Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • Four Retail Value Traps

    The retail industry is changing and with the closure of L Brands Limited Stores it appears that a cycle rotation is going to be occurring. That means, investors that put money into these stocks will likely underperform the overall market.

      


  • Barometer Capital Management Inc. Buys General Dynamics Corp, Citigroup Inc, Unum Group, Sells Medtronic PLC, Franco-Nevada Corp, Facebook Inc


  • Kelman-Lazarov, Inc. Buys PowerShares BuyBack Achievers Portfolio, Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity, Yum China Holdings Inc, Sells Procter & Gamble Co, Bank of America Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores Inc


  • Pembroke Management, LTD Buys Tahoe Resources Inc, Harman International Industries Inc, Installed Building Products Inc, Sells Actua Corp, AAC Holdings Inc, Gentherm Inc


  • This Big Data Guru Just Joined Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY) To Help It Unseat Waze

    In 2015, former Indian President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, presented the founder and president of the Pentagram Research Centre, Dr. E. G. Rajan, with a Gold Medal for his lifetime achievement in teaching, research and industrial development. Rajan is a world renowned data scientist, and his career speaks for itself. The Pentagram Research Centre is one of the leading think tank type entities in Asia, and is responsible for some of the biggest leaps in information systems technology, in all areas of industry, in India, across the last two decades. Healthcare imaging, data security aggregation, spaceflight thermodynamics – you name it, PRC has had a hand in driving it forward, and Rajan is the keystone of the organization.


    At the end of last year, however, we learned that he was stepping away from his native India, and coming to America. His motivation? His joining of a company called Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY) as Chair of the company's Science & Technology Development Board.

      


  • Interactive Financial Advisors Buys iShares Core S&P Small-Cap, iShares S&P SmallCap 600 Growth, SPDR MidCap Trust Series I, Sells iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF, iShares Latin America 40, Vanguard Div Appreciation ETF - DNQ


  • Donald L. Hagan, LLC Buys iShares Russell 1000 Value, Vanguard FTSEEuropean, FedEx Corp, Sells iShares Russell 2000 Value, SPDR Select Sector Fund - Industrial, SPDR Select Sector Fund - Consumer Discretionary


  • British American Tobacco bought the rest of Reynolds American for $49.4 billion

    The British American Tobacco - Reynolds American deal successfully completed. As reported by Reuters, British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BTI) bought the rest of Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) that it didn’t own yet for a total consideration of $49.4 billion. From this transaction, the largest publicly traded tobacco manufacturer will be formed.


    British American Tobacco already holds 42.2% of Reynolds American's shares outstanding.

      


  • Cornercap Investment Counsel Inc Buys Activision Blizzard Inc, Apple Inc, TJX Companies Inc, Sells PACCAR Inc, The Western Union Co, Ford Motor Co


  • Is Warren Buffett Wrong About Bitcoin?

    The cryptocurrency industry is still clouded with doubt about its future and Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) has been one of the biggest critics of the market. Bitcoin is by far the leading unit in the cryptocurrency market, and based on Buffett’s comments over time, it is ideal to say that the legendary investor does not value it at all, let alone imagining a bright future ahead.

    In 2014, just after Bitcoin had hit an all-time high, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) was remarkably quoted warning investors to stay away from it citing that it was nothing more than a mirage. In response to a question by Dan Gilbert, the Quicken Loans founder regarding cryptocurrency, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) said:  


  • First Hawaiian Bank Buys PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite Portfolio, Hawaiian Holdings Inc, iShares US Preferred Stock, Sells AT&T Inc, Vanguard FTSEEuropean, Verizon Communications Inc


  • Patriot Wealth Management, Inc. Buys American International Group Inc, Materials Select Sector SPDR, Campbell Soup Co, Sells iShares MSCI EAFE, iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Emerging Markets, Allergan PLC


  • MU Investments Co., Ltd. Buys Stryker Corp, Aflac Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc, Sells Aon PLC, Emerson Electric Co, Monsanto Co


  • QUANTRES ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd Buys Micron Technology Inc, Freeport-McMoRan Inc, Target Corp, Sells FedEx Corp, Carnival Corp, Valero Energy Corp


  • DnB Asset Management AS Buys Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc, Oracle Corp, Sells Western Digital Corp, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, VMware Inc


  • IAMGOLD Corporation reports preliminary operating results for 2016

    IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) announced the company's 2016 preliminary results on production and costs, and provided the company’s 2017 production and cost guidance, yesterday, Jan. 16.


