February 10 Post

Hi Again,

Now that Dow hit 20,000 psychological mark, people are talking about Dow 30,000. As a contrarian, this is alarming. I would not be surprised to see Dow at 10,000 before it gets to 30,000. According to technical analysts bond market and the foreign currency markets are sending danger signals to the stock market. Monetary, Fiscal and political situation is undergoing huge changes and to expect the stock market to go smooth sailing for a long time is nothing but a pipe dream. However this is good for us as it will us opportunities to add more to our portfolio.

Removing Dodd Frank and other regulations open up the market for massive fraud schemes and this time around the Federal Reserve as well as the Federal Government would not be able to bail out the system. Most to suffer would be the average Joe and not the Wall Street billionaires.  Removal of the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 was a huge mistake and more deregulation could do us real harm. The pain the country felt in the 1930s led to the Glass Steagall; I guess we did not feel much pain from the recent mortgage crisis. 

Glaxo Smith Kline-GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) reports fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, with investors looking for guidance on the fate of its key Advair drug in the U.S. and the recent pace of organic growth for new products sales. The group is expected to announce earnings per share of £0.24 on sales of £7.48 billion ($9.25 billion) for the three months ending in December, according to Factset estimates. Net profit for the quarter is forecast at £1.1 billion, up from a £354 million loss in the year-ago period. For the full year, analysts see sales of £27.7 billion and earnings per share of £1.01. Currency tailwinds are expected to play a significant role in the company's top and bottom line, however, with the company's reporting currency, the pound, falling 4.77% against the U.S. dollar over the October to December period. Glaxo takes one third of its sales from the United States. "We expect GSK to deliver 16% Core EPS growth in 2017 but 14% of this will be FX tailwind... We therefore forecast 2.6% [constant exchange rate] growth as strong high single-digit underlying growth is impacted by generic Advair in the US," said Roger Franklin at Liberum Capital. Perhaps more importantly, investors will be keen to hear further guidance on expectations surrounding Advair sales, because the drug maker has seen a growing line of competitors threatening to encroach on its blockbuster asthma treatment over the last year. (James Skinner, The Street, 2/7/17)

GM, Ford- Auto industry sales volume slipped 1.9% year over year in January, from 1.16 million light vehicles sold during January 2016 to 1.14 million last month. On the bright side, January's seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate (SAAR) of 17.57 million outpaced Wall Street's consensus forecast of 17.3 million, even if it was slightly below last year's 17.62 million result. "It's tricky to use January as a bellwether for how auto sales will trend for the year," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, in an email. "It's the lowest volume month and only accounts for 6 percent of annual sales on average. But 2017 is already proving to be a year unlike any other -- expectations were that sales were going to level off or decline, but the president has proven a bit of an X-factor..." Among full-line automakers, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. were the only ones to post year-over-year gains; Detroit automakers Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F), General Motors(NYSE:GM), and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU), among others, were left behind. (Daniel Miller The Motley Fool, 2/5/17)

Disney- Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) reports its first-quarter results for fiscal 2017 after the market close on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The entertainment giant is going into the report on a solid note from both a business and stock momentum standpoint. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released in mid-December, has been dominating box offices around the world. After struggling for more than a year, Disney's stock has moved steadily upwards since November, gaining more than 16% since Nov. 1 -- about double the S&P 500's 8% gain, as of Jan. 26. That said, investors should be prepared for Disney to post headline numbers that don't look so magical because it's facing extremely tough year-over-year comparables. Revenue rose 14% and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) soared 28% in the year-ago period, driven largely by the phenomenal success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened before the holidays in 2015. Disney doesn't provide earnings guidance. Analysts are expecting The House of Mouse will earn $1.50 per share on revenue of $15.29 billion, representing a year-over-year earnings decline of 8% on approximately flat revenue growth. Long-term investors shouldn't pay too much attention to analysts' estimates since Wall Street is focused on the short term. However, these expectations can be helpful to know as they often help explain market reactions. Within media networks, Disney's largest and most profitable segment, investors should continue to focus on the cable networks business. This lucrative business has been under pressure due to declining subscriber counts as a result of cable cord-cutting and cord-slimming. ESPN's loss of subscribers has been the most concerning because the leading sports cable network is a cash cow.(Bet McKenna, 2/4/17)

Apple- Driven by strong demand for the IPhone7 and 7 Plus, Apple reported first quarter fiscal 2017 results with revenue and EPS above our and consensus estimates. We believe double digit percentage growth in the installed base of IPhone users positions Apple for strong sales and earnings growth with the IPhone 8 upgrade, dye later in calendar 2017. Apple ended first quarter fiscal 2017 at the low end of its target inventory range of five to seven weeks, with demand for the IPhone Plus remaining above supply. But supply reached demand during January, yielding a larger presence of 7 Plus in the total IPhone mix, and with an average sale price of $695 versus the consensus of $685. Adding to that the Samsung Galaxy issues, we see Apple extending its market share in the premium tier smart phone installed base, exceeding 570 million as we exit calendar 2016. We see a stronger upgrade cycle in fiscal 2018 with the 10 year anniversary IPhone 8 likely in September 2017 (Barron’s, 2/5/17).

Have a great month!