Sunday, September 30, 2012

Facebook: Cool or Not Cool?

Facebook (FB) remains one of our underwater investments. FB closed Friday (02012.09,28; end of 3Q'12) at $21.66. My average cost per FB share is $27.90. The following are two Facebook related headlines I saw this morning from two different publications.

"Is Facebook the Next MySpace?" by

"Will Facebook Become the Next E-Commerce Success?" by

If only I knew because I don't think it can be both.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

3Q'12 Ends... Quickie GDT::Portfolio Top 10 Review

The GDT::Portfolio Top 10 at the end of 3Q'12.
(1) Google (2) Cray (3) Geeknet (4) iRobot (5) Red Hat (6) Yahoo! (7) Nanosphere (8) Hanger (9) Illumina (10) Bruker

The GDT::Portfolio Top 10 one year ago at the end of 3Q'11 isn't that much different than it is now. Level 3 Communications was #10, but it's now #13. Nanosphere was #16 and now it's #7. Geeknet and Google were number #1 and #3, respectively, but now Google is #1 and Geeknet is #3. iRobot and Cray were number #2 and #4, respectively, but now iRobot is #4 and Cray is #2. Red Hat and Yahoo! remained unchanged at #5 and #6, respectively. Illumina dropped from #7 to #9 (insert Nanosphere at #7). Bruker dropped from #8 to #10. Hanger moved up from #9 to #8.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bought Aastrom Biosciences; StemCells Inc. Spikes Up

Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) continues to languish below $2, so I added to our ASTM holding buying shares at $1.63. I bought some ASTM early last month (on 02012.08.09) at $1.75. 52-week range: $1.52 - $2.91.

StemCells (STEM) spiked today after the company issued a press release having the following headline: "StemCells, Inc. Achieves Spinal Cord Injury Milestone With First Neural Stem Cell Transplant Into Patient With Sensory Function Below the Level of Injury". STEM closed yesterday (02012.09.26) at $1.93. Earlier today (02012.09.27) STEM hit $2.27. 52-week range: $0.59 - $2.67. With an hour left in trading, STEM volume was 10.1 million vs. trailing-3-month average of 2.6 million.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google Turns 14 Tomorrow

Google (GOOG) hit a new all-time high yesterday (02012.09.25) of $764.89. At that price GOOG was up almost 2.1%, but at the end of the day GOOG closed down $0.22 (twenty-two cents).

Yesterday (02012.09.25) the state of California legalized self-driving cars.

Today I saw the following headline at "Google Play’s 675,000 Apps Have Been Downloaded 25 Billion Times".

Google turns 14 tomorrow on 02012.09.27.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Red Hat Reports 2Q'13 Results

Red Hat (RHT) reported 2Q'13 results after the market closed today (02012.09.24). RHT is a widely followed stock and according to the headlines that I'm seeing it appears as though the company did not meet expectations. Might be a tough day for RHT tomorrow. I liked the following from Red Hat's 2Q'13 press release.
Operating cash flow was $103.9 million for the second quarter, as compared to $77.1 million in the year ago quarter. At quarter end, the company’s total deferred revenue balance was $944.4 million, an increase of 16% on a year-over-year basis. Total cash, cash equivalents and investments as of August 31, 2012 was $1.36 billion.

RHT closed today (02012.09.24) at $57.54. 52-week range: $37.85 - $62.75.

[02012.09.26] Quoting self: "Might be a tough day for RHT tomorrow." Today, 02012.09.26, the 'tomorrow' was yesterday and yesterday (02012.09.25) was a tough day. RHT closed at $55.08, down ~4.3%. Volume was 5M vs. t3m avg. of 3M.

Google (GOOG) Hits an All-Time High

Google (GOOG) hit a new all-time today (02012.09.24). Now, just like (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL), every new 52-week high for GOOG will be a new all-time high. reported that "Citigroup has raised its price target for Google GOOG to $850 from $740." I might consider selling some GOOG when it hits $2,000.

[02012.09.24] GOOG closed today (02012.09.24) at $749.38 after hitting an all-time high of $750.14. Volume was 3.56 million vs. trailing-3-month average of 2.31 million.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New 52-Week Highs: Cray; Google; Hanger; Stewart Enterprises

New 52-week highs often result in new 52-week highs... On Friday, 02012.09.21, the following GDT::Portfolio stocks hit new 52-week highs: CRAY $13.56 (close $13.47); Google (GOOG) $734.92 (close $733.99); Hanger (HGR) $29.60 (close $28.50); Stewart Enterprises (STEI) $8.50 (close $8.42).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cray Spikes Up; Google Nears All-Time High

Cray (CRAY) had a big day yesterday (02012.09.20) spiking to a new 52-week high of $13.25 before closing at $13.18. I was curious to see how CRAY opened this morning and it started the day with small gap opening and then continued up to another new 52-week high of $13.49. Yesterday's volume was slightly above the trailing-3-month (t3m) average and today's volume--90 minutes into trading--has almost reached the t3m average. I haven't seen any Cray news; therefore, I clueless as to what's going on with CRAY shares.

Google (GOOG) hit an intra-day high this morning of $734.50, which is less than 2% below its all-time high of $747.24 (hit on 02007.11.07). Yesterday (02012.09.20), Jim Cramer--who has a wide following--rated GOOG a buy. GOOG has stayed about $700 for six consecutive days.

Yesterday (02012.09.20) ended with CRAY and GOOG at #1 and #2, respectively, in the GDT::Portfolio. Cray: Supercomputing. Google: 21st century Informatics.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yahoo! Reduces Its Alibaba Holdings

Yahoo! (YHOO) raised $4.3 billion by selling some of stake in Alibaba. Yahoo! announced that $3.65 billion is going to shareholders.
"This outcome is terrific for Yahoo. It generates liquidity to create substantial value for our shareholders, while retaining a meaningful amount in the company to invest in our future. Also, because we still own 23 percent of Alibaba's common stock, we have the opportunity to benefit from future upside when Alibaba IPOs." -- Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! CEO

I like that Yahoo! still owns 23% of Alibaba's common stock because Alibaba is a China-based Internet company.

How this $3.65 billion is going to be passed onto shareholders as yet to be announced, but it does work out to ~$3.09 per YHOO share.

YHOO closed yesterday at $15.86. 52-week range: $13.11 - $16.79. The news of the Alibaba sale was not "good" enough news to propel YHOO to a new 52-week.

Nanosphere; iRobot; Google


"Nanosphere (NSPH): A Low-Risk, High-Growth Diagnostic Stock" via

They lost me at "low-risk". NSPH closed yesterday (02012.09.19) at $3.50. 52-week range: $0.89 - $3.89

"Deal Costs To Hold Down iRobot" via

This appears to be the case. IRBT closed yesterday (02012.09.19) at $24.73. 52-week range: $19.09 - $38.33. iRobot acquired Evolution Robotics on 02012.09.17 and prior to the announcement IRBT was at $26.01. I like the deal.

"Red Hat Inc. Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek" via

Today (02012.09.20) is Friday and Red Hat reports 2Q results next Monday on 02012.09.24. RHT closed yesterday (Thursday) at $57.58. 52-week range: $37.85 - $62.75. I'll sell some RHT at $67.48.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bruker Sees Some Insider Buying

Bruker (BRKR) had some insider buying on 02012.09.14. Joerg Laukien and Frank Laukien each bought 100,000 BRKR shares at $13 per share. Joerg now owns ~18,187,755 shares and Frank owns ~39,059,445 shares. Collectively, the two Laukiens own ~34.4% of Bruker's outstanding shares.

BRKR closed yesterday (02012.09.18) at $13.37. 52-week range: $9.91 - $17.10.

Geeknet Sells Slashdot, SourceForge, Freecode

Geeknet (GKNT) announced that Dice Holdings (DHX) has "acquired Geeknet's online media business, including Slashdot and SourceForge. Dice Holdings acquired the business for $20 million in cash." This works out to ~$3.09 per GKNT share. The online business accounted for about 16% of Geeknet's revenues.

From Geeknet's press release.

Ken Langone, Chairman of Geeknet, added, "We are very pleased to find a new home for our media business, providing a platform for the sites and our media teams to thrive. With this transaction completed, we will now focus our full attention on growing ThinkGeek."

GKNT closed yesterday (02012.09.17) at $18.46. 52-week range: $12.07 - $21.62.

[update::02012.09.18] GKNT closed at $19.09, up 3.4% for the day. Volume as just slightly above average.

Monday, September 17, 2012

iRobot Acquires Evolution Robotics

A couple of weeks ago (on 02012.09.04) I had a posting titled "Is iRobot an Appliance Company". Today (02012.09.17), after the market close, iRobot (IRBT) announced it has acquired privately-held Evolution Robotics, Inc. (ER). iRobot is using its cash to buy ER for $74 million. It appears iRobot's cash is ~$176.72 million. I copied the following from the iRobot press release.
In 2010, ER launched Mint, an automatic floor cleaning robot designed exclusively for hard surface floors, which offers a different approach to cleaning than iRobot’s current products."

In addition, Paolo Pirjanian, CEO of Evolution Robotics, is becoming iRobot's Chief Technology Officer.

From my backseat driver perspective, this seems like a good move for iRobot.

IRBT closed on 02012.09.17 at $26.01. 52-week range: $19.09 - $38.33.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apple,, Google, DJIA... Oh My

Is Wall Street sending a message that it wants another four years of Obama? 3rd-quarter ends in two weeks. 3rd-quarter 401K/IRA statements might make a lot of people happy.

Apple (AAPL) is not a GDT::Portfolio stock, but it's nearing $700 a share while it continues to make new 52-week highs. Each new 52-week high is a new all-time high. At $696.03, Apple Inc. has an approximate market value of $652.06 billion. (AMZN) is a GDT::Portfolio stock and it continues to hit new 52-week highs. Just like AAPL, for AMZN each new 52-week high is a new all-time.

Google (GOOG) is a GDT::Portfolio stock and it continues to hit new 52-week highs; however, these highs are not new all-time highs. Once Google hits a new 52-week high of $747.24 (it's all-time high that was hit on 02007.11.07), then for GOOG each new 52-week will be a new all-time high. Go GOOG!

DJIA all-time high is 14,198.10 and it was reached on 02007.10.11. The DJIA is at 13,609.24 on 02012.09.14 at 12:24pm ET. In other words, the DJIA is within 5% of its all-time high.

Illumina is Our Primary Genomics Investment

Illumina (ILMN) has been doing well lately, so I thought it was time to do another ILMN related posting. A few days ago on 02012.09.11 Illumina issued three press releases that I thought were good press releases.

"Illumina Launches TruSightTM Targeted Sequencing Content Sets"

"Designed by recognized experts at leading institutions, the content sets offer cost-effective, streamlined, targeted sequencing for specific genetic diseases or conditions."

"Illumina Announces Expedited Individual Genome Sequencing Service (IGS)"

"Illumina has long believed that sequencing will become a mainstream practice in the clinical setting. By delivering a whole human genome in as little as two weeks, we have taken significant strides towards that goal," said Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley.

"Illumina and Partners HealthCare Announce Alliance to Introduce Next-Generation Sequencing Clinical Interpretation and Reporting Tools"

"Illumina and Partners HealthCare share a vision of better patient care through genomics," said Matt Posard, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Illumina’s Translational and Consumer Genomics business. "This alliance highlights our commitment to a collaborative model that will establish the new standard in NGS clinical-based applications and enable a truly integrated, high-quality solution."

ILMN closed yesterday (02012.09.13) at $46.48. 52-week range: $25.57 - $55.39.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bought Some Altair Nanotechnologies

Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI) has been a bad investment for us, but I liked a press release that the company issued a couple of days ago and decided to add to our ALTI holdings. The buy was executed at $0.77 per ALTI share. From the press release.
"Altairnano signed an agreement with Shenhua Science & Technology (Shenhua S&T) and its research affiliate, the National Institute of Clean and Low-carbon Energy (NICE), to jointly develop, deploy and promote industrial applications of lithium titanate-based energy storage systems in China."

The following is a quote from Altairnano's CEO Alexander Lee.

"Altairnano is pleased to work with a company like Shenhua, who concluded that our technology and knowledge of electric grid energy storage systems is well positioned to meet their aggressive growth targets. This agreement sets the foundation for rapid commercialization within China."

ALTI 52-week range: $0.40 - $1.48.

Red Hat Gets a 'Buy' Rating

Red Hat (RHT) got a 'Buy' rating from Jefferies. I'm a FLOSSer (i.e. user of Free Software Open Source Software); therefore, I like being a Red Hat shareholder because they are an Open Source company. RHT starts today (02012.09.13) at #5 in the GDT::Portfolio. RHT closed yesterday (02012.09.12) at $57.32. 52-week range: $37.85 - $62.75.

[02012.09.13] Jim Cramer, some investment dude who is widely followed, was quoted saying Red Hat (RHT) "remains an inexpensive stock."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yahoo! A Silicon Valley Peyton Place

Yahoo! (YHOO) might receive $7.6 billion by selling its 40% stake in Alibaba. There are approximately 1.18 billion YHOO shares. According to my calculator that equates to approximately $6.44 per share. Yahoo! has about $1.91 per share in cash and minimal debt. YHOO closed yesterday at $15.16. 52-week range: $13.11 - $16.79.

Do you Yahoo!? Yes, I still do. But it has been extremely frustrating being a long-term YHOO shareholder.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Difference Between 4 Years and 3.5 Years

"Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" has become a buzz-question for this year's presidential election.

Rewind four years to 6 September 2008...

DJIA was 11,221 and is now 13,293, up 19%
NASDAQ was 2,261 and is now 3,136, up 37%
S&P 500 was 1,242 and is now 1,436, up 16%

Rewind 3.5 years to 9 March 02009...

DJIA was 6,470 and is now 13,293, up 105%
NASDAQ was 1266 and is now 3,136, up 148%
S&P 500 was 667 and is now 1,436, up 115%; Google; Red Hat (AMZN) hit yet another new 52-week high of $252.70 before closing yesterday (02012.09.06) at $251.38. Each new 52-week high is also a new all-time high. A couple days ago Forbes Magazine had a posting titled "The Ten Most Innovative Companies In America" and was ranked #3.

Google (GOOG) hit yet another new 52-week high of $699.89 before closing yesterday (02012.09.06) at $699.40. GOOG's all-time high was $747.24 on 02007.11.07.

Red Hat (RHT) was #4 on Forbes Magazine's "The Ten Most Innovative Companies In America" rankings. RHT closed yesterday (02012.09.06) at $59.10. 52-week range: $36.61 - $62.75.

[update::02012.09.07] GOOG opened today at $700.00. Yes. According to, GOOG opened today at exactly 700 bucks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stewart Enterprises Ain't Dead Yet

Stewart Enterprises (STEI) reported solid 3Q'12 results yesterday (02012.09.05) after the markets closed. I liked the following from the company's press release.
"Generating operating cash flow of $30.3 million, or an increase of 22 percent, and free cash flow of $26.7 million, or an increase of 41 percent."

I also liked this...

"During the third quarter we repurchased 1 million shares of our common stock for an average price of $7.26 per share, resulting in a more than 5 percent decrease in total shares outstanding in the last twelve months. Over the last three years, we have increased our quarterly dividend by more than 60 percent, resulting in a return of approximately $36 million in dividends to our shareholders over the same time period. Even after the significant deployments of cash flow, our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong with $79 million in cash and marketable securities on hand with no amounts borrowed on our $150 million credit facility."

STEI closed yesterday (02012.09.05) at $7.61. 52-week range: $4.92 - $7.78.

[update::02012.09.06] A few minutes after I posted this I took a peek at STEI's SIR (Short Interest Ratio). is reporting it being a whopping 45.3. 27% of STEI shares are closely held and "institutions" own 72% of the shares. STEI has to be above $10 before I consider selling any of our shares.

[update::02012.09.06 (after market closed)] STEI hit a new 52-week high of $8.38 before closing at $7.98, up almost 5% for the day. Volume was 1.23 million vs. trailing-3-month avg. of 0.3 million.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Is iRobot an Appliance Company?

With increasing frequency I'm seeing iRobot (IRBT) grouped with "appliance" companies. I saw a headline this morning (02012.09.04) the is representative of the stuff I've been seeing lately. "Equity Research on Whirlpool Corp. and iRobot Corp. - Appliance Companies Looking to Enhance Products Through Innovation" via

iRobot (IRBT) ended August 02012 at #3 in the GDT::Portfolio, so it's an important stock for us. IRBT closed Friday, 02012.08.31, at $25.19. 52-week range: $19.09 - $38.33. IRBT's PSR (Price-Sales-Ratio) is 1.51, which I think is low; however, Whirlpool, which is not a GDT::Portfolio stock, has a PSR of 0.32.

StemCells Inc. Reports Good Stem Cells News?

StemCells (STEM) reports "good" news?
"Today [02012.09.03] StemCells Inc. announced that interim six-month data from the first patient cohort in the Company's Phase I/II clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC(R) product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) for chronic spinal cord injury continues to demonstrate a favorable safety profile, and shows considerable gains in sensory function in two of the three patients compared to pre-transplant baselines. The third patient remains stable."

The company's press release included the following.

"To see this kind of change in patients who truly have the worst-of-the-worst type of injury to the spinal cord is very exciting. To our knowledge, this is the first time a sensory change of this magnitude has been reported in patients with complete spinal cord injury following a stem cell transplantation. We clearly need to collect more data to establish efficacy, but we are encouraged. We are pushing ahead with our trial and plan to dose the first patient with an incomplete injury soon."

STEM closed last week (Friday, 02012.08.31) at $2.17. 52-week range: $0.59 - $2.55.

[update::0212.09.04] STEM had quite a day. Previous close was $2.17; opened at $2.55; spiked to an intra-day high (and new 52-week high) of $2.67; closed at $2.20, up ~2.3% for the day. Volume was 13.7 million vs. trailing-3-month average of 1.9 million. 13.7 million shares is almost 50% of the float and 45% of all of the outstanding shares. Disclaimer: There is something about the STEM trading volume that I don't know about.

[update::0212.09.05] STEM closed at $2.13, down ~3.2%. Volume was 4.5 million. Intra-day low was $1.96. When it comes to STEM, volatility rules.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hanger Making New All-Times Highs?

Hanger Inc. has been a company for over 150 years. I can't find out when the company went public, but I did find out via Google that HGR hit an intra-day high of $2750 on 01999.01.08. Yesterday, 02012.08.31, HGR hit an intra-day (and new 52-week high) of $29.01 before closing at $28.61. Three days ago, on 02012.08.29, HGR closed at $27.98. In other words, it has been 13 years since HGR has been this high. HGR has made new 52-week highs for three days in a row and it appears as though each new 52-week high is a new all-time high.

The following are to graphs that go as far back as I go back using the free finance tools provided by Google and Yahoo!.