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Quick Thoughts On Various Companies

|Includes: BOFI, CHRM, DXJ, KWT, PRXI, STX, TAN, TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), TWGP, WASH, WBA, WDC, WFC

Here is the super quick summary of a number of companies I hold or am considering. Disagreements especially welcome!

Tower Group (NASDAQ:TWGP)

  • Poor performance can no longer kill the deal
  • Funding in place
  • If the deal fails for any reason, the company is toast (butter down)
  • The September debt payment needs the deal to complete, yet the deal has until November.

Trip Advisor (NASDAQ:TRIP)

  • Reviews are exceptionally valuable when going someplace new - i.e. for travels
  • The new flight and hotel search is excellent for users
  • There is a clear move towards "build my trip", which could allow for creating highly customized guidebooks and itineraries.
  • This is the market leader of the space

Bank of Internet (NASDAQ:BOFI)

  • Internet only banking has great efficiencies
  • They have done a great job at keeping NPA low.
  • NIM is good.

Walgreen (WAG)

  • Consistent high execution
  • Boots is a built in growth plan and beach head into Europe

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

  • Traditional banking is boring, and boring is usually profitable.

Washington (NASDAQ:WASH)

  • Regional boring banking. 100+ years of dividends
  • Interesting wealth management kicker
  • Rhode Island has not has as much 'recovery' as the rest of the country and might outperform in the next few years.

Ship Finance League (NYSE:SFL)

  • The good bank of the empire.
  • Economic recovery and diversification are good for ship rates

The Spinners: Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) and Western Digital (NYSE:WDC)

  • Storage space needs are increasing
  • Hybrid SSD / HDD is the obvious design choice - caching is used everywhere is computing - and they are best positioned to provide it.
  • STX looks cheaper than WDC, but stock returns have been slightly lower.
  • White label in cloud data centers is a risk

Premier Exhibitions (NASDAQ:PRXI)

  • Finally fired the CEO.


  • My favorite Japan economy commentator (Noah Smith) has pointed out that Abe is seriously committed to improving the Japanese economy.
  • Japan is probably more committed to economic reform than any other developed nation right now.


  • The price of solar compared to other options is dropping rapidly.
  • Price of solar is comparable to peaker coal/gas plants.
  • Environmental concerns will sooner or later raise the cost of coal closer to real cost
  • When solar hits the inflection point (near parity prices) the market will explode as old 'dirty' plants are not renewed
  • Over supply is an issue

Charm Communications (NASDAQ:CHRM) -

  • yet another Chinese go-private.
  • Large, with no audit "issues"
  • Well funded deal; very likely to close