Analyst Articles

A quick look at institutional buying in June has shown that “sell in May and go away” may not apply to you…  #-ad_banner-#At least, not if your net worth is in the 10 figures. While many funds pull away from the markets during the summer lull (as my colleague David Sterman outlined in May), a subset of billionaires has continued to build new or existing positions in stocks surrounding the red-hot energy sector — and big ones, at that. Billionaire fund managers Leon Cooperman, Barry Rosenstein and Mario Gabelli have been putting their buying power to work in… Read More

A quick look at institutional buying in June has shown that “sell in May and go away” may not apply to you…  #-ad_banner-#At least, not if your net worth is in the 10 figures. While many funds pull away from the markets during the summer lull (as my colleague David Sterman outlined in May), a subset of billionaires has continued to build new or existing positions in stocks surrounding the red-hot energy sector — and big ones, at that. Billionaire fund managers Leon Cooperman, Barry Rosenstein and Mario Gabelli have been putting their buying power to work in the past few weeks, according to 13G and 13D filings submitted to the SEC in June. The regulator requires these documents to be submitted when an investment firm has acquired greater than 5% of a stock’s outstanding shares, which is considered significant ownership in the SEC’s eyes. These gurus have histories of successful stock-picking and have now focused their buying on companies with strong ties to the commodity sector. Let’s take a closer look at the stocks they’re targeting. Nordic American Offshore (NYSE: NAO )  Last week, Cooperman of Omega Advisors said he had acquired about 4.9 million shares… Read More

While many investment professionals are enjoying slower summer days and extended vacation time, a subset of traders are now scrambling to prepare for the biggest trade of their year. #-ad_banner-#The end of June marks an important time for many proprietary and buy-side traders, as it marks the annual rebalancing of the Russell family of indexes, known as the “Russell reconstitution.” This event is intended to shuffle the constituents of each index to reach a true representation of the current marketplace, preserving the integrity of each benchmark. Stocks are added to and removed from the current Russell indices, which… Read More

While many investment professionals are enjoying slower summer days and extended vacation time, a subset of traders are now scrambling to prepare for the biggest trade of their year. #-ad_banner-#The end of June marks an important time for many proprietary and buy-side traders, as it marks the annual rebalancing of the Russell family of indexes, known as the “Russell reconstitution.” This event is intended to shuffle the constituents of each index to reach a true representation of the current marketplace, preserving the integrity of each benchmark. Stocks are added to and removed from the current Russell indices, which creates opportunities in each individual name as they are either removed from an index (typically a negative event) or added to an index (typically positive). Emotional movements, increased volume, and large imbalances in buying and selling can create opportunities for those with the capital, speed and fortitude to react to the shifts. Making hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in just minutes or days is far from unheard of — hence the buzz among trading desks during this time. One of the most widely used “Russell reconstitution” strategies is to trade a basket of stocks leading up to… Read More

After throwing money at the market for over 10 years now, I know full well that some of the best trades or investments don’t involve timely execution or well-priced entries, but rather sitting on my hands and doing nothing at all. #-ad_banner-#With all the excitement and buzz surrounding Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and its 7-for-1 stock split last week, I thought best to let the market digest a full week of trading, commentary and analysis before even discussing if the stock is still a viable investment after its “change.” (At the time of the split announcement on April 23,… Read More

After throwing money at the market for over 10 years now, I know full well that some of the best trades or investments don’t involve timely execution or well-priced entries, but rather sitting on my hands and doing nothing at all. #-ad_banner-#With all the excitement and buzz surrounding Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and its 7-for-1 stock split last week, I thought best to let the market digest a full week of trading, commentary and analysis before even discussing if the stock is still a viable investment after its “change.” (At the time of the split announcement on April 23, my colleague David Sterman considered that same point.)  Save a few quick traders who darted in and out for a profit, investors who bought in on Monday likely ended the week down. Hindsight will say that the real trade would have been to buy AAPL at the time of the split announcement.  As most of us are without crystal balls, however, it’s time to make a case for AAPL going forward.  We’ve had the opportunity to filter out some noise and digest a week or so of post-split trading, so what can we expect from here on out? Let’s take… Read More

Not many authors can lay claim to writing a book that fetches nearly $3,000 for a new copy. #-ad_banner-#Then again, not many authors have $1.3 billion in the bank either.  Seth Klarman, founder of Boston-based Baupost Group, has more than a few professional and philanthropic accomplishments to be proud of. His book, “Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor,” is a classic in the world of investing literature and has become one of the most expensive and hard-to-find books of its kind. With about $26 billion in assets under management, Klarman generated positive returns last… Read More

