Dreams & Sleep

modigliano-headWhat are Dreams?

Dreams happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. In a typical night, you dream for a total of 2 hours, broken up by the sleep cycle. Researchers do not know much about how we dream or why. They do know that newborns dream and that depriving rats of REM sleep greatly shortens their lives. Other mammals and birds also have REM sleep stages, but cold-blooded animals such as turtles, lizards and fish do not.

REM Sleep and Dreaming

REM sleep usually begins after a period of deep sleep known as stage 4 sleep. An area of the brain called the pons–where REM sleep signals originate–shuts off signals to the spinal cord. That causes the body to be immobile during REM sleep. When the pons doesn’t shut down the spinal cord’s signals, people will act out their dreams. This can be dangerous because acting out dreams without input from the senses can lead a person to run into walls, fall down stairs or worse. This condition is rare and different from more common sleepwalking and known as “REM sleep behavior disorder.”

The pons also sends signals to cerebral cortex by way of the thalamus (which is a filter and relay for sensory information and motor control functions deep in the brain). The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain involved with processing information (learning, thinking and organizing). The areas of the brain “turned on” during REM sleep seem to help learning and memory. Infants spend almost 50 percent of their sleep time in REM sleep (compared to 20 percent for adults), which may be explained by the tremendous amount of learning in infancy. If people are taught various skills and then deprived of REM sleep, they often cannot remember what they were taught.

The Meaning of Dreams

Dreams may be one way that the brain consolidates memories. The dream time could be a period when the brain can reorganize and review the day’s events and connect new experiences to older ones. Because the body is shut down, the brain can do this without additional input coming in or risking the body “acting out” the day’s memories.

Some researchers believe that dreams are more like a background “noise” that is interpreted and organized. This theory states that dreams are merely the brain’s attempt to make sense of random signals occurring during sleep. Some people have more control over their dreams than others. For these people, the last thoughts before going to bed may influence the content of a dream.

Of course psychologists and most people look for greater meaning and insight in dreams. Here are some common dreams with interpretations:

  • Falling: Dreams of falling are said to indicate insecurity. Freud thought dreams of falling meant the contemplation of giving into a sexual urge.
  • Flying: Dreams of flying are said to indicate feeling in control or ‘on top of’ a situation.
  • The Naked Dream: Dreams of being naked are said to indicate that you are ashamed about something or have something to hide.

Personally, these interpretations feel a bit too pop psych to me. I think by engaging with your dreams and thinking about them you can determine what meaning might be conveyed for your life. (I keep having a dream about forgetting to wear socks, please leave comments if you have any insight).

You can develop your ability to remember your dreams by keeping a journal near your bed and writing down everything you can about your dreams when you first wake up. After a few weeks, your ability to remember your dreams will improve. Some people claim that they havelucid dreams, which are dreams in which they can participate and change the dream as it develops. Lucid dreaming can be triggered through a number of techniques, though little research and lots of speculation has been done on it.

More on Improving Your Sleep


AAPL: Regardless Of Price, Apple’s Intrinsic Value Is Still On Its Way To $1,000


Valuentum in Seeking Alpha

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. AAPL is included in the portfolio of our Best Ideas Newsletter. (More…)

As part of our process, we perform a rigorous discounted cash-flow methodology that dives into the true intrinsic worth of companies. In Apple’s (AAPL) case, we think the firm is significantly undervalued. This article is the only one that showcases the value of Apple through a robust three-stage discounted cash flow model. We think the company is fairly valued at $744 per share, representing 60%+ upside from today’s levels based on our point fair value estimate. However, as we’ll outline below, as Apple continues to generate cash (it continues to create value), we expect its intrinsic value to approach $1,000 in the next three years (well $955 by our current estimates).

At Valuentum, we think a comprehensive analysis of a firm’s discounted cash-flow valuation, relative valuation versus industry peers, as well as an assessment of technical and momentum indicators is the best way to identify the most attractive stocks at the best time to buy. This process culminates in what we call our Valuentum Buying Index, which ranks stocks on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Essentially, we’re looking for firms that overlap investment methodologies, thereby revealing the greatest interest by investors (we like firms that fall in the center of the diagram below). Valuentum followers know that more interest = more buying = higher stock price.

Click to enlarge images.

If a company is undervalued both on a DCF and on a relative valuation basis and is showing improvement in technical and momentum indicators, it scores high on our scale. Apple posts a VBI score of 3 on our scale, reflecting our “undervalued” DCF assessment of the firm, its neutral relative valuation vs. peers, and bearish technicals. We compare Apple to peers Dell (DELL), IBM (IBM), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

Our Report on Apple

Investment Considerations

Investment Highlights

  • Apple earns a ValueCreation™ rating of Excellent, the highest possible mark on our scale. The firm has been generating economic value for shareholders for the past few years, a track record we view very positively. Return on invested capital (excluding goodwill) has averaged 304.6% during the past three years.
  • Apple’s traditional computers continue to gain market share, particularly in the U.S., and particularly with younger consumers. The company’s execution remains top notch, and it should continue to take market share in that segment.
  • Apple has an excellent combination of strong free cash flow generation and low financial leverage. We expect the firm’s free cash flow margin to average about 24.5% in coming years, and the firm had no debt as of last quarter.
  • Apple continues to impress. The firm’s rollout of the new iPhone 5 should propel the firm’s fundamentals ever higher. Though we’re not expecting another blockbuster hit (Apple TV, etc.) in our valuation model, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple delivers another one from its pipeline.
  • Apple’s $137.1 billion cash hoard is more than some of the market capitalizations of the largest companies in the S&P 500. This amounts to roughly $145 per share, making relative value comparisons vs. peers much more attractive.

Business Quality

Economic Profit Analysis

The best measure of a firm’s ability to create value for shareholders is expressed by comparing its return on invested capital (ROIC) with its weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The gap or difference between ROIC and WACC is called the firm’s economic profit spread. Apple’s three-year historical return on invested capital (without goodwill) is 304.6%, which is above the estimate of its cost of capital of 10.8%. As such, we assign the firm a ValueCreation™ rating of Excellent. In the chart below, we show the probable path of ROIC in the years ahead based on the estimated volatility of key drivers behind the measure. The solid grey line reflects the most likely outcome, in our opinion, and represents the scenario that results in our fair value estimate.

Cash Flow Analysis

Firms that generate a free cash flow margin (free cash flow divided by total revenue) above 5% are usually considered cash cows. Apple’s free cash flow margin has averaged about 26.5% during the past three years. As such, we think the firm’s cash flow generation is relatively strong. The free cash flow measure shown above is derived by taking cash flow from operations less capital expenditures and differs from enterprise free cash flow (FCFF), which we use in deriving our fair value estimate for the company. At Apple, cash flow from operations increased about 173% from levels registered two years ago, while capital expenditures expanded about 343% over the same time period.

Valuation Analysis

Our discounted cash flow model indicates that Apple’s shares are worth between $566.00-$922.00 each. The margin of safety around our fair value estimate is driven by the firm’s MEDIUM ValueRisk™ rating, which is derived from the historical volatility of key valuation drivers. The estimated fair value of $744 per share represents a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 16.9 times last year’s earnings and an implied EV/EBITDA multiple of about 11.5 times last year’s EBITDA. Our model reflects a compound annual revenue growth rate of 10.5% during the next five years, a pace that is lower than the firm’s three-year historical compound annual growth rate of 53.9%. Our model reflects a five-year projected average operating margin of 31.6%, which is above Apple’s trailing three-year average. Beyond year five, we assume free cash flow will grow at an annual rate of 2% for the next 15 years and 3% in perpetuity. For Apple, we use a 10.8% weighted average cost of capital to discount future free cash flows.


Margin of Safety Analysis

Our discounted cash flow process values each firm on the basis of the present value of all future free cash flows. Although we estimate the firm’s fair value at about $744 per share, every company has a range of probable fair values that’s created by the uncertainty of key valuation drivers (like future revenue or earnings, for example). After all, if the future was known with certainty, we wouldn’t see much volatility in the markets as stocks would trade precisely at their known fair values. Our ValueRisk™ rating sets the margin of safety or the fair value range we assign to each stock. In the graph below, we show this probable range of fair values for Apple. We think the firm is attractive below $566 per share (the green line), but quite expensive above $922 per share (the red line). The prices that fall along the yellow line, which includes our fair value estimate, represent a reasonable valuation for the firm, in our opinion.

Future Path of Fair Value

We estimate Apple’s fair value at this point in time to be about $744 per share. As time passes, however, companies generate cash flow and pay out cash to shareholders in the form of dividends. The chart below compares the firm’s current share price with the path of Apple’s expected equity value per share over the next three years, assuming our long-term projections prove accurate. The range between the resulting downside fair value and upside fair value in year three represents our best estimate of the value of the firm’s shares three years hence. This range of potential outcomes is also subject to change over time, should our views on the firm’s future cash flow potential change. The expected fair value of $955 per share in year three represents our existing fair value per share of $744 increased at an annual rate of the firm’s cost of equity less its dividend yield. The upside and downside ranges are derived in the same way, but from the upper and lower bounds of our fair value estimate range.

