Dana Blankenhorn

All Posts

  • IBM in Predictable Buy Pattern

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, IBM, MSFT

    I'm not usually one for technical analysis, but some companies are so large that they require it if you're to make good money on them. Take IBM (NYSE: IBM) for example.

    A fundamental analysis may make you question the stock at its current price of about $192 per share. Amazon.Com seems to be dominant in the public cloud, having recently secured a big contract from the CIA more »

  • Attention Kroger Shoppers

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: COST, KR, WMT

    I had always dismissed Kroger, which dominates many Southeastern markets, until a decade ago when Harris-Teeter came to town. The company had a good reputation, it had a large ready-to-eat section, and my kids considered it a great “Friday night delicacy” to wander a nearby two-story store and get their “night out” dinner to take home.

    Then, quite suddenly, Harris-Teeter pulled out of the market. Most of their stores became more »

  • Corning Willow Glass Ready for Take-Off?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 10, 2013 | Tickers: AMAT, GLW, FSLR

    Corning (NYSE: GLW) is a high-tech company you have never heard of.

    Its best known product is called Gorilla Glass, and it is the cover on most of the devices you own. But Gorilla Glass hasn't given the company the earnings hit you might expect, since devices are relatively small and production runs aren't terribly long.

    Enter Willow Glass, a more flexible, but still strong and scratch-resistant, glass more »

  • Apple Becomes the Conservative Choice

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 6, 2013 | Tickers: ADBE, AAPL, MSFT

    If you're wondering why Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is stuck in neutral, look no further than its earnings estimates.

    Analysts have been steadily taking their estimates down on the company all year, and are now predicting what could only be called a rout for the second quarter. This is often Apple's weakest quarter, as it usually announces new products in the third quarter and delivers them in the fourth more »

  • The Lesson of Linn

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 6, 2013 | Tickers: BRY, LNCO, LINE

    Don't play poker with a guy named Doc. Don't eat at a place called Mom's. And don't make big bets on stuff you don't understand.

    That's the lesson of Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE).

    Linn fell hard this week after admitting that the SEC was investigating its accounting  and its proposed acquisition of another exploration company, Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY). The company had a deal more »

  • Making Money From John Malone's Lunch

    By Dana Blankenhorn - July 1, 2013 | Tickers: CHTR, LBTYB, LMCA, TWC

    When a lion takes down a gazelle, other animals also get a meal.

    What's true in nature is also true in business. Small investors are always looking to profit from the maneuvers of large players.

    In the area of broadband, the big player today is John Malone. The 72-year old Colorado entrepreneur has two vehicles for investors. Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA) controls American assets, and has a market cap more »

  • Solar Financing Gets Crowded

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 29, 2013 | Tickers: RSOL, SCTY

    SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) has been a stock market darling since its IPO late last year, and early investors have nearly tripled their money.

    They have been a darling because they have been on the right side of the solar transaction. By selling panels, creating demand for them, companies like SolarCity get the wide margins available before the costs of solar power fall below those of other grid energy.

    Still, as more »

  • Two Open Source Strategies

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 28, 2013 | Tickers: CTXS, NFLX | Editor's Choice

    There are two strategic reasons why a company would want to sponsor its software as open source. One is good for investors, the other is not good.

    The good reason is to create a standard. A de-facto standard, which anyone can use royalty-free, based on open source software can be a powerful catalyst for a company's growth. The best example in the recent past is Rackspace, which has now more »

  • Oracle Closes a Door and Opens a Window on Cloud

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 27, 2013 | Tickers: MSFT, ORCL, CRM

    Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) made two big deals this week.

    First, and most important, it agreed to let its database software and Java language run on Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Azure cloud. It had already been running on Windows server. 

    Second, it made peace with rival Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), with the Software as a Service vendor agreeing to buy both Oracle hardware and software going forward. 

    What does this mean for more »

  • Walgreen: Strategically Strong if Tactically Weak

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: CVS, RAD, WAG

    Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) became the disaster du jour recently, missing on earnings and losing 7% of its value overnight.

    The usual suspects, those who didn't see the miss coming, immediately downgraded the stock as though that would help traders who were caught out guard.

    But note I said traders, not investors.

    Walgreen's strategy makes sense

    Walgreen is engaged in a long-term re-invention which, it hopes, will make it more »

  • Who Is Ready for the Next Phase of the Cloud?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 25, 2013 | Tickers: GOOG, MSFT, NFLX | Editor's Choice

    When a company like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) throws $677 million into a single Iowa data center investors are supposed to cheer and think that Microsoft “gets” the cloud.

    Investments like this are, in fact, evidence that companies do not get the cloud, and that they misunderstand the future direction of this technology.

    A single large data center can handle virtualization, and it can scale jobs like Xbox downloads to handle more »

  • The Best Way to Handle Solar's Transition

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 21, 2013 | Tickers: FSLR, TAN, SCTY, YGE

    Solar energy is in a transition.

    Panels are achieving parity with grid energy in more-and-more places. The maps put out by groups like the Institute for Local Self-Reliance as recently as this year may be partly obsolete, as installed costs for panels are now far below the $3.72 per watt being quoted as the 2013 average.

    Prices for Chinese polysilicon panels, roughly 50 cents per watt, on par with more »

  • Stratasys Buy Shows 3D Industry Getting Ahead of Itself

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 20, 2013 | Tickers: DDD, XONE, SSYS

    Even before it grows up, the 3D printer market is rapidly consolidating among two companies, Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) and 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD).

    Both companies have been on acquisition binges. The latest move in that direction is Stratasys's purchase, for $403 million, of MakerBot, a privately-held company in Brooklyn making low-cost printers that use plastic. The deal seems to value MakerBot at about eight times its annual revenues. 

    Stratasys more »

  • Will Hirai Be Sony's Mayer?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 19, 2013 | Tickers: SNE, YHOO

    What Sony (NYSE: SNE) shareholders have to hope is that Kuzuo Hirai is their company's answer to Yahoo!'s (NASDAQ: YHOO) Marissa Mayer.

    The idea is that Mayer, as a technologist, has been bringing Yahoo! back to its roots. So Hirai, who made his reputation in Sony's games unit, is doing the same for that company.

    The two leaders have something else in common, Daniel Loeb of Third more »

  • Best Buy Preparing Bull Trap

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 17, 2013 | Tickers: BBY, MSFT

    Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is preparing a bull trap for investors this summer.

    The company's shares are up 126% so far this year, spurred by a strong dividend and stock buybacks. The company has continued to rise in value even as founder Richard Schulze, who holds 20% of the shares, ended his push to take over the company and returned to work as “chairman emeritus.” 

    Explaining Microsoft's move more »

  • A Cloud Investor Strategy for the NSA Scandal

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 13, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, IBM, RHT

    Reports that the National Security Agency has been grabbing phone records and Internet caches for analysis aimed at catching terrorists has a lot of people spooked.

    But can it impact your investments?

    Public cloud, private paranoia

    Corporations are individuals under the law, and like people they have secrets they don't want known. So loading data onto public clouds would seem to make any paranoid CEO wake up sweating from more »

  • Until Facebook Can Explain What It Is, Avoid It

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 13, 2013 | Tickers: FB, YHOO

    Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) had a rather bumpy annual meeting this week. 

    What was most amazing about the meeting wasn't that it was about the stock price – still stuck below the $38 IPO price – or the frankly silly questions asked by shareholders who appear not to understand the nature of what they've bought. 

    What was most amazing were the answers, a collection of mishmash and buzzwords indicating even Facebook more »

  • The Two Device Markets

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 12, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG

    The folks at the Pew Foundation have a new survey out which holds important lessons for the device market, and investors.

    There are, in fact, two markets here, and they are different.

    Kids like the phones

    What's happening in the phone market looks very good for investors in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).

    Basically, it's a young person's market. Smartphones skew young.  While over half of American cell phone more »

  • Are Investors Saying No to Nukes?

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 8, 2013 | Tickers: EIX, SO

    In the long-running debate over energy policy, there remains an assumption that businesses and investors prefer the stability of nuclear power over the intermittent vagaries of solar or wind power.

    That may be changing, and utility investors need to consider that.

    Edison International's (NYSE: EIX) decision to close the San Onofre nuclear plant, and lay off about 1,000 people, was actually met with a sigh of relief by more »

  • Without Walgreens You Are Missing Health Care's Transformation

    By Dana Blankenhorn - June 7, 2013 | Tickers: CVS, WAG

    The transformation of American health care – more preventive care, more customers with insurance – remains controversial. But it's ongoing.

    And the best place to see it is in the accelerating numbers turned in by the biggest drug chains, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) and CVS (NYSE: CVS).

    Both chains have opened mini-clinics in some of their stores, where nurse practitioners and physicians assistants perform many functions general practitioners have in years past more »