Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama Peace Prize Tax Deduction

So President Obama wins the peace prize. Seems a little early in his administration but we all wanted him to get it. The Nobel Peace Prize comes with a very serious cash award which is welcome by almost all manner of recipients. President Obama to his credit claims he will donate the funds to charity. This should generate a nice tax deduction. But will he claims the Peace Prize as income or is this considered to be a non taxable windfall. If its not taxable income and he gets a tax deduction, the US citizen just subsidized a peculiar manoeuvre in personal finance.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Adobe Reffirms its Guidance. Why??

Adobe (ADBE) just a short three weeks following it’s last guidance found reason to re-affirm its guidance for the current quarter which has a full eight weeks to go. Come on guy’s. Either the market does not believe and needs neurotic assurances, or something big is brewing and management knows it’s in the bag. Of course the share price is at its 52 week high and might need a little something to break out. Seems like there is a strange tone to the publicity drum. But hey maybe its just me.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Alcoa Major Changes in Fair Value of Hedged Aluminum

Alcoa (AA) announced their long awaited quarterlies and managed to serve up improved results. While the investors afflicted with manic depressive behaviour may celebrate the improvement other investors will soon start to ask “where’s the rest of it” These are just baby steps and not conclusive.

By the way if you read the balance sheet you’ll notice a huge drop in fair value of hedged aluminum. Some $500 million. You would think that Alcoa would make a comment about this radical change.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Mosaic No Guidance But Positive Executive Comments

Mosaic (MOS) reported its Q1 numbers and really stuck its neck out with this comment hidden in its press release.

“Mosaic is not providing financial guidance on potash sales volumes or MOP selling price until market conditions normalize.”

All this in the context of a revenue drop from approximately $4.3 to $1.5 Billion. Mosaic is in a commodities business. Implicitly to operate you must have a view on prices.

Yet they feel comfortable with this quote "Phosphate fundamentals have improved. The potash market is evolving and we expect strong demand in calendar year 2010 for both nutrients," said Jim Prokopanko, Mosaic's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our long-term outlook for crop nutrients remains positive and we continue to execute our strategic plans designed to drive strong cash flow and shareholder value."

The stock popped nicely for those who understood the doublespeak.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bank of America Emergency CEO?

Bank of America (BAC) is considering an emergency CEO given that Ken Lewis may suddenly get real busy with legal issues. Emergency CEO’s do not work. Look at the AIG experience. Congress just whips them for stuff they did not do. What you really want is a CEO who demands access to the corporate jet. Then you know you have the right gunslinger.

The board is still not on top of the leadership issue much less where do we go from here.