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  • Dr. Copper And Professor Oil Both Point To A Slowing Economy - Time To Move To Cash [View article]
    With the average American consumer having more money in their pockets, and the stronger dollar means they can buy more foreign goods, does this play out positively for strong international names like VW, BMW, Honda, Nestle, Toyota, etc? I can buy more shares now thanks to the strong dollar, and I can ride this out for a while. Thoughts?
    Feb 2, 2015. 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Microsoft Is A 'C' Student [View article]
    You keep saying "Forbes" but you mean you. Shameless click bait. Both articles are more baseless opinion than facts. Fact, the reason Windows 10 is irrelevant for the short term bottom line is that 1) It won't be sold for at least another 18 months, 2) It matters more about getting developers to develop universal apps, of which Xbox will be a part. As for the Xbox article, I just don't get it. Did you write an article on Sony spinning off PS while I wasn't looking, because that might make considerably more sense?
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Microsoft Is A 'C' Student [View article]
    Hmm ended up being a bit wrong there? Apple's bottom line looks pretty good ... dunno if it is more because their market is more in the USA (probably) or if they hedged better or what. But their top line growth does seem to be slowing a bit in some areas. Looking more like a one-trick pony.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Microsoft Is A 'C' Student [View article]
    I agree, but Look at Google and Amazon. They often have lackluster profits on amazing revenues. Someone should tell their stock that.

    Microsoft is clearly transitioning. Their old software boxed revenue - along with the margins it used to command - is clearly falling. Microsoft is clearly accelerating the process. Could they have continued to command heavy margins and profits for a while? Sure, but they are recognizing that things are changing and they're leading instead of waiting to be picked apart. I can respect this, even if it means that bottom line growth slows a bit even while top line growth moves into the clouds. Datacenters aren't cheap - but I can tell you that there will be a limited number of winners because scale matters.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: Microsoft Is A 'C' Student [View article]
    I keep kicking myself for not holding AAPL longer -- as usual, I pulled the trigger too fast and sold my stake. Even so, I think folks will start to wake up to this fact. All it will take is one lackluster quarter in iPhones for folks to realize the rest of the company isn't holding up too well. But then AMZN also has amazed me -- great company, but the stock continues to defy gravity long after I thought it would come back to earth.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Is A Fantastic Business On Sale - Be Grateful For The 9% Decline After Earnings [View article]
    I think I agree. Already a chunk of my portfolio, even after taking some profits at 49, but what else is earning me 2.9+% on dividends alone... with growth as gravy? Might hunt for some other values just due to diversification alone, but this is a really tempting price.
    Jan 28, 2015. 09:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rebuttal: The Trend To Renting Is Artificial And The Death Of The PC Will Be Painless [View article]
    Houses appreciate over the long haul. Technology depreciates ... always. Sometimes no value left after as little as 2-3 years, even to the purchaser. You cannot draw parallels here. Additionally, people still rent where they live, and for really good reasons.
    Dec 27, 2014. 05:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rebuttal: The Trend To Renting Is Artificial And The Death Of The PC Will Be Painless [View article]
    I think the point being missed is PCs (hardware) are tangible assets. Software, maybe not so much. There is little value to the old version once you upgrade. Pay-as-you go/use for software can make sense, even when you want to own the hardware.

    E.g., I don't use Photoshop everyday. So I buy one month when I need it, but don't renew when I'm too busy to mess with it. And if I used it every day, it probably works out about the same to pay monthly and always have the latest and greatest version vs. buying the box and having to worry if they'll release an upgrade 3 days after I buy the current version. Actually, with pay-as-you-go software, there isn't even a need for "versions" -- new features are released as soon as they are finished. Completely different from hardware -- if you could lease a PC, you'd still not get the latest hardware as soon as it was available, you'd be tied to a contract to keep the existing hardware for some financially viable period of time.
    Dec 2, 2014. 12:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • OCZ Technology - Dead And Done But With A Silver Lining [View article]
    Actually, the other lesson here is don't screw over your customers -- it will catch up with you! OCZ had terrible quality in consumer drives for a while and only got the market share they had due to artificially low prices. By the time they fixed their issues, it was too late. The enterprise business wasn't enough to turn it around.

    I can name a dozen other small tech companies who no longer exist (or are a shadow of themselves) for the same reason. Racing to the bottom and sacrificing quality is not a sustainable play, especially if you don't have another business angle to prop it up.
    Dec 2, 2014. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Risk To AT&T's Business [View article]
    To add to that, AT&T appears to have attained a very low churn. This will be critical to maintaining pricing and maintaining subscribers.
    Oct 24, 2014. 08:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Investors Need To Be Skeptical About Windows 9 [View article]
    Good morning. Hope all is well and you didn't short MSFT. Checking back after 2 months... we'll see if the bump today holds. MSFT up a bit from the 8/19 close. Collected another dividend (payout increase again to boot). S&P500 index down a bit from where it was. DJIA down a touch too. RUT & broader indexes down more.

    I continue to hold. Maybe add a little on the bad days if the opportunity presents; although from a value perspective, better values to be found elsewhere based on some of the bleeding of late.

    "Some is speculation" is a bit of an understatement.
    Oct 24, 2014. 08:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Big Microsoft Move Just Not Justified [View article]
    To be clear, I said hides inside and pretends. So technically no, not Google's explicit fault. There is malware for Adobe and Java updaters doing exactly the same thing. A little social engineering ... "hey your software is out of date, please update to protect yourself!" Who wouldn't click? :) You get the update, along with a little extra 'present', because you didn't download from the proper source. To be honest, it's irresponsible on the part of the ISPs hosting the websites & domains more than anything.
    Aug 22, 2014. 05:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Steve Ballmer: Missing In Action? [View article]
    Sorry but I said total return. If you only bought on the lowest price in Jan 2000 when Gates happened to step down (at the high of the dot com bubble) and didn't buy more when MSFT traded at $15, shame. Context is really important when looking at statistics.

    Further, you completely ignored the massive dividends that have been returned to shareholders including a large one-time special distribution.

    So, no, it is not negative *total* return.
    Aug 22, 2014. 05:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Big Microsoft Move Just Not Justified [View article]
    I do miss the old days when it was a bit more transparent. But alas, the strategy is new, there are lots of financials in flux. Divisions are completely new, and I could see lots of folks picking on a few lowlights and ignoring the highlights or the long term vision. Sometimes a company has a few loss leaders. Here's a thought -- Google and Amazon certainly do. Are they any more transparent about the money they lose on hardware or software? If so, I haven't seen it. They publish the highlights -- "85% market share" and leave out the nasty details. It would be nice if everyone was more open.
    Aug 21, 2014. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Big Microsoft Move Just Not Justified [View article]
    There's actually a malware that tries to hide itself inside the Google updater and pretend it is the Chrome installer. I've seen it on a few PCs so far. Not Google's fault necessarily, but they don't seem to be getting aggressive against it either.
    Aug 21, 2014. 11:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment