10 posts • joined Wednesday 27th October 2010 02:05 GMT
I heard that Neville Chamberlain met with the kettle and afterwards declared that we would have teas in our time.
Why are dividends "lovely" ...
and share buybacks "financial engineering"? In either case, management is returning profits to shareholders. Dividends are more direct, but incur immediate taxes, buybacks are indirect, but taxes are only assessed when you sell.
So, how to explain ...
that in the most current quarter IBM and Apple had roughly the same revenue and gross margin, yet Apple spent $628 million on R&D while IBM spent $1.6 billion? Who exactly is investing in the future?
As Palmisano's comments point out, share buybacks are a way of returning profits to share holders. IBM also pays dividends - does that meet with The Register's view of how things should work or is that financial engineering as well? Perhaps IBM should send some of that to TPM so he could buy a clue.
Amazon can survive on lower margins
Look at the latest quarterly reports from Amazon and Apple. Amazon had gross margins of around 14%, Apple 41%. Amazon is built to run on low margins because it competes in retail. Amazon is going to try to change the prevailing model because it knows that Apple can't compete there.
Rail can be cheaper
US railroads have been doing a booming business in the last decade - some routes are actually maxed out. The reason? It is cheaper to offload Chinese containers in Long Beach, put it on a train to Charleston, and put it back on a boat to send it to Rotterdam than either to sail it through the Panama Canal or ship by train across Asia.
Not completely crazy
I believe the proposal is to create a REIT to own the buildings (and occasional iron mine) and an operating company to actually run the business. The operating company then pays rent to the real estate company. The overall structure has benefits due to how REITs are taxes. I would imagine that the bulk of the cost of running records storage is in the real estate. Certainly all of the investment is in building warehouses that can store 1+ million cubic feet of paper.
Not a completely outlandish thesis
I worked in a company offering digital archiving as a service (it was before an Application Service Provider became SaaS), and the security discussion came up all the time. We did some digging, and it turned out that at the time, the industry estimate was that 75% of all data theft occurred behind the firewall, and close to 100% of data vandalism was done by insiders. I shared that data with someone that worked with financial compnies and his response was that the 75% number was closer to 90% as most of the time the bad guys had gotten some employee's credentials. Their analysis was that a well constructed external archive was no worse than one stored internally, and depending on the data center certifications (NIST, SAS 70, etc.) could be more secure, especially for smaller organizations. His recommendation was that if you are really concerned, encrypt the data.
As far as data mysteriously moving around - at least AWS will guarantee that if you put your data in Dublin, it stays in Dublin.
Not sure I understand the anger
Timothy seems to have a bug up his backside regarding IBM. I don't understand the constant carping about share buy backs. There are two ways that a company can return profits to shareholders - dividends obviously put money directly into the shareholders pocket, but if you accept that a stock's street price is related to EPS, then buying shares will drive the price of the stock up, giving the shareholder value.The advantage of the latter approach is that the stockholder gets to choose when the profits are taxed whereas dividends are taxed immediately.
I guess the third way is to invest in the business to come up with new stuff to sell, thereby growing the business long term. On that measure, Apple and IBM had about the same revenue last quarter. Apple spent 464 million on R&D, IBM 1.4 billion. I guess it is cheaper to invest in shiny.
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