Apple Earnings

This Tuesday Apple is reporting second quarter earnings. I have been debating for a while about whether to start initiating a position in Apple in wake of the significant drop in price. If the price of Apple stays at around $390, I will initiate a position in Apple before earnings for the following reasons:

  • Trading at 6+ times this years earnings if you back out the cash. Hopefully, they can at least maintain earnings over the next couple of years.
  • Limited downside. I do not ses Apple stock dropping below $300. If it drops after earnings, it will allow me to buy at a cheaper price.
  • Low expectations this quarter. Verizon and Cirrus Logic’s results gave investors a peek into what will be a bad quarter by Apple’s standards.
  • Rampant negative sentiment on Apple shares.
  • Apple should announce what they plan to do with its cash pile very soon if not at earnings announcement. A $15 dividend would give the stock a yield around 4%.  A preferred stock would give the biggest boost to the stock price. However, I do not think this will happen.
  • Investors will start focusing on what’s next for Apple after the earnings report. Historically, this is when the stock makes a run. There are plenty of concrete things to look forward to: iPhone 4s, cheaper iPhone, iPhone introduction on China’s largest mobile network, China Mobile.
  • Even talk of potential new products whether it be a tv or watch could be a catalyst to the stock price.
  • Over the next couple of years, a lot of iPhone users 2 year contracts will be expiring which should give a boost to iPhone sales.

What’s preventing me from buying a ton of shares of Apple?

  • Limited upside. I do not see the stock going above $500 in the near term. It is now a value stock as opposed to a growth stock. 
  • Half of revenue dependent on iPhone.
  • If the stock price drops even further it will allow me to buy more shares.

Commonwealth

Commowealth (CWH) board is still battling hedge funds on control of the company. I own a small amount of shares I bought during the financial crisis. There was a good article in barrons this week recapping the battle. I urge any significant holders of the stock to join the battle against the board.

Orchard Supply Hardware Stores

Orchard (OSH) crashed after it hired restructuring lawyers. It trades below $2 now. I shorted at $14, but had to cover once it went below $5. I am still short the other spinoff Sears Hometown (SHOS). However, my brokerage made me cover some shares recently. A lot of value investors are bullish on Sears Hometown, but I have yet to be convinced.

Disclosure: I own CWH 

Remember Commonwealth

Last October, I wrote an article on Commonwealth being significantly undervalued and advised investors to buy options on the shares. Apparently, Corvex felt same way about Commonwealth being undervalued and took almost a 10% stake in the company. 

I sold my options a while back at 100% profit, but if I had held them today they would be worth 16 times what I paid for. Oh Well :-). But congratulations to any shareholders that are still holding the shares!

 

Dean, Susser, CommonWealth, News Corp

Dean Foods

Dean Foods (DF) earnings are coming out tomorrow. The hope is that they disclose the potential sale of Morningstar in the report. The stock has been slowly going down. I still think it is undervalued. 

Interestingly, there is support on the stock today as a Barrons article came out with a favorable article. Their argument looks very similar to mine. Basically, it is undervalued if you factor out WhiteWave. Check out the article here.

Here is my valuation of Dean. The only difference is that I feel Dean will not use the full proceeds from the Morningstar sale to pay off debt. 

Susser Holdings

Susser Holdings Corporation (SUSS) came out with earnings that beat expectations. The market obviously likes the results and forward guidance.  The shares up more than a dollar on a down day. Read the earnings here.

I continue to hold a small position in the company with a target price around $47. I think the spin-off of Susser Petroleum Partners LP (SUSP) will accelerate the growth over the coming years. However, it is a volatile business so i am keeping limited exposure. 

My article on Susser is here.

Commonwealth REIT

Commonwealth REIT (CWH) came out earnings that beat expectations. The shares are down a little today. 

The company is very undervalued, but I do not trust management. I have been very critical about management and wrote a scathing piece on SeekingAlpha about the need to switch management. 

I have been in touch with smaller investors as well as bigger firms that hold millions of shares about possibly doing something to increase shareholder value. If you are a shareholder get in touch with me personally. 

I participated in this mornings conference call hoping to ask a question or two. However, I never got the opportunity. Anyway, I suggest investors read the call transcript as it was very funny. Lots of frustrated investors. I will post a link on the comments once it is up. 

The best way to play CommonWealth is buying long term call options. Read the article here.

News Corporation

News Corp (NWSA), one of the stock picks of HypeZero10, came out with earnings that beat expectations and is up today. News Corp is top holding of Donald Yacktman. His firm holds 80,556,339 share of the company as of September 30, 2012. He did reduce his position by 300,000 from June 30. 2012.

It is spinning-off its publishing unit and buying back shares. Here is the info about the spin-off:

On June 28, 2012, News Corporation announced that it intends to pursue the separation of its publishing and its media and entertainment businesses into two distinct publicly traded companies. The global publishing company that would be created through the proposed transaction would consist of the Company’s publishing businesses, its education division and other Australian assets. The global media and entertainment company would consist of the Company’s cable and television assets, filmed entertainment, and direct satellite broadcasting businesses. Following the separation, each company would maintain two classes of common stock: Class A Common and Class B Common Voting Shares. The separation is expected to be completed in approximately one year from the date of announcement. In addition to final approval from the Board of Directors and stockholder approval, the completion of the separation will be subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, opinions from tax counsel and favorable rulings from certain tax jurisdictions regarding the tax-free nature of the transaction to the Company and to its stockholders, further due diligence as appropriate, and the filing and effectiveness of appropriate filings with the SEC. There can be no assurances given that the separation of the Company’s businesses as described will occur.

Here are the quarterly results

Disclosure: I am long DF, SUSS, CWH. I do not own NWSA.