Dana Blankenhorn

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  • Duke Results a Warning to Others

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: DUK, BTU, SO

    Those who think that energy demand can do nothing but rise should take heed to the quarterly report of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

    The North Carolina-based electric utility missed street estimates badly.  But it's the reason for the miss that should give investors across the sector pause.

    Apparently the prices being paid at PJM Interconnection (http://www.pjm.com/), which handles transfers of electricity across the eastern U.S more »

  • What You Want in an Internet Investment

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: AOL, IACI, PCLN

    What you want most from an Internet investment are data and transactions. Data, in the form of databases people access regularly, provides a continuing stream of income. Transactions, the purchase of goods and services through a site's infrastructure, are the key to real success.

    This can be illustrated by looking at a few companies that emerged from the dot-com bubble of the 1990s and that have survived to this more »

  • When Do You Sell Apple?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 14, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, IBM, MSFT

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is back on the up side of the rollercoaster. The stock neared $500/share in the middle of the week, surpassing Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) in terms of its Price/Earnings (P/E) multiple, on the back of investor Carl Icahn buying a big position and boosting the stock.

    But it's getting close to the time for you to take some money off the table, if you more »

  • You Can Help Crush Bill Ackman

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 9, 2013 | Tickers: HLF, JCP

    Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management had $13.3 billion in assets at the end of 2012, but could come apart at any moment. You can help.

    Fact is the hedge fund is stuck with two very bad bets, on which other hedge funds have taken the other side, meaning that basically the fundamentals don't matter in either case.

    The JCPenney Long

    Ackman's bigger problem is JC more »

  • Can Open Development Save IBM's Server Unit?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 8, 2013 | Tickers: GOOG, IBM, MLNX

    Far below the surface of its balance sheet, IBM (NYSE: IBM) has a hole in its hull.

    That hole is its server unit, which has been losing share steadily over the years. The company keeps boosting the power, introducing new designs with great fanfare.  But big customers keep moving toward cloud, which uses cheap, commodity hardware. So IBM has been furloughing workers in the division. 

    The company's latest effort more »

  • Playing the LED Revolution

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 2, 2013 | Tickers: CREE, LEDS

    Just as people like Michelle Bachmann are getting over their snit concerning the change from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are getting ready to rock our world.

    LEDs are basically silicon doped with impurities that light-up when current goes through them. They've been around for decades. You may remember the red LEDs in the movie Apollo 11. You may have bought an LCD TV screen, or more »

  • Heart of Cloud Moves to Applications

    By Dana Blankenhorn - August 1, 2013 | Tickers: IBM, CRM

    The new TalkinCloud 100, released on July 31, has some important news for investors in technology stocks.The list contains cloud service providers ranked by revenue. 

    Applications have overtaken infrastructure as the heart of the cloud, and this may mean changes in your portfolio.

    Salesforce #1

    The largest Cloud Service Provider, according to the site, is no longer Amazon.Com. It's Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM).

    Salesforce had $3 billion more »

  • Sprint Story About Time-Value of Money

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 31, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, T, S

    Earlier this month Sprint-Nextel became Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), with Softbank completing its acquisition of 72% of the shares at $7.65/each.

    The remaining shares are now worth under $6, following announcement of yet-another loss, yet Deutsche Bank has a “buy” rating on the stock. 

    Are they crazy? Let's find out.

    Sprint's Strategy and Assets

    What Sprint has now that it didn't have before is a more »

  • How You Can Avoid Amazon's Cloud Dominance

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 30, 2013 | Tickers: IBM, RAX, RHT

    The dominance of Amazon.com in the public cloud, highlighted by the CIA's decision to award a $600 million, 10-year contract to the company, has caused huge problems for alternatives to the company's infrastructure, especially OpenStack.

    The assumption was that, while Amazon would grab early adopters and start-ups eager to develop quick-and-dirty applications, systems like OpenStack would win the “private cloud,” because it's open source infrastructure enterprises more »

  • Amazon's Story of Cash Value and Naivete

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 26, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, HAL, IBM

    Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) shares took a brief dip, then resumed their upward trajectory, after a quarter that disappointed analysts.

    The results had bears scratching their heads.

    But looking more deeply into Amazon's situation, it's clear the company has been naive in ways that could impact results in the longer term, and cause the stock to fall hard one day.

    The Cash Flow King

    The Amazon story is more »

  • Why Buy Hospitals?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 26, 2013 | Tickers: AET, HCA, THC, UNH, VHS

    Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, hospitals are in a bind.

    More wellness care should mean lower patient counts. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are pushing automation for best practices, and checklists for operations, aiming to lower re-admission rates. Mistakes will no longer be tolerated, financially. While bringing more people into the pool will reduce the number of uninsured whose care must be accounted for more »

  • The Mysterious Undervaluation of Health Insurers

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: UNH, WLP

    If you think Apple is undervalued, you don't own a health insurer.

    Yesterday, for instance, Wellpoint (NYSE: WLP) delivered a solid beat on earnings, $800 million or $2.64/share, and continued its $0.38/share quarterly dividend. In response the stock barely yawned, rising just two cents a share, yielding a Price/Earnings (P/E) multiple of 10.31.

    Wellpoint has become one of the more undervalued big-cap more »

  • Apple Manages the Street, May Win Next Round

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 24, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT

    The last year has taught Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook some hard lessons, but based on the company's latest quarterly report he seems to have learned them, and is setting the company on a course for the next round of competition this Christmas.

    Cook's people deftly managed expectations for the quarter down to a level they could beat, then beat it decisively. This masked the fact that more »

  • Get Out of Newspapers

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 23, 2013 | Tickers: NWS, SNI, SSP, TRBAA, FOX

    I grew up on newspapers. I entered journalism to work on newspapers. I even worked on one for a brief time in 1981.

    It's closed now.

    For many years, however, newspapers were a fine investment. They threw off cash, and some offered yield. Knowing there was a sell-by date on these investments, major newspaper chains milked this cash cow and went into other businesses with the cash.

    Now the more »

  • TI Bets It All on Internet of Things

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 23, 2013 | Tickers: ARMH, INTC, QCOM, TXN

    Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN) is a bit like me.

    When I was in school I always retreated when subjects got hard. When math got hard I dropped math. The same with sciences.

    The same with TI. Some 30 years ago, when competition heated up in processors with Intel, TI moved toward digital signal processors, or DSPs. Now that mobile DSPs are becoming a hard place to live, the company is more »

  • Playing Utilities With the War on Coal

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 17, 2013 | Tickers: FE, PCG

    Did you know there's a “War on Coal?” 

    According to coal producers, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new regulations discouraging coal-fired power plants amount to just that, an attack on jobs. 

    Of course, it's not just the EPA that's down on coal. A new analysis from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh shows that the best places to site solar and wind plants today are where the use more »

  • How Fast Will the Solar Market Shift?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 16, 2013 | Tickers: FSLR, SCTY, SPWR

    The solar market is exploding. Both the major U.S. players, SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) have seen huge jumps in value over the last year – over 500% in the case of SunPower, over 250% for First Solar.

    SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY), which only debuted in December, is also up nearly 250%.

    What's happening?

    All this is happening in the absence of real results. SunPower is not more »

  • The Bad News Is Good News

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 15, 2013 | Tickers: PB, SN, SPWR

    The stock market was buffeted on Friday by what looked like bad news.

    Wholesale prices rose sharply in June on the strength of higher gas prices.  The spread between the “world” price of oil, the “Brent North Sea” price, and the U.S. price of oil, the “West Texas Intermediate” price, has been cut to just $4, from about $22 last December.

    As gas prices have risen, consumer confidence has more »

  • Amazon Killing the Cloud Boom

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 12, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, RAX, RHT

    Amazon.Com (NASDAQ: AMZN) has become a classic “category killer.”

    Most investors see it as killing the category of online retail, which it absolutely dominates. It's almost five times larger than the number two in this market, according to Netonomy.

    But there's a second category Amazon is killing, the cloud.

    A year ago cloud companies were booming. By creating virtual operating systems, using commodity PCs instead of specialized more »

  • What Is Missed on Intuitive Surgical's Big Miss

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 11, 2013 | Tickers: ARAY, ISRG, MAKO | Editor's Choice

    Investors got little warning on Intuitive Surgical's (NASDAQ: ISRG) big second quarter miss. The first most heard about it might have been the company's own press release – the company doesn't officially report until next week.

    In practical terms the miss isn't much – revenue of $575 million against an expected $630 million, and net income of $160 million instead of $177.7 million. But the stock, which more »

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