Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How to Get Out of your Service Contract so you can Buy an iPhone

Are you interested in buying an Apple (AAPL) iPhone using AT&T (T), but you are stuck in a contract with Sprint (S), T-Mobile [a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom (DT)], or some other cellular service? Now there is a way to get out of your service contract by having someone else take it over, so you don't have to pay a termination fee. There are two web sites that will help you with this process for a small fee: and

Author owns AAPL, T, and DT.

MySpace Founder Lied About His Age

According to an article in IW, the cofounder of MySpace, Tom Anderson, lists his age on MySpace at 32, but he is really 37. MySpace is owned by News Corporation (NWS) (NWS-A), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

No Mile High Club Allowed on this Airline

Singapore Airlines (SPAAF.PK), which trades on the Pink Sheets in the United States, has requested publicly that its passengers not participate in 'mile high club' activities. This came about because if its new first class section which has private suites with double beds.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jim Cramer's New Book is Available for Ordering

Jim Cramer's new book, Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer), is now available on Amazon for pre-ordering. This is Jim Cramer's fourth bestselling book. The book will be released on December 4, 2007, just in time for the holidays.

Dollar Hits 26 Year Low against the British Pound

Today the British pound reached $2.07, the highest level in 26 years against the U.S. dollar. Part of the reason is the anticipated rate cut by the Federal Research Board tomorrow.

Wall Street Quote of the Week: 'Now is a great time to buy a home!' found a great press release by Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH), which discussed how home sales were down 34%, with a 50% reduction in California, To make things worse, 'the downturn of the housing market will be deeper and longer than previously anticipated' according to the report.

However, Footnoted pointed out the most interesting quote by the Chairman and CEO Steven Hilton, 'Now is a great time to buy a home!'

Monday, October 29, 2007

China Stocks: More than just Baidu

If you missed out on investing Baidu (BIDU), which traded below $70 per share a couple years ago and is now over $360, there are plenty of other Chinese companies worth looking at. Baidu is China's answer to Google (GOOG), and has far outperformed Google. Here is some interesting trivia about China:

1. It is the largest country in the world by population, with about one fifth of the world's population residing there.
2. It has the second largest GDP by purchasing power parity.
3. It has the fourth largest economy in the world by GDP.
4. The poverty rate went from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001.
5. It is the second largest exporter in the world.
6. It is the world's second largest importer of petroleum.
7. It is is the third largest importer in the world.
8. It is largest consumer of steel in the world.
9. It is largest consumer of concrete in the world.
10. The Shanghai Stock Exchange index rose 130 percent in 2006.
11. Approximately 91% of the population is literate.
12. When the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China's largest bank, went public in October 2006, it was the largest IPO in history at the time.

All of the following Chinese stocks trade on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. A list of these China stocks in an Excel spreadsheet, which can be downloaded, sorted, and changed, is available at .

3SBio Inc ( SSRX ) a biotechnology company in the areas of nephrology, oncology, cancer, inflammation, and infectious diseases. The stock has a P/E of 42.66 and a PEG of 0.63.

51Job, Inc. ( JOBS ) provider of human resource services to job hunters and employers The stock has a P/E of 42 and a PEG of 1.46.

Acorn International ( ATV ) is involved in television direct sales and distribution. The stock has a P/E of 34.02 and a PEG of 0.63.

Actions Semiconductor ( ACTS ) is a a fabless semiconductor company. The stock has a P/E of 6.83 and a PEG of 0.35.

Aluminum Corp. of China ( ACH ) produces and markets alumina and aluminum The stock has a P/E of 5.86 and a PEG of 1.99.

Baidu.Com, Inc. ( BIDU ) is an Internet search engine. The stock has a P/E of 217.43 and a PEG of 2.85.

China Eastern Airlnes ( CEA ) is an airline that provides passenger and cargo services The stock has a forward P/E of 32.

China Finance Online ( JRJC ) markets online financial services and information The stock has a P/E of 567.33.

China Grentech ( GRRF ) makes and markets wireless products and services The stock has a P/E of 0.64 and a PEG of 0.86.

China Life Insurance ( LFC ) is a provider of life insurance and annuity products The stock has a P/E of 15.26 and a PEG of 9.28.

China Medical Tech ( CMED ) makes and sells medical devices for the treatment of cancer and tumors. The stock has a P/E of 31.8 and a PEG of 0.69.

China Mobile Limited ( CHL ) is in the business of mobile telecommunications services. The stock has a P/E of 42.5 and a PEG of 1.46.

China Petro & Chemical ( SNP ) is an integrated oil and gas company which is also in the chemicals business. The stock has a P/E of 1,442.19 and a PEG of 0.93.

China Southern Airlines Ltd ( ZNH ) is an airline that serves China, Hong Kong and Macau. The stock has a P/E of 36.49.

China Sunergy Co. ( CSUN ) designs, makes and sells solar cells. The stock is generating negative earnings.

China Techfaith Wire ( CNTF ) designs mobile handsets and telecom software. The stock has a forward P/E of 28.

China Telecom Cp Ltd ( CHA ) is a provider of landline telecommunications and broadband services. The stock has a P/E of 20 and a PEG of 5.74.

China Unicom Ltd ( CHU ) is a telecommunications services provider. The stock has a P/E of 74.81 and a PEG of 1.41.

Ctrip.Com Intl. Ltd ( CTRP ) is a provider of provide travel services including hotel, airline, and tour services. The stock has a P/E of 99.93 and a PEG of 2.12.

E-House Holdings ( EJ ) is in the business of providing provides real estate agency services, real estate brokerage services, and real estate consulting services. The stock has a P/E of 86.17 and a PEG of 1.01.

Elong, Inc. ( LONG ) is an online travel service. The stock has a forward P/E of 55.

Focus Media Holding ( FMCN ) is an audiovisual television display advertising network. The stock has a P/E of 62.61 and a PEG of 1.19.

Guangshen Railway ( GSH ) is a passenger and freight railroad between Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The stock has a P/E of 32.42.

Home Inns & Hotels Management ( HMIN ) builds, operates and manages economy hotel chains in China The stock has a P/E of 241.72 and a PEG of 3.23.

Huaneng Power Intl. ( HNP ) builds, operates, and manages thermal power plants. The stock has a P/E of 16.31 and a PEG of 3.48.

Hurray! Holding Co. ( HRAY ) is an online distributor of music and related products, such as ring tones. The stock has a P/E of 22.26 and a PEG of 4.03.

Ja Solar Holdings ( JASO ) makes and markets solar cells. The stock has a P/E of 72.66 and a PEG of 1.25.

Kongzhong Corp ( KONG ) is in the business of wireless interactive entertainment and media services to mobile phone users. The stock has a P/E of 21.58 and a PEG of 4.59.

LDK Solar Co Adr ( LDK ) makes and markets multicrystalline solar wafers for solar cells. The stock has a forward P/E of 22 and a PEG of 0.37.

Linktone Ltd. ( LTON ) is a provider of telecom media, entertainment, and communication services for phones. The stock has a forward P/E of 175.

Mindray Medical Intl ( MR ) makes and sells medical devices. The stock has a P/E of 68.03 and a PEG of 1.56.

Netease.Com ( NTES ) is a provider of an interactive online and wireless community. The stock has a P/E of 16.79 and a PEG of 1.02.

New Oriental Education ( EDU ) is a provider of private educational services. The stock has a P/E of 99.43 and a PEG of 2.03.

Ninetowns Internet Technology ( NINE ) is a provider of enterprise solutions for import/export. The stock has a P/E of 82.5.

O2Micro Intl Ltd ( OIIM ) designs, makes and sells semiconductors for power management and security applications. The stock has a P/E of 80.19 and a PEG of 0.85.

Perfect World Co., Ltd. ( PWRD ) makes three-dimensional online games. The stock has a P/E of 539.81 and a PEG of 1.02.

Petrochina Co. ( PTR ) explores for and produces petroleum and natural gas. The stock has a P/E of 23.77 and a PEG of 1.59.

Semiconductor Mfg. ( SMI ) is in the business of providing integrated circuit manufacturing services. The stock has a forward P/E 31.

Shanda Interactive ( SNDA ) makes and operates online games. The stock has a P/E of 17.4 and a PEG of 0.66.

Simcere Pharma ( SCR ) makes and distributes generic pharmaceuticals. The stock has a P/E of 26.98.

Sinopec Shanghai ( SHI ) is an oil processing company which makes synthetic fibers, resins, plastics, and petroleum products. The stock has a P/E of 17.17.

Solarfun Power Holdings ( SOLF ) makes and distributes photovoltaic cells and modules. The stock has a forward P/E of 3.23 and a PEG of 2.32.

Spreadtrum Communications ( SPRD ) makes and sells wireless baseband processor solutions. The stock has a P/E of 33.66 and a PEG of 1.21.

Suntech Power Hldgs ( STP ) makes and sells photovoltaic cells and modules. The stock has a P/E of 78.31 and a PEG of 1.3.

The9 Limited ( NCTY ) creates and operates online games, and web related businesses. The stock has a P/E of 18.88 and a PEG of 1.08.

Tongjitang Chinese Medicines ( TCM ) makes and sells modernized traditional Chinese medicines. The stock has a P/E of 16.29 and a PEG of 0.76.

Trina Solar Ltd ( TSL ) makes and markets solar-power products. The stock has a P/E of 56.12 and a PEG of 0.97.

Vimicro Intl. Corp. ( VIMC ) makes and sells mixed-signal semiconductor products. The stock has a P/E of 416.67.

Wuxi Pharmatech ( WX ) is involved in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. The stock has a P/E of 138.52 and a PEG of 1.88.

Xinhua Finance Media ( XFML ) is a financial and entertainment media company. The stock has a forward P/E of 9.9 and a PEG of 0.41.

Yazhou Coal Mining Co ( YZC ) mines and processes coal. The stock has a P/E of 55.36 and a PEG of 8.1.

Yingli Green Engy ( YGE ) makes and markets photovoltaic products. The stock has a forward P/E of 7.06 and a PEG of 1.76.

A list of the China stocks in an Excel spreadsheet, which can be downloaded, sorted, and changed, is available at , which also has stocks from other companies around the world.

Author owns CEA and ZNH.

By Fred Fuld at

Want to Invest in Microlending? eBay now Makes It Easy

Microlending in third world countries is continuing to spread. The loans are given to the poor who want to start their own business and get out of poverty. The amounts of the loan are usually less than $500, and are for terms up to four years. eBay (EBAY) has come out with a new website called MicroPlace, which allows anyone to participate in making loans. It allows you to pick and choose which country you want to invest in and how long you want to lend the money. The interest rate you receive isn't high but any surplus goes into other social initiatives.

Brazilian Financial Magazine Features Stockerblog's Gisele Bundchen Stock Index

The top financial magazine in Brazil, Revista RI, featured an article on the Gisele Bundchen Stock Index, developed by back on July 23. This is the list of stocks that the famous supermodel, Gisele B√ľndchen, is connected to, primarily from celebrity endorsements.

Even Gisele herself liked the Gisele Bundchen Stock Index so much that she featured it on her website (takes about 15 seconds for the news to load on her site), and she emailed an announcement about the Stock Index to all her email subscribers.

By Fred Fuld at

Who Would Pay $80,000 for a Dented Mailbox

A mailbox that was hit and badly damaged by a meteorite sold for almost $83,000 at a Bonham's auction, in spite of the fact that two large meteorites, one of which weighed 1,410 pounds and one that weighed 30 pounds, didn't sell at all, but were expected to reach over $1,000,000. The mailbox that everyone was interested in was from Georgia.

Wall Street Pictures of the Week

Google (GOOG) opened up a new location in a state that can really use the jobs, Michigan. The location is to be used primarily for their AdSense operations, and is located near the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. InformationWeek has pictures of both the outside and inside their offices.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to Invest in had its initial public offering today, Saturday, October 27, and is expected to start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on November 6. They raised $1.5 billion.

Alibaba is the huge Chinese e-commerce company, which has four divisions: Alibaba International [importer to smaller size China business exchange], Alibaba China [subscription fee product postings], TaoBao [consumer to consumer exchange], and AliPay [online payment service].

However, if you don't have access to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, you can invest in a company that has a large (39%) holding in Alibaba Group which is the parent company of That company is Yahoo (YHOO) which also bought approximately $100 million of IPO shares.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What a Haircut! $100,000 has reported that a lock of Che Guevara's hair just sold for over $100,000 at a Dallas auction. The auctions prices that these locks are going for are just hairy! I guess these types of auction items must be a cut above the rest. Here are a few auction prices of locks of hair over the last few years.

Beethoven $7,300
Abe Lincoln $26,880 including a piece of cloth that was part of the shroud covering Lincoln’s body
Joan Crawford $603
Jacqueline Kennedy $6,038
Marilyn Monroe's $9,200
Mickey Mantle's $6,900
Elvis Presley $100,000 including a tooth of Elvis.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the above.

Good Morning Vietnam Stocks

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, who would have thought that Vietnam would become a hotbed of capitalism? Many investors are now looking at Vietnam as the next China. Financial activity has increased immensely in Viet Nam over the last few years.

For example, the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange just announced a partnership which involves sharing of investment and technology information and might lead to cross listings of stocks on both stock exchanges. Nike (NKE) has been manufacturing in Vietnam for over 12 years. On Intel’s (INTC) website, they reported that they have committed $1 billion to build a 500,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Vietnam which should be completed by 2009, and employ up to 4,000 people.

So how do you buy Vietnam stocks? You would need to have access to the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, if you are interested in buying individual Vietnam stocks directly, such as:
Tienphong Plastic Joint Stock Company (HST:NTP) plastic pipe manufacturer
Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment (HCM:CII) infrastructure development
Phuong Nam Culture Joint Stock Corp. (HCM:PNC) media company
Tuong An Vegetable Oil Joint Stock Co (HCM:TAC) food products
Do Thanh Technology Corp. (HCM:DTT) plastic products

However, there are a couple other ways of investing in Vietnam stocks. The Vietnam Opportunity Fund (VTOPF.PK) (VOF.L) is one of the largest Vietnam closed end funds, and it trades on both the Pink Sheets in the United States and on the London Stock Exchange. According to their web site, their net asset value was up over 200% since its inception, and it was rated the best performing fund in 2004 according to LCF Rothschild Research.

Vietnam Holding Ltd. (VNMHF.PK) (VNH.L) is another closed end investment fund managed by Vietnam Holding Asset Management Ltd., with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It also trades on both the Pink and the London Stock Exchange. They invest primarily in privatized State Owned Enterprises.

A way to play the Vietnam real estate market is through the London Stock Exchange traded SGL Vietnam Development Limited (SGLV.L), a closed end company which invests in Vietnamese real estate.

There is even a bank in the United States that specializes in providing banking services to the Vietnamese business community in Southern California, called Saigon National Bank (SAGN.OB). Although Bank assets have increased 80% over the last twelve months while deposits have increased 228%, they announced a net loss from operations of $0.15 per share.

To see articles on other stocks from countries around the world, check out

Author does not own any of the above. All of the Vietnamese stocks described above are very low cap and should be cosidered very speculative.

By Fred Fuld at

3 More Chinese Stocks Coming to America

If you missed out on investing in Baidu (BIDU), here's your chance to get in on a few more Chinese stocks. Three more China based companies will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYX) very shortly. Although you may not find these on Yahoo (YHOO) Finance yet, two of the stocks have already been assigned stock ticker symbols. More info on these companies can be found on Google (GOOG) Finance. Here are the companies, their symbols, and their business.

Giant Interactive (GA), is a developer and operator of massively multiplayer online games. Net Profit Margin for the latest quarter was 71.38%.

Star Drug, a pharmacy company

Agria Corporation (GRO), produces and markets corn seeds, sheep breeding products and seedling products. Net Profit Margin for the latest quarter was 57.52%.

Sao Paulo Stock Exchange Spikes 39%

The company that owns the Sao Paulo stock exchange, Bovespa Holding SA, went up 39% on its IPO in Brazil. It was the fifth largest IPO in the world for the year, over $9 billion.

15 Reasons Facebook Worth $15 Billion

Microsoft (MSFT) beat out Google (GOOG) for Facebook by paying $240 million for a 1.6% stake in the company. The BBC has come out with a list of 15 reasons that Facebook may be worth $15 billion.

Dollar Falls to New Low

In case you've been paying too much attention to the stock market and not enough attention to the currency market, the U.S. dollar has tanked to a new low against the Euro. The Euro traded at $1.4375, exceeding the record last week of $1.4319. This is primarily due to possible interest rate cuts next week.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thailand Stocks

Some interesting trivia about Thailand:

1. People have lived in Thailand since the paleolithic period.
2. It is 21st in GDP purchasing power parity.
3. It had the the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1996.
4. It is the top exporter of rice.
5. 55% of the land is used for rice production
6. Tourism is only 5% of the economy.
7. Major products include textiles, footwear, fish, rubber, jewelry, cars, computers and electronic equipment.
8. It is ranked 42 in the Economist's Worldwide Quality-of-Life Index.

Here are some interesting Thai stocks worth viewing:

Advanced Info Service PCL (AVIFY.PK) is a provider of cellular services and mobile phones. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 20.5 and pays a yield of 6.27%.

Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPOKY.PK) is a producer and provider of meat and other food products. Net Profit Margin is 2.86% and return on Average Equity is 9.14%.

Delta Electronics (DLETY.PK) manufactures and sells electronic components. Net Profit Margin is 7.15% and Return on Average Equity is 17.34%.

Hana Microelectronics Public Co. Ltd. (HNMEY.PK) manufactures integrated circuit boards, light-emitting diode products, radio frequency amplifiers and printed circuit boards. Net Profit Margin is 10.90% and Return on Average Equity is 17.51%.

PTT Exploration & Production (PEXNY.PK) explores for and produces petroleum products. Net Profit Margin is 31.84% and Return on Average Equity is 30.64%.

Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SAVXY.PK) makes and markets hot-rolled steel sheets and coils. Net Profit Margin is 5.37% and Return on Average Equity is 7.43%.

Shin Corp. ADR (SHNZY.PK) is in the business of wireless telecommunications, satellite communications and the Internet. Net Profit Margin is 22.41% and Return on Average Equity is 10.13%.

TT&T Public Co. LTD (TTTBF.PK) provides landline telecommunication services. Net Profit Margin is a negative 23.67% and Return on Average Equity was a negative 13.54%.

To see articles on other stocks from countries around the world, check out

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

You think you are a multitasker?

If you think you are a multitasker, you should check out this YouTube video called A Vision of Students Today.

NASA Photos of the Southern California Fire

In case you haven't seen these satellite photographs from NASA of the southern California fires, you should take a look at them. These graphically show how extensive the fires are. I was amazed at how widespread the smoke is. Since I have many friends and relatives in southern California, I have been paying close attention to what is going on there.

NASA has been working with Google (GOOG), which trades on NASDAQ, for the imaging of the fires.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Health Food Stocks

Health foods are considered to be natural foods [no artificial ingredients], organic foods [grown without the use of pesticides], and whole foods [foods with very little or no processing]. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which companies should fall into the health food category, as some companies provide foods which are considered healthier than others. Included in the following list are not just owners of stores and distributors, but growers of fruits and vegetables. See if any of these stocks are healthy enough for your portfolio.

Whole Foods Market ( WFMI ) owns and operates natural and organic foods supermarkets. The stock has a P/E of 36 and a PEG of 2.16 It pays a yield of 1.50%.

Hain Celestial Group Inc. ( HAIN ) makes and sells natural and organic food products. The stock has a P/E of 29 and a PEG of 1.6.

United Natural Foods ( UNFI ) is a distributor of natural and organic foods. The stock has a P/E of 24 and a PEG of 1.22.

Lifeway Foods Inc. (LWAY) makes and sells probiotic, cultured, and non-dairy health food products, including kefir and drinkable yogurt. The stock has a P/E of 72.

Panera Bread ( PNRA ) owns and franchises bakery-cafes which sell natural fresh bread. The stock has a P/E of 24.4 and a PEG of 1.28.

Calavo Growers Inc. (CVGW) is a producer of avocados. The stock has a P/E of 41 and a PEG of 2.63 It pays a yield of 1.60%.

Chiquita Brands International Inc. (CQB) distributes and sells bananas and fresh produce. The stock has a P/E of f21 and a PEG of 8.76.

Hansen Natural Corp. (HANS) produces, markets and distributes natural sodas, fruit juices and juice drinks, and fruit juice smoothies. The stock has a P/E of 59 and a PEG of 1.06.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. (MLP) grows, processes and sells fresh whole pineapples, pineapples used for canning, and organic pineapples. The stock has a P/E of 27.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top Yachts, Top CEO's, Top Stocks has a report on all the mega yachts owned by executives of publicly traded companies. Mega yachts are also known as luxury yachts and super yachts. Here are the companies that provided the wealth to the CEO's so that they can afford their yachts.

Rising Sun is 452'8" long, and is owned by Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle (ORCL). Oracle has a P/E of 25 and a PEG of 1.20.

Octopus is 413'4" long, owned by Paul Allen, founder of Microsoft (MSFT) and chairman Charter Communications (CHTR). He also owns the Tatoosh at 301'8" long. Microsoft has a P/E of 22, a PEG of 1.53, and a yield of 1.4%. Charter has had negative earnings.

Limitless is 315'7" long, is owned by Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of The Limited (LTD). Limited has a P/E of 11, a PEG of 1, and a yield of 2.8%.

Lone Ranger is 255' long, and is owned by Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive Corporation (PGR).This insurance company stock has a P/E of 10, a PEG of 1.66, and a yield of 0.2%.

Ilona IV is 241'8" long, and owned by Frank Lowy, Westfield Group (WEFIF.PK), which owns shopping centers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. The stock has a P/E of 9.

Author owns MSFT and CHTR. Picture shown is the Le Grand Bleu, owned by Eugene Shvidler.

By Fred Fuld at

Victoria's Secret has another Bra Burglery

Victoria's Secret has had a series of thefts recently, and in every case what was stolen were bras. In the latest case, 50 bras from the store in Fairfield, Connecticut were stolen, worth $4,000. Victoria's Secret is a division of Limited Brands (LTD), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Volkswagon Law Knocked Down

The so called Volkswagon Law, which says that you can't vote more than 20% of your voting rights even if you own more than 20% of the company, has been ruled illegal by the European Union Court of Justice. Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) trades on the Pink Sheets.

Family Gets FREE House: Stockerblog Prediction Comes True

Back on October 1, I wrote an article about how eventually we would see houses offered for free. It has come true, and sooner than I expected. A family in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was given the house for free by a local non-profit organization, which had bought the house from the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority for one dollar.

The primary requirement for the family is that they have to live in the house for the next ten years, at which time title would be turned over to them. They would also have to pay maintenance and utilities, but no mortgage or rent.

This could be it. I predicted that when we see free houses, that it would be the turning point in the real estate market. Maybe this is a one time event; however, if we see more free houses being given away, it means we've hit bottom and its time to start looking for real estate opportunities. It will still be a long recovery, but it means the tide has turned.

By Fred Fuld at

Monday, October 22, 2007

India Company Outsources to Ohio

Here is an item that came out about a month or so ago, which I had missed at the time. According to, Tata Group (TTM), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, the India auto manufacturer based in Mumbai, has outsourced many of their customer-service calls to a company in Ohio.

Free World Series Baseball Tacos at Taco Bell

Taco Bell, a division of Yum Brands (YUM), announced that they will give a free taco to all Americans in the event that first base is stolen during the Baseball World Series.

Penny Stocks on the New York Stock Exchange

Yes, it's true. There are a few stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange for less than a dollar a share. Here they are:

Bimini Capital Management, Inc. (BMN) a real estate investment trust that invests primarily in residential mortgage-related securities. Currently trading at 57 cents per share.

Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. (IMH) another mortgage real estate investment trust. Trading at 99 cents per share.

SIRVA Inc. (SIR) a provider of relocation and moving services. 43 cents per share.

TOUSA, Inc. (TOA) makes and sells single-family residences, town homes, and condominiums. Trades at 64 cents per share.

Author does not own any of the above. All are very low cap and therefore should be considered very speculative.

Woman Uses Hammer on Comcast

A customer in Virginia was so upset with the lack of customer service from Comcast (CMCSA) (CMCSK), that she went after them with a hammer, a real hammer!!!

Check Out this Car: No Steering Wheel, No Corners, Runs on Fuel Cells

If you have never seen the Puyo made by Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, check it out. Since everything is rounded on it, there are no corners, it has a joy stick instead of a steering wheel, and uses fuel cells to run.

There is also the PIXY, which is a micro car, and the Round Box, made by Nissan (NSANY), which trades on NASDAQ, which has windows that allows you to see the surface of the road going by.

No More iPhone Finger Smudges

If you own an iPhone made by Apple (AAPL) or other touch screen phone, one of the things you will notice is all the smudges from your fingers. Now there is a solution called Phone Fingers. These are black latex things that fit over your fingers. They are easy to put on and use and cost about $14 for a set of 25.

A Shipping Container House: Is this a Solution to the Real Estate Problem?

How would you like to live in a shipping container? Or a house made of pallets? Or a cardboard yurt house?

These are all short term homes in the event of a disaster. Maybe this is a way to solve the housing problem.

Retail Ramblings

A couple weeks ago while my car was in the shop being serviced, I had the opportunity to walk around an upscale shopping area nearby while waiting for my vehicle. I noticed that Macy's, Inc. (M) took up three separate buildings and was very busy, and Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) had a lot of activity, with the hustle and bustle of the valet auto parkers. However, Coldwater Creek Inc. (CWTR) was empty, in spite of the fact that they were offering a 50% Off on Everything Sale.

Macy's has a price to earnings ratio of 18, a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.08, and a yield of 1.7%; Nordstrom has a P/E of 14, a PEG of 1.16, and a yield of 1.4%. Yet Coldwater Creek has a higher PEG of 2.40, a P/E of 13.9, and no dividend.

Then this weekend, I had the opportunity to go to a shopping mall for the first time in a couple years. My son needed more clothes for college. In case you haven't guessed, I hate to shop, unless I do my shopping online. It looked like the week before Christmas. This was an eye opening experience, and not just seeing the enormous crowds of people. I had never seen so many kiosks before, down the center of the mall aisles: eye glasses, make-up, jewelry, cell phones, hand cream, you name it, being sold from a very small square footage of space. Dozens of kiosks.

I also saw a botox outlet, where they give botox and skin treatments to women [and men] right out in the open. The operating tables are right in the front windows, and the operations are performed in public!!! What's next, drop in tooth extractions and heart transplants?

The mall recently had a grand opening of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF), which had people lined up. Rocky Mountain is a very low cap stock, and should therefore be considered very speculative, with a P/E of 21, and a yield of 2.4%. Macy's at this mall also took up three areas, with the men's and boy's department in a completely separate section of the mall. Every cashier there had at least four or five people lined up to buy, with handfuls of clothes in one hand and their credit cards in the other hand.

I happened to notice that there were several shoppers in Victoria's Secret, which is owned by Limited Brands Inc. (LTD), with a P/E of 11, a PEG of 1, and a PEG of 2.7%. The smaller shops with the branded shirts, pants, and clothes were packed, not just with clothing, not just with shoppers, but by employees. When I say branded, I mean brands such as Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK), P/E of 29 and PEG of 1.39,

Brands are everything! Shoppers were ignoring the quality T-shirts with no logos on sale for $5 or $10, yet were paying $25 to $35 for a shirt with a logo. I saw only a couple places that had no shoppers, a toy shop and a Zale (ZLC) jewelry store. Zale has a P/E of 18 and a PEG of 2.

There is a Sears store right next to the mall but fortunately we didn't need to go in there, because as we were driving by, the parking lot was packed. We also went to a K-Mart, had to park about a dozen spaces from the front [see my previous analysis of K-Mart as measured by parking distance], and actually had to wait in line to make a purchase.

Things have changed since the last time I was in K-Mart; a couple months ago, I would see more employees than shoppers. Both Sears and K-mart are owned by Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD), with a P/E of 14 and a PEG of 1.61.

Just based on my naturalistic observation research, now is the time to start loading up on bargains in retail stocks. The buyers are back!

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Friday, October 19, 2007

Taiwan Stocks: The Other China

Some interesting trivia about Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China:

1. It is one of the Four Asian Tigers.
2. It is rated 16th in terms of GDP by purchasing power parity.
3. It is rated 23rd in terms of GDP per capita.
4. GDP real growth averages 8% for the last 30 years.
5. It is a major foreign investor in mainland China, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
6. It has the third largest foreign reserves in the world.
7. Their students have some of the highest test scores in the world.
8. They have a literacy rate of 96.1%.

Here are some Taiwanese stocks which trade on United States Stock Exchanges:

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASX), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is a provider of semiconductor packaging and testing services. The stock has a P/E of 15.3, a PEG of 0.38, and a yield of 2.4%.

AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) which trades on the NYSE, designs, makes and sells thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels. The stock has a P/E of 157, a PEG of 1.2, and a yield of 0.1%.

Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (CHT) is a large telecommunications company in Taiwan which provides landline, cellular, and Internet services. The stock has a P/E of 12.84, a PEG of 8.41, and a fairly high yield of 4.5%.

Himax Technologies, Inc. (HIMX), which trades on NASDAQ, develops and sells semiconductors that are used with flat panel displays. The stock has a P/E of 9.95, a PEG of 0.41, and a high yield of 5.2%.

Silicon Motion Technology Corp. (SIMO), designs, markets, and sells semiconductor solutions. The stock has a P/E of 18, and a PEG of 0.49.

Siliconware Precision Industries Co. Ltd. (SPIL) produces semiconductor packaging and testing services. The stock has a P/E of 165, a PEG of 0.74, and a yield of 3.1%.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSM) makes and markets integrated circuits and other semiconductor devices. The stock has a P/E of 15.71, a PEG of 0.63, and a yield of 3.5%.

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) is a manufacturer and marketer of integrated circuits. The stock has a P/E of 14.84, a PEG of 1.21, and a yield of 5%.

To see articles on other stocks from countries around the world, check out

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Radio Smaller than a Human Hair

The world's smallest radio has been developed which is many thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. Talk about nanotechnology!!! It is made out of carbon nanotubes which are just a few atoms thick. When a team at the University of California tested it, they transmitted classical music to a speaker from an Apple (AAPL) iPod several yards away.

The next step in nanotech is 'smart dust', which can detect movement, heat or light.

Author owns AAPL.

Microsoft Purchasing 20 Companies a Year

According to Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft (MSFT), the company will be purchasing 20 small companies a year for the next five years. Does this mean a bull market for start-ups?

Author owns MSFT.

Reindeer Pate for Your Next Party?

For celebrating at your next party, how about some Reindeer Pate? This hormone-free delicacy has only 2% fat and comes from Sweden.

What is it about October 19?

If you look at the stock market for October 19 for the years ending in 7, you will notice that the stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was either down or flat, unless October 19 happened to fall on a weekend, then the next business day, the market was up.

Here is the percentage change in the Dow average for those years. Shown is the date measured, the change, and what day Oct. 19 actually fell on.

10/19/2007 .... -1.55%* Friday
10/20/1997 .... 0.9% Sunday
10/19/1987 .... -22.6% Monday
10/19/1977 .... -1.0% Wednesday
10/19/1967 .... 0.0% Thursday
10/21/1957 .... 2.5% Saturday
10/20/1947 .... 1.0% Sunday
10/19/1937 .... 0.9% Tuesday

This is the percentage change so far at the time I wrote this around 10:15am PST on October 19.

By Fred Fuld at

Stuck in an Elevator with a Bunch of Stockbrokers

Is being stuck in an elevator with a bunch of stockbrokers any worse than being stuck in an elevator with a bunch of life insurance salesmen? The Treasurer of Australia, Peter Costello, got the pleasure of being in an elevator with five stockbrokers for 45 minutes. Fortunately, he proposed $30 billion in tax cuts earlier in the week, so he got along well with his fellow stranded 'roommates'.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Portugal Stocks

Some interesting trivia about Portugal:

1. It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, Eurozone, OECD, NATO, and the CPLP.
2. It is ranked 40th in GDP purchasing power parity.
3. It was one of the founding countries of the euro.
4. It is the world's leading producer of cork.
5. Their major industries are oil refining, automotive, cement production, pulp and paper, textile, footwear, and furniture.
6. Port wine is named after the country's second largest city, Porto.
7. It is ranked 22nd in terms of Global Competitiveness.
8. It has the 19th highest quality of life in the world.
9. It has the world's largest solar power plant.
10. It has the world's first commercial wave power farm.

Here are some stocks worth investigating:

Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PT), the largest telecom company in Portugal, is a provider of telecommunications, cable TV, satellite TV, and other multimedia services in Portugal and Brazil. It also operates in Morocco, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, and the People's Republic of China. The stock has a P/E of 13.2, a PEG of 0.92, and a yield of 3.5%.

Brisa Auto Estradas de Portugal, S.A. (BRSAY.PK) is in the business of in the construction, maintenance and operation of highways in Portugal. The stock has a P/E of 30.65.

EDP Energias de Portugal SA (EDPFY.PK) is an electric utility in Portugal. The stock has a PE of 20.6 and a PEG of 14.71.

Portucel -Empresa Prod de Pasta de Papel (PIEPF.PK) (PTI.LS), is a producer and distributor of cellulose pulp and paper in Portugal. The stock has a P/E of 13.86.

Inapa-IPG S.A. (IPGXY.PK) (INA.LS) produces and sells commercial paper, with operations in Portugal, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. Latest quarter report showed a net loss of 2.60% and an operating margin of 1.35%.

To see articles on other stocks from countries around the world, check out

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quotation of the Week: Warren Buffett

"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."

~ Warren Buffett, 2004

Speech Recognition Stocks: We Don't Hear Enough About Them

Speech recognition is the understanding of the spoken word by technology, and the implementation of various actions based on the understood words. There aren't that many speech recognition companies out there, and many of the the ones that do trade publicly are not generating positive earnings. Many of them are very low cap and should therefore be considered very speculative.

Here are some worth hearing about:

Nuance Communications, Inc. (NUAN) is a Massachusetts based company which is a provider of speech and imaging solutions, including voice-activated services, transformation of speech into written words and controlling devices and applications by speaking. They purchased SpeechWorks, which worked closely with America Online, in 2003. They have a price to sales ratio of 6.74, a forward P/E ratio 26, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.49.

Preferred Voice Inc. (PRFV.OB) is a Texas based company which is a provider of services to the telecommunications industry including Voice Activated Dialing, a speech recognition service. The P/S is 2.16, and the forward P/E is 5.

NMS Communications Corp. (NMSS) is a Massachusetts based company which provides technology to wireless and landline telecommunications operators, network equipment, and providers of applications, including speech activated services. The P/S ratio is 0.78.

Fonix Corp. (FNIX.OB) is a Utah based company which is a provider of automated speech recognition and text-to-speech solutions. The P/S is 1.33.

Voxware Inc. (VOXW) is a New Jersey based company that makes and sells software for voice recognition solutions for use in distribution centers. The P/S is 1.92.

One Voice Technologies Inc. (ONEV.OB) is a La Jolla, California based company that makes and markets voice recognition software for the telecommunications and interactive multimedia industries. The P/S is 16.86.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Why would you need 40 bathrooms?

A Beverly Hills mansion is up for sale, with 29 bedrooms and 49 bathrooms [one for each guest when you have a party?]. The price of the 75,000 square foot home is only $165,000,000. The house was formerly owned by William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Major Companies Own the Top Domain Names? Glaxosmithkline plc (GSK) Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) Petsmart Inc. (PETM) Inc. (FLWS) MedImmune, division of AstraZeneca plc (AZN) J. C. Penney Company, Inc (JCP) Dreyers, division of NESTLE (NSRGY.PK) Bank of America Corporation (BAC) Disney (DIS) Disney (DIS) Petsmart Inc. (PETM) Petsmart Inc. (PETM) Office Depot, Inc. (ODP) CNET Networks (CNET) eBay (EBAY) CNET Networks (CNET) Disney (DIS)

RFID Implants For Humans Banned in California

The mandatory implanting of RFID [Radio Frequency Identification] Implants in humans has been banned in the state of California. A Cincinnati company reportedly required employees who work in its secure data center to have RFID implants. VeriChip Corporation was the first to receive approval by the FDA to implant RFIDs in humans in 2004, and have implanted over 2,000 of the chips in humans. VeriChip is owned by Applied Digital (ADSX), which trades on NASDAQ.

18K Gold Cell Phone

Motorola (MOT), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has come out with the Motorola Razr 2 V8 Luxury Edition, which is 18K gold-plated and has a snakeskin-like covering. The phone comes with with a 2.0 megapixel camera, CrystalTalk technology, Windows Media Player, and Opera Software's browser.

L-3 Machine Sees through Clothes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

The TSA said that passengers have nothing to worry about in terms of privacy with the use of the L-3 ProVision™ Body Screening System, which uses active millimeter wave scanning to see through clothing to detect weapons and other unacceptable items. It is currently being tested at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The ProVision is made by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stocks During an Election Year

Did you know that during the last half century, during an election year, stocks were up 12 out of the last 14 election years, or over 85%. The average return for all those election years is 9.3%, and if you just look at the up years, the average is 11.9%.

By the way, the two down years had nothing to do with the political party of the president who was elected; one year was a Democrat and one year was a Republican win. The following shows the return for the election year based on the S&P 500 Index.

Year... % Change
1952 Change 11.8%
1956 Change 2.6%
1960 Change -3.0%
1964 Change 13.0%
1968 Change 7.7%
1972 Change 15.6%
1976 Change 19.1%
1980 Change 25.8%
1984 Change 1.4%
1988 Change 12.4%
1992 Change 4.5%
1996 Change 20.3%
2000 Change -10.1%
2004 Change 9.0%

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Top Selling Investment Related Domain Names

The results are in for Moniker's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Miami domain name auction, at which went for $2,200,000. Here are the top selling domains related to investing, business and finance: $900,000 $90,000 $75,000 $70,000 $32,500 $30,000 $30,000 $26,000 $23,000 $20,000 $17,500 $9,000 $750 $8,000

Pepsi and Coke Duke It Out: Literally

A Pepsi (PEP) deliverer allegedly punched the Coca Cola (KO) deliverer in the face at a Wal-Mart in western Pennsylvania, according to an AP article. Both Coke and Pepsico trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tobacco Stocks: Smokin' or Going Up in Smoke?

Some interesting trivia about cigarettes and tobacco:

1. The Maya and the Aztecs were first smokers of cigarettes in Central America during the ninth century, using reeds stuffed with tobacco.
2. During the mid-1800's in the Ottoman Empire, smokers rolled tobacco in newspaper.
3. The title character Carmen in the opera of the same name was a worker in a cigarette factory in the 1830s in Seville.
4. The average cigarette has over one hundred ingredients.
5. The minimum age to buy cigarettes is 19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah, several counties in New York, and most of Canada.
6. More than 1/6 of the world's total population smoke.
7. John Rolfe was the the first person to successfully raise tobacco for commercial use at Jamestown in 1609.
8. Tobacco was used as currency in Virginia during the 1600's.
9. Tobacco water can be used as an organic insecticide.
10. Tobacco can be used as a treatment for bee stings.

Here are some tobacco stocks to review. Are they smokin' or are they going up in smoke?

Vector Group Ltd. (VGR), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange and is based in Miami Florida, brands include Liggett Select, Eve, Jade, Pyramid and Quest. The stock has a 7.2% yield, a price to earnings ratio of 17.67, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.92.

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), which trades on the NYSE and is based in Winston-Salem, NC, makes Camel, Winston, Kool, Salem, Doral, More, and Now. The stock has a P/E of 16, a PEG of 2.41, and a yield of 5.5%.

Altria Group Inc. (MO) is based in New York City, has various popular brands including Marlboro, Basic, Chesterfield, Lark, L&M, Parliament and Virginia Slims. Their P/E is 13.7, the PEG is 2.33, and the yield is 4.3%.

British American Tobacco plc (BTI), which is based in London, markets Kent, Dunhill, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Vogue, Viceroy, Rothmans, Kool, Benson & Hedges, State Express 555, Peter Stuyvesant, and John Player Gold Leaf. The P/E is 18.2 and the yield is 2.10%.

Carolina Group (CG), which is based in New York, has the Kent, True, Maverick, and Old Gold brands through its Lorillard subsidiary. The stock has a P/E of 17.5, a PEG of 2.08, and a 2.2% yield.

Star Scientific Inc. (STSI), which trades on NASDAQ, based in Chester, Virginia, makes and sells dissolvable tobacco products, Ariva® and Stonewall®. Earnings have been negative. This is a very low cap stock and should be considered very speculative.

Author does not currently own any of the above stocks.

By Fred Fuld at

Friday, October 12, 2007 Up for Auction Today

The domain name is up for auction today, by Moniker Marketplace. InfectiousGreed reported that it may sell for at least $4 million to $5 million. An article in Bloomberg compared the price to the value of a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYX) based on its merger terms and the current price of the NYSE stock as being $7 million.

The domain used to be owned by a gambling site which allowed you to bet on the stock market. It is currently just an advertising site which gets about 2,000 visits per day.

Are you bidding?

US Government Undervaluing Assets

Well, at least the US Government is conservative in valuing its assets. According to, in the latest report from the Treasury Department, they value their 260 million ounces of gold at just $42.2222 per fine troy ounce as opposed to the $750 per ounce it is trading at today.

A Way to Invest in China Real Estate

First, there was the huge run-up in China stocks. Now there is a boom in Chinese real estate, and investors will have a way of getting in on the action without buying property directly. The Shanghai Stock Exchange plans to soon start trading China real estate investment trusts.

Phantom BlackBerry Vibrations

If you feel your BlackBerry vibrate in your pocket, and it's not in your pocket, you're in plenty of company. Many people feel cell phone vibrations when there are none. This 'affliction' is sometimes referred to as "ringxiety" or "fauxcellarm." The BlackBerry was developed by Research In Motion Limited (RIMM), which trades on NASDAQ.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Google Employees Moving to Facebook

According to Wired, several significant employees of Google (GOOG), which trades on NASDAQ, are leaving Google and taking positions with Facebook.

ATT Buying up Large Amounts of 700-MHz Spectrum

AT&T (T), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is planning purchase a large number of 700-MHz licenses, beefing up its its existing 3-G networks and planning ahead for 3-G iPhones.

Disclosure: Author owns T.

Wood, Glass, or Shoji Cover for your Computer

Here's a way to impress friends and clients. Get a luxury computer case for your computer. Try a computer case made out of wood, stainless steel, stained glass, or Shoji dividers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Win a House for Being On Time

I had predicted that eventually houses would be given away, but not in the Ivory Coast. They just implemented a punctuality contest, with a house as a prize.

Tasers Cause Very Few Injuries According to Study

According to a recent study, Tasers cause very few injuries. Of the people studied, only two people died and that was for reasons unrelated to the Tasers. Tasers are made by TASER International (TASR), which trades on NASDAQ.

JPMorgan Chase Banker Denies 'Rich Husband Wanted' Interchange

A banker at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, denies being the responder to a 'Rich Husband Wanted' ad on in New York. The woman wanted a husband who made at lease $500,000 per year.

Weight Loss Shopping Carts

An intelligent shopping cart that tells you if you are buying too much junk food is being planned by Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. The carts would have a barcode reader and a screen, which would show calories and nutrition of the food you are buying.

China Now Has 2nd Highest Number of Billionaires

China now has 108 billionaires, more than any other country after the United States.

6 Year Old Tries Driving to Applebees

A six year old boy in Broomfield, Colorado tried driving to Applebees Restaurant, because he said he was hungry. He drove about 75 feet before hitting a transformer, and no one was hurt. Applebees (APPB) trades on NASDAQ.

Philippines Stocks

Some interesting trivia about the Philippines:

1. It is the 12th largest country in the world by population.
2. It is ranked 25th by Gross Domestic Product by purchasing power parity
3. It was a founding member of the United Nations.
4. In 2005, the Philippine peso was considered to be Asia's best-performing currency, according the the CIA World Factbook.
5. Their economy grew at a rate of 5.4% in 2006.
6. Its two biggest trading partners are the U.S. and Japan.
7. It is a member of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the the International Monetary Fund, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the World Trade Organization.
8. More than 180 languages and dialects are spoken in the country.

Here are the Philippines stocks that trade in the US:

eTelecare Global Solutions, Inc. (ETEL), which trades on NASDAQ, offers business process outsourcing services for customer care services and technical support services. The company, which is based in Quezon City, has a price to earnings ratio of 14 and a price earnings to growth ratio of 0.61.

Manila Electric (MERAY.PK), which is also known as MERALCO, is the largest distributor of electrical power in the Philippines. Operating margin for the latest quarter was 5% and the return on average equity was 16.29%.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PHI), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is the largest telecommunications services company in the Philippines. The stock has a P/E of 16.41, a PEG of 1.59, and a yield of 4%.

PSI Technologies Holdings Inc. (PSIT), which trades on NASDAQ, is a Taguig Metro Manila based provider of semiconductor assembly and test services. Although quarterly revenues were up 9.3%, the quarterly earnings have been negative.

San Miguel Corp. (SMGBY.PK) is the largest publicly traded food, beverage and packaging company in the Philippines. The operating margin for the latest quarter was 7.61% and the return on average equity is 11.68%.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Luxury Air Ship

Speaking of interesting gifts, how about a ride on an airship? Check out the Strato Cruiser Airship, which has a pool, spa, restaurant, and offices.

Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt: Now I've Seen Everything

Here is a gift idea, a Wi-Fi Detector T-Shirt that lights up and gets brighter as you approach a Wi-Fi connection. The Wi-Fi shirt is being sold by ThinkGeek for $29.99.

Wall Street Quotation of the Week

"Now is always the most difficult time to invest."
~ Anonymous

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Highest Yielding Canadian Energy Royalty Trusts

If you are looking for high income, monthly dividend payments, possible partial tax sheltering of income, and a hedge against higher oil prices, you should consider Canadian Energy Royalty Trusts, also known as Canadian Oil Income Trusts, Canadian Royalty Trusts, and Canadian Oil Royalty Trusts. The trusts pass through all their earnings generated from oil and gas wells to the trust holders, similar to the way that real estate investment trusts payouts are handled, without double taxation. Because the entity is set up as a trust instead of a corporation, there is no taxation at the corporate level. In addition, part of the dividends may be non-taxable due to depletion and depreciation deductions.

Investors are also looking at these trusts as potential takeovers, since the announcement of the takeover of PrimeWest Energy Trust (PWI) by Abu Dhabi National Energy.

However, there is some negative news on the horizon. The Canadian government released a plan to tax all Canadian trusts at the corporate level beginning in the year 2011. This caused all Canadian trusts to plunge in price last November, which caused the trusts to have a higher yield. In the mean time, these trusts are still providing some favorable yields.

Avoid putting Canadian Oil Income Trusts in an IRA or other qualified plan. See my article from last year for more information on this taxation issue of foreign trusts. [Author disclosure: I own Canadian trusts in my Roth IRA, in spite of the foreign tax withholding.]
Here are a few of the Canadian Royalty Trusts that are traded on stock exchanges in the United States.

At the top of the list in terms of yield is Enterra Energy Trust (ENT), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, at 27.9%, based on its historical monthly payments. However, the Board of Directors just announced in September that they suspended the trust’s monthly distribution payments to unitholders for at least six months in order to repay debt. The company reported a net loss of $121.38 million for the latest quarter. In addition, the chief operating officer of its U.S. operations resigned last month. Therefore, this trust should not be considered an income stock but an extremely speculative investment.

The second highest on the list is Harvest Energy Trust (HTE) at a yield of 17.4%. They just announced their payout of $0.38 Canadian per trust unit for November. In August, Canaccord Adams upgraded the company from a Sell to a Hold. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 17.64.

Another high yielding Canadian Trust is Canetic Resources (CNE), which pays a yield of 15%. The company just confirmed that it will maintain its monthly dividend at $0.19 per share Canadian. They reported a 9% increase in gross revenues for the latest reported quarter; however, they reported a loss per unit versus a profit for that same quarter last year. The company has a forward P/E of 101.8.

Pengrowth Energy Trust (PGH) is another Canadian Royalty Trust with a high yield, paying 15% also. They announced a distribution of $0.225 Canadian per trust unit for October. They recently reported a net income of $1.11 per trust unit for the latest quarter versus $0.69 per trust unit for the same period last year. The company has a P/E of 13.89.

For a list of the rest of all 12 of the Canadian Energy Trusts, go to

Disclosure: Author owns PWI.

By Fred Fuld at

Buy One Island for $45,000,000, Get Another One Free

Yet another thing to spend your stock market profits on, or a gift for the billionaire who has everything. How about an island in the U.S Virgin Islands, a territory of the United States, named Great Hans Lollik Island, for only $45,000,000, and they throw in a second island for free. The islands are over 500 acres and located off of St. Thomas.

If this one is too rich for your blood, there are another nine that you might want to look at.

Croatia Telecom Stock Rises 50% in One Day

The Croatia Telecommunications company, Hrvatske Telekomunikacije d.d., which just went public, rose 50% in one day. The shares were sold off by the Croatian government.

Brazil Stock Exchange planning IPO

The Brazil Stock Exchange [Bovespa Holding SA] is planning an Initial Public Offering, and may raise at least $2.12 billion. It would be the largest IPO that Brazil has ever had.

Stock Spam Stocks Suspended by SEC

The SEC has suspended trading in Alliance Transcription Services Inc. (ticker symbol: ATSS), Prime Petroleum Group Inc. (PPGU), and T.W. Christian Inc. (TWCI), because they believe that they are susceptible to spamming pump-and-dump scams, according to the Washington Post. All three stocks trade on the Pink Sheets.

Halo 3 Xbox sold for $8,400

I knew the Halo 3 was popular, selling $170 million on the first day, but $8,400 for one? A Halo 3 Xbox 360 signed by Bill Gates sold for $8,400 on eBay. I guess that means Bill Gates's autograph is worth over $8,000.

Papua New Guinea Stocks

Here is some interesting trivia about Papua New Guinea:

1. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
2. Remains of humans 50,000 years old were found on the island.
3. 72% of exports come from oil, copper, and gold.
4. 85% of employment comes from agriculture.
5. The the current Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare continues to privatize government assets.
6. It has an inflation rate of zero.
7. It has more languages than any other country (820).

It is hard to believe that Papua New Guinea as a center of capitalism but there are several publicly traded stocks from the country.

Bougainville Copper Limited (BOCOY.PK) was a former producer of copper concentrate, gold and silver from their Panguna mine at Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. They are now operating as an investment company. 53.58% of their shares are owned by Rio Tinto Limited and 19.06% by the Papua New Guinea Government. Their net profit margin and operating margin is 33.18% and their return on average equity is 0.83% for the latest quarter.

Lihir Gold Ltd. (LIHR), which trades on NASDAQ, explores for, mines and processes gold on the island of Lihir in the New Ireland province of Papua New Guinea. The forward P/E is 31.57 and the PEG is 2.94.

Oil Search Limited (OISHY.PK) explores and produces oil and gas in Papua New Guinea, Yemen, Egypt and Australia. Their operating margin is 42.39% and the return on average equity is 6.97%.

New Guinea Gold (NGUGF.PK) mines and processes for gold at its Sinivit gold mine in Papua New Guinea. They generated negative earnings of one cent per share.

To see articles on other stocks from countries around the world, check out

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Book Review: Active Value Investing

The book, Active Value Investing: Making Money in Range-Bound Markets (Wiley Finance), by Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA, just come out. This a great book which covers how to invest and trade in a 'range-bound' market (a market that is not a bull market or a bear market). Katsenelson provides analysis and thorough research on why he believes that we will be in a range bound market for the next several years. Even if you disagree with him about his prediction of a ten year time frame of this sideways but volatile market, he gives extensive techniques for trading in this type of market.

Katsenelson provides much historical data and graphs, and writes in an easy to understand manner. Pages 193 through 200 covers where to find great investment ideas, much of which a lot of investors know, but is great to be reminded of. He also provides three important lessons of randomness, explaining how knowledge can reduce randomness. (Page 230)

If you are looking for a quality, valuation, and growth approach to investing in a range-bound market, this is the book for you.

By Fred Fuld at

Stem Cell Bonds Issued by California

For the first time, the state of California has issued municipal bonds of which the proceeds will be used to fund human embryonic stem-cell research. The bonds are paying a yield of approximately 5.16%, are exempt from California state income taxes and are anticipated to be exempt from Federal taxes.

Stem cells are a hot investment right now. In case you missed my previous article on stem cells stocks, it can be found here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Corporate Mug Shots has a series of mug shots showing employees and customers wearing shirts with corporate logos of many large companies, some of which are publicly traded, including Coca-Cola (KO), Continental Airlines, Inc. (CAL), and Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW). This is the kind of advertising that these companies can do without.

Are Fast Food Stocks Good for You?

In spite of the fact that more and more people are becoming more health conscious, millions of people still patronize fast food restaurants. Even the hedge funds have the attention of fast food stocks. William Ackman, the activist hedge fund manager, was involved with McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Wendy's International Inc. (WEN).

Trivia: McDonald's was first started as a barbecue drive-in in 1940.

Here are some fast food stocks that you might want to take a bite out of. They all have market caps over $500 million.

Burger King Corporation (BKC) is the owner and franchiser of over 11,000 Burger King restaurants around the world. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 23.86, a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.32, and a yield of 1%.

CEC Entertainment Inc. (CEC) operates over 480 Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 14.08, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.24.

CKE Restaurants Inc. (CKR) operates over 3,000 Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and La Salsa restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 26.33, a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.25, and a yield of 1.4%.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) operates over 580 fast food Mexican food restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 76.37, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 2.36.

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. (CPKI) owns over 200 California Pizza Kitchen, California Pizza Kitchen ASAP, and LA Food Show restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 28.30, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.31.

Jack in the Box Inc. (JBX) operates over 2,000 Jack in the Box restaurants and over 300 Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 17.76, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.53.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (KKD) operates approximately 400 doughnut shops. The stock has a forward P/E of 21.3.

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) is the largest fast-food chain in the world with over 31,000 restaurants in 118 countries. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 32.53, a price earnings to growth ratio of 2.26, and a yield of 2.7%.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) operates over 3,100 Sonic Drive-Ins. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 27.57, and a price earnings to growth ratio of 1.44.

Wendy's International Inc. (WEN) operates over 6,600 fast food restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 30.53, a price earnings to growth ratio of 2.41, and a yield of 1.4%.

Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM) owns approximately 34,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's, and A&W All-American Food Restaurants. The stock has a price earnings ratio of 30.53, a price earnings to growth ratio of 2.41, and a yield of 1.4%.

Author owns MCD.

By Fred Fuld at

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Warner, Sony, Vivendi, EMI Win Lawsut Against Illegal Music Downloader

Warner Music Group (WMG), Sony BMG & Arista (BMG), Interscope & UMG [Vivendi SA] (VIVEF.PK), and Capitol Records [EMI Group] won $222,000 from a Minnesota woman for downloading music illegally and then sharing the music through Kazaa.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Where to Spend Your Stock Market Profits: Neiman Marcus Gifts

Now that you've made all that money in the stock market, and the holiday shopping season is coming up, why not check out some of these Neiman Marcus gifts, including a submarine, an ultralight, a diamond in the rough necklace , or a jet racing franchise.

George Soros Criticized for Support of MoveOn

Famous trader, George Soros, was criticized, according to the NY Post, for his support of

Verizon Releases iPhone Competition

Verizon (VZ), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, came out with its LG Voyager phone with a touch screen that looks a lot like the Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone.

NASDAQ Buying the Boston Stock Exchange

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. (NDAQ), which is the second-biggest American stock exchange, is planning to purchase the Boston Stock Exchange for approximately $61 million.

Work at Enron: Become a Billionaire

At least one former Enron employee made out OK. A former energy trader at Enron, John Arnold, just became a member of the Forbes 400 club, and is also the youngest person on the list at age 33.

Stocks in Spain: Funding for Columbus and Good Investments

Some interesting trivia about Spain:

1. It is the second largest country in Western Europe by area.
2. It has the ninth largest economy in the world.
3. It has the fifth largest in the EU.
4. It is ranked 11th in terms of Gross Domestic Product by purchasing power parity.
5. It has created more than half of all the new jobs in the European Union over the last reported five years.
6. It has the second largest tourist industry in the world.
7. Construction representing 16% of GDP and 12% of employment.

All of the following Spanish stocks trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBV) is a bank holding company that was founded in 1988 and is based in Bilbao, Spain. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 12.35, a price earnings to growth ratio of 0.69, and a yield of 3%.

Banco Santander SA (STD) is a bank, asset management, and insurance company with over 10,700 branches around the world. The stock has a P/E ratio of 10.51, and carries a yield of 3%.

Endesa SA (ELE) is a large utility in Spain that provides electricity, natural gas, and co-generation serves to 15 countries. It uses coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, fuel oil, and gas to run their electrical generators. The stock has a P/E of 17.14, with a decent yield of 4.40%.

Repsol YPF SA (REP) is an integrated oil and gas company based in Madrid, Spain. They have operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. The stock has a P/E of 10, a PEG of 1.7, and a yield of 2.30%.

Telefonica SA (TEF), founded in 1924, is a large telecommunication company providing landline and wireless services, and serves Spain, Europe, and Latin America. The stock has a P/E of 11.98, a PEG of 1.38, and a yield of 2.40%.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Fred Fuld at

Banned Items Being Sold on eBay

Many items which the government has recalled, such as Mattel toys with lead based paint, are being sold on eBay (EBAY). eBay is issuing warnings to the sellers of these items.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Real Estate Ramblings: Free Houses

When the real estate market hits bottom, free houses will be available. Mark my words. You heard it here first. But more on this later on in the article. First, some background info.

I have invested in real estate for over twenty five years, including single family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, apartment professional offices, shared ownership, an island, and even gold mining claims (which aren’t technically real estate unless they are patented). About the only type I haven't invested in is condos. As I've written about previously, this is the worst real estate market I've ever seen and I predicted that it will continue to get worse.

I remember when I tried to refinance many years ago, the loan broker told me that I needed to get some fake tax returns showing a high income in order to get the loan. She said that everyone did it, that she did it and her boss did it. I didn't do it, of course, but it makes me realize that the mortgage companies these days made it so borrowers didn't have to fudge their returns. They created something called a "stated income loan", which means that you state on the application whatever the income you need to qualify for the loan (technically it is supposed to be the income that you really make) without any documentation. What were these banks and mortgage companies thinking? Besides that, they were offering 100% loans with no down payment. What were they doing?

There used to be a loan called a "no doc" loan which required no documentation, but I was told that "no-docs are for doctors – people who don't really need a loan, people who put down 50% when they buy a home." Now the no-docs are not just for docs, but for everyone. A couple years ago, I was riding BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and overheard two mortgage brokers talking about their business. One said to the other "I'm now giving loans to homeless people," At the time, I thought he was being facetious; now I'm not so sure.

Back on March 13, I predicted that there would be real estate "blood in the streets". We are just starting to see some of the blood starting to flow. I know half a dozen people who are going through or have gone through foreclosure, one of whom had his home sold (that is, an attempted sale) on the courthouse steps last week. If you really want to know how bad the real estate market is, talk to some of these people. Over the last few months, governmental representatives were interviewed on the radio and television, saying that "lenders are willing to work with you if you have trouble making your mortgage payments. Give them a call right away before you get too far behind in your payments." This is total rubbish and BS! You know what they said to these borrowers? "Why don't you try refinancing with another lender?" and "Why don't you try selling the house?" Is that what they call working with you? Has there ever been a situation recently where the lender has helped out a borrower who couldn't make the payments? I haven't seen anything in the news about a lender helping out, and if they did, it would certainly be news.

You want to know another reason why I think the real estate market is so bad? I live in an upper-middle class upscale town where houses sell for $700,000 to $1,000,000. Almost every day, I drive past a house that looks abandoned, with weeds literally over five feet high growing in the front yard. It has been that way for over a year with no sign of any occupants. It is located two blocks from the middle school and two and a half blocks from the elementary school. I thought to myself, if I could pick that up for $300,000, I could get some landscapers and painter in there, and flip the house for $600,000, about $100,000 below "market" for a quick sale. Even if there were electrical and plumbing problems, there would still be a huge profit potential. So I decided to check it out on the Internet.

It turns out that a foreclosure sale had already taken place back in June, for a $221,000 minimum bid and no bidders! If I thought it was a bargain at 300k and the house didn't even sell for 221k, unless the house was on a toxic waste dump, the market must really be in the tank. Where were the small contractors who would normally buy these properties to fix and sell as their own projects, or the flipper/investors? Are they that over-cautious? Are they that over-extended?

You will know that the real estate market has hit bottom when free houses will be offered. Of course, these won't be expensive Beverly Hills mansions; they will be small houses in bad shape that are located in run-down neighborhoods. Sorry investors, you won't be eligible. "Buyers" will have to agree to live in the homes for at least a year or two, and be able to prove that they can afford to pay the property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the houses.

What else are the banks, mortgage companies and other holders of the mortgages going to do? They aren't in the business of renting out real estate, nor are they in the business of even holding real estate. When they foreclose, they have to pay property tax, insurance, maintenance, and security. For that matter, they aren't even in the business of selling real estate. And buyers are still holding off.

When you see the free houses being offered, that will be the time to invest in real estate.

By Fred Fuld at

Speaking of Books: An American Hedge Fund Released Today

The book by by Timothy Sykes, An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund, is being released today. In case you missed my book review, you can read about it here.

Time to Start you Holiday Shopping: New Release Business and Investing Books

Now is the time to start doing your holiday shopping. Here are a list of new release books that you may want to consider getting for your friends, relatives, or even yourself.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich by Jason Zweig

The Little Book That Makes You Rich: A Proven Market-Beating Formula for Growth Investing by Louis Navellier

Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics by William Bonner (Author), Lila Rajiva

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort