Everyone needs salt (Compass Minerals).

August 23, 2009
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I was on vacation last week, but I’m back and I brought Compass Minerals (CMP) with me. Compass Minerals operates a number of salt mines, and sells rock salt for road de-icing and more refined salt for industrial purposes and consumption by humans and animals. They also produce potash fertilizers. Compass claims to be one […]


Coinstar, proudly suing people for their movies since 2008

August 12, 2009

My loyal reader(s) who have been following this blog may recall that I called Coinstar a candidate for shorting . At the time it was at 25.91, and it is now at 36.15. So, that’s probably not my best work, although I maintain that the company’s return on its investments is too low to justify […]


Copper pennies and arbitrage (Retail Ventures and DSW).

August 8, 2009

My good friend Mike (here and here) recently left a comment about copper mines, which got me thinking about copper pennies. In 1982, the US Mint stopped making pennies out of 95% copper, and started making them out of copper-plated zinc. Even now that the price of copper dropped back down, copper pennies presently contain […]


Quick update on the USEC loan guarantee

August 4, 2009

It now appears that the Department of Energy has agreed to defer a ruling on USEC’s loan guarantee application until “specific technological and financial goals have been met. The general consensus before the announcement of the pending denial a week ago was that the legislation for the loan guarantee program was tailor-made to allow USEC […]


Not afraid of inflation, but… (Rayonier)

August 2, 2009

With $787 billion in stimulus, $700 billion in TARP money, deficits projected to hit $1.8 trillion, the Federal Reserve cutting rates to effectively nothing, and Neil Barofsky, the government’s inspector general of TARP estimating a $23.7 trillion total risk exposure to the financial crisis, it is only natural to worry about inflation. Of course, that […]