Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For Investors Only -- 4Q13; Something Doesn't Ring True At Target

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.

Some of these stories are old; I did not get around to them until now.

EPD announced [about a week ago] that the board of directors of its general partner declared an increase in the quarterly cash distribution paid to partners to $0.70 per common unit, or $2.80 per unit on an annualized basis. The quarterly distribution will be paid on Friday, February 7, 2014, to unitholders of record as of the close of business on Friday, January 31, 2014. This distribution, which represents a 6.1 percent increase over the $0.66 per unit distribution declared with respect to the fourth quarter of 2012, is the 47th distribution increase since Enterprise’s initial public offering in 1998 and the 38th consecutive quarterly increase.

I can't make this stuff up: Windows 8 is perceived by some to be so awful that a) H-P will take advantage of this by getting back into hardware and loading Windows 7 instead; and, b) some think Windows 8 explains the death spiral of the PC.


IBM's fourth-quarter net income grew 6 percent, surpassing Wall Street's expectations even though revenue declined. Its shares fell in extended trading after the results came out — and CEO Ginni Rometty said she's recommending that senior executives, including herself, forgo personal bonuses for the year.
IBM Corp. said Tuesday that it earned $6.19 billion, or $5.73 per share, in the October-December period. That's up from $5.83 billion, or $5.13 per share, in the same period a year earlier. Results benefited from tax audit settlements that lowered IBM's tax rate to 11.2 percent in the quarter, from 25.5 percent a year earlier.
IBM's adjusted earnings were $6.13 per share in the latest quarter.
Revenue fell 5.5 percent to $27.7 billion from $29.3 billion.
Analysts, on average, had expected adjusted earnings of $5.99 per share on revenue of $28.27 billion, according to FactSet.
The IBM results were said to have spooked the market. For heaven's sake, considering the head winds, this was not a bad report. The guys wearing the visors and green glasses in the back room can probably come up with any number they wanted, but that's true every quarter. So when I see $5.73/share earnings this quarter compared with $5.13/share in the same quarter one year ago, I can't get too excited.

And, oh, remember -- there were six less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas ... which really messed up UPS ... or so they say.

I think folks need to get a grip; enjoy life; and not see a crisis with each earnings report. Some days these analysts and traders seem less mature than our 7-year-old granddaughter. Okay, bad comparison. She is very, very mature. These analysts / traders seem less mature than our 10-year-old granddaughter when she stays up all night with her friends on a sleep-over. LOL.


Just this morning on NPR or some radio station, BlackBerry, announcing a new contract with DOD, said the company was in great condition, plenty of cash. Now, tonight this story: BlackBerry is selling "all" its Canadian real estate to raise cash. Doesn't sound all that healthy.


The Target breach:
“We cannot estimate the costs related to the credit breach, including replacement cards and terminals, legal and settlement fees, and doubt that (Target) will have visibility on these costs for some time,” she said in a report. “We therefore expect (Target) to err on the side of prudence.”
Landes, who slashed her price target on the stock to $47 from $66, said Target may need to shoulder the cost of replacing up to 40 million cards at $10 apiece. She said it’s unlikely that Target has insurance related to potential lawsuits from banks. Target may need to replace about 50,000 of its so-called point-of-sale systems at cash registers.
  While Target has cut its outlook earlier this month, the analyst said “there’s definitely further risk to (per-share profit) should Target’s fundamentals continue to be weak or deteriorate.” Every 0.5 percentage point dent in comparable sales in the U.S. versus her estimate represents about a 15-cent hit to the company’s annual per-share profit, Landes said, adding every $100 million in incremental expenses is also another 15-cent profit hit.
Something doesn't "ring" true. Target says their system is now safe and yet they say they may have to replace 50,000 of its point-of-sale systems at cash registers. Something doesn't ring true.



  1. Windows 7 didn't work, either. Mavericks works great, though.

    1. Thank you. As you know, I am "Apple Fanboy #3" so anything positive said about Apple is well received. Thank you for taking time to write.

      I have a MacBook Pro running 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) and I occasionally receive opportunities to download/upgrade to Mavericks but I have not, concerned that somehow I will "mess" up the computer. I've gone so far as to consider buying a MacBook Air just to have Mavericks already installed. Smile. But now you've got me thinking ....