HBR: Did Buffett suffer from Motivated Blindness?

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article on their blog that takes a stab at what happened with Sokol and the Lubrizol affair:

The far more interesting question from our standpoint is why Warren Buffett, known for his embrace of ethical business practices, failed to understand the unethicality of Sokol’s actions when he learned of them, and intervene. Had Buffet suddenly gone over to the dark side? Or, as Berkshire portrayed the story, did Buffett do absolutely nothing . . .

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Deutsche Bank Top LBO Candidates: Guess who is on the list? ($TSRA, $GPS, $AEO)

Deutsche Bank has released its list of Top 50 LBO Candidates. Tessera Technologies (NASDAQ: TSRA) made the cut, along with Lexmark (NYSE: LXK) and two of the clothing retailers I like (The Gap (NYSE: GPS) and American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO)). Though, notably absent is Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), which I think is a better candidate than either of the other two.

According to The Financial Post,

The strategists looked at 500 LBOs since 1986 to identify the . . .

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How one investor is playing the Supervalu trade ($SVU)

Jeff at Ragnar is a Pirate has written about how he is taking advantage of the opportunity in Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) – with LEAPs (long dated options).

I will say that when a company is trading for 3-4x the average yearly improvement in tangible book value (and, in a time period that includes the Great Recession) it should spark your interest. They are paying down debt like crazy, have someone who appears to be a great . . .

→ Read More: How one investor is playing the Supervalu trade ($SVU)

Forbes: Michael Dell on reinventing his company ($DELL, $HPQ)

Dell Inc (NASDAQ: DELL)  is one of the many tech bellwethers that appear cheap relative to long term earnings power. I wrote about one of its key advantages, the negative cash conversion cycle stemming from a best-in-class supply chain, here. Forbes recently interviewed Michael Dell on the changes the company is undergoing as it transforms from a “shiny box seller” to a supplier of broad IT products and services, similar to Hewlett-Packard (NASDAQ: HPQ) or IBM . . .

→ Read More: Forbes: Michael Dell on reinventing his company ($DELL, $HPQ)

Vector Space: A fascinating way of visualizing competitor performance ($RIMM, $AAPL, $NOK)

Asymco recently published an interesting visualization of the smartphone industry’s competitive landscape. This “vector space” model shows how competitors are performing over different time periods along market share and profit share dimensions. The graphs show that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) are becoming the dominant players, at the expense of some of the older smartphone manufacturers, such as Nokia (NYSE: NOK), which indicates to me that the incredible decline we’ve seen in RIMM shares is overdone.

. . .

→ Read More: Vector Space: A fascinating way of visualizing competitor performance ($RIMM, $AAPL, $NOK)