Thursday, June 28, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Closer Look At The iPhone

The iPhone will go on sale on the 29th! This should be an exciting week to trade aapl.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Texas Instruments DLP Projection TV: Amazing

The stock is performing pretty amazing to! Trading around $38 TXN is at a 52 week high and has the legs to sustain the growth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Whole Foods CEO Blogs about the FTC challenge of Merger!

Whole foods (WFMI) CEO John Mackey gives an in-depth analysis over the FTC’s challenge and handling of the Wild Oats (OATS) merger. The frustration level must be boiling over down in Austin. Mackey lets the FTC know exactly how he is feeling about the challenge of the merger. Although I really doubt this helps his cause, it is quite entertaining to see the CEO of a 5 ½ billion dollar corporation complain about being bullied.

Executive Summary:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a complaint challenging the merger of Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats. Whole Foods Market intends to fight this complaint in court. My blog posting provides a detailed look into Whole Foods Market's decision-making process regarding the merger, as well as our company's experience interacting with the FTC staff assigned to this merger. I provide explanations of how I think the FTC, to date, has neglected to do its homework appropriately, especially given the statements made regarding prices, quality, and service levels in its complaint. I also provide a glimpse into the bullying tactics used against Whole Foods Market by this taxpayer-funded agency. Finally, I provide answers in my FAQ section to many of the questions that various Team Members have fielded from both the media and company stakeholders.
As stated in our initial press release about Whole Foods Market's challenge to the FTC's complaint, we set an intention as a company to be as transparent as possible throughout this process. This is my first detailed effort at transparency. We will provide additional information as we field new questions and receive updates on the proceedings from the FTC and the courts.

Read the full blog $$here$$

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jim Cramer Says Bet on Apple's iPhone

Cramers take on the iPhone

Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc.

IMH was upgraded today by Roth Capital from hold to a buy. Roth Capital also raised its price target to 7$ a share. IMH is a REIT dealing with Alt-A & commercial mortgages. Here is IMH business summary provided by yahoo:

Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company acquires, originates, sells, and securitizes various mortgages. The company�s operations include long-term investment, mortgage, commercial, and warehouse lending. The long-term investment operations primarily invest in adjustable rate and fixed rate Alt-A mortgages and commercial mortgages that are acquired and originated by its mortgage and commercial operations. The long-term investment operations retain adjustable rate and fixed rate Alt-A mortgages that are acquired and originated by its mortgage operations, as well as invests in commercial mortgages that are primarily adjustable rate mortgages. Its long-term mortgage portfolio consists of mortgages held as securitized, collateral, and mortgages held-for-investment. The mortgage operations acquire, originate, sell, and securitize primarily Alt-A adjustable rate mortgages and fixed rate mortgages from correspondents, mortgage brokers, and retail customers. Correspondents include savings and loan associations, commercial banks, and mortgage bankers. The commercial operations originate commercial mortgages, primarily adjustable rate mortgages with initial fixed interest rate periods. The warehouse lending operations provide short-term financing to mortgage loan originators, including the mortgage and commercial operations, by funding mortgages from their closing date until sale to pre-approved investors. Impac Mortgage Holdings has elected to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes and would not be subject to federal income tax, if it distributes at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Irvine, California

I like this stock because the Mortgage crisis of the past few months has been over hyped on Wall Street creating great buying opportunities for the long term investor. IMH is currently trading at $6.45 up $.17 today on the news.

Disclosure: Long IMH

Friday, June 15, 2007

Uncle Sam Has His Eye on Publicly Traded Partnerships

Per Market Watch:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced legislation this week that would require publicly-traded partnerships to be treated as corporations for federal tax purposes. Under current law, income distributions from publicly-traded partnerships are taxed at the capital-gains rate of 15% -- below the top corporate tax rate of 35%.

The senators said that allowing publicly-traded private-equity funds to enjoy favorable tax treatment would be unfair to other corporations. Their legislation was unveiled ahead of the initial public offering of Blackstone Group, one of the world's largest private-equity firms. It currently plans to list as a publicly-traded partnership and be taxed at 15%.

A 20% tax swing would have a huge effect on all publicly traded partnerships. Investors took notice today trading many PTP lower including (FIG).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Going Green? Prove it!

A very interesting post here by the Green Wombat questioning Google's carbon footprint. My carbon footprint is a 10 1/2 Nike.

Market is looking strong, but Apple is taking a hit.

"Hargreaves holds an "Outperform" rating and $130 price target on Apple's stock."

Blockbuster vs. Netflix

Citigroup upgraded Dallas based Blockbuster today on news that the company was cutting its online movie rental prices by 1$. Blockbuster will lower its three movies at a time rental package to $16.99, a buck cheaper than its biggest competitor Netflix. According to the associated press “at the end of the first quarter, Netflix had nearly 6.8 million subscribers, while Blockbuster had about 3 million subscribers enrolled in its Total Access program.” Blockbuster is aggressively seeking out new customers through advertising and now price cutting although Netflix is still the dominate player in the online rental market. Netflix will likely match the Blockbuster price cut in the near future lowering its profit margin.

Today’s news sent shares of Blockbuster (BBI) up over 10% while sending Netflix shares down over 5% (NFLX). With such thin profit margins it is going to be hard for either company to produce strong earnings.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Makeup for Men?

This morning Mike & Mike of ESPN Radio were discussing a growing trend among today’s metro sexual. Make-up for men! This is one trend that I can not get behind. Some guys are just a little to in touch with there feminine side. I am way short this trend, but Forbes is all over it. Click here to read the article.

Stock pick of the day is Goldman Sachs (GS). Lehman Brothers beat estimates with a 27% increase in profits today. This news will have a positive effect on GS. Volume in the market has been up, which is always good for the brokers. GS looks positioned to run to $250.

Disclosure: No Position

Monday, June 11, 2007


The most anticipated finale since Seinfeld, left viewers asking questions and wanting more. This was not the blowup finale that many had predicted, but rather a recap on our favorite mob family. It was still a great ending to one of my all time favorite TV shows. Tony is still alive (as far as we know) and out of prison. AJ finally started looking like he was coming out of his depression (a BMW and model girlfriend will usually do that). In a quintessential Sopranos mob hit Phil Leotardo was shot in back of the head which will put an end to many of Tony’s problems. So, as a tribute to one of the finest television shows ever, I will take a look at Time Warner Inc. (TWX)

Here is a brief synopsis of Time Warner, Inc. according to there web site:

"Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.
Whether measured by quality, popularity or financial results, our divisions are at the top of their categories. AOL, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable, Home Box Office, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros. Entertainment maintain unrivaled reputations for creativity and excellence as they keep people informed, entertained and connected.
Our enterprise is more than a collection of great brands that are owned under one roof. Time Warner’s businesses strive to gain competitive advantage from opportunities for constructive collaboration."

Time Warner is still going to be making a pretty penny off the Sopranos for quite a while. With future DVD sales and syndication to A&E Sopranos is going to be a cash cow for the foreseeable future.

TWX is a pretty strong stock with a p/e just over 13 and a market cap of 78 billion. This is a great large cap play that has plenty of long term growth potential. TWX is currently trading around $21.
Disclosure: No Position

Friday, June 8, 2007

Pepsi Increasing Global Dominance

Yesterday Pepsi Co.(PEP) & Pepsi Americas, Inc. (PAS) outbid Coca-Cola (KO) for the majority stake in Ukrainian juice maker Sandora. Pepsi and Pepsi Americas, Inc. acquired 80 percent of Sandora for $542 million dollars. This acquisition will help to increase Pepsi's growing international business.

Robert C. Pohlad, chairman and CEO of PepsiAmericas, said, "We have a clear strategy to grow through the expansion of our international business, and Sandora is a great fit. It provides immediate scale in a high-growth market and a strong business platform to leverage and expand into other categories. Ukraine's emerging economy and beverage market, coupled with Sandora's strong brands and distribution capabilities, provide significant growth potential."

This acquisition should help in allowing Pepsi to continue providing investors with quarterly growth exceeding 9 percent. Pepsi currently has strong exposure within the US but has limited growth opportunities domestically. This acquisition will allow Pepsi to continue expanding through its international division.

Pepsi is a great long term stock that consistently outperforms. With a p/e ratio around 19 and a dividend yield over 2 percent this is a great stock for an IRA. PEP is currently trading around $66 a share.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Real estate investment trusts have taken large declines lately, but are prime for a huge comeback. The recent news on sub prime mortgages have taken there toll but with rumors of possible buyouts, these stocks are coming back with a vengeance. A couple of my favorites are IMH and NFI (Howard Lindzon). Both these stocks have potential for huge returns, but with gigantic short floats they are very risky. Good luck.

