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August 2007

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3

Dear TMF David Lee Smith, it looks like we have a wager...

August 31, 2007 – Comments (0)

Dear David Lee Smith,   [more]

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A new Fool shares his investment method

August 31, 2007 – Comments (0)

A new Fool but a wise investor nevertheless...

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25857261&Posted=&pt=r

raytoei 

 

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Fun Stuff to Do on a Friday: Gritton's Backtester (Mechanical Investing)

August 30, 2007 – Comments (0)

Jamie Gritton, from the Mechanical Investing Board, has an excellent Backtester website. What this tool allows you to do is to add parameters and conditions and it will crank out annual stock returns for the past years, and depending on the availability of the parameters, it can crank out stock returns all the way back from 1986.   [more]

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Update on Tribune (TRB)

August 29, 2007 – Comments (1)

Hi,  [more]

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What investing tools/newletters do you subscribe to ?

August 29, 2007 – Comments (4)

What investing tools/newletters do you use frequently ?  [more]

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Interview with editorial director of Playboy Enterprises (PLA)

August 28, 2007 – Comments (0)

This is an ultra-long interview by NYT Freakonomics Blog and Chris Napolitano, editor director of PLA.    [more]

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Here's a good case for Small Caps Diversificatn

August 27, 2007 – Comments (0)

Ralph Wanger is a retired fund manager who focused mostly on smallcaps, through his 30+ career, he racked up annualised gains of about 16+%.

You can read the article here,   [more]

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Video: Charlie Munger Shares his ideas (May 2007)

August 26, 2007 – Comments (1)

Charlie Munger,  Chairman of Wesco Financial, gave a speech about ideas that helped him at a early age, at the  USC School of Law Commencement in May 2007. Charlie is a modern day Benjamin Franklin,  This speech is a very good introduction to Mungerism, it touches of the following topics, like   [more]

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2

My smart fortwo car adverts

August 23, 2007 – Comments (0)

Me and my class group did up some smart fortwo car adverts (mockups), you can view them here

http://www.flickr.com/gp/11987299@N03/G6s9F9 

please leave your comments.

thanks 

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Here's a good stock to buy and hold now: KONA

August 21, 2007 – Comments (0)

I bought a small position in Kona Grill (KONA) last year for around $10. Since then the stock has proven to be very volatile due to its ultra-small capitalization and small float of under 5m shares and a lack of general news about the company. The last quarterly results reported on 30th July was good with earnings growing a 62% year on year while earnings turned posiitive.   [more]

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Tribune (TRB): Despite the naysayers, I expect the deal to go through

August 20, 2007 – Comments (0)

Well, the spread is still 25% (Buy price is $34, current market price is 27). I got in too early at 28+.   [more]

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Catching up on my reading: Centerplate (CVP) and Thomas Group (TGIS)

August 20, 2007 – Comments (0)

have been ordering free annual reports (mentioned previously) and finally got around to reading up on a couple of them. I think reading annual reports requires a discipline and possibly a lifestyle change, nevertheless, I try to skim the consolidated financials, and possibly glance at the Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A).

Here are some of the more salient points on a couple of companies I looked at yesterday.


Centerplate (CVP):

Profile: Centerplate (formerly Volume Services America Holding) provides concession services to arena facilities, including professional baseball and football stadiums, convention centers, and similar locations. Products include traditional sporting-event fare, as well as high-end catered foods, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. The company also operates some in-stadium stores and provides roving vendors for facilities.

This business is stable but growth is limited. It sells food and catering to stadiums.

Revenue                2005> 643m       681m       703m
Dividend Per Share: 2005> 1.43       1.56       1.56
Net Income             2005> -5m        3m         3m  
Book Value/Share  2005> 0.69       0.06       -0.59
LT Debt                2005> 211m       210m       209m
Share Count         2005> 18m        18m        21m 

Well, in 2005, the company took on debt, which explains the low Book Value of 0.69 in 2005 as compared to 1.68 in 2004. So what happened to the Book value in 2006 ? Looking at the changes in the balance sheet, we see that a combination of reduced assets and increase in short-term loans and payables shrank the BV (also the reduced Retain Earnings from losses in 2005).

So in essence, the company has been dishing dividends beyond what they can afford, and the increase in Debt will result in increased interest payments. Dividends will be cut unless the company raise more debt soon or issue more shares. I think the share issuance is unlikely because sitting on the board is a Private Equity MD, a University Asset management manager, and a private investor.


Thomas Group (TGIS)

Thomas Group provides consulting and management  services. The company's Process Value Management methodology focuses on reducing the time and money needed to complete inter-company processes. The company assesses a client's potential improvements, trains a client's senior management, and helps to implement performance-improving actions. Its clients are typically large global companies in a range of industries, as well as government agencies such as the United States Army and Navy.

The financials actually look quite decent from the annual report and digging up from online data: 4.6% dividend yield, revenue and earnings accelerated  growth in the past 3 years, low P/E and little or no debt. Did I find a hidden gem in this 89m micro-cap business consulting company ?

Well, this is a cyclical business, the company is currently operating at its peak, the last trough was in 2002 during the last recession. The company probably slowed down its international business and concentrated on the N.A market, as mentioned in the annual report. Ten years ago, TGIS had 70+m in revenue, ten years later, the revenue is 59m. The share price has stayed around the same price.

I simply would not have known about the difficult environment which TGIS is operating in if I had not looked past the last three years data.

raytoei  [more]

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Free read on Barron's this week: Shorting Cramer

August 18, 2007 – Comments (0)

(Thanks to Christine Mohan for pointing out to me, this excellent article can be read free this week on Barron's. URL is here. )  [more]

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Article: Shorting Cramer

August 18, 2007 – Comments (1)

Barrons writes that Jim Cramer's Mad Money Picks have underperformed the benchmarks, and investors are better off betting against Cramer.   [more]

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Interesting Play : Levitt & Sons.

August 16, 2007 – Comments (2)

I really dunno where this stock is going.   [more]

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What I think of the market this week.

August 14, 2007 – Comments (0)

 

What I think of the Market this week. 

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For those who believe in Seasonality (on when to buy a particular stock)

August 11, 2007 – Comments (0)

Check out AOL's Finance -> (Enter your stock) -> Performance - > Average Monthly Returns.   [more]

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Article: Wall Street's dissembling greed threatens us all.

August 10, 2007 – Comments (1)

Sack Henry Paulson. Liquidate Goldman Sachs. Call Alan Greenspan to account. End Moody’s rating franchise. Arrest a few dozen salesmen of Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs). Those should be the correct responses to the chaos roiling western financial markets and beginning to have a knock-on effect on an otherwise soundly placed East Asia.

The market chaos is not a random event like a tsunami. This is the direct consequence of the Ponzi schemes created by Wall Street to satisfy its own inestimable greed. It is the result of a pyramid of lies which has immeasurably enriched US Treasury Secretary Paulson (whose shares in Goldman were worth almost US$1 billion) and a whole class of similar investment bankers at the expense of millions of US home owners and tens of millions of pension plan investors around the world who were persuaded to buy Wall Street’s elegantly packaged deceptions.   [more]

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Asian Markets were in a state of panic buying yesterday

August 09, 2007 – Comments (0)

Singapore, Malaysia and Thai stocks were up between 2 ~ 4%. The day before that,
the papers were lamenting about the sub-prime melt-down in the US and how that
would affect the business in Asia. Today, everybody's bullish. While there are
alot of volatility in the market, there is still very little fear among
investors. And if this dip goes back up this week, it will reinforce the
investor's mind that the market cannot go down for prolonged periods. Firstly in
end-Feb, then in July/August (now), who really knows if the next big one is the
start of the secular bear ? What matters then is whether the stocks we buy are
weather-proof or are they fair-weather stock. That way, buy and hold makes sense
because there is a significant margin of safety in the stock.  [more]

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Quiz 18: What company am I ?

August 07, 2007 – Comments (2)

(this is an easy one. please throw a rec to continue the series. Disclosure, I have a small position in this company)   [more]

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Dividend Yields is starting to look Yummy

August 05, 2007 – Comments (2)

Financial Services Stocks like HSBC, Barclays, JP Morgan, Bank of America and even Citicorp are starting to look attractive. Yields are 4+% touching 5% (these figures are according to Morningstar; Google finance puts the yields higher)  [more]

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Added LEV to watchlist

August 05, 2007 – Comments (0)

Levitt & Sons (LEV) is a home builder which is going to be bought out by a holding company BFF. This company is cheap in the Grahamian sense, it is selling below the Net-Net current asset price, (ie. Current Asset less All liabilities). Since the inventory (ie. land) is valued at the purchase price long ago, the value of the inventory is even greater.  LEV currently has a market cap of 120m. Current Assets less  All liabilities is  121m.  [more]

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What Buffett said in May.

August 05, 2007 – Comments (0)

 Thanksto Web_brk of the BRK board on MSN. I am quoting the following post verbatim   [more]

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Arbitrage: A week of crying over spilt milk

August 02, 2007 – Comments (0)

Please bear with my ranting today...  [more]

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The Stock that Interests me the most is: Ecolab (ECL)

August 02, 2007 – Comments (0)

( I wrote a couple of weeks ago as an entry in a stock picking competition. )   [more]

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Portfolio Holdings and Comments

August 01, 2007 – Comments (0)

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