Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • George Soros Reduces Position in Quantum Corporation

    George Soros (Trades, Portfolio) is the world’s 24th-richest man, according to Bloomberg’s most recent rankings, with a net worth of $27.8 billion.

    In 1970, after working as a traveling salesman and a clerk early in his career – what Soros has called "the low point of my life" – before moving on to more substantial financial work, he founded New York-based Soros Fund Management and became its chairman.


  • Royce Funds Commentary - Market Reversals Are on the Horizon

    Over the next five years we expect reversals resulting in historically below-average, single-digit results for equities, market leadership from profitable companies, renewed success for disciplined active management approaches, and small-cap value reasserting its traditional leadership role.


  • Five High-Yield Stocks With a Wide Margin of Safety

    If you are looking for stocks that pay high yields, the current market correction gave us some at a discounted price. GuruFocus' All-In-One Screener provides a selection of five that are worth putting on a watchlist.

    Great Northern Iron Ore (GNI) owns interests in fees, both mineral and nonmineral lands, on the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. The company's properties span two counties (St. Louis and Itasca) in northeastern Minnesota, extend from Hoyt Lakes on the east end of the Mesabi Iron Range to Grand Rapids on the west end of the Mesabi Iron Range.


  • Boeing 777X Nears an Order Win Over Airbus A350

    Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares trended up 1.90% to $137.19 on Oct. 7 when Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam divulged the airline’s intention of placing orders for the highly awaited wide-body plane, the 777X. The 777X is a re-engineered version of Boeing 777 and is scheduled to enter service at the end of this decade. Ethiopian Airlines is on an expansion mode, and the latest order is a positive sign reflecting the strength in demand for the 777X. Here’s a look at the reported order and why it’s going to be a special win for Boeing.

    The order


  • Steven Romick Buys 3 New Stocks in Q3

    Steven Romick (Trades, Portfolio), president of the $19.6 billion FPA Crescent Fund (FPACX), bought three new stocks in the third quarter, he disclosed Thursday.

    The value-minded investor had more than 40% of his portfolio in cash in the end of the second quarter as markets continued their ascent.


  • Bill Nygren and David Herro Comments on General Electric

    We added one new name to the Fund during the quarter: General Electric (NYSE:GE), the global producer of industrial, household and medical goods. GE is a company with businesses we have always admired, but we have previously questioned the stock’s valuation and management’s focus on returns when making capital allocation decisions. However, the appointment of a new CFO in mid-2013 ushered in significant changes. Since then, GE has, in our view, acquired assets cheaply (Alstom) and sold assets at good prices (Synchrony and its appliances division). GE is also significantly reducing its financial services business to focus on those lending activities that are core to its industrial products. The company has totally revamped its variable compensation plan for thousands of employees, emphasizing factors that drive return on invested capital, which should boost future results. Some investors may have a stale opinion of GE after the past 15 years of persistent underperformance, but we believe the remaining businesses will grow in excess of global GDP with high returns on capital. We believe the current valuation is attractive for this good collection of businesses.

    From Biill Nygren and David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.   

  • Bill Nygren and David Herro Comments on CNH Industrial

    Another large detractor from performance for the quarter was CNH Industrial (NYSE:CNHI) (Netherlands), a manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment. CNH Industrial’s fiscal first-half revenue decline of 22% (-11% in constant currency) was larger than we estimated, as revenues dropped across segments. Earnings and margins also dropped more substantially than we expected. The core agriculture segment was the driving force behind these poor results as demand for tractors and combines fell across all geographies. In response, management reduced agriculture equipment production by 33% in the second quarter year-over-year. Conversely, the Iveco segment performed better than we anticipated, as revenue declined less than our forecasts (and gained 9% in constant currency) while margins expanded. Management updated full-year guidance with a reduced operating profit margin (to a range of 5.6%-6% owing to production cuts) and unchanged sales projections. Management continues to cut costs across the board, and in light of very challenging market conditions, we believe CNH Industrial’s leadership team is executing relatively well. Therefore, our investment thesis for this company remains intact.

    From Biill Nygren and David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.   

