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  • Exxon Mobil Goes Head-To-Head With This Energy Play [View article]
    I've owned Exxon/Exxon Mobil ever since 1994 when I snail-mailed $250 to it's DRIP headquarters (then in Pittsburgh, now it's administered by

    Like you, it's a significant part of my portfolio (8%) and instead of adding to it (the DRIP has no purchase sees), I decided to put a small, steady, dollar-cost-averaging, automatic, monthy amount in Conoco Phillips' no-purchase-fee DRIP (also at Computershare). It has become mostly and explore and pump crude/gas company with so suberb finds and prospects, pays a 3.3% dividend, and has returned 20% this year yet has a P/E of 13.0, less than Exxon's 13.8.

    When my COP shares become significant, if Exxon's earnings still are faltering I may move most of my Exxon money into something like Aflac with just a 2.3% dividend, but a better and long-term-stable growth rate. Similar stable companies I'd consider are Wells Fargo, Costco, and Walmart.
    Jul 19, 2014. 03:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Large-Scale Natural Gas Exports Inching Toward Reality [View article]
    Most of the natural gas being shipped out of America to raise the price is pumped out of citizen-owned ground. If the companies get more money for depleting our natural resources, the royalties the government gets should be adjusted way up. The typical contract for oil called for paying the citizens $6 per barrel when the price was $35 per barrel. At $100 per barrel, the citizens get $6.65 for their oil. Thank your GOP and Dem Congressional puppets next time you see them or vote.
    Jul 18, 2014. 11:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Abbott Laboratories Declared Its 362nd Quarterly Dividend, But Earnings Were Mediocre [View article]
    "Since that article was published the stock is down 2.01% while the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) is down 0.19% in the same timeframe. It's safe to say that I saved some heartache by not putting on a full position back then."

    Some heartache? No one can predict short-term market moves. If you had spent 2.01% more for ADDING to Abbott, it wouldn't have much effect over the long run - the dividend alone would "pay" for your "mistake." On the other hand, if Abbott becomes a popular stock, you probably won't add to your position until it's selling for more than you would have paid before the 2.01% drop.
    Jul 17, 2014. 10:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America: Get Out Now, The Bank's Coffin Is About To Be Nailed Shut [View article]
    Those are a lot of significant things to think about David, and thanks!

    But the QE has already dropped from $85B to $25B/month without seismic problems. I don't think the last $25B is going to matter much.

    Additionally, BAC's eps is getting hammered by fines ($35B so far and maybe $12B more, minus the recovery of the value of returned bonds, etc.) and by goodwill (trademarks, exclusive contracts, etc.) due to the acquisitions of Merrill Lynch and Countrywide.
    Those subtractions will fade away by 2016 or 2017 and it's easy to project $3 to $6/share eps: it was $4.67/share before the 2008 crash without Merrill and Countrywide and it has more than a $2/share cash flow now in spite of fines.
    If it's P/E drops in half to 10 by then, that would still mean $30 to $60/share. It's $15.31 right now.
    I imprudently moved some of my non-stock nest egg to make BAC 1/12 of all my stock holdings in early 2011 at $11/share and have been smile ever since. I'll ride out the next couple of years bumps unless something fundamental changes.
    Jul 11, 2014. 10:52 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America Is My Best Subversive Dividend Idea [View article]
    I agree Bank of America (BAC) should soar in price, but my reasoning is a little more straightforward. BAC's eps became constantly positive in successive quarters beginning in early 2013 (I jumped in at $11/share). But the eps is much less than it would be if it wasn't gouged by 2 things right now: fines and goodwill - both mostly due to the government virtually forcing it to acquire Merrill Lynch and Countrywide in 2008.
    By 2016 or 2017, those subtractions will fall away and it's easy to forecast $3 to $6/share earnings. It's cash flow is over $2/share now in spite of the $35B in fines it's already absorbed and its eps before the crash - without Merrill and Countrywide - was $4.67/share.
    Even if it's P/E falls in half to 10 by then, that would mean a share price of $30 to $60/share. It's $15.31 right now!
    Jul 11, 2014. 10:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • HCP: Decidedly More Affordable After CEO Got Fired [View article]
    "Recently HCP's share price pulled back"

    Still, it's had the second highest gain of my 12 stocks for 2014 at 17% including dividends (I bought the last 1/8 of my position in January and February thru HCP's no-purchase-fee DRIP, administered by Wells Fargo's shareowneronline).

    If you base part of your evaluation of HCP on Price/FFO as S&P reports does instead of Price/Earnings or EV/CFO or EV/EBITDA, you get a good approximation of how a REIT compares to the P/E's of companies in other sectors. HCP's is a low 14.0 right now.
    Jul 10, 2014. 10:10 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America Has Been Dead Money For 20 Years: Did They Fire The Right People? [View article]
    Good Points. I bought BAC in early 2013 at ~$11/share. It seems to be chugging along successfully and many of its fines and court problems are due to Hank Paulson virtually forcing BAC to acquire Merrill Lynch and Countrywide. When that hurdle -and the goodwill that's still subtracted from earnings for the acquisition- are done, BAC shares should soar.
    Jul 2, 2014. 06:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Can You Trust Buying Bank Of America? [View article]
    I pulled am imprudent amount out of the "safe" non-stock part of my portfolio to make BAC nearly 10% of my stocks when it was $11/share in 2013.

    I did NOT expect it to rise considerably until all the fines and litigation are over and eps grows significantly. Also, goodwill and other intangibles are being subtracted from reported earnings -though no money leaves BAC's treasury- as an accounting method to explain the difference between the cost of acquiring Merrill Lynch and Countrywide and their physical asset values. Goodwill is due to diminish significantly over then next few years.

    So, in 2016 or 2017, BAC could easily double. Since it passed the most recent government stress test, it's not likely to lose a lot of my original capital if things don't work out well.
    Jul 2, 2014. 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Am Not Always An Advocate Of Spin-Offs Or Breakups [View article]
    I've owned ABT since 1994 and if you're not extremely pleased with what's happened to both ABT and ABBV after ABBV was spun-off at the beginning of 2013, there's no pleasing you!
    Jun 30, 2014. 10:51 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite Flat Earnings, Sirius Is Still A Strong Buy [View article]
    ""everyone listens when Jim Cramer speaks." That's not a bad thing a large percentage of the time. Someday, some zealous blogger will research several firms and publish their track records."

    It's already been done. A year or so ago, Cramer had claimed to have strongly beaten the S&P 500 over a 10 year period. But he counted his dividends without counting the S&P 500's dividends. When they were added, Cramer beat the S&P 500 by a grand total of 0.9% over 10 years - despite having teams of researchers and a TV show to influence stock prices.
    Jun 24, 2014. 08:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What 2 Macro Trends Are Propelling Abbott Laboratories? [View article]
    "Abbott Laboratories encourages dividend investing on the company's investor relations page through a 1-page PDF document."

    The easiest way to join it is go to, which administers the Drip for Abbott and spinoff Abbvie. Both have no-purchase-fee DRIP's where you can set up automatic monthly investments of as little as $25/month.

    I would point out that ABT has a very low ROE compared to the industry average but has made dramatic improvements over the past year. That gives Abbott some additional room to grow.

    I've been in Abbott's DRIP since the early 90's and it and Abbvie (spun-off the beginning of 2013) are my largest stock holdings.
    Jun 11, 2014. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Abbott And CFR Pharmaceutical - A Good Investment Combo [View article]
    "Abbott Labs is seriously contemplating selling off a portion of its senior drugs"

    I thought that after this rumor emerged, Abbott stated there was no truth to it. The acquisition of CFR would seem to reinforce the idea Abbott's not selling off senior drugs.

    The problem with low ROE was an across-all-divisions problem for Abbott after Abbvie was spun-off at the start of 2013. There have been dramatic improvements and the remaining room-for-improvement to catch up to the industry average is encouraging.
    Jun 11, 2014. 12:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Baidu's Price Performance As Of Late Is Unfounded; Shares Worth $225+ [View article]
    Standard & Poors recently adjusted, way down, it's forecasts. After earning $4.73/share in 2012 and a not-so-great-increase to $4.87 in 2013, S&P is expecting $4.86 for 2014. Long Term Debt as a % of capitalization was 1% in 2010 and 29% by the end of 2013.

    As Peter Lynch pointed out in "One Up On Wall Street," it's tremendously hard to maintain 25% of greater annual growth for more than several years. S&P notes inroads being made in an area where it's not been demonstrated that Baidu's success can't be reproduced by others.

    On the other hand, Baidu's P/E of 32.6 is low compared to it's potential growth rate.
    May 22, 2014. 06:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Emerson Electric - Great Company, Lack Of Compelling Value [View article]
    At a current P/E of 24, EMR is the highest P/E in my mostly conservative, dividend stock portfolio.

    I wouldn't suggest buying it short term, but at the consensus avg. annual eps growth rate of 9.75% for the next five years plus the 2.54% dividend, that's an 12.29% avg. annual return. If the P/E drops to 20 in 5 years, you'd still get an 8.3% avg. annual return. Personally, I dollar-cost-average a little in EMR's no-purchase-fee DRIP administered (free) at Computershare, though the automatic monthly purchase option, so I expect to do a little better than average long-term.
    May 14, 2014. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Batten Down Your REIT Hatches? [View article]
    I first noticed HCP, currently my 2nd largest holding, while crying over how my REIT investment didn't jump back up as quickly as most stocks after the 2008-9 crash. HCP did much better through that period than most REITs.

    HCP's contracts also tend to be short-term and less sensitive to interest rate changes. It has raised its dividend 28 straight years which now represents a very comfortable 72% of FFO.

    Note that when you look at REIT's there are so many intangibles subtracted from eps, even though they don't represent any real money being taken out of the treasury, that it's much more sensible to look at Price/FFO or Dividend/FFO, where FFO is "Funds From Operations" - essentially the REIT version of Cash Flow.
    May 14, 2014. 11:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment