Thursday, July 25, 2013

Record Number Of Companies Increasing Dividends?


July 26, 2013: I may have to start tracking this as a new metric on the economy. See note below: 17 companies announcing increased dividends. Today, 27 companies announced dividend increases. Incredible. Many of them are energy companies.

Original Post

I don't know if that's true, but every day I check to see who has increased their dividends. This is a dynamic link so the data will change daily. Generally, anywhere from two to five companies announce an increase in their dividends. Once in awhile I might see six or seven companies. I don't remember as many as 17 companies in one day -- that is how many companies, including ONEOK, announced increased dividends today.  A lot of energy companies in this list today, but also Pulte Homebuilders, and Hershey.

Another example of Wall Street doing well, even though Main Street not doing so well. The gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" continues to widen.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you may have read here.

Hard To Argue With Charlie; Maybe Not


July 26, 2013: perhaps it's not so difficult to argue with Mr Munger. A reader suggests that Mr Munger is "dead wrong." Consider:
If you think the unemployment sucks now, take about 1.5 to 2 million more people and add them to the unemployment lines if you stop drilling for oil in the United States: the WB, Niobrara, Permian, the Eagle Ford,  Mississippi Lime, Utica, Marcelllus -- all keeping America going.
And these are not minimum wage, services jobs: they are high-paying jobs for white collar and blue collar. 
Also, look at the royalty split. In North Dakota alone: 800 thousand bopd. At a royalty rate of 12.5 % that works out to about $3.1 billion/year. Again, $3 billion in royalties just for one year.

The reader could have added that Charlie Munger's BRK-B has surged this year, no doubt due to BNSF acquisition. All one has to do is look at the railroad numbers and sort out what's going on in the US.
Original Post 
SeekingAlpha interview with Charlie Munger.
Munger believes oil and gas supplies will become "incredibly short and very high priced." As a result, he believes:
  • Foreign oil is your friend.
  • You want to produce domestic energy assets as slowly as possible.
  • The oil you leave in the ground is a national treasure.
  • Every barrel that you use up that comes from somebody else is a barrel of your precious oil, which you're going to need to feed your people and maintain your civilization.
  • There is no substitute for hydrocarbons: drugs, fertilizers, fungicides, etc. -- all of which China needs to feed its population -- they all come from hydrocarbons.
  • The U.S. has a problem, but China has a bigger problem.
His views echo those of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who also believes energy independence is a bad idea.

Note To The Granddaughters

I arrived safely back home, the Dallas area, tonight at 6:28 pm. I left south Los Angeles (San Pedro harbor area) Tuesday night, at 10:00 pm -- almost exactly two hours before midnight. I generally start all long trips late in the evening. I prefer to drive at night. The best driving for me: 8:00 pm to 2:00 a.m; then 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm. I get drowsy 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and almost always sleep those hours. I can get drowsy in the early afternoon, but generally not a big deal.

I drove the whole way by myself taking cat naps (and some of them were pretty long) along the way, stopping frequently, and driving very, very slowly, generally about 55 to 60 mph. I only got up to 65 to 70 when getting out of the way of truckers.  The most commonly seen branded truck, again, was FedEx. They were also the most courteous of drivers.

I stopped at McDonald's to blog. McDonald's has a corporate policy, apparently, to remove all electric outlets. At one McDonald's, the outlet was still there, but the wires had been disconnected. In the larger cities, I might find a Starbucks which are absolutely the best place to connect. They almost always have enough outlets. There is one notable exception: Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble: no electrical outlets. And they don't accept Starbucks cards which, of course, makes no sense to me. In addition, the food selection at Starbucks inside Barnes and Nobel is much, much more limited than in free standing Starbucks, and it appears the B&N/Starbux are much more expensive. I highly recommend not using B&N/Starbux if you don't have to. I was not impressed.

But again, stand-alone Starbux restaurants are incredible. My favorite place to blog even when I am home and have internet. (I don't have internet or cable at my new apartment in Dallas, after moving up from San Antonio. Not sure when I will get it. Hardly need it with a Starbucks across the street and a Sports Bar within walking distance -- 20-minute walk.)

It was a wonderful, leisurely trip. I passed within 60 or 70 miles of the Grand Canyon (going both to and from California) but did not visit. I will save that for the trip we all make together, hopefully next summer.

