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SA Editor Stephen Alpher

SA Editor Stephen Alpher
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  • "War" breaks out between AIG and Berkshire [View news story]
    I think regulators might have a thing or two to say about a BRK purchase of AIG.
    Sep 13 10:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Add Spark Networks And Give Your Portfolio Some Love [View article]
    Whopper, I think you mean Tinder, and it's taking over ...

    http://bit.ly/1awSXXM
    Sep 9 12:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Guitar Investment And New Guitar [View instapost]
    I should add that I owned a beautiful Gibson SG in college and sold it for a woefully low price to help fund some silly trip that I can't even remember now.
    Aug 16 09:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Guitar Investment And New Guitar [View instapost]
    "Are" is probably the wrong word as I play little to none nowadays. I do still have my Fender from back in the day, though there's little special about my particular model.
    Aug 16 08:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Guitar Investment And New Guitar [View instapost]
    Fender American Special Strat please!
    Aug 14 08:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fox Sports wins golf major [View news story]
    Wow. I hope they don't screw up the greatest event in golf. Going to miss Johnny Miller.
    Aug 8 07:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • State Street (STT) looks to take on iShares' (BLK) dominant small cap ETF (IWM) with the Tuesday launch of the SPDR Russell 2000 ETF (TWOK). IWM currently has $23.3B in AUM and an expense ratio of 0.24%. This compares to other far smaller competitors like Schwab's SCHA at 0.08% and Vanguard's VB at 0.10%. Previous: Small cap stocks outpace the S&P 500. Other reasonably popular ETFs: IJS, IJR.
      [View news story]
    David, neither State Street's site nor the prospectus contains expense data yet.

    http://1.usa.gov/1a6BukY
    Jul 8 04:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Panicky selling grips the mortgage REITs (REM -3.5%) as Treasury yields soar following the payroll report. American Capital (AGNC -6.9%), (MTGE -5%), Annaly (NLY -6.9%) Chimera (CIM -4.9%), Armour (ARR -3.9%), Invesco (IVR -2.7%), CYS Investments (CYS -3%). CYS' Kevin Grant was public a month ago about being a happy buyer as yields rose - a bit early on that call. [View news story]
    It may be good at some point, but it's bad first. The values of their highly levered portfolios drop as rates rise.
    Jul 5 09:52 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank of America (BAC) has rejected a request from AIG to reopen negotiations over the $8.5B MBS settlement after the judge overseeing the Article 77 hearing suggested mediation rather than waiting for her to rule. The actions suggest BofA is feeling confident the judge will approve the deal, and AIG may have waited a couple of years too long before trying to work out a better arrangement. The hearing resumes July 8. [View news story]
    Right. The judge can only approve or not approve the settlement. She can't award a higher amount.
    Jun 27 08:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • As previously tipped, Chimera Investment (CIM) holds it payout steady, declaring a Q2 dividend of $0.09/share for an annualized yield of 11.7%. It's possible at least some portion of that dividend is return of capital, rather than ordinary income or capital gain, says the company, which also estimates economic book value as of March 31 of $3.08/share vs. an estimated $3.04/share in Dec. 31 (the company is behind on its Qs, so these remain estimates). [View news story]
    Economic book value of $3.08. It's the more relevant figure.
    Jun 19 04:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More from CYS Investments at KBW (previous): The speed (page 9) with which mortgage rates have increased in unlike anything seen even during the financial crisis, says CEO Kevin Grant. He muses over whether Bernanke's May testimony (taper) was confused messaging or an intentional market test. The punishment inflicted on mREITs (MORT) is well-known, but don't forget: Refinance activity will crater - gain on sale windfall to banks may be over, home affordability is now diminished, banks will be pushed to Treasurys over credit risk as the ROE on government paper is now improved. Grant's talk (webcast) is one all mREIT investors will value. [View news story]
    Whether recent events prove positive or not for the mREITs remains to be seen. Grant thinks it's positive (http://seekingalpha.co...), as spreads have blown out and he's a buyer. Prepayment risk has also disappeared.
    Jun 4 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A below par reading on personal spending for April was affected by lower gas prices and home heating bills and isn't a biting indictment on retail spending (AEO, ANF, ARO, BBBY, BBY, BJ, CHS, COH, COST, DG, DLTR, GPS, HD, JCP, JWN, KSS, LOW, LTD, M, NDN, NKE, ODP, PIR, PLCE, RSH, SKS, SPLS, TGT, TJX, URBN, WMT, WSM, ZLC), according to economists. Auto sales also cooled off just a bit in April which had an impact. So far, retail trends have been largely favorable in May as the height of the spring selling season shifted a few weeks later. [View news story]
    Report was for April. It's June in less than 24 hours.
    May 31 09:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Keep an eye on property casualty insurers (TRV, ALL, CB, AIG) after all posted notable declines amid the Oklahoma City tornado disaster yesterday. The dip following Sandy proved a great buying opportunity (though from much lower levels). [View news story]
    "yesterday"
    May 21 09:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Newly public ING U.S. (VOYA) is up 20% since its IPO 2 weeks ago, but only trades at 60% of book value compared to the average life insurer (MET, HIG, PRU) selling for near book, writes Andrew Bary. Not only that, but the company is misunderstood - it's more retirement-services specialist and asset manager (think PFG) than life insurer, and should command an even higher valuation. What's more the seller (ING) was forced by regulators to do so against its will, the ING CEO calling it a "significant destruction of capital." Spinoff & Reorg Profiles - rarely a fan of promoted IPOs - think's it's worth $31. With an easily digestible $6B market cap, it might be worth even more to an acquirer. [View news story]
    The MC and the Barron's piece both state the average price/book of the life insurers mentioned is about 1 (excluding VOYA). Some (PRU, PFG) are above, some (MET, HIG) are below.

    At $31.17, HIG trades at 80% of its $39.09 stated book as of March 31 (excluding AOCI).
    May 20 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The spinoff of New Residential (NRZ) from Newcastle Investment (NCT) has been completed and NRZ will begin trading on the NYSE today. At the moment, NCT is indicated to open at $5.83, NRZ at $6.70 - a total of $12.53 vs. yesterday's NCT close of $12.33. (PR)  [View news story]
    I'm surprised it wasn't immediate.
    May 16 11:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
535 Comments
635 Likes