Friday, December 5, 2014

Google GOOGL Sell $529 30%

Google experiences numerous headwinds
- Yahoo replacing Google as Firefox default search engine
- Apple considering dropping Google as default search engine for iPhone
- Android seems to lack momentum compared to Apple for phone & tablet market
- Being spread too thin may become problem if tide turns against core businesses

Friday, November 7, 2014

Solar City sell $51.75 (10%)

+ Lofty expectation getting harder to match
+ Price of oil going down because of greater US oil production, trend to continue for many years.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sell Apple (APPL) $99

+ Expectations could be higher than reality of announcement.
+ iWatch may be a nice item but will have hard time generating meaningful revenue bump.
+ If iPhone 6 disappoints then there will be a substantial sell-off.
- If iPhone 6 generates buzz stock has some room to increase but not a huge amount.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sell SCTY $75.90

Selling 10% of Solar City after considerable run-up.
+ Last quarter's beat will be hard to match.
+ CFO stepping down could mean trouble ahead.
- Several analyst have raised estimates which may mean Solar City will outperform.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sell ITB Home Builder ETF

Sold half of ITB holding $23.52
- Housing starts and new permits were considerably lower than economists were expecting in June.
- Housing rebound seems very long in the tooth.
- Up day in the market is good selling opportunity.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sell ITB, Buy IFN

Sold ITB $24.24 (25%)
+ Good numbers on May housing set up good day to sell
- Housing recovery getting very long in the tooth
- Interest rate hikes are approaching with every passing day

Bought IFN $25.10
+ Modi getting good press
+ India is set for recovery after several years of sub-par growth
+ Emerging markets have been out of favor for about a year which contributes to attractive price

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sell Solar City $65 (12%)

Sell 12% of Solar City (SCTY)
+ Stock up 10% today and up 30% in the last week, setting up selling opportunity
+ Market seems to be over compensating decision to buy panel manufacturer Silevo and create one of the world's largest production facilities
+ Panel business is low margin with lots of money losing Chinese competitors
+ Solar City is my biggest holding, selling 12% maintains diversity

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LendingMemo Interview with Renaud Laplanche

LendingClub is preparing an IPO. Renaud Laplanche sits down with Simon Cunningham of LendingMemo to explain why.

"There are typically three reasons why a company goes public, though interestingly only one really applies to Lending Club.

The first reason companies have an IPO is to raise capital, especially if they are not yet profitable...

The second reason companies go public is to provide liquidity for existing shareholders...

Really, the last reason is why we are considering an IPO, which is to use it as an opportunity to raise awareness for the company and better establish the brand...

I would like direct retail investors to continue to be 25-30% of the platform, with individual investors (whether direct retail or through a fund) to be more than 50% of the platform. The reason for this is that the retail and individual investor base will be more loyal to us, more predictable and more likely to maintain their investments in an economic downturn."

Friday, May 2, 2014

Buy LinkedIn, Sell Panera

Bought LinkedIn LNKD $157
+ Q1 revenue $473.2m +46%, analyst average estimated $466
+ Q1 earnings $0.38, analysts average estimate $0.34
+ Stock has been beaten down from $250 to $157 in 6 months setting up buying opp
+ Unemployment big drop to 6.3% - 288,000 jobs created, ahead of consensus estimate 210,000 which should lead companies to spend more on talent. LinkedIn derives $275m from talent solutions for recruiters compared to $98m for premium membership.

Sold Panera PNRA $157 all shares
- See reasons for selling from previous post.
Freeing up cash for Lending Club IPO

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Panera PNRA Sell

Panera (PNRA), sold half at $152
- Q1 (4/29/14) net income $42.2m (-12% y2y), included $2.2m tax legal benefit
- Q1 revenue $605m (+8% y2y), included $2.2m tax legal benefit
- Q1 "severe weather impacted same-store sales" > probable
- “Investors should view Q1 against the backdrop of Panera’s comprehensive effort - extending over multiple years - to shape the future of our company” CEO Ron Shaich > probable but next few quarters seem grim.
- “narrowing” its full-year 2014 EPS guidance to a range of 6.80 to $7.00 (5% lower)
- Local stores in downtown Burlington has large tears in seats after only 1 year, wuwt?
- Local staff regularly makes mistakes on orders, not particularly friendly, even rude on occasion.
+ Multi-year effort to stream line order process to accommodate 40% of take-out orders.

Conclusion: Ron Shaich is a great CEO and I think he will turn Panera around but it will take a few quarters, no need to hold the stock in the interim. Sell half and wait up to 2 weeks to see if there is a post announcement run-up like for last 2 quarters that also disappointed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Panera CEO skips bonus

According the Saint Louis Dispatch...

Panera Bread Chief Executive Ronald Shaich voluntarily skipped his annual bonus last year, causing his total pay to fall 39 percent to $2.7 million. Shaich and Moreton "elected to forgo any incentive bonus payment for 2013 in order to increase the bonus pool available to the Company’s executive officers and other eligible associates," the document says.

Other top executives received bonuses equal to 65 percent of their target level, but they would have received just 16 percent if Panera had strictly followed its bonus formula. The compensation committee says it adjusted the bonuses upward because Panera "undertook significant investments during 2013 that impacted its financial results."

I've been thinking of selling due to poor service and upkeep at Burlington, VT area Panera, but this is a good reason to wait for April 29th Q4 results.

Buy Apple (APPL)

Bought Apple (AAPL) at $566 pre-split.
+ Quarterly earnings well ahead of expectations.
+ Analysts have been bearish over last 2 years setting up a buying opportunity.
+ iPhone 6 should see it's debut this fall which should drive strong expectations.
- Android continues to take market share surpassing Apple in US tablet sales.
- Chromebooks continue to erode premium price laptop business.
- No major new products since death of Steve Job.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Good Time to Invest in India?

There as been an uptick in the Indian stock market (BSE Sensex) over the last 2 months. Any index with the word "sex" in it is worth keeping an eye so I've been following ETFs like the Indian Fund (IFN) which is up 25% since February 3rd.

Is this a flash in the pan or a sustainable rally?

One of the main factors driving the rally is hopes of a better business climate after general elections which are scheduled for May.

According to Wikipedia...
By constitutional requirement, elections to the Lok Sabha must be held at most every five years or whenever parliament is dissolved by the president. The previous election, to the 15th Lok Sabha, was conducted in April–May 2009, and its term will naturally expire on 31 May 2014... 
Since the last general election in 2009, the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare, and other similar moves by Baba Ramdev, have gathered momentum and political interest. 

ETF's focused on India have underperformed those focused on China over the last five years. This may be setting up a buying opportunity.

Emerging markets have been under pressure over the last few months as tensions heighten in the Ukraine and money flows back into the US. But not everybody agrees...
BlackRock’s Sam Vecht says investors are following the herd in selling emerging markets to invest in the most-developed economies, a strategy that has historically yielded “underwhelming” results. Bloomberg

Conclusion: Buy
In the next two months prices should go up in anticipation of the new government's arrival. During the next year, the government will probably take strong measures to stimulate the economy and people will be hopeful they work. 
Indians value education, hard work and are outward looking, so the long term trend should be positive. Some have blamed recent stagnation on government bureaucracy and corruption. With a new party gaining ground on fixing those issues, meaningful change may be in the cards.
This is out of favor sector with good long term potential. Recent events have set up a buying opportunity.