  • Bill Nygren and David Herro Comments on Apache

    The largest detractor from performance for the quarter and past twelve months was Apache (NYSE:APA), the U.S.-based oil and gas exploration and production company. As with most oil and gas exploration companies, Apache’s share price is influenced by the direction of oil prices, which have fallen dramatically and remain low. Our assessment of Apache’s business value is based on the belief that the long-term market clearing oil price is in the mid-$70s. While a decline in near-term commodity prices reduced our estimate of value due to lost interim cash flows, the stock’s decline has significantly exceeded what we think is the true change in the company’s underlying business value. Despite a challenging energy market, we believe the management team has a solid plan for the future, as CEO John Christmann recently changed the company’s capital allocation process to better direct capital to the highest internal rate of return projects, regardless of where they are located. In addition, Christmann replaced the operating heads of each region, changing their compensation metrics to focus on returns. In our view, these improvements strengthen Apache’s ability to maximize its value. We believe most investors are ignoring the value of many Apache assets that will generate substantial cash flow when energy prices increase.

    From Biill Nygren and David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.   

  • Bill Nygren and David Herro Comments on Google

    Another positive contributor to performance for the quarter was Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (U.S.), the leading Internet search engine. Google delivered a positive second-quarter earnings report that beat market expectations. We were pleased to see that aggregate paid clicks were up 18% and that paid clicks on Google websites were up 30%. Investors were encouraged by CFO Ruth Porat’s favorable comments on “balance sheet efficiency” and “maximizing shareholder value,” which reaffirm to us that CEO Larry Page is serious about running Google with shareholders in mind. We continue to believe that Google enjoys a very strong tailwind as advertising continues to move online.

    From Biill Nygren and David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.   

  • Bill Nygren Comments on Chesapeake

    We wrote fairly extensively about Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) last quarter, but an update seems warranted given the stock price’s continued weakness. In short, it wasn’t all bad news—lower oil and gas prices notwithstanding. Chesapeake renegotiated a meaningful component of its legacy high-cost transportation contracts (see last quarter’s letter for details), and this has reduced the company’s sensitivity to lower gas prices. Importantly, many of the company’s fundamentals, including production volume as well as drilling and operating costs, have been consistent with our expectations. Furthermore, one of Chesapeake’s competitors recently sold assets in the Haynesville Shale that were quite similar to those of Chesapeake; the sale price was consistent with our estimated value. At Oakmark, we always closely monitor private market transactions, which we believe are important indicators of business value.

    From Biill Nygren's Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.


  • Bill Nygren Comments on Franklin Resources

    We sold Franklin Resources (BEN) in the quarter and allocated the proceeds across several existing holdings in the Fund. We established no new positions in the quarter. You may notice the cash balance was higher than normal at quarter end. The elevated cash position supports a tax trade on Apache, whereby we sold puts and a portion of our shares to maintain some exposure to the company while harvesting a tax loss. We expect the cash position will normalize when we complete the tax trade. While it’s too early to make promises, as of September 30, we do not expect to be making a capital gain distribution this year.

    From Biill Nygren's Q3 Oakmark Global Select Fund commentary.


  • David Herro Comments on Melco International Development

    Sluggish gaming activity, primarily in Macau, continued to plague Melco International Development (HKSE:00200) (Hong Kong), the holding company that owns more than one-third of Melco Crown Entertainment in addition to other casino gaming and tourism assets. It was the largest detractor to performance for the fiscal year ended September 30. In July, Macau eased visa restrictions for visitors from mainland China, making it easier for tourists to access its gaming facilities, but gaming revenues have stayed depressed. We remain optimistic on Macau’s long-term prospects due to the increasing wealth of Chinese citizens and the large infrastructure projects that should help facilitate Macau’s growth.

    From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark International Small-Cap Fund commentary.   

  • David Herro Comments on Dorma+Kaba Holdings

    Dorma+Kaba Holdings (XSWX:DOKA) (Switzerland) was the largest contributor to the fiscal year ended September 30. Kaba reported strong operational results during the year as it benefited from an improving macro backdrop in Europe. Additionally, recent investments in new product development resulted in market share gains. Kaba recently completed a transformational merger with Germany-based Dorma Group. We believe the businesses are complementary, combining Kaba’s historical strength in access control with Dorma’s strength in doors. Together they are one of the largest global companies specializing in security and building-access solutions, commanding a sizable geographic footprint and a substantial research and development budget.

    From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark International Small-Cap Fund commentary.   

  • David Herro Comments on Outotec

    The largest detractor to performance for the quarter was Outotec (OHEL:OTE1V), a Finnish provider of technology and equipment for the metals and mining industries. Mining companies around the world have reduced capital expenditures budgets in the wake of commodity price declines. During the past few months, Outotec has not experienced any further reduction of customer demand from an already low level, but the company has seen some additional project delays in copper and other base metals. Management has undertaken several cost-cutting initiatives in recent quarters, including job reductions, which appear to be progressing well. During the quarter, we met the new CFO and expect him to implement continuous improvement procedures so that the company can increase profitability and reduce variability across its businesses. We also expect that Outotec will benefit from a renewed focus on its service business and an eventual improvement in end market demand.

    From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark International Small-Cap Fund commentary.   

  • David Herro Comments on Glencore

    Glencore (LSE:GLEN) (Switzerland), one of the world’s largest mining and commodity trading companies, was the largest detractor from performance during the quarter and the past twelve months. Weaker than expected demand for copper in China has driven the price of the commodity lower and negatively impacted Glencore’s share price. Although both supply and demand determine an item’s price, we believe that copper’s steep cost curve means that if prices dip lower, supply will be rapidly cut back. This quick reduction in supply should protect us against continued price weakness. China’s copper consumption is still growing, and copper will likely be in deficit in the coming years. Shares have also been weak due to concerns about Glencore’s ability to service its debt. Management wanted to take decisive action to quell investors’ fears and decided to pay down debt via an equity offering of $2.5 billion, asset sales and a suspension of the dividend. We were comforted that Glencore management bought 22% of the new equity during the equity raise, a clear indication that management’s interests remain aligned with shareholders. This purchase allowed them to maintain their significant personal investment in the company. The management team and other employees own about one-third of Glencore’s stock, and CEO Ivan Glasenberg pledged not to sell shares while employed by the company. In our view, Glencore is uniquely positioned in its industry due to the management team’s entrepreneurial and value-focused approach to running the business. We believe Glencore’s business value balance of 70% mining operations and 30% commodities trading affords the company an unmatched knowledge of industry pricing and supply/demand dynamics.

    From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark International Fund commentary.   

  • David Herro Comments on Intesa Sanpaolo

    Intesa Sanpaolo (MIL:ISP), an Italian retail and commercial bank, was the top contributor to performance over the past 12 months. Intesa’s share price has rebounded as fears over Italy’s banking system and government have subsided. During the period of concern a few years ago, the share price of Intesa plummeted and it was a major detractor from performance. However, we were patient and added to our position, and our shareholders have benefited from the turnaround. This example illustrates why we often increase our holdings in quality companies whose stock prices suffer as a result of short-term fears. During the past 12 months, investors reacted positively to Intesa’s impressive revenue growth numbers in spite of challenging headwinds: Italian GDP has been static and banking penetration remains low, while the household savings rate remains high. Management has announced additional returns of capital to shareholders in 2015 via an increased dividend, resulting in a payout ratio in excess of 70%. Even with this return of capital to shareholders, Intesa should be over-capitalized compared with Basel III requirements, leaving the door open for additional capital returns and merger and acquisition opportunities. Additionally, management plans to increase investments in fee-based businesses, including asset management and insurance, and to exit non-core businesses and investments.

    From David Herro (Trades, Portfolio)'s Q3 Oakmark International Fund commentary.   

  • GE Has Been an Absolute Failure in Allocating Capital – Bill Ackman

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) isn't too worried about hurting feelings at General Electric (NYSE:GE).

    When asked about the giant American company Ackman says that it has a miserable track record of allocating capital. Ackman believes ventures like NBC (NBC) and oil and gas have cost GE shareholders a lot of money over the years.


  • American Express: A Slow But Profitable Grind

    American Express (NYSE:AXP) was originally an express mail service started back in 1850. In the 1900s the company started a financial services branch. First the famous Travelers Cheques were a big hit and later the American Express card in 1958. Today the company is providing charge and credit card products, travel services, network services, loans and other services both in the BTC and BTB markets on a global scale.

