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Weekly Guru Bargains Highlights: The McClatchy Company, Lennar Corp., Thornburg Mortgage Inc., Alon USA Energy Inc., and Office Depot Inc.

January 18, 2008 | About:

To help offset the economic slowdown and rising consumer prices, Fed publicly favored personal income tax rebates and breaks. The credit and the housing market will continue to strain all other sectors throughout 2008. These stocks have come down a lot after Gurus bought: The McClatchy Company (MNI), Lennar Corp. (LEN), Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (TMA), Alon USA Energy Inc. (ALJ), and Office Depot Inc. (ODP).

The McClatchy Company (MNI): Down 55% Since John Rogers Bought In the Third Quarter

The newspaper publisher, McClatchy Company (MNI) just received a deal from ImpreMedia to form print and online ad services. Seattle Times, partly owned by MNI, planned to cut jobs and save $21 million. According to analysts, the newspaper ad sales have been on the decline due to rise in readership online and an economic slowdown; also, it will take years for the business in online ads to offset print ads.

As John Rogers upped his MNI ownership by 24.58% to 14,814,765 shares between $19.98 and $28.07, George Soros sold out of all his MNI holdings. While Charles Brandes and Michael Price kept their MNI shares about the same, Bruce Sherman reduced his MNI shares by 60.8%.

Director P. Anthony Ridder sold a total of 30,000 shares on 11/30/07 at $13.59.

The McClatchy Company has a market cap of $916.86 million; its shares were traded at around $10.56 with P/S ratio of 0.37. The dividend yield of The McClatchy Company stocks is 6.6%.

Lennar Corp. (LEN): Down 53% Since Charles Brandes Bought In the Third Quarter

Due to lack of demand, homebuilders have cut their new home constructions by 25% in 2007, the biggest decline in the past 27 years. One of the top homebuilders, Lennar Corporation (LEN), predicted a huge loss for the fourth quarter. The company shares have dropped to its lowest by 77% in the past 29 months.

Charles Brandes and Bill Miller bought shares of LEN; they currently own 777,171 shares, and 3,200,000 shares, respectively. Other gurus who has LEN holdings: George Soros, HOTCHKIS & WILEY, and Ruane Cunniff.

Vice President Marshall H. Ames bought 30,000 shares in mid August of 2007 at $28.17, and sold 30,000 shares in late-December at $18.01.

Lennar Corp. has a market cap of $2.23 billion; its shares were traded at around $14.25 with P/S ratio of 0.19. The dividend yield of Lennar Corp. stocks is 4%.

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (TMA): Down 53% Since Bill Miller Bought In the Third Quarter

The single-family mortgage lender Thornburg Mortgage, Inc. (TMA) took a $212 million in 7 million shares public offering. The company netted $200.8 million, which will finance the company’s late acquisition. TMA shares have plunged by 70% in the past half year. In the past week, the nation’s new mortgage applications increased drastically by 28%, as interest rates dropped from 5.73% to 5.62% for 30-year-fixed, and 5.21% to 5.07% for 15-year-fixed.

Both Arnold Schneider and David Dreman sold out their TMA holdings in the last third quarter. Bill Miller bought 3,248,000 shares at an average of $18.40 in September.

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. has a market cap of $1.11 billion; its shares were traded at around $8.72. The dividend yield of Thornburg Mortgage Inc. stocks is 10.6%.

Alon USA Energy Inc. (ALJ): Down 51% Since David Dreman Bought In the Third Quarter

In 2007, Alon USA Energy, Inc. (ALJ), the independent petroleum refiner and supplier, pulled in a lower net third quarter income of $12.6 million or $0.27 a share, compared to $38.1 million or $0.82 in the previous year. The company stated that high crude oil prices and lower operating margins in its California refineries hurt profits.

David Dreman initiated holdings in ALJ to 317,600 shares. Dreman made his buy at around $38.40 per share.

Insiders made their sells between mid and late-November at $28.31 to $31.29: VP, CFO and Treasurer Shai Even sold 2,500 shares; VP, General Counsel & Sec. Harlin R Dean sold 3,000 shares; and VP of Mergers and Acquisitions Joseph Israel sold a total of 4,914 shares.

Alon USA Energy Inc. has a market cap of $866.88 million; its shares were traded at around $18.64 with P/E ratio of 5.31 and P/S ratio of 0.20. The dividend yield of Alon USA Energy Inc. stocks is 0.7%.

Office Depot Inc. (ODP): Down 51% Since Mason Hawkins Bought In the Third Quarter

Office Depot, Inc., the second largest office supply and service retailer, reported that it expects fourth quarter sales and earnings to drop for 2007. The retail chain pulled in $106.3 million or $0.34 a share in earnings for the fourth quarter in 2006. Slow growth in the economy has taken a toll on small businesses and their spending budget. Within the past 12-months, Office Depot’s shares have dropped by over 60%.

Robert Olstein and Mason Hawkins initiated Office Depot. Olstein bought 2,265,000 shares and Hawkins bought 14,316,364 shares between $19.15 and $30.92. Also, Arnold Van Den Berg upped his Office Depot holdings to 6,107,099 shares.

Director Marsha Johnson Evans bought 5,000 shares on 11/21/07 at $16.69, and Director Lee A. Ault III bought 10,000 shares on 08/06/07 at $22.60.

Office Depot Inc. has a market cap of $3.23 billion; its shares were traded at around $11.87 with P/E ratio of 6.52 and P/S ratio of 0.21.


Rating: 3.0/5 (7 votes)

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