This is an incredibly beautiful and vibrant country. The highways were wonderful. When I got back into Texas with its wonderful highways I wondered why Texas highways were in such good condition compared to the highways on the east coast where population density is so much higher and one wold expect more money available for highway maintenance. Per capita, I can't imagine a state with more highway miles to maintain than Texas, except perhaps Alaska.

I'm also trying to figure out what the average Texan is missing despite no state income taxes, compared to citizens of other states with state income tax. California has both: state income tax PLUS property taxes. Talk radio says that up to half of Detroit homeowners do not pay property taxes because they are unable to pay the tax. The city / state apparently does not go after delinquent property tax payers in Detroit. I don't know. Something I heard on talk radio.

But I digress. It was a great trip. This is now the third long-distance trip in the last few weeks: first, from Boston area to Dallas; the back and forth Los Angeles to Dallas. I enjoy it so much I plan to drive to Williston (from Dallas) and back later this autumn.

Short anecdote about the trip. There's always an agricultural inspection stop on roads leading into California. I looked for one going into California on I-40 but never passed through any inspection going out to Los Angeles this time. Then, returning back to Dallas, I saw the inspection stop on I-40 as I passed it: I honestly do not recall going through this inspection when I drove out to California but I was on the I-40 at that time, and had to have passed through it. The road is very, very straight, and maybe I was sleeping as I passed through, but that seems rather impossible, doesn't it? I can't explain it.

The NSA Will Be Collecting Passwords -- I Think This Is An Old Story -- But I've Long Lost The Bubble On This Story -- Too Many Things To Keep Track Of -- Unless You Are The NSA

For those who may have missed it, NSA will be collecting passwords also.  And it's no use changing your passwords because they can track every keystroke -- so, even after you change your password, they will have the new one.

CNET is reporting. The House tried to stop the funding for this program but on a close vote, failed. President O'Bama and Nancy Pelosi were key in getting the de-funding bill stopped.

And so it goes.

I thought the NSA could read all e-mail without passwords -- you know, as I'm typing this --- this sounds like an old story --- I think I blogged about this some time ago.

Whatever. Disregard. But the link is there for those interested.

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Friday; OXY USA With Two New Wells; Nothing Particularly Interesting

  • 21678, 1,107, OXY USA, Emerson 2-24-25H-143-96, Fayette, t1/13; cum 31K 5/13;
  • 22699, 377, American Eagle, Mona Johnson 1-3N-163-101, Colgan, t5/13; cum 4K 5/13;
  • 22925, 1,336, OXY USA, Emerson 3-24-25H-143-96, Fayette, t1/13; cum 27K 5/13;
  • 23297, 378, Petro-Hunt, Boss 154-99-18C-17-2H, Stockyard Creek,  t6/13; cum --
  • 23413, DRL, XTO, Hegg 21-29SH, Siverston, no data,
  • 23502, DRL, Hess, BB-Burk-151-95-0718H-5, Blue Buttes, no data,
  • 24021, 550, Whiting, Tomchuk 11-30PH, Green River, t1/13; cum 23K 5/13;
  • 24482, DRL, BR, CCU Meriwether 24-19MBH, Corral Creek, no data,
  • 24590, 520, American Eagle, Hagberg 2-1N-163-101, Colgan, t5/13; cum 6K 5/13;
  • 24637, 1,524, XTO, Emma 31X-30C, Alkali Creek, t6/13; cum --
  • 24708, 149, MRO, Cook 24-31H,  Saxon, t3/13; cum 5K 5/13;

21678, see above, OXY USA, Emerson 2-24-25H-143-96, Fayette:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

22925, see below, OXY USA, Emerson 3-24-25H-143-96, Fayette:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

24021, see below, Whiting, Tomchuk 11-30PH, Green River:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Nine (9) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA

Active rigs: 184 (steady; at lower end of range)

Nine (9) new permits --
  • Operators: KOG (4), Corinthian (2), Cornerstone, Oasis, EOG
  • Fields: Parshall (Mountrail), Stockyard Creek (Williams), Epping (Williams), Northeast Foothills (Burke), Cottonwood (Burke), North Souris (Bottineau)
  • Comments:
Wells coming off the confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Three (3) producing wells completed:
  • 22886, 321, Hess, LK-Wing 146-97-2215H-4, Little Knife, t6/13; cum --
  • 24135, 396, Hess, LK-Little Chase Creek 147-97-2116H-2, Little Knife, t6/13; cum --
  • 24389, 534, Hess, EN-Uran A 154-93-1522H-3, Robinson Lake, t7/13; cum --

