- Scott Back is reading my blog
- I got an advance copy of Saturday's Barron's or
- We think alike.
I read this weekend's Barron's magazine and they had the final round of stock picks from their round table discussion. I do encourage everyone to read it for themselves.
Mario Gabelli went first. His approach to investing often aligns with mine, so I am always interested to see what he is thinking about. He thinks the market will rise 3 to 6% this year. So pretty moderate. His first pick is a theme we have seen a bit in MFI: JRN. This is a company that is in media, TV stations and newspapers. GCI, Belo and GTN have been peers on the screens in past year. I would certainly agree with him that JRN is an interesting play.
Diebold is his second pick. They pay a decent dividend (3.4%). They look like a turnaround play, I am not really interested. CHMT is #3. It looks interesting, but also still in turnaround mode (it lost money last year). His fourth pick is a repeat if I recall, NFG. He liked them last year as well - they always look too pricey to me, but I suppose if the price of natural gas rises, there could be upside. He then talks about POST (the cereal company). I gotta say that I do not see the allure. It sounds like he really admires the CEO. His final pick is WFT. This is probably the one I would be most likely to pick. They are really beaten down, but are in a booming industry. At $13 and change, they would be worth a long look.
Brian Rogers was next. He first profiled AMAT. This is a stock I hold in my hypothetical Motley Fool portfolio. As my readers know, I like this space in a growing economy with CapEx perhaps ramping up. But I like KLIC and KLAC more. You could do worse than AMAT. Then he picked CNX. This is a name I owned in boom time for coal, and thankfully dropped before coal ran into trouble. I did not realize that CNX is now 50% gas and 50% coal. Still a space I am wary about.
Then he went with CVC. I do not see the appeal. He then picked ETR, which is a utility. Obviously, utilities have been out of favor the past year or so as they are pretty "bond-like". ETR actually looks interesting and has a 5.4% yield. It could be a future candidate for my divvy portfolio. Then he picks NEM, as stock I lost quite a bit on in 2013 (26% in 4 months). Sometimes I am tempted by these gold ideas, obviously buying RIOM is a foray into the space. I will probably wait until I get a clear buy signal on gold though (they dropped 10% on Friday - I hate that sort of vol).
Fred Hickey then went. Interestingly, he is an expert on Technology stocks, but he was really down on technology. He said CSCO really will struggle due to emerging markets exposure. Then he felt AAPL is becoming a commodity. He was pro-gold, picking AEM and ABX. Then he also liked CCJ, which is a uranium producer in Canada. That might be an interesting play as Nuclear power comes back as the Japanese tsunami fades.
Final guru was Scott Black. He first commented on ESRX. They actually look pretty good considering their growth potential. His next pick is ACT. They look worthy of further research. Then he profiled BCEI, a energy company I had never heard of. They are growing like crazy and look interesting as well.
His 4th pick was KLAC (yeah). He likes their dividend, their conservative accounting, the space they are in (growing) and that they have $13 per share in cash, with much of that in the US. he calls them a "money machine".
His 5th pick was SNDK! Seeing the trend? He commented that the decline in the yen has really helped SNDK. The decline of the yen has increased margins by a whopping 810 basis points. At the start of the year, their capacity was totally used. He thinks they will grow 10 to 11% this year (they grew 22% in 2013). He comments on their strong cash position and how they have leading edge technology. I definitely need to check out Scott Black and see what else he likes, as it seems likely to me he using some form of MFI.