Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • Weekly Top Insider Buys Highlight for the Week of Dec. 9

    Weekly Top Insider Buys Highlight for the Week of Dec. 9

    The largest Insider Buys were for Inc (NYSE:CRM), Clorox Co (NYSE:CLX), TransDigm Group Inc (NYSE:TDG), and Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE:BPL).


  • Gurus Shop in Robust Consumer Cyclical and Technology Sectors

    During the third quarter, gurus invested primarily in consumer cyclical and technology companies. Such companies have strong financial strength and high profitability. Several of these companies, including Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN), Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS), have a predictability rank of at least three stars. High guru ownership and number of guru buys suggest good value potential in the consumer cyclical and technology sectors.

    Tracking “favorite” gurus with Personalized Guru Lists


  • Searching for Value in the REIT Rubble

    Leave it to the stock market to do the exact opposite of what you expect it to do. Following Donald Trump’s surprise win, stocks have spent the past three weeks pushing higher.

    Ironically, given that the President-Elect is a world-renown real estate developer, real estate investment trusts (REITS) have gotten clobbered. REITs as a sector peaked in July, but the selling has continued well past the presidential election.


  • UCB's Vimpat Patent

    UCB (XBRU:UCB) is a Belgium-based biopharmaceutical and specialty chemical company that specialises in two therapeutic areas: diseases of the central nervous system and immunology. The main central nervous system speciality is epilepsy and the main drug in this area is Vimpat. (UCB revenue mostly comes from four drugs of which Vimpat is one.)


  • The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

    I continue to be on fire with the book selections as of late, this time with the gem, The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

    This is the fascinating story of a couple of baseball stats guys who persuade the GM of an independent league baseball team to let them run things for a season. They are always experimenting and trying to find talent in what they perceive to be an inefficient market in order to take their team to the top, and they chronicle this journey in their book.

    This story hit home for me in two ways. First, I've seen my favourite sports team piss away a decade outside of the playoffs thanks to a closed-minded management group that does not understand stats. When a hobbyist like me can tell they are doing stupid things, they are truly beyond repair. The challenges these guys in the book faced from the conventional-minded former-players-turned-managers-because-they-got-too-old-to-play rang very familiar to me.


  • US Market Indexes End the Week Higher

    U.S. market indexes were higher on Friday with all three major indexes reaching new highs.

    For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19,756.85 for a gain of 142.04 points or 0.72%. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at 2,259.53 for a gain of 13.34 points or 0.59%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 5,444.50 for a gain of 27.14 points or 0.50%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower for the day at 11.75 for a loss of 0.89 points or 7.04%.


  • David Winters Buys Israeli Defense Company

    Israel’s largest publicly traded arms and defense company, Elbit Systems Ltd. (XTAE:ESLT), singularly caught the eye of a manager who focuses on fundamental research but who has also tangled with public companies’ boards of late, David Winters (Trades, Portfolio).

    Winters’ global Wintergreen Fund (Trades, Portfolio) had $580 million in assets as of June 30, with 76% invested in common stocks concentrated in the U.S., Switzerland and U.K. He described the fund, started in 2005, in a recent shareholder letter as embracing companies with pristine balance sheets and shunning modish market favorites, with cigarette companies Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI), British American Tobacco (LSE:BATS) and Altria Group (NYSE:MO) among its largest four holdings as of Sept. 30.


  • Abbott Laboratories Announces Quarterly Dividend

    The board of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) declared through PR Newswire Friday a dividend increase for the last quarter of the year.

    The U.S.-based global health care company headquartered in Lake Bluff, Illinois, will pay 26.5 cents per ordinary share to shareholders of record as of Jan. 13, 2017. The dividend, which represents a 1.9% increase from the prior dividend of 26 cents, will be paid by the company to the shareholders on Feb. 15, 2017.


  • Steven Cohen Hikes Bunge Holding by Nearly 1,500%

    Guru Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Point72 Asset Management, increased his position in Bunge (NYSE:BG) by nearly 1,500% adding 2,717,200 shares to his portfolio in the third quarter. The trade had a 1.13% impact on Cohen’s portfolio; he now owns 2,901,800 shares of Bunge.

    Bunge was founded in the Netherlands in 1818 by Johann Peter Gottlieb Bunge as an importing/exporting trading firm. Nearly two centuries later, Bunge is a leading agribusiness and food company with the goal of ensuring sustainable food security for a growing population.


  • A 3.5% Dividend Yield and Emerging Market Growth

    (Published Dec. 9 by Bob Ciura)

    U.K.-based stocks have sold off over the past few months. The British pound has declined significantly against the U.S. dollar. And there is elevated geopolitical risk facing the U.K. in the aftermath of this year’s Brexit vote.


  • Hershey Has a Sweet Dividend, but Valuation Could Be Too Rich

    (Published Dec. 9 by Bob Ciura)

    The Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) is one of the great examples of determination in the history of American business.


  • 4 Gurus Invest in Hilton Worldwide

    Gurus Steve Mandel (Trades, Portfolio), Richard Pzena (Trades, Portfolio), Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) and Joel Greenblatt (Trades, Portfolio) all purchased positions in Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE:HLT) during the third quarter.

    Mandel purchased the largest stake of 19,597,829 shares followed by Pzena with 9,804,419 shares. Cohen invested in 838,300 shares, and Greenblatt purchased 28,234 shares.


  • Osisko Gold Royalties Gaining Among Investors

    Gold continues its downturn.

