Frankly, I don't think I will buy anything in the near future. Prices are too high and I don't want to go down market in quality. I did it before and it was very costly. I demand stocks at around book value with low p/e ratios, consistent earnings and reasonable dividends. I also insist on no or very low goodwill, honest accounting and management with integrity. You can see why I can't find anything I like. I have never had luck with high p/es and growth stocks or stocks with no earnings. If you are lucky enough to buy them at the beginning of a bull market you may make a lot of money, but holding them during a flat or declining market can be a real loser.
Of my current holdings, I would consider buying BRKB and NPK at lower prices, the rest are all weak holds or sale candidates. I guess that makes me a bear by default. Best of luck to you. You can always locate me here at the NPK message board. I have made it my life's mission to argue with no_slapps until I go to my grave.
<<I have made it my life's mission to argue with no_slapps until I go to my grave. >>
LOL. I see.
I agree with you for the most part on the prices are too high part. Many of my near value candidates are fairly valued right now. Or over. I have relaxed my standards some I will admit. I unfortunately did not hold onto OXM long enough and missed the huge gains. It was hard to value with the Tommy Bahama news and when it rose considerably I unloaded. My average sale price was around $40. Look where it is now. OXM was another Garan only accelerated in time. I did not see that happening so soon.
Actually I hold some MSFT and although I have thought about selling it recently I decided not to. I don't think it is going to be a big gainer, but a reasonable one. The compnay is pulling in huge revenues. I just don't think it is a long term loser. So I'm a holder.
I have really found the most value in the energy sector this past year or so and still see it there - not the growth off the lows, but reasonable growth prospects looking forward. Will have to see how this winter plays out. My major energy holds right now are CPN (way under book value) and XEL. My minor energy related plays as I mentioned are MSSN, IVAN, NGAS and TMR. I also like SFY.
I do hold a few bigger caps and think they are OK at current prices: Costco and JNJ. I recently sold Dell. I may regret that. Market was getting me worried and I moved more to cash.
You mentioned Merck. Looks historically cheap. I've been eyeing it but just my cautiousness about the market keeps me out I think. As I already have FRX as my main pharm I have a toe in the sector. I am pretty optimistic about the growth prospects of two biotechs: TRIB and CRXL. I have nice gains in both right now and am holding for the long haul.
The thing is, I don't want a market decline to make stocks "reasonable" - what I want to start seeing is real recovery in the California and national economy. That will put the earnings back into stocks that have been hurting.
I'll drop in here from time to time.
Oh, one last one. I looked at this earlier this year and was reminded again today about it. I should have bought it earlier but thought it too good to be true. It is a foreign stock but it is very debt adverse and has great earnings and dividend. It has been consistent and growing. Like some of our other favorites it is a very low volume stock. My favorite type, a combo growth/value with little or no debt. Not quite such a value with the gains this year but still fairly priced. I am going to start buying on dips. You might like it. Deswell Industries. DSWL
pmlljl, if you are looking for a value opportunity, look at KNBT, a substantial thrift (Savings & Loan) operating in Pennsylvania. It went public on November 3. It is trading a little under $17 and should move up to around $22 in the next couple of months.
It is undervalued relative to its peers. Undervaluation among thrifts is common for those that have recently completed their IPOs. In a few months they trade with their peer group. At $22, KNBT would trade at parity with its peers relative to book value and P/E.
After a three-year moratorium (as per government regulations) KNBT will become a viable takeover candidate.