Monday, February 19, 2007

Late Weekend Vacation Comments

There have been a variety of interesting developments since the closing bell sounded Friday afternoon.

In theory, the combination of Sirius and XM as a merger of equals SHOULD mean that shares of both should go higher, BUT given the perceived regulatory issues the deal faces along with technological integration, it could be quite some time before there's a lasting positive impact from the combination. This deal, however, seems to be the only way out of the debt and churn spiral both companies had been locked in. Yes, I feel the CEOs of both companies are finally crying "Uncle". I can't help but to wonder if the anti trust concerns are over blown since it seems that in a sense the two separate companies had been a trust of sorts since there had been no prospect of a third party launching into satellite radio space. Or to take a step further, while a combined SIRI-XMSR will exclusively "own" the satellite radio spectrum, the company still faces intense competition from free of charge terrestrial radio. We'll see if gains materialize Tuesday and more importantly if they hold.

I have my wife to thank for steering that family away from taking Jetblue (JBLU) this past weekend to Florida. We surely would have been one of those cancelled flights! We took alternate means to get to our southern destination. But having said that, it seems that JBLU is turning the weekend debacle into a learning experince to make the carrier better.

I spent hours driving on Saturday... all day, then my wife spent hours more once it got dark. It's amazing what you think about as you put all those miles behind you. One of the things I spent time thinking about was the possibility of GM buying Chrysler. I've got to say that I'm warming up to the idea. Gm could extract a great deal if value from the Chrysler asset base, also improve capacity utilization and also gain concessions from the UAW. There would also be the issue of blending the product lines of the companies to come up with somthing that would fly at the dealers. GM and DCX ay both jump on my buy list.

HP, Wal Mart and Home Depot will be posting earnings this week (read preview here).

I've been patiently holding my natural gas short position and even upped it as nat gas moved above $7.50 per decatherm. The back of winter is finally about to be broken. No doubt we'll see nat gas go below $7 in the days ahead. The question is how low before the reality of air conditioning demand begins to appear across the Old South and the rest of the southern tier of states. I get the feeling it's good that we're going into summer with extra nat gas supply.

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