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To: Spekulatius who wrote (30179)2/28/2008 2:15:22 AM
From: Spekulatius
   of 72190
 
has anyone watched the ALLCO finance disaster from down under?
Allco finance was an "hard asset" manager similar to Macquarie, B&B, BAM and others. The difference appears to be that their accounting was not good. the results for stockholders are not pretty:

finance.yahoo.com

It appears to me that those "hard asset managers are running a risky business. Sure just running assets for others is not a high risk but the reality is not that straightforward. In order to keep growing they constantly purchase new "hard assets" on their own account, bundle them and then resell or IPO (and keep a stub). If this money recycling food chain breaks down, they will sit on those assets just like the banks sit on some of their leveraged buyout or CDO loans. If something goes wrong with a spinoff, these assets may go back to the owner just like SIV go back to the banks.

The whole game seems risky because those companies constantly run a lot of leverage. this business is dependent on cheap money, because they earn their money on the difference between the cash flow of the assets they hold and the interest on the debt they pay. If the cost of capital goes up they will be squeezed and that seems to be happening in Australia where interest rates are not going down because the economy is booming. Well, those hard assets are better than CDO^2 of course but i nevertheless suspect a vulnerability.

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To: Spekulatius who wrote (28633)2/28/2008 2:30:34 AM
From: Spekulatius
   of 72190
 
HTWC.OB - further improvement in credit quality. 9c earnings/share if you count the MHC shares that are not issued yet or 16c if you only count the floated shares.

A dinky bank that should probably never done an IPO but nicely profitable and trading at about 55% tangible book. C'mon!

biz.yahoo.com

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To: Spekulatius who wrote (30179)2/28/2008 9:23:11 AM
From: Paul Senior
   of 72190
 
Hotel stocks. My understanding is they are lagging indicators: business falls off notably after their locales enter recession. If so, we may not have seen the worst of their stock drops.

I have FCH on my watch list. I believe in last economic downturn, they eliminated their dividend. Lot of money made if someone (not me) bought at lows of cycle and held through reinstatement of divs and the stock's rise.

Many discussions of LHO here--I've held at least a stub position from 1999. I'm holding [t]WYN[/t] since its spin out from Cendant. I like French-based Accor, and have held shares since 2006. I also have Strategic Hotels [t]BEE[/t] for their upscale properties. (I see they are partnering in a business venture with SHO):

finance.yahoo.com

I have IHR and sold about half yesterday with the pop in its stock price.
I have a decent position in AHT: dividend chasing here. Very dangerous.

finance.yahoo.com

biz.yahoo.com

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To: Spekulatius who wrote (30179)2/28/2008 10:37:46 AM
From: Grommit
   of 72190
 
SHO also has a lower P/FFO ratio.
For 2008 FFO, SHO = 5.4 and HPT = 7.5.
I'll join you in SHO.

finance.yahoo.com

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From: Paul Senior2/28/2008 10:56:58 AM
   of 72190
 
I am getting more fills.

Upped my small Mirant [t]MIR[/t] position a little. Aggressive sounding management with cash.

Upped my few exploratory PMC Commercial Trust [t]PCC[/t] shares a bit. The dividend yield.

Upped my shares of Hutchison Whampoa [t]HUWHY[/t]. The billionaire-controlled conglomerate. I like it for its many port facilities and real estate operations.

Am back into [t]LINTA[/t] now. Controlling shareholder of DirectTV. Still holding shares in Malone's LBTYA and LCAPA.

Added a little to my losing position in Korean American bank [t]HAFC[/t]. Below stated b.v., some small insider purchases.

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To: Madharry who wrote (30176)2/28/2008 12:27:49 PM
From: Area51
   of 72190
 
Thanks for the background on SIL. I have no doubt that if they are given a fair shake they will do quite well. OTOH it wouldn't shock me if the Bolivian government gets greedy and decides to nationalize the mining industry there. Could happen in Mexico also, but much less likely IMO.

Best Regards,
A51

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To: Paul Senior who wrote (30173)2/28/2008 2:32:09 PM
From: Art Baeckel
   of 72190
 
Paul, nice bounce finally for AAPL. 130ish. Up 7.5+

Good Luck!

ART

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To: Spekulatius who wrote (30181)2/28/2008 5:32:29 PM
From: MCsweet
   of 72190
 
Spekulatius,

We may have to be in this one for the long haul, particularly given the difficulty people have understanding thrift accounting.

A divvy or buyback wouldn't hurt. Make we could give management a call.

In this environment, being in a sleepy stock is not the worst thing in the world, though.

Thanks,
MC

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To: Paul Senior who wrote (30170)2/28/2008 6:35:37 PM
From: Jurgis Bekepuris
   of 72190
 
TRT: do you know what they make and do you see any future recovery or growth? I am concerned that they spend 3 times their income on stock compensation at the time when their income and sales are already dropping. So instead of reporting better earnings, the company decides to spit onto their shareholders and instead payoff themselves. Plus a dividend??? Sorry, but I will pass.

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To: Jurgis Bekepuris who wrote (30188)2/28/2008 7:05:23 PM
From: Paul Senior
   of 72190
 
TRT. They've been profitable in 7 of past 9 years, so I assume their electronics testing service and equipment for that niche can still be a decent business.

But yes, I have noticed it doesn't seem to be such a great bet. While there's the cash cushion, the stock has traded below current p/sales and below current p/bk before -- several times. Stock imo, could easily fall another 20-30% and still not be near past lows by those measures.

I'll try to hold this one though for a while. Possibly because I've had decent results with it before. I'm in it for a few shares as I say, so my portfolio will still be okay if the stock collapses.

Others perhaps should do as you've concluded and done, and just pass.

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