Murray Stahl

Murray Stahl

Last Update: 04-15-2016

Number of Stocks: 524
Number of New Stocks: 36

Total Value: $4,009 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 2%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Murray Stahl Watch

  • Growing EPS With Wide Margins of Safety

    Companies with growing EPS are often a good investment as they can return a good profit to investors. Here is a selection of the most undervalued companies, according to the DCF calculator, that have a five-year growing EPS.


    Earnings per share of AmTrust Financial Services Inc. (AFSI) grew by 27% over the last five years;  according to the DCF calculator, the stock at the price of $26.57 is undervalued and is trading with a margin of safety of 62%.

      


  • Stanley Druckenmiller's Latest Moves Reveal Bearish Outlook

    Stanley Druckenmiller (Trades, Portfolio)'s recent portfolio changes, as tracked by GuruFocus, offer an interesting peek into the world views of the prolific macro trader.


    druckenmiller.jpg

      


  • Altisource Portfolio Solutions CEO Invests in Company

    William Shepro (Insider Trades), CEO of Altisource Portfolio Solutions SA (ASPS), purchased 1,700 company shares on May 2.


    The price per share was $29.27 for a total transaction of $49,759. Altisource Portfolio Solutions is a marketplace and transaction solutions provider for the real estate, mortgage and consumer debt industries. The company has a market cap of $550.50 million and a P/S ratio of 0.55.

      


  • Stocks Murray Stahl Bought for Past 2 Quarters

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the chairman of Horizon Asset Management. He is also director of Research and co-portfolio manager of the Small Cap Opportunities Fund and the Paradigm Fund. The following are the companies the investor has been buying for at least the last two quarters.


    Bank of America Corporation (BAC)

      


  • Murray Stahl Adds to Stake in Texas Pacific Land Trust

    Guru Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is a Brooklyn College graduate with over 30 years of investment experience. In 1978, shortly after he graduated from Brooklyn College, he began his investment career at Bankers Trust, where he spent the next 16 years as the firm's portfolio manager. In 1994, Stahl founded Horizon Kinetics, an investment firm that focuses on long term investing, by using the power of compounding.


    In the first quarter of 2016, Stahl added 30,441 shares of Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL).

      


  • Murray Stahl Buys Exxon, Suncor in 1st Quarter

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the chairman of Horizon Asset Management Inc. During the first quarter he bought shares in many stocks, and the following are his most heavily weighted trades:


    Stahl raised his stake in Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) by 35.19% with an impact of 0.58% on the portfolio.

      


  • Murray Stahl Talks Investments Made Through FRMO

    Guru Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the CEO and chairman of FRMO Corp. (FRMO). Together with CFO Steven Bregman, they report on the investments made through FRMO on a quarterly basis. There is no transcript available yet for the most recent call, but you can listen to the archived call.


    The call can be a little bit chaotic if you are a new shareholder, but they are absolutely worth listening too. Stahl and Bregman are full of valuable insights into the markets and readily share wisdom related to their unconventional approach to value investing.

      


  • Murray Stahl Trims Stakes in Liberty Interactive Stock Components

    The first quarter was a rough one for investors, many of whom reduced stakes or sold them entirely. Guru Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) of Horizon Kinetics was no different; he bought some stakes and added to some, but most of his significant deals involved reductions of existing stakes in his portfolio.


    Stahl sold portions of nearly 300 stakes in the first quarter. Here are some of his most high-profile reductions.

      


  • Carl Icahn Increases Position in Icahn Enterprises

    Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), the leading guru shareholder and board chairman of Icahn Enterprises (NASDAQ:IEP), increased his position in the conglomerate by more than 2% on April 14.


    That may not sound like a sizable percentage, and it wouldn’t be for garden-variety investors, but 2% means a lot more when the stake is the size of Icahn’s. The guru acquired 2,771,575 shares, which is fewer than 1 million shares shy of the entire stake held by Icahn Enterprise’s second-leading shareholder among the gurus, Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio). Stahl’s stake is 3,507,276 shares.

      


  • Murray Stahl Boosts Silver Wheaton Position

    Guru Murray Stahl (TradesPortfolio) added 1,403,749 shares to his stake in Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) in the first quarter.


    Silver Wheaton was incorporated on Aug. 23, 1994, and is engaged in the sale of silver and gold. The company is the largest precious metal streaming company in the world today. The company has agreements for 22 operating mines and seven development-stage projects. Silver Wheaton looks to provide value for investors by providing a dividend yield, participation in the exploration success of the mines underlying its current agreements and additional growth through the acquisition of new streams that can potentially provide future growth and profit.

      


  • 7 High Quality Guru Stocks

    According to GuruFocus’ All-in-One Screener, the following stocks have a high business predictability rating and at least five gurus are shareholders in the companies.


    Jarden Corp. (JAH)

      


  • Carl Icahn Buys Pep Boys, Xerox

    Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio) is an activist investor. He takes minority stakes in public companies and typically pushes for change. He buys beaten-down assets that nobody else wants, usually out of bankruptcy, then fixes them up and sells them when they are back in favor. The real-time picks of the first quarter of the year, according to GuruFocus' Real Time updates, are the following:


    He raised his stake in Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (RNF) by 1.72%. The deal had an impact of 0.01% on the portfolio.

      


  • Strong Reasons for Long-Term Bet in Wells Fargo

    Let's take a look at Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) and try to explain if this is an appealing investment opportunity when shares of the company are trading 10% above its 52-week low. Shares of the firm closed yesterday at $48.72, amassing a year-to-date loss of 9.1%.


    Wells Fargo has assets of $1.8 trillion as of Dec. 31, and it is the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. The bank has several businesses such as banking, insurance, investment, mortgage and consumer. Wells Fargo has a dominant position and is the largest deposit institution. As a matter of fact, it can achieve faster growth in its loans based on them. The activity is done in several branches, where the company focuses on small formats. Moreover, the bank is well-positioned after the Fed has hiked the interest rate because the bank has a lower interest rate risk profile.

      


  • Murray Stahl Reduces More Than 300 Stakes in 4th Quarter

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio), chairman of Horizon Asset Management Inc., reduced more than 300 existing stakes in his portfolio in the fourth quarter. Most of the guru’s reductions were modest, but some were substantial.


    Stahl’s most significant fourth-quarter reduction was the sale of more than 22% of his stake in Jarden Corp. (NYSE:JAH), a consumer goods company. Stahl sold 881,442 shares for an average price of $50.18 per share in a deal that had a -0.78% impact on Stahl’s portfolio.

      


  • Widely Undervalued Stocks Trading Below Peter Lynch Value

    According to GuruFocus' All-in-One Screener, several gurus are focusing on stocks whose Peter Lynch fair value is far above the current price. The following stocks are trading with a wide margin of safety, and at least five gurus are shareholders.


    AutoNation Inc. (AN) is trading at about $48 per share, and the Peter Lynch value gives the stock a fair price of $87.65, giving a margin of safety of 45%. It is trading with a PE ratio of 11.90, higher than 59% of companies in the Global Auto & Truck Dealerships industry, and is currently 28.98% below its 52-week high and 18.52% above its 52-week low.

      


  • 3 Investment Opportunities Insiders and Gurus Are Buying

    GuruFocus has various tools and screeners available to make the quest for your next great investment a little bit more efficient.


    A tool of which I am fond is the Double Buy screen. By employing it you can easily screen a list of stocks that have been double tapped by both gurus and insiders. Both types of events tend to trigger my interest, but when they occur simultaneously it is time to pay close attention. I regularly review the list, and these are currently the top three stocks that come up on the screen:

      


  • Horizon Kinetics 4th Quarter Commentary - Part 2

    Horizon Kinetics - And Where Do We Go From Here?



    A natural question relates to the ETF flow of funds into the largest and most liquid companies: why shouldn’t that continue? Here, we get back to the business of Wall Street.

      


  • Horizon Kinetics 4th Quarter Commentary - Part 1

    An Important Time


    This review has double significance. One wants, of course, to review the past year: how we are invested and what the next 12 months might bring. However, this is also a moment in the longer sweep of time when investors are well advised to take pause and be particularly thoughtful about how their long-term financial assets are positioned. Because the financial markets now have all of the earmarks of a serious change in valuation – not a good one. First we’ll briefly cover the factors that brought the stock market to this juncture, what stock valuations really look like, what can happen if our concerns are borne out, and what might make it happen. Then, how we are adjusting our investment posture, some examples of what we continue to own and why, and of what else we might wish to own when the time is right – because we think those opportunities will be extraordinary. Also: opportunities in non-traditional income producing securities, because it’s starting to become that time again.

      


  • Horizon Kinetics' Annual Letter

    Dear Valued Partners,


    In 2015, Horizon Kinetics continued to observe evidence of the impact of indexation as the primary investment modality. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we can’t help but share yet another data point illustrating the valuation dichotomy created by the ETF divide, which to our knowledge is unprecedented, at least in our three-plus decades of investing experience.

      


  • Murray Stahl Sees Momentum Bubble in Market Commentary

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) of Horizon Kinetics just came out with another market commentary and calls a momentum bubble. It is the second in his series: Under The Hood. I have also discussed the first one on GuruFocus.


    I follow Stahl's writing like a hawk as it is always extremely interesting, often actionable and incredibly concise and clear. It doesn’t appear as if he is talking about his own book, but that could be because his holdings are quite differentiated. In this "Under The Hood" series, Stahl takes aim at the ETF industry. This is a great example of his integrity as Horizon Kinetics, which is critical to his wealth, actually manages several ETFs. Stahl has refused to jump on the bandwagon of selling every ETF that can be sold based on back tested positive results, but instead exploits a number of niche ETFs built around interesting and sustainable ideas, like the wealth indexes.

      


  • Gilead Among Murray Stahl's Holdings Trading Below Peter Lynch Value

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the chairman of Horizon Asset Management, the director of Research and co-portfolio manager of the Small Cap Opportunities Fund and the Paradigm Fund.


    Here are the stocks in his portfolio that are trading below the Peter Lynch Value.

      


  • Howard Marks Buys Distressed Energy Bonds

    Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks (Trades, Portfolio) spoke at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s (NYSE:GSJ) U.S. financial services conference in New York and indicated he is interested in the distressed debt market.


    Specifically high-yield bonds of energy companies have slumped and can be had for 60 cents on the dollar, according to the distressed debt specialist. The selloff is caused because of hedges wearing off and companies losing credit lines. The famous distressed investor compares the current environment to the post-Lehman crisis.

      


  • Murray Stahl's 3rd-Quarter Transactions Lean to Reductions

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio), chairman of Horizon Asset Management Inc., takes a value approach to investing, a strategy that has produced double-digit returns for Horizon's investors. In the third quarter, though, Stahl's largest deals were reductions of his existing stakes.


    Stahl’s most noteworthy reduction of the third quarter was his sale of 3,120,268 shares of Jarden Corp. (NYSE:JAH), a Boca Raton, Fla.-based provider of a range of consumer goods, for the average price of $52.9 per share. The transaction had a -2.33% impact on Stahl’s portfolio and reduced his stake in the company by more than 44%.

      


  • Murray Stahl Makes the Case for Buying Beta

    One guru whose writing I follow closely is Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) of Horizon Kinetics. For me, it is all must-read material because it is always thought provoking and levels above the research published by most asset management firms in terms of being actionable.


    Take Stahl's latest market commentary, which deals with the beta of ETFs. Beta, or β, is a metric that communicates past volatility. If a stock’s price has moved a lot, it tends to have a high beta; if a stock’s price has been very stable, it has a low beta. This is measured over a period of years against a benchmark like the S&P 500 and results in a value. The benchmark is equal to 1 and stocks that have exhibited a lot of volatility are above 1 (the higher the greater the volatility) and the stocks below it are more stable than the benchmark. What is important to note is that the value is based on historical price volatility data, which isn’t necessarily a great predictor for the future.

      


  • Chase Coleman's Tiger Global Buys Anheuser-Busch, Time Warner Cable

    As a “Tiger Cub,” or former protégé of the legendary investor Julian Robertson (Trades, Portfolio), it’s little surprise that Chase Coleman (Trades, Portfolio) has achieved his own success at his investment firm Tiger Global Management, which manages about $20 billion.


    Despite being known as one of the best and youngest investors today, the firm has suffered some losses recently due to the slowdown in the Chinese economy. The public equity fund is invested heavily in Chinese internet stocks such as Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS) and Autohome Inc. (NYSE:ATHM), which are down 33% and 25% for the year.

      


  • Biogen Among Murray Stahl's Holdings With Growing Earnings

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the chairman of Horizon Asset Management Inc. He is also director of Research and co-portfolio manager of the Small Cap Opportunities Fund and the Paradigm Fund.


    The following are the most undervalued stocks in his portfolio that have growing EPS over the last five years.

      


  • Notes From Murray Stahl's FRMO Shareholder Meeting



  • Time to Take Profits on NASDAQ

    NASDAQ Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) is one of the world’s largest providers of trading, clearing, exchange technology, regulatory, securities listing and information and public company services. NASDAQ operates in four business segments: market services, listing services, information services and technology solutions.


    NASDAQ’s market services include equity and derivative trading and clearing, cash equity trading, fixed income, currency and commodities trading and clearing, and broker services. Its transaction-based platforms provide market participants with the ability to access, process, display and integrate orders and quotes.

      


  • Insiders Are Buying WidePoint and Selling Paycom

    The All-In-One Guru Screener can be used to find insider buys over the last week by clicking on the Insiders tab and changing the settings for All Insider Buying to “$1,000,000+” and duration to "September 2015."


    According to the above filters, the following are the recent buys from company insiders during the third week of September.

      


  • Murray Stahl Focuses on Existing Stakes in Second Quarter

    Horizon Asset of Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio)’s Horizon Kinetics hit something of a speed bump in its annual returns in 2014. It returned only 4.3% to investors after logging returns of 36% in 2013 and 27% in 2012. That may help to explain, in part, why Stahl’s second-quarter emphasis was on his existing stakes, not new ones.


    Stahl did invest in more than a dozen new buys in the second quarter, but all were small by guru standards. His most significant activity involved adding to or reducing existing stakes in his portfolio.

      


  • FRMO Corp.'s 2015 Shareholder Letter



  • Murray Stahl's Second Quarter Shareholder Letter

    Dear Fellow Shareholders,


    The past year was a year of harvesting. As noted in the 2014 Shareholder Letter, we have been gradually disposing of our closed end fund investments that have been primarily oriented towards bonds. It might be recalled that these were purchased during the aftermath of the 2008 bond market crisis when the bond market essentially ceased to function. Closed end funds were not only priced at very significant discounts to net asset value, but most bonds, apart from U.S. Treasury Securities, sold at substantial discounts to par value. Years of ultra-accommodative monetary policy have certainly changed this circumstance. We concluded that the after tax returns from this point forward are likely to be at best in the low single digits and these returns are not at all proportional to the risk of continued investment. Hence, we have been sellers of these funds for the past year.

      


  • Insider Buys at Ares Capital Corporation

    Penelope Roll (Insider Trades), CFO of Ares Capital Corporation (ARCC), bought 7,500 shares of the company on Aug. 24. The average price per share was $15.22 for a total transaction of $114,150. Ares Capital Corporation is a financing company specializing in senior secured loans and mezzanine debt. The company’s market cap is $4.73 billion.


    The volume of insider buys for the company decreased from 2012 to 2014; however, the number of insider buys increased during the same period of time. There were four transactions totaling 434,350 shares of ARCC in 2012, and 25 transactions totaling 161,662 shares in 2014. 1440606035235.png 1440606042707.png Roll made six insider buys totaling 21,500 shares of the company since August 2011. Ares Capital Corporation CAO, Vice President, and Treasurer Scott Lem (Insider Trades) also bought 1,275 shares of the company on Aug. 21. The average price per share was $15.52. Lem bought 7,087 shares of the company since August 2014, and the earliest insider buy decreased about 10% since the purchase. For more information about insider transactions with Ares Capital Corporation, click here.

      


  • Morgan Stanley Raises Tesla's Price Target

    Shares of Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) are jumping in Monday´s trading $8.41 or 3.46% to $251.56 per share. I think this is a stock to watch close during the trading day. But why?


    Although Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) maintained its overweight rating, the target price was adjusted to $465 from $280, saying the automaker is in a unique position to dominate the market.

      


  • LendingTree Climbs Despite Doubts of Business

    During the last trading sessions, share price of LendingTree Inc (TREE) has risen by 40% after recent reports of results of the last quarter (Q2 2015).


    The company reported a positive net income of $4.7 million while during the same quarter of the last year it reported a loss. Revenue jumped 139% year over year and 29% from the first quarter of the year.

      


  • UBS Trims Tesla's Price Target and Downgrades Rating

    UBS analyst Colin Langan downgraded the rating on Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) from Neutral to Sell. Additionally, the price target was lowered from $220 to $210.


    According to the UBS report, "The stock has jumped +40 percent since the anticipation of the storage announcement; however, our analysis indicates that TSLA's current planned 15GWs of storage capacity may be larger than the market in 2020."

      


  • FedEx Is a Long-Term Buy

    In this article let's take a look at FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), the leader in global express delivery services, which provides guaranteed domestic and international air express, residential and business ground package delivery, heavy freight and logistics services.


    Although revenue increased, when compared to the same quarter one year before, it was below the forecast. Also, the company reported weaker earnings than expected from analyst estimates. Earnings of $2.66 per share missed estimates of $2.68. Among the reasons we found were the currency translation and the falling fuel surcharges. After the earnings were released, the stock price plummeted by 3% to $176. In what we consider a five-year period, EPS has grown by 14% annually.

      


  • Murray Stahl Reduces Most Valuable Stakes in First Quarter

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is chairman of Horizon Asset Management, Inc., the mutual fund he co-founded 30 years ago. Horizon has a record of producing positive returns for its clients. The return of 4.3% in the trying investment environment of 2014 was considerably lower than Horizon’s returns in 2013 and 2012, which were well into double figures.


    Stahl reduced each of his 10 most valuable stakes in the first quarter. He sold 323,780 shares of his most valuable holding, Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE:HHC), a real estate development and management company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, for an average price of $137.97 per share. The transaction had a -0.57% on Stahl’s portfolio.

      


  • This Buffet-Munger Name Is More Growth Stock than Value Stock

    When pension funds and big money managers want value propositions beyond the stock and bond markets, they call on companies like Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM).


    We might call it one of the 800-pound gorillas literally searching the world for under-priced assets, especially in real estate, renewable energy, and infrastructure (among others). Brookfield has more than $200-billion in assets under management, and a big war chest that will allow it to make major acquisitions when it finds properties it likes.

      


  • Murray Stahl's Undervalued stocks trading at low P/E

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is the Chairman of Horizon Asset Management, Inc. He is also Director of Research and Co-Portfolio Manager of the Small Cap Opportunities Fund and the Paradigm Fund.


    During the last quarter of 2014 he bought 32 new stocks to his portfolio and now it is composed of 512 stocks and has a total value of $7,405 Mil with a Q/Q turnover of 4%.

      


  • Mason Hawkins Increases Holdings in Murphy Oil

    Mason Hawkins (Trades, Portfolio) has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Southeastern Asset Management since 1975, and he and his partners manage the Longleaf Partners Funds. Mr. Hawkins attended the University of Florida where he earned a B.A. in Finance, and the University of Georgia where he earned an M.B.A. in Finance.


    Web Page: http://www.longleafpartners.com/

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics Comments on Coca-Cola

    There is no longer a central mechanism for investors to vote with their feet on an individual stock. Taking Coca-Cola (KO), as an example, during the decade of the 1970s, the company generated about 13% annualized earnings growth, some years approaching 20%. For the first 5 years of the ‘70s, the P/E ratio ranged between about 30x and 40x earnings. Few would argue that it wasn’t overvalued. And, as the reversion to the mean principle would dictate, despite a decade of earnings growth that strong, the P/E contracted to 13.6x by 1978 and, over the course of an entire decade, the shares declined by over 45%.


    Today, Coca-Cola trades at a P/E of 21x, not 30x or 40x. On the other hand, it is now a mature company: its products are everywhere, there is a limit to how much more Coca-Cola per-capita the world’s residents will drink, even if they don’t develop a preference to less sugary drinks. In fact, Coca-Cola has lost revenue in the last two years. With that understanding, at 21x earnings, is Coca-Cola any less overvalued than it was in 1973? It might be more overvalued. This is the type of unhealthy growth (slowing/declining) and valuation (high/rising) pairing that is more and more representative of the major stock indexes. That they have risen of late is no more a sign that one should be invested that way than that one should have been invested in the notorious Nifty Fifty during the early 1970s or in the favored stocks during the 1999 Internet Bubble.

