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March Value Idea Contest Results Announcement; April Contest Is Now Accepting Submissions

In March GuruFocus hosted its first Value Idea Contest. This is the announcement of the winners.

We received 11 submissions for the March contest. This is the list:

These are the comments from our judges:

Microsoft: Quality Tech Stock on Sale:

Argued that the products are hard to replace. The growth potential is higher than people thought. But did not address management skills. The risk of the assumptions of future growth. The valuation part can be deeper. What about massive insider selling? Huge options grants? Etc.

Small Pharma Big Value- HI-tech Pharmacal

Author did not explain why in the years from 2007 to 2008 the profit margin declined significantly. What is the risk for this to happen again? More questions to be answered: Been a fast grower in the past, what caused this growth? Is it sustainable? For 9x forward earnings, how about JNJ, MRK, ABT, PFE? They will all be around tomorrow, they are underleveraged, and pay HUGE dividends.

March Value Idea Contest: Berkshire Hathaway

Overall it is a good work. Berkshire is a complicated business. The article is very qualitative. The valuation needs more analysis to back up. David Sokol's fall may indicate that the managers are not as good as bragged by Buffett.

Dolby Labs: The Kings of Immersive Audio Selling at a Discount

An excellent analysis. A lot of hard work was done during the research. As pointed by the author, it is a right company, but the price is not. The only holdback is the price. The stock is not cheap enough so the author does not own it either.

Coinstar: Deep Value and Exceptional Growth

The author explained the business well and lays out a lot of the key variables. Long-term decline of gross margins, why? On short term the profit margin may recover, but on long term, it is in the trend of declining. No discussion of the management team skills. The financial strength of the company was not addressed either. Question: Are buybacks real or just to offset options? Valuation work is extensive, the conclusion is not obvious.

Full House Resorts, an Underfollowed Small Cap with Strong Earnings and a Low Valuation

A micro-cap value idea. More background of the business will help readers to understand more and build more confidence. Questions need to be answered: Who is going to buy this company? Who is the other 50% owner? Could they buy the whole thing? Etc. Overall, the analysis should be organized so that readers can read more easily and understand better.

Wendy's/Arby's: Business Analysis & Valuation

A turnaround by new management, expansion of margins at Wendy's. New strategies at Arby's. The question is if it is too early? Plan to sell Arby's and focus on Wendy's. The analyst did not address the financial strength of the company and the risks with the implementation of the strategies. What are the possibilities of the success of the strategies? Many ideas need to be tested and questions to be answered. The business is underperforming McDonald's, why is McDonald's not a better investment? Overall the author did a lot of good work.

IDT Corporation - Lots of Hidden Gems

Turnaround by original CEO. Sum of each part is much higher than the combined company. The spin-off seems to serve well as the catalyst. The new management was the old CEO, but his new turnaround plan is yet to be proved. Very deep analysis and overall very convincing.

Medtronic Inc (NYSE:MDT): two strong drivers of future growth.

This may be a good idea but the analysis can go deeper if the valuation can do deeper than just PE ratio. How is the quality of earnings? Contributions from different segament or products, geographic areas and the risk with each of them? How MDC is better than the competitions? Digging out the details will answer more questions from the readers and help readers to build confidence.

Markel Corp (NYSE:MKL) - Conservative Value

The analysis can go deeper with discussing different segments and geographic areas of the business, their quality and valuations. The valuation will be better if all the parts are discussed instead of just talking about the book value, especially the company have many subsidiaries and an investment portfolio. The financial strength was not discussed. Comparison with the competitions will improve the quality too.

Interval Leisure: An Undervalued Stock with a Catalyst

Jacob tells an nice story of IIIG business. The management looks capable and the company is the process of paying down its debt. Some of the numbers and calculations need to be corrected. The comparision with competitors will improve overall quality. The presentation needs to be improved. This is a tough business and more discussion on the risks will be appreciated.

These are the overall ratings:

The ratings here are from the analyses. They do not necessarily reflect the real situation.

If not discussed, the rating is 0.
Analyst Company (Symbol) Business Quality Financial Strength Proven Management Capability Undervalued? Presentation Readers' Rating and Comments Total
Victor Riesco MSFT 4 5 3 4 3 5 24
bjm1625 HITK 3 5 4 4 3 3 22
Alex Morris BRK.A 5 5 4 2 3 3 22
Bill Smith DLB 4 5 4 1 5 3 22
afardshi CSTR 3 4 3 4 5 3 22
Frogs Kiss FLL 3 4 3 4 3 3 20
Rishi Gosalia WEN 3 3 5 4 5 3 23
Mariusz Skonieczny IDT 4 3 3 5 5 5 25
graemew MDT 3 4 5 3 4 4 23
Toddius MKL 5 3 4 2 3 4 21
Jacob Wolinsky IIIG 4 4 5 3 3 3 22

Therefore the winners are:

The First Place ($500): IDT Corporation - Lots of Hidden Gems by Mariusz Skonieczny

The Second Place ($200): Microsoft: Quality Tech Stock on Sale by Victor Riesco


Please contact us to claim your prizes. Other participants, if your submission was exclusive to GuruFocus, please contact us to claim your $50 award for the submissions. We pay by check or PayPal. If you have not done so, a Freelance Agreement needs to be signed, scanned and emailed to [email protected] You can download it here.

With this announcement, we also open our April Value Idea Contest. The payment to each qualified submission to $50. The first place will win $500, and the second place will win $200.

For April, we will put double weighting on the valuation. The valuation score will include both the depth of the valuation and the under-valuations.

Submit your value ideas now!

About the author:

Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

Rating: 4.0/5 (15 votes)


Graemew - 6 years ago    Report SPAM

Sincere congratulations to Mariuz and Victor! These were both truly outstanding analyses and in fact I found several of the others exceptionally good....the bar has certainly been raised in the March competition and I am sure we will all benefit from this healthy competition. And thanks to Gurufocus for a very useful rundown of the entries with suggestions for improvement...very much appreciated!
Alex Morris
Alex Morris - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Congrats to Mariuz and Victor! Good analysis all around, and clearly a close competition based on the final results; excited to see what everybody comes up with for March!
Mariusz Skonieczny
Mariusz Skonieczny - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Thank you. I definitely did not expect to win this one.
Yswolinsky - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Congrats to everyone, and especially to Mariusz and Victor. Great job.
Kfh227 - 6 years ago    Report SPAM

I actualoly found a stock worth writing about! if I have time I will do so.
Yswolinsky - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
If I write about a stock that is a special situation and does not have "competitors" really how would that be rated?
Victor Riesco
Victor Riesco - 6 years ago    Report SPAM
Congrats Mauriusz...Great analysis and I'm pleased with my second place.

There were some very good participants in this contest.

I hope I can win though in what truly matters....gains in the stock I chosed!!

If you want to follow my intra day market commentary, follow me in Twitter @Global_Trader.

Best to everyone and thanks for the support.


Victor Riesco

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