Not many authors can lay claim to writing a book that fetches nearly $3,000 for a new copy. #-ad_banner-#Then again, not many authors have $1.3 billion in the bank either.  Seth Klarman, founder of Boston-based Baupost Group, has more than a few professional and philanthropic accomplishments to be proud of. His book, “Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor,” is a classic in the world of investing literature and has become one of the most expensive and hard-to-find books of its kind. With about $26 billion in assets under management, Klarman generated positive returns last year that earned him $350 million. An in-depth scan of his current portfolio, outlined in his first-quarter Form 13F filing, has revealed some energy-focused high-yielders that are worth a closer look from growth and income investors alike. Alon USA Partners (NYSE: ALDW ) Alon USA Partners (NYSE: ALDW) is the king of the hill in terms of dividend yield for Klarman’s portfolio, with a current annual yield of 14.6%. The downstream oil company markets its products in self-branded convenience stores primarily in southern U.S. states like Texas and Arizona. With a market cap just north of $1 billion, Alon is a smaller player among refiners. Its Texas-based refinery… Read More

While I am not a “perma-bear” by any means, I must admit that I’ve been perplexed by this unrelenting, “to the moon” bull market, which hasn’t really cooled off since it began over five years ago. #-ad_banner-#New highs are the norm now, with the market shrugging off bad news and eating up any bit of good news. Nearly every index is outperforming, many without so much as a small pullback here and there. But notice that I said “nearly” — one index group in particular has recently cooled off, which makes me think that others could… Read More

While I am not a “perma-bear” by any means, I must admit that I’ve been perplexed by this unrelenting, “to the moon” bull market, which hasn’t really cooled off since it began over five years ago. #-ad_banner-#New highs are the norm now, with the market shrugging off bad news and eating up any bit of good news. Nearly every index is outperforming, many without so much as a small pullback here and there. But notice that I said “nearly” — one index group in particular has recently cooled off, which makes me think that others could follow suit by the end of this year. I’m talking specifically about indices made up of stocks with smaller market caps. It’s well known that small-cap stocks perform better than their larger counterparts over time, especially coming out of a recession, when growth is easier to come by. However, when the market slows down and investors turn to large-cap stocks for stability and dividends, small-caps are the first to get snubbed. Any downturn following that peak often sees small-caps getting beaten up at close to the same rate they grew in the first place. In the… Read More

From a financial perspective, 2013 was a banner year for many investors. #-ad_banner-#Increased economic confidence, recovering housing markets and super-sized returns from the major indices made the recession of 2008 all but a distant memory. The S&P 500 delivered a gain of nearly 30%, propping up retirement accounts and prompting even greater inflows into funds of all kinds: index, mutual and hedge. As is typical after the end of each year, we’re inundated with rankings and commentary to see just how these asset managers actually performed — a tough comparison when passive investments gave such outsized returns with little to… Read More

From a financial perspective, 2013 was a banner year for many investors. #-ad_banner-#Increased economic confidence, recovering housing markets and super-sized returns from the major indices made the recession of 2008 all but a distant memory. The S&P 500 delivered a gain of nearly 30%, propping up retirement accounts and prompting even greater inflows into funds of all kinds: index, mutual and hedge. As is typical after the end of each year, we’re inundated with rankings and commentary to see just how these asset managers actually performed — a tough comparison when passive investments gave such outsized returns with little to no fees. Exceptional stock-picking, properly managed risk, and a long-only bias separated the gurus from the rest of the pack — and one manager stood out handily from his peers, grabbing the top spot as the best-performing large hedge fund, according to Bloomberg. Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management delivered an astounding 84% return with his Capital Opportunity Fund. How’d he do it? By going long the health care industry, betting it would get a boost from the passing of the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately for Robbins and his investors, it did just that. His latest Form 13F shows that… Read More

The list of top-performing value investors is filled with names that have been praised in the public eye for decades — like Warren Buffett, for instance.  #-ad_banner-#Often, the investing methodology is similar among these gurus: Find solid companies with good management that are intrinsically undervalued and have long-term growth potential. One billionaire fund manager has taken this tried-and-true mantra and delivered eye-popping results for over 20 years now — while keeping a fairly low profile.  Donald Yacktman founded his fund, Austin, Texas-based Yacktman Asset Management, in 1992. Since then, he has garnered much respect from both the financial… Read More

The list of top-performing value investors is filled with names that have been praised in the public eye for decades — like Warren Buffett, for instance.  #-ad_banner-#Often, the investing methodology is similar among these gurus: Find solid companies with good management that are intrinsically undervalued and have long-term growth potential. One billionaire fund manager has taken this tried-and-true mantra and delivered eye-popping results for over 20 years now — while keeping a fairly low profile.  Donald Yacktman founded his fund, Austin, Texas-based Yacktman Asset Management, in 1992. Since then, he has garnered much respect from both the financial community and no doubt from his investors as well, who have taken his hard work and results straight to the bank. Together with his portfolio management team, which includes his son Stephen Yacktman, Donald Yacktman has set himself apart with research-driven ideas that have seen his assets under management grow at amazing rates. His most recent Form 13F shows his portfolio at nearly $24 billion mark and was at one point receiving inflows of $20 million a day.  With the recent release of his 13F for the first quarter of 2014, we can see how he is employing his fund’s… Read More