Pro Forma Financial Statements

AAPL: Brian White thinks it’s $888

Now (January 29th, 2013) he’s down from an earlier $1,111.

Topeka Securities’ Brian White, who has been tracking Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) for a while now, thinks that Apple shares are a bargain at its current levels.

He is still bullish on the stock though he has cut his price target to $888 from his previous target of $1111 a share.

The reasons behind White’s reasoning are quite credible.

White thinks Apple will decide to give more of its massive $135 billion cash pile back to shareholders, in the form of increased dividends and share buybacks.

He is also expecting the company to double its dividend and buy back about $100 billion worth of stock, which would reduce its share base.

White also thinks Apple will release a bunch of new products over the next year: A new iPad, a bunch of new iPhones, and, eventually, an Apple TV.

He is betting on Apple signing an iPhone distribution deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest network operator with more than 700 million subscribers.

According to White the stock is very cheaply valued now. The stock currently trades at about 10-times trailing earnings, and if you factor out the cash, the multiple is even lower than that. When a stock’s multiple is that low, it doesn’t take much excitement to drive the price up.

Shares of AAPL are up 1.78% to $457.60 at afternoon session. The stock is still down about 10% since reporting quarterly numbers last week. Moreover, the stock has slumped about 35% from an all-time high of $715.

AAPL: Motley Fool

With Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors still bruised from last week’s post-earnings pummeling, there are some data points that may have been overlooked amid the carnage. Here are five things you may have missed in Apple earnings last week.

400 and counting As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) expands its global retail footprint, the company’s retail strategy has reached a new milestone, hitting over 400 stores. Apple closed the quarter with 401 retail stores, and most of that expansion has been internationally. The company’s retail focus has rightly shifted abroad, and its domestic footprint still hovers around 250. Of the 11 stores opened last quarter, 10 of these were international locations.

Source: Earnings conference calls.

In the third quarter, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened 17 stores, with only 1 of those being in the U.S. Over the past six quarters, the vast majority of retail store openings have been international.

Hey, big spender When Apple filed its 10-K last quarter, it said it was expecting to spend $10 billion in capital expenditures in fiscal 2013. To put that figure into context, that’s almost as much as the $13 billion that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is planning to spend in 2013, a company that operates the most advanced chip foundries known to man.

Only $850 million of that $10 billion is set aside for retail stores, with most of the remainder allocated to product tooling and manufacturing gear that will sit within manufacturing partners’ facilities. However, keep in mind that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLoverspent its forecast capital expenditures in 2012 by 29%. It was originally planning on spending $8 billion last year, and it ended up spending $10.3 billion.

Last quarter alone, Apple spent $2.4 billion on cap ex, which is close to the $2.5 billion that Intel spent. Intel’s heavy spending has caused anxiety among investors, since most were expecting it to spend less on capacity expansion amid the downturn in the PC market. Instead, Intel is betting big on new cutting-edge factories that can accommodate 450-millimeter silicon wafers.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has faced supply constraints with several of its key products, so its investment to boost capacity is one of the better things to spend its $137 billion on.

Foreign cash is king Speaking of that $137 billion money mountain, $94.2 billion of it now sits overseas, held by foreign subsidiaries. That’s a total sequential increase of $15.9 billion, with most of that cash being generated abroad.

Cash Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2012
Foreign $81.4 billion $82.6 billion $94.2 billion
Domestic $35.8 billion $38.7 billion $42.9 billion
Total $117.2 billion $121.3 billion $137.1 billion

Source: SEC filings.

That’s a sequential increase of $11.6 billion in foreign cash, again showing how important international sales are to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Some of this relates to Apple’s practice of shifting some sales to international subsidiaries as part of its tax strategy, but a lot of it is still generated by international sales that accounted for 61% of revenue last quarter.

Since most of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s manufacturing partners are abroad, having all those international dollars comes in handy.

I’ll take a RIM’s worth of components That brings us right to Apple’s manufacturing and component purchase commitments. I noted a huge sequential increase heading into the fourth quarter. While that didn’t translate into the blowout that I was expecting, those third-party commitments remain elevated relative to historical levels. At the end of December, those commitments stood at $18.9 billion.

Source: SEC filings.

These types of commitments typically cover Apple’s requirements for what it thinks it will need for up to 150 days based on projected demand information. While investors fret about growth deceleration, Apple still feels confident enough about its prospects to be on the hook for manufacturing and component commitments that total more than some entire companies are worth. These commitments are worth more than either Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) or Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)‘s entire respective market caps.

Holiday shopping season 2.0 China has become so important to the business that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) now reports it as a separate geographical operating segment. If you include retail, Apple’s “Greater China” revenue totaled $7.3 billion, which was up 62% from $4.5 billion a year ago. The thing to remember in China is that the fourth quarter is not the busy holiday shopping season. That comes during the first quarter along with Chinese New Year in February. The $7.9 billion in sales in Q1 2012 is currently Apple’s record in the region.

Greater China Revenue Q4 2011 Q1 2012 Sequential Increase Into Q1 2012 Q4 2012
With retail $4.5 billion $7.9 billion 76% $7.3 billion
Without retail $4.1 billion $7.6 billion 87% $6.8 billion

Sources: Earnings conference calls and SEC filings.

Apple posted monster sequential increases heading into the first quarter last year. Part of this jump was due to the iPhone 4S launch that took place in January 2012. This time around, Apple launched the iPhone 5 in December with 2 million unit sales but with only two weeks to go.

Last quarter, Apple posted several new records, including revenue, net income, iPhone units, and iPad units. This current quarter, Apple could easily post another record: Greater China revenue.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) took a big hit on earnings last week. Emotions aside, Apple’s growth story is far from over, and the company still has massive opportunities ahead.


AAPL Zimbardo


 Paul Zimbardo. Seeking Alpha. http://seekingalpha.com/article/1137601-can-you-still-own-apple?source=email_rt_article_focus_2

Disclosure: I am long AAPL(More…)

Apple (AAPL) has fallen from 27% in the past month and investors are scratching their heads. Apple started 2012 with significant appreciation but has been in a tailspin since hitting $705. Optimism surrounding the company has vanished and the media is now extremely critical of Apple. Now more than ever it is important to monitor developments for the company and its competitors. Below I will layout the reason why I continue to recommend Apple (after much internal debate) and, as a supplement, present complementary option approaches. I utilize conservative covered calls to simultaneously generate income and reduce your effective cost basis. For details on my methodology please consult the first article in the series as well as my Instablog.

(Click to enlarge)

(Source: Yahoo! Finance)

Apple reported record earnings on Wednesday and finished the week with one of its largest declines in market capitalization ever. Apple reported $54.5B in revenue on sales of iPhones (47.8M), iPads (22.9M), Macs (4.1M), and iPods (12.7M). I forecasted most of the revenue metrics quite well except for Mac sales which lagged due to greater than expected supply constraints. In fact I was nearly perfect on both iPhone unit sales and total iPhone revenue.

(Click to enlarge)

I am sure you have read numerous stories already on Apple’s performance so I will not bore you with every detail of the quarter. Bill Maurer wrote astrong analysis of the quarter on Wednesday and I suggest you read it if you have not yet gone through the earnings announcement. I would like to stress that this quarter was one week shorter than in the previous year so Apple’s comparable performance was better than it appeared. I am going to tackle the important question of what happens next? Apple now sits essentially at its 52-week low and all Apple investors want to know is where is should I still own Apple?

I have been long Apple almost uninterrupted for years and believed that the stock was heading for $750. As you can see from the chart above, Apple was outperforming the S&P 500 by 40% in September and now is lagging by approximately 15%. At this point it is not just a case of Apple selling off after being overheated, there are fundamental concerns surrounding Apple’s performance. Although I use Apple’s products and am I fan of the company, I force myself to be very critical of the company as an investment. I am a student of history and I know that no technology company can remain on top forever; however, I do not believe Apple’s time to cede the crown has arrived yet.

Motorola and Research in Motion (RIMM) have had the “it” phones in the past and have both fallen into irrelevancy due to resistance to change. I do not see that issue at Apple. A perfect example is the iPad Mini: Steve Jobs famously said that the company would not make a smaller tablet but Apple reversed course when it realized that there was a demand for the product. I suspect that Apple will adapt in a similar fashion to meet the needs of budget conscious consumers and perhaps even those who prefer phones with larger screen sizes.

I suggest that you ignore all of the hyperbole calling Apple broken or uncool as they are overstating the troubles facing the company. Let’s not forget that Apple just had $55B of revenue last quarter – I bet a lot of companies would like to be “broken” if they could generate that type of revenue. I would like to briefly compare Apple and Amazon (AMZN). Apple earns so much money that investors are worried that its growth has to slow. In contrast, Amazon continually flirts with break-even thus the future profit potentials are seemingly unlimited. This same contrast is readily apparent with Netflix (NFLX) which proudly stated in its fourth quarter report that it earned a profit in 2012. Apple currently trades at a P/E of 10 while Netflix has an extraordinary P/E of 585 and Amazon has an astronomical P/E of over 3,000. I know which company I want to invest in.

I believe that Apple will be range bound between $400 and $525 for the remainder of 2013 unless one of the positive catalysts below occurs:

  • Apple increases its share repurchase plan significantly
  • Apple increases its dividend payment significantly
  • Apple announces a breakthrough new product

Apple announced the re-initiation of the dividend in 2012 and began repurchasing shares to offset dilution but I believe that the company can do far more. In the first quarter of 2013 Apple generated $23.4B of cash from operations and used $2.7B on various acquisitions, leaving $20.7B in cash available for common shareholders. Apple invested most of the excess in marketable securities and dedicated $4.4B to shareholders ($2.5B in dividends and $1.9B in repurchases). Returning $4.4B to shareholders is nothing to sneeze at but is a small fraction of what Apple is capable of doing. Apple is currently utilizing only 21% of its free cash on shareholder beneficial payments and could easily double its standard repurchase plan with no adverse consequences. Currently Apple has a $10B standard repurchase plan and a $2B accelerated repurchase plan. The dividend could be increased modestly as well although there are overseas tax consequences to consider. If the dividend was lifted modestly from $2.65 per quarter to $3.00 per quarter (13.2%), the dividend yield would be 2.7%. I prefer the share repurchase as it would send an immediate, strong signal to the market that management believes Apple is a good investment at this price and that it plans to enrich shareholders immediately.

The third possible catalyst involves possibly the elusive iTV, a dramatically redesigned iPhone/iPad, or a yet unannounced product line such as wearable computing. Remember that Apple is famous for creating products that consumers do not know that they want yet and they will need to pull another rabbit out of their hat to appease analysts’ concerns. A simple “evolutionary” improvement of the iPad will not do the trick here as the media will be quick to ask whether Apple has done enough to stay ahead of competitors. This puts Apple investors in a very unenviable situation in which they will face difficult for most of the year.

(Click to enlarge)

(Source: Finviz.com)

If you are still long Apple I cannot recommend that you sell now after such a steep 12.5% weekly decline. Despite numerous analyst price cuts, most price targets are still above $575. Personally I am lowering my 2014 price target to $610. With Apple trading below $440, now would be an excellent opportunity to slowly initiate a position or add to a small position but if you are already Apple-heavy, I suggest you hold.Based upon the fact that I think Apple will stay in a modest trading range, now is where covered calls can improve your returns. If you regularly sell calls that are decently out-of-the-money, you can reduce your cost basis Apple with a low probability of missing out on an Apple “pop”. The rest of 2013 will be a test for Apple shareholders but I suspect the stock will be trading closer to $500 as the year progresses but things will not be pretty. If you cannot handle a possible dip down to $400 or have trouble tolerating this much volatility, sell Apple now. If you believe that Apple has a strong brand and will continue to innovate, I suggest you stomach this recent decline and stay long.

Below I present three possible scenarios and the potential returns for the Apple options:

  • Apple Down 5%
  • Apple Unchanged
  • Apple Closing at 50 Day Simple Moving Average (SMA)

These scenarios are forecasts and there is no guarantee that they will come to fruition. For more information on the fundamentals of covered calls, consult Investopedia.

(Click to enlarge)

Additionally, if you would like even more information, I have prepared a sensitivity analysis for absolute return and percent returns, respectively. After studying the information above, these two charts make it easy to pick a strike price based on where you believe Apple will close at the end of the week. Estimate where you believe Apple will close and select the strike price with the highest return.

(Click to enlarge)

With this information, executing a buy-write on AAPL February 1 $450sis the optimal risk-return strategy as an opening Apple transaction. The option has a potential return of $4.30 (time value) and should provide adequate coverage against a moderate drop. This strategy is excellent for long-term Apple investors who want to generate income while still staying long the stock. There is substantial risk that Apple could decline further this week so an alternative approach is to sell out-of-the-money$430 puts and collect the premium without having to purchase the stock outright. The $430s are currently trading around $3.79 and appear to offer the best risk-reward profile for the week. Note that if the stock declines to the strike price, you are obligated to buy the stock (or closeout the position). You should always consider the risks (particularly with naked calls or puts) raised in this article in light of your personal circumstances (including financial and taxation issues) in consultation with your professional financial adviser.

Please refer to profile page for disclaimers.

The New Hemp

Good summary of what could be done with the Hemp plant: food, oil, clothing, building material. This group is in South Africa.

And another:




Methodology. Nutrient similar to winter wheat.

AAPL at $450

January 24th, 2013

Hard to see today’s price of $450 as justified. Here’s a defense of it at $529. TREFIS has it at $657:


VIEWPOINT: DANIEL SPARKS on December 14th, 2012.

Apple is Undervalued: Five Straightforward Reasons

By Daniel Sparks – December 14, 2012 | Tickers: AAPLCHLGOOGMCDPGWMT | 3 Comments

Daniel is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinions of our bloggers and are not formally edited.

At yesterday’s closing price of $529 per share, it’s a great time to re-evaluate Apple’s  long-term prospects. To no surprise, it seems that the fundamental drivers of the stock are still intact, despite the recent decline in the stock price. As the stock trades at its lowest levels in the last nine months, the disconnect between the value of Apple’s business and the stock price has grown wider. I can’t say it any more bluntly: Apple is undervalued. I’ll give you five straightforward reasons why Apple is a great long-term investment at $529 per share.

1. China Mobile: Many analysts believe that China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, will finally get the iPhone sometime in 2013. China Mobile’s 645 million customers (twice the population of the United States) is a goldmine. Many analysts agree that tapping into China Mobile would give a large lift to Apple’s stock.

2. Pricing Power: In an interview with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Warren Buffett said that “The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power.” Apple’s profit margins are the envy of the industry. At 43.87%, no competitor even comes close. Consumers are willing to pay significantly more for Apple’s products.

3. A Massive Market: Apple analyst Andy Zaky explains that Apple is far from reaching market saturation: “Understanding the size and scope of Apple’s operating market is the key to understanding how far Apple will go.” Don’t forget that Apple’s mobile phone market share is only 6%.

4. Retail Presence: No other tech company has a retail presence like Apple’s. Its brand show-casing retail locations give Apple a way to connect with customers in a way competitors can’t. At an average of 8,400 square feet per store, Apple retail stores are the most successful retail stores in the world when measured by sales per square foot.

5. Lucrative Opportunities: With over $100 billion in cash & cash equivalents and, according to Forbes, the world’s most powerful brand, there are plenty of ways Apple can use its money to create more shareholder value. According to a study by Morgan Stanley, Apple could sell as many as 13 million Apple-branded TV sets if Apple were to launch one. In a recent Rock Centerinterview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cook expressed that television is an area of “intense interest” for Apple.

A Compelling Valuation

Measured by my favorite, straight-forward valuation metric, free cash flow (FCF) yield, Apple is available at a great price. FCF yield shows you what percentage of a company’s share price is represented by the cold, hard cash it’s churning out. The higher this percentage, the better. Let’s compare Apple with some other wide-moat, mega-cap stocks: Google (NASDAQ: GOOG),Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), McDonalnd’s (NYSE: MCD), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).

AAPL Free Cash Flow Yield data by YCharts

Apple trades at a more conservative valuation, measured by free cash flow yield, than all four of these other companies even though Apple is growing at a much faster rate (see below).

AAPL Book Value data by YCharts

The Bottom Line

The short-term is always full of surprises. But in the long-term, there is still upside left in Apple’s stock. Even more important, these five straightforward reasons that Apple is undervalued will minimize any downside risks.


memorial wall

Interesting wall. In the Credit Valley.


REF: http://thinking-stoneman.blogspot.ca/2012/03/tree-for-all-seasons.html

John Shaw-Rimmington is someone who wants to preserve the craft of dry stone walling.  He says: ” I am founder and president of Dry Stone Walling Across Canada http://www.dswa.ca and an avid supporter of the idea of sharing knowledge freely and learning from others.” And you can buy his privately printed books at cost at dswa.ca. He gives courses and manages tours.


Black Quinoa

It can be grown in North America and will cross with it’s cousin: Lamb’s Quarters.

It can be very large and high in good conditions.2012-11-30-quinoa

FrontRangeLiving.com -> Cooking -> Quinoa

Colorado Quinoa–Transplanted from the Andes

By Debbie Whittaker

When Ernie New and John McCamant started planting quinoa at their White Mountain Farm in Mosca, Colorado in 1987, they thought they could duplicate the finicky growing conditions similar to its native Andean micro-climate. Quinoa, a pseudo grain rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, requires cool nights and warm days below 90 degrees to set seed. The high San Luis Valley of Colorado is one of the few areas in North America that can support quinoa, but the end result was far different from the original seed that was introduced.

Several years after planting began, New and McCamant noticed deep-purple seed heads on stalks up to two feet taller than their predecessors. The traditional seed had crossed with its native North American ancestor, lamb’s-quarter, to hybridize into a heartier form. Black quinoa was born, and Colorado became home to one the most unique and nutritive foods of the 20th century.


Native to Peru, quinoa (pronounced keen wah) was the mother grain of the Incas for centuries. But with the Spanish invasion, quinoa became relegated to the staple of peasants, where it would have remained if not for the demanding palates of American diners–ever hungry for diverse and eclectic foods.

Although most people refer to it as a grain, quinoa is actually a broadleaf plant that bears a dense seed head. Small, flattened, bead-like kernels resemble the head of a pin. Clustered at the top of a tall stalk, the seeds ripen in a rainbow of colors, most vividly orange on Peruvian plants. While the plant is cultivated for use as a grain alternative, spouts, leaves and immature seed heads also are eaten.

A comparison between black and white quinoa is similar to wild and domestic rice. Black quinoa is darker in color, crunchier in texture and has a stronger grain-like flavor. White quinoa is considerably less earthy in all respects. Both varieties exhibit the characteristic crunch unique to quinoa, referred to by my teenage daughter, Jessica, as vegetable caviar. Cooked quickly, quinoa yields its famous texture. Simmered longer with more water, white quinoa softens to a texture more reminiscent of cooked breakfast cereal. Quinoa is often served at breakfast where its bland flavor provides the perfect backdrop to fruit, yogurt and other toppings.

Generally known as a side dish, quinoa’s earthy flavor complements a wide variety of foods from breakfast through dinner, appetizers through deserts. Stirred into soups and stews, stuffed into bell peppers or topped with sauce, quinoa often is used as a substitute in recipes calling for other grains. The nondescript flavor welcomes the addition of a range of ingredients from sweet to savory, including most herbs, flavorful broths, and simply prepared raw or cooked vegetables. In the kitchen, quinoa can be used much like our ubiquitous rice, but it is not as susceptible to overcooking and offers more possibilities than other grains. It is actually fairly indestructible.


While quinoa’s unique texture and endless versatility have tantalized high-end, innovative chefs, its outstanding nutritional profile is the characteristic that sets it apart from grains. Quinoa garnered a reputation as a high endurance food from Andean natives. Believed to oxygenate the blood, quinoa provides possibly more essential nutrients than any other single food. With superior protein and amino acid balance, quinoa is also high in calcium, phosphorus, iron, most B vitamins, zinc and lysine.

Welcomed by health food aficionados, quinoa is often mixed, tucked, topped and somehow combined with other foods to enhance nutrient density. Try it rolled into cabbage leaves, stuffed into mushrooms or layered with sweet potatoes or traditional lasagna ingredients. Quinoa flour has been extruded into pasta and formed into numerous gluten-free baked goods, which offer strong nutritional benefits but without the coveted crunch. To get the unique bite into baked goods without using the flour, try stirring cooked grain into cookie, muffin and pancake batter made with any flour of your choice.


No matter how you cook the grain, rinsing is the key to success. Quinoa seeds are coated with bitter saphonins, which must be removed before cooking. Prepackaged quinoa has usually been polished or pre-rinsed, but relying on preprocessing is risky. Saphonin dust often remains in polished grain and any residue will quickly dampen your enthusiasm.

To remove the saphonins, put the quinoa into a fine strainer and run water through it, or stir it in a bowl of cold water and pour it through a clean kitchen towel. Repeat the process until the water runs clear and is no longer sudsy. The amount of rinsing necessary may vary greatly.

Prepackaged quinoa is currently available in most mainstream grocery stores. Bulk quinoa, which is often considerably less expensive, appears in natural foods stores. As New, McCamant and a handful of others work to refine the process of growing quinoa in North America, virtually all quinoa available commercially in the United States is imported from Bolivia. While quinoa is loaded with nutrition and delicious in any form, Colorado’s black quinoa provides an incomparable taste sensation. Available only on the Internet and at limited farmers markets around the state, black quinoa is truly a unique culinary experience.


White Mountain Farm, 8890 Lane 4 North, Mosca, CO 719- 378-2436.


Sopp and Truscott Bakery, 480 Main St., Silver Plume, Colorado, 80476, 303-589-3395, black and white organic quinoa and quinoa baked goods.

On the internet: Search “quinoa” on the internet for domestic and imported sources. Request seed specifically for growing or sprouts when ordering, if applicable.



Basic quinoa

  • 1 cup black or white quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Put the quinoa into a fine strainer, and run water through it until the water is clear and no longer sudsy. If you don’t have a fine strainer, rinse the quinoa in a bowl filled with water, and then pour it through a clean dishtowel.

In a 2-quart pot, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the wet quinoa and simmer over low medium heat uncovered until done, about 12 minutes for white, or 15 minutes for black. Quinoa is fully cooked when the germ has separated from the grain. It looks like a small white “C” shape surrounding each grain. If any excess liquid remains, pour it off and raise the heat to quickly boil off the rest. Stir in the salt.

Variations: Substitute canned or homemade stock, or fruit juice for the water; or add Marmite, Vegemite or bouillon. Adjust the salt accordingly.

Quinoa-stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves four as a side dish, two as a main course

  • 2 large sweet red bell peppers
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tab. olive oil
  • 1 recipe cooked quinoa, black or white
  • 2 Tabs. fresh, snipped chives
  • 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)

Heat the grill. Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Core and seed, making sure not to pierce the sides. Set the peppers aside. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in oil over medium heat for ten minutes. Add the quinoa and heat through. Stir in the chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Fill the peppers and place on a hot grill. Cook until the peppers are cooked through but still sturdy enough to hold the filling, about 10 minutes. This makes an excellent vegetarian meal with additional grilled vegetables and accompaniments.

Quinoa Salad

Serves four

  • 1 Tab. lemon juice
  • 1 Tab. cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 scallions, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 recipe basic quinoa, cold or room temperature
  • 2 ripe medium tomatoes, diced and lightly salted, juice reserved
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, parsley and scallions in a serving bowl large enough to hold all ingredients. Stir in the quinoa and then the tomatoes. Adjust salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil (which will depend on the temperature and moisture content of the quinoa). Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Quinoa Pancakes

Courtesy White Mountain Farm

30 4-inch pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 4 Tab. shortening
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Beat eggs well. Add remaining ingredients and beat. Fry on hot griddle.

Quinoa Shrimp Croquettes

Courtesy White Mountain Farm

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shrimp, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Combine ingredients. Mix well and form into 1-inch balls. Deep fry until golden brown. You may have to add a little flour to keep balls together. Dipping sauce may be made by combining 1/2 C tamari, 2 TB rice vinegar or cider vinegar and 3/4 C water. These croquettes can be served as an appetizer or side dish.

Quinoa & False Repetition

Are we wrong to buy and eat quinoa? Are we hurting Bolivians and Peruvians?

There is a good piece on “The Quinoa Story” in Bear Witness:


Is the fact that foodies are buying quinoa up making things bad for the growers? Should we stop eating it? Bearwitness has its doubts.  They doubt the facts as presented and they suspect the motives of the piece from NPR. Their whole post (above) is worth reading.


And here is a good comment on that piece by Bart Hall (one of many) which paints a different picture than the NPR summary.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)20 January 2013 16:09

I’m an agronomist who speaks Spanish with near-native fluency and enough Quechua to be polite. Over the years I’ve worked extensively with quinoa growers in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. If anything you understate your case against NPR. For most small farmers it is a wonderful opportunity to find cash markets for a product which grows well on your land, especially since quinoa isn’t a source of starch so much as a protein supplement.

The major Andean starches are potatoes, and in more remote areas a couple of unrelated tubers called oca and ulluco. At lower altitudes they eat more yuca, which is manioc, and (upland) rice. For protein they commonly eat mutton and guinea pig (which is delicious), along with faba beans, eggs, quinoa, some cheese and red beans. Pork, too, at lower elevations.

Many’s the time I have greatly enjoyed a simple meal of mot”e’e (potatoes and faba beans with firey lachwa sauce) and caldo de cuy (guinea pig stew) thickened with potatoes and quinoa.

The real food starch problem is in Mexico and Central America where the diet is largely corn-based. The American political ethanol boondoggle has driven corm prices so high the locals can’t afford it, so the do without. Not so in the Andes.


What is going on? Why are newspapers around the world building strong support for this erroneous story? The Guardian. The Globe. The New York Times.


The Globe story asks us whether or not we’d give up buying this? Why would it do that? Why are none of the major papers who have repeated this very dubious story done any back ground checking? Who put out the first press release? Why?