One of the net/net ideas I offered up in the recent past, perhaps is having a breakout today-NVTL. With Cash/share of $1.88 and net/net of $2.10, the stock is cheap in the $1.30s. After bottoming at $1.17, running to $1.50, then backing up to $1.26-I was looking to buy either if it got back to $1.20 or "broke out" above $1.37 on volume greater than 500,000-which has happened today. I picked up some inventory below $1.40. Mgt has stated they expect the 1st Q to be stronger than the 4th Q, but in both Qs they will lose money.
In the absence of an immediate catalyst-that I have not yet identified-the stock will trade on sentiment. However, given the value of the balance sheet and the run rate of the business $350-$400 million/year, the sum of the two could easily get to $2.50 and still be cheap. Any hint that profitability is coming later in the year would get the stock into mid single digits.
To be fair to the "bullish" case vs mostly negative comments under the topic "Big Picture", QE is, by its very nature, forcing asset prices higher as all that excess liquidity has to find "homes".
It is clear to me, that the US bond market has gone up about as far as it can go-perhaps another 20-25 BPS, but that is it. So, where does that money go next? Obviously, the next biggest markets are US stocks, big international stocks (that trade on US exchanges), oil, commercial real estate, and gold. To a smaller extent, money has been flowing into residential real estate and art in recent months.
After that, the excess liquidity has to go overseas. The first big overseas "home" is Europe. That is why the Euro has stayed much higher than it would have given its problems because the FED is flooding the world with more liquidity than the ECB is. That liquidity is flowing to Europe first in their bond markets (even the troubled countries are getting US based buying, then Euro stocks. The CAC and DAX hit new highs this past week, the FTSE is not far behind.
I suspect ASIA is next as China has rallied the last week or two. However, for me, looking for the next international market that is going to be the next "momentum" trade is not my game-although Japan has gone nowhere for years, but recently their central bank's QE is even more aggressive than ours-sending their currency down and stocks to 8 month highs.
Beyond all this liquidity looking for "homes" outside the US-some of it will stay here. What is it going to buy while the "music" is still playing. Any real "news" that the US econ will ramp up GDP growth from the 1-2% range to 3%+, would vault the S&P 500 up past 1500-perhaps to new all-time highs. That is why so many of the big broker strategic analysts have such high targets for the end of 2013 because they think the 2ndH of 2013 will be much stronger than the 1stH-exciting a momentum based trade that faster GDP growth (2ndH or 2013) will continue into 2014. I give that a decent probability as well.
Still, for me, I only like to buy stuff that is "cheap" in the first place. Cheap from a:
2)from a PSR basis
3)netn/net or high cash as a % of the stock price basis
4)relative to close substitute or similar business basis
5)Liquidity discount to fair valuation because of improving fundamentals
With regard to "4", I bought alot of CCRN recently under $4-because it was 1/2 the relative value vs AHS (.25 PSR vs .5 PSR) and cheap on a PSR and historical basis . I've sold out of 2/3rds, after a 20% gain, because they have yet to complete a bank deal. Still, I'll hold the last 1/3 because ultimately CCRN will get bought out, at much higher price, by a much larger staffing firm.
The biggest market, that I am comfortable investing in that is "cheap" according to 1, 2 and 4 is nat gas. Unfortunately, for the last 8-10 months, it has not worked out because, even though nat gas bottomed at $1.90 in April and rallied to $3.93 by Nov-it did little for nat gas stocks in that time. Given the continuing over supply, it will take until the winter of 2013-2014 before nat gas gets past $6, which should drag the stocks up by then or in anticipation of that higher price.
The energy equivalent of oil to nat gas is 6/1. So with oil at $90, nat gas would have to get to $15 to make then energy equivalent equal. So nat gas above $6, still leaves alot of room for nat gas to go higher before its lower cost advantage narrows.
As always, the comments here and other posts are just one man's opinion.
Bottom line, as long as the massive QE "music", by the FED and other central banks, is playing, there is money to be made-perhaps big money. But when that music stops or the "hints" that is is going to stop occur-then raise cash. The QE induced "propped up" prosperity will implode.