    For 2016, Iamgold Corp. produced 813,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of between $740 per ounce and $770 per ounce and at an AISC of between $1,050 per ounce and $1,100 per ounce.

      


  • What is Procter & Gamble’s Dividend Position?

    Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has been a household name across the world for many years. There aren’t many companies around the world that can boast of a 179-year-old history, because it’s a near-impossible task to stay relevant across generations. But P&G not only managed to stay relevant, but also managed to be the top player in the consumer goods segment.


    Things haven’t been easy of late for the consumer giant. Despite deciding to cut off some of the flab that it had collected over the years, it has struggled to improve its top line and shore up its bottom line. P&G is now much lighter in terms of brands, but the journey has left the company exhausted, barely able to sustain its dividend track record of 126 years.

      


  • Burlington Based Nuance Takeover Imminent Say Local Sources

    By putting your ear on a train track you can hear locomotives coming from miles away. The Burlington, Massachusetts rail I put my ear to recently vibrates with the sound of the imminent takeover of Nuance by Apple.


    Not again, I hear you cry, picturing the boy who cried wolf.

      


  • Remain Cautiously Optimistic On Infosys

    Overview


    Infosys (NYSE:INFY) is among the largest IT services providing companies in India and has been a value creator in the past. However, the last 12-months have not be great for Infosys from a stock price perspective with the stock down by 12.8% when the S&P 500 index has trended higher by nearly 21%. This article discusses the challenges that Infosys has faced in the recent past and my view on investing in the stock for 2017 and beyond.

      


  • GT Capital's Dominance in the Philippine Car Industry

    About a week ago, Nikkei Asian Review, reported significant increase, 24.6%, in car unit sales in 2016 compared to 2015. In addition, the paper stated that both market leaders Toyota (ticker TM) and Mitsubishi (ticker 7211:Tokyo) plans to begin domestic car production of their Vios and Mirages car units in the ensuing years.


    In 2016, Toyota had 44.14% market share of the Philippine car industry, while Mitsubishi had 17.08%. Ford Motor Philippines had 9.37% market share. Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Ford grew their car units sales by 26.95%, 13.52%, and 32.77%, respectively.

      


  • Five Companies Reach Yearly Highs

    According to GuruFocus list of 52-week highs, these Guru stocks have reached their 52-Week Highs.


    Bank of America Corporation (BAC) Reached the 52-Week High of $23.01

      


  • Be Careful Learning From Your Own Mistakes

    Someone emailed me this question:


      


  • T Rowe Price Equity Income Fund Buys Adient PLC, Equity Residential, Wells Fargo & Co, Sells Entergy Corp, Deere & Co, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd


  • A Valuation of Johnson & Johnson

    Benjamin Graham taught that an intelligent investor must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine the intrinsic value and inherent risk.


    This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Stocks for Using a Benjamin Graham Value Investing Strategy. By using the ModernGraham method, one can review a company's historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries. What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

      


  • T. Rowe Price Japan Fund Buys , , , Sells Nabtesco Corp


  • Adient Stock: Still Undervalued After Johnson Controls Spinoff

    (Updated Jan. 16 by The Financial Canadian)


    Occasionally, investors are faced with the unique scenario in which one of their holdings spins off selected assets as new securities.

      


  • Company Poised to Benefit From Rising Commodity Prices

    (Published Jan. 16 by the Financial Canadian)


    In recent years, commodity prices have experienced a tremendous amount of volatility. In particular, oil prices have declined significantly from their 2014 highs.

      


  • Mawer Canada Comments on PC Jeweller

    Another detractor was PC Jeweller (BOM:534809), an Indian jewelry company. The stock suffered along with the rest of the Indian market following Narendra Modi’s announcement to take 500 and 1,000 rupee notes out of circulation for ones with better counterfeit measures. PC Jeweller suffered as a large portion of its transactions are cash based which has affected sales in the short-term.


    From Mawer Canada's fourth-quarter 2016 commentary.

