Posts tagged Berkshire Hathaway
2/12/2010 Pre-Market Report: China tired of Greece stealing headlines, raises reserve rate to try to be January’s Economist centerfold, promises to show their Shanghai if selected
It’s a travel day for Money McBags so we’ll get to the market news early. The big story which should give pause to the market (and by pause, I mean send it into a bit of a downward hissy fit like someone at Fox News after trying to spell USA without a teleprompter) is that China is raising their bank reserve requirement once again in order to put a damper on growth. China has been fueling the global recovery as they not only provide cheap, flimsy, and lead ridden goods for the world, but they are growing internally faster than a metastasizing anal fissure. This is the second time in month China is raising this reserve rate in their attempt to show the world that they are not fucking around and will try to avoid Greenspan’s folly.
Also likely to send the market down today is Europe’s recovery being more stagnant than Demond Wilson‘s acting career. GDP rose .1% in Europe which was only slightly below the .3% estimate but traders will likely overreact because volatilty to them is like spinach to Popeye or like Amanda Seyfried to Money McBag’s “popping eye” (and yes that is a very bad euphemism, but you get for what you pay). This slow down in Europe’s economy could not come at a worse time as markets are still trying to figure out when/how the EU intends to bail out Greece. It’s like the EU has hired the underpants gnomes to solve the potential debt crisis. Step 1: Hint that you will bail out Greece. Step 3: Recover. Unfortunately, those people with actual working cerebral cortexes (Which rules out the delightful Carrie Prejean and the guy who invented Nuts ‘n Gum) understand that there has to be a more substanial plan (and as an aside is the plural of cortex, cortexes or corti? Can someone exhume William Safire and get a ruling on this? Money McBags is not always a cunning linguist). Money McBags is sure that the EU will come to Greece’s aid, because the Euro is not going anywhere, so until then, traders will just have their fun by continuing to bring volatility to the market.
There’s not a lot of stock news yet but Berkshire Hathaway will be entering the S&P 500 today which should nudge it up a bit higher and maybe even cause Warren Buffet to take off his trifocals, pull up his breeches, tighten his cravat and gingerly smile before going back to his game of whist. In small caps, EHTH announced their quarter and revenue was a bit light on application growth struggles. EHTH is an interesting name in that they provide a network for people who do not have employee sponsored health care to get health insurance. The company should be booming right now with so many people signing up for Cobra that GI Joe may get slaughtered (and yes, that was an unfunny and terrible joke). EHTH has had a solid balance sheet, great ROEs, and a terrific business model, but Money McBags is a bit confused as to why they haven’t been able to see stronger growth and if they are not booming in this environment, when will they? Money McBags has not had a chance to go through their quarter yet or listen to their call, but will be surprised if they don’t sell off today.
Enjoy the weekend.
2/5/2010 Midday Report: Unemployment rate drops as more jobs are lost, for next trick, unemployment rate to solve world peace by creating more wars
The market is down again today as Europe’s sovereign debt problem keeps rearing it’s ugly head like Mayim Bialik on the ABC Family network. The big news in the US markets is that the unemployment rate fell to a measly 9.7% (though if you include people who stopped looking for work and those working part time, it was 16.5%, but that is just a minor detail, like needing to keep your eyes on the road when you drive or not crossing the streams). The economy lost 20k jobs in January while totals for November were revised up by 60k (to 64k jobs created) and the totals for December were revised down by 65k (to 150k jobs lost, or as they say on the streets, a “fuckload”). While the revised numbers essentially cancel each other out, it does leave us wondering if any of these numbers are reliable at all, like the brakes on that shiny new Prius you just bought. Money McBags will wager Alan Geenspan’s credibility and Eliot Spitzer’s dignity (and since both of those are non-existent, it may be a bit of a sucker’s bet) that the 20k number released today is not within 20k of the actual revised number to come out in two months when no one will really care. The point is, people are not working regardless of what made up number Hilda Solis and her No-Labor Department release.
In international news, potential sovereign debt defaults in Greece, Portugal, and Spain have investors questioning the viability of the Euro like people with working auditory canals question Heidi Montag’s singing career. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet (or as he’s known in investment circles, “deluded”) has said there is nothing to worry about as the budget shortfall will be smaller than that of Japan and the US. He then called Haiti and said not to worry because their recent earthquake was smaller than the Chile earthquake in 1960, and later was heard telling NBC President Dick Ebersol not to worry because ad revenue is way overrated. With the debt of Greece, Spain, and Portugal all forecast to be near or above their GDPs by 2011, investors are questioning if/when the EU will bail them out. The good news is that the Greeks are trying their best to help out in all of this mess by going on a two day worker’s strike, which means they will be working three more days than they usually do (though to be honest, a worker’s strike to protest an economy in the shitter is like the state of Alabama burning books to protest their high illiteracy rates or Noise Free America blasting anything by the Black Eyed Peas to protest noise pollution).
In business news Toyota is apologizing for selling you a car that could kill you but reminding you that even if your brakes went out causing you to plummet to an early death, at least you would have cut down on your carbon footprint while you were alive by owning a Prius. Berkshire Hathaway is selling $8B of debt to finance their acquisition of BNI and outfit executives with their own conductor caps (of course those conductor caps will be made 100% from the shards of Giaocometti’s “The Walking Man I”). Finally, AETNA missed on earnings as their medical costs grew 14% as a result of increased brain aneurysms for those who sat through an entire screening of Avatar (that joke was brought to you by the Jay Leno Appreciation Society, making comedy dull and unfunny one observation at a time).
In small cap news TSYS beat their quarterly esimates thanks to 15% revenue growth and 17% EBITDA growth to $10MM. For the year EBITDA was $50MM and 2010 guidance was for $80MM-$85MM EBITDA with revenue guidance for over 40% growth (though they are an acquisitive company so that is not all organic). The company is now trading at around 7x 2010 EV/EBITDA and continues to be in growth markets and consistently beats estimates. Of course it is down 5% today despite the solid Q and the good backlog because apparently people hate owning businesses that work. Some analysts are concerned about their long term net interest margins but the company is getting cheap enough for those concerns to be less worrisome than a back hair on Marissa Miller. Money McBags is not yet an owner of TSYS, as he is going to let the market creep down a bit before he gets his invesment on, but this company is worth all of you digging in and trying to get a better feel for their organic growth and competitive advantage in the location based software and military businesses.
Money McBags is off until Monday, so enjoy the Super Bowl.