    The precious metal closed at $1,168.90 per troy ounce on the London Bullion Market Friday and reported a 0.18% decline, or down $2.15 per troy ounce from the previous close at 3 p.m. London time.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife

    On November 1, 2016, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported its third quarter financial results. Modest financial performance in the quarter, disappointing 2017 guidance and the unexpected announcement of a CEO transition caused the stock to decline. HLF stock has traded down more than 33% since the announcement of the company’s settlement with the FTC on July 15th, 2016, a 15% year-to-date decline, as investors have come to increasingly ignore the company’s fraudulent characterization of the FTC settlement. At its December 2, 2016, price of $47.99 per share, HLF currently trades at approximately the price at which we shorted the shares in 2012.

    On a consolidated basis the company reported net sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter, up 1.7% year-over-year. Headline adjusted net income of $105 million for the quarter (down 3% YoY) translated into adjusted EPS of $1.21 (down 4% YoY). On a constant currency basis the company reported net sales growth of 5%, driven by EMEA (+15%), Mexico (+14%) and North America (+10%).


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Nomad

    Nomad (NYSE:NOMD) reported Q3 results in late November.

    Third quarter like-for-like sales declined 3.3%, which marked the fourth straight quarter of sequential improvement in like-for-like sales trends. This sequential improvement in trends is consistent with management’s guidance and driven by the company’s shift in its strategy to refocus its resources on its core product offerings.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Platform Specialty Products Corp

    In September, Platform (NYSE:PAH) hosted an investor day where it provided a detailed explanation of the secular growth drivers and unique competitive positioning of each of its Performance and Agricultural Solutions businesses, along with long-term guidance of 4% annual organic revenue growth and high-single digit annual EBITDA growth.

    The company also announced that it had reached a revised agreement with Permira to settle its $600 million preferred stock liability related to the Arysta acquisition. Under the revised agreement, Platform has the option to pay Permira $450 million in cash and 5.5 million shares, which equates to $500 million at the current market prices and represents a savings of $100 million relative to the original agreement. To finance the cash portion of the agreement, the company raised $400 million of equity and, as a result, was able to refinance $2 billion of its debt, reducing the rate on this debt by 50 basis points and extending the maturities by three years to 2023.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

    Since our last update in August, Valeant (NYSE:VRX) has bolstered its management ranks, improved dermatology average selling prices (ASPs), stabilized its salesforces, and experienced acceleration in Salix script trends. Despite these positive developments, financial results continue to be challenged as certain unexpected events impacted Valeant in Q3 and weakness in Valeant’s U.S. Diversified Products segment continues to weigh on near- to medium-term earnings.

    Valeant reported quarterly revenue of $2.48 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $1.16 billion and Adjusted EPS of $1.55. This represented sequential improvement of 2%, 7% and 11%, respectively, as the business continues to stabilize following the disruption of recent quarters.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Fannie (FNMA) and Freddie (FMCC)’s underlying earnings continue to progress modestly in the core mortgage guarantee business, while the non-core investment portfolio continues to shrink to a smaller and appropriate level, resulting in a more profitable and lower-risk business model. The strength in underlying earnings growth reflects two factors: (1) an increase in guarantee fees as the fees on new mortgages exceed the average fees on the existing portfolio, and (2) lower credit losses as the portfolio’s credit quality has meaningfully improved since the financial crisis.

    There were a number of legal developments this quarter. In the Federal Court of Claims case, Judge Sweeney granted the plaintiffs access to 56 documents the government had claimed were privileged, many of which were contemporaneous with the period just prior to the Net Worth Sweep and involved high level government officials. The plaintiffs have not yet had access to the privileged documents as the government has appealed Judge Sweeney’s ruling. We find it interesting that the government is fighting so hard against this ruling, as it has previously complied with the judge’s prior motions to turn over documents.


  • A Dividend King Poised for Faster Growth

    Many investors think that the only way to build truly substantial long-term wealth is to buy the next high-flying tech stock such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL).

    However, as you can see below, boring but slow and steady growing blue chip dividend stocks, especially the dividend aristocrats and dividend kings such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), are also great ways to meet your financial goals over the long run.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on The Howard Hughes Corp

    Net Operating Income (NOI) from HHC (NYSE:HHC)’s operating assets (consolidated and owned) decreased sequentially from $35.2 million to $31.3 million (and year-over-year from $31.9 million), largely due to headwinds in Houston that continue to negatively impact HHC’s owned hotels in Houston ($3.5 million sequential decline in hospitality NOI). HHC held steady its projected stabilized annual NOI estimate (which excludes the South Street Seaport) of $215 million and kept constant its estimated stabilized hospitality NOI levels. Land sales in its Master Planned Community (MPC) segment decreased from $59 million to $32 million year-over-year in Q3 and sequentially from $34 million due primarily to a $27 million reduction in commercial sales from Q3 2015.

    In Hawaii, at its Ward Village property, construction of the Waiea, HHC’s first residential tower, is nearing completion. HHC has started collecting the proceeds from the sale of these units. HHC’s second tower (Anaha) recently topped out and is on schedule to be completed by mid-summer 2017. The company now has five condominium projects for sale, four of which are under construction (see status of each one below). HHC executed 35 new sales contracts since the end of Q2, representing 11% of the remaining inventory under construction (reducing the number of unsold units to 280 from a total inventory of 1400 units).


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