As an active investor, I am always looking for profitable ways to screen, study and implement new trades. Over time, I’ve built a toolbox of high-probability scenarios that I revisit from time to time, hoping to uncover a stock or idea that checks each box on my list. #-ad_banner-#When looking to take long positions in stocks, one of the key measures I look at revolves around something known as short interest. It’s a fairly basic metric that relates how many shares investors currently hold short positions in a stock. In general, the higher the short interest, the greater the negative… Read More

As an active investor, I am always looking for profitable ways to screen, study and implement new trades. Over time, I’ve built a toolbox of high-probability scenarios that I revisit from time to time, hoping to uncover a stock or idea that checks each box on my list. #-ad_banner-#When looking to take long positions in stocks, one of the key measures I look at revolves around something known as short interest. It’s a fairly basic metric that relates how many shares investors currently hold short positions in a stock. In general, the higher the short interest, the greater the negative outlook on the stock — but a high short interest doesn’t necessarily mean the stock is trading low. Similarly, a related metric, known as days to cover, divides the short interest by a stock’s average daily trading volume. If Stock ABC has 10 million shares short and trades an average of 2 million shares a day, it would take five days to cover that short interest. Why is this important when buying stocks? One potential result from high short interest is something called a short squeeze, which occurs when a stock runs up and forces those short shares to be… Read More

Although there’s no right or wrong way to spend your retirement, most people envision a relaxing period of spending time with family, travelling, picking up a new hobby, or even starting a new side venture. #-ad_banner-#Not too many picture themselves managing $29 billion worth of family and charitable funds… especially at the age of 83. While he hasn’t retired in the traditional sense, George Soros said in 2011 that he’d be returning funds to investors. He hung up his client asset management hat, opting to keep a distant eye over operations as chairman of Soros… Read More

Although there’s no right or wrong way to spend your retirement, most people envision a relaxing period of spending time with family, travelling, picking up a new hobby, or even starting a new side venture. #-ad_banner-#Not too many picture themselves managing $29 billion worth of family and charitable funds… especially at the age of 83. While he hasn’t retired in the traditional sense, George Soros said in 2011 that he’d be returning funds to investors. He hung up his client asset management hat, opting to keep a distant eye over operations as chairman of Soros Fund Management. But fortunately for us, his company is still required to submit Form 13F filings to the SEC, giving us a glimpse at how the legendary investor (as well as his chief investment officer and their team of analysts) interpret this changing market landscape.  Soros’ latest 13F disclosure is ripe with information, but I’ve decided to first focus on it from a retirement-friendly income perspective. That said, let’s take a look at some of the highest-yielding stocks that Soros Fund Management piled into in the first quarter of 2014. North Atlantic Drilling (NYSE: NADL )‚Äč As its name suggests,… Read More

Despite having studied hundreds of guru managers and their positions over the years, I still stumble across a trade or investment every now and then that prompts a verbal “Whoa!” out of me. #-ad_banner-#Billion-dollar positions are not out of the ordinary for successful hedge fund managers, especially those managers — like Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global — who are looking for places to stuff $24 billion in assets under management. However, when those positions are built in just a few months’ time, I sit up and take note. Halvorsen, a former commando in the Norwegian navy, is one of the… Read More

Despite having studied hundreds of guru managers and their positions over the years, I still stumble across a trade or investment every now and then that prompts a verbal “Whoa!” out of me. #-ad_banner-#Billion-dollar positions are not out of the ordinary for successful hedge fund managers, especially those managers — like Andreas Halvorsen of Viking Global — who are looking for places to stuff $24 billion in assets under management. However, when those positions are built in just a few months’ time, I sit up and take note. Halvorsen, a former commando in the Norwegian navy, is one of the most successful of the so-called Tiger Cubs, proteges of legendary investor Julian Robertson. As an example of his stock-picking prowess, his newest fund, Viking Long, gained nearly 40% in 2013. After accumulating 5.5% of the outstanding shares of biotech firm Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN), Viking Global filed a Form 13G in March that showed it owned 7.1 million shares at that time, more than quadruple its 1.7 million-share position at the end of last year.  With the release of his first-quarter Form 13F in mid-May, we can now see that Halvorsen has continued to add to his position, with 8.9 million… Read More