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics 4Q 2014 Commentary

    The annual questions: How will the markets do this year? How have we done? Will it be more of the same or different? Every once in a while, those questions are much more important than usual, not merely of seasonal interest. This is one of those times.


    In 2013, our equity strategies were up far more than the market. Would it have been reasonable to expect another 35% or 45%? No. This past year, the S&P 500 was up almost 14%, much more than our strategies. Would it be reasonable to expect that again (or, for the next two years)? No. Why not? Because it’s not just a roll of the dice or momentum; there are specific and very important activities at work behind these results; to not understand them is to risk being exposed as markets approach a dangerous juncture.

      


  • 5 Stocks Multiple Gurus Are Buying

    One of GuruFocus’ useful features is the Consensus Picks of Gurus page, which lists stocks that have been bought or sold by multiple gurus.


    On this page, users can filter stocks with the most active buys or sells over three, six, and 12 month time frames. This feature is just one of the ways you can search for investing ideas and see what stocks gurus are interested in.

      


  • Two of Stahl's Fourth-Quarter Transactions May Be Instructive for Investors

    Guru Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) is chairman of Horizon Asset Management, Inc., which produced a 27 percent return in 2012 and a 36 percent return the year after that.


    Achievements like that can’t be duplicated every single year, but one can’t be blamed for taking a glimpse into such an investor’s quarterly activity for clues to his success. Those clues are hard to come by in Stahl’s latest portfolio; none of his 109 transactions in the fourth quarter had an impact on his portfolio that reached 1%.

      


  • I Think it is Enough and You Should Take the Gains

    In this article, let's take a look at Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE:DKS), a $6.5 billion market cap company that operates as a sports and fitness retailer primarily in the eastern United States. It offers sporting goods equipment, apparel, and footwear for women, children and men.


    Dividend hike

      


  • FPA Capital Fund Adds Two New Technology Stocks to the Portfolio

    FPA Capital Fund (Trades, Portfolio) recently added two new stocks to its portfolio valued at $8.82 billion. The portfolio now has a total of 25 stocks.


    The new buys include Babcock & Wilcox Co (BWC) and Cubic Corp (CUB).

      


  • Betting on a Fairly Value Stock with a Bullish Sentiment

    In a previous article we analyzed the relative valuation of the stock,and concluded that it is trading higher and as a result, it is difficult to identify if there exists an adequate margin of safety to buy the stock. So, in this article let's take a closer look at W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE:GWW), and analyze the intrinsic value with an absolute valuation model.


    Strategies

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics Comments on Royal Gold Inc

    An idiosyncratic security with benefits – a diversifier


    Let’s find a contrasting investment to a utility index or a REIT index, which are front and center as bond substitutes or asset allocation building blocks. They are therefore closely governed in valuation and price behavior by the asset flows of index investors and, so, might be particularly vulnerable to a rise in interest rates. Consider, instead, a very distinctive security like Royal Gold, Inc (RGLD). It is categorized in financial securities databases like a gold mining company. Yet it does not do any mining, and on a balance sheet and income statement basis has as little in common with gold mining as Microsoft (MSFT): it has virtually no property, plant, or equipment, it carries no net debt, it has extremely high after-tax cash flow margins—well over 50%. Microsoft’s are roughly 25%. Its financial statements and casually observable economics say that it really does not belong with the gold mining group.

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics 3Q 2014 Commentary

    This year’s commentaries review some of the surprising ways in which scientific-seeming or rule-based approaches to investing, which are now the norm and implemented via exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index-based mutual funds, are foiled in practice by the social science reality of the fluid marketplace. A formulaic approach can work for a while, until a sufficient number of additional investors apply it. Their aggregate actions impact the supply/demand balance, valuations change, and the formula can no longer work. In reviewing some popular building blocks of the asset allocation model of investing, we have, hopefully, demonstrated:


    -That an emerging markets index probably does not contain much in the way of emerging markets exposure, so much as exposure to large, relatively mature companies, many of which are exporters that, economically, are really global companies, not local. That the historical excess returns recorded by emerging markets indexes are probably not a reliable set of figures. That a non-indexed approach, or a different form of index, could better capture the local-economy potential of emerging markets.

      


  • W.W. Grainger Should Be a Profitable Investment

    In this article, let's take a look at W.W. Grainger, Inc (NYSE:GWW), a $16.92 billion market cap company, which is the largest global distributor of industrial and commercial supplies, such as hand tools, electric motors, light bulbs and janitorial items.


    Fundamentals

      


  • Expedia Has Made Astute Acquisitions

    In this article, let's take a look at Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE), a $10.89 billion market cap company tha is one of the world's largest online travel services companies. Businesses include Expedia, Hotels.com and Hotwire. In December 2011, Expedia spun off TripAdvisor as a publicly traded company.


    Dominant player

      


  • Wendy's Absolute and Relative Valuation

    In this article, let's take a look at Wendy's Co (NASDAQ:WEN), a $3.12 billion market cap company, which is one of the largest fast food restaurants.


    Revenues, margins and profitability

      


  • General Motors Reinstated Dividend Payment

    In this article, let´s consider General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), a $49.36 billion market cap that is the world's second-largest producer of cars and trucks. It has a trailing P/E ratio that indicates that the stock is relatively overvalued (PE 50.9x vs Industry Median 15.8x).


    The company maintains quality and has one of the best designs. Not only cars, it is also a leader in truck models, too. We think that, in the near future when vehicle demand recovers, the firm will be in an excellent position to grow its earnings. Further, the company focuses on four brands instead of eight, making marketing efforts more concentrated and efficient. Efficiency is reflected also in pricing policies, where it developed a pricing model searching for profitability. This means that is operating a demand-pull model where it produces only to meet demand.

      


  • Murray Stahl on Icahn Enterprises

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio): My favorite stock at the moment is Icahn Enterprises, which is something we have owned for, I think, 14 years, and it is our third-largest holding. As you know, it is comprised of an assortment of assets. It owns Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other securities. It owns two assets that trade more or less at their stated net asset value, but I think they are undervalued. One of them is the Fontainebleau Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which owns an 80% completed building. All around that casino there is building activity going on and then there is this hulk. It cost about $3 billion to construct that structure to be 80% complete. To construct it today would cost even more. That is an asset that could be monetized and could be worth a lot of money. We should mention that Icahn Enterprises bought the Fontainebleau Hotel and Casino for 10 cents on the dollar in 2008 or 2009. That $2 billion is not on the balance sheet; only a couple hundred million dollars is on the balance sheet.


