Social Media Bubble

Posted on April 7, 2011 by Ben Connard Social media companies are the next big investment according to the valuations attached to these stocks. Groupon (a group coupon company) turned down Google’s $6 billion offer and Facebook was valued at $10 billion in 2009. Now Groupon is looking to IPO for $15 billion and Facebook is said to be worth $50 billion. Twitter, which is expected to earn a little over $100 million in revenue this year is valued at $10 billion.  Can Facebook, home to the candid photo and critical updates (Ben just finished his…

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Amazon’s Impact on Box Stores

Posted on April 7, 2011 by David Laidlaw In the late 1990s, the market capitalization for Amazon passed the combined market capitalization for Barnes & Noble and Borders even though Amazon sold a small fraction of books compared to its brick and mortar competitors. The meteoric rise of Amazon and fall of its traditional competitors presaged the incredible changes in Internet selling that continue to pressure the retail market today. Borders declared bankruptcy in February and is reorganizing by closing 200 of its 650 locations. Barnes & Noble is fighting for its existence and will follow…

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Greed Trumps Fear

Posted on April 7, 2011 by David Laidlaw Sitting in a hotel near duPont Circle in Washington recently, I took a rare opportunity to watch CNBC. Though entertaining, the hype and constant sales-pitches are difficult to watch for an extended period of time. Regardless, the commentators occasionally provide descriptive labels that resonate. One catch phrase that has merit is the description of current equities as a “Teflon Market.” Bad news arrives daily, but nothing sticks and upsets investors enough to cause stocks to fall.   There are three global hotspots: the Mid-East, Japan…

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2011 First Quarter

Posted by David Tillson 2011 First Quarter The one thing that can be said for the world today is that it’s not boring! Every week seems to bring another round of nerve jarring news. If mankind itself is not creating the news, then mother nature is. 2010’s stories of the BP well disaster, WikiLeaks’ War Logs disclosures, Haiti’s earthquake, the Chilean mine rescue, and the air travel mess from Iceland’s volcano are all but forgotten. We now are dealing with the Japan earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, political unrest in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya…

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Reflection: 2 Years Ago

Posted on March 10, 2011 by David Laidlaw  Two years ago yesterday, the financial markets reached a nadir.  The S&P 500 closed at 676 on March 9, 2009. Since then, the market has appreciated by 95% with the S&P 500 closing at 1320 yesterday.  The worst case scenarios that stock prices were discounting did not come to pass. With all of its flaws, TARP provided enough capital to the banks to prevent serial bank closures. The Federal Reserve’s emergency measures also provided enough stimulus to keep the credit markets functioning. Finally, businesses focused on productivity to drive profits…

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