Value Line Low Total Return Screen (4/26/2013)

Companies of Interest

Again we see what a difference a week makes … some of the food-related companies hold down the Materially Stronger fort — but keep in mind that Zhongpin (HOGS) is likely on its way to going private at $13.50.

Educational Services once again provides us with the usual list of suspects as the industry continues to get shellacked. Notable by their absence from the Materially Weaker list are DeVry (DV) and Strayer Education (STRA). Perhaps the triage is starting to take hold?

Materially Stronger: Zhongpin (HOGS), ConAgra (CAG), Core-Mark (CORE), Flowers Foods (FLO)

Materially Weaker: Career Education (CECO), ITT Educational Services (ESI), Apollo Group (APOL), Corinthian Colleges (COCO), Hitachi (HTHIY), Dole Foods (DOLE)

Market Barometers

The Value Line low total return forecast is 6.8%, compared to 6.8% last week.

Value Line Low Total Return Screen (1/25/2013)

Speaking of inflections, check out the number of weaker long-term price forecasts (listed below) versus those that have strengthened. This trend has been in place for some time.

Much rides on the 4Q2012 earnings reports, particularly this week.

We’ll also start to get a look at a few of the 2014 annual forecasts as they come out of the blocks.  Much rides.

There’s a plethora of study and investment candidates this week. We’re a little reluctant to look at any of these with a return forecast greater than 22.5% (simply from a statistics perspective) but there are plenty of those blue chip stalwarts that are currently getting kicked around. Might the Lost Decade be found?

Universal Electronics (UEIC) and Pepsi (PEP) are among those that trigger attention — and we’ll take a look at least one of these this week.

Materially Stronger: Bridgepoint Education (BPI)

Materially Weaker: Dolby Labs (DLB), Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Treehouse Foods (THS), Village Super Market (VLGEA), Apollo Group (APOL), DTS (DTSI), Career Education (CECO), Avid Technology (AVID), Diamond Foods (DMND), ITT Educational Services (ESI), Synutra (SYUT), Zynga (ZNGA)

Note: After continuing the update (incorporating and factoring in forecast changes and the opinions of S&P and Morningstar, etc.) degradation of fundamentals in Strayer Education (STRA), Synutra (SYUT) and Nutrisystem (NTRI) would have resulted in their removal from the Companies of Interest list. In other words, their quality rating dipped below 55 (Good) and they would no longer qualify for this screen.

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):

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