Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meeting the Future:Apple CEO Emphasizes China's Importance

Apple CEO Tim Cook has emphasized just how critical he considers China's importance to his company's growth is by visiting Beijing and meeting with the Vice Premier,Li Keqiang on Wednesday.Mr.Li said that China will strengthen intellectual property rights protection-a key Apple concern-and continue its economic transformation.
To be more open to the outside is a condition for China to transform its economic development,expand domestic demands and conduct technological innovation,Mr.Li continued.
For his part,Tim Cook promised that Apple will strengthen comprehensive cooperation with the Chinese side and conduct business in a law-abiding and honest manner.
Cheap Chinese knock-offs of Apple products have been a long-standing irritant to the tech giant.China,with its vast population still largely unconnected to the Internet,is a major prospect in Apple's future,the company has made clear.One of the company's major outsourcers,FoxConn,assembles countless Apple products in China.
Apple currently operates five retail outlets in China.The potential for expanding that side of the business alone is truly significant.It is estimated that 60% of China's population is unconnected to the cybernetic realm.
Apple is a massively successful company and stock,and it could be more successful,according to David Kirkpatrick,author of "The Facebook Effect."Its price to earnings ratio is not high for the industry,such as Amazon's.If for some reason this extraordinary growth should slow,they might want to make a strategic acquisition such as Twitter or Adobe,Mr.Kirkpatrick speculated.
With the untapped hordes of the upwardly mobile Chinese before them,that doesn't seem too likely in the near future,however.
Apple Computer,Inc.(AAPL)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dell Computers:Serving the World;Managing Transformation

Dell's earnings per share and cash flow were up because we changed our business to be an end-to-end solutions provider,says Michael Dell,founder and CEO of the multinational Dell Computers.We're growing our R&D expenditure along with cash flow.
Our growth is both organic and inorganic.You'll continue to see us active in both.We acquired 18 businesses the last three years.We gained share across the board.We're number one in servers in the U.S.,China and India.Our margins grew 370 basis points in the past year.Our job is to do it again this year.
With all these mobile devices,the amount of data is doubling every 18 months.We're building data centers of the future that take in all the data and feed all those devices.There's lots of opportunity in the ecosystem that Dell participates in.There's a lot of demand for a Dell/Windows tablet.We'll be there right on the very first day that Windows 8 is available,Mr.Dell promised.
Dell has a presence on six continents,with facilities from Canada to Qatar and beyond.In the U.S.,the company has launched a national command center with the Red Cross.It's a social media command center for humanitarian purposes,to redirect resources,people and tools through social media.We're really proud to be putting this in place,Michael Dell added.
Dell Computers,Inc.(DELL)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

War With Iran:What To Expect-and what to do

President Barack Obama warned Iran Wednesday that the time left for a diplomatic solution is shrinking.Investors are contemplating just what to expect and how to respond if war indeed breaks out.Aaron Gurwitz,Chief Investment Officer at Barclays Wealth,says the problem is,this is an unknown unknown.I don't know how to assess the chances of a war.
In an attack on Iran,the price of oil would probably rise very sharply.It would be very hard to get oil to customers.Expect 150-200 dollar a barrel oil if the Strait of Hormuz is closed.
It would be a huge impact on markets and the global economy.Risk assets such as equities and junk bonds would be sold.We at Barclays don't want to go into cash now.You might want to buy the VXX as volatility would spike,or an oil etf.
I worry about it as a citizen and an investment strategist.You hear people talking about starting a war in a very sensitive region.Those who would lose sleep should probably put something in their portfolio,Mr.Gurwitz counseled.
Barclays PLC ADR(BCS)
Some possibilities for the situation researched by this blog include:
iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return(OIL)
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN(VXX)
iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN(VXZ)
It is generally unwise to concentrate too much in any one asset.Also bear in mind that VXX is more volatile than VXZ.None of the notes above pay dividends or interest.
For less experienced investors,allocating more to the bond and cash portions of their portfolios would seem the safest course in difficult times.Some of the most popular bond funds are:
iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond Fund(AGG)
Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF(BND)

Friday, March 9, 2012

FT/Citi Ingenuity Awards: Urban Ideas in Action

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Asset Manager:Fairly Good News Ahead-and what limits it

I think we're going into a fairly good news economy,said Christian Thwaites,CEO of Sentinel Investments.The regional Federal Reserve Banks reported gains;exports and imports look good.It's gonna be difficult to get beyond 2.5-3% growth,however,because the government is a drag on the economy.
Manufacturing has posted some very impressive productivity numbers.That's the way employers would rather grow,than by hiring more people.The employment picture is only gonna improve very,very gradually.
The inflation number is not a problem.Inflation in China is not down to a point they are comfortable with.There is definitely a very robust consumption story from China.
It's a more subdued consumer recovery in the U.S.Play it carefully.Choose very good,solid,well-managed consumer discretionary companies if that's where you're going to go.You're only going to see 3-5% growth,rather than the 7-8% you saw during past recoveries,Mr.Thwaites noted.
Since 1934,Sentinel Investments has grown to manage more than 18 billion dollars in mutual fund and institutional accounts.As a provider of core,back to basics strategies,standing the tests of time is their criterion for success.