A three-horse video game race?

November 29, 2006

While Sony Corp. (SNE) remains mum on initial sales of PlayStation 3, a Nintendo Co. Ltd. executive says the company’s on track to meet a goal of selling 4 million Wii consoles globally by the end of the year. The risk is not geared to demand, but to its ability to manufacture enough units.

As goes Wal-Mart, so goes Wal-Mart (again?)

November 27, 2006

A 0.1 percent decline in November same-store sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) was not what the market wanted to hear on the first trading day after black Friday, judging by the approximately 1 percent decline in the S&P 500. But there’s no reason to assume Wal-Mart’s fortunes have any relevance beyond the company itself.

Google above $500: A look at valuation

November 21, 2006

Google Inc. (GOOG) crossed above $500 today. Yawn . . . Sure, it’s an exalted level. Of the more than 8,000 companies in our domestic stocks database, only 16 others can make that claim. Of that batch, only six have market capitalizations above $1 billion. Two companies, TouchTunes Music Corp. (TTMX) and NewAx Inc. (NWXJ) were below $10 million. It goes to show that if a company has a sufficiently small number of shares outstanding, 1,034 and 7,414 respectively, getting up in price can be pretty easy. Even bigger, better-known firms in the $500-plus club, such as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKa) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) get there by having a small number of outstanding shares and steadfastly refusing to split their shares.

Times Changin’ for Jukebox Musicals?

November 17, 2006

Another one bites the dust.

“The Times They Are a Changin’,” a jukebox musical based on the music of folk superstar Bob Dylan, will close this weekend after a miserable run of just 28 performances.

No surrender: Marching with consumer stocks

November 17, 2006

For a long time now the consumer has had good reason to surrender: higher interest rates, higher oil prices, sluggish economic activity, the psychological and financial impact of the housing slowdown, and so forth. Yet for some reason, that hasn’t been happening. And now, it looks like the cavalry is on the horizon.

Show us the money

November 15, 2006

Reuters reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (WMT) annual holiday price-cutting may pressure rivals more than usual this year. Undoubtedly, this will be good news for shoppers and will make great theater for observers of the retail scene.

Tuning into TiVo’s cash burn

November 14, 2006

TiVo Inc. (TIVO) hit Wall-Street paydirt today. Its announcement that it would expand a service that brings Web video to regular televisions sent its stock up nearly 5 percent as we approached mid-day. Perhaps this might be what the company needs to distinguish itself from the proliferating digital cable-boxes that include TiVo-like programming features. But it not not be enough to be right; it may have to be right quickly. Just as real estate is about location, location and location, emerging technology may depend on cash burn, cash burn and cash burn.

The Oscar curse on romance

November 10, 2006

There are two supposed “Oscar curses,” and one of them has struck again.

The first theory goes that if you win an Oscar too early in your career, your career is cursed — proponents of this one point to post-Oscar doldrums for performers such as Luise Rainer (named the Best Actress of 1936 and 1937), Mira Sorvino (Best Supporting Actress of 1995)reese.jpg and Timothy Hutton (1980’s Best Supporting Actor).

Bears turning chicken

November 10, 2006

Bears turning chicken Short interest data is an interesting double-edge sword. On the one hand, its disconcerting to see high numbers, evidence that many investors expect a decline in stock you may own or in which you have an interest. On the other hand, your share ownership could be that much more profitable if things go well for the company and the short sellers need to close positions. The list below identifies companies appearing in at least one Reuters Select screen which have also experienced a meaningful decline in short interest. http://blogs.reuters.com/2006/11/10/bears-turning-chicken?src=daiblog Bears turning chicken

A small world? Not for GigaMedia

November 9, 2006

In his classic “One Up On Wall Street” Peter Lynch describes the perfect stock, as something “that makes people shrug, retch, or turn away in disgust is ideal.”