Yahoo! Mail Insanity Continues

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Yesterday I had to log out of my Yahoo! e-mail account and when I logged back in, I was confused.  “What am I looking at?” I asked myself.  That wasn’t my Yahoo! mail!  I squinted, trying to make sense of it all.  I felt like I had suddenly developed cataracts and couldn’t see.

Without warning (as has become the standard with Yahoo!) their e-mail format has changed, once again.  They have now separated our e-mail for us, how “nice,” into the day, month, and who knows what else, that it was delivered.  Right there in our inbox.  So now, instead of a nice clear list of e-mails, there are different fonts and indentations all over the page, causing your eye to literally have to jump around to try and find something you need on the list.  It looks like gibberish.  It is not clear, organized or easy to follow.  And there is no way to fix it and go back to the old format.

With reportedly millions of users, why doesn’t Yahoo! consider their users’ interests and preferences?  I would.  At the very least, they should advise us of upcoming changes, and provide an option to keep things the way we have been using them for decades.  But I guess that would make sense, and their decisions over the last few years usually don’t.

During this time frame, Yahoo! mail has been an on-and-off nightmare of software programming dysfunction.  Every time it seems to be fixed, more problems occur.  These problems have made it so that it cannot be trusted to serve your needs in any reliable capacity.

Yahoo! did finally fix their home page news issues, but the months of problems before they did simply point to terrible management.  There is no other way to look at the repeated, serious failures on their part to provide products that work.

So why is Yahoo! such a poorly-run company?  I’m not sure why they make the decisions that they do, but I have read news reports that have described irrational rigidity of behavior as being an issue with the company’s leadership.

The obvious irony of it all is that if Yahoo!’s management actually used it’s own products, these problems would never have been allowed to continue in the way that they have.  That is of course, presuming that the management is mentally competent and cares about the quality of their business.  Whatever the underlying problems, those responsible for the poor quality of the software products should be replaced with people who are capable of managing their departments and their products successfully.

Maybe one day soon, when the stock is no longer a tech darling, there will be administrative changes that put the right people in the right positions to eliminate this type of bad management.  Until then, we will need to either learn to adapt to these problems, or find another provider for our online needs.

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Yahoo! Hello, is there anyone there at all?

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Just a quick note to anyone over at yahoo.com.  Are you aware that your financial charts are not only still not working, but now they are even worse than the last time I reported on it?  Now quotes are not updating for real time and charts and graphs are not displaying the correct current information.

In addition, for several days, e-mail accounts have been problematic, not allowing access to information without a long delay and other issues.  I thought we were passed all of that, but I guess you still haven’t figured out how to roll out changes without disrupting service to your customers.

And the 12 month quote for Baidu is STILL in Chinese currency.  Seriously…

YY reports it doubled revenues this quarter

by,

Suzanne Coleman

YY is China’s online social networking, gaming and music platform, similar to our facebook (FB), but with more features and it monetizes user activity as well.  YY just reported great earnings with an increase of approximately 100% year over year.  This stock just may do very well in your portfolio and I recommend that you check it out.

I’ll have you do your own research but its current price (before earnings) was about half of its estimated 12 month price.  Now that earnings are in, I would think that that 12 month estimate may increase.

I would keep in mind that for some reason this well-perfoming company has a bit of an erratic stock price history.  Also, factor in the unknowns about investing in a company in China.

This stock reminds me of Yahoo! (YHOO) back in 1996.  Time will tell the tale.

 

Reasonability

If you keep playing with that, you're going to get hurt. © Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.

If you keep playing with that, you’re going to get hurt.
© Suzanne Coleman, all rights reserved.

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Is that even a word?  I have been wanting to ask the stock trading community this:  what is reasonable, and what is not?  Let’s talk PE.

I started trading during the “birth” of the internet, basically when companies that utilized it for profit were being born and growing, and the computer industry came along with them hand-in-hand.

At this time, people were piling into technology stocks, why wouldn’t you, when all they do is keep going up?  PEs were insane, or that’s what the older generation told me.  They were normal to me 🙂  I was told that a good, stable company should have a PE of 7 or 8, and a high-growth company might be safe at a PE of 15.  Hmm…

Well, in the internet days, a good stable, safe company would have a PE of 30.  An insane company that everyone wanted to own (was it cool like an iPhone?) might have a PE of over 100, up to, gosh I can’t even remember for sure, but probably up to 500-700.  Yeah, like I said, it was insane.

So now, almost 20 years later, I am looking at stocks again, some of the very same stocks I watched or owned back then, and trying to adjust to today’s market psychology and culture.  It’s hard.  Here is why.

Let’s start with a biggie, Amazon (AMZN), wow.  Well, I had that sucker for a really long time, I believed in it, I thought this damn company has a great idea, it will change the world.  Well, it did…  But its stock price fell along with many other great stocks during the “hell freezes over” period of my investment history.  That was in the early 2000s if I recall correctly.  So, I was holding on to it, it was once maybe $350 or so, and then came down to maybe $84.  Finally I decided to sell it, I was being too LOYAL (big issue to avoid), holding on to it, hoping it would eventually return to its glory days.  Well, then, of course, it did rise back up after years of just sitting there like a lump on a log (while I waited), and now it’s back up to over 300, and has even been at 400.  Wow.  If only we could predict these things…

So here’s the rub, AMZN is now at 310 with a PE of… ok, I guess they are now losing money so the PE is not listed.  Not too long ago, it was in the hundreds, maybe like 600?  My question to you all, is this, why would you continue to buy up a stock that is seriously over-valued?  I mean, you could lose almost all of your money if it drops down to where it should be.  It seems a bit like drug-induced insanity to me… what am I missing?  Have I gotten too old for this?

Then on the opposite side of the insane spectrum, let’s look at Apple (APPL).  They just reported earnings that were 38% over expectations.  No big deal, right?  Because we all know that Apple has a great history of blowing away even the highest of earnings expectations.  Are we nuts?  Maybe.  Their PE before this data was factored in was about 17.  Pretty reasonable for a company that is still growing and spreading into places like China, with over a billion tech-hungry citizens.  Why not buy Apple?  I’m not sure when Apple became this generation’s IBM, but that’s what it looks like has happened.  Almost no activity on the earnings news, or before it.  Odd.  The 12-month target will be revised upward and the stock price will go up with it.  So, you would think there would be buying now.  Maybe they are expecting a dip tomorrow or this week.  Maybe they fear… any of many things which may impact this activity.  But if you conclude it’s an overall conservatism, it is not.  See… Netflix (NFLX).

Netflix also reported better than expected earnings, just a few days ago (and I really should have bought it when I thought about it at 380, damn…) and is since up over 20%.  Their PE is over 100.  Hmm…  yes, they are also expanding into areas around the world, which is smart, but to buy in at a PE of 100 or more, isn’t really that smart.  I wonder if the “reason” that people do this is that they think it’ll (like Amazon and Yahoo! used to) keep going up, and if they don’t buy in now, they’ll never get to own a piece of it at these prices.  And, so far, in this instance, well this week, they’ve been right.

Look back a few months and you’ll see, well, let’s go to a 12 month chart… you can see that Netflix, like many other stocks these days that seem to do well, has been all over the place, with prices rising and falling significant amounts.  There is a high risk of buying in at a high point, and riding it all of the way down into the subway station.  And then, if you choose, you can end up waiting there for a plane to show up and fly you back up into the clouds.  Dramatic?  Yes, it can be.  There can be tears, there can be exhaultation (literally), so how and when do you decide to jump on a train and see where it will take you?

Let’s go back to Apple.  Strong growth, strong earnings, stable company, good leadership.  Since other big, stable companies are reporting earnings declines and less-than-enthusiastic forecasts, wouldn’t you expect more investors to move their money into Apple and out of those losers?  I mean, growth and stability, how can you go wrong with that?  We’ll see what happens.  I know that most big investors are already in Apple, that may be why there hasn’t been much movement today after earnings were reported to the public.

So what do you think?

 

 

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