Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More CAPS stock picks

I thought I would share some more of my "Motley Fool" CAPS stock picks:

Weyerhaeuser Company (WY): High dividend, low P/E, growing sector. Have to watch the debt leverage, but otherwise seems undervalued.

First Solar (FSLR): Sunny future!

SanDisk Corp (SNDK): Low P/E, growing earnings, buying solid state memory technology.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (ADR) (PBR): Low P/E, expanding reserves and production, high oil prices.

Infinera (INFN): Technological breakthroughs, low valuation.

CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL): Low P/E, high dividend, high cash flow.

Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (TM): Eventually, will overcome earthquake and recall woes, and go back to being the most innovative and well run auto company in the world.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI): Fabulous portfolio of games. Moving into new media.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ED): High dividend yield, stable yield, relatively low P/E.

Banco Santander Central Hispano SA (STD): Spain's public debt with respect to GDP is low. They are reducing the public deficit. Santander itself is expanding in Latin America and other markets..

Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P. (TNH): High dividend yield, low P/E. [you may be catching a trend here: I like high dividends and low P/Es!].

Hatteras Financial (HTS): Great yields, great growth, intelligent bet on ARM mortgages, what's not to like?

Chimera Investment (CIM): Despite its chimerical name, another company with an outstanding yield, low P/E, and obligated to pay out dividends.

Stratasys (SSYS): Huge growth potential in its revolutionary 3D printers (really, customizable micro-manufacturing plants).

Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO): Retiring baby boomers.

Aeropostale, Inc. (ARO): If some intelligent people picked it at $30, I guess there is not much risk in picking it at $17.

Claymore/AlphaShares China Small Cap ETF (HAO): investment in medium (small cap) enterprises in China, explosive growth potential. Also, currently undervalued.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Low P/E, good fundamentals, this stock will recover.

Most of these are beating the S&P 500 index since I picked them.

The usual disclaimers apply.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Highly Indebted Rich Countries (HIRC)

In the previous two decades, there was great concern about the "Highly Indebted Poor Countries" (HIPC), and great (and successful) efforts made to provide debt relief. This involved mostly low-income countries in Africa, Asia, and five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua).

Now, in contrast, the sovereign borrowers with highest levels of debt (with respect to GDP) are mostly advanced, industrialized, high-income countries.

The public debt to GDP ratio is highest in Japan (225.8 % of GDP in 2010), and among the top 20 are several OECD countries: Greece (142.8 % in 2010, and growing rapidly), Iceland (123.8 %), Italy (119 %), Belgium (96.8 %), Ireland (96.2 %), Portugal (93 %), Germany (83.2 %), France (81.7 %), and Hungary (79.6 %).

Also among the top 20 are some of the basket-cases, failing states (such as Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Sudan, and Nicaragua), and several Caribbean islands (Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Dominica).

Of the PIIGS, only Spain does not make the HIRC list: a relatively respectful 60.1 % of GDP.

The United States comes in at 58.9 % (only including the Federal government); if you include all public debt, according to the IMF, it goes up to 92.7 %, which would land the USA at the 11th slot worldwide.

For the European Union as a whole, the average public debt is now at 82 % of GDP, compared with only 21 % for Latin America.

Obviously, this time around it will not be possible to provide debt relief to the HIRC (who would provide it?). Perhaps there will be some rescheduling in the worst cases (Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal), or even a slight "haircut" for private sector bondholders. And I also expect a lot of real debt dilution through inflation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A few more stock picks

A few more of my stock and ETF picks on Motley Fool's CAPS.

I am currently ranked in the 75th percentile :-)

Ameresco (AMRC): It has fallen too far.

Honda (HMC): Eventually, Japan will overcome the blahs!

iShares MSCI Japan Index ETF(EWJ): Like I said, Japan will recover.

Costco (COST): It sells high quality goods and services at an unbeatable price. Seems like a good business model to me.

PowerShares Lux Nanotech ETF (PXN): It is the future. It has been underperforming.

Market Vectors LatAm Small-Cap Index ETF (LATM): Small cap sector tends to outperform, more so in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where access to capital is relatively scarce.

Resource Capital Corp. (RSO): Stable 14 % dividend.

The Procter & Gamble Company (PG): Solid fundamentals, solid dividends, solid market share, clearly undervalued.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW): Got in early at Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, etc. It is our own DST (

Intel Corp (INTC): Growing dividends, piles of cash, recovery in IT. Plus, all the "tablets will replace PCs" arguments are way overblown.

iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV): Metals vs. paper money, inflation coming up.

On the short side, Pandora (P) cannot keep the stratospheric IPO valuations with its current losses.

Some of the Internet 2.0 and social networks stocks deserve their rich valuations, others are obviously bubbling up.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

My top stock picks (and a comment on the movie Limitless)

I thought I would share with you my top picks in Motley Fools CAPS.

Overall, my rating is not too shabby, in the top third of all participants.

LIFE: This stock will resuscitate my IRA :-)

MVC: Venture capital is back.

IRBT: What can I say, robots are the wave of the future.

STP: Growing company in a growing industry in a growing country - what's not to like? Also, currently low P/E ratio.

VPRT: Up 40 % since I picked it in August 2010.

VITA: Well, now that it is being bought out, I guess my winning streak will end. Still, not bad (up 103 % since August 2010).

AKAM: This is an excellent long-term investment opportunity.

SRZ: Even though it has already increased 20-fold since I bought it, I think it still has room to grow.

ALU: It still has a long way to go back to its fundamentals level.

PBW: Solar energy is becoming competitive with gas-fired electricity. Enough said.

GOOG: They are great at everything they do (especially fostering innovation).

On another note, was I the only one that found it ridiculous that in the movie "Limitless", the main character, "Eddie Morra" (played by Bradley Cooper) suddenly is able to double his investments every day after taking a fictitious "smart designer drug". In essence, it would require that one individual (no matter how smart) can out-smart the entire market. Ludicrous!