Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Value Stock Guide Premium

I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about a great stock picking service/website that I use called Value Stock Guide Premium.  Over my time as an investor, I've tweaked my investing styles while searching for the most profitable way to make money while still being able to sleep at night.  Within the past few years, I've evolved into a "value investor."  To me, value investing is the easiest style to understand and quite frankly, I've had the most success with it.  I can focus on companies more than on stocks, and not have to worry much about what the market "might do" in the short term.

I ran across this service and was introduced to Shailesh Kumar about the same time I developed my value investing philosophy.  I followed him into a stock pick, and it ultimately turned out quite well, and from there I started following his ideas and picks.  I was excited to hear that he launched Value Stock Guide Premium because I knew it would be a great resource for investors like me.

Value Stock Guide often focuses on small-cap stocks.  I've found that many value investors become drawn to smaller companies.  This is a natural effect because that's where you can often find the largest dislocations between price and value, and that's what its all about.  You're searching for stocks you can find that are under priced relative to their intrinsic value.  Analysts often ignore these companies because they are too small for their companies/funds to invest in.  This is a HUGE advantage for individual investors.  The "fast money" so to speak does not toy with smaller stocks, and if you know what you're doing, you can find some great investments.

Shailesh has a proven track record, and you can see that directly on the site.  Its all very straightforward, and that's the best kind of subscription you can buy.  When he buys or sells, you get a notification and a detailed analysis of why.

For me personally, I love investing, but don't often have the time to find the next great stock.  This service has proved very valuable to me, and I think it will for you too.  If you're a beginner, you can learn a lot.  If you're a seasoned pro, you can get some great ideas from someone else who does it everyday.

So take a couple minutes and check out Value Stock Guide Premium.

Have a great and profitable day everyone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Adams Golf-Part Two

This is Part Two of my update on Adams Golf (ADGF), which is one of my largest holdings.  The company continues to perform solidly in an uncertain environment.  Its has been managed conservatively, and they are certainly poised for growth.  The rest really depends on the golf business and the economy as a whole.

Three points I want to touch on in this post:

1)The company's cash position and possible uses.

2)Shareholder's impatience and the hiring of Morgan Stanley to analyze the business.

3)The golf club market and the future of the sport as it relates to ADGF.

1) Adams has a great cash position for a company of its size.  It grew even further with December's announcement of a settlement with Zurich American Insurance Company, following a lawsuit based on issues involved with the company's IPO.  Long story short, Adams received a juicy $6.4 million payout in January.  No specific plans have been made as of yet for the funds.  This now puts the company's cash position somewhere between $17-18 million, with no debt.  So the company is sitting in a very nice position, and is ready to ride out any more problems we may see.

2) Starting last fall, some of the largest shareholders have begun to share their impatience with the management of Adams.  The stock has been considered "cheap" for years now and the share price just hasn't moved enough relative to the value of the business.  They have begun to put some pressure on management to do something to unlock some value for shareholders.  This can mean a number of things, but traditionally it means either A) a dividend to shareholders (either one time, or quarterly) B) a share buyback, or C) an acquisition of another company.  In January, Adams announced that it had hired Morgan Stanley to explore "strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value."  Rumor has it that they are also valuing the company and searching for potential buyers as well.

The stock saw a jump after this announcement, and many shareholders appear to be thinking a deal may be imminent. In my opinion, a sale of the company isn't necessarily the best option here.  I personally think they'd be selling at a time when you're not going to get optimum value for the company.  I'd hate to see a sale just for the sake of "doing something" to placate shareholders.  I'd much rather see a dividend and/or share buyback in this case.

3)Adams has a great range of new products out (in fact, they lead the way in golf club technology in many areas).  They are #1 on tour in the growing hybrid club market.  They have led the way with their "velocity slot technology" in hybrids and fairway woods, which other, larger companies have also started to emulate. They made a great acquisition last year of YES Putters (at a very cheap price), and have just re-launched the brand.

