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  • Facebook Should Marry Research In Motion [View article]
    While such a deal would be excellent for RIMM, I frankly have to doubt that Facebook would undertake such a move at this time. BlackBerry is still a dying platform and nobody has a very good idea if the QNX platform is really going to be a success or not. While I would dare to bet, that chances are good that there will be a place for QNX, especially in emerging markets, I am not sure that such an acquisition would make sense for Facebook given that the ad revenue in emerging markets is pocket change compared to developed markets. On the other hand, I suspect that QNX will become the commodity smartphone platform in emerging markets and is likely to outsell iPhone in those markets for many years to come unless Apple (AAPL) changes their pricing strategy. But it still will have to prove that it can outsell Android devices in those markets.

    This type of deal could make sense for Facebook in a few years, but I think Facebook should focus on building a solid base of cash like Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) before going out and doing large acquisitions like this one. The cash needed for a successful RIMM turn around could really be drag on Facebook's business at this time, and it is hard to see how investors will reward Facebook's shares for such an acquisition.
    Mar 21, 2012. 04:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Poised To Retake Status As Net Petroleum Products Exporter [View article]
    This is a great review and great news. However, I agree with ryanclarke that we are a net exporter of refined products. The primary driver of this has been Latin America's rapid GDP growth and growing middle class combined with its overall poor refining infrastructure. Many of the smaller latin countries don't have a single active refinery, and even those that do have a refinery network, namely, Brazil and Mexico, do not have sufficient refining capacity to meet their own demands let alone the demands of the entire LatAm region, and some of the smaller latin countries remain highly dependent on diesel for power generation. As a result, they are paying us to refine crude into gasoline for their cars and diesel that they burn to run their air conditioning which is needed year-round in the tropical regions.

    Have you investigated plans to improve refining infrastructure in the region? For example, do you know if and when Pemex and Petrobras plan to build new refineries?

    Dec 23, 2011. 07:51 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Game On: Zynga IPO Set To Price [View article]
    I agree with your concerns with respect to Groupon. However, it's top line growth is anything but "anemic." The YOY revenue growth is over 100%. I would not call that "anemic." The valuation is high, but prior to the IPO they chose to run the company at breakeven and that was a deliberate choice, so any valuation based on earnings does not have much meaning in my view, but I do agree there is concern there regarding Groupon's competition.
    Dec 3, 2011. 12:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Game On: Zynga IPO Set To Price [View article]
    I am looking very forward to gauging the market's appetite for this IPO by seeing how much they can finally raise. This one is basically going public now to test the waters for "The Big Kahuna", Facebook, which will almost certainly be the largest tech IPO in history. If this one beats expectations, then it will give the final green light for Facebook's IPO.

    Either way the folks at Facebook cannot afford to sit idly too much longer without raising significant capital soon because Google has invested serious money in destroying their company, and while, this is not exactly the most wildly bullish market, Facebook will need a lot of extra cash soon if they seriously want to compete with Google.
    Dec 2, 2011. 08:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow: Admit It, You Can't Help Looking At This Stock [View article]
    "It’s worth mentioning that when Google went public seven years ago, they too had a similar, accelerated lock-up schedule. Yet that didn’t prevent the stock from climbing sharply from its $85 IPO price and more than tripling in its first year, without declining materially during that period."

    Please don't compare Zillow to Google. Google was a truly exceptional compnay whose growth was driven by a secular growth trend. I don't think Zillow will come anywhere close to that. I have used Zillow myself, and the product is pretty good and I like it, but it also has some other serious competitors. When Google came public, it was far ahead of it's closest competitors namely Yahoo! and Microsoft in terms of monetizing search. I don't think you can say the same thing about Zillow.

    With that said, I would be very cautious about buying this for the long-term because it is basically a derivative play on an industry that has been in perpetual distress for at least 4 years already. I expect that Zillow's top line should still grow, however, as the technology gains further adoption, but I just don't like the fact that it is levered to the real estate industry. I would much rather own tech companies levered to an industry that is in a secular growth trend like healthcare, companies like WebMD (WBMD) and Allscripts (MDRX), for example, rather than tech plays on real estate.

    As we all know, real estate is a very cyclical industry and there will be a time to own companies like Zillow again, but I don't think that time is going to be so soon. I am impressed, however, that they were able to raise so much money in their IPO given the present real estate environment.

    If you see the real estate market bouncing back soon, then maybe, this is a good buy at this level.
    Dec 2, 2011. 07:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ignore The Spin - Steve Jobs' Death Really Matters [View article]
    I do not disagree with your thesis over the long run. However, over the shorter term of the next 2 years or so, I do expect the company to continue to do well. In the short term his death will do nothing more than to give the company more publicity which should be good for Apple's products. The pipeline is pretty clear for the next couple of years also.

