Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Benjamin Taylor  

View Benjamin Taylor's Comments BY TICKER:

Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Is Google a Great Buy Now? [View article]
    It was a much better buy at $260 back in November of 2008. But with $17 billion in cash and $5.5 billion in free cash flow (FCF), Google is nothing to sneeze at. FCF also grew by 100% from '06 to '07 and 66% from '07 to '08.

    Indeed, Google's outrageous growth is behind it but I don't have a problem seeing this stock at $400 which would give it a EV/FCF ratio of somewhere in the 16 to 18 range. In moderate times, that's a pretty reasonable price. It also represents a 28% premium over today's price.

    Disclosure: I and my clients own shares of GOOG.
    Mar 11, 2009. 10:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Investors Should Have a Healthy Distrust of Management [View article]
    I want the management of companies to be candid even if they must admit their mistakes or paint an unrosy picture. Management doesn't necessarily have to lie to fall short in the trustworthiness department. Ken Lewis for example has been questionable in his candor with shareholders for quite some time. The following is from a letter a sent to my clients in 2006 (

    "On a recent conference call Ken Lewis stated that the company was able to grow earnings by 31% over a two year period. The GAAP figures revealed something not quite in line with what Lewis’s statement. Hedge fund manager Thom Brown ( pointed out this discrepancy and recounted an email exchange he had with the company.

    'This is what we refer to around here as ‘Charlotte math. By the lights of my Bloomberg, BofA earned $3.57 per share in 2003, $3.86 in 2004, and $4.15 in the year just ended. So over the past two years, earnings have risen by 16%, half the 31% growth that Lewis alleges. In response to my inquiry, a company spokesman emailed to say that the 2003 EPS Lewis was referring to are the pro forma numbers the company filed at the time of the Fleet deal in 2004. Which is to say, Lewis’s statement is nonsense. [emphasis ours] The fact is that investors don’t have a claim on retrospective pro forma numbers, nor do those numbers help build economic value over time. What matters are actual, here-and-now GAAP numbers. Lewis knows that, of course, but he threw out those phony numbers to make his performance look better than it really is. That’s our Ken!'

    Evaluating the management of companies is essential to our investment process. We look for capable management. We look for management groups that treat their shareholders (and customers) with high regard. We need to feel like management is speaking with us candidly and honestly. We do not want management painting a rosy picture, where there really is none. We want management to “give it to us straight”. We just don’t get that feeling from the management of BofA."
    Jan 19, 2009. 08:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obamanomics and the Stock Market [View article]
    The posts main point was to say that changes in taxes to the wealthier among us will not depress the income gains from investments. It was also to show that presidential party affiliation does not have the expected affects on stock investment returns as necessarily touted in the financial media these days.

    Check out this chart courtesy of the New York Times: and this blog:
    Nov 14, 2008. 07:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
1 Like