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Last Update: 1969-12-31

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  • Ron Baron Comments on Masonite International Corp

    We initiated a new position during the second quarter in Masonite International Corp (DOOR). Masonite is a leading, vertically-integrated manufacturer of interior and exterior doors. In 2013, Masonite sold 32 million doors to over 7,000 customers in 80 countries. Sales are split 58% U.S., 16% Canada, and 26% rest of world. Masonite has dominant market positions in its product categories, particularly in North America, and is poised to benefit from an improvement in residential and non-residential construction activity off of depressed levels. Additionally, the doors industry has consolidated recently for certain product categories, improving Masonite’s ability to raise prices, even though capacity is underutilized. The management team is impressive and has inculcated a culture of operational discipline and innovation. We believe that EBITDA can triple as construction levels normalize and pricing firms. Accretive automation investments and acquisitions should be additive to growth. (David Kirshenbaum)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Funds Second Quarter 2014 Report.  


  • Ally Financial Releases Q2 2014 Earnings on July 29, 2014

    Ally Financial, Inc. (?ALLY) will release its second quarter 2014 earnings before the bell on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. The earnings conference is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. EDT. The conference will be broadcast live from the company website at http://www.ally.com/about/investor/events-presentations/index.html. You can attend the live conference via telephone by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-688-0836 (or +1-617-614-4072 for international attendees) and entering the code 17921308.


    Ally Financial provides automobile financing for approximately 16,000 automotive dealerships and four million individual customers. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Ally Financial went public on April 10, 2014. Prior to that, the bankruptcy court approved the company’s reorganization plan on December 11, 2013.

      


  • Ron Baron Comments on CoStar Group Inc

    After doubling in 2013, real estate information and marketing services provider CoStar Group, Inc. (CSGP) gave back gains in the second quarter. CoStar shares were negatively impacted by sudden and significant multiple compression in high growth, highly valued stocks, which sold off acutely early in the quarter. CoStar also completed an equity offering in the quarter, which we expect will be used to finance accretive M&A over the next six months. We continue to maintain our conviction in CoStar. (Neal Rosenberg)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Funds Second Quarter 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron Comments on Generac Holdings Inc

    Shares of Generac Holdings, Inc. (GNRC), a manufacturer of stand-by generators, fell in the second quarter after the company reported first quarter earnings below Street expectations. The company cited difficult winter weather as a reason sales missed expectations and reiterated full year guidance, despite the quarterly miss. Weather created strong demand for Generac generators, but delayed timely installations. We continue to like Generac, based on its dominant market share in an underpenetrated market. In addition, we believe management will be successful in growing the company into a diversified, global back-up power generation business. (Rebecca Ellin)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Funds Second Quarter 2014 Report.  


  • First Things First

    First Niagara Bank has branches across upstate New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The bank has some really good signs, and of course some indicators that investors should proceed with caution. Overall, I think that it does have the potential to grow and could add value to an investors portfolio.


      


  • Ken Fisher's Top Increaes of the Second Quarter

    CEO and CIO of Fisher Investments and regular Forbes contributor, Ken Fisher, had a pretty busy second quarter. Fisher purchased a total of 50 new stocks. His second quarter portfolio holds 558 stocks and is valued at over $47.56 billion. The following five stocks represent the five companies where Fisher made the largest increase in holdings during the second quarter.


    U.S. Bancorp (USB)

      


  • Ron Baron Comments on Dick's Sporting Goods Inc

    Shares of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS), a sporting goods retailer, declined in the second quarter. The company reported quarterly earnings that were modestly below Street expectations and reduced guidance for the rest of the year. The sales shortfall was concentrated in the hunting and golf categories, while other higher margin product segments had sales growth exceeding industry averages. We believe the hunting and golf issues are temporary and do not alter our long-term investment thesis. (Michael Baron)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Funds Second Quarter 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron Comments on Community Health Systems Inc

    Shares of hospital company Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH) rose in the second quarter. The Affordable Care Act is already resulting in a reduction in uninsured hospital admissions, and the governors of several key states are pursuing Medicaid expansion. Over time, we think Community should benefit from synergies from its acquisition of Health Management Associates, health care reform-driven changes, aging demographics, and a shift in reimbursement to favor those that can deliver high quality patient outcomes at lower cost. (Susan Robbins)

    From Ron Baron (Trades, Portfolio)’s Baron Funds Second Quarter 2014 Report.  


  • Ron Baron Comments on Targa Resources Corp

    Finally, it was announced that Energy Transfer Partners L.P. has expressed an interest in acquiring Targa Resources Corp. (TRGP), an energy midstream MLP business that owns storage, pipelines, gathering and processing facilities in the Balkans, Gulf Coast and Permian Basin. Energy Transfer has interests in those areas that would be complemented by Targa’s properties. Energy Transfer acquired Baron Growth Fund’s investment in Southern Union (also held in several other Baron funds) in 2011. We had been an investor in Southern Union since 1995 and made about eight times our money from that initial investment, and about three times our money overall, when that business was acquired. We have owned Targa since its IPO in December 2010 and have so far made more than six times our money from that initial investment. One more thing, Energy Transfer has been an even better investment than the companies they acquired! Unfortunately, for us, we so far missed that one.


    Targa Resources Corp. is the general partner of Targa Resources Partners, a growth oriented MLP with a premier natural gas liquids midstream presence on the Gulf Coast and crude and gas midstream presence at several major shale energy regions. Shares of Targa increased significantly as Targa continued to execute on its growth projects and provided upside to its quarterly and annual guidance. Rumors of a possible acquisition of the company also sent the stock higher. We believe Targa has unique assets that will allow the general partner to show a strong dividend growth profile. (Gilad Shany)

      


  • Ron Baron Comments on Valmont Industries Inc

    I nearly always find something relevant and memorable in management meetings I attend, whether in our office or theirs. A recent visit by Mogens Bay, Chairman and CEO of Valmont (VMI), a diversified industrial company, is a case in point. We have had a modest sized investment in Valmont since 2009. We have since about doubled our money.


    We think Valmont’s towers business will benefit from increased spending by utilities on more efficient electricity transmission and is well-positioned to grow. This is because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in order to reduce our country’s energy consumption, has granted utilities significant incentives to invest in transmission.

      


  • Ron Baron Second Quarter 2014 Shareholder Letter

    “This company could survive for a long time without its CEO. It couldn’t last through lunchtime without its welders.” Mogens Bay. Chairman and CEO. Valmont. May 2014.


    On average, three to four corporate management teams visit us every day. Management meetings provide us with context about businesses that we research and in which we invest. These meetings also enable us to ask questions about long-term strategies, growth opportunities, challenges and competitive advantages. As importantly, they give us a chance to qualitatively assess management talent and personalities. That may be what is most important of all and in keeping with our mission statement, “we invest in people.”

      


  • Greenlight Capital Q2 2014 Letter To Investors

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  • Goodhaven Fund (former Fairholme managers) - 2014 Semi-Annual Report

    <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> GoodHaven 2014 Semi-Annual Report

      


  • Top Insider Buys Highlight: Quidel Corporation

    President & CEO of Quidel Corp (QDEL) Douglas C Bryant bought 20,000 shares on 07/24/2014 at an average price of $24.12. The total transaction amount was $482,400.


    Quidel Corporation was incorporated in the State of Delaware. Quidel Corp has a market cap of $774.400 million; its shares were traded at around $22.63 with and P/S ratio of 4.80. Articles on GuruFocus.COM

      


  • Franklin Resources: A Different Asset Manager

    In this article, let's take a look at Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN), a $35.92 billion market cap company, which is one of the world's largest asset managers, serving retail, institutional and high-net-worth clients. Let's explore some reasons more closely to see if they are valid enough to invest in this stock.


    A Global Asset Manager

      


  • Manning & Napier Advisors Bet on this Stock, Should You?

    In this article, let's take a look at Visa Inc. (V), a $133.83 billion market cap company, which is the world's largest retail electronic payments network and leading payments brand, providing services to consumers, businesses and governments globally. On June 30, this investment advisory firm added the stock at an average price of $209.06 and currently holds 797.050 shares.


    Powerful Network

      


  • Worried about a Crash? (Part 2) Backtests Using Shiller PE to Time The Market (1926 to 2014)

    I received a number of emails asking me to revisit the backtests from last week’s post about using the Shiller PE to time the market (Worried about a Crash? Backtests Using Shiller PE to Time The Market (1926 to 2014)). The most common request was to separate the buy and sell rules such that if the strategy sold out at say one standard deviation above the mean, it didn’t buy back until the Shiller PE fell below its mean. The second most common request was to alter the strategy such that it hedged out the market rather than switching to cash.


    The backtests use Fama and French data of the book value-to-market equity (the inverse of the PB ratio) data from 1926 to 2013. As at December 2013, there were 3,175 firms in the sample. The value decile contained the 459 stocks with the highest earnings yield, and the glamour decile contained the 404 stocks with the lowest earnings yield. The average size of the glamour stocks is $7.48 billion and the value stocks $2.54 billion. (Note that the average is heavily skewed up by the biggest companies. For context, the 3,175th company has a market capitalization today of $404 million, which is smaller than the average, but still investable for most investors). Portfolios are formed on June 30 and rebalanced annually.

      


  • NVEC: A Cash Plump Activist Target…For Icahn?

    Some might call Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) a greedy capitalist, but at the core, the 78 year old activist has built his billions in fortunes by unlocking shareholder value in undervalued companies. His targets have come in many shapes and sizes, but one type of target is cash bloated companies without defined capital allocation strategies. A recent high profile example of a cash ballooned target of Icahn was none other than the $591+ billion behemoth Apple Inc. (AAPL).

    His initial tweet on August 13, 2013 announced his “large position” in the “extremely undervalued shares” of Apple ($67 split adjusted). We have been long-term shareholders of Apple ourselves and actually beat Carl to the punch three years earlier when the shares were trading at $35 – see Jobs: The Gluttonous Cash Hog. Icahn doesn’t just nonchalantly make outrageous claims…he puts his money where his mouth is. After Icahn’s initial proclamation, he went onto build a substantial $3.6 billion Apple position by January 2014.  


  • MTN Group: Connecting Africa to the World

    Africa is the most promising investment destination of the next 20 years. And it won’t be foreign development aid or Western generosity that makes the continent boom but rather the doggedness and ingenuity of its own people. As an investor, you want to be part of this by owning shares of some of Africa’s world-class companies.


    Looking at Africa today, you see the same pioneering spirit that defied all odds to settle the American West in the late 1800s. Consider the story of Liquid Telecom, a phone and internet infrastructure company based in southern Africa. Liquid has done something that no Western company would have the audacity to do: String fiber optic cable from South Africa, through Botswana and Zimbabwe, and across the Zambezi river into Zambia, a landlocked country deep in Africa’s interior. All work had to be completed by day, as using work lights attracts wild animals, and a section of cable was dug up by elephants and had to be reburied. These are not problems faced by Verizon (VZ) or AT&T (T), to say the least.

      


  • Demand Media – The Times They are a Changin’

    “This is the most important and exciting change in the internet in a long, long time. Maybe since the beginning of the modern internet.”


    - Ben Fried, Google’s Chief Information Officer (source)

      


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