    But the big question is where will the next grand slam come from? Apple's stock has risen about 6000% in the last 10 years because of a series of not only homeruns, but grand slams:

    1) iPod
    2) iTunes
    3) iPhone
    4) iPad

    Most technology execs fail to replicate that kind of success. They do one thing really well when they are young, make a ton of money from it, and then their real careers are over. They then go into philanthropy or venture capital. Mr. Jobs was different and the thing that sets him apart is that his greatest string of success came at the end of his life during a period when he spent much of his time battling with cancer.

    It is interesting to note that in 2001 the market cap of Apple was about $6 billion, and today it is north of $350 billion and just passed Exxon (XOM) to become the most vauable company in America shortly before his death, and it is arguably the most valuable company in the world when you consider that the only companies with a larger market cap are partially state owned companies. If that does not demonstrate the genius of the man, then I don't know what does.
    Oct 6, 2011. 03:56 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hewlett Packard Too Big To Succeed? [View article]
    Where do you get your data to say that HP's shares are only up 27% over the last 10 years? On Sep 21, 2001 HPQ closed at $14.96, and adjusted for dividends the return has been about 71% in the last 10 years to the date.

    However, in Jan 2000 the shares peaked at about $66, representing a loss of only 65% over the last approximately 11.5 years. This is not so bad however, compared to companies like YHOO and CSCO which are down over 80% over the same period.
    Sep 22, 2011. 07:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Trade Operation Twist [View article]
    Thanks for your insight. You have a new follower in Twitter and here also.
    Sep 21, 2011. 10:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Trade Operation Twist [View article]
    Mr Pardini: Nice article. What is your short term opinion on oil? Is it down because of the reduced likelihood of QE3 or what is your opinion? Simply bullish or bearish to the end of 2011?
    Sep 21, 2011. 09:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baidu Coverage Initiated: $134 Trefis Price Estimate [View article]
    As a Baidu shareholder, I was very happy to see them strike a deal with Bing. The growth prospects for Baidu over the short and medium term are too great to overlook, but over the long term they will need show the market that they can compete with the likes of Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Facebook outside of China. Let's face it, Baidu, controls these markets inside of China because the Chinese government does not trust Google and Facebook and the Chinese government chose Baidu as the winner. Unfortunately, the world is far from being a true free market, but, nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with profiting from stocks of government mandated winners. But the average internet stock investor has the attention span of a butterfly, so the market will ask for much more. The market will be excited about Baidu's management if they can prove that they can compete outside of their homeland. I look forward to seeing Baidu show the world that they are not just a Chinese internet company.
    Aug 23, 2011. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Higher Taxes Help Explain China's Success? [View article]
    I agree that comparisons to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan are a bit unrealistic in this political environment. The democrats will not budge on entitlements while the republican establishment will not lay a finger on cutting defense and our giant military state.

    The affluent island nations of Asia have very little in the way of a social safety net and they have no interest in having a large military state. Mainland China is responsible for Hong Kong's defense, for example.

    The statement that "China is poorer than Mexico" is misplaced and irrelevant to the author's point. While GDP per capita is lower in China, China is a richer nation in aggregate. I don't understand the reason for mentioning such a comparison anyway.

    I do agree, however, that effective taxation becomes more easy to do as a nation becomes more economically developed. The poorest nations in the world generally have poor systems to collect income and sales taxes and it is even more difficult because many people are not formally employed and many goods and services are sold through informal markets.
    Aug 15, 2011. 03:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Entrepreneurial Activity Recovering More Quickly in France Than in the U.S. [View article]
    If you could elaborate more on those data, that would be great. While I understand that 2006=100 in your chart I would be interested in seeing the raw numbers for a comparison. It would also be great to see the data adjusted for population differences among the countries, but people can do that themselves pretty easily also.
    Jun 29, 2011. 10:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Oracle's Open Source Retreat Means [View article]
    Regarding, I think that they had no choice but to open the project back up again considering how many key people defected to the LibreOffice project. I never understood Oracle's plan to monetize anyhow. I can't imagine that Sun made any real money from it either. As a LibreOffice user, I hope that the projects can reconverge to build a better office suite, although, LibreOffice has resolved many of the flaws in the codebase of, however.
    Jun 2, 2011. 05:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Second Mexico ETF Arrives 15 Years After First Product [View article]
    It is great to see another Mexican ETF offering. It is about time considering how many Brazilian offerings there are and that Mexico's GDP by PPP is only about 25% smaller than Brazil's.
    May 6, 2011. 11:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Now Serves One Third of Online U.S. Ads [View article]
    You should point out that if you include the Google's ad network (GOOG), the volume should be much greater than Yahoo! (YHOO) and more comparable to Facebook. At this point I can believe that Facebook might possibly beat Google in the sheer volume of ads even if the AdSense and YouTube are included, although I would be surprised if they actually beat Google just yet in revenue, but I won't be surprised if that happens in the future.
    May 4, 2011. 09:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment