On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily. When wild geese honk high of nights, and when women without sealskin coats grow kind to their husbands, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may … Continue reading
When someone sells a company stock at a loss he or she can claim capital loss deduction. Investors have an incentive to sell losing companies and move on. Many homeowners houses and apartments are currently “underwater” and if they sell them at a loss they are not able to deduct the loss from their income. Many such homeowners do not want to sell their homes at a loss and move on even though they cannot find a job where they currently live. I think if homeowners are allowed to deduct up to, for example, $50,000 of the loss on a sale of their main residence this will allow the housing market to revive and the economy to improve. Many corporations have been given special tax treatments only to give larger dividends to shareholders and outsource jobs for even larger gains. I think that homeowners with properties currently “underwater” deserve a tax break too. This will also truly help those in need and the economy and job market in general.
I have been reading financial reports of various companies and in most of them there are disclosures about the company’s exposure to PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain). With the majority of these companies doing business in these countries I wonder how a customer originating from one of the PIIGS reading the annual report would react? I was nicely surprised when GE used in its annual report the following carefully worded language calling them “focus” countries:
Several European countries, including Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Hungary (“focus countries”), have been subject to credit deterioration due to weaknesses in their economic and fiscal situations. The carrying value of GECS funded exposures in these focus countries and in the rest of Europe comprised the following at December 31, 2011.
This is a nice place selling great burgers, hot dogs, fries, lemonade, and, yes, beer. Also, it offers dog food (I have not tried it) and outside seating. It’s self-serve but I think the food and the atmosphere is worth it – there are three LCD TV screens, one of them showing Nickelodeon and the other two ESPN. It is off of Exit 19 between Southport and Westport on Route 1. The original Shakeshack started in NYC but it has additional locations now in Florida, D.C., Upstate NY, and the Middle East. I recommend it if you are ever passing by it.
As an investor, I am not sure how much investment analysts are influenced by their firms, clients and powerful hedge funds and investment banks? I always wondered, with the rising complexity among the publicly traded firms, whether the analysis an analyst publishes really provides an independent opinion. Do connections on a personal or firm level play any role? Research analysts are required to disclose their and their firm’s holding in and business relations with the companies they recommend but I think independence has a lot more to it than holdings and client relationships.
Next month we are going to Philadelphia on a trip to visit the Liberty Bell and other historical places dating back from the birth of my second country. The trip with Amtrak will take about two and a half hours and it should be a lot of fun. Last time we went there to run the Blue Cross Broadstreet Run (10 miles) and my wife did not know she was pregnant. This time it will be a different perspective for my younger son who is 2+ and for us – we will not be running but tasting some Phili cheese steak sandwiches and Italian ices instead.
I wrote two posts on Cereplast in 2011 questioning the company’s accounting methods. Still I read with surprise that on Friday, March 9, 2011 after the close of trading it filed the following statement (see below) with the SEC. On the positive side, AQR Capital a hedgie based out of Greenwich increased its holdings in Cereplast to nearly 7% from 2%. Could things get much better for this company based in California but with an investor relations advisor in neighboring Westchester County?
On March 7, 2012, Cereplast, Inc. (the “Company”) received notice from NASDAQ that it became non-compliant with the audit committee requirement set forth in Listing Rule 5605(c)(2), upon the resignation of Petros G. Kitsos as a director of the Company. The letter provides that the Company has until the earlier of the Company’s next annual shareholders’ meeting or February 21, 2013 or if the next annual shareholders’ meeting is held before August 20, 2012, then the Company must evidence compliance no later than August 20, 2012.
On March 5, 2012, the Company’s Board of Directors enacted a resolution to appoint Mr. Franklin Hunt to the Audit Committee. Mr. Hunt’s appointment becomes effective on April 1, 2012. Mr. Hunt has been a Director of the Company since September 2010. Upon the effectiveness of Mr. Hunt’s appointment, the Company’s audit committee will comprise of three independent directors as required by Listing Rule 5605(c)(2).
Depending on which type of oil you follow, oil has been up on average 20% for the past six months and this is a concern to me as an investor (and consumer). The issues that bother me are countless. Some of them are whether we are over dependent on oil and do we have to make life-style adjustments if it keeps rising. I am wondering if Chevy is selling more Sonic or Tahoe vehicles and which one has the larger profit margin and if Ford is selling more Fiestas or Expeditions, is FedEx and USPS going to disappoint this year due to lower profits which are due to higher oil prices, is Amazon going to report lower profits due to higher shipping costs, is the average Joe going to drive to a movie theater or download a movie on his HD at home and make a pop-corn for $1 compared to $10 at some movie theaters, next time we need cash to buy something are we going to drive to an ATM and then to Walmart or buy things more efficiently (and without paying tax in most states) on-line by using a Mastercard or a Visa. If we spend more time at home than outside are we going to need cell phones or a Skype connection on your device will be sufficient? What about tourism and traveling? If oil keeps rising, is the U.S. budget deficit going to decrease or increase? What about the budget surpluses of Canada and Saudi Arabia? Can a doctor in India diagnose and write a prescription for a fraction of the cost here in the U.S. by using videoconferencing? What about tutors and other professions based on the “gray” not the “brown” like architects, mathematicians and musicians? Russia has boatloads of them.
In conclusion, the rise of oil prices will affect many investment themes and with oil up over 20% in the past six months it is time to re-evaluate them.
Apple is going to announce the release of its third iPad in as many years and it will be called iPad 3rd generation. Apple is growing tremendously at the expense and envy of a bunch of other companies, including camera, video games, cell phone, and laptop makers to name a few. Its leadership position as the largest company by market capitalization might be well justified. The companies that can help Apple achieve its goals will be the new winners. One of these recent winners is an Israeli company, Anobit, which makes flash memory and was founded in 2006. It was recently sold to Apple for a rumored $390 million. Also, Target, recently announced that it would have mini-Apple stores in its larger department stores. Apple’s Facetime seems to be lagging but it will not be a surprise if Apple buys AT&T or Verizon in a few years.