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February 2008

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Healthways: I told you so

February 26, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: HWAY

A while back, I mentioned that I did not believe Healthways would be able to effectively provide disease management services in its 16,000 person Medicare trial. The stock was then at 4 or 5 stars.   [more]

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Musings on the Visa IPO

February 25, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: MA , V

A Marketwatch story indicates that the impending Visa IPO would be the richest ever in the US, at nearly $19b, even if it prices at the lower end of the range. There will be enough demand for the shares.   [more]

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If you're buying banks, buy conservative ones, and consider foreign

February 22, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: AIBYY , LYG

Lloyds TSB released earnings today, and the stock is up. Lloyds is a dominant bank in the UK. It focuses on consumer lending and is a conservative underwriter. Now that the stock has taken some rather large moves up, I would like it to get a bit cheaper before I put in new money.   [more]

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Tierone - oops

February 19, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: CSE.DL2 , TONE

Sometimes, if things are too good to be true, they are.  [more]

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Waste Management and Compass Minerals - atypical SRI fund holdings

February 16, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: CMP , WMI

Socially screened funds are getting more popular these days, with global warming, genocide in the Sudan, and all that. I personally own Citizens Value (MYPVX). This fund, by the way, has had a great last few years, but is off to a very bad start this year. Citizens is also being purchased by Sentinel Investments, and Citizens Value is merging with a lesser-known Citizens fund. Anyway, when you think of what screened funds hold, you probably think 'green' companies, and large growth companies (like tech or healthcare), plus financials. However, I've found two atypical companies that pass social screens.  [more]

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Junk bonds?

February 15, 2008 – Comments (0)

The junk bond market is starting to blow up. Defaults are low now, but are expected to rise. Yield spreads versus treasuries are rising. Junk bonds had been doing very well the last few years, and were definitely overvalued before the market started selling off.  [more]

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comments on Given Imaging

February 12, 2008 – Comments (0)

For quite some time, Given Imaging's Pillcam had significant advantages over the competing product that Olympus was trying to market. The Pillcam was cheaper and produced better images. Now, I am told that Olympus' latest product produces better images. And we all know that Olympus has significant marketing muscle.  [more]

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Novartis and vaccines

February 08, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: NVS

Morningstar just released an article for premium subscribers, which basically said that vaccines will be a growing market. Although they cost more to manufacture than pharmaceuticals, they cost less to market. Additionally, vaccines are some of the most cost-effective public health interventions known to humankind. their use is very often a no brainer, barring religious objections.  [more]

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Fairholme's moves

February 07, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: MMC , WCG

I previously noted that Fairholme opened a small position in Marsh and McLennan. I'm not sure when, but they've completely eliminated it as of September 2007. I remain bullish on MMC as they renew their focus on risk management - always their bread and butter. I saw an article recently (I think on Smartmoney) that insurance company mutual funds tend not to perform well, because they tend to be afterthoughts. MMC sold Putnam investments.   [more]

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I am not betting on Microhoo

February 01, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: MSFT , YHOO

If you were awake today, you know that Mr Softy bid for Yahoo.  [more]

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