Trucking In Tulsa (3/10/2017)

This Week at MANIFEST (3/10/2017)

Common Sense, Care Of Catoosa

“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” — Will Rogers

No, I haven’t forgotten that the trucking and logistics stocks are in Issue 2 and that this week’s update centers on Issue 4 — home to many healthcare and aerospace/defense stocks.

It’s just that a significant number of hours sharing lanes with Knight Transportation, Swift, Old Dominion and a number of CVS Health semis provides some time for pondering while en route on Route 66 to the Port of Catoosa. (Tulsa)

Ken Kavula and I were met in Catoosa by a throng of committed long term investors and we greatly enjoyed spending the weekend with them. Ken did his travel research on the Issue 1 airlines and perhaps he can explain Buffett’s sudden interest in the group, but that’s a topic for another day. Probably.

We took a stroll through 70 years of investing better — together. Some rules and guidelines were reinforced. Others were disturbingly challenged. We were reminded how the Tin Cup model portfolio handled the 2007-2008 market challenge and wondered why we spend so much time worrying about asset allocation (shifting to cash equivalents when the market seems overpriced.) Our subscribers fondly remember our 2008 open letter to the Presidential candidates: An Open Letter To The President.

Is the market over priced? What if it’s not? Recall those surging estimates for S&P 500 earnings from the analysts a few weeks ago. If they’re right about 2018, 2019 and beyond …

If the accompanying chart isn’t “haunting” or reinforcing — it probably ought to be.

And in that spirit, we think it probably makes sense to keep doing what we always do … INVEST IN THE BEST, but only when they’re on sale. We’ve never seen a moment where we couldn’t find several worthy stocks. If we ever do, we’ll start worrying about electric fences.

“With a sufficiently long term perspective, bear markets become blips.” — Cy Lynch

Thanks, Catoosa.

MANIFEST 40 Updates

Round Table Stocks

Best Small Companies


Results, Remarks & References

Companies of Interest: Value Line (3/10/2017)

The average Value Line low total return forecast for the companies in this week’s update batch is 1.9% vs. 2.9% for the Value Line 1700 ($VLE).

Materially Stronger: Community Health (CYH), Regeneron Pharma (REGN), Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Anthem (ANTM), Envision Health (EVHC)

Materially Weaker: Tenet Healthcare (THC), Quality Systems (QSII)

Discontinued: Clarcor (CLC), Tessera Tech (TSRA)

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 2.9%, down from 3.0% 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 (3/10/2017)

There continues to be evidence of strengthening fundamentals and 1-year price targets are getting adjusted upward, on balance. Many of the biotech and pharma companies are showing the damage — and resultant higher return forecasts — as a result of “bashing” and criticism from inside the Beltway.

Based on the near term expectations for Round Table selection MEDNAX (MD), it will be interesting to see if we’re truly “early” and/or if we catch a wave as the S&P and Morningstar and Goldman Sachs analysts catch up with us. [Grin] […and Hope]

The Long & Short. (March 10, 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 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. 1-Yr “GS” Outlook: 1-year total return forecast based on most recent price target issued by Goldman Sachs.

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Screens

January Round Table

Our Round Table, a monthly session featuring our favorite stock ideas right now in true round table fashion will be held on Tuesday. January 31 at 8 PM ET.


On the eve of Groundhog Day Eve, we’ll return to a tradition of visiting and reviewing a Few of Our Favorite Screens.

Stocks Likely To Be Discussed

  • Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR)
  • NIC (EGOV)
  • Under Armour (UAA)

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Screens

The stocks selected for this program over the last six years have collectively beaten the Wilshire 5000. We seek actionable opportunities to study and pursue.

The round table knights include small company champion and Mid-Michigan Director Ken Kavula; Cy (MythBuster) Lynch; pharmaceutical scientist Hugh McManus; and Manifest Investing’s Mark Robertson who will analyze their favorite stocks. Guest damsels have included Anne Manning, Susan Maciolek and Kim Butcher. Guest knights who have jousted include Nicholas Stratigos, Herb Lemcool and Matt Spielman

Ivory Soap Screen

We feature this one during most Round Tables. It’s still Mark’s favorite as it focuses screening targets on the most important characteristics — a combination of quality and return forecast — seeking the best companies at the best prices. As shown, enter 99.44 as the minimum Manifest Investing rank and we deliver a short list of high potential stock studies.

Rt ivory soap 20170130

Cy’s Strong Workhorse Screen

This multi-purpose screen accomplishes several things, including an emphasis on that middle (medium-sized) company portion of your portfolios that supports size diversification. As he often reminds us, Cy prefers companies with high quality (excellent or greater than 80) AND high financial strength (A+ or greater than 80 or 90). In this case, he’s also moderated the return forecast target a bit (MIPAR +4.5%, as shown) in order to identify some solid returns from some companies in the steady growth segment (7-12% growth) that some of us might refer to as the “workhorse zone.”

Rt workhorses 20170130

Kurt’s Sweet Spot & High Quality Screen

This one might be easiest — and among the more effective — of all. Kurt provides a continuously running screening result as one of our menu items. Click on Research > Companies and you get a current listing of potentially compelling studies.

Rt sweet spot quality 20170130

(Broad Assets) Launch Pad Concept Screen

This approach was explored in our Escape Velocity cover story (May 2014) where we attempted to explain some of the success of our 3-time group champions, Broad Assets of St. Louis. Part of the success was attributed to stocks like Lannett (LCI) which delivered massive returns, apparently operating near the point in a companies life cycle where EPS first break through into positive numbers and early stage growth can be powerful.

So three elements are probably important:

  • Double digit growth — to isolate newer, promising companies with higher growth expectations.
  • Exorbitant Slope on the EPS graphic. We screened for 2017 EPS vs. 2016 EPS here. The average is 11.4%. (FYI)
  • Price Explosion Potential — The 1-year total return via ACE forecasts. The median forecast is 7.9%.

This could be a source of “different” ideas and would be considered part of a speculative component, by many.

Rt launch pad 20170130

Hugh’s 52-Week Low Proximity Screen

You can read more about this approach here and here.

Hugh scans a relatively short list of vetted companies and pounces on them when they get within 20% of 52-week lows — so long as their good/excellent characteristics persist.

Rt hugh ann low 20170130

Ken’s Quality Small Companies

Ken Kavula reminds us that we don’t have to compromise on quality when it comes to maintaining the small company component. This dashboard, inspired by the Forbes Best Small Companies, and published by Manifest Investing back around Halloween 2016 continues to flag opportunities. It has been sorted by Quality (Descending) and a number of sweet spot (and Speculative) opportunities are displayed.

Rt small companies 20170130

Global Treasures

From January:

During his webcast on 1/10/2017, DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach suggested a search for equity opportunities in international baskets/markets and specifically called out India and Japan’s NIKKEI as potential targets.

We’ve been noticing a certain trend, alongside Mr. Gundlach, in recent weeks as the stocks featured in our Fave Five have been “dominated” by non-U.S. companies. Six of the last nine new editions to our Fave Five tracking portfolio (since 11/11/2016) have been ex-U.S. stocks.

IShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) offers broad, market-cap-weighted exposure to large- and mid-cap stocks across 21 developed markets outside the United States and Canada. Holdings include Nestle (NSRGY), Roche (RHHBY), Novartis (NVS), Toyota (TMC), Siemens (SIEGY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Bayer (BAYRY). As the accompanying chart shows, this index (orange area) peaked 10 years and has experienced its own lost decade since the Great Recession.

If you can discover one of these with strengthening fundamentals and you believe that the global recession will abate eventually, there could be considerable opportunity here.

S&P “Strong Buy” (5-Star) Long & Short

This screen is limited to S&P 5-Star qualifiers and is sorted by price-to-fair value (P/FV) ascending. The 1-year total return is included for a look at short term expectations.

Rt sp 5star screen 20170131