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Mercury General Corporation Message Board

thejumpingsheep 22 posts  |  Last Activity: 22 hours ago Member since: Apr 30, 2003
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  • Reply to

    If PETM is worth 80, BBBY is worth 90

    by teknowiz Jul 10, 2014 11:56 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep 22 hours ago Flag

    Eh although I like BBBY more and hold BBBY shares, its not fair to compare. PETM is growing faster and their margins are increasing while BBBY margins are definitely under pressure. PETM is also less cyclical and not dependent on any market specifically while BBBY is somewhat dependent on real estate movement which is slow at this time. One thing I like about BBBY however is the rapid buy backs while PETM is still diluting. PETM does offer a nice growing divvy however and their EPS is still growing despite dilution which tells me they are spending it correctly.

    In all fairness I would not buy PETM at this time. The price is not attractive to me. BBBY however was a steal in the mid $50. If BBBY can show some nice revenue growth and a slightly improved margin by the next two quarters we should P/E grow to about 15 which will get us to the low $70s easily. I just wish they had a token divvy but thats fine as long as they do buybacks the way they have been.

  • Reply to

    obamas performance

    by colonelflashmanvc Jun 28, 2014 5:00 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep 22 hours ago Flag

    The only huge blunder as far as I am concerned is healthcare. The other stuff is minor at best and I do think he handled the Ukraine and Syria exactly right by not getting us more involved no matter what it took. Libya was all bs. We should have never been there to begin with and getting attacked in a country that was basically 3rd world is not exactly shocking or news worthy. The folks there knew the risks exactly and were getting paid extremely well for it. Sorry they died but expecting us to spend more money on a country like that is equally asinine and yes, i do believe that there is a financial limit to human life especially that of political workers who do next to nothing useful. Now if it were doctors then I would be upset but they were not. They were there for the money plain and simple. I do feel bad for the military that was there however. I do think obama is a moron for pressing obamacare and for that he gets two thumbs down. I also resent his constant injection into race politics. The president should not be black or white, he is supposed to be above that but that is a minor pr issue that really had no beating on anything. Ultimately Zimmerman was found not guilty so Obama didnt matter and clearly he did not do anything to obstruct the trial else it would have gone another way. I do think it will be nice to see him go.

  • Reply to

    future earnings

    by max132se Jul 27, 2014 12:19 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep 22 hours ago Flag

    EPL has been around a very long time... very long time. They were around when we came to the USA back in the 80's. They are not growing fast at all. Many have been closed and many others are always empty. The food is not bad, but it is extremely expensive and portions are very small. Try it sometime. The chicken they get is very small kind of like KFC. Their restaurants are indeed very old (and some dirty) now but given price and portions it really wont matter. Chipotle works because their are about 15% more expensive but portions are about 200%-300% larger. People go there because you get two meals for $6 and they are not bad. $6 buys you a small taco bell size burrito at EPL. Not economical for middle and low middle class customers. It also wont attract upper middle because all of them have Costco memberships.

  • Reply to

    Mllenials love the crazy chicken

    by scotie23 Jul 27, 2014 5:06 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep 23 hours ago Flag

    Negative. Mellinials cannot afford EPL because it is expensive and the portions are very small. My studio is across the street from one in San Diego, want to know how many times my 8 employees (6 of which are under 25) went to eat there? Only once when I took them there for a business lunch. They always go down a block or two to an alternative restaraunt or drive 10 minutes to costco to save $5-$10.

  • Reply to

    El Pollo Loco is the best

    by terscanlan Jul 26, 2014 10:19 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep 23 hours ago Flag

    Uh anyone who has a Costco nearby gets bigger and better grilled chicken at 1/2 of the price. The Costco chicken is huge compared to the tiny parts you get a EPL and you get a full chicken for $4.99 that is perfectly grilled and moist. EPL chicken is good but cannot compare to Costco. A full mini chicken at EPL will run you about $10 which is a total rip off.

    The burrito you are talking about is #$%$. Sorry but no one in SoCal goes to EPL for a burrito when they have real Mexican restaurants on every corner (some are very very good). The burrito is tasteless and needs to be drowned in salsa to be edible. It is also incredibly expensive at about $5.50 and it tiny. Like their chicken parts, this burrito is almost exactly half the size of any burrito purchased anywhere else for $4-$5. The burritos as Chipotle are probably 3x bigger due to all the filling.

    I think the point I am trying to make is that EPL has some serious competition. Anywhere that has Mexican hole in the walls will win over EPL burrito's and tacos. Any place that has a Costco can get a chicken that is twice the size at 1/2 the price of EPL. Anywhere that has a chipotle will also have good burritos at a lower price that is much more filling. This is why, despite being decades old, EPL has completely and utterly failed at mass expansion while all the others are growing like wild weeds. They went public to cash out knowing that they are going no where fast. So go public, increase salaries to execs, make a ton, cash out and move on. Thats not to say there is no potential here but if you go the EPL's around San Diego they are empty 95% of the time for a reason. Some are just nasty due to the quality of workers. If EPL wants to succeed, the first thing that needs to happen is a complete overhaul of its execs. They need to be removed and replaced pronto but that isnt going to happen.

  • Reply to

    Ask one question....

    by johnberchick Jul 24, 2014 11:04 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 25, 2014 1:57 AM Flag

    Completely ignoring competition from brick and mortars who already have good distribution. As I explained in a thread earlier, this year I have purchased exactly 1 item from Amazon and it was a iJoy chair for $799 which is a high enough price item that it was worth it to buy it tax free from an out of state seller. In the past, I would have spent thousands on dozens of products on Amazon but they are no longer the price leader and they simply dont run enough specials when I need them. Recently my favorite retailer is Bed Bath and Beyond. They are cheaper because they always have 20% off coupons. Ive spent at least $2k there this year due to moving to a bigger house. For electronics Newegg is almost always cheaper and Frys electronics (as well as Best Buy) match prices. WMT online also offers similar pricing to Amazon. For Video games Steam and GoG has put a ton of pressure on Amazon. For Cameras there is bhphoto which has better prices almost always and will match as needed.

    I think that competition is actually Amazons biggest problem. I think Bezos knows this which is why he wants to make his own product and build his brand. Whether or not this works remains to be seen but it is risky.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 25, 2014 1:48 AM Flag

    Oh come on. I doubt even you are that stupid so this must be just another one of those lame shorts who were late to the game. At the very least, if you looked at revenue and revenue growth and margins, its worth about $100 to $150 depending on growth opinion.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 25, 2014 1:46 AM Flag

    Rofl a little history lesson... Apple almost went out of business due to spending under Jobs a long time ago. Thats why he was pushed out. If he had stayed there is a very good chance that would have gone under or gotten bought out long ago before any i-product was ever introduced. Not that Amazon is the same, frankly I think Amazon is overpriced, but still the history is interesting.

  • Reply to

    12 Cents miss means 12% drop ?

    by r_henry09 Jul 25, 2014 12:05 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 25, 2014 1:34 AM Flag

    Its not about the miss, its about investors losing faith that AMZN will turn a huge profit from these un-retail like investments. You have to remember that Amazon is currently valuated at about 2/3 the value of Walmart but with only 1/7 of the revenue. We already know that Amazon net margins are about the same as Walmart on average due to extra shipping costs. They also cannot increase margins on retail products very much because they are already very efficient compared to brick and mortar. This means that the valuation is based entirely on the idea of revenue growth and margin growth. The growth is indeed much more rapid than WMT however how long will it continue is anyone's guess. Certainly the rate seems to be slowing however all the capital investment being made is a huge glaring unknown. That said, so far, despite these investments growth appears to be slowing which is a bad sign and is probably why investors are nervous.

    The question they are asking is what if these capital investments fail? What if revenue is slowing because they are hitting the saturation point on online retail? What if its due to insane competition indicating that pressure will continue indefinitely. As it stands now, I have ordered less than half of what I used to from Amazon in past years because other retailers have picked up the slack and many offer better pricing. Bed Bath & Beyond is currently a favorite especially with the 20% discount on everything making them cheaper than Amazon on pretty much anything they offer. For electronics you cannot beat Newegg. For hardware Amazon always sucked and HD and Lowes both have better pricing. The only things I get from Amazon is video games but even that is under huge pressure thanks to Steam, GoG, and others.

    So given all the above, what is a fair valuation? If we assume that Amazon will be going the way of Walmart in 5 years then fair value would be about $100. Obviously this is subjective but you can see why investors are scared.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 9, 2014 8:47 PM Flag

    Old post but I figured I would comment anyway. Resale housing is low. Number of sales has been declining due to very low inventory and extremely high prices. I assume LL is much more tied to real estate than HD and others who are not as specialized in renovations. I dont think LL has major contracts with builders since they can bypass middle men entirely thus new home starts do not help LL.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 9, 2014 8:34 PM Flag

    Any fundamental reason why this should stay above 20 p/e? ive only shopped there once for some laminate and that was 3 years ago. Since then I renovated 3 condos and an office and found that Home Depot was cheaper for both laminate and wood flooring. Of course I get installation elsewhere. Then there is the anemic realty market that is going nowhere due to lack of inventory and high prices.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:54 AM Flag

    You do understand that for $18 to happen again you would need 3 things.

    #1 complete negative market sentiment towards mREITs which did actually happen mid last year. The problem with sentiment however is that it is short lived and unpredictable and completely unreliable. If you invest based on sentiment alone then you should quit now and open a pizza parlor.

    #2 Almost overnight interest rate increase to about 6%. Recall last year we had an overnight increase from low 3% to 4.5% when the feds finally stated they would start to taper. It was investors that pushed the rate up and now it has fallen back to low 4's despite further fed tapering... meaning that 4% is the real actual market rate. To see it jump to 6% overnight would mean that our economy is so strong and people are buying houses and such so fast that we cannot keep up so we need to slow them down instantly. This isn't happening right now. Real estate is anemic.

    #3 Margins must be shrinking at the same time as all of the above. But margins are already weak... they really cannot get much worse. It can happen but right now it does not seem likely.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:46 AM Flag

    S&P did but the broad market did not. AGNC is up about 12% and the DOW is up about 14% (taking divs into account). Shrug, not a big deal. S&P did better but their P/E is above historic average. Which means it will eventually come down unless earnings grow very very fast while the S&P remains flat. But chances are we are heading into a recession soon so flip a coin, buckle up and take a side.

  • Reply to

    Going back $22

    by shoathai Jun 26, 2014 11:11 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:40 AM Flag

    What where you expecting? Its an mREIT lol. Dividends will always fluctuate wildly as will BV. Bottom line however is what you collected along the way. In general, mREITs that survive the long haul will double your investment every 8-10 years. Not bad compared to the general market and that assumes no reinvestment of any kind. If you reinvest, then the number will be higher on average however I dont recommend blind reinvestment. I like to hoard cash and deploy manually.

  • thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:35 AM Flag

    And before that it was going up for several years. So what? In the meantime the investors have enjoyed a 12%-20% yield per year. When price goes back up, as it always does eventually, those investors will have made out like bandits doubling their investment every 6-8 years without even reinvesting any of it.

  • Reply to

    The rise in the 10-year

    by owens132000 Jul 2, 2014 9:52 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:32 AM Flag

    I can see BV going up by why do you feel that income is increasing? I have not seen any indication that margins have improved much.. then again I have not been monitoring all that closely. Loss going forward is a good thing because it lets them keep capital for investment. It does not really hurt investors very much in the long run.

  • Reply to

    Easy money

    by fred_red_oak Jun 30, 2014 1:20 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jul 3, 2014 11:27 AM Flag

    Be careful, this is not always true. Many times, they drop on impulse and end up a few days later. Its about the margins & BV. The interest rates do change book value which in turn can hurt if a company is over levered as BV drops. However there are times when BV drops and margins widen. Look at history.

    All that said, I have a feeling that long rates will remain at below 5% for a very long time. Probably at least 2-3 years if not 5-6 years. Further, despite fed tapering, interest rates have actually declined in the last 6 months which means that the rates were actually artificially inflated by investors on the news and only fell back to what they are supposed to be over time which seems to be the low 4% on the long term. Again, be careful. Look at the long term graph vs. interest rates. Higher rates do not always result in lower price nor does the opposite guarantee higher prices.

  • Reply to

    obamas performance

    by colonelflashmanvc Jun 28, 2014 5:00 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jun 30, 2014 10:31 AM Flag

    Good retort for the most part however I need to point out a few things about where people get news. Almost no "progressive" under the age of 40 watches tv for news any more. Conservatives by definition, are much more likely to watch TV because by definition, they are not as "comfortable" with tech (progress). Sorry but its true in general although it is slowly changing as new generations of conservative are born into the internet era. Since news hubs list things by popularity and views and since online involvement remains in favor of progressives, this is why more liberal articles than conservative stuff. It has nothing to do with Google or Yahoo bias. As the numbers equalize, the articles will become more variant but people need to stop watching the dummy tube... there is a reason why its called that. All that said, you will find it interesting that conservatives actually spend more time on forums than their counterparts albeit most of the time its to vent anger. You give MSNBC too much credit.

    The number of bills passing are not really telling. Sometimes its better when nothing gets through. Frankly, I think both populist groups are so #$%$ that we are better off when nothing is passed, at least this has been the case since Nixon. I wish we had blocked Reagan , Bush, Clinton, and Obama at every step. We would be much better off today if we had since I cant think of a single good thing coming out of any of those imbeciles.

  • Reply to

    obamas performance

    by colonelflashmanvc Jun 28, 2014 5:00 PM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jun 30, 2014 10:12 AM Flag

    Bush projected what? Do you realize how asinine that statement is? No one, NO ONE is afraid of Bush. He was the laughing stock of the world. They were so scared of Bush I & II that they went and hijacked not one, but two planes and shoved them straight into our two towers. Then they threw a sandal at his face. Projected impotence is more like it. Say what you will about Obama, but at least he did not lie to start a war for his buddies. He did screw us on the healthcare thing but even that is questionable because what we got was nothing like what he has originally intended... you can blame that on the obstructionists in office and we all know who they are. The healthcare bill was destroyed by earmarks. I think Obama should have killed it but then you would be on here stating stupid things like he is indecisive. Lol people really are a laugh and so predictable.

  • Reply to

    $40 Tomorrow - Sell Short

    by drmlk3 Jun 26, 2014 10:23 AM
    thejumpingsheep thejumpingsheep Jun 29, 2014 5:05 AM Flag

    How is that working out for you? lol.

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