They have a solid group of professionals representing the brand name on tour.  Yani Tseng is the #1 women's golfer in the world.  They have Aaron Baddeley and Ryan Moore, which are two rising stars on the PGA Tour.  They just signed Robert Karlsson, a solid player which will give them a nice presence on the European Tour.  They also have a great group of Champions Tour players, including Tom Watson, Kenny Perry, and Bernhard Langher.  I'd love to see Adams use some of that cash to go after a "star player" on tour.  Whether they admit it or not, golf companies make a lot of money when a player wins a big tournament, and tons of average golfer run out and buy the same clubs, whether they are right for them or not.  This has worked well for companies like Taylor Made and Callaway.

The golf industry is just starting to make a comeback, in my opinion.  There were way too many courses built in the last 15 years, and many are struggling.  Golf is a sport that relies heavily on discretionary spending by consumers.  If times are tight, people make choices to cut out things like golf.  But the economy is improving.  Golf has become cheaper to play as courses are lowering rates to encourage people to come out (at least in my experiences).  Tiger Woods is back in contention in tournaments, which drives massive TV ratings.  This always spills back into positives for the industry.  I think 2012 will be a solid growth year for the game.

In conclusion, I'm holding my shares.  If they decide to sell the company, it will probably be for a higher price than it sits currently.  If they announce they are not selling the company, we'll likely see a drop in shares.  This is mostly because some people have bought in recently hoping to jump in on a possible buyout. In the end, the company is still undervalued though.  They are also in a great position for organic growth in the coming years.  The economy and golf industry will be back, and they have the pieces in place to benefit.

If you find this post, I thank you for reading.  If you want to chat about this stock or situation, feel free to comment to this post, or shoot me an email!

Adams Golf-Part One

This is Part One (a re-print from last fall) of my update on one of my largest positions, Adams Golf (ADGF). I've owned this stock since late 2010, and feel that although they haven't done anything earth shattering, they are making progress.  They are growing their brand with some nice product improvements and are doing quite well considering the environment they are facing.

Let's look at the golf industry as a whole:

It's tough right now in the golf world.  Golf is a sport that has always been a "rich man's game" so to speak, and saw a major growth phase in the late 1990's in large part due to the rise of a young golfer with incredible talent (I think you know who I mean).  Suddenly there were many more casual golfers, and the game grew.  Golf courses were being built left and right, and companies like Callaway and Nike Golf saw some big growth.  Now we're in a situation that's a little different.  A lot of those golfers just don't have the discretionary income right now.  Add that to the fact that Tiger Woods has gone through a major slump, which has affected TV ratings and overall interest in the game.

In my opinion, this is a perfect environment for Adams to make inroads into a larger presence in the golf world.  The bigger golf companies are weaker because they haven't been able to pump out the volume of clubs and gear required for them to be profitable.  Adams is small enough and is conservatively managed.  They had some great quality products (#1 in hybrid clubs, which continue to become more popular), and they have introduced some new products with new technology and a nice look to them.  They also picked up the Yes Putter Brand last year for a great price.

They are getting some nice exposure on all three tours with some great players representing their equipment.  Yani Tseng is a 22 years and has seen phenomenal success.  She is the #1 ranked Women's golfer in the world and was the LPGA Tour Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011.  This should help the company with exposure into a lot of categories, and especially with international growth.

I feel that Adams is doing the right things to gain market share (which they are doing), while not overextending the company at an uncertain time for the sport within the economy.  When the economy strengthens, the company should only do better.

In Part Two, I'll look at more recent events and what is driving stock right now.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome Back

Hello All,

I'm writing my first post in quite some time.  I'm still following the market and watching for good investments, but haven't had a lot of time to blog about them.  Hopefully, I will be able to find the time to keep this up again.

