Archive for February, 2010

Financial Ramblings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.27.2010 (6:46 pm)

I’m a bit sad to see the end of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics now hours away, I know that is what makes them special, but it just made for 2 incredible weeks filled with good moments, emotions, incredibly inspiring stories and more.

Without further wait, here are the best posts I had a chance of reading this week:

Warren Buffet letter to Berkshire Investors @ ZeroHedge
This is what it’s really like to work for Steve Cohen @ Clusterstock
Iphone Money managements apps @ GreenPandaTreeHouse
Investing without a plan @ TheFinancialBlogger
The 2010 Dividend stock Ideas list @ DividendsValue
5 ways to reduce financial clutter @ MillionDollarJourney
What I like so much about making money online @ GatherLittlebyLittle
S&P500 levels and analysis @ Alphatrends
S&P500 analysis @ MyTradersJournal
China’s new global M&A @ Forbes

Stock reviews: Internet content companies

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.26.2010 (5:00 am)

I often see all internet companies classified together and honestly it’s just not right to group them all together. One of the categories that is easier to understand is the web content companies. These are companies that are basically media companies, they do not sell products or services, they generally do two simple things:

-Produce content
-Sell advertising

Of course, some companies are larger and have other activities but I would say that in general, their main revenue generator is advertising. Among the companies that I track, here are the main companies I would describe as “content companies”:

IAC Interactive(IACI)
The Knot(KNOT)

What are these content companies?

Basically, these companies profits depend on:

-Revenues which are driven by:

-Advertising rates

-Expenses which are driven by:

-Cost of producing content
-Advertising expenses

Apart from Yahoo and AOL, I would consider these companies/websites to be very targetted and thus capable of getting high advertising rates. But that being said, traffic remains the core, especially when it is “organic growth”. Buying traffic is easy but not very financially viable long term. So the key is getting increased traffic with quality content. You can see graphs of Yahoo traffic (amazing how much steam it has lost in recent months) as well as a graph for WebMd and TheKnot (look at variations only, obviously many more users looking for medical advice than planning for a wedding). It is more difficult to do for companies like AOL and IAC Interactive which have dozens of different properties. Just take a look at IACI websites to get a feeling.

I have said it before and will say it again, I think it is increasingly difficult to be competitive when building websites in so many fields. You have dedicated teams working on one specific niche or subject and it becomes very difficult for “web conglomerates” such as Yahoo, AOL and IACI to compete. So yes, I have been doing and will probably continue to look for trades that will put me long a specialty website and short a web conglomerate.

Just out of curiosity, I did some comparisons between the two groups for a few different financial items (since AOL was only recently spun off, it id not included for lack of data):

Sales growth:

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg GrowthSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
GOOGGoogle Inc595.08N/A18.1N/A19.234.46N/AN/AN/A23.8417.098.1913
NILEBlue Nile Inc27.431.0821.23-43.2412.493.672.180.9535.8910.85109.90.65N/A

That being said, buying Knot(KNOT) at the current P/E ratio seems unreasonable (which explains why I am currently short) but I think by waiting for more “ideal” valuations, there are many trading opportunities. I do hope to add more of these companies to my trading radar in the future which will give even more possibilities.

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaEarningsRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
TZOOTravelzoo Inc17.5215.8417.42-18.294.673.672.640.7210/17/201410.369.6911.7717.82
TRIPTripAdvisor Inc99.8869.1736.6422.323.813.547.191.3310/23/20146.6129.3531.39N/A

The main risk that I see is always that since these specialised websites are more of a “One trick pony“, if a major competitor jumps in, they are obviously more vulnerable.

Do you agree that in general, these web conglomerates will underperform other specialised websites?

Top 100 Commodity, Materials and Energy ETF’s

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.25.2010 (5:00 am)

I have written a few series about ETF’s but this time I went for another side of the story! I have been public about my good feelings for ETF’s and why they will eventually take over mutual funds but one of the most amazing things is how many different things can be done with ETF’s! You can do leveraged, inverse or straight but also invest in commodities in general or in a specific one like Oil, Gold, Copper and so many others!!

You can compare the fees charged by each but also returns and obviously this might give you a few different investment ideas!  Will you need more research? Obviously yes! But this can be a good starting point to finding the best ETF’s for 2010!

So without further wait, here are the ETF’s divided by sub-categories!


Lots of believers here think that as the global population continues to grow, foods like rice, soybeans and sugar will become in demand with little flexibility in supply… Resulting in prices going up!!!

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
NFLXNetflix Inc349.88129.3946.27-6.5121.23.4424.661.275.1726.73N/A
PPandora Media Inc23.43N/A48.92-11.17132.524.062.471.943.54N/AN/A


Instead of investing in one specific commodity and trying to pick the right one, many choose to go for broad indexes as countries like China buy up everything available pushing all prices up. That is basically what has been happening in the past few years! This is also a play on the dollar as commodities are generally inversely correlated to the dollar!

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg GrowthSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
MSFTMicrosoft Corp40.1214.3113.858.745.63.5310.580.879.38.5617.018.5617.01
AOLAOL Inc37.1220.9814.74-21.545.853.928.63129.9-6.8158.85-6.8158.85


There was a recession but as thongs get back to normal we will get back to the debates about energy and the lack of it compared to exploding demand:

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg Growth
EXPEExpedia Inc73.331.0916.35.2518.383.8515.371.0735.3713.81
TZOOTravelzoo Inc19.2518.4216.67-9.294.673.672.060.7210.3612.53


The resource that makes the headlines! It is volatile, makes the world run and is in short supply (even to those who do not believe in peak oil!)!

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioEx-Dvd Date
WINWindstream Holdings Inc9.9610.04250.779/26/2014
DODiamond Offshore Drilling Inc49.637.0588.697/31/2014
FTRFrontier Communications Corp5.846.85362.429/9/2014
RIGTransocean Ltd45.036.6663.798/20/2014
CTLCenturyLink Inc36.25.97#VALUE!9/4/2014
ESVEnsco PLC55.575.436.99/11/2014
HCPHCP Inc41.385.27106.928/7/2014
TAT&T Inc35.365.253.137/8/2014
HCNHealth Care REIT Inc62.675.073110.778/7/2014
TETECO Energy Inc18.484.7696.668/12/2014
DRIDarden Restaurants Inc46.274.75157.317/8/2014
KMIKinder Morgan Inc/DE36.264.63135.027/31/2014
SOSouthern Co/The45.384.63107.367/31/2014
MOAltria Group Inc41.944.5881.439/15/2014
VTRVentas Inc64.14.52164.069/11/2014
NENoble Corp plc33.564.4725.28/7/2014
PMPhilip Morris International Inc84.314.4667.719/23/2014
RAIReynolds American Inc60.354.4479.19/10/2014
SPLSStaples Inc10.844.4344.269/24/2014
EDConsolidated Edison Inc57.744.3667.898/11/2014
PBCTPeople's United Financial Inc15.174.3587.677/30/2014
VZVerizon Communications Inc48.934.3351.737/8/2014
DUKDuke Energy Corp74.194.2182.388/13/2014
PPLPPL Corp35.534.1979.799/9/2014
FEFirstEnergy Corp34.724.15245.238/5/2014
ETREntergy Corp82.094.0483.118/11/2014
LOLorillard Inc60.974.0369.928/27/2014
COHCoach Inc34.193.9533.739/10/2014
POMPepco Holdings Inc27.483.93245.459/12/2014
PNWPinnacle West Capital Corp57.843.9360.317/30/2014
KIMKimco Realty Corp22.983.92174.489/29/2014
AEEAmeren Corp40.883.9175.819/8/2014
PCLPlum Creek Timber Co Inc45.13.9135.518/13/2014
MATMattel Inc38.973.955.28/25/2014
SCGSCANA Corp53.813.960.39/10/2014
WMBWilliams Cos Inc/The58.213.85222.629/10/2014
TEGIntegrys Energy Group Inc71.133.8261.888/27/2014
PCGPG&E Corp48.023.79100.6110/3/2014
CNPCenterPoint Energy Inc25.543.72114.158/14/2014
MACMacerich Co/The66.753.72208.328/20/2014
XELXcel Energy Inc32.233.7258.439/23/2014
CINFCincinnati Financial Corp48.043.6652.229/15/2014
PEGPublic Service Enterprise Group Inc40.793.6358.579/5/2014
AEPAmerican Electric Power Co Inc55.773.5964.468/8/2014
TGTTarget Corp57.953.5953.328/18/2014
GASAGL Resources Inc55.033.5670.938/20/2014
DTEDTE Energy Co77.873.5468.539/11/2014
LEGLeggett & Platt Inc34.283.587.719/12/2014
PFEPfizer Inc29.683.557.687/30/2014
KRFTKraft Foods Group Inc59.953.545.057/9/2014
CACA Inc28.743.4850.399/14/2014
CMSCMS Energy Corp31.153.4759.698/6/2014
FCXFreeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc36.53.4284.827/11/2014
EXCExelon Corp36.483.473.558/15/2014
CVCCablevision Systems Corp17.653.4122.868/21/2014
NAVINavient Corp17.713.39#VALUE!9/3/2014
CAGConAgra Foods Inc29.683.37140.97/30/2014
PAYXPaychex Inc41.563.3783.788/1/2014
DDominion Resources Inc/VA71.523.3672.888/27/2014
GEGeneral Electric Co26.283.3553.119/25/2014
WMWaste Management Inc44.733.35696.949/5/2014
WECWisconsin Energy Corp46.923.3256.968/13/2014
NUNortheast Utilities47.273.3259.459/11/2014
GMGeneral Motors Co36.33.3109/12/2014
LMTLockheed Martin Corp160.733.31528/28/2014
OKEONEOK Inc68.083.29114.418/6/2014
PGProcter & Gamble Co/The78.593.2856.757/16/2014
CVXChevron Corp130.553.2834.898/13/2014
PSAPublic Storage171.353.27105.029/8/2014
GMEGameStop Corp40.473.2637.218/28/2014
AVBAvalonBay Communities Inc142.193.26932.949/30/2014
CLXClorox Co/The91.43.2460.067/21/2014
HASHasbro Inc53.053.2472.887/30/2014
AIVApartment Investment & Management Co32.273.22335.828/13/2014
MCDMcDonald's Corp100.743.2255.58/29/2014
PLDPrologis Inc41.093.21288.829/11/2014
EQREquity Residential633.17#VALUE!9/18/2014
SESpectra Energy Corp42.483.15798/6/2014
LLYEli Lilly & Co62.173.1544.898/13/2014
GRMNGarmin Ltd60.93.1557.449/11/2014
SPGSimon Property Group Inc166.283.13111.968/11/2014
GISGeneral Mills Inc52.543.1253.417/8/2014
SYYSysco Corp37.453.165.9910/8/2014
CSCOCisco Systems Inc24.853.0633.169/30/2014
IRMIron Mountain Inc35.453.05213.919/24/2014
MRKMerck & Co Inc57.853.04116.539/11/2014
STXSeagate Technology PLC56.823.0328.188/14/2014
KMBKimberly-Clark Corp111.223.0258.089/3/2014
NUENucor Corp49.253.0196.749/30/2014
ABBVAbbVie Inc56.442.9876.997/11/2014
BMYBristol-Myers Squibb Co48.512.9790.4410/8/2014
KSSKohl's Corp52.682.9633.979/2/2014
PEPPepsiCo Inc89.342.9351.29/3/2014
MCHPMicrochip Technology Inc48.812.9171.148/19/2014
INTCIntel Corp30.92.9146.568/4/2014
FFord Motor Co17.242.9227/28/2014
KOCoca-Cola Co/The42.362.8857.859/17/2014
DOWDow Chemical Co/The51.462.8834.449/26/2014
BAXBaxter International Inc72.32.8849.79/3/2014

