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Musings on Markets's Blog

Apple and Amazon at a Trillion $: Looking Back and Looking Forward!

September 19, 2018 Comments (0)

For most of us, even envisioning a trillion dollars is difficult to do, a few more zeros than we are used to seeing in numbers. Thus, when Apple’s market capitalization exceeded a trillion on August 2, 2018, it was greeted with commentary, and when Amazon’s market capitalization also exceeded a trillion just over a month later on September 4, 2018, there was more of the same. I have not only admired both companies, but tracked and valued them repeatedly over the last twenty years. There is...

Trillion Dollar Toppers: Market Triggers, Value Drivers and Pricing Catalysts!

September 10, 2018 Comments (0)

In the last few weeks, the market capitalization of Apple and Amazon each hit a trillion dollars, a threshold not seen before in public markets. Predictably, that has drawn press attention and commentary about what this moment means for markets, investors and the companies themselves. As readers of this blog know, I have followed both companies and valued them for more than two decades, and this is as good a time as any to see how they got to where they are today, and what the future holds...

Deja Vu In Turkey: Currency Crisis and Corporate Insanity!

August 15, 2018 Comments (0)

This has been a year of rolling crises, some originating in developed markets and some in emerging markets, and the market has been remarkably resilient through all of them. It is now Turkey's turn to be in the limelight, though not in a way it hoped to be, as the Turkish Lira enters what seems like a death spiral, that threatens to spill over into other emerging markets. There is plenty that can be said about the macro origins of this crisis, with Turkey's leaders and central bank bearing a...

The Privatization of Tesla:

August 10, 2018 Comments (0)

After my last two posts in Tesla, I was planning to take a break from the company, since I had said everything that I had to say about the company. In short, I argued that Tesla, notwithstanding its growth potential, was over valued and that to deliver on this potential, it would need to raise significant amounts of capital in the next few years. In an even earlier post, I described Tesla as the ultimate story stock, both blessed and cursed by having Elon Musk as a CEO, a visionary with a...

The Privatization of Tesla: Stray Tweet or Game Changing News?

August 10, 2018 Comments (0)

After my last two posts in Tesla, I was planning to take a break from the company, since I had said everything that I had to say about the company. In short, I argued that Tesla, notwithstanding its growth potential, was over valued and that to deliver on this potential, it would need to raise significant amounts of capital in the next few years. In an even earlier post, I described Tesla as the ultimate story stock, both blessed and cursed by having Elon Musk as a CEO, a visionary with a...

Country Risk: A Midyear Update for 2018

August 6, 2018 Comments (0)

While political and trade wars are brewing around the world, centered on globalization, the enduring truth is that the globalization genie is out of the bottle, and no political force can put it back. Encouraged to spread their bets around the world, investors have shed some of the home bias in their investing and added foreign equities to their portfolios. Even those that have stayed invested with companies in their own markets are finding that those companies derive large chunks of their...

Share Count Confusion: Dilution, Employee Options and Multiple Share Classes!

July 25, 2018 Comments (0)

In my last post, just about four weeks ago, I valued Tesla, and as with all of my Tesla valuations, I got feedback, much of it heated. My valuation of Tesla was $186, in what I termed my base case, and there were many who disputed that value, from both directions. There were some who felt that I was being too pessimistic in my assessments of Tesla's growth potential, but there were many more who argued that I was being too optimistic. In either case, I have no desire to convert you to my...

Twists and Turns in the Tesla Story : A Boring, Boneheaded Update!

July 5, 2018 Comments (0)

There are lots of complaints that you can have about Tesla, but being boring is not one of them. It helps to have a CEO who seems to find new ways to make himself newsworthy, in good and bad ways. In fact, if Tesla were a reality show, the twists and turns in its fate would give it sky-high ratings and put the Kardashians to shame. Consequently, it should comes as no surprise that there is no other company where investors disagree more about the future than Tesla, with bulls finding new...

User and Subscriber Businesses: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

July 5, 2018 Comments (0)

In a series of posts over the course of the last year, I argued that you can value users and subscribers at businesses, using first principles in valuation, and have used the approach to value Uber riders, Amazon Prime members and Spotify & Netflix subscribers. With each iteration, I have learned a few things about user value and ways of distinguishing between user bases that can create substantial value from user bases that not only are incapable of creating...

Amazon: Glimpses of Shoeless Joe?

July 5, 2018 Comments (0)

It was just over two weeks ago that I started my posts on the FANG stocks, starting with Facebook, which I decided to buy, because I felt that notwithstanding its current pariah status, its user base was too valuable to pass by, at the prevailing market price. I then looked at Netflix, a company that has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to the challenges thrown at it, while changing the entertainment business, but is, at least in my view, in a content cost/user cycle that will be difficult...