Over the past four quarters inflation has been around 3.5%. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the public that inflation had been higher than expected. Consumers anticipate a price hike of well over 7% within the year. If you like to buy stocks at prices lower than Gurus have paid, see these stocks: SmurfitStone Container Corp. (SSCC), First Horizon National Corp. (FHN), CME Group Inc. (CME), Wachovia (WB), American International Group (AIG).
SmurfitStone Container Corp. (SSCC): Down 22% Since David Williams Bought In the First Quarter of 2008
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (SSCC) manufactures paperboard and paper-based packaging products. The company lowered their quarterly loss from $52 million or $0.21 to a loss of $13 million or $0.06. To offset inflation and acquisition expedentures, SSCC reduced and closed 21% of the box manufacturing plants within the past three years.
David Williams increased his holdings 27% in SmurfitStone Container to 5,700,000. Williams bought his shares between $7.54 and $10. While NWQ Managers sold out their SSCC holdings, George Soros, Richard Snow, and Jean-Marie Eveillard kept their SSCC holdings.
On 5/8/08, Director Jerry K. Pearlman bought 10,000 shares at $5.27 and Director William T. Lynch Jr. bought 4,000 shares at $5.18. Other insiders made their sell on 2/28/08 at $8.39: Chairman and CEO, Director Patrick J. Moore sold 9,930 shares; SVP Craig A. Hunt sold 1,258 shares; and SVP Paul K. Kaufman sold 1,020 shares.
SmurfitStone Container Corp. has a market cap of $1.71 billion; its shares were traded at around $6.73 with P/S ratio of 0.23.
First Horizon National Corp. (FHN): Down 45% Since HOTCHKIS & WILEY Bought In the First Quarter of 2008
First Horizon National Corporation (FHN), the holding company for First Tennessee Bank will close on the sale of 230 of its mortgage and retail offices to MetLife by the third quarter. The company will sell 90% of its mortgage loans by the end of this year. As quarterly write-downs doubled to $240 million, First Horizon’s profits dropped 89% to $7.9 million or $0.06 a share, compared to $70.5 million or $0.55 a share in 2007.
HOTCHKIS & WILEY bought 4,828,900 shares between $14.75 and $21.86.
First Horizon National Corp. has a market cap of $1.27 billion; its shares were traded at around $9.59 with P/S ratio of 0.82. The dividend yield of First Horizon National Corp. stocks is 8.7%.
CME Group Inc. (CME): Down 21% Since Steve Mandel Bought In the First Quarter of 2008
CME Group, Inc. (CME) owns two self-regulatory futures exchanges: Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board Of Trade. This month, CME Group shares hit a 52-week low, when CME Group lost $1 billion in a trading rights settlement with Chicago Board Options Exchange. The company sets their quarterly dividend at $1.15 a share. CME’s quarterly earnings were high at $284 million or $5.25 a share compared to last year’s $130 million or $3.69 a share. In April, the company reported a 30% increase in average daily volume, in which contracts totaled 10.2 million.
Insiders sold their shares between $428.06 and $699.55 since December: CEO, Director Craig S. Donohue sold 7,500 shares; Director Leo Melamed sold 4,000 shares; Director C. C. Odom II sold 200 shares; and Director Gary M. Katler sold 150 shares.
CME Group Inc. has a market cap of $20.61 billion; its shares were traded at around $430.3 with a P/E ratio of 22.72 and P/S ratio of 10.65. The dividend yield of CME Group Inc. stocks is 1%.
Wachovia Corp. (WB): Down 26% Since HOTCHKIS & WILEY Bought In the Quarter Ended In the First Quarter of 2008
Wachovia shares hit a 52-week low, considering a range of $22.72 and $54.54 per share. The commercial and retail banker doubled their first quarter’s loss to $708 million or $0.36 a share compared to a prior loss of $393 million or $0.20 a share. Life insurance losses and $2 billion of write-downs magnified the negative profits in the first quarter. Wachovia just raised $8.05 billion in capital from public offerings.
HOTCHKIS & WILEY bought Wachovia between $25.99 and $38.05, with an estimated average price of $32. Few other gurus also bought shares in Wachovia in the first quarter: Bill Miller, Dodge & Cox, and Arnold Schneider. Other changes made by Gurus are listed as follows: John Keeley sold out all his holdings; Richard Pzena, Tom Gayner, and Chris Davis reduced their holdings in WB; and Jean-Marie Eveillard, NWQ Managers, David Dreman, Kenneth Fisher, and Ruane Cunniff kept their holdings in WB about the same.
Since February, Director John D. Baker II has purchased a total of 93,000 shares at $28.74 to $34.76.
Officer Gerald Adams Enos Jr. sold 10,000 shares on 2/29/08 at $31.55.
Wachovia Corp. has a market cap of $42.99 billion; its shares were traded at around $23.8 with a P/E ratio of 12.72 and P/S ratio of 1.74. The dividend yield of Wachovia Corp. stocks is 5.9%.
American International Group Inc. (AIG): Down 27% Since Chris Davis Bought In the Quarter Ended In the First Quarter of 2008
Insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG) lost a whopping $7.8 billion in the first quarter, which includes $9.11 billion charge from insuring mortgage bonds. The company plans to raise $20 billion in capital from stock offerings and bonds. The company lost $3.09 a share, compared to a prior profit of $4.13 billion or $1.58 per share.
As David Swensen sold out all his AIG holdings, Chris Davis upped his AIG holdings 5% between $41.18 and $57.43. Couple other gurus also bought AIG shares: David Tepper, Ken Heebner, Charles Brandes, Richard Pzena, Arnold Schneider, Dodge & Cox, Bill Miller, Tweedy Browne, and Michael Price. Several gurus kept their AIG shares about the same: Richard Snow, Chris Davis, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Brian Rogers, David Dreman, Tom Gayner, Kenneth Fisher, Ronald Muhlenkamp, and Ruane Cunniff.
Director Virginia M. Rometty bought 2,500 shares on 5/19/08 at $39.07.
American International Group Inc. has a market cap of $89.02 billion; its shares were traded at around $36 with P/S ratio of 0.95. The dividend yield of American International Group Inc. stocks is 2.3%.