocks Building Wealth Through Higher Dividends  [View article]
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Yields of less than 2.0% (or even 2.5%) are dividends in name only. The only reason to hold such stocks is if they show a prospect for total return. An income investor would do far better with stocks with respectable current yields.
    Dec 21, 2015. 12:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Vs. Unilever: Which Consumer Staple Giant Should You Buy Right Now?  [View article]
    I see a couple of premises with which I agree 100%. First, we invest in businesses as opposed to trading stocks. That includes looking at products and the markets they serve or may serve.

    Second, we look at where a business is going as opposed to where it has been.

    Kodak was tethered to the physical image. So is Xerox and Pitney Bowes. Whether they can reinvent themselves or not is not certain. Perhaps they may survive but it is unlikely that they will again become marquis names in the digital age.

    The future of KO is uncertain. PEP has transformed itself into a premier grocery products company. Can KO successfully diversify? I'm not sure. They are not a marquis name outside of carbonated soft drinks.

    I'm not a fan of Benjamin Graham. We didn't even study him in my finance courses in the 1960's. I never see Joel Dean used as an authority in Seeking Alpha, but his work was what we studied. Dean's theory of discounted cash flows is a far more relevant methodology than looking at balance sheet ratios.
    Dec 21, 2015. 09:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Vs. Unilever: Which Consumer Staple Giant Should You Buy Right Now?  [View article]
    Jbertran, thanks for your response.

    1. I did see Oral B toothpaste in Israel; the carton stated that it was made by PG in Germany. I'm not sure if PG did not want to take Colgate on in Europe or that Glaxo is a more formidable competitor given the side of the Atlantic Ocean where it's located.

    2. On a personal note, I do not pay more for organic food, I like GMO's, and I know that the scare regarding high fructose corn syrup was initiated by the sugar cane industry. That said, the jury is still out on triclosan. There were other marvels such as hexachlorophene and sanguinaria that were removed from the market. I am from the northeast. I lived in Minnesota for a brief period. Minnesota's brand of liberalism differs from that of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

    3. I sold my position in Colgate as I thought the stock was overvalued and its yield was too low.

    4. Thank you for the dialog. It is always valuable when another investor gives me cause to critically examine my assumptions.
    Dec 20, 2015. 07:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Procter & Gamble Vs. Unilever: Which Consumer Staple Giant Should You Buy Right Now?  [View article]
    Jbertran, you seem to be a knowledgeable individual. I'm sure that the margins on dental cream are high. I am disappointed in that I did not see the Crest brand when I traveled internationally. However, it seems to me that Colgate has built their premium business, at least in the USA, around triclosan. The ingredient is controversial and Minnesota (a level headed state from my experience) is instituting a ban on it. I'm sure that other states will follow. Do you see any risk to Colgate?
    Dec 19, 2015. 08:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Just Bought Colgate  [View article]
    Michael, in your first paragraph, you are implying that appreciation will make PG a less desirable stock.

    Insofar as your second paragraph goes, while I never worked for PG, I am inclined to think that those responsible for the Crest, Oral B, and Scope brands think that the oral care business is their number-one priority.

    Long: PG
    Dec 17, 2015. 07:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment