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  • More on Rite Aid FQ4: Net profit sinks [View news story]
    No, not really. They have not mentioned how much of their income increases have been LIFO driven in past so in a sense they are bending over backward to be generous.
    Apr 10 07:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Aviat Networks: This $1 Tech Stock Is Too Cheap To Ignore And Trading Near Cash Value [View article]
    They are burning significant cash and have never ever been profitable even in the best of times. That cost savings effort has not been implemented and is only planned.

    Cheap for very good reasons.
    Apr 9 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Death May Be Knocking On KiOR's Door [View article]
    Agree on the bigger question issue.

    The subordinated lien only serves to put Khosla ahead of unsecured creditors. Equity holders and lenders who are subordinated to him won't let him "steal it" although he likely understands the assets better. Also I think he is driven to an extent by pride (not unreasonable given his accomplishments).
    Apr 2 04:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Death May Be Knocking On KiOR's Door [View article]
    Sidi, I respect your opinions but I'm fairly confident Khosla didn't do it so he gets preferential treatment in getting the assets. You are a technical guy but there is some other guy who has written about Kior's finances in the past who doesn't know anything about finance who is making that statement.

    In a bankruptcy the assets will basically be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Khosla might be the highest bidder but he isn't blocking anybody else out by loaning them money. There are other parties associated with Khosla who I am sure have different goals so it is conceivable he is increasing his say somewhat but as I said, there will be an auction or a negotiated sale assuming they fail, which they likely will.

    I tend to think he did it just to give them a little more time to work out the production issues without resorting to bankruptcy. If they file bankruptcy, it would cost a lot in terms of legal fees, management time and operational flexibility. The public entity has the theoretical possibility of raising more money if they can say they have made progress. Without public financing it becomes much more difficult.

    Ultimately, as you have said, they almost certainly fail but the next few months will be interesting. Sure hope they let it die if they don't have realistic possibility of success in improving production by a substantial amount.
    Apr 2 02:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consider Aflac If You Like Buybacks, Long Dividend Streaks And Cheap Valuations [View article]
    What are their primary products in Japan? Know supplemental cancer insurance is a big one and what a colossally bad product it is for consumers. May be a couple of decades out and they may make a lot of money in the mean-time but this product will be gone someday.
    Mar 26 01:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tower's Merger Offers Opportunity For Double-Digit Annualized Returns [View article]
    Nice article. Fills a need on a type of situation that is usually just not covered.
    Mar 26 11:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Death May Be Knocking On KiOR's Door [View article]
    Will be interesting to see if Kior will be able to continue operating (or making efforts to operate) six months from now. Over a ten year period, it was always a long-shot.

    One thing I really hadn't thought about when evaluating who is the "least bad alternative" is that at this point in time it could be a single winner because, assuming the mandates remain, whoever actually builds out the infrastructure first will likely have a de facto monopoly as you couldn't displace the market leader without crashing prices unless you have an incredible cost advantage. Just kind of rambling there as I don't know how the mandate was supposed to operate or much of anything about cellulosic fuels.

    Solazyme has a nice web site but a long way from actually producing in an economic fashion from what I see. Maybe they will get there and if they do the rewards will be significant but with a $900 million market cap it is hard to say whether it is priced reasonably.
    Mar 25 06:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Death May Be Knocking On KiOR's Door [View article]
    Appreciate your detailed and knowledgeable post.

    You point out that all biofuel investments are not viable without government intervention. Although Kior tried to argue they were viable without those, I never really bought that and thought that if they had a chance it would be because of government mandated purchases/subsidies. Making ethanol has certainly been a good business and no one can distort a market like government. With government intervention it becomes, who is the least bad alternative.

    Ignoring the financial distress for a moment, do you think it is still possible that they are the least bad alternative?
    Mar 25 01:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Economic Consequences Of Income Inequality [View article]
    Couldn't the wealthy just increase their consumption? If the German's with the significant earnings had just bought expensive houses, vacations, etc. rather than loaning it to others things would have balanced out? During the financial crisis, had we let prices collapse, banks fail, and uninsured depositors lose money a good portion of that pain would have been endured by those who saved "too much."

    Of course, we might have had another great depression but it might have been worth it in the long-run. Hard lessons aren't always bad.
    Mar 24 11:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Investors Leverage Leftover Skepticism On Genworth To Their Advantage? [View article]
    Stephen (or anyone who knows) what are the rules when a company wants to increase rates on long-term care? I know it varies on a state by state basis but to the extent possible what are the odds that long term care will be profitable?
    Mar 22 02:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Negative Current Account In Japan Makes A Short JGB Trade Worth Considering [View article]
    Thanks for writing the article. Personally, I can't get too worked up about the current account deficit at least over the short and medium terms. It is the internal imbalances that worry me and I just twist myself into a pretzel thinking about all the different outcomes that are possible.

    I do think Japan will show the world how to adjust to the demographic challenges by working longer and living healthier lifestyles but as for predicting asset values, I just don't know. As long as the politicians remain so focused on stock prices I will continue to own Japanese equities.
    Mar 13 06:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spotify reportedly preps for IPO; sell-side defends Pandora [View news story]
    Hope Spotify allows subscribers to participate in the IPO.
    Mar 6 02:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • NanoViricides: House Of Cards With -80% Downside, 'Strong Sell' Recommendation [View article]
    Would agree with your comments but the article seems to conflict with the key premise of the article that it is a house of cards.
    Instead the author of the article appears to either be directly involved in the derivative and demand for document lawsuits or more likely simply being used by that person. I would be o.k. with that if it weren't for the fact that the complaints appear to from a banker who is bothered by the fact that he missed out on the fees associated with earlier stock issuances.
    Feb 11 07:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ambac's complexity and uncertainty creating opportunity [View news story]
    Has anyone looked at their balance sheet? Sure it is impossible to know how things will ultimately settle out with the litigation and exposures on the MUNI side but there is a lotta goodwill on that balance sheet.

    Not to mention the fact that the judge in the bankruptcy court disagreed with the analyst.
    Jan 8 05:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • North American Palladium: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures [View article]
    Simply market psychology. There was no good reason for that movement but maybe there was no good reason for the move down.
    Besides, the shares are an out-of-the-money option so it should be volatile.

    That isn't an answer but I have no real answer to offer.
    Jan 7 11:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment