Marc Courtenay

Research analyst, dividend growth investing, portfolio strategy, special situations
Marc Courtenay
Research analyst, dividend growth investing, portfolio strategy, special situations
Contributor since: 2008
Company: Advanced Investor Technologies LLC
"From October 2007 to October 2008, the Shanghai Composite Index absolutely crashed. In the end, more than two-thirds of all wealth in the market was completely wiped out." It's been almost 8 years. The Chinese stock market is the "canary in the coalmine". I'd recommend the book "The Crash of 2016" by Thom Hartmann. The current bubbles probably have another year to keep expanding. The scripted dramas in Greece and China will likely be the perfect excuses for our Fed to continue its ZIRP monetary approach for the rest of 2015. Then in the last year of a 2-term president and/or the first year of a new president those who control monetary policies will let this "House of Cards" come tumbling down. Yes, it does feel like 2007 all over again which set the stage for the crash of 2008-2009. The next one will make the last one look smaller by comparison. Hope I'm wrong.
I second the kudos for a logical, easy to read article that makes good sense. The time to buy the miners is when few want them, and that's about where we are. A sensible way to also reduce risk would be to buy the ETF SIL. CDE is one of its top ten holdings. Thanks again Jason for a timely article.
Good article, strong suggestions, very good comments. Kudos to all
Budavar and All:
First, I appreciate the debate and the comments. Yes, I'd much rather be an optimist about a company that's created perhaps the most customer-centric culture in the world. My recent experience in the Apple store was above and beyond courteous, helpful and pleasing. It was so excellent I was compelled to write a thank you to the store's manager. The customer's experience is difficult to evaluate in dollars and cents, but it's worth a fortune. I stand by my thesis for Apple stock, not because I'm bound to be correct, but because it is sensible, realistic and grounded in personal experience. Who would have dreamed 12 years ago that would trade at its price today. Oh yes Budavar, I reinvest my Apple dividends and have experienced the "miracle" of compounding growth. Let's keep our eyes and ear open for more facts about the growth plan for the world's most valuable publicly-traded company.
Good article and good insight on a good stock to buy on a pullback. Nice work!
Although I own CAG as well, I agree that GIS and PEP are stronger companies with better brand recognition as well as deeper pockets. I'll be buying KRFT and GIS if we get a deeper dip in the share price. I already own some PEP.
You're most welcome. Liked the "...bring home a little more bacon" humor too.
Thank you Tom for your article which reminded us of one of the best times to buy a refiner like CVRR. You had several other helpful points and observations. Wishing you the best results and that you keep on contributing. Regards, Marc
Good points, sound reasoning and my feelings as well. Kudos Leigh, and let's hope Ms. Mayer doesn't miss the opportunity by "blinking". My Best, Marc
Dolph, Mike and George,
Your points are well taken. But remember, we're not just talking about some end-of-the-world scenarios in order to look for buying opportunities or when to take some off the table because a stock like JNJ has gone up too far too fast. We can come up with all kinds of rationalizations why an investor should buy and hold certain companies forever. Companies like JNJ, KO, and PG aren't likely to "fail" but that doesn't mean they can't "fall". Whatever works for you and helps you sleep better at night is great by me. In the final analysis you're going to do fine, as long as you always have some cash on the sidelines to buy great companies when they inevitably go "on sale". This way you are "prepared" no matter what the short-term market action brings. Best to You All, Marc
Also, concerning the markets, today is the 4th Anniversary of the infamous "Flash Crash". Rather than give my opinion, I"ll share what Jim Cramer wrote earlier today for The Street's "REAL MONEY" column. It reminds us that its not just a stock's fundamentals that make even great companies like JNJ and APPL vulnerable to the power of the market mavens and their unregulated control mechanisms.
"Now it's pretty clear that we never found out what really happened that day. The forces at work quickly coalesced to say they weren't at fault, and no one is going to come forward and take claim for such capital destruction. But the flash crash demonstrated that equities can fall apart in the blink of an eye and therefore don't deserve your trust. The exchanges put through some safeguards that were meant to bar a repeat of the insanity, and they seem to have worked. But the horse had left the barn, and confidence in stocks as an asset class never really returned.
"It's funny, if I hadn't been so distrustful of the machines, I couldn't have been helpful that day. If I hadn't been so scornful and cynical and indignant, I would have been useless. What a shame.
"In the end, the flash crash was about the lack of regulation and the lack of honesty in the system. Sorrowfully, if it happened again, I know I would do the exact same thing. This market is, alas, guilty until proven innocent and will remain that way until the government favors leveling the playing field in favor of the little investor who was eviscerated over a 30-minute period of ludicrous insanity."
You all (those who commented above) have exceeded my expectations. You did what George said so well, "The thought occurred to me in church this morning (not proud of that) that there is likely more to be learned in the commentary section here than in any "paid" site one could visit." BRAD, MIKE, SOMEDATA1, GEORGE AND OTHERS built a treasure trove of good ideas, keen insights and complementary perspectives, in a collegial, respectful and mature approaches. I'm in awe and sincerely appreciative. May we all be willing to consider time-tested, personal investing wisdom that we've learned from the Buffetts and the Neffs of the world. My gratitude and best to you all! BTW: If JNJ does fall to $93 or $92 that won't be the first time a great company went "on sale" and offered a better valuation and yield-to-price.
First, your article is a good example of a valuable article still being brief and to the point. My only additional point is investors might want to consider their position sizing disciplines. If they're not comfortable having too many of their investing money in one company they might want to take some off the table after AAPL shares split 7 for 1. Everyone's risk tolerance is different, so each should determine how much exposure they want to one company. If I could only own 4 stocks, AAPL would be one of the for sure. The others I reference in the following article
I took the S&P 500 low of 666 times 284%. But 300% is an overstatement which I'll attempt to correct. Appreciate you pointing this out and time will tell when it comes to what the market will do and how it will impact JNJ. Glad to be able to make so many readers stop, consider and reexamine their own investing goals and prowess.
I stand (or sit) corrected on the percentage, and will attempt to correct it in the article. Thanks for pointing that out.
Well stated George. How about telling us what company you bought "at a good valuation". We won't take it as a recommendation, just a company we can do our own due diligence on to decide if it's right for us. No company, not even JNJ, is invulnerable to some nasty, unfortunate changes in both sentiment, fundamentals and a the more powerful market forces. I remember when Apple was trading for $700 with a lower PE then JNJ, tons of cash, and as quickly as you can say "Steve Jobs" the media and some powerful hedge funds began to short the heck out of it till it dipped below $390, a price that some well-respected pundits said we'd never see again. The rest is history, and if you anticipate these market actions and anomalies with enough cash available you can join the likes of Carl Icahn and buy the great companies when the market mavens put them on the "discounted, for sale" rack. So if you can fess up and let us know what "great company" you bought yesterday. Bet it wasn't JNJ. Most of all George, you're willingness to give your opinions and comments makes you a winner in my book. Best, Marc
Good question, George. A low tide sinks all boats, or words to that effect. See my other comment above as to why I wrote the article. JNJ is a great company and a terrific investment, but at any price? Why are those who say they're not "traders" unwilling to take some profits off the table and anticipate that JNJ will rise and fall with the markets? Why not be a rational investor who can look at the charts I used to see with perfect hindsight that even the icons of dividend divinity like JNJ go on sale from time to time? Do know I'm grateful for your comment and the others as well. Best, Marc
The purpose of this article isn't to try to time the markets, but to make us think, to stir us to awareness and away from fatal complacency. We get lulled into believing that great dividend paying companies like JNJ will, like the major market indices, go up year after year to dizzying heights without a healthy correction from time to time.
We all, to one extent or another, must "hedge" our positions and our investment strategies. These kinds of comments are exactly the kind of dialogue and conversations we need to have to consider all the potential outcomes. Many thanks to each of you for contributing your feedback so that numerous perspectives are added to this article.
If my article turns out to be a "timely warning" and I can save some of your investment gains and encourage you to raise some cash for the good buying opportunities ahead (REMEMBER: those buying opportunities will feel like emotional hell and we're going to need to conquer our fear and emotions to buy lower) I'll be especially encouraged. Best Results, Marc
This stock was recommended to me by an analyst. After I read your article I decided not to buy and watch it carefully. It demonstrates how useful article's like yours can be. Kudos!
Very helpful points Joel, and I appreciate that you shared your plans to sell puts on CLF. Now, when the markets are correcting, is an propitious time to sell puts as your circumstances and understanding allows. I'll be doing the same. Best Results, Marc
I appreciate your willingness to let us know how you're playing SLW by selling puts. It's a good way to be paid while the company ramps up production. Will the company keep the dividend this low for the rest of 2014? Kudos and regards.
Good article and good research. Take a look at this article. Kellogg's is winning awards for its corporate ethics and environmental commitments, plus its ROE and net income are better than both the industry average and the S&P 500 average company. The article above should be appreciated through that lens as well.
Your analysis is spot on. Don't know why anyone would want XOM when they're money is treated better at COP, CVX and with better upside potential. Thanks for sharing your research.
To add to the "surprising upside potential group", have you seen the forward (1-year) PE ratio of HPQ, a company that just received a nice upgrade from Barclays analyst. H-P is poined to gain market shares as its rival IBM exist the low-end server market. HPQ pays a 1.9% current dividend too.
You are welcome. As the comments indicate, this is a controversial topic, especially concerning Intel. Mattel knows how to compete and to reinvent itself if necessary. The generous dividend policy and the effective absorption of the Mega Brand acquisition will offer upside stock price potential. BTW: Both INTC and MAT are potential targets of activist investors. It happened to AAPL, EBAY, PEP and MDLZ, and there is no reason to my knowledge it might not happen to INTC and MAT. Keep the good comments and your observations coming. They made my articles more thought-provoking and of greater value to more investors.
You are welcome. As the comments indicate, this is a controversial topic, especially concerning Intel. Mattel knows how to compete and to reinvent itself if necessary. The generous dividend policy and the effective absorption of the Mega Brand acquisition will offer upside stock price potential. BTW: Both INTC and MAT are potential targets of activist investors. It happened to AAPL, EBAY, PEP and MDLZ, and there is no reason to my knowledge it might not happen to INTC and MAT. Keep the good comments and your observations coming. They made my articles more thought-provoking and of greater value to more investors.
That's why the company is using its new leadership initiatives to address all the points you made. See my comments above on the rest of my thesis for how Intel will surprise shareholders who echo your perspective. Appreciate your comment and the others offered.
Analysts have reduced their earnings and revenue projections for Intel based on company guidance. The consensus for the current quarter is for a slight drop in EPS and about a 2% increase in revenue. With the company planning on selling 4X last year's tablet processors, by the end of 2nd quarter 2014 it wouldn't surprise me to see EPS (year-over-year) gains of more than 10% and an unexpected increase in revenue beyond 2% (current analyst's average estimate). If the scenario plays out like I anticipate, the multifaceted sales growth and positive earnings surprises will help boost the dividend payout possibility and thus the share price.
MPC has made a great move upward since I wrote this article. VLO is another comparable refiner, but since its monstrous 59% upside move from Oct. 2013 through the beginning of 2014 it has been in a narrow trading range between $47.58 and $53.64. If it breaks above the resistance than a rational upside target (or next level of major resistance) would be about $58. MPC has all the fundamentals (including the potential of a spinoff of its fuel stations) to move to $103 or perhaps somewhat higher. Thanks for your comments and let's keep communicating as we all strive for better results and limited losses.
I believe I know where you're coming from IceDragon. The Bear's day will come, it always does. You gave us a tough dose of reality, but the important thing to me is that you commented and told us your perspective. As you stated, "Oh well, try to warn a massive feverish herd of bulls that they're running straight off a cliff and you just get mowed down in the mad rush. Go ahead, buy on the dips....this is how you get rich... when the Bull's running..and it's also how investors follow the Bear right into the ground." An ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure! Keep the comments coming, and appreciate your candor.
Good observation Omar Bradley. I've always been inclined to remember three investing cliches, "The Trend is Your Friend", "Don't Fight the Fed" and "Go with the flow". When I see the Big Investors (a.k.a. The Smart Money) focusing on certain stocks and sectors those 3 historical reminders motivate me to be alert and proactive. It's better to "rest" or do nothing than to impulsively follow the herd or to buy something that doesn't make sense or is overvalued. Your perspective adds balance and dimension to the article and I hope you'll pass this article forward to others you know who might benefit from it and your comments.
Just when I thought I've heard of every stock...Jean makes me aware of a goodie. Markel is in the business of marketing and underwriting specialty insurance products in the United States and internationally. Unlike BRKb it is not as diversified and by inference has somewhat more risk since it is an insurance company. Very interesting selection with average daily volume of 42,000 shares. It would make sense for all of us to check this one out as one to buy on pullbacks. The market awards it a forward PE ratio of almost 21, so there are revenue drivers in this company. Glad you pointed it out to us.