Archive for July, 2013

22
Jul
13

Is Apple The Next Sony?

Sony at one time had the global edge in personal electronic devices from their portable walkmans to Trinitron TV’s, large displays, cell phones, cameras, video games, entertainment, audio and video equipment as well as portable mp3 players and laptops to name a few. They grew to be mammoth in size and were once a stock market darling whose presence was noticeable in every form of media all around the world. Since their stock hit an all-time high of around $150 around the height of the dotcom stock market bubble in 2000, the famous Japanese company has seen it’s stock price plummet to currently trade around $22 which accounts for an over 85 percent drop. On the other hand, California based Apple with the recent popularity of it’s iPods, iPhones, iPads and Mac computers has dominated the tech sector in terms of devices or hardware along with it’s iTunes software downloading services. Having replaced Sony as the cool brand in the realm of marketing and trend setting crowd following consumers, Apple has seen it’s share price pull back quite substantially since hitting an all-time high of $700 and briefly becoming the worlds largest company by market cap. Is this story all too familiar? Apple stores have popped up every where just like Sony’s did during it’s bull run. Is Apple’s products no longer the most sophisticated in terms of technology wise (compared to competitors such as Samsung) and is their market hype way ahead of the actual quality of their products? Should they really be worth as much as their stock trades on the stock market? Like Sony, what will happen to investors when their growth levels off? Are they innovative enough to ward off the other players in the ever so competitive high tech gadgets sector? Has Apple basically become to big for it’s own good and are they the next Sony?

Advertisements
18
Jul
13

Is Canada In Trouble?

Within Canada there seems to be quite a bit of problems occurring at various levels within the vast great North as it is referred to. From Mayors being arrested and charged with corruption and bribery in Quebec, the Mayor in Toronto caught partying with drug dealers and murderers, Senators caught expensing personal lifestyle costs to the taxpayers or getting in trouble with the law, Provincial organizations such as eHealth Ontario caught handing out over priced contracts to friends and family, lack of oversight and criminal enforcement over shady publicly listed corporations on the TSX (ie. Sino-Forest, BreX, Poseidon Concepts, Nortel, etc.) and their Executives, etc. to name a few problems on the political side. With the government debts racked up substantially at all levels of government in Canada and the Canadian Government now more reliant on Exports to the US than ever (as a % of overall exports), to Canadian Consumers racking up record levels of debt (buying cars, houses as well as luxury goods) as well as Corporations, an obvious real estate bubble, to the Banking system adopting a too big too mentality and mimicking the shady practices performed by their US counter parts before the 2008 collapse, it seems Canada is a shock away from a collapse. With recent flooding in Calgary as well as Greater Toronto to the train disaster in Quebec (combined with regular passenger train derailments in Canada over the past few years), Canada’s aging infrastructure has been exposed as well. Since 2006, the current Federal Government under Stephen Harper has continued to finish off what Brian Mulroney started by selling Canada’s assets to the highest foreign bidder (thus allowing us consumers to pay high prices for Canadian Commodities and resources owned by foreign conglomerates) and not investing in Canada. Is Canada heading towards a repeat of the 1990’s? With the Canadian Economy ever so reliant on commercial and real estate growth and the banking activities that finance them, what will happen when that growth tapers off? Without significant investment in R&D during the current Harper government compared to previous Canadian leader’s legacies, how can Canada stand on it’s own two feet without such bubbly activity? Is Canada sailing towards murky waters and heading towards trouble?

18
Jul
13

Stephan Lebeau returns to the Habs

It was recently announced by Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin that former Habs player Stephan Lebeau has been hired as an assistant coach for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Going back at least a few decades, many remember the 1993 team that won the last Stanley Cup as well as that Lebeau was a part of that championship. Stephan Lebeau is ranked 2nd all time in Canadian Junior Hockey League scoring. He broke records and won awards in the one season he spent playing in the Montreal Canadiens Sherbrooke AHL team before being called up to the Habs. I still remember watching him score his first goal for the Montreal Canadiens. Lebeau was the last of the highly skilled, finesse style clean player for the Montreal Canadiens. When the NHL went in a direction of Don Cherry style, physical rough play over skill, players like Lebeau were exiled to play in Europe. Putting up decent numbers in his short tenure in the NHL, he was passed up by the Habs and other teams for less skilled and more aggressive players. Both Stephan and his younger brother (former Habs prospect who only played one game as a Hab putting up 1 point) went on to illustrious careers in Europe. Hence started the decline of the Montreal Canadiens as they departed from their style in the past of producing and keeping French Canadian players like Cournoyer, Lafleur, the Richard brothers and so forth. Lebeau was brilliant offensively and extremely creative back in his day. Last year the Hamilton Bulldogs really struggled offensively and players like Louis Leblanc as well as Michael Bournival had problems scoring. Lebeau should be able to give both of them as well as Charles Hudon and Stefan Fournier that extra spark they need to light it up offensively as the current head coach Sylvain Lefebvre and his assistant Donald Dufresne were defensive minded (and even struggled at that). Lebeau, from coaching in the juniors to his playing career as well as a resourceful analyst at RDS really knows the game inside out. He was once a prodigy and very similar in style to Mike Ribeiro as well as David Desharnais. The Montreal Canadiens really struggled and were unable to open it up against the Ottawa Senators in the playoffs due to lack of offence and Stephan Lebeau will be a huge impact to the future stars of the team.