Cypress Semiconductor and Value Line: Do Your Own Analysis

March 15, 2017

Warren Buffett, when asked where he gets his investing ideas, was fond of replying “Start with the A’s.” This may seem like unhelpful advice now that so much data requires clicking around and waiting for webpages to load, instead of wading through nice archaic books. However, the Value Line Investment Survey still publishes data in […]

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President Trump: Now What?

November 16, 2016

Rumors of the death of oil may have been exaggerated, but not by much. Even so, the surprising presidential election results have stirred me from my hiatus. Disclaimer: I wish to make it clear that for the benefit of potential employers, I neither approve nor disapprove of the outcome of this election or any other. […]

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Collapsing Oil and Avoiding its Ripple Effects

February 2, 2016

A chaotic January of 2016 is over, and given the dramatic downside excursion in the equity and oil markets, even committed value investors could be forgiven for wavering. Even though prices are somewhat above their nadirs, the frequent swings of several percent a day in the oil markets and stock indexes give the impression of […]

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The Focused Credit Mutual Fund Collapse: Liquidity, and Contagion Risk

December 27, 2015

Those of us who watch Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s hearings before Congress will often hear complaints from the majority that the Dodd-Frank regulations are overreaching in that the Treasury has the power to designate non-bank financial entities, including mutual funds, as being systemically important. However, the recent collapse of the Third Avenue Focused Credit […]

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Park-Ohio: An Undervalued Niche Manufacturer With Well-Chosen Acquisitions

November 9, 2015

Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. is a niche manufacturer and logistics servicer for other, larger manufacturers. It offers a large free cash flow yield of 9.4%, and has been expanding sales through well-chosen bolt-on acquisitions. Read more at http://seekingalpha.com/article/3667746-park-ohio-an-undervalued-niche-manufacturer-with-well-chosen-acquisitions

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Frontier Communications? You Might Prefer the Preferred Stock

June 25, 2015

Long-time readers will know that rural telecom companies have been a particular favorite of mine. Although these companies’ core residential landline business is in decline as mobile phones become the primary phone line among an ever-increasing proportion of the U.S. population, rural telephone companies can respond by lowering capital expenditures accordingly and refocusing their offerings […]

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Aspect Software: Press 1 to Purchase Attractive Junk Bonds

June 6, 2015

Update: Yes, the company has declared bankruptcy and the bonds, being junior to the bank debt, have been damaged done badly, having been converted to rights to purchase up to $90 million in equity. I confess I got this one wrong, but I’m not going to cover over my mistakes by deleting this post. As […]

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Back from the Warren Buffett Convention!

May 6, 2015

You’ll never guess where I’ve been. Yes, the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha. And here’s how it went. The meat of the meeting occurs on Saturday, where Warren Buffett and his co-chairman, Charlie Munger, spend hours fielding questions from the financial press and from lucky audience members. I would have asked, but most […]

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Alaska Communications – Junk Bonds of the Last Frontier

August 21, 2014

UPDATE: Since this article was written, Alaska Communications sold its remaining wireless assets to GCI and used the money to pay off a great deal of its bank debt, which made these bonds much safer and moved the price to 100. So, buying these bonds when the article was written would have worked out nicely, […]

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Richardson Electronics – A Net-Net Worth Liquidating

July 17, 2014

One of the more famous places to look for value is the net-net company, which has a market capitalization that is less than it could be liquidated for, meaning that the company could never earn another cent and investors would still get more than they paid for. Surprisingly, even in the age of the database […]

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