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  • Tesco Turnaround Plan Is A Work In Progress  [View article]
    Im interested in people's thoughts on the long term profitability of the sector. You would expect Tesco to leverage its footprint with click and collect - and with online growing at double digit - this could provide the fillip it needs. Seems the momentum has swung back in favor of Tesco - exit the US - slow down store rollout - increase ROIC - and commence a buyback. im long - reckon its ok.
    Jan 14, 2013. 07:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Union Pacific Can Still Significantly Decrease The Operating Ratio  [View article]
    Great note - completely agree - longer term - no problem - US energy advantage with gas will increase competitiveness in all manufacturing sectors = more loadings - you are seeing German companies complaining of their inability to compete in energy intensive industries now - the US renaissance has begun
    Nov 14, 2012. 05:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kraft Foods Spin-Off: Should You Buy Kraft Or Mondelez International  [View article]
    Agree, management are awesome, massively overpay for an asset (cadbury), sell off the pizza business at a really cheap price, then demerge the company. Warren Buffett told Irene R, he didnt like the deal - she didnt listen. What would Warren Buffett know? Happy to see he hasnt completely torched the share price whilst selling down. Given the success of spin offs in the past (Greenblatt) i am happy holding, but to be honest, i have been really disappointed as a shareholder.
    Oct 1, 2012. 05:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Another sign of housing strength, Union Pacific (UNP) is pulling rail cars from storage for the first time in 4 years to keep up with demand for lumber from homebuilders. North American carloads of lumber and wood products through July 28 were up 10% Y/Y vs. a 1.4% decline in total carloads.  [View news story]
    We should all just acknowledge that we have no idea where house prices are heading. None of us picked the housing bubble in 2007 - though i am sure people will respond to this post saying they did - i highly doubt it. Now people think they can predict the recovery or the stagnation - whatever your viewpoint. Give up guys - there are two types of people; those who dont know, and those who dont know they dont know. Be in the former camp!
    Aug 8, 2012. 06:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rail Strength Continues At Union Pacific  [View article]
    Thats odd. I'm only showing 2 insider sales in the last 3 months of 6,500 and 1,202 being Barbara Schaeffer (HR) and Jeffrey Totusek (VP). Where are you reading 17 insider sales in he last 3 months?
    Jul 30, 2012. 01:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rail Strength Continues At Union Pacific  [View article]
    Excellent article. Write off the US at your own peril people. US in decline, rise of China, yadah yadah...whatever. The sleeping giant is wakening from its slumber. Strap in boys and girls! Here we go!
    Jul 23, 2012. 06:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. economic activity is slow but holding in a steady pattern, with "really not anything that we could put our finger on to tell you that the economy is getting softer," Union Pacific (UNP) CEO Jack Koraleski says. The steep slump in coal shipments likely has bottomed out, and overall peak-season shipping volumes should be a little higher than in 2011, he says.   [View news story]
    Fortunately, the US economy is the best of a bad bunch, and it is recovering, albeit slowly. Emerging from a debt binge is by the stairs, not the elevator. I expect the US economy to continue slow sub-trend growth and UNP to be a beneficiary of a structural shift from road to rail. Just waiting on housing now...waiting...waitin... like the shampoo, it wont happen overnight, but it will happen! ;)
    Jul 2, 2012. 09:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Union Pacific: Diversification Helping Company Post Record Results But Valuation Rich  [View article]
    Sorry - i completely disagree with your analysis.

    "Union Pacific's trailing 5 year valuation metrics suggest that the stock is fairly valued to slightly overvalued as two of its metrics are above their respective 5 year averages and one is just below"

    Be careful valuing this one thru the rear vision mirror. The question you need to ask is whether the next 5 years, will look like the last 5 years. The economy is emerging from the greatest recession since the 1930s. US is emerging with one of the best equipped and lowest cost skilled labour forces in the world. US manufacturing is increasing for the first time in 30 years. Housing is bottoming. US needs to export its way out of debt - and it will. Guess who will be hauling these exports...? UNP

    "Union Pacific's current P/B ratio is 2.9 and it has averaged 2.2 over the past 5 years with a high of 2.8 and low of 1.3"

    UNP were not previously earning their return on capital, hence the price to book was lower. Have a look at their returns on incremental capital now - they are >20%. P/B should therefore rise.

    "Union Pacific's current P/E ratio is 15.7 and it has averaged 16.1 over the past 5 years with a high of 24.4 and low of 9.3"

    Agree - it is middle of the range. Although i would add that the economy is running on 3 of its 8 cylinders. Unemployment at 8%+ is not any where near full employment. Housing will rectify this stat.

    "The company has reported earnings that have differed from analyst estimates by a small margin which suggests that the stock should experience limited upside from earnings surprises."

    Maybe or perhaps they are keeping a lid on expectations - only time will tell.
    Apr 27, 2012. 02:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GlaxoSmithKline: Why Should It Be Avoided At These Prices  [View article]
    Hi Alex and thanks for your analysis, you make some good points. I would however caution the use of trailing metrics to value forward looking businesses. It is also worth looking at patent expiry profiles as these differ markedly with the comparison stocks you highlight. Further, GSK has solid emerging market exposure and is a leader in vaccine which isnt subject to the same level of competition as pharma stocks (as the vaccine changes from year to year). I would also look at the ROCE on each of these stocks and the management teams leading them. On those grounds, I wouldnt be too hasty to offload GSK stock but appreciate your perspective.
    Jan 16, 2012. 04:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • H&R Block Deserves a Look by Value Investors  [View article]
    Excellent analysis. Is HRB suffering from a cyclical or a structural issue. I sense a little bit of both. Either way, i believe the stock has been oversold. My biggest concern is/was the mortgage putbacks, this issue appears to be abating. As they say, "If you wait for the robins, spring will be over!".
    Dec 14, 2010. 04:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Poor Sentiment in Mortgages Presents Opportunity in H&R Block  [View article]
    Perhaps a little melodramatic. The new IRS regulations will affect all participants...not just HRB. Very good note Saj, my only lingering concern is the mortgage put backs. A $188m reserve on $30b outstanding, seems very small. Not too sure how i can get comfortable with this issue. Any suggestions would be welcome? I found management in the last quarter earnings conference to be a little opaque. Not a good sign...the chairman's stock certainly helps though!
    Oct 30, 2010. 08:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment