CI Outlook - Archives

December 2013

Over the last few months we have discussed most of the positions we currently hold in our portfolio.  Many are ETF’s on which we rely for portfolio diversification.  ETF’s we continue to own are the Barron’s 400, Wisdom Tree European Small Cap, the iShares S&P Mid Cap, the iShares S&P Small cap and the Powershares OTC 100.  Along with those positions we hold the CVR Partners LP and EV Energy Partners for income and above average growth if the catalysts we expect come to pass.

This month we added a recent IPO The Container Store Group. It is a local company and although it has no earnings our experience with the company leads us to believe it will become what we call a “cult stock”.  If so holders will own it regardless of price because it is a “good company”.  With its current limited float the price has risen sharply from our original purchase.  However we own it for long term growth and are not disposed to sell it for a trading gain.  If the company is successful in expanding from its current 60 stores to the planned 300 the current extremely high valuations will prove justified.  And if it becomes a cult favorite current stockholders will own the stock with Warren Buffet’s “forever” holding period in mind.  Thus we believe TCS could become a large long term winner in the tradition of Bed Bath and Beyond or even Whole Foods.

The other security we purchased is a small quantity of YRC Worldwide.  We consider the stock a highly speculative and very volatile bet on a corporate turnaround.  Although they continue to lose massive amounts of money we have faith in the current management team to successfully pull off a turn around.  And with the stock down from a ridiculous price of $37 this year we consider it depressed enough to react to any good news.  That potential for a near term catalyst may be realized soon as the Teamsters Union is scheduled to consider presenting new labor agreements between the company and the union to its membership shortly.  Should things go well for YRC the stock could have significant short term move.  In addition we observe that IBES estimates show the company becoming profitable by 2015.  We believe that should the economy improve more quickly than expected those profit estimates would be accelerated into 2014.  So even though the position is highly speculative we are willing to take a very limited stake in YRC Worldwide.

In addition to these positions we are actively looking for investment candidates for our cash position.  Currently it equals about 11% of the portfolio and we would like to be more fully invested as we expect a strong closing rally late in the month of December.

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