    Another asset that Icahn Enterprises owns is American Railcar Leasing (NASDAQ:ARII). Leasing railcars means primarily leasing tanker cars. The company leases other cars, too, but primarily tanker cars. Because the United States is finding oil in all sorts of places that it did not find oil before and because there is no pipeline capacity to get it to market, the only way to get it to market is by rail lines. In theory you could build pipelines except most people do not want to have a pipeline across their property, or anywhere near a property, or even through their town. As a practical matter you cannot build the pipelines.

      


  • Anadarko is a Strong Player with an Interesting Mix Composition

    In this article, let's take a look at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC), a $56.08 billion market cap company, one of the largest independent exploration and production companies in the world.


    International operations

      


  • FRMO Corporation's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders Transcript

    Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio): Thank you, Therese, and thanks, everybody, for coming today.


    I was very fortunate when beginning to write the annual Letter to Shareholders to be apprised of an event that you may have read about in that letter. The idea was that we as a corporation were lacking in certain corporate governance formalities and requirements, one of which happened to be the lack of a compensation committee, and I took the occasion to comment on that. I hope you’ll understanding that I did it tongue in cheek. Corporate governance is a very serious matter, but in our case the recommendation of a certain proxy firm was to withhold the vote from us for, among other reasons, the lack of corporate governance relating to management compensation.

      


  • Urban Outfitters' Price Touched Its 52- Week Level; And Now?

    In this article let's take a look at Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), the leading lifestyle specialty retail company that operates Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands.


    Expanding outside the U.S.

      


  • Genuine Parts Co. is the Largest Independent Distributor of Automotive Parts

    In this article, let's take a look at Genuine Parts Co (NYSE:GPC), a $13.75 billion market cap company, which is a leading wholesale distributor of automotive replacement parts, industrial parts and supplies and office products.


    Leading position

      


  • I Will Follow Bruce Berkowitz and Move Away From Chesapeake

    In this article, let´s consider Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), a $15.74 billion market cap, which has a trailing P/E ratio that indicates that the stock is relatively undervalued (a PE relatively small when compared to the industry median).


    So in this article, let's take a look at a model that is applicable to stable, mature, dividend-paying firms and try to find the intrinsic value of the stock. Although the model has a number of characteristics that make it useful and appropriate for many applications, it is by no means the be-all and end-all for valuation. The purpose is to force investors to evaluate different assumptions about growth and future prospects.

      


  • BNY Mellon: Despite Some Weaknesses Is Still Attractive

    In this article, let's take a look at The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK), a $44.66 billion market cap company, which is a leader in securities processing and also provides a range of banking, asset management and other financial services.


    Dominant player

      


  • Boeing Focuses on the Upside and the Downside

    In this article, let's take a look at The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), ), a $88.78 billion market cap company, which is the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, and one of the largest aerospace and defense giant that conducts business through three operating segments.


    Boeing Commercial Airplanes (61% of revenues in 2013) and EADS's Airbus division are the world's only makers of 150-plus seat passenger jets. Boeing Defense, Space & Security (38%) is the world's fourth largest military contractor. Boeing Capital Corp. (1%) primarily finances Boeing aircraft for airlines.

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics Comments on TRI Pointe Homes

    TRI Pointe Homes (TPH) is a recent addition to some of our portfolios. It was founded in the depths of the Credit Crisis in 2009 by former homebuilding industry executives. Their objective was to acquire land lots in distressed regions, particularly in California and Colorado, which could be utilized for future home construction. TRI Pointe was certainly not alone. A number of companies led by astute investors acquired enormous amounts of land in heavily distressed areas such as California, Arizona, and Nevada.


    In 2010, real estate investor Barry Sternlicht capitalized TRI Pointe with $150 million of equity through his Starwood Capital private equity fund. Mr. Sternlicht became Chairman of TRI Pointe and received roughly 39% equity ownership of the company. Given his real estate experience, it is not surprising that he chose a vehicle that will ultimately benefit from a sustained recovery in the residential housing market.

      


  • Horizon Kinetics Second Quarter 2014 Commentary

    The Shaky Foundations of Asset Allocation Practices, Continued


    Our 1st Quarter letter addressed the question of whether some basic presumptions of asset allocation work in the real world the way every one presumes them to… such as whether emerging markets equities actually outperform developed markets, whether the historical rate of return from the stock market can be repeated or is, indeed, even valid, and so forth. Understanding these questions can hardly be more critical, since we all invest based on these foundational assumptions. One element such models share is that in the freedom of the marketplace, any rigid, definitional approach will come to be invalid, later if not sooner, since investors do react to new information and, thereby, alter supply and pricing. If a particular sector is discovered to be superior or to outperform, will not capital flow into it and inflate the price? And at what degree of price inflation does the sector become a source of average or negative, rather than superior, return?

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics Comments on Platform Specialty Products

    A recent purchase in certain strategies is Platform Specialty Products (PAH). Like Wendy’s (WEN), this stock does not trade at a presently low price-to-earnings, or P/E ratio; in fact, it’s somewhat high. However, the company incorporates many predictive attributes that are suggestive that its revenues and earnings several years from now will be far higher than they are today. As a U.S. company, PAH is new, having been listed on the NYSE only since this past January. Its operating business, though, has been around for over 90 years, and PAH was trading on the London Stock Exchange when it was acquired this past October for $1.8 billion by what is known as a blank-check company. The current stock market value is $2.4 billion. A blank check company raises equity capital in order to acquire a target, often within a specified window of time, and this particular one was organized by three well- known parties: Nicolas Beggruen, through his investment company Beggruen Holdings; Bill Ackman, through his hedge fund Pershing Square; and Martin Franklin. At year-end they each controlled, respectively, 6.5 million, 33.3 million, and 7.3 million shares. Martin Franklin is also the founder and Executive Chairman of Jarden Corp (JAH), which is a significant holding in the Core Value and Strategic Value strategies, among others. The same three, also through a blank check company, brought Burger King (BKW) public again in mid-2012.


    PAH produces specialty chemicals for a wide range of industries. It manufactures over 1,000 compounds, and its largest customer represents only 3% of sales. It exhibits very little cyclicality. Energy costs are only 2% of sales. It’s important to qualitatively differentiate the nature of the PAH chemicals business from that of the typical chemicals company. These particular chemicals are often proprietary both as to makeup (the company has over 750 patents) and process. Their employees spend considerable time with customers guiding them as to how to use these chemicals, often in multi-step processes, such as might be used to enhance the performance of a circuit board. PAH refers to these as dynamic chemistries and seeks out markets requiring highly technical post-sale customer service. What PAH sells tend to represent a very small portion of the cost of a customer’s product, yet are important to the product’s function or appearance. According to the company, customer retention is very high because the cost savings from switching to another provider are modest, while the switching costs are high due to process complexities and quality control requirements.

      


  • Murray Stahl’s Horizon Kinetics Comments on Wendy’s Company

    As the investing world continues to embrace indexation, it assists us in sourcing truly attractive investments in areas that are structurally overlooked (or created) by the mainstream. Wendy’s, a relatively recent purchase and significant holding, is one example.


    The Wendy’s Company (WEN) has long been unloved. It is the world’s third largest hamburger-oriented quick service restaurant (“QSR”), behind McDonald’s (MCD) and Burger King (BKW). A common criticism is that it has chronically underperformed its larger peers in many key areas, particularly profit margins. Accordingly, the company “screens” poorly by nearly every quantitative measure of business performance and valuation. The stock price was essentially unchanged for 2010, 2011, and 2012. Although it has almost doubled during the past year, it is lower now than it was over 10 years ago, in 2003. However, many of our most successful investments over the past two decades have been in companies that, like Wendy’s, underperform their competitors. Operational/financial underperformance is, in fact, an opportunity, if the underlying business is fundamentally viable and an actionable plan exists to improve operating performance.

      


  • Urban’s Expansion Plans Look Attractive

    Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) is a leading lifestyle specialty retail company that operates Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands. The company operates in two segments: retail and wholesale apparel. The company’s retail segment consists of its Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN brands, whose merchandise is sold to customers through its stores, websites, mobile applications, catalogs and customer contract centers.


    In this article, let's take a look at this company and try to explain to investors the reasons this is an apparently appealing investment opportunity.

      


  • Another Stock Dropped by Technology Renaissance

    After a troubled end of 2013 and a very successful 2014 beginning, Imperial Oil (IMO) may be reaching a growth ceiling. Overall, 2013 resulted in declining revenues and net income, aggravated by a great debt increment and reduced cash flow. Most importantly, operating margin saw a reduction to 2010 levels through the loss of 5 points. Two gurus who anticipated the slower performance were Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) and Jim Simons’ Technology Renaissance. Both gurus sold out the investments made since 2009, transactions which were timely confirmed by the stock’s poor January performance. Fortunately for other investors, the stock's face value recovered through February and exceeded last December’s value. However, given the company’s cyclical performance, doubts concerning future growth remain.


    Attempting to Keep the Rhythm

      


  • Tennessee Whiskey: The Ultimate Profit Machine

    It’s known that American brown spirits are provided throughout the world by very few companies, such as Diageo Plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) and BEAM Inc. (NYSE:BEAM). However, while these firms focus on Scotch and Bourbon, Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.B) holds the leading market share of Tennessee Whiskey via its famous Jack Daniel’s brand. Despite a distribution scale six times smaller than Diageo, this beverage manufacturer has the most solid balance sheet in the industry, and the longest market presence with its 142 years of family owned business experience. Thus, investment gurus like Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio) and Murray Stahl (Trades, Portfolio) recently added more of this company’s shares to their portfolio, hoping to gain future profits. A bet well placed, in my view.


    A Tennessee Crown Jewel in the World

      


  • Murray Stahl on Ascent Capital

    In the case of Ascent, again, it's really not the purpose of this call to talk about investments of that type, but just understand that the strategic thrust is to put together a string of acquisitions in burglar alarms, because the whole idea is that burglar alarms are very similar to the cable business, and you know who orchestrates the big mergers in the cable business. It really isn't that different, and with the rise of technology there are all sorts of services that are possible to provide over the conventional burglar alarm wire, and we're in the first inning of seeing those advances happen. And, of course, if you follow Ascent, you'll know it's a small cap company that doesn't have a lot of float, and it's a volatile stock.... It goes up a lot, it goes down a lot and I guess that's the nature of the beast.


    Source: FRMO Corp. Q2 2014 Conference Call

      


  • Murray Stahl on Sears Hometown

    Suffice it to say this much: in the case of Sears Hometown (NASDAQ:SHOS) I have some stock. I'm not selling mine. It's a big factor in appliances. There are 22 million shares outstanding and you know what appliances are tied to. Appliances are basically tied to two things—home sales and home renovations. So it's a nice balance sheet. It certainly doesn't have any major liabilities. If and when —maybe I should say when and not if—home sales and home renovation activity in this country return to normal, there's a lot of operating leverage for Sears Hometown. If they don't, well then the share price reflects it.


    Source: FRMO Corp. Q2 2014 Conference Call

      


  • A Look at the Profitability of a Boston Brewer

    The domestic beer market is characterized by vast competition, as much as consumer preferences. While imported AB InBev and MillerCoors concentrate 80% of the overall market, Boston Beer Company Inc. (NYSE:SAM) is most popular along the East Coast. In fact, not only is this craft brewer the fourth-largest in the U.S., but it’s also the largest publicly traded brewer nationwide. Under its flagship brand, Samuel Adams, the firm has achieved large scale, having sold 3.4 million barrels of beer in 2013 alone.


    While craft beer still remains one of consumers' preferred beverages in the domestic market, competitors like Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (NYSE:BUD), which offered premium light beers, have been swapped for other craft brewers trying to imitate the Samuel Adams brand. And although the company enjoys a narrow economic moat rating, competition is heating up among privately owned brewers, like AB InBev, New Belgium and MillerCoors, which are planning to take over Boston Beer’s market share.

      


  • Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics on Texas Pacific Land Trust

    Texas Pacific Land Trust (the “Trust”) will be the last example of a company that despite being much higher in price than it was a year ago, is actually cheaper. The Trust was actually Horizon Kinetics’ first research report. At that time, in early 1995, it traded at $4.00 per share. At yearend 2013, the shares closed at $99.99, which works out to about a 19% annualized return.


     

      


  • Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics on DreamWorks Animation

    DreamWorks Animation, about the 3rd largest holding in the Core Value strategy, more than doubled this year, and is about 35% higher than when the position size was increased this past June. Yet, I believe that the shares are cheaper today than they were 12 or 18 months ago. Until then, DreamWorks did one thing: it made animated movies, and it was analyzed and valued as such. We thought it did two things: the movie making and, over time, the building of its movie library, which may be valued separately and had the characteristics of a dormant asset. Here’s what has happened in the past 18 months or so, none of which has yet had time to make an appreciable, visible impact upon revenues or earnings:


     

      


  • Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics on Sears Canada

    It can take weeks or even months to qualify a security or sector for purchase in our portfolios. Recently, it required not so many days, perhaps a Horizon Kinetics record, and it couldn’t have been done without the assistance of the press. This is the article that caught my eye some weeks ago. Note the decisive, emotive terminology. From the headline itself: “Sears Canada…In Bid to Survive”, and from the 2nd sentence in its own standalone paragraph: “…lightens its ballast in a bid to stay afloat.”


     

      


  • Murray Stahl's FRMO Corporation - 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (Transcript)

    FRMO Corporation Annual Meeting of Shareholders


    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

      


  • Horizon Kinetics Third Quarter Commentary

    No one can accuse us, in these pages, of not being diligent in using our words, though we have been accused at times of using too many. So this review switches modalities somewhat, with more exhibits and fewer words. What won't switch are the themes, which are as relevant as ever: 1) the important and dysfunctional ways in which indexation is affecting security valuations, risk, and returns; and 2) the antithesis of indexation—active management and individual security selection, of which we, certainly, are practitioners.

    Prices in the marketplace are made by the marginal, or last, buyers or sellers—it's not the 99%+ of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s shareholders who determine its price, but the net buying or selling pressure of the fractional percent who are transacting on a given day. It's certainly not us: we've been accused of harboring really long-term holding periods—years and even decades. Granted, we inhabit one end of the spectrum. So, here are some recognizable benchmarks: the annual turnover rate for IBM (NYSE:IBM)(the proportion of its outstanding shares traded each year) is about 83%; the figure for ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is 68%. The average mutual fund has 68% annual turnover.  


  • Horizon Kinetics - Canadian Real Estate Companies and REITs (December 2013)

    In their continued search for yield, many investors have turned to Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”). These companies pay out a significant percentage of their earnings as dividends; accordingly, they have historically provided a high level of income. However, a high dividend payout ratio leaves little in the way of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, such that the REIT must sell more shares in order to acquire additional income‐producing properties. Lately, in order to support continued dividend increases—which are required to support continued share issuance—many REITs have also resorted to reducing their capital expenditures below the levels that will ultimately be required to properly maintain their properties. We have previously touched on these and other risks associated with investing in American REITs and, for the most part, prefer to implement any real estate exposure through owner‐operated real estate development and management companies rather than through REITs. Real estate developers frequently have dormant assets, in that undeveloped land generates no cash flow, which makes such developers more difficult to value using standard metrics such as capitalization rates, price to earnings ratios and adjusted funds from operations multiples. Furthermore, their value‐creating projects are generally very long‐term in nature, which reduces their utility to investors focused on near‐term results.

    Broadly speaking, Canadian‐listed companies trade at a discount to their United States‐listed peers, providing an opportunity to invest in high quality North American companies at attractive valuations.  


  • Interview with Murray Stahl of Horizon Kinetics (May 2013)

    To Each His Own

    Horizon Kinetics’ Murray Stahl invests with the same long-term, contrarian approach that he wants management of his portfolio companies to employ.   


  • Rising Population: Can Food Processors Deliver Profits?

    Demand for farm products has steadily risen through the past 50 years as the population continues to grow, placing additional pressure upon producers to deliver. Also, health issues, rising supply costs and government regulation have recently curtailed profits. So, as demand for farm products increases and supply struggles to meet the increasing demand, what does the future hold for Archer-Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), Leucadia National (NYSE:LUK) and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN)?

    Mixed Results and a Strong Move  


  • Murray Stahl’s $6.4 Billion Horizon Kinetics Sells Out Six Companies in First Quarter

    The New York-based mutual fund company Horizon Kinetics is dedicated to the pursuit of independent, creative thought and its application to investing. In the recent portfolio update of Horizon Kinetics, led by chairman, CIO and co-founder Murray Stahl, GuruFocus research shows 442 stocks, 62 of them new, with a total value of $6.4 billion and a quarter-over-quarter turnover of 9%. The Horizon Kinetics portfolio is weighted with top sectors consumer cyclical at 32.5%, real estate at 20.4% and ETF, options, and preferred at 14.8%.

    GuruFocus research also shows that Murray Stahl sold out holdings in six companies in the first quarter of 2013. Here are the details of his sell-out trades, as of March 31, 2013:  


  • Horizon Kinetics' Q1 2013 Commentary

    In his first quarter letter, Murray Stahl discusses Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU), Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL), Wendy's Co. (NASDAQ:WEN), Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) and the markets. To read the commentary, go here.  


  • Horizon Kinetics Q4 2012 Commentary

    I thought this was one very enjoyable read. They touch on a concept that I've always considered important but never been able to put into words as effectively as Horizon has in this commentary.

    That concept is that if you trust the judgement of a management team with a long-term record of compounding at high rates, then maybe the best way to value their specific company is to watch how they are allocating capital (what they are doing with their own capital structure).  


  • Horizon Kinetics Comments on WPX Energy

    From the third quarter commentary of Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics:

    WPX Energy (WPX) was a December 2011 spin-off from The Williams Companies (“Williams”). Williams was (and remains, at $22 billion) a large capitalization stock. Williams is a natural gas pipeline company, which is a highly stable, high free cash flow generating business that currently pays a 3.5% dividend yield. WPX is a natural gas exploration company, considered a mid-cap stock (at $3.5 billion), and pays no dividend. What one might term the natural Williams shareholder, interested in a blue-chip, large cap, pipeline-type, income oriented equity is not the natural holder of WPX. This is exactly the type of spin-off that is sold from or excluded from mutual funds or ETFs that hold a Williams-type company, and these are some of the classic reasons that spin-off companies trade at low, often deeply discounted valuations. In the case of WPX, by a variety of measures, such as its price relative to its reserves, the shares might be fairly valued at twice the current price. Time will tell.  


  • Horizon Kinetics Comments on Leucadia National

    From the third quarter commentary of Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics:

    Leucadia National (LUK), under the management of Ian Cumming and Joseph Steinberg, who collectively own 19% of the shares, has one of the best records of value creation among publicly traded U.S. companies. Over the course of the 32 years from 1979 through 2011, the Leucadia book value per share, inclusive of a special dividend paid out some years ago, has expanded by 18.5% per year, and the share price by 19.8% per year. As a basis for comparison, the total return on the S&P 500 during the period was 7.6% per year. That is the difference between $1,000 becoming $299,000 or $10,400. This is an almost unmatched record. We believe Leucadia is a well diversified, well capitalized, profitable company with the same management in place that created this history. The shares, should you want them, trade below book value, which is to say below accounting liquidation value, which as of the most recent financial statement was $24.92. A low valuation is one of the better predictive attributes and is particularly compelling when combined, as in the case of Leucadia National, with proven owner-operators.  


  • Horizon Kinetics Comments on Cisco Systems

    From the third quarter commentary of Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics:

    For obvious reasons, Cisco Systems (“Cisco”) (CSCO), the dominant provider of networking and communications equipment, conducts ongoing studies of expected changes in demand for internet usage, wireless data usage and so forth, and actually maintains indices of such usage. Cisco expects mobile data traffic for the five years between now and the end of 2016 to increase 17-fold. That is an astounding figure. It is certainly related to the global adoption, still in the early phases, of smart phones and tablet computers. There are technological efficiencies that will accommodate some of that demand. For instance, broadband transmission speed is expected to increase by 3.5x. But those who are concerned with logistical preparation for such matters believe that more spectrum must be had. The value of spectrum could rise greatly. At the moment, we do not believe that potential is reflected in the price of Dish Network shares, so Dish might be said to incorporate at least two predictive attributes: an owner-operator and a dormant or unrecognized asset.  


  • Horizon Kinetics Comments on Dish Network

    From the third quarter commentary of Murray Stahl's Horizon Kinetics:

    Dish Network (“Dish”) (DISH), the satellite TV company, with a stock market value of over $14 billion, is more than 50%-owned by founder Charles Ergen and his family. It trades at 13x so-called consensus earnings estimates for 2013. The company has been engaged in some activities other than satellite TV as well, but these do not as yet contribute to earnings. One of these activities has been the acquisition of broadband radio spectrum. Since 2008, Dish has made at least three significant spectrum-related acquisitions totaling $3.5 billion or more. We are immeasurably less qualified than Charles Ergen to determine the wisdom of this allocation of capital, but do presume that with $7 billion of his own capital at risk in this company, he is making the best decisions he can. One may infer that he believes that wireless spectrum is valuable.  


  • Horizon Kinetics' Murray Stahl Second-Quarter Commentary

    Little has changed since our last commentary. The owner-operator companies continue to be remarkably discounted high-quality investment vehicles and, as per previous commentaries, we are exceedingly comfortable about their prospective rates of return, especially versus broad market indexes. Although we will close with the customary review of some of our holdings, and despite the fact that these commentaries have traditionally been about equities and our major equity strategies, we'll commence with what I think is a necessary discussion about interest rates.

    Interest rates have been likened to the center of gravity of the financial markets—they represent the cost of money for borrowers, and the benchmark for returns on money for lenders and savers. They influence the clearing prices and expected returns for virtually every other financial asset. While they are not often uppermost in our minds, a sufficient alteration in rates forces most people with a meaningful quantity of debt or assets to pay attention. This is one of those times.  


  • Horizon Kinetics' First Quarter Commentary with Discussion on XOM, AAPL, QCOM, INTC, HPQ, HHC

    Murray Stahl is the Chairman of Horizon Asset Management Inc. The firm's fourth-quarter letter, below, contains an overview of the market environment as well as discussions on individual stocks:

    It was intended, after last quarter’s identification of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) bubble and a review of its scope, to now dwell on some narrower portfolio-specific topics. Yet, many of the currents and stresses undergirding the broad stock market are of such importance, and the investing public is so unaware of them, that it seems a greater and timelier virtue to discuss some of those.  


  • Horizon Kinetics’ Fourth Quarter Market Commentary by Murray Stahl and Steven Bregman

    The full article can also be found at the Horizon Kinetics' website.

    For 2011, the Core Value strategy was down approximately 11% and, for the second consecutive year, has returned less than the broad stock market. It is not desirable and, one may take it for granted, not our wish to produce negative returns or to underperform the average equity. Nor have we over time. What is happening now? First, our portfolio does not look very much like the average equity fund. In order to perform very much like the market, a portfolio must look very much like it. In the 16-year history of Core Value, it has differed from the market by more than 10% points in 7 separate years, and by 5 percentage points or more in 12 separate years. This is considered to be a very large divergence. Core Value generally does not own what is popular, since that which is popular tends to be overpriced, which is why it did not contain technology or communications stocks in 1999 and 2000. And during the past 2 years it has not owned large-capitalization, major-index stocks since these likewise are overpriced. In this regard, we are in good company with many noted value-oriented managers who have also experienced negative returns this past year. Almost by definition, if one does not own what is popular, then one cannot be doing as well as that which is popular—until that condition changes.  


  • JZ Capital Partners – $1.00 for Sale at $0.40?

    Price – 350p

    Market Cap - £227m/ $363m  


  • Murray Stahl Adds Howard Hughes, Leucadia National and CBOE Holdings

    Murray Stahl is the Co-founder, chairman, and chief envestment officer of Horizon Asset Management Inc. Horizon's investment philosophy places heavy emphasis on the mitigation of risk, assessing risk in terms of the probability of real capital loss. It then selects securities with "asymmetric return properties" where the reward potential exceeds downside risk in magnitude and probability, creating a margin of safety. Horizon also targets companies with strong fundamentals that have fallen out of favor with market consensus. It seeks opportunities when negative news creates an overreaction by analysts and subsequently results in favorable price inefficiencies. Finally, Horizon places a higher emphasis on a qualitative approach rather than a quantitative approach, using quantitative analysis to enhance fundamental research.

    Stahl has overseen all of the investment strategies since Horizon's inception. Its Core Value Strategy focuses on businesses that are insulated from price competition or technological obsolescence which can sustain a high return on equity. It utilizes a bottom-up approach, though portfolio weightings may reflect favorable risk/reward in particular sectors. This strategy has enabled the Core Value fund to generate a ten-year return of 81.5%, outpacing the S&P 500's return of 16.4%. In his second quarter portfolio update, Stahl's biggest moves included adds to his positions in Howard Hughes (NYSE:HHC), Leucadia National (NYSE:LUK), and CBOE Holdings (NASDAQ:CBOE).  


  • Horizon Asset Management Q1 Commentary

    In recent reviews we have commented on what we believe to be increasingly obvious risks in the equity markets. One of those appears to be in technology stocks, once again the largest sector of the S&P 500 Index, yet now seeming subject to a new round of disruptive technology (the transition from P.C. to tablet computers).

    A broader risk to the market is likely to be profit margins. Of the 50 largest market capitalization companies that outperformed the S&P 500 in 2010, a great many recently reported net profit margins above 20%, and of the others reported margins near or above historical peaks. Currently, the 20 largest companies in the S&P 500 with the highest profit margins, ranging from Amgen (AMGN) and Google (GOOG) (at around 30%), to Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Altria (MO) (near 18%), comprise well over 15% of the market value of the index. If the average profit margin of companies that comprise more than 15% of the S&P 500 well exceeds 20%, how is it possible that the S&P will exhibit its historical post-recession expansion of profit margins and earnings? It's not likely to happen.  


  • Murray Stahl Comments on China Property Companies; Top Holdings: BAM, BRK.B, PM, IMO, LUK

    Murray Stahl of Horizon Asset Management, Inc published his 2Q2010 Commentary. His firm’s representative Horizon Core Value Fund typically invests in 25-50 stocks. The fund’s stated time horizon is five years. The fund turns over ever slowly each year at a pace of about 20%. The fund strives to invest “fundamentally superior businesses trading below our estimate of intrinsic value”. (Read the fund’s factsheet here.

    Over the years and on average, the fund had a decent track record: since the fund’s inception of 1996, the fund has returned an average of 10.6% vs. S&P 500’s 5.9%. However, when looking closely, especially looking at the fund’s performance in 2008, one has to conclude that investment management is a business full of peril: in the dreadful year during which the general index fell 37%, Core Value Fund fell 56.5%. Since then the fund has been tracking the index closely, beating S&P 500 by about 2% in 2009 and just breakeven with the index this year.  


  • View on ACAS

    black box investing in mid-market companies  


  • Comment for Murray Stahl Portfolio Holdings -- GuruFocus.com

    about ssp what is the goal in one year God willing  


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