    The firm benefits from a tremendous network effect created by a large constituency of cardholders and merchants where the cards can be used. It is worth noting that American Express is focused on the high average annual spending side of the market. American Express is the iPhone of credit cards so to speak. The average amount charged to its cards is significantly higher than the amount charged to major competitors' cards. This helps to make the company an attractive partner to sellers who like to serve this demographic. This in turn enables American Express to leverage its position to charge sellers a sweet fee and also powers higher rewards to the holders of its cards which in turn reinforces the ties between the card users and the company.


  • The Best Companies of the Construction Industry – October 2015

    While ModernGraham supports the bottom-up approach to investing, many investors do utilize the top-down method, whereby an industry is selected before the company itself. With that in mind, this article will take a brief look at the best companies of the construction industry, selecting the most promising investment opportunities within the industry and giving a broad look into the industry as a whole.

    Out of the more than 560 companies reviewed by ModernGraham, 17 were identified as being closely related to the construction industry. Of those, two are suitable for the Defensive Investor, six are suitable for the Enterprising Investor, and the remaining nine are considered speculative at this time. Excluding any extreme outliers, the average company was rated as being priced at 89.86% to its MG Value (estimated intrinsic value) with an average PEmg ratio of 23.3. The industry as a whole, therefore, would appear to be fairly valued, particularly in comparison to the market (see Mr. Market's Mental State).


  • How to Limit a Bear Market's Bite

    As the current bull market has continued, there has been no shortage of predictions of its eventual end. One of the latest predictions appeared in a recent MarketWatch article by Phillip van Dorn (“Get ready for a ‘destruction of wealth’ as stocks head toward a bear market”). In that article, van Dorn referred to an indicator called the Guardian Gauge:

    A new health indicator for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of the largest U.S. stocks shows a rising likelihood of a broad, long-term decline.


  • Comment for Rushil Decor Ltd (NSE:RUSHIL) Historical Data of Short Interest, Institutional Ownership, and Insider Ownership

    rushil decor is a great buy at current levels  

  • My Top 10 Stock Valuation Ratios and How to Use Them


    Do you have photographic memory like Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)?


  • Walmart and the Importance of Capacity to Reinvest

    Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is owned by many value investors, or at least has been on many value investor’s target list. I’ve followed Walmart, studied the history of the business as well as the stock and admired Sam Walton for what he achieved. At this point, while the stock looks cheap, it lacks one important characteristic of a compounding machine – capacity to reinvest. In my previous article, I posted my notes on Chuck Akre (Trades, Portfolio)’s interview on Wealth Track where he talked about what he calls the compounding machines. When answering the question of why not favor dividends-paying companies, Akre offered the following insight:

    “Our goal is to compound our capital. There is no free lunch. Management only has three to four choices to do with all the free cash they generate. They can pay dividends, they can buy back stocks, they can invest back in the business or they can acquire other business. In order to compound their capital, the most efficient way is to invest in their own business or other businesses where they earn above average rate of return. If they pay dividends, they no longer have the dividend to do that. So it’s a marginally less efficient way for us to compound our capital.”


  • Howard Marks: It's Not Easy

    It took me awhile to catch up on my reading, and even though it has been published for a while now, the last memo by Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio), titled "It's Not Easy," is a great reminder of what second-level thinking is and how it can (or should) be used to beat the market. Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio) comments on his own previous remarks:

    "Remember your goal in investing isn’t to earn average returns; you want to do better than average. Thus your thinking has to be better than that of others – both more powerful and at a higher level. Since others may be smart, well informed and highly computerized, you must find an edge they don’t have. You must think of something they haven’t thought of, see things they miss or bring insight they don’t possess. You have to react differently and behave differently. In short, being right may be a necessary condition for investment success, but it won’t be sufficient. You must be more right than others which by definition means your thinking has to be different.


  • JLL Income Property Trust Completes Retail Acquisition in Austin, TX

  • National American University Holdings, Inc. Declares Second Quarter 2016 Dividend of $0.045 per Share

  • Marin Software Announces Date of Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results Conference Call

  • Yorbeau Closes $600,300 Private Placement

  • Stunning New Designs Highlight HP's Premium Consumer PC Line-Up

  • The BMO Entrepreneur Report: Canadian Business Owners Spent an Average of $165,065 to Start Their Business

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