      


  • Mawer Canada Comments on NCC Group

    The Global Small Cap Fund had a tough quarter. A significant underweight exposure to domestically-oriented U.S. companies was one factor, but there were a few stocks that also weighed heavily on the portfolio. The biggest contributor to the Fund’s underperformance compared to the benchmark was NCC Group (LSE:NCC), a UK-based cyber-security company. During the quarter, it announced three unrelated but significant cancellations in its assurance division (where NCC is hired to test a client’s system to identify any potential breaches) and one contract deferral. The stock reacted quite negatively to this announcement and ended the quarter down 50%. What have we done in response? Nothing. Or at least that’s what it may look like on the surface. However, rest assured that not selling down our position (although we had been trimming it ahead of the quarter) or adding to it has very much been a conscious, active decision. Though we’re obviously not thrilled with the news, we have spoken to management at length; our interpretation is that the underlying business is healthy and that the issues appear temporary. However, we recognize that it is a competitive industry and these cancellations may be a sign of additional issues.


    From Mawer Canada's fourth-quarter 2016 commentary.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on Visa

    Visa (NYSE:V)'s valuation came under pressure following the election early November as the market saw a rotation out of higher-multiple tech and financial securities and into more cyclical names. We used this opportunity to increase weightings across accounts as valuation levels became more attractive.


    Visa has consistently grown its revenue, EBITDA, and earnings double digits as it has played a key role in facilitating commerce’s multi-decade move away from paper-based transactions. The Company effectively represents the collective economic bargaining power of many of the United States’ and, more recently Europe’s, credit and debit card issuers – particularly banks. Visa has tremendous scale in card transaction processing, as they facilitated over $5.7 trillion in credit and debit volume across more than 120 billion transactions, during their fiscal 2016 - well above 2015 levels. Going forward, we fully expect to see this growth trajectory continue, with added help from the integration of Visa Europe which, as we've discussed previously, should help drive double digit accretion.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on Tractor Supply Company

    Like Fastenal, Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO) is a company we have long admired. Management has executed a disciplined retailing strategy where they have carved out a niche, serving rural land owners with higher than average incomes. The Company has very deliberately positioned itself to be distinct from its competitors, namely Home Depot, Lowe’s, and, to a lesser extent, Wal-Mart, primarily by locating itself in more rural locations and focusing on merchandise that caters to the maintenance needs of a rural lifestyle, in a one-stop shop format (i.e. all-terrain vehicle replacement parts and feed for livestock as pets).


    We think the Company's profitability and value proposition will be insulated over time as they have made key tradeoffs to avoid competing with big box retailers, without necessarily impairing returns. As an example, we found evidence that the company’s real estate strategy, on average, has been to simultaneously locate Tractor Supply Company stores further from “big box” competitors, while getting into more densely populated markets. Meanwhile, the Company has managed to lower the build-out and rental costs of their new stores as they have continued to expand the store base aggressively, leading to improved returns - something that is particularly difficult in the brick-and-mortar retail world, where typically new store openings generate a lower level of sales and profitability than mature stores (naturally pressuring return on investment as the company grows). We assume the Company’s continuing store base expansion, as well as a conservative assumption on same store sales, should enable the Company to grow revenues in the mid-to-high single digits over the next several years, with earnings per share growth in the double digits, driven by a combination of flat to modest margin expansion as well as stock buybacks.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on TreeHouse Foods

    TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) was a relative detractor from performance during the quarter after a confluence of a few unfortunate, though we think transient, events. The Company unexpectedly missed its quarterly earnings estimates and reduced 2016 guidance, despite having had a few wins earlier in the year not long after closing the Private Brands acquisition in January. The Company reiterated, however, its long-term accretion guidance for Private Brands. From the time the merger was announced (late 2015), we had seen multiple areas where we think this longer-term guidance is still understated. Because of our belief in this cushion management built into their original guidance, we remain comfortable that they will be able to hit their long-term growth expectations, despite these shorter-term issues.


    On the same day the Company announced its disappointing Q3, the company also announced that their COO, Chris Sliva, was leaving the company. He turned up as the new CEO of a small food company a few days later. Fortunately - the only bit of good news on the day - Dennis Riordan, the retiring CFO, reversed his retirement on this news, announcing that he would stay on as President/COO for as long as he was needed.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on Stericycle

    We liquidated Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL) from portfolios after we determined that the Company's competitive advantage in its core regulated medical waste (RMW) business was not as robust as we had seen during the past five years of our holding period. Prior to the erosion in the economics of their core RMW business, we remained optimistic about Stericycle’s business. Despite recent stumbles in their non-core hazardous waste business and slower than expected integration of newly acquired Shred-it, the RMW business continued to serve as the engine to double-digit growth in free cash flow. We previously believed that Stericycle's unrivaled scale had served to insulate its RMW profitability from competitive pressures, including customer push-back associated with consolidating end-markets, as many of Stericycle’s most profitable customers - particularly individual physician practices


    • have been consolidated by managed care organizations over the past several years. However, over the past few quarters, management began disclosing that the long-term contracts associated with these newly consolidated customers were coming up for renewal at significantly lower prices. It is not clear to us why the Company gave up this pricing, given that the market has few large-scale alternatives to Stericycle. Suffice it to say, these contracts are in place for several years (sometimes five years or more), and while the Company can spend this time recovering economics through more cross selling, this strategy is unproven and potentially dilutive. As such we lost conviction in Stericycle’s ability to defend its excess profitability in RMW, and subsequently liquidated our positions.
    •   


  • David Rolfe Comments on Charles Schwab

    Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) was a top performer in the quarter as the company stands to benefit from the continued normalization of U.S. monetary policy. Despite a single federal funds rate hike during calendar year 2016, market expectations for further rate hikes have dramatically risen in the face of potential fiscal stimulus and higher inflation expectations.


    While we understand the market’s desire to discount the near-term “embedded option” of money market fee waiver relief at Schwab, we continue to invest in the Company for its industry-leading pretax profit margins and asset gathering capabilities, which we think are a byproduct of their consistent productivity investments made over the past few decades. We think this positions Schwab well in the increasingly commodified financial services industry, as the Company’s low-cost model and scale allows them to pass savings on to advisors and clients in the form of competitively lower fees, in exchange for mid-single digit platform asset growth. Combined with modest rate relief and continued productivity gains, we expect Schwab to continue posting earnings per share growth in the mid-teens.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on Fastenal

    Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) is a company we have followed and admired for many years. The Company is a distributor of manufacturing and construction supplies - generally consumable parts and products such as fasteners (i.e., screws, nuts/bolts) and various items used in the maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) of customers’ plants. The company has established a differentiated position in its industry by investing heavily to get itself as close as possible to a generally smaller, less urban customer base than its competitors. This is most evident in its extensive network of more than 2,500 branch locations, which the company effectively uses as selling and distribution outposts to serve its customer base. We contrast this with Fastenal’s largest competitor, Grainger, for example, which has only 300-odd branch locations (and shrinking) despite having twice the revenues as Fastenal. We believe this has led to a fairly healthy segmentation between the Company and its competitors: Fastenal has specialized in smaller, geographically dispersed clients who are more heavily reliant on the Company’s local distribution capabilities, sales expertise, and somewhat more specialized, locally tailored product lines; Grainger and other competitors specialize in larger, more urban clients who have more distribution and service requirements, so these distributors generally focus on more standardized products, in large quantities at the lowest cost. When we observe the healthy, and remarkably steady, returns on investment across the major competitors in the space, we view this as confirmation that the major players, for the most part, have managed to carve out profitable segments of an attractive industry without tripping over each other.


    Fastenal has extended its differentiation in recent years through three other initiatives designed to get closer to its customers. First, the Company has installed over 60,000 vending machines in customers’ plants, in which they constantly replenish products customers use regularly in their manufacturing processes. Second, the Company has accelerated the expansion of its Onsite program, in which it basically opens a small Fastenal store within a larger customer’s plant. Fastenal staffs and stocks this mini-location, effectively taking control of a portion of the customer’s supply chain. It is important to note that both the Vending and (especially) Onsite initiatives further integrate the Company into a customer’s operations, helping to make these customers stickier. Third, Fastenal has invested in additional inventories over the past several quarters, while also shifting a higher percentage of its inventory from its distribution centers into its branch locations. This once again is designed to get Fastenal as close to its customers as possible - if the Company has the products its customers need, already waiting in their market, available for same-day delivery, at an attractive price, there is no need for those customers to take their business elsewhere, whether that be to a larger, out-of-market competitor such as Grainger or to an online competitor such as Amazon.

