James Brumley

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  • Sears' Biggest Hurdle Isn't the One Eddie Lampert is Complaining About

    By James Brumley - August 23, 2013 | Tickers: JCP, M, SHLD, SHOS, TGT

    Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) reported its second quarter numbers on Thursday morning, and to no one's surprise, they weren't good. Same-stores sales were off 1.5%. Overall revenue fell 6.3%. The per-share operating loss widened from $1.06 a year ago to $1.46 this time around. It's all been pretty well documented elsewhere, so no need to rehash the gory details. There is a need more »

  • Wal-Mart's in Trouble? Let's Not Hit the Panic Button Just Yet

    By James Brumley - August 18, 2013 | Tickers: COST, TGT, WMT

    A couple of weeks ago, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) disappointed the market by 'just meeting' Q2's earnings estimates of $1.25 per share, and falling short of revenue estimates. It took the market and the media about 0.3 nanoseconds to respond with its predictable jeers, extrapolating Wal-Mart's quarterly shortcomings into evidence that the economy is quietly and subtly in a nosedive that will end up crushing the company more »

  • Does the Netflix-Disney Deal Actually Change Anything for Netflix?

    By James Brumley - December 6, 2012 | Tickers: NFLX, DIS

    With just a passing thought, the fact that Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) was able to score exclusive rights to certain movies from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is a huge reason to start feeling optimistic about the struggling video-on-demand company. As investors mull the details of the deal, though, questions arise. This so-called coup may actually underscore the bigger problem Netflix will be facing going forward, the problem that’s more »

  • LeapFrog: What a Difference 6 Weeks (and 21%) Makes

    By James Brumley - November 19, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, LF

    Back in early October I penned a less-than-bullish commentary on LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE: LF), noting that a swelling amount of competition in the children's tablet space was apt to crimp sales during the critical fourth quarter. It was, shall we say, not a well received theory? While I thought the stock was overvalued and overestimated given what was on the horizon, most of you disagreed. Fair enough. Debates can more »

  • If It's Such a Bad Idea, Why is Microsoft Doing it Too?

    By James Brumley - October 18, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT

    It's rare that I go back and remake a point I already made; there's usually no benefit in doing so. But sometimes it's a message worth delivering again. This is one of those times, largely because we've seen my point underscored by one of the parties previously involved.   

    My original point was simply that technology companies like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) - rather than more »

  • 3 Investment-Worthy Turnaround Stories

    By James Brumley - October 8, 2012 | Tickers: APP, CROX, WEN

    The benefit of stepping into a proven, performing company is clear - you know you're investing in a winner. Such companies aren't the highest-octane opportunities though. For investors, the biggest bang for the risk-adjusted buck is finding a great turnaround story... the proverbial sweet spot in a company's timeline. Here are the market's best budding turnaround stories worth considering.

    American Apparel

    To say that American Apparel’s more »

  • LeapFrog’s 15 Minutes in the Spotlight is Over… Again

    By James Brumley - October 4, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, LF, NTDOY.PK

    It’s got to be frustrating, for the company as well as shareholders. LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE: LF)the maker of the once-red-hot handheld Leapster reading system – looked like it was making its way back into the hearts and minds of its target market. As quickly as the company became relevant once more, though, a batch of new competitors has up-ended the effort.

    And it’s more than just a bump more »

  • Positioning to be a TV Gatekeeper… Without Even Trying

    By James Brumley - August 30, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, CMCSA, GOOG, MSFT, TWC

    Did Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) just succeed at what Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has failed to pull off despite years of effort? Maybe.

    The task in question is becoming part of the physical framework consumers rely on to consume television-based entertainment in their dens or living rooms. Apple wanted to be the middle man – the gatekeeper - so much so that it unveiled a set-top box back in 2007, and has used that more »

  • The Decision on Dish Network is Long on Reward, Short on Risk

    By James Brumley - August 26, 2012 | Tickers: T, DISH, VZ

    I’m not a big fan of trading binary events, which is my subtle way of saying I don’t flip coins when it comes to my serious investment dollars.

    What’s a binary event? It’s a specific event that only has two potential outcomes, one of which could be very good for a stock, and one of which could be very bad. FDA decisions on key drug developments more »

  • Procter & Gamble is Still Better off with the Devil it Knows

    By James Brumley - August 5, 2012 | Tickers: JCP, PG, TGT | Editor's Choice

    With just a quick glance at last quarter’s earnings, it might look like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) is doing well enough to leave alone… why fix what isn’t broken? The consumer staples icon earned $0.82 per share versus consensus expectations of $0.77.

    If you take a closer look the picture starts to look a little less encouraging. While the company topped estimates, it only matched the more »

  • What's Google's Best Defense Against The Vringo Suit?

    By James Brumley - July 27, 2012 | Tickers: GOOG, VRNG

    Oy vey. Against my better judgment, I'm going to share a few more thoughts on the Vringo (NASDAQ: VRNG) suit against Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). I've already posted a couple of comments on the matter elsewhere, both of which were completely misinterpreted. I suppose I'm a glutton, however, 'cause I have to look at one more key aspect to the impending decision. This time though, a trio of more »

  • For Netflix Shareholders, There's a Devil Not in the Balance Sheet's Details

    By James Brumley - July 9, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, CMCSA, NFLX

    Given the potential fiscal fallout, it's surprising this key detail hasn't proliferated more. On the other hand, for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shareholders to fully appreciate what's at stake, several obscure and unusual dots have to be connected... far more than usual. In this case, though, it's worth the effort.

    In simplest terms, Netflix will soon owe $3.7 billion in long-term liabilities on top of more »

  • Amazon's Got a Bad, But Familiar, Habit

    By James Brumley - July 2, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, GOOG, NFLX | Editor's Choice

    For fans and investors of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the last couple of quarters have been tough. The organization was spending a lot of money to develop and launch the surprisingly successful Kindle Fire, and is still in the midst of what's becoming an overhaul of its entire shipping and storage process. Rather than a few, centralized distribution sites, Amazon is building out several smaller ones, with the more »

  • This is Why Hedge Fund Managers Shouldn't Meddle With Retailers

    By James Brumley - May 26, 2012 | Tickers: JCP, SHLD | Editor's Choice

    Considering they collectively manage billions of dollars' worth of OPM (other people's money), you'd think hedge fund managers - even the top performing ones - would at the very least learn from one another's mistakes. It doesn't look like it's happening though, which could be a little troubling for folks with money being run by Pershing Square Management LP. 

    It's not a bad group of funds more »

  • If You're Really Afraid of the "Sell in May" Thing....

    By James Brumley - May 15, 2012 | Tickers: BHP, IDU, EWA, EIS

    While the dangers of staying invested during the summer doldrums are overblown, it's not like there's an entirely unreasonable basis for the "Sell in May and go away" axiom. The downside is, the market only averages a return of 0.6% between the end of April and the end of September. The upside is, if you take out the worst 10% of those May-September spans, the average return more »

  • Is AstraZeneca Pharma’s Best Kept Secret?

    By James Brumley - April 23, 2012 | Tickers: AZN, MRK, PFE

    It’s amazing just how tough investors can occasionally be on a CEO. Even more amazing is how tough the market can be on a CEO that not only doesn’t deserve to be run through the wringer, but one that actually deserves a pat on the back; sometimes shareholders just don’t know what a good thing they have in their company’s leadership.

    Case in point à AstraZeneca more »

  • Home Depot is Better than Lowe's Where it Matters Most

    By James Brumley - February 27, 2012 | Tickers: HD, LOW

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true -- and I believe it is -- then I’m about to save you a couple thousand words worth of reading about a surprising difference between improvement retailers Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW). One would think since both offer the same basic consumer experience, they’d both produce the same basic results. Not so. Not more »

  • What's Really Wrong with Moderate-Price Retailers

    By James Brumley - February 24, 2012 | Tickers: KSS, SHLD, TGT | Editor's Choice

    Thursday was a busy one for a handful of retailers, as three of the biggest names in the industry posted last quarter's results. Anything to glean from the aggregate numbers and accompanying comments? Sure, but first things first.

    The good news is, Target (NYSE: TGT) topped expectations last quarter. The bad news is, Target's income fell on a year-over-year basis. By bringing home $1.45 per share, the more »

  • Amazon's Still Facing an Identity Crisis

    By James Brumley - February 18, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL

    A week ago I shared a less-than-enthusiastic view of Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN) future. I didn't bring the proverbial hammer down. But, I didn't pull any punches either, observing that the company's heavy spending on the development of the Kindle Fire and the establishment of new fulfillment centers (aka warehouses) was starting to take a real toll on earnings. That's no problem if the investment more »

  • The End of the Amazon Era?

    By James Brumley - February 10, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, NFLX

    Well, it was a good run while it lasted, but as we know, nothing lasts forever. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) -- the long-time king of e-commerce -- may have finally jumped the shark.

    That's not to say it's a bad company. It's a fine company. But, when earnings start to trend lower despite sales growth pushing the top line to record levels, the blind eye we've been more »

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