Ramesh Malayappan

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  • Should Microsoft Acquire This Handset Maker?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, NOK

    Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), recently introduced Windows 8, an operating system that powers desktops, phones, and tablets alike. While this software giant simultaneously introduced its own Windows 8-powered tablet, the Microsoft Surface, it chose not to unveil a similarly Microsoft-branded smartphone.  Instead, it relied on its traditional model of partnering with hardware manufacturers to introduce the new Windows Phone to the market.  Was this an oversight -- or a deliberate strategy with more »

  • Starbucks Looks Like a Million Bucks!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 31, 2013 | Tickers: DNKN, MCD, SBUX

    Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), reported first-quarter fiscal 2013 earnings that blew past revenue expectations on Wall Street.  The company also reaffirmed fiscal 2013 targets.  Will investing in Starbucks give your portfolio a caffeine jolt?

    Strong growth

    Starbucks' revenue rose 11% in its most recent quarter, continuing a string of impressive growth throughout 2012.  The company reaffirmed predictions for similar expansion in fiscal 2013.

    The company has opened over 1,000 new more »

  • Will Apple Fend Off Competitors Nibbling at its Feet?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 23, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY, NOK

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reports its first-quarter results on Jan 23.  Earnings for last year's first quarter showed record quarterly revenue and profit, driving Apple's stock 6% higher on almost twice the volume of the previous day. Will this year's earnings report do the same?

    Changed Dynamics

    In the previous year’s earnings release, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO was extremely upbeat about the company’s prospects.  He more »

  • Will a New Loyalty Program Help This Drugstore?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 22, 2013 | Tickers: CVS, ESRX, RAD, WAG

    At recent shareholder events, Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) talked up its newly introduced Balance Rewards program.  Designed to encourage loyalty towards Walgreen, this program resembles those already provided by its competitors -- but this one's late in coming.  Can Walgreen's program entice customers to shop more frequently, and thus juice the company's bottom line?

    Stemming the Exodus

    Walgreen has been putting in extra effort to stem the customer exodus more »

  • Will a Crucial New Product Make This Tech Stock Worth Buying?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 18, 2013 | Tickers: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, MSFT, NOK

    The battle among mobile phone manufacturers is heating up. Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) is planning a global launch of its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30. Given the great expectations for the launch event and the hype surrounding it, is it realistic to expect a major turnaround from RIM?

    RIM’s Outlook for the Future

    RIM’s third-quarter fiscal 2013 results showed $950 million in cash flow, as well more »

  • What's up With Lithium in the Air?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 17, 2013 | Tickers: BA, UAL, UPS

    Boeing (NYSE: BA) has been losing ground lately over news that there might be flaws in the design of its latest Model 787-8 aircraft. 

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) on Jan. 16, requiring modification of the battery system on any 787s currently under manufacture, plus a few already in service at United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) and All Nippon Airways among others. As a result more »

  • The Fox Guards the Henhouse!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: AMZN, NFLX, TGT

    "The fox guards the henhouse." This proverb appears in many forms, but basically means that you should not trust something that you value to someone who might be tempted to exploit it for his or her own ends.  For example, you wouldn’t want a hungry man to watch over your lunch, would you?  Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) has proved this old adage over and over again in situations where more »

  • Is The Party Over For Gun Stocks?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - January 2, 2013 | Tickers: SWHC, RGR

    On December 14, a Friday, a young gunman by the name of Adam Lanza took a Bushmaster rifle and in cold blood massacred 20 innocent and helpless small children along with 6 equally helpless adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam murdered his mother before heading to the school and committed suicide before law enforcers could close in.

    On December 24, while millions of Americans were preparing more »

  • A Prepaid Blitzkrieg

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 31, 2012 | Tickers: AXP, COF, C, GDOT, JPM

    Recently, I wrote about the enormous effort that American Express (NYSE: AXP) was putting towards popularizing its prepaid card products, which include recently introduced SERVE and BLUEBIRD.  I also mentioned that American Express (AMEX) offered a third long standing product which is just a plain AMEX branded prepaid card. 

    All of these cards appear to share the same “platform,” meaning, they all perhaps use the same database. What that effectively more »

  • Diebold's Diehard Competitors

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 28, 2012 | Tickers: C, DBD, NCR, WBS

    A few months ago, Citibank (NYSE: C) quietly rolled out a new generation ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) in my city’s local retail location.  It was a cutting edge ATM, manufactured by Nautilus Hyosung, a Korean-based manufacturer. According to this company’s website, they pride themselves on “effectively integrat[ing] its software development capabilities with its sound hardware manufacturing platforms with speed and flexibility.”  Well said and amply validated through more »

  • Walgreen No Longer Evergreen

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 28, 2012 | Tickers: CVS, ESRX, RAD, WAG

    On December 21, 2012, Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) released first quarter 2013 results that were dismal, disappointing Wall Street expectations and sullying the holiday mood of its investors.  GAAP first quarter earnings per share were $0.43, which was 20 cents below what they earned for first quarter 2012, at $0.63 per share. 2012 results on the other hand were higher than first quarter 2011 results where Walgreen earned $0 more »

  • Goliath Versus David

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, GOOG, MSFT | Editor's Choice

    In my other post, Goliath Versus Goliath, I told you that one man’s Goliath is another one’s David (from the Biblical story).  Guess who won?  David, of course!  David was a diminutive but clever boy who went up against a terrifying giant with nothing more than a bag full of pebbles. How did he win?  He did something radical – he chose NOT to play by Goliath’s rules more »

  • Showroom Browsing at Best Buy For The Holidays

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 20, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BBY, TGT, WMT

    In my other post, Goliath Versus Goliath, I told you how like millions of other Americans, my family “showroom browsed” at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) before we bought our Samsung Galaxy Note tablet from another vendor on the Internet.  Any consumer wants to touch and feel an item before purchasing and any shopkeeper such as Best Buy would want the deal to be consummated on premises. Sadly, with the advent more »

  • Goliath Versus Goliath

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 19, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AAPL, DELL, GOOG, HPQ | Editor's Choice

    I finally caved! Yes, I did.  I decided to go ahead and gift my kids a Samsung Galaxy Note tablet after I saw a great deal on the Internet for a $100 off the sale price.  I got the tablet with 32GB onboard memory for $449.99.  How could I possibly go wrong? I thought, although as abundant precaution, I did ask my wife and daughter to check it out more »

  • Our Price Is Our Product!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - December 12, 2012 | Tickers: DAL, LUV, SAVE, UAL | Editor's Choice

    I traveled to the West Coast this past week on United Airlines (NYSE: UAL), flying coach (or Cattle Class as jovially referred to by frequent flyers). As the hours went by, I wanted to have a snack and the flight attendant told me about a few items that were available for purchase.  Pointing to the airline’s magazine, he said that the descriptions and pricing could be found on the more »

  • Dollar Store of the American Skies!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - November 28, 2012 | Tickers: LUV, SAVE | Editor's Choice

    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal that was published last week, Ben Baldanza, CEO of Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ: SAVE) discussed his company’s aggressive nickel and dime strategy of profit making.  In the interview, Mr. Baldanza says that the airline’s core mantra is about offering the lowest price and how this drives everything that they do.  This strategy is amplified by the airline’s ticker symbol – SAVE more »

  • BYOP to the Fiscal Cliff

    By Ramesh Malayappan - November 27, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, CVS, ESRX, MGLN

    Doing nothing to prepare for the Fiscal Cliff not an option as a retail investor.  Better to position oneself defensively in case of a plunge and offensively in case of a rally! In other words, you need a Parachute, in case you need to jump off the Cliff while you go along for the ride.

  • Serving up "Bluebird" for a Song!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - November 12, 2012 | Tickers: AXP, GDOT, JPM, WMT

    There is a quiet prepaid card revolution happening out there and American Express (NYSE: AXP) is at its forefront.  Long a purveyor of charge cards to the wealthy and well off, this card issuer and bank has slowly but steadily expanded to credit cards and now prepaid cards.  American Express operates several businesses which include a travel business, an insurance business and a traditional bank among others.  In contrast to more »

  • Banking on Goodwill Through Hurricane Sandy!

    By Ramesh Malayappan - November 9, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, AXP, C, FB, JPM, LNKD, WAG

    Last week, on Oct. 29, Superstorm Sandy tore through the New York Tri-State area (New York, Connecticut and New Jersey) with a vengeance.  This was the second time that the area, and Connecticut in particular, was affected right before Halloween, prompting cancellations of trick or treating.  Last year in 2011, the area was slammed by a freak snowstorm that caused enormous damage in Connecticut and some parts of New York more »

  • Can CVS and Express Scripts Sustain Their Rebound Relationship?

    By Ramesh Malayappan - November 6, 2012 | Tickers: CTRX, CVS, ESRX, RAD, SHLD, TGT, KR, WMT, WAG, WLP

    Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) and CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) report third quarter results on Monday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 6, respectively.  What they report should be interesting to watch because they are both apparently in a rebound relationship after Express Scripts broke up with Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) over contractual terms last year.  Unfortunately for Walgreen, Express Scripts apparently had the upper hand as patients migrated over to CVS and more »

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