Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • 10:20 AM
    • Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) looks like a more attractive stock to own than Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) with EPS moving in the right direction and shares paying out a healthy 3.3% dividend yield, according to Barron's Jack Hough.
    • The divergence of the two toy stocks is based largely on bets on brands.
    • Hasbro has been able to move nimbly across "storytelling" cartoon or movie- related toy concepts and license key brands from Disney - while Mattel's growth and margins have been dragged down by Barbie.
    • FY14 revenue growth estimates: Hasbro +6.7% to $4.4B, Mattel -1% to $6.4B.
    • Hough calls for a 20% gain in Hasbro, while advising investors to wait on Mattel.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:58 AM
    • Joel Greenblatt made investors fortunes at his hedge fund 30 years ago by holding a highly concentrated basket - six to eight names - of deep-value stocks, but his approach today is somewhat different: Buy more than 300 high-quality stocks trading at cheap prices and short more than 300 expensive, lower-quality names. Stocks are weighted in the portfolio depending on where they rank along that spectrum.
    • Greenblatt: "[My partner] and I would wake up some days and lose 15% or 20% of our net worth ... now it's more like 15 or 20 basis points."
    • The strategy is also available in a trio of mutual funds Greenblatt's Gotham Asset Management offers, and they now account for more than half of Gotham's $7B in AUM.
    • A top position last year remaining a large holding after a big run higher is Apple, thanks to "huge returns on capital" and 11% earnings yield. As for Apple's future, Greenblatt will leave that for others to debate: "I don't own just Apple. I own a bucket of companies like Apple, and over time, I know my bucket is going to work."
    • Top 5 long holdings now: ENR, SAFM, BG, AXE, CAT.
    • Top 5 short holdings now: SUSS, THC, BOBE, KMT, TMO.
    | 1 Comment
  • Friday, August 22, 2014

  • 8:02 PM
    | Comment!
  • 7:03 PM
    • Ahead of Qihoo's (NYSE:QIHU) Q2 report (due Monday morning), CNZZ estimates Qihoo now has 30.2% of the Chinese search market in terms of page views. That's up sharply from the 16.3% it had a year ago, and suggests Qihoo may have already reached its 30% year-end target.
    • Baidu's (NASDAQ:BIDU) share is pegged at 54.5%, down from 67.7% a year ago. Sohu's (NASDAQ:SOHU) Sogou unit is assigned a 12.8% share, up from 9.7% a year ago.
    • Two caveats: 1) iResearch has provided higher search share figures for Baidu, and lower ones for Qihoo, than CNZZ. The firm has argued CNZZ's figures paint an incomplete picture due to a heavy reliance on small/medium-sized sites for data. 2) Qihoo's mobile search position is weaker than its PC search position. Baidu, meanwhile, just topped 500M monthly mobile search users.
    | 4 Comments
  • 6:33 PM
    • Down initially in response to its soft FQ3 guidance, Marvell (MRVL +1.7%) finished the day moderately higher. Brean and RBC lowered their targets, but both maintain bullish ratings.
    • On the FQ2 CC (transcript), CEO Sehat Sutardja mentioned both FQ2 and FQ3 sales have been hurt by soft 3G baseband chip demand from a major Asian client (widely believed to be Samsung). At the same time, he noted both Marvell's storage (hard drive/SSD controller) and networking chip sales rose 6% Q/Q.
    • Flat to "modest" Q/Q growth is expected for both storage and networking in FQ3. Sutardja states Marvell maintains a 60%+ hard drive controller share, and remains the top supplier of SSD controllers (no specific number is given).
    • FBR's Chris Rolland thinks some investors will view the 3G weakness as "neutral to positive," given the business carries "significantly below average" margins and profitability. "At some point, we believe investors will look past the 'distraction' that is mobile and recognize the solid storage and networking business underneath, but timing remains uncertain."
    • UBS' Stephen Chin is more cautious: He thinks getting Marvell's baseband ops (heavily dependent on China) to reach breakeven will "remain challenging," given demand is shifting towards 4G phones faster than Marvell can ramp 4G baseband volumes, and that Qualcomm and MediaTek provide tough competition. Broadcom can sympathize.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:00 PM
     
    • S&P -0.08%.
    • 10-yr -0.08%.
    • Euro -0.3% vs. dollar.
    • Crude -0.63% to $93.37.
    • Gold +0.49% to $1,281.70.
    | Comment!
  • 5:59 PM
    • In addition to hiking its dividend, Towers Watson (NYSE:TW) has launched a $300M buyback, good for repurchasing nearly 4% of shares at current levels.
    • TW had $850M in cash to finance buybacks with at the end of June.
    • Shares +1% AH.
    | Comment!
  • 5:36 PM
    | 2 Comments
  • 5:28 PM
    • To settle the FHFA's suit against the firm, Goldman (NYSE:GS) has agreed to pay $3.15B to buy back residential MBS purchased by Fannie and Freddie from 2005-2007. The costs of doing so are "substantially covered" by Goldman's reserves as of the end of Q2.
    • The WSJ reported in July Goldman could pay $800M-$1.25B to settle. The FHFA has now reached deals with 15 of the 18 banks its sued in 2011.
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:16 PM
    • John Thaler's JAT Capital has raised its stake in Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) to 4.28M shares (6.7%). In its 13D, JAT says it "may seek to engage" MSG's board to "provide recommendations on ways to achieve long-term value."
    • MSG +1.9% AH to a new 52-week high. Shares have been buoyed by Steve Ballmer's $2B purchase of the Clippers, and its potential implications for the value of the Knicks.
    | Comment!
  • 5:11 PM
    • Towers Watson & Co. (NYSE:TW) declares $0.15/share quarterly dividend, 7.1% increase from prior dividend of $0.14.
    • Forward yield 0.55%
    • Payable Oct. 15; for shareholders of record Sept. 30; ex-div Sept. 26.
    | Comment!
  • 5:00 PM
     
    • S&P -0.08%.
    • 10-yr -0.08%.
    • Euro -0.3% vs. dollar.
    • Crude -0.63% to $93.37.
    • Gold +0.49% to $1,281.70.
    | Comment!
  • 4:56 PM
    • Veeva (VEEV +7.9%) closed up sharply after partner Salesforce beat FQ2 estimates on the back of better-than-expected billings growth.
    • Veeva's own FQ2 report arrives on Aug. 28. In March, the company extended its Salesforce alliance, under which Veeva is Salesforce's preferred pharma/biotech industry partner, through 2025.
    | Comment!
  • 4:47 PM
    • Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) declares $0.23/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.75%
    • Payable Nov. 5; for shareholders of record Oct. 22; ex-div Oct. 20.
    | Comment!
  • 4:46 PM
    • ONEOK (NYSE:OKS) has filed to sell up to $650M in limited partner interest through future offerings.
    • ONEOK had $278M in cash at the end of Q2, and no borrowings under a $1.7B revolving credit facility. The company recently committed to investing $605M-$785M on a North Dakota natural gas processing facility.
    | Comment!
  • 4:34 PM
    • ParkerVision (PRKR +18%) has added Samsung to the infringement suit it filed against Qualcomm and HTC in May. The company has also added 4 more patents (they relate to down-converting an electromagnetic signal) to the suit, raising the total to 11.
    • ParkerVision, still stinging from the June ruling it received for its prior Qualcomm suit, closed yesterday near its 52-week low of $1.08. Shares slipped last week following ParkerVision's Q2 report.
    | 2 Comments
  • 4:22 PM
    • IF Bancorp (NASDAQ:IROQ): FQ4 EPS of $0.25.
    • Revenue of $15.8M (+9.0% Y/Y).
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:20 PM
    • AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund (NYSE:AWF): FQ1 NII of $0.25
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:17 PM
    | 2 Comments
  • 4:15 PM
    | Comment!
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