Last Update: 12-31-1969

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  • The Other Side of the Big Short

    There have been a lot of discussions since the book “The Big Short” was published and the subsequent production of the eponymous movie. I haven’t read the book yet, but watched the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Recently, I came across an article written by renowned investor Li Lu. In this article, Li Lu shared his thoughts after watching the movie, which I found fascinating.


  • Crisis or Opportunity? 3 Companies in "The Auld Sod"

    "Brexit" was not a crisis. Turkey is not a crisis. It could become one, although that would occur based on what is happening since the coup, not the coup itself. (More on this below.)

    A crisis, from an investment standpoint, is a series of events that lead to continuing hardship for a large percentage of the population, typically contiguous to or immediately followed by recession (or worse) that continues for some time. A plague, famine, warfare in the homeland, ubiquitous Islamist terrorism - The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse stuff - now those are crises.


  • Diamond Resorts International Inc (DRII) President, CEO David F Palmer Sold $19 million of Stocks

  • Munger on the Keys to Berkshire's Success

    Poor Charlie's Almanack is just one of those books that need to be re-read over the years. The main reason is there are so many insights that every time we re-read it, its concepts and ideas become clearer. There is a small chapter that discusses the keys to Berkshire's success, according to Munger's point of view. What he says is full of common sense, but also, some aspects are full of brilliance on how to behave to achieve success.

    1) It is occasionally possible for a tortoise, content to assimilate proven insights of his best predecessors, to outrun hares that seek originality or don't wish to be left out of some crowd folly that ignores the best work of the past. This happens as the tortoise stumbles on some particularly effective way to apply the best previous work, or simply avoids standard calamities. We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric. It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.


  • Major Second Quarter Purchases for Cohen Include Tesaro, Pernix

    The official second quarter portfolio update for Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), owner of Point72 Asset Management, has not been released as of July 20. Buys made that were greater than 5% of the company are available, however. The GuruFocus real time updates indicate Cohen purchased shares in Cynosure Inc. (CYNO), Pernix Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTX), Tesaro Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRO) and Tetra Technologies (TTI) over the course of the second quarter. These purchases were made April 25, April 28, May 9, and June 27, respectively. 

    The shares purchased in Tesaro sold for an average price of $43, and Cohen purchased 1 million shares. Tesaro, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company based in Massachusetts, has a market cap of $4 billion with an enterprise value of $3.9 billion. It has a P/B of 25 and a P/S of 5,952. GuruFocus rated its financial strength 5 of 10 and its profitability and growth 3 of 10. It's impact on Cohen's portfolio is 0.35%. Cohen’s current number of shares with Tesaro stands at 2.4 million.


  • Bill Ackman’s Portfolio Returns Diminish as Stock Prices Decline

    Activist investor Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) founded the Pershing Square Capital Management Fund in 2003. With a simple investing approach, the fund manager seeks value by buying stocks at cheap prices and selling them once they reach their fair values. Despite having high returns in 2014, the fund experienced poor returns as of July 2016.

    For the month of June, Ackman’s fund realized a gross performance of -3.0% and a net performance of -3.1%. The fund’s year to date returns have fallen in the red: the gross return YTD is -20.4% and the net return year to date is -21.1%. The decline in stock prices likely tormented the fund manager’s portfolio.


  • Microsoft in Focus as Stock Valuation Gains Ease Slightly

    U.S. market indexes were mixed on Tuesday as valuation gains eased slightly. For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new high at 18559.01. The Dow gained 25.96 points for an increase of 0.14%. The S&P 500 was lower for the day at 2163.78 for a loss of -3.11 points or -0.14%. The Nasdaq was lower at 5036.37 for a loss of -19.41 points or -0.38%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 12.33 for a loss of -0.11 points or -0.88%.

    In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains in the Index for the day.


  • FPA Capital Nearly Triples Stake in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    FPA Capital nearly tripled its stake in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. during the second quarter, adding an addional 742,357 shares. The trade had a 2.19% impact on the FPA Capital Portfolio.



  • The Historical Trend of Altman Z-Scores for 6 Major U.S. Companies

    A company’s financial strength depends on several factors, including the Piotroski F-score and the Altman Z-score. Even though historical scores cannot accurately predict the expected trend of financial strength scores, the historical trend of scores still provides important information about a company’s sustainability throughout the company’s life.

    An earlier article discussed the historical trends of Piotroski F-scores for six major companies: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A (NYSE:BRK.A), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B (NYSE:BRK.B), General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM). This article will discuss the historical trend of Altman Z-scores for the above companies.


  • Five-Year Lows: Daktronics Inc., Ruby Tuesday Inc., CVR Energy Inc.

    According to GuruFocus list of 5-year lows, these Guru stocks have reached their five-year lows: Daktronics Inc., Ruby Tuesday Inc. and CVR Energy Inc.

    Daktronics Inc. (NASDAQ:DAKT) fell to $6.50


  • 10 Years of Strong Returns: 51job, Under Armour

    GuruFocus’ All-In-One Screener helps to find profitable companies with 10-year positive returns, strong profitability and growing EPS.

    Under Armour Inc. Class C. (UA.C)


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  • Combining Index Investing and Dividend Investing in Your Portfolio

    I recently wrote an article comparing dividend investing to index investing.

    Spoiler alert: Here is the conclusion reached in that article:


  • Carl Icahn's Largest Trades of the 2nd Quarter

    Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) is an activist investor. He takes minority stakes in public companies and typically pushes for change. There are his most heavily weighted trades of the second quarter:

    The guru bought 287,525 shares in Herc Holdings Inc. (HRI) with an impact of 0.05% on the portfolio.


  • The Yacktman Focused Fund Sells Out of C.R. Bard Inc.

    During the second quarter, the Yacktman (Trades, Portfolio) Focused Fund sold out its remaining 140,000 shares of C.R Bard (NYSE:BCR) at at an average price of $216.98. The Yacktman (Trades, Portfolio) Focused Fund saw a 66% increase in its investment in C.R. Bard Inc. since the first quarter of 2011.



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  • Why Did Microsoft Embrace Open Source?

    If I had told you back in 2006 that in 10 years, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would be wooing the open source community of developers around the world, you could have gotten away with laughing in my face. Today, I’d be having the last laugh because 2016 is indeed the year of Microsoft’s Open Source Embrace.

    Admittedly, the company’s transition to accepting open source technologies and capabilities has been slow. But the constant stream of announcements coming out this year makes it very clear how the company envisions the future. In a world dominated by Facebooks, Googles and Apples, Microsoft needs to do everything in its power to stay relevant, and the shift to embracing open source might be the very thing they need.


  • HollyFrontier Corp Is a Value Trade

    HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE:HFC) is a large independent petroleum refiner in the U.S. It operates five complex refineries producing over 440,000 barrels of crude oil every day.


  • Orkla, The Norwegian Kraft, Has Another Great Quarter

    Norwegian foods manufacturer and Scandanavian conglomerate Orkla (OSL:ORK) has had another fantastic quarter. Orkla has been selling off shares in industrial divisions and reinvesting proceeds into European food companies.

    For the most recent quarter, adjusted EBIT grew by 26% to NOK996 million ($117 million). (It takes 8.52 krone to buy one dollar.) Operating revenues grew by 22% to NOK9.433 billion ($1.1 billion). 1.3 billion krone ($153 million) worth of shares and real estate have been liquidated to be invested into more food companies. Orkla’s acquisition of Hame has made the company one of the largest players in food in Czech Republic and Cederroth in cleaning supplies.


  • IBM Beats Revenue and Earnings Estimates for the 2nd Quarter

    On Monday evening, IBM (NYSE:IBM) reported its second quarter earnings results. The company reported revenue of $20.24 billion, which was down 2.7% from the comparable quarter and beat analysts’ average estimate by $210 million. Earnings for the quarter were $2.95 which also beat analysts’ average estimate by 6 cents.

    As the market for cloud technology continues to expand, IBM increasingly continues to be a market leader. Cloud technology helped the firm to beat revenue and earnings estimates for the quarter. Its significant advantages in cloud technology include its cognitive capabilities which are linked throughout the company’s services to the cloud.


  • What’s Behind Garmin’s Sky-High PEG Ratio?

    I just noticed that Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) is currently (July 2016) hitting 52-week highs. This is an interesting company, a pioneer in the field of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and much more.

    It is also an interesting company from an investing standpoint; as I wrote in a GuruFocus article in April of last year, “Although free cash flow has declined for several years, the absence of long-term debt and returning strength of EBIT and EBITDA align with the strong financial strength rating assigned by GuruFocus.” As it turned out, I was a bit early, and wrong, in seeing returning strength.


  • ARM We Hardly Knew 'Ya

    Softbank (TSE:9984) announced on July 18 it was acquiring ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) for $32 billion in an all-cash deal. The sale price was approximately a 43% premium to the closing price on July 15.

    ARMH had been a holding in both the Nintai Charitable Trust and in a Dorfman Value Investments individual account. We first purchased ARMH in the Nintai Charitable Trust in February 2016 after negative returns in 2014, 2015 and a nearly 15% drop in the first month of 2016. Until then I had never really gotten the valuation required for purchase. I purchased additional shares in June 2016 in a Dorfman Value Investment individual account.


  • Hotchkis & Wiley Large Cap Diversified Value

    The S&P 500 Index returned +2.5% during the second quarter of 2016. There was wide performance dispersion across sectors, with the best-performing sector (energy) outperforming the worst-performing sector (technology) by more than 14 percentage points. Despite the partial rebound in energy this quarter, over the last 12 months we have observed a massive flight away from cyclical market segments in favor of non-cyclicals. Pundits have described this trend as “risk off”, “flight to safety”, “low volatility”, “bond proxy” etc., but the reality is that non-cyclical businesses now appear to trade at an unusually high premium to cyclical businesses. Macroeconomic shocks like Brexit have only exacerbated the divergence. True to Benjamin Graham, we view stocks trading at discounts to intrinsic value as having a margin of safety. Ironically, it has become difficult to identify a margin of safety in businesses currently perceived as “safe” because their valuations have become stretched. Accordingly, our modest overweight allocation to cyclicals reflects the risk-adjusted valuation opportunities available and not a macroeconomic outlook. The most attractive individual opportunities reside within financials and energy, though we remain slightly underweight both sectors relative to the Russell 1000 Value as only select segments within the sectors offer compelling risk adjusted valuations—albeit highly compelling. Relative to the Russell 1000 Value Index the portfolio is overweight consumer discretionary and technology, underweight consumer staples, and relatively equal-weight other sectors. We do not know when value dislocations will revert, nor are we certain that these dislocations will not widen further before reverting. We have learned from past experience, however, that these cycles inevitably do normalize and we believe that our portfolio is well-positioned to benefit.

    Interest rates declined during the quarter, largely influenced by investors’ flight to US Treasuries in the aftermath of Brexit. The low rate environment has been a stubbornly persistent macroeconomic headwind for most financials, with banks disproportionately affected because their net interest margins are pressured. From a bottom-up fundamental perspective, however, the strengthening posture of US banks has been quite encouraging. Profitability has been solid and capital ratios are at/near all-time highs. All companies subjected to the Fed’s stress test have passed, which improves the potential for increased returns of capital to shareholders. Buying back shares at/below book value can be highly accretive and this group’s payout yield (dividends + share repurchases) currently stands at 8%1. Financials represent the portfolio’s largest sector, though the weight is about equal to that of the Russell 1000 Value—we are overweight banks and underweight REITs.


  • Westport Funds' Final Quarterly Commentary

    Portfolio Review


  • Invesco European Growth Fund Quarterly Performance Commentary

    Market overview


  • The Apple Is Losing Its Shine. Can It Reclaim Its Magic?

    After growing at a rapid clip for the last 10 years, supported by constant upgrades to its smartphone lineup, MacBooks and other products, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s second quarter 2016 earnings were a shocker to many, and 2016 could possibly be the first time in a decade that Apple reports sales declines.



  • Titan Medical: Greatly Undervalued


    Titan Medical (TSX:TMD) is a Toronto-based surgical robotics company developing the SPORT Surgical System, a surgeon-controlled robotic platform. SPORT is in the final stages of its R&D, and is expected to receive FDA approval and CE Marking by late 2017, early 2018.


  • Yacktman Focused Fund, Focuses Elsewhere

    A New York based-food, snack and beverage company has recently seen a decline in shares held by one of its long-term stakeholders.

    The Yacktman Focused Fund (Trades, Portfolio) sold 1.3 million PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) 1,300,000 shares for an average price of $96 per share during the second quarter. The transaction had a -3.06% impact on the fund’s portfolio.


  • Top Medical Companies Reach High Financial Strength

    Among all stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, two medical companies, Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) and Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ANIK), have relatively strong Altman Z-scores.