A quick synopsis of my thoughts on the macro situation:

I'd be lying if I said I was an expert of what is going on in Europe with regard to various countries' debt situations.  I do not buy into the fear of contagion and what effect it may have.  Our market overreacts time and time again to these various threats.  Are the situations serious? Yes.  Is the US debt problem serious? Yes.  Because I can't predict what will happen there, I'm not going to worry about it.  Do I have confidence that the they will get through this? Of course.  And I do know this: when the market responds, it often does so so swiftly that it becomes impossible to try and maneuver around news.

In our country, I'm most concerned not about the issues we face, but more about the political climate.  No politicians or party seem to have the political will to make any necessary/tough decisions.  Until we can return the view of serving in political office as a "service" and not a "job", we will have poor politicians who only care about how to get re-elected.  If a candidate showed real leadership and was ready to make the tough decisions showed up, I would support him or her completely.  But it appears that we have another empty election cycle coming up with more "Reality TV" politics.

Even though we have a tough political climate, a disturbing debt situation, and a tough job market, there are still some segments of our economy that are improving, and things are certainly moving in the right direction.  Many companies have cut capacity, cut employees, and cut costs to adapt to this climate, and are now finding it to be very profitable.  Is it ideal?  Of course not.  I hate seeing 9+% unemployment.  I do see all these things improving over time though.

A quick update on my portfolio:

Like for most people, things were looking good for most of the year until early August.  I hold a lot of small cap, value type stocks.  I look for situations where I can buy these stocks a great prices relative to their current asset position, and hopefully they have a catalyst in play which will unlock growth.  Or at least have something in play to get people to notice to stock and that its undervalued.  What happens to these stocks typically is that over time, the value is eventually noticed and the price catches up.  While waiting for this, these stocks can be subject to wild price swings though.  Because of their small size, these companies can be subject to inconsistent revenues and or profits per quarter as we go along because they may not have enough of a product mix to balance things out.  And because there is little to no news that comes out on these companies, investors often panic if a quarter is not so great or if the market as a whole is not doing well.

I am seeing value out there in a lot of companies, both large and small.  But overall, I still mostly prefer smaller companies.  They fit my investment goals best.  I'm willing to be patient and have developed a tolerance for holding through market swings (its not easy at times, I know).  I do mix in some larger stocks, but still using the same value philosophy.

I don't want this post to get too long here.  I will be doing additional separate posts about stocks I like and what I'm doing with my portfolio.

If you're reading this, I do appreciate it, and as always, I welcome your interaction here.



Friday, March 4, 2011

Still Adding Shares

I'm not spending a lot of time worrying about the events happening in other parts of the world.  Sure, they are having some effect on the market, but a pullback was imminent.  This only gave the market an excuse in my opinion.  Now if we see a carry over effect and it causes fuel prices to spike (they already have, but I'm talking gasoline at $5 kind of spike), then I'd be concerned.

We're right in the middle of earnings season, and most of the stocks I own are reporting on the late end (small caps often do, I have no idea why).

I added shares of Jamba (JMBA) last week at $2.24.  This will be it for me prior to earnings.  If we see a sell off post-earnings and shares get closer to $2.00 or below, then I could see myself adding again.

I also added yesterday to Adams Golf (ADGF).  I really like the opportunity with this company.  I think they have some great new products that the market is just finally realizing, and they have some strong players on staff who are promoting the brand well.  The sport has struggled in the past few years, but any improvement will only help their sales.  Tiger Woods has struggled, and that is huge for the sport.  If he can find his game soon (and I know he will) the sport will benefit greatly.  We also have the situation of the Acushnet spinoff from Fortune Brands.  This will mean that Titleist-Footjoy will be a separate entity and could be a publicly traded company.  This would be the best scenario for us here.  Adams is not widely followed, and thus under appreciated.  Bringing a major player like Titleist to the market would have many analysts and investors taking a look at the industry, and they will discover Adams.

I added shares yesterday at $5.92.  I'm pretty happy with my position in this one (started buying in the high $4's).  I would add if it drops of course but own enough to be satisfied if we see a substantial move.

Hopefully earnings are solid for both of these names.

Disclosure: Long JMBA, ADGF