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  • Verizon Unbundling Shows Weakness In Phone Model [View article]
    Your comments are correct. But they do not address the author's contention that telcos are losing the battle with cable to provide broadband internet access. The cable companies also provide unwanted programming and are under pressure from the likes of roku, hulu, Apple tv, Netflix, et al. to unbundle.
    Apr 18, 2015. 08:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing Abroad - Key Is Total Return [View article]
    Mark, a depreciating currency should result in expanding PE ratios as multi nationals benefit from the translation effect on overseas earnings and newly found competitiveness for domesticly produced goods. Over the very long run my 30 years of investing internationally ( starting in your firm's Zurich office) suggests to me that the fx impact is a wash for investors. However, while owning non US stocks in my portfolios I have also added hedged ETFs from Wisdom Tree.

    Your comments about the impact of fx on bonds is interesting. There is nothing that really can offset the fx impact on a non dollar fixed income portfolio. A declining exchange rate will not necessarily lead to lower rates, might just lead to the opposite.
    Feb 14, 2015. 08:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill to ban online gambling floating around Congress again [View news story]
    In the UK and Australia on-line gambling has been around for a few years and the record does not suggests that it creates greater levels of problem gambling. In fact those countries have lower levels of problem gambling than the US.

    I would also suggest that, though existing casino operators have experience and the wherewithal to build their own on-line presence, the existence of nationwide online gambling is a huge threat, and they recognize that. Once on-line becomes a presence in any industry disrupters will enter the market place. There's no guarantee that existing players will be able to respond. Just check in with Barnes & Noble.

    An on-line presence requires much less capital than a physical presence does. Existing owners of real estate based gambling will have to respond by building their own on-line presence and at the same see returns on their legacy capital base deteriorate. This is similar to what is happening to a lot of software companies that are transitioning to the cloud. Short term pain for hoped for long term gain. But the transition creates greater risk. Some will fail to make the transition.

    No doubt Adelson and Wynn recognize this.
    Feb 6, 2015. 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips' Pragmatic Management Continues To Be Ahead Of The Curve (And Exxon Mobil) [View article]
    Thanks, it was a good article. I've owned CVX for years and usually comped it vs XOM. Was a mistake not to look at COP more closely. XOM's management made some bad acquisitions and they have not done a great job creating value.

    I am also a bit worried about CVX because I do not particularly like their Asian LNG exposure. Capex based on nat gas long term contract prices may be a problem for them. Not sure how good those contracts will be. European gas buyers have renegotiated nat gas contracts to reflect the changed environment. Asian nat gas buyers could do the same. Something similar happened in iron ore a few years ago when the miners went from annual contract to spot.

    Kind of hoping we get another leg down in oil. Will try to use it to increase exposure. Tough to time though. Oil share prices usually bottom before the price of oil and oil before rig count.
    Feb 6, 2015. 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Inventories Continue To Swell [View article]
    thanks for the info Lynn. Suggests that the price of oil may continue to find some support as excess supply goes into storage.
    Feb 6, 2015. 08:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bill to ban online gambling floating around Congress again [View news story]
    Ryan, in complete agreement with you. Online gambling is just one of many forms. Systems can be built in to limit bet size, etc. to minimize risk. There is till plenty of illegal gambling taking place and efforts to restrict gambling will only drive people to illegal venues. Vested interests and big campaign donations are behind this. States rights and the free market are at risk.
    Feb 5, 2015. 03:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips' Pragmatic Management Continues To Be Ahead Of The Curve (And Exxon Mobil) [View article]
    How about just owning COP alone? How does that strand up to XOM and CVS?

    Yes, PSX has done great following the spinoff, as has its peers. And that definitely was a decision that created value for shareholders.

    But COP's peers, XOM and CVX over the last six months, since before the collapse in the oil price, have actually outperformed COP.
    Feb 5, 2015. 01:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Oil Inventories Continue To Swell [View article]
    Guess I'd like to know how much storage capacity is left. What % of the land based tanks are fully topped up and how many tankers are available for water borne storage. At some point, I would think, when storage capacity is full oil futures go into backwardation and then the price plummets.
    Feb 5, 2015. 12:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Morgan Stanley Sees Oil Exposure Risk, Lowers La Quinta's Price Target [View article]
    Shawn........
    I'm in your camp. Black stone has to sell, it's simply how private equity works. You have to cash out at some point. I also, like you don't disagree with JY's thesis that they have heavy oil exposure and may disappoint with upcoming results. I bought after the IPO and had a decent, though short term gain, but sold partially based on JY's analysis. The hotels in TX are more likely to be fully owned than franchised so the hit to LQ's bottom line is greater. However, longer term this is a good story. They are moving steadily to the full franchise model which means a steady growth in ROIC and free cash flow. The new hotel formats are also attractive and competitive with other hotels in their category. And they have room to expand geographically in the US and in South America. There is a growth story here as well as a free cash flow story. Debt will be paid down quickly. If the shares get hit on upcoming results I may look to get back in.
    Jan 27, 2015. 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Profit From The Oil Price Crash And Follow Blackstone: Short La Quinta Holdings [View article]
    Josh, this is an interesting piece and much better than the majority of articles I read on SA. That doesn't mean I agree with your conclusion but it does make we want to do some more work on the stock. I am an owner from just after the IPO. Could you tell me which hotel operators in TX disclose geography specific revenue and EBITDA. LQ is clearly exposed to the state, which has been a good thing, but it will certainly be overexposed if in fact they have been housing a lot of oil workers. Your comparison to CVEO is perhaps a bit of hyperbole but I get the point. Thanks for the article.
    Jan 16, 2015. 12:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crown Castle International: Toxic Mix Of Poor Returns, High Price And Lots Of Debt [View article]
    around 11-12% and 10-11% respectively for 2015.
    Jan 9, 2015. 12:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crown Castle International: Toxic Mix Of Poor Returns, High Price And Lots Of Debt [View article]
    Yup, non renewals were expected given the merger activity in the sector. The company's Q3 announcement was simply stating what everybody knew already. Very old news now. You can expect the growth rate to accelerate once the anniversary of these non renewals are reached.
    Jan 9, 2015. 08:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crown Castle International: Toxic Mix Of Poor Returns, High Price And Lots Of Debt [View article]
    Clayton, POB's comments above reference 3% rent escalators. So there are your low single digits. He gets to 7% growth from leasing new space on the towers. Yes, the carriers are getting aggressive on price but they compete on quality of the network as well. Lower prices also creates increased data usage and thus increased need for tower space. Prefer AMT and SBAC (see my comments above) but like all three.
    Jan 7, 2015. 10:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Crown Castle International: Toxic Mix Of Poor Returns, High Price And Lots Of Debt [View article]
    DP, you say that you accept there is a difference between accounting appreciation and economic depreciation but you do not adjust for that in your analysis. Your analysis above notes that the payout ratio is greater than 100% and that the p/e is 150X. These calculations are based on accounting not economic depreciation. CCI will cover its dividend from cash flow after spending over $500 mn per annum on capex, $20 mn on taxes, and over $400 mn on interest.

    The idea that they may have to cut their dividend seems a stretch. It would take a dramatic change in their business to make that happen. One of the attractions of the cell tower business is its stability.

    I have other issues with CCI. If investors do not respond to the recent doubling of the dividend and value CCI more in line with other REITs then the comany may have troubling funding future acquisitions. Given CCI's level of debt and their desire to remain investment grade it would seem that any major acquisition would require the issuance of equity. Issuing at the current valuation would be expensive.

    On the other hand CCI offers a 4% yield and can continue to grow the dividend at mid to high single digit pace. Some may find this appealing.
    Dec 30, 2014. 05:06 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's Search Business May Not Survive The Next 10 Or 20 Years [View article]
    why will GOOG rule the robotics industry?
    Dec 19, 2014. 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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