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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 02:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment