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Bret Jensen

 
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  • Hard Times Will Continue At These Iconic American Retail Plays
    Sun, Aug. 10 MCD, TGT, WMT 48 Comments

    Summary

    • One of the hallmarks of the tepid post war recovery of the past five years has been the lack of wage growth at the lower end of the scale.
    • This trend has accelerated since the recession ended and is having a significant impact on areas of retailing that cater to these consumers.
    • Here are three American retailing icons that have borne the brunt of this "wealth inequality" and are likely to continue to do so.
  • Barrick Gold: Future Looking Brighter Recently
    Fri, Aug. 8 ABX 12 Comments

    Summary

    • Barrick Gold, after two years of being one of the market's biggest laggards, is starting to move up recently.
    • The shares are benefiting from a couple of key analyst upgrades and talks picking up again around the possibility of a merger with Newmont Mining.
    • The company is cutting costs and has an improving free cash flow profile. It is also cheap based on peak earnings achieved in 2010 and 2011.
  • Buying The Dip Selectivity In Energy
    Fri, Aug. 8 DVN, OAS 14 Comments

    Summary

    • The energy sector has been caught up in the recent "risk-off" mode of the market. E&P stocks have been hit particularly hard.
    • These equities have also been negatively impacted by the recent decline in the price of oil and natural gas, but the sell-off seems overdone in some cases.
    • How I am building long exposure using bull put spreads on two attractive E&P plays that are offering good long-term entry points.
  • Transocean: The Bottom Is Close
    Thu, Aug. 7 RIG 48 Comments

    Summary

    • The shares of Transocean and other offshore drilling plays have been pummeled in the last month on concerns on the sector and "risk off" behavior in the market.
    • However, this giant offshore driller delivered very solid results across the earnings spectrum this morning which could arrest its recent decline.
    • The company is controlling expenses, sentiment seems overly pessimistic, and the stock provides a huge yield. The bottom feels like it is in or close for these cheap shares.
  • BlackBerry: Now Comes The Hard Part
    Thu, Aug. 7 BBRY 135 Comments

    Summary

    • BlackBerry has survived its recent death spiral thanks to new leadership and announced recently that its restructuring effort is largely over.
    • Now comes the tough part of its turnaround plan; reigniting growth and further capital appreciation in the stock.
    • Although I consider BlackBerry a speculative play at this stage of its turnaround, I can see three possible paths to increased relevance.
  • Bank Of America: The Bottom Feels Like It Is In
    Wed, Aug. 6 BAC 58 Comments

    Summary

    • Bank of America stock has languished for most of 2014, but the shares have spent the last few months consolidating in a narrow trading range.
    • The Federal Reserve just approved the company's capital plan which includes a dividend boost.
    • The rest of 2014 and 2015 look like they will be sunnier days for the bank, and the risk/reward is favorable for capital appreciation of the stock.
  • Who Will Be Swimming Naked When The Tide Goes Out? (Part IV)
    Wed, Aug. 6 BGFV, EOX, ZIOP 12 Comments

    Summary

    • We have been looking at the market this week as equities feel like they are at an inflection point on rising geopolitical concerns and the upcoming end of "QE3".
    • The recent decline in small cap stocks has been one of highlights of the sell-off as investors move into a "risk off" mode.
    • The recent dip in the Russell 2000 has left many small caps significantly below recent highs. Several attractive small caps are highlighted below that investors should accumulate on any dip.
  • Who Will Be Swimming Naked When The Tide Goes Out? (Part III)
    Tue, Aug. 5 AAPL, CELG, DVN 13 Comments

    Summary

    • In a third of a four=part series we take a look at a market that appears to be at an inflection point as the Federal Reserve nears ending easing.
    • Today, we will look at the reasons behind the S&P 500's recent outperformance against the "risk on" small=cap space and why it could continue.
    • Finally, several reasonably priced large-cap growth plays that should continue to outperform in an increasingly volatile market are highlighted.
  • Gilead: A Much Bigger Story Than Just Sovaldi
    Tue, Aug. 5 GILD 42 Comments

    Summary

    • Most of the commentary on Gilead Sciences recently has revolved around its new blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi which has done almost $6B in sales in its first two quarters.
    • However, the company also had a deep stable of other drugs that ring up over $3B in quarterly sales as well as a promising pipeline.
    • These other factors just add to Gilead's value story and make it one of the most compelling large cap growth plays in the market right now.
  • You Have To Be Crazy To Hold El Pollo Loco
    Tue, Aug. 5 LOCO 44 Comments

    Summary

    • For retail investors buying newly public companies right after their IPOs is a losing game especially when IPO activity is as robust as it is now.
    • A lot of these IPOs after an initial surge can put a huge hole in investors' portfolios.
    • Why one has to be crazy to hold El Pollo Loco and a better way to play the IPO game are outlined below.
  • Who Will Be Swimming Naked When The Tide Goes Out? (Part II)
    Mon, Aug. 4 AEG, MCD 27 Comments

    Summary

    • The market appears near an inflection point as the Federal Reserve nears ending its easing programs and geopolitical concerns are on the rise.
    • This could have myriad actionable investment themes in the months ahead. One of these is that the European Central Bank will engage in their own version of liquidity support.
    • This should weaken the Euro and boost European stock indices. How to play this probability is outlined below.
  • 2 Contrarian Plays In Housing
    Mon, Aug. 4 UCP, BZH 16 Comments

    Summary

    • Contrarian investing takes patience, discipline and the willingness to go against the herd. However, it is a style of investing that usually pays dividends over time.
    • Homebuilders are the perfect example of contrarian investing right now as they sit near 52 week lows as the housing market has stalled once again.
    • Over time investments made in this sector at current levels should provide lucrative returns. Here are two attractive homebuilders I have added recently to my portfolio recently.
  • Who Will Be Swimming Naked When The Tide Goes Out?
    Sun, Aug. 3 SPY, QQQ, DIA 89 Comments

    Summary

    • The market is starting to deteriorate and the S&P 500 just posted its deeply weekly decline in two years.
    • Cracks in the global financial markets are already starting to appear. Small caps are breaking down as well.
    • This could accelerate as the Federal Reserve finally ends its easing sometime in October and chances it will come to the rescue again are low.
  • Picking Up Yield In The Recent Energy Sector Decline
    Sat, Aug. 2 ARP, MEMP 38 Comments

    Summary

    • The market staged its deepest decline in two years this week and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now in negative territory for 2014.
    • Some parts of the energy sector were hit particularly hard despite no corresponding deep declines in oil and natural gas prices.
    • A couple of high-yielding energy partnerships look attractive at current levels after 5% sell-offs this week.
  • Question On Micron's Pullback: Would Samsung Actually Want To Help Apple?
    Fri, Aug. 1 MU 63 Comments

    Summary

    • Micron Technology had a big drop in Thursday's trading on both the market sell-off and an announcement by Samsung that it was increasing its DRAM capacity.
    • I believe this decline was a buying opportunity in these cheap tech shares as reaction to announcement seems misplaced.
    • The question investors should ask on this latest decline is "Would Samsung really want to help archrival Apple?". I believe the answer to that question is obvious.
  • 3 Stocks To Buy If Sell-Off Continues
    Fri, Aug. 1 AAPL, ESRX, VLO 49 Comments

    Summary

    • The market had its second biggest plunge of the year on Thursday on increasing overseas concerns and worries Federal Reserve might be behind the curve.
    • I believe that decline will consist more of sector rotations and a flight to safety rather than a big sell-off in the overall market.
    • Below are several blue chip stocks I would be buying should this recent decline have additional downside.
  • Some Buy The Dip Opportunities In Technology
    Thu, Jul. 31 HIMX, LRCX 20 Comments

    Summary

    • The market is seeing its deepest sell-off in three months on concerns around Ukraine and Argentina among other worries.
    • It is days like this I am happy to have "dry powder" and I like to use these types of sell-offs to raise my weighting to attractive sectors.
    • One of these currently is the Technology sector. Here are two attractive lesser known names in the space I put some funds to work during today's downturn.
  • A Tough Market For The 'Risk On' Investor
    Thu, Jul. 31 MU, GILD, FXI 33 Comments

    Summary

    • Geopolitical concerns are increasing in the market as Argentina and Russia join a myriad of international watch items for investors.
    • Large blue chips are vastly outperforming small caps over the last six months and this trend should continue.
    • The current environment seems against the "risk on" investor and I would tilt one's portfolio accordingly. Some corresponding investment ideas are outlined below.
  • A Banner 24 Hours For Valero
    Wed, Jul. 30 VLO 17 Comments

    Summary

    • Valero has had a very tough month, declining some 15% due to a Commerce Department decision on oil exports and somewhat reduced guidance.
    • However, the Commerce Department has just put that decision on "hold", and the company just delivered a very solid earnings report and increased its dividend payout.
    • The shares look cheap here and I look for North America's largest refiner to recapture a good portion of its recent decline.
  • Gilead's Massive Undervaluation: A Pictorial Overview
    Wed, Jul. 30 GILD 106 Comments

    Summary

    • Gilead Sciences has been a standout performer thanks to its new blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
    • Despite the rally in the stock the shares are still extremely cheap compared to other large cap biotech concerns as well as against other large cap growth plays.
    • The following pictorial shows how undervalued Gilead actually is and why I think it has at least up to 60% upside from here.
  • Always Early, Rarely Wrong
    Tue, Jul. 29 FCX, UCP, VALE 44 Comments

    Summary

    • Being a successful contrarian investor is a tough path for most individuals as it takes the ability to be patient, disciplined and a willingness to go against the herd.
    • However, if done properly it can lead to outsized investment returns over the long term.
    • Below are three stocks in unloved sectors of the market I am building stakes in and expect to be significantly higher a year from now.
  • American Realty Capital Properties: 8% Yield Play Gains Traction
    Tue, Jul. 29 ARCP 52 Comments

    Summary

    • American Realty Capital Properties delivered very solid results this morning showing a huge recent merger is starting to produce synergies.
    • This real estate investment trust yields almost 8% and selling at a significant discount to its primary competitors.
    • This valuation discount should narrow over the medium term and investors will collect a very healthy yield in addition to solid capital appreciation as it does so.
  • Cisco Should Consider BlackBerry Purchase Or Tie Up
    Mon, Jul. 28 BBRY 81 Comments

    Summary

    • BlackBerry has been in the news recently. First on a better than expected earnings report and recently due to competition poised by the Apple and IBM partnership.
    • This has left BlackBerry looking to find its own technology partnership. I believe Cisco Systems should be on the top of that potential partner list.
    • The combination would make sense for a variety of reasons. Even without the tie up BlackBerry looks like an attractive, but speculative play.
  • Einhorn Continues To Greenlight Micron
    Mon, Jul. 28 MU 233 Comments

    Summary

    • The stock of Micron Technologies has more than doubled in the last year but the shares are still cheap and have significant upside.
    • The market's current consensus earnings estimates are too low and are not factoring in the continuing benefits of the consolidation of the DRAM market.
    • Micron is a core position in my portfolio for the same reasons it is at billionaire David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital. The stock is going higher for the reasons highlighted below.
  • BreitBurn Energy Partners: Buy The Dip On This 9%-Yielder
    Fri, Jul. 25 BBEP 76 Comments

    Summary

    • High-yielding BreitBurn Energy Partner is under pressure this week, on the back of a major merger announcement.
    • However, this latest acquisition will be beneficial both for BreitBurn's long-term growth prospects and also for its distribution payouts.
    • I am taking the opportunity presented by this week's decline to purchase this fast-growing energy partnership that yields over 9% at current levels.
  • Ford: The Best Bet Among American Auto Manufacturers
    Fri, Jul. 25 F 22 Comments

    Summary

    • Ford continues to show improving results and just delivered another impressive quarter.
    • The company is having a solid year in 2014 and 2015 holds even brighter promise.
    • The combination of growth, valuation and dividend yield makes Ford the play among domestic automakers right now.
  • General Electric Vs. Boeing
    Thu, Jul. 24 BA, GE 47 Comments

    Summary

    • Being able to do comparative valuation among thousands of possible stocks is a critical skill set to becoming a successful long-term investor.
    • This type of analysis takes time, discipline and non-emotional analysis but can significantly improve investment performance.
    • An example of this type of analysis is highlighted below in contrasting the short- and near-term prospects for two American manufacturing icons.
  • Gilead: Even This Raging Bull Was Too Pessimistic
    Thu, Jul. 24 GILD 131 Comments

    Summary

    • Biotech Gilead Sciences posted results that crushed estimates after the bell on Wednesday. The company also raised its forward guidance.
    • This emerging biotech juggernaut is firing on all cylinders, and is still very cheap given its growth prospects.
    • With upcoming catalysts, it is hard to see how the stock does not continue to move much higher in the months ahead.
  • What Lies Ahead For Apple
    Wed, Jul. 23 AAPL 69 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple reported earnings after the bell on Tuesday. The report was a mixed bag, and the stock is trading flat Wednesday.
    • The report did contain several positive highlights Apple shareholders should be encouraged by.
    • The three main catalysts for further capital appreciation lie in the back half of the year. Opinion remains that shares will hit $105 by year-end.
  • 2 Stocks That Are Much Cheaper Than They Appear
    Tue, Jul. 22 GILD, MU 61 Comments

    Summary

    • Technology gives investors more tools and applications than ever to filter the market for possible investment ideas.
    • Unfortunately, these "filters" can miss equities that are expensive by last year's earnings but cheap by the profits the company will deliver in the current year.
    • Profiled below are two fast-growing companies that are much cheaper than they appear and have significant upside.
  • Betting On Texas
    Mon, Jul. 21 CPE, VLO, WFM 139 Comments

    Summary

    • Texas is seeing strong employment growth and economic activity and is consistently voted one of the best states for business.
    • Texas based companies and those with substantial business in the Lone Star state are benefiting from the state's enlightened pro-growth policies.
    • A few of these are profiled below. All look attractive at these levels and should continue to ride the tailwinds from the state's growth and its regulatory environment.
  • Barron's Provides Expose On Halliburton
    Mon, Jul. 21 HAL 12 Comments

    Summary

    • Widely followed Barron's provided an extensive article on Halliburton this weekend, which was timely given the company reported earnings this morning.
    • The piece provided a detailed breakdown on how the company's business is improving and is likely to continue to do so.
    • Even though the stock has more than doubled since I bought and profiled the company here on Seeking Alpha in November 2012, the long-term growth story remains intact.