Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • 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.


  • 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 of 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.


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