      


  • David Rolfe Comments on Berkshire Hathaway

    Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) continues to carry an outsized weighting in portfolios – in fact, the stock continues to be one of our largest holdings. We believe the Company maintains a long-term competitive advantage, evidenced in its below-average cost of capital, which should become more valuable in an environment of both heightened equity market volatility and/or higher cost of borrowing. 2016 operating results were quite impressive given the headwinds in the bull market-laden, over crowded reinsurance business, plus the stagnant growth at Burlington Northern. The stock did enjoy a post -Trump election pop of nearly 15%. Mr. Market's early enthusiasm for Trump's fiscal proposals of lower corporate tax rates, if enacted, would certainly benefit Berkshire's bottom line. The Company could potentially be a huge beneficiary of meaningfully lower corporate tax rates. If enacted, lower corporate tax rates would have an out-sized impact by reducing Berkshire’s deferred tax liability by boosting the Company’s book value. The Company currently has amassed a massive $65 billion deferred tax liability that Buffett himself has equated to an interest-free loan from the U.S. government. If Trump, and the Republican controlled Congress are successful in lowering corporate tax rates to 15% from the current statutory rate of 35%, the Company’s book value could rise double digits. In addition, given the terrific year-end rally in bank and financial stocks, the nice pop in the Company's multibillion-dollar holdings, including American Express, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, M&T Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. Bank of America and Wells Fargo enjoyed outsized gains during the quarter of 42% and 25%, respectively. Berkshire's bank and financial stock holdings have now reached a cumulative market value of over $57 billion.

    From David Rolfe (Trades, Portfolio)'s fourth quarter 2016 Wedgewood Partners investor letter.   


  • David Rolfe Comments on Kraft Heinz

    Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) is a rare example of a company that has issued sizable debt with the goal of increasing sales and earnings - particularly earnings, in the case of Kraft Heinz. The unique, hard-to-copy management style of 3G (entrepreneurial, zero-base budgeting), coupled with low-cost debt, has proven to be quite a powerful combination for driving higher profitability well beyond industry peers.

    From David Rolfe (Trades, Portfolio)'s fourth quarter 2016 Wedgewood Partners investor letter.   


  • David Rolfe Comments on Apple Inc.

    We should note successful examples of the use of outsized debt by our own invested companies. Consider Apple. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) generates enough cash ($65 billion in operating cash TTM) that even after spending $10 billion in R&D in fiscal 2016, the Company’s balance sheet liquidity grew almost $10 billion, to over $250 billion. This trove is trapped overseas awaiting a change in U.S. repatriation laws - a potentially significant bullish event for shareholders. In the meantime, in order to return this cash back to shareholders, the Company has issued over $75 billion in debt.


    Further, and often left unremarked by Wall Street’s finest, is the rapid, and accelerating growth in Apple’s R&D spending over the past few years. Clearly the Company does not need to spend $10-$15 billion per year to sustain the evolutionary upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and/or new video streaming services. Apple’s nascent automotive program Project Titan may not be at all about creating a complete autonomous driving car (Apple Car), but rather the creation of software that makes existing cars smarter – or even autonomous. Now that is a huge, creatively disruptive opportunity.

      


  • 8 Cheap Stocks With Low P/E Ratios

    Here are eight stocks gurus are buying that are trading with low price-earnings (P/E) ratios. Most of them are greatly undervalued, according to the DCF calculator.


    Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) with a market cap of $5.09 billion is trading with a P/E ratio of 4.9 and a price-sales (P/S) ratio of 2.75. According to the DCF calculator the stock has a fair value of $86.36 while trading at about $39 with a margin of safety of 55%. The price has risen 61% during the last 12 months and is now 1.14% below its 52-week high and 79.26% above its 52-week low.

      


  • Buyback ETF Could Be Worth Following

    Generally speaking, I tend to stay away from the ETF space as an investor. There are thousands of ETF products, which makes it difficult to choose the one that best fits my investing goals, and the product itself is not without its drawbacks. Personally, I will either choose a tracker fund or individual stocks.


    However, the one ETF that recently caught my eye is the Dhandho Junoon ETF, which is interesting because it is managed by the same firm that is owned by well-known and respected value investor Mohnish Pabrai (Trades, Portfolio).

      


  • Largest Insider Trades of the Week

    The GuruFocus All-in-One Screener can be used to find insider trades from the past week. Under the Insiders tab, change the settings for All Insider Buying to “$5,0000,000+” and the duration to “January 2016” and All Insider Sales to “$5,000,000+.”


