The Dirt Cheap Value Portfolio: 'Sizing Up The Possibilities'

by: Mark Krieger

Is the "DCVP" not dirt cheap anymore? Some might argue that fact due to its recent appreciation, but at a price of $101.11, there still exists a compelling risk reward opportunity at about 2:1 because short term, the downside risk is only $10 while the potential reward stands at over $20 based on my “seat of the pants” analysis. The bottom line is, although appreciation potential has certainly diminished (it has for most stocks), the DCVP still offers "more bang for the buck" at this juncture with less risk.

The lineup:

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF): Food analyst Farha Aslam of Stephens Inc. has a buy in place and a $13 target. She likes the company due to the recent softening of commodity prices and the company’s aggressive cost cutting program. Author price target: $12.

SuperValu (NYSE:SVU): the food retailer is reporting its fiscal 2012 third quarter earnings this Wednesday and is expected to 24 cents on sales of $8.42 billion. That compares to 24 cents and $8.67 billion to the grocer’s fiscal 2011 third quarter. Expect SVU to beat by two pennies on the bottom line and 1% on the top line due to sandbagged guidance. Author price target: $11.

Krsipy Kreme (KKD): Look for the stock to attract more momentum when it presents at the ICR Xchange Conference this Wednesday, January 11 in Miami. Its shares already got a nice boost after Stephens upgraded its opinion from equal weight to overweight. Author price objective: $9.

Luby's (NYSE:LUB): The restaurant chain’s largest outside investor apparently has gotten a second wind in terms of its appetite for the shares as Bandera Partners raised its stake another 320,000 shares to 2.92 million shares, equating to a 10% ownership position. On January 20th, the company will be hosting its annual shareholder’s meeting, and it will be interesting to see what type of shareholder questions might present themselves. I asked the company’s outside investor relations firm if the "question and answer" segment would be available via transcript, but was disappointed to hear it would not be recorded. The reasoning? it would be too costly. Give me a break, how much could it possibly cost for somebody to take minutes of the meeting? It almost seems like they are trying to hide something. Author price objective: $6.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO): I view the fact that YHOO hired a new CEO as just a posturing tactic. I expect that this was done to make the impression that it was not for sale anymore. This action should spur potential bidders to adopt a sense of urgency and pony up at a higher price. The old adage is, when you are not trying to sell, that’s when the buyers flock comes to mind. Author price objective: $18 to $20.

Safeway (NYSE:SWY): The chain announced its decision to exit the Philadelphia market by selling 16 Genuardi’s Stores to Ahold, closing three, and marketing its remaining 8 for sale. This deal makes sense as it brings in a nice chunk of cash into SWY’s coffers, while eliminating its poorest performing units in the process. Author price objective: $24.

Steelcase (NYSE:SCS): The largest office furniture manufacturer reported third quarter earnings that exceeded sales expectations and met earnings estimates. Although the furniture makes gross profit margin contracted 30 basis points (due to the deconsolidation of IDEO) from 31.3% to 31%, the company reigned in its operating expenses from 26.1% to 25.2% and reduced its interest expense 15% to $4.1 million. Icing on the cake was the repurchase of 2.7 million shares during the quarter, slicing its outstanding shares total to just 131.3 million. Author price objective: $9.

Bridgford Foods (NASDAQ:BRID): The snack food maker is scheduled to release its fourth quarter earnings by Jan 13th when it files its 10k. Look for earnings to be unimpressive, but to ratchet up nicely in the following year as softness in commodity prices translates into a healthier bottom line. Author price objective: unknown at this juncture.

JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU): This one is way too hot to handle, soaring over 60% in just the past six weeks which means it is not time to chase the shares. It would be better to wait for a pull back to the low fives or high fours, before pulling the trigger. Author price objective: $6.50.

Pep Boys (NYSE:PBY): The shares are a juicy buy in the $9.50 to $10 vicinity, and have been recently pulling back. The auto parts purveyor recently picked up a new fan when the Benchmark Company initiated research coverage with a buy rating. Author price target: $13.50.

Disclosure: I am long PBY, SVU, SWY, DF, LUB, JBLU, BRID, KKD, YHOO, SCS.