Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • Murray Stahl Reduced Holdings in 7 of Top 10 2nd-Quarter Transactions

    Seven of the top 10 second-quarter transactions by Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) of Horizon Kinetics were reductions of existing stakes in the portfolio.

    The largest reduction of the quarter was the sale of more than 83% of the guru’s stake in Liberty Media Corp. (NASDAQ:LMCK), a Colorado-based mass media company. The guru sold 6,097,053 shares for an average price of $20.4 per share in a deal that had a -4.24% impact on the portfolio.


  • Don’t Lose Your Money to Mobileye

    Our take

    ADAS/AV is, no doubt, a growing market but it’s still unclear what will be the extent of growth. The market will adjust its expectations regarding the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Mobileye doesn’t hold the extensive IP portfolio to keep competition out of the market. Competition is intensifying amid the growth of ADAS/AV. The company isn’t keeping R&D up to speed. Despite this, the company is valued as a future leader in ADAS. Mobileye is a short-sell as, even, the best case scenario doesn’t divulges any upside.


  • Tight Trading on Thursday with Stocks Ending Lower

    U.S. market indexes were lower on Thursday as the week’s leading factors kept stocks trading within a tight range. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18448.41 for a loss of -33.07 points, or -0.18%. The S&P 500 was also lower, closing at 2172.47 for a loss of -2.97 points, or -0.14%. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 5212.20 for a loss of -5.49 points, or -0.11%. The VIX Volatility Index was just slightly higher at 13.67 for a gain of 0.22 points, or 1.64%.

    Healthcare stocks continued to report losses on Thursday with all of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s healthcare stocks lower.


  • Evercore Partners Inc (EVR) CEO EVR Partners International Andrew Sibbald Sold $6,401,250 of Stocks

  • Lumentum Holdings Inc (LITE) CEO and President Alan S Lowe Sold $5,928,770 of Stocks

  • Scott Black Bought 6 New Stocks in 2nd Quarter

    Scott Black (Trades, Portfolio) of Delphi Management Inc. added six new holdings to the portfolio in the second quarter.

    The most noteworthy addition was the purchase of 71,910 shares in Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE:SKX), a California-based footwear company, for an average price of $30.21 per share. The transaction had a 1.37% impact on the portfolio.


  • Sears Holdings Reports Steep Loss, Takes Loan From Lampert in Q2

    Sears Holdings reported a second-quarter earnings loss Thursday as it continues to pursue its strategy of “transformation” under leadership of well-known hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert.

    Sears had a net loss of $395 million and $3.70 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $208 million and $1.84 for the second quarter last year. The losses came as the struggling retailer witnessed comparable store sales decline by 3.3% at Kmart and 7% at Sears Domestic.


  • Surepure Inc (SURP) CEO Guy Kebble Bought $200,000 of Stocks

  • Evercore Partners Inc (EVR) CEO EVR Partners International Andrew Sibbald Sold $6,401,250 of Stocks

  • Lumentum Holdings Inc (LITE) CEO and President Alan S Lowe Sold $5,928,770 of Stocks

  • What to Expect from Microsoft Beyond 2016

    Over the past four years, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been experiencing a consistent revenue slide and is already down nearly 9% year-over-year between 2015 and the current full fiscal. This is a company undergoing major upheaval, just like IBM (NYSE:IBM). And just like IBM, their revenue is a mixed bag of declining legacy revenues and growing future bets.



  • Bill Nygren's Top Performers

    Bill Nygren (Trades, Portfolio) is portfolio manager of the Oakmark Fund, the Oakmark Select Fund, and the Oakmark Global Select Fund. During the second quarter, the guru traded several stakes, the following are the ones with the highest performance since that trade.

    LinkedIn Corp Class A. (LNKD)


  • Is MasterCard More Attractive than Visa at this Price Point?

    There is not much to differentiate between MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V) when you look at them from a business model point of view. They both operate in the same industry and their scale and reach are much better than any other payments technology company. But things get a lot different when you analyze them from a metrics point of view.

    Visa’s global transaction volume in 2015 was nearly double that of MasterCards. Visa’s sales numbers have been growing at a much faster rate during the last four years and Visa is valued at 14 times sales, while MasterCard sits at a little more than 10.


  • Is Visa Worth the Price?

    The world’s largest payments processor continues to grow to this day. New age companies such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (XKRX:005930), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), who could have disrupted the payments industry, have already fallen in line and accepted Visa’s control over the payments market, thus making sure that Visa’s moat remains impenetrable in the near future. But with more than $13 billion in annual revenues, does Visa warranty a $172 billion dollar valuation, almost 14 times its sales? The market seems to be expecting the the company to keep growing at double-digit rates, but how possible will that be for a company that saw its sales grow by 9.27% last year?



  • Jeremy Grantham Trims Amazon, Baidu, Wal-Mart

    Jeremy Grantham (Trades, Portfolio) is the Chairman of the Board of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo, a Boston based asset management firm. The following are his largest trades of the second quarter.

    The guru almost closed his stake in Amazon Inc. (AMZN), reducing it by 97.56% with an impact of -2.76% on the portfolio.


  • Why You Need Dividend Stocks in Your Portfolio

    Dividends are an essential part of investing. Most investors will have some dividend or income stocks in their portfolio and many companies see dividends as an important part of their shareholder relations strategy. Shareholders are the ultimate owners of publicly traded companies and being able to partake in the profits of a business in which you invest is a key benefit of owning a share.

