Greg Bartlett

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  • Gun Investments: A Moral Dilemma?

    By Greg Bartlett - February 19, 2013 | Tickers: CAB, SWHC, RGR

    Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel asked six mutual fund companies to sell off stock holdings in gun manufacturing companies Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR) and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ: SWHC).  City officials in other major cities around the U.S. have considered taking similar action in addressing gun holdings in their pension funds. With gun violence taking center stage after the Newtown, CT tragedy, it’s tempting for many investors more »

  • YUM! A Super Bowl Fiesta

    By Greg Bartlett - February 8, 2013 | Tickers: CMG, DPZ, MCD, YUM

    Taco Bell threw a fiesta for the Super Bowl this year as part of its “Live Más” campaign. The new ad tries to pull a “Betty White” by using the character Bernie Goldblatt, who pops wheelies and does donuts on the football field in his scooter. While some early ad viewers saw the ad as in poor taste toward senior citizens, the primary Taco Bell consumers of teens and twenty-somethings more »

  • Disney Acquires Lucasfilm

    By Greg Bartlett - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: TWX, DIS

    Well, it's official. The deal that Disney (NYSE: DIS) started in October to absorb Lucasfilm has concluded. It's a dream come true (except maybe to original Star Wars trilogy purists). What does this mean for Disney—besides a new installment in the Skywalker saga?

    Disney is known for its wise buys; it acquired Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, which as of early 2012 is the highest more »

  • Is There an iTV in Apple’s Future?

    By Greg Bartlett - December 14, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, T, NFLX

    Since the early days of the Macintosh computer, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has seemingly displayed the Midas touch on its products and services, and consequently on its stock prices. Until recently, there was hardly a hedge fund to be found that didn’t include Apple in its holdings. But 2012 saw a gradual reduction in Apple holdings for some hedge funds, and with share prices dropping 25% since September, sell-offs accelerated more »

  • Fines and Warnings: Do They Matter?

    By Greg Bartlett - December 11, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, HBC, NFLX

    On July 3, the Facebook page for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) featured a post announcing that the online video service streamed over 1 billion hours of content in the month of June, a meaningful milestone. Five months later, the Securities and Exchange Commission notified the CEO of Netflix that it is considering official action against the company over the post. According to the allegations, Netflix violated rules about the public disclosure more »

  • A Bookseller Drowning in the Amazon

    By Greg Bartlett - November 12, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BKS

    Reading in the United States has changed in the last decade. No one denies that, but the rate and eventual result of that change is a matter of hot debate. While those issues are vitally important to sociologists and educational professionals, they also matter to folks who are trying to decide whether and how to invest in books. At the risk of incurring the wrath of both bookworms and tech more »

  • Wal-Mart’s Split Personality: Evil Genius or Benevolent Benefactor?

    By Greg Bartlett - November 9, 2012 | Tickers: MCD, TGT, WMT | Editor's Choice

    Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) has been a mainstay of American culture since 1962, when Sam Walton first envisioned “a better life for all.” Since then, the company has often found itself in the middle of a culture war, with one side decrying its ruthless business practices and poor treatment of workers, and the other side defending the company’s ability to employ millions of people while offering low-priced consumer goods. It more »

  • Getting Serious About Games

    By Greg Bartlett - October 26, 2012 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, NTDOY.PK

    Electronic gaming has come a long way since the day a portly plumber first started his two-dimensional journey in search of mushrooms. Today, it is a huge field with significant stock profit opportunities, if you know where to look. Unfortunately, the industry often gets overlooked by investors because so many other technology stocks occupy the spotlight. Here are some gaming companies that deserve your attention, plus a warning about one more »

  • Why For-Profit Universities Won’t be Making Much Profit for a While

    By Greg Bartlett - October 16, 2012 | Tickers: APOL, DV, STRA

    For-profit universities like Strayer University , which most people know about by way of their online offerings, have lots of good things to say about themselves. Judging from the happy, satisfied folks that populate their television commercials, they are the perfect solution for those that are stuck in dead-end jobs or who can’t find a job at all. But a look at the stock history of three of these education more »

  • Wary of IP Companies? Hold Back on the Cynicism for Just a Moment…

    By Greg Bartlett - October 1, 2012 | Tickers: CSCO, BLOX, RVBD

    In the small business arena, companies offering wide area network support and data management are popping up everywhere, so much so that it’s easy to be skeptical of these startups. Those of us who make the decisions on network support services tend to quickly look these companies up and down and then quickly turn our heads in the opposite direction.

    “I can’t risk my data to a company more »

  • The Retailer Failed in China—But Does it Matter?

    By Greg Bartlett - September 21, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, BBY, HD

    When The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) entered the Chinese marketplace back in 2006, officials thought customers would get excited about doing projects around the house. Six years, later, they are admitting that they were wrong—apparently most Chinese would rather pay a professional than pick up lumber themselves at a big warehouse-style store. The Home Depot is closing its main stores in China, leaving only two small “specialty” stores that more »

  • The King is Back … But Maybe We Should Just Call Him 'Burger Guy' Now

    By Greg Bartlett - September 18, 2012 | Tickers: BKW, JACK, MCD

    This summer, Burger King (NYSE: BKW) stock hit the public market again. The restaurant chain’s new primary stakeholders hope that investors will line up behind the King, attracted by an exciting new image and direction.

    The ideas behind the new Burger King look solid on paper, but in the real world there are a few major factors that will be working against them … factors that will probably cause its more »

  • How Pinterest Could Change Copyright Law

    By Greg Bartlett - September 14, 2012 | Tickers: FB, TWX, DIS

    If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Even though we are all familiar with that adage, how many times have we gotten burned by thinking that, in this case, it didn’t apply? No hands, please. Just keep reading.

    Users of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) love posting pictures, comic strips, videos, news stories, sound bytes, and just about anything else that you can post. It’s great more »

  • What Does America Run on Now?

    By Greg Bartlett - September 6, 2012 | Tickers: DNKN, SBUX | Editor's Choice

    I moved to northern South Carolina in 2005. Over the past seven years, I’ve watched a fascinating, almost Darwinian event take place in that region. That event seems to be over now, although it probably holds important lessons for those of us that are keeping an eye out for the next such event. There were a whole lot of different factors that played critical parts in this drama, and more »

  • When the Post Office Had to Compete

    By Greg Bartlett - August 29, 2012 | Tickers: FDX, UPS

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if the U.S. Postal Service was forced to compete with non-governmental companies for its business? We’ve already seen the boat-rocking that the rise of UPS (NYSE: UPS), FedEx (NYSE: FDX), and other parcel delivery services has caused. But what if companies started offering mail delivery that was more efficient, safer, and—most importantly—less expensive?

    Well, you’d probably stop paying more »

  • Putting Stock in a Piano

    By Greg Bartlett - August 23, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, LVB | Editor's Choice

    Imagine a company that only makes one product: A huge, heavy musical instrument that takes almost a full year to assemble, and which almost no typical household can afford to buy brand new. The intricate, precision detail on the instrument must be done by hand, raising its price well above that of its competitors. Modern technology has created an electronic version of the instrument which, at a fraction of the more »

  • Where’d My Movies Go?

    By Greg Bartlett - August 16, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, DISH, OUTR

    The gurus have been telling us for some time now that the way we watch movies is changing. Just like VHS tapes moved to the bargain bin to make room for DVDs, video stores are closing their doors while mysterious movie vending boxes crop up in front of grocery stores. The future is online…all our movies will soon be in digital form…everything you could wish for will be more »

  • TeleNav and Apple: It’s Been Real

    By Greg Bartlett - August 10, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, T, TNAV, TMOAF.PK | Editor's Choice

    Once upon a time, there was a great GPS navigation company that provided great software on all kinds of different platforms. This highly successful company was named TeleNav (NASDAQ: TNAV)—okay, it still is named that—and it was the go-to company for a whole lot of customers who were excited about using their iPhones to find their way wherever they were going. For just ten bucks a month, users more »

  • Comcast Loves the Olympics— and Hopes You Do Too

    By Greg Bartlett - August 6, 2012 | Tickers: CBS, CMCSA

    If you tune into NBC to watch almost any sports event, you will see a distinctive logo in the bottom corner of your television screen—five interlocking rings. It’s part of the network’s effort to continually remind you about the one thing NBC has that you can’t find anywhere else: the Olympics.

    The summer and winter Olympic Games are huge for NBC; in fact, some argue that more »