Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vegas going into the Toilet - Another disturbing datapoint

I've been stating for awhile (Feb & April posts) that I expected Vegas to really get hit by this consumer slowdown. It seemed to me, the last two times I have gone, that it was increasingly more and more expensive to go there and nothing was free anymore. Hotels weren't cheap, cheap dining options were dwindling, freebies (comps) were down, etc. Don't get me wrong, I think there are tons of cool new options but, as their costs are higher than historic levels, they pass it along so they can make $$$.

Here is some supporting data

Nevada gaming is seemingly in a freefall, earning 15.2 percent less in May 2008 than in May 2007. Put another way, it's the worst May in 10 years. The decline is across the board, with the Strip at 16.4 percent less, downtown at 17.3 percent less, Mesquite at 3.2 percent less, North Las Vegas at 29.4 percent less, and Boulder Strip at a whopping 30.2 percent less.

Gambling on tables and slots were shown to be down approximately the same amount, at 15.7 and 15.1 percent, respectively.

In table games, blackjack was down 26.2 percent, craps was down 7.3 percent, roulette was down 27.7 percent, and baccarat was down 0.6 percent.

The downturn also equates to less tax money going to the state, almost $19 million less. Either taxes go up or spending gets cut...

Dan Ross

Friday, July 18, 2008

Interesting Chinese Economy Facts

“In 20 years, China’s cities will have added 350 million people — more than the entire population of the United States today.”

“By 2025, China will have 221 cities with more than one million inhabitants — compared with 35 in Europe today — and 24 cities with more than five million people.”

“By 2030 1 billion people will live in China’s cities… 170 mass-transit systems could be built…40 billion of square meters of floor space will be built in five million buildings—50,000 of which could be skyscrapers.”

In other words, as China transforms itself from a nation of farmers to a nation of urban dwellers, the equivalent of 10 New York cities will need to be built.

Dan Ross

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MPEL (Melco) = Pure Play on China Macau Gambling

This stock is getting destroyed right now.

Rumors about re: some Hong Kong investors getting margin calls and being forced to sell some positions in various stocks like GFRE.OB as well. I am not touching this stock until it stablizes but it has to get tempting at SOME point.....

Dan Ross

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FUQI - Chinese Jewelry Retailer/Wholesaler

$1.35 estimate for next year trading at $9.10 as of today's close? CAGR of 20% +to boot

I am not sold on the short-term charts but I think this is a great play on the long-term growth of a chinese middle class and, at this price point, I think it is a great valuation so I started buying today @ around $9. $22 target based on the TA chart below (P&F Chart) as of 7.16.08.

Dan Ross

Updated ABAT charts/comments

ABAT has held its uptrend really nicely and appears poised to make a run at the high a few weeks ago near $6.25. If it gets above that $9 + is possible based on technical analysis.

With the Olympics coming up in Beijing + their electric powered batteries powering some cars / buses there (for show) it should be interesting to see if there are any announcements.

Oh, and their lithium ion batteries are at work in the Color Changing Water Center with CREE's LED technology if anyone is interested..... <--just change the ticker and use this resource. They estimate a $12.25 target with the P&F Charts for ABAT & my target was $11-$12 so it is nice to see this.....

Dan Ross

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CPTC.OB update

CNBC commentator Jim Cramer (Mad Money) has become VERY bullish on wind power and won't recommend CPTC.OB (too small, too illiquid, etc.) Although it is one of the best pure plays on wind power the charts/technical analysis seem to indicate that the ST run-up might be over unless some major contracts are announced. The stock is flirting with breaking through the 20 day moving average and support area.

Dan Ross

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

BLSW (Bridgeline Software) does another small acquisition

Not sure but I think it might be their fourth of the year. Steady as the company goes.....At some point my opinion is they need to merge or buy a bigger company. Too many $$$ go out each year vs. generated for the shareholders. They need to be bigger quickly to generate any meaningful shareholder returns.

A view of their fundamentals and growth

Their growth plan/investor presentation

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Blockbuster to NOT buy Circuit City - Bout Damn Time!

Ever since this deal was accounced back in April I thought it was the dumbest deal I had EVER heard of. I SERIOUSLY question the intelligence of Blockbuster's CEO, their board and Carl Icahn who apparnetly blessed the deal. At least the CEO of Blockbuster eventually wisened up but I am still DUMFOUNDED that him, Icahn, and the board of Blockbuster all wanted to go through with this deal initially....

So tonight, we bid farewell to the acquisition that would have been the STAR case (piece de la resistance) for Harvard Business Cases moving forward.

As of tonight Blockbuster pulled the deal. Circuit City will trade down and Blockbuster should pop tomorrow.

Dan Ross

Jim Rogers + Bill Gross & their thoughts on the economy..

He was in China (Shanghai I believe) talking at an investment conference.

The guy managed $$$ with George Soros. He is a HUGE bull of commodities and trades those + currencies quite a bit. He is VERY bearish on the dollar and doesn't recommend anyone buy the $$$ as a trade. ALOT of smart guys are saying this....

By the way, if you want to see what another smart guy is saying re: the economy then read Bill Gross' letter to President Obama (his July Investment Outlook for PIMCO, the world's largest fixed income money manager.)

Dan Ross