Back in the summer of 2010 when the market was down, the gulf was full of spewing oil and investors were running away from bad news stocks shocked most notably by BP (BP
) oil spill, I decided to post a contrarian story
reminding readers that the fear was overblown and created a buying opportunity.
"My pal Warren" has said for years that we should buy on fear and sell on greed. The toxic stock portfolio was a result of this sentiment.
This is the fourth update to my ranting eight months ago that acquiring six of the most hated, and most highly traded stocks with constant negative headlines would outperform the overall market. The theory has born fruit as the toxic stocks are ahead and the difference is increasing over time.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Toxic Stock Update #4 -- BAC, BP, C, GE, GS, RIG
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) is recently down 1% due to Rajat Gupta (who served on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble (PG) both), having been charged by the SEC in an insider trading scheme.
GS March 155 and 160 puts were active. March and July put option implied volatility of 27 is near its 26-week average of 29 according to Track Data. Large put volume suggests traders hedging for downside price movement.
Staples, Inc. (SPLS) March call option implied volatility is at 37, June is at 29 according to Track Data, compared to its 26-week average of 28, suggesting larger near-term movement into Q4 results on March 2.
Options Update is by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of theflyonthewall.com.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is sitting on $38 billion in cash. Buffett sent a 26-page letter to investors on Saturday, describing his forthcoming goals for this year. Some highlights of the letter are reported in Reuters.
First off, like many other large corporations Berkshire Hathaway has been hoarding cash. Now, Buffett feels that it's time to invest his bundle. He is actively searching for big deals. Reuters quotes him as saying: "Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy."
Continue reading Buffett's 'Trigger Finger Is Itchy' for Deals
Investors have been trying to guess how the Goldman Sachs (GS) business model will morph, especially as the firm moves away from proprietary trading. Interestingly enough, it looks like a part of the new strategy will be a focus on venture capital deals. Of course, the standout transaction was the investment in Facebook.
But there is another interesting one, which was announced Wednesday: a $70 million minority stake in AppSense.
Continue reading Goldman Sachs Goes Big on Venture Capital
JPMorgan (JPM) is one the largest and most diversified bank in the U.S., and offers services such as retail banking, commercial banking, asset management, investment banking, consumer lending and credit cards. Its main competitors include Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Deutsche Bank (DB) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
JPMorgan has benefited from a decline in provisions for credit losses that raised operating margins for its retail banking business. However, a weak economic recovery has resulted in a decline in average interest earning deposits and presents a potential concern for the multinational bank.
Continue reading JPMorgan: Upside and Downside Scenarios
The world is screaming for copper. Demand from China, the U.S. and Europe is pushing prices to all-time highs. London copper traded at $10,000 a metric ton. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper hit $.4.58 a pound, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.
Traders are looking for "five dollar copper," which would push London's price to $11,000 per metric ton. Goldman Sachs (GS) forecasts that copper will average $10,230 a metric ton in 2011, up 15%. It warned that new mine capacity will not come to market for at least two years.
Continue reading Copper Sets Record $10,000 a Metric Ton
- Micron (MU) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Baker Hughes (BHI) to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
- PDL BioPharma (PDLI) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- Fluor (FLR) and Rush Enterprises (RUSHA) to buy from neutral at BofA/Merrill.
- Camden Property (CPT) to outperform from neutral at Macquarie.
- Pinnacle Financial (PNFP) to buy from hold at Wunderlich.
- Linear Technology (LLTC) to neutral from reduce at Nomura.
- Hologic (HOLX) and Illumina (ILMN) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- F5 Networks (FFIV) to buy from neutral at Gleacher.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: ALTR, BHI, CL, CLX, FFIV, GS, HCBK, LLTC, PG, STT, TYC ...
Bank earnings are coming in mixed. A few days ago, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reported its profit was up 47%. Then, Goldman Sachs (GS) reported earnings were down 52%. And on Wednesday, we got a stellar performance by Morgan Stanley (MS).
The Wall Street Journal reports that Morgan Stanley's profits were up 35% to $867 million, up from $460 million a year ago. Earnings jumped to 41 cents per share from 29 cents per share. Net revenue jumped 14% to $7.81 billion. Analysts at Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 35 cents a share on $7.35 billion.
Continue reading Morgan Stanley's Profit Rose 35%
Even the big boys have a "bad hair day." Goldman Sachs (GS) fourth-quarter profit fell 52% year over year.The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that Goldman posted a profit of $2.39 billion, down from $4.95 billion a year ago. After preferred dividends, profit fell to $3.79 per share from $8.20 a year ago. Revenue dropped 10% to $8.64 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $3.76 a share on $9 billion in revenue.
Other highlights of the report included:
Continue reading Goldman Sachs Profit Falls 52%
A key to the success of Goldman Sachs (GS) has been its ability to anticipate major trends. For example, it did this during the 1980s by providing protection against hostile takeovers. Of course, then there was the move to proprietary trading.
However, in light of the Obama regulations, Goldman has had to make another major shift. In fact, it looks like the firm is going back to its roots of providing top-notch advice on public offerings and M&A.
Continue reading Goldman Just Says 'No' To U.S. Facebook Investors
The earnings season ramps up this week. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters foresee strong reports from such big names as Apple (AAPL), eBay (EBAY), IBM (IBM), General Electric (GE), Google (GOOG), Schlumberger (SLB) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). And fast on the heels of last week's big earnings beat from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), there will be plenty more results from the financial sector to peruse this week.
Among the financials expected to post double-digit earnings growth this week are Capital One Financial (COF), Morgan Stanley (MS), SLM Corp. (SLM) and U.S. Bancorp (USB), but the week's biggest earnings winner may be Wells Fargo (WFC).
Continue reading Week in Preview: Banks in the Earnings Spotlight
- NYSE Euronex (NYX) to conviction buy from neutral at Goldman.
- General Dynamics (GD) to buy from hold at Citigroup.
- Deere (DE), Parker-Hannifin (PH) and ExlService (EXLS) to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan.
- Aflac (AFL) to outperform from market perform at FBR Capital.
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- Amdocs (DOX) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Juniper (JNPR) to buy from hold at ThinkEquity.
- Rudolph Tech (RTEC) and KLA-Tencor (KLAC) to perform from underperform at Oppenheimer.
- Hershey (HSY) and Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) to equal weight from underweight at Morgan Stanley.
- Micron (MU) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AFL, DE, DOX, GD, GS, HSY, ITT, MS, NYX, TXN, UBS, WYNN ...
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