Companies will continue to report earnings and give a better picture as to which sectors of the economy are performing well and how certain economies such as China are going to perform in 2013. For example, United Technologies (UTX) mentioned that Asian sales will rise 7% to 8% over the next 10 years on demand for elevators and air conditioners that will go into new skyscrapers. At the same time, UTX declared a dividend of $0.53 per share, bringing its forward yield to 2.38%.
The market has reacted by pushing its shares higher and testing new 52-week highs. Gurus that have bought United Technologies recently include Brian Rogers, John Hussman and Lee Ainslie, all of which purchased UTX at a range between $71 to $82 with Lee Ainslie’s having a portfolio impact of 2.4%. Despite UTX’s momentum, I’m avoiding UTX at current levels as shares seem fairly valued.
Another stock making news over the weekend is PC maker and business solutions provider DELL (DELL) as buyout talks reportedly continued over the weekend, and a deal to go private is seen coming within days. The “players” in the deal include founder and current CEO of the company Michael Dell, tech giant Microsoft (MSFT) and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. As a previous DELL shareholder, one of the major assets DELL currently has is its large cash hoard. DELL holds $11.27 billion in cash and equivalents or roughly half of today’s market cap. DELL has made numerous acquisitions recently to expand its IT solutions portfolio and move away from PC manufacturing, but the Street still sees it as a PC manufacturer. Gurus who recently purchased shares of DELL include Donald Yacktman, Brian Rogers, Francis Chou, Wallaca Weitz, Ray Dalio, MIchael Price with Francis Chou’s position of 1,500,000 shares having a 4.2% impact to his portfolio.
Finally, shares of Herbalife (HLF) are under heavy pressure as The New York Post reports that it is being investigated by law enforcement officials after a Freedom of Information Act request revealed 192 complaints against the company in the past seven years. This can be seen as a victory for Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who is short 20 million shares of Herbalife, as he tries to get the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether Herbalife’s business model can be classified as a pyramid scheme. While hedge funds are not required to report their short positions, Ackman’s short is around the $42 range.
Other Gurus that have recently purchased Herbalife include Ken Heebner, Joel Greenblatt and Daniel Loeb. Of course, Daniel Loeb’s long position is notable as it has a 7.1% impact to his portfolio and the position was established immediately after Ackman revealed his short. Ackman has stated he will donate all profits from his short to charity.