Tin Cup (May 2013)

Tin Cup Model Portfolio: May 2013

Sell STRA, Buy CHRW. Accumulate QCOM

This demonstration portfolio invests the maximum allowable 401(k) in stocks. In the absence of choices within the portfolio, we shop outside the portfolio using the combination of return forecast and quality rating to identify candidates to be added to the portfolio. Total assets reached $1,000,000 in 17 years.

Tin cup vs vtsmx 20130430

Total assets are $1,092,174 (4/30/13) and the net asset value is $244.09. The model portfolio gained +3.01% during April 2013. The S&P 500 checked in at +1.70% for the month. Tin Cup has generated a 6.1% annualized total return over the trailing five years vs. 5.8% for the S&P 500 for a trailing 5-year relative return of +0.3%.

Tin Cup has outperformed the S&P 500 over the trailing ten years by +0.7% and the annualized total return since 1995 is now 19.0%.

Portfolio Characteristics

With MIPAR at 6.6%, our target for the minimum overall portfolio PAR is at least 11.6%. The overall portfolio PAR is 11.3% on 4/30/2013. Quality and financial strength are sufficient at the current levels of 92.4 (Excellent) and 92%. EPS Stability is 85 for the portfolio. Sales growth is a little “light” at 9.1%.


We challenge the lowest MANIFEST rank (return forecast + quality) holding, Strayer (STRA) and replace it with C.H. Robinson, the Solomon Select featured stock for May — taking advantage of the higher quality and return forecast. Our $1917 and dividends for May are destined for Qualcomm (QCOM) based on the higher MANIFEST rank for the company. Looking at the companies at the top of the sweet spot, there’s a group concentrated at a return forecast of approximately 15%. The nod goes to QCOM on the strength of its quality ranking.

Tin cup digest 201304030

April Round Table Highlights

As Ann mentions here, the April Round Table was challenged by barking dogs and thick thunder/lightning in Houston — but we persisted. In a subtle shift, we’re going to move Round Table highlights to the Stocks folder. Why? Although the portfolio design & management, and Round Table tracking portfolio are important, we do want to emphasize that the program core is centered on identifying stock study opportunities. We can do that and still stay focused on achieving those long-term superior relative returns.

Sorry to everyone I had to end my Round Table presentation so quickly. I am not sure any of what I said made sense. It’s hard to concentrate when you are being bombarded by lightning. The worst of the thunderstorm lasted about 45 minutes and we did lose power for a little while. Hope the rest of the Round Table went well.

Qualcomm (QCOM)

As for Qualcomm, I believe it is definitely a stock you should research. For a company of its size (24.12B estimated revenue for 2013), it continues to show signs of growth. I estimated the future growth sales at 13% and the future earnings per share at 11.5%. This results in a future eps of $6.12 which is a little higher than Value Line and a little lower than MI.

Qualcomm leads the list of companies that produce mobile chip sets for phones. It has a large amount of patents and they receive royalties from millions of mobile devices each year that should continue over the next 5-10 years.

Their chip sets are found in the current popular mobile devices from Apple, Samsung, Blackberry and Nokia.

The only concern that I could find was that some investors and analysts did not like that management has increased their spending (21% this past year). To me Qualcomm’s management appears to be doing a good job. They have no debt, their pre-tax profit is high and their return on equity is good. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

The recent drop in price offers a good opportunity to pick up the stock.


Polaris Industries (PII)

Ken Kavula’s presentation can be summed up pretty quickly.

“Polaris? You mean that snow mobile company???”

“Not exactly.” “Study it and see that there’s more, a lot more, to this story.”

Pii products 20130430

Caterpillar (CAT)

Hugh McManus described one of his favorite shopping methods, the quest for stocks that are trading near their 52-week low. In fact, we’ll probably spend more time with this notion because as he said, “One of the things we’ve witnessed over the years is that long-term investors, particularly those getting started, tend to purchase at stock prices which prove to be too high. We know that the typical stock will often trade at a low during a given year that is on the order of 50% of its 52-week high … so it makes sense (with patience and discipline) to watch for good companies trading at low prices.”

