The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Company Specific]

Wow.

Woke up this morning to the little update marker on my Priv.

It's February 1st, and BlackBerry did commit to regular, monthly updates of the system software.  Google does so too, with their unlocked Nexus phones.

BlackBerry pushed it first.  It's a small update, only 17MB, and it's updating now - there's no release notes to show exactly what was changed, and it's too small to be Marshmallow (by far), but I do like this pattern of support and updates being pushed out on a regular basis.

Keeping promises?  How nice.

In other news BlackBerry increased their stock buyback -- while their stock was getting hammered.  That's the right to way to do it, and the way nobody else ever does.  The whole point is to buy low, not buy high.  Witness Apple, which bought back a crap-ton of stock at $130 with analysts claiming that it was a "good move" because they'd spend $1.50 a share in interest expense but the stock paid somewhat over $2 in dividends, so heh, it all looks good, right?

Sure it does -- when you take a $30 capital loss how long does it take to make that back at 70 cents/year, and by the way, will interest rates remain that low for that long?

Probably not, and if not...

smiley

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Remember folks, with negative operating cash flow Netflix has only been able to "fund" their "content" by issuing and more and more debt.

What happens when you can't do that at a commercially-reasonable rate any more?

Yes, the stock is down 9% right now as perhaps people are waking up to this "little problem."

It'll crash by 90% -- if it doesn't go to zero -- if they wind up unable to fund their little content-game with ever-increasing debt issuance given that their operating cash flow is negative $500 million (!)

Psst: There's something particularly stupid about bidding up stock in a company that cannot manage to put up a positive operating cash flow number, especially when you manage to cost-shift nearly your ENTIRE delivery expense onto the backs of other people.  Here's looking at you, Netflix cheerleaders -- and holders.

Oh, incidentally, much of the so-called "miracle" of increasing EPS was driven by the same debt-issue game (e.g. to buy back stock) - as I've repeatedly noted the problem with this is that the carrying costs are then permanent (since nobody ever pays down said debt) and further if and when that catches up with you the multiplication of losses is exactly the same as that on the so-called "earnings."

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