This Week at MANIFEST (8/25/2017)

This Week at MANIFEST (8/25/2017)

There is no science in this world like physics. Nothing comes close to the precision with which physics enables you to understand the world around you. It’s the laws of physics that allow us to say exactly what time the sun is going to rise. What time the eclipse is going to begin. What time the eclipse is going to end. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Whenever I sing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart,’ the way people sing along with me still excites me. It’s one of the songs that audiences know all the lyrics to, and they sing along with me, and it makes me so happy. People also know my songs ‘Holding out for a Hero’ and ‘Lost in France,’ and this gives me so much joy on stage. — Bonnie Tyler

Mark: Ken, You know what makes me sad?

Ken: What’s that, Mark?

Mark: When you and I take a road trip that takes us nearly within walking distance to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania … and you’re unwilling to make a slight detour.

Ken: Friends, that “slight detour” would have added nearly two hours to a trip that would already require 9 hours. Besides, on both excursions, we were blasted with a deluge that probably drowned Punxsy Phil in all its fury.

Mark: Go ahead, big guy, make light of these tears. Besides, we know that Noah keeps the ark just south of Cincinnati.

Ken: Mark, you know what makes me happy?

Mark: You mean besides dinner with investing friends in Cleveland at Corky & Lenny’s?

Ken: Well, that too. But once again we discover a local conspiracy of investing educators who nurture excellence in long-term investing.

Mark: No kidding. We reviewed four investment club portfolios during the Keystone Strategies conference. All of them were well-positioned, adhering to design targets — most notable in that ALL OF THEM contained a sufficient number of faster-growing companies to keep the overall portfolio growth rate in the 10-12% range.

Ken: Folks, we don’t see this kind of thing very often — and it bodes well for the like-minded investors of Central Pennsylvania.

Mark: Absolutely. It reminded me of Cow Tipping in places like Beardstown and Faribault, Minnesota.

Ken: I can only imagine the detours involved there and I’m probably grateful that I wasn’t in the car. But go ahead, humor me.

Mark: And the wonderful achievements of the Broad Assets investment club of St. Louis. The River Oaks Investment Club has won the Keystone Strategies stock picking contest three out of the last four years in the group category.

Ken: I’ll give you that. The Keystone Strategies contest is outstanding and they’re to be commended. We recommend this type of activity as a path to learning, discovery, sharing of ideas and socializing with successful investors to all communities that we visit.

Mark: … which brings us to Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Ken: I feel a cosmic-sized detour coming on.

Mark: I think we can almost compare the behavior of the stock market in 2008-2009 to an eclipse. In hindsight, it didn’t really last that long but it was scary … but from an epic long-term perspective, we probably should have been looking at the Great Recession with a colander on our heads.

Ken: For some reason, I’m not having much trouble picturing you with …

Mark: [interrupting] I’m serious. Most of “Investor” Nation spends every waking moment worrying about price drops and whether or not it’s possible to time the market ad nauseam. This notion has been very destructive to so many as it has delivered pessimism-driven conservative approaches to asset allocation, etc. as the “gold standard” of prudent investing. For those with long time horizons — and a few more total solar eclipses in their future — there’s no need to think of price volatility as RISK.

Ken: In that case, I think you’re right. And we should point people to the work of our own Cy Lynch on the real definition and impact of RISK in our investing efforts.

Mark: Cy is right about this. And so is AAII’s James Cloonan. Fear of “Risk” has destroyed a lot of capital over the decades. And that leads me to another twisted perception that we’ve been jousting with for years. This turned out to be one of our favorite slides from the weekend.

Mark: [continuing] There’s a couple of things that we can see here. First, we counsel in a BIG way, the importance of all-of-the-above investing. We define this as a blend of fast-growing promising upstarts, a suitable dose of medium-sized workhorse companies growing near average growth rates and a dash of blue-chip stalwarts growing at low single-digit slower growth rates. We build and maintain our portfolios at a 10-12% average sales growth forecast for the portfolio. We can generally point to the Value Line Arithmetic Average as “beating” the S&P 500, largely because of the contribution of the small and medium components. However, this graph shows that the red hot S&P 500 has caught the Value Line 1700 of late, something we’ve not seen since the late 1990s and rarely over the last 60 years. Read Josh Brown’s Just Say No to the S&P 500 from this perspective. But beyond that, notice the roller coaster (volatility) of the S&P 500 versus the Value Line average. Which one is “riskier?” Take it a step further and remove the S&P 500 from the Value Line average (mentally) and imagine how much less bumpy (“riskier”) the remaining small- and medium-sized companies must be.

Ken: This puts our long-held perspective on full display. Fast-growing and medium-sized companies of suitably high quality do not have to be roller coasters. We might also observe our strong emphasis on the S&P 500 field of opportunity approximately five years ago.

Mark: Right. How ya like my colander now? We’ll take a closer look at the S&P 600 and S&P 400 in coming weeks, but we’re launching our Fast Growing Company safari season with a few of the companies we discovered among the entries for the Keystone Strategies contest portfolios. You know what makes me happy? Investing better, with friends, whether the sun is shining or when the moon gets in the way for a few minutes. I’m always holding out for a few more Heroes. (Certain apologies to Bonnie Tyler)

Ken: We visit a lot of chapters and investment clubs. And the efforts of Chuck Reinbrecht, Richard Lindsay and Bruce Kennedy are exemplary as well as the support and achievements we witnessed by the likes of Kyle Blevins, Donna & John Diercks, Ken Mobley, Mary Ann Rentsch and the Cleveland team, John Varner and Barbara Vinson.

Mark: We’re also grateful for the support provided by bivio’s Laurie Madison for the Keystone Strategies contest and event. We look forward to future visits to share ideas and thoughts with the investors of Cleveland and Central Pennsylvania. And that visit to Punxsy Phil’s neighborhood is still on my Bucket List.

MANIFEST 40 Updates

  • 10. FactSet Research (FDS)
  • 27. Starbucks (SBUX)
  • 29. Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD)

Round Table Stocks

  • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD)
  • C.H. Robinson (CHRW)
  • Forward Air (FWRD)
  • Maximus (MMS)
  • McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Standard & Poor’s Global (SPGI)
  • Starbucks (SBUX)
  • Stericycle (SRCL)
  • Waste Connections (WCN)

Round Table Session Recordings Added

Best Small Companies

  • 3. Forward Air (FWRD)
  • 13. BJ’s Restaurants (BJRI)

Results, Remarks & References

Companies of Interest: Value Line (8/18/2017)

The average Value Line low total return forecast for the companies in this week’s update batch is 4.9% vs. 3.4% for the Value Line 1700 ($VLE).

Materially Stronger: Huron Consulting (HURN), Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB), Atlas Air (AAWW)

Materially Weaker: BJ’s Restaurants (BJRI), DineEquity (DIN), Bristow Group (BRS), Ship Finance (SFL), PotBelly (PBPB), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Waste Connections (WCN)

Discontinued: Panera Bread (PNRA)

Market Barometers

Value Line Low Total Return (VLLTR) Forecast. The long-term low total return forecast for the 1700 companies featured in the Value Line Investment Survey is 3.4%, an increase from 3.1% last week. For context, this indicator has ranged from low single digits (when stocks are generally overvalued) to approximately 20% when stocks are in the teeth of bear markets like 2008-2009.

Update Batch: Stocks to Study (8/25/2017)

The average return forecast (PAR) for this week’s update batch is 8.0%.

The Long & Short. (August 25, 2017) Projected Annual Return (PAR): Long term return forecast based on fundamental analysis and five year time horizon. Quality Ranking: Percentile ranking of composite that includes financial strength, earnings stability and relative growth & profitability. VL Low Total Return (VLLTR): Low total return forecast based on 3-5 year price targets via Value Line Investment Survey. Morningstar P/FV: Ratio of current price to fundamentally-based fair value via www.morningstar.com S&P P/FV: Current price-to-fair value ratio via Standard & Poor’s. 1-Year ACE Outlook: Total return forecast based on analyst consensus estimates for 1-year target price combined with current yield. 1-Year S&P Outlook: 1-year total return forecast based on S&P 1-year price target.

August Round Table August 22, 2017 at 8:30 PM ET ONLINE

Stocks Likely To Be Featured: TBD

This Round Table will continue the discussion on traditional selling analysis and explore the relative return-based selling we’ve suggested.

Consider joining Ken Kavula, Cy Lynch, Hugh McManus and Mark Robertson as they share their current favorite stock study ideas.

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5621511966734158595

Coming attractions 20170821

Decidedly Older Stocks to Study

This Week at MANIFEST (5/27/2016)

“Decidedly older.” (Women)

The scene was the Better Investing national convention last weekend in Chantilly, Virginia. It was the last session of the conference. The words rang out during Ken Kavula’s presentation of Ulta Salons (ULTA) as his shared stock idea for the May Round Table. He was — of course — talking about the differential between his teenage granddaughters and some of the “more experienced” clientele that may linger longer in the salon portion of the establishment. Sitting directly on Ken’s right (and within elbowing distance) frequent guest damsel Kim Butcher reacted immediately. “Decidedly older??? I’m fairly certain, Ken, that NONE of us ever want to be referred to as ‘decidedly older’ [Ken was probably grateful that his spouse, Natalie, was not in the room, too.]” The audience roared a second.

“Women, traditionally, become the subjects and objects of other people’s lives.” — Jane Fonda

And for that, we’re infinitely thankful.

Those words are from a TedX speech by Jane Fonda, delivered back in 2011 on the subject of “Life’s Third Act.” It features a perspective on longevity, aging and the shift to living longer and contributing more substantially during our last 30 years on the planet. If you liked Jane in her role on The Newsroom, you’ll probably like these 10-12 minutes via TedX.

The audience at the BI national convention is still not getting younger from a demographics perspective. That said, I’d argue that the shift described by Fonda has been a work in progress for some time and that investment clubs and individual investors have indeed been transforming for a few years. We’re witnessing the transformation of rote methods into deeper understanding and in so many cases, pervasive market beating performance over decades. The Super Investor session that I delivered in Chantilly (Beltway Super Investors) featuring Eddy Elfenbein, David Gardner and a slipstream sample of investment club leaders was very well received and we’ll do more.

Ken and I (and many of you) make “coaching club visits” to a fairly large number of clubs. We’ve witnessed an evolutionary shift. Few clubs make some of the traditional mistakes and the portfolios we see are better designed, better positioned and better maintained. So many clubs embrace our efforts at interpretation, innovation and implementation of the delightfully few things that really matter and we’re grateful for this evolving simplicity … and the results we observe.

During a few moments with some decidedly experienced investors in Chantilly, we were encouraged to keep seeking the foundations of Nicholson’s vision. Some observed that the Nicholson moments we reinforced back at the national convention in Chicago a few years were landmark. And most welcome. We were encouraged to do more. A dear friend who knew Nicholson well urged us to continue to re-discover and reinforce … Press on.

The modern investment club movement is less obvious at a time when it’s probably needed the most. Diebold is back to 98% institutional ownership from the 54% it achieved less than ten years ago. It’s enormously challenging to engage the interest of most people, most young people, and even most decidedly older people in ownership of individual common stocks. (By the way, RPM presented at the conference and appears to be stronger than ever)

I think Jane Fonda is right, an opportunity lies ahead. In her words (with a dash of paraphrasing) …

“Circle back to where we started — and know it for the first time. We could be a necessary cultural shift in the world.”

Inspire younger generations to optimize and maximize their investing experience.

Be decidedly older. Do it well.

MANIFEST 40 Updates

  • 11. FactSet Research (FDS)
  • 30. Starbucks (SBUX)
  • 32. Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD)

Round Table Stocks: Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), C.H. Robinson (CHRW), Copa Holdings (CPA), Forward Air (FWRD), Knight Transportation (KNX), Maximus (MMS), McDonald’s (MCD), Panera Bread (PNRA), S&P Global (SPGI), Stericycle (SRCL), Waste Connections (WCN)

Results, Remarks & References

Companies of Interest: Value Line (5/27/2016)

The average Value Line low total return forecast for the companies in this week’s update batch is 6.3% vs. 5.6% for the Value Line 1700 ($VLE).

Materially Stronger: Iron Mountain (IRM), Texas Roadhouse (TXRH), Sonic (SONC), Forrester Research (FORR), Equifax (EFX), Darden Restaurants (DRI), Domino’s Pizza (DPZ)

Materially Weaker: Teekay (TK), Frontline (FRO), Calgon Carbon (CCC), American Railcar (ARII)

Discontinued:

Coverage Initiated/Restored:

Market Barometers

Value Line Low Total Return (VLLTR) Forecast. The long-term low total return forecast for the 1700 companies featured in the Value Line Investment Survey is 5.6%, unchanged from last week. For context, this indicator has ranged from low single digits (when stocks are generally overvalued) to approximately 20% when stocks are in the teeth of bear markets like 2008-2009.

