Asit Sharma

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  • Of Compost, Coffee Stirrers and Cash

    By Asit Sharma - November 27, 2012 | Tickers: WFM | Editor's Choice

    I'm contemplating an eleven thousand gallon rainwater cistern, glistening in the afternoon sun like a giant can of tomato soup which has been stripped of its label, when Big Al interrupts my reverie. Easy going and quick to smile, Al asks if he can take my tray, on which the remnants of my hot bar lunch are scattered. More than adept customer service, I know this to be a more »

  • Pitching a Tent Under African Skies

    By Asit Sharma - November 9, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, NOK | Editor's Choice

    Walking along a dusty, degraded road one hundred miles from the capital city of Nairobi, a Kenyan tradesman takes shelter from the heat under the broad shade of a venerable Meru oak tree. He pulls out his mobile phone and disburses a micro-loan to a cousin who lives near the foothills of Mt. Kenya. After a snack of cold ugali, he orders and pays for a shipment of tea more »
  • Active BB&T Dealmakers Underwrite the Future

    By Asit Sharma - November 2, 2012 | Tickers: BBT, HBAN, PNC, RF, BK | Editor's Choice

    "The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip."  

    --Henny Youngman

    For decades, BB&T (NYSE: BBT), a regional bank headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, was the master of its own destiny. Having formed a taste for acquisitions in the early 1960s, it benefited from a sharp management team that focused on external as well as organic growth. It purchased smaller deposit institutions in more »
  • Going Long at 30,000 Feet: The Case for Boeing

    By Asit Sharma - September 27, 2012 | Tickers: BA | Editor's Choice

    There's a moment I love during a long flight when you happen to glance out the window, and a glittering airplane wing suddenly darkens as the plane plows through thick clouds. If you're in a reflective mood, your perspective seems vastly increased versus the dull minutes you spent waiting on the ground, scrolling through messages or flipping through a magazine, annoyed with the limbo of the tarmac.
     
    Investing more »
  • Margins on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    By Asit Sharma - August 16, 2012 | Tickers: DELL, IBM, INTU, QSFT, VRSN | Editor's Choice

    If you should find yourself running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, any July in the near future, you would do well to have a pre-determined strategy when rounding corners. The bulls thunder down the ancient cobblestone streets, enraged and indiscriminate, chasing a horde of adventurous Spaniards clad in traditional white linen and blood red waist-sashes and neckerchiefs. The thousand-pound bulls take corners wide. You should do the opposite.

    Sometimes more »

  • Hewlett-Packard and the Mirror of Erised

    By Asit Sharma - July 20, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, DELL, HPQ, IBM, MCD | Editor's Choice

    Because of its history and its mammoth, diversified footprint in the technology sector, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has occupied a soft spot the size of a solar flare in the investing community's heart for quite some time. This week noted short seller Jim Chanos sought to puncture the complacency surrounding HP's prospects, citing, among other problems, the opaqueness of the company's true R&D expense due to acquisitions more »

  • Pixelating the Old Gray Lady

    By Asit Sharma - July 12, 2012 | Tickers: GCI, MNI, NYT, WPO | Editor's Choice

    One of the classic acoustical signatures of early morning in New York City's boroughs is the rumbling of heavy New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) delivery trucks dropping off bound stacks of the paper to neighborhood delis and bodegas. In recent years, as the economy has waned and more readers fire up a tablet while pouring their first cup of java, the presence of these once ubiquitous trucks has more »
  • From Cringe-worthy to Lust-worthy: Ford’s Sustainable Profits

    By Asit Sharma - May 11, 2012 | Tickers: F, GM | Editor's Choice

    In the 2012 Fortune 500 rankings published this week, Ford (NYSE: F) moved up one spot to number nine overall, based on 2011 revenue of $136.2 billion.  More impressively, the company generated $8.6 billion of pretax profits last year.  Fortune crowed that in addition to financial success, the company is “pumping out lust-worthy cars again.”

    Tired auto magazine jargon aside, it’s true that Ford’s recent performance more »