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July 2008

Recs

1

Merril planning to dilute investors by up to a third

July 29, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: MER.DL2

MSN Money reports that our friends at Merril are planning to issue a lot of new equity. their market cap is about $24bn right now, and they want to issue $8.5bn of stock, but possibly as much as $9.8bn.  [more]

Recs

2

If Compass opens 15% down tomorrow morning, buy the stock

July 28, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: CMP

Compass missed analysts' earnings expectations this quarter. They were expecting EPS of $0.26, and Compass reported $0.14 excluding special items, $0.10 with.  [more]

Recs

4

Jim Jubak: 5 big losers in the banking crisis

July 25, 2008 – Comments (1)

I think Jim Jubak trades a bit too frequently, but he has a good article here, where he names 5 major victims of the banking crisis:  [more]

Recs

2

Revisiting calls on Amex and BoA

July 23, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: BAC , AXP

Ken Lewis, CEO of BoA, made this remark in a CNN Money article:   [more]

Recs

5

Wachovia - big bounce but not out of the woods

July 22, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: WB.DL2

Wachovia is the US' 4th largest bank by assets.  [more]

Recs

1

The Microsoft Conundrum

July 21, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: MSFT

John Dvorak, in this article for Marketwatch, pretty clearly sums up why I'm not an investor in Microsoft. They've lost focus. Remember the peanut butter memo at Yahoo? Microsoft is guilty of that. Even worse, they're trying to buy Yahoo.

Recs

2

Comments on Synovus

July 19, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: SNV

Synovus is the former majority owner of Total System Services (TSS), which they fully spun off last year. I think TSS, which is a global player in payment services, has a wide moat, but isn't a buy just yet. Synovus is - gasp! - a bank. Actually, it's a decentralized conglomerate of community banks. Like every other bank, it's been punished by the credit crisis, but it hasn't lost quite as much as the S&P since the spinoff, hence my pick is up by 3 whole points. If I keep this up, I'll be rich.  [more]

Recs

5

Chesapeake: a skilled but very aggressive operator

July 17, 2008 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: CHK

Obviously, no one likes my posts about financial stocks. Boo-hoo. On to one of the hotter sectors: energy.  [more]

Recs

1

Comments on Dodge and Cox Global's holdings

July 17, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: DODGX

Our friends at D&C just released the holdings for their new Global fund.   [more]

Recs

0

Wells Fargo: I told you so

July 16, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: WFC

Wells Fargo surprised everyone today with an excellent earnings announcement and a dividend raise. Their main competitors have too much to deal with, and they're taking market share.

Embarrassingly enough, I forgot to actually add Wells as a pick.

Recs

2

Cintas 4Q earnings fall less than 1%

July 15, 2008 – Comments (3) | RELATED TICKERS: CTAS

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/07/15/ap5218092.html

 Why does the peanut gallery think they're so bad? I mean, aside from the union busting and pollution...

Recs

1

Realty Income up by 5%?

July 15, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: O

Realty Income has reached an agreement with Buffets on 105 properties that they had under lease. Buffets is their largest tenant, but was in some distress, and there were worries that they might declare bankruptcy. Realty Income reduced their rent.  [more]

Recs

0

Now would be a really nice time to get a windfall

July 15, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: USB

Like an inheritance from a rich uncle who stuffed the mattress. Or a settlement from an accident or other lawsuit.  [more]

Recs

1

Starbucks: how growth destroyed brand value

July 14, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: SBUX

Businessweek has an article on how Starbucks' excessive growth (both new stores and new products) ended up eroding the brand, not strengthening it.  [more]

Recs

4

US banking system falling apart

July 14, 2008 – Comments (2)

Fannie and Freddie are now able to take loans from the Fed Reserve's discount window, posting their own securities as collateral. The market doesn't seem all that impressed.  [more]

Recs

0

CDS watch

July 11, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: LEH , MER.DL2

Credit default swap prices for Lehman and Merril are heading up into let's worry territory.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/84636-lehman-and-merrill-lynch-default-risk-charts

This is Credit Crunch the Sequel. It's time to buy. Of course, that doesn't mean it's time to buy either Lehman or Merril. 

Recs

4

Gamble on Freddie and Fannie?

July 11, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: FMCC , FNMA

As I write this, Freddie and Fannie are trading in the single digits in  premarket trading over fears that they don't have enough capital, that the government will have to take them over or otherwise rescue them, and that shareholders will be left with nothing.  [more]

Recs

1

Realty Income comments

July 09, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: O

I picked Realty Income at $25.14 not long ago, and it's down about 7%. This is 2% better than the S&P's 9%. I've previously written a pitch.  [more]

Recs

5

Should we be throwing in the towel on Starbucks?

July 07, 2008 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: SBUX

I remember the heady days of Starbucks, when it used to trade for $40 (split adjusted) a share. They could do no wrong.  [more]

Recs

5

A pitch for Weight Watchers International

July 05, 2008 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: WTW

66% of the population of the United States is allegedly overweight.    [more]

Recs

0

Banging the table on Fastenal

July 05, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: FAST

Some folks actually seem offended at my recent stock picks. All except Diageo are in industries that are directly impacted by the latest subprime mess/credit crunch. Fastenal sells fasteners, mainly to commercial customers. Normally, you'd think Fastenal's results would be hurt in this environment, and that the peanut gallery would be all over me.  [more]

Recs

1

Banging the table on Cintas?

July 05, 2008 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: CTAS

Cintas makes uniforms. Thanks to them, 5 million Americans at 800,000 Cintas customers don't need to worry about what to wear to work. Like Fastenal, this is a boring but profitable business.  [more]

Recs

0

Banging the table on Legg Mason

July 05, 2008 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: LM

Legg Mason is an asset manager. Its star fund is the infamous Legg Mason Value Trust, LMVTX, run by Bill Miller. He beat the S&P for 15 years or so. The last two years, his streak has ended. In fact, LMVTX is down nearly 30% YTD. People are wondering if they might be better relying on a monkey or an arrogant CAPS player to pick their stocks instead.  [more]

Recs

1

Banging the table on Cemex

July 04, 2008 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: CX

Cemex is one of the world's largest producers of cement, ready-mix, and aggregate. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why it's been sold off. But it is owned by such gurus as Mason Hawkins, Sarah Ketterer, Dodge and Cox, Ron Muhlenkamp, and Wallace Weitz. Paul Larson recently bought more Cemex for the Morningstar Hare portfolio, and he owns it personally. I own Cemex personally. Although Cemex rates only a narrow moat at M*, it also gets only medium uncertainty. Based on that, I say it fits my banging the table series.  [more]

Recs

6

Should I bang the table on Bank of America?

July 04, 2008 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: BAC

This is a bit of an interlude in my banging the table series. As I said, this series is focused on wide moat stocks which are low or moderate risk, and which have seen purchases by 'gurus', or notable investors (e.g. Warren B, Marty Whitman, Bruce Berkowitz, etc).  [more]

Recs

0

Banging the table on US Bancorp and Wells Fargo

July 04, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: USB , WFC

Folks seemed to like my banging the table articles on Amex and Diageo, neither of which is really involved in the subprime/housing mess. People seemed less sanguine when I called for folks to buy Lowes and/or Home Depot. Admittedly, I personally own both Amex and Diageo but not Lowes or HD. I do, however, own US Bancorp, and I'm calling for folks to consider them and/or Wells Fargo.  [more]

Recs

2

Banging the table on Diageo

July 03, 2008 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: DEO

Continuing with the banging the table series, which features wide moat companies with relatively low business risk that gurus have been buying, I bring you Diageo, the producer of premium spirits.   [more]

Recs

2

Banging the table on Compass Minerals?

July 03, 2008 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: CMP

Unlike Lowes and Amex, a flood of gurus haven't been buying Compass Minerals. John Keely, of the Keely small funds, does have 0.77% of his portfolio in Compass, and had been adding as of June last year, at an average of about $34 per share.  [more]

Recs

0

Banging the table on Lowes

July 03, 2008 – Comments (3) | RELATED TICKERS: LOW , HD

Next up on the lower risk, wide moat, excessively oversold list are Lowes and Home Depot. As the  largest two home improvement retailers in the world, it's easy to see why people have been selling these stocks. Certainly, Lowes' and Home Depot's health is tied to the health of the housing market in the US, and that market has been in a downturn.  [more]

Recs

3

Banging the table on Amex

July 01, 2008 – Comments (2) | RELATED TICKERS: AXP

Remember when Warren B put 40% of his portfolio in Amex? I think it might be time to pull something similar. we're coming to a time when a whole bunch of companies with wide economic moats and at worst medium risk to the business are going on sale.  [more]

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