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  • Nasdaq Dividend Achievers: Southern Company [View article]
    Southern has been a stellar performer over the years. However, current management and the Board have obviously faltered with the recent plant build outs and cost overruns. Changes are in order and the company needs to get back on track pronto.
    Mar 13, 2015. 01:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Often Overlooked Danger When Investing In S&P 500 Utility Stocks - Part 10A [View article]
    Agreed. Still a good utility but the Board and its executives should be held responsible for the runaway costs of its new plants. Immediate changes are in order to get back on track.
    Mar 7, 2015. 02:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Medallion Financial Delivers Record Earnings With Zero Taxi Loan Losses [View article]
    In the long-run traditional cabs and ride-sharing can exist side by side but after the initial hype ironically it is the ride-sharing industry that needs to reassess its journey.

    The introduction of ride-sharing companies has initially and understandably disrupted the traditional supplier taxi market. For technology-oriented and hip consumers this has been good. With the related hype there has been much fanfare and hoopla about the demise of the traditional cab. But critical thinking is necessary to analyze the long-term future effects of ride-sharing vs the traditional cab.

    This business is about moving a person reliably and safely from point A to point B in a vehicle for hire deployed on a street or road for a price. Depending on geography the business requires the driver to own or lease the vehicle for hire or work for an employer on a salaried or split commission basis.

    Traditional cabs have done an excellent job in general because they are a stable infrastructure. Whether working for an employer or self-employed, whether working in a medallion city the traditional cab model has generally offered a safe and reliable hire.

    Ride-sharing although touted for its superior convenience and in some cases cheaper hire has thus far had some of the public questioning their safety due to hiring practices. Ride-sharing companies seem to be hiring without strict standards to add to their revenues; some drivers have been accused of rape and kidnapping. In addition allegations of price gouging by ride-sharing drivers and not being adequately insured or having inferior vehicles have not added to consumer ill-confidence. What this is leading to is inevitable regulation for the protection of the public if the ride-sharing industry is to survive and thrive.

    Moreover, the economics for the independent ride-sharing driver have come into question. Initially, thinking one has only to place one's car into service and drive at one's convenience has instead led to the realization that the cost of tires, oil changes, flat tires, mileage and accelerated wear and tear on the vehicle is something that was unanticipated. These costs and the necessary and inevitable costly insurance and licensing legislation surely shall fall to a large degree upon the driver and most certainly will level the playing field for the industry.

    Although TAXI has been initially disrupted by the threat of a new and exciting concept it will likely continue to thrive while ride-sharing shall continue as well if it adapts to the reality of for hire good practices. In the end technology may merge the both.
    Feb 22, 2015. 10:49 PM | 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, 2014. 04:23 PM | 2 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, 2014. 05:41 PM | 5 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, 2014. 05:21 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cramer's Lightning Round - I'm Steadfast On The Airlines (10/18/13) [View article]
    Re US Airways. The overriding principle is avoiding monopolistic growth promotes competition, lowers airfares, promotes travel and ultimately creates more business for hotels, car rentals, ground transportation, sundry kiosks and the entirety of travel-related commerce.

    It is economic myopia to seek to allow large, public enterprises to consolidate for the sake of one company's bottom line rather than the more significant public interest. The Justice Department is wise to block such mergers.
    Oct 20, 2013. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Good-Yielding Stocks With Low P/E Ratio In An Uptrend [View article]
    A Market Current from SA...

    Thursday, July 25, 6:12 PM ET
    Washington Banking Company (WBCO) declares $0.09/share quarterly dividend, 40.0% decrease from prior dividend of $0.15. Forward yield 2.30%. For shareholders of record Aug. 5. Payable Aug. 19. Ex-div Aug. 1. (PR)
    This Market Current was sent to 52 people who get email alerts on WBCO.
    Jul 26, 2013. 12:08 AM | 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, 2013. 11:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Good-Yielding Stocks With Low P/E Ratio In An Uptrend [View article]
    Arie,

    Thanks for the article. You may want to check on the WBCO dividend. It appears the regular quarterly payout is .07 cents. The company added .08 as an "extra". No telling if they shall continue the "extra", likely depends on future earnings.

    Thoughts, comments?
    Jul 6, 2013. 01:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple Should Pay Its Tax Bill [View article]
    The problem is not with Apple it but with our feckless Congress. Many of them are just plain clueless and inept. This is a great country but when these knuckleheads cannot lead by revamping the tax code to make it productive and fair they are not worthy of the offices they hold. It is time Congress get to work to focus on a "smart" tax system that incents companies to utlilize their cash to create jobs and galvanize investment in this country. The politicians and their divisiveness are strangling our country, We must demand more from them, place them on the same playing field as the rest of us or limit their terms.

    Apple, like many other companies in their position, is merely reacting to the thoughtless and counterproductive rules that only Congress can mend.
    Apr 15, 2013. 04:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) says CEO Rex Tillerson’s total compensation reached $40.2M last year, up 15% Y/Y, with much of the increase due to a change in pension value and other deferred compensation earnings. Tillerson's salary rose to $2.5M from $2.4M; effective Jan. 1, his salary increased to $2.7M. [View news story]
    Kudos to you. Public companies have been granted franchises to benefit the shareholders. Boards of Directors are supposed to be objective shareholder guardians and make certain that executives run profitable enterprises consistent with the corporate mission. Merely warming a seat on a Board or in the executive suite in an established company, particularly a venerable one, without commensurate profitabilty performance is unjustifiable and the more reason to demand results on behalf of the shareholders.

    Many Boards of Directors of public corporations have forgotten their fiduciary duty to shareholders and have less than an arm's length relationship with their executives. It is time that the Justice Department and SEC investigate and consider prosecution. The outrageous salaries, bonuses and expense reimbursement is nothing less than stealing from the common shareholders who are the victims, particularly where there is little or no growth in profitability. In these cases the authorities should also clawback the unjustifiable payments to both the board members and executives.

    Members of the Board, who often times enjoy ridiculous compensation in form of cash and stock at the expense of the common shareholder, must take an active and committed stance in knowing the companies they serve and be held personally accountable for their actions . Furthermore compensation packages must bear a reasonable relationship to the lowest paid employee in the corporation and importantly. Lastly, comparing executive or board compensation to other companies as renumeration justification breeds unearned entitlement and mediocrity; that practice should be discarded in favor of aligning compensation to substantive achievement.
    Apr 14, 2013. 01:31 AM | 1 Like 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]
    The operative word is "earn". No objection to large public company compensation packages for independent BODs and executives but not without commensurate profitable growth and a reasonable proportion to the lowest paid employee.

    Incidentally neither taxpayer dollars nor parent high tuition funds should be utilized to fund or subsidize excessive college coaching compensation. Alumni however should be free to fund such packages.
    Apr 1, 2013. 11:57 PM | 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, 2013. 05:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) CEO Ryan Lance received ~$19.3M in total compensation in 2012 following his ascension to the top spot, a nice raise from the $5.9M he received in 2011 as senior VP of exploration and production. COP says increased base pay levels for Lance and several execs "are linked to their expanded leadership roles following the spinoff." [View news story]
    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 for public corporations this is simply well-orchestrated white collar crime.
    Mar 29, 2013. 12:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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