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Faisal Laljee  

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  • Homebuilders Near a Bottom: Five Stocks to Benefit [View article]
    As mentioned in my disclosure above, I do NOT own any of the homebuilders. Therefore, my viewpoint is completely unbiased. USG is also considered a real-estate stock. Do you consider Warren Buffet a fool for buying a 17% stake in this company?
    Jul 17, 2007. 06:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilders Near a Bottom: Five Stocks to Benefit [View article]
    I don't disagree with you about foreclosures. If you follow my past posts, I have been talking about the Mortgage meltdown for a while. See

    However, stocks and the companies they represent do not trade lock and step. I recommended CFC back in April and the stock is up since my recommendation. In fact, it was up as much as 25% after I wrote a bullish piece on it and currently sits 10% above the recommnded level. See

    I also recommended MDC Holdings as indicated above and the stock is still up from the levels I recommended it even though housing is down.

    -- Faisal Laljee
    Jul 17, 2007. 06:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Two Stocks Poised To Profit From A Debt Collection Boom [View article]
    I stand corrected. Asta Funding (ASFI), First City Financial (FCFC), Asset Acceptance (AACC) are all pure play debt collectors as well. I just want to add that although all of them have much lower market capitalization than PRAA, they have a much larger amount of debt. Therefore, their lower P/E's are misleading.
    Jun 22, 2007. 06:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 10 Stocks That Should Shine In The Next 12 Months [View article]
    I don't like all consumer related issues. I expect the mid-to-high end consumer to keep spending. Therefore CAKE, SKS and GRMN will do well. Additionally niche stocks will do well too - again GRMN and GME come to mind. Overall, there is still some mortgage turmoil to come and housing will probably come down some more, which will end up hurting highly leveraged prime and sub-prime borrowers. I really don't believe that oil prices and gas prices at the pump will affect consumer spending unless higher than current levels are maintained over longer periods. In other words, $4 per gallon of gas consistently over 6 months amidst stagnant wage growth and I am worried.
    May 30, 2007. 06:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hold On to Blockbuster, Despite Disappointing Earnings [View article]
    I agree with you on the downloads via PC. Absolutely right that VOD can only gain popularity with video downloads onto a set top cable box or DVR.
    May 15, 2007. 03:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Energy Stocks: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly [View article]
    Most of the stocks mentioned here have been ramping capacity, but I believe you about the potential of the stock. As long as demand remains strong, solar companies should do well. Your best bet is still WFR, but I think the run from 61 to 67 in a week means the stock is a little ahead of itself.
    Apr 26, 2007. 03:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Energy Stocks: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly [View article]
    David - Thanks for the feedback and the correction. Yes JASO is not as "hot" if the market cap is double of what Yahoo Finance states.
    Apr 26, 2007. 02:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Energy Stocks: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly [View article]
    Most of the names I mentioned here were not publicly traded companies in 2004.
    Apr 24, 2007. 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • DSW Inc.: Step Into This Growth Retailer [View article]
    Yes I am not a big fan of 1% same store sales growth, but I think management realizes this and therefore, are committing to improving sales per square foot by over 30% over 3-5 years. Also, the management team there is relatively new so I expect good things. I will submit though that this is a bit of a momentum play, so valuation is going to be on the higher side.
    Mar 30, 2007. 01:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Four Ways to Invest in Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway [View article]
    I think creating a portfolio is probably the best way to go. However, Buffett has been lightening up on some of his holdings, which means those are probably not the right ones to own. Two that I can think of right away are HRB and BUD. Instead, it is better to buy stocks in which he has recently built up his stake or is currently adding to his stake. Such stocks are COP, JNJ, USB, USG and PKX.
    Mar 15, 2007. 04:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Subprime Lending Bust: Worst Crisis Since Enron? [View article]
    Brian - I understand the general anger that individual investors face towards big business. In this case, as is always the case, there are some bad apples rotting the pie. New Century is the primary culprit. They wanted to keep making money even when the housing market started declining and rates increased. In doing so, they started offering ridiculous kinds of loans to people who could not afford it. Others like Novastar have a history of controversy.

    But more importantly, it is also the fault of the US consumer. It takes two to tango and living in So Cal, I see people buy homes that they cannot afford, I see them spending left and right and the moment they have any equity, they borrow against that too. In other words, most of the sub-prime people never own their homes. They don't even own 1% of their home because they have borrowed every cent they can. In other words, banks and investors on Wall Street own these homes.

    The key difference between this issue and Enrons and Worldcoms of this world is that in this case, the consumer who kept over extending is just as much at fault as the banks that lend them the money.

    At the same time, in So Cal, with the median housing price in the mid-500,000's - it is extremely tough for a middle-income family to make ends meet. The housing here is more expensive than most other states, yet average income is not as high. Taxes are the highest in the nation, yet education at the public school level is one of the worst in the country. Most of the mortgage companies are in So Cal. This includes Fremont General, Accredited Home Lenders, Countrywide and New Century. And there is good reason for that - they are close to the action so they know how bad people have it here. I don't know much about other states, but I strongly believe that home values in So Cal are going to keep declining over the next 2 years. Those calling for a bottom need to look at the correlation between prices here and in the rest of the country. While its more volatile here, the overall trend across the country is dictated by California, Florida and a couple of other key states.

    Sorry for the long response. As you can see, the consumer can be blamed for much of this on one hand, but I can understand their longing for the American Dream to drive them to borrow so much too.

    I will try to write another post outlining what I think law makers can do to prevent this. Perhaps lenders should not be public companies looking to satisfy investors rather than engage in fair lending practices ... I don't know the answer yet but I will be thinking about it.
    Mar 15, 2007. 04:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Subprime Lending Bust: Worst Crisis Since Enron? [View article]
    Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns have the largest exposure in terms of % of revenues. Other brokers are next with Merill Lynch, Goldman Sachs etc. Most of the banks you mentioned don't keep too much sub-prime on their books. They sell it to the brokers above. BAC and others mostly have Prime exposure.
    Mar 15, 2007. 03:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Down Market Was Predicted [View article]
    The exchanges have yet to realize their full cost savings from their recent mergers. I think $81-$82 was a great buy point. In fact, at $84 today, its again a good buy. As far as exit goes, it depends on your time horizon. I think you can hold this one for a couple of years and catch a double.
    Mar 8, 2007. 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffet's Portfolio [View article]
    No one will ever argue that following Buffet's move is the wrong way to go. Individual investors follow smart money one way or another. The whole "technician theory" is based on following smart money and I believe Buffet is smart money. BTW - this post is not an analysis. Its an observation.
    Mar 7, 2007. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • XMSR-Sirius Marriage Will Test Investor Patience [View article]
    I agree completely. In areas such as your's, they have alienated consumers. In other areas such as mine, despite a strong offering, they will lose out to the satellite radio market combination of XM and Sirius, specially when people who are waiting on the sidelines not sure which one to get, jump on the bandwagon.
    Feb 21, 2007. 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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