Archive for January, 2012

5 Reasons Why Florida’s Primary Matters More (Tampa Bay Times)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Leave a comment

Although this article (Tampa Bay Times) is about two weeks old, it points out several key differences between campaigning in Florida and campaigning in the caucuses and primaries of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. These include:

  1. Size
  2. Closed Primary
  3. Early Votes
  4. Hispanic Votes
  5. Issues


Which GOP Candidate is Best for the Economy?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Leave a comment

In an earlier post Obama vs. Romney vs. Gingrich, I discussed which Presidential candidate investors thought would more likely grow the economy the best.

In this Yahoo Breakout video, fiscal conservative Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, gives us his take on which of the GOP nominees would be best for the American economy.

List of Top 25 US Law Firm Brands in 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Leave a comment

Wondering which law firms have the strongest brands in the US? According to a study released this week by Acritas (the brand research company) found on The Am Daily, Skadden, followed by Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, and Wachtell, lead the big firm pack.

The Leading US Law Firm Brands 2012

1. Skadden
2. Jones Day
3. Kirkland & Ellis
4. Sidley Austin
5. Wachtell
6. Latham & Watkins
7. Baker & McKenzie
8. Morgan Lewis
9. Gibson Dunn
10. Sullivan & Cromwell
11. DLA Piper
12. Mayer Brown
13. Hogan Lovells
14. Fulbright & Jaworski
15. Cravath
16. Weil Gotshal
17. Baker Botts
18. Shearman & Sterling
19. K&L Gates
20. Vinson & Elkins
21. White & Case
22. Morrison & Foerster
23. Davis Polk
24. Wilmer
25. Simpson Thacher

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Why Facebook Is Worth So Much Money (Seeking Alpha)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Leave a comment

Source: Seeking Alpha

Facebook has a chance to become the biggest IPO in tech history. Seeking Alpha provides several reasons why:

  • Network Effect
  • The News Feed’s EdgeRank Algorithm
  • Talent
  • The Apps and Games Platform
  • Ad Targeting

Can Google+ or some other form of social networking overtake Facebook in the future?

This Week’s Earnings Announcement Calendar

Monday, January 30th, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a list of companies reporting earnings this week along with consensus EPS estimates via Business Insider:

Monday, January 30, 2012:

Wendy’s (WEN): $0.04
Gannett (GCI): $0.69
McKesson (MCK): $1.38

Tuesday, January 31, 2012: 

McGraw-Hill (MHP): $0.56
Eli Lilly & Co (LLY): $0.81
Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM): $0.76
L-3 Communications (LLL): $2.41
CIT Group (CIT): $0.04
Exxon Mobil (XOM): $1.98
Entergy (ETR): $0.89
Mattel (MAT): $1.00
United Parcel Service (UPS): $1.25
Boston Properties (BXP): $1.19
Dolby Laboratories (DLB): $0.69 (AMZN): $0.16
Aflac (AFL): $1.51
Broadcom (BRCM): $0.65
Valero Energy (VLO): -$0.11
Pfizer (PFE): $0.47
United States Steel (X): -$0.85

Wednesday, February 1, 2012:

Manpower (MAN): $0.88
Aetna (AET): $0.97
Whirlpool (WHR): $1.69
NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ): $0.62
Franklin Resources (BEN): $2.08
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): $1.83
Las Vegas Sands (LVS): $0.57
Allstate (ALL): $0.98
Electronic Arts (EA): $0.94
Ameriprise Financial (AMP): $1.39
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR): $0.36
Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS): $0.15
Tesoro (TSO): -$0.50
JDS Uniphase (JDSU): $0.10
Shutterfly (SFLY): $1.15
Northrop Grumman (NOC): $1.67
AOL (AOL): $0.32
Patriot Coal (PCX): -$0.26
Marathon Oil (MRO): $0.83

Thursday, February 2, 2012:

National Oilwell Varco (NOV): $1.30
Lear (LEA): $1.17
SunCoke Energy (SXC): $0.30
Beazer Homes USA (BZH): -$0.27
International Paper (IP): $0.61
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT): $0.57
New York Times Co. (NYT): $0.41
PulteGroup (PHM): $0.08
Goodrich (GR): $1.57
WABCO Holdings (WBC): $1.17
CME Group (CME): $3.71
Dow Chemical (DOW): $0.31
Cigna (CI): $1.19
Viacom (VIA.B): $1.06
Kellogg (K): $0.63
Gilead Sciences (GILD): $1.05
Sunoco (SUN): -$0.18
Genworth Financial (GNW): $0.19
Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO): $0.24
Novellus Systems (NVLS): $0.45
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL): $0.15
Merck & Co. (MRK): $0.95
Boston Scientific (BSX): $0.08
Mastercard (MA): $3.92
Southern Copper (SCCO): $0.65
Blackstone Group (BX): $0.38
AMR Corp (AAMRQ): -$0.93

Friday, February 3, 2012: 

Aon (AON): $0.96
Simon Property Group (SPG): $1.90
American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL): $0.39
CBRE Group (CBG): $0.44
Clorox (CLX): $0.69
Beam (BEAM): $0.67
Tyson Foods (TSN): $0.35
Estee Lauder (EL): $1.01
MF Global Holdings (MFGLQ): N/A
TripAdvisor (TRIP): $0.38

Consensus estimates provided by Bloomberg.

Do Email Disclaimers Mean Anything?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 Leave a comment

Do common email disclaimers, often automatically attached, usually with language such as this email contains “privileged, confidential and/or proprietary information,” serve any real purpose?

According to the Wall Street Journal, it seems those who use them most, lawyers, bankers, analysts, consultants, publicists, tax advisers and even government employees, are divided on the issue. Below are several examples of the differing viewpoints regarding the value of email disclaimers:

A spokesman from the research firm and investment bank Nomura Group said its disclosures and disclaimers “ensure the market has full transparency regarding our analysts’ views and the nature of the work they undertake.”

Some lawyers say the disclaimers have value, alerting someone who receives confidential, proprietary, or legally privileged information by accident that they don’t have permission to take advantage of it.

However, other lawyers say the disclaimers are for the most part unenforceable. They argue that they don’t create any kind of a contract between sender and recipient merely because they land in the recipient’s inbox.

Sometimes disclaimers are used to validate emails. For example, James Sinclair, 28, who recently graduated from law school and opened his own civil practice, said when he traded emails with other attorneys, his lack of a disclaimer made him feel inadequate. “It was like my emails were somehow less official,” said Mr. Sinclair, who thinks disclaimers are legally insignificant and wrote a 636-word satirical one for the humor website McSweeney’s.

Personally, even if most people don’t read email disclaimers, I would still feel more comfortable including one when sending out emails.

[image credit: saleskick]

Succinct Summation Of Week’s Events- 01/27/12 (The Big Picture)

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the great things about The Big Picture blog is that it provides a summary of the previous week’s events.

Succinct summation of week’s events:


1) Italian and Spanish bond yields continue lower, 10 yr in Italy below 6%, Spain’s below 5%
2) German IFO business confidence rises to 8 month high
3) German consumer confidence at best since April
4) Euro zone mfr’g and services composite index unexpectedly moves back above 50, led by Germany
5) US Durable Goods orders in Dec surprise to upside but how much was pulled forward from 2012 due to 12/31 expiration of full depreciation expensing?
6) Jan UoM confidence rises to best since Feb ’11
7) Richmond and KC mfr’g survey’s both rise
8) Bank of Thailand cuts rates, Reserve Bank of India cuts reserve requirements


1)Portuguese yields spike, 5 yr CDS up 150 bps on week to new high
2) Spanish unemployment for Q4 rises to 22.9%
3) Italian consumer confidence holds at lowest since at least ’96 when survey began
4) Q4 US GDP rises 2.8%, a touch below expectations but nominal GDP gains just 3.2%, the weakest since Q3 ’09. If deflator was in line with expectations, Real GDP would have been up just 1.3%. Real final sales up just .8% vs 3.2% in Q3
5) Initial Jobless Claims normalize at 377k after holiday distorted 356k last week
6) Inflation expectations within UoM rise to 3.3%, the most since Sept and remains above the 20 yr avg of 3.0%. Expectations also rise to multi month highs in TIPS market
7) New Home Sales remain anemic, prices fall 12.8% y/o/y
8) FOMC stretches out zero rates until late 2014, US$ resumes downward trend against everything. Fed destroying the price mechanism as if interest rates are artificially priced, what are assets really worth? If we don’t know what assets are really worth, how can capital be efficiently allocated? And, if ZIRP was effective, Japan’s economy would have boomed over the past 10 yrs.