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The Best of Kass

Stocks in this article: OCN

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

Among his posts this past week, Kass discussed how Ocwen plans to reduce its taxes significantly, some economic warning signs on the manufacturing front and why the market could be headed for a top.

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Heading to the Islands
Originally published on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 11:21 a.m. EDT.

  • Ocwen's mortgage servicing is now mentioned as a Virgin Islands corporation.
  • In an 8-K filing today, Ocwen (OCN) has outlined a new five-year support services agreement with Altisource (ASPS). (This replaces the transition agreement that occurred right after the spin out in 2009.)

    This was expected.

    The more interesting disclosure was that Ocwen's mortgage servicing is now mentioned as a Virgin Islands corporation (previously it was Florida-based). This is consistent with the company's comments on the second-quarter conference call the the corporation's effective tax rate would drop significantly. But it has happened sooner than previously expected.

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    This will allow OCN to reduce its effective tax rate to close to 10% from the current rate of 34%.

    If effected for all of 2013, this would add about 65 cents a share to the full-year estimate.

    At the time of publication, Kass was long OCN.


    Whither GDP?
    Originally published on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 10:36 a.m. EDT.

  • Is August domestic economic growth starting off slowly?
  • Yesterday, I mentioned that we have to watch the regional manufacturing data closely for August after New York's weak data yesterday.

    Today's Philly print at -7.1 (the fourth-consecutive negative monthly read) should give some that are expecting an acceleration in the rate of growth some pause. Backlogs were down, as was the average workweek. Prices paid were higher.

    Importantly, the six-month business activity outlook fell by seven points to 12.5, the lowest print of the year. Let's closely watch the upcoming regional manufacturing releases in order to determine whether the recent growth scare is accurate.

    I expect bonds to rise a bit in price and move lower in yeild (after the big price drop and yield rise over the last few weeks) and for stocks to struggle as a new bit of uncertainty has been introduced.

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