    These two medical companies also have high financial strength, implying strong business operation. Although Intuitive Surgical, a company that trades on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, has a higher Altman Z-score than does Anika Therapeutics, NYSE and Nasdaq medical companies generally have higher Altman Z-scores than S&P 500 medical companies.


  • Can Procter & Gamble Find Its Lost Mojo?

    Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has indeed lost a lot of its mojo. The classic dividend payee of our century, operating in one of the most defensive sectors, has been seeing its revenues, earnings and cash flow sliding downwards, putting enormous pressure on it to keep its dividend growth story intact.



  • Stock Momentum Easing Tuesday With Leading Dow Earnings in the Spotlight

    U.S. stock futures are pointing lower in pre-market trading for Tuesday, July 19, as the U.S. stock market appears to be cooling off ahead of a long list of second quarter earnings.

    Leading Dow earnings in the spotlight for Tuesday include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).


  • How to Accumulate Shares in Apple Faster

    Apple (AAPL) is currenly receiving a lot of negative press as many analysts and investors alike believe lower prices are on the horizon.

    I would not be so sure, despite revenue coming in at $50.23 billion last quarter, more than $7 billion lighter than the top line of the same quarter of 12 months prior. Furthermore, the jump in revenue between 2014 and 2015 was huge (over $50 billion due to the iPhone 6 & 6+), which was more top line growth (in dollars) in one year that the company witnessed for more than a decade. Reproducing this top line growth was always going to be difficult, but should the stock get punished just because revenue has fallen and accompanying guidance is weak?


  • Bank of America Beats Expectations Despite a 20 Pct Profit Dip

    Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has skated past Wall Street’s expectations for the second quarter of 2016 – despite suffering a 20% nosedive in earnings.

    The commercial banking giant posted a muddled quarterly report on Monday that saw earnings per share finish at 36 cents before dividends. That easily beat analysts’ expectations of just 33 cents per share – but fell extremely short of the 45 cents a share the bank reported this time last year.


  • Netflix Management Discusses 2nd Quarter

    Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) reported earnings after the stock market closed on Monday, and shares fell 13% in after hours trading to $85.90. Investors sold the stock as the company badly missed its own estimates. The key metric analysts focused on was net subscribers. The company added 1.7 million members versus the forecast of 2.5 million members.

    Management discusses quarterly results in the video below. Highlights for the second quarter include:


  • China Yuchai: a Struggling Company

    Prior to completion of this article, this author had an ongoing 50% in paper losses in China Yuchai International ADRs (NYSE:CYD) since a mid-2015 purchase. Compared with all-time highs logged by the S&P 500 in recent times, lagging share price performance of the former warranted a review.


  • Characteristics of Great Companies

    If you know anything about Warren Buffett, you know he loves investing in great companies. In fact, he and Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio)'s entire investing strategy centers around finding great companies at fair prices. But what does that entail? While I'm positive Buffett can explain that better than me, I'm still going to take a shot at it:

  • Companies Hit 52-Week Highs

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

    Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) Reached the 52-Week High of $56.67


  • 5 Best Stocks For Value Investors This Week

    We evaluated 31 different companies this week to determine whether they are suitable for Defensive Investors, those unwilling to do substantial research, or Enterprising Investors, those who are willing to do such research. We also put each company through the ModernGraham valuation model based on Benjamin Graham's value investing formulas in order to determine an intrinsic value for each. Out of those 31 companies, only 5 were found to be undervalued or fairly valued and suitable for either Defensive or Enterprising Investors.

    The Elite


  • Infosys Management Discusses Q1 FY17 Results

    Infosys’ (NYSE:INFY) stock fell 8.84% in Friday trading after reporting results that disappointed investors and issuing weak guidance. Adding to the stock’s woes, Nomura downgraded the stock today from “buy” to “neutral” and lowered its price target from $20.12 per share to $17.57 per share. The stock is currently priced at $16.82 per share. Analysts were especially disappointed in the updated revenue growth projection for 2017. The company has lowered revenue growth from projections of a range between 11.5% to 13.5% to a range between 10.5% to 12%.

    Infosys is a global IT consulting firm headquartered out of India. The firm engages in core competencies such as application development, software services (implementation and maintenance), infrastructure management, product engineering, business process management, and consulting among emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobility, and  big data, in addition to other services. The company’s geographic revenues are reported between North America, Europe, India, and rest of the world with the revenue split being 62%, 23%, 2.7%, and 12.3% from each region respectively. The company reports revenue into the three main business segments of Business IT Services, Consulting, Package Implementation & Others, and Products, Platforms, and Others. The table below shows a more granular breakdown by subcategory for the most recent quarters.


  • Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM) CEO F Thomson Leighton Bought $999,880 of Stocks

  • Weekly CFO Buys Highlight

    According to GuruFocus Insider Data, the recent CFO buys were: York Water Co (NASDAQ:YORW), Martin Midstream Partners LP (NASDAQ:MMLP), and Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (NYSE:KFS).

    York Water Co (NASDAQ:YORW): CFO Joseph Thomas Hand bought 166 shares


  • Weekly CEO Sells Highlight: GTT Communications, Automatic Data Processing, Acuity Brands

    According to GuruFocus Insider Data, these are the largest CEO sales during the past week: GTT Communications Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc. and Acuity Brands Inc.

    GTT Communications Inc. (NYSE:GTT): President and CEO Richard Calder Sold 80,000 Shares


  • U.S. Market Indexes Reach New Highs

    U.S. market indexes were higher on Monday to start the week. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18533.05 for a gain of 16.50 points or 0.09%. The S&P 500 was also higher, closing at 2166.89 for a gain of 5.15 points or 0.24%. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at new highs for the day. The Nasdaq Composite was also higher Monday, closing at 5055.78 for a gain of 26.19 points or 0.52%. The VIX Volatility Index was down for the day at 12.41 for a loss of -0.26 points or -2.05%.

    In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains:


  • July Buffett-Munger Bargain Newsletter is Ready for Download

    The Buffett-Munger Bargain Newsletter pick is about about a stock that regularly pops up on the Buffett-Munger stock screener. The company has dominated its industry for more than a century. Current management has been able to grow the business at double-digit rates while still generating enough excess cash to reduce its share count. The stock is never obviously cheap but in true Buffett style, it becomes a bargain in hindsight.

    Get your copy of GuruFocus’s Buffett-Munger Bargain Newsletter now


  • The Most Important Thing: Book Review

    "The Most Important Thing" highlights 21 investment truths that Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio), the author, at one point found he had repeatedly emphasized to clients.

    Marks, an investment manager overseeing $100 billion at Oaktree Capital, has been writing memos to clients for decades. The memos are so jam-packed with valuable information he decided to turn them into a book.


  • Why Berkshire Hathaway Dumped Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is the world’s largest health care company. With a market capitalization of nearly $339 billion at the time of writing, it is one of the top 10 companies in an enviable group filled with technology stocks so big that even Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) is only $20 billion away from them at $359 billion.

    But is it still the same company that we have grown up with? And more importantly, why did Berkshire Hathaway dump the company after building to a position of about 1.56% of J&J’s stock and become the fourth largest shareholder?


  • 7 Stocks With High Yield and Strong Returns

    Thanks to GuruFocus’ All-In-One Screener, I want to highlight stocks that have a growing dividend yield with sustainable payout ratio. This sustainability is confirmed to long-term company profitability and a very strong financial situation:

    Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP) has a dividend yield that during the last five years has grown by 81%. The yield is 4.0% with a payout ratio of 284%. The average ROA of the last five years has been positive, 10.84%, as well as the ROE with an average performance of 15.18%.


  • Is Pokemon Go Bullish for Oil?

    Lately I have seen some articles and tweets about how Pokemon Go is bullish for oil prices.

    The game is insanely popular and many players are driving around to various in-game hot spots. Indeed, I have seen more than a few people driving around to catch Pokemon and to go back and forth between areas heavily populated with Pokestops and gyms. My office is located across from a large park that has over a dozen Pokestops and gyms, so I have seen just how popular the game is firsthand.


  • Nike’s $6.5 Billion China Bet

    In an earlier article, I wrote about Nike’s bid to reach $50 billion in sales by 2020. I covered the main growth drivers that will get them there. In this piece, will cover China in a little more detail because I think that is where the future for Nike really lies. With high penetration in mature markets and a fragmented sports footwear industry, Nike’s market share has pretty much peaked except for that one big market currently sitting outside its revenue bucket.



  • Introducing the Buffett Loan: Capital Gains Taxes and Compounding

    An investor with $100,000 invested in the market will make $10,000 if the market goes up 10%.

    An investor with $1 million invested in the market will make $100,000 if the market goes up 10%.


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