He also shared an intriguing tidbit about different treatment of large, higher-quality stocks versus vs. promising, emerging companies in that he’ll settle for 1-year lows for the larger companies … while demanding multi-year lows for the others. Fascinating and worthy of further exploration, in my opinion.

Buy low

C.H. Robinson (CHRW)

Mark doubled down on Cy Lynch’s fairly recent selection of C.H. Robinson (CHRW) — the transportation and logistics company. CHRW is the Solomon Select stock feature for May — so we’ll cover it “there.”

The audience seconded (thirded?) CHRW by choosing it from the alternatives.

There was some concern expressed during the polling about the potential for continued price “sag” in Caterpillar (CAT). Hugh’s response? “I hope so. I prefer a little sag while I’m accumulating.” (Grin)

Rt poll 20130430

Finding The Best 4-Year Forecast Method

Mark Hulbert and I compare notes again on using Value Line for long-term forecasting for individual stocks and markets.  As Hulbert points out, the Value Line Median Appreciation Projection (VLMAP) has a pretty solid track record.

We agree — and side with the likes of Walter Schloss and pure discipline itself — when we use our own version of VLMAP, specifically an emphasis on the median Value Line low total return forecast (VLLTR) … a parameter that includes dividends, extending beyond long-term price appreciation and aligns even more favorably when we compare Forecast vs. Actual with the past couple of decades in the rear-view mirror.


C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW)

Source: Company Annual Report (2010)

C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) is a service company, which provides freight transportation services and logistics solutions to companies. It is a multimodal transportation services and logistics solutions, operates through a network of branch offices in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. C.H. Robinson Worldwide services include supply chain consulting and analysis, freight consolidation, core carrier program management and information reporting. The company’s other services include sourcing services, contract Warehousing and fee-based information services. The Sourcing services business is primarily the buying, selling, and marketing of fresh produce. It also provides Transportation and Logistics Services: Truckload, less than Truckload, Intermodal, Ocean, Air and Other Logistics Services. C.H. Robinson Worldwide was founded by Charles Henry Robinson in 1905 and is headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN.

Business Model Analysis

The long-term growth trend is 10%. And we could pretty much set our watch to it … with allowances for recessions now and then. (If you squint, you can see a recessionary gulp in 2012. See the blip in the EPS plot for 2012 vs. the trend.)

The price bars are drifting ever closer to the long-term EPS trend, underscoring the potential buying opportunity.


Points of View

There’s a few chinks in the armor for CHRW, but no deal breakers. The “bearish sentiment” and negative price pressure is probably reflective short-term recessionary concerns — but we’re in this for the long haul. (Yes, an economic recession will deliver a dent much like it did in 2008-2009.)

Overall sentiment is a little weak. Note the Motley Fools CAPS all-stars are not all that high on CHRW (34th percentile).

Value Line Low Total Return Screen (3/1/2013)

Companies of Interest

Normally we limit the list of companies to the highest annualized total return candidates that also have a first or second quintile quality ranking. I made an exception in this case for Southwest Airlines (LUV) because of the forecast boosts in this week’s updates — earning LUV a spot on the Materially Stronger part of the update.

Materially Stronger: Clean Harbors (CLH), CoStar Group (CSGP), Gartner (IT), Genessee & Wyoming (GWR), Jack in the Box (JACK), Southwest Airlines (LUV)

Materially Weaker: Arkansas Best (ABFS), Frontline (FRO), United Parcel Service (UPS)

Market Barometers

The Value Line low total return forecast is 7.2%, down slightly from 7.3% last week.

Although we could face a correction near-term, no alarms are sounding on the New Highs vs. New Lows trend … suggesting that protective measures are not yet necessary. The S&P 500 relative strength index has relaxed back to 55.9 after recently being in the overbought (>70) range. Be selective and with MIPAR at 7%, select high-quality and bias overall portfolio quality and financial strength to the higher end of long-term target ranges.