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March 2012



Oracle is doing better than the Street thinks

March 22, 2012 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: ORCL

Oracle beat analyst estimates yesterday, and funnily enough, the stock was both up 2 percent and down 2 percent.  [more]



Weather Is a Mean-Reverting Phenomenon

March 19, 2012 – Comments (1)

As I've said a number of times before, weather patterns can exhibit a lot of fluctuation from year to year, but they typically revert to the mean. To that end, I believe investors have oversold the stocks of Compass Minerals, AmeriGas Partners and natural gas stocks. You can, and I do, buy the idea that the weather's trend over time is going to trend warmer. However, that trend will take some time to materialize. If the entire U.S. gets warm enough that we have little snow, then we'll have much, much bigger things to worry about.   [more]



Why I'm Not Invested in JP Morgan

March 17, 2012 – Comments (2)

Earlier, I said that of all the large banks, I most favored Wells Fargo. I said that while JP Morgan is a very well run bank, I wasn't inclined to invest. In fact, I'm quite wary of the investment bank as a business model.  [more]



A Pitch for Wells Fargo

March 15, 2012 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: WFC

In a previous post, someone asked why I like Wells Fargo so much. Wells has a very large deposit base, and its cost of funding is significantly lower than its competitors. That's a structural advantage. With that advantage in place, they have also underwritten conservatively, as they don't need to stretch for yield. And they mainly do just basic, no blow ups retail banking. So, as banks go, they're low risk and less cyclical. Indeed, the Fed would not have approved their larger dividend if they felt that Wells' capital position was weak.  [more]



Bank of America Capital Trust Preferreds Update

March 14, 2012 – Comments (0)

I bought at about $19, but Bank of America's capital trust preferreds are now just north of $24. They trade for about a 6.5 percent yield. One could justify selling out of these, or holding on.  [more]



Banks Raising Dividends

March 14, 2012 – Comments (2)

Yesterday, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp and JP Morgan made significant dividend hikes. In contrast, Citigroup actually failed the Federal Reserve's stress test - and we all know that the stress test they did last time was a joke, so if Citi failed, they're really not in good shape!  [more]

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