Monday, July 2, 2012


Like most investors, I've spent the last several months vacillating between euphoria and despair. A self proclaimed smart investor descends into stupidity. Over and over again.

Of late, I've been encouraged by the performance of a couple of my holdings. Proof that a value investment approach can work over time. Markets will dive and confidence will sag, but some stocks will go up. I'm not discounting luck as a reason.

My last two posts, Smart Balance [SMBL] and Constellation Brands [STZ] are the holdings that have helped hold my net worth together during the market's flight away from commodities, Europe exposure, and other out of favor sectors. Since the first part of April, SMBL is up more than 70% and STZ has risen  over 45%. Both of these companies have good management and operating performance has been OK, but acquisitions have enlivened analysts and investors.

Mario Gabelli jumped on board Smart Balance and bought 5% of the company. He, and others, liked SMBL's acquisition of two gluten free product companies. The party at STZ didn't start when they owned Robert Modavi and a host of wine and spirit names plus 1/2 of Mexico's Modelo American distribution. But it sure started when they announced the purchase of the other half of Modelo's U.S. distribution. The financing is in place, but the final capital structure of the $1.5 billion deal isn't known. I'm sticking with SMBL longer term and may bail after awhile on STZ.

Now the whiff. I've written about Teva before stating that it is under valued and should produce good returns. When? It continues to act like a dead worm in the swimming pool out back; it just keeps sinking. I'm hopeful it has hit bottom and is resting at its low point. The same mindset that hated SMBL and STZ is at play with TEVA. It's hated for patent expirations, litigation, and who knows what else. Those concerns a overblown. Analysts are calling for $5.40 eps in 2012 and $5.80 in 2013. As a $39 stock the P/E is about 7X. Even as a "slow grower" it's worth more than 7X as the balance sheet is decent.

It's only a matter of time with TEVA and you get a 2% yield while waiting. Something will spark the investing community, maybe an acquisition like the other two companies or some break through drug or blockbuster generic opportunity, but it will happen and the upside is significant. I've been saying that for quite awhile, but I remain a believer.

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