Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mid-Afternoon Rambling -- June 18, 2015

I was on my bike so I missed it, but by my calculations, the Dow was up as much as 240 points at one time today, closing about 180 points up. Somewhere I read the health companies were the leaders; I don't know. If so, doesn't surprise me; I've talked about it forever -- that under ObamaCare the Big Pharma and Big Health Insurers were going to be the Big Winners.

Also, from Yahoo!Finance:The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ripped past the all-time high it struck during the Dot-Com bubble amid optimism over a dovish Fed and upbeat Greece developments. So, if "tech-heavy" NASDAQ makes a new high, how did XLNX do? Up about a percent but still below it's 52-week high.

Tesla: Gridlocked?

I normally would not have posted the link to this article but it was sent by a reader who sends me some very good links, and it led me to a neat graphic that needs to be posted. BizJournals is reporting:
Alevo Group has chosen Parker Hannifin’s Grid Tie Division in Charlotte to supply power-transfer systems for Alevo’s first major rollout of its GridBank batteries to utility grids.
The division will initially supply power-conversion systems, battery container control and thermal management systems to independent systems operators in the United States and Canada. That is in conjunction with Alevo’s January agreement with Customized Energy Systems to provide 200 megawatts worth of energy storage to wholesale energy markets in North America.
There are perhaps five or six major regions in the US right now, including:
  • the northeast corridor from NYC to Boston (I don't include Washington, DC, except as a political center, which may be my mistake not to include it)
  • the eastern seaboard to include Florida to the south and Tennessee/Kentucky to the west (North Carolina may be its center, and it may be the most overlooked center)
  • Texas (includes east Texas often referred to as southern Louisiana)
  • California (to some extent riding on its laurels)
I point that out because a story coming out of Charlotte, NC, may not catch your attention, but it's a trendsetter. What Charlotte does, others will copy.

With regard to the linked article I replied to the reader:
There are a lot of story lines in that article.

1. I could be wrong, but this sounds like a challenger to Tesla. And it looks like Tesla and Alevo aren't the only ones into batteries and grid management. This has to be bad news for Tesla. It seems Tesla is a very, very vocal self-promoter whereas a lot of competitors are quietly working in the background. I'm probably missing something, but I'm still not impressed with the story that Tesla partnered with an innovator in Nova Scotia.

2. Grid management, regardless of solar / wind aspect looks like "the next big thing" for utilities.

3. Not necessarily in this article, but in other articles, very conservative investors who thought utilities were a safe investment probably need to tread carefully, especially in states like Minnesota, Iowa, California.
In the process of looking something up with regard to the linked article, I happened across this graphic:

Source of graphic, ComputerWorld, April 22, 2015.

And there are a lot of story lines in that graphic. But I need to move on.

Bragging, Sort Of
A Note For The Granddaughters

If I lived in Tioga, North Dakota, I would blog about all the wonderful things happening in Tioga. If I lived in Hong Kong, I would blog about all the wonderful things happening in Hong Kong. Ditto NYC. Ditto Watford City.

But I live in Grapevine, TX, so it's now home for me. And I will blog about all the wonderful things happening in Grapevine, TX.

We have a very, very good (free) community newspaper that does as good a job as any I've seen keeping residents informed of what is going on in their community.

Today, there were three big stories. The first, of course, was the recent flooding. The second story was a great story on fiber-optic partnership between the city of Grapevine and the school district. It's really quite a story. The Grapevine schools are all "connected," but they pay an outside contractor $200,000 annually to maintain the system.

The city of Grapevine and the school district are partnering to enhance network connectivity for both entities by investing in more than $5 million fiber-optic cable system. The 57-mile-long system will save the school district at least $200,000 per year and increase the school district's bandwidth from one gigabit to a minimum of 10GB. 

The community partnerships in Grapevine seem quite remarkable. It seems to be a unique "little" city.

The third has to do with another California company moving its headquarters to Texas. The paper added this company to the list of other companies that had recently moved to Grapevine. Unfortunately, except with the subject company today, the paper did not say where the other companies had "re-located from."

I was particularly interested in GameStop, which is now headquartered in Grapevine. Prior to reading the story, I had no idea GameStop was here nor did I know where it came from, but a company like GameStop should naturally be headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, or in Pasadena, California, down the road from where the Big Bang folks live.

Well, it turns out I was wrong. GameStop is "Texas-through-and-through." From wiki:
GameStop traces its roots to Babbage's, a Dallas, Texas-based software retailer founded in 1984 by former Harvard Business School classmates James McCurry and Gary M. Kusin.
The company was named after Charles Babbage and opened its first store in Dallas' NorthPark Center with the help of Ross Perot, an early investor in the company.
The company quickly began to focus on video game sales for the then-dominant Atari 2600. Babbage's began selling Nintendo games in 1987. The company went public in 1988. By 1991, video games accounted for two-thirds of Babbage's sales.
The rest, I assume, is history, as they say.

GameStop did not re-locate from California, but this one did, at least its US headquarters. It was the subject of the third big story in today's community paper: Kubota. From wiki:
Kubota Corporation is a tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan.
Its US headquarters recently moved from California to Grapevine, Texas. More on this later. I don't have the paper in front of me .... but one can read about it here in The Dallas Star-Telegram.
Kubota Tractor Corp. and Kubota Credit Corp. will move their headquarters from Torrance, Calif., to a 25-acre site northeast of Grapevine Mills mall on city-owned property.
The companies, subsidiaries of Kubota Corp. in Osaka, Japan, are under contract to buy the property from Grapevine, where they plan a 200,000-square-foot research and development and corporate center.
Initially, 345 jobs will be created.
I know Torrance, CA, very, very well. It was where my mother-in-law used to work and shop (more on that later). This is not good news for Torrance.

Read more here:

No comments:

Post a Comment