Stocks to Study (5/27/2016)

  • Maximus (MMS) — Highest MANIFEST Rank
  • Ruby Tuesday (RT) — Highest Low Return Forecast (VL)
  • Stericycle (SRCL) — Lowest P/FV (Morningstar)
  • Delta Airlines (DAL) —Lowest P/FV (S&P)
  • Golar LNG (GLNG) — Best 1-Yr Outlook (ACE)
  • Delta Airlines (DAL) — Best 1-Yr Outlook (S&P)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) — Best 1-Yr Outlook (GS)

The Long & Short of This Week’s Update Batch

The Long & Short. (May 27, 2016) Projected Annual Return (PAR): Long term return forecast based on fundamental analysis and five year time horizon. Quality Ranking: Percentile ranking of composite that includes financial strength, earnings stability and relative growth & profitability. VL Low Total Return (VLLTR): Low total return forecast based on 3-5 year price targets via Value Line Investment Survey. Morningstar P/FV: Ratio of current price to fundamentally-based fair value via www.morningstar.com S&P P/FV: Current price-to-fair value ratio via Standard & Poor’s. 1-Year ACE Outlook: Total return forecast based on analyst consensus estimates for 1-year target price combined with current yield. The data is ranked (descending order) based on this criterion. 1-Year S&P Outlook: 1-year total return forecast based on S&P 1-year price target. 1-Yr “GS” Outlook: 1-year total return forecast based on most recent price target issued by Goldman Sachs.

Gone Shopping With Eddy (2016)

If you’re not familiar with Eddy Elfenbein and http://www.crossingwallstreet.com, you should be. Eddy thinks like us and it looks like his “Buy List” of stock selections is well on track to beat the market for the 8th time in the last nine years!

This excerpt is from his Thursday update (blog … go ahead, subscribe for FREE) and we’ll rake these around the holiday coals … same thing we do every year, Pinky. See: CWS Market Review for 12/4/2015

Ten Possible Additions for Next Year’s Buy List

For next year’s Buy List, I’m going to add five new stocks. Here are ten stocks I’m strongly considering for next year’s Buy List:

  • Alliance Data Systems (ADS)
  • Cerner (CERN)
  • Church & Dwight (CHD)
  • FactSet Research Systems (FDS)
  • F5 Networks (FFIV)
  • Footlocker (FL)
  • HEICO (HEI)
  • Sherwin-Williams (SHW)
  • VF Corp. (VFC)
  • Zimmer Biomet (ZBH)

I still haven’t finalized my decision, but I wanted you to know some names that are under serious consideration.

 

Manifest Investing Analysis

We start with a snapshot of the dashboard for the ten nominees and the value of $100 invested five years ago — so we can see which stocks have been “naughty” and which ones have been “nice” for the last few years.

Eddy Elfenbein’s short list for 2016 Buy List additions as of 12/4/2015.

This dashboard is public and is available to view at:
https://www.manifestinvesting.com/dashboards/public/cws-buy-candidates-2016

Collectively, these ten candidates have been smokin’ hot with an annualized total return of 22.3% (vs. 13.5% for the S&P 500, VFINX). The only exception has been F5 Networks (FFIV) — checking in at a loss for the trailing five years.

Buy list shopping 20151204

The Long and Short of the CWS Shopping List

Note: The price targets from Goldman Sachs (GS) are from public releases and represent a partial sample. The price target is logged as of the most recent public analyst report. Although every effort is made to keep this information as current as possible, some of the ratings may not reflect more recent research and updates. Some of the older Goldman Sachs estimates (>6-9 months) have been adjusted using more recent price targets from Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley etc.

If you were Eddy, which stocks would you select for your 2016 Buy List?

Do you have another stock or candidates that you feel are more worthy?

Bring it.

MANIFEST 40 (March 2013)

The Stocks You Follow: March 2013 Update

We’ve always believed that the collective decisions made by our community of long-term investors is worth huddling over … a place where ideas are born.

Apple (AAPL) continues at the top of the leader board, a position the company has held for several months. AAPL first appeared on this listing on 9/24/2009 and proceeded to ascend to the summit.

Performance Results

It’s here that your favorites shine. The average annualized RELATIVE return for the current tracking portfolio is +4.2%. (The absolute return for the tracking portfolio since inception is 6.4%.)

The accuracy rating (% of outperforming entries) of the current selections is 59.0%.

Including all selections since inception (7.5 years) the annualized relative return of the MANIFEST 40 is +3.0%.

The figures in parentheses are the position of the company during the December 2012 listing of the MANIFEST 40. For example, FactSet Research (FDS) advanced from #17 to #13 over the last three months.

Chargers

What companies are making the strongest gains among the consensus collection? This may be indicative of strong fundamentals (combined with attractive prices and return forecasts) and probably warrants further study.

The stocks making the largest advances (by % of dashboards) since 12/31/2012 are: QUALCOMM (QCOM), Coach (COH) and Bio-Reference Labs (BRLI).

The newcomer this quarter is Coca-Cola (KO).

Strongest Performers

The top performers in the MANIFEST 40 tracking portfolio are:

Challenge Club (February 2013)

Challenge Club – February 2013

It’s more than a mantra. When things get a little tough, battle-tested investors go shopping.

And they go shopping with a specific shopping list in hand — a quest to identify leadership companies selling at attractive prices.

The Challenge Club has more than a little cash on hand (10.9% of total assets) so we need some candidates.

Bring out your best.

Current dashboard: http://www.manifestinvesting.com/dashboards/public/challenge-club

Register to attend Saturday morning’s meeting/webcast at:

http://www.manifestinvesting.com/events/113-challenge-club-february-23-2013

Challenge Club (January 2013 Meeting)

January Meeting Highlights

The 2012 Annual Report was presented. Relative return for 2012 was +1.4%.

Unit value at the time of the meeting is $24.21 — 6.9% since inception vs. 3.3% for Wilshire 5000.

Blog link (for sharing): https://expectingalpha.com/2013/01/17/challenge-club-january-2013/

Motions, Decisions

1. A motion to buy 100 shares of Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR) failed to pass.

2. The motion to accumulate 100 additional shares of AFLAC (AFL) passed (82%).

3. The motion to accumulate 125 shares of FactSet Research (FDS) passed (94%).

4. A motion to accumulate 100 shares of Coach (COH) failed to pass. (~50%)

The dashboard at meeting end (but before January contributions):

Challenge dash 20130118

 

Chuck Allmon & MOCON (MOCO)

The 9th stock in our annual Christmas Countdown is MOCON (MOCO) an all-time favorite of champion long-term investor Charles Allmon. MOCON is the type of company that can provide a solid contribution from smaller (and generally faster-growing) companies as we balance our selections.

And in this case, MOCON makes measurement, analytical and monitoring consulting products and services worldwide.

A little monitoring seems to be in order for one of our countdown favorites featuring the calling birds in the accompanying image. I could be wrong, but I think the solitaire-playing calling bird has a bluetooth. (Grin)

I think MOCON is suffering one of those occasional speed bumps that any and all companies experience during their life cycle. 2012 will be unkind. But it’s interesting to note that the “P” has not fully followed the “E” in the visual analysis. That’s an indication of faith in the long term and a return to the longer term trend for the core characteristics.

MOCON also gives us the chance to nod in the direction of Charles Allmon. Chuck, known by many of us as dancing bear — is clearly one of the most successful stock pickers that few know and/or talk about. I know that many of you are an exception to that and celebrate/cherish Chuck’s contributions to the pages of Better Investing magazine over the years.

A little while ago we looked at a portfolio published in Forbes near his the date of his retirement and we can still marvel at the results and track record.

How To Pick A Growth Stock

MOCON wasn’t in this Growth Stock Outlook feature, but ISNS (a fairly similar company) was. The portfolio has been captured and preserved at:

http://www.manifestinvesting.com/dashboards/public/dancing-bear

Since November 2008, $1200 has become $3604 … an annualized rate of return of 30.8% and a relative return of +10.3% versus the Wilshire 5000. Yes, Virginia, you’re permitted to applaud.

When it comes to stock selection and phoning-a-friend, the smartest calling birds that I know would dial up Charles “Dancing Bear” Allmon in a heartbeat.