    Most investors view dividends as an income stream from their assets, the proceeds of which can boost income. And while there is nothing wrong with this strategy, it can blunt the performance effect dividend income has on your portfolio.


  • Goldcorp Inc.: Contamination of Selenium at Penasquito

    Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) has been having problems with selenium contamination at Penasquito gold mine since October 2014, when the Canadian miner informed the Mexican government about a rise in levels of contamination for the first time.

    Since then, the situation has gotten worse and two weeks ago, the company told Mexican regulators that contaminated water had also been found in other areas of its property.


  • An In-Depth Look at the VBI Vaccines CMV Study

    Cytomegalovirus or CMV, is the virus behind the developing of permanent problems such as deafness, blindness and intellectual disability retardation in more than 5,000 newborns in the US each year. It affects more live births than both Down Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and direct economic costs of CMV infection exceed $2 billion annually.

    Despite this, there is currently no available vaccine and a large proportion of the developed world have never even heard of the disease.


  • There’s More Than One Way to Find a Great Stock

    Years ago, I sponsored a debate between two prominent money managers about which measure was a better way to pick stocks – the price-earnings ratio or price-to-cash-flow ratio. The discussion got heated, and at times personal.

    Most investors don’t take their stock-selection methods quite that seriously – especially if they don’t make their entire living in the market.


  • A Look at Four Stocks in Oakmark Small Cap International

    Oakmark Small Cap International (OAKEX) is managed by David Herro (Trades, Portfolio) and has $2.4 billion in assets. The fund has averaged 8.92% a year since its founding 21 years ago. We are going to take a look at four of these international small caps in the portfolio.

    The first company is Incitec Pivot (INCZY). Incitec is an Australian manufacturer of agricultural chemicals and explosives. Like most agricultural and mining companies, Incitec has lagged with lower grain prices and decreased mining. Revenues grew for quite some time, but were 3.9 billion Australian dollars in 2011 and were AU$3.6 billion in 2015. Operating margins are usually in the mid-teens. Return on equity is in the mid-teens until the last few years—single digits.


  • IBM’s Under-The-Radar Initiatives

    In many ways, IBM’s (NYSE:IBM) transition into a growth-oriented one seems to be a never-ending process. There are several thrust areas that the company is focusing on now, but revenues continue to decline along with stock price.

    In a recent article titled Watson Analytics - The Real Heart of IBM?, I covered in detail why I thought IBM’s analytics could be the company’s real game changer. With quarterly revenues from IBM’s analytics unit near $5 billion, this segment alone accounts for nearly a quarter of their overall revenues and looks good to go well over that.


  • Warren Buffett Adds to Phillips 66

    Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) added to his holdings in Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) on Aug. 24.

    Buffett purchased 704,181 shares for an average price of $77.45 per share. The guru now owns 79,486,181 shares in Phillips, and the purchase had an impact of 0.04% on the portfolio.


  • Non-Banks: Do They Really Change the Rules of Banking, Corporate Finance?

    Next year is not going to be easy for banks, so many will have to reorganize to keep to their companies afloat. This is what analysts are talking about and what the world industry leaders understand. Nowadays, banks are being pressure tested. The economic situation remains uncertain, the financial market - volatile. In the meantime, regulators are tightening rules, afraid the crisis may come back. Collateral requirements have become stricter, so has risk control. The political atmosphere also does not instill optimism.

    Think, for instance, of the recent crisis that hit the major European banks. The European banking organization (EBA) analyzed the state of the 105 largest banks in the 21 member countries of the European Union. The detailed study yielded disappointing results, showing that the European banks’ position is worse than that of their competitors overseas. Overdue debt on the EU banks’ balance sheets accounts for no less than a trillion euros.


  • Hennessy Japan and Japan Small Cap Fund 2nd Quarter Commentary

    In the following commentary, the Portfolio Management team of the Hennessy Japan Fund (Trades, Portfolio) and Hennessy Japan Small Cap Fund (Trades, Portfolio) provide their perspective on the Japanese economy, recent initiatives taken by the government to encourage growth, and a rise in merger and acquisition activity.

    1. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered a new round of fiscal stimulus spending after his recent reelection victory. Would you please comment on the market’s reaction to the proposed stimulus?


  • Industry Overview Gives Good Investing Insights

    GuruFocus introduced the Industry Overview page, which allows users to get an initial overview of the best industries in which to invest, on July 24, 2015.

    Despite offering a great first step in value investing, the existing feature has several drawbacks, including the shortage of information and inefficient presentation of the data. To improve this feature, we can create a summary page detailing all financial metrics for each of the industries listed.


  • 2 More Reasons Why Buffett Continues to Buy Phillips 66

    I have written about Warren Buffet’s accumulation of PSX shares on Gurufocus before. At that time, my reverse engineering of the Oracle’s actions led me to believe it was driven not by an interest in the oil and gas sector, but valuation driven. As Buffett continues to buy shares of Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and I have gained additional insights over time, it is time for an update.

    First of all, I still believe Buffett is not very interested in the oil and gas sector. This is evidenced by a CNBC interview, late 2015, where Becky Quick asks him:


  • Bill Nygren Gains 1, Loses 1 in 2nd Quarter

    Bill Nygren (Trades, Portfolio) of Oakmark Funds acquired LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) and sold out of Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN) in the second quarter.

    Nygren is the portfolio manager for the Oakmark Fund, the Oakmark Select Fund and the Oakmark Global Select Fund. Nygren and his partners are value investors. They invest in companies they believe trade at a substantial discount to the true business value. When evaluating potential investments, they focus on a company’s stock price and whether it is at a discount to its value, free cash flow and the investment of excess cash. They also look for a high level of management ownership.


  • The 3 Worst Performing Dividend Aristocrats This Year

    The Dividend Aristocrats Index is comprised of 50 businesses with 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases. You can see all 50 Dividend Aristocrats here.

    Over the last decade, the performance of the Dividend Aristocrats Index has been excellent.


  • 10 Best Dividend Paying Stocks for the Enterprising Investor

    enterprising dividend investorThere are a number of great companies in the market today. By using the ModernGraham Valuation Model, I've selected ten of the best dividend paying stocks for the Enterprising dividend stock investor. These companies have the highest dividend yields among the undervalued companies reviewed by ModernGraham, which are suitable for Enterprising Investors according to the ModernGraham approach.

    Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk. Each company suitable for the Defensive Investor is also suitable for Enterprising Investors.


  • Jim Rogers Is 1 of the World's Best Investors

    I recently reread the book “Street Smarts” by Jim Rogers. It’s an excellent book.

    In it Rogers shares his timeless advice on investing and life, and the lessons are so important that I decided to summarize them in this article. In a few minutes you will learn how one of the best investors in the world thinks and invests. If you are interested I suggest you read the full book.


  • US Equity Market Has More to Gain

    Stocks have been wavering in recent days as Janet Yellen’s speech at the Monetary Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, looms ahead on Friday.

    The Fed’s July meeting minutes and supporting comments are trending toward a rate increase sooner rather than later. The Fed will likely increase its federal funds rate 25 basis points in either September or December. While stocks have been wavering in recent days, investors should not be dismayed because the Fed’s rate increase is a good sign for the economy, and the U.S. equity market has even more room to gain.


  • New No-Load Fund + Experienced Fund Manager = High Yield Opportunity

    Buying utilities at 25 times earnings or consumer staples at 30 times earnings or more is a fool's game.

    These are not growth stocks. Whenever prices are bid up and yields therefore reduced, the seeds of that sector's decline are planted. It takes only one untoward event and the weakness is exposed, and the stocks return to their historic channels.


  • 52-Week Company Lows

    According to GuruFocus’ list of 52-week lows, these stocks have reached their 52-week lows.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill reached the 52-week low of $397


  • Lumentum Holdings Inc (LITE) CEO and President Alan S Lowe Sold $5.9 million of Stocks

  • HP: A Bet on the Future of 3-D Printer Market?

    (Print the Legend, Netflix)


  • Evercore Partners Inc (EVR) CEO EVR Partners International Andrew Sibbald Sold $6.4 million of Stocks

  • A 1977 Warren Buffett Interview From the WSJ Archives

    Someone I’m connected with on Linkedin sent me this old article from 1977 in the Wall Street Journal on Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio). I thought I’d share it here, along with a few highlights. It’s an article I haven’t seen previously. There isn’t much new here, but I thought it was quick read with a couple passages worth commenting on.

    One thing I don’t recall Buffett ever describing were the pressures of money management that he felt while running his partnership. This is Buffett describing the relief he felt after closing his fund:  

  • Brandes Funds Comments on Ericsson

    The All-Cap Investment Committee initiated a position in Sweden-based Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). The company is the global leader in wireless infrastructure, with 40% of the world’s mobile traffic running through its networks.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Fuji Media Holdings

    During the quarter, the Small-Cap Investment Committee initiated a position in Japanese Fuji Media Holdings (TSE:4676).


  • Housing Market at New Levels

    With a rate increase from the Federal Reserve likely in September or December, many investors will be closely watching the housing market where the Fed’s easing policy over the past few years has had the greatest affects. The market’s leading source for average mortgage rate data, Freddie Mac, has shown mortgage rates holding steady and even falling slightly in recent weeks. The Aug. 18 report showed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.43%, down from 3.45% in the previous week. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was also down slightly from the previous week at 2.74%. Mortgage applications and refinancings however have begun to slow with the most recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, showing mortgage applications down 2.1% and refinancings down 3%.

    Housing market sales and prices have been reaching new highs as the housing market has been a leading catalyst for economic growth. It seems that the market’s new levels are likely to remain, despite the Fed’s tightening policy. What could be a greater factor for the housing market is new policies enacted following the presidential election. In a recent CNBC report, a market specialist from The Carnegie Group discussed the housing market’s new levels and some of the policy affects that could result from the presidential election.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Nokia

    Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has evolved quite significantly over the past few years, divesting several businesses while integrating and acquiring others in an effort to improve its scale and competitive positioning. Historically known as a mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia sold this business to Microsoft for $7.2 billion in 2013. The company also sold its HERE mapping business to a consortium of German carmakers for € 2.55 billion in 2015.

    Nokia largely retained its mobile technology patents after selling off its phone business. As a result, the company now has a patent/technology licensing business which has generated close to $1 billion/year in high-margin revenue. The company is also working to license non-essential patents.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Embraer

    For Embraer (NYSE:ERJ), which derives the majority of its sales outside Brazil, the real’s appreciation continued to present a headwind. The company has also been experiencing margin compression, mainly due to the mature state of its current product mix ahead of the launch of its second-generation models expected in 2018. We see the challenges facing Embraer as temporary in nature and we continue to believe the company represents an attractive investment opportunity.


  • Thomas Greco Buys Advance Auto Parts

    Thomas Greco (Insider Trades), CEO of Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP), acquired 6,250 shares of the company on Aug. 23. The average price per share was $159.56, for a total transaction of $997,250. Advance Auto Parts is an automotive aftermarket parts provider serving professional and do-it-yourself customers in North America. The company has a market cap of $11.8 billion.

    The number and volume of insider buys increased from 2015 to 2016. In the 2 years prior to 2015, there were only insider sells of AAP, however, there was a single insider buy totaling 1,230 shares in 2015 and 9 insider purchases totaling 1,062,339 shares in 2016 to date. Despite the lack of insider purchases in 2013 and 2014, there were 19 insider sells totaling 319,957 shares and 17 insider sells totaling 285,884 shares, respectively. In these four years, Greco purchased 12,950 shares in 2 transactions, including the aforementioned transaction. Another AAP insider, John Francis Ferraro (Insider Trades), director, acquired 500 shares of AAP for an average per share price of $160.28 on Aug. 22. Overall, month end price increased when comparing 2013 to 2016. For more information about insider trades with AAP, click here.


  • Healthcare Drug Pricing a Factor for the Market on Wednesday

    U.S. market indexes were lower on Wednesday. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18481.48 for a loss of -65.82 points, or -0.35%. The S&P 500 was also lower, closing at 2175.44 for a loss of -11.46 points, or -0.52%. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 5217.69 for a loss of -42.38 points, or -0.81%. The VIX Volatility Index was higher for the day at 13.77 for a gain of 1.39 points, or 11.23%.

    Healthcare stocks led losses for the day as pharmaceutical drug pricing was scrutinized. All of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s healthcare stocks were lower with UnitedHealth Group Inc. leading losses, down 1.51% for the day.


  • Brandes Global Equity Fund 2nd Quarter Commentary

    Market Overview


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Kasikornbank

    Established a year later in 1945, Kasikornbank (BKK:KBANK) is Thailand’s fourth-largest bank. The company provides a broad range of consumer, commercial and corporate banking services, including lending, deposit-taking, credit-card services, international-trade financing, custodian services, asset management, investment banking, life insurance and leasing. Moreover, Kasikornbank is the leader in Thailand’s small-/mid-enterprise lending market, which offers higher margins than retail and corporate lending segments.

    The Thai banking industry is in the midst of a credit cycle where asset quality started deteriorating in 2015 due to the slowing economy. In descending order of credit risk, small-/ mid-enterprise lending has represented the highest level of non-performing loans, followed by retail and corporate lending. However, we believe both Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank are well positioned in the market and offer a margin of safety at their current prices—even after adjusting for further credit deterioration over the next few years.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Bangkok Bank

    Founded in 1944, Bangkok Bank (BKK:BBL) is the largest commercial bank in Thailand with assets, loans, and deposits all commanding over 15% in market share. Bangkok Bank offers a universal banking platform with a full range of consumer, small-/mid-enterprise and corporate financial products and services. Additionally, the company boasts a strong franchise with nearly 1,200 domestic branches, 39 international branches and over 9,000 ATMs.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo

    We’ve highlighted our investment in SABESP (NYSE:SBS) in past commentaries when economic fear in Brazil, coupled with a severe drought, brought the market valuation for the company down to what we considered attractive levels. However, there have been a number of incremental positives for SABESP over the past year, including:

    • Rainfall: Thanks to the long-awaited rainfall, the water reservoirs in Sao Paolo region have improved—albeit still low—from the critical levels observed a year ago.

  • Brandes Funds Comments on Eletrobras

    A long-time position in the Fund, Eletrobras (BSP:LIPR3) is a holding company that operates across the entire electricity value chain. The company is Brazil’s largest electricity provider, controlling 33% of the country’s generation capacity, mainly via hydro plants, and nearly 50% of the transmission grid.

    In late April, Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy announced very favorable compensation payment terms for the residual value of transmission assets built prior to 2000 (previously arbitrarily set to zero). The change marked a significant regulatory turnabout for Eletrobras and drove up its shares. The share-price increase, combined with a strong rally for Brazilian securities in general, led us to believe that the risk/reward tradeoff no longer warranted an investment in Eletrobras.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Erste Group Bank

    Also weighing on performance in the quarter was Erste GroupBank (WBO:EBS), an Austria-domiciled bank with a majority of assets in emerging Europe. European financial companies—Erste was no exception—were negatively impacted by the Brexit news due to increased fears of a euro break-up, prolonged macroeconomic uncertainty and more downward pressure on interest rates. Compared to other developing markets, emerging Central and Eastern European countries tend to have higher exposure to exports to the United Kingdom and the euro zone, as well as currencies that are more correlated to the euro. However, we believe Erste will be relatively resilient due to its strong capital adequacy and improving asset quality.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Embraer

    For Embraer (NYSE:ERJ), which derives the majority of its sales outside Brazil, the real’s appreciation continued to present a headwind. The company has also been experiencing margin compression, mainly due to the mature state of its current product mix ahead of the launch of its next-generation models expected in 2018. We see the challenges facing Copa and Embraer as temporary in nature and we continue to believe they represent attractive investment opportunities.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Copa

    After starting the year with strong performance buoyed by the currency strengthening of a number of Latin American countries in which it operates, Copa (NYSE:CPA) saw its shares decline due to downward revisions to its 2016 guidance on revenue per available seat mile (or RASM, normally used to measure an airline’s efficiency) and operating margins.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Lifestyle International

    Lifestyle International (HKSE:01212) announced in April a proposal to spin off all of its businesses and investments in China as a separate entity in an effort to unlock hidden value. Lifestyle’s Hong Kong and Chinese assets have different growth paths, risk profiles and historical cash-flow generation properties. We generally view the spinoff as positive news as it may increase financial transparency, enable management teams to better focus on their respective businesses, and allow greater access to debt and equity markets.