Update On The Pony Express Pipeline


November 30, 2015: Tallgrass Energy Partners increases its revolving credit facility from $850 million to $1.1 billion: The firm has increased its revolving credit facility from $850 million to $1.1 billion, and has an option to further increase the revolving credit facility by up to an additional $400 million of commitments to $1.5 billion. As of Sept. 30, 2015, TEP had $696 million drawn on its revolving credit facility.

September 25, 2014: Tallgrass pipeline system might expand

September 13, 2013: FERC approval; progress continues.  
The abandonment encompasses an approximately 430-mile section of natural gas pipeline from Guernsey, Wyoming to Lincoln County, Kansas, which is currently part of the Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission system.
Once the abandonment is complete, the 430-mile section of pipe will be converted and sold to a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP. In conjunction with the conversion, Tallgrass Development, LP is also constructing a 260-mile extension from Lincoln County, Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma. Upon completion of the conversion, transfer and new construction, the 690-mile Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline (a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP) will transport domestic light crude from the Bakken Shale, Denver-Julesburg and surrounding areas to Cushing, Oklahoma. “This is an important step in the process of the development of a key asset for Tallgrass and we are very pleased to have received the order from the FERC,” said Tallgrass’ President and CEO David Dehaemers. “We will continue to move forward with the project and currently expect the pipeline to begin transporting crude in the third quarter of 2014.”

Original Post

A reader sent me an update on the Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline.

Here are my earlier notes on this pipeline (I track pipelines of interest here) so this article is a nice update.

My notes:
Tallgrass Energy Partners
Pony Express Pipeline

Unofficial "Go-By" Name:
Announced: ? -- in conjunction with the "Double H" pipeline (April, 2013)
Originator: Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline, LLC
Pipeline: natural gas pipeline being retrofitted to carry crude oil; 260-mile new pipeline (KS to OK)
Specs: 24" 
Origin: Guernsey, Wyoming
Terminus: Cushing, Oklahoma
Capacity: 230K to 320K
Comments: will transport Bakken oil to Cushing, Oklahoma; announced about same time as "Double H": at time of announcement, approval of the Keystone XL permit was still questionable;

North Dakota With 21,000 More Jobs Than Applicants

A human interest story on North Dakota's demographer yielded this comment:
The state has some 21,000 more jobs than takers at present and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at less than 3 percent, Job Service North Dakota data show.
From The Dickinson Press

By the way, I have heard that a college graduate, fresh out of college, will find a job almost immediately somewhere in the oil patch. They need to have a place to live, and a willingness to work 80+ hours per week in some tough weather, particularly during the winter. Applicants do not need to ask about opportunities during their off-time, because they will be too tired to do much more than sleep. It goes without saying, the pay is very, very good.

But, if you are a college graduate, do not go out to North Dakota without arranging for a place to live, and having a job already lined up. But if you have a place to live, and love to work 80 hours a week, and enjoy the outdoors, it's hard to pass up this opportunity.

With Menard's, Outlaw Grill, Famous Dave's, Acme Tool, etc., just breaking ground, even mid-level managers not directly related to the oil industry are still needed, I would assume. 

My two cents worth. And some of the jobs, I understand, are not particularly physically tough or dangerous -- just lots of hours.

The Race Is On

For those interested in the race between the Eagle Ford in the Western Gulf, and the Bakken in the Williston Basin, CarpeDiem has a nice posting today. CarpeDiem suggests both formations will reach one (1) million bopd the second half of next year (2014), and further opines that the Eagle Ford is likely to hit that "magical" target sooner.

I think the Bakken will hit one (1) million bopd sometime in the 1st half of 2014, and it's very possible, it could even happen in December, 2013, or January, 2014.


With regard to CarpeDiem's note:

Eagle Ford vs Bakken production will be very interesting to watch.

Eagle Ford is in the Western Gulf.
Bakken is in the Williston Basin.

Go to the 2013 USGS assessment of the Bakken, at this link:

Go to slide 17.

The Western Gulf (Eagle Ford) is estimated to have 1.73 billion bbls recoverable oil The Bakken: 7.4 billion bbls recoverable (median); the high end was 11 billion bbls of oil.

If those estimate are correct, the Bakken should have 3 to 4 x the Eagle Ford production over the next 30 years. If the Eagle Ford exceeds the Bakken in the short term, that should be due to factors such as existing infrastructure. If the Eagle Ford continues to out-produce the Bakken, it raises questions on the accuracy of the assessment of the Eagle Ford.

By the way, the USGS graphic of the various shale plays in the lower 48 does not draw the various plays to scale; note the legend. Not drawing these plays to scale is very interesting for a "scientific" study. I've hinted at the reasons before why the USGS would do it this way. I prefer this graphic sent in by a reader


The Race Is On, George Jones

No More Blogging For Awhile -- Back On The Road

All postings in the past 48 hours were done quickly. There may be more errors than usual; more typographical errors than usual.

When I get home, I will gradually make corrections.

Thank you for your patience.

I've learned a lot on this trip: most interesting thing -- learning first hand why Barnes and Noble is in deep trouble.

Fuddruckers Breaks Ground In Williston -- The Williston Wire; Outlaws Bar & Grill; Famous Dave's Also Coming To Williston -- And Some Say The Boom Is Over; Remember: $3 Billion/Month Is Going Into The North Dakota Bakken

At The Williston Wire; some of the stories here. No links. It is easy to subscribe to The Williston Wire.

Along with Fuddruckers, the Williston Building Department has received building plans for Outlaws Bar & Grill and Famous Dave’s. Outlaws will be located near First International Bank & Trust while Famous Dave’s will be built adjacent to the Hampton Inn & Suites.

Home of Economy will expand by 14,000 feet.

Menard's to open in Williston, previously reported.

Acme Tools to start building in late August near intersection of 2 & 85 in Williston, previously reported.

Williston was a sleepy town of 9,000 when I grew up there; we always exaggerated when we said the population was 12,000, but somehow 12,000 sounded better than 9,000. Now, they say the population of Williston is 25,000 to 33,000 and the pace of growth with continue at a "high rate."

How the mayor sees the boom:
Williston's typical boom-bust cycle appears to be headed to a boom-business model and the start of that new cycle has already started.
"This is unchartered territory," said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser. "There's a period of rapid growth of people and business, then at some point you reach this stage where it stabilizes. In my mind, it happened probably about last fall."
Y'all can do the math; I will do it later when I am back home after a bit of traveling, but Lynn Helms is opining that the estimates are off:
An estimate in the governor's 2013-15 executive budget on statewide oil production is likely to be surpassed in the biennium's opening months, according to the state's top industry regulator.
Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources, said this week that he expects North Dakota oil production to increase by about 20,000 barrels per day each month from June through August. Preliminary May numbers put production at a record of more than 810,000 barrels per day.
Actually, not too difficult -- 20K x 7 = 140K + 810K = 950,000 bopd by the end of the year. My hunch: 50-50 that "we" will over a million bopd by the end of the year.

OKE Surges 21%; Up Over $9 For This $45 Stock

I see that oil is back in the green later in the trading day.

And the energy stocks are doing very well. The majors are hitting new highs, or flirting with new highs.

CNP hit a new high; SRE up almost a buck, near its previous high.

Some riding the coattails of ONEOK, I assume.

ONEOK up an incredible 21% -- up over $9 on a $45 stock. Is this all about the Bakken? Is that the real story line? The Bakken is the gift that keeps on giving. I was introduced to ONEOK when it started building all those natural gas gathering and processing plants in McKenzie and Williams counties. This is not rocket science. Bloomberg has an article on the spin-off, reported earlier.

Disclaimer: This is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

 The refiner, PSX, is up.

Enbridge, other pipelines, also up. EPD down a bit (half a percent).

The railroads, UNP and BRK-B, diverge. UNP is down (very, very slightly; essentially flat); BRK-B is up about half a percent.

So much to look at, so little time. Good luck to everyone.

I'm still traveling; limited time in cyber cafes as I cross the country.

