Posts filed under “Data Analysis”

The NY Post’s Financial Innumeracy

@TBPInvictus here:

The New York Post ran a piece on Netflix (NFLX), written by Claire Atkinson, that was, to put it charitably, interesting. And by interesting I mean that it painfully misstated the very simple mathematics of stock splits.

The piece implied that NFLX is wildly overvalued. I have no problem with that. Not that I necessarily agree or disagree, but the marketplace – any marketplace – is comprised of buyers and sellers whose opinions differ on the value of whatever is being traded. If someone wants to call NFLX, a fast-growing company,  pricey, that’s fair enough. On that score the Post may be right, they may be wrong. Time will tell. But I’ve no problem with the opinion itself.

CNBC reports that NFLX will split its stock between 5:1 to 10:1. So, if you own a share, you’ll wind up with maybe 5 shares, maybe 10 shares, maybe something in between, at 1/5 or 1/10 (or 1/x) the current price. All the company’s numbers will be adjusted to reflect the split.

Except at the NY Post.

The Post’s initial story ran like this:

nflx nypost 1

In other words, if you’re a company who’s stock price is, say, $100/share and you have $1 of earnings – hence a P/E of 100 – you simply need to effect a 5:1 split and, voilà, you’ve magically lowered your P/E to a much more attractive 20. Hey, you might even attract a value investor or two!

That error – without any notice whatsoever – was subsequently corrected. I thought corrections were supposed to be noted. Most reputable news outlets do so. But I digress.

But wait, there’s more! The correction can be seen below along with the following few paragraphs, where things get interesting once again:

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 11.09.33 AM

“Dire need for cash?” “Extra capital currency?” WTF? Quick thought exercise: If I ask you to change a $20 bill into four $5 bills, is it possible that my “impetus” for doing so is a “dire need for cash” or that I might use the “extra capital currency” (of which, of course, there is none) to make an acquisition or pay down debt that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I’d held on to the $20? Did no one think this through? Are the editors as innumerate as the reporters?

It’s clear to me why no one’s asked Reed Hastings about the “extra capital currency” – they don’t want to be laughed out of the room and never allowed on a call again.

So, to the NY Post, here’s quick primer on stock splits. And if you can digest that, here’s a primer on secondary offerings, which is how companies sometimes do satisfy their “dire need for cash” and raise “extra capital currency.” You’re welcome.


Category: Bad Math, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Global Deaths in Conflicts Since the Year 1400

click for ginormous graphic Source: Our World in Data

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, War/Defense

The Sequel Map

Source: Nerdist

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media

Nuclear Explosions Since 1945

Source: Radical Cartography h/t Know More

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Politics, Science, War/Defense

Cullen Roche vs Andrew Smithers on Tobin’s Q

I love this debate between the idea of Tobin’s Q-Ratio as th be all for valuation analysis. It is embodied between Smithers & Co. quoted in this scary BBRG article and Pragmatic Capitalism’s Cullen Roche. Here is PragCap: “Better yet, look at the number of times this ratio has been cited during the most recent bull market…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Investing, Valuation

Residual Seasonality in GDP

Charles E. Gilbert, Norman J. Morin, Andrew D. Paciorek, and Claudia R. Sahm Residual Seasonality in GDP Federal Reserve, May 14, 2015       Real GDP growth stalled in the first quarter of this year, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). With a second year in a row of unusually weak…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Think Tank

What If Something Goes Right in the Economy?

  The preoccupation with all of the things that could possibly go wrong has been a persistent characteristic of this economic recovery. It was termed recession porn in 2009. It has been a focus of websites, pundits and, of course, goldbugs. When an economist picks up the nickname “Dr. Doom,” it suggests an obsession with the negative. Recession porn…Read More

Category: Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy

Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make

The data on this is fascinating:

Many people plan on supplementing their retirement funds by working past 65, but this plan may not be as sound as it seems. Bloomberg’s Suzanne Woolley breaks down the expectations and often unfortunate truths of working through retirement.

Source: Bloomberg May 18, 2015 7:32 AM EDT

Category: Data Analysis, Investing, Video, Wages & Income

Why Not Everyone is Feeling the Economic Recovery

    My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at why the economic recovery is so unevenly distributed. The print version had the full headline Not everyone is feeling the economic recovery while online the headline was Are you not feeling the economic recovery? This could be why. Here’s an excerpt:…Read More

Category: Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy

Renting vs. Buying

Very cool set of graphics:

Click for an interactive graphic.

Source: Trulia


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Category: Data Analysis, Real Estate