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  • Sears Holdings: Stick To The Actual Facts [View article]
    "There is no excuse for buying shares of a retailer north of $100 per share when the controlling investor is purposely starving the operations of cash thus guaranteeing a slow death for the operations. It is almost unethical."

    Completely agree.
    Sep 23 05:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears Holdings: Stick To The Actual Facts [View article]
    I think the question becomes why would people buy these assets now when they could just wait until liquidation and be buying them at distressed prices? Eddie showed his cards as to the state of the business with the loan - now rather than anyone buying, they're just going to be the buzzards circling. It's really unfortunate what has been done to what was a great American brand.
    Sep 23 04:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears Holdings: Stick To The Actual Facts [View article]
    The facts are that Lampert has basically done a tremendously poor job running the business, taking a company that was becoming irrelevant and making it wholly, completely and irreversibly irrelevant and - if we're going to be honest - broken. Now, shareholders are putting their hopes upon someone who has done a terrible job at being CEO to realize value out of a business where he's basically been responsible for wrecking so much value over the last several years.

    Good luck with that. I'm not saying that there isn't value here, but the bull case - worshiping their idols Eddie and Bruce as if they're wholly and completely incapable of making a mistake or getting themselves into a value trap for the record books - is absurdly optimistic. What's Fairholme's average cost on SHLD? I mean I know "way higher" is the general idea, but anyone have a more accurate number?

    "With the backing and continue investment of Bruce Berkowitz and Fairholme Funds, the bear case doesn't work. "

    It certainly has so far. It wouldn't surprise me if Berkowitz was buying SHLD when it was over $100. Wouldn't surprise me if other funds put pressure on SHLD.
    Sep 23 04:32 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Has 'Destiny' Underperformed? [View article]
    Look at the "Halo" series, which has come up with some of the most grand marketing campaigns of all time. The "Halo 2" teaser trailer still stands out as one of the great video game trailers, as do the "Believe" trailers for "Halo 3." There's other examples, too - even the enjoyably creepy ARG videos that were for the third game. Bungie certainly was helped by the fact that they'd created one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, but the "Halo" games were supported by highly memorable marketing.

    With Bungie/Activision's "Destiny"... and maybe this is just me, I wanted to like it but the ads gave me no sense of the story and they have (again, the game might be great, I don't know) looked and felt rather generic sci-fi. I think you are getting people who are excited about what Bungie's new franchise is, but the ads/trailers just totally didn't interest me.
    Sep 23 07:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PayPal: Apple, Amazon Present Threats And Opportunities [View article]
    I see MCX as being not much more successful than Isis (which will soon be called Softcard), ATT/T-Mobile/Verizon's mobile wallet - and that has effectively been a failure.
    Sep 22 07:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monitise: A Buying Opportunity [View article]
    Cooperman possibly could increase his investment further and then start to push for a sale?
    Sep 22 07:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • PayPal: Apple, Amazon Present Threats And Opportunities [View article]
    "Given PayPal does have the ability to accept ACH payments, it could conceivably work with MCX to incentivize users to pay with PayPal linked to ACH rather than credit cards, and work with merchants to drive loyalty programs around such a structure. "

    FIS is processing payments and providing the back-end for MCX. Paydiant is providing the mobile wallet. Gemalto was providing the mobile wallet, but suddenly wasn't and nothing was ever said about why the change occurred.

    I just think with MCX you have a situation where you have this mobile wallet that uses either your bank account or gift cards or apparently some store branded credit cards. So, to use it, people are either going to have to use their bank account (which they're going to be highly suspicious of after the recent retailer hacks - if you can't protect my credit card information, they'll think why should I do this - at least with my credit card I'm very easily protected if something happens) or get a retailer branded cc (no thanks) or buy gift cards to load onto the wallet (again, no thanks.)

    Despite being long FIS and finding it a very appealing long-term holding, I don't have much hope for MCX. However, their participation in MCX is one part of a much larger and quite diverse financial tech co.

    I think you have retailers who spend a lot of energy fighting credit cards, but it's abundantly clear that 1) we are moving inch-by-inch towards a cashless society and 2) the credit card is how people want to pay. Now that Apple Pay has made the credit card a little sexy again, what's appealing about what MCX is offering?

    Lastly, I think you're going to have more retailers try to offer same day delivery or one-hour delivery. You'll likely be paying for that with a credit card and doing it via mobile app or online. Transactions are becoming increasingly digital and the CC companies are winning because of benefits, ease of use,protection and other benefits. Companies that stand in the way of it and make it more difficult for customers to purchase via digital routes are - I think - going to be disappointed with the results.

    ---

    I think the other issue is - aside from Paypal's many problems - you have Apple Pay which is a primary function of the phone and the only thing on the phone that can use the NFC function. So, if Paypal is going to have an app/mobile wallet, they're kind of locked out when it comes to the iPhone.

    -----

    Also, doesn't Paypal use Visa's network? It all kind of comes back to Visa/MC/etc - people talk about Square, which I believe also uses Visa's network.

    -----

    One minor story: went to a little farm nearby that has a stand where they sell various produce and some baked goods. Hadn't been there before, very cute. Go up to pay and got out some cash because I couldn't imagine they take cards. I look over and they have a Square card reader. I fail to be terribly sympathetic with Wal-Mart's continued irritation towards Visa.
    Sep 22 06:50 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monitise: A Buying Opportunity [View article]
    "Why didn't they sell their shares on the open market, then tell the world? "

    I was curious about this, as well. They had to know it wouldn't be taken well.

    "Then what about Visa Europe. Did Visa US bother to notify Visa Europe?"

    I'm surprised there was no statement about the status of Visa Europe.

    I agree with you that the result was more questions than answers.
    Sep 21 01:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Sears Entering The Retail Death Spiral? [View article]
    Legendary investors are capable of making mistakes re: Berkowitz and Tisch (speaking of Tisch, Loews lost a bundle on Highmount recently - http://bit.ly/1raq3BU).
    Sep 20 01:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monitise: A Buying Opportunity [View article]
    "Visa is exiting as a share holder not as a customer!!!"

    It would appear they are, as they stated they are going to be doing more in-house with payment tech. They apparently had a thousand people working on Apple Pay, for example.

    The company has potential, don't get me wrong, but this is not a positive. As Chuck said, this is fine for someone who's willing to sit on it for possibly years and is willing to hold something highly speculative that's more risky now then it already was. I really thought that this would be similar to Visa and Fundamo, which they did buy.
    Sep 20 12:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bull Trap That Is Philip Morris International [View article]
    There are things I do not understand. I don't get smoking cigs, but people do it, despite the fact that the cost of a pack has soared to an astonishing degree. Will people be driven away from smoking further due to health factors and the insane cost? Probably. These companies do have diversification options though (e-cigs, pot, probably other things I'm not pondering at this point of the morning), it becomes whether or not they do. I don't have investment in MO or PM, but I wouldn't count them out because of the possibility that the (cig, at least) smoking population may continue to decrease.
    Sep 20 08:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears' Lender Of Last Resort May Spell Trouble [View article]
    There is a preferred, although I haven't looked at the terms of it. Fairholme doesn't own that, either.
    Sep 20 07:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sears' Lender Of Last Resort May Spell Trouble [View article]
    He does? I see nothing in regards to Sears bonds in SEC filings. All I see is a large common stock position that was bought higher/much higher than current price.
    Sep 20 07:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Monitise: A Buying Opportunity [View article]
    At this point, down by more than a third today (-36% as I'm writing this), you either:

    1. Add, hoping the washout is almost over.

    2. Sit. It's too late to sell. The company has potential, but I think Visa moving on is a definite negative especially with the note that they will be doing more "in house" - how much of a negative (36% loss in one day - too much? not enough?) is the question.

    3. Dump and move on.

    It becomes one's evaluation of the company, risk tolerance, time horizon, etc. I think if Visa and Visa Europe are moving on, that makes a speculative stock way more so.
    Sep 18 10:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marcus Corporation: 1 Company With 2 Businesses Performing Well [View article]
    I'd be happy if they split the company. I'd be interested in the resorts side but have no interest in the theater side.
    Sep 18 07:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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