11/19/13 - 09:03 AM EST
One of the most dangerous games on Wall Street is to follow insiders. Just because they sell doesn't mean you should sell. The same goes for when they buy. The key, as George Muzea of Muzea Insider Consulting, likes to point out, is following smart insiders -- that is, those with a record of buying and selling before the stock goes up and down.Which gets us to MercadoLibre, the Amazon and eBay of such countries as Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. In September I wrote a piece headlined, "Warning Bells at MercadoLibre."A key part of the story outlined currency-related accounting and other issues cited by Marc Roberts of Off Wall Street Research, but also included this: "At least one informed company insider, CEO Marcos Galperin, doesn't appear to be taking any chances. On Aug. 8 he sold 293,338 shares at $124.26 a share. This was his first sale in well over a year, and it represents 39% of his direct stock holdings". READ FULL POST
11/14/13 - 08:02 AM EST
In a Real Money piece yesterday Jim Cramer argues that, in Twitter's initial public offering, there were more investors than flippers. (He took a swipe at Barry Diller, who earlier this week said just the opposite.) Cramer writes, "I fear most that Twitter shares will get hammered again, and that you will proceed to sell."To which I say: A good shellacking would be a good thing for Twitter -- because, as Facebook has shown, such a move would reset the stock clock to real-world time. Real-world time takes out all of the fluff and lets the company go about its business without any heavy focus on the stock. The worst thing for a hot new issue is for it to reflect anything short of perfection, because then it risks the public humiliation of a stock-market spanking -- and an even-worse risk of getting viewed as damaged goods. READ FULL POST
11/11/13 - 10:09 AM EST
Post-quarter Update: Red flags continue to fly over gluten-free pure-play Boulder Brands, even as analysts -- in their post-quarter reports (surprise, surprise) -- glossed over what to me would appear to be obvious concerns.My original piece on the company raised a number of concerns, including receivables and inventory rising much faster than sales. The trend continued in the third quarter, as gross margins continued their multi-quarter slide. But there's so much more at the company, whose brands include Udi's, Glutino and Smart Balance. Among the items that caught my eye: Celiac Awareness Month -- Or Not?: Let's start with CFO Christine Sacco's comment on the earnings call that "we saw some pull-forward for Udi's sales ahead of October Celiac Awareness Month..." Never mind that May has replaced October as Celiac Awareness Month or that an annual event like that should already be factored into planning. (Celiacs cannot eat gluten.) READ FULL POST
10/25/13 - 08:38 AM EDT
I love Twitter. It's my first read of the morning -- for news from around the world I may have missed overnight. Or for stories I probably would have missed during my quick morning scans of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Or from some publication or journal I never touch. (Somebody has often tweeted links to the best stories.). And then, if and only if I have something to say or share, I tweet it out.The biggest misconception, however, is that you have to tweet at all. And that's what is wrong with Twitter. As the company plans to go public, with an initial valuation expected to be around $11 billion, it may want to heed the results of a recent Reuters poll that showed 36% of 1,067 people who have joined Twitter say they do not use it and 7% have shut their accounts down. READ FULL POST
10/24/13 - 02:03 PM EDT
Apple is simply too iconic -- as opposed to Icahnic -- for any kind of activism, certainly right now.READ FULL POST
10/22/13 - 08:42 AM EDT
"The Golden Age of Momentum," was the way one guy on Twitter responded to something I posted about Netflix. And what I posted was something I hadn't ever seen: A CEO and CFO being blunt and candid about the momentum propelling their company's stockREAD FULL POST
10/21/13 - 10:18 AM EDT
When The Global-X Social Media ETF first rolled out in 2011, I was among the very first to mock it, but the fund proves that there are exceptions to every rule. Beyond the historic top-ticking of sector funds, there was reason to be leery and (for skeptics) even embolden: For more than a year the social media fund looked like a loser.READ FULL POST
10/18/13 - 10:18 AM EDT
The company's earnings miss follows months of questions about the oversell of its robotic surgery system.READ FULL POST
10/17/13 - 10:48 AM EDT
Once, all investors cared about was that IBM beat earnings. But for the past 5 years, IBM's revenues have barely budged. Now, after quarters of pretending not to notice, investors are paying closer attention.READ FULL POST
10/17/13 - 09:27 AM EDT
People always want to believe there is a relationship between mattresses and housing. But if there is a relationship, it's merely coincidental and any further extrapolation spotlights a flaw in ETFs.READ FULL POST
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