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  • Buyout talk swirls around General Mills again [View news story]
    The takeover of GIS by Nestle has been swirling in the ozone since the early '90s when the joint venture--Cereal Partners Worldwide--was formalized between the two companies. Given the recent activity with Heinz, the rumor continues to be a possibility, in my opinion. However, as I have for twenty years or more, I buy GIS on the fundamentals Long Term, and not with a jackpot takeover in mind. In an increasingly global economy, GIS is still fundamentally an American company (unlike Kellogg) so the geographic synergies from a takeover by Nestle are real. I just don't think it is worth speculating in that this is not news. I continue to like GIS because it has a good dividend, it has good management, and it has a great product line (and increasingly so as they expand their offering outside of RTEC (ready to eat cereals). The issue is that RTEC is still a huge chunk of their business and the margins will continue to be eroded as PL (private label) offerings continue to improve in quality and are more cost-friendly, putting pressure on GIS profits for now and the foreseeable future.
    Jul 20, 2015. 02:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BDC Volatility For 2015: Part 1 [View article]
    Buzz. Another fine, clearly written and informative article. Would that everyone who writes for Seeking Alpha add as much value as you do. Thanks. I am currently long ARCC and HTGC. I like the portfolio companies for HTGC but am currently waffling on buying more shares. Do you see more downside from where the stock currently is, and a chance to buy it more cheaply? Besides the sale of new issues recently, and general twitchiness of the sector these days, I can't identify what else seems to be driving the company down. Any insights would help. CP
    Jul 8, 2015. 11:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hercules Technology Growth Capital: What Comes Next? [View article]
    BDC Buzz. I would love to have your insight as I respect your expertise in this sector (thanks again for all the great articles, BTW.) I finally had the time to start reading HTGC's summary leading into the shareholders' meeting on July 7th. Upon looking at the list of "2014 Named Executive Officers" I noted that 3 of the 5 have resigned, 1 of the 5 has stepped down as an executive officer (but remains at the company) and only Mr. Henriquez remains on the executive list. I do not pretend to be a sophisticated investor, but normally this huge "shift" or exodus in a company would seem to indicate some internal trouble. Do you have any insights to share? I am long HTGC as I thought it was well managed, and like the kinds of companies they have invested in, but with a continued loss, I would value any opinion or knowledge you might be able to share. Thanks.
    May 28, 2015. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • General Mills: Uninterrupted Dividends For 116 Years [View article]
    Good article and well written as well as informative. I have owned "The Mills" since 1993 and between splits, the solid dividend and long slow growth it has been the star of my IRA. Many thanks for giving me reasons to continue to look at good entry points to buy more.
    May 19, 2015. 07:57 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Revisiting Verizon [View article]
    Would that I could get this kind of exhaustive analysis from my retail broker...many thanks.
    May 7, 2015. 02:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Feed Your Family With These 4 Monthly Paying REITs [View article]
    A belated thank you to AzErTy and PendragonY for your input on ARCP. Very helpful. Best, CP
    Apr 27, 2015. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Feed Your Family With These 4 Monthly Paying REITs [View article]
    Does anyone have thoughts on ARCP? I know it was slammed by chicanery on the part of its recent ex-CEO and a poor board, and all its previous numbers had to be re-stated. I have been advised that it is a lot more solid than its price warrants (all the bad news is behind it, problems fixed, new honest CEO etc.) and is undersold. I am skeptical. I do like the 10% dividend (though have no idea where they are finding the money--borrowing most likely) and it pays monthly as well. Any opinions or insights appreciated.
    Apr 25, 2015. 09:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Feed Your Family With These 4 Monthly Paying REITs [View article]
    For a bumbling novice in REITs, this is an informative and useful article. I also love that Mr. Thomas manages to impart investing wisdom without a hint of pontification. Lastly, how "refreshing" to read about investments and frozen yogurt (plus toppings) in the same article! Keep them coming please, and many thanks. (Oh, and frozen yogurt is not ice cream, but if it looks like a duck, tastes as sweet as a duck, and can carry the same toppings as a duck...)
    Apr 23, 2015. 05:24 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zacks' Bear Of The Day: Freeport-McMoRan [View article]
    I think Total Return Investor's comment is spot on. Copper and oil will continue to be a necessity so now is a good time to buy in both sectors. As far as Freeport Mac goes, although I hold it at a loss, I bought on the way down (too early, as it turned out) but may consider buying a little more if it looks like it has reached its nadir. If I had it all over again, I might refrain from buying when I did, but I see the huge dividend slash as the right move and I am glad they bit the bullet and cut. Their debt load continues to be a huge worry--particularly with shrinking revenues.
    Apr 1, 2015. 08:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 10 BDC Issues For 2015: Part 4 [View article]
    Buzz. I first started buying BDC's without knowing much about them--a stupid thing to do. The crash in 2008 was a tough lesson. I now read as much as I can, but your knowledgeable postings on this sector are invaluable. When stuff is free (including intellectual capital) I tend to be a cynic and generally believe "you get what you pay for" the case of your postings, I feel I am getting a lot more. Many thanks. (I felt I had to write this having only just read the last exchange between other followers of your postings, you and Mr. Koleff).
    Feb 4, 2015. 12:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips: Key Takeaways From Guidance [View article]
    Oil is a limited resource. The price of oil will start to rise again at some point as it always does, and that is what happens with limited resources--eventually people bid the price back up. The best time to buy a great company at a fair price is when they go down in price significantly. In my opinion, COP is a well-run company and the current cuts in capex spending etc., are a good move in this environment. I am going to buy a little more at this price (I have held shares in this company since 1997) and sit back and relax while the dividend rolls in. Just my opinion. Enjoy everyone's comments. Many thanks.
    Jan 31, 2015. 07:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • CenturyLink: A Poor Choice Compared To AT&T And Verizon [View article]
    Thanks for an informative article. I appreciate a good summary in support of staying neutral on CTL as it saves me the trouble of doing a great deal of digging myself. That said, is the fact that CTL is acquiring companies such as Savvis to expand their business into technology services and away from telecommunications a reason to look at CTL more favorably as an investment? Would like to hear your thoughts on this. Many thanks.
    Jan 10, 2015. 01:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 10 BDC Issues For 2015: Part 4 [View article]
    Another useful article about a sector that is hard to find information about. Many thanks. I am still on a learning curve on this class of security, but my instinct is to take a lower dividend yield for a higher price to NAV, coupled with internal management as my key criteria. Thus, I am long HTGC. Should I be looking at another criterion as well? I like to keep things simple, but am always looking for advice from someone who knows the sector so intimately. Keep those articles coming!
    Jan 7, 2015. 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should You Sell General Mills After 2015 Outlook Reduction? [View article]
    I have held GIS for many years and have it in my children's portfolios as well. I am not sanguine about the possibility of future growth in the RTEC industry (ready to eat cereals) and prepared packaged foods seem to be hitting headwinds. The pluses are, as you have summarized, good management and a hefty palette of top brands in various sectors, not to mention a solid dividend and dividend history. My big "dream" for growth in the stock is a takeover bid from a global company like Nestle or Unilever, but this is probably wishful "dreaming". Good article. Thanks.
    Nov 11, 2014. 05:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pfizer Does Not Need AstraZeneca [View article]
    Your article neatly sums up all the good reasons to hold/buy Pfizer. It supports what my rational investor side thinks (I am long PFE in numerous accounts and have some shares left me by my mother that have a cost basis of $1.50) My problem is that my gut hates the fact that it doesn't seem to move up very much...despite all the good financial news. Your chart points out the key negative on this company--growth rate. I will continue to hold the stock in this climate of pathetic interest rates on savings and money markets since the dividend beats a poke in the eye with etc. etc. but it seems to me that sooner or later, there has to be something on the order of organic growth (a new drug?) as opposed to buying back shares and cutting costs. I suppose one way to look at PFE is the way I look at T--a good retirement income stock with limited downside, and some possible modest upside. Thanks for a good article on the benefits of keeping Pfizer in the portfolio.
    Nov 11, 2014. 01:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment