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Investors Title Co. Message Board

  • pmlljl pmlljl Jan 20, 2009 6:28 PM Flag



    Today I sold my shares of FMBL.OB for $3800. each. There was a story in the local newspaper that FMBL had lent $20,000,000 to a local restaurant entrepreneur secured by a third trust deed on his house. The house was valued at $2,653,000. The entrepreneur had recently filed for bankruptcy protection and he owned more than 100 restaurants.

    I was shocked to read the story of this nonsense. How could they lend $20,000,000 as a THIRD t. d. on a house worth $2,653,000?

    Anyway, with my BAC stock now worth about 1/3 of what I paid for it a few weeks ago, I am not in a mood to tolerate this nonsense.

    The market is not being kind and gentle to me this year. I do not have a high salary, guaranteed bonus and a lot of free stock options like the corporate execs. Other than that, I am ok. Hope you and the bear are doing ok. Do you have a new bid price for ANAT? I am thinking of entering an offer to buy more ITIC. Will they accept orders in fractions of a cent?

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    • astral:

      I think Hef would agree that the assets of the bunnies living with him in the mansion are real, perhaps with some augmentation.

      I was also relying on Buffett's reputation for closing deals. Then, I guess we have to hope he announces another deal. Maybe he will want to buy the rest of Wells Fargo or American Express or M&T Bank or Coca Cola or Procter and Gamble. Not likely.

    • pmlljl,

      Well I wasn't thinking about the tangibility of Hef's *shareholders'* assets!

      I think it's worth watching the deals. The spread these days could be decent, if something low-risk comes up. But it's not something I'm experienced with. On CEG I was just betting on Buffett's reputation for closing.

    • astral:

      I remember when Playboy went public in 1971. I don't believe it has ever payed a dividend. It's balance sheet shows a retained deficit of ($63,000,000). It also shows goodwill of $133,000,000 and other intangible assets of $148,000,000. That is a total of $281,000,000 and since there are about 33,000,000 shares outstanding that amounts to about $9 per share.

      I don't know what the IPO price was, and I know that PLA had at least one additonal public offering to raise more money. The shareholders of PLA have had a 37 year period where their capital was consumed by Hef and the bunnies living the high life at the mansion. This is one of the most egregious examples of a celeb living off of public shareholders that has ever existed. I believe that PLA has not had 37 years of bad luck. Hef does not care about fiduciary responsibilities. I doubt that he could even spell the word.

      I hope that the credit crisis lasts long enough to drive PLA into chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings along with about half of the cable tv industry. If you want to look at some really bad balance sheets, I invite you to look at CHTR, CVC and TWX. Be warned, these balance sheets could make you sick.

      I was being a little coy about PFE and Wyeth. I don't think that there is a real strong chance that the merger will be completed. PFE looks like it may overdose on intangible assets. What are those assets worth when the drugs go off patent? I think PFE is trying to juggle a bunch of activity so that the market doesn't figure how desperate it is. Of course I had my doubts about BUD and Inbev too and that one got done.

    • pmlljl,

      Those are important points, though I would hardly call Hefner's assets intangible!

      I have been looking at the deal, but I have no idea how likely it is to close. Without some kind of idea about that, it's not too appealing.

    • pj:

      I think that I am immune to day trader disease. I may be a carrier of the dna that causes it, but I cannot get it myself.

      I want astral to tell me if he is going to get involved in the PFE buyout of WYE. There is a big premium on the table. Apparently, the market doesn't have much confidence in PFE to close the deal. PFE will be one of the masters of intangible assets if it swings the WYE deal. The creation of many billions of intangible assets is in direct contradiction to what is going on in the real world. COP and TWX are writing off multi billions and fessing up that there balance sheets were overstated. Even PLA is writing off over $100,000,000 of intangibles. The other night Jay Leno reported that Hef now has four girlfriends. Then he said that if he gets two more he will have enough to serve as pallbearers.

    • Astral:

      Good to hear from you. BRKA at $2,500? Could happen. A lot of the stocks that Buffett bought have gone down dramatically.

      I had a chance just after the end of the year to make a lot of money by selling my recently acquired positions, but I had sworn off my day trading and become a long-term investor. At this point it looks to have been a big mistake because almost all of those positions are under water. Don't tell pj. He thinks we are very wealthy merger arbitrage speculators. Maybe we can get him to hire us advise him and the bear now that they have become day traders.

    • Er, oops, by "Q2" I mean "Q4"

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