Those that are cashed up are buying cheap assets. Aivars Lode
Friday, January 18, 2013
SLIPPING IPAD DEMAND MAY BE WORSE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT – Q4 IPAD SALES REPORTEDLY WEAKER THAN EXPECTED
It will be interesting to see if this is manipulation of Apples stock or if sales have actually fallen. Aivars Lode
Following an earlier report stating weakening demand for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad forced a big manufacturing slowdown at Apple’s panel supplier, more bad news emerges from China. According to data released by TrendForce, a China-based market research firm plugged into the supply chain in the Far East, display panel shipments for tablets grew 25.6% to 19 million units in December. The growth could be a positive note for the tablet market as a whole, but it comes alongside more troubling news for market leader Apple: According to TrendForce, fourth-quarter iPad sales were weaker than expected.
“The tablet shipment showed dramatic growth,” TrendForce noted in its report. “As Apple’s 9.7” product saw lower-than-expected sales in Q4’12, the inconsistency emerged between panel suppliers’ output and clients’ procurement. But Apple increased procurement significantly at the end of the year on concern of maintaining the following relationship with suppliers, resulting in a noticeable 25.6% growth in the overall tablet panel shipment MoM to 19.34 million units, but Apple‘s act must drag down the 9.7” product demand even more in Q1’13.”
Apple’s iPad mini undoubtedly impacted sales of the company’s full-size tablet, but Apple’s orders for December certainly would have accounted for the inevitable cannibalization of its 9.7-inch tablet. As such, TrendForce’s note that sales were weaker than expected could weigh heavy as Apple prepares to report its holiday-quarter results next week.
The firm also stated that LCD TV panel shipments declined 10.3% sequentially to 19.82 million units in December and notebook panel shipments dropped 10.7% month-over-month.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Facebook is not free, it comes at a cost, they can sell your data. So be very careful what you post if you don’t want it coming back to haunt you one day. Aivars Lode
Facebook (FB) has a lot riding on Graph Search, which was unveiled earlier this week. The company’s intra-site search engine isn’t just about finding new ways to connect users with the information they want, it’s about a next-generation advertising product that allows Facebook to woo clients with a better class of targeted ads. The wider Graph Search’s reach, the better, and Facebook has begun making moves to ensure its new search product covers as many users as possible — moves that will likely spark a new round of Facebook rage.
When you hide things on your timeline, like posts or connections, it means those things will not appear on your timeline. But, remember, anyone in the audience of those posts or who can see a connection may still see it elsewhere, like on someone else’s timeline or in search results. You can also delete or change the audience of content you post.
Facebook cited a stat that only a single-digit percentage of its users (which amounts to tens of millions of people) had previously opted out of having their content appear in search results, so the change wouldn’t be noticed by most. Of course at the time, no one knew the future of Facebook’s advertising business might ride on their data appearing in search results.
Graph Search has begun rolling out as a limited beta to users who signed up, and a full launch will take place later this year.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
As I have discussed many times over the last three years, why dividend stocks will gain importance. Aivars Lode
After a brief year-end disruption related to the fiscal cliff negotiations, the hunt for dividend income is back on with a vengeance.
“Right now, the money is flowing into our rising-dividend fund at a record rate of more than $1 million a day,” said George Schwartz, president and chief executive of Investment Counsel Inc.
Mr. Schwartz co-manages the $317 million Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund (AVEDX) along with Rick Platte.
Over the past few years, the extended stretch of record-low interest rates has spawned a growing thirst for dividend income, which is illustrated by the more than $17 billion in net asset flows into dividend-focused mutual funds last year, according to Morningstar Inc.
But even though the monthly net flows for the first 11 months of 2012 ranged from $775 million to more than $3 billion, the threat of higher taxes on dividend income trimmed net flows into the funds in December to $159 million.
What has changed since December is the threat of the taxation of dividend income as ordinary income, up from a 15% rate in 2012.
Under the fiscal cliff deal, the tax rate on dividend income jumps to 23.8% for households earning more than $450,000, or $400,000 for a single person.
The new rate, which includes a 3.8% tax on investment income to help pay for Obamacare, is considered a bonus compared with the new top ordinary income tax rate of 39.6%, up from 35% last year.
The health care law tax kicks in for households making $250,000, or $200,000 for singles, adding up to an 18.8% tax on dividends and capital gains at those income levels.
“At the end of the year, people were unloading their dividend payers, but a lot of that has since snapped back, and dividend stocks have started to resume their strong performance,” said Jay Wong, who manages the Payden Value Leaders Fund (PYVLX) at Payden & Rygel, a $65 billion asset management firm.
Categorywide asset flows for January are not yet available, but the average return of the roughly 400 dividend-paying stocks within the S&P 500 since the start of 2013 is 3.5%.
By comparison, the average return of non-dividend-payers over the same period is 3.2%.
Dividend-focused funds tracked by Morningstar produced an average return of 13.6% last year and have gained an average of 3% so far this year.
The S&P 500 gained 16% last year and is up 3.3% so far this year.
Studying just the first two weeks of January is a small sample, but the recent performance of the dividend payers does represent a stark reversal from 2012, when non-dividend-payers in the index beat dividend payers by an average of 2%, according to Mike Boyle, senior vice president at Advisors Asset Management Inc.
“Our message throughout the year was that dividend stocks have historically been successful in all tax environments, but the long and short of it is that dividend-payers might have underperformed last year due to fears of higher taxation,” he said. “I think what we're seeing now is some pent-up demand.”