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StVrainGuy

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  • Update: Apple's Mac Produces Incredible Growth [View article]
    I was also very impressed with Mac sales growth. Apple is incredibly well positioned to benefit and profit from ongoing fundamental changes in tech. Apple offers a beautiful, integrated ecosystem with great appeal to end users - most importantly, those with money to buy what they like. Cloud services and data coupled with vastly expanded cellular and meshed wifi are completely changing user computing experiences and allowing much more end user choice.
    Oct 22, 2014. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook On Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript [View article]
    I think it's all about the ecosystem and Apple quality. I bought my wife a new iPad for her birthday in 2011. She still loves it and uses it everyday. It still works great for her. I bought myself an iPad in 2013 that I use for browsing and travel. This works great for me. I will likely buy my wife a new iPad in 2015 at which time we will give her old one to our 7 year old daughter.

    I expect many users have similar experiences and will stick with Apple over time. The integration of services and data across devices is tremendously valuable. While not perfect, the quality, longevity and support for Apple devices set them far apart from competing Android based devices.

    Over time, I expect iPad sales to stabilize and then perhaps roll off as Apple continues to innovate and provide new devices which continue to improve on the user experience and of which we do not yet know. To me, this is the whole point. As Tim said last night, the value to us investors is in the ecosystem and the team at Apple. I could not agree more and continue to be very long and overweight Apple.
    Oct 21, 2014. 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fundamentals Of Stock Ownership: Amazon And Alibaba [View article]
    Excellent article. I completely agree.

    I'm long OTM puts on both AMZN and YHOO. The prices for both AMZN and BABA are sky high. Reckoning will come someday.

    While I would not buy either stock, I'd greatly favor AMZN over BABA. With AMZN, an investor actually gets a claim on the company and I think they have a great platform - it's just hard to monetize as there is a lot of good competition across all their promising lines of business.

    BABA is a promise on a promise with the Chinese in charge. China is controlled by communists. For anyone considering putting their hard-earned money into BABA, please ask yourself if you really want to bet against them nationalizing anything of value - or maybe just siding with local interests over international ones.
    Sep 18, 2014. 01:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alibaba IPO: Assessment Of Risks, Rewards [View article]
    Don, Thanks for the article! I sure wouldn't buy into this. Way too much governance and foreign government risk. Also, I see no real discussion of competition in the registration statement. BABA appears to enjoy a tremendous gross margin, one that will inevitably attract competitors. In my judgment, there is no way BABA will last 102 years. I plan to watch and try to understand this IPO and maybe consider ways to bet against it over time.
    Sep 13, 2014. 01:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Amazon Earnings [View article]
    I just suffered through the conference call. I'm just a small guy but I was very much not impressed with the presentation or with the questions asked by the "big" guys. It's too bad that Mr. Bezos appears more focused on "putting customers first", then reporting to the company's owners. I contrast this to Mr. Cook's extensive discussion on Tuesday. Of course, I've been long AAPL and short AMZN all year.

    The best thing about the call was watching my short position get better and better throughout. Maybe this is the turning point for AMZN's valuation.
    Jul 24, 2014. 06:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends Don't Matter In Retirement Either [View article]
    I also disagree with Dale. Dividends are very important.

    I look at it like this, after 10 years of investment in Theresa's orchard, I've got a good part of my initial investment back and I still own a similar slice of her business. After 10 years investment in Joe's orchard, I've got none of my investment back but my slice of his business has substantially increased. Yes, this is a great simplification. Yes, I can sell some of my shares in Joe's operation, but I've got to find a buyer and I've got transaction and other costs and risks.

    I worry about many risks, like hurricanes, disease, cash crunches and fire. I for one much prefer to start getting immediate dividends from my investments. This immediately starts to reduce my risk of capital loss and increases my confidence that my investment is being competently managed.

    Certainly, paying dividends is not appropriate for most young, growing companies. Each of these investments should be considered carefully on other metrics. However, Dale's blanket statement that "Dividends don't matter" is completely wrong in my judgment.

    Check out the initial Dow Jones list of 1885. How many of those companies are still around? The fortunate owners likely received cash or new shares. The unfortunate ones saw their companies go bankrupt. Zero is sticky while infinity is unreachable.
    Jul 17, 2014. 07:44 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon 'Kindle Unlimited' Leaks Online [View article]
    Interesting report. My take away is that this release demonstrates both very poor tactical execution and continued lack of high level business strategic focus / vision. Clearly Amazon is very good at spending money and drawing in investors. I find they are providing less and less value for their customers (higher Prime pricing, higher item prices, harder to distinguish 3rd party items) and vendors (like Hachette). It's hard to see real long term value being created for investors.

    I'm short AMZN.
    Jul 17, 2014. 01:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sell Netflix: The Icahn Thesis Is Flawed [View article]
    I enjoyed reading this well researched and presented article. I completely agree with the concerns about NFLX's business model. Way too easy to duplicate, risk in access to content, risk in delivery channel and little hook to hold customers. I also own Jan 2015 puts.
    Jan 14, 2014. 03:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • First Solar: Strong Buy On Goldman Sachs Downgrade [View article]
    Great article. I think GS is way wrong. Positive utility and energy sector returns generally originate in large scale projects that create value by spreading necessary fixed costs over many units. Simplistic view, I know. First Solar is creating value for customers and investors.

    Solar City is growing and churning markets based on a combination of mandates and their exploitation of utility pricing/regulatory inefficiencies. I don't see them so much creating value as siphoning it off.

    Long FSLR, Short SCTY .
    Jan 7, 2014. 03:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora investors take profits, initial iTunes Radio reviews decent [View news story]
    Listening to iRadio, Jazz Showcase on my PC right now. Great mix, perfect while I'm working. Execution is so key. Long APPL. Looking forward to Apple addressing TV in similar fashion.
    Sep 21, 2013. 04:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Short And Sweet: Microsoft Downgraded [View article]
    I second your wondering about Goldman's motivation in cutting MSFT to sell.

    Sure, PC sales are down. This is primarily a form factor adjustment. Computing, software and networks continue to become more central to our lives and business every day.

    Windows division is approximately 25% of MSFT revenue. This is a very well diversified, profitable company. I believe MSFT has great future potential as form factors and information streams continue to converge. Having scale throughout the business with resources to execute on opportunity will enable MSFT to continue to deliver value to individuals, firms and governments that require stable, reliable solutions to complex, critical challenges.

    Goldman appears to think FB is a better investment than MSFT. I find a solid dividend stream, diversity and proven results much more appealing than annotated yearbooks, directories, catalogs and possibilities.
    Apr 12, 2013. 02:13 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Massive Underperformance Of Apple Vs. Amazon [View article]
    Great article. I shorted AMZN before 4q earnings. I made a few bucks, but I'm sure glad I didn't wait for everyone to wake up. APPL's total quarterly dividend payment near $ 2.5 B a quarter exceeds the entirety of the retained earnings on AMZN's balance sheet. Come to think of it, APPL's peak and decline began about a month or so after the dividend initiation. The market is punishing the company that is returning cold cash to its owners and rewarding the one that generates very little. Nuts. As Paulo says, this too shall pass. Sometime.
    Mar 6, 2013. 02:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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