Bakken Crude At 7-Week Low Relative WTI -- Spot Market -- Bloomberg Yesterday

Bloomberg is reporting, July 24, 2013:
Bakken crude on the spot market weakened to a seven-week low relative to West Texas Intermediate as Enbridge Inc.prepared to restart a pipeline delivering to the oil’s pricing point.
Repairs on Enbridge’s Line 81 continued this morning, and the line is expected to return to normal service later today, Houston-based spokeswoman Terri Larson said by e-mail. It’s the main line on Enbridge’s Bakken system, and can deliver as much as 210,000 barrels a day to Clearbrook, Minnesota.
The line was shut July 22 after a 1-barrel leak was discovered in Rugby, North Dakota.
Bakken priced in Clearbrook weakened $1 to a $5-a-barrel discount to WTI at 12:06 p.m., the largest since June 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The light, sweet crude from North Dakota and nearby areas also faces more competition from similar from Canada, after Nexen Inc. returned its 58,500-barrel-a-day Long Lake upgrader to normal operation. The company reduced rates at the plant, which converts bitumen into synthetic crude, after Enbridge shut Line 37, which serviced the upgrader, on June 22.

Initial Unemployment Claims Jump; Durable Orders Flat

Everybody was excited last week with the initial unemployment claims numbers. Too bad that was an anomaly; an anomaly that was "hinted" at by the mainstream media.

Today, back to reality. Free Republic is reporting:
The initial jobless claims supports this depressing reality. According to the Department of Labor, “In the week ending July 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 343,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 336,000. The 4-week moving average was 345,250, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 346,500. The previous week was revised up from 334,000.” 
And durable goods numbers no better:
Durable goods orders rose a smokin’ 4.2%! But ex-transportation, it was 0%. In other words, Boeing airline orders are keeping our GDP afloat. Expectations were for 0.5%.
And so it goes. The country is fortunate that the president is going to devote every waking second of the last 1,200 days of his presidency to working on the economy and employment. 

Here's the AP spin today's numbers. I didn't have time to read the whole article, but I heard the talking heads on the radio: they said the economy continues to percolate along just fine and that the rise in numbers is not to be taken seriously. Or something like that. 

Oh, yes, even this story said the same thing:
"Claims continue to signal no let-up in employment growth," Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note.
I can't make this stuff up. Who are they trying to kid. Unemployment claims go up and the response is: "no let-up in employment growth."

Last week: 28 states reported an increase in unemployment; 11 reported a decrease; 11 reported no change.

Dennis Gartman: Tap The SPR

A reader sent me the same thought a couple of days ago: President O'Bama must tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- Dennis Gartman.

Wow, I wish I had more time to comment.

Gasoline is flirting with $5/gallon in some places in America, but it's not because there is not enough oil.

But the price of gasoline is not why Gartman wants to tap the SPR. Completely different reasons. Great disruptive thinking.

But it won't happen.

Folks are missing Gartman's point. He is absolutely correct, but for reasons folks don't understand.

This post is not ready for prime-time. I'm rushed, but did not want to miss this story/line.

The Bears Are Scrambling -- And This Is Why I Don't Short Stocks

Nothing is more than watching bears scramble. Facebook is up 25% today. Whoopee!

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

Thursday Morning Links, News, And Views; ONEOK Shares Surge

The Yahoo!Finance oil price is still not corrected -- at Bloomberg:
  • WTI: down 54 cents, $104.85 
  • Brent: up 3 cents, $107.22 
Still traveling. Minimal blogging throughout the day.

For investors only: ONEOK shares surge --
8:46 AM ONEOK plans to spin off its natural-gas distribution business into a standalone publicly traded company called ONE Gas, which will be headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and consist of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service. Shareholders will receive an as yet unspecified number of shares in ONE Gas in a transaction that is expected to be tax-free. The new company will trade on the NYSE under the OGS ticker symbol. Shares +7.4%
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or think you read here. 

Active rigs: 184 (trending down)

RBN Energy: CBR maintenance --
In a couple of short years, there will be over 375,000 tank cars hauling hydrocarbons in North America. A large majority will be moving crude and NGL’s from the shale production plays. New plays have hit the market like a storm, and like everything else, the infrastructure for handling and maintaining tank cars is trying to keep up. We think this situation is creating yet another new issue, or shall we say opportunity, for the energy and rail industries.  
You see, tank cars, like any asset that’s in short supply, must be utilized as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible. .... Tank cars have been running harder and longer than ever, shuttling long distances between places like North Dakota and the East, West and Gulf Coasts. In the Bakken alone, new crude oil production has been responsible for the construction of 22 new crude oil loading terminals and will be the destination for a big chunk of the new tank cars on the way.  
In the last year, there has been an increase in tank car rail traffic of about 35 percent, and there has not been a repair facility of any significant size added to the infrastructure since the shale explosion started. And on top of that, most existing maintenance shops are not certified to do extensive repair. This implies that not only do we need to catch up to take care of all these new cars, we also need to have a more efficient repair system in place—the industry simply can’t afford not to.
Wells coming off confidential list have been posted.

Odds And Ends While The Computer Is Charging -- Albuquerque McDonald's


July 29, 2013: now that the Weiner story is starting to fall apart, Huma is being dogged, the Clintons and the Clinton supporters may be changing their story, and are certainly distancing themselves from the Weiners. This will be the final nail in Anthony's political coffin. Huma needs to update her resume. Hillary, like Barack, knows who to throw under the bus, and when to do it.

July 25, 2013: see note near the bottom of this post regarding Anthony Weiner. The dots are starting to connect. With all the adverse reporting coming out regarding "the Weiner," the question one needs to ask: who is keeping this campaign -- the funding -- afloat. The dots are starting to connect. Huma, his wife, is joined at the hip to Hillary. Bill Clinton married Huma and Anthony. If "the Weiner" goes down, Huma becomes irrelevant. Huma is Hillary's proxy on this one. Hillary has a lot to lose if Huma loses (i.e., that is, if "the Weiner" drops out).

Original Post 

Jane Austen will appear on Bank of England £10 notes starting in 2016 or 2017.
Nineteenth century novelist Jane Austen, among whose works you will find this sage quote “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of” (Mansfield Park), was Wednesday named as the new face of the 10 pound note, as the Bank of England bowed to public pressure to have at least one woman among the famous Britons who feature on the country’s banknotes.
The central bank’s decision comes after retired BOE Governor Mr. King last month provoked a storm of protest when he said prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, whose face has been on the five pound note since 2002, would be replaced in 2016 by wartime leader Winston Churchill. This means no women will be depicted on any of the banknotes other than Queen Elizabeth, whose role as Head of State means she appears on every note.
One of the most interesting items out of Apple's quarterly results: The popularity of the three-year old iPhone 4.
Apple Inc. is known for drawing crowds with its latest and greatest technology. But one of its most potent weapons in some markets came out three years ago.
The iPhone 4, originally released in 2010, is helping to power Apple's sales in price-conscious markets such as India and counter stiff competition from an array of rivals selling smartphones powered by Google Inc.'s Android software.
That three-year-old smartphone played a major role on Tuesday, when Apple surprised investors with third-quarter sales of 31.2 million iPhones, 20% more than a year earlier and 18% more than the 26.5 million analysts had been expecting.
While Apple said the current iPhone 5 is still its top seller by far, the company added that demand for the iPhone 4 is a key reason for the rise in smartphone sales.
Not that selling older models in emerging markets is a new strategy for the company.
And it has potential downsides, as lower-priced phones can squeeze gross profit margins.
But Apple, despite its image as a premium player, is adopting more aggressive tactics to sell its oldest smartphone in markets where demand is growing quickly and many buyers have never purchased a smartphone before.
After George Zimmerman verdict, 71% of African-Americans said trial had decreased their confidence in legal system. They are obviously part of the 47% of Americans that would never vote for Mitt. But I do think there is an easy solution to end racial profiling. Maybe someday I will write about it on the blog, but not tonight.

Anthony Weiner hangs tough. The scuttle-butt is he is taking advice from Bill Clinton and his wife, a long-time aide to Mrs Clinton, is taking advice from Hillary. Weiner's case is completely different, and it's just a matter of time before he withdraws: his funds will dry up. Weiner comes across as a creep and a pervert. Bill Clinton simply came across as a guy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or his cigar in the ...

I'm of course alert to CBR, but it is absolutely amazing all the brand new black oil tankers seen on the trip between Los Angeles and Dallas.