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India’s Love For Gold Can’t Be Curbed With Tariff Hikes

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The main reason for the duty hike is the rising current account deficit, driven largely by India’s traditionally large gold imports – demand which has grown with the price pulling back below $1600 per ounce and the rupee strengthening somewhat from its worst levels. The current account deficit reached an all time high of 5.4% of Gross Domestic Product in the third quarter of 2012. India’s current account deficit problems look similar to the balance of payments crisis in 1991, when the Reserve Bank of India had to sell 47 tons of gold to Europe as collateral for a loan to avert a sovereign default.

Read the rest over at Seeking Alpha.

HP Gets Through A Quarter Without Drama

Last year, was the year of the write down at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). New CEO Meg Whitman finally began cleaning up the messes of her predecessors and took an $8.8 billion write down on Autonomy and another $10.8 billion related to the 2008 acquisition of EDS and the stock retreated back to 2002 levels, the year when HP acquired Compaq for $25 billion ushering in the days of cheap laptops and board room squabbles. But to start 2013 HP finally delivered news that wasn’t outright awful and for that the market responded with a ma296x223xHp1_2.JPG.pagespeed.ic.9HAugPmzEyssive short-covering rally.

Its latest quarterly results beat analysts’ estimates and it raised its FY-2013 outlook somewhat. After destroying more than $30 billion in ill-advised M&A deals over the past decade, HP finally showed up for work. I hate to be mean about this but, frankly, the situation is embarrassing for one of the truly innovative companies of all time.

Read the rest over at Seeking Alpha.

Lack of China Growth Limits Nike’s Upside

nike-hyperdunk-china-pe-0Nike (NYSE:$NKE) broke above $50 per share, a significant resistance level, after announcing better than expected results coming from North America in their last earnings report.    Overall, global future orders are due to rise 6% through April, out of which the North American and Western European future orders are up 14% and 10% respectively.  But, Nike’s future growth is not predicated on North American growth, a saturated market, but rather China and other major emerging markets and there the picture is more muddied.  In this article we’ll go over the earnings report and lay out a potential trade based on Nike’s current performance and price.

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News Corp Splits Dead Tree Media Arm

5In a recent SEC filing ahead of its split, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NASDAQ:$NWS) revealed that its publishing arm had suffered a loss of $2.1 billion for its last reported fiscal year, which included a $1.3 billion write down of goodwill.  Does that mean that even conservatives don’t buy what Fox News is selling anymore?  The split, which should be completed by the middle of the current year, involves the separation of its publishing arm from the rest of the company. Dow Jones Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Robert Thomson will head the new company which will take the name of News Corp (his tenure has already begun from the start of the New Year). The entertainment arm, which includes 20th Century Fox and the Fox Network will be renamed the Fox Group. Rupert Murdoch will be the chairman of both of these companies and the CEO of Fox Group. What is significant here is that, at least technically, Rupert Murdoch will not have any operational role to play with the publishing side of his business empire.

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Splitting up the Shale Oil Revolution

225px-ConocoPhillips_Logo.svgThe Houston based oil companies ConocoPhillips (NYSE:$COP), Marathon Oil (NYSE:$MRO) and Noble Energy (NYSE:$NBL) have announced that they will spend $15.8 billion, $5.2 billion and $3.9 billion respectively in capital expenditure next year. ConocoPhillips will spend most of its budget on North American oil and gas production projects, 65% Marathon Oil’s will go towards its oil assets and 43% of Noble’s will be allocated to theDenver-Julesburg Basin. All will be focused on U.S. shale developments.

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Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital.  (read more)

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