Hottest links for Tuesday October 8th, 2013 the — late edition (see Monday’s edition of hottest links). Get our free daily newsletter (which is being updated to make it superb) and never miss a single linkfest.
Top stories for today ... More on Greece now the hottest investment around, which could be a contrarian indicator (disclosure: I have been long for close to two years); ETF assets have hit a new record high coming in at $2.22 trillion; Excellent article on the danger of believing returns which are not audited along with some math explaining how there can be such a wide discrepancy between actual returns and some returns posted on websites, without newsletters/websites outright lying; A company changes its name to stop dumb investors from losing their money; Lots of great valuation pieces out today; Finding value in small caps amid the return of animal spirits; Berkshire Hathaway is in the news again... Warren Buffett's right hand lady, who was undoubtedly chosen for her investment skills was behind the firing of Benjamin Moore CEO; Buffett has raked in $10 billion from the financial crisis according to data compiled by the WSJ; That and much more below.
Alermarle & Bond (ABM) Blow-up Time
Everything exciting always comes at once with stocks, and so it's been with Albemarle & Bond Holding (LON:ABM) (OTCMKTS:ABMLF), the pawnbroking company I've looked at in the past - mostly in comparison to a portfolio constituent, H&T Group Plc (LON:HAT). [Expecting Value]
Missed opportunity: Autogrill SpA Spin-off
Sometimes, the good old-fashioned simple ideas still work very well. One very recent example, which for some reasons I totally missed, was the recent spin-off of Word Duty Free from the parent Autogrill SpA (BIT:AGL) (OTCMKTS:ATGSY) in the beginning of October. [ValueAndOpportunity]
Newsletter Returns: Be Skeptical
The situation was far different at the end of the bear market in early 2009. Then the market was at the fear end of the fear-to-greed spectrum, and few advertisers were making outrageous claims. Investors were more preoccupied with capital preservation than risk-taking; greed wasn't selling. [Mark Hulbert, Barron's]
Finding Value in the Current Small-Cap Bear Market
“With small-company stocks up 27% so far this year, do they still have room to run?” asked Nightly Business Report Anchor Tyler Mathisen who, along with Co-Anchor Susan Gharib, hosted Portfolio Manager and Principal Jay Kaplan on their September 26, 2013 program. [TheRoyceFunds]
And Now Let Us Praise … Greece?
The Greek economy is improving, which should benefit the banking sector,” Mr Paulson told the Financial Times. He confirmed his fund, Paulson & Co, had substantial stakes in Piraeus and Alpha, the two banks that have emerged in best shape from the crisis. [Brendan Conway, Focus on Funds]
Ted Williams, Ford F-150's, and Market Valuations
In late 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc Plan Trust (OTCMKTS:LEHMQ) had just collapsed, American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) needed help from the US government and markets around the world were in a tailspin. Five years ago the average price of the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) F-150 pickup truck was $18,000. Today, the average price is $24,000. [Robert Mark, Advisor Perspectives]
Buffett's Crisis-Lending Haul Reaches $10 Billion
Billionaire Warren Buffett tossed lifelines to a handful of blue-chip companies during the financial crisis. Five years later the payoff on those deals is becoming clear: $10 billion and counting. The latest windfall for the Omaha, Neb., billionaire and his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), came when candy maker Mars Inc. repaid $4.4 billion that its subsidiary, Wrigley, borrowed in 2008. [Anupreeta Das, The Wall Street Journal]
Warren Buffett protégé in trouble at Benjamin Moore
The Nebraska billionaire — whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) conglomerate typically gives free rein to management at the companies it buys — is grappling with a crisis at his Benjamin Moore paint brand, which has spilled over on the watch of his 29-year-old financial assistant, Tracy Britt. [James Covert, New York Post]
Twitter's Shady Accounting
In the registration statement for its upcoming IPO, which was filed on Thursday, Twitter said through the "eyes of management" the company had a profit of just over $21 million in the first six months of the year. That's probably how Twitter's execs would like potential investors to see it. Through an accountant's eyes, though, Twitter actually lost just over $69 million. [Stephen Gandel, CNNMoney]
$50 Share Price Target for Twitter
It has been only four days since Twitter first took the wraps off its initial public offering prospectus. But that hasn’t stopped Robert Peck from setting a high $50-a-share price target on the still-private social network. [Michael J. De La Merced, DealBook]
Tweeter Changes Stock Symbol After Twitter Confusion
Tweeter Home Entertainment is back; this time with a new ticker symbol. The bankrupt retailer, which saw a flurry of trading activity last week as investors confused it with Twitter, will now trade under THEGQ rather than its former TWTR Inc (OTCMKTS:TWTRQ), according to a Finra website. Tweeter’s shares aren’t listed on an exchange and instead change hands in the “over the counter” marketplace. [Matt Jarzemsky, MoneyBeat]
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