Archive for January, 2014

IntelligentSpeculator’s 2014 Tech Stock Power Rankings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.08.2014 (3:00 am)

Every year, this is the one post that takes me the longest to do. Writing it isn’t such a challenge but coming up with my actual rankings truly is. I guess I’ll never feel 100% convinced of my rankings but at some point, I do have to press “publish” and that time has come. After spectacular results in 2012, I came up short of expectations last year so hopefully this time I can get my groove back:) Trading did go well last year but preparing a 1 year prevision for 30+ stocks isn’t easy and in many ways is more difficult than trading.

Let me start off by saying, I will be making mistakes here, obviously. The goal is not for all of my top picks to do well or all of my bad picks to do poorly. Rather, I hope that my top 10 picks can end up doing better than the bottom 10. Does that make sense? Hopefully by a fair margin but I’m not even asking for that much to be happy.

How I Rank Them?

Two main things I looked at are:

-How undervalued/overvalued are these stocks in my opinion?
-How confident am I in that prediction? What is the risk that a stock I hate will do extremely well or one that I love get crushed
-What are the upsides and downsides to each stock? 

Some Companies Were Excluded

I once again decided to exclude a few companies, mostly because I wasn’t able to get a good enough feeling about them. Which ones? Here is the list:

WebMD Health Corp (WBMD)
XO Group Inc (XOXO)
Groupon Inc (GRPN) International Ltd (CTRP)
QuinStreet Inc (QNST)
Youku Tudou Inc (YOKU)
Yandex NV (YNDX)
BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)
Zynga Inc (ZNGA)
Orbitz Worldwide Inc (OWW)

Without further wait:

2014 IntelligentSpeculator Technology Stock Power Rankings

Stock/Company Comments
1 Apple (AAPL) Apple continues to be a stock that I have a tremendous amount of belief in. Very limited downside, an attractive (cheap) valuation and leading products in strong growth markets.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 11.3, Sales 5Y Growth: 28.6, EPS 5Y Growth: 29.52

2 Facebook (FB) I’m a Facebook shareholder and certainly believe in its potential as it will hopefully move in a meaningful way beyond advertising.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 50.57

3 Baidu (BIDU) I continue to see tremendous value in holding the leading Chinese internet stock, especially at a very reasonable valuation. China’s economy has slowed down but it remains a key market where most competitors are locked out

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 26.53, Sales 5Y Growth: 58.52, EPS 5Y Growth: 58.19


LinkedIn Corp (LNKD)

I do still think that LinkedIn is too expensive and I doubt I’d put my money just now into it but the stock has come down and I do still think LinkedIn has a great place in the market. There is an increasing number of doubters…time to get it?

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 91.28

5 TripAdvisor (TRIP) TripAdvisor has a unique business and is very difficult to compete with. I do believe its ability to generate qualified leads for hotels and other types of businesses will continue to pay off handsomely.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 36.52


Google (GOOG)

I do still believe that Google is the most exciting company around these days and would love to buy some shares but I’m having an increasingly difficult time trying to understand where the business is headed

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 21.33, Sales 5Y Growth: 22.41, EPS 5Y Growth: 18.89

7 Amazon (AMZN) Amazon is a fascinating company and an intriguing stock. The company makes little to no money, has no clear plans to make any but has built an incredible ecosystem that “could” become a money-making machine.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 83.66, Sales 5Y Growth: 32.23, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A


Microsoft Corp (MSFT)

Microsoft is near multi-year highs and is about to get a new leadership that will certainly give the company a big boost. I do think it remains at a very reasonable valuation.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 12.41, Sales 5Y Growth: 5.26, EPS 5Y Growth: 9.12

9 Netflix (NFLX) Wow did I get things wrong last year on Netflix and I should have known better. I do still think that the expected growth remains slow compared to its P/E but things are so dynamic and the leaders are very strong. I’ll be a believer this year

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 72.88, Sales 5Y Growth: 27.12, EPS 5Y Growth: 70.9

10 eBay Inc (EBAY) eBay is an interesting company. While I have strong belief in its Paypal business, I’m very skeptical of what its trying to do with its main business, going down the route of same-day shipping to compete with Amazon and others.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 16.52, Sales 5Y Growth: 13.43, EPS 5Y Growth: 8.94

11 Priceline (PCLN) Priceline has been an incredible business for many years and is as consistent as ever. I do think that will continue and do believe it will still outperform.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 22.39, Sales 5Y Growth: 32.54, EPS 5Y Growth: 76.16

12 Oracle (ORCL) I did research Oracle in the past few months and have compared it to Microsoft a decent amount and I did end up deciding to rank it slightly lower this year.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 11.76, Sales 5Y Growth: 11.77, EPS 5Y Growth: 17.82

13 Expedia Inc (EXPE) There are still doubts about Expedia following the spinoff of TripAdvisor for me but I do think its valuation is attractive.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 18.57, Sales 5Y Growth: 11.18, EPS 5Y Growth: 16.23

14 (CRM) Salesforce is a difficult business to value because it is fast growing but not yet profitable. I do expect good things

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 108.24, Sales 5Y Growth: 31.39, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A


IAC InteractiveCorp

I was a big doubter of IAC a few years ago but it does seem to have turned things around and is now growing much faster..!

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 16.44, Sales 5Y Growth: 16.63, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A

16 Dice Holdings (DHX)
I’m not exactly sure why Dice Holdings did not perform better last year but I do expect the company to recover this year as it continues to be very targeted.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 14.68, Sales 5Y Growth: 8.87, EPS 5Y Growth: 17.05

17 Blue Nile Inc (NILE) Who could have guessed… I have been bearish on Blue Nile for years, have traded it very successfully and it was often the most overvalued stock in my opinion. My opinion is slowly changing…!

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 37.58, Sales 5Y Growth: 8.85, EPS 5Y Growth: 11.69


Adobe Systems Inc

Adobe is in a very difficult environment, suffered issues from security breaches and is trying to change its business model which I think will be very challenging, so I’m certainly not a believer.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 28.38, Sales 5Y Growth: 4.11, EPS 5Y Growth: -5.15


Twitter Inc. (TWTR)

Ahh Twitter, I love the product but the company is extremely overvalued in my opinion, I’d be afraid to short the stock but I’m far from buying it.
20 ValueClick Inc (VCLK) In the past few years, Valueclick has been able to increase its earnings but not based on actual revenues increases so I’m highly skeptical that these can continue. Margins can only increase to some extent.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 12.34, Sales 5Y Growth: -0.57, EPS 5Y Growth: 271.24

21 Demand Media (DMD) Ah Demand Media has been stuck in the middle of the whole “content farm” debate and the fact is that in my (and many others) opinion, it adds very little with its sites.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 24.45, Sales 5Y Growth: N/A, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A

22 Yelp (YELP) Yelp is trading at an extremely high P/E ratio but there is hope that profitability is around the corner. I’m a bit skeptical but the odds are big enough for me not to set it at the very bottom of these rankings:

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 128.53


OpenTable Inc (OPEN)

It will be very difficult for OpenTable to continue to have strong growth and for that reason, I do think the stock is overvalued.

Travelzoo (TZOO)

Travelzoo has a good business but the fact is that it has been displaying little to no growth making it a very poor investment.

Yahoo (YHOO)

I do have strong belief in CEO Marissa Mayer and she has done a lot of good but the fact is that the stock has increased much more than the actual fundamentals. It will happen but will take a lot of time so at these levels, I will personally stay away from Yahoo.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 24.29, Sales 5Y Growth: -8.13, EPS 5Y Growth: 259.97

26 AOL Inc (AOL) Aol has made inroads, especially since acquiring the Huffington Post but it remains a challenge to actually increase the overall revenues of the company. Can AOL turn things around? Yes, probably but I’ll be waiting on the sidelines.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 19.25, Sales 5Y Growth: N/A, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A


Trulia (TRLA)

As I mention for Zillow, I’m very skeptical of both companies and will be staying away. They did perform much better than expected last year but they both seem very overvalued.
28 Monster Worldwide

I’m very skeptical about Monster’s long term business as it competes with companies like LinkedIn but also more targeted names like Dice Holdings.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 17.46, Sales 5Y Growth: -8.43

29 Zillow Inc (Z) For both Zillow and Trulia, I’ve been extremely skeptical of the companies, of the businesses and how they will be able to compete. I do hope to be proven wrong

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 195.1


Pandora Media Inc (P)

Pandora is a solid company but I’ve expressed my doubts about companies that are trying to make money in the music business. I simply do not believe in it, especially when you consider the competition from Apple, Amazon, Google and so many others.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 171.14, Sales 5Y Growth: N/A, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A


Rosetta Stone Inc (RST)

Rosetta Stone is a company that has a great product but it has 2 issues. It targets retail clients and faces increasing competition from products that are free such as DuoLingo… so I’m a big doubter.

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 130.11, Sales 5Y Growth: 0.65, EPS 5Y Growth: N/A


Rackspace Hosting Inc

Not shocking to see Rackspace at the very bottom of these rankings. I did after all short it in my first trade of the New Year…!

Key Numbers: Estimated P/E Next Year: 50.32, Sales 5Y Growth: 23.1, EPS 5Y Growth: 26

Disclaimer: Long Facebook (FB), Long Apple (AAPL), Long Microsoft (MSFT) & Short Rackspace (RAX)

New Trade: Long Apple ($AAPL) & Short Rackspace Hosting ($RAX)

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.07.2014 (3:00 am)

Ahhh the nerves are back!! That first trade of the new year is always one that makes me nervous. I’d certainly like to start things off on the right foot so I’m going with a trade that I’m very confident about. Frequent visitors of this blog will likely be able to guess what stock I’m going long here:)

As will be the case all year, my long & short stock picks will be available to see in my live spreadsheet:

Long Priceline (PCLN) & Short AOL (AOL) currently stands at +31,97% and will be closed on today’s opening.

Today I’m trading two tech stocks that do seem to have little in common. The similarity though is that even though they are growing at fairly comparable rates in terms of revenues and earnings per share, their valuation seems to be worlds apart.  The short story is:

Apple is making 19 times more revenues/share, 51 times more earnings per share but is only trading 15x higher.

You can see the numbers for both companies here:

TickerNamePriceEPSPE RatioPE Next YearSales GrowthAnalyst ratingBook ValueBetaRevenue/ShareSales 5Y Avg GrowthEPS 5Y Avg Growth  
AAPLApple Inc543.9340.0313.6511.249.24.33137.40.95184.728.629.52
RAXRackspace Hosting Inc36.730.7856.0451.4427.723.

Long Apple (AAPL)

I’ve generally been very bullish on Apple. Among the stocks that I follow, Apple remains the one trading at the lowest P/E which I simply cannot understand. It has very little downside at these levels and we continue to see strong sales growth and fairly consistent margins which would imply that even without new product categories, its current valuation would be attractive. Add to that rumors of an iWatch, a new iTV, the continue strength of iTunes and you can see why I think Apple is a real bargain at these levels. You can certainly expect Apple to have a strong position in the upcoming 2014 Power Rankings.


Next earnings release: January 23rd 2014

Short Rackspace (RAX)

Rackspace is a stock that I had a lot of trouble getting my head around but I’m gradually feeling more confident about it. It’s a good company that is being valued as if its numbers were going to explode. The problem of course is that I don’t see this happening anytime soon. I did already write about my doubts over RAX.  The competition is fierce in the cloud computing sector and it will make it very difficult for RAX to justify its current valuation. A P/E ratio over 50 for a company that is growing revenues in the 20-30% range? I personally don’t see it.


Next earnings release: February 12th 2014

Disclaimer: Long Apple (AAPL)

Looking Back At My 2013 Tech Stock Power Rankings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.06.2014 (3:00 am)

The start of a new year is always a very interesting time for me for so many reasons. I’ll stick to blogging & investing for today:) As most of you know, I do reset my long & short tech stock trades every year. I also tend to make various predictions in January but before getting into that, it’s important to take a look back to see how I did last year. If not, what’s the point right? One of the biggest and most time consuming set of predictions I do is the annual power rankings where I rank the list of stocks that I follow. I had done extremely well in my 2012 rankings but last year was not as good:) You win some (tech stock trades, speculative picks, USDP, etc) and lose some others right?

You can see my 2013 predictions post here:

IntelligentSpeculator’s 2013 Tech Stock Power Rankings

As you can expect, I plan on publishing my 2014 power rankings later this week:)

Biggest Miss I Should Have Seen: Netflix (NFLX) – Now that I think about it, it seems fairly obvious. A great company with great management that made smart moves and is fairly unique in how it operates. I have generally been a big believer in Netflix on this blog so having the company near the bottom of my rankings is my biggest mistake.

Biggest Miss I Could Not Have Seen: WebMD (WBMD) – It’s extremely difficult to start investing or anticipating what will happen in companies that end up being targets of private equity funds, takeover rumors, etc. This company has said that profits will decline in the next few years but the stock has remained extremely strong.

Stubborn or Stupid? – I continue to believe in many of these rankings and I’d be surprised to see a complete revamp for my 2014 rankings. Am I being blind? Or will the market catch up with what I see? Companies such as Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA) continues to look overvalued

I Actually Did Well On Apple (AAPL): Despite the smaller return on Apple, as most of you know, I did end up doing very well on the stock because I bought it later in the year after the stock had dropped significantly.  The other big stake I hold is in Facebook (FB) which is the top performer in my top 10 and one of the big ones… so the lesson? Follow my trades and not my rankings? Haha.. Perhaps.

To simplify your life, here are the stocks in my original order with their actual return here:

2013 IntelligentSpeculator Technology Stock Power Rankings

Stock/Company Actual 2013 Return
1 Apple (AAPL) 8.06%
2 Baidu (BIDU) 77.37%
3 Google (GOOG) 58.43%
4 Facebook (FB) 105.30%
5 Amazon (AMZN) 58.96%
6 LinkedIn Corp (LNKD) 88.84%
7 eBay Inc (EBAY) 7.58%
8 TripAdvisor (TRIP) 97.59%
9 Priceline (PCLN) 87.37%
10 Yahoo (YHOO) 103.22%
11 OpenTable Inc (OPEN) 62.64%
12 Dice Holdings (DHX) -21.02%
13 Rackspace Hosting Inc
14 ValueClick Inc (VCLK) 20.40%
15 Microsoft Corp (MSFT) 44.28%
16 Zynga (ZNGA)
17 Demand Media (DMD) -37.89%
18 Expedia Inc (EXPE) 14.50%
19 IAC InteractiveCorp
20 Rosetta Stone Inc (RST) -0.97%
21 Monster Worldwide
22 XO Group Inc (XOXO) 59.78%
23 Netflix (NFLX) 297.63%
24 Adobe Systems Inc
25 Travelzoo (TZOO) 12.27%
26 AOL Inc (AOL) 57.45%
27 WebMD Health (WBMD) 175.45%
28 Quin Street Inc (QNST) 29.32%
29 Zillow Inc (Z) 194.52%
30 Trulia (TRLA) 117.18%
31 Pandora Media Inc (P) 189.76%
32 Blue Nile Inc (NILE) 22.38%

What Do You Think? Do Any Of These Surprise You? 

Weekend Readings

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.03.2014 (3:00 am)

Waves lap at shoreline, Hanakao'o Beach, Maui

Happy Friday!!! I hope you all made it out of the Holidays alive and well:) I gathered a few good readings but also wanted to share this epic answer to a cease and desist letter from Starbucks.. haha

General Readings

Wolf of Wall Street review @ ReformedBroker
Why I’m interested in Bitcoin @ ChrisDixon

Dividend & Passive Income Readings

Best 2014 Dividend Income Stocks @ TheDividendGuyBlog

Tech Stock Readings

US to China: We hacked that gear we told you not to hack @ Wired
The Black car company people love to hate @ NextCity
Amazon about to get involved into shipping? @ TechCrunch
Apple (AAPL) denies working with NSA on backdoor @ AllThingsD


Top 100 Dividend Stocks – January 2014 Edition

By: ispeculatornew | Date posted: 01.02.2014 (3:00 am)

chiDividend investing is a huge part of my investment strategy. As I’ve mentioned in my now monthly passive income updates, receiving dividend income from my both my Ultimate Sustainable Dividend portfolio and my ETF portfolio is a primary driver of how my retirement will be like a few decades from now:) Today, I went back to looking for the top dividend stocks from the S&P500!

Find Out More

Once again, the top dog going into the new year Windstream (WIN) wit a dividend yield above 10%!! That’s not everything that matters though and the fact that earnings per share have decreased by 25% on average over the past 5 years should be enough to make you stay away. I’ll perform a lot more analysis on these names in the coming days. If ever you’d like to get free analysis, please subscribe to our newsletter here:

In the meantime, here is the list!

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioEx-Dvd Date
WINWindstream Holdings Inc7.9812.55356.153/27/2014
FTRFrontier Communications Corp4.658.6298.643/5/2014
CTLCenturyLink Inc31.856.78231.483/6/2014
FEFirstEnergy Corp32.986.67119.432/5/2014
DODiamond Offshore Drilling Inc56.926.1567.542/13/2014
HCPHCP Inc36.325.78110.322/6/2014
HCNHealth Care REIT Inc53.575.71607.362/6/2014
POMPepco Holdings Inc19.135.6587.023/7/2014
ETREntergy Corp63.275.2569.572/7/2014
ESVEnsco PLC57.185.2528.613/13/2014
TAT&T Inc35.165.23141.351/8/2014
TETECO Energy Inc17.245.177.42/14/2014
VTRVentas Inc57.285.06238.423/7/2014
RAIReynolds American Inc49.995.04103.63/7/2014
EQREquity Residential51.875.01210.013/20/2014
TEGIntegrys Energy Group Inc54.41572.792/26/2014
MOAltria Group Inc38.39582.723/14/2014
SOSouthern Co/The41.114.94722/6/2014
PPLPPL Corp30.094.8954.543/7/2014
KMIKinder Morgan Inc/DE364.56116.281/29/2014
KIMKimco Realty Corp19.754.56356.183/31/2014
EXCExelon Corp27.394.53147.722/12/2014
RIGTransocean Ltd49.424.5334.812/19/2014
DUKDuke Energy Corp69.014.52100.422/19/2014
PCGPG&E Corp40.284.5295.713/28/2014
PEGPublic Service Enterprise Group Inc32.044.4956.313/7/2014
EDConsolidated Edison Inc55.284.4562.32/10/2014
AEEAmeren Corp36.164.42#VALUE!3/10/2014
LOLorillard Inc50.684.3473.632/26/2014
SCGSCANA Corp46.934.3361.83/11/2014
PMPhilip Morris International Inc87.134.3262.643/25/2014
VZVerizon Communications Inc49.144.32657.011/8/2014
PBCTPeople's United Financial Inc15.124.388.831/30/2014
PNWPinnacle West Capital Corp52.924.2975.481/30/2014
AEPAmerican Electric Power Co Inc46.744.2872.762/10/2014
MACMacerich Co/The58.894.21111.532/18/2014
DRIDarden Restaurants Inc54.374.0564.091/8/2014
XELXcel Energy Inc27.944.0157.673/18/2014
GASAGL Resources Inc47.233.9874.912/19/2014
DTEDTE Energy Co66.393.9562.013/20/2014
WMBWilliams Cos Inc/The38.573.94102.533/5/2014
KRFTKraft Foods Group Inc53.923.8918.053/27/2014
GRMNGarmin Ltd46.223.8964.783/13/2014
LEGLeggett & Platt Inc30.943.8865.33/12/2014
LLYEli Lilly & Co513.8453.482/12/2014
CMSCMS Energy Corp26.773.8166.742/12/2014
PCLPlum Creek Timber Co Inc46.513.78133.992/19/2014
PSAPublic Storage150.523.72114.783/10/2014
AIVApartment Investment & Management Co25.913.71#VALUE!2/19/2014
WECWisconsin Energy Corp41.343.750.582/12/2014
AVBAvalonBay Communities Inc118.233.62147.853/28/2014
CNPCenterPoint Energy Inc23.183.5882.972/14/2014
LMTLockheed Martin Corp148.663.5849.652/27/2014
IRMIron Mountain Inc30.353.56196.453/19/2014
MRKMerck & Co Inc50.053.5283.873/13/2014
DDominion Resources Inc/VA64.693.48373.092/26/2014
INTCIntel Corp25.963.4739.532/5/2014
NEMNewmont Mining Corp23.033.4736.873/14/2014
NUNortheast Utilities42.393.4771.42/28/2014
SESpectra Energy Corp35.623.4380.172/5/2014
PFEPfizer Inc30.633.468.92/5/2014
CVCCablevision Systems Corp17.933.35483.893/12/2014
MCDMcDonald's Corp97.033.3453.072/26/2014
FCXFreeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc37.743.3139.011/13/2014
VNOVornado Realty Trust88.793.29265.312/5/2014
WMWaste Management Inc44.873.2580.583/4/2014
PBIPitney Bowes Inc23.33.2268.952/12/2014
CINFCincinnati Financial Corp52.373.2162.473/17/2014
SYYSysco Corp36.13.2165.994/2/2014
CVXChevron Corp124.913.226.142/19/2014
MCHPMicrochip Technology Inc44.753.17214.952/18/2014
SPGSimon Property Group Inc152.163.1586.842/10/2014
GEGeneral Electric Co28.033.1450.222/20/2014
RSGRepublic Services Inc33.23.1358.393/28/2014
DPSDr Pepper Snapple Group Inc48.723.1245.543/13/2014
KMBKimberly-Clark Corp104.463.166.463/5/2014
NEENextEra Energy Inc85.623.0852.332/26/2014
PAYXPaychex Inc45.533.0783.781/31/2014
EIXEdison International46.33.0728.483/28/2014
STXSeagate Technology PLC56.163.0628.182/10/2014
CLXClorox Co/The92.763.0660.061/27/2014
GISGeneral Mills Inc49.913.0546.791/8/2014
NINiSource Inc32.883.0466.612/5/2014
MATMattel Inc47.583.0355.082/18/2014
PLDPrologis Inc36.953.03#VALUE!3/13/2014
CSCOCisco Systems Inc22.453.0333.161/2/2014
ABBVAbbVie Inc52.813.0301/13/2014
SPLSStaples Inc15.893.02#VALUE!3/26/2014
KKellogg Co61.073.0164.722/27/2014
LYBLyondellBasell Industries NV80.282.9984.093/6/2014
MSFTMicrosoft Corp37.432.9935.192/18/2014
CACA Inc33.652.9748.483/3/2014
CAGConAgra Foods Inc33.72.9752.551/29/2014
HPHelmerich & Payne Inc84.082.9712.972/12/2014
PGProcter & Gamble Co/The81.412.9656.751/22/2014
HASHasbro Inc55.012.9155.621/31/2014
WUWestern Union Co/The17.252.924.543/13/2014
JNJJohnson & Johnson91.592.8860.892/21/2014
DOWDow Chemical Co/The44.42.88170.733/27/2014