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The News of the Day - 2011 0426

If you are a friend of mine, we will get together intermittently and "catch up." If you are a close friend of mine, we will hang out. Drinks, ball game, maybe we'll even travel somewhere together. If you are a really close friend of mine, I will wake up in the morning, shower, get dressed, etc. -- then as I eat my breakfast, I will proceed to IM you my thoughts as I read the New York Times and You will then respond in kind to my commentary. (Of course, if you are a really really close friend of mine, you will not respond and instead tell me that you don't have time to go through the news with me article by article -- only my brother falls into this category.)

So, to try and break all social norms that I have previously established, I will now go through the latest headlines and provide running, unsolicited commentary.
"Accounts and People of Note in the Advertising Industry"
This is a list of all the various new accounts and promotions in the advertising industry. This was #6 on the New York Times Most Emailed List. #6! I was ahead of "A Nation Stirs, the Civil War Begins". I kid you not. This means 1 of 2 things. 1: no one emails anything so this gets swamped by the ad execs who have read this. 2: I don't know what #2 is. It's inconceivable to me this made it on the top emailed list.
"Japan's Cherry Blossoms Bloom, but Nuclear Fears Keep Tourists Away"
The caption on this photo was "In a place that usually has hundreds of thousands of visitors, fears of nuclear contamination have kept sightseers from making a trip to see a weeping cherry tree said to be a thousand years old." Apparently it didn't keep everyone away! I think the question is why. I wouldn't go near Chernobyl now and these guys are going to see Cherry Blossoms from a place 30 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi plant? Hard to believe. By the way, notice the pink umbrellas to match the cherry blossoms? How fashionable!
"Amazon Earnings Hurt by Spending as Revenue Increases 38%"
Here's the gist of the article. Amazon made $201 million in the first quarter which was down from $299 million. Why is this interesting? In retail, Q4 = Q1 + Q2 + Q3. Which means that rough, back of the envelope full-year information based on $201 million is $1.2 billion in profits for 2011. (assumes no growth or decline for that matter.) Amazon is valued at $82 billion. 82 / 1.2 = a P/E of 68.3. This is why I don't like Amazon's stock! That being said, I think Amazon could be a hugely profitable company but that's not how Jeff Bezos likes to run the company. He likes to invest, invest, and invest -- and to his credit, that has resulted in one of the great companies in the last 100 years that frankly, has established gigantic barriers to entry. My favorite part of the article? "Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive, was not on the call." I interpret this as, "If you don't like how I run this company, sell your stock."