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Weekly Guru Bargains Highlights: Whole Foods Market Inc., CBS Corp., AutoNation Inc., Bank of America Corp., Allied Irish Banks P.L.C.

July 21, 2008 | About:

The shares of various companies, especially in the financial sector, have declined in response to weak performance in the second quarter. You can buy Guru stocks at lower prices these days. Companies of the Week: Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI), CBS Corp. (CBS), AutoNation Inc. (AN), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Allied Irish Banks P.L.C. (AIB).

Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI): Down 39% Since Chris Davis Bought In the First Quarter of 2008

Organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFMI) reported a slimmer profit for the quarter that ended in mid-April; the company earned $40 million or $0.29 a share compared to $46 million or $0.32 a share from a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose 28% to $1.87 billion, mostly due to their new acquisition of Wild Oats stores. Whole Foods shares are near their 52-week low, despite same store sales rose 6.7%. General food costs rose nearly 1% in April alone.

Chris Davis bought his 6,754,074 shares at around $35.90 per share. George Soros sold out all his shares in Whole Foods Market Inc., while Mark Hillman and Ruane Cuniff kept their shares unchanged. Also, Ron Baron reduced his holdings in Whole Foods by 35%.

As of February, insiders sold their shares between $28 and $37.30: Regional President Kenneth J. Meyer sold 36,612 shares; Lee Valkenaar sold 22,496 shares; Walter E. Robb IV sold 18,000 shares; James P. Sud sold 16,000 shares; Director John P. Mackey sold 8,000 shares; Juan Nunez sold 2,000 shares; Regional President Christina Minardi sold 1,449 shares; and finally, Regional President Scott A. Allshouse sold 1,064 shares.

Whole Foods Market Inc. has a market cap of $3.07 billion; its shares were traded at around $21.89 with a P/E ratio of 18.99 and P/S ratio of 0.38. The dividend yield of Whole Foods Market Inc. stocks is 3.8%.

CBS Corp. (CBS): Down 28% Since John Rogers Bought In the First Quarter of 2008

Mass Media Company CBS Corporation (CBS) recently acquired 78% of the online site CNet Networks for $1.8 billion. The company reported a first quarter profit increase by 14% on higher syndication sales. CBS earned $244.3 million or $0.36 per share compared to $213.5 million or $0.33 per share for the past two first quarters. The company raised their first quarter dividends to $0.27 from $0.25 per share. CBS said their radio segment had been struggling, with a 9% sales drop and 26% profit drop.

John Rogers added to his holdings of CBS Corp. by 16% during the quarter ended 3/31/08 between $21.57 and $25.24. Other gurus also bought shares of CBS including David Dreman, Michael Price, and Richard Aster Jr., while Brian Rogers, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Richard Pzena, and NWQ Managers kept their CBS holdings about the same.

CBS Corp. has a market cap of $11.55 billion; its shares were traded at around $16.96 with a P/E ratio of 9.28 and P/S ratio of 0.84. The dividend yield of CBS Corp. stocks is 6.37%.

AutoNation Inc. (AN): Down 43% Since George Soros Bought In the First Quarter of 2008

The quarterly profits of AutoNation Inc. (AN) declined 37% to $50.7 million or $0.28 a share compared to $77.6 million or $0.37 a share. Auto Nation, one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers, said profits were weak due to less consumer spending; their revenue fell 7% to $4 billion from $4.3 billion. Retail profits for new vehicle sales fell 10% and used vehicle sales ell 12%. Investor Edward Lampert raised his stake in Auto Nation to nearly 40%, or 71.2 million shares, as of late-April.

George Soros bought 13,332 shares between $12.50 and $16.59, as Michael Price sold out all his holdings in Auto Nation. Bruce Sherman and HOTCHKIS & WILEY also own shares of Auto Nation.

10% owner Edward S. Lampert right now holds 66,624,115 shares of Auto Nation as of 3/31/08, an increase of 13.84% from the previous quarter. In June and May, Lampert bought up a total of 2,365,728 shares at $13.78 to $15.87 a share of AN.

AutoNation Inc. has a market cap of $1.47 billion; its shares were traded at around $8.25 with a P/E ratio of 6.31 and P/S ratio of 0.09.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC): Down 30% Since Brian Rogers Bought In the second quarter of 2008

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) said their profits fell 41% in the second quarter on massive mortgage related losses, but still beats Wall Street’s expectations. The company earned $3.41 billion or $0.72 for the quarter, compared to a previous $5.76 billion or $1.28 a share. According to analysts, global mortgage losses could reach $1 trillion; and Bank of America has set aside $5.83 billion for charge-offs. BAC recently acquired mortgage Countrywide Financial Corporation for $2.5 billion; shareholders of Countrywide will receive 0.1822 share of BAC stock for every one share of Countrywide. Bank of America’s stock has declined from $38.50 a share to the current price per share. The companies will lay-off 7,500 employees from Countrywide within the next two years. For the first quarter, BAC reported a 77% drop in profit on a $3.3 billion provision for losses; the company earned $1.21 billion or $0.23 a share compared to $5.26 billion or $1.16 a share.

Brian Rogers bought a total of 1,750,000 shares in the first quarter at $35.38 to $44.29; he currently owns 5,250,000 shares of BAC. David Dreman, Warren Buffett, HOTCHKIS & WILEY, Richard Snow, Richard Pzena, Chris Davis, Kenneth Fisher, Tom Gayner, Dodge & Cox, NWQ Managers, Ruane Cunniff, Irving Kahn, and Tweedy Browne all have holdings in Bank of America.

Director William Barnet III bought 11,000 shares on 5/2/08 at $40.48; and Director Jackie M. Ward bought 6,700 shares on 6/10/08 at $29.72.

Bank of America Corp. has a market cap of $122.41 billion; its shares were traded at around $27.49 with a P/E ratio of 11.58 and P/S ratio of 2.27. The dividend yield of Bank of America Corp. stocks is 9.31%.

Allied Irish Banks P.L.C. (AIB): Down 41% Since Mason Hawkins Bought In the First Quarter of 2008

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. (AIB), together with its subsidiaries, provides retail and corporate banking, investment banking, and asset management services primarily in the Republic of Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Poland. The company expects their profits between January and June to drop 6% relative to prior year.

Mason Hawkins purchased 280,800 shares between $38.19 and $45.09. Sarah Ketterer, Tweedy Browne, and Jean-Marie Eveillard kept their shares slightly adjusted.

Allied Irish Banks P.L.C. has a market cap of $10.82 billion; its shares were traded at around $24.62 with a P/E ratio of 3.57 and P/S ratio of 1.20. The dividend yield of Allied Irish Banks P.L.C. stocks is 9.4%.


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