  • Brandes Funds Comments on Estacio

    A bidding war for Estacio (BSP:ESTC3) erupted in early June after Kroton Educacional and Ser, two of Estacio’s peers, made non-binding merger offers for the company. In mid-June, Estacio’s chief executive officer resigned and was replaced on an interim basis by a member of the Zaher family. This development magnified the bidding war as there has been speculation that the Zaher family, which owns 14% of Estacio, is also considering a possible tender offer for 36%-61% of the company in order to acquire majority control.

    While the situation is ongoing, shares of Estacio and Kroton (BSP:KROT3) have appreciated materially on the news of the potential acquisition. The merger between the two companies could produce meaningful synergies, including scale and operational improvements, especially considering Kroton’s margins are materially higher than Estacio’s.


  • Brandes Emerging Markets Value Fund 2nd Quarter Commentary

    Market Overview


  • Edward Lampert Adds 2 Companies to Portfolio in 2nd Quarter

    Edward Lampert (Trades, Portfolio), founder of RBS Partners LP and chairman of Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD), invested in two stocks – Seagate Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:STX) and Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL) – in the second quarter that are new to his portfolio.

    Lampert’s portfolio reflected transactions in five stocks during the quarter.


  • Michael Dell Sells Esterline Shares in 2nd Quarter

    MSD Capital, which manages the portfolio of Michael Dell (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), made five transactions on the guru’s behalf in the second quarter.

    The largest was the sale of Dell’s 717,683-share holding in Esterline Technologies Corp. (NYSE:ESL), a provider of specialty products for aerospace and defense clients, for an average price of $65.47 per share. The divestiture had a -8.56% impact on Dell’s portfolio.


  • Surepure Inc (SURP) CEO Guy Kebble Bought $200,000 of Stocks

  • Ekornes had a Great First Half

    Ekornes ASA (EKRNF) is a Norwegian manufacturer of high end furniture. Its chairs are known for their ergonomic design and retail up to $4,000. Shares have been up recently with a strong second half for 2016. The shares are held by Tweedy, Browne.

    There are 36.83 million shares and the company trades at a market cap of 3.83 billion krones ($467 million). It takes 8.21 krone to buy one dollar. Earnings per share were 5 krone in 2015 and the stock traded at a price to earnings ratio of 20.8. The dividend was 4 krone and the dividend yield was 3.84%. Beginning in 2011 to 2015, earnings per share were: 7.45 krone, 6.95 krone, 6.04 krone, 4.35 krone and 5 krone. The dividend over that time frame was: 7.5 krone, 5.5 krone, 5.5 krone, 4 krone and 4 krone.


  • Ken Heebner Cuts Citigroup, Toll Brothers in 2nd quarter

    Ken Heebner (Trades, Portfolio) is the co-founder of Capital Growth Management, a money management firm with more than $6 billion under management. During the second quarter, the company focused its trades as follows :

    The guru reduced his stake in Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) by 57.99%,with an impact of -3.94% on the portfolio.


  • PayPal’s Growth Hides an Underlying Concern

    Paypal (NASDAQ:PYPL) has been enjoying a solid period of expansion, exhibited by double-digit revenue growth for the last five years. The company looks all set to more than double its 2012 revenue of $5.6 billion this year but, unlike some other companies that have grown at this pace, Paypal is still trading at 21 times forward earnings and looks very attractive at this price point.

    During the second quarter of 2016, Paypal posted $86 billion in total payment volume and had 188 million active customer accounts. But the real money for Paypal is in their merchant business, where the company finished the quarter with 14.5 million active merchant accounts. Merchant services accounted for a whopping 83% of their overall payment volume for the quarter.


  • Amazon Gains Another Weapon in its Profitability Arsenal

    Amazon Business (NASDAQ:AMZN), an online marketplace for businesses to buy all their supplies from sellers on Amazon, was launched in April 2015. Almost a year later, Amazon Business has been a roaring success, topping one billion in revenues while connecting 400,000 businesses with 30,000 sellers.



  • We Bought the Atlanta Braves and You Can Too

    Name a business that has a government sanctioned monopoly, enjoys annual growth rates in excess of 12% , has been around since 1869 and regularly convinces local governments to help pay for its large capital expenditures. The answer is a professional sports team, in this case a Major League Baseball franchise. The recent spinoff of tracking stock Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ:BATRA) from Liberty Media finally gives investors the opportunity to buy a major league baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, unencumbered by other unrelated assets. With the stock down about 15% since its spinoff on April 18, we decided it was a good entry point and added it to one of our stock portfolios.