Disclosure: Long IMH & NFI

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


It could be argued that everyone is inherently greedy. Our history is littered with examples of people who got too greedy and tried cheating the system. Some have been successful (Barry Bonds) while others (Jeffrey Skilling, Paris Hilton) ended up paying the price. Martha Stewart, for example, had no reason to cheat besides greed. She was already particularly wealthy when she lied about insider trading. What drives greedy people to cheat? People cheat for all kinds of different reasons, some moral and some immoral. EBay (EBAY) is facilitating tens of thousands of people to cheat every year, and the ramifications could be exponential.

EBay has millions of users; many of whom purchase items in the market place and resale them on eBay for a profit. Are the sellers of these items keeping track of their cost basis and reporting the activity on Schedule C of their Form 1040? Unlikely. Do these eBay users even know that this income is taxable? Some pretty scary Q&A here. The tax repercussions for failing to include this income can be quite staggering. What is the intent of the individuals whom are not claiming the correct amount of income on their income tax returns? If the intent is malicious in nature then the offenders could possibly face criminal charges, but if the intent was incompetence then the offender would likely face penalties and interest.

The tax code is a trap for the wary and uninformed, but who is responsible for informing the users of eBay about their personal filing requirements. Should eBay be held reasonable for providing tax guidance to its users? Does a corporate structure have some inherent responsibility to report potential fraud to the government or IRS? Should sellers on eBay require sales tax to be withheld from sales? There are many questions that need to be resolved, but one thing that is certain is that the individual taxpayer is ultimately responsible for reporting the correct amount of income on their own return. Currently eBay does not provide any tax information on their web site and does not report activity to the IRS.

I read this quote yesterday that sums up this growing problem nicely: “The most important ways in which I think the Internet will affect the big issue is that it will make it more difficult for government to collect taxes.” (The late economist Milton Friedman)

Monday, June 4, 2007


Nordstrom (JWN) is a retail outlet providing high-end clothing and accessories. Located throughout the US, Nordstrom has recently hired Madison Retail Group to help find its first location in Manhattan. The new location will provide Nordstrom with the opportunity to service a diversified and competitive market. Nordstrom offers high-end clothing that is contemporary to appeal to the younger generations. Saks (SKS) and Neiman Marcus offer high-end products, but are not as appealing to the younger generations as Nordstrom. Saks is overpriced and stuffy which drives away a lot of the younger crowds. Nordstrom although quite expensive has items that will fit almost all budgets. I recently visited the North Dallas Nordstrom location and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of clothing they offer. With a huge selection of suites and dress clothing Nordstrom has an impressive men’s department which will likely be embraced by the NY crowds.

Nordstrom has been holding steady around $53 a share for the past few months, but is due for a run. Nordstrom has a p/e ratio of 20 and a forward p/e of 16. With a quarterly revenue growth over 9% and a market cap of 13 billion Nordstrom has strong financials. Nordstrom appears to have all the qualities of a good growth stock. If you are looking for a high-end retail stock that has strong financials and great growth potential this is the stock for you.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Jobs Vs Gates

D5 interviewed Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in an incredible 7 part interview available here. This is a great interview and well worth the time if you have about an hour or so to kill. It is really fascinating to hear Jobs (aapl) and Gates (msft) talk about the history of the PC and software. When discussing the Apple commercials Jobs says “PC guy is great! He has a big heart.” Gates replies by saying “his mother loves him.” Gates takes this riff well and laughs it off, but you can tell he was not thrilled with the way Microsoft was portrayed in the Apple ad campaign.

Jobs does a great job of teasing the audience about new products and the applications used in the iPhone. He discusses in detail (in video #3) the map application used on the iPhone and how Google played a role in its development. Jobs and Gates discuses there vision of what technology will bring in the next five years. Gates says that applications will begin to use more sensory functions and larger screens. Jobs on the other hand, said that he sees the future is in smaller devices such as iPods and iPhones.

Gates discusses 3D applications as a possible futuristic alternative to today’s standard windows applications. This could be truly revolutionary with some of the applications he discusses as far as video conference calls and video games.

What a great interview and a very insightful look at two of today’s most innovative entrepreneurs.

Disclosure: Long AAPL