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
It's that time of year when I start thinking about my 2011 stock picks, and enough folks have been nudging me that I might as well get on with it. The list will not be finalized until the end of the month. During the interim time I will take readers through a number of possibilities, explaining the rational for my suggestions along the way and adding and subtracting until I get the list down to ten.
Today I will start by reviewing opportunities discussed in another post and determine which of these stocks might provide the best value. The list was originally cast as a globally diversified, large cap, dividend paying and relatively stable group of companies that would likely weather any storm. See: Chasing Value: Bonds, Gold, Stocks and Capital Flight
Continue reading Chasing Value: 2011 Stock Picks -- The Journey Begins
I have always felt that for all the blabbing we do -- or blogging, in my case -- we should try as best we can to be accountable for our good and bad calls. This report is long overdue, but I will post it anyway since all of my past year's picks and results have been made public.
The market was very harsh in the early part of 2009, filling investors fear and trepidation, and sinking to a March 9, 2009 bottom. Perhaps some of the bleeding has stopped, but the economy has not healed as bears and bulls seem to carry the day, or every other day.
Continue reading Chasing Value™: 2009 Results Crushed the S&P 500
The first quarter of 2010 is closed and the results are in. My picks surpassed the primary indices by a large margin. The original story, Chasing Value: 10 Stock Picks for 2010 , was the culmination of a process presented to our readers and finally narrowed down to the select group using final prices from Monday, December 28, 2009.
For comparison I tracked the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the NASDAQ. Each of these produced positive results for the quarter.
Continue reading Chasing Value: 2010 Picks Triple Market Returns
Just last week General Electric (GE) surged on news that it will likely boost its dividend by some time in 2011. Coupled with the resumption of General Electric's buyback plan, shares set a new 52-week high.
But before you set off the fireworks and jump back into GE with the rest of the lemmings on Wall Street, take a closer look at the stock's fundamentals. My analysis of this company shows some serious flaws in profits and sales growth. Wall Street has forecast negative revenue growth for each of the next four quarters, and though earnings have topped the Street's low expectations recently, they have been relatively flat. That means GE isn't sinking, but it sure isn't going anywhere.
Continue reading GE vs. H.J. Heinz: Which Is the Tastier Dividend Play?
General Electric (GE
) used to be a blue chip. Well, I suppose you could argue it still is one, but you have to admit it hasn't acted like one for a while. Remember when the stock hit a single-digit, multi-year low last year? That was painful, especially to someone who owned a long-term position in the business. Like myself.
Besides owning a long-term position, I tried trading the company during the economic crisis. I didn't succeed; I eventually sold the short-term position at a loss, as I mentioned in this piece. But I still hold my long-term shares. And if you haven't been reading the financial news lately, you've missed all the articles about the industrial conglomerate. Looks like everyone is talking about GE, specifically about its potential to come back in the next year or so.
Continue reading Everyone's Talking About GE
CBS (CBS) posted Q4 figures Thursday after the bell. The broadcaster, which competes with Disney's (DIS) ABC, General Electric's (GE) NBC, and News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox, said it made 25 cents per share on an adjusted basis. The growth rate wasn't bad at 19%, but unfortunately, expectations were only met. I know, meeting expectations isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, but let's remember how the analyst game operates: beating estimates is all that matters.
But meeting expectations wasn't the most disappointing part of the story -- far from it. Instead, the flat top line and the decline in cash flow were more relevant elements. Net cash from operations for all of 2009 was a little under $940 million. There was over $2.1 billion generated from operations in 2008.
Continue reading CBS Increases Adjusted Profit in Q4, Cash Flow Down for the Year
Disney (DIS), a major media company that competes with CBS (CBS), General Electric's (GE) NBC Universal, News Corp. (NWS), Sony (SNE), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA), offered up fiscal Q1 data after the bell on Tuesday. From the looks of things, the Mouse had a good quarter.
According to my earnings preview, the call was for net income to come in at 39 cents per share on an adjusted basis. Disney actually made 47 cents per share. Not only was that a more than acceptable beat, but it represents growth of 15%.
Continue reading Disney Starts Off the New Fiscal Year with Solid Results
Comcast (CMCSA) published fourth-quarter numbers earlier today. On a reported basis, net income more than doubled to 33 cents per share. According to Reuters, the cable company earned 29 cents per share on an adjusted basis, beating estimates by two pennies.
Management loves to promote its ability to generate free cash flow. There was an increase in this metric of just under 21% for the twelve-month period. I love free-cash generation, and I appreciate this example of growth, but one thing should be pointed out: operational cash flow was flat. As the earnings release stated, a reduction in capital expenditures was mostly responsible for the expansion. Free cash flow was down 11% for the fourth quarter itself, sorry to say.
Continue reading Comcast Down on Q4 Release
News Corp. (NWS), the media conglomerate that competes with Disney (DIS), Time Warner (TWX), and General Electric's (GE) NBC Universal, posted Q2 data after the bell on Tuesday. Shareholders should have few complaints on this one.
Revenues went up 10%, and earnings on an adjusted basis jumped well over 60% to 25 cents per share. According to Reuters, the estimate was 20 cents per share. Besides the beat, cash from operations was a lot better in the current six-month period. In the comparable frame, cash was used to fund operating activities.
Continue reading News Corp. Reports Fantastic Second Quarter
NBC Universal, which recently was the subject of a proposed transaction between General Electric (GE) and Comcast (CMCSA), is having a serious problem with The Jay Leno Show. It's not performing well in the ratings. But wait, there's more, as a typical infomercial narrator might intone: The Tonight Show isn't faring any better under the aegis of Conan O'Brien.
Worse, the issues with the 10 PM Leno programming asset go beyond just his ratings. The show is exerting a negative halo effect over the local newscasts. If you don't have a strong lead-in, then the content that follows will suffer.
Continue reading The Leno/O'Brien Puzzle: What Should NBC Do?
Time Warner (TWX), whose colleagues include The Walt Disney Company (DIS), General Electric Corporation's (GE) Universal, and Sony Corporation (SNE), did an incredible job at the box office in 2009. It could even end up being the top studio, although there is currently some ambiguity on that count. This article over at Variety says that News Corp. (NWS) might come out ahead once all is said and done.
Nevertheless, according to Moviefone, Time Warner's movie operations captured an estimated $3.99 billion at multiplexes around the globe. Yes, it's an impressive feat, and it was done with the help of a major franchise. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince grossed well over $900 million on a worldwide basis. Even more amazing was the performance of surprise comedy hit The Hangover. And to think, that one had an R rating, something that tends to limit the potential for big success.
Continue reading Thoughts on Time Warner's 2009 Box Office Performance
During my tenure at BloggingStocks I have expressed my opinion often about the contribution that dividends make to your overall return. Most shrewd investors, and especially "my pal Warren," know this and understand why I re-emphasize the point when I make my annual selections.
By now I hope you have had a chance to peruse my picks for 2010. If not the links below will give you another opportunity.
Continue reading Chasing Value: 2010 Dividends for Ten Stock Picks
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