    According to the above filters, the following are trades from company insiders this week.

      


  • Why Shipping Stocks Are the Worst-Performing Stocks Ever

    During the first decade of the new millennium, the shipping sector was what can only be described as a goldmine. The rise of China as a global trading superpower, an aging fleet and easy access to credit allowed shipping companies around the world to expand rapidly, plowing billions into new vessels that were quickly snapped up on trading routes. The rising demand for transportation capacity also sent spot rates for vessel charters skyrocketing, improving the economics of shippers and making it look as if their rapid expansion was the right course of action. However, the financial crisis exposed these companies for what they were: overleveraged, inefficient, capital-hungry disasters.


    Since the financial crisis, the shipping industry has struggled to turn a profit consistently. In fact, most of the industry has struggled to remain alive as charter rates have collapsed, extra capacity ordered in the boom years is no longer needed and debt falls due. Even with rock-bottom interest rates, many shipping companies have struggled to service their growing debts.

      


  • Dodge & Cox's Stock Fund 4th Quarter Commentary

    The Dodge & Cox Stock Fund had a total return of 10.7% for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 3.8% for the S&P 500 Index. For 2016, the Fund had a total return of 21.3%, compared to 12.0% for the S&P 500.

      


  • Endeavour Mining Explores Merger With Acacia

    Endeavour Mining Corp. (TSX:EDV) and Acacia Mining PLC (LSE:ACA) are discussing a merger, according to Bloomberg.


    The merger negotiations also concern Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:ABX) since the world’s largest gold producer holds a 64% stake in Acacia.

      


  • Mawer Canada's 4th Quarter Investment Newsletter

    President’s Message


    You may have heard us say, on more than one occasion, that market volatility and unpredictability are entirely normal. Our experiences over the last 40+ years have certainly reinforced that lesson. Yet even for us, 2016 felt unusual, with significant political game changers occurring such as Brexit and the election of Trump. But such a year serves to remind us that the best approach to investing in this unpredictable and rapidly changing world is to focus on the things we can control.

      


  • Hennessy Japan Fund Divests Sumitomo in 4th Quarter

    The Hennessy Japan Fund (Trades, Portfolio) sold its holding of Sumitomo Corp. (TSE:8053) in the final quarter of 2016.


    The fund was established in 2003 and is managed by Masakazu Takeda and Yu Shimizu. The fund invests in Japanese companies with strong businesses and management that trade at an appealing price in order to meet the goal of long-term capital appreciation. The managers employ in-depth analysis in order to identify stocks with a significant value gap. They manage a concentrated portfolio of 20 stocks valued at $119 million.

      


  • Amazon Delights Trump

    Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday was the most talked about event last week but the most significant story in my view was the announcement from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that it plans to create 100,000 new full-time jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months.


    That's a huge commitment by a single company and it puts an exclamation point to the sea change that is taking place in U.S. retailing. Only a few days before, Macy's (NYSE:M) and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) both announced nationwide store closures and layoffs after a disappointing Christmas season. Macy's will close 68 stores and shed 10,000 jobs while Sears will shutter 150 stores (most of which operate under the Kmart brand).

      


  • David Rolfe's Wedgewood Partners 4th Quarter Letter: Changing of the Guard

    Review and Outlook

      


  • General Motors Records Another Solid Year in China

    General Motors (NYSE:GM) and its joint venture partners in China sold 3.87 million vehicles in the mainland in 2016, registering yet another fantastic year for the automaker. This is an improvement of more than 7% despite witnessing a 2.3% fall in December sales. General Motors sold 434,799 vehicles in the last month of the year. The decline, however, could not stop the Detroit carmaker from posting impressive results for the year in the world’s hottest car market.


    A look at the year

      


  • BlackRock: A Stock for Defensive Investors

    Quality stocks that meet the criteria for defensive investors are those stocks with a market cap greater than $2 billion, a current ratio higher than 2, have a long history of paying dividends  and earnings growth of at least 33% over a 10-year period. BlackRock Inc. (NYSE:BLK) fits this criteria.


    The company has a market capitalization of $62.16 billion and has a long history of earnings and dividend growth every year over the last decade, as shown by the table below.

      


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