    Major league sports teams in the United States are great assets. They are protected from competition by a government-sanctioned monopoly and as such, their value tends to compound at rates above the long-term growth rate of the stock market. The NFL, as the US’ most popular sport has the highest growth rates, but baseball comes in a strong second with an average increase in franchise value of 12.4% over the recent decade. Given the monopoly nature of the league, it is highly likely this above average value growth will continue. So, let’s look at what we get when we bought the Atlanta Braves.


  • What Has Worked in Investing: Charts

    The world of investing can be a daunting place for beginners and even the more experienced investor. It can take decades to find your investment feet, test different strategies and to develop a money management style that suits both you and your lifestyle.

    It is important that while you are developing your own strategy to avoid being drawn into other strategies, which claim to have better and more sustainable returns. But how do you know which ones to avoid and which ones to take a second look at?


  • Which Criteria Best Determine the Success of Mergers?

    Throughout the past three months, several mergers, including the $14 billion merger between Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Medivation Inc. (NASDAQ:MDVN), were announced. In part one of our study, we discussed how the John Paulson Merger Arb Checklist determines the success rate of mergers. This article will further the study by analyzing some of the recent mergers and predicting the success rate based on historical results.

    Definitive agreements and limited regulatory risk are important


  • Mawer New Canada Buys Domestic

    Mawer New Canada Group acquired three new holdings in the second quarter. They are Boyd Group Income Fund (TSX:BYD.UN), Airboss of America Corp. (TSX:BOS) and Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (BIREF).

    Mawer was established in January 1988. It is currently managed by Jeff Mo. The fund primarily invests in smaller Canadian companies. They use a research-driven, bottom-up process as a basis for their investment philosophy. The fund currently holds stock in 54 companies.


  • The Alibaba IPO Confusion Cleared Up

    Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA), the e-commerce market place giant, is still very much a single-country-focused platform, yet the company keeps growing its sales numbers quarter after quarter. The company posted a 59% growth during the recent quarter, but the stock has barely crossed its IPO price, even though YTD return is at 45%. Let’s take a closer look to see why the stock price kept moving lower since the company went public nearly two years ago.



  • Is it Time to Dump Mobileye?

    Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY) has continued to defy all valuation-based bears and has moved higher over the past few weeks. While I still like the company’s business, I would suggest investors to wait for a better entry point due the stock’s high valuation.

    Currently, Mobileye is trading at 130x trailing earnings and 35 times trailing sales. It will take a lot of time for the company to grow into this valuation. Irrespective of the valuation, I think the company should perform well as a business going forward.


  • Barrick Gold Still has Upside to Offer

    Gold stocks have performed tremendously this year and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) is no exception. The company has rallied over 300% from its 52-week low levels and, due to the reasons mentioned below, I expect the rally to continue.

    Low All-In Sustaining Costs


  • Jim Chanos Gains New Holdings

    Jim Chanos (Trades, Portfolio), president of Kynikos Associates, acquired 12 new holdings in the second quarter. Among them are Energizer Holdings Inc. (NYSE:ENR), Crown Holdings Inc. (NYSE:CCK) and Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA).

    Chanos founded Kynikos in 1985 as a firm specializing in short selling. Chanos says his investment strategy is based on intensive research into stocks. He looks for fundamental and large market failures in valuation, which are based on underestimated or previously unreported failings in the business or market of a stock. He will then take a short position and will hold that position for a long time.


  • Two Reasons Not to Start Your Research with a Stock Screener

    Before putting forward reasons not to use a stock screener, perhaps it is worth exploring what investors hope to achieve when they do.

    Investors seeking excess returns will buy a given stock because they believe the company’s results will exceed the expectations of the market, as implied by the stocks’ current price. Interestingly, investors compete to find mispriced stock. Their collective effort is reflected in the price making it more difficult to find mispriced stock.

    In this competition, investors use screeners to gain an advantage by maximizing the efficiency of their research process. They focus on a small, but promising group of stocks. In a matter of minutes, the analyst sorts thousands of publicly traded stocks by price to book (P/B) ratios and price to earnings (P/E) ratios. In this first step, numbers taken from the balance sheet or earnings statement are used as a rough proxy for value.

    For some, further research might mean reading annual reports and other sources to get a better understanding of the qualitative aspects and future prospects of the business.


    For others, further research begins by loading a decade or more of financial results into an elaborate model (spreadsheet). Typically, numbers from the earnings statement are divided by numbers on the balance sheet and the result is supposed to reflect some qualitative aspect of the business.

    So what’s wrong with focusing your limited time and (present company obviously excluded) limited talent on a subset of highly promising stocks?

    1) Stock screeners may tempt you to act more like a trader and less like a long-term owner.

    Using a stock screener is like walking into a grocery and demanding a list of all the goods sorted by price to weight (or volume). The weight acts as a rough proxy for value. It will be an interesting list and upon further analysis you will very quickly identify some really cheap goods. You will also be tempted to take home goods you will later realize you do not want.

    For the sake of this discussion, I will assume at least 50% of investment success is discipline. Finding a cheap stock is one thing, owning it for years is another. The reasons to use a stock screener addres only the efficiency finding a list of cheap stocks but do not adress the effectiveness of a screener in identifying stocks you’d be comfortable owning for years.

    2) Qualitative, not quantitative, analysis is key.

    I hazard a guess that it takes at least 100x more time to assess the qualitative aspects of a business than it takes to assess if the stock is quantitatively cheap. I can assess if a stock is quantitatively cheap within minutes, but the time I need to assess the qualitative aspects of a business is measured in days. Perhaps this is due to limited talent or my unlimited cowardice, so for the sake of this discussion, I will assume it takes the average investor hours (as opposed to days) to get comfortable with the qualitative aspects of a business.

    While some may decide to buy a stock within minutes, I boldly predict that they will learn about the qualitative aspects of the business in due course. In any case, that decision to buy does not mark the end of their effort

    If my assumption is roughly right, analysts should take note that spending time to figure out a much better way of generating lists of cheap stocks could only serve to accelerate 10% of the total effort. Conversely, the investor who figures out a slightly better way of doing qualitative analysis can rationally expect to generate excess returns.

    Just some thoughts.

    In my next article I will share my thoughts on how to optimise the proces of qualitative analysis.

    Start a free 7-day trial of Premium Membership to GuruFocus.


  • Merck Offers Value and Steady Dividend Growth

    Merck (NYSE:MRK) is a blue-chip dividend stock that has paid a consistent dividend since 1970 and has grown its dividend at a 1.8% annual rate over the last 10 years.

    They have been able to continually pay a dividend during difficult times thanks to a recession-resistant business model, attractive operating margins and reliable free cash flow generation.


  • Analyzing Buffett’s 2 Newest Dividend Buys

    Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) is one of the greatest investors of all time. He has grown Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) to a market cap of over $360 billion.

    Every 3 months, Berkshire Hathaway is required to release its stock holdings in something called a ‘13F’ filing.


  • Why Jeffrey Ubben of ValueAct Capital Is Big on Morgan Stanley

    Jeffrey Ubben of ValueAct Capital recently took a large billion dollar stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) representing about 2% of outstanding shares. According to the WSJ, the incredibly successful activist endorses the current CEO and the strategic trajectory the organization is on. Although Morgan Stanley is generally perceived to be a large bank, its asset management activities are much more important than most people think. This appears to lay at the center of the ValueAct thesis, but it is not a new idea. Back in March of this year, Charlie Bobrinksoy went on CNBC with that idea, which we discussed here on Gurufocus.

    The transition from bank to wealth management is aptly illustrated in this slide taken from a company presentation:


  • 10 Stocks for Using a Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy

    10 Ben Graham CompaniesOut of the multitude of companies, which ones would legendary value investor Benjamin Graham buy today? I have compiled ten great companies that fit the ModernGraham criteria, based on Benjamin Graham's methods. The companies in this list pass the rigorous requirements of either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor and are undervalued by the market.

    Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK)


  • Eldorado Gold Corp Announces New Projects

    On Aug. 22, Eldorado Gold Corp (NYSE:EGO) announced new exploration projects in Romania, Serbia and Brazil, where it has identified high-grade gold deposits.

    Bolcana Porphyry Copper-Gold System in Romania:


  • 5 Stages of a Sovereign's Life Cycle

    According to Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) (and we believe this as well) there are four drivers of economic growth: culture, indebtedness, competitiveness and luck.

    And the two most positive influences on these growth drivers are (1) the psychological framework that creates people’s desire to work, borrow and consume and (2) war.


  • How Would Hillary Clinton’s Proposals Affect Investors?

    If you believe the polls, Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the U.S.

    On her campaign website, she discusses proposals that may be of interest to investors. A number of the propositions still lack specifics. The following proposals relate to capital gains, corporate stock buybacks and executive compensation:


  • Adam Smith's 'The Money Game'

    If you’re wondering why “Adam Smith” is in quotations, it’s because the name is the pseudonym adopted by the author who wrote "The Money Game," a 1967 market classic. In the author’s own words, the book is about “image and reality and identity and anxiety and money” — everything that makes up markets.

    Here are some of “Smith’s” teachings:


  • 1 Big Thing Build-A-Bear Workshop CEO Wants You to Know



  • The Current Status of Tourism Stocks

    The current quarter is generally a great one for tourism stocks within the U.S.

    School is getting started so some families will feel the need to take a vacation before it is too late. This would lead one to believe that tourism stocks would be booming. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Several risks have entered the picture, and they have managed to keep the prices of such stocks stagnant.


  • Home Depot: An Excellent Stalwart

    Home Depot (NYSE:HD) reported its second-quarter earnings last week.

    The home improvement store delivered a 6.62% top-line growth to $26.47 billion accompanied by 9.3% profit growth to $2.44 billion. In return, its share price dipped almost 1% (0.65%) post-earnings announcement.


  • What VF's Management Needs You to Know

    VF Corp. (NYSE:VFC) has not benefited from the declining department store trend, experiencing a 19% decline in sportswear revenue.


  • Medley Capital Corp (MCC) CEO Brook Taube Bought $755,000 of Stocks

  • Global Value Fund Invests in Emperor Entertainment Hotel

    Tweedy Browne (Trades, Portfolio) Global Value Fund purchased 26,265,000 shares in Emperor Entertainment Hotel (HKSE:00296) at an average price of 1.77 Hong Kong dollars (23 cents in U.S. currency) in the second quarter.

    The trade had a 0.09% impact of the Tweedy Browne (Trades, Portfolio) Global Value Fund’s portfolio.


  • Netflix Inc (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings Sold $9.7 million of Stocks

  • Advance Auto Parts Inc (AAP) CEO Thomas Greco Bought $997,250 of Stocks

  • Joel Greenblatt Doubles Down on Accenture

    Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) more than doubled his holding in Accenture (NYSE:ACN) purchasing 120,060 shares for an average price of $115.96 per share during the second quarter.

    The trade had a 0.16% impact on Greenblatt’s portfolio. He now owns 231,075 shares in the company.


  • U.S. Market Indexes Higher on Tuesday

    U.S. market indexes were higher on Tuesday. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18547.30 for a gain of 17.88 points, or 0.10%. The S&P 500 was also higher, closing at 2186.90 for a gain of 4.26 points, or 0.20%. The Nasdaq Composite closed higher at 5260.08 for a gain of 15.47 points, or 0.29%. The VIX Volatility Index was higher for the day at 12.40 for a gain of 0.13 points, or 1.06%.

    In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains:


  • Synopsys: Consensus Earnings Are Misleading

    Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS), an electronic design automation company, has been gaining traction in the stock market.

    The stock is up around 28% during the trailing 12 months. Consistent positive earnings surprises along with the growth of the EDA industry resulted in the stock’s uptick. However, analysts are basing their price targets and calls on the non-GAAP EPS of the company, which doesn’t result in the fair estimation of the company’s value.


  • 6 Stocks With Growing Yields

    Thanks to GuruFocus’ All-In-One Screener, we can highlight stocks that have a five-year growing dividend yield with strong profitability and a long-term track record of solid returns and growing asset value.

    Agrium Inc. (AGU) has a dividend yield that during the last five years has grown by 105.20%. The yield is now 3.86% with a payout ratio of 56%. The company has a 10-year asset growth rate of 21%, supported by return on assets (ROA) of 15% that during the last 10 years has had a median value of 6.67%.


  • Chipotle’s Long E. Coli Nightmare

    Chipotle, the world’s most beloved burrito maker, has been having E. coli nightmares from which it badly wants to be rid. Unfortunately for the company, this is going to be a long night.

    Chipotle Mexican Grill is not the first company to go through a food safety crisis, but when you’ve built a brand solely on the promise of high quality food with integrity and that integrity itself is compromised, that’s a major problem that won’t go away overnight. Chipotle managed to rouse its customers’ imaginations to such heights that the very branding has now hurt it to no end.


  • Starbucks' Growth Story Is Far From Over

    Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is one of the few companies you should buy and let sit in your portfolio.

    During the third quarter the premium coffee chain met analysts’ expectations but comparable sales weakened, starting off media discussions about a slowdown in its growth story. Overall retail sales during the most recent quarter were a mixed bag with some companies reporting above average results and others going in the opposite direction.


  • Ron Baron Buys Under Armour in 2nd Quarter

    Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Baron Asset Management and co-portfolio manager of the Baron Partners Fund, invests in companies using a long-term investing approach.

    The fund seeks capital appreciation through focused research on the company’s management and long-term growth opportunities. During the second quarter, Baron took stakes in Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA.C), Red Rock Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ:RRR) and MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE:MGP). Additionally, the fund manager increased his position in Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (NASDAQ:GLPI).


  • Michael Price Trims Boston Scientific, Buys Outerwall

    Michael Price (Trades, Portfolio) is the 271st richest person in the world, according to Forbes. A renowned money manager, he learned finance as a $200-a-week research assistant under Max Heine. The following are his largest trades of the second quarter:

    The guru reduced his stake in Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) by 48.28% with an impact of -2.22% on the portfolio.


  • Google Vs. Facebook: The Online Ad Battle Intensifies

    The online advertising market is bigger than most of us assume it to be.

    According to Bloomberg, online advertising revenue in the U.S. reached $59.6 billion last year, a growth of 20% compared to the previous year. McKinsey predicts the global digital advertising market to hit $231.44 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 12.7% between 2014 and 2019. It’s a huge opportunity, and there are two companies that are fighting to stay in control of the advertising market: Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google.


  • Why NXP Semiconductors Is a Terrific Buy

    Most Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) suppliers have performer nicely this year and NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) is not an exception to the trend. I like NXP Semiconductors more than other Apple suppliers primarily because of its diverse business model.

    While the likes of Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) also have a diversified revenue source, the company generates most of its sales from the smartphone market. NXP Semiconductors, on the other hand, is present in various high growth sectors and can continue performing better going forward.


  • Should You Consider Buying Netflix?

    Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) slummed after reporting weak quarterly numbers, however, the stock has recovered completely and is currently trading above $96. The post-earnings dip was the ideal buying time, however, for investors who have missed out on the gains, there is still time to buy the stock as I think Netflix will head higher in the coming months.

    What About Growth?


  • A Growing Gap Between Earnings, Share Price at G-III

    This is a third article about the search for corporations with no debt, high predictability and a reasonable valuation (based on the PEG ratio) using the All-In-One stock screener.

    Previous articles focused on Dril-Quip Inc. (NYSE:DRQ) and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TROW). In this profile and analysis, we examine G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII).


  • How Cloud Is Changing the World’s Technology Companies

    The growth of cloud-based services and the death of the PC are two of the most important game-changing technology events of the current decade. They have completely changed the fortunes of many companies such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and many more.

    The proliferation of cloud in its many forms - infrastructure, software, platform, analytics, business process and so on - is by far the more impactful of the two. Let’s take a look at how some of the top technology companies are changing from within in order to keep up with the evolving tech landscape.


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