Micron Technology Reports An Outstanding Quarter And Provides Significantly Better Than Expected Guidance

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Long/Short Equity, Growth At A Reasonable Price

Contributor Since 2009

J. Stephen Castellano founded the equity research and financial modeling consulting firm Ascendere Associates in 2009, building upon a diversified 20-year career in sell side and buy side equity research. His roles included coverage of the steel industry at PaineWebber and telecom services at Warburg Dillon Read (the predecessors to UBS), where he worked closely with institutional sales people, traders and investment bankers. In addition, he provided analytical support for numerous independent valuation, consulting and investment banking studies, including for mergers, secondary offerings and IPOs. At Ascendere Associates, in addition to developing equity research for family offices and other clients, he has consulted for a wide range of startups, established businesses, and global consulting firms. Mr. Castellano holds a B.A. in English from Oberlin College, an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College, and has passed the first two levels of the CFA exam.

This is an update to our model portfolio report, 35 Stocks for December 2017 

New Actions Required

  • Long Model: Close position in Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) (price target).

Sell Side Upgrades and Downgrades Today

Also of Note

Return Data

For the MTD December, the Core Long Model is up +1.84% on a simple cumulative return basis (sum of daily returns). This compares to the S&P 500 up +1.28%, the Nasdaq up +1.32%, and the Russell 2000 down -0.44%.

The Core Long/Short Model is down -5.29%. The Opportunistic Long/Short Model, which assumed a 100% cash position in the short sale basket just prior to the close on December 8, is  down -3.88% MTD.

Presaging Major Sell Side Actions in December 2017

  • MTD nine stocks in the long model have received 12 positive price target revisions, and six stocks have received six ratings upgrades from sell side firms, led by Arista Networks (ANET) with four price target revisions.
  • MTD one stock in the short sale model has received a negative price target revision, and three stocks have received five ratings downgrades led by Flowserve (FLS) and Cree (CREE).

Latest Model Portfolio Stock Returns and Price Targets

Stock Selection Criteria

Our criteria for selecting stocks in these model portfolio strategies, which heavily weight proxies for cash flow growth and ROIC, include the following:

  • Relative Value
  • Operating Momentum
  • Consensus Estimate Revision Momentum
  • Fundamental Quality

We rebalance our model portfolios every month and have been tracking long-only and long/short unaudited theoretical daily returns since March 31, 2009. This theoretical return data does not make any assumption for costs such as execution fees, margin, slippage, or any other type of cost.

This return data, including more than two years of rolling 12-month return data for each model portfolio report that we have collected so far, is available on request.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: As a simple quantitative model based on fundamental rankings, the portfolio models do not take into account rumors or pending M&A transactions. Theoretical return data do not assume the impact of costs such as execution fees, margin fees, slippage, the availability of stocks for short selling, or any other kind of cost. There are limitations inherent in our theoretical model results, particularly with the fact that such results do not represent actual trading and they may not reflect the impact material economic and market factors might have had on our decision making if we were actually managing client money. We do our best to provide accurate information in this report, but do not guarantee its accuracy. DISCLOSURES Ascendere Associates LLC ("Ascendere") is in the business of providing equity research and related consulting services to retail investors, investment advisors, and hedge funds. The equity research it provides includes basic quantitative model portfolios and more detailed fundamental research with respect to individual stocks. Ascendere does not rate stocks on any scale, but does offer individual stock commentary and valuation opinions. With regard to Ascendere’s portfolio strategies, “long” or “high-quality” baskets should generally be considered buys, unless otherwise noted. Stocks in our “short” or “low-quality” baskets should generally be considered sells, unless otherwise noted. While exceptions may occasionally occur, typically stocks in the high-quality basket are expected to outperform the S&P 500 over a month’s time and stocks in the low-quality basket are expected to underperform. A more relevant benchmark would comprise of all stocks and ADRs that trade on major U.S. stock exchanges with a market cap above $2 billion. Ascendere adheres to professional standards and abides by codes of ethics that put the interests of clients ahead of its own. The following are specific disclosures made by Ascendere: 1) Ascendere may have a financial interest in the companies referred to in this report (“the Companies”). The research analyst covering the Companies and members of the analyst’s immediate family may have a financial interest in one or more of the Companies. 2) Ascendere generates revenue from research subscription revenue. At any given time it may be long or short any of the Companies. 3) Ascendere does not make a market in the securities of any of the Companies. 4) Ascendere has not received compensation from the Companies. 5) Ascendere has not managed or co-managed a public offering for any of the Companies. 6) Neither Ascendere nor any of its officers or any family member of the covering analyst serve as an officer, director or advisory board member of any of the Companies. 7) Neither Ascendere nor any of its officers or any family member of the covering analyst beneficially own 1% or more of any class of securities of any of the Companies. DISCLAIMERS This report is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation, or an offer, to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments. The report is not intended to be in furtherance of the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any individual recipient. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s own goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. The information contained herein accurately reflects the opinion of Ascendere at the time the report was released. The opinions of Ascendere are subject to change at any time without notice and without obligation or notification. The officers, affiliates or family members of Ascendere Associates may hold positions in the securities of the Companies. No warranty is made as to the accuracy of the information contained herein. The views and opinions expressed in the market commentary reflect the opinions of the author and may be based upon information obtained from third-party sources believed to be reliable but not guaranteed. These opinions are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions. Ascendere disclaims any responsibility to update such views. This information is intended for the sole use of clients of Ascendere. Any other use, distribution or reproduction is strictly prohibited. Investing in stocks includes a high degree of risk, including the risk of total loss. Ascendere's research is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute a current or past recommendation, investment advice of any kind, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or investment services. All information, opinions and estimates are current as of original distribution by author and are subject to change at any time without notice. Any companies, securities and/or markets referenced are solely for illustrative purposes. Past performance is not indicative of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. Any dissemination or copying of this commentary is strictly prohibited.

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