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  • Oil Products Signal Real Demand [View article]
    Iranian oil might be offset by increase in demand from the Eurozone as the ECB's recently begun bond buying program (~$1.5TT and which will run into mid-2016) boosts the economy and energy demand.
    Apr 28, 2015. 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T Proves Its Doubters Wrong [View article]
    "however I see where the competition can come on and take market share. finally , this industry is on the verge of change with new competitors coming in."

    Telecom is a very capital intensive business.

    Who are the competitors with sufficiently deep pockets to invest in expensive infrastructure?

    Price cutting wars may run short term, but on a long term basis you've got to be able to earn a profit that covers your cost of capital--which puts a limit to the extent & duration of price wars.
    Apr 23, 2015. 02:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America And A 6.1% Yield? Yes, Please [View article]
    "Why would anyone buy a pfd over par ? STUPID !!!!!!"

    Think a bit--just a little.

    What is the effective yield of this preferred? What is the prevailing interest rate environment and near-medium term prospects for rates?

    Folks who buy preferreds above par for the income are calculating returns for their individual holding periods, and the dividends received offset the slight capital loss in the event of a call.
    Apr 22, 2015. 12:55 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: A Bull Case Rebuttal [View article]
    "I don't recall seeing a segmented P-L for Goodwill ?"

    You're clearly missing the point regarding goodwill

    Goodwill is excess valuations (over tangible assets) to reflect excess earnings potential. It generally comes about through acquisitions, and the greater the acquisition history, the greater likelihood of large goodwill balances (you might want to compare BAC vs JPM since both have very significant M&A histories).

    Bear in mind that valuations can be impacted over the "short term". BAC clearly has greater interest rate sensitivity and greater legacy issues to work through (CW associated mortgages)--and the shares have been docked. These headwind factors will turn in its favor at some point--how do you think BAC shares will respond then? Do you suppose that BAC will have outsized rally vs other financials then?
    Apr 22, 2015. 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: A Bull Case Rebuttal [View article]
    Agree that the author has erred in assessment of intangibles.

    BAC has, by far, the largest branch network footprint in the US. Part of BAC's intangible BV can be attributed to this network (ie, acquisitions)

    A branch office is akin to an army having boots on the ground for holding territory. In banking, the branch network and staff cements relationships, and the relationships fostered commands a premium from elevated cross selling opportunities. Yes, banking, even in this day and age, still has a strong personal element. I'm currently applying for a mortgage, and will go with my bank because of the relationship and excellent service (underwriting, interest rate).

    Give it time--I believe BAC will eventually realize industry valuations.
    Apr 21, 2015. 06:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: 4 Reasons It's The Top U.S. Telecom Investment [View article]
    "Do you know how wireless works? It's almost entirely, end to end, wireline. Only the phone to the tower is wireless and the vast majority of the network is wireline of some type......... who owns that backhaul network?"


    Glad someone else understands.

    Wireless is sexy, like the Air Force's smart bombs. But, landlines represent boots on the ground, the same way that the Army holds land---this is strategic.
    Mar 31, 2015. 09:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: 4 Reasons It's The Top U.S. Telecom Investment [View article]
    T is a very, very nice bond substitute: dividends + modest growth.

    Going forward into a rising interest rate environment, bonds will have a much harder time than that over the previous 3 decades.
    Mar 31, 2015. 09:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Linn Energy: How Much Cash Flow Can DrillCo Provide? [View article]
    "Yeh, that inflation has really been going well the last six months. Something on the order of -50%?"

    You think it's reasonable to use 6 months' trend to ponder the future?

    "And China is trying to reduce pollution. How does promoting more cars relate to that?"

    Everyone is trying to reduce pollution. Does that logically mean the end of the internal combustion engine--or, rather, a more efficient ICE?

    Better to view the larger picture.
    Mar 23, 2015. 02:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]
    "Power is addictive."

    Yes, I've seen this firsthand in the business world. I don't trust most business folks any more than I necessarily trust government.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:41 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]

    Did you witness the real estate implosion/mortgage scams in the last decade--brought about by free market participants?

    Surely you're not naive enough to think that individuals & companies will always act in the best interest of the public good. When we had what was much closer to free markets in the 19th century, we also ended up with "robber barons."

    Sadly, it's the uglier face of humanity that makes the strongest argument for some (minimum) level of government oversight as referee to our "free markets." Much the same argument for public police departments to safeguard our communities against certain members of the same communities.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:38 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]
    "If my business runs 3 full page ads (think content) in the New York Times every Sunday and your business runs one full page ad a year in the New York Times, should we both pay the same price per ad?"

    I appreciate your sentiment for a free market.

    However, there are limits, especially where there is the need to balance the public interest. The reader that you responded to make the salient point, that without a referee, we can easily have a situation where the rich and powerful come to monopolize content delivery.

    I'm a small business owner in the financial services industry, and I certainly believe in free markets. But, only to a point--I've seen too many unsavory practices in the free market that I participate in, the ugly side of humanity. Does anyone believe the salesman when he says "trust me"?

    As much as I hate to say it, only Uncle Sam can play referee as foxes can't be trusted to guard the hen house.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:28 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]
    "But just think. If you could make millions of dollars and not have to lift your little finger, why should you lift your little finger? It all comes back to their (at least previous) monopoly status."


    You've struck the nail head, Mitch.

    GM went bankrupt in 2009. During most of its century long history, it was more powerful and wealthy than many sovereign nations. Success breeds lazy, stupid and arrogant firms--and, they start losing their customers one by one. I'm in the process of migrating my small business VZ account over to T. I'll sign a month to month contract to keep everyone honest.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:09 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]
    "Are there ANY telecom companies that excel in customer service?"

    I absolutely agree with your sentiment.

    I'm a 15+ year long VZ customer, and am making plans to migrate my small business account over to T. I certainly don't expect better service (just getting through to sales is a feat), but I'll take the ~$85/mo cost savings and collect its dividends as a new shareholder. At least I will save on crummy service.

    And, btw, the VZ folks won't even budge on current pricing despite T's offer---this level of arrogance, take it or leave it attitude, is stunning and stupid.

    I fully expect to be regularly inundated with VZ's solicitations to return shortly after I cancel my contract. They'll spend a small fortune trying to get me back, when they might have induced me to stay with just a simple gesture of appreciation.
    Mar 14, 2015. 11:03 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T: Time To Be Greedy? [View article]
    "It is time for the nation which invented the internet to break free of the rent seeking telecom industry and for the rules to favor the consumer as opposed to the corporation and its shareholders."

    How does this happen? Who pays for your goodies?
    Mar 14, 2015. 10:49 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Linn Energy: 50% Reduction In Distributions Appears More Sustainable [View article]
    Management IS part of the reality.

    I'll take liberty to assume that hhmcdon's point is that, between management and speculators (or, authors), whose opinions carries the greatest weight?
    Mar 13, 2015. 07:50 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment