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Justin Kuepper  

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  • Avon's Turnaround Plan Is Definitely Worth Watching [View article]
    Thanks for these insights-

    I agree that the strategy to maintain and build rep counts is the most important make-or-break part of their turnaround and it still seems to need a lot of work. It's one thing to cut expenses to the ground, but that will only get a company so far. Revenue growth at decent margins is needed for sustainable long-term growth and profitability.
    Jun 26, 2014. 12:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Conrad Industries: Still Growing And Potentially Undervalued [View article]
    Thanks for the comment and clarification-

    I was simply quoting OTC Markets, but yes, the de-listing was certainly voluntary and justified and they have done a great job of keeping shareholders and potential investors updated. I should have made that clearer in the article and will submit an edit.

    I like the stock myself but may wait until it pulls back before taking a position- they've certainly done an outstanding job growing the company and it still appears to be undervalued by the market.
    Apr 2, 2014. 09:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Underappreciated ETFs To Complement Your Portfolio [View article]
    Thanks for the comments!

    I hadn't seen PKW before and it seems to be performing quite well lately. The only concern that I would have is that buybacks haven't been supported by as much research as spin-offs, and the current rise may have more to do with the bullish market.

    I have seen GURU and agree that it's interesting, too. My only concern with that ETF is that it's long-only from my understanding, whereas ALFA can help hedge against downside by being long-short. But, these are both "for-fun ETFs" for me as well!

    DWAS and RYJ also look interesting and I'll have to take a closer look at them next week, so thanks for the notes!
    Nov 9, 2013. 08:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Upcoming Spin-Offs Set To Outperform The Market [View article]
    Yes, existing shareholders as of a certain record date will receive shares of the spun off entities much like a dividend distribution works.
    Sep 20, 2013. 08:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Upcoming Spin-Offs Set To Outperform The Market [View article]
    I did see some of that selling, but the rationale behind it is uncertain. Either way, I wouldn't recommend buying the spin off until it has come down from the spin price. Since this is a smaller cap stock, it might be a bit riskier than the other two, but I think the spin off itself makes sense and the new management is incentivized.
    Sep 20, 2013. 08:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Upcoming Spin-Offs Set To Outperform The Market [View article]
    The business has always been competitive, but SAIC has been able to consistently attract top talent. I don't think this ability will be compromised by the split. There's a lot of additional information available in the Leidos investor presentation that makes for a good read here:
    Sep 20, 2013. 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hardinge Could Be Worth More Than $20 Per Share [View article]
    Thanks for reading and the comments-

    From my understanding, ITW and PCP may be involved in the business in a small way (not really explicitly broken down that granularly in the filings), but HDNG is more involved in businesses that compete with firms like DMG in Germany or Haas in the US. But, HDNG has been around since the 1890s and is entrenched pretty well and there are high working capital barriers to entry.

    While the company could certainly become a buyout candidate, particularly at its current valuation, the company has been more focused on making acquisitions of its own recently (e.g. Jones and Shipman assets and Usach) to enhance economies of scale. Of course, the aforementioned domestic or international players may be interested in consolidating their position in a competitive market.

    And as for 3D printing, I'm sure there is a subset of the market addressable by these technologies, but I'm not sure if those are considered high-precision yet. Hardinge's and other industry machines cut to measurements in the millionths of an inch and could already be considered a "3D printing" technology in some ways. But, accuracy and productivity are key barriers for "mainstream" 3D printers.

    Just my two cents...
    Sep 18, 2013. 04:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News [View article]
    Looking forward to the GE consumer finance spin-off.

    Just look at CSD vs. SPY and it's clear that spin-offs generate a lot of value for investors. Since January alone, CSD returned 30% versus SPY's 15%. And, it handedly beats the index is 1yr, 5yr and 10yr intervals.
    Aug 30, 2013. 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strong Dividend Growth Continues For Altria [View article]
    I think the comments that Altria is overvalued stem in part from its 5-year average in addition to its peers and the S&P 500. Given company-specific differences, some investors believe that these historical averages are more relevant than comps in some cases.

    In MO's case, its P/E is 15.5x, versus a 13.9x 5-year average, while its P/B is 19.1x, versus a 13.5x 5-year average. However, its P/FCF is below its 5-year average, which is a good sign, and its dividend yield has continued to grow (although is lower than the average in terms of yield, which has more to do with share price).

    That said, I have always been a fan on MO in general and hold shares in my long-term portfolio.
    Aug 28, 2013. 09:18 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Union Pacific: Our Best Buy For The Month [View article]
    Thanks for the article-

    I agree with the long-term growth prospects, but are you concerned about UNP's valuation at these levels? Its 17.6x P/E is higher than its own 15.1x 5-year average and industry averages (along with P/B and P/S). The stock also trades somewhat near its 52-week highs.
    Aug 23, 2013. 09:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • DGSE Companies - Micro-Cap Gold Company With Strong Growth Catalysts [View article]
    Interesting article, thank you.

    I think the largest looming problem is what you mentioned: Scrap sales are lower due to the low price of gold, but bullion sales haven't moved higher due to weak jewelry spending ( I'm also a little concerned by the majority ownership by an outside firm, which gives shareholders little say in the company.

    However, the valuation is compelling and I will keep an eye on the stock when jewelry sales begin to improve.
    Aug 22, 2013. 10:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Is Circling The Drain [View article]
    I think JCP has some positive things going for it, as Ackman explained in one of his presentations. For instance, the company owns nearly half of its real estate, has a good small-town presence, and it has purchasing scale.

    The problem with Ackman's strategy was the second item; you can't radically rebrand a chain that has its base in small-town America. It's not surprising to me that sales fell off of a cliff- some people don't like change, they like the familiar.

    All of that said, I think it'll be very difficult for JCP to transition away from competing on price or significantly change its "personality", but there are some changes that could still work and perhaps that's what many of the activists involved are trying to do now.
    Aug 22, 2013. 10:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Access National: 15%+ ROE, Solid Track Record, Unrecognized Earning Power [View article]
    Great article and analysis, thank you!

    I sold a lot of my bank holdings after the run-up and have been looking for some small-cap opportunities like these to fill the void- strong banks operating in strong markets that are undervalued at current levels with a 2-3 year investment timeframe. Will keep on the radar.
    Aug 22, 2013. 10:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: Always Read Between The Lines [View article]
    Of course, P/E multiples are based largely on projected growth.

    But, the catch is that you're paying 87x earnings for ARM when you know it'll face competition from INTC, while you're paying 12x earnings for INTC as it enters a new market for expansion.

    As a value investor, I'd rather pay the cheaper multiple now for a company that has room for expansion, as opposed to a higher multiple for a stock that could see increased competition ahead.
    Aug 20, 2013. 02:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tracking George Soros's Portfolio - Q2 2013 Update [View article]
    Well said.

    Soros is best known as a global macro investor rather than a value investor or active trader. When I look at his portfolio, I primarily look at put/call ratios and sector rotations rather than any individual stocks. I agree that trying to follow his trades verbatim is a terrible idea.

    I don't think we'll ever fully understand his methodology, given how subjective it appears to be in the Alchemy of Finance!
    Aug 20, 2013. 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment