Word of the Day: Margin Expansion and Amazon (AMZN)

Margin Expansion

Margin Expansion
Margin Expansion

The technical, narrow definition of this term is: an increase in the rate of profit a company makes on a product.

However in broader terms it can defined as: In long-term reference, a measure of a company’s net profit margin in the latest reported quarter divided by profit margin in the fiscal year previous. In short-term reference, a measure of a company’s net profit margin in the latest reported quarter divided by profit margin in the quarter immediately preceding.

So we can be talking about a specific product, or the net profit margins overall. We simply apply the term as narrowly or broadly as we like.

The news today applies to Amazon’s quarterly report.

The Amazon (AMZN) bull case has pivoted to a story of margin expansion from revenue growth after the company surprised analysts with better-than-expected profit margins during Q4. A number of firms are out with price target increases, citing margin expansion as a major factor. PT hikes: Barclays to $260 from $245; JPMorgan to $333 from $245; Baird to $325 from $300; BofA to $315 from $300; Credit Suisse to $334 from $301. AMZN +8.3% premarket to $281.62. – Seeking Alpha

In my opinion, I think overall Amazon is not doing as well as it appears, regardless of the news. I have a bearish outlook on the company, from observing their day to day operations. It is one of the few companies that I actually pay attention to. I do not consider their fundamentals good. On a technical standpoint if this trends up, you can still make money, since this news came out. But as a swing trader or long term investor, I think the fundamentals are just not there.

Shakaama Has a New Blog: Shakaama Live

Shakaama Live

I finally take time to address you the reader personally and thank you.

Hey everyone.  I’d like to first say thank you all for reading my blog.  I check my stats constantly to see who’s reading.  While I do have lots of readers, I don’t seem to get a lot of genuine comments.  I say genuine, because I receive a lot of spam.  In fact 99.999% of all comments I receive are spam.  I even receive hand written spam comments.  Now, I don’t understand what’s the point of trying to post spam comments.  Do you see any spam comments on my blog?  No! Why?  Because I delete them all before they are even posted.  I welcome each and everyone to comment.  Even if you disagree with me.  I love a good conversation as well as a heated debate.  I think I even let someone comment that called me racist.  Which is sort of strange, seeing as nearly all of my idols, if he took the time to read my blog, are nearly all white: Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Ludwig Mises, Jim Rogers, etc…

Anywho…

I’d like to announce my new blog @ Shakaama Live .  I’ve made this step to allow me the opportunities, wordpress doesn’t allow, afford, think of.  On that blog you can find all sorts of great posts like: self improvement; financial opinion; stock market opinion; public policy opinion.

I also have a blog on my website Las Vegas DUI Lawyer and the blog is the latest and greatest DUI Blog.  That blog isn’t quite up and running but, always keep a look out.

But, back to shakaama live, I just wanted to personally invite you to come read my blogs there and also invite your comments on there.  The comments are, of course, based on approval, so nothing crazy will ever get through, nor will spam.

We have had one hell of two weeks here with all the famous deaths: Michael Jackson – a personal favorite of mine; Farah Fawcett – who didn’t age so well; Ed McMahon – ahhh when America could be real adults and watch Johnny Carson [who i also was sad when he passed].  I don’t know if I’m a storm crow, coming in after such sad news with my glad news.  Or, maybe I’m a morning glory, bringing cheerful tidings after the storm.  I have high hopes for all my blogs and websites.

Oh I almost forgot.  If you really want to get in shape, gain muscle lose fat, hop over to my website Gain Muscle Lose Fat.  It’s for both people who want to finally lose fat and stay completely fit and for those that want to gain muscle and get the body they have dreamed of.  I tell myself, if I ever got the body of my dreams, I would immediately move to hollywood and be an action actor.  So I’m following it too.  It’s all good stuff.  I concentrate on both outter body and inner body: healthy heart; healthy organs; cholesterol; excellent diet for life.

I’d be glad if you checked out all my projects really.  But, I never address you, my readers, directly, so I thought I’d do it for a change, give a personal touch and let you know i’m human.  I pray for each and every U.S. born, tax paying, citizen of America.  We have it hard and I think we’re being swindled.  I hope everyone can hear my voice so we all can be uplifted together.

Peace.

Kevin Cardinale of Boundless Enterprise

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Market watch: Uptick Rule Banning Short Sellers / The Government Doesn’t Want The Bailout Back

Bad Shorts

SEC Chairman
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro

The S.E.C. announces the reimplementation of the uptick rule. The uptick rule had been in place for over 70 years. It was removed two years ago in 2007. At the time everyone was amiss as to why the rule was removed. But, now the indication is that they want to implement it, to punish or get rid of naked short sellers, or short sellers in general. commission chairman Mary Schapiro says she’s feeling the heat from investors, exchanges and companies about short sellers. The staff are discussing five different short selling proposals, two versions of the uptick rule was discussed. There will be a period for them to vent the discussion amongst investors to get feedback on the rule. They unanimously decided to put them out for public comments up for 60 days.

The uptick rule was implemented back in 1929 along with the rule to separate investment banks from commercial banks. The bank rule was dismantled in 1999 and the uptick rule was taken away 2 years ago. It is very telling that both these rules, along with others were removed and here we are back in a position similar to 1929.

Stock Market
Stock Market

Discussion on MSNBC pointed out that credit default swaps will do the same thing as short selling anyway, so the uptick rule will not do anything to circumvent or punish short selling in general. They think that the uptick rule will restore confidence, if nothing else for psychological peace of mind. But, you can connect a credit default swap, with out of the money puts, and then short without the uptick and drive the stock down. So the credit default swaps, synthetics, derivatives, exchange traded funds which are all forms of shorting. Clearly this uptick rule is not the magic bullet, but it will be for the S.E.C. to decide along with the investors they listen to.

Lehman was called when they were bubbled up.  AIG was called well before it was even thought to be falling.  Shorters serve a purpose just as traders do.

To Detarp or Not Detarp

The treasury department is refusing large banks to pay back their tarp money. Some of the major banks have asked to de-tarp themselves. There is some debate if the government would accept it. They think that if one of the large banks paid their Tarp money back, the other ones would feel pressured to pay back theirs.

Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers

The debate is if they pay it back and come back six months later, we are in the same position as we were before.  The rational issue then is should we let them fail if they pay the money back and then come back six months later.  If not you there goes the government inflating to running companies even more so.  We would have the government firing CEOs, guaranteeing lube jobs for your car from GM, handing out toasters at the local bank.  It’s as if America is sleeping and the government is in fact become a George Orwellian big brother.

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AIG to Washington
AIG to Washington

Shakaama On Obama: The First 90 Days

Obamessiah ... this is getting out of hand.
Obamessiah ... this is getting out of hand.

I’m not defending Obama today.  However, I’m not so naive that I can’t see what is going on.  Today I will review the first 90 days.

It amazes me that people are so shocked that Obama gets into office and all of a sudden it’s politics as usual.  I am neither saddened by his actions so far, nor am i angered by his policies so far.

I have a political science degree.  So I am very aware of everything that is going on.  And, lets discuss this.

The bailouts

Everyone is so upset by the bailouts.  But, for every 2 people upset about the bailouts there is 1 person that is thankful for them.  You have to understand that the millions of Americans that are talking about “let them fail” do not think about the 30,000, 100,000 or million of employees of these companies that would be out of work.  So when these giant companies come to Washington, this is what Obama is looking at.  It is very easy to sit back and armchair quarterback this mess, but it’s a totally different story when a union 2 million strong comes through the door with the company president and they both beg for help.  It would take a nearly omniscient being to wade through this, and not have millions of people hurt.

He is the one
He is the one

Is that bad to think about those people?  No.  However, I’m pointing out the difficulties involved in this.  We give away millions upon millions of dollars every year to foreign countries.  JUST GIVE IT AWAY! as “aide”.  People complain about that under their breath, but no one speaks up.  All the American lobbyist who go to Washington for those countries, waddle right up to capitol hill for their clients.  Now the shoe is on the other foot.  However, no one is speaking for the people directly.
What are my hopes?

I would hope that Obama would be so charismatic that He didn’t have to be beholden to all these screaming memes around him.  Can you imagine if he had given 10 trillion dollars directly to us?  That would have boosted the economy.  Inflation would have skyrocketed overnight, but at least it would save our economy.  As it stands now, we don’t see the benefit and we still get the inflation.  Sadly.

President Obama Signs bill Alone
President Obama Signs bill Alone

Is Obama doing a good or bad job?  He’s the president.  He’s the wizard behind the curtain.  What can he do?
Ok understand this is politics. It’s not as simple as black and white.

He has to answer to people
He has to gain / call / demand political favors
He has moochers
He has blackmailers [no pun intended]

all of these factors go into every single word he speaks, and every single agreement / document he signs.

Talk about a walking target. This guy, unlike GHW and GW, is a newcomer and has to climb the ladder before throwing his weight.

Note i’m not defending Obama or anyone. Just want everyone to realize this is politics.  Yes we Americans want something, but capitol hill is a rat race unlike any other on the planet.   It’s sad, but true. Listen to Peter Schiff and rely on yourselves.  I’m proud of Obama as a black man. I’m sad about and for Obama as a Political scientist. But as a political scientist I understand the wizard behind the curtain.

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What Planet is Warren Buffet On?

The Oracle of Omana Warren Buffet
The Oracle of Omana Warren Buffet

Recently Warren Buffet has been appearing on the national scene, moreso than before.  He is now the darling of both the press and Washington.

He figured prominently during the bailout talks when he invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs.  There was a proverbial gasp heard

The Warren Buffet Way
The Warren Buffet Way Click Here

round the investing nation at the time because everyone knew the financials were in trouble, in general, banking in specific.  But, let’s look at his deal.  At the time the stock seemed like a steal.  In fact, many thought he was taking advantage of the venerable bank.  For Berkshire Hathaway, it bought a US$5 billion equity stake in the dominant player  of the industry, and for its money receives a guaranteed dividend of 10 per cent a year on its perpetual preferred shares.  On top of that Goldman’s gave Berkshire 5 year warrants which give Berkshire the right to buy 43.5 million common shares of Goldman Sachs at a strike price of US$115 at any time before 2013.  However, banking stocks tanked, the crisis deepened, Goldman shares hit a low of US$47.41 on November 21st. After writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times on why he buys America, Mr. Buffet came in for criticism.

However, we are talking about Warren Buffet.  I’m often reminded of the movie “Wall Street” when i think of him.  Anything he purchases will sooner or later gather stragglers, who mistrust their own investment skills.  Goldman shares have doubled since November, closing at $111.93 last Monday.

“The Investment bank has had to change its business model, and reduce the amount of leverage it carries on its balance sheet, but some business areas are positively on fire with flow or client driven trading benefiting from wide spreads being charged and really bringing in the moolah.” [what a shocker, that actually works]

Benjamin Graham Click Here
Benjamin Graham Click Here

For every silver lining however there is a cloud.  The GE deal Berkshire got, with those same warrants, don’t look so delicious.  The warrants were for an aggregate cost of $3 billion @ $22.25 per share.  Ge closed at $10.43.  Yeah, not so much.

Warren Buffet Click Here
Warren Buffet Click Here

Which brings me to the next point.  Disciples of the value strategy, like Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, focus on the long-term intrinsic value of a company, hoping to buy shares in good companies at reasonable prices.  For financial stocks—some of which haven’t or won’t survive the crisis—it’s nearly impossible to identify the long-term value, whether through profits, cash flow, or other measures.

But what are companies worth these days?  What is the value of a company that accepts TARP money?  Hard isn’t the proper word for what investors are up against when trying to figure this out, impossible is more like it.  And these atrocious bailouts and stimulus packages flowing out of Washington and the Federal Reserve [secretly, psssst hey AIG, come here in the alley i got some more money for ya] are only hurting the situation.  In the mean time Buffet is seen publicly on T.V. talking about he praises Obama for his efforts and he’s optimistic for the long term.  Was that on a Hallmark card Warren?  “Get Well Soon America” from your buddy Warren.

Bull Moves by Peter Schiff Click Here
Bull Moves by Peter Schiff Click Here

He’s lost it.  In fact if you go back and look at Berkshire Hathaway’s performance versus the dow over the past 20 years, it has underperformed. GASP!!! Not the sage of Omaha!!!  Oh brother.  Yes he’s lost it.  Hell, he got lucky in the first place.  He never “had” it.  A study was done once, some university economists [this is no joke, this is serious research here] wallpapered their class with the Wall Street Journal [yay free plug WSJ] blind folded several students, gave them darts and had them throw them.  They picked the stocks they landed on and invested.  [don’t try this at home kids, these guys have PhDs]  Every single student’s stocks out performed the DOW.  GASP!!! [and i would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids]  Apparently they did this study for years.  They concluded that the big performer investors are simply lucky and actually have no “magical skills” to predict good stocks.  [ha what do those snotty nosed professors of economics know]

So Warren [we’re on a first name basis] says he’s optimistic for the economy and Obama’s the bee’s knees.  Wellllllllll Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Lou

Crash Proof by Peter Schiff Click Here
Crash Proof by Peter Schiff Click Here

Rockwell, Judge Napolitano, Glen Beck [I had to mention him so people who Google his name read this blog teehee], all say the exact opposite.  And, I agree with them [but who listens to me *sigh* I need a hug].  Can vultures pick up the pieces Warren Buffet leaves behind?  Sure, mull over the carcasses of the straggler investors who follow him blindly.  But, be wary and trust your own learning.  Read Adam Smith.  Be an “Austrian” school of economics disciple.  These Keynesian economist are the darlings of Washington right now, since they chant spend, spend, spend.

Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers

For the rest of us, invest in gold.  Buy dividend paying stocks OVERSEAS.  Stay away from cash and the dollar.  When this hyper-inflation hits, [oooooh boy don’t you dare argue with me there] and it will hit, all of your cash is going to go up in smoke.

How many billionaires…. were removed off the Forbes Billionaire list.

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