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  • Is A Verizon Dividend Cut Impending? [View article]
    How about some empirical analysis instead of speculation?

    January 24, 2012 Earnings call transcript, Francis J Shammo:

    "Thanks, John, and good morning, everyone and happy new year. Before we get into the details, let me start with a few summary comments. We finished the year very strong, creating value for our shareholders in 2011 by generating a total return of 18.2% through a combination of stock price appreciation of 12.1% and our dividend payments. Our stock price appreciation outpaced our peers, as well as the S&P, Dow Jones and broader indices. For the fifth consecutive year, our Board of Directors approved a dividend increase, indicating their confidence in the sustainability of our business model, cash flows and our improving earnings profile into 2012 and beyond."
    Feb 9 03:11 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Annaly's Management More Concerned About Its Compensation Than The Spread? [View article]
    One of the reasons the retail investor does not trust Wall Street and Washington regulators is the unbridled greed of executives who dismiss their fiduciary relationship.

    It is simply horrific that the authorities allow executives and obsequious Boards of Directors to loot shareholder funds with impunity and not serve prison terms like common criminals; particularly so when there is a lack of performance and benefit to share owners.
    Mar 20 11:36 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Monopolizing Bandwidth [View article]
    This merger should be blocked! The FCC and Justice Department should stick to their mandate. The country needs more internet providers not fewer.

    Competition breeds innovation and lower prices. Monopolies and oligopolies lead to control, enrichment for the few and higher pricing for the many.

    Moreover, utilities particularly have been granted their franchises by and only by the government and have an obligation to deliver and protect services for the public common good. The regulatory agencies have slowly but surely been railroaded by lobbyists to bastardize their mandate by restricting rather than enabling competition. It is appalling that the U.S. lags so far behind the rest of the world in delivering adequate high speed at a reasonable cost because the few large players are doing their utmost to meet their own mandate of optimizing profits while the agencies continue to be duped from meeting theirs.
    Feb 17 05:41 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A dispute between an Indiana farmer and Monsanto (MON) over soybean seeds will be heard next week at the Supreme Court. At issue is how long MON can claim patent protection for its genetically engineered seeds, but it isn't just the agriculture world that's nervous about the outcome. Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have filed briefs saying a ruling against MON would "eviscerate" their patent protection. [View news story]
    Patents should be granted for a reasonable time to reward the original creativity and repay the investment. However, patents should expire in a reasonable time to promote access and lower costs. To allow companies, persons or their estates prolonged grants while particularly those who had no hand in the original creativity is poor public policy and not unlike the Rule Against Perpetuities in property law having been imposed to promote the fair distribution of wealth.
    Feb 15 11:10 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • JPMorgan cuts price targets across the mREIT (REM +1.2%) sector, but the move is one of catching up to the action rather than a call on prospects going forward. "We believe consensus forecasts for higher rates are already priced into current valuations." Those cut: NLY, WMC, AMTG, MFA. Apollo retains its Overweight rating (the others are Neutral) as it and Western Asset have additional hedges in place to mitigate losses on MBS. [View news story]
    Big bank analysis and announced ratings seem generally tardy and at best fodder for contemplating contrarian positions.
    Jul 17 11:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reasons The FCC Should Block The Comcast/TW Merger [View article]
    Spot-on article. This merger should be blocked! The FCC and Justice Department should stick to their mandate. The country needs more not fewer players.

    Competition breeds innovation and lower prices. Monopolies and oligopolies lead to control, enrichment for the few and higher pricing for the many.

    Moreover, utilities particularly have been granted their franchises by and only by the government and have an obligation to deliver and protect services for the public common good. The regulatory agencies have slowly but surely been railroaded by lobbyists to bastardize their mandate by restricting rather than enabling competition. It is appalling that the U.S. lags so far behind the rest of the world in delivering adequate high speed at a reasonable cost because the few large players are doing their utmost to meet their own mandate of optimizing profits while the agencies continue to be duped from meeting theirs.
    Feb 17 05:21 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Supervalu (SVU) says it's successfully completed two debt financing transactions, totaling $2.5B. The debt is structured in a new five-year $1.65B asset-based revolving credit facility, secured by the Company’s inventory, credit card receivables and certain other assets, and a new six-year $850M term loan, secured by a portion of the Company’s real estate and equipment. [View news story]
    Wish them luck but you certainly do not build market share on higher prices and gimmickry. They are not the likes of Whole Foods or Costco nor can they compete with Wal-Mart, Target or ALDI. In Chicagoland, they compete more with Dominick's who have also lost their way. Grocery is a tough, hands-on business.
    One size does not fit all. Thus far upper management has been occupied with B-school notions instead of understanding their local markets and customers. Another round of financing is admirable if they can execute.
    Aug 30 07:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chimera Sets Its Payout Through 2012, But Expands Its Accounting Snafu And Related Risks [View article]
    Financial restatements and reporting delays generally portend deteriorating conditions and results. When managements are not immediately forthright and are instead opaque concerning their finances investors beware.
    Aug 13 11:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Expect To See Facebook At $15 In Coming Quarters [View article]
    Corey,

    You have real horse sense! The Facebook IPO was a spectacular vehicle for a legal "pump and dump" at the expense of the public. The insiders, hedge funds and investment bankers made hundreds of millions and some billions of dollars.

    What is particularly noteworthy is that there was no apparent value intended to the initial stockholder and that is precisely what makes it a "dump" on the public offering. Shame on the underwriters for the ridiculously increased stock allotment & price, alleged insider tipoffs and for placing a pall on future IPOs, particularly in tech.

    Shame on the regulators as well for not doing their jobs in protecting the ordinary public investor but instead continuously hiding behind the shoddy excuse of not interfering with free enterprise.
    May 31 11:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Frontier Communications Go To Zero? [View article]
    Naysayers can take refuge in management's lack of forthrightness and execution. Supporters can only hope that a highly indebted company with continued loss of customer base will overcome the capex needed to maintain and improve its telecommunications niche and maintain the current dividend. Can it be done, possibly. However, the price action based on performance suggests otherwise.
    May 20 01:12 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy This Oil Stock Now While The Price Is Low [View article]
    Thank you for the thought-provoking article, Renee.

    With what appears to be a clueless or fawning BoD CHK leadership and ability to execute has come into question. The vultures are surely circling.
    However, as Mr. Swift astutely opines practicable NG application is likely years away with our less than efficient current national energy
    policies. Do you believe deep pockets are willing to wait or perhaps the the dominant players like XOM have already mustered the alliances to construct a viable NG consumption alternative?

    Lastly, what are your long COP reasons and will you be retaining both entities after the spinoff? Appreciate your thoughts.
    Apr 28 04:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Apple's Buyback And Dividend Plan Is A Disappointing Drop In The Bucket [View article]
    Attention deficit disorder. Instant gratification sufferers. Those monikers appear applicable to Apple Company and its stock naysayers and disappointees. Perhaps youth and/or a lack of long-term investment experience may also add to the mix.

    Naysayers should wake up and smell the coffee or could be that there is so much caffeine in their system that they do not realize that as each week, month and now year passes Apple is establishing itself as possibly the best company to have ever come public bar none by virtue of nearly every marketing metric.

    Apple has already created immense wealth and positively changed business and product benchmarks worldwide and there is little evidence to believe that progress will be arrested anytime in the next few years if at all. To negatively nitpick its use of cash, dividend policy or stock split plans is naive and insulting to a company and management that continues to deliver in spectacular fashion.
    Mar 19 11:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) William Weldon has been ripped as one of America's most-overpaid big company CEOs, and it looks like the coin will continue even on his way out the door: Weldon stands to collect pension benefits and deferred compensation valued at $143.5M after his retirement.  [View news story]
    This level of compensation is outrageous and is tantamount to stealing from shareholders. Public corporations are that and should be run for the benefit of stockholders not for the enrichment of executives and boards of directors who have a fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders. It is pure poppycock to believe that one or a small group of top executives have earned millions of dollars simply because they are holding the reins. This is particularly so for those who are fortunate enough to be at venerable companies where they have merely occupied a seat and have done little or nothing to enrich the shareholders via dividends or stock price. If these outrageous compensation practices continue then the corporate veil should be abandoned and the executives and BODs should be held personally accountable financially for profitability declines and negligent acts of the corporation. Those greedy execs and BODs need to have their skin in the game just like shareholders.
    Mar 15 04:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Windstream: Dividend Cut 30%, Stock Rallies 12% [View article]
    Financial engineering is a red flag of a management's inability to grow their businesses organically on behalf of stockholders. It usually benefits the executive suite by maintaining their positions and often with windfall compensation.

    Boards of Directors should exercise good corporate governance and not condone financial engineering which is merely a charade for a shortcoming in the company's products or services or a failure in management execution.
    Jul 30 04:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Windstream (WIN +0.6%) directors Samuel E. Beall and Carol B. Armitage recently bought 30K and 1K shares, respectively. The purchases come as Windstream trades near its 52-week low amidst concerns its hefty dividend (current yield of 12.5%) isn't sustainable. [View news story]
    These purchases are barely worthy of reporting and and are not remarkable nor inspire confidence particularly from Ms. Armitage who received $121K of $201K in cash of her total non-employee director 2012 compensation.

    What would be more remarkable is if public Boards of Directors would approve compensation for executives at a reasonable proportion to the lowest paid employee in the corporation and more importantly to growth profitability and not how peers in similar positions are compensated. This latter compensation standard is a deleterious concept which promotes mediocrity and a club environment instead of a competitive and excellent management.
    Apr 1 05:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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