Archive for 2017

Hasbro Vs. Mattel: Which Was The Better Toy Story In 2016?

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Hasbro Vs. Mattel: Which Was The Better Toy Story In 2016?

The toy stories are published, done and dusted. It is now time to take stock of which of it was engrossing from an investor perspective. Given that the quarter encompassed the key holiday selling season, the faring this quarter assumes importance for the Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS)– Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) duo, which dominate the organized toy industry along with their European peer LEGO A/S.

Fourth-Quarter Showdown

Hasbro reported Monday fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $207.4 million or $1.64 per share. Revenues rose 11 percent to $1.63 billion from $1.47 billion last year.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.27 per share on revenues of $1.5 billion for Hasbro.

Meanwhile, Mattel’s fourth-quarter results released in late January showed that fourth quarter adjusted earnings came in at $0.52 per share and revenues fell 8 percent to $1.83 billion. Constant currency sales were down a more modest 6 percent. The bottom line results were down from $0.65 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Mattel’s adjusted earnings per share sorely missed the consensus estimate of $0.71 per share.

Hasbro’s strength was in the girl’s category (24 percent of total), which saw 52 percent revenue growth. In 2014, Hasbro wrested the Disney Princess contract from Mattel, which had been making Disney Princess dolls since 1996. The deal took effect from 2016. Games revenues (32 percent) rose 11 percent. However, boys (34 percent) and pre-school segments saw 3 percent and 4 percent revenue declines.

The girl’s category benefited from…
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Baidu Finds Resistance In Familiar Area

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU) shares are trading higher by $2.73 at $177.90 in Monday’s session. There is no specific news out on the issue to account for the rally.

After a higher open, it retreated and found support just above Friday’s close ($175.17), only reaching $175.22 before continuing its move higher.

So far, the rally has found resistance in a familiar area. On both January 24 and 25, the issue peaked at $179.00 and ended both of sessions in the $176 handle.

Today’s rally has barely exceeded those highs as $179.09 stands as the current high for the session. Since making that, it has fallen back to the $178.00 area.

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas

Power Solutions Sees Downgrades After SEC Investigation, Trading Halt

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Power Solutions Sees Downgrades After SEC Investigation, Trading Halt

Power Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ: PSIX) was downgraded by three analysts Monday after the company’s shares lost more than half their value Friday and trading was temporarily halted.

Power Solutions is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a January 4 corporate filing. The company said the investigation is believed to center on revenue recognition practices and resulting accounting errors.

About $18 million in revenue was erroneously recognized in Power Solutions’ 2015 financial statements, the company said in the same SEC filing.


Lake Street Capital Markets downgraded Power Solutions to Sell on Monday and suspended its price target, citing negatives such as the resignation of the company’s chief financial officer Michael Lewis and Power Solution’s outside auditor, which stated it could no longer rely on the representations of the company’s management.

Wunderlich also downgraded Power Solutions on Monday, from Buy to Hold.

Barrington Research downgraded the stock from Outperform to Underperform. Given the unreliability of Power Solutions’ financial statements, said Barrington analyst Rudolf A. Hokanson, “we have no credible financial reports upon which to base a financial analysis, even speculative.”

‘A Meaningful Risk Of Bankruptcy’

The Wooddale, Illinois-based producer of non-diesel power systems faces “a meaningful risk of bankruptcy,” said Robert Brown, a senior research analyst at Lake Street.

Power Solutions carries a $135 million debt load and is headed toward a “liquidity cliff” in May 2018 when debt services come due, Brown said in his report.

Power Solutions shares rapidly lost more than half their value Friday afternoon before trading was halted, then were up more than 42 percent in Monday morning trading.

The resignation of Power Solutions’ auditing firm and CFO are likely to further delay financial reporting, Brown said, adding that a delay of four to six quarters is possible before a new auditor is in place and financial results have been restated.

“Further, shares risk being delisted while these efforts are underway,” Brown…
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What To Listen For In Michael Kors’ Upcoming Quarterly Conference Call

Courtesy of Benzinga.

What To Listen For In Michael Kors' Upcoming Quarterly Conference Call

“Expectations have clearly come down for Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE: KORS)’s fiscal third-quarter print, given nearly across-the-board disappointing holiday results from brands and retailers,” Deutsche Bank’s Dave Weiner said in a note, while maintaining a Buy rating on the company and lowering the price target from $56 to $50.

Headwinds To Abate

The analyst explained that while the estimates had been lowered to reflect uncertainties, the significant headwinds faced by the company from FX, tourism and cycling would begin to abate, while new product innovation would provide support.

“Further, gross margin benefits from geo./channel shift help offset promotional pressures, SG&A spend should slow meaningfully next FY, and valuation is accommodative,” Weiner mentioned.

Among the things to listen to during Michael Kors’ FQ3 call is top-line trends, which is what investors have been primarily interested in.

FQ3 Expectations

The same store sales estimate for FQ3 has been lowered by 1 point to -6 percent, in-line with the market’s range of -6–7 percent.

Weiner noted that Michael Kors’ significant, planned wholesale channel rationalization would help make the brand healthier over time, although a decline in the double-digit percent growth was likely to pressure wholesale revenues at least through FQ2:18.

On the other hand, the analyst believes that tourism in the U.S. should be “less negative” for the company, given the recent comments by other retailers. In addition, the pressure witnessed by Michael Kors due to terrorism in Europe should start to cycle.

“Finally, we’re generally encouraged by product development, including from ACCESS, an expanded men’s line, footwear, & broader color palette in women’s handbags & clothing,” Weiner added.

Image Credit: By Designerschuhe, Taschen und Accessoires from Deutschland – Michael Kors Keegan Pump Peep-Toe High Heel mit Korkabsatz 40S4KEMP1A Lackleder schwarz (3), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Latest Ratings for KORS

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2017 Evercore ISI Group Downgrades Buy Hold
Jan 2017 PiperJaffray Downgrades Overweight Neutral
Nov 2016 Morgan Stanley Downgrades Overweight Equal-Weight

View More Analyst Ratings for KORS

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Earnings Long Ideas News Guidance Price Target Previews Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

S&P 500 Index Futures Recover From Lower Open

Courtesy of Benzinga.

March S&P 500 index futures are trading lower by two points at 2288.75 in Monday’s session. During pre-market trading, the index matched Friday’s high (2294), which also represents the index’s all-time closing high, when it peaked at 2294.25 and began to decline.

So far, the index has found support ahead of the pre-market low (2284.00) as 2286.25 has been the low since the open of the regular session.

All but two of the top components of the index are in the red. The sole winners are Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), trading higher by $0.72 at $129.81 and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), which is flat at $87.18.

Leading the way on the downside is Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is trading lower by $0.40 at $63.28.

Posted-In: Futures Technicals Intraday Update Markets Movers Trading Ideas

TwinPeak Capital’s 2Q17 NAV Results

By SG Value Investor. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Below are excerpts from the quarterly report of TwinPeak Capital, a private family office we manage.


December 31, 2016

TwinPeak Capital NAV (the “TWIN”) increased 2.97% versus a 1.27% loss for the iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (the “MSCI Pacific”) for the quarter ending December 31, 2016. The following table compares the TWIN’s unaudited performance (after fees) with that of the MSCI Pacific for various periods ending December 31, 2016.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, the Company outperformed the iShares Core MSCI Pacific ETF (the “MSCI Pacific”) by 4.24 percentage points. From inception, the Company outperformed the MSCI Pacific by 15.82 percentage points on a cumulative basis.

At December 31, 2016, the value of a SG$10,000.00 hypothetical investment in the TwinPeak Capital at its inception is worth SG$11,511 compared to SG$9,929 for the MSCI Pacific.

Market Commentary

The year 2016 turned out to be another challenging year with many unexpected events such as Brexit and Trump’s victory. While these events resulted in substantial declines in the stock market, the declines were short-lived. More recently, OPEC’s decision to reduce production has sent oil prices up 40% compared to a year ago. Trump continues to dominate headlines with his anti-China, anti-trade rhetoric.

It is interesting to note how the tables have flipped. Just five years earlier, the Chinese economy was booming while the United States was still reeling from the repercussions of the Global Financial Crisis. The US dollar was depreciating and markets though the year was being artificially deflated. Fast forward to today, the United States economy is going strong with consumer confidence high and inventory levels low. The FED did its second rate hike in December and the US dollar has rebounded strong since then. Contrastingly, pressure on the offshore yuan is intensifying amidst persistently high funding costs. Thankfully, with out portfolio overweight on Hong Kong stocks, we were well-positioned to ride the rebound and book significant currency gains.

At this point of writing, the S&P500 is at its all-time high while the Dow is a slither away from the 20,000 all-time high mark. As believers of mean reversion, this invariably weighs heavily on our minds when making investment decisions. Along with – what we expect to be – the themes of rising interest rates, China slowdown, trade protectionism and higher oil prices, 2017 is shaping up to be another eventful year.

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Trump To Push On With Voter Fraud Probe, Puts Mike Pence In Charge

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As if trying to prove MSNBC, which last week reported that “Trump’s campaign against imaginary voter fraud quietly fades“, wrong President Trump announced during an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Sunday that he would put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of a commission to probe what he believes was voter fraud in last November’s election, and which he says helped Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.

“I’m going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and we’re going to look at it very, very carefully,” Trump told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

“Many people have come out and said I’m right, you know that,” Trump said. “Look, Bill, we can be babies, but you take a look at the registration, you have illegals, you have dead people you have this, it’s really a bad situation, it’s really bad,” he said.

Previously, the Washington Post reported that Pence pledged to GOP lawmakers at the annual Republican retreat in Philadelphia that the administration would initiate a “full evaluation” of voting rolls nationwide.

Trump’s plans for a “major investigation” into what he claims were fraudulent votes by as many as 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants may not get too far without congressional funding, which may be an issue because already Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he doesn’t want to spend federal funds on the investigation and leave it to state authorities. But Trump on Sunday stuck to his claim of massive voter fraud, which even Republicans on Capitol Hill have questioned while The New York Times has openly dismissed as an outright “lie.”

Of course, many of Trump’s “ludicrous” statements have been discounted in the past, only to eventually be proven right.

Trump said there is evidence of votes being attributed to dead people and of people voting in different states in the same election. He may be referring to the various Project Veritas videos which captured precisely that.

Meanwhile, McConnell and other GOP leaders agree there is voter fraud but not on the scale claimed by Trump. “There is no evidence that it occurred in such a significant number that would have changed the presidential election,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.

That said, we eagerly look forward to the findings of the “Pence voter fraud commission.”

Extreme Vetting, But Not For Banks

As posted on Zero Hedge

By Matt Taibbi, originally published at

Donald Trump, the man who positioned himself as the common man's shield against Wall Street, signed a series of orders today calling for reviews or rollbacks of financial regulations. He did so after meeting with some friendly helpers.

Here's how CNBC described the crowd of Wall Street CEOs Trump received, before he ordered a review of both the Dodd-Frank Act and the fiduciary rule requiring investment advisors to act in their clients' interests:

"Trump also will meet at the White House with leading CEOs, including JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, Blackstone's Steve Schwarzman, and BlackRock's Larry Fink."

Leading the way for this assortment of populist heroes will be former Goldman honcho Gary Cohn, now Trump's chief economic advisor.

Dimon, Schwarzman, Fink and Cohn collectively represent a rogues' gallery of the creeps most responsible for the 2008 crash. It would be hard to put together a group of people less sympathetic to the non-wealthy.

Trump's approach to Wall Street is in sharp contrast to his tough-talking stances on terrorism. He talks a big game when slamming the door on penniless refugees, but curls up like a beach weakling around guys who have more money than he does.

The two primary disasters in American history this century (if we're not counting Trump's election) have been 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, which cost 8.7 million people their jobs and may have destroyed as much as 45 percent of the world's wealth.

The response to 9/11 we know: major military actions all over the world, plus a radical reshaping of our legal structure, with voters embracing warrantless surveillance, a suspension of habeas corpus, even torture.

But the crisis response? Basically, we gave trillions of dollars to bail out the very actors who caused the mess. Now, with Trump's election, we've triumphantly put those same actors back in charge of non-policing themselves.

In between, we passed a few weak-sauce rules designed to scale back some of the worst excesses. Those rules presumably will be tossed aside now.

Trump's "extreme vetting" plan for immigrants and refugees is based upon a safety argument

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Visualizing The Shifting Income Distribution Of American Jobs

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

When we talk about the money that the “average” American worker makes, we are usually referencing a “median” or “mean” income statistic. While this number can be useful in many different contexts, Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes that it can also be extremely limiting. The reality is that there’s a very wide range of incomes out there, even within a particular type of industry. Some people can barely make ends meet, and others make millions of dollars more.

To view income distribution through a wider lens, data visualization expert Nathan Yau has created an interactive chart that breaks down millions of data points into just 50 dots per industry. The dots are visualized on a scale from $0 to $200k+ and binned in $5,000 increments. Data is also adjusted for inflation.


Here’s a snapshot showing what income distribution looked like 57 years ago for a variety of broad industries:

Generally speaking, many of the ranges are on the lower side of things and tend to have data points clustered around the “middle” of each distribution.


Fast forward to 2014, and nearly every income bracket has expanded out.

In many of these professions, workers are now making more money – this is good news for the economy.

The downside? There are two problems: (1) Higher inequality, and (2) Many of the new jobs created recently are on the lower end of the income spectrum.

As you can see, top earning lawyers, engineers, or managers are able to climb up towards the tops of their brackets. A lucky few are able to make $200k+, which is far more than the vast majority of the workforce.

However, workers in other industries like food preparation or healthcare support are not so lucky. Unfortunately, in these sectors, making a middle-class income is very difficult – and many people are bringing in less than $25k per year. Yet, it is in these types of sectors that we’ve seen the majority of “new jobs” appear over recent years.

It makes it difficult for society to solve the income inequality problem when this is the case.

Dark Arts


Dark Arts

How a dark money network is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic.

Courtesy of George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 3rd February 2017. How corporate dark money is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic

It took corporate America a while to warm to Donald Trump. Some of his positions, especially on trade, horrified business leaders. Many of them favoured Ted Cruz or Scott Walker. But once he had secured the nomination, the big money began to recognise an unprecedented opportunity.

Trump was prepared not only to promote the cause of corporations in government, but to turn government into a kind of corporation, staffed and run by executives and lobbyists. His incoherence was not a liability but an opening: his agenda could be shaped. And the dark money network that some American corporations had already developed was perfectly positioned to shape it.

Dark money is the term used in the US for the undisclosed funding of organisations involved in political advocacy. Few people would see a tobacco company as a credible source on public health, or a coal company as a neutral commentator on climate change. To advance their political interests, such companies must pay others to speak on their behalf.

Soon after the Second World War, some of America’s richest people began setting up a network of thinktanks to promote their interests. These purport to offer dispassionate opinions on public affairs. But they are more like corporate lobbyists, working on behalf of those who founded and fund them. These are the organisations now running much of the Trump administration.

We have no hope of understanding what is coming until we understand how the dark money network operates. The remarkable story of a British member of parliament provides a unique insight into this network, on both sides of the Atlantic. His name is Liam Fox. Six years ago, his political career seemed to be over.

The scandal he had caused by mixing his private and official interests, that was highly embarrassing to David Cameron’s government, had forced him to resign as Secretary of State for Defence. But today he is back on the front bench,

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Zero Hedge

Auto Shares Surge As Fiat, Renault Confirm Merger Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With President Trump in Japan for a state visit and most of Europe headed to the polls to vote in the quinquennial EU Parliamentary elections, there was enough news to keep market watchers occupied during what was supposed to be a quiet holiday weekend in the US. 

But on top of these political headlines, on Saturday afternoon, the news broke that Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler had approached France's Renault with a merger proposal that would leave the shareholders of each carmaker with half of the combined company, in a tie-up that would create the world's third-largest au...

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Phil's Favorites

Trump and the problem with pardons


Trump and the problem with pardons

Courtesy of Andrew Bell, Indiana University

As a veteran, I was astonished by the recent news that President Trump may be considering pardons for U.S. military members accused or convicted of war crimes. But as a scholar who studies the U.S. military and combat ethics, I understand even more clearly the harmful long-term impact such pardons can have on the military.

My researc...

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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ... more from Insider

Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...

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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!

Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!

Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control


Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University


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More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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