I thought I'd look at my top 10 positions in CAPS in terms of score and see if I could identify why these are the top ten, instead of the other 134 active picks.
Date Ticker Start Price TodayPrice GainStock GainIndex GainScore
04/06/09 CMG $69.02 $415.41 +501.87% +61.01% +440.86
Chipotle. Fantastic stock with great growth potential, great execution, great market niche, great corporate ethics, amazing margins that I'd been watching for years. Suddenly it had a non-insane P/E - because of timing; the S+P had hit a generational low less than a month prior. Wish I'd bought some then; my R/L position had to wait until May 2012.
12/07/09 AAPL $193.32 $572.03 +195.90% +19.00% +176.90
Been an AAPL shareholder, customer, and CAPS picker for decades. The only thing I've really learned about Apple stock is if you want a position, don't wait for it to drop. Would buy more at today's price if it hadn't already grown to dominate 25% of my portfolio.
10/18/06 MTEX $179.35 $6.97 -96.11% +2.16% +98.27
Mannatech, the only underperform pick among the top 10. Snake oil MLM company with a Quackwatch.com page entry, no less. The world always catches on. Glad to short it.
11/13/08 PPG $39.84 $102.84 +158.14% +60.23% +97.91
Pittsburgh Plate Glass. In addition to that commodity, they make eyeglass lenses, flip-flop (and regular) automotive paints, and have a bulk chlor-alkali commodity business levered to natgas. I learned of them via a Cramer pitch and should have bought some that day, but never did. The dividend keeps increasing, too. They have a great mix of businesses and the way they execute reminds me of 3M in its heyday.
08/26/10 LEN $13.00 $27.39 +110.66% +24.62% +86.04
When a certain CAPS "chimp" told me to get back in to housing, I didn't "monkey" around; I bought a basket of stocks, basically the underlying of the ETF called "ITB." I also bought ITB in real life. I am up 15% in real life; this particular company, Lennar, outperformed. Last I checked, the chimp wasn't sure if they'd outperform or go out of business, and I don't pretend to know anything else about this crazy, crazy sector or this individual stock.
12/05/08 PM $34.25 $84.03 +145.37% +61.61% +83.76
Philip Morris International; sells tobacco products to the world (except the U.S.) Giant cash flows, giant dividends, giant buybacks, world's best management. The only reason not to own it is their product kills people. I don't care - I know governments want to knock people off when they leave the workforce at age 66 and PM makes the products that do it - and I happen to be a man who thinks that a man's life and his choices are his own to make or break. This is the one stock I would own for the next 100 years without ever bothering to check in on it. Your mileage may vary.
06/07/11 WFM $56.59 $96.91 +71.26% +1.84% +69.42
Whole Foods. I guess they're executing, and surprised to see it. Supermarkets of high-margin chi-chi food to affluent suburbanites. I guess the affluenza epidemic isn't over yet.
11/05/10 BWLD $48.85 $86.43 +76.93% +7.88% +69.05
"Everybody already has a favorite sports bar," a friend of mine said recently. Right, and how about all those local indie bookstores - I used to have a favorite one of them, too. No reason BWLD's proven model can't grow into every city in America, Europe and Asia - they've got a winning formula, and one of the few fast-ish food stocks that you can collect an alcohol margin on. Can you even imagine trying to make money selling USA sports and spicy chicken wings to a billion Chinese people? Nah, that'd never work - Chinese people hate spicy chicken! Just ask Yao Ming! (Heh.)
05/16/11 JBSS $9.52 $15.75 +65.44% -1.18% +66.62
A producer of commodity nuts. Looked at the numbers, they looked good - looked like value - added the stock to CAPS meaning to check in on it. A year later they've gone on a tear. Maybe some one of my readers knows why?
09/09/10 SHW $70.90 $130.30 +83.77% +18.21% +65.57
Bought a house. One thing everyone agreed on: Sherwin-Williams paint was the best that could be had. 3 contractors and my wife already knew. Even Martha Stewart living suggested that if you weren't going to use Martha's Own paints, that SHW's products were best-of-breed. And the housing market was pretty depressed. So I took a flyer. Another one I regret not buying in real life.
Excluding MTEX, I note that most of these companies were straight value or straight growth picks, have a moat, were bought at depressed prices for one reason or another (I think WFM was having a CEO flap at the time) and either were debt free or in the case of PM has cash flow that absolutely swamps the debt service. They are all well managed and most of them are household names with good PR. The best of them, CMG, had impeccable timing, was a value and a growth pick at the same time, has McDonald's DNA in the back end and management.
Questions, comments appreciated.
Would YOU buy or greenthumb any of these stocks at today's price? What's in YOUR CAPS top ten?