Natural Gas

Think oil is volatile? Try natural gas which has been gaining popularity in recent years thanks to speculators mainly!! UNG has made more headlines than any other commodity ETF but as you can see below, there are other options!

OMCOmnicom Group IncDividend increase from $0.40 to $0.50, a 25% increase

Dirty energy and nuclear

I know, they are not the same but just for presentation purposes, I am presenting them together. Think coal is dead? You are dead wrong and these ETF’s will be proof of that!

TickerNameSharesJune 17 2014 PriceJune 17 2014 Values
OMCOmnicom Group Inc32$70.37$2,251.84
MSFTMicrosoft Corp74$41.68$3,084.32
JCIJohnson Controls Inc42$49.84$2,093.28
PEPPepsiCo Inc/NC30$87.28$2,618.40
ETNEaton Corp33$76.16$2,513.28
DOVDover Corp26$89.41$2,324.66
ITWIllinois Tool Works Inc29$87.97$2,551.13
XLNXXilinx Inc39$47.47$1,851.33
SJMJM Smucker Co/The21$106.10$2,228.10
BLKBlackRock Inc13$312.05$4,056.65
TROWT Rowe Price Group Inc31$82.73$2,564.63
OXYOccidental Petroleum Corp24$102.74$2,465.76
XOMExxon Mobil Corp21$102.42$2,150.82
ADIAnalog Devices Inc46$55.70$2,562.20
HASHasbro Inc31$52.41$1,624.71
MATMattel Inc45$38.65$1,739.25
BAXBaxter International26$73.17$1,902.42
IVZInvesco Ltd69$37.35$2,577.15
TXNTexas Instruments Inc32$48.26$1,544.32
VWOVanguard FTSE Emerging Markets61$43.36$2,644.96
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market34$81.62$2,775.08

Clean Energy

Are you green? You might be tempted of investing in these for social reasons but as the environment becomes more important, clean energy companies will benefit big time, the big question is when…

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioDiluted EPS 5Y GrDvd 5Y GrDVD 1Y GrSales 5Y GrDebt to Mkt CapP/EIndustry
ESVEnsco PLC49.5556.0736.916.9690.3753.8533.710.418.51Oil&Gas Drilling
CVXChevron Corp122.623.4934.8932.039.38109.570.111.89Oil Comp-Integrated
OXYOccidental Petroleum Corp95.583.0234.945.7715.5816.8116.220.0913.63Oil Comp-Explor&Prodtn
CPACopa Holdings SA137.442.823.9726.4154.2143.4118.470.1713.05Airlines
XOMExxon Mobil Corp100.822.7434.3120.89.7510.2612.640.0513.71Oil Comp-Integrated
TXNTexas Instruments Inc45.742.6355.271025.7422.3735.639.460.1121.5Electronic Compo-Semicon


Gold has been discussed over and over here and elsehwere, it remains very debated and has lost a lot of value in recent months but as inflation threats remain, it will remain a very discussed investment. Among possibilities are GLD, by far the biggest ETF on this list!

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioEx-Dvd Date
WINWindstream Holdings Inc9.5710.45250.776/26/2014
RIGTransocean Ltd42.497.0663.798/20/2014
FTRFrontier Communications Corp5.796.91362.426/5/2014
DODiamond Offshore Drilling Inc51.066.8588.697/31/2014
CTLCenturyLink Inc37.675.73N/A6/5/2014
ESVEnsco PLC52.665.736.96/5/2014
HCPHCP Inc41.755.22106.928/7/2014
TAT&T Inc35.475.1953.137/9/2014
TETECO Energy Inc17.275.196.668/12/2014
HCNHealth Care REIT Inc63.235.033110.778/7/2014
KMIKinder Morgan Inc/DE33.395.03138.487/31/2014
SOSouthern Co/The43.784.8107.367/31/2014
NENoble Corp plc31.464.7725.28/7/2014
TEGIntegrys Energy Group Inc57.994.6961.888/27/2014
MOAltria Group Inc41.564.6281.436/12/2014
PBCTPeople's United Financial Inc14.374.5987.677/30/2014
EDConsolidated Edison Inc55.014.5867.898/11/2014
RAIReynolds American Inc59.634.4978.666/6/2014
ETREntergy Corp75.424.483.118/11/2014
DUKDuke Energy Corp71.084.3982.388/13/2014
DRIDarden Restaurants Inc50.124.3964.097/7/2014
VTRVentas Inc66.84.34164.066/4/2014
SPLSStaples Inc11.254.2744.266/25/2014
FEFirstEnergy Corp33.824.26245.238/5/2014
PPLPPL Corp35.094.2579.796/6/2014
PMPhilip Morris International Inc88.544.2567.716/24/2014
VZVerizon Communications Inc49.964.2451.737/9/2014
PNWPinnacle West Capital Corp55.424.160.317/31/2014
AEEAmeren Corp39.354.0775.816/9/2014
SCGSCANA Corp524.0460.36/6/2014
PCGPG&E Corp45.873.97100.616/30/2014
LOLorillard Inc62.173.9669.928/27/2014
CNPCenterPoint Energy Inc24.123.94114.158/14/2014
KIMKimco Realty Corp22.923.93174.487/1/2014
MATMattel Inc38.833.9155.28/25/2014
XELXcel Energy Inc30.763.958.436/17/2014
POMPepco Holdings Inc27.73.9245.456/6/2014
PCLPlum Creek Timber Co Inc45.13.9135.518/13/2014
NAVINavient Corp15.83.8N/A6/4/2014
PEGPublic Service Enterprise Group Inc38.963.858.576/4/2014
MACMacerich Co/The66.043.76208.328/20/2014
AEPAmerican Electric Power Co Inc53.353.7564.468/8/2014
GASAGL Resources Inc53.383.6770.938/20/2014
FCXFreeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc34.053.6784.827/10/2014
CMSCMS Energy Corp29.753.6359.698/6/2014
WMBWilliams Cos Inc/The46.963.62222.626/11/2014
CINFCincinnati Financial Corp49.023.5952.226/16/2014
LEGLeggett & Platt Inc33.923.5487.716/11/2014
KRFTKraft Foods Group Inc59.463.5345.056/26/2014
PFEPfizer Inc29.633.5157.688/6/2014
IGTInternational Game Technology12.553.5132.746/17/2014
GMEGameStop Corp37.853.4937.216/2/2014
CACA Inc28.693.4950.399/14/2014
CVXChevron Corp122.793.4934.898/13/2014
DDominion Resources Inc/VA68.963.4872.888/27/2014
IRMIron Mountain Inc31.143.47213.916/23/2014
GMGeneral Motors Co34.583.4706/6/2014
OKEONEOK Inc64.493.47114.418/6/2014
NUNortheast Utilities45.43.4659.459/11/2014
DTEDTE Energy Co76.123.4468.536/12/2014
WECWisconsin Energy Corp45.523.4356.968/13/2014
PAYXPaychex Inc41.113.4183.788/1/2014
CVCCablevision Systems Corp17.633.4122.868/21/2014
EXCExelon Corp36.833.3773.558/15/2014
WMWaste Management Inc44.683.36696.946/4/2014
COHCoach Inc40.713.3233.736/4/2014
CLXClorox Co/The89.623.360.067/21/2014
AIVApartment Investment & Management Co31.483.3335.828/13/2014
SESpectra Energy Corp40.583.3798/6/2014
INTCIntel Corp27.323.2946.568/7/2014
GEGeneral Electric Co26.793.2953.116/19/2014
AVBAvalonBay Communities Inc141.843.27932.946/26/2014
LLYEli Lilly & Co59.863.2744.898/15/2014
GRMNGarmin Ltd58.913.2657.446/13/2014
PSAPublic Storage172.383.26105.026/11/2014
LMTLockheed Martin Corp163.653.25528/28/2014
EQREquity Residential61.83.24N/A6/19/2014
HASHasbro Inc53.73.272.887/30/2014
STXSeagate Technology PLC53.733.228.188/14/2014
MCDMcDonald's Corp101.433.1955.58/29/2014
PGProcter & Gamble Co/The80.793.1956.757/16/2014
PLDPrologis Inc41.513.18288.826/9/2014
SPGSimon Property Group Inc166.463.12112.098/11/2014
CAGConAgra Foods Inc32.33.152.557/30/2014
SYYSysco Corp37.533.0965.997/1/2014
WUWestern Union Co/The16.173.0934.726/12/2014
ABBVAbbVie Inc54.333.0976.997/9/2014
CSCOCisco Systems Inc24.623.0933.167/1/2014
MRKMerck & Co Inc57.863.04116.536/12/2014
FFord Motor Co16.443.04227/28/2014
TGTTarget Corp56.763.0353.328/18/2014
KMBKimberly-Clark Corp112.352.9958.086/4/2014
MCHPMicrochip Technology Inc47.62.9988.798/19/2014
GISGeneral Mills Inc54.932.9946.797/7/2014
KOCoca-Cola Co/The40.912.9857.856/12/2014
NEENextEra Energy Inc97.362.9865.238/27/2014
PEPPepsiCo Inc88.332.9751.26/4/2014
RSGRepublic Services Inc35.42.9460.876/27/2014
IPInternational Paper Co47.632.9441.058/15/2014


Not much explanation required, if you believe the economy is back on track, you will want to get your hands on materials!

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout Ratio
LOLorillard Inc62.173.9669.92
CVXChevron Corp122.793.4934.89
NENoble Corp plc31.464.7725.2
INTCIntel Corp27.323.2946.56
ESVEnsco PLC52.665.736.9


Every time you hear about China’s massive city buildings, try to picture all the metals involved! They are more and more in demand with often very limited supplies!

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
ADBEAdobe Systems Inc66.91112.3532.4911.46-7.913.8913.260.948.095.25-8.22
FBFacebook Inc62.583.9334.4715.1854.694.636.530.683.25N/AN/A


Because it has gained so much importance in recent years, silver warrants a category of its own!

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueEarningsMkt CapRevenue/Share
TWTRTwitter Inc41.33N/A155.86-34.38109.793.284.988/15/201424.74B3.51
FBFacebook Inc66.2961.8136.2521.5954.694.636.537/23/2014170.53B3.25


I had written about water a while back, it remains one of the promising areas and is viewed increasingly as a “commodity”

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
AAPLApple Inc95.2215.913.6719.959.24.2319.920.926.3941.2353.24
YELPYelp Inc70.62N/A80.032.8469.364.396.992.023.55N/AN/A


And finally, those that do not fit any other category

INTCIntel Corp
NENoble Corp plc
CVXChevron Corp
LOLorillard Inc
COHCoach Inc
SPGSimon Property Group Inc

Time to be a contrarian???

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.24.2010 (5:00 am)

Goldman Sachs recently published its list of the stocks most commonly held by Hedge Funds as of the end of last quarter which obviously makes a very interesting list. Hedge Fund managers are generally regarded as the best and smartest investors. Why? Because generally the best managers will end up there where high returns are best rewarded (in terms of pay of course!).

Looking through the list, I’m not surprised to see the 3 big technology giants in there with Apple(AAPL), Google(GOOG) and Microsoft(MSFT) all among the top 6 names owned. Apple has not been as unanimous since the announcement of its Ipad but I do think it remains a good pick (and do have a trade on Apple right now).

Pfeizer(PFE) at #2 is not that surprising either. While many point to its lack of new products, there are many things to like about it, especially its dividend yield which even after some decreases, remains very high (around 4%).

There are also 4 financial institutions, Bank of America(BAC), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Mastercard(MA) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Honestly, I find it very difficult to judge these financial institutions right now. I had written about an Bank of America investment being similar to a visit to the casino and while things have improved, it’s still difficult to judge these stocks.

The final two stocks, I do not know as much about, as I have not considered investing in either DirecTV(DTV), or CVS Caremark(CVS), both are consumer players and could be viewed as defensive plays.

Buying or Selling these stocks?

The big question now is that with this info, would you rather assume that most of these funds are wrong (and sell) or jump on the bandwagon and get long assuming these guys are the brightest and they will probably turn out right? It’s actually a very difficult choice but I personally do not move either way really. I do think it’s interesting to see and am happy to not see Amazon (AMZN) on this list since I am short on the stock, but would I change my investing decisions based on these? I don’t think so no. How about you?

TickerNamePricePE RatioPE Next YearReturn YTDSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth
AAPLApple Inc597.5114.0712.316.179.24.21139.460.86184.741.2353.24
ORCLOracle Corp41.6917.5813.1410.

Anxious to invest in social web…

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.23.2010 (5:00 am)

I have written a few times about the anticipated IPO’s by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and while all three continue to gain importance in the internet sphere, we do not have any more details about the timing of their public offerings. All networks are doing their best to show that they are the “popular choice”. Why? Because many believe that there will only be a few survivors in this new battle.

Social networks showing off????

Just take a look at the impressive graph posted by Twitter yesterday showing an exponential growth in activity. Facebook posted less than two weeks ago about reaching 100 million users and they do seem to be the two major leaders right now. But investing in both is next to impossible right now for regular investors so we are left with smaller players.

Other possibilities???

Yahoo owns Flickr, which in my opinion remains its most valuable property. But that being said, as regular readers of this blog would know, I am not a fan of Yahoo and would certainly not be the one to recommend using them as a social play. That leaves Google, which owns both Youtube and the recently launched Google Buzz.  Youtube is huge and will surely become an important center of profit in years to come but the problem is that at least for now, Google is hardly a play on social. Truth is that an insignificant portion of the revenues and profits come from Youtube and obviously from Google Buzz.

Stuck with nowhere to go then???

So that leaves us with no other option than patience, which is a shame as in many ways, Social and Search are now the two most important aspects and would certainly provide many investing opportunities.

Am I the only one anxious to get in the game??

New stock pick: Long EBAY/Short KNOT

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.22.2010 (5:00 am)

After closing 2 trades last week, I will probably be making at least 1 new trade in the next few weeks and I’m now ready to get back in the line of fire. The new trade is a bit risky because of I am going short a stock that was just crushed after announcing more bad results. TheKnot(KNOT) is a company that I traded twice last year but continues to show little improvement since then. The company is dedicated to everything related to weddings and continues to grow but is unable to get good margins. The company announced it has created 275 new niche websites related to weddings. That does sound great but building so many websites reminds me of Yahoo and AOL, when you build many average quality properties instead of focusing on core specialties. At the same time, it is increasing the frequency of its magazine publications, tv presence and more. There just seems to be a lack of focus on The Knot’s part.

Is there a danger in owning The Knot? Yes. It does hold a lot of cash and because of that, its “discounted future revenues” could rise very slightly and still bring up an important price rise.

On the other hand, I’m surprised to see Ebay(EBAY) not getting more momentum. Sure, its auction business continues to show flat growth at best. But the real treasure lies in Paypal, Ebay’s ecommerce payment service. The announcement by Facebook that it would turn to Paypal for its electronic payments instead of a smaller less known solution or even instead of a “in-house” solution does mean a lot in my opinion:

1-Paypal continues to be the best solution for ecommerce transactions
2-No other competitor has proved able to come up with competition and there are no signs of significant solution either

So personally, I do think Ebay warrants a more favourable P/E ratio than The Knot which is not the case right now.

Disclaimer: No return is guaranteed and each recommendation should be considered within the investor’s individual situation. As with any financial investment, there are risks involved.

Financial Ramblings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.21.2010 (6:24 pm)

What a great year of sports. The FIFA World Cup is now only a few years and the Vancouver Winter Olympics are now into their 2nd full week with a very big hockey match tonight (Canada vs USA). So yes, I have been doing a lot of tv watching in the past few days and I expect more of the same in the coming days.  But yes, I did still find some good readings and here they are:

-Greece has about 30 days to fund its next debt roll, will it make it? ZeroHedge posts about the European crisis
-Very well written post about using 60 minute charts and why it is irrelevant at AlphaTrends
-9 ways to multiply your your sources of income and pay off your debts
at GatherLittlebyLittle
-A very interesting Morningstar studyon investor returns described and commented on at CanadianCapitalist
-Good ETF newsletter, I just signed up, you might want to check it out
-Think you can make money trading on news? EvilSpeculator thinks otherwise!
-Doctor Stock might have found trading success, you might want to go see how he is doing it!
-Good theme – Becoming a ninja of happiness at TheFinancialBlogger
Solid results from the latest stock picks by Blain at StockTradingtoGo
What my first job thought me at MillionDollarJourney

Top Single Country ETF’s

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.19.2010 (5:00 am)

It seems like every week, a new country has an ETF to its name. Last week I had taken a quick look into the difference between investing in a country’s currency or its stock market and while doing that I had the opportunity to take a look at all of the single country ETF’s that are currently traded on US markets. Then, today I noticed that Market Vectors confirmed a new ETF on Egypt would soon be trading, EGPT.

So I decided to take a look at every country that has an ETF to its name. I excluded all regional ETF’s so this means that the Middle East and Africa for example are not very represented. But I thought it would be interesting to take a look. It is stunning to see how Ishares has the top ETF (in terms of market cap) for almost every country available. But as companies like Market Vectors launch ETF’s on countries like Egypt and Vietnam, it will be interesting to see if Ishares can remain on top.

Another trend is for new ETF’s to be launched on subsectors of these single countries. This obviously leaves almost unlimited possibilities. The difficult part will be to get investors to buy such ETF’s.

I was also surprised to see that countries like Taiwan & India have more important ETF’s than major economies such as Germany, France and Spain. I’m not sure to have an explanation. Any ideas?

I would have expected to see higher fees for less developed countries such as Thailand but Ishares seems to have all their ETF’s on single countries at more or less the same fee ratios.

Any thoughts on the table? Do you know of any missing country ETF?

TickerNameDVD 1Y GrowthDVD 5Y Gr.Sales 5Y GrEPS 5Y Gr.Payout RatioP/E
OMCOmnicom Group Inc23.0821.6758.442.8817.73
MSFTMicrosoft Corp24.4217.398.5616.9435.1914.26
JCIJohnson Controls Inc10.819.5411.37N/A41.7714.68
PEPPepsiCo Inc5.585.959.293.0151.219.7
ETNEaton Corp PLC13.7512.7214.9N/A42.7417
DOVDover Corp8.069.26.8434.2625.7116.45
KNKnowles CorpN/AN/AN/AN/A0N/A
ITWIllinois Tool Works Inc9.336.273.59N/A43.821.84
XLNXXilinx Inc14.2913.1810.2918.7742.2620.73
SJMJM Smucker Co/The10.78-17.714.5721.5341.5917.66
BLKBlackRock Inc12.7817.4426.665.7339.0117.6
TROWT Rowe Price Group Inc-34.1710.2520.5454.9838.1920.89
OXYOccidental Petroleum Corp16.8115.5816.2245.7734.913.91
XOMExxon Mobil Corp10.269.7512.6420.834.3113.93
ADIAnalog Devices Inc12.111.686.6678.7860.3223.49
HASHasbro Inc10.1415.31.88N/A72.8823.4
MATMattel Inc13.1814.254N/A55.216.27
INTCIntel Corp09.9513.6657.2546.5614.32
AFLAflac Inc5.887.573.6914.3720.910.32
BAXBaxter International Inc16.3215.477.07N/A49.715.67

Closing 2 trades and a look back on the two remaining live ones

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.18.2010 (5:00 am)

It is now time to close 2 trades, one that went badly and the other which went better than I could have hoped. I will start with the good one!


Blue Nile is a difficult stock to short because it is very volatile and trades at very high P/E’s compared to its peers (in my opinion). While I like the company and think it does have a very good future, its high ratios continue to shock me. I had gone short against Netflix, who announced very good earnings as well as a few more partnerships. This was the best example of a long/short trade that went for the best as Netflix gained 26.61% while Blue Nile lost 17.51% of its value for a total gain of 63.04%***

***As explained in the past, when you do long/short trades, you actually put up margin only, no capital and so returns are divided by .7 to account for the fact that 10,000$ portfolio would not have 10,000$ short and 10,000$ long but rather 14,000$ long and 14,000$ short.


I knew that shorting Baidu was a risky proposition but simply believed it was also an overvalued stock at this point. I did turn out to be wrong. Google did remain steady (-2.19%) but Baidu gained (-15,82%) enough to make me a loser on this trade, a loss of 24.79%.

The other two trades that I currently have are both going fairly well so far:



So far this year, it gives me an average return per trade of 14.14%, well above expectations. Remember that I was quite happy last year with the 2,53% return I had given the short time the average trade lasts. I should have a new trade next Monday, hoping that they can continue to do well!

The Top 25 ETF’s on US markets

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 02.17.2010 (5:00 am)

I always personally feel like a good way to find an ETF for a specific subject or sector is to look at what the big players are using. It’s not a perfect way to do so, but it does give you a good idea of ETF’s that are generally liquid and have low fees. These ETF’s most likely have low spreads, lots of trading activity and are priced accurately (close to NAV).

So here we go, as of this morning, here are the top 25 ETF’s based on their outstanding market cap:

As discussed last week, SPY, the Spider which tracks the S&P500 Index is by far the biggest with GLD holding the second position, but there are still many interesting facts about this table:

#1-The three most expensive funds are all Ishares funds: EEM has been discussed in the past and there is no excuse in my opinion to not hold VWO. However, it is not as true for FXI and EWZ. Those markets have more fees & regulations for outsiders that make it more expensive to trade. I do not expect a much cheaper alternative to come around right away. Cheaper? Sure. But not anything comparable to the EEM vs VWO situation.

#2-The number of top ETF’s dedicated to bonds is higher than even a few months ago (5) and rising fast as individuals look for more efficient ways to invest in fixed income. The expense ratio fees of Vanguard’s BND of .11% is very impressive considering it is trading bonds which are usually more expensive to trade than equities.

#3-Despite all of the talk about energy and commodity ETF’s, very few made the top list. GLD sits at #2 of course but you then have to wait for #22 to see the next (and only other) commodity ETF.

Any thoughts? Any surprises when you look at this list?

TickerNameSharesMay 13 2014 PriceMay 13 2014 Values
OMCOmnicom Group Inc31$68.77$2,131.87
MSFTMicrosoft Corp74$40.42$2,991.08
JCIJohnson Controls Inc41$45.08$1,848.28
PEPPepsiCo Inc/NC29$87.23$2,529.67
ETNEaton Corp33$73.20$2,415.60
DOVDover Corp25$86.58$2,164.50
KNKnowles Corp12.5$30.02$375.25
ITWIllinois Tool Works Inc29$86.90$2,520.10
XLNXXilinx Inc39$46.18$1,801.02
SJMJM Smucker Co/The20$100.40$2,008
BLKBlackRock Inc12$302.96$3,635.52
TROWT Rowe Price Group Inc30$81.32$2,439.60
OXYOccidental Petroleum Corp23$97.52$2,242.96
XOMExxon Mobil Corp21$102.36$2,149.56
ADIAnalog Devices Inc45$51.47$2,316.15
HASHasbro Inc31$55.50$1,720.50
MATMattel Inc44$39.74$1,748.56
INTCIntel Corp55$26.45$1,454.75
BAXBaxter International25$75.41$1,885.25
IVZInvesco Ltd68$36.04$2,450.72
VWOVanguard FTSE Emerging Markets61$42.19$2,573.59
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market34$81.80$2,781.20