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  • Seeking Alpha fires a shot at Bloomberg, StreetAccount [View news story]
    I second Josh's suggestion. Fitting more stories on Market Currents would be better.

    I prefer the previous format. The new format seems to take up too much space with all the bulletpoints and spaces.
    Jul 29 08:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rick's Cabaret Is A Cheap 'Sin' Stock Worth More Than Double [View article]
    Really Brad? Even if the stock was way undervalued you wouldn't recommend it? I can think of many companies that do much worse. If I injected morals into my investing I'd probably be broke.
    Jul 2 08:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "It's going to be a more focused, streamlined SandRidge" without Tom Ward, a Morningstar analyst says in approving new CEO James Bennett, whose background in investment banking and private equity could help with a sale of the company. Ward's fall is cushioned by a $90M severance, since SD's probe into allegations of improper related party transactions did not merit a "termination for cause." SD +1.9% premarket. [View news story]
    I'll run a company into the ground for $2 million.
    Jun 20 08:35 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Senator John McCain will introduce legislation shortly to overhaul the TV business by giving consumers the option to buy channels on an individual basis (a la carte) - instead of seeing only large bundles as options. The politician will face fierce resistance from broadcast (NWS, DIS, CMCSA, CBS, AMCX, SNI, OUTD, DISCA, VIAB) and cable companies (CVC, CHTR, TWC) but may have a friend in upstart Aereo which has been rankling a few feathers as well. (Aereo timeline[View news story]
    "Your overall bill will be higher."

    jumpnjoey - Why would it be higher? If the bill was going ot be higher, why do you think these companies are fighting it? Right now I get tons of stations that I don't watch and watch a small fraction of them. I'm basically subsidizing them. There is no free market here. This is an oligopoly. No one else except the cable and phone company can run a wire to your house.
    May 9 08:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Premier Exhibitions' Titanic Auction Go On And On? [View article]
    Thanks for the article Chris. What makes you so confident the deal will close by July 1st? From the reading I've done management hasn't provided any guidance on this.
    Apr 4 07:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Safe At Sea, Legal In Port [View instapost]
    SG&A is relatively inexpensive. Mostly rum, parrot food, and citrus to prevent scurvy. But the business doesn't have much of a moat and a dip in business may result in walking the plank.
    Mar 25 08:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IMAX: Can It Rise Further? [View article]
    They earned .80 for FY2012 which would be a 32X trailing P/E. Estimates for FY2013 are .98 which would be a 26X forward looking P/E
    Mar 7 11:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PetSmart's Earnings: Oops [View article]
    I always hate to read and respond to a bad article giving the author his 2 cents or whatever he gets for writing it, but for the benefit of people who are reading your article I thought it prudent to point out many of your misstatements.

    1. Yes it's true. Last year management guided to 3.02 - 3.16, above analyst expectations. They then proceeded to crush those estimates and ended up at 3.55 for the year. So I don't think they generally give 'rosier guidance'. In fact they typically give conservative guidance.

    2. You twisted what Credit Suisse said from a question into a statement ("Hey, things are going to be a little bit slower that we'll be more conservative for 2013"). BTW - Here is what Credit Suisse says in their new analyst report today "The bottom line after analyzing Q4 results and listening to last night’s conference call is that we believe that PETM is one of the more intriguing growth stories in our space. As we have seen before, sometimes due to misunderstandings or misperceptions, there are good opportunities to own great companies at attractive prices. That seems to be the case with PETM as the market appears to be overreacting (based on last night’s aftermarket sell-off) to guidance that in our
    view seems reasonable and exceedable." They mantained their $78 price target. They don't seem to pessimistic to me.

    3. You also said management spoke of weaker traffic in the quarter. In fact what they said is it started off slow and has picked up every week since then. The analyst even said "Okay, that's helpful. That sounds very familiar to actually a number of retailers. ".

    4. In your other article you said Operating Margins might start to decline. They haven't. They were up 120 basis points on the quarter and 100 basis points Y/Y. They are guiding for flat to slightly up for 2013.

    For 1st Q they guided their high end above analyst expectations. You might also want to note that with the planned management transition after the next quarter they are likely being extremely cautious in their guidance. They also mentioned that they achieved overall profitability in their Pets Hotels business. Another sign contrary to what you say that their high margin service businesses don't have much room to run. In addition to opening 45-50 full size stores they will also be opening 12 'micro' stores (around 6 - 7.5k sq. ft) which will have less SKU's but have the other services like grooming, pet training, and adoptions.

    You also mention in your other article that due to the payroll tax reversion people are probably trading down to stores like Walmart, Target, etc. I doubt that's true, but it certainly wouldn't explain why people continue to trade up to Premium and Super Premium foods at Petsmart. Also if anyone believes that the economy is in a recovery phase and not heading back to recession, Petsmart is a great way to play a job and housing recovery (management even alluded to being helped by higher housing sales).

    So anyway, this will be my first and last post on this article, but I just thought I'd give those reading it the other side of the story (also the story that doesn't contain statement taken out of context by the author).
    Mar 7 08:25 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) and Nvidia (NVDA) are in the midst of a trash-talking battle that would make Intel and AMD proud. Nvidia boasts its Tegra 4i baseband/app processor will undercut Qualcomm's Snapdragon parts thanks to a smaller die size, and is showing off benchmarks for its Tegra 4 app processor that suggest it outperforms the Snapdragon 600 line. Qualcomm counters by arguing its Snapdragon 800 chips will beat the Tegra 4, and have scored over 50 design wins. The chipmaker also promises the Snapdragon 200 line will enable sub-$100 smartphones. [View news story]
    I think it's time for an old fashioned CEO Death Match!
    Feb 27 12:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Tough To Buy Verizon When Vodafone Shares Are In The Bargain Bin [View article]
    VOD certainly isn't a growth stock. If you look at T or VZ over the past 10 years the history for any of them is certainly choppy. Yes T and VZ have better track records over that point, but a lot of that disparity is due to recent performance because the US is recovering and Europe is still in a recession. I'd rather buy the stock that's out of favor now. Europe recovery maybe a year away, but it's kind of hard to believe VOD can be beaten down much more (unless things get a lot worse there).
    Feb 22 03:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PetSmart Due For A Correction [View article]
    You can't be proven right by an analyst downgrade since they are just speculating. You need to wait to see what earnings actually are. I wish I could read the whole analysis, but I did read they are concerned about Amazon eating away at Petsmart online. Considering how small Petsmart's online sales are compared to their stores it doesn't seem to be much of a concern to me. I felt PETM was reasonably valued in the high 60's. Their 55 target seems ridiculously low to me.
    Jan 28 11:18 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL -2.3%) has tumbled below $500 following Nomura's big PT cut. Multi-Fineline's (MFLX -20.3%) warning also might not be going over well. Nomura backs up the WSJ and Nikkei's reports by stating its own checks indicate weaker-than-expected iPhone 5 sales; it now expects 48M sales in FQ1, and 39M in FQ2, but is raising its iPad forecasts. Echoing a recent CLSA note, Nomura thinks Android's Asian dominance has become a problem for Apple. Sterne Agee, meanwhile, believes all is well. [View news story]
    All I know is with the current valuation it's pointless to sell at this price unless you believe Apple is done and will not be able to innovate or compete with Android. Apple certainly made some bad mistakes when they came out with the iPhone starting with the exclusive AT&T agreement and their one size fits all model. That's classic Steve Jobs my way or the highway mentality. I'm hoping Tim Cook is more flexible than that and there seem to be plenty of rumors of other iPhone models coming out. That said I'd love to see AAPL take some of their cash stockpile and buy back shares.
    Jan 15 11:08 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "We all live in an ATTizon duopoly now. And they will do with us what they please," writes Tero Kuittinen after looking at Verizon's (VZ, VOD) shared data plans. He sees the plans, which increase the minimum a smartphone user looking to upgrade has to pay to $90/month from a current $70/month, as an attempt to prevent voice/text revenues from being eroded by mobile apps (previous), and thinks they're fueled by a belief "Sprint and T-Mobile are now so weak they offer no effective competition." (also)  [View news story]
    Yes it is!
    Jun 12 03:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UCP, LLC's Lot Portfolio Is Worth 84% Of Its Enterprise Value, Giving Shareholders Homebuilding Exposure At A Discount [View article]
    Mike - I'm sure John will respond with his own opinion, but I wanted to comment on some of your points:

    1) Not sure why you object to PICO owning 57%. It's not like they are some majority owner taking large salaries. They only benefit the same way every other shareholder benefits - by the stock going up.

    2) Nothing wrong with having a lot option if it enabled you to lock in at a low price.

    3&4&5) That's true, they did start as land speculators (not that there is anything wrong with that). They only started as a homebuilder in 2010. They still sell lots to other homebuilders, however they are now concentrating on homebuilding. As John already mentioned they will be doubling their community count this year. Yes they only sold 196 homes in 2013. That's exactly the reason gross margins and profitability are so lumpy. As they sell more homes the margins should get better and start to level out. Management already stated the land cost % is in the low 20's so I think that shows their potential. As I mention in my post below they already did most of their hiring in anticipation of the new communities and that is the main reason G&A. Management stated they will return to profitability this year.

    6) I'm not sure why you believe just because a house isn't in a pricey neighborhood that doesn't make it desirable. All you need to do is look at the charts in John's article to see how home prices have been doing in those areas. That's the important part. Lower and middle class buyers need homes too. Housing inventory in California is generally in tight supply and their communities have been selling quite well (we know how many homes they sell from their filings and they happily discuss the different communities on the calls).
    Jul 6 10:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • UCP, LLC's Lot Portfolio Is Worth 84% Of Its Enterprise Value, Giving Shareholders Homebuilding Exposure At A Discount [View article]
    I believe most of this was covered on the last conference call but SA doesn't have the transcript for the last one. I believe they in fact indicated that a lot of the building in fact hasn't been on the lower cost lots. Keep in mind the company is very small and is first starting to ramp up. They are going to be doubling their community count in 2014. UCP has been ramping up G&A in anticipation of the new communities. If I recall they said they've done most of the hiring already so G&A shouldn't increase much once the new communities open. I think I remember them saying incentives are pretty much in line with other homebuilders in their area. I had spot checked a couple of the areas where their communities are and it seem like home prices have been